Morning Buzz

Morning Buzz: Tuesday 2.14.12

Nonprofit funds vanish, Whitney Houston goes home to Newark, FPPC softens oversight of candidates, Dems endorse Janice Hahn, Bernard Parks comes back from surgery and blogging Dudamel's trip to Venezuela.

Top news

More than 200 nonprofit groups, many in the L.A. area, said their donated funds appear to have vanished after the sudden closure in Pacific Palisades of the International Humanities Center, an organization that watched over the money. LAT

Whitney Houston's body was flown home to Newark from Van Nuys Airport. A wake is planned for Thursday, a public memorial is set for Friday at the 18,000-seat Prudential Center, and a separate funeral will be Saturday at New Hope Baptist Church. NBC

Politics and politicos

In the last year, the Fair Political Practices Commission led by Jerry Brown appointees has eased restrictions on gifts from lobbyists to lawmakers, scaled back its open meetings and stopped notifying the public of pending investigations. LAT

California’s Congressional delegation "is undergoing a major upheaval, the result of reapportionment and retirements, threatening the state’s influence in Washington next year and forcing members to scramble to withstand what is emerging as a generational wave." NYT
Related: The state Democratic Party endorsed Janice Hahn over Laura Richardson, and as we told you Monday, did not endorse in the Brad Sherman-Howard Berman race. Roll Call, DN

The latest New York Times/CBS News poll finds that Rick Santorum has erased Mitt Romney's lead in the Republican race for president. NYT

Newt Gingrich on Monday in the San Garbriel Valley dismissed calls to drop out of the presidential contest in order to set up a direct contest between Romney and Santorum. AP, SGV Tribune

At a crowded hearing with emotional testimony, the city Board of Public Works unanimously backed "radically changing the way trash is picked up from businesses and apartment buildings," going from a free market to franchises awarded by City Hall. DN, LAT, City Maven

Regarding City Attorney Carmen Trutanich's pledge not to abandon one office to run for another, a centerpiece of his 2009 campaign, "his campaign spokesman is essentially making fun of anyone who was sucker enough to have thought he was serious." LAT editorial

Councilman Dennis Zine pulled his support for DA candidate Alan Jackson and endorsed Trutanich. City Maven

In a leaked memo, Metro reveals it wants the first phase of Purple Line subway expansion to reach beyond Fairfax to La Cienega Boulevard, adding more time to the 2019 opening estimate. In case you've forgotten the current calendar, it has the subway reaching Century City in 2026 and the West LA VA campus in 2036. Curbed LA

Councilman Bernard Parks is scheduled to return for Tuesday's council meeting after missing two months for surgery to repair an old injury. Sausage Factory

The Los Angeles City Council Redistricting Commission is scheduled to meet at 4 p.m. Wednesday in the council chambers to vote on revisions to the council district maps.

City Council President Herb Wesson will be the roastee at this year's Los Angeles Political Roast hosted by the American Diabetes Association, March 22 at the Beverly Hilton.

Media and media people

KUSC's Brian Lauritzen is blogging the trip to Venezuela by Gustavo Dudamel and the LA Philharmonic. KUSC Blog

LA-based British journalist Andrew Gumbel, the author of "Steal This Vote: Dirty Elections and the Rotten History of Democracy in America," guffaws at the idea that the Oscar academy can conduct trouble-free awards voting online. LAT op-ed

Times reporter Nita Lelyveld uses her daily rescue dog walks in her Hollywoodland neighborhood to look for the person who draws hearts on curbs and other surfaces. LAT

Longtime public affairs and public relations exec Elena Stern has joined L.A. Care Health Plan as Director of Communications and Marketing.


The city's new green-painted bike lane has ruined Spring Street as a filming location, due to the shade of green mandated by the federal government. LAT editorial

The Lakers, Clippers and Kings can return home to Staples Center after their long annual Grammy Awards-forced road trips.

Planning ahead

Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa on Thursday will welcome Xi Jinping, Vice President of China, at LAX at 1:30 p.m.

More by Kevin Roderick:
Gustavo Arellano, many others join LA Times staff
Power out Monday across Malibu
Put Jamal Khashoggi Square outside the Saudi consulate on Sawtelle
Here's who the LA Times has newly hired*
LA Observed Notes: Clippers hire big-time writer, unfunny Emmys, editor memo at the Times and more
Recent Morning Buzz stories on LA Observed:
Thursday news and notes
A little bit of mid-week reading
A few links from a few different places
Let's talk about anything but the weather
A few links from here and there
A couple of links from a couple of places
A bit of news from a few places
Morning Buzz: Wednesday 4.16.14


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