Ex-Mayor Riordan Recovering After Heart Bypass Surgery

Former Los Angeles Mayor Richard Riordan was said to be resting comfortably Sunday, one day after undergoing heart bypass surgery at a hospital in Santa Monica. Riordan's law firm issued a statement saying the operation went smoothly, and he was expected to be released from the hospital sometime this week. The statement did not say what prompted the bypass operation, and a spokesman for the firm said he couldn't comment on Riordan's health, the Los Angeles Times reported. Riordan served two terms as L.A. mayor, from 1993 to 2001.

Would Regional Airport Fly?
Amid a renewed city push to regionalize L.A.'s airports, a San Fernando Valley lawmaker plans to introduce legislation this month that could lead to a new airport in northern Los Angeles County. State Sen. Richard Alarcon, D-Van Nuys, said the measure would create a regional authority that would study the issue and have the power to authorize construction of a new airport or expand operations at Palmdale Regional Airport, the Daily News of Los Angeles reported. The existing Palmdale Regional Airport terminal on the grounds of U.S. Air Force Plant 42 is capable of handling 300,000 passengers a year. Los Angeles World Airports owns more than 17,000 acres of desert nearby that is available for development. But major commercial airlines have resisted flying out of Palmdale, saying it is too far from L.A. to attract passengers.

Mayor Launches Bid to Make Ally MWD Chief
Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa has launched a lobbying campaign to put one of his close political allies in the top job at the powerful Metropolitan Water District. Villaraigosa is assembling a coalition to name former Assemblyman Richard Katz as the new head of the MWD, an agency that serves 18 million people in six counties, the Daily Breeze reported. With the MWD's 37-member board slated to interview the five finalists on Tuesday, the intensity of the lobbying campaign has stunned some at the agency, who say the search has become more politicized than any hiring process in recent memory. MWD board members say they have received calls from attorneys, lobbyists, fellow board members, mayoral aides, Villaraigosa and Katz himself asking them to vote for Katz.

Ratings to Affect Doctors' Wallets
Patient satisfaction and measures of effective healthcare would determine 10 percent of pay for many California doctors under a plan to be released today. The plan would expand a program that has quietly begun to change the way the state's doctors are paid. The California Pay for Performance Program, launched five years ago by a nonprofit consortium of physician groups, employers and health insurers, is the largest such effort in the country, the Los Angeles Times reported. The California program now has 225 participating physician groups employing about half of the state's 70,000 doctors. They care for 6.2 million patients and collect $5 billion a year from health plans.

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