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July 8, 2013 | By Tony Barboza
The California Supreme Court ruled Monday that digital mapping files known as geographic information systems must be released under the state's public records law. The decision could make it easier for media organizations, advocacy groups and others to obtain government GIS databases, rich collections of data that can be used to display and analyze multiple layers of geographical information. The case stems from a 2007 letter the Sierra Club wrote to the Orange County assessor requesting copies of its OC Landbase, a GIS database of information on more than 640,000 land parcels.
June 19, 2013 | By Catherine Green
Chevrolet's Volt topped the Sierra Club's list of plug-in hybrids in the environmental organization's annual Electric Vehicle Guide . At a price falling mid-range in the list of six EVs reviewed, the Volt takes drivers 38 electric-only miles before its gasoline engine kicks in. That results in a miles per gallon equivalent (mpge) of 98 on the Environmental Protection Agency's scale. In total, Volt owners get a range of 380 miles at an annual fuel cost of $950. (The estimate uses average $0.12 per kilowatt-hour and $3.61 for regular gas - quite a bit lower than the typical cost of gasoline in California.)
April 29, 2013 | By Martha Groves, Los Angeles Times
Before the bulldozers arrived last June, Malibu Lagoon was a fully grown habitat for egrets, voles and tidewater gobies, studded with sycamore trees and clusters of tule reeds. Today, the lagoon's islands appear almost barren, covered by a sea of tiny red and blue plastic flags marking young plants just taking root. Depending on whom you talk to, the lagoon has been restored - or ruined. On Friday, bureaucrats, biologists and birders will descend on the state beach at the mouth of Malibu Creek for the ribbon cutting to mark what state officials are calling "the long and successful journey toward restoration.
April 22, 2013 | By Paul Pringle, Los Angeles Times
Los Angeles mayoral candidate Eric Garcetti has amended two years of financial disclosure statements to belatedly report his ownership interest in a Beverly Hills property linked to an oil drilling operation. Garcetti, who has the Sierra Club's backing in his race against Wendy Greuel, signed a 20-year lease in the late 1990s that gave Venoco Inc. the right to drill under the retail property from the company's oil wells at nearby Beverly Hills High School. However, the city councilman from Silver Lake failed to report in his 2010 and 2011 disclosure filings that he co-owned the Wilshire Boulevard property, which houses a hair salon.
February 26, 2013 | By Paul Pringle, Los Angeles Times
In his bid for Los Angeles mayor, Eric Garcetti has promoted himself as the greenest of candidates. The city councilman from Silver Lake has pushed for an expansion of L.A.'s rooftop solar-panel program and the creation of thousands of clean-energy jobs, all to reduce the region's dependence on oil. Those positions helped Garcetti win the Sierra Club's endorsement. Missing from Garcetti's environmental platform, however, is any hint that he has long stood to profit from a lease interest in a headline-making oil drilling operation: the wells run by Venoco Inc. at Beverly Hills High School.
January 1, 2013 | By Chris Megerian, Los Angeles Times
SACRAMENTO - Anthony Jackson can relate to the many Californians who are furious with the state Parks Department. The retired Marine and his wife were among the outdoor enthusiasts who dug into their pockets this year to save a beloved local park after Gov. Jerry Brown's administration announced there was no money to keep dozens of them open. Then it turned out that parks officials had concealed tens of millions of dollars - enough to keep almost everything operating - from state bookkeepers.
November 14, 2012
The battle between environmentalists and the developers of the sprawling Newhall Ranch property in Santa Clarita has been long and contentious, and it shows signs of only getting more so. The stakes are high for all - the developers of one of the largest residential and commercial projects in the county, the environmentalists who have fought to preserve wild open space there, the endangered creatures and flora that flourish in that habitat....
April 20, 2012 | By Dean Kuipers
The Sierra Club's Beyond Coal campaign, working in concert with a number of environmental and energy activists and researchers in Washington and Montana, announced Thursday a new push to get Puget Sound Energy to stop buying power from coal-fired Colstrip Generating Station in Montana. According to EPA rankings, the facility is the eighth most egregious emitter of greenhouse gases among power plants in the U.S. The campaign announced this as a "bold move" in their nationwide push to negotiate closure dates for coal-fired plants, or to get them switched to cleaner-burning natural gas, since PSE is also a leader among utilities in developing wind farms and pushing for greener forms of electrical generation.
February 13, 2012 | By Dean Kuipers
With the U.S. Senate poised to begin debate on a bill that would greenlight the controversial Keystone XL pipeline as early as Tuesday, activists and other citizens have barraged the Senate with more than 350,000 petitions opposing the legislation in less than five hours. Activists Bill McKibben , Robert Redford and other celebs such as Kyra Sedgwick and Ian Somerhalder have joined the Natural Resources Defense Council,, the Sierra Club and other groups in coordinating the petition effort . The goal is 500,000 messages to the Senate by Tuesday.
January 10, 2012 | Louis Sahagun
Gale-force winds were whipping whitecaps and spray across Mono Lake when Robert Hanna spotted a distant hiker. It was a crummy day to chat up a stranger in a state park, but Hanna was upbeat, as usual. He stepped hurriedly along a trail to introduce himself. "Hello there!" Hanna said, flashing a toothy smile. "Do you know that California wants to shut this place down? Would you like to sign our petition to keep it open?" "Yeah, I guess so," the man said. "Wow! That's great," Hanna said, reaching to shake his hand.
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