This is Rob Long, and on today’s Martini Shot I buy one of those organizer apps to make a to-do list of things I want to put into my other organizer app and I keep track of all of it using a notebook and a pen. So yeah, I’m writing.
Today President Trump signed an executive order banning family separations at the border. His “zero tolerance” immigration policy caused the separations in the first place. It’s been an explosive political issue, with even the first lady urging her husband to change course.
If you sit down with residents who live in the south L.A. communities of Compton and Willowbrook, there is a good chance clean water would be a topic of conversation. Many are complaining about brown-colored water coming out of their taps and a foul odor. The water in that area is overseen by a relatively unknown agency, which maintains the water is safe to drink. But not everyone is buying that, including one local member of Congress.
Orange County Museum of Art gets new a museum designed by Morphosis Architects, and it tips its hat at Richard Serra’s “Connector.” Will it bring urban life to suburban Costa Mesa? And design critic Alexandra Lange explores “good” toys and playgrounds and wonders if children would be just as free and creative if left to play with a cardboard box.
Some 2000 immigrant kids have been separated from their families at the border. Their parents could be deported while they remain here. It’s becoming more difficult to find relatives to take them in because they, too, are afraid of being deported.
In California, we talk a lot about water: where it comes from, how much we need, and when it’ll dry up. In the Cuyama Valley, which sits in the high desert between Santa Barbara and Bakersfield, “drying up” isn’t just an abstract fear. Cuyama is a farming town that’s pumping its water faster than the rain replaces it. Now, the community must come together and figure out a way forward before there’s nothing left.
Today's North American grizzly bears are mostly found in the remote mountains of Montana, Wyoming, and Alaska, but back in the 1800s, coastal California was prime grizzly country. Brown bears were some common in the coastal ranges that they were known as the “chaparral bear.” Now, a group of Californians wants to reintroduce them to the state, but not everyone’s on board.
Luis Gutierrez Sanchez, also known as "Grace of the Sea," has been living in a garage in South LA for six years. He sells bacon-wrapped, pineapple-stuffed hot dogs on a street corner a few blocks away to make a living. Miraculously good at finding beauty in dark places, he tells his story of surviving as a gay undocumented immigrant in Los Angeles.
Water may be the essence of life but it’s subject to near-constant misuse. Journalist Mark Arax profiles a couple running a water monopoly in the Central Valley. A once abundant Cambodian lake is in decline, leaving fisherman and half the population scrambling for fish. We’ve heard of using less water but what about eating less water? And Mark Gold (Jonathan’s brother) shares tips on water conservation in LA.
After seven seasons starring in the CBS series ‘The Mentalist,’ Simon Baker made his feature directing debut with the coming-of-age film, ‘Breath.’ Shot in part in the wild waters off the West Coast of Australia, ‘Breath’ stars two teenagers who had never acted, but were excellent surfers. Baker tells us how compared to surfing, acting is the easy part.
Conner Coffin is no longer a teenage surfer impressing the locals at Rincon Beach. He’s now ranked as the 16th best surfer in the world, and the only Santa Barbara local in the men’s World Surf League. He’s trying to qualify for the Tokyo Summer Olympics in 2020 -- when surfing will make its debut. But his love of surfing is matched with a love of something else: music. Flexing his guitar and singing skills, Coffin just released a new record of classic rock covers.
California-based automaker Tesla announced this week that it will be laying off a slice of its workforce. It comes amid concerns about the production levels of their newer Model 3 sedan, ordered by hundreds of thousands, yet produced at a snail’s pace. Can CEO Elon Musk turn things around?