Selected links: O'Reilly, LAT hires, Academy museum, Garcetti and more

An occasional roundup of news, observations and links from various sources. Between posts join 24,320 LA Observed followers on Twitter.

Top of the news

Fox News is preparing to cut its ties with accused sexual harasser Bill O'Reilly, the Wall Street Journal and other media are reporting. Not yet official, but catching on.

LA Times investigative hire

gus-garcia-roberts-twitter.jpgThe Los Angeles Times has formed a new investigations team, at least partly inspired by the Boston Globe's high-profile Spotlight team, and on Tuesday announced a new hire. Gus Garcia-Roberts, an investigative reporter at Long Island's Newsday, will be joining what the LAT calls its "I-team." Garcia-Roberts focused at Newsday on "exposing abuses in law enforcement, political patronage and secret dealings, the Times says. He is a co-author of “Blood Sport: Alex Rodriguez, Biogenesis and the Quest to End Baseball’s Steroid Era.” From the LAT:

At The Times, Garcia-Roberts will join I-team members Kim Christensen and Jack Dolan from Metro, Melody Petersen from Business and David Willman of the Washington bureau. The I-team is headed by Matt Doig, assistant managing editor for investigations.

Also, the Times has added Jackie Calmes, former White House correspondent for the New York Times, as the White House editor in the LAT Washington bureau... Parent company Tronc barred reporters from Tuesday's shareholder meeting and conducted its business in six minutes.

And a tweet from Mel Brooks

Many, many comments ensue. Some of them witty.

Academy museum over budget and behind schedule

academy-museum-rendering.jpgThe motion picture academy's grand plan for a museum in the former May Co. building at Wilshire and Fairfax "is beginning to resemble that old Hollywood story of the doomed production, in which executives stake the studio on an epic undertaking and then — once it’s too late to back out — suffer escalating setbacks," report Gene Maddaus and Brent Lang at Variety. They describe CEO Dawn Hudson barely surviving at a recent board meeting where fears were expressed along the lines of "We are really concerned right now that we won’t have enough money. This could be a catastrophic situation.” As for Hudson, Variety says, "Sink or swim, the Academy Museum will define Hudson’s legacy."

Vogue puffs up Mayor Garcetti

garcetti-vogue.jpgIn advance of Mayor Eric Garcetti's state of the city speech on Thursday, a lower-key event in the City Council chambers rather than out in the city, John Powers gushes in Vogue magazine that Garcetti is ready for his close-up. The mayor, he writes, is "a fit, square-jawed, gently graying 46-year-old who so thoroughly looks the part that he’s played fictional versions of L.A.’s mayor in movies and on TV. Dressed in a crisply tailored blue suit with a pin promoting the city’s 2024 Olympics bid, this former Rhodes scholar glides around with the amiable Zen detachment you might expect of a politician who...will win reelection with a record 81 percent of the vote—a victory so definitive (despite low turnout) that everyone assumes Garcetti will seek statewide or national office before the end of his new five-and-a-half-year term." Powers goes on to say "you can’t spend much time with Garcetti without being struck by both his intelligence and his hermetic air of self-contained cool—which is so at odds with our frenzied, Trump-era political culture." Ok then. The speech live-streams at 10 a.m., then at 1:30 p.m. on Thursday Garcetti will unveil budget and take media questions by teleconference... Garcetti has a new press secretary: Alex Comisar, who joins press secretary George Kivork. Carl Marziali has taken a new job at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory.

"Super bloom" is not all so super

mustard-hill-nps.jpgAre you enjoying all the colorful flora covering the local hills this spring? Not so fast. Much of the yellow carpeting open fields and hillsides is black mustard, and the non-native plant is an invasive weed to naturalists. The Santa Monica Mountains National Recreation Area is asking for your help on upcoming weekends to help clear the mustard plants from around trails. The spring weeds crowd out native species and, when they dry out in summer, create more of a fire danger. “There are over 300 non-native species in the Santa Monica Mountains, but a core group of them are what we consider the ‘evil 25,’” says Joey Algiers, restoration ecologist for the park service.
• Meanwhile, fewer sick sea lion pups are needing rescue - SoCal Wild

Media notes

Jake Tapper profiled in GQ by Taffy Brodesser-Akner... As President Trump has drifted away from Steve Bannon, the alarm bells have gotten louder at Breitbart News, writes CNN's Tom Kludt... How The New York Times decides which stories to link to... City magazines face an uncertain future, and Los Angeles Magazine is mentioned, in a CJR examination... The New York Times is altering its datelines to make clear where the reporters are located — just as Tribune eccentric Lee Abrams suggested for the LA Times a decade ago, though then it was because he didn't know that reporters actually worked overseas... Author Sam Quinones tweets he's resting comfortably after a heart attack while visiting Atlanta... Writers Bloc has added a May 7 appearance by Bernie Sanders at the Saban Theatre... "Talk Like a Californian — A Hella Fresh Guide to Golden State Speak” is written by Colleen Dunn Bates under the pseudonym Helena Ventura.

News and links to note

• Police commission approves new way to evaluate officer shootings - LA Times
• A Beverly Hills developer has held three acres of South LA "hostage" for 25 years, critics say - LA Weekly
• Serving their country, struggling to feed their families - KPCC
• Mexico’s Revenge: By antagonizing the U.S. neighbor to the south, Donald Trump has made the classic bully’s error - The Atlantic
• Author of the 'Calexit' initiative calls it quits - LA Times
• Why Porter Ranch real estate is selling despite the recent gas leak - Marketplace
• A photo tribute to Leimert Park, a jewel of South LA - Curbed LA
• Getty Center closed early on Tuesday due to a bomb threat - LA Times

Observing SoCal

Los Angeles has America’s most important orchestra. Period. - Zachary Woolfe/New York Times

Red, ripe and renegade: berries that break all the rules - A tribute to Ventura County's Harry's Berries by Karen Stabiner in the New York Times.

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