After Los Angeles secretly bought up the Owens Valley 100 years ago, farmers blew up the pipes taking precious water south, to where developers wanted to build a great, sprawling city. Ultimately, the developers won, and Owens Lake turned into a dust bowl. The rest of the Valley is dry, but essentially pristine, and now, LA City officials say they want to keep it that way. When plans for a 320,000-acre environmental easement were first proposed in 2001, then-Mayor Richard Riordan vetoed the idea. Last month, two City Councilmen revived the proposal, but Mayor Jim Hahn said they lacked the authority to negotiate land use. Now, Hahn has offered a similar plan, and called it his own. Will that bring peace at last?
- Making News: Fires Threaten Lake Hughes, Happy Valley
Homes have been evacuated because of a fire burning near the northwest corner of LA County near the Ventura County line. It's east of the I-15 and south of Highway 138. John Mancha, an inspector with the LA County Fire Department, has an update on the blaze that has consumed 4000 acres and forced the evacuation of over 200 homes.
- Reporter's Notebook: Sharks Circling in California Budget Negotiations
Today-s LA Times reports that Arnold Schwarzenegger has lost control of state budget talks. Democrats, who days ago wanted to deal, are now making snide comments about delays and the Governor's travel abroad. School districts and local governments are demanding their share of funds. Starting next week, because they failed to meet the July 1 deadline, legislators themselves won-t get paid. Political scientist Bruce Cain watches it all from UC Berkeley.
LA Department of Water and Power (DWP)
Owens Lake Dust Mitigation
Lower Owens River Project
LA DWP pledges to restore Lower Owens River
Mayor Hahn announces Final EIR to restore Lower Owens River
LA Times article on California budget impass
Governor's letter urging local legislators to take action on budget proposal