California’s calamitous drought drags on
It’s dry in California - historically dry. Water is in short supply, the air is noticeably without moisture, farms are parched and just look at the photo above of the state’s dwindling snow cover. It pretty much speaks for itself.
Meanwhile, various interests are turning to the political realm to try and ensure they get theirs when it comes to H2O.
And the drought has been particularly harsh on agriculture:
Ranchers have begun liquidating herds. Growers are considering tearing out thirsty tree crops such as nut orchards and citrus groves. And tens of thousands of additional acres of prime California soil could go unplanted if farmers don’t get enough water to irrigate them.
Read more on the drought’s effect on California here.
Photos: David McNew / Getty Images, Frederic J. Brown / Associated Press, NOAA, Randall Benton / Los Angeles Times
A daredevil in golfing attire traipses along a steel beam high above the street during construction of the Los Angeles City Hall, 1927. The Hall of Justice and the old courthouse can be seen in the background.
test reblogged from losangelespast
Gentrification forcing some L.A. gangs to commute to their turf
Los Angeles’ Echo Park, once a familiar stomping ground for the area’s gangs, has recently been hit with a wave of gentrification, with boutiques, coffee shops and rent increases displacing gang members.
Pushed out by this activity, many have been commuting to their turf only on the weekends, rapidly diminishing gang activity in the area. And now an injunction has been placed on Echo Park gangs, prohibiting them from congregating in a “safety zone” that envelops the neighborhood - even if they already live within its boundaries.
Officials praise it as a tool to make the neighborhood safer, but some residents say it places an unfair focus on minorities.
"The cops creep by and give me a look," said Salvador Aguirre, an Echo Park native who protested the injunction this summer.
"Being bald and Mexican American, we’re all looked at the same. We’re all the problems. I don’t want to be looked at twice."
Luis Sinco / Los Angeles Times
Complete with the mandatory flurry of California references. A big hats-off to comedian Jon Daly, who put the parody together ahead of the band’s appearance at the Super Bowl halftime show this weekend.
How many snakes can you fit into one house?
Maybe one if you’re a little squeamish about them? A few dozen if you don’t particularly care about seeing a bunch peek out from your laundry hamper or pantry?
Now try and imagine having as many as 400 snakes in your house. That’s just what police found at a home in Santa Ana earlier today while serving a police warrant. Officers reportedly could smell the stench of the snakes, many of which were in terrible condition, if not dead, from up to 300 feet away.
Read the full, sad story over at L.A. Now.
Photo: Irfan Khan / Los Angeles Times
Look at all those subway stops! No, it’s not NYC. This is what San Francisco and L.A. could look like…
If you live in a city and take public transit, you’ve probably looked at the system map and thought to yourself, “I wish this thing went everywhere.”
You’re not alone. There’s a whole bunch of daydreamers just like you who’ve considered the additional subway lines, bus routes, and train tracks it would take to bring more people to more places. Some of them have even mapped these ideas out. The internet is full of these fantasy transit maps, where professional transit planners and dedicated amateurs alike imagine how public transit in our cities could look.
One day Los Angeles, one day…
test reblogged from wired
The dusty decimation of California’s drought
California’s longstanding drought has escalated in recent months, with 62.7% of the state now in what the Department of Agriculture deems “extreme” conditions.
But in few places is it as easily visualized as in the area surrounding the vanishing Cachuma Lake, which has become one of the most prominent victims of the lack of rain.
In years past, the spot where Bozarth was standing was under 30, 40, even 50 feet of water. It wasn’t all that long ago that Cachuma “spilled” — filled to the brim, to the point where millions of gallons of clean, fresh water was released through the dam’s gates and cast into the sea, a display of surplus that is laughable today.
That was only three years ago. Now, said Tom Fayram, Santa Barbara County’s deputy public works director, “it’s just empty.”
Photos: Brian van der Brug, Lorena Iñiguez Elebee / Los Angeles Times
A tiny, retro run-in with the law
From a 1970 story we ran on some highly restrictive anti-motorbike measures that brought an 11-year-old boy at odds with the law:
Randy West, 11, took it like a man Wednesday – his first brush with the law and the news that his favorite minibike trails were off limits.
The sandy-haired youngster was one of the first to receive a warning citation from police as the result of a new ordinance which places virtually insurmountable restrictions on use of private property for motorcycle or minibike riding in the city.
“If it’s the law, you gotta obey it,” said Randy moments after receiving the warning citation for riding his minibike on a popular trail between Huntington Center and the San Diego Freeway.
Photo: Cliff Otto / Los Angeles Times
Santa Monica’s famous mosaic home
Aziz and Louise Farnam started their decoration habits humbly enough - putting a single periwinkle square up into the corner of a retaining wall in their Santa Monica home. But things quickly, and colorfully, escalated from there:
Theycollected pieces of cobalt blue, aqua, plum and yellows from pale to sunny. They broke or cut them with special nippers into irregular shapes and applied those to the wall, letting them radiate in no particular pattern from the original piece.
