CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
September 18, 2013 |
Air quality regulators have ordered the embattled Vernon battery recycler Exide Technologies to cut production after an air monitor revealed lead emissions had exceeded health standards over a 30-day period. The excessive lead emissions occurred even as elected officials and community members across southeast Los Angeles have been calling for the plant's closure amid an outcry over high arsenic emissions. Last week, in an unprecedented move, state and Los Angeles County officials unveiled a plan to make blood tests for lead available to a quarter of a million people who might be affected by the emissions.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
September 12, 2013 |
The Los Angeles County Department of Public Health will offer free blood testing on a massive scale for lead poisoning to address worries that a Vernon battery recycler has jeopardized the health of hundreds of thousands of residents in southeast Los Angeles, officials said Thursday. The effort, which is likely to stretch from Boyle Heights to Huntington Park, comes amid rising fears about emissions and leaks from the Exide Technologies facility. Surrounded by dense immigrant and working-class neighborhoods, it is one of the largest such plants in the country.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
September 9, 2013 |
Elected officials from cities across southeast Los Angeles County pledged Monday evening to marshal their political power to sway regulators to shut down a Vernon battery recycler that residents fear is harming their health because of arsenic and lead emissions. "The solution ... is right here in this room," Huntington Park Councilwoman Karina Macias told a packed meeting hall at Resurrection Catholic Church in Boyle Heights. "More marches. More meetings like this one. " The crowd, including several children and a woman costumed in a hazmat suit, cheered their approval.
September 8, 2013 |
SACRAMENTO - People who do business at California's Capitol witness a lot of odd events outside the building's main entrances. Even so, some were jarred to see a handful of stained, lumpy mattresses covering the north steps. The bedding was a backdrop for a pep rally last week promoting a bill to create a state recycling program for mattresses and box springs. Supporters of SB 254 - including politicians, mattress manufacturers, retailers and environmentalists - said the proposal would combat urban blight.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
September 5, 2013 |
More than 250,000 people living in a broad swath of eastern Los Angeles, Boyle Heights, Huntington Park and other southeast cities face a "chronic hazard" from exposure to arsenic emissions from a Vernon battery recycler, according to air district officials. Toxic emissions from the Exide Technologies plant have the potential to create "neurological changes, specifically a decrease in intellectual function in children," said Jean Ospital, health effects officer for the South Coast Air Quality Management District.
August 29, 2013 |
Tens of thousands of volunteers in California gather regularly at local beach and coastal cleanups in an effort to reduce trash flows that contribute to the rising amount of marine debris. These efforts make a difference and help heighten civic awareness about keeping our beaches clean and healthy. But they cannot stem the tide of plastic pollution. To do that, we need to address the problem at its source. Such action will also be a major step toward lowering the high costs to California cities and taxpayers of dealing with this waste.
July 31, 2013 |
President Obama held out a new "grand bargain" to Republicans on Tuesday, offering a tax cut for corporations if the GOP agreed to spend more on job-creating infrastructure and training projects. The president deserves credit for continuing to advocate important investments in the economy in the face of the Republicans' drive for austerity. But he would be better off presenting new ideas than just repackaging old ones and hoping for a groundswell of public support to change GOP minds.
July 1, 2013 |
EL PASO - The endless desert that makes up Ft. Bliss looks a lot like places where the United States fought its recent wars or where it might fight its next one. Tanks are manned by soldiers whose faces are wrapped against the blowing sand. Dust devils rise, stagger and fall to the desert floor. The Army's 1st Armored Division, based at Ft. Bliss, served in Iraq and Afghanistan. For Maj. Gen. Dana J.H. Pittard, the division's past - and the scenarios for its future - have pushed him to change Ft. Bliss in ways that, at first, seem unrelated to warfare.
June 28, 2013 |
Furniture maker Cliff Spencer's workshop in Marina del Rey is a long way from where Paul Vander Werf lives near Trona, northeast of Ridgecrest, Calif. In Trona, the area averages fewer than 4 inches of rain a year. The topsoil is high desert hard pan that bakes in summer and freezes in winter. When filmmakers want a location to convey a world without water, they go to Trona. Vander Werf moved to the high desert after 10 years in rainy Hawaii, so he wanted solutions to the difficult growing climate.
June 27, 2013 |
When you lick a problem, you expect it to stay licked. Unfortunately, that's not always the case. In 2005, I wrote about the banking industry's little-known practice of recycling checking account numbers. In other words, banks were reissuing former customers' account numbers to new customers. Trouble was, some of those former bank customers saved their old checks, using them later to pull money from the accounts of people who had received their recycled numbers. California legislators stepped in and passed a law requiring that banks wait at least three years before reissuing account numbers.