Curated news, notes and observations most weekdays from LA Observed.
Gov. Jerry Brown is riding into an election year on a wave of popularity. But a project that has become a personal crusade — a 520-mile high-speed train line from Los Angeles to San Francisco — is in trouble, reeling from a court ruling that undermined its financing, and from slipping public support and opponents’ rising calls to shut it down. NYT
Plus: Dan Walters writes "Jerry Brown may be getting desperate about keeping the state’s increasingly unpopular – not to mention financially and legally challenged – bullet train project alive." Bee
Rep. Henry Waxman sent a second letter to the CEO of the embattled Tribune Co. asking for documents regarding future plans for the Los Angeles Times. Politico
The first new Los Angeles Fire Department recruit class in five years is nearly all male and mostly white despite repeated promises by the agency to diversify its ranks, according to figures released Monday evening by Mayor Eric Garcetti's office. LAT
Mayor Eric Garcetti will hold a 2 p.m. press conference to announce a reward to help LAPD detectives investigating the murder of Joseph Gatto, the father of Assemblymember Mike Gatto.
Garcetti nominated Kafi D. Blumenfield, a lawyer and former chief executive of the Liberty Hill Foundation — the wife of Councilman Bob Blumenfield — to serve on the Recreation and Parks commission. She fills the vacancy created by the resignation of Barry Sanders. DN, KPCC
Four years after she graduated from the University of Virginia, Sasheer Zamata is landing a very big break — the young comedy performer has been selected to join Saturday Night Live as a new cast member. She is the first black female in the cast since Maya Rudolph. Deadline Hollywood
"Good Day LA" co-anchor Maria Sansone appeared on the show with her newborn baby girl, Grace Louise. Fox 11
Mediaite managing editor Jon Nicosia admits that his real name is Zachary Hildreth and he’s a convicted, repeat felon. Mediaite
Advertising Age cut back to every other week publication. NYT
Forbes unveiled its latest 30 Under 30 in Media list. Forbes
A photographer rants about for-profit magazines that ask to use photos for free. Trish Reda
The January issue of GQ says Los Angeles has "the coolest downtown in America." The Travel story opens with Brady Westwater. GQ
Work is proceeding on two mixed-use developments next to the old Herald Examiner building on Broadway. Curbed LA
A statement from the Sheriff’s Headquarters Bureau this morning said Sheriff Lee Baca would hold a news conference at the Sherman Block Sheriff’s Headquarters Building in Monterey Park at 10 a.m. He is expected to announce his retirement.
A USC study says storm water damage to apartments and other buildings in Los Angeles after the sea level rises could cost up to $700 million. KPCC
With China booming, why are so many of its citizens coming to the L.A. area to have their babies? Los Angeles Magazine
Los Angeles County set a record for tourist numbers for the third consecutive year, according to the Los Angeles Tourism & Convention Board. LAT
There hasn’t been a smog alert in over a decade, but many of us are still breathing bad air, and changing that will require even greater efforts to clean up the way we live, commute and do business in Southern California. Pasadena Weekly
A new study by the Los Angeles Regional Water Quality Control Board, to be debated in the coming months, could undermine plans to expand green space and recreational opportunities along the Los Angeles River. Heal the Bay
Hawthorne-based rocket maker Space Exploration Technologies Corp., or Space X, successfully lofted a communications satellite Monday in its first Falcon 9 launch of the new year. Patch
The Encounter restaurant atop the iconic theme building at Los Angeles International Airport closed at the end of December when the operator's lease ended. The agency that runs LAX is looking for a new tenant. LA Airspace
Hawaiian Airlines will begin flying daily nonstop flights between LAX and Kahului Airport on Maui beginning July 1. Pacific Business News
The 64th re-enactment of the of the signing of the Articles of Capitulation at Campo de Cahuenga in Universal City will take place on Sunday at 12:30 p.m.
American downhill skier Lindsey Vonn announced she will miss the Olympics in Sochi next month. The 29-year-old will have knee surgery. LAT
Jeff Carter and Drew Doughty of the LA Kings, and Ryan Getzlaf and Corey Perry of the Ducks, were named to the Canadian Olympic team. The Kings Slava Voynov was to Russia's team. Dustin Brown and Jonathan Quick were previously named to the U.S. team. Anze Kopitar will play for Slovenia. The Ducks' Teemu Selanne will play for Finland in his sixth Olympics. TSN
The Dodgers' new director of digital and print content, Jon Weisman, has launched the team's new Dodger Insider blog: "Everything in the Dodger universe, from what’s happening on and off the field to the scoop on tickets, promotions and events in the community...We’ll have interviews, video highlights, analysis, think pieces and more. We hope to be a reference guide for the casual and hardcore fan alike."
Q and A with Vin Scully about riding in the Rose Parade. Pasadena Monthly