Despite the popularity of organic foods, clothing and other products, organic agriculture is still only practiced on a tiny percentage of land worldwide. What’s getting in the way? EarthTalk® has the answer inside.
That's the question on EarthTalk®, a service of "E--The Environmental Magazine," which will appear weekly on GreaterLongBeach.com. The cool part? They give the answer, too!
LBReport.com will carry live video of today’s 10 a.m. Los Angeles City Council hearing regarding allegations by neighborhood, health, environment groups, as well as the City and Port of Long Beach that there are defects, errors and/or omissions in the Environmental Impact Report (EIR) for the massive Southern California International Gateway (SCIG) rail yard. Another [...]
Long Beach City Councilmember Patrick O’Donnell met Saturday with supporters of the Long Beach Nature Center and indicated he plans to allocate a sizable amount of money for infrastructure projects at the venue, according to a story published this morning on LBReport.com. The story includes a summary of the meeting by Ann Cantrell, a veteran [...]
It's Earth Day, dedicated to the proposition that people really should remember not to shit where they eat---at least on one day each year, and we've come up with a short list of fun and healthy things to do, which we hope you won't poo-poo.
The State of Black Long Beach report is not another improvement plan for the city's African American residents, but rather an unprecedented reality check---more than a century's worth of data that can serve as the foundation for constructing solutions. Download the document inside.
Port of Long Beach Beach Harbor Commissioners will attend the March 14 meeting of the Alamitos Beach Neighborhood Association “to provide an update on Port projects, jobs and careers, air quality and more” according to a press release from the residents group. The announcement contained no further information, other than the fact that refreshments will [...]
An examination by Los Cerritos Community News of recently filed California 460 Campaign Financial Disclosure statements for new Central Basin Municipal Water District (CBMWD) Directors James Roybal and Leticia Vasquez — both of whom campaigned on ridding the troubled water district of corruption — show extremely heavy financial support from two individuals with substantial criminal [...]
Over objections by the Ports of Long Beach and Los Angeles, the South Coast Air Quality Management District’s governing board voted on Friday to declare the Ports “indirect sources” of air pollution under the federal Clean Air Act and move forward to prepare a “Backstop Rule” that will require the Ports to reduce emissions, no [...]
It's been 40 years since California voters passed the proposition that created the Coastal Commission, establishing their right to regulate development, ensure public access and protect the state's coastline for future generations. Long Beach's Mel Nutter was there, and he remembers.
LONG BEACH — A number of 2nd Council district residents are up in arms, and an appeal has been filed that will reach the City Council on Jan. 22, on a developer’s proposal to turn the now-vacant Immanuel Community Church into 24 residential units for low- and very low-income seniors, plus a manager’s unit. The [...]
When members of the Bellflower City Council used their last meeting of 2012 to unanimously approve a Climate Action Plan, they propelled the city into 2013 as one of the area’s leaders in the fight against climate change. The Climate Action Plan (CAP) establishes a method of identifying the sources and amounts of greenhouse gas [...]
[EDITOR’S NOTE: Los Angeles County Supervisor Don Knabe explains his opposition to the Clean Water, Clean Beaches Measure. It proposes an annual parcel tax on all property owners to pay for stormwater clean-up and anti-pollution efforts. County school districts aren't exempt from it. Unsurprisingly, educators are against it because it poses additional strain to school [...]
LONG BEACH — Councilmembers Suja Lowenthal and Steve Neal have agendized an item for the Jan. 8 City Council meeting that would support a controversial proposed Los Angeles County property parcel tax. Their item, agendized on the letterhead of Councilwoman Lowenthal cites multiple grounds for supporting the Clean Water, Clean Beaches Measure while not disclosing [...]
DOWNEY – The cities of Downey, Cerritos and Signal Hill are heading to trial in their dispute with the WRD after a judge issued a ruling last week denying the water agency’s argument that the cities do not have a right to a refund for allegedly illegal rate hikes. A trial next year is expected [...]
LB Councilmember James Johnson attended last year's public hearing on impacts of proposed Port of LA railyard at Silverado Park (above, center), and when he learned no hearing will be held in Long Beach on the project's new EIR ... well, we all learned something about James Johnson.
