Curated news, notes and observations most weekdays from LA Observed.
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
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." ChicagoBusiness.com
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
The Paley Center for Media's next PaleyFest in March is moving to the Dolby Theatre in Hollywood.
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
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
Hollywood's cutest baby? http://t.co/T0XC20nbqB— Huffington Post LA (@HuffPostLA) December 17, 2013