Environment, Water and the Drought »

The California drought crisis is everyone’s fault

Posted May 5, 2015 by | 0 Comments | ]
The drought at the  Uvas Reservoir. Via Flickr/CC

My grandfather used to tell the story of traveling from Bakersfield to San Francisco by boat as a boy in about 1910. First up the Tulare Lake, then up the San Joaquin River, and through the Delta. In those days, water in California’s San Joaquin Valley must have seemed inexhaustible.
Then, the lakes were drained and the rivers dammed; the valley floor was plowed and …

Environment »

New project to expand the Santa Monica Mountains National Recreation Area

Posted May 4, 2015 by | 0 Comments | ]
RIVA_studyareaprint

LA gets a bad rap for not having enough parks and open space. But a campaign is underway to protect more of the open space we do have. The National Park Service is considering expanding the Santa Monica Mountains National Recreation Area to include land in what’s called the Rim of the Valley Corridor–stretching from the Conejo and Simi Valleys to the La Crescenta …

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

Local water districts are fighting for every drop

Posted May 4, 2015 by | 0 Comments | ]
SPRINKLER

Scores of water agencies in California are lobbying for last-minute changes to the conservation goals set down by state officials. They’re trying to reduce the severity of the cuts they’re facing before the final numbers are announced later this week.
Local water districts in California are being asked to reduce their water use by anywhere from 8 to 36 percent, depending on their average use …

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

California downsizing Delta habitat restoration plan

Posted May 1, 2015 by | 0 Comments | ]
deltasalmon

California officials are dramatically scaling back a habitat restoration plan for the Sacramento-San Joaquin River Delta, with possibly major implications for reworking the state’s water delivery system.
The Delta project now calls for restoring 30,000 acres for wetlands and wildlife habitat – down from 100,000.
The larger restoration was supposed to coincide with the construction of two massive tunnels that would send water to Central Valley …

Arts & Culture, Environment »

Exploring the wilds of Los Angeles with bird-watcher Scott Logan

Posted April 30, 2015 by | 0 Comments | ]
Scott Logan from Wild Wings Backyard Nature, watching birds at Franklin Canyon Park. Photo by Avishay Artsy.

This Saturday, May 2nd marks Bird LA Day – a citywide celebration of all things birds, with nature walks, a bird sketching workshop and a picnic along the LA River. I met up with birding enthusiast Scott Logan at Franklin Canyon Park, located in a beautiful canyon above Beverly Hills, in the eastern part of the Santa Monica Mountains.
“All these birds, they just offer clues. You watch …

Environment, Issues, News »

Drought blamed for worsening California air quality

Posted April 29, 2015 by | 0 Comments | ]
smog

Just as Gov. Jerry Brown unveils the state’s most ambitious effort to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, a new report finds that Southern Californians continue to breathe the dirtiest air in the country.
That’s not to say there hasn’t been improvement. Anybody who was around during the dark days of the 1970s when brown skies were as common as blue in L.A. can attest to that. …

Environment, Water and the Drought »

California farmers struggle during the drought

Posted April 27, 2015 by | 0 Comments | ]
large_farmers

“Last year our holding pond dried up for the first time,” said Dawn Birch farmer in 3 rivers California, “and we went for eight weeks without a drop of water.” She said that they had to take out a bunch of their apple trees, because they drink so much water. She now buries their drip lines, so the water goes directly to the roots. “I think …

Environment »

Nepal earthquake: How to help

Posted April 26, 2015 by | 8 Comments | ]
IFRC/Carl Whetham, Kathmandu, Nepal

International relief organizations are working to find survivors and bring needed supplies to victims of the Nepal earthquake. The 7.8 quake, which hit the region on Saturday, killed more than 2,400 people and injured around 5,900 and wrecked the homes of many more, leaving people homeless.
Google has launched a People Finder tool to connect victims with relatives and friends. PayPal is helping to facilitate donations …

Environment, News, Santa Barbara »

Elephant enthusiast hosts renowned lion lover in Montecito

Posted April 23, 2015 by | 0 Comments | ]
Dr. Laly Lichtenfeld, executive director of the African People & Wildlife Fund (Photo: African People & Wildlife Fund)

A luncheon was held in Montecito this week to raise awareness of the plight of lions in Tanzania. Dr. Laly Lichtenfeld explained her efforts to help wildlife and humans co-exist.
Lalyl Lichtenfeld, co-founder and executive of the African People and Wildlife Fund, said wild cats that come into residential areas are being killed by villagers in retaliation for tearing up their homes. Her non-profit is putting …

Environment, News, Santa Barbara, Water and the Drought »

Santa Barbara landscape architect offers drought busting tips

Posted April 15, 2015 by | 0 Comments | ]
romaine_acer

With water rates climbing along the South Coast and California’s drought in its fourth year, many Californians are considering making landscaping changes at home. Among other cities, Santa Barbara offers cash incentives to make the switch to drought-friendly yards.
Billy Goodnick was the city of Santa Barbara’s landscape architect for more than 20 years. Now he writes and consults on low-water landscaping. He stopped by our …

Arts & Culture, Environment, Issues, News »

How one artist is cleaning up the beach 20 minutes at a time

Posted April 15, 2015 by | 6 Comments | ]
sara photographing trash

Artist and writer Sara Bayles didn’t know the act of grabbing a bag before going on a beach walk in March 2009 was going to change her life.
It was mid-week and she had some spare time. Sara had wanted to join Surfrider Foundation for one of their beach clean-ups but she always had scheduling conflicts. “The idea hit me. Why am I waiting for …

Environment, Interviews, Santa Barbara, Water and the Drought »

Dealing with the drought in Santa Barbara: are there options beyond desal?

