Morning Buzz

Morning Buzz: Wednesday 12.11.13

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

Politics and government

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

Media and books

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.

Courts and cops

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

More news, notes and observations

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

hill-st-tunnels-lapl.jpgNathan 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.

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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A couple of links from a couple of places
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Morning Buzz: Wednesday 4.16.14