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September 9, 2004 | Joel Rubin, Times Staff Writer
The site of a proposed school for troubled Orange County students is contaminated with low levels of banned insecticides that hark back to the county's agricultural roots, state health officials announced Wednesday. Soil samples taken from the farmland on Harbor Boulevard in Fountain Valley revealed levels of toxins, including DDT, toxaphene and dieldrin, that in past decades were used widely by farmers before being banned.
September 1, 2004 | From Times Staff Reports
Hoping to prevent the further spread of West Nile virus, San Bernardino County officials plan to begin spraying insecticide today to kill mosquitoes around the California Speedway, site of the Labor Day Weekend NASCAR race. The race is expected to attract more than 100,000 fans to the speedway. Officials warn fans to wear long-sleeved shirts and long pants. Mosquito repellent will also be sold at the souvenir stands at the speedway.
June 8, 2004 | Julie Sheer, Times Staff Writer
They're the rudest of uninvited visitors, and they're out for blood. Mosquitoes show up at the most annoying times -- on an exposed wrist as you hurriedly tie a fly on a line or the back of a leg as you set up camp at dusk. Their persistence leaves some of us polka-dotted with itchy, red welts. For the truly unlucky, they can transmit diseases, including West Nile virus, which has made its way to Southern California. The virus can cause mild flu-like symptoms or death.
March 9, 2004 | Louis Sahagun, Times Staff Writer
Dogwood Campground near Lake Arrowhead, home to 100-foot-tall Jeffrey pines and squawking woodpeckers, was so adored by campers that federal foresters recently refurbished the area, installing new bathrooms, picnic tables, pavement and barbecue grills. Just months after the work was completed, however, every mature pine tree on the premises was attacked and killed by bark beetles.
May 10, 2003 | From Reuters
Mosquitoes carrying West Nile virus and a strain of malaria have developed a resistance to insecticides because of a single-letter mutation in their genetic code, scientists said. Researchers at the University of Montpellier II in France said the alteration could be the cause of 25 years of resistance to insecticides among insects that carry the disease. The mutation makes a key enzyme in the mosquitoes less sensitive to ingredients in some insecticides.
February 16, 2003 | Matthew Heller, Matthew Heller's last story for the magazine was about the new state prison in Delano.
The San Bernardino County town of Colton is the only city in the nation with an official, federally designated fly preserve. Hard as it may be to believe, this is not a distinction sought by city leaders, who can't imagine that the 10-acre, chain-link-ringed habitat of the tiny Delhi Sands flower-loving fly will ever challenge Mt. Slover, a 300-foot limestone peak owned by a cement company, as the city's major landmark.
July 31, 2002
"Opossum Killings Test Limits of Cruelty Cases" (July 29) did not educate enough about how harmless to humans opossums are and why they are desirable to have around our yards and homes. They are nocturnal, so coming across one in the dark is scary. They hiss and show their teeth when they are frightened, but they don't bite humans. Indeed, if humans get too close, they freeze and appear to be dead, i.e., "play possum." This actually is an involuntary, shock-like state. I decided not to bother with traps or any efforts to remove them from hanging around my yard in the middle of Los Angeles when I learned that they dine on insects, cockroaches, snails, mice, rats and occasionally snakes.
This is a story about a bug, a bird and a tree. The bug is a tiny caterpillar, the western spruce budworm, eating its way through eastern Washington forests. The tree is the Douglas fir, the budworm's favorite meal. The bird is the northern spotted owl, a federally protected species that frequents the same forests the budworms are devouring. Put them together and you get another story--a story about how hard it is to correct the damage when humans tamper with Mother Nature.
October 3, 2001 | From Bloomberg News
Bayer said Tuesday that it has agreed to buy Aventis CropScience for about $4.9 billion in cash to become the biggest maker of insecticides and help replace lost income from the withdrawn cholesterol treatment Baycol. The purchase from Aventis and Schering will yield annual savings of about 500 million euros with an elimination of 4,000 jobs, Bayer Chief Executive Manfred Schneider said at a news conference. The company also will assume $1.
Cracking down on illegal insecticide sales, the Environmental Protection Agency on Wednesday announced more than $200,000 in fines against 15 stores that sold toxic pest killers that look like candy and blackboard chalk. Many are Asian markets, and six are in Los Angeles County. "In the case of some of the mothballs, they literally look like big bubble gum balls," said Leo Kay, a spokesman in the federal agency's San Francisco office.
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