The Ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach are the largest employers in the region--and some of the worst polluters. Last week Port Commissioners adopted a $2 billion "green growth" action plan. Do the technologies exist? Who will pay for it? Will the transformation help the hundreds of thousands already hurt by pollution? Plus, the auto engineer who drove fashionable Angelenos out of their BMW's--and into Priuses. Jim Sterngold guest hosts.
FROM THIS EPISODE
Together, the Ports of Long Beach and Los Angeles handle more cargo than any other harbor in the US and provide more well-paying jobs by far than Hollywood. But they're also among the worst polluters, spewing volumes of dangerous emissions and particulates, which experts say are causing hundreds of early deaths each year. When Antonio Villaraigosa became mayor, he vowed to slash the emissions using new technologies, while still allowing the ports to expand. Last week Port Commissioners adopted a $2 billion action plan for "green growth." Ships will burn cleaner fuel and shut down their engines at the wharfs. Sooty container handling equipment will be replaced with trucks and cranes that use natural gas or other fuels. Heavy diesel trucks may be replaced altogether with mag-lev container movers. Do the technologies exist for this industrial transformation? Who will pay for it? Will it really help those already hurt by the pollution? Jim Sterngold guest hosts.
Jerilyn Lopez Mendoza, Vice President of the Los Angeles Port Commission
Jesse Marquez, Coalition for a Safe Environment
Mark Pisano, former Executive Director, Southern California Association of Governments
Over the past couple years a snub-nosed Toyota--ungainly, quiet, and cheap--has replaced ultra-expensive imports as the fashionable car for the well-to-do. The man who helped engineer the shift was David Hermance, who fought to create acceptance for the fuel-efficient Prius and its distinctive hybrid motor. The Toyota engineer died last week while piloting his own small plane over the ocean.
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Which Way, LA? The Question that Won't Go Away 23 years ago, the fires of the Rodney King riots were burning and the sirens wailing when KCRW first asked, WWLA? We've been through fires, floods, earthquakes and massive social, cultural and economic change. While this is the last program titled WWLA? the question still needs to be asked. We talk with a group of important and thoughtful people about what LA has become and about the challenges to be faced in the future…as we continue.
Then and Now: Is LA Still the Car Capital of the World? Urban planners got some bad news today. Ridership on public transit in Southern California is on the decline, despite the billions being spent in recent years to build light rail and subway lines. Why aren't more drivers leaving their cars at home, as traffic gets more congested than ever? Meantime, there's a shortage of money to repair aging roads, bridges and other parts of the infrastructure. We look at the impact on the state's economy.
Does California Have a Double Standard for the Public's Protection? Porter Ranch and Vernon are mirror images of each other. In one, schools have been closed and thousands of residents are being moved away by the polluter—just months after a natural gas leak was discovered. In the other, residents complained for years about health risks to school children from exposure to lead and arsenic from a battery recycling plant— until the federal government finally stepped in.
Is 'Warfare' a Thing of the Past at the LAPD? Video of police misconduct wasn’t as common 25 years ago as it is today. The spectacle of LAPD officers beating Rodney King was a wake-up call, but didn’t persuade a jury in Simi Valley. When the cops received not-guilty verdicts, the city exploded. We hear from veteran officers who say they’ve changed. What about their tactics? Have they gained the trust of marginalized communities and people of color?
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