November 30, 2009 |
Most days, Gary Saurage is up to his armpits in alligators, whether he's feeding whole chickens to a 13-footer named Big Al or wrestling an anonymous gator in someone's backyard swimming pool. An educator and conservationist, he is the star of CMT's new show "Gator 911" and was just the kind of guy that the cable channel's programmers wanted to help launch their first pair of male-targeted reality shows in a sub-genre that's hot and getting hotter: manly men in life-threatening jobs.
November 28, 2009 |
Just 13 months after Los Angeles and Long Beach set their maritime rivalry aside to fight diesel pollution at the nation's busiest seaport complex, the partnership has collapsed. In a disagreement that hinges on labor practices, the two cities are now so fundamentally at odds that some experts fear customers will seek out other harbors to escape a storm of complications, confusion and acrimony. At issue is whether the drivers who haul freight to and from the ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach should be required to work for trucking companies -- and therefore be more likely to be recruited by the International Brotherhood of Teamsters union.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
November 27, 2009 |
Filiberto Cervantes has already separated from his wife and kids, lost his car, moved into his truck and says he subsists largely on a diet of $1 cheese burritos. But Jan. 1 looms like a date with the grim reaper himself. "The first of the year will probably be the end of my family," said Cervantes, showing a visitor his big-rig cab turned dwelling, now parked in a fast-food lot in Long Beach. "I don't know what's next." Cervantes is among thousands of truckers servicing the Los Angeles-Long Beach port complex who are facing a day of reckoning this New Year's.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
November 14, 2009 |
Hundreds of protesting truck drivers slowed traffic Friday on the 710 Freeway and blasted their horns while driving past Los Angeles City Hall to draw attention to new environmental rules they say threaten their livelihoods. "We all want to go green," said Sofia Quinones of the National Port Drivers Assn., which represents thousands of independent truckers. "But the devil is in the details." More than 400 truckers protested new restrictions in the year-old Clean Truck Program, a pollution-reduction effort credited with cutting diesel truck emissions by 70% at the Port of Los Angeles and a similar amount at the Port of Long Beach.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
November 13, 2009 |
A multiagency law enforcement task force arrested a big-rig operator for driving with a counterfeit license and cited 200 other commercial truckers Thursday at the Port of Los Angeles for infractions ranging from improper permits to hauling overweight loads, officials said. "It was a very productive effort," Los Angeles Police Department Capt. William P. Hayes said of the routine monthly port inspection conducted by a dozen agencies, including the Los Angeles Port Police, Coast Guard, U.S. Department of Transportation and Fullerton Police Department.
October 28, 2009 |
Ron Barlow's 34-year career at the sawmill in the heart of California's Redwood Empire was a study in consistency. From behind the wheel of his yellow LeTourneau log stacker, he watched trees swaying against a bright blue summer sky. In the fall, yellow aspens provided a blast of color in the fog-shrouded forest. Spring brought light-green sprouts of grass poking out of the damp, evergreen-scented ground. Barlow's own season at the mill ended this month when the Seattle lumber company that owns the facility padlocked the gates, leaving more than 40 workers jobless.
October 21, 2009 |
The Port of Long Beach has reached a settlement in a lawsuit brought by the American Trucking Assn. over disputed elements of a plan to clean up the air around the nation's busiest seaport complex. Long Beach officials have agreed to strip their plan of all requirements that are not directly tied to the goal of getting cleaner trucks on the road, including a demand that trucking companies file financial reports. Under the change, trucking companies would agree to comply with environmental, safety and security requirements.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
August 31, 2009 |
An Oakland police officer was shot in the foot Sunday morning after stopping a big-rig truck driver for driving erratically on a freeway, authorities said. The police were making a traffic stop on Interstate 880 north of the Oakland airport about 3:45 a.m. when the driver left the truck and fired a shotgun, hitting one of the officers, Sgt. Randy Pope said. Police returned fire but did not hit the suspect. The man got back in the truck and fled before crashing the big rig in the 3400 block of East Ninth Street, Pope said.
August 26, 2009 |
Several of the nation's biggest trade associations have fired a warning shot across the bow of the Port of Los Angeles, urging it to cease lobbying efforts to change a federal law that could greatly affect the way cargo is hauled into and out of the nation's seaports. The warning came Tuesday in a letter signed by 24 groups representing U.S. retailers, agricultural interests, apparel and textile firms, trucking groups and logistics officials. It's a response to the port's recent hiring of Atlanta-based Gephardt Group to try to change part of the Federal Aviation Administration Authorization Act to help reduce air pollution at the port.