California Elections, Environment, Interviews, News, Warren Olney »

Interview with Democratic Candidate for State Controller Betty Yee

Posted October 20, 2014 by | 2 Comments | ]
BettyYee_9666_082

The State Controller is the Chief Financial Officer for the state of California, and is tasked with accounting for every dollar spent. Current Controller John Chiang is termed out this November, having served in the post since 2007, and Betty Yee is the Democratic Candidate for his position. She sat down with Warren Olney to talk about her campaign.
Yee claims that her more than …

Environment, News »

Can hydrogen cars beat electric?

Posted October 20, 2014 by | 3 Comments | ]
Driving his hydrogen-powered Mercedes-Benz SUV test vehicle, Loki Efaw, an IT manager at a bank, is a rare breed . There are only about 200 hydrogen cars on the streets of California. Efaw chose to lease the car, which is part of test by Mercedes,  because of his environmental convictions and interest in trying new technologies. (Photo: Saul Gonzalez)

California has big plans for hydrogen fueled vehicles in the coming years as part of its effort to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and fight climate change.
If your high school chemistry didn’t stick, here are some hydrogen facts: Sitting first on the periodic table, it’s the most abundant element in the universe, the raw material responsible for thermonuclear reactions in stars, including our sun. And, of course, when …

Environment, Issues, News »

Three coyotes killed in Seal Beach eradication effort

Posted October 14, 2014 by | 0 Comments | ]
coyote

A controversial plan by the city of Seal Beach to trap and kill coyotes has netted three of the animals in its first week.
Despite impassioned protests from animal rights activists, the City Council agreed last night to continue the program for three more weeks.
The program was adopted after residents claimed that coyotes were killing their pets and becoming increasingly bold.
The Orange County Register reports …

economy, Environment, Food, News, Water and the Drought »

Vintners finding sweet solace in California drought

Posted October 13, 2014 by | 0 Comments | ]
napa-VINEYARD

The drought is beginning to take a heavy toll on California’s agriculture industry – but one group of growers is grateful for a silver lining.
The Wall Street Journal reports the drought will help make some of the best wine that Napa and Sonoma counties have produced for some time.Vintners say the dry weather has led to smaller and tastier grapes. It’s also triggered earlier …

Education, Environment, News »

NASA’s JPL opens its doors

Posted October 13, 2014 by | 0 Comments | ]
_MG_4849

This weekend, NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory held its annual open house, inviting the public to explore the grounds of the La Canada-Flintridge facility for two days. This was JPL’s first open house in two years as budget cuts kept the doors shut last year.
Thousands strolled from building to building at the college-sized campus to learn about current missions, future endeavors and poignant reflections of JPL’s history in exploring the …

California Elections, economy, Environment, Issues, News, Politics, Water and the Drought, Zocalo Public Square »

Mixer: Cashing in on political popularity

Posted October 10, 2014 by | 0 Comments | ]
friday mixer square

President Obama exited Los Angeles just as he came in: making money for Democrats, and migraines for West LA drivers.
In his 24 hours here, the president toured a business in Santa Monica, speaking about an economic recovery for millennials, designated as national monument 340,000 acres of San Gabriel Mountains land and attended two separate fundraisers.
One of which was at actress Gwyneth Paltrow’s home.
Obama has attended 30 fundraisers in Los …

Environment, Issues, News »

Irish rocker (still) seeking ok to build malibu mansions

Posted October 8, 2014 by | 1 Comment | ]
theedgedevelopment

U2 guitarist The Edge – a.k.a. David Evans – doesn’t give up easily.
After years of rejection from the community and state officials, the Irish rocker is now on the verge of receiving approval to build five mansions on an undeveloped Malibu ridge.
The California Coastal Commission is meeting in Newport Beach today, and it’s scheduled to vote on a scaled down version of the plan …

Environment, News »

Santa Barbara beaches reopen after shark scare

Posted October 6, 2014 by | 0 Comments | ]
greatwhite

Three Santa Barbara County beaches have reopened after a pair of encounters between sharks and people last week.
A surfer suffered injuries to his knee and cuts to his hands and other body parts when he was attacked by a great white shark off of Wall Beach, on Vandenberg Air Force Base. Experts say the shark was 8 to 10 feet long. That attack prompted …

Bad Driving, Commentary, economy, Environment, Interviews, Issues, LA Noir, Politics, The New Mayor, Zocalo Public Square »

Mixer: Is LA making traffic inroads?

Posted October 3, 2014 by | 0 Comments | ]
friday mixer square

I don’t know where you are right now… but if you’re reading this, chances are you’re close to a web page that will show a geographic freeway map of Los Angeles.
And the 10, 110, 101 or 405 may not be cooperating with your travel plans.
But is it getting better, or are Angelenos still languishing in congested ridiculousness, with no end in sight?
Laura J. Nelson …

Arts & Culture, Environment, Interviews, News »

Photos: Traversing Australia with camels

Posted October 2, 2014 by | 0 Comments | ]
When Robyn and her caravan reached the Indian Ocean nine months and 2000 arduous miles later, the camels were thunderstruck at the sight of the ocean. They had never seen so much water. They would stop, turn to stare at it, leap sideways, look at one another with their noses all pointed and ridiculous, then stare at it again, then leap forward again. Bub went straight in for a swim. He had not yet learnt what caution was.  © 2014 Rick Smolan/Against All Odds Productions

