LA Observed Notes: Good reads, Oakland tragedy, Oscar buzz and more

erin-morris-cal-sunday.jpgErin Morris in crop of California Sunday Magazine photo by Dru Donovan.

Our occasional roundup of media, politics and place notes from assorted LA Observed sources. Join us (and 23,816 followers) on Twitter.

At the top

Weekend read: Erin Morris is a behavioral-sciences research analyst for the Los Angeles County Public Defender’s Office, the first person to ever hold the job. In recent years, forensic and behavioral sciences have evolved so quickly that it’s impossible for most of the office’s approximately 700 lawyers to keep up. This is where Morris comes in. California Sunday Magazine piece by Erika Hayasaki

Oakland tragedy: The known death toll has reached 33 in Friday night's fire at an Oakland performance space known as the Ghost Ship. Authorities expect to find more bodies as they fully search the rubble at 31st Avenue and International Boulevard. The city of Oakland has begun a criminal investigation into the fire. San Francisco Chronicle, LA Times, Sacramento Bee, New York Times

Oscars buzz: "Moonlight" won best picture from the Los Angeles Film Critics Association. ("La La Land," the runner-up, won the New York Film Critics.) Actor awards go to Adam Driver, Isabelle Huppert, Mahershala Ali and Lily Gladstone. Whole list

Monday calendar: Janice Hahn and Kathryn Barger will be sworn in Monday morning as the newest members of the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors. Mayor Eric Garcetti will speak. When they are seated, the board will have four female supervisors and one male. City News Service

PEOTUS: Donald Trump once again tweeted about the "Saturday Night Live" satire of him, and Alec Baldwin replied via Twitter: "Release your tax returns and I'll stop." Variety


Media notes

U.S. District Judge Percy Anderson said he likely will require former Los Angeles Times reporter Robert Faturechi to testify in the obstruction and conspiracy trial of ex-Sheriff Lee Baca. This curious reading of media law even though Faturechi's lawyer, Kelli Sager, argued that his connection to the legal case was "tenuous" and that being forced to testify would chill other news sources... BuzzFeed News analyzed all the links Donald Trump tweeted since he launched his presidential campaign: Here’s where Trump gets his news... Aides to Republican primary candidates Marco Rubio, Ted Cruz and Jeb Bush heckled CNN chief Jeff Zucker for airing many, many hours of one-sided Trump rallies at the expense of the others. Politico, NYT... AP Executive Editor Kathleen Carroll said the AP had pulled a reporter off the Trump campaign for an unstated "unsafe situation".... LA Times columnist Michael Hiltzik tweets: "Not sure its comforting that the excuse being offered to China for Trump's call to Taiwan is 'Don't worry, he's just an idiot.'"... CNN apologized for a news producer's off-air joke about the Trump plane crashing.

Awards night: The Hollywood Reporter wins best entertainment publication, and LA Weekly's Beth Rodell wins best print critic, at the LA Press Club's entertainment awards Sunday night.

More media: How KCRW was gifted an entire radio station in San Luis Obispo. NYT... Super Estrella 107.1, LA's only rock radio station in Spanish, is switching formats this weekend and going off the air after 19 years... NBC will soon launch a "new digital-first team of reporters, filmmakers, animators, tinkerers, engagement producers and video journalists tasked with rethinking what video news and features could and should look like in 2017." They are hiring... Robert Bennett, a former VP and director of sales at KTTV in Hollywood, went on to a much-honored television management career on the East Coast, especially in Boston. He died at age 89. NYT... Conde Nast is ending Self as a monthly print publication. Editor in chief Joyce Chang is out... Charlie Hebdo, the French satire magazine, is opening a German edition... CBS will keep broadcast rights to the “Kennedy Center Honors” through 2025... Pioneer San Francisco AIDS activist Cleve Jones was on Fresh Air.


Politics notes

Evan McMullin, the former independent presidential candidate, takes to Twitter to list 10 critical things for Americans to do if Trump tries to govern like the authoritarian he claims to be. Steps 2 and 5: "Identify and follow many credible sources of news. Be very well informed and learn to discern truth from untruth....Support journalists, artists, academics, clergy and others who speak truth and who inform, inspire and unite us."... Sacramento mayor Kevin Johnson quietly leaves office this week, "ending what was one of the most tumultuous and consequential political runs in city history." Bee... Austrian votes defeated a populist wingnut who was trying to become Europe's first elected far-right leader since World War II. NYT

Some politics is local: Mayor Eric Garcetti is walking on a political tightrope as he looks to work with Trump, says the LA Times... Xavier Becerra, nominated by Jerry Brown to succeed Kamala Harris as state AG, "is now primed to be the public face of the Democratic resistance to Donald Trump on issues like climate change, health care and, most visibly, immigration," says Politico's California newsletter... "A shrewd and surprising political move and a superb pick," says CalBuzz... Possible candidates to succeed Becerra in Congress include former Speaker John Perez (who immediately got cousin Antonio Villaraigosa's endorsement), Assemblyman Jimmy Gomez and City Councilman Jose Huizar. LAT.