A large crowd is anticipated this evening in Wilmington for a public hearing on the Southern California International Gateway, a mega-railyard proposed by BNSF. This was the scene last November when a hearing on the project was held at Silverado Park in Long Beach.
LONG BEACH — An eight-page report by the City Auditor’s office says Long Beach’s Water Department has collected rate increases from consumers for planned capital improvement projects that have been delayed for which the department currently has a large unspent surplus. Explicitly noting that its audit doesn’t address whether the Water Department’s reserve balances are [...]
Has public interest in Long Beach’s coastal wetlands receded as the long-raging controversy over their acquisition as subsided? Or is it just us and our addiction to drama? Taylor Parker of Tidal Influence, who just finished two public updates about the status of restoration projects in the Los Cerritos Wetlands and the Colorado Lagood, will [...]
We-the-people have worked hard to get the Los Cerritos Wetlands into protective custody, but their oft-degraded condition means there's much more to do. The upgrades begin tonight with a 6:30 workshop at the Aquarium of the Pacific.
Now that we-the-people own so many more acres of the Los Cerritos Wetlands, now that we have invested so much of our effort and perseverance and emotion to save them, standing on the edge of this crucial natural resource and scanning its inscrutable surface feels so truly … different—yeah … one hell of a lot different—than [...]
Anybody got anything to say about the draft Environmental Impact Report—prepared by the Port of Long Beach and U.S. Army Corps of Engineers—for a facility that would import construction-quality sand, gravel, granite and aggregate on a 8.3 acres of privately owned and currently vacant land on Pier D the Harbor District? If so, you can [...]
The Lincoln Spring Farmstand sells near-flawless vegetables and fruits grown on 1.5 acres of urban land---and tended by 12-year-old volunteer Eric Fuson---from a shaded wooden structure at Spring & Elm on Tuesdays and Fridays from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Rose Park residents have a 25-year resume of restoration and beautification, but have been helpless to stop Verizon from adorning the historic neighborhoods with hanging, dangling and tangled wires and equipment. Councilwoman Suja Lowenthal wants the City Attorney to explore legal options.
Daryl Supernaw, lifetime Long Beach resident and well-mannered Sustainability Commissioner, spent under $3,000 on his campaign for City Council---and emerged from last week's primary as the frontrunner. Hear his explanation tonight at 7 on Greater Long Beach Radio (www.kbeach.org).
State Senator Alan Lowenthal, finishing up his final term in Sacramento while campaigning for Congress in the newly drawn 47th district, has introduced a bill that would indefinitely extend a tax break he helped secure for the maritime industry in 2003—even as Governor Jerry Brown is asking Californians to vote themselves a sales tax increase [...]
Beachgoers, have no fear! Not about the 12,000 gallons of sewage that gushed into the Los Angeles River last Saturday, anyway. Interim Long Beach Health Department chief Dr. Mauro Torno lifted a precautionary four-day closure of the city’s shoreline Wednesday evening, announcing that that tests of the local ocean waters show no sign they were [...]
The Long Beach Area Group of the Sierra Club has announced its endorsements of 2nd district City Councilmember Suja Lowenthal and 8th district council candidate Lillian Kawasaki in their campaigns for seats on the Long Beach City Council. “Our interview committee was impressed by both candidates,” said Gabrielle Weeks, chairperson of the local Sierra Club [...]
Doug Korthof, an iconic environmentalist based in Seal Beach with a reputation stretching from San Diego to Sacramento and beyond, has died. Word of his death came from longtime friend Joey Racano, who said Korthof passed away on Feb. 5 at 9 a.m. with his family at his side. “My heart is at half mast today. Arguably the [...]
[ Story by Matthew Guhit ] DOWNEY (Via DowneyBeat.com)—In an effort to reduce energy and water usage, the Southern California Gas Co. hired landscapers to renovate the front of its building on Firestone Boulevard in Downey, dubbed the Energy Resource Center. “We needed to make it a showcase for energy efficiency,” Southern California Gas Co. spokeswoman [...]
The Long Beach City Council killed the proposed Second+PCH development late Tuesday evening with a 5-3 vote that supported master planning over spot zoning, laid groundwork for long-polarized community factions to collaborate on revised development standards and bore no resemblance to the alliances that had come to characterize this panel of governing officials. After more [...]
