The U.S. Supreme Court has handed a big victory to local environmentalists: The court declined to hear an appeal by Los Angeles County contesting a federal court ruling that it’s liable for cleaning up pollution in storm water runoff. The Natural Resources Defense Council and the group Los Angeles Waterkeeper sued to hold the county responsible for cleaning up arsenic, mercury, cyanide and lead in billions of gallons of polluted runoff pouring into the Los Angeles and San Gabriel rivers. The Supreme Court decision doesn’t end the case. It now goes back to U.S. District Court, where environmentalists are pledging to pursue eco-friendly remedies to capture, retain and clean run-off water.
If you’re headed to Las Vegas today, you might want to consider flying. Interstate 15 – the main route between L.A. and Sin City – is shut down in both directions because of a fire that destroyed an overpass in Hesperia. The CHP closed the road out of concern that debris from the destroyed bridge could rain down on drivers. The agency is telling people to avoid the Cajon Pass today. The CHP hopes to have the road reopened by four this afternoon.
CalFire says it’s concerned that this year’s wildfire season could be the worst on record. Here in Southern California, fire season never really ended. Secretary of Natural Resources John Laird says the state is in the middle of the driest three years ever recorded. CalFire has already deployed three-quarters of its firefighting aircraft to bases around the state. The agency says it’s responded to 1,200 fires since January 1st – twice as many as usual for this time of year. Governor Jerry Brown has declared this week “Wildfire Awareness Week.”
The L.A. Clippers appear to have shrugged off any lingering ill-effects of the Donald Sterling scandal. The Clips trounced the favored Oklahoma City Thunder 122-105 in Game 1 of their of their second-round playoff matchup last night. By taking game 1 in Oklahoma City, the Clippers stole the Thunder’s home-court advantage. Point guard Chris Paul was on fire – hitting 8 of 9 three-point shots, scoring 32 points and dishing out 10 assists…Meanwhile, the L.A. Kings are on a roll, at the expense of the Anaheim Ducks. The Kings defeated the Ducks 3 to 1 last night at the Honda Center to take a 2-0 lead in their best-of-seven series. The Ducks will now have to play catch-up on the King’s home ice.
In California, we’re accustomed to seeing dogs lounging next to their owners on restaurants patios. But, technically, those owners are breaking the law. Now a bill in the state legislature would let local governments decide the question of dogs and dining. The bill would require that pets be brought in through a separate patio entrance. Restaurants could not store food or utensils on patios where dogs are allowed, and employees would not be allowed to touch the animals. The California Restaurant Association supports the measure.