Morning Buzz

Morning Buzz: Friday 5.4.12

West Hollywood mayor Jeffrey Prang, hired as a special assistant to Assessor John Noguez, is the point man in making the scandal around the assessor's office not look so bad. LA Weekly

Owners of the Old Spaghetti Factory land in Hollywood won a lowered tax assessment from Noguez via consultant Ramin Salari, then sold the property for three times what the asessor's office said it was worth. LAT

As Los Angeles County was tightening its belt in recent years, its assessor’s office was sitting on a cache of more than a half-million dollars’ worth of brand-new electronics equipment it had stockpiled but never used, a newly-released county audit found.
The auditors discovered some $654,000 worth of never-used equipment, ranging from laptops to laser jet printers, languishing in storage at the Hall of Administration after it was purchased between fiscal years 2001-2 and 2009-10. ZevWeb

Arianna Huffington's role at AOL has been clarified to have her focus mainly on the Huffington Post. WSJ, THR

Mayoral candidate Wendy Greuel announced a Women for Wendy committee that includes former Villaraigosa chief of staff Robin Kramer, artist Judy Baca and former school board member Roberta Weintraub. List

Did Sheriff’s Department commander David Waters have his personal vintage motorcycle repaired and revamped by LASD mechanics on county time? According to a longtime department facilities worker, the answer is yes. Witness LA

Los Angeles prosecutors asked a judge on Wednesday to order the execution of two condemned killers using a single drug for lethal injections, a move intended to end a 6-year hold on the death penalty in California over the method used by the state. Reuters

Blair Taylor, president and CEO of the Los Angeles Urban League, blasted the MTA's vote to award a rail car contract to a Japanese firm.

Reason editor-in-chief Matt Welch looks back at the two decades since the riots and pronounces Los Angeles a changed place, much of it because the LAPD changed. Zocalo

City Attorney Carmen Trutanich's office announced it received a $2.65 million payment in a settlement of unpaid taxes with the former owner and operator of the Wilshire Hotel in Koreatown.

The UCLA Library has received videos, research, correspondence and other documents from the gubernatorial campaigns of former Gov. Gray Davis donated by former campaign manager Garry South. Daily Bruin

Francisco Castillo is leaving as deputy chief of staff for communications to Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom to be deputy national press secretary at StudentsFirst.

Coby King has joined the advocacy firm of Ek and Ek, in the downtown Los Angeles office.

The Pasadena Star-News will open its Colorado Boulevard newsroom to the public starting in August as "a community space where readers and residents can drop in to pitch stories, ask questions or make use of public blogging stations with free wi-fi access." Editor's note

Air Berlin launches new service at LAX May 11 with the only nonstop service from Los Angeles to Berlin.

Filmmaker Ken Burns and LAUSD superintendent John Deasy will deliver the commencement addresses at Loyola Marymount University this weekend.

Keeping hope and the puppets alive: Bob Baker and his marionettes. KCRW

The Los Angeles Jewish Film Festival offers "lust and spectacle on a biblical scale." Jewish Journal

Longtime Hollywood biographer Charles Higham, at one time a New York Times correspondent in Hollywood, died in Los Angeles April 21 and the news is just being reported. He was 81. LAT

More by Kevin Roderick:
'In on merit' at USC
Read the memo: LA Times hires again
Read the memo: LA Times losing big on search traffic
Google taking over LA's deadest shopping mall
Gustavo Arellano, many others join LA Times staff
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