Today’s News (Updated): Brown’s budget; ‘Lincoln’ leads; Hollywood and violence

Written by


Update: School shooting in Kern County.

This morning an armed 16-year-old student walked into Taft High School in Kern County and shot one student. He reportedly fired at another and then missed. A teacher and another staff member managed to to talk him into surrendering. The injured student was flown to a Bakersfield hospital and is in critical condition. Following the shooting Sen. Dianne Feinstein, released a statement saying: “Today comes word of another tragic shooting at an American school. I have visited this school over the years-in fact, my own father attended Taft Union. At this moment my thoughts and prayers are with the victims, and I wish them a speedy recovery. But how many more shootings must there be in America before we come to the realization that guns and grievances do not belong together?” CNN

Blueprint. After years of big deficits, California’s fiscal outlook is starting to look a little brighter. Governor Jerry Brown today will propose his third budget since moving back to Sacramento. California still must find a way to close a nearly $2 billion budget hole, but Brown’s budget is expected to be the first in years that does not include major cuts. Brown faced a $9 billion gap a year ago and $25 billion two years ago. Reuters

Statuesque. Steven Spielberg’s “Lincoln” leads a pack of big-budget studio films vying for the Best Picture Oscar this year. Oscar voters nominated nine films for Best Picture, including “Argo,” Django Unchained,” “Les Miserables,” “Silver Linings Playbook,” “Life of Pi” and “Zero Dark Thirty.” Smaller films weren’t completely shut out: The Austrian old-age love story “Amour” got a Best Picture nod, as did the independent “Beasts of the Southern Wild.” Nine-year-old “Beasts” star Quvenzhane Wallis is the youngest Best Actress nominee ever. Overall, “Lincoln” received a dozen nominations, including one for director Spielberg. “Life of Pi” was second with 11 nominations. Variety

Hollywood hot seat. Motion Picture Association President Chris Dodd says Hollywood filmmakers are willing to consider voluntarily guidelines on violent content, but would vehemently oppose any mandatory government restrictions. Dodd is among a group of Hollywood executives scheduled to meet today with Vice President Joe Biden about reducing gun violence in American society. The former U.S. Senator says entertainment companies are willing to provide information to parents that will help them make educated choices about what their children watch. But Dodd insists the industry would fight any outside attempt to regulate content. Biden is also scheduled to meet today with gun and ammunition manufacturers and major gun retailers, like Wal-Mart. Hollywood Reporter

No parking. USC has a deal to operate the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum complex. But all nine members of the California’s legislature’s black caucus are saying ‘not so fast.’ They urging state officials to throw out parts of the agreement in a dispute over parking lots at the historic sports venue. The legislators want those lots turned into parks and green space for the surrounding South L.A. community. The university demanded the parking lots as part of the Coliseum management deal. The black caucus also objects to a provision of the management deal that would turn over the aging Sports Arena to USC. L.A. Times

Shake up. Researchers say the San Andreas fault might not serve as a barrier that prevents a big earthquake in Southern California from spreading north – or vice versa. That goes against the long-held belief that a big quake could not affect the entire state. A new study by Cal Tech and Japanese scientists looked at land movements in the massive earthquake that hit Japan in 2011. That quake triggered a tsunami and the combined disasters killed nearly 16,000 people. The findings, published in the journal Nature, take issue with the assumption that California’s huge San Andreas fault would not snap in a quake that originated in the south or north of the state. The researchers say further study is needed. L.A. Times