Covered California says the state's health insurance exchange premiums will increase an average of 8.7 percent next year. Plus, it's been a wild week in politics with much of the news swirling around Russia, but what does it all mean locally? And high housing costs in California are complicating the state's efforts to accommodate refugees.
State of Affairs
We sum up the week in politics for the Golden State, including the California Supreme Court decision to block a ballot initiative that would have let voters decide whether to divide the state into three. Also, we look at why U.S. Senate candidate Kevin DeLeon has been so slow to reveal his campaign finances and how the race changes now that the California Democratic Party has endorsed him over standing Senator Dianne Feinstein. And we look into OC Congressman Dana Rohrabacher's Russia ties.
- Marisa Lagos, KQED
- Zachary Courser, Claremont McKenna College
How one local business is being affected by the fire in Yosemite National Park
As residents of Mariposa County are forced to evacuate, properties are at the mercy of firefighter efforts to put out the Ferguson Fire. The blaze is threatening locals' lives and livelihoods, especially those of business owners who depend on tourism, like Alix Frazer, her bed and breakfast is located in Mariposa County near where the Ferguson Fire is burning.
- Alix Frazer, owner of the Highland House Inn Bed and Breakfast in Mariposa
Covered California rates expected to increase in 2019
The state's health insurance exchange program announced Thursday that rates would increase almost 9 percent next year. While the increase is significant, it's less than the increases for the past two years. With Open Enrollment scheduled to begin October 15, we find out the latest details affecting people who will be covered by the exchange in 2019.
- Michelle Faust, KPCC healthcare reporter
Orange County approves contract for Huntington Beach desalination plant
Orange County's Water District approved another step toward building a desalination plant in Huntington Beach. That's the process of filtering sea water into water that's drinkable. As drought-prone Southern California looks to secure its water supply, desalination may become more popular, but it's not without controversy, especially for environmentalists.
- Erik Hoek, professor of environmental engineering at UCLA
Hotel Figueroa pays tribute to its past in redesign
A new hotel there quietly re-opened this spring. The Hotel Figueroa is open to guests again, after two years of renovation. But during the demolition process, its new owners uncovered some surprising history that turned their plans upside down.
Read more on this story at LAist.
California's high housing costs are affecting refugees
California is politically willing to accept refugees, but the high cost of housing means resettlement agencies are pushing people to resettle elsewhere.
This piece is part of our California Dream collaboration; you can read more on this story at CALmatters.
Cal State Long Beach will open its Shark Lab to visitors this weekend
The Shark Lab at Cal State Long Beach is bringing back its very popular open house for the second year in a row. Saturday, visitors can get an up-close look at the sharks the lab studies and the high-tech equipment it uses.
- Chris Lowe, director of the Cal State Long Beach Shark Lab
Each Friday, we bring you ideas for how to spend your weekend. This week's suggestions include the OC Fair, which is open through August 12; Friday night, Steve Martin and Martin Short will perform. Plus, the fifth annual Mariachi Women's Festival in San Gabriel and a celebration of Columbian culture in Pico Rivera.
- Leo Duran, KPCC producer
- Marielle Wakim, Los Angeles Magazine