Curated news, notes and observations most weekdays from LA Observed.
The City Council agreed behind closed doors to pay $5.9 million to settle a pair of lawsuits filed in 2010 by 11 Westside LAPD officers who said they were given a quota of traffic tickets to write: at least 18 citations each shift, with 80% for major violations. Quotas are against state law. Chief Beck disagrees with the verdict. LAT, DN, LA Weekly
Resolving the first major challenge faced by Mayor Eric Garcetti after he took office in July, the Los Angeles City Council on Tuesday ratified a four-year contract that freezes Department of Water and Power worker salaries for three years and then provides a 2 percent increase. DN
An eight-mile stretch of unsightly, unkempt and unused railway in South Los Angeles is poised for a wonderful transformation into a greenbelt with walkways and bike lanes, says Supervisor Mark Ridley-Thomas. MRT
The Los Angeles City Council is capping off the Year of the LA River with a big idea: duck boat tours. Curbed LA
Steve Lopez tried to crash the Monday night fundraiser for Sheriff Lee Baca. LAT
Fallout of the jails scandal for Sheriff Lee Baca is unclear. LAT
How Safe Is the Sheriff of LA County? KCRW/WWLA
If LA Times letter writers were solely responsible for picking the LA County sheriff, Lee Baca would probably be out of a job. Opinion LA
Speaker John Perez, a candidate for state controller, said Tuesday he would like to step down from his leadership post early next summer. LAT
The Huffington Post unveiled a new comment system that forces visitors to sign on using Facebook in order to post a comment, or else apply for clearance to be anonymous. "We are pulling the switch in a way that will keep the best parts about commenting on HuffPost while bringing more civility and accountability to the experience." HuffPost
Kathy Thomson, the former president and chief operating officer of the Los Angeles Times Media Group, is now chief marketing officer and executive vice president at Sirius XM Holdings Inc. She left the Times in November. KPCC
German publisher Benedikt Taschen, who owns the Chemosphere house here, talks with Patt Morrison about having two bookstores in Los Angeles and other topics. LAT Op-ed
No change at the top of the SoCal bestseller lists from independent bookstores this week. The top 10s now include Michael Connelly, Amy Tan, Roy Choi and Anjelica Huston. SCIBA
Meet the Christian Reporter Climbing the Ladder at The New York Times. Christianity Today
Ken Levine blogs about the ordeal that is going to the movies.
Jimmy Kimmel on what happens on TV news here when the temperatures drop below 70 in Los Angeles.
A 27-year-old man accused in San Diego of operating a "revenge porn" website, on which sexually explicit photos of women were posted by angry former boyfriends or ex-husbands, is due to be arraigned in court Wednesday on 31 felony counts. LAT
A new report from the Joint Center for Housing Studies at Harvard University reveals that Los Angeles actually has the highest percentage of renters in any major US metro area: 52 percent of Angelenos were renters in 2012, compared to 35 percent nationwide. KPCC, Curbed LA
Nathan Masters on how Los Angeles erased the hills from downtown. Cropped photo of Hill Street tunnels from LAPL. Southland
Saying thanks and goodbye to a Pasadena guitar store legend. Star-News
15 Signs You Grew Up Eating Mexican Food in Southern California. OC Weekly
Kobe Bryant improved a little and led the Lakers with 20 points, but they still lost to the Suns.