Curated news, notes and observations most weekdays from LA Observed — and this morning some catching up from the holiday weekend.
"California's drought is the worst since 1580. And no, Barack Obama can't stop it." A primer on water politics. Politico magazine
The White House will suspend its moratorium on official East Wing film screenings Tuesday to watch "Monuments Men," starring Obama friend and fundraiser George Clooney. THR
Rep. Brad Sherman escaped the cold weather in Washington with a government-financed trip to Asia — something he criticized Howard Berman for in 2012. Washington Post
City Council members Nury Martinez, Curren Price and Mike Bonin will propose today a city ordinance to require big hotels to pay workers $15.37 an hour, nearly double the state's minimum wage. The initiative "is expected to set off a fierce contest between labor and business." LAT
Jimmy Fallon's "Tonight Show" premiered from its new home in New York City. NYT
Bob Costas resumed hosting NBC's primetime Olympics show, still wearing glasses but much improved from his eye infection.
"12 Years A Slave" won the best film award at the BAFTA awards in London. BAFTA
Kenneth Turan recommends via Twitter: "Intriguing look by Hollywood Reporter's Ben Zauzmer at arcane intricacies of Oscar voting. What a system." THR
The Sad, Strange Family Battle Over Radio Legend Casey Kasem. THR
New owner plans a relaunch of LGBT magazine Frontiers. LAT
LA Times writer Hector Tobar says his upcoming book for Farrar, Straus and Giroux now has a title: "Deep Down Dark: The Untold Stories of 33 Men Buried in a Chilean Mine, and the Miracle that Set Them Free."
LA Times staff writer James Rainey and family members try to reinvigorate the two-year-old search for the killer of his brother, Palms chiropractor Robert Rainey.
Times staffer Ben Poston, a new arrival to LA, writes about how his plans to commute by bicycle did not go so well. LAT
Marc Haefele: Sid Caesar saved my childhood. KPCC Off-Ramp
The Los Angeles Police Commission is poised to adopt today a major shift in the way it judges police shootings, tying an officer's decision to pull the trigger to his actions in the moments leading up to the incident. Until now, the commission has generally focused on the narrow question of whether an officer faced a deadly threat at the moment he opened fire. LAT
Retired Hollywood High School teacher Harry Major, 82, was found dead in his apartment under suspicious circumstances. NBC 4
Authorities are searching for two suspects who punched a UCLA student about 1 a.m. Saturday and fled the scene with his shoes, according to UCLA police. ABC7
Facing criticism in social media for his appearance with President Nicolas Maduro on the day that violent clashes across Venezuela left three dead, Los Angeles Philharmonic music director Gustavo Dudamel has defended his appearance, saying he and colleagues stand for “peace, love and unity.” LAT
The rock climbing company that planned to take over and convert the Culver City Ice Arena dropped its lease plans, but the rink now has to satisfy city and fire officials before it can reopen. LAT
Chinese developer Greenland began construction on $1 billion Metropolis project on a parking lot beside the 110 freeway in Downtown LA. The first phase includes a residential tower and 19-story hotel. Brigham Yen, Curbed LA
A Brief History of Los Angeles' Tallest Buildings. Machine Project
Snowboarder Lindsey Jacobellis once again fell while leading and came up short of a medal in the Olympics. This was probably it for her. NYT
Fantasy sports not your thing? Try FantasySCOTUS - players compete to correctly predict Supreme Court decisions. http://t.co/87v5pLumR1— Washington Post (@washingtonpost) February 17, 2014