Environment

‘Winter is coming’: What do climate scientists predict for Southern California? |Sep 4, 2017

After suffering more than a week under searing, desert-like heat, winter might be the furthest thing from the minds of Southern Californians.

LA’s popular Wilacre Park is temporarily closing to hikers. But you’ve got options |Sep 3, 2017

Wilacre Park — which includes a popular network of trails that lead to nice views of the San Fernando Valley — is closing, for a while. If you’ve got a good hike in you, you’ve got one day left — Monday.

Activists, travel industry square off over aviation’s climate-changing consequences |Sep 3, 2017

When people debate air pollution in Southern California, images of the usual suspects arise — trucks belching diesel fumes, aging jalopies not yet snagged by the smog-testing authorities and smokestacks towering over refineries and other heavy industry.

Are scars seen on rare Bryde’s whale off Huntington Beach from a shark bite? |Aug 30, 2017

Boat captain Ryan Lawler looked at the rarely seen Bryde’s whale through his lens and noticed something unusual. Pink flesh dotted the whale’s dark skin, fresh wounds. One wound, in a circle, was visible on the top of the whale as it emerged from the ocean’s surface in Huntington Beach near the oil platforms on Tuesday, Aug.

These insanely cute baby monkeys are making their debut at the LA Zoo |Aug 30, 2017

A pair of Francois’ langur monkeys born over the summer at the Los Angeles Zoo will make their public debut on Thursday. The monkeys — both have the same father — were born on June 23 to 8-year-old mother Vicki Vale and on July 12 to 5-year-old Kim-Ly.

Trump order undermines rebuilding better for future floods |Aug 30, 2017

WASHINGTON >> Two weeks before Harvey’s flood waters engulfed much of Houston, President Donald Trump quietly rolled back an order by his predecessor that would have made it easier for storm-ravaged communities to use federal emergency aid to rebuild bridges, roads and other structures so they can better withstand future disasters.

Is there a Maury for mountain lions? Asking for two adorable LA kittens |Aug 29, 2017

Two blue-eyed mountain lion kittens born to a young mother and a father that gets around were found earlier this month in the Santa Monica Mountains, marking the 13th litter discovered by researchers in the area, officials announced Tuesday.

New emission-cutting technology expected for Torrance refinery |Aug 29, 2017

A yearlong pilot project using new technology designed to cut nitrogen oxide emissions at the Torrance refinery is expected to win approval Friday from the governing board of the region’s air pollution watchdog.

Rare sea otter spotted off Dana Point |Aug 28, 2017

DANA POINT — At first it was just a quick glimpse from the corner of Capt. Chris Pica’s eye. Pica, captain of the Reel Fun, a boat operated by Dana Wharf Sportfishing and Whale Watching, had just rounded the Headlands on his way up the coast toward Newport Beach with 29 Boy scouts on Saturday, Aug.

How should Los Angeles and Long Beach ports clean the air? |Aug 28, 2017

The mayors of Los Angeles and Long Beach have promised to get to near zero emissions at the nation’s busiest port complex – but just how to achieve that ambitious goal is still being debated.

Can California get 100 percent of its electricity from renewables? |Aug 28, 2017

LOS ANGELES >> The City Council threw its weight Monday behind legislation that would require California to deliver 100 percent of its electricity from renewable and carbon-free sources by 2045.

Key senator vows to block California climate deal that would aid polluters |Aug 27, 2017

An irritated chairman of a state Senate Budget subcommittee says he intends to thwart a recent move by the state Air Resources Board that could give California’s biggest polluters a cushion of more than $300 million.

E-bikes, combining pedaling with battery power, shift to higher sales gear |Aug 27, 2017

Christine Branom did something this summer that would chill most Southern Californians to the bone. She sold her car. And bought an electric bike. Now, the human-resources specialist commutes daily, sweat-free, to work from Marina del Rey to Playa del Rey — sometimes in heels and a dress.

