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Environment

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Environment

Hey, L.A., It's Time to Raise the Price of Water

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Tue, Aug 12, 2014 at 6:00 AM
PHOTO COURTESY OF FLICKR/STEVE A. JOHNSON
It's not raining in L.A., but we turn our faucets and somehow the water keeps coming out.

For now.

Despite the drought, most Angelenos are using as much water as ever. This can't go on indefinitely. In January of this year, Governor Brown called for a voluntary 20 percent reduction in use. Not surprisingly, a polite request didn't do the trick. So last month, the State Water Resources Control Board mandated steeper fines for violators of existing conservation rules, people who clean their driveways with a hose or water their lawns too much, etc. This will do very little. Los Angeles has only four water cops. (That's up from one, so if someone from the city tells you they've quadrupled enforcement, don't be too impressed.)

Are we really going to keep fiddling around the edges of this problem until we're in a crisis? Can't we deal with it seriously before the bottoms of our reservoirs are in sight?

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Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Environment

California's Energy Costs Are Actually Saving You Cash

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Tue, Jul 15, 2014 at 8:04 AM
TEDEYTAN/FLICKR
Los Angeles has some of the highest rents in the nation, and our worst-in-America roads cost us dearly when it comes to wear and tear on our vehicles. But there's one thing we spend less on:

Energy. Comparatively, whether we're talking about electricity or natural gas, we don't use that much.

And that means California ranked among the top 15 states with the lowest energy costs in the nation, according to data analyzed recently by personal finance website WalletHub:

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Thursday, May 22, 2014

Thursday, May 22, 2014

Environment

No More Dirty Beaches For L.A.

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Thu, May 22, 2014 at 2:01 PM
ERIC DEMARCQ/L.A. WEEKLY FLICKR POOL
Los Angeles' beaches can be a dirty bunch, being next to a megalopolis filled with smog, trash and pollutants. 

The worst time of the year for coastal water quality is when it rains. Precipitation washes oil, chemicals and trash into the sea. But, as you well know, there haven't been too many storms in L.A. for a while. In fact, 2013 was the driest calender year ever for the city.

As a result, our beloved beach spots are relatively clean, and they're getting good grades, according to Heal the Bay's 24th annual Beach Report Card:

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Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

People 2014

Ron Finley: South Central L.A.'s Guerilla Gardener

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Wed, May 14, 2014 at 4:00 AM
Guerilla gardener Ron Finley. - RYAN ORANGE
  • Ryan Orange
  • Guerilla gardener Ron Finley.
One of the fascinating Angelenos featured in L.A. Weekly's People 2014 issue. Check out our entire People 2014 issue.

One morning Ron Finley woke up to an unusual sight: A couple, with coffee cups in hand, was sitting on his front lawn and taking in the view.

In fairness to the pair, it isn't just any lawn. Right where the Expo light-rail line glides through South Central, near miles of gray stacked concrete, never-ending telephone cables and a neatly packed mix of stucco and shingled-roof bungalows with faded green lawns, Finley has created an urban oasis. There are alpine strawberries, rosemary, kale, fig and banana trees, and enough bees and hummingbirds to feel miles from L.A.

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Thursday, May 8, 2014

Despite some dire predictions that had us wondering if all surfboards and wetsuits would one day be glowing with neon-green atomic activity, radiation from the Fukushima nuclear power plant doesn't appear to have reached the shores of Los Angeles.

See also: Japan Earthquake: Could Nuclear Power Plant Radiation Reach L.A?

You are cleared to hit the beach this summer and allow only the raging sun to give your skin the radiation it doesn't really need.

The research group Kelp Watch 2014 this week concluded in a statement that "the West Coast shoreline shows no signs of ocean-borne radiation from Japan's [2011] Fukushima nuclear power plant disaster." Woo-hoo!

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Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Environment

L.A. Is America's "Most Ozone-Polluted" City

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Wed, Apr 30, 2014 at 8:05 AM
ERIC DEMARCQ/LA WEEKLY FLICKR POOL
Los Angeles has come a long way from its days as a post-war smog bowl.

Strict regulations on manufacturing emissions paired with California laws that changed the auto industry and gave us vehicles with tailpipe output cleaner than an ocean breeze have transformed SoCal air quality. There's a whole generation of Angelenos that can barely remember that hazy, amber fog of yore.

But the whole country has improved along with us, and L.A. is still a smog capital, at least comparatively speaking:

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Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Is now the time to panic? Not quite. This image is a hoax.
Today marks the three-year anniversary of the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear disaster, when the power plant was hit by a tsunami triggered by the Tōhoku earthquake. Three of the six Fukushima nuclear reactors suffered meltdowns, spilling radioactive material into the bosom of the Pacific Ocean in what would become the worst nuclear accident since Chernobyl.

But enough about the world! What about us brave Californians? Can we finally go back to eating sushi?

We asked a few scienticians, and they all basically said the same thing: yes. You can eat sushi, you can go to the beach, you can do anything you hedonistic bastards do all year round while the rest of us are working hard and wearing giant parkas. There is literally nothing to worry about and quite frankly, we're sick of getting these phone calls.

But to make a short story slightly longer, here are some frequently asked questions about the Fukushima fallout situation:

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Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Environment

Turn Off Your Damn Lawn Sprinklers, L.A!

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Tue, Feb 25, 2014 at 3:34 PM
JENNIFER GAILLARD/LA WEEKLY FLICKR POOL
From the department of No Frigging Duh, we have this public service announcement.

L.A. County officials are urging you to turn off your lawn sprinklers until at least next week. You see, we're in the midst of a historic drought that has followed the driest year on record in Southern California.

And we're looking at two storms approaching, starting tomorrow:

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TESLAMOTORS.COM
  • teslamotors.com
You smug rich people with your Teslas and energy-draining mega-mansions should be proud.

Los Angeles is the nation's leader in electric car sales. ChargePoint, the company that runs the nation's largest network of charging stations, says Angelenos bought 5,000 of the plug-in cars in the third quarter of 2013. That's more sales than any other city in America experienced during that time.

Not only that ...

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Thursday, January 30, 2014

Thursday, January 30, 2014

Environment

Governor Brown Wants to Give Our Water to Drought-Stricken NorCal?

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Thu, Jan 30, 2014 at 4:35 PM
GOV. JERRY BROWN/FACEBOOK.
  • Gov. Jerry Brown/Facebook.
After Gov. Jerry Brown declared a state of emergency over California's historic, three-year drought conditions, he hinted during a stop in the Los Angeles area overnight that water could be transferred from Southern California to the northern half of the state, where conditions are dire.

The governor's office today tried to backpedal on those comments, however, attempting to avoid the kind of "water war" jargon that has split the state's northern and southern halves in the past.

Brown spokesman Evan Westrup told us today that ... 

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