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Drought

SPORTS
February 15, 2014 | By Jared S. Hopkins
SOCHI, Russia - Ranked 1-2 in the world, Heather Richardson and Brittany Bowe are the United States' best two options to get the U.S. speedskating team on the board and take the pressure off an ongoing medal drought. On Sunday, the former in-line skaters race in the 1,500 meters. After swapping a new Under Armour suit for an old one, the male counterparts on the team went 0-4 in Saturday's 1,500. Richardson and Bowe have struggled in Sochi as well. FRAMEWORK: Best images from Sochi Richardson, 24, finished eighth in the 500 and seventh in the 1,000.
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CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
February 15, 2014 | Steve Lopez
If somehow you missed the news that California is drier than a stale tortilla, the Amber Alert signs have come to the rescue with highway bulletins like this one: "Serious drought, help save water. " This is helpful to a point, I suppose, and I like the creative use of highway signs heretofore reserved largely for safety warnings or child abductions. If Caltrans would consider pushing the boundaries even further, I'd spring for a sign that says: "Hey, Brian D'Arcy, where's our $40 million?"
SPORTS
February 14, 2014 | By John Cherwa
Best bets for Saturday at the 2014 Sochi Olympics: MEN'S HOCKEY The Cold War is long over and the Miracle on Ice is a distant memory, but there is still considerable excitement for the U.S. and Russia playing hockey. The gold-medal game is expected to come from either of these teams and Canada. The U.S. is sticking with Jonathan Quick in goal. MEN'S SPEEDSKATING The U.S. team is shockingly without a medal in these Games and currently embroiled in a controversy over whether the new suits are the reason for their poor performance.
NATIONAL
February 14, 2014 | By Christi Parsons
RANCHO MIRAGE, Calif. - President Obama flew across the country seeking to soothe the jangled nerves of allies Friday, meeting in the morning with House Democrats worried about reelection and at day's end with a key Middle Eastern leader who sits precariously close to regional conflicts. The day's tour took the president from the eastern shore of Maryland to the drought-stricken Central Valley to a desert compound in Rancho Mirage - an aberrant schedule for a White House usually regimented in its commitment to generating just one message a day. In his evening meeting with Jordan's King Abdullah II at the Sunnylands retreat, Obama spoke about the civil war in Syria, the resurgent violence of Al Qaeda and a proposed framework for Israeli-Palestinian peace negotiations.
NEWS
February 14, 2014 | By Christi Parsons
WASHINGTON -- President Obama will announce millions of dollars in federal drought assistance Friday when he flies to California and tours fields and orchards ravaged by the deepening water crisis, aides said. The president wants farmers to know he is paying close attention to the drought and has instructed federal agencies to expedite help, Tom Vilsack, the secretary of Agriculture, said Thursday. “The federal government will do all it can to alleviate the stress associated with this drought,” Vilsack said in a call with reporters.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
February 14, 2014 | By Anthony York
As President Obama prepares to head to Fresno to witness damaged caused by the California drought, the White House is announcing more than $200 million in aid available to those affected by the dry conditions. The package includes up to $150 million in help for state livestock producers, $60 million for food banks and $5 million for water conservation projects. The president also has directed facilities in the state to reduce water use and has issued a moratorium on “non-essential landscaping projects,” according to a White House statement.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
February 14, 2014 | By Diana Marcum and Evan Halper
FIREBAUGH, Calif. - Standing Friday afternoon on cracked, parched earth where melons would usually grow, President Obama brought both a message of aid and an ominous warning to drought-stricken California as he outlined more than $160 million in federal assistance. The directives include aid for ranchers struggling to feed their livestock because of the drought, and for food banks serving families in hard-hit areas. Obama also called on U.S. government facilities in California to curb water use. "These actions will help.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
February 13, 2014 | By Seema Mehta and Anthony York
TULARE, Calif. - Signs reading "No Water = No Jobs" line the alfalfa fields and almond orchards along the highway that bisects this region. The weekly "Ag Alert" newsletter records worries about tomato and grape crops, and drought turning dairy pastures brown. Water, or the lack of it, is on everyone's minds here in the Central Valley, stretching from Bakersfield past Sacramento and home of the state's $45-billion-a-year agriculture industry. Republican candidates for governor are seizing on the subject as they seek to score political points against the popular Democratic incumbent, Gov. Jerry Brown.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
February 13, 2014 | By Anthony York
Lady Gaga has a new message for all of her “little monsters”: Save water. The five-time Grammy Award winner will soon be on the air with a public service announcement urging Californians to do their part to help with the state's drought. So how did Lady Gaga become the new face of drought awareness? It started when the “Poker Face” singer wanted to use Hearst Castle for what the Hearst Castle Foundation is calling "a special creative project. " The San Simeon estate, which is now a state park, is doing its part to help with the water crunch.
NEWS
February 12, 2014 | By Seema Mehta and Anthony York
TULARE - Visiting an international agriculture fair Wednesday that drew tens of thousands of visitors to the heart of the Central Valley, Republican gubernatorial candidate Neel Kashkari said the state's lack of preparedness for the drought that is devastating the region's farmers and ranchers was an example of Gov. Jerry Brown's failed leadership. “We know that droughts happen and … we're totally unprepared,” Kashkari said during a talk-radio show being broadcast from the World Ag Expo, surrounded by massive tractors and automatic grape harvesters.
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