Posted April 14, 2015 by | 0 Comments | ]
farms-drought

Only two months before Santa Barbara’s city council decides whether or not to reactivate the desalination plant, some locals think it’s wise to consider other options. One environmental community group, Sweetwater Collaborative, suggests studying Australia’s multi-year drought could provide clues as to what might work in California, which has similar climate conditions. KCRW’s Morning Edition host Lisa Osborn spoke with Brad Smith, a member of …

Environment, Issues, News, Water and the Drought »

Water guzzling cities looking at mandatory 35% cuts

Posted April 8, 2015 by | 0 Comments | ]
watering

What’s the most equitable way to decide how much water California cities must conserve? The state Water Resources Control Board says it’s by looking at the recent water use history of those cities.
Gov. Jerry Brown has ordered a 25 percent reduction in urban water use – but getting to that target won’t mean uniform cuts across the state.
For example, folks in Los Angeles are …

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

Brown defends decision to give farmers a water break

Posted April 6, 2015 by | 0 Comments | ]
drought-farm1W-1024x621

 
Gov. Jerry Brown has been taking some heat since he announced California’s first mandatory water restrictions last week. That’s because he let farmers largely off the hook – focusing the cutbacks in urban areas.
Critics say that California’s efforts to conserve water will be ineffective without major contributions from agriculture.
But the governor isn’t suffering the criticism silently. During an interview with the ABC news program …

Environment, Santa Barbara, Water and the Drought »

Wildflowers abloom in Santa Barbara

Posted April 3, 2015 by | 0 Comments | ]
unnamed

As Easter weekend and the beginning of spring hits, wildflowers are popping out in Santa Barbara. Although many people drive up to Figueroa Mountain to check out the poppies, you don’t have to go far for a flower fix. Local Sierra Club hike leader Stephen Dougherty stopped by our Santa Barbara studio to speak with Morning Edition host Lisa Osborn about how and where to find these …

Environment, Food, News, Santa Barbara »

“Eat Local” hard to uphold in the California sea

Posted April 2, 2015 by | 0 Comments | ]
IMG_20150327_075944633

When Bernard Friedman heads out to his farm early in the morning, he’s not jumping into a tractor. He revs up his boat and shoots out of the Santa Barbara Harbor. His 72-acre farm is incognito. It’s under the open ocean. And the crop he’s harvesting? They’re mussels.
“Hopefully you’ll see a few whales,” he says. “You’ll see some sea lions, you might see some …

Environment, Food, News, Politics, Santa Barbara »

Too close for comfort: Pesticide spraying near Oxnard high school sheds light on statewide issue

Posted March 31, 2015 by | 0 Comments | ]
strawberries-0004-web-1024x682

A 15 month study by the Center for Investigative Reporting has found potentially harmful amounts of chemically-laden pesticides in the air above an Oxnard high school.
As the pictures suggest, pesticides being sprayed at Bob Jones Ranch are a bit too close to Rio Mesa High School for comfort.
Rules concerning pesticide use, however, are made and enforced on a state level. Although this study has …

economy, Environment, Interviews »

Why are California’s gas prices so volatile?

Posted March 24, 2015 by | 0 Comments | ]
gasprices

State lawmakers today tried to fill-up on knowledge of why gas prices have been all over the place the past few months. And how refinery issues have affected recent spikes.
Prices in January were near four and five year lows. Then they jumped by a dollar in some cases in the course of just a couple of weeks.
Part of that is the recent explosion at …

California Elections, economy, Environment, Interviews, Issues, News, Politics, Zocalo Public Square »

Mixer: Dry land and deaf ears

Posted March 20, 2015 by | 28 Comments | ]
friday mixer square

We’re well into the fourth year of a severe drought in California.
And this week, Governor Jerry Brown and legislative leaders from both parties announced more than a billion dollars in emergency aid that’s being introduced as legislation in Sacramento.
But at a press conference, the governor also faced question after question over whether the State Water Resources Control Board’s new conservation actions are enough.
John Myers is …

Arts & Culture, economy, Environment »

How your garden tells the story of immigration in Southern California

Posted March 19, 2015 by | 5 Comments | ]
SONY DSC

The buzzing of leaf blowers, weed whackers and lawnmowers are part of Southern California’s sonic landscape. And the people usually holding those machines are Latino immigrant men, who call themselves jardineros, Spanish for gardeners. It’s their labor that gives curb appeal to so many homes, keeping lawns neatly trimmed, hedges pruned and weeds at bay.
The story of the jardineros also reveals the long relationship between immigration and the …

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