Southern California environment news and trends

The eastern sierra & the changing range of light

So, my dad's a hobby photographer; he introduced me to Ansel Adams and Galen & Barbara Rowell when I was a kid. He took pictures with an old Nikomat and a Leica, and neither had an internal light meter; he used a handheld one. Also, he took slides. It was one of the slowest and most infuriating parts of a vacation. Memorable, at least.

Dad's moved on to a digital camera, and so have many landscape photographers. I hadn't been familiar with Elizabeth Carmel's work before I heard about her book, but its title intrigued me: The Changing Range of Light. Carmel's latest book depicts the Eastern Sierra through the prism of climate change; climate information and poems make up the accompanying text.

Courtesy Elizabeth Carmel

I emailed her - she lives up in the Lake Tahoe area - to interview her.


About time to certify sustainable wine in California?

Doing a little desk clearing (and it's a new desk, so that's not encouraging), and I found something I'm very interested in: wine. Not necessarily at my desk, but hell, we're reporters.

I come from a family of sniffers and swirlers. Not my dad the truculent Swede, but the Irish Catholic side. My grandfather was fond of a Sancerre now and again; my uncle invests in a magnificent winemaker's operation in the Russian River Valley, where he and my mom spent some summer vacations, and I've got some other cousins who make wines too.

Then a few years back I visited Napa for a friend's birthday, and we heard a lot about sustainability. A little less about organic, and biodynamic, but, for example, Robert Sinksey had folks who were knowledgeable and accessible during pourings. I love covering the environment. I love wine. You'd think I would have found an excuse to expense some stories by now.


ATTENTION CALIFORNIANS: Urgent urgency on the radio today 3-5:30 pm

Attention women of Los Angeles, and those who love them, and those who work with them, and those who are physically proximate to them, and are fearful or enraptured and possibly both:

(Actually, before you do, pause for a moment; imagine me as a cross between two characters in the classic film Mr. Mom: Terri Garr, and the guy who played the president of Schooner Tuna (the tuna with a heart). Actually, imagine me as Terri Garr playing the Schooner Tuna guy. If you're thinking about Martin Mull right now, that's on you, and I can be of no help.)

Your country needs you. Actually, not your country. Your local public radio station. And when I say your local public radio station, I mean KPCC. No, we're the one with local news. And when I say TODAY, I mean, between 3:00 pm and 5:30.

A gauntlet has been thrown down. And when I say gauntlet, I mean, a sort of glove. No, I don't plan to smell it. It came from KPCC's estimable John Rabe, the host of Off-Ramp, and KPCC's Frank Stoltze, who is to "downtown bureau chief" what Les Nessman of WKRP is to "guy whose office has a door."


POLA re-ups with Gephardt group on F4A issues

It happened last week instead of one night, but...the Port of Los Angeles has, for the fourth time, renewed its relationship with a lobbying firm helping it out on Capitol Hill. In doing so it puts a very interesting problem in the lap of LA's new deputy mayor, Austin Beutner.

POLA is very very very interested in amending a law called the Federal Aviation Administration Authorization Act. The act prohibits local authorities from regulating rates, routes and service. Specifically, they're interested in "clarifying and strengthening the rights of local public port authorities to enact essential environmental and security programs," as Philip Stanfield told the Daily Breeze.

The Gepbardt group has been:

working continuously on securing an amendment to the Federal Aviation Administration Authorization Act (FAAAA), which currently prohibits state and local governments from regulating drayage truck rates, routes and services, with certain exceptions such as safety. The FAAAA has been interpreted by the courts as preempting certain essential elements of the Port’s CTP. The Port believes that its current program, as enacted, complies with current law and will continue making this case in court. While not guaranteeing any existing element of the CTP, staff believes that amending the FAAAA would strengthen the ability for any publicly-owned port to enact environmental and security programs on par with the extraordinary environmental and security challenges facing the Port.