Just in time to rescue the holiday spirit—but probably too late for justice—the Greed+WTF group has created a slim volume of holiday verse dedicated to the Long Beach City Council's vote tonight on the Second+PCH project. C'mon, everybody! Sing along!!
Second+PCH developer David Malmuth may have gotten a gift from Long Beach officials who scheduled a City Council hearing on the wildly out-of-code development for five days before Christmas. But Long Beach city code and California law prohibit the City Council and Coastal Commission from approving against-zoning-law plans. Eventually, he'll probably have to return it.
There really is a place on Earth where people do more for the environment than replace their detergent with baking soda, and where that ethos is fully supported by the government. Costa Rica is a botanical wonderland with plentiful (and colorful) animals, birds and fish, great surfing, frijoles y maduras---oh, and very cute sloths.
California native plants do best when planted during the next few months, and Mike Evans of Tree of Life nursery is coming to Long Beach on Thursday, Nov. 10, to explain how and why to easily create a garden both beautiful and in tune with the environment. It's free!
The Long Beach Water Department pays homeowners to replace their grass lawns with drought-tolerant plants. But the Public Works Department has not changed its list of approved parkway trees. I can't even spend my own money to cut down the non-native magnolia that is ruining the sidewalk with an urban-life-friendly species of native oak. What gives?
The El Dorado Nature Center’s annual California Native Plant Sale this Saturday is 2-in-1 opportunity to restore and recover natural habitat to urban Long Beach. Proceeds from the sale of every plant—from fragrant sages to serene ceanothus to colorful monkeyflowers—support restoration of habitat at the Nature Center. Putting those plants in the ground at your [...]
California native plant expert and missionary Mike Evans---a sort of Johnny Appleseed to the salvia set---will share simple instructions (and very good reasons) for replacing a grass lawn with a garden of indigenous plants at 6:30 p.m. on November at the Groundwater Treatment Plant. The free event is co-sponsored by GreaterLongBeach.com and the Water Department.
A major obstacle for the 2nd+PCH project is the Final Environmental Impact Report’s (FEIR) compliance---or lack of it---with the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA). The document includes 200 pages of “Final EIR Errata” (that is, corrections) and 1,345 pages of comments from government and the public, as well as the city staff’s responses.
Shelley Anders created this new addition the East Village from college art classes in Texas, 25 years in the floral industry and collaboration with local artist Jeremy West, who says his dark and edgy work is inspired by Rob Zombie, Geiger, and R. Crumb.
In a letter to council member Gary DeLong and Suja Lowenthal, seven neighborhod associations say cuts in public safety measures at Bixby Park are contributing to increasingly flagrant illegal behavior at Bixby Park, including public drinking and drug use, drug dealing, overnight camping, littering and loitering, and a gang fight during a children’s theater festival.
DOWNEY — The Downey City Council probably won’t discuss a possible citywide outdoor smoking ban until its meeting Aug. 23, but Councilman Mario Guerra has made sure his opposition is known. Guerra said it would be too costly to enforce the ban, but a full discussion was halted on a 2-1 vote with Mayor Luis [...]
The objective of the joint project is to reduce both cities’ reliance on the faraway---and increasingly expensive---water sources tapped by the Metropolitan Water District (MWD), which transports water from Central California via the aqueduct and from the Colorado River.
LOS ANGELES (via LBReport.com)–A federal district judge in Los Angeles has ruled that the settlement agreement between the Port of Long Beach and the American Trucking Associations (ATA) industry interest group—a deal in which the Port changed portions of its “clean trucks program” to settle a lawsuit by the ATA—violates the California Environmental Quality Act [...]
In the first fallout from the Long Beach City Council’s just-approved ordinance that beginning Aug. 1 will prohibit most of the city’s grocery stores from from offering free plastic bags to customers—instead charging 10 cents each—the “Save the Plastic Bag Coalition” has informed City Hall that it will file a legal challenge to the ban. San [...]
State Senator Alan Lowenthal’s bill to ban styrofoam food containers in California—except in areas where at least 60 percent of them are recycled—has been approved by the state Senate and sent to the Assembly. Lowenthal’s legislation, SB 568, was stalled two votes short of passage Thursday morning after a pair of 19-14 roll call votes. [...]
