July 28, 2011
A no-flowin' Owens Re " Choking the Lower Owens ," July 25 I beg to differ with the negative assessment of the Owens River restoration project. I agree with lead scientist Mark Hill, who pointed out the success of the creation of 3,000 acres of water and wetlands. With 108 identified species of birds visiting the area and the multitude of fish being supported by the life generated by the water, I think the project has been extremely successful. I will survey my science students when they return to class, and I am sure they will concur.
July 25, 2011
Anyone seeking advice on how to reduce the environmental scourge of plastic carryout bags should avoid consulting the state of California, which has managed to do all the wrong things so far. The best approach would be a statewide levy on plastic and paper bags. Such fees have been remarkably successful where they've been adopted. Use of plastic bags fell by more than 90% at IKEA stores when the company imposed a 5-cent fee. California started its campaign against the bags with a wimpy mandate that supermarkets had to provide recycling bins for them.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
July 15, 2011 |
The California Supreme Court upheld the right of cities to ban plastic bags, ruling Thursday that a full-scale environmental review may not always be needed to prohibit stores from giving bags to their customers. Environmentalists lauded the unanimous decision, calling it a victory for environmental protection. But a lawyer for plastic bag makers said the manufacturers would continue to sue municipalities that impose bans without environmental impact reports. The ruling overturned two lower court decisions and upheld a 2008 plastic bag ban by Manhattan Beach.
February 4, 2011 |
The Santa Monica City Council approved an ordinance Jan. 25 prohibiting the distribution of single-use plastic carryout bags for most purposes. This will significantly affect the city's four certified farmers markets when it takes effect Sept. 1, but vendors and customers are just beginning to understand the ramifications. Several types of bags are used at farmers markets, for varying purposes, and the ordinance treats them differently. The law's chief effect will be to ban so-called T-shirt bags, also known as carryout or carry bags, which have two handles and are generally made of flimsy plastic.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
January 27, 2011 |
Come September, that oft-repeated query "Paper or plastic?" will no longer be uttered in supermarket checkout lanes in Santa Monica. With single-use plastic bags about as popular as restaurant ashtrays in this progressive beachfront city, the City Council voted unanimously Tuesday to ban their distribution in stores. FOR THE RECORD: Plastic bags: An article in the Jan. 27 LATExtra section about the Santa Monica City Council's decision to ban single-use plastic bags incorrectly paraphrased comments by Mayor Richard Bloom.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
December 11, 2010 |
The mourners were outnumbered by news crews and clerics at this week's burial service at the Los Angeles County Crematory. I'm not sure what group to count myself in. I took notes, and I prayed. And I mourned for those who had died alone, as I contemplated the freshly dug mass grave that had become their final home. It held the remains of 1,689 people who died in Los Angeles County three years ago and were cremated by the county after no one showed up to claim their bodies. Three years later, their ashes were still unclaimed.
November 25, 2010
Fed up with the Fed Re "Bernanke bashers," Opinion, Nov. 19 I almost fell out of my chair when I read that Rep. Ron Paul is portraying the Federal Reserve and its chairman, Ben S. Bernanke, as socialists. Wait, what? Is this the same Bernanke who is an admirer of Alan Greenspan and Milton Friedman, champions of deregulation? Is this the same Fed that has been shirking its regulatory duties for the past 30 years, and has led us to more economic inequality than this country has seen in almost 100 years?
November 21, 2010
Tax cuts and the ailing economy Re "Tax the rich to help us all," Opinion, Nov. 17 Dwight Eisenhower maintained high taxes on the wealthy to fund worthwhile projects such as our interstate highway system. Bill Clinton saw the need to reduce the debt that Ronald Reagan left us, resulting in a 4% unemployment rate and an eventual budget surplus. Republicans continue to insist that increasing taxes on the rich will slow job creation. The Eisenhower and Clinton examples debunk that theory.
November 19, 2010
There are two things wrong with the plastic bag ban imposed this week by the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors. One is that charging a small fee for carryout plastic bags is a better solution than a ban. Fees have hugely reduced the use of the bags in countries that charge them while offering an option to consumers. The other problem is that a patchwork of municipal laws is confusing to consumers and inefficient for large chain stores. Yet for both wrongs, the blame belongs not with the supervisors but with the Legislature, which pushed municipalities into this situation by passing one law that prohibited them from imposing fees on plastic bags until 2013, and rejecting another law that would have addressed this source of pollution on a statewide level.