I'm back after three weeks away from the usual routine — it's good to change things up every now and then. I won't be posting news and notes every day, but will on many days, if not most. Today's offering includes items that came in while I was gone and caught my eye. I'll be gradually catching up through the week as time allows.
Winning a statewide office would give Republicans a chance to reset the tone of their relationship with moderates and Latinos, but the road to long-term competitiveness runs "right through the barrio." Jim Newton column/LAT
An independent expenditure committee is set to make a $250,000 media buy for sheriff candidate Jim McDonnell. Rick Orlov's Tipoffs
SNL ratings dive to all-time low. Mediaite
New owner Jay Penske is prepared to revamp Women's Wear Daily. Capital Report
The New York Times killed its chess column. Romenesko
City Councilman Jose Huizar and his former aide Francine Godoy announced a "global settlement" of all issues relating to her claim and lawsuit that he retaliated against her for ending a sexual affair with the councilman. Terms were not announced,but the City Attorney's office said no money was paid by the city. Daily News
The media spin game has begin in the race between Huizar and his reelection challenger Supervisor Gloria Molina. Sausage Factory
Susan Mellen was exonerated in a Torrance courtroom after spending 17 years in prison for a murder she did not commit. AP
Simpson's co-creator Sam Simon's crusade to put his his millions to good use before he dies of terminal colon cancer. Vanity Fair
A family of back bears romped around for cameras in the Bradury backyard of LA County CEO Bill Fujioka, but the media never picked up on the name of the homeowner. ZevWeb
Central Valley drought photos by Matt Black in the New Yorker.
When President Obama was here last week to designate a big swath of the San Gabriel Mountains as a national monument, KCAL and anchor Suzie Suh kept getting the mountain range wrong.
The Washington Post regains its place at the table under Jeff Bezos and Marty Barton. NYT
The authors of f-bomb-friendly vegan cookbook "Thug Kitchen" revealed themselves to be a white couple from Hollywood, setting off a firestorm of controversy. SFist
Jerry Azarkman, the force behind the Curacao chain, intends to bring Apple Store-style service to Latino consumers. Los Angeles Mag
Lisa Respers France, a former LA Times staffer now a senior producer for CNN Digital, writes about her struggle with food addiction and her weight: "You've met me before. I'm the fat, funny girl who is often hailed for my confidence and self-esteem. The big girl who has "such a pretty face" and who, despite her weight, manages to snag really great looking boyfriends." CNN
Charlie Waters, a fomer LA Times features editor who also was executive editor of the Fresno Bee, Las Vegas Review-Journal and Reno Gazette-Journal, died at age 66 of lung cancer in Henderson, Nevada. Fresno Bee, G-J
How the CIA helped the media pick apart Gary Webb, who uncovered the Contras link to drug sales in urban Southern CaliforniaI for the San Jose Mercury-News in 1996. The Intercept
A Forbes writer tries to make the case that "even if his newspaper investments don't work out, Aaron Kushner is a hero for trying." Forbes
Metro features writer Bob Pool will retire from the LA Times at the end of the month -- after 31 years and more than 4,000 bylines.
Deputy food editor Betty Hallock has left the Los Angeles Times after 13 years.
The once-giant Los Angles Times Orange County operation in Costa Mesa is moving to a small bureau office in Fountain Valley on Oct. 27.
Gendy Alimurung left the LA Weekly as of Oct. 9, per Facebook: "A heartfelt thank you to everyone who read my stories there."
Ads for the Los Angeles Register continued to air on KSPN radio as late as last week.
The Greater Los Angeles chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists is seeking nominations for the chapter’s 2014 Distinguished Journalists Awards, 2014 Distinguished Work in New Media Award and 2014 Freedom of Information Award. Nomination emails are due to Lori Streifler or Alice Walton by Oct. 25.
ESPN Los Angeles Lakers writer Dave McMenamin transferred to Cleveland to cover LeBron James and he pens a farewell to LA and covering the Lakers. ESPN.com
Baxter Holmes, who left the LA Times in 2012 to be the Celtics beat writer for the Boston Globe, is coming back to LA to take over covering the Lakers for ESPN.com.
Twenty-five years after the death of former Angels pitcher Donnie Moore, it's time to dispel the myth that he killed himself because of a home run in the playoffs. Sports Illustrated
Big question around baseball: what's next for the Dodgers after being exposed as not nearly as good as their high payroll suggests. Jim Bowden/ESPN Insider
Former Dodger Bobby Abreu retired at the end of the season with the third most hits by a Venezuelan born player, after Omar Vizquel and Luis Aparcio. ESPN