37 years ago, National Geographic – known for its iconic photographs of nature and its inhabitants – sent American photographer Rick Smolan on a strange and life-changing assignment.
His job was to document the travels of a 27-year-old Australian woman across the desolate outback there.
Robyn Davidson was accompanied only by four camels and a dog.
And Rick Smolan.
The 9-month, 1700-mile journey was captured in Davidson’s astonishing …

economy, Environment, Issues, Water and the Drought »

Drought taking a bigger toll on California agriculture

Posted September 29, 2014 by | 0 Comments | ]
farms-drought

Harvest time is starting to arrive at farms across California. And many of the state’s key crops are expected to be smaller this year than usual because of the drought.
The water shortage has led to shrinking yields of everything from rice, corn and hay to almonds, pistachios and oranges. The drought already prompted an early harvest of the state’s grape crop, which is expected …

Arts & Culture, economy, Education, Environment, Issues, Politics, Sports, Zocalo Public Square »

Mixer: American identity, deconstructed

Posted September 26, 2014 by | 0 Comments | ]
friday mixer square

America means many things to many people.
Our nation is an amalgam of ideas from myriad perspectives. And those perspectives often get drowned out in a sea of ideology and noise (see: cable news).
This week, Zocalo Public Square, along with the Smithsonian, is asking what it means to be American. With essays and exhibits ranging from the patriotic to paternalistic, from purple mountains to brown …

Environment, Issues, News, Water and the Drought »

Tumbleweeds ready to roll in Southern California

Posted September 25, 2014 by | 1 Comment | ]
TUMBLEWEED

The Los Angeles area is seeing something it hasn’t seen for some time: an infestation of tumbleweeds.
L.A. agriculture officials say the unusually high number of tumbleweeds blowing through the county is drought related. Dry conditions have allowed the plants to crowd out other vegetation like mustard and castor bean. Fire officials worry that the traveling weeds will lodge against homes and other structures and …

Environment, News »

California’s cougars need help crossing the street

Posted September 22, 2014 by | 0 Comments | ]
A young cougar feeding on a deer. Courtesy of the National Wildlife Foundation

The movement to preserve California’s mountain lion population might finally be getting the push it needs. A campaign called Save LA Cougars, which is sponsored by the National Wildlife Foundation, is hoping to make crossing the street a little bit safer for the animals.
The ultimate goal of the campaign is to build a wildlife crossing either over or underneath the 101 freeway in Agoura …

Arts & Culture, Environment, Water and the Drought »

How does a cemetery stay green during a drought?

Posted September 22, 2014 by | 0 Comments | ]
mtsinai

Mt. Sinai Memorial Park is a Jewish cemetery nestled between Griffith Park and Forest Lawn Memorial Park. Like most American cemeteries, it is lush and green. “It’s a concept that was introduced in the 1920s to have these lawn-type cemeteries in Southern California,” Len Lawrence, general manager of Mt. Sinai, told Press Play.
“Really it’s a place for the living,” Lawrence told Press Play. “It’s a place of …

Environment, Food, Water and the Drought »

Why are California’s organic dairy farmers switching to almonds?

Posted September 22, 2014 by | 0 Comments | ]
Photo by USDA via Flickr/CC

California has the highest concentration of organic dairies in the entire country, but the drought is starting to have an impact.
Madeleine Thomas, a fellow at Grist.org has written a two part series looking at the consequences of the drought on the Central Valley. She spent several weeks traveling between the valley and the Bay Area to examine the state of organic dairy farms, and the …

economy, Environment, News »

How green car subsidies help the wealthy and miss those who could use them most

Posted September 17, 2014 by | 0 Comments | ]
Tesla, an EV for those who can afford it.

This is a tale of two zip codes.
First there’s 94582: San Ramon, California. Since 2010, the roughly 38,000 citizens and businesses of this prosperous Bay Area suburb, where the median household income is $140,444, have purchased 463 zero emissions vehicles. Such vehicles receive major state subsidies; nearly $1 million of these subsidies went to vehicle purchasers in San Ramon. But San Ramon doesn’t need the …

economy, Environment, Issues, News, Politics, Water and the Drought »

Are we facing a megadrought?

Posted September 12, 2014 by | 0 Comments | ]
Some government buildings have stopped watering their lawns. Photo via Flickr/ CC/ Kevin Cortopassi

California is three years into what some are saying could become a megadrought, a dry spell lasting several decades.
The drought is so dire that a certain golf course in the Montecito area is shipping in nearly $90,000 of water per month for its grass, and one-third of the town itself is shipping in bottled water. Meanwhile, those living in towns like the working-class, farm community of …

Environment, Interviews, News »

The fruit flies of youth

Posted September 8, 2014 by | 0 Comments | ]
The humble Drosophila melanogaster - the fruit fly.

It sounds like a miracle, but UCLA biologists say they have identified a gene that can slow the aging process when activated.
Working with fruit flies, UCLA scientists have used a gene called AMPK to increase the insects’ life spans by about 30 percent.
One of the team leaders, Associate Professor of integrative biology David Walker, says that when the gene is activated in the intestine …

Arts & Culture, Environment, Health Care, Issues, News, Politics »

Why L.A. needs a resilience czar

Posted September 5, 2014 by | 0 Comments | ]
Northridge Earthquake, CA, January 17, 1994 -- An aerial view of destruction caused by the 6.7 magnitude earthquake. Damage costs were estimated at $25 billion. FEMA News Photo
Date	17 January 1994

For the first time in human history, the majority of the world’s population (currently 7.1 billion) lives in urban settings. While urban living offers many attractions — employment opportunities, higher education, entertainment, health care, and public transportation – the changes we make to the natural landscape to accommodate and support our current population often makes us vulnerable to human and environmental threats. And when …

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