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OPINION
November 1, 2012
Re "Man versus a metropolis," Oct. 28 In 1999, I moved to Mammoth Lakes. While traveling on the road that skirts the Owens Lake bed, I encountered a massive dust storm that chipped the paint off my truck. From afar it looked like a regular storm, but from within, it was dark and breathing was nearly impossible. If the improvements that have been made since can be attributed to pollution control officer Ted Schade's work, then I applaud him. That the L.A. Department of Water and Power and other California utilities don't want to clean up the pollution they cause is no surprise.
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OPINION
November 5, 2013 | By The Times editorial board
Owensmouth Avenue runs just to the east of Canoga Park High School, over the spot where Bell Creek and Arroyo Calabasas join to form the Los Angeles River. The whole area was once called Owensmouth, named by Los Angeles Times Publisher Harrison Gray Otis and others who had bought up San Fernando Valley land with the knowledge that its value would increase when it became, in essence, the new mouth of the Owens River, a sparkling torrent of Eastern Sierra snowmelt that gathered and dried up in a shallow desert lake but would soon flow to farms and homes in the growing city hundreds of miles to the southwest.
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CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
August 25, 1999
Re "Accord Ends Bitter Owens Valley Dispute--but Will Dust Settle?" Aug. 18: When Los Angeles caused Owens Lake to dry in the 1920s, not only was a dust health hazard created but a valuable wildlife resource was nearly destroyed. Even today Owens Lake is more than merely a "barren lake bed." A string of small wetlands lines its margins where thousands of shorebirds feast on brine flies during their migration between the arctic and Central and South America. Please remember that Owens Lake is not dead and that dust is not the only issue.
OPINION
November 3, 2013 | By William Kahrl
One hundred years after its opening, the Los Angeles Aqueduct continues to cast a long shadow over the rough and tumble of California water policy. The arrival of water from the Owens Valley made the modern city possible. But it also reshaped Los Angeles to suit its capabilities and changed water politics forever. The aqueduct was not designed to bring water to Los Angeles but rather to the arid wasteland of the San Fernando Valley, which then lay outside the city limits. This would vastly enrich the lands owned by a small band of prominent industrialists who were promoting the aqueduct.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
May 2, 2013 | By Louis Sahagun
A federal court judge on Thursday dismissed a lawsuit filed by the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power against a state regulatory agency it claimed was forcing the city to waste billions of gallons of precious High Sierra water to control dust on dry Owens Lake. In his 21-page ruling, U.S. District Court Judge Anthony W. Ishii determined that “there is no reason or logic” to key arguments in the DWP lawsuit, which was publicly supported by Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa, the Los Angeles City Council and the Los Angeles Chamber of Commerce.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
May 2, 2013 | By Louis Sahagun, Los Angeles Times
A federal court judge on Thursday dismissed a lawsuit filed by the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power against a state agency it claimed was illegally forcing the city to waste billions of gallons of precious High Sierra water to control dust on dry Owens Lake. U.S. District Court Judge Anthony W. Ishii determined that the issues are for state courts to decide because the Great Basin Unified Air Pollution Control District is a state agency. The DWP has a similar challenge pending in state court.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
December 2, 2009 | By Phil Willon
Nearly a century after Los Angeles drained Owens Lake by diverting its water to the Los Angeles Aqueduct, the city now hopes to generate solar energy on the dusty salt flats it left behind. The Department of Water and Power's board of commissioners Tuesday unanimously approved a renewable energy pilot project that would cover 616 acres of lake bed with solar arrays -- a possible precursor to a mammoth solar farm that could cover thousands of acres. City utility officials hope that, along with generating power for L.A., the solar panels would reduce the fierce dust storms that rise from the dry lake bed. To comply with federal clean air standards, the DWP must control the dust that has plagued the Owens Valley for decades.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
April 30, 1998
Amid all the clouds of rhetorical grit over cleaning up the Owens Dry Lake, these facts are clear: With the opening of its aqueduct in 1913, the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power began to divert water from the Owens River southward. Eighty-five years of diversions turned Owens Lake, once fed by the Eastern Sierra, into a 110-square-mile dust bowl. That lake bed is now the largest single source of air pollution in the United States.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
July 6, 2010 | By Louis Sahagun and Phil Willon, Los Angeles Times
The Los Angeles Department of Water and Power's ambitious plan to put solar panels on 80 square miles of dry lake bed and flatlands east of the Sierra Nevada range has run into a daunting problem: extremely caustic mud in an area where it hoped to build an 80-acre pilot project. Preliminary engineering tests show that if solar panel platforms were placed at the southern end of the nearly dry 110-square-mile Owens Lake, they would sink as much as several inches into extremely corrosive soil.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
December 24, 1996
Re "Owens Valley Plan Seeks L.A. Water to Curb Pollution," Dec. 17: The people of Los Angeles should be aware that dust from Owens Lake is the single largest source of pollution in the U.S. Its billowing clouds containing arsenic and other health hazards have been tracked as far as Chicago from the most severe storms. The population and thirst of L.A. have increased manyfold since the water rights were first acquired, and continue to grow. I believe that the DWP needs to follow the lead of Santa Catalina--no more water hookups.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
October 19, 2013 | Louis Sahagun
It was billed as a mobile art project designed to enhance appreciation for the Los Angeles Aqueduct on its 100th birthday and for the equine forces that helped build it: On Friday, 100 mules set out on a 240-mile plod from the eastern Sierra to the City of Angels. But in a region that is famous for offering pack mule excursions into the alpine wilderness, many residents and merchants in the Owens Valley communities straddling U.S. 395 viewed the parade as little more than a curiosity.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
October 5, 2013 | By Louis Sahagun
LONE PINE, Calif. - An Inyo County official and an environmental activist stepped into wobbly kayaks on Saturday to gauge the prospects of developing a "paddling experience" that would float people down the eastern Sierra Nevada's Lower Owens River. To Larry Freilich, Inyo County Water Department mitigation manager, and George Wolfe, founder of L.A. River Expeditions, the Lower Owens' lazy loops, oxbows and wetlands - habitat for elk, bobcats and waterfowl - and rugged, wide-open scenery are reason enough to make such voyages worthwhile.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
June 26, 2013 | By Louis Sahagun
Los Angeles and the Owens Valley have reached a settlement in their dispute over new measures to control dust storms that have blown across the eastern Sierra Nevada since L.A. opened an aqueduct a century ago that drained Owens Lake. Under terms of the agreement, the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power will fast-track mitigation measures that do not use water, and the utility will be allowed to lay down a thinner layer of gravel to suppress dust. The recently discovered location of a Native American massacre at Owens Lake will be excluded from mitigation efforts because they would disturb the 328-acre site.
