Selected items from the media, our in box and other LA Observed sources. Posted occasionally — often in the morning.
Washington Post correspondent Jason Rezaian and two other Americans were released from an Iranian prison and flown Sunday to Germany. WP
Air quality regulators estimate that benzene and other toxins leaking from a natural gas well increased the cancer risk for Porter Ranch residents, though the toxins pose no greater health danger than the typical Southern California air. Daily News
Erin Brockovich appeals to Porter Ranch residents as law firms push gas leak suits. LAT
Rep. Brad Sherman is touring the Aliso Canyon gas leak this morning.
The 101 freeway downtown will be closed for 40 hours beginning on Friday, February 5, 2016 at 10 p.m., to allow for demolition of the portion of the Sixth Street Viaduct that crosses over the freeway. Mayor Garcetti
A Facebook user pretending to be a Politico reporter named Emma Parker has befriended dozens of journalists, prompting suspicion about the account owner's motivation. Huffington Post
Former Los Angeles Mayor Richard Riordan endorsed the Neighborhood Integrity Initiative with a zinger at Eric Garcetti: “If a person moved to the city now and heard Mayor Eric Garcetti talk, they’d assume he’s a member of the Tea Party,” Riordan said in a statement. “He isn’t doing anything for the poor but helping the rich get richer -- through these zoning deals on land development.” LAT
Rick Jacobs, who was named Garcetti's deputy chief of staff in 2013, has recently added the title of "executive vice mayor." But there's a story there. LA Weekly
City Hall has backed off a plan to hire a lobbyist to explore selling city property. LAT
County turns to urgent care centers, rather than jails or ERs, to treat the mentally ill in crisis. LAT
Steve Lopez: Finally, a smart approach to helping L.A.'s homeless. LAT
Garcetti announced his support for a DWP power rate increase to go along with the previously announced water rate increase.
Penske Media Corporation, which already owns Variety and Deadline, has purchased film and TV review site Indiewire. Its staff will move to the Penske offices in West LA, Indiewire editor Dana Harris says.
Univision Communications has acquired a controlling stake in the satirical news site The Onion, NPR has learned. Yes this is apparently true.
Jill Leovy (“Ghettoside: A True Story of Murder in America”) and Sam Quinones (“Dreamland: The True Story of America’s Opiate Epidemic") are finalists in nonfiction for the National Book Critics Circle Award. Among the others up are Ta-Neishi Coates, Vivian Gornick, and Karin Wieland and Shelly Frisch for “Dietrich and Riefenstahl: Hollywood, Berlin, and a Century in Two Lives.” Wash Post
Finalists for the National Magazine Awards include the Hollywood Reporter and some LA staffers at Buzzfeed. Ellies
Jack Klunder, the former president and publisher of the Los Angeles News Group, and a former circulation executive at the LA Times, is at the center of newspaper delivery controversy at the Boston Globe. Globe
LA Times editorial writer Mariel Garza's brother John Carlos Garza is a geneticist who "has become a key figure in California’s effort to preserve its decimated salmon stocks." NYT
Lew Harris, the former Los Angeles Magazine editor, is launching a good news site, GoodEveryDay, with his former colleagues from The Wrap, where he was managing editor. Fishbowl NY
Joel Bellman takes up the old Al Martinez column in the Topanga Messenger.
Leila Alaoui, a French-Moroccan photographer whose hauntingly beautiful photographs chronicled the themes of migration, cultural identity and displacement, died Monday night from injuries sustained during a terrorist attack in Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso. She was 33. NYT
Finally, A Movie Shot Entirely On a Toyota Prius Backup Camera. Film School Rejects
BuzzFeed launches in Japan, with some help from Yahoo Japan. Nieman Lab
LA's mountain lions, including P-22, and mountain lion researchers were featured Sunday on a segment of "60 Minutes" produced by the LA bureau's Robert Browning with correspondent Bill Whitaker, making a special appearance. CBS
Pinecrest Schools announced Monday that they will be closing all of their San Fernando Valley campuses after 65 years due to financial troubles. KTLA
Glenn Frey is quoted in this piece from February, An Oral History of Laurel Canyon, the 60s and 70s Music Mecca. Vanity Fair
Well, at least the pieces were bigger this time! Won't be last RUD, but am optimistic about upcoming ship landing. pic.twitter.com/w007TccANJ— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) January 17, 2016
A little El Niño never harmed anyone, least of all Yosemite Valley pic.twitter.com/llnxHtf0MX— Peter Fimrite (@pfimrite) January 16, 2016