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Homeless Fire Hydrants, La Brea Tar Pits, Occupational Therapy Assistants




Mammoth scene at La Brea Tar Pits
Mammoth scene at La Brea Tar Pits
Photo by Travis S. via Flickr Creative Commons

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We look at how fire hydrants are being used to get fresh water by LA's homeless. Plus, the La Brea Tar Pits is getting a makeover. And, occupational therapy assistant is the job with the highest growth rate in California, according to the Wall Street Journal.

Occupational Therapy Assistants

When it comes to well-paying, high-growth jobs, technology usually gets all the attention. But a new Wall Street Journal analysis of job growth projections state by state found that in California, the job that's projected to have the highest growth over the next four years is occupational therapy assistant. If you don't know what that is, you'd be forgiven. A lot of people are unfamiliar with the profession.

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Lake Tahoe Microplastics

Micro-plastics are now commonplace in the oceans of the world. As their name implies, they're tiny, not biodegradable, and potentially toxic. Now, researchers say that bits of red and blue plastic, no bigger than the head of a pin, have been found in California's famous lake, Lake Tahoe. The discovery complicates conservation efforts already underway. 

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Santa Monica Elderly

A growing number of California seniors find themselves unable to afford a place to live and end up on the streets. Santa Monica has been experimenting with giving cash assistance to low-income seniors. And a pilot program there has been so successful...the city is planning to expand it. As part of our California Dream collaboration, KPBS's Amita Sharma reports.

Fire Hydrants and Homeless

Last month, an NBC 4 I-Team investigation found that fire hydrants near homeless encampments were being used illegally as a source of water to bathe, shave and drink. Following the report, Mayor Garcetti directed the L-A Fire Department to find and fix all damaged fire hydrants near "high density" encampments. But when the investigation team followed up, they found just as many hydrants remained tampered with.

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AHP Federal Workers

When members of the National Guard and Reserve are called away to serve in the military, the law protects them from losing their jobs or being denied promotions. But there have been thousands of complaints against employers who don't follow the law --- and in many of those cases, the employer is the federal government itself. Steve Walsh reports from San Diego for the American Homefront Project, a six-station collaboration to cover military life and veteran’s issues. 

CA Report: Caverns

California has a surprising number of caves that are open to the public for things like walking tours or even spelunking. But subterranean tourism isn't actually a new concept here in California. In fact, the first commercial cave opened up during the Gold Rush. One-hundred-and-seventy years later, it's still just as impressive as it was to those very first visitors who arrived clutching candles. From the California Report, Carly Severn took a tour.

La Brea Tar Pits

Three international architectural firms are now the finalists for the redesign of the public park, museum, and paleontology research sites that make up Los Angeles’ La Brea Tar Pits. The designs range from working with the existing structure, creating walkways over the Tar Pits, and -possibly - removing the beloved Mammoth family from the site. 

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