Thursday news and notes: Superheroes and more

Selected items from the media, our in box and other LA Observed sources. Posted occasionally — often in the morning.

Politics, cops and courts

Mathews-super-obama-600x400.jpgWhy Californians are such suckers for superheroes, writes Joe Mathews. Zocalo Public Square

In the raw video of LAPD officers shooting and killing Charly Keunang on Skid Row in March, you might remember seeing a small homeless woman pick up a police baton that fell. She has been in jail ever since awaiting trial for assault with a deadly weapon on a police officer, just this week had her bail reduced to $50,000 from over $1 million, and faces life in prison as a three-striker. LAT

The University of California will raise its minimum wage to $15 per hour over the next three years for all employees, including part-time and contract workers. Sacto Bee

Vice President Joe Biden on Wednesday visited Bobrick Washroom Equipment Inc. in North Hollywood to promote middle-class jobs and boost the nationwide campaign to raise the minimum wage. LAT, DN

Ted Rohrlich, a former LA Times reporter who has been with the SEIU's Center for Public Accountability, has joined the staff of Controller Ron Galperin as deputy controller. Rohrlich left the Times in the 2009 exodus.

Mexico's secretary of state responded to Donald Trump's assertions about Mexicans, saying Trump’s statements “are colored by prejudice, racism — or just plain ignorance — that’s not a good and positive sign. Any combination of the three does not help the debate, does not help politics.” SF Chronicle

Media and books

Bill Simmons, ex of ESPN and Grantland, is landing at HBO. NYT

Nikkei, the Japanese financial newspaper company that owns multiple dailies, announced Thursday morning it is buying the Financial Times from news and education company Pearson PLC for $1.29 billion. Poynter

Jonathan Weber, the former LA Times tech editor and editor of the Industry Standard, is the new global technology editor at Reuters.

Former "Today" segment producer and William Morris agent Tony Freinberg is joining crisis PR firm G.F. Bunting and Co. as a senior account executive in Los Angeles.

NPR staffers were told they probably shouldn't say asshole on a podcast. NPR

Jonathan Dobrer on remembering Theo Bikel. Friendly Fire


The Special Olympics World Games starting here Saturday are expected to boost L.A.'s tourism industry. LAT

Special Olympics competitors arriving in Southern California were greeted by a logistics mess that forced many to sleep on a gymnasium floor at Loyola Marymount University before they were finally shuttled to their host cities on Wednesday. AP

The true class divide in Metro's transit system is between those who have a choice to ride and those who have no choice, D.J. Waldie argues. "Transit dependency, like other dependencies, is a relationship of power. Dependency forms -- or deforms -- both user and provider. Metro is continuing to change that relationship for dependent riders." KCET

Hope is growing that the strong El Niño effect observed in the Pacific will lead to a heavy winter of rain and snow in the Sierra Nevada and Northern California, where the water matters. LAT

But the chances are higher for heavy rainfall in Southern California. LAT

State water officials produced a new aerial video tour of how key reservoirs look in the drought. SFGate

Tweet of the day

Dodgers legend Fernando Valenzuela, 54, became a United States citizen in a ceremony on Wednesday.

More by Kevin Roderick:
'In on merit' at USC
Read the memo: LA Times hires again
Read the memo: LA Times losing big on search traffic
Google taking over LA's deadest shopping mall
Gustavo Arellano, many others join LA Times staff
Recent News stories on LA Observed:
Suspect with guns did not threaten LA Pride parade, police now say
Monday news and notes: Politics, media and more
News and notes: Politics, media and place
Monday notes: Politics, media and place
News and notes for a Tuesday
End of the week desk clearing
News and notes: 2015 into 2016
LA Unified closes all schools due to threat