Today’s News: Perry gives support to Garcetti; New gig for Fabian Nunez; Heat is on fire rings

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Perry’s pick. Jan Perry is expected to announce today that she’s endorsing Eric Garcetti for mayor. The two have been colleagues on the city council for a dozen years. Perry finished fourth in the March 5th mayoral primary election, drawing about 16 percent of the vote. She was the overwhelming favorite in the city’s predominantly African-American neighborhoods. L.A. Times

Budget bunch. Former U.S. Commerce Secretary Mickey Kantor will head a 12-member independent commission charged with developing budget-balancing ideas for Los Angeles. L.A. City Council President Herb Wesson asked Kantor to create the panel, which is being called the “Los Angeles 2020 Commission”. The members will serve on a volunteer basis, with the committee operating on private and foundation support. LA. is facing an estimated $165 million budget deficit in the coming fiscal year. L.A. Daily News

Educational reform. A hard-driving educational reformer has hired former Assembly Speaker Fabian Nunez to guide her strategy in California. Nunez will serve as an adviser to StudentsFirst, the national advocacy group founded in California by former Washington, D.C., schools Chancellor Michelle Rhee. StudentsFirst has been highly critical of teacher’s unions. Nunenz, a former union leader, says he’ll be a mediator between the organization and labor groups. L.A. Times

Northridge abduction. Police are searching for two men believed to have forcibly kidnapped a 10-year-old Northridge from her bedroom in the middle of the night. The girl turned up 12 hours later in Woodland Hills with cuts and bruises on her face. She told police that two men held her in an abandoned home near her house for several hours before dropping her off in front of a hospital. L.A. Daily News

Rings of fire. The South Coast Air Quality Management District is holding a meeting in Diamond Bar today that could help decide the fate of fire rings on Southern California beaches. They’ll be listening to public feedback on a recommendation to prohibit the rings on most local beaches. Huntington Beach officials say that if the pits are banned, the city would lose $1 million dollars in parking income each year. But Newport Beach considers the fire pits a health threat and wants permission to remove them. KCBS