Morning Buzz: Friday 3.4.11

Satellite launch from Vandenberg fails, Trutanich dismisses charges against protesters, city campaign notes, NYT editor on L.A. radio and the last founding member of The Mattachine Society dies. All that and more inside.

Top of the news

A satellite launch from Vandenberg Air Force Base this morning failed to make orbit and fell into the Pacific, dealing a blow to NASA's weakened environmental monitoring program. AP

Politics

Gifts that California legislators have received from lobbyists and others would be forbidden in states such as New York and Arizona. LAT

A judge on Thursday dismissed two of eight felony counts in the voting fraud case against state Sen. Roderick Wright. LAT

Los Angeles is launching its own tagger database and expanding graffiti tracking to four areas of the city. LA Weekly

New questions about AEG's Downtown NFL stadium plan from Councilman Bill Rosendahl, who asked for details on the promise that the stadium would dramatically improve the city's ability to attract major events and conventions. LAT

Los Angeles' smoke-free outdoor dining ordinance takes effect Tuesday, prohibiting smoking within 10 feet of any outdoor dining area. Smoking will also be banned within 40 feet of mobile food trucks, carts and food kiosks. DN

The City Maven wraps up its look at Tuesday's ballot measures with N (http://ow.ly/480aE) and Q ( http://ow.ly/480c3).

CD 4 candidates Tom LaBonge, Stephen Box and Tomas O’Grady talk aboput the race with Patt Morrison on KPCC in the 2 p.m. hour.

CD 8 challenger Forescee Hogan-Rowles has had to lay people off to keep her non-profit Community Financial Resource Center open. LA Weekly

CD 2 incumbent Paul Krekorian is running a TV ad. DN

If you've wondered how Los Angeles could let $500 million in debt go uncollected - especially during a budget crisis - consider the case of Franklin Hanock, who owed $215 fine for a false burglar alarm response to his Valley Village home. Kerry Cavanaugh/DN

City Attorney Carmen Trutanich's office on Thursday dropped all criminal charges against nine current and former students who were arrested last year at a Westwood rally in support of the DREAM Act. LAT

City Controller Wendy Greuel found that the DWP has been slow to spend its $112.7-million share of federal stimulus dollars and that the department's initial estimates of jobs created in the program may not have been accurate and lacked documentation. LAT

Media and media people

USC Annenberg announced the winners of its Walter Cronkite Award for Excellence in Television Political Journalism, led by PBS NewsHour.

Media reporter Michael Calderone left Politico for Yahoo a year ago, and now is jumping to the Huffington Post. Fishbowl DC

Madeleine Brand on KPCC talks to Bill Keller, executive editor of the New York Times, about his forthcoming essay, "How to Exit a Country Gracefully." Plus: Keller on losing Frank Rich.

More

Frank and Jamie McCourt renewed their settlement discussions in the ongoing divorce case on Wednesday. LAT

John Gruber, 82, the last surviving founding member of the Mattachine Society, the pioneering Los Angeles gay rights organization, died Monday at a hospital in Santa Clara. LAT

Planning ahead

California Chief Justice Tani Cantil-Sakauye will deliver the keynote address at Southwestern Law's commencement ceremony May 15 at the Shrine Auditorium.


More by Kevin Roderick:
Ralph Lawler of the Clippers and the age of Aquarius
Riding the Expo Line to USC 'just magical'
Last bastion of free parking? Loyola Marymount to charge students
Matt Kemp, Dodgers and Kings start big weekend the right way
LA Times writers revisit their '92 riots observations
Recent Morning Buzz stories on LA Observed:
Morning Buzz: Friday 4.27.12
Morning Buzz: Thursday 4.26.12
Morning Buzz: Wednesday 4.25.12
Morning Buzz: Tuesday 4.24.12
Morning Buzz: Monday 4.23.12

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