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November 30, 2013 | By Lee Romney
OAKLAND - Amir Soltani moved into his brother's townhouse eight years ago in a new West Oakland development touting itself as a bridge between "industrial and residential neighborhoods. " He had fled Iran as a child for a life of relative privilege in Britain and the U.S., where he attended elite colleges. Yet Soltani understood displacement and the outsider's lack of belonging. And he saw and heard something he could not ignore. The clang clang of the shopping carts formed a spectral nighttime symphony as recyclers congregated from miles around.
October 30, 2013 | By Scott Collins
Maybe Jay Leno has a case of senioritis, because the soon-to-be-departing "Tonight Show" host appears to be slacking off in the joke-writing department. Leno - who will vacate his "Tonight" role in February after more than 20 years behind the desk - was caught this week recycling one of his own jokes about President Obama and Joe Biden. "Remember the old days when President Obama's worst embarrassment was Joe Biden?" Leno joked Tuesday, in reference to the tech-plagued Obamacare rollout.
October 24, 2013 | By Kate Mather
Homicide detectives are investigating after the body of a baby was found on a conveyor belt at a Victorville recycling plant Thursday, officials said. A caller reported that the baby's body was found wrapped in a blanket, San Bernardino County sheriff's spokeswoman Cindy Bachman said. Few other details -- including the baby's age and gender -- were immediately available, Bachman added. Investigators from the San Bernardino County Sheriff-Coroner's Department remained at the plant, located in the 17000 block of Abbey Lane, on Thursday afternoon.
October 18, 2013 | By Kim Christensen and Jessica Garrison
Regional air pollution regulators moved Friday to shut down Exide Technologies' troubled battery recycling plant in Vernon, citing public health risks from its repeated emissions of lead and arsenic. The South Coast Air Quality Management District has asked an independent administrative law panel for an order to halt lead smelting operations at the plant "until its air pollution control systems are improved and deemed adequate" to control toxic emissions, the agency said in a news release.
October 8, 2013 | By Jessica Garrison
The speaker of California's Assembly and two state senators took environmental regulators to task before an angry crowd Tuesday over their failure to regulate a battery recycler in Vernon whose emissions have been deemed a health risk to hundreds of thousands of people. The people in this community feel "completely ignored by those in government," said Assembly Speaker John A. Pérez, who arrived midway through the community meeting with regulators including the South Coast Air Quality Management District and the California Department of Toxic Substances Control.
October 2, 2013 | By Jessica Garrison and Kim Christensen
Even after being forced to cut production last month because of high lead emissions, a Vernon battery recycler has continued to violate limits on releases of the potent neurotoxin, regulators said Wednesday. A monitor on the north side of Exide Technologies' sprawling plant near the Los Angeles River registered emissions in violation of the South Coast Air Quality Management District's requirements for airborne lead Sept. 18, air district Executive Officer Barry Wallerstein said.
September 30, 2013 | By Marc Lifsher
SACRAMENTO -- California consumers soon will be paying for a new state mattress recycling program, funded by a fee on bedding purchases. On Friday, Gov. Jerry Brown signed a bill by Sens. Loni Hancock (D-Berkeley) and Lou Correa (D-Santa Ana), SB 254, aimed at taking an estimated 2 million used mattresses and box springs a year off city streets, vacant lots and rural lands. The bill backed is both by mattress manufacturers and retailers as well as  environmentalists. Quiz: How much do you know about mortgages?
September 18, 2013 | By Jessica Garrison and Kim Christensen
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.
September 12, 2013 | By Jessica Garrison and Alan Zarembo
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.
September 9, 2013 | By Jessica Garrison
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.
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