Editor's note: I had a little bit of hand surgery just before Thanksgiving, so I made it a long holiday week. Back to posting today. LA Biz Observed has been moved to archive status, and there is now a Business and Economy page for posts on those subjects.
Curated news, notes and observations most weekdays from LA Observed.
For Roger Mahony, clergy abuse cases were a threat to his agenda. From the start of his tenure as the leader of L.A.'s Catholics, Roger Mahony had ambitious plans for the archdiocese. But clergy molestation claims were vying for his attention. LA Times
The LA Sheriff's Department hired officers with histories of misconduct. Despite background investigations that revealed wrongdoing, incompetence, or poor performance, the department still hired dozens of problem applicants in 2010. LAT
As many as 145 LA Unified schools may have closed their libraries due to lack of certified staff, though the district can't say exactly how many. KPCC
Mayor Eric Garcetti's search for a new fire chief has been framed largely by well-publicized problems with the agency's 911 dispatch system and reports of delayed responses to life-and-death emergencies. But another deep-rooted, if less noticed, challenge awaits the next chief: the continuing, costly legacy of race and sex discrimination in a uniformed force that remains overwhelmingly male and predominantly white. LAT
Garcetti today will speak at the arrival of Emirates Airlines' new A380 flight to LAX.
City Attorney Mike Feuer made a valiant effort last week to get on the bilingual bandwagon, but when pressed, he was unable to climb aboard. Tipoff/DN
Even before the FBI raided state Sen. Ronald S. Calderon's Capitol office as part of a corruption investigation, some of his strongest supporters were already distancing themselves from the Montebello Democrat. LAT
Assembly Speaker John Pérez would like to stay in the Legislature but he’s got a problem: The law won’t let him. He’s termed out next year under voter-approved term limits and it’s time to move on. Capitol Weekly
Why do we want to restore the LA River to its destructive and deadly state? Daily News Op-ed
Latinos want US to sue over LA supervisors' board. AP
The special election is Tuesday in the 54th Assembly district to replace Holly Mitchell, who moved over to the state Senate. The candidates, all Democrats, are Sebastian Ridley-Thomas, Christopher R. Armenta and John Jake. LAT
Broken traffic sensors hinders California’s ‘smart’ freeways. AP
A research team at UC Irvine found that "attitudes toward public transportation and concerns about personal safety ... were robust predictors of transit use, independent of built environment factors such as near-residence street network connectivity and transit service level." KCET
A 100-year-old Westlake theater that had its last live performance over 50 years ago may soon be Los Angeles' newest live-music theater. LandUseLA
Larry L. Berg, the long-time commentator on California and national politics and founder of the Jesse M. Unruh Institute for Politics and Government at USC, died at home in Calabasas of lung cancer. He was 74.
Jeff Bezos unveils a plan to deliver by drone in a few years. 60 Minutes
The Los Angeles Review of Books launched a winter Fund Drive today to secure a $50,000 matching grant and said it will use the money to help pay its writers. LARB
The Birth of the Cool: Leo Braudy's Memoir of the 1950s. LARB
The subject of Braudy’s book is not his life but his place and time....Braudy peels away those old, received caricatures of the 1950s to examine the living, pimply, human reality underneath, from the perspective of one particularly observant teenager — a perspective that is surprisingly, and resolutely, outward-looking.
Joy Horowitz interviews Jill Lepore. LARB
Peter W. Kaplan, the editor of the New York Observer from 1994 to 2009, died Friday of cancer at age 59. Observer
Joseph Bell, a longtime journalism educator, author and Daily Pilot columnist, died on Thanksgiving at age 92. Daily Pilot
Why Music Critics Shouldn't Date Other Music Critics. LA Weekly
Architect Frank Gehry has signed on to create a new performance space named for conductor Gustavo Dudamel in Venezuela. LAT
Revisiting a legend of black Los Angeles radio: Tom Reed. LAT
The Myth of East-West Pointing Mountains. KCET
My Central Valley dream vacation. Press-Enterprise
UCLA beat USC 35-14 in the annual showdown, Westwood's second straight win in the series. ESPN LA