Morning Buzz: Wednesday 2.12.14

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

Politics and government

President Obama will travel to Fresno on Friday "to discuss ongoing efforts to respond to the severe drought."

California's drought is becoming a hot issue on Capitol Hill, where bills from Senate Democrats and House Republicans offer rival solutions on how to best aid water-starved farmers. WSJ, Chronicle, KPCC/Take Two

Mayor Garcetti will hold a morning photo op at a location of LA's infrastructure that is rarely in the news: the Tujunga Spreading Grounds in Arleta, where stormwater soaks into the ground to replenish the aquifer under the Valley.

California Supreme Court Associate Justice Joyce Kennard announced her intention to leave the state's high court later this year. LAT, Bob Egelko

Supervisor Mark Ridley-Thomas produced a cancelled check showing he paid for county repairs on his home two months before the media began asking questions. The Wave

City Council president Herb Wesson endorsed Wendy Greuel in the 33rd congrerssional district race.

To understand why many high-rise buildings in Los Angeles don’t have sprinklers, you have to go back to 1974. That’s when the City Council – worried about cost -- voted to require sprinklers only in new commercial and residential high rises. KPCC

A lawsuit claims that former labor secretary Hilda Solis was provided thousands of dollars worth of unreported free private jet travel paid for by the International Union of Operating Engineers in Pasadena. Los Cerritos News

Republican City Councilman Kevin Faulconer defeated Democratic Councilman David Alvarez in the San Diego mayor’s race. U-T SD

Lots of Californians, plus NYT editor Jill Abramson, on the guest list for last night's White House state dinner honoring the president of France. List


Media and books

Mike Pesca quits NPR after a decade to join Slate, and his exit note includes some veiled digs at the public radio network: "I have always wanted NPR to be a weeee bit more ambitious or daring, to be willing to take risks outside our comfort zone. So I’m leaving to do a daily podcast about things other than sports, though sometimes sports, because I like sports.” Romenesko, Business Insider

Bloomberg News's Los Angeles bureau hired Anousha Sakoui to cover the Hollywood film industry, "a dream beat that lets Anousha stretch her considerable skills chasing the biggest stories in Hollywood," says bureau a memo from chief Anthony Palazzo. She led M&A coverage for the Financial Times and previously reported for Dow Jones Newswires. She will work initially from London then move to LA.

Sitrick and Company hired Seth Lubove, former bureau chief, associate editor and reporter at Bloomberg, Forbes and the Wall Street Journal, as a member of the firm.

maggie-koerth-baker.jpgA day in the life of BoingBoing science writer Maggie Koerth-Baker. The Open Notebook

Tess Vigeland writes about interviewing her parents for her book on career choices and the pressures of negotiating life: A Lesson From Dad, and the Shadow of Regret

Ruben Castaneda, who reported for the LA Herald Examiner, talks about becoming a crack addict here and when he began a reporting career at the Washington Post. NPR

Author Steve Hodel says that soil analysis of dirt near a Hollywood home once occupied by his father contains markers of human remains, adding to the evidence that Dr. George Hill Hodel was a serial killer, including possibly of "Black Dahlia" Elizabeth Short. Via release

Tom Brokaw was diagnosed in August with multiple myeloma, a cancer affecting blood cells in the bone marrow. He is making progress. NBC

The video tribute to Mike O'Connor, the former CBS News and Channel 2 reporter who died in December in Mexico City. Vimeo


Courts and cops

If you haven't seen it, the video of a man smashing the windows of an LAPD car at Hollywood and Highland and taking a laptop — while Darth Vader and a KTLA cameraman watches — is pretty surprising. KTLA

Who is Making Money Off Your $480 Red Light Camera Ticket. LA Weekly

The newly instated inspector general charged with overseeing the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department spoke to the public for the first time Monday, frankly laying out the problems facing the embattled agency. LAT

Those sushi chefs accused a couple of years of years ago of selling whale meat at the Hump in Santa Monica pleaded guilty. LAT


More news, notes and observations

Two California Plaza, one of the tallest office buildings in downtown Los Angeles, has been acquired by Hollywood developer CIM Group in an unusual portfolio sale that also included a regional shopping center in Montclair, a high-rise in Anaheim and hotels in Bakersfield. LAT

The fight to preserve LA’s Carthay Square. KCRW

Building the Wilshire Grand: L.A.’s tallest tower. KCRW

The idea of being fined for crossing the road at the wrong place can bemuse foreign visitors to the US, where the origins of so-called jaywalking lie in a propaganda campaign by the motor industry in the 1920s. LA is mentioned. BBC


Tweet of the day

From the New York Times bureau chief in Los Angeles.


More by Kevin Roderick:
This will be a bad traffic weekend around Sepulveda Pass
Weather to vote aye, that is the question
Andy Borowitz imagines FAQs from Comcast and Time Warner Cable
Morning Buzz: Thursday 2.13.14
Luis J. Rodríguez samples the lowrider life of Tokyo
Recent Morning Buzz stories on LA Observed:
Morning Buzz: Thursday 2.13.14
Morning Buzz: Wednesday 2.12.14
Morning Buzz: Monday 2.10.14
Morning Buzz: Wednesday 2.5.13
Morning Buzz: Tuesday 2.4.13

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