We look at proposed legislation that aims to curb young people from vaping flavored tobacco. Plus, electric delivery trucks are being made -- and used -- here in L.A. And, Atwater Village prepares its residents for potential flooding from the L.A. River.
The State Assembly opened a debate today on a topic that's grabbed Sacramento's attention: charter schools. In the L.A. Unified School District charters enroll more than 130,000 kids. The state teacher’s union is backing several charter-limiting bills moving through the legislature. Assembly lawmakers passed part of that package yesterday. The California Charter Schools Association is worried passage could lead to a wave of charter schools being forced to shut down.
- Kyle Stokes, KPCC's Education reporter
More young people are vaping flavored tobacco so California is trying to crack down on its use with proposed legislation. But the tobacco industry is quietly trying to extinguish bills that would make California the first state to ban flavored tobacco.
- Elizabeth Aguilera, CALMatters
Earlier this week, S-B 50, a state housing bill, made its way to the Appropriations Committee and was shelved for another year. The bill sought to encourage denser, multi-family housing near transit centers by waiving local zoning rules. It was seen as a radical solution by those who opposed, and now, only modest solutions remain.
- Marisa Lagos, KQED'S political correspondent
There's a growing number of empty homes in Southern California. Why? Construction has picked up so much that builders now have the biggest stock of unsold properties in seven years. That may be bad news for developers, but it could be a good sign in the effort to end the region's housing crisis.
- Stuart Gabriel, professor of finance at UCLA and director of the UCLA Ziman Center for Real Estate
Electric Delivery Trucks
This week, Southern California Edison launched a $356 million program to fund the infrastructure to recharge heavy-duty battery electric trucks. Charge Ready Transport aims to get about 870 sites up and running over the next five years -- enough chargers to let electric 8,500 heavy-duty vehicles keep on truckin'. Take Two looks at who's making, using and powering this new breed of electrics
According to a 2016 U.S. Army Corps of Engineers study, a 13-mile stretch of the river, from Barham Boulevard to First Street, is in danger of experiencing what experts call a 100-year flood. So the Atwater Village Neighborhood Council is warning residents who live along the L.A. River about it. They may also be required to obtain flood insurance in the next two years.
- Karen Barnett, chair of the Atwater Village Neighborhood Council river committee
More information here.
Cardiff Beach Dunes
Encinitas city officials held a ribbon cutting ceremony yesterday. Not for a new building or a new park. But for sand dunes at Cardiff state beach. That's because engineered dunes might be one of our best shots at protecting some beaches from the ravages of climate change. KPCC's science reporter Jacob Margolis has the story.