October 3, 2013 |
It was entirely predictable. Even before the ashes have cooled on the 257,000-acre Rim fire in and around Yosemite this year, the timber industry and its allies in Congress were using the fire as an excuse for suspending environmental laws and expanding logging operations on federal land. "The Yosemite Rim fire is a tragedy that has destroyed 400 square miles of our forests," said Rep. Tom McClintock (R-Elk Grove) in announcing a bill he introduced late last month that would expedite massive taxpayer-subsidized clear-cutting on federal public lands in the fire area.
October 2, 2013 |
Catching a glimpse of a bobcat, the exotic wild feline with a bobbed tail that prowls California, is one of the draws for wildlife enthusiasts visiting Joshua Tree National Park. In that park and certain others around the state, bobcats are protected from hunters and trappers throughout the year, a smart rule designed to protect the state's ecosystem and preserve its wildlife from exploitation. But this year there was an outcry after it became known that bobcat traps were being set just outside the boundaries of Joshua Tree and that trappers were using scented lures and battery-powered pet toys that mimic dying birds to lure the animals out. Trapping bobcats is an increasingly lucrative business as demand for the fur rises in foreign markets, including China, Russia and Greece, driving up the price of a premium belly fur pelt to $700, sometimes more.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
October 1, 2013 |
JOSHUA TREE, Calif. - On an autumn morning like this one, they should be gearing up for a day of hiking amid the cacti, climbing up one of the more than 400 formations of high desert monzogranite or taking in the vista of Keyes View. But instead of venturing into Joshua Tree National Park, visitors Tuesday were in a cafe just outside it, trying to figure what else to do or where they can go. Park rangers had turned them away. The visitor center next door was locked up, a "closed" sign hanging in the window. "That's not fair to the people," Al Valerio, who had plans to spend the day exploring the park with his wife, said of the shutdown that had hindered his vacation plans.
October 1, 2013 |
At wintertime in a Jewish home in the United States, you're more likely to find a Christmas tree than a kosher kitchen. That's one of the findings in a sweeping new study of Jewish Americans from the Pew Research Center, which polled nearly 3,500 Jewish Americans about their beliefs and practices. Nearly one out of three Jewish Americans - 32% - said they had a Christmas tree in their home last year, Pew found. In comparison, only 22% said they kept kosher at home. The survey focused chiefly on nearly 3,500 Jewish Americans, including both religious and nonreligious Jews.
September 27, 2013 |
The first time Jack Latner's Hollywood Hills house was remodeled years ago, the big design move was an addition built literally around a spectacular 70-year-old sycamore tree: The trunk rose up from the floor and through the ceiling. “It was the best space in the house,” said Latner, 31, adding that guests naturally gravitated to the novel space. “But it was also my bedroom. I thought, 'Let's turn this room into the main feature of the house. This is where we are going to be spending most of our time.'” So for another remodel, Latner turned to Aaron Neubert , the Silver Lake architect who designed the first addition.
September 25, 2013 |
Scientists say they have discovered a fossil of the oldest known vertebrate animal with a jaw -- a strange chimera of a fish that could unseat the shark as a representative of extremely "primitive" jawed fishes and turn our evolutionary understanding of humans' ocean-dwelling ancestors on its head. The new fossil described in the journal Nature, called Entelognathus primordialis , is a 419-million-year-old armored fish from the end of the Silurian period, right before the start of the Devonian, known as the Age of Fishes for their remarkable diversity during that period.
September 22, 2013
SOUTH AMERICA Presentation Jared Vagy will share his experiences in South America climbing glaciated mountains, technical rock walls, remote icy peaks and an attempt at Aconcagua, Argentina, the highest mountain in the world outside the Himalayas. When, where: 7 p.m. Thursday at the REI store in Santa Monica, 402 Santa Monica Blvd. Admission, info: Free. (310) 458-4370. PHOTOGRAPHY Presentation Eric Poppleton will present digital and printed media from his globe-trotting expeditions as well as tips and tricks of the trade.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
September 22, 2013 |
YOSEMITE NATIONAL PARK, Calif. - Each afternoon the fire's thunderous plume rose. At night, helicopter crews at the Crane Flat lookout watched a line of orange burning across the horizon. The line kept drawing closer. By the last week of August, every effort to halt the Rim fire before it moved deeper into the national park had failed. The blaze now had a clear path to the Tuolumne and Merced groves of giant sequoia, and the Rockefeller grove, one of the last stands of giant sugar pine untouched by logging.
September 18, 2013 |
Scientists probing a giant plug of earwax pulled from a dead blue whale have discovered in its hardened layers a detailed biography of the wild animal's life, from birth to death, in 6-month chapters. Their new technique, described in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, arms researchers with a tool to understand a whale's hormonal and chemical biography -- and a window into how pollutants, some long discontinued, still pervade...
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
September 16, 2013 |
An environmental group has agreed to plant up to 50,000 trees in Armenia as a lasting memorial to a Glendale couple who died in a car crash eight months after they were married. Sosé Thomassian and Allen Yekikian died May 10 in a head-on car crash while on a weekend getaway in Georgia, Armenia's neighbor to the north. “The forest really represents life,” Areg Maghakian, director of Armenia operations for the Armenian Tree Project and a friend of the couple, told the Glendale News-Press.