(In today’s Los Angeles Daily News, staff writer Dakota Smith reports on one of the city’s most promising initiatives — an energy efficiency program that is saving consumers money, creating jobs and reducing our energy use. The project, a partnership between the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers Local 18 , the union representing the utility’s workers, and the Department of Water and Power, has received strong support from RePower LA, a broad-based coalition that promotes the economic and environmental benefits of energy efficiency.)
Lorraine Cannon stretches every dollar. The 84-year-old lives off a monthly retirement check from L.A County, and she shares her Pacoima house with her granddaughter and three young great-grandchildren.
But now helping to pay the bills is an unlikely source: the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power.
Cannon’s house was picked for an energy efficiency makeover by the department,
The L.A. Times story about fish Down Under getting skin cancer could’ve been a funny, though macabre, read if the subject weren’t so sad. After noting that 15 percent of coral trout in Australia’s Great Barrier Reef are believed to have cancerous lesions on their scales, writer Jon Bardin adds, “In that regard, they resemble Australians who live on land — two in three people who live down under will be diagnosed with skin cancer before the age of 70, the highest rate in the world.”
This is serious news, though, because the takeaway goes beyond the fact that Aussies won’t be throwing coral trout on the barbie any time soon. The fishes’ affliction apparently stems from their habitat, which lies under the outer fringes of the giant Antarctic ozone hole that’s been letting in ultraviolet rays since the invention of refrigerants. These UV rays are strongly suspected of causing the trout’s melanoma – as they are of causing it in humans.
(This post first appeared on California Progress Report and is reposted here with permission.)
This November, California voters will have an opportunity to vote on a simple, yet important ballot initiative called Proposition 37 – the California Right to Know Act. If approved, it would require food sold in California supermarkets be clearly labeled if it has been genetically engineered.
What many probably don’t yet know is there is no clearer David versus Goliath fight on this year’s ballot. On one side, is a truly grassroots people’s movement that generated over a million signatures in just 10 weeks, easily qualifying for the November ballot. On the other stands the largest anti-union, pro-pesticide, agrichemical interests in the world dedicated to saying and spending whatever it takes to hide the fact that some of our most important crops are being genetically engineered in a lab without our knowledge or consent.
Sandra Zebi is no stranger to the challenges posed by urban waste. Now the owner of a vintage clothing store in Marina del Rey, Zebi was born in Sao Paulo, Brazil, which produced 14,000 tons of waste each day.
Ironically inspired by her urban surroundings, Zebi created art using recycled materials. Moving to L.A., she renovated a run-down building and now uses it to house her shop, which is filled with recycled clothing and art.
Zebi loves L.A. but she is not a fan of our waste and recycling system. Like many small business owners she has found that her store does not have a recycling option.
Because of her tenacious environmental consciousness, Zebi seeks other options. Some of her actions are illegal or frowned upon by city government. A business partner, Vanessa, for example, gives bags of recyclable materials to neighborhood homeless men who reside near their store.