Morning Buzz: Wednesday 1.29.14

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

Top of the news

Heavy fog forced some flights due to arrive at LAX this morning to be diverted to Ontario or San Diego. CNS

Healdsburg and 16 other California communities are in danger of running out of water within 60 to 120 days, state officials said Tuesday. Mercury-News


Politics and government

The Board of Supervisors named Orange County Undersheriff John Scott to fill the vacancy left with the retirement of Sheriff Lee Baca. Scott spent 36 years with LASD before heading south. DN, LAT, Opinion LA, KPCC, Witness LA

Prosecutors and criminal investigators are joining a Los Angeles City Hall effort to determine how two controversial Department of Water and Power nonprofits have spent more than $40 million in ratepayer money, The Times has learned. LAT

DWP chief Ron Nichols says IBEW stonewall on trust accounting 'dumbfounds' him. KPCC

Metro is asking drivers to avoid the northbound 405 Freeway through Sepulveda Pass during Presidents Day weekend as they anticipate planned lane closures will cause a massive traffic backup dubbed “Jamzilla.” DN

The two main Republican rivals to Gov. Jerry Brown's reelection, Assemblyman Tim Donnelly and Neel Kashkari, have not voted in several elections. LAT


Media and books

Noted: Jon Christensen and Emily Green are due to be on KCRW's "Press Play" with Madeleine Brand this morning.

Meet the 6-year-old magazine — Pacific Standard — that just took the internet by storm. January has been the magazine’s biggest traffic month ever. CJR

burger-queen.jpgOrange Coast's cover story this month, "Burger Queen," is a rare profile of In-N-Out Burger heiress and president Lynsi Snyder, at 31 among America's wealthiest women, and who also likes to drag race and wear turquoise nail polish. Orange Coast

Major layoffs are hitting the Patch sites today. Romenesko

Michael Hiltzik on the Register buying so-called "dead peasant" life insurance policies on its employees for the tax benefits and the payoffs should they die. LAT

The Register staff's internal Facebook page is brimful of questions and comments on an idea that sounds like it's designed to allow the company to profit from the deaths of its own staff. A meeting with management is being sought, we're told by sources inside the newspaper's Santa Ana headquarters.

Plus: Aaron Kushner's response. Romenesko

I didn't see it happen, but a reader posted on my Twitter feed that PBS SoCal cut away from President Obama's State of the Union speech for station identification and to list underwriters. A TV industry veteran replied that autoplay was probably left on by mistake.

"Duty" by Robert M. Gates has become the best-selling nonfiction hardcover book in local independent bookstores. Bookweb

Anthony Lovett, the author of "L.A. Bizarro: The Insider's Guide to the Obscure, the Absurd and the Perverse in Los Angeles" and a former publisher and editor of Adult Video News, died in his sleep at home in Simi Valley. He was 52. LAT


Courts and cops

What are LA cops doing with your license-plate data? ACLU and EFF sue. LA Weekly, EFF


More news, notes and observations

Several dead trees are marked for removal in Elysian Park. The Eastsider LA

The Dodgers have finished paying Manny Ramirez his deferred contract millions, but are still paying Andruw Jones. NBC 4


Tweet of the day


More by Kevin Roderick:
Henry Waxman to retire from Congress
California newspapers to carry a new print Sunday magazine
Reclaiming the alleys of South LA for parklets
The story behind Heritage Square and its Victorian homes
Michelle Obama fundraiser here raises $700,000 for Democrats
Recent Morning Buzz stories on LA Observed:
Morning Buzz: Wednesday 1.29.14
Morning Buzz: Tuesday 1.28.14
Morning Buzz: Monday 1.27.14
Morning Buzz: Thursday 1.23.14
Morning Buzz: Wednesday 1.22.14

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