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October 2018
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Los Angeles Times (August 16)

2018/ 08/ 18 by jd in Global News

“The largest fire in California history continued to grow Thursday while firefighters worked to protect threatened communities…. Conditions have been ripe for the erratic fire behavior that has led to the explosive growth of the Ranch fire, which along with the River fire makes up the 364,145-acre Mendocino Complex fire. The days are so hot and dry that whatever gains firefighters see overnight when the humidity goes up quickly fade when the sun hits the fuels and sucks the moisture out.”


LA Times (May 8)

2018/ 05/ 09 by jd in Global News

California appears to be headed “toward requiring solar panels on all new houses,” which would make it “the first state to require solar panels on all newly built single-family houses.”


LA Times (January 11)

2018/ 01/ 13 by jd in Global News

California must “break the terrifying pattern of fire and flood….Water and fire can be a lethal combination,” but there is a way forward. “Taxing ourselves to create more open space in the foothills will not stop fires from erupting or rain from falling. It will give city and county planners a powerful tool by which to restrain growth, offer burned-out homeowners a safer option than rebuilding in fire zones, and give those living downhill in the path of the slides some much-needed breathing room.”


San Francisco Chronicle (October 9)

2017/ 10/ 10 by jd in Global News

“California’s fire season took an apocalyptic turn for too many Sunday as fierce winds and hot, dry air fanned more than a dozen Wine Country fires…. At least 1,500 structures and 10 lives were lost, scores were injured and tens of thousands evacuated, and smoke settled thickly over the Bay Area and beyond.” While containment remains the most urgent matter, “the latest catastrophic wildfires are also a policy problem that should motivate redoubled prevention and mitigation measures.”


LA Times (July 11)

2017/ 07/ 13 by jd in Global News

Worried about an explosion of diabetes, California is investing $5 million in prevention efforts. The cause for alarm is a recent study which found that “46% of adults in California have prediabetes” while 9% of Californians are already diabetic. “Implementing the program should save $45 million a year because of those who end up not developing diabetes — and requiring less medical treatment — as a result of the intervention.”


LA Times (February 14)

2017/ 02/ 15 by jd in Global News

“California’s majestic Oroville Dam is currently in danger of spillway failure in a season of record snow and rainfall. That could spell catastrophe for thousands who live below it and for the state of California at large that depends on its stored water. The poor condition of the dam is almost too good a metaphor for the condition of the state as a whole; its possible failure is a reflection of California’s civic decline.”


LA Times (December 17)

2016/ 12/ 17 by jd in Global News

‘’Uber built its business by challenging regulators and entrenched assumptions about how best to assure public safety. It successfully evaded the strict local rules that the taxi industry faces on fares, licenses and driver background checks by arguing that smartphone-summoned rides were different from taxis and should be regulated under new state standards. It has also avoided a variety of mandates on employers by classifying its drivers as independent contractors, not employees.” But when it comes to testing driverless vehicles on California roads, the technology company should play be the rules.


New York Times (March 6)

2016/ 03/ 06 by jd in Global News

“California is often at the vanguard of important policy changes. The state’s move toward raising the legal age to buy cigarettes should inspire other states to take similar steps to protect young people.”


The Economist (June 27)

2015/ 06/ 28 by jd in Global News

“Electric buses in parts of South Korea, Italy, Britain and California are, today, recharging themselves from underground wireless chargers.” Wireless charging isn’t new. Nicholas Tesla used resonant induction in the 19th century, but it may finally prove revolutionary. From mobile phones to cars and kitchen appliances, “sales of such machines, now half a billion dollars a year, will grow 30-fold over the next decade.” Furthermore, the technology may succeed in “decarbonising the world’s road vehicles.”


LA Times (March 20)

2015/ 03/ 20 by jd in Global News

Last year “Californians responded initially with big water savings but let the hoses and sprinklers run again toward the end of last year, as the Sierra snow began to fall and it was easier to hope — to pretend — that the dry times were behind us. It’s clear now that’s not the case.” With the drought in its fourth year, “Californians must begin using water as though they are still at the front end of…cataclysm.”


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