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
Before July 2005, when Russia bid for the 2014 Winter Olympics, Sochi was one of the country’s largest resort towns, sitting on the Black Sea just 27 miles north of Georgia. These DigitalGlobe satellite images provided to TIME—snapped between April 2005 and January 2014—show what happens when $50 billion is suddenly invested to transform into an Olympic host city.
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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.
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Leonardo DiCaprio though the years
A teen heartthrob who became one of the most accomplished actors of his generation, DiCaprio’s life has been thoroughly documented on film and in photos - above is just a sampling of Times photographers’ experiences with the star.
Photos: Kirk McCoy, Wally Skalij, Genaro Molina, Jay L. Clendenin / Los Angeles Times
Top this, Bruno Mars. At Super Bowl I, played in Los Angeles, the halftime entertainment was a blast. Scott Harrison at Framework has the story. The Seahawks and Broncos face off today in Super Bowl XLVIII. Mr. Mars is the halftime entertainment.
Previously on L.A. Times Past:
Photo: The Bell Rocket Air Men soar above the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum during the Super Bowl I halftime show, titled “Super Sights and Sounds.” Credit: Ben Olender / Los Angeles Times
As good as Bruno Mars’ performance was last night, it’s hard to top jetpacks.
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Foggy Hill Street tunnels
A look at the Hill Street tunnels, seen from Temple Street in downtown L.A., circa 1954.
Photo: Howard Maxwell / Los Angeles Times
The underwater photography of Chris Burkard
Central California-based photographer Burkard recently sat down with Framework for a Q&A on his kinetic work, his favorite locations and some insider knowledge about the difficulties of taking photos under water.
Check out the full interview, and take a deep dive into his work right here.
Photos: Chris Burkard
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
Recapping last night’s Grammy Awards
Daft Punk, Macklemore and Lorde were last night’s top Grammy winners, taking home a bundle of awards for their releases last year, though fans were riled up by those who didn’t receive an award, most notably Kendrick Lamar for his breakout “Good Kid, M.A.A.D City.”
But the much-maligned award show at least put on a series of solid performances last night, as noted by reporter Mikael Wood:
The Grammy Awards, in keeping with long-established tradition, were in many ways a disaster for music fans who depend on trophies to reflect artistic quality. But “The 56th Grammy Awards,” which aired Sunday night on CBS? That show wasn’t half-bad.
Read more on last night’s awards over at Pop & Hiss.
Photos: Matt Sayles / Associated Press, Kevork Djansezian / AFP/Getty Images, Robert Gauthier / Los Angeles Times
Progress made in talks to end Ukraine protests
President Viktor Yanukovich has offered amnesty for protesters arrested, pledged to reshuffle his government and alter strict laws against public demonstrations as part of a proposed deal with his political opposition continuing their protests in the capital of Kiev.
But so far, no definite deal has been reached in the ongoing negotiations between the government and protest leaders.
Photos: Sergei Supinsky, Volodymyr Shuvayev / AFP/Getty Images, Sergei Grits / Associated Press
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
Rapid escalation of clashes in Kiev
Three demonstrators have been killed in the Ukrainian capitol of Kiev, as protesters and police hunker down amid the debate over whether the country should build closer ties to the European Union.
The country’s government, led by prime minister Mykola Azarov, has sought to legitimize protesters by force and by law, enacting harsh restrictions on the right for demonstrations.
Photos: Sergei Grits, Darko Vojinovic / Associated Press, Sergei Supinsky / AFP/Getty Images
Remembering Martin Luther King Jr.
Today, a nation remembers and honors the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr., whose struggle for civil rights continues to inspire on his 85th birthday anniversary.
King’s landmark moment was perhaps the March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom, which was celebrated just last year during its 50th anniversary.
"He just leaned into the moment," Watkins said. "Looked out at the crowd the way Baptist preachers do and gave them what they needed: that idea of the dream. You might have to wait, but if you fight for dignity, everything is going to be OK."
King prodded him to imagine an America racially unified instead of divided. Still, it was the entire afternoon, taken together, that left the most lasting impression: the camaraderie, the thoughtfulness, the feeling that if a gathering like this could take place, it was time for Watkins to expand his horizons.
Photos: Gene Herrick, Charles Gorry / Associated Press, Brendan Smialowski / AFP/Getty Images