FROM Dean Kubani
Drought-friendly lawns The City of Santa Monica works hard to incentivize its residents to conserve and capture water, even offering rebates of up to $8,000 for switching out their front lawns. The result has been a saving of water and a flowering of creative gardening, especially in the neighborhood of Sunset Park. Santa Monica resident Sarah Bromellin her new drought-resistant yard Photo by Frances Anderton But now California has seen its wettest rain season in over a century. The snowpack along the Sierra Nevada mountain range is a huge 185 percent of average and there are fears of flooding. So can everyone relax about saving water? And if they do, will homeowners revert to the green lawns and sprinklers made iconic by artists including David Hockney? No, says the City's Sustainability Officer, who is urging folks to hold on to their "drought mentality." That view is shared by some Santa Monica residents who are enjoying their new palette of plants too much to bring back turf.
Can the Southland Become Water Self-Sufficient? LA exists thanks to imported water. But does it have to? From underground cisterns and "thirsty concrete" to expanding spreading grounds, Southland cities and water agencies are working their way towards "water self-sufficiency" -- with home owners becoming participants in management of our water. Pico Library water cistern Photos by Avishay Artsy
Los Angeles Takes Another Serious Look at Water LA has become a megalopolis in an arid part of the country by importing water from the Owens Valley, Northern California and the Colorado River. But those supplies are beginning to dry up as demand is increasing. Mayor Villaraigosa wants to impose restrictions on water use, capture the rainwater that now flows out to sea and reclaim the waste water that now goes down the drain.
Michael Flynn ensnared in foreign payments scandal Congressman Elijah Cummings has released documents showing that President Trump’s former national security adviser Michael Flynn was warned not to accept foreign government payments in 2014. Flynn still took a $45,000 speaking fee in 2015 from the Kremlin-backed news network RT.
Scathing audit finds UC President's office hid $175 million A state audit says the Office of the President at the University of California has kept secret more than $175 million. The report says salaries are a lot a higher in that office than in comparable offices. The audit comes just months after the UC system won approval for its first tuition hike in six years.
Bassem Youssef and Sara Taksler on 'Tickling Giants' Known as the "Jon Stewart of Egypt," Bassem Youssef hosted a satirical news show that was the first of its kind in the Middle East. The show was immensely popular, until the military-backed government forced Youssef off the air and out of the country. Youssef and director Sara Taksler tell us about their documentary Tickling Giants, which profiles Youssef’s leap from heart surgeon to super star satirist.
North Korea tests more missiles, Turkey's president gains more power Early Tuesday morning, North Korea tested another intercontinental ballistic missile. It blew up shortly after take-off. But North Korea keeps working on a nuclear missile that could reach the U.S. Also in Turkey, a close vote has given sweeping new powers to President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan. Turkey is an important Western ally in the region, but its leader is becoming increasingly authoritarian.