Pacific Swell | Southern California environment news and trends

Morning greens: Franklin Canyon trail fight, Glendale safe streets plan, SeaWorld plastic bag ban

Hikers battle developer over Franklin Canyon trail. Reports LA Times: “Landowner wants to build homes on his acreage in L.A. above Beverly Hills. People who enjoy walking on the Hastain Trail have formed a group that plans to sue.”

San Gabriel Valley cities get a grant to recycle batteries. Reports KPCC: “Californians aren’t very good at recycling batteries. State law banned batteries in landfills five years ago, but fewer than one-half of 1 percent of them get recycled. There’s a new push to change that in the San Gabriel Valley.”

Glendale clears path for pedalers. LA Times reports that recommendations for the city’s new “Safe and Healthy Streets Plan” includes “establishing citywide walks and bicycle ride events, a distribution program for bike lights and helmets in lieu of issuing citations, enlarging sidewalks and partnering with local schools to provide bicycle education.”

Santa Monica’s electric-bike tour company find their business needs charging up. Reports LA Times: “Pedal or Not Inc. in Santa Monica offers local bicycle tours for people who might not want to pedal the whole way…. But getting word out to tourists has been tough, owners Barb and Stephen Wittels said.”

Ultraviolet rays at new facility will clean water in Sylmar. Reports KPCC: “The DWP has broken ground on a $60 million project at the Los Angeles Aqueduct Treatment Plant. The plan is to apply intense ultraviolet light to water. That will kill bacteria and microbial contaminants without changing the water’s taste.”

SeaWorld cans plastic bags at theme park. Reports San Diego UT: “SeaWorld will stop giving out plastic bags at its theme-park gift stores in San Diego on June 18 in hopes of cutting plastic pollution in the ocean.” (via LAist)

Google gives Mojave solar project a boost. Reports NPR: “Google has announced a $168 investment, its largest ever, to back Brightsource Energy’s solar thermal project in California’s Mojave desert.”

Chemical fire retardants compromise Californians’ health. At KCET’s SoCal Focus, Char Miller opines: “California’s rule intended to “protect” households and families has created this shocking outcome: those living in the Golden State have the highest levels of flame-retardant chemicals in their bodies, and in the airborne dust that we daily breathe, of anywhere in the world.”

Photo: A plastic tube contains batteries for recycling inside a Staples store September 29, 2005 in Mount Prospect, Illinois. (Tim Boyle/Getty Images)