Greater Long Beach-area state Senator Alan Lowenthal’s bill to ban polystyrene foam containers throughout California could reach the state Senate floor as early as today—but certainly before June 3—and the Long Beach City Council’s State Legislation Committee is scheduled to meet today to discuss whether to recommend full Council support of the measure. Fourth District [...]
White croaker has always seemed like a funny name for a fish, and after the release of the State Water Resources Control Board’s largest-ever statewide survey on sportfish from California coastal waters, it seems even funnier … in a very-last-laugh kind of way. White croaker in the Long Beach area have the highest concentrations of [...]
“Armory Park’ is a proposal to provide a patch of green space to a densely populated, park-scarce part of downtown Long Beach by closing about a block of Martin Luther King, Jr., Ave. between 6th and 7th streets. That part of the proposal may or may not make sense. But the real point—which went unmentioned [...]
Suspicion was aroused this morning when a proposal to subdivide the MarketPlace shopping center suddenly popped up on the April 21 agenda of the Long Beach Planning Commission. That’s the go-to reaction to any perceived shift in the landscape of southeastern Long Beach, home to the Los Cerritos Wetlands and a constant procession of suggested [...]
A proposal that would subdivide a portion of the MarketPlace shopping center will be considered at the April 21 meeting of the Long Beach Planning Commission. The item was agendized by City of Long Beach staff, which recommends its approval. The proposed subdivision is almost surgical, snipping 1.2 acres from the MarketPlace, which currently covers 18.2 acres. [...]
After doing a low boil for a few years over the slick website that the 2nd+PCH development team has been using to promote its controversial multi-use proposal, environmentalists opposed to the project now have one of their own. The Los Cerritos Wetlands Land Trust (LCWLT) has launched the specialized site on a separate page of [...]
Second+PCH developer David Malmuth concedes that, in a perfect world, zoning laws would be rewritten first so as to permit a project that was in accordance with them. "Yeah," he says, "but it’s not gonna happen that way.”
Want to lodge an official comment on the Second+PCH revised Environmental Impact Report (EIR)? You don’t have to hurry—hell, the 45-day comment period, which began when the document was released March 10, doesn’t close until April 25. Then again, you know how you are. And don’t forget you have to look it over first. So [...]
The Center, Long Beach’s gay and lesbian community center, is joining with 10 other Los Angeles County gay and lesbian and equality groups on Valentine’s Day to hold what’s being called a Peaceful Protest for Marriage Equality at the East Los Angeles County Clerks office. The Feb. 14 event is part of a nationwide day [...]
What's chilling about the proposal are the priorities of the Legislative Analysts Office. Never mind the impact of fines on Coastal Act enforcement, never mind the issue of whether a state agency ought to have this power---to the LAO, administering fines is first and foremost a matter of raising revenue.
Eleven months after a campaign declaration that he did not support a proposal to expand the Union Pacific ICTS and BNSF railway yards, Seventh District City Council member James Johnson is now merely urging that a “zero emissions option” be included for consideration in an Environmental Impact Report (EIR) for the expansion proposal. LBReport.com notes [...]
Maybe you didn’t know the California Air Resources Board (CARB)---created in 1967 to regulate pollution sources like trucks and automobiles---is also interested in hair-care products? It is ... and watch out, because it takes the responsibility very seriously.
DOWNEY—Los Angeles County workers conducting a routine inspection of the Rio Hondo River last week discovered a stream of hazardous waste—including oil and antifreeze—that had originated at Downey Wholesale Auto dealership. County health officials have begun an investigation. According to Chuck Seely, assistant chief and fire marshal for the city of Downey, LA County investigators [...]
The most-striking revelation to emerge from Thursday night’s meeting among environmental crusaders who last month finally saw the acquisition of 100 acres of the Los Cerritos Wetlands? Fighting for preservation of a delicate ecosystem is a lot more exciting than planning its restoration. For more than 20 years, activists had brought soulful passion, indefatigable dedication [...]
Now that an environmental battle of more than 20 years has finally concluded with 100 acres of Los Cerritos Wetlands—located on the Hellman Ranch property—in the public hands … uhhh … what’s next? Bring that question to Seal Beach tonight and ask it during the Neighborhood Meeting at the Senior Center at the Mary Wilson [...]
