Morning Buzz: Tuesday 1.21.14

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

Top of the news

Snow and cold temperatures in the East are grounding flights and forcing the federal government to send some workers home. ABC News


Politics and government

Neel Kashkari, a Republican former U.S. Treasury official who is expected to announce soon whether he is running for governor, will deliver what he has billed as a “major speech” Tuesday afternoon in Sacramento. LAT

UC President Janet Napolitano is on a listening tour of the campuses but keeps running into critics of her previous role as Homeland Security secretary in the Obama Administration. NYT

After President Barack Obama signed long-awaited legislation attempting to reduce helicopter noise in Los Angeles County, groups on both sides of the issue expressed disappointment with the plan. DN

Four months after a botched computer upgrade delayed unemployment benefits for tens of thousands of Californians, jobless workers are still finding it nearly impossible to reach state employees for help. LAT

A taxpayer-funded project to provide a home security system for Los Angeles County Supervisor Mark Ridley-Thomas included improvements to his converted garage that involved a week of work and upgrades to the building's electrical service, according to interviews and records. LAT

Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for city-hall-with-palms.jpgMayor Eric Garcetti led the Kingdom Day Parade in South LA. KPCC slide show

More than a dozen prospective candidates have already stepped forward to compete for seats held by two of City Hall's most prominent political veterans: Councilmen Bernard C. Parks and Tom LaBonge. LAT

Venice activists and officials would like to streamline the development process so that developers would apply only to City Hall for permits. Opponents could still appeal projects to the Coastal Commission. LAT


Media and books

Grantland founder and editor Bill Simmons posts a long mea culpa over the site's flawed story by Caleb Hannan about aninventor named Essay Anne Vanderbilt, a.k.a. “Dr. V.” He cites the editorial process and "our collective ignorance about the issues facing the transgender community in general, as well as our biggest mistake: not educating ourselves on that front before seriously considering whether to run the piece. We found out that Dr. V committed suicide sometime in October, at least four or five weeks after Caleb’s last interaction with her." Grantland, Christina Kahrl, Deadspin

Los Angeles Times editorial: Stop the foot-dragging on climate change. LAT

KCET said it will start airing "Democracy Now!," the national, daily, independent, award-winning news program hosted by Amy Goodman and Juan Gonzalez, weekdays at 9 a.m.

As Netflix Rises, HBO and Showtime Subscribers Shrink as Percentage of U.S. Households. Variety

With the adult film industry facing a critical challenge to its continued existence in Los Angeles, more than 2,000 porn industry members will gather this week in Hollywood for an annual conference on topics from legal issues to new cutting-edge technology. DN

A note to the staff from LA Times editor Davan Maharaj takes "a moment to review the exceptional work you produced in 2013, and offer my heartfelt thanks for it." All is hunky dory at the Times, apparently. LAT

Ezra Klein, an analyst, columnist and pundit who runs The Washington Post’s Wonkblog, will leave the newspaper, taking two of his colleagues with him, according to an internal memo sent on Tuesday. Mr. Klein is “looking to start his own news organization,” according to the memo, but his destination was not identified. NYT

Tavi Gevinson, 17, the creator of online magazine Rookie, "is Part Tina Brown, part Dorothy Parker, the quick-witted Gevinson has the ear — and Tumblr accounts — of a new generation of young women. Not to mention the eye of the media, the fashion world and, lately, Hollywood filmmakers." LAT

Meruelo Media sprang to life 2 1/2 years ago with the acquisition of a pioneering Los Angeles Spanish-language TV station, KWHY Channel 22. Last month, Meruelo agreed to pay $15 million to buy another L.A. fixer-upper, radio station KDAY-FM (93.5). LAT

Michael Kinsley is leaving the masthead of The New Republic to become a contributing editor at Vanity Fair. For a time he was the editorial page editor of the LA Times. NYT

Capital New York will start asking readers to pay for its morning newsletters, customizable alerts and breaking news blasts. The annual fee for Capital’s three verticals—City Hall, Albany and media—will be $5,990 for up to five users after the paywall goes live. AdWeek

Is sponsored content the secret to making money for the news business? KPCC

How an intern created The New York Times’ most popular piece of content in 2013: the dialect map of the U.S. Knight Lab

Der Spiegel scales back its English edition. CJR

Robert Rector remembers what it was like in the LA Times Valley Edition offices after the Northridge earthquake in 1994. Blog

The Press-Enterprise in Riverside unveiled a redesign. Freedom Communications


Courts and cops

The two miles of South Vermont Avenue that stretch north from Imperial Highway, the border of the Westmont and Vermont Vista neighborhoods, are home to churches, liquor stores, mortuaries and one of the highest rates of homicide in L.A. County. A detective calls it “death alley.” LAT Homicide Report


More news, notes and observations

Under cover of one of the worst environmental reputations on the planet, Los Angeles is becoming an unlikely model of sustainability, argues Jon Christensen. High Country News

Chinese air pollution blowing across the Pacific Ocean is often caused by the manufacturing of goods for export to the U.S. and Europe, according to findings by UC Irvine and other researchers published today in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. The study is the first to quantify how much of the pollution reaching the American West Coast is from the production in China of cellphones, televisions and other consumer goods. UC Irvine

Southern California industrialization and wildfires like the recent Colby Fire contribute to mercury in the Arctic waters and our sea food, a new study involving JPL suggests. SB Sun

For the Winter Olympics, the Russian hosts are planning a grand display of two recently captured killer whales. "And we’re supposed to say what, exactly?" LAT Opinion

Hundreds of millions of dollars are funneled into hotels, restaurants and limousine companies from January to March due to the Hollywood awards season. LAT

The city of Pasadena is considering plans to narrow portions of Colorado Boulevard and use that space to widen sidewalks and create tiny parks. LAT


More by Kevin Roderick:
Morning Buzz: Wednesday 1.22.14
Volokh Conspiracy bloggers sign up with the Washington Post
Los Angeles Times loses Ken Bensinger to BuzzFeed
Register owner takes control of the Easy Reader
Morning Buzz: Tuesday 1.21.14
Recent Morning Buzz stories on LA Observed:
Morning Buzz: Wednesday 1.22.14
Morning Buzz: Tuesday 1.21.14
Morning Buzz: Friday 1.17.14
Morning Buzz: Thursday 1.16.14
Morning Buzz: Wednesday 1.15.14

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