CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
December 1, 2011 |
Southland residents, tens of thousands of them without electricity, braced for a second onslaught of cold and freakishly powerful winds late Thursday, having barely had time to assess the fallen trees and shredded rooftops left by the previous night's barrage. "Nobody in our department has ever seen such widespread damage. Nobody," said Jon Kirk Mukri, general manager of the Los Angeles Department of Recreation and Parks, talking of scores of city parks so littered with broken branches and teetering trees that they were considered a threat to public safety.
October 23, 2011 |
The last thing a New Yorker expects to find atop a massive building in industrial Queens is a farm. We're talking 140 rows of crops, including leafy greens, tomatoes, even fancy Japanese turnips - as well as high-tech irrigation and five plump hens who enjoy a sixth-story view of the Manhattan skyline that any penthouse dweller would pay millions for. The Brooklyn Grange, named before its young founders settled on another borough, is...
September 28, 2011 |
Google Inc. wants homeowners to use solar panels to generate electricity. And it's investing $75 million to help as many as 3,000 of them install panels on their roofs. The Internet search giant said Tuesday that it would create a fund for solar installers to offer financing plans. One of the biggest hurdles to installing solar panels is the upfront costs. Homeowners often don't have the necessary cash, and solar installers don't have the means to offer financing. Google said its plan would allow homeowners to install a $30,000 solar electricity system with little or no money upfront.
September 8, 2011 |
SolarCity, one of the country's largest residential solar energy system providers, plans to double the amount of rooftop installations across the country by setting up sun-powered systems on 160,000 homes and other buildings on military bases. The five-year, $1-billion SolarStrong project targets rooftop solar installations at 124 military housing developments in 33 states. SolarCity has already lined up a conditional commitment for a $344-million loan guarantee from the federal government.
HOME & GARDEN
August 25, 2011 |
Update: A former home of silent film star Clara Bow has sold for $6,375,000. The Spanish-style house in Bel-Air came on the market in early July at $6,995,000. Built in 1928, the Moorish-influenced residence includes a courtyard, a ballroom, a rooftop deck, enclosed sleeping porches, six bedrooms and 71/2 bathrooms in 8,900 square feet. A guesthouse with a bedroom and bathroom sits above the three-car garage for a total of 9,450 square feet of living space. At nearly three-quarters of an acre, the gated lot has a pool with a sun deck and a motor court.
August 12, 2011 |
Perch is a new rooftop bar and restaurant that's making downtown L.A. rethink the way it does night life. Unlike downtown's most famous rooftop bar — the ostentatious poolside lounge crowning the Standard Hotel — Perch doesn't have a pool or red Astroturf or gaggles of scantily clad partiers. It doesn't have a million-dollar lighting system or a make-believe speak-easy either. What Perch does have is a fine cocktail program, an impressive selection of French wines and spirits, a French-inspired dinner menu, panoramic views, live music and a palpable lack of pretension.
July 26, 2011 |
California wants 12 gigawatts of electricity from local clean power sources, such as rooftop solar panels, small wind turbines and fuel cells, by 2020, Gov. Jerry Brown said at a gathering of more than 200 energy experts at UCLA that he convened Monday. Twelve gigawatts is enough to power roughly 3 million homes. But Brown was short on details about the mechanics of reaching that goal. "It's going to take all manner of investment, risk taking and collaboration," he said. At the moment, the state's renewable energy portfolio is laden with large wind and solar farms sprawling over remote deserts and mountains.
July 24, 2011 |
Wind turbines are getting really big — some with blades as long as a football field — and more powerful, often generating 50 times more electricity than the first generation of wind power machines built in the 1980s. But scientists are also studying how to harness the wind in different ways that could help allay concerns that today's turbines are unattractive, noisy and sometimes even dangerous. Already in the works: Turbines that float and turbines that fly. Turbines without blades and turbines with blades fat enough to fit a double-decker bus inside.
HOME & GARDEN
July 5, 2011 |
Soprano Sarah Brightman has bought a house in the Beverly Hills Post Office area for $2.85 million. The three-story contemporary, built in 2009, was designed for indoor-outdoor entertaining, with French doors opening from the living and dining rooms to terraces. Other features of the nearly 4,000-square-foot house include a steam room, a rooftop lounge, a swimming pool and a spa. It has three bedrooms, including a master suite with a fireplace and sitting area, and 41/2 bathrooms.