Love, marriage and politics at 56th Grammy Awards

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The helmeted French duo Daft Punk and New Zealand teenager Lorde were the big winners at the Grammy Awards last night at Staples Center. But the night’s most indelible moment came when rapper Macklemore and Ryan Lewis invited 33 couples onto the stage – many of them same-sex couples – for a quick marriage ceremony, with Madonna serenading and Queen Latifah presiding. Daft Punk and collaborator Pharrel Willimas won four awards, including top album and record of the year, for “Get Lucky.” Lorde won song of the year for “Royals” and best pop solo performance. Other winners included Macklemore and Ryan Lewis for best new artist and Bruno Mars for best pop vocal album…A lawsuit starting in L.A. Superior Court today could shine a light on disparities in public education in California and how schools deal with teachers who are ineffective in the classroom. The suit, filed on behalf of nine public school students, says the state’s employment protections for teachers deny students, particularly those in poorer neighborhoods, access to a quality education. The plaintiffs contend that teachers serving poorer students are often younger and inexperienced and are therefore the first to be let go when schools impose layoffs based on seniority. Defendants include the state of California, Gov. Jerry Brown and the state’s two biggest teachers unions…marinereserveThe creation of marine sanctuaries two years ago has not had a significant impact on Southern California’s commercial and sport-fishing industries, as some had feared. So says the head of the state’s Fish and Game Commission. The marine reserves bar or limit fishing in 50 zones that make up about 15 percent of coastal waters from Santa Barbara to the Mexican border. Fish and Game Commission President Michael Sutton says compliance by fisherman has been high. The sanctuaries were created to allow populations of fish, lobsters, kelp and other sea life recover from decades of overfishing…They’re back…A record number of foreign travelers passed through LAX last year, good news for both airport finances and the L.A. economy. The 17.8 million foreign passengers beat a record set in 2005 before the recession took a major bite out of airport business. Airport officials credit the increase to an improving global economy, especially in Asia. The increase comes as a critical time for the airport. It means more revenue as LAX works to complete a $4 billion modernization plan, including improvements at the Tom Bradley International Terminal. Overall, 66.7-million people used LAX last year, an increase of about six percent over 2012…assemblyAnd finally, The California Legislature is generally regarded as a fairly progressive institution, but one group has been dropping steadily in representation for nearly a decade – women. The number of women in the 120-member Legislature fell from a peak of 37 in 2006 to 32 this year. Groups that promote women running for public office are concerned the trend will continue this election year. Back in 2004, California ranked sixth in the country in the percentage of women serving in the Legislature. Now it’s 19th.