Morning shaker was biggest quake in 20 Years in L.A.

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The magnitude 4.4 earthquake that hit L.A. this morning was the city’s biggest since the 1994 Northridge Earthquake. There are no reports of injuries or serious damage, but the temblor served as unexpected wake-up call for people in area that ranged from Palmdale and Ventura County to Pico Rivera. The quake was centered in the Santa Monica Mountains between Westwood and Encino and struck at a five-mile depth. A 2.7 aftershock hit about an hour after the first jolt. The quake lit up social media, including KCRW’s Facebook Page. Listener Margaret Erickson wrote: “Felt it strong here in Westchester. Woke me up. No coffee needed this morning!”

donnellyThere was no straw vote. But there was one clear takeaway from the state Republican Party Convention in Burlingame this weekend: Assemblyman and Tea Party candidate Tim Donnelly stands as the overwhelming favorite among party activists to challenge Gov. Jerry Brown this fall. Donnelly and political newcomer Neil Kashkari were both well-received by the faithful. But while the moderate Kashkari spent his time introducing himself and his platform to GOP activists, Donnelly was grabbing the momentum: He rallied the party’s conservative base with promises to protect gun ownership and cut taxes.

atkinsSan Diego Democrat Toni Atkins is expected to get the nod today to become the next speaker of the state Assembly. Democrats have united behind Atkins after weeks of jockeying among various candidates for the job. Atkins will become the first lesbian to hold the Speaker’s job. The former San Diego City Councilwoman is considered one of the most liberal members of the Assembly. She’ll replace John Perez, an L.A. Democrat who’s running for state controller.

prehistoricAn exploratory subway shaft under construction across the street from LACMA and the La Brea Tar Pits is yielding a treasure trove of prehistoric fossils. The L.A. Times reports that paleontologists have recovered mollusks, sand dollars, driftwood and what appears to part of the skull of a prehistoric sea lion. The area was an Ice Age shoreline. Major construction on the Westside subway extension won’t begin until next year. In the meantime, the MTA is working with the Page Museum and others to identify and preserve a sampling of the finds.