Bison euthanized on Catalina Island after it charged at deputies, officials say |Aug 26, 2017

A Los Angeles County sheriff’s deputy recently shot a Catalina Island bison after the animal reportedly charged, ultimately requiring the animal to be euthanized. The deputy in question fired at the animal on two separate occasions on the evening of Aug.

Metal-treating companies push back against air regulators’ methods |Aug 26, 2017

The businesses — often housed in no-frills, boxy buildings scattered through industrial districts — dot Southern California, from San Bernardino to Los Angeles. The mom-and-pop-size companies that supply aerospace giants with specialized metal parts are now locked in a battle with air regulators who are stepping up their scrutiny of the processes that take place in those structures.

Interior Department won’t eliminate national monuments but some may shrink |Aug 24, 2017

The San Gabriel Mountains National Monument, as well as others ordered reviewed by President Donald Trump, will not be eliminated, but many should be reduced in size, according to documents released Thursday.

Senior passes to national parks will soon cost $80. Here’s how to get one for $10 |Aug 24, 2017

If you’re a senior citizen who likes to visit national parks, there’s a deal you should know about before it’s gone. The National Park Service is boosting the price of a lifetime pass for seniors — known as the America the Beautiful, National Parks & Federal Recreational Lands Senior Pass — from $10 to $80 on Monday, Aug.

First-ever water tax proposed to tackle unsafe drinking water in California |Aug 24, 2017

SACRAMENTO >> For the first time Californians would pay a tax on drinking water, 95 cents per month, under legislation to fix hundreds of public water systems with unsafe tap water — a problem that’s most pervasive in rural areas with agricultural runoff.

Perris teen tells judge he bought tiger cub on streets of Tijuana |Aug 24, 2017

SAN DIEGO >> A California teenager who says he bought a Bengal tiger cub on the streets of Tijuana for $300 was arrested when he tried to bring it into the United States in his 2017 Chevy Camaro.

Report: California needs to address housing crisis to meet long-term climate change goals |Aug 22, 2017

California’s economy grew robustly during the past decade even as state-imposed environmental standards to combat climate-change helped lower greenhouse gas emissions. But authors of a report released Tuesday cautioned that the future might not be so rosy: They found that transportation-related emissions have begun to rise due in part to longer commute times for California workers who can’t afford to live in the cities where they work.

100 supporters, 4 local members of Congress blast Trump’s review of national monuments |Aug 22, 2017

LOS ANGELES >> At a rally Tuesday, four local members of Congress blasted President Trump’s executive order that called for the review of dozens of national monuments, which they fear could mean scaling back or eliminating those protected natural areas entirely.

Buddy the blind sea lion gets new home at the Los Angeles Zoo |Aug 21, 2017

LOS ANGELES >> After an eight-year absence, a California sea lion has returned to the Los Angeles Zoo’s Sea Life Cliffs exhibit, it was announced Monday. Buddy, a blind, 10-year-old, 700-pound sea lion arrived at the zoo on May 24 after being rescued and rehabilitated by the Marine Mammal Care Center Los Angeles.

Drinking lead: Why California may force all schools to test their water |Aug 20, 2017

When a therapy dog refused to drink at a San Diego grade school, it was the first clue that something was wrong with the water. Tests revealed why the pup turned up its nose—the presence of polyvinyl chloride, the polymer in PVC pipes that degrade over time.

Move by California climate regulators could net big bucks for polluters |Aug 19, 2017

Against the sparkling backdrop of sailboats bobbing on San Francisco Bay, Gov. Jerry Brown last month signed a bill extending California’s cap-and-trade program, assuring that the most high-profile piece of the state’s fight against climate change persists for another decade.

What’s best weapon for battling species invading California waters? Data |Aug 19, 2017

There’s an invasion plaguing the coastal waters of Southern California. Waves of tiny interlopers spark havoc at fisheries, clog municipal water pipes and frustrate boaters who must dislodge buckets of sea crud.

Van Nuys Airport gets first solar rooftop project, Long Beach Airport may be next |Aug 19, 2017

When Curt Castagna built four new airplane hangars at Van Nuys Airport, he started to think about all the wasted space — on the roof. So he decided to fill up that space by going into the solar energy business, a first for his group and a first for the general aviation airport.

