Decision time for Huntington Beach desalination plant

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The future of a huge desalination plant in Huntington Beach tops the agenda of the California Coastal Commission today. The proposed plant would produce up to 50 million gallons of drinking water a day. But environmentalists and the commission’s own staff have warned it could harm the coastal ecosystem by killing large amounts of fish eggs and larvae. The $90 million plant would be one of the biggest in the Western hemisphere, supplying enough clean water to supply about 100,000 homes…The L.A. School Board agreed to a limited extension of the district’s controversial, billion-dollar iPad program. After hours of heated debate, the Board voted to add 35 more schools to the rollout this year. That’s in addition to the 47 schools that have already received tablet computers. But the Board also voted for new oversight measures, including an evaluation to determine how the iPads affect student achievement…The Senate rules committee has stripped state Sen. Ron Calderon of his committee assignments amid reports that the lawmaker is accused in an FBI affidavit of taking tens of thousands of dollars in bribes. Among other posts, Calderon lost the chairmanship of the Senate Insurance Committee. Senate Leader Darrell Steinberg says the removals could be reversed depending on the outcome of the FBI investigation. Calderon says he’s “profoundly disappointed” by the action…frackingTwenty of the nation’s top scientists have sent a letter to Gov. Jerry Brown, calling for a moratorium on hydraulic fracturing, or fracking. The scientists represent universities and ecological organizations ranging from Stanford and U.C. Berkeley to the Center for Biological Diversity. They say fracking – which injects water, sand and chemicals into the ground to release fossil fuels – increases pollution and runs counter to Brown’s efforts to cut emissions…And finally, The L.A. Chapter of the American Red Cross is holding three events today to raise money for typhoon victims in the Philippines. The group started collecting cash, checks and credit card donations before sunrise at the Rose Bowl in Pasadena and the Honda Center in Anaheim. You can drop off your donation at either place until 6:30 this evening. The Red Cross is also teaming up with CBS-2 and KCAL to operate a phone bank to collect credit card donations. The number to call is (818) 821-1080.