Today’s News: Push to halt ticketing at broken meters; Green light for Hollywood towers; Deitch out at MOCA

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Parking peeve. Finding a broken parking meter used to be good luck for L.A. drivers – a free pass, so to speak. But since a new law went into effect at the beginning of the year, parking at a malfunctioning meter could earn you a ticket. Now that could be changing.

The City Council’s Transportation Committee voted 4-0 yesterday to recommend rescinding the broken parking meter law for at least six months. The entire Council will vote to decide the issue.

As it happens, enforcement officers have handed out only a few tickets to people parking at broken meters since January. City officials say that just seven of the city’s nearly 38,000 meters have malfunctioned during that time. Failures have been much less frequent since L.A. replaced traditional coin meters with digital devices. And parking officials say they haven’t been giving tickets to people at broken meters until they’ve exceeded the maximum time limit.

Even so, the policy has still drawn a torrent of complaints. Councilman Mike Bonin has led the charge to rescind the law in L.A. And Glendale Assemblyman Mike Gatto has introduced a bill that would ban ticketing at broken meters statewide.

The strict ticket policy was adopted to stop parking meter vandalism. Backers say it’s worked. L.A. Daily News

Millennium towers. The L.A. City Council has given its approval to a pair of skyscrapers near the Capitol Records building in Hollywood, despite warnings from state officials that the development may lie on a major earthquake fault. The Millennium project calls for more than one million square feet of office and hotel space. One tower would be 39 stories tall, and the other 35 stories. State geologists recently sent a letter to Council President Herb Wesson saying the towers may fall within an earthquake zone known as the Hollywood Fault. Developer Millennium Partners insists the project will be safe. Passage was assured when new Councilman Mitch O’Farrell, whose district includes Hollywood, came out yesterday in favor of the project. KNBC

Deitch resigns. As expected, Director Jeffrey Deitch has announced plans to leave the Museum of Contemporary Art. He’ll stick around for a few more months to help complete a campaign to boost MOCA’s endowment to $100 million. MOCA’s board has formed a committee to search for a replacement. MOCA’s finances suffered during Deitch’s tenure. The museum’s budget has been down by as much as 28 percent in recent years. Deitch, who’s three years into a five year contract, was a private art gallery owner in New York when MOCA hired him. Detractors say he’s bombastic and doesn’t work well with others. His supporters say he was a creative force who brought in new and younger audiences. L.A. Times

Temple of art. For nearly 20 years, the massive Scottish Rite Masonic Temple on Wilshire Boulevard has been shuttered and seen little use. But that’s about to change. Maurice and Paul Marciano, the co-founders of Guess Jeans, have bought the block-long marble building with an eye toward turning it into a private museum to house their contemporary art collection. The Marcianos reportedly paid $8 million for the building which first opened in 1961. L.A. Times

Newspaper news. U-T San Diego is teaming up with a non-profit associated with the billionaire Koch brothers on what the newspaper calls “a collaborative project of editorials and independent commentaries.” David and Bill Koch are known for their support of conservative causes. The San Diego Reader reports the line-up for the series includes a mix of Republicans and Democrats. The newspaper says its aim is to change the direction of California before it becomes a failed state. The collaboration has spurred talk that Koch brothers and U-T San Diego owner Douglas Manchester are gearing up to make a bid for the L.A. Times. San Diego Reader