Here’s what happened in Southern California the year of the last total solar eclipse |Aug 17, 2017

Do you remember the last time that a total solar eclipse could be seen from the United States? Well, it was Feb. 26, 1979. A lot of other things happened that year. It’s also when Margaret Thatcher was elected Britain’s first female prime minister, the Iran Hostage Crisis began, Saddam Hussein became the President of Iraq, ESPN was founded and much more.

Air getting cleaner at Los Angeles, Long Beach ports, reports show |Aug 17, 2017

The ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach reduced pollution while moving more cargo last year, according to new reports released this week. The annual pollution scorecard shows the ports continue to make steady progress in clearing up the air around the nation’s busiest seaport and largest stationary polluter in the region, but it’s proving harder to make significant cuts in some areas.

Juvenile gray whale spotted in Newport Beach, Port of LA as it journeys north |Aug 17, 2017

A juvenile gray whale last seen in the shallow waters of Newport Harbor’s Back Bay has left the harbor and was spotted leaving the Port of Los Angeles Wednesday, Aug. 16. “The whale was seen near Cabrillo Beach late Wednesday,” said Justin Viezbicke, marine mammal stranding coordinator for the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.

LA’s popular Wilacre Park set to close for a while. Here’s why |Aug 16, 2017

The popular Wilacre Park in Los Angeles will close Sept. 5 for upgrades,, officials announced Wednesday. The 128-acre park, in Studio City, will reopen Jan. 5 after upgrades to restrooms and for workers to increase access to parking and recreational facilities for guests with limited mobility, according to the Mountains Recreation and Conservation Authority, which preserves and manages local open space and parkland, watershed lands, trails and wildlife habitat.

Video depicts bear family at play in Monrovia backyard |Aug 16, 2017

A Monrovia resident caught a tender moment on camera Tuesday as a mother bear played with her two cubs in a backyard. The matriarch gently wrestled with her offspring in the shade of a small tree in a backyard at the north end of Monrovia, according to Amber Ryan Mckenzi, who shot the adorable 44-second-long footage.

At least 40 students stung by swarm of bees at Palmdale High School |Aug 15, 2017

PALMDALE >> Dozens of students were hospitalized after being stung by “aggravated” bees Tuesday at Palmdale High School, authorities said. Paramedics were dispatched to the campus in the 2100 block of East Avenue R in Palmdale around 12:10 p.

A swarm of bees stung students in Palmdale and Twitter found a way to make light of it |Aug 15, 2017

Dozens of students at Palmdale High School were stung by a swarm of bees that had built a nest in a classroom.

Kuwait battles oil spill in Persian Gulf waters |Aug 13, 2017

KUWAIT CITY >> Kuwait battled Sunday to control an oil spill off its southern coast that stained its beaches, threatened to damage power plants and water stations, and left long black slicks in the Persian Gulf.

The possible downfall of cleaning the air, according to JPL study |Aug 13, 2017

Can smog be beneficial? A new study says yes, sort of. Tiny pieces of air pollution — also called fine particulates — contribute to human cases of asthma, lung disease, even premature death and therefore are a target for removal by state and federal air quality agencies looking to protect public health.

Bear reportedly takes midnight dip in Granada Hills pool |Aug 11, 2017

A bear was reported lounging in a residential pool in Granada Hills before it headed back into the hills, authorities said Friday. The dip was first reported at 12:25 a.m. in the 16300 block of Knollwood Drive, and the bear was located about 30 minutes later in a different area, said Los Angeles Police Department Sgt.

Pomona woman charged by bear: ‘If it wasn’t for that officer, I’d be dead right now’ |Aug 10, 2017

POMONA >> Traci Lowe received the shock of her life Thursday morning when she took her poodle, Fozzy, for a walk in Pomona and was confronted by a large bear. “It noticed me when I noticed it, and when it saw me it started charging,” said Lowe, who lives in the Copacabana mobile home park in the 2700 block of Arrow Highway.

