Radical plan to split California into three states earns spot on November ballot

  – Jun 12, 2018

California’s 168-year run as a single entity, hugging the continent’s edge for hundreds of miles and sprawling east across mountains and desert, could come to an end next year — as a controversial plan to split the Golden State into three new jurisdictions qualified Tuesday for the Nov. 6 ballot.

If a majority of voters who cast ballots agree, a long and contentious process would begin for three separate states to take the place of California, with one primarily centered around Los Angeles and the other two divvying up the counties to the north and south. Completion of the radical plan — far from certain, given its many hurdles at judicial, state and federal levels — would make history.

It would be the first division of an existing U.S. state since the creation of West Virginia in 1863.


New Evacuations as Huge Southern California Fire Flares Up

Newsmax – December 10, 2017

A powerful flare-up on the western edge of Southern California’s largest and most destructive wildfire sent residents fleeing Sunday, as wind-fanned flames churned through old-growth brush in canyons and along hillsides toward coastal towns.

Crews with help from a fleet water-dropping planes and helicopters saved homes as unpredictable gusts sent the blaze deeper into residential foothill areas northwest of Los Angeles that haven’t burned in decades. New evacuations were ordered as the fire sent up an enormous plume near Montecito and Carpinteria, seaside areas in Santa Barbara County that had been under fire threat for days and were now choked with smoke.

“The winds are kind of squirrely right now,” said county fire spokesman Mike Eliason. “Some places the smoke is going straight up in the air, and others it’s blowing sideways. Depends on what canyon we’re in.”


LA School District Teaching LGBT-Inclusive Sex Ed Course to Kids as Young as 9

Samuel Smith – September 21, 2017

California’s largest school district will test out an LGBT-inclusive sex education course that will be taught at selected schools for children in the fourth through sixth grades this year.

The Los Angeles Daily News reports that the Los Angeles Unified School District will begin offering sex education lessons for students as young as 9 years old that will include lessons from a course titled “Puberty: The Wonder Years,” which is authored by Michigan-based health educator Wendy Sellers.

Sellers told Los Angeles’ second-largest daily newspaper that her course is inclusive of LGBT identities. The Los Angeles Daily News reports that the course “doesn’t assume traditional gender roles in describing relationships.”

Sellers explained that while the course doesn’t have lessons that define same-sex relationships, it integrates examples of same-sex couples into lessons.


Hepatitis A outbreak declared in Los Angeles County

– September 19, 2017

Staggering Number Of Homeless In LA Shows How Tough It Is To Get By

Mac Slavo – June 1, 2017

The number of homeless people in Los Angeles is skyrocketing. In just one year, the figures revealed that the homeless population in the city grew 20% while the numbers for the wider Los Angeles County were even higher at 23%.

As if looking at those numbers isn’t cringeworthy enough, The Los Angeles Homeless Services Authority reported Wednesday that 6,000 homeless young people were tallied across the county in January, a 61% increase over the 2016 total. Most of the young people are ages 18 to 24. All the youth shelters have waiting lists and affordable housing is tough to find, even with a rent voucher, according to Heidi Calmus of Covenant House California, an international youth homeless services agency with a branch in Hollywood. “The system is overwhelmed,” Calmus said Tuesday night as she and a colleague, Nick Semensky, delivered toiletry bags and sandwiches to young people living in the streets.

Despite efforts to combat the problem, the number of homeless continue to go up. In 2015 authorities declared a public emergency as the numbers sleeping on the streets soared. City officials committed $100 million to tackle the problem. It’s safe to say that whatever is being done right now is not working.


Public Libraries Hosting ‘Drag Queen Story Hour’ for Children

– May 19, 2017

BROOKLYN, N.Y. — “Who wants to be a drag queen when they grow up?” That’s the question a man dressed as a woman recently asked children attending “Drag Queen Story Hour” (DQSH) at a public library in New York.

Since last fall, the Brooklyn Public Library in Park Slope has been offering the storytime for children, bringing in various drag queens to read children’s books about homosexuality, gender identity and “non-conformity,” and “general youth discomfort.”

It’s one of several cities across the country—including San Francisco and Los Angeles—who have signed on to the program, created by Michelle Tea of Radar Productions.

“DQSH captures the imagination and play of the gender fluidity of childhood and gives kids glamorous, positive, and unabashedly queer role models,” the website for the effort reads.


Biorisk: Doomsday Bug, Resistant to Every Drug, Found in L.A.

Chriss W. Street – February 1,  2017

Los Angeles County Health authorities issued a national biorisk warning on Tuesday after identifying a patient infected with the 100 percent drug-resistant “mcr-1” bacterial pathogen, apparently acquired through international travel.

Scientists first reported the emergence of the plasmid-encoded mcr-1 gene, which is completely resistant to all known drugs in a Pennsylvania female patient with a urinary tract infection in November 2015. The discovery set off a worldwide biorisk warning from the World Health Organization, causing bacteriologists to scour their international “collections” of thousands of frozen bacterial isolates in search of any similar gene DNA.

The British Lancet medical journal reported last May that English and Chinese microbiologists had found almost 100 instances of the biorisk gene. With some of the frozen samples going back over five years, researchers indicated that mcr-1 resistance may be more widely distributed than expected.

The L.A. County biorisk warning is the first public disclosure that the mcr-1 gene “has been reported in human specimens from five additional states and in animal specimens from two states.”


NASA says MASSIVE earthquake is ‘99.9 per cent’ likely to rock LA


earthquake damaged building

Sean Martin – August 17, 2016

The group’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) in Pasadena have warned a series of mini-tremors beneath the surface of the City of Angels have caused pressure to build-up.

In 2014, a 5.1 magnitude earthquake hit the town of La Habra in southern California and the experts from NASA say that there is still some left over strain from that, which will almost definitely hit before April 2018.

JPL geophysicist Dr Andrea Donnellan said: “When the La Habra earthquake happened, it was relieving some of that stress, and it actually shook some of the upper sediments in the LA basin and moved those a little bit more.

“There’s enough energy stored to produce about a magnitude 6.1 to 6.3 earthquake.”


10,000 Homes Evacuated Due to ‘Almost Unprecedented’ Wildfire


Sand fire in Santa Clara

NBC News4 – July 25, 2016

Thousands of residents remained out of their homes Monday morning as the 51-square-mile Sand Fire continued to burn in Southern California’s Santa Clarita Valley.

The fire has burned about 10,000 acres per day since it began Friday in the hills north of Los Angeles

“This fire, what we’ve seen in 72 hours, is almost unprecedented,” said Los Angeles County Fire Department Battalion Chief Dennis Cross. “We’d have to go back a long way to compare a fire to this. And, we’re not through with this thing yet.”

Eighteen homes were lost to the fire by Sunday night as thousands were forced to flee their homes, worrying if they would still be standing by Monday morning. The smoke from the blaze blanketed Southern California, causing air quality concerns as ash rained down.