Morning Buzz

Morning Buzz: Tuesday 12.17.13

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

Politics and government

Gov. Brown explains his disregard for standardized testing in schools using a story from his past about a leaf. Bee, LAT

State Sen. Kevin De Leon formally denied to the FPPC his involvement in a controversial contribution to a nonprofit linked to state Sen. Ronald S. Calderon. LAT

Maxine Waters’ choice gets traction for LAUSD vacancy. LA Schools Report

The city collected more than 800 guns during a weekend buyback. DN

Media and books

KCRW's interview with Aaron Kushner about the plans for the LA Register. KCRW

Rem Rieder on Kushner's "major bet on print journalism in LA." USA Today

Tribune Publishing's sorry start: the spinoff "will make its debut as a stand-alone company with more debt, less revenue and higher costs. Not exactly what a company battling long-term declines in its core business needs."

LA Times top editors Davan Maharaj and Marc Duvosin praise the recent Christoper Dorner series in a newsroom memo as "a riproaring read" and "also a testament to the talent and ambition in this newsroom, and to the collaborative spirit that makes distinguished journalism possible."

Lara Logan and Max McClellan, the 60 Minutes journalists who were put on a leave of absence following their now-retracted report on Benghazi, are set to return to the program early next year, Politico says.

Weinstein brothers return to their roots, reunite with Miramax. LAT

helenbrushjenkins-rense.jpgHelen Brush Jenkins, the late Los Angeles Daily News photographer, was included in a Time web feature on notable photographers who died in 2013. Lightbox, LA Observed

The Paley Center for Media's next PaleyFest in March is moving to the Dolby Theatre in Hollywood.

Courts and cops

A federal district judge ruled on Monday that the National Security Agency program that is systematically keeping records of all Americans’ phone calls most likely violates the Constitution, describing its technology as “almost Orwellian” and suggesting that James Madison would be “aghast” to learn that the government was encroaching on liberty in such a way. NYT

Two Los Angeles County sheriff's sergeants accused of lying to federal investigators secretly recorded a confrontation with an FBI agent outside the agent's home, a federal prosecutor said in court Monday. LAT

Six of the seven former and current Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department employees accused of trying to block an FBI investigation into the jails entered not guilty pleas in federal court. One whistleblower is among the indicted. KPCC, Witness LA

A man charged in a deadly auto rampage on the Venice Beach boardwalk will be back in court as a judge decides whether he'll stand trial for murder, assault and hit-and-run. AP

More news, notes and observations

The Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County on Monday removed a quote that mentioned "God's creatures" from its Nature Lab exhibit after a complaint. KPCC

This year could end as the driest on record in terms of rainfall in downtown Los Angeles. KPCC

The San Jose/Santa Clara County region has the nation’s fifth largest population of homeless (after New York, Los Angeles, Seattle and San Diego), according to the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. Life on the streets in Silicon Valley. AlterNet

La Tuna Canyon purification ceremony honors WWII detainees. DN

A pair of flamingos might be the last to leave Hollywood Park when the Inglewood racetrack finally closes Sunday. LAT

Tweet of the day

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:
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A little bit of mid-week reading
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Let's talk about anything but the weather
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Morning Buzz: Wednesday 4.16.14