OPINION
June 10, 2013 | Jim Newton
After a campaign of smart politics but small ideas, Eric Garcetti is poised to take the office that he won last month. As he does, here's an item worthy of his agenda: Make peace with the Owens Valley. Residents of the Owens Valley rely heavily on Los Angeles; some even live in houses that they lease from the city's Department of Water and Power, by far the largest landowner in the picturesque towns of the Eastern Sierra. And yet, many residents are understandably resentful of Los Angeles.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
June 2, 2013 | By Louis Sahagun, Los Angeles Times
LONE PINE, Calif. - Oral histories of Native Americans and U.S. Cavalry records offer insights into a horrific massacre here in 1863: Thirty-five Paiute Indians were chased into Owens Lake by settlers and soldiers to drown or be gunned down. But the records are silent on one important point. Exactly where did the massacre occur on the moonlit night of March 19, 1863? An archaeological find in what is today a vast alkali playa has revealed a cache of bullets, musket balls, cavalry uniform buttons and Native American artifacts that Paiute tribal members and researchers believe are evidence of the grim chapter in Owens Valley history.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
May 2, 2013 | By Louis Sahagun
A federal court judge on Thursday dismissed a lawsuit filed by the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power against a state regulatory agency it claimed was forcing the city to waste billions of gallons of precious High Sierra water to control dust on dry Owens Lake. In his 21-page ruling, U.S. District Court Judge Anthony W. Ishii determined that “there is no reason or logic” to key arguments in the DWP lawsuit, which was publicly supported by Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa, the Los Angeles City Council and the Los Angeles Chamber of Commerce.
OPINION
December 22, 2009
A bright idea for a park Re "DWP pitches solar farm, state park at Owens Lake," Dec. 18 The possible creation of an Owens Lake state park or reserve for this region's enormously rich wildlife populations as part of a plan to save water, control dust and generate solar power deserves praise. This creative solution, at this time only a concept, would help Los Angeles and help protect the tens of thousands of migrating shorebirds and waterfowl that have returned to Owens Lake.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
October 13, 2012 | By Louis Sahagun, Los Angeles Times
The Los Angeles Department of Water and Power filed a lawsuit Friday that would limit its spending on measures to stop massive dust storms at Owens Lake. The agency argues that the Great Basin Unified Air Pollution Control District is unreasonable to order the DWP to eliminate dust on 2.9 miles of remote, geologically challenging lake bed. The DWP has already spent $1.2 billion to fulfill a 1997 agreement with the air pollution district to combat the powder-fine dust from the dry Owens Lake bed. The agency has reduced particle air pollution by 90% by introducing vegetation, gravel and flooding into vast areas of the lake bed. The 100-square-mile lake east of Sequoia National Park was transformed into dusty salt flats after 1913, when its supply of snowmelt and spring water was diverted into the Los Angeles Aqueduct.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
May 2, 2013 | By Ruben Vives
A police officer shot and killed at least one of two pit bulls that were trying to attack a woman Wednesday night, according to the Long Beach Police Department. Authorities said the shooting occurred shortly after 9 p.m. in the 100 block of Ellis Street. Police said they received a call from a woman who told them she was trapped inside her car because of two pit bulls outside her vehicle.  Long Beach police officers and city animal control officers responded and tried to capture the dogs.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
May 2, 2013 | By Louis Sahagun, Los Angeles Times
A federal court judge on Thursday dismissed a lawsuit filed by the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power against a state agency it claimed was illegally forcing the city to waste billions of gallons of precious High Sierra water to control dust on dry Owens Lake. U.S. District Court Judge Anthony W. Ishii determined that the issues are for state courts to decide because the Great Basin Unified Air Pollution Control District is a state agency. The DWP has a similar challenge pending in state court.
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