As fires continue to rage across California, firefighters are using new tools. And the University of California-Irvine is researching the medical benefits of cannabis.
Orange County homeless couple faces difficulties
(Starts at 1:32 and 17:21)
When Orange County officials cleared out a large homeless camp along the Santa Ana riverbed in February, "Bay" Shambow and Bobby Austin were among hundreds of people displaced. Since then, they've had help with temporary housing and treatment for substance abuse and mental health. KPCC's Jill Replogle has been reporting on the challenges the couple faces on the road to recovery.
Firefighting technology is evolving
(Starts at 10:49)
Firefighting here and across the nation can carry a hefty price tag. Cal Fire shelled out over $700 million on fire suppression last fiscal year. Nationwide, the U.S. Forest Service spent billions. But there's some new technology in the works that could help firefighters get a handle on those fires faster, saving property and life.
- Lisa Elenz, assistant director of capabilities, development, and integration at the U.S. Forest Service
UCI begins research into medical benefits of cannabis
(Starts at 22:29)
UC Irvine’s School of Medicine is "in the money" for pot research. Last month, it got a $9 million dollar grant to study how cannabis could have long-term effects on the adolescent brain. The big question is how the active ingredient in cannabis —THC—affects young people’s emotions, learning and memory. It’s all part of UCI’s new Center for the Study of Cannabis, which is dedicated to closing the research gap on marijuana — a drug that's still illegal under federal law.
- Daniele Piomelli, center’s director
An invasive crayfish may be the reason you're getting more mosquito bites
(Starts at 35:57)
A danger is lurking in the Santa Monica Mountains. No. We're NOT talking about mountain lions or bears ... but crayfish. They're taking over rivers and streams up there. While they may be small, they actually create a potentially huge problem. UCLA published research this week saying the red swamp crayfish are disrupting the area's food chain so much that one of the side effects: they're enabling more mosquitoes to bug us.
- Gary Bucciarelli,conservation biologist studying invasive species in our area.
(Starts at 40:34)
Skater fashion, music, and even philosophy are at the heart of Southern California culture, and as a competitive sport, skateboarding has been slowly easing its way into the mainstream. But a lot of people still associate skaters with slackers. So Keegan Guizard and a group of SoCal skaters decided it was time to create the first and only national college scholarship fund for student skateboarders.
- Keegan Guizard, SoCal skater
The corpse flower gets stage fright
(Starts at 46:31)
Last week we told you about the corpse flower in the garden at The Huntington named because, well, when it blooms, the giantic plant smells like something died! Well, we have some bad news. The gardens announced yesterday that this particular flower failed to bud. We hopped on the phone with Brandon Tam yesterday, who said — yes, the heat may have been one factor. Though our bloom watch has ended, maybe we'll have some luck with the other corpse flowers at the garden which there are actually 45 of them. Either way, we hope that one day, people all over Southern California will wretch at the stench of the noble corpse flower.