‘Gravity’ and ‘American Hustle’ lead Oscar hopefuls

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“American Hustle” and “Gravity” cemented their Oscar frontrunner status with 10 Academy Award nominations apiece, including nods for best picture and best director. “12 Years a Slave” was also nominated in those categories, and received a total of nine nominations. There were nine films nominated for best picture this year, one short of the maximum. In addition the aforementioned trio, the nominees are “Philomena,” “Nebraska,” “Captain Phillips,” “Dallas Buyers Club,” “The Wolf of Wall Street” and “Her.” Disney’s “Saving Mr. Banks” and its stars Ton Hanks and Emma Thompson were among the notable omissions in the top award categories…Firefighters have their hands full today with a wildfire burning out of control in the Angeles Forest above Glendora. The Colby Fire has scorched more than 1,700 acres and prompted the evacuation of some hillside homes. Glendora Unified School District and Citrus College have called off classes for the day. Two people have been detained in connection with the fire, but no arrests have been made. Meanwhile, a Red Flag warning in L.A. County has been extended twice this week amid low humidity, gusty Santa Ana winds and record high temperatures. It’s in effect until tomorrow afternoon…subwayThe appropriations bill passed by the House of Representatives includes some funding for local transit projects, and a possible break for some Angelenos when it comes to noise from helicopters. The trillion-dollar omnibus spending bill includes $65 million to help extend the “subway to the sea” from Wilshire and Western avenues to Wilshire and La Cienega. Another $65 million would fund a connecting hub for the Gold, Blue, and Expo lines downtown. The bill also requires that the Federal Aviation Administration step up efforts to reduce paparazzi and tourist helicopter flights over residential areas in L.A…There’s more trouble for an L.A. oil field that neighbors blame for causing their health problems. The Environmental Protection Agency has cited the field’s operator, Allenco Energy, for running an unsafe operation and failing to take steps to prevent the release of toxic substances. The EPA has given Allenco less than two weeks to respond the violations, each of which carries a potential fine of about $37,000. Allenco voluntarily shut down operations last fall after federal officials said they became sick during a tour of the facility. It wants to reopen the plant in the coming months…mocaPhillipe Vergne has been hired as the new director of MOCA. He’s currently the head of the Dia Art Foundation in New York, the same organization that LACMA Director Michael Govan ran before he came to town. He’ll replace Jeffrey Deitch, who returned to New York last summer after several controversial years at the helm of MOCA. Last week, the downtown museum announced that after years of teetering on the brink of financial disaster, it had met its goal of raising $100 million for its endowment…bodycameraAnd finally, more than two dozen LAPD officers have hit the streets of downtown L.A. with some new equipment – on-body cameras. It’s part of a three month field test. Officers will be trying out cameras from two companies. They’ll figure out which one is the better fit for their needs, and then the department will buy 600 of the devices. During the testing period, the LAPD is working with members of the police union, the ACLU, and the Police Commission’s Inspector General to come up with rules for using the cameras.