News and notes for Friday

I'm stepping away from the keyboard as much as possible for the rest of the holiday weekend. Here are some desk-clearing items.

crane-flat-fire-ynp.jpgThe Rim fire in the Sierra Nevada is now at 213,313 acres and 35% contained. The photo is of backfiring operations today at Crane Flat in Yosemite National Park to save the helicopter facility there and limit spread of the fire. National Park Service

Brian Banks, the feel-good story who resumed his NFL aspirations after being released from prison and exonerated of a bogus conviction, was released from training camp by the Atlanta Falcons. But they may have a community job for him. Pro Football Talk

Mayor Garcetti will take part in Saturday morning's annual Los Pobladores Walk/Bike from San Gabriel Mission to El Pueblo Plaza.

Garcetti's police commission nominees were approved by the City Council. LAT, DN

Sibila Vargas, the early morning anchor at CBS 2 since 2010, is moving to WNBC in New York as co-anchor at noon and 6 p.m. TV Spy

LA Times reporter Matt Stevens writes first-person about meeting his birth mother in South Korea. "I had misjudged the magnitude of this meeting — both for my biological mother and for me. As the conversation sputtered along, it became increasingly clear that this was a life-changing day." LA Times

Kirkus Review's best biographies for fall include Robert Hilburn's "Johnny Cash: The Life," Victoria Wilson's "A Life of Barbara Stanwyck: Steel-true 1907-1940," Brian Jay Jones' "Jim Henson: The Biography" and J. Michael Lennon's "Norman Mailer: A Double Life." Kirkus

David Kipen bios biographer A. Scott Berg in the September issue of Los Angeles Magazine. Preview

The LA Weekly is back with its annual Web Awards. Best neighborhood blog: The Eastsider LA. Best Media Outlet Twitter: @KPCC. Savviest Online Presence:
Ben Welsh, LA Times. LA Observed was deemed the best political blog. All winners

Alison Martino of Vintage LA was recently given time-warp photos of the Orchid Avenue apartment her father, actor Al Martino, shared with restaurant owner Nicky Blair in 1953 Hollywood. Facebook

Pretty awesome Reuters photos of this year's Black Rock City at Burning Man. Business Insider

Second-most viewed story on the LA Times website right now: "Duchess of Cambridge wears jeggings only weeks after childbirth."

Leon Whiteson, the architecture critic for the Herald Examiner who also wrote for the LA Times and Architectural Digest, died of cancer Sunday in Los Angeles. He was 82. LAT

More by Kevin Roderick:
Another LA-area lion drags away a deer on camera (video)
Rim fire now 60 percent contained, plus more fire facts *
News and notes for Friday
Seamus Heaney, Nobel Prize-winning Irish poet was 74
Lamar Odom arrested in the Valley for DUI *
Recent News stories on LA Observed:
News and notes for Friday
Weekend news and notes
LAPD closes missing person case on wife of Scientology leader
Westwood and LAPD gird for protester 'fun run' this evening *
Crenshaw protesters storm Wal-Mart, LAPD calls tactical alert *

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