They finished that wall, then tiled the walkway to the front door.
From there, things escalated — to a traffic-stopping degree. Motorists routinely slam on their brakes to marvel at the eccentric artistry.
"Everyone knows my house," Louise said. "Just say ‘mosaic tile house in Santa Monica.’"
Photos: Michael Robinson Chavez / Los Angeles Times
Building a hockey rink in Dodgers Stadium
Saturday, right in the middle of Dodgers stadium, the Los Angeles Kings and Anaheim Ducks will face off in the first NHL regular season game held outdoors west of the Rocky Mountains.
But beyond the technical feat of having an ice rink in the middle of a warm L.A. January, there’s an intangible joy to the project.
As Dan Craig, the man leading the icy project put it:
"The satisfaction for me will be when the guys skate out there. Nobody has to tell me.
I’ll know well ahead of them what they’re going to feel, and I’ll know from how I see them skate and how I see their eyes and the expression on their face. When you get guys from 19 to 39 just grinning from ear to ear and loving being out there, that’s what we do.”
Photos: Wally Skalij / Los Angeles Times, Nick Ut / Associated Press
A two mile corridor of South Vermont Ave. has become one of the most dangerous areas in the country, with sixty people killed in the area since 2007. And that stretch borders Westmont, a county that ranks as among L.A.’s most dangerous.
Westmont’s homicide figure is about the same as the combined total in Highland Park, Glendale, Pasadena, Eagle Rock, Glassell Park and Atwater Village, an area with 14 times as many residents and some neighborhoods that have experienced gang problems of their own.
Our newly-revamped Homicide Report will be keeping an eye on Westmont’s continued problems, along with documenting every other killing in L.A. County that may otherwise fall through the cracks.
Reporter Nicole Santa Cruz will continue to speak to families and neighborhoods impacted by tragedy, and our database of those who have fallen since 2007 continues to improve.
This Throwback Thursday, we’re taking you back in time at the happiest place on earth. Yes, we’ve dug into our archives and found some old Disneyland photos, including some of Walt Disney himself (seen in the middle photo inspecting plastic heads for a “Pirates of the Caribbean” addition to the park) and then-Vice President Richard Nixon (shaking hands with a man in a spacesuit in the bottom photo).
But perhaps the sweetest and most surprising story is behind the top photo. It’s of 14-year-old Jong Sook Kim visiting Disneyland in 1964. She was from South Korea and was in America to get surgery on her eyes — doctors once thought she’d never see again. After the operation in San Francisco, she went to see Disneyland with her newly restored sight.
Read more and see more photos here.
(Photos: Los Angeles Times / UCLA Library)
A Throwback Thursday so good it survived until the weekend.
test reblogged from latimespast
Twenty years ago this morning, Southern California awoke to the shaking of the Northridge earthquake.
Share your memories here: Disaster before dawn — readers remember the Northridge earthquake
Read about what has changed in 20 years: Earthquake risks have evolved since Northridge
Prepare yourself and your family for the Big One: You live in earthquake country; get ready before the next one hits
The Times won a Pulitzer prize for its coverage 20 years ago. Reread some of our journalism from 1994: Northridge earthquake, 20 years later
And, in the strangest of coincidences, a 2.6 earthquake shook Universal City this morning: Quake hits on 20th anniversary of Northridge
Photo: Jan. 20, 1994: The Interstate 5 freeway near Newhall after damage from the Northridge earthquake. Credit: Al Seib / Los Angeles Times
test reblogged from latimespast
A first responder to the Northridge earthquake in a “dead, dead, dead black” valley
Shaken out of his bed at Station 70, firefighter Mike Henry tasted dust as he left a partially collapsed fire station to respond to the 6.7 Northridge earthquake 20 years ago today.
As the fire truck went down Reseda Boulevard, residents urged the responders to stop at their apartment. A man from a complex named Northridge Meadows screamed, “There’s a guy trapped under the building. And I’m talking to him.” But the responders had to keep going.
Later in the day, they retraced their path back down the boulevard. And residents sounded relieved: All had been accounted for in most apartments.
Until they came to Northridge Meadows:
[Henry had] assumed it was a two-story complex on the initial drive-through, but now he realized that some of the second and third floors had actually pancaked on top of the first. Numbers began to race through his mind. Fifteen to 20 apartments per floor, he guessed. At least two people per unit. Forty. Fifty. Sixty people, maybe. All trapped.
Photo: Richard Derk / Los Angeles Times
Wildfire rages northeast of Los Angeles
A fast-growing brush fire that ignited this morning has already burned through more than 200 acres near Glendora. Three individuals have been brought into custody under suspicion of being connected to the fires as the blaze continues.
As the Colby fire spreads to more than 1,700 acres, officials are warning residents from the San Gabriel Valley to the Pomona Valley to avoid the outdoors due to smoke and ash. A state of emergency has also been announced in Glendora.
Photos: Ringo H.W. Chiu, Nick Ut / Associated Press, Irfan Khan/ Los Angeles Times