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Solar Power, Watts Riots: Pop Culture, and 'Straight Outta Compton'

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There’s a new twist in the story of Rafe Esquith, the L.A. elementary school teacher from who was removed from his classroom in April and put into teacher jail after allegedly making an inappropriate joke. Now the allegations against him have escalated to sexual and financial misconduct, and Esquith, for his part, is suing the LAUSD.

And in March, the Exide battery recycling plant in Vernon agreed to shut down permanently, because of chemical pollution. Now it’s come to light that the extent of the contamination in the surrounding neighborhood is much worse than previously thought.

Then, solar has gotten cheaper, better, and easier to install in recent years. But many traditional power companies view solar as a threat and are fighting to limit it. Here in California, utility giant PG&E is looking to reduce financial incentives to go solar.

Then we look at how the Watts Riots seeped into pop culture, starting with a 1973 documentary called Wattstax. Finally, rappers who came straight outta Compton are coming straight to a theater near you.

Banner Image: Nellis Solar Power Plant, located in Nevada; Credit: USAF