Plus: Here's an odd Sunday night tweet from Huizar in which his daughter seems to say no go, but does want to move to a new house. Monday update: Huizar says in a statement that he will not run.

Loose ends: The final ballot counting in Los Angeles County raised the total voter participation, what used to be called turnout, to 69.45 percent of the eligible voters... The final California vote puts Hillary Clinton at 62.3 percent and Donald Trump at 31.9 percent — meaning that California accounts for all of Clinton's national lead in the actual vote and then some. She won in California by 4.1 million votes... In praise of Don Knabe's field deputy Connie Sziebl.


People are talking about...

USC professor of psychology Bosco Tjan was stabbed and killed on campus Friday. Police arrested David Jonathan Brown, a 28-year-old student in the professor's introductory lab class. USC, LAT... No, "Last Tango in Paris" director Bernardo Bertolucci did not say Marlon Brando committed rape on the set. Actress Maria Schneider confirms: no actual sex in the movie at all. The Wrap... Santa Maria police knowingly issued a false news release credited with saving two men by deceiving gang members, but news organizations that also were deceived are critical... Up to a fifth of the 2,500-plus stars on the Hollywood Walk of Fame "are in a state of disrepair through a combination of neglect, deterioration and money questions," says the Hollywood Reporter... Los Angeles 2024 Olympic bid officials unveiled a "no surprises" $5.3 billion balanced budget on Friday, boasting they will not need money to build any new permanent venues. Reuters

Media people doing stuff

Karen Foshay worked on a series of special reports for KCRW on the future of work... KFI political analyst John Thomas has a weekly politics podcast, The Thomas Guide... Lisa Napoli talked about her new book, “Ray & Joan: The Man Who Made the McDonald’s Fortune and the Woman Who Gave It All Away," with KTLA anchor Frank Buckley on his podcast... Longtime LA broadcaster Tammy Trujillo has a book out, Intern Insider, that "answers many of the most important questions that students have about an internship including where to look for one."... NYT columnist Thomas Friedman's newest book, "Thank You for Being Late: An Optimist's Guide to Thriving in the Age of Accelerations," is the #1 nonfiction bestseller in SoCal independent bookstores. He speaks Friday morning at the Live Talks LA Business Forum downtown... Michael Chabon's "Moonglow" is #1 in fiction... BuzzFeed is again (or still) looking for a general assignment reporter for its Global Breaking News desk in Los Angeles. Job listing


Rancher Victoria Vaughn-Perling said she never intended to have cougar P-45 killed for preying on her alpacas in the Santa Monica Mountains. She would, however, like the puma to be trapped and relocated. Daily News, previously on LA Observed

p-22-film.jpgAlso: A new film about Griffith Park mountain lion P-22 and the push for a wildlife corridor over the 101 freeway is in the works. The producer of "The Cat That Changed America" is Tony Lee. Website/trailer

The supposed rebirth of Watts makes Jordan Downs residents uneasy, says UCLA's Jorja Leap. LAT op-ed

The short life and shattering death of former USC football player Joe McKnight. New Yorker

Silver Lake opera singer Craig Gilmore writes about finding out that the Melchior Geldorp painting he bought, “Portrait of a Lady,” was taken by the Nazis from the National Museum in Warsaw and needed to go back to Poland. LAT op-ed

Los Angeles asked a panel of local photographers to suggest their most iconic LA photo of the past. "Their answers ranged from the sublime to the ridiculous. We would have expected nothing less."

The Los Angeles Conservancy sued to force City of Los Angeles compliance with the California Environmental Quality Act in considering demolition of the historic Lytton Savings building (now Chase Bank) at 8150 Sunset Boulevard. Curbed LA

Tony Yanow, co-founder of Golden Road Brewing, is taking over the former Yamato space in the Janss Building in Westwood Village. Eater LA

A burrowing owl is delighting the students at Esperanza Elementary School in the Westlake district. SoCal Wild

For the past 20 years, a Santa Ana man has kept the language of the Aztecs alive. OC Weekly

Tioga Road and Glacier Point Road in Yosemite National Park have closed for the season. YNP

The Rams lost 26-10 loss to the New England Patriots, while reports are that coach Jeff Fisher has a new contract. ESPN, LAT


LA obituary

Dr. Sammy Lee, a Korean-American who grew up using segregated pools in Pasadena and became the first Asian American to win Olympic gold medals, died in Newport Beach at age 96. He was USC's oldest living alumni Olympian. USC, NYT, LAT

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