FROM Andy Lipkis
It's "All Hands on Deck" for El Niño Federal, state and local agencies are reminding home owners there's not much time until January, when massive storms are predicted from the El Niño condition in the Pacific Ocean. Kate Hutton, public Information Officer for the City of LA’s Emergency Management Department , says now’s the time to prepare.
Can the Southland Become Water Self-Sufficient? LA exists thanks to imported water. But does it have to? From underground cisterns and "thirsty concrete" to expanding spreading grounds, Southland cities and water agencies are working their way towards "water self-sufficiency" -- with home owners becoming participants in management of our water. Pico Library water cistern Photos by Avishay Artsy
Turning the Water Off…and On With years of reduced rain and snow now predicted, Mayor Eric Garcetti wants to reduce LA's dependence on imported water. He also wants to cut water usage by 20% in less than two years. But efficiency and conservation won't be enough. Garcetti says the City that once rejected what was called "toilet to tap" is now ready to recycle wastewater — like Orange County already does . Can LA capture the rain that does fall instead of washing it out to sea?
A Record Water Shortage and Red Flag Warnings Governor Brown has recognized this driest winter in California history by declaring a drought emergency . The Sierra snowpack is at 15% of its annual average, and that could leave Central Valley farmers with no allocations from water districts at all. Last week's Colby Fire above Glendora is a prime example of what dry winter weather means for fire danger and, by extension, air quality.
Trees Ripped Out in Inglewood to Clear Way for Endeavour Next month the Space Shuttle Endeavour's will go to its final resting place: the California Science Center in downtown LA. But getting it there won't be easy. From LAX, it'll be trucked down the streets of LA and Inglewood, requiring removal of hundreds of trees. Not everybody is happy about that. (In addition to our guests, we also heard the voice of Lark Galloway Gilliam of the Community Health Councils in South Los Angeles.)
Santa Ana Winds and Cuts to Tree-trimming Budgets Thousands of trees have fallen since those high Santa Ana winds began last Wednesday night. Many still haven't been cleaned up. In the City of Los Angeles, the Urban Forestry staff was reduced last year from 230 to less than 100. That left every inspector responsible for 150,000 trees, and even in normal times it takes 24 to 48 hours to deal with just one fallen tree limb.
Greening LA: Status Report on the 40th Anniversary of Earth Day Acid rain was reduced by new federal regulations on sulfur emissions; the EPA got the lead out of gasoline; it took an international treaty to protect the Ozone layer. But a lot of environmental progress has been made on the local level. Then 15 years old, Andy Lipkis started the Tree People three months after the first Earth Day 40 years ago. We speak with Lipkis and others about local efforts at protecting the environment and the quality of life in Southern California.
Water Conservation Measures Take Effect in Los Angeles On this Earth Day , Southern California is hotter and dryer than it's been for a while -- and all indicators suggest that's the way it's going to be for a long time to come. Grey water and gardening may well be part of our future. We hear about new ways to practice old habits and update what's being done to save water now by the LA Department of Water and Power.
Water, Water Everywhere, but Most Runs Down the Drain It rained a lot over the past few days and there's more to come. But that won't make up for the water shortage in Southern California, because the water gets washed away in storm drains and ends up polluting the seas and the beaches. Even with restrictions imposed in August, the City of Los Angeles needs mandatory rationing and higher rates for those who fail to conserve. That's according to Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa. Much of that water could be recovered. Technology is not just available but in place at two parks, two schools and at least one single-family home, as we hear from Andy Lipkis, founder and president of TreePeople, which advocates conserving the rains.
Los Angeles Takes Another Serious Look at Water LA has become a megalopolis in an arid part of the country by importing water from the Owens Valley, Northern California and the Colorado River. But those supplies are beginning to dry up as demand is increasing. Mayor Villaraigosa wants to impose restrictions on water use, capture the rainwater that now flows out to sea and reclaim the waste water that now goes down the drain.
One Million Trees and the 54 Ficus More than a year ago, Mayor Villaraigosa announced his plan for a million new trees in Los Angeles. But nobody knows how many have been planted, where, or what kind they are. Meanwhile there’s a media circus over fifty-four ficus trees in downtown Santa Monica that the City Council has voted to cut down. Activists call it a “Chainsaw Massacre.” A court has issued a restraining order and tomorrow night, activists plan to show up the City Council’s regular meeting.
LA Demotes Its Iconic Palm Tree Only one kind of Palm tree is indigenous to Southern California. Others, imported since the Spanish missions, were established in the 18th Century. Canary Island Date Palms are still so popular in Beverly Hills, Las Vegas and the Arizona suburbs they can go for $20,000 when mature. Most of the local palms were planted early in the 20th Century, and in preparation for the 1932 Olympic s. But now they are threatened by a deadly fungus--and by city planners who don't plan to replace them.
The Trump agenda: where's the beef? President Trump says big things are happening. After celebrating a House bill on health care, he doesn’t yet have Senate agreement. With James Comey’s public testimony scheduled tomorrow, the President today tweeted his selection of a new FBI Director. Is the Chief Executive all style and no substance? Later, terror attacks in Iran and conflicting claims about who’s behind them.
Trump's 'America First' goes missing abroad In the Middle East, President Trump is changing some policies of the Obama Administration—and reversing his own campaign attacks on Islam as a religion that "hates us." We hear about his visit to Saudi Arabia and what's at stake for the rest of his foreign excursion.
The longest US war: Will Trump send more troops to Afghanistan? The Trump White House is divided over the Pentagon's request for more troops in Afghanistan—where the US has been fighting for the past 16 years. Is there a formula -- either for "victory" or a political settlement? Is there an end in sight for America's longest war?