Morning Buzz at night: Friday 2.21.14

Because some days things run very late. Or very early.

Politics and government

regional-connector-map-metro.jpgFederal officials signed an agreement to provide $670 million in funding for the Downtown Regional Connector light-rail underground link across Downtown. LAT, Metro

Metrolink rolled out "positive train control" on three of its routes and became the first commuter service in the nation to put the technology into daily operation. It's about the Chatsworth disaster. LAT

Mayor Eric Garcetti, his wife, his chief of staff and a delegation of the city's airport, port and business leaders will travel to Mexico City next month for his administration's first international trade mission. KPCC

A new audit raises more questions about property appraisals under Assessor John Noguez. DN

Supervisor Gloria Molina and Assemblyman Ed Chau urge the 710 Freeway gap be closed by building a tunnel under South Pasadena. DN Op-Ed

State Sen. Norma J. Torres (D-Pomona) will run for the congressional district seat that Rep. Gloria Negrete McLeod (D-Chino) is giving up after serving just one term. LAT

Former Howard Berman aide Marc Litchman says he will run against Rep. Brad Sherman on a single issue platform: to break up the LA Unified School District. LAT

The union representing the University of California's 21,000 service workers and patient care employees has scheduled a five-day strike starting March 3 -- which would be their third and longest walkout in less than a year. LAT

Media and books

USC's "business decision" to ax its Master of Professional Writing program leaves unanswered questions. LA Weekly

Authors Susan Straight and John Green will receive special awards at the LA Times Book Prizes in April. Plus: the prize finalists include John Grisham, Doris Kearns Goodwin, A. Scott Berg, Charlie LeDuff and Barry Siegel. LAT

Xeni Jardin nominates this opening paragraph in the Atlantic by Caitlin Flanigan, in a story about college fraternities, as possibly the best lede in any news story ever. BoingBoing

One warm spring night in 2011, a young man named Travis Hughes stood on the back deck of the Alpha Tau Omega fraternity house at Marshall University, in West Virginia, and was struck by what seemed to him—under the influence of powerful inebriants, not least among them the clear ether of youth itself—to be an excellent idea: he would shove a bottle rocket up his ass and blast it into the sweet night air. And perhaps it was an excellent idea. What was not an excellent idea, however, was to misjudge the relative tightness of a 20-year-old sphincter and the propulsive reliability of a 20-cent bottle rocket. What followed ignition was not the bright report of a successful blastoff, but the muffled thud of fire in the hole.

The Unnamed Press is a new independent publisher of fiction, comics, and lost classics from C.P. Heiser. Website

Like Talks Los Angeles has added an April 10 event with Michael Lewis in conversation with Malcolm Gladwell at The Alex Theatre. LTLA

Cops and courts

Sheriff John Scott says he has no time to waste in pushing reforms. DN

More news observations

Levitt Pavilions staffers ay they were told by supervisor to program less Latin music and to be more "white bread." LA Weekly

Inside the closed-off "Mission Control" for Southern California’s water management system

Some activists want the old Figueroa Street bridge over the Los Angeles River to be transformed into a park ala New York's High Line. KPCC

The popular 626 Night Market will expand to LA Live in June. LA Weekly

Athletes in little-known sports like curling field the same inane questions over and over from people who believe their remarks to be both amusing and original. NYT

More by Kevin Roderick:
In the SoCal mountains with trail camera trackers
Tim Egan on the folly of California's 'nature-defiance'
The other sides of Alex Cohen and Howard Blume
Press release o' the day: Models wanted
A boarding school comes to downtown LA
Recent Morning Buzz stories on LA Observed:
Morning Buzz at night: Friday 2.21.14
Morning Buzz: Wednesday 2.19.14
Morning Buzz and holiday catch up: Tuesday 2.18.14
Morning Buzz: Thursday 2.13.14
Morning Buzz: Wednesday 2.12.14

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