FROM Mark Gold
Coastal Commission to decide on massive OC development The fate of a large piece of undeveloped land along California’s coastline will be decided Wednesday . The California Coastal Commission will vote on whether a company – Newport Banning Ranch LLC – can build hundreds of homes, a hotel, and shops along the Pacific Ocean in Orange County. Environmentalists say the land is too precious to build on because it’s a wetland habitat for owls and other animals.
Turning the Water Off…and On With years of reduced rain and snow now predicted, Mayor Eric Garcetti wants to reduce LA's dependence on imported water. He also wants to cut water usage by 20% in less than two years. But efficiency and conservation won't be enough. Garcetti says the City that once rejected what was called "toilet to tap" is now ready to recycle wastewater — like Orange County already does . Can LA capture the rain that does fall instead of washing it out to sea?
Dealing with LA’s Aging Water Infrastructure Yesterday’s 10-million-gallon water eruption in Westwood was just the latest and biggest such calamity for LA’s Department of Water and Power. In 2009, a water-main break created a sinkhole that nearly swallowed a fire engine. Two years later, there was a chain reaction from Northridge to North Hollywood. Last year, it was Northridge again, and Tarzana, and this year there were breaks in Hollywood, in Venice and near LAX. Mark Gold says this won’t be the last. He’s a Professor and Acting Director of UCLA’s Institute of the Environment and Sustainability.
A Green Political Agenda for City Elections Anti-tax activist Grover Norquist won power and fame by getting Republicans to sign a pledge to never vote for a tax increase. Maybe that’s what environmentalists should try – a pledge. A new study looks at how the city could become a lot greener through the next two mayoral terms… cut carbon emissions, use less water, boost solar and wind, double public transit ridership…and suggests that anyone who wants to get elected mayor or to the city council should sign on. One concern – there’s no dollar figure anywhere in the study. First, New York has one, San Francisco, Philadelphia – big cities that also plan to be sustainable cities. Sustainability means living and working so that the world remains livable for the generations to come. It means cutting carbon emissions that build a warmer climate, using less water, generating less waste, while still ensuring an urban life that offers opportunity and justice. A new study from UCLA – Visions 2021 LA – A model Environmental Sustainability Agenda for Los Angeles’s Next Mayor and City Council. It examines almost a dozen of what it calls ‘goal areas’ – with far ranging green policy prescriptions that would remake the city. And the study advocates asking politicians to sign on – a pledge to actually try to make this work if elected.
State Commission Approves Marine Reserves, Fishing Limits Yesterday, the state Fish and Game Commission approved 34 ocean habitat reserves off the coast of California from Point Conception to the Mexican border. The majority was a bare three-to-two at a five-hour meeting attended by hundreds of people in Santa Barbara. It came after years of contentious meetings between more than 60 stakeholders. Some pristine waters will still be open to fishing, but many others will not.
Toxic Conditions in Southern California Wastewater In the past eight years, millions of gallons of toxic sewage and industrial waste have been dumped into lakes, rivers and the ocean in the Los Angeles region. Hundreds of times, the toxicity has exceeded legal standards, but only 80 notices of violation have been issued and just eleven led to penalties of any kind. That's according to the environmental group Heal the Bay, which accuses the State Water Resources Control Board of issuing a "license to kill." The Legislative Analyst says California is headed toward a "colossal" financial disaster. We hear more about the toxic conditions and what can be done to reverse them from Heal the Bay as well as state and local water control boards.
LA County’s Board of Supervisors Backs off It’s a Ban Plastic Bags After the City and County of San Francisco banned plastic shopping bags, LA County Supervisors ordered county lawyers to draw up a similar measure along with four alternatives. That was nine months ago. Yesterday, the Board took action. A ban will not be adopted unless the use of such bags decreases by itself--30% by 2010 and 65% by 2013.
DWP Proposes Giving Valley Residents A Summer Break On Electricity Rates Mulholland Drive would be the boundary line for two climate zones that LA’s Department of Water and Power wants to establish for setting electricity rates. During the summer, the San Fernando Valley is hotter than the rest of the city, so the DWP wants to charge less north of Mulholland. The measure is billed in part as a conservation effort—but rates would go down as houses increase the amount of power they use.
Is America turning its back on the world? President Trump has made no secret of his contempt for the United Nations — and he's not alone. But, will proposed cuts in US contributions be counterproductive to America's role in the world and to national security?
House Republicans release their Obamacare replacement As two House committees take up "repeal and replacement" of "Obamacare," there may be life left in the Affordable Care Act after all. Even Republicans are divided, and proposed changes won't make good on President Trump's promise to provide "health insurance for everybody."
Trump's travel ban and the long-term agenda The Trump Administration's revised travel ban may be good news for some visa holders and others, but it's still being challenged as unconstitutional. Some reporters call it the beginning of a long-term effort to change the demographic make-up of the United States.