We find out the latest with the deadly Santa Cruz charter boat fire. Plus, the state of unions in California. And a chat with celebrity Indian-American chef Aarti Sequeira.
Santa Cruz Island Boat Fire
A fire on a dive-boat off the coast of Southern California has claimed 34 lives. A rundown of the latest, and the difficulties with identifying all of the victims.
- Sharon McNary, KPCC correspondent
The Conception fire has come as a shock to marine surveyors across Southern California. Along with the Coast Guard, surveyors are in charge of inspecting boats, ranging from yachts to commercial vessels. So, what are they thinking about today?
- George Malhiot, an accredited marine surveyor for Ocean Marine Surveyors Inc., based in Newport Beach.
In Sacramento, these days, as state lawmakers head into the last two weeks of the session. But for hundreds of proposals before statehouses, an old disclaimer rings true: many will enter, few will win. To that point, several bills were sent to the suspense file Friday. That’s where bills go to die with little explanation.
- Marisa Lagos, KQED political reporter
Unions in California
Southern California employees have been disgruntled with working standards for quite some time. There was a walkout earlier this year by teachers in the Los Angeles Unified School District, as well as strikes by workers at the University of California medical centers and at Marriott Hotels at the end of last year. Unions are not just strong in Southern California but are growing. A recent study shows that union membership in SoCal is up seven percent even while union membership nationwide is down five percent.
- Harley Shaiken, UC-Berkeley
The Southern California Scuba Diving community is in mourning after a fire engulfed the charter boat Conception early Monday. The ship, which was on a three-day diving expedition near the Channel Islands was reportedly carrying 33 passengers and 6 crew members. Five of the crew members made it off the ship after the fire started, but no other survivors have been found.
- Lita Martinez, KPCC producer, and certified diver for four years
- Captain Ted Cumming, owner of the Spectre, which runs dive operations for Cal Boat Diving in Ventura
Over the holiday weekend, four hikers in the Malibu Hills suffered from heat exhaustion, which resulted in one death. The seven hikers were found following a path south of the Backbone trailhead. Temperatures rose above 85 degrees, much higher than normal temperatures for the sea-side trail. According to L.A. County Sheriff’s, the group ran out of water during a hike. We hear from officials from the LA Sheriff’s Department on the rescue and tips for hiking in the heat.
As a celebrity chef on the Food Network and Cooking Channel, Aarti Sequeira is a TV ambassador for Indian-American cuisine. But the Mumbai-born LA local is sharing more than just recipes. She's using her platform to talk about her Christian faith, as Denise Chan reports.