Leave the drones at home of you’re going to Yosemite: The National Park Service is reminding Yosemite visitors that current regulations ban the use of unmanned aerial vehicles – or drones – inside the park. The remotely-operated flyers are becoming increasingly popular among photographers and videographers looking for shots they can’t get from ground level. Yosemite officials say the main problem with the drones is the noise they make, which detracts from the serenity of the park for other visitors. They are also concerned the drones could interfere with rescue operations.
L.A. Mayor Eric Garcetti says he expects Donald Sterling to dig in his heels and resist the NBA’s efforts to force him to sell the Clippers. Sterling has not made any public statements since recordings were released in which he said he didn’t want a female friend to bring blacks to Clipper games – but the mayor spoke to Sterling by phone. Garcetti says he urged Sterling sell the Clippers and avoid a drawn out battle with the NBA. But Garcetti says Sterling still doesn’t not seem to realize the impact of his words. Garcetti did not rule out a boycott of Clippers games if Sterling tries to hang on. The Clippers won a thrilling Game 7 victory in their first-round series against the Golden State Warriors on Saturday. Next up: The Oklahoma City Thunder starting tonight in Oklahoma.
Hollywood actors are sitting down with producers today to begin hammering out a new contract. The deal will be the second since the Screen Actors Guild and the American Federation of Television and Radio artists merged two years ago. The first combined deal was with advertisers. Among other issues, SAG-AFTRA leaders will have to decide whether to pursue a single deal covering all the union’s members are stick with current SAG and AFTRA deals. Don’t expect any daily updates on the talks. SAG-AFTRA and the Alliance of Motion Picture Television Producers have agreed to a news blackout during negotiations.
State agricultural officials are using Spam in an effort to lure an invasive species of African ant out into the open. More than 1,500 bait stations with the oily canned meat are being placed in seven Orange County cities. Their target is a species commonly known as big-headed ants. Officials say they will try to get permission from property owners to place the non-poisonous traps in their yard. Any captured ants will be sent to a lab for diagnosis. All this was spurred by the discovery of a colony of big-headed ants in the front yard of a Costa Mesa home last month. The bite of the big heads doesn’t hurt humans but the invasive species is considered a dangerous agricultural pest.
Hundreds of scientists and enthusiasts will gather at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory to discuss and debate all things space. The 13th International Conference on Space Operations – also called the 2014 SpaceOps – is organized by the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics. It’ll bring operators from around the world together to discuss the current status and future direction of space operations. The conference comes at a time when the US space program now includes private, commercial space companies – including Hawthorne-based Space-X.