Solar eclipse inspires Mars-related scientific experiments |Aug 10, 2017

A total solar eclipse is an opportunity for serious science and not just another chance to be entertained, though you’re excused if, this month, you can’t tell the difference. First, a future fact: A total eclipse is expected to be visible in a 70-mile-wide swath of North America starting at about 10:21 a.

Here’s the newest baby penguin at the Aquarium of the Pacific in Long Beach |Aug 8, 2017

The Aquarium of the Pacific went into cuteness overdrive Tuesday as the newest little resident waddled into its new home Tuesday morning. The yet unnamed, months-old chick joined its family and more than a dozen other Magellanic penguins at the aquarium’s June Keyes Penguin Habitat.

San Bernardino rep asks Trump to shrink San Gabriel Mountains National Monument, citing ski resort and mining |Aug 8, 2017

A San Bernardino County congressman is calling on the Trump administration to shrink the boundaries of the San Gabriel Mountains National Monument, causing anxiety among some of the monument’s ardent supporters.

Mountain lion P-55 crosses 101, 118 freeways with all nine lives intact |Aug 7, 2017

That old adage about curiosity and the fate of felines didn’t hold true for one Southern California mountain lion recently. National Park Service researchers say a male mountain lion named P-55 was documented successfully crossing the 101 Freeway — a rare event for the region’s big cats.

Tuna won’t be listed as endangered, Trump administration says |Aug 7, 2017

Rejecting a petition from environmental groups, the Trump administration announced Monday that it will not list Pacific bluefin tuna — a torpedo-shaped fish that can grow to 1,000 pounds and which sells for $100,000 or more per fish in Japanese sushi markets — as endangered, despite that fact that the animal’s population has fallen 97 percent.

How Industry could lose a $9M bet on solar farm at Tres Hermanos Ranch |Aug 6, 2017

The City of Industry has quietly put more than $9 million in public funds at risk as it pursues an ambitious and uncertain proposal to develop a sprawling solar farm in the open hills connecting Los Angeles, Orange and San Bernardino counties.

City of Industry’s contact on solar farm development owed $50M from past defaults |Aug 6, 2017

A developer who has been a primary business contact for the City of Industry as its seeks to create a large, urban solar power farm owes millions of dollars to creditors because of troubled past developments, government records show.

Teens from LA, Oxnard high schools garden and compost at CSUN |Aug 5, 2017

Following her passion for the environment, 17-year-old Alondra Alonso of East Los Angeles joined 21 other teens at Cal Sate Northridge on Saturday as part of the National Park Service’s SAMO Youth crew.

Pyramid Lake will reopen to swimmers Saturday |Aug 4, 2017

CASTAIC >> Pyramid Lake, which had been closed to swimmers due to an algae bloom, will reopen on Saturday, officials announced. Lab tests conducted earlier this week revealed the toxin levels merit a caution advisory but are safe for swimmers and boaters.

Flash floods pound Acton in northern LA County, stranding cars and trains |Aug 3, 2017

LOS ANGELES >> Hot tropical weather spawned thunderstorms that sent flood waters rushing through the Acton area Thursday, halting Metrolink service and prompting the evacuation of about 200 train passengers.

Record number of whales entangled off California coast because of crab fishing |Aug 2, 2017

Some of the largest mammals on Earth have been increasingly disabled by fishing lines off the West Coast, prompting one environmental nonprofit to threaten a lawsuit against the state over the problem.

Taking aim: gophers in cross hairs at Trump National Golf Club in Rancho Palos Verdes |Aug 2, 2017

It was a scene that would make Carl Spackler proud: a groundskeeper at Trump National Golf Club, eye to the scope of a rifle, taking aim at a hardened golf course menace — a gopher.

California to protect ponds and puddles from paving, plowing and Trump: Susan Shelley |Aug 1, 2017

Before polite society decided that the preferred term was “wetlands,” there were a lot of jokes about swamps. Mostly the jokes related to real-estate scams. During a 1920s land boom in Florida, con artists swindled credulous out-of-town investors by selling them land on an installment plan.