FROM Kirsten James
Is it Safe to Swim This July 4th? It’s the 4th of July weekend. It’s hot. And the ocean is calling. But what price are you willing to pay for a refreshing dip? Bacteria levels just south of Santa Monica pier were high enough to warrant swim advisories at the end of June, and other beaches are even dirtier. It’s the result of storm-water runoff and bureaucratic log jams, but it could be changing in years to come. Joining us to talk about water quality this weekend and into the future is Kirsten James, Science and Policy Director for Water Quality at Heal the Bay.
The State of the Beach Heal the Bay started testing the water quality at LA County beaches in 1991. The group now tests more than 600 beaches up and down the entire West Coast. Every year they come out with a report card that summarizes the year’s ratings. The latest report card is out today.
City of Santa Monica Bans Plastic Bags First, what does Santa Monica have in common with Brownsville, Texas? They've both banned plastic bags. Santa Monica did it two days ago. So has Los Angeles County in unincorporated areas, and several cities are. What's becoming a national movement is based in part on reports of an enormous garbage patch full of plastic in the Pacific Ocean. But the American Chemistry Council says that's not true . We hear from advocates on both sides of the issue.
State Legislature Poised to Ban Plastic Grocery Bags For six years, the environmental group Heal the Bay has been pushing for a ban on single-use plastic bags given away to customers, especially by grocery stores. Five cities have enacted bans and 20 more are poised to do so. Now it appears the legislature may get on board . Kirsten James is water quality director at Heal the Bay.
Is it the End of the Line for Paper or Plastic? Disposable plastic bags are a risk to oceans, lakes, local economies and the quality of life for millions of people. That’s the argument between AB 2829 by LA Assemblyman Mike Davis. The Natural Resource Committee was scheduled to vote today on a bill to charge 25% a bag for shoppers choosing plastic at big grocery stores and pharmacies. The LA County Supervisors support it, and so does the environmental group Heal the Bay.
Trump plays scolder-in-chief with NATO allies At the opening of NATO’s dramatic new headquarters in Brussels today, President Trump acknowledged that Article 5 — promising that “an attack on one nation is an attack on all” -- has only been invoked one time: in the aftermath of September 11. But the President failed to provide what 27 other Alliance members have been waiting for: a re-commitment by America’s new leader to Article 5. Instead, they got a scolding.
Will the Senate write a healthcare bill in secret? While Democrats and Republicans argue White House relations with Russia, another question is being decided behind closed doors: who gets help buying health insurance and who doesn't? We hear how the pros and cons are being shrouded in secrecy.
Ex-FBI Director Comey tells his side of the story Today, former FBI Director James Comey came close to calling the President who fired him a liar. The White House denied the claim and called it insulting, but Republican Senators did not challenge Comey’s truthfulness. Many questions remain: did the President try to obstruct a federal investigation? Later, we’ll go behind the “velvet rope” for a look at 5-Star health care for the richest Americans.