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BUSINESS
October 9, 2013 | By David Pierson
A U.S. Department of Agriculture letter to Foster Farms highlights a series of food safety violations that may have led to the recent outbreak of salmonella that has sickened nearly 300 people across the nation. Foster Farms was cited 12 times between Jan. 1 and Sept. 27 for fecal material on poultry carcasses and was found to have "poor sanitary dressing practices, insanitary food contact surfaces and direct product contamination. " The letter, known as a Notice of Intended Enforcement, was sent Monday and threatens to close three Foster Farm facilities deemed to be the origin of the outbreak.
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SCIENCE
February 26, 2014 | By Louis Sahagun
Eureka Dunes, a towering expanse of shifting slopes wedged between weathered mountains in the Mojave Desert, had a reputation as a campground, an off-road vehicle course and a home to a few plant species found no place else on Earth. In the late 1970s, the dunes earned a reputation as an area where the Eureka Valley evening primrose and Eureka dune grass were listed as federally endangered species to protect them from being driven to extinction by off-road vehicle recreation. On Wednesday, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service proposed that the plants be removed from the list because their populations have stabilized in a region that became part of Death Valley National Park in 1994.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
June 17, 2013 | By Robert J. Lopez
Deputies seized more than 600 marijuana plants valued at about $1 million from a sophisticated "grow" operation at a Palmdale home, authorities said Monday night. Every room in the home in the 200 block of East Avenue P-2 had been turned into a hydroponic pot garden, the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department said. Deputies discovered the plants Monday afternoon after they saw a car at the home registered to a man with a felony warrant for narcotics possession, according to the department.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
July 11, 2013 | By Bettina Boxall
The geothermal power plants at Southern California's Salton Sea don't just produce electricity, they also trigger thousands of temblors not far from one of the West Coast's most dangerous earthquake faults, a new study says. Research published online Thursday in the journal Science found that as production rose at the Imperial County geothermal field, so did the number of earthquakes. From 1981 through 2012, more than 10,000 earthquakes above magnitude 1.75 were recorded in the area.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
June 5, 2013 | By Robert J. Lopez
A reputed Palmdale gang member was arrested after deputies reported finding 125 marijuana plants growing at his home, authorities said Wednesday night. Detectives said the "grow operation" was capable of yielding 50 pounds of pot a year with an estimated value of $45,000, according to the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department. The plants were discovered by deputies who served a search warrant at the home in the 6100 block of Plaza Court as part an investigation into suspected marijuana growing, department officials said in a statement.
NEWS
August 9, 2013 | By Barbara Thornburg
John Trager, curator of the desert collections at the Huntington Botanical Gardens in San Marino, offers these five tips for growing cactus and succulents in containers:  1. Plant in a well-drained mix of 80% pumice and 20% compost. 2. Fertilize during the growing season, spring and summer. 3. Handle cactus carefully. Wear latex surgical gloves, which provide the dexterity you need without damaging the plant. If you have to handle larger specimens, use a piece of old carpeting or an old pair of pants.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
October 6, 2009 | Steve Chawkins
When a wildfire swept into the Santa Barbara Botanic Garden last May, it left behind a smoldering mountain of debris. Except for one shovel, flames destroyed every tool the gardeners had accumulated over 83 years. Thousands of plants were gone, and thousands of botanical volumes too. A century-old, 9,500-square-foot house, eight of the garden's nine vehicles, the director's home, the split-rail fences lining tranquil paths -- all were turned to cinders. Until a Los Angeles nonprofit, ART from the ashes, saw a transforming opportunity, it was rubble without a cause.
SCIENCE
May 28, 2013 | By Amina Khan
Given the short half-life of DNA, we may never have a Jurassic Park - but could we one day boast of an Ice Age Garden? Scientists have brought back to life a collection of roughly 400-year-old frozen plants recovered from melting glaciers in the Canadian Arctic. The feat, described in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, shows that certain plants might be much tougher than previously thought, able to regenerate after centuries under ice.  "Their structural preservation is exceptional," the study authors wrote.
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