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December 13, 2012 | Ruben Vives, Los Angeles Times
The new $45-million concourse at Long Beach Airport has opened its doors, giving passengers their first look at a project 10 years in the making. Scores of travelers - arriving and departing - made their way Wednesday morning through the 35,000-square-foot eco-friendly structure, with its rows of palm trees and native plants in an open courtyard. The new terminal is also equipped with a fire pit and lounge chairs. The food area inside the northern concourse offers samples from Long Beach restaurants.
October 2, 2012 | By Susan Carpenter
Visitors to the Santa Barbara Botanic Garden on Saturday will be treated to oak nut marzipan, manzanita berry cider and other hors d'oeuvres crafted from plants common to California. It's all part of the "Cooking With Native Plants" lecture by Alicia Funk, an herbalist and author who not only cooks with plants found in the wild but also uses them to make medicine. I caught up with Funk, author of "Living Wild: Gardening, Cooking and Healing With Native Plants of the Sierra Nevada," to talk about the Saturday event: Question: What are the advantages to "living wild," as you call it?
August 28, 2012 | By Gale Holland, Los Angeles Times
Ricardo Brizuela tasted his first s'more this summer at a campfire at Vista Hermosa Natural Park. That wasn't surprising, as Ricardo is only 8 years old. But it was also a first for his mother, who is 39. Not once in her Lincoln Heights childhood did Silvia Brizuela's family barbecue or cook out, let alone roast a marshmallow. She was an apartment latchkey kid whose parents worked long hours as a sheet-metal installer and cook at a convalescent home. "My parents were worker bees," she said.
April 16, 2012 | Louis Sahagun
Biological diversity does not come easily near the intersection of Olympic Boulevard and Hoover Street. The neighborhood just west of downtown is one of the most crowded in Los Angeles County, with 25,352 people per square mile. It's chock-full of buildings and has lots of pavement, little landscaping and many economically disadvantaged families. In that setting, Leo Politi Elementary School wanted only to make a dreary corner of campus more inviting to its 817 students. Workers ripped out 5,000 square feet of concrete and Bermuda grass three years ago and planted native flora.
February 10, 2012 | By Kate Linthicum, Los Angeles Times
It took three years and more than $26 million to turn an old MTA bus yard in South Los Angeles into what it is today: a sprawling park and urban wetland that will store and clean millions of gallons of storm water — while also giving children a place to play. The gates to the new park, built on nine acres at Avalon Boulevard and 54th Street, were opened to the public Thursday. Residents say it is a welcome addition to a neighborhood that is sorely in need of green space. City officials say decades of lax zoning practices have left many of the area's residential streets blighted with warehouses, mechanic shops and scrap yards.
February 8, 2012 | By Kate Linthicum, Los Angeles Times
The park surrounding Los Angeles City Hall will soon be getting a California makeover, with less green grass and more native and drought-tolerant plants. The City Council voted Tuesday on a plan to restore the grounds around the building after the sprawling lawn was destroyed last year by the Occupy L.A. encampment. Officials considered several options, including one that called for much of the grass to be replanted and another that would have eliminated nearly all of the turf and replaced it with plants that require less water.
January 5, 2012
Occupy L.A. raised consciousness about something else besides income disparity: landscaping. After the two-month encampment turned the lawn around City Hall into a sprawl of dirt, the debate now is whether to replant it with grass or take the opportunity of this topographical upheaval to do something more environmentally sound. Using drought-tolerant native plantings would give the city a chance to create a high-profile, less-thirsty panorama on the 1.7 acres surrounding City Hall, and would set an example for city residents whom it has urged to replace water-guzzling lawns with indigenous flora.
January 1, 2012 | By Dalina Castellanos, Los Angeles Times
Occupy L.A. protesters planned to leave their mark on City Hall's park with graffiti declarations and treehouses when they were evicted in late November. Instead, they left behind a park stripped of its lush north and south lawns, creating a financial and planning burden for the city and a waiting game for the displaced farmers market that has held sway every Thursday. But in a way, the land is a blank canvas for the city's Recreation and Parks Department, which must decide how to landscape a bit more than 1.7 acres of now-barren soil.
July 24, 2011 | By Hector Becerra, Los Angeles Times
Unless you want to spend a few weeks scratching like a dog, don't even think of petting this pretty little poodle. Campers, hikers, emergency crews and park rangers are learning the hard way about a little-known poisonous plant that has painted the hillsides of the Angeles National Forest a lovely lavender this summer: the poodle-dog bush. A species of plant that thrives in areas scorched by wildfire, the lavender-flowered Turricula parryi packs a bite. Skin contact can cause rashes, blisters, swelling and general irritation.
June 26, 2011 | Deborah Blum, Deborah Blum, a Pulitzer Prize-winning science writer, is the author of "The Poisoner's Handbook: Murder and the Birth of Forensic Medicine in Jazz Age New York."
I still remember the moment in my childhood in which I lost all faith in the innocent purity of plants. One day, I was a carefree adolescent at summer camp, exploring the leafy woods with my fellow campers. A couple of days later, I was an illustration for a medical textbook. "The worst case of poison ivy I've ever seen!" the camp nurse told the other staffers as she trotted me and my dime-sized blisters around for inspection. OK, I kind of enjoyed the attention. The slightly awestruck reaction.
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