All documents have been signed for acquisition of the Hellman Ranch wetlands, the staff of the Los Cerritos Wetlands Authority (LCWA) announced at the outset of the panel’s Thursday afternoon meeting at Seal Beach City Hall, setting the stage for the closing of escrow on a vital and long-sought piece of Southern California’s natural coastal [...]
The Los Cerritos Wetlands Authority (LCWA) meets at 3:15 p.m. Thursday at Seal Beach City Hall with a chance to live up to its mission—to provide for a comprehensive program of acquisition, protection, conservation, restoration and environmental enhancement of the Los Cerritos Wetlands area. The four voting members of the joint-powers group—Chair Gary Delong (City of Long [...]
Despite years of debate over the Long Beach Breakwater, which culminated in a vote by the Long Beach City Council to fund a Breakwater reconnaissance study, the term “Breakwater” doesn’t appear in the text of an agreement between the City of Long Beach and the Army Corps of Engineers to share the costs of a [...]
After jetting to Sacramento for a press event supporting state legislation that would ban single-use plastic bags in California, Vice Mayor Suja Lowenthal has joined with Long Beach City Council members Robert Garcia and Gary DeLong in proposing such a ban—along with a charge for recyclable paper bags—in Long Beach. The council members have placed their proposal, [...]
Long Beach Vice Mayor Suja Lowenthal is among state and local elected officials and interest groups who took part in a midmorning press event today on the west steps of the California State Capitol building to, according to a press advisory, “highlight fast-moving local and statewide efforts to restrict the use of single-use bags.” The [...]
The 2H Construction/Sean Hitchcock illegal grading matter was heard today at the California Coastal Commission meeting in Santa Monica, and the Coastal Commissioners did something that the City of Long Beach never really seemed able to do. They unequivocally, angrily and unanimously sent Mr. Hitchcock a message: you screwed up and there are consequences. Several [...]
The latest call for a community cleanup of a Long Beach public space—this one set for Saturday, from 8 a.m. to noon, at Bixby Park—is not just another call for a community cleanup of Long Beach public space. Claudia Schou, a resident who formed Friends of Bixby Park, which is co-sponsoring the event with the [...]
Beach weather continued its unseasonal stay in Long Beach today, and you know the old saying: Last one in the water is a rotten egg! But what about the first one in the water? What is he—or she—only three days after local beaches were closed by the arrival of 50,000 gallons of raw sewage, which [...]
On-line applications began this morning at 8 a.m. for a new round of rebates—up to $2,500 per household—offered by the Long Beach Water Department to residents who replace their water-guzzling grass lawns with easy-on-the-H20 landscapes. To apply, go to http://www.lblawntogarden.com/ Admission to the Lawn to Garden Program will be awarded on a first-come, first-served basis, [...]
The few open spaces that remain in Long Beach continue to dangle in the political breeze like piñatas, their fate frequently seeming to depend on nothing more than the blind swing of a lucky land developer. During the past few years, the biggest of these places—the 56-acre, so-called Sports Park site on former oil and [...]
Three cities in the Greater Long Beach area—Downey, Signal Hill and Cerritos—have filed suit against the Water Replenishment District (WRD), claiming gross violations of its constitutional and regulatory mandates that have manifested in its “unfair and inequitable” handling of issues. The WRD is an agency created by law to manage the water used by residents [...]
The Environmental Protection Agency has cited and fined two Compton industrial companies for violating federally mandated hazardous waste restrictions. The EPA has been conducting surprise inspections of metal finishing companies over the past two years in various communities in Los Angeles and Santa Clara counties to ensure their compliance with the law. Bowman Plating Company, located [...]
Cliff Ratkovich and Carl Kemp are out, Stephen T. Conley and Alex Cherin are in, and there is speculation that the shuffle signals a change in strategy by Second+PCH lead lead developer David Malmuth---an attempt to pull political strings rather than push for community support.
One of the most-successful traditions in the environmental movement enters its 26th year Saturday when thousands of volunteers descend upon shorelines up and down the state—including several spots in Long Beach—to participate in California Coastal Cleanup Day from 9 a.m. to noon. Since the program began in 1985, more than 800,000 Californians have removed more [...]
