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Morning Scoop: Station fire questions, Mojave monuments, the speaker elect

December 21, 2009 |  9:28 am

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Good morning from the City Desk, where we got to work in no time because so many of you are on vacation and off the freeways. Some California stories from today's paper to keep your Monday zooming along:

Station Fire questions: Newly released records contradict the U.S. Forest Service's contention that steep terrain prevented the agency from attacking the Station fire's early flames with aircraft.

Rising fees: Fee increases at the state's institutions of higher learning are putting severe financial stress on many families.

Speaker elect: Sacramento columnist George Skelton sits down with John Perez, L.A. Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa's cousin and the next Assembly speaker.

Mojave monuments: Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) is pushing to create two national monuments on 1 million acres of Mojave Desert outback.

California comeback: A statue of Thomas Starr King, a 19th-century Unitarian minister, returns to California after being ousted by a likeness of Ronald Reagan from the U.S. Capitol's National Statuary Hall.

PCH favorite: Patrick's Roadhouse, an institution on Pacific Coast Highway, has been given 30 days to vacate.

We'll bring you other news as we get it. Got news for us? A story idea? Drop me a line at nita.lelyveld@latimes.com

-- Nita Lelyveld

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