economy, Environment, Headline, 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, Headline, 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, Headline, 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, Featured, 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, Featured, 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, Featured, 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, Featured, Headline, 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, Featured, 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, Featured, 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, Featured, 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 …

economy, Environment, Headline, Issues, News »

Making the case for saving the Salton Sea

Posted September 4, 2014 by | 0 Comments | ]
Salton-Sea

Failure to stop the Salton Sea from drying up would cost the state tens of billions of dollars in lost jobs, sliding property values and damage to public health, according to a new report.
The Pacific Institute’s “Hazard’s Toll: The Cost of Inaction at the Salton Sea,” warns of “catastrophic” environmental changes. Among other things, it says allowing the sea to dry up would release 100 …

Arts & Culture, Environment, Headline, Interviews, Politics »

A boat race along the Los Angeles River

Posted August 27, 2014 by | 0 Comments | ]
kayak 4

The Los Angeles River often evokes the image of a concrete channel, with perhaps a trickle of water running through it.
The river was paved with concrete in the 1930s to prevent flooding.
It’s been a popular Hollywood backdrop, from John Travolta’s drag-racing scene in “Grease” to Arnold Schwarzenegger’s motorcycle chase in “Terminator 2.”
So the news that outdoor enthusiasts are holding the first-ever boat race there …

Environment, Featured, Interviews, News, Politics »

Foster children disproportionately identify as LGBTQ

Posted August 27, 2014 by | 0 Comments | ]
The Los Angeles LGBT Center

Los Angeles is home to the nation’s largest population of foster youth.
A new study out today from UCLA’s Williams Institute and the Los Angeles LGBT Center that finds gay youth are – in big numbers – over-represented in the foster care system.
Lorri L. Jean is the CEO of the Los Angeles LGBT Center and says the study finds 1 in 5 youth in foster …

Arts & Culture, California Elections, Commentary, economy, Environment, Featured, Politics, Zocalo Public Square »

It’s not so easy to send a 5-year-old off to a California kindergarten

Posted August 27, 2014 by | 1 Comment | ]
Photo by Mrs.F /CC/Flickr

“Wait, Daddy,” you say.
You are 5, and you have your priorities. You are reassembling the wooden train tracks. You are building an airplane hangar out of MagnaTiles. You have a drawing you need to finish.
“Hurry up, Ben” I always say. Don’t you know that I have too many things to do? Don’t you know I need to put you to bed? Can’t you see …

Environment, Headline, Issues, News, Politics »

Half-built Target project could face the wrecking ball

Posted August 26, 2014 by | 6 Comments | ]
targethollywood

A half-built Target store and shopping center going up in Hollywood will be staying in its current, unfinished state for the foreseeable future.
L.A. officials have reluctantly ordered Target to halt work on the project at the corner of Sunset Boulevard and Western Avenue.
The order follows a court ruling that found that city officials improperly approved the project. The issue is height: Community groups sued …

Environment, Headline, Issues, News »

Napa quake gives warning system an early test

Posted August 25, 2014 by | 1 Comment | ]
napaearthquake

The temblor that rocked California’s wine country this weekend gave researchers at U.C. Berkeley a chance to gauge the effectiveness of an experimental earthquake alert system. They say it worked.
Ten seconds before Napa and surrounding areas began to shake, an alarm started squawking inside a Berkeley lab.
The system is not yet available to the public. State officials say it should be ready in the …

economy, Environment, Headline, Issues, LA Noir, Politics, Power and Water, Summer, Water and the Drought, Zocalo Public Square »

Mixer: Water levels, down; water shaming, way up

Posted August 22, 2014 by | 0 Comments | ]
friday mixer square

As the severe drought continues in California, the state’s water authority is now actively imposing fines of up to $500 on people who are wasteful.
The Los Angeles Times reports the city’s Department of Water and Power has increased its patrol of water wasting by quadrupling the number of its city-wide inspectors: from one to four.
Los Angeles has about four million people.
Water tables are at …

Environment, Headline, Issues, News »

Lobbyists trying to sack statewide plastic bag ban

Posted August 21, 2014 by | 0 Comments | ]
PLASTICBAGS-1

Plastic bag manufacturers are making a last-ditch effort to block a proposed law that would ban single-use plastic bags statewide.
The bill passed an Assembly Committee last week and appeared to be headed for passage. But opponents have managed to delay a key vote, which could set up a renewed battle over the proposed ban.
The San Jose Mercury News reports the bag industry has spent …

Environment, Headline, Issues, News »

Stock’s in the tank, so SeaWorld promises bigger pools

Posted August 15, 2014 by | 0 Comments | ]
SeaWorldorca

Faced with declining attendance and a plunging stock price, SeaWorld announced today that it will build new, larger environments for killer whales at its theme parks. SeaWorld also says it will contribute &10 million to fund additional research on the animals along with programs to protect ocean health and whales in the wild.
SeaWorld plans to build a 10-million-gallon tank at its park in San …

Environment, Headline, Issues, News »

Ire’s up in Manhattan Beach in debate over sharks

Posted August 11, 2014 by | 0 Comments | ]
MANHATTANBEACHPIER

Manhattan Beach officials are getting ready to revisit some controversial restrictions on fishing off that city’s pier. They’re concerned that anglers are drawing great white sharks to the area.
A month ago a shark caught on a fisherman’s line bit a surfer. That prompted the City Council to temporarily ban fishing from the pier and sparked a heated debate between pro and anti-fishing camps.
California Fish …

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