News and notes: 2015 into 2016

Notes and news items saved up during the holiday break. They come, as usual, from the media, my in-box and other LA Observed sources.

Politics, cops and courts

Skywriters trolled the Rose Parade with an anti-Donald Trump message, possibly seen by millions. CNN

rose-parade-garcetti-instagram.jpgMayor Eric Garcetti posted pics on Instagram from the Rose Parade (including this crop of one) and, since New Year's, of some nice sunset views from Griffith Observatory. Instagram

Bel Air homeowners could face new penalties for heavy water use. Daily News

4 myths that make L.A. County's homeless problem worse. LAT Op-ed

Ear buds are illegal while driving or riding, and other new California laws for 2016. DMV

State officials are investigating a potential data leak on millions of California voters. LAT

Judge Harry Pregerson is leaving the bench at age 92 after a career of major decisions in Los Angeles. LAT

Media and books

Harold Meyerson's op-ed column is being dropped by the Washington Post. "We’ve been pleased to publish Harold’s columns for the past 13 years, but he failed to attract readers as these others have," says editorial page editor Fred Hiatt. Meyerson, the former LA Weekly columnist, is "perhaps the only self-proclaimed socialist to write a weekly column for a major American newspaper during the past decade or two." Final column, Michael Calderone, Peter Dreier, Politico

Writes LA Times columnist Michael Hiltzik, in a piece generating much online response pro and con: Admit it: 'Star Wars: The Force Awakens' stinks -- and here's why.

The family of billionaire Sheldon Adelson bought the most widely-read newspaper in Nevada, the Review-Journal. "They then tried to conceal this act. These are my posts, as I’ve followed and tried to make sense of the story," says media watcher Jay Rosen. PressThink, Talking Points Memo

NPR on Jan. 1 recycled KPCC's October story about the prospects of Eli Broad buying the Los Angeles Times. I didn't hear anything fresh so I'm not sure why it aired at this time. I'm quoted saying that, among other things, Broad is one huge potential conflict of interest as a newspaper owner. Morning Edition

Recently retired Los Angeles Times photographer Don Bartletti profiled by his hometown news outlet. Voice of San Diego

Fox 11 meteorologist Maria Quiban announced the death of her husband Sean from brain cancer, at age 42. Facebook, Twitter

Garth Kemp is back doing the weather on KCAL-9 and CBS-2. Twitter

Sandy Banks' farewell column in the Los Angeles Times. LAT

Malibu radio station KBUU-FM works around NPR complications. Fishbowl NY

Archivist of the Korean American experience says goodbye to print. LAT


Walt Disney's office suite restored. LAT

See How the Expo Line Is Changing the Westside in 27 Pictures. Los Angeles Magazine

The Biggest LA Dining Gripes and Grievances of 2015. Eater

Gustavo Arellano tries to answer "why Mexicans in the U.S. are darker skinned than ever before." Ask a Mexican!


Grammy winner Natalie Cole died last week in Los Angeles at age 65. The family cited ongoing health issues. NYT

Wayne Rogers, the actor who starred as Trapper John on TV's “M*A*S*H” in the 1970s, died on Thursday in Los Angeles of complications of pneumonia. He was 82. NYT

Meadowlark Lemon, the star of the Harlem Globetrotters basketball act in its prime, died at age 83. LAT

UC Berkeley journalism teacher and New Media pioneer Paul Grabowicz died. Berkeley

San Diego surfboard inventor Larry Gordon died on Jan 1 of complications from Parkinson's. He was 76. Surfer

Ruby Cavanaugh, the namesake of the Ruby's Diner food chain, died at 93. Orange County Register

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