News and notes: End of year desk clearing

A big, long and in some cases old roundup of selected items of news and notes from the media, our in box and other LA Observed sources.


DMV offices were crowded with thousands of immigrants in the country illegally applying for their first California driver's licenses under a new state law. KPCC, LAT, Bee, Capital Public Radio, OC Register

California in 2014 experienced its warmest year in 120 years, and for the first time in recorded history, temperatures in Anchorage, Alaska did not drop below zero once the entire year. KPCC, LAT, The Weather Channel


Gov. Jerry Brown appointed his legislative affairs secretary, Gareth Elliott, to the UC Board of Regents, strengthening the governors hand in his upcoming battle with the regents over state funding and tuition. LAT, Bee

John Myers' Viewer’s Guide to California Politics in 2015. KQED

garcetti-elect-speech.jpgRick Orlov's year-end interview with Eric Garcetti and analysis of where the mayor stands 18 months into his term: "After what many saw as a slow start following his 2013 election, Mayor Eric Garcetti has used this year to develop a broad agenda for the city that ranges from his love of tech and data to the more practical aspects of running the nation’s second-largest city." DN

The Made in America festival held in downtown Los Angeles over Labor Day Weekend brought the city $14.7 million in local spending, according to an economic analysis of the brand-new festival prepared for the city. NBC 4

The first new class of Los Angeles Fire Department recruits since Mayor Eric Garcetti overhauled the city’s firefighter hiring process this year is half white and nearly all male, according to data released Tuesday evening. One in five is related to an LAFD member. LAT

The Los Angeles Police Protective League elected a new president: 33-year veteran Lt. Craig Lally, who turned up 20 years ago on the Christopher Commission's list of "problem officers." Current union president Tyler Izen is retiring from the LAPD. DN, LAT

Jon Fleishman's top 25 conservative voices in California include Jon Coupal, Steve Greenhut, Hugh Hewitt, Joel Kotkin and KFI's John and Ken: "No radio talk show duo in the history of the planet is able to rhetorically decimate leftists like the hosts of the popular John and Ken Show." Breitbart

Jessica Levinson, vice president of the Los Angeles Ethics Commission, argues for moving city elections to even-numbered years and consolidating them with state and federal elections. LAT op-ed

The Los Angeles Alliance for a New Economy is profiled as "a political powerhouse with a vanilla name, an unglamorous Westlake office and a City Hall scorecard to envy." LAT, NYT in November

Media and books

Instead of cutting the cord and moving on, KCET has now added a half-hour of old Huell Howser shows seven nights a week at 7 p.m. beginning today. Rick Steves' travel show moves to 7:30 p.m.

Fox News had the top 14 most watched cable TV news programs, led by Bill O'Reilly's "The O’Reilly Factor.” TV Newser

Popular longtime Weather Channel meteorologists Kelly Cass and Nick Walker will be shifting from fulltime work to contributor roles. TV Newser

Longform co-founder Max Linsky offers a short list of the site's best of 2014. NPR

An exchange with author and LA Times op-ed columnist Meghan Daum about her new collection of essays, "The Unspeakable." LA Review of Books

Fundraising messages regarding the Los Angeles Review of Books from board chairman Albert Litewka and editor-in-chief Tom Lutz.

USC physicist and personal blogger Clifford V. Johnson signed a contract for the "unusual book project" about science that he has been talking about. Asymptotia

Q&A with Chip Jacobs, the co-author of "Smogtown: The Lung-Burning History of Pollution in Los Angeles” and the new “The People’s Republic of Chemicals,” on struggling with smog in Los Angeles and Beijing. NYT Sinosphere

Why So Many Writers Now Move Between TV and Theater. Michele Willens/The Atlantic

Writers we lost in 2014. Jacket Copy

Arianna Huffington retained comedian Nasim Pedrad, who was famed for her "SNL" imitation of Huffington, to deliver her year-end message about the HuffPost from the Brentwood headquarters. Vanity Fair

An interview with USC Annenberg School of Journalism Director Willow Bay about the next-generation newsroom. Trojan Family Magazine

NPR veteran Tamara Keith's advice to young radio journalists, though it could apply just as well to those in any medium: Be easy to edit and don't be a pain in the ass. Tamara Keith

Why activists and feminists get so many death threats: the dangers of standing up for controversial ideas in the age of social media. Salon

Former LA sportswriter Lisa Saxon, the focus of some attention here and elsewhere in November, was on "Airtalk" last week. KPCC


Will Boyle Heights Be LA's Gentrification Hot Spot of 2015? Curbed LA

The Pierce College Farm Center, a privately run and supported working farm and “agri-tainment” venture on 18 acres, closed Dec. 24 and will be evicted from the campus. It's not to be confused with the college's own working farm in Woodland Hills DN

Veteran Highland Park observer Waltarrrrr has shut down his @HLP90042 Twitter feed. The Eastsider LA

Jonathan Gold's top 10 restaurant dishes of 2014. LAT

Roy Choi and Anthony Bourdain tackle LA's biggest stereotypes. Franklin Avenue

The final days of Callahan's coffee shop after 68 years in Santa Monica. KCRW

Billions of dollars couldn't keep Larry Ellison's Malibu restaurant Nikita afloat. Eater

You can now order a $40,000 bottle of cognac at the Peninsula Beverly Hills. Daily Dish

5 Web Series That Capture Life in L.A. Los Angeles Magazine

Anatomy of a 2014 villain: Donald Sterling. Salon

Dodger Insider blogger Jon Weisman writes about how his first year as an employee of the team was highlighted by his scramble back to the stadium from a family event when it became clear that Clayton Kershaw might complete a no-hitter against the Rockies.

When art disappeared from Bakersfield's ArtWalk. Zocalo

Media tweet for the new year

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