Curated news, notes and observations most weekdays from LA Observed.
The contest to become California's next Assembly speaker could be over, with multiple lawmakers and staffers telling The Bee that Assemblywoman Toni Atkins, D-San Diego, has secured enough votes to lead Assembly Democrats. Bee
Neel Kashkari, a moderate Republican who ran the bailout of financial institutions under the Bush and Obama administrations, jumped into his first-ever political race Tuesday - this year's contest to challenge Democratic Gov. Jerry Brown. Chronicle, AP, LAT, CPR, Flash Report
The Expo Line has been a success by the numbers, already reaching the ridership expected by 2020. ZevWeb
Proposal for restructuring Metro fares is released; fares would be raised and free transfers allowed. Metro
As expected, Republican ex-lawmaker Tony Strickland says he's abandoning his challenge to Rep. Julia Brownley (D-Oak Park) and entering the race to succeed retiring Rep. Howard P. "Buck" McKeon (R-Santa Clarita) in a neighboring district. LAT
Supervisor Mark Ridley-Thomas acknowledged Tuesday that a taxpayer-funded project to install a security system in a converted garage at his home involved improvements "over and above" that job, but said he reimbursed the county for the upgrades. LAT
Bobby Shriver held hundreds of thousands of dollars in oil and tobacco stock, despite his advocacy on environmental issues. Those were holdovers from his family, consultant Bill Carrick explains. BuzzFeed, LAT
Shriver and Sheila Kuehl were on KCRW's Which Way, LA?.
Sheriff candidate Bob Olmsted will hold an 11 a.m. news conference outside the Men's Central Jail to announce his plan to "fundamentally reform the L.A. County Sheriff’s Department."
Mayor Eric Garcetti named top aide Sue Stengel to be the LAFD's independent assessor. She is an attorney who has been Garcetti’s policy director on policing and crime in the city’s Office of Homeland Security. DN
Councilman Jose Huizar formally responded in a court filing to the accusations by former aide Francine Godoy. KPCC
Huizar released a statement asking the community to pray for his four-year-old daughter with leukemia. Highland Park Patch
Our little angel, Aviana, just turned 4 years old on January 15th. Your prayers and the quality care she has received at Children’s Hospital are the reason she is in remission and was able to return to school last week. She is a remarkable little girl who has fought hard with great courage and high spirits. Her doctor has placed her on a rigorous two-year treatment plan, which will include numerous and various medications and procedures, including chemotherapy. Please continue to pray for her recovery.
Councilwoman Nury Martinez has hired Linda Serrato-Ybarra as her Communications Director.
The University of California has released to Los Angeles city officials a list of about 1,500 old concrete buildings that are potentially at risk of collapse during an earthquake. LAT
LA Weekly critic Steven Leigh Morris is asking the Los Angeles theater community to support his new site, Stage Raw, with advertising. Bitter Lemons
Why the larger Best Picture pool is actually shrinking the number of Oscar contenders. Grantland
Quentin Tarantino is upset that his script for an ensemble western to be called "The Hateful Eight" leaked after he gave it to a small circle of actors. Deadline
Robert Kovacik of NBC4 is the new president of the Los Angeles Press Club. The ither new officers are: Vice President: Patt Morrison, Los Angeles Times / KPCC; Secretary: Christina Villacorte, Daily News and Gloria Zuurveen, PACE News; Treasurer: Anthony Palazzo, Bloomberg News.
Former studio head Sherry Lansing on leaving movies behind for a career focused on improving education and fighting cancer. Los Angeles Magazine
Yes, people are reading long-form journalism on their phones if it's good. The Atlantic
Erika Hayasaki, a professor of literary journalism at UC Irvine, began writing her new book, "The Death Class: A True Story About Life," when she was a reporter at the Times. LAT
Kay Ryan, the United States poet laureate from 2008 until 2010 who won the 2011 Pulitzer Prize in poetry, is in a Marin County rehabilitation hospital after being hit by a car while riding her bicycle near her Fairfax, Calif., home on Jan. 13. LAT, Marin Independent Journal
News of Porn Industry's Move to Vegas is Flat-Out Wrong. LA Weekly
Photographs by John Rabe will be on exhibit at the Bermudez Projects gallery on
West 9th Street in Downtown from Feb. 8 through March 29.
The Board of Supes discussed how to name an interim sheriff. KPCC
Yes, You Can Still Ignore That Red-Light Camera Ticket, says the LA Weekly.
In-n-Out Burger doesn't want to be part of the growing Downtown LA community unless it can stick to the suburban model of drive-through lanes and a parking lot. Brigham Yen
The Grammy Museum will focus some attention on music from its own backyard in LA with an exhibition coming in May looking at the Laurel Canyon scene of the late 1960s and early '70s. LAT/Pop and Hiss
Students and alumni are trying to save USC's masters in professional writing program, slated to close in 2016. Jacket Copy
Liberal arts majors may start off slower than others when it comes to the postgraduate career path, but they close much of the salary and unemployment gap over time, a new report shows. Inside Higher Ed
Japanese pitcher Masahiro Tanaka signed with the New York Yankees for seven years and $155 million. ESPN
Lunch meeting in Venice, so obviously the first person I see is taking their pot bellied pig out for a walk.— Matthew Garrahan (@MattGarrahan) January 21, 2014