Morning Buzz: Wednesday 7.31.13

Curated news, notes and observations most weekdays from LA Observed.

Politics and government

Thumbnail image for james-garcetti-on-phones.jpgThe City Council approved Mayor Garcetti's appointments to the plum Board of Public Works, including former climate-change denier and race-baiter Kevin James: he promised that his views on illegal immigration and science have changed since he stopped being an anger talk radio host. LAT, DN

The new wave of online-enabled ride- and car-sharing services such as Lyft, Uber and SideCar that threaten to disrupt the taxi and limousine industries should be allowed but regulated in a way that doesn't stifle innovation, the state Public Utilities Commission said Tuesday. LAT, SF Chronicle

County officials have moved to fire four child welfare workers they say were responsible for serious lapses in the case of an 8-year-old Palmdale boy who died after allegedly being tortured by his mother and her boyfriend. LAT, DN

Metro's TAP card discourages transit use one card a time, says an unhappy user. CityWatch

Ruth Galanter, the former LA City Council member, says that City Hall's 1991 term limits law — "bought and paid for by a local attorney, Richard Riordan" — combined with state limits will likely lead to all seats being held by ex-state legislators. The Planning Report

The city continues to tell homeowners to stop planting edible gardens in parkways. Steve Lopez is on the case. LAT

Councilman Mike Bonin makes his case for allowing parking at broken meters in a YouTube video. Sausage Factory

Councilman Bob Blumenfield proposes free citywide wi-fi. KPCC

The San Diego City Council does not want to pay embattled mayor Bob Filner's legal bills. LAT, AP


Media and books

Following his surreal interview with Fox News religion correspondent Lauren Green, religious scholar and author Reza Aslan hit the No. 1 spot on Amazon with "Zealot: The Life and Times of Jesus of Nazareth." GalleyCat

"Gone Girl" by Gillian Flynn, "The Cuckoo's Calling" by Robert Galbraith and "And the Mountains Echoed" by Khaled Hosseini are the hardcover fiction bestsellers in SoCal indie bookstores this week. IndieBound

Channels 2 and 9 duopoly reporter Kristine Lazar, expecting twin girls, is "the chat of the #news town," colleague Suraya Fadel tweets. Twitter

Kristin Chenoweth sings an Anthony Weiner-inspired parody of "Popular" from "Wicked" on Jay Leno. Video

City Hall reporter Kate Linthicum on traveling in Argentina and elsewhere as a vegetarian. LAT


Courts and cops

Daniel Chong, the college student mistakenly left in a Drug Enforcement Administration interrogation room for five days without food or water, will receive $4.1 million from the federal government to settle his claim for maltreatment. LAT


More news, notes and observations

Kim Bruno, a noted NYC arts educator who twice rejected the job before, was named principal of downtown's troubled Ramon C. Cortines School for Visual and Performing Arts. Downtown News, LAT

Beset by curatorial and funding issues, a new survey of Los Angeles architects at MOCA is a missed opportunity, with genuine talent lost in an undiscriminating blare of projects, writes Michael Webb. The Architectural Review

Google is taking over the free wi-fi service at Starbucks stores, over the next 18 months. "When your local Starbucks WiFi network goes Google, you’ll be able to surf the web at speeds up to 10x faster than before. If you’re in a Google Fiber city, we’re hoping to get you a connection that’s up to 100x faster." Google blog

The Watson family's century of photography in the City of Angels. KCET

The Virgin of the Carniceria — "Just part of my ceaseless efforts to photograph every Virgin of Guadalupe mural in Southern California," says journalist Sam Quinones. True Tales

With Real Madrid in town for friendlies and the team's annual training weeks at UCLA, star Cristiano Ronaldo will throw out the ceremonial first pitch tonight at Dodger Stadium.


Tweet of the day

LA Times business columnist Mike Hiltzik:


More by Kevin Roderick:
LA freeway system redrawn as a subway map
Steve Chacon, longtime ABC 7 photographer was 58
Morning Buzz: Wednesday 7.31.13
Eileen Brennan, Emmy winner was 80
Dodgers no longer fear the Beard: they sign ex-Giant (video)
Recent Morning Buzz stories on LA Observed:
Morning Buzz: Wednesday 7.31.13
Morning Buzz: Tuesday 7.30.13
Morning Buzz: Monday 7.29.13
Morning Buzz: Friday 7.26.13
Morning Buzz: Wednesday 7.24.13

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