The Green Is Greater Festival convenes today at noon—eight musical acts, dozens of environmental groups, artists and vendors—in a first-of-its kind opportunity for the often-fragmented environmental movement to unite during six hours of celebration and fundraising at The Gaslamp Restaurant. The event is free. Korey Dane heads an exciting musical lineup that also features The [...]
A Los Angeles federal court trial judge has upheld the City/Port of Los Angeles “Clean Trucks Program” against a challenge by the American Trucking Associations (ATA). The trucking industry interest group had contended that the Long Beach/Los Angeles programs violated federal supremacy in maritime matters and interstate commerce regulation. To view the ruling by Federal [...]
“I want Long Beach to become the green-technology capital of California,” says Alex Cherin of The Cherin Group. “It's perfectly positioned to attract the kind of venture capital to clean technology that Silicon Valley attracted to computer startups in the 1990s.”
In a sweet piece of synchronicity, the Colorado Lagoon restoration plan that is overwhelmingly preferred by the public is also the most environmentally friendly, the most likely to be funded and the least costly to the City of Long Beach.
A battle between supporters of state-funded parks and anti-tax groups has resumed in the legislature over an upcoming ballot initiative that would add $18 to every vehicle registered in the state, in order to fund state parks—this after California’s Department of Parks increased fees 100 percent in 2009. On Tuesday, the Senate Natural Resources and [...]
The Colorado Lagoon was a popular swimming hole until the late 1960s, when water quality began to diminish. It was reconfigured during plans for a cross-town freeway. Now 11 storm drains empty into it, one for every acre of its water.
LBReport.com has learned that a massive expansion plan for the Long Beach (710) Freeway—14-lanes total, with a four-lane truck “freightway” elevated through parts of Long Beach above 10 ground-level “mixed flow” lanes — has now raised right-of-way issues. Along with other redesign items, these could delay the project by up to 11 months … and if freightway right-of-way issues can’t be [...]
Citrus trees in the Downey area will be sprayed with pesticide this month in an attempt to eliminate the Asian citrus psyllid, which has been discovered on local trees.
Plans are finally underway to restore the soft-bottomed section of Compton Creek, the local tributary adjacent to the casino and the new shopping center. The Environmental Protection Agency and Los Angeles County has announced acquisition of the four-acre parcel of land surrounding the creek. The roughly 8.5-mile creek is part of the 42.1-square-mile Compton Creek [...]
A proposal for a massive farmers’ market on the so-called Pumpkin Patch property appears headed for a second and indefinite postponement...and considering the people involved, perhaps more than a little intrigue.
Dave and Ted Thacker, the Cottage Grove, Oregon, guys behind the Thackerberry Farms strawberry stands that bring a touch of country comfort to street corners all over Long Beach, are the guys behind an application to hold a large Farmer’s Market every Saturday and Sunday on the so-called “Pumpkin Patch” property just south of the MarketPlace [...]
Under orders from the Metropolitan Transportation Authority, the City of Bellflower reluctantly rejected all bids for landscaping of the 2.3-mile, $3 million Greenway Trail, recently opened along the abandoned right-of-way of the Pacific Union Red Car line. The MTA, which owns the property, was concerned about possible mistakes in the bidding process and a protest [...]
The latest pivot point in the development of Long Beach—the proposed replacement of the tired, old SeaPort Marina Hotel with the high-rise Second+PCH hotel, residential and retail complex—will be the next topic of debate at Beer & Politics. Developers Cliff Ratkovich and David Malmuth, who are requesting a slew of exceptions to zoning law and traffic [...]
EDITOR’S NOTE: The period for public comment on the Draft Environmental Impact Report (DEIR) for the proposed multi-use (residential, retail, hotel) Second+PCH project closes today. Longtime resident and environmental activist Lisa Rinaldi has already submitted her comment, and has offered a copy to Redistricted! The DEIR can be read here and comments e-mailed to Long [...]
HAPPY BIRTHDAY, EGRETSNOTREGRETS.COM—ONE YEAR LATER, STILL “KILLING A BUNCH OF BIRDS WITH ONE STONE”
It was one year ago today that Heather Altman—an environmentalist at both work and play—laid out the first installment of her vision for a new local order by debuting her ultimatum-y sounding blog, EgretsNotRegrets.com. Results from the first 365 days are mixed. Egrets? The great-and-snowy coastal birds are still here. Regrets? Ditto. The darkly haunting [...]