Wednesday, November 26, 2014

EPA Proposes New Ozone Pollution Standard

The Obama administration is proposing new, stricter curbs on smog-forming ozone pollution linked to asthma, lung damage and other health problems. Environmental and public health groups are welcoming the move and pushing for even stricter standards, while industry groups are blasting the proposed standard as “the most expensive regulation ever.” Christopher Martinez reports.

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Oakland Ferguson Protest Shuts Freeway

Oakland became a focal point of protests Monday night when demonstrators shut down part of a freeway, hurled bottles at police, broke several downtown merchants’ windows, and set small fires after a grand jury decided not to indict in the Ferguson police shooting case. No serious injuries to protesters were reported, but police say 43 people were arrested and three police officers were injured. As darkness fell, dozens of protesters shut down a freeway where they chanted “no justice, no peace, no racist police.” Christopher Martinez files this report from Oakland.

Monday, November 24, 2014

Consulates, Cities Prepare for Immigrant Executive Order Implementation

President Barak Obama’s executive order on immigration is stirring action from immigrant rights activists, local governments and consulates that are preparing for a wave of applications for relief from deportation. It will be months before undocumented applicants can apply for the new program, but work is already beginning to spread information and help people prepare. Christopher Martinez reports.

Saturday, November 22, 2014

Rasmea Odeh Supporters Petition Court to Reconsider Bond Denial

The National Lawyers Guild filed an amicus brief this week to petition the court in Rasmea Odeh's trial to reconsider its decision to deny bond to the prominent Chicago-Palestinian community leader pending sentencing in March of next year. On November 10th, Odeh was convicted in a federal court of "unlawful procurement of naturalization" in a case her supporters call a politically motivated witch hunt. The Rasmea National Defense Committee plans to appeal the verdict, which could entail up to ten years in prison and deportation upon release for the 67-year-old activist. But in the meantime the committee says its priority is getting Odeh out of jail, where she was placed immediately following the verdict. KPFA's Andrew Klein has more.

Friday, November 21, 2014

Report Says Oil Production Wastewater Threatens State's Water and Air

A report released this week reveals that wastewater disposal ponds used for oil and gas production in California could potentially contaminate groundwater and exacerbate the San Joaquin Valley’s already poor air quality. The study, commissioned by the San Francisco-based group Clean Water Action, investigated hundreds of open and unlined disposal sumps throughout the region and concludes the state’s regulatory agencies have failed to protect natural resources and public health. Pacifica’s Vic Bedoian reports from Fresno.

Thursday, November 20, 2014

UC Regents Approve Potential Tuition Hikes

The University of California Regents have approved a plan that opens the door for five years of tuition hikes unless the State increases its funding for the UC System. Whether or not the feared tuition hikes come to pass will depend on negotiations on the state budget over the next five years. Christopher Martinez reports from San Francisco.

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

UC Regents Favoring Tuition Hike Plan

University of California Regents have taken a step toward increasing tuition for UC students by more than 25 per cent over the next five years. A Regents committee approved the tuition hike plan, over objections from Governor Jerry Brown, other elected officials, and students who blockaded the Regents meeting. Christopher Martinez files this report from San Francisco.

Monday, November 17, 2014

Gun Owners Challenge Sunnyvale Ordinance

Some gun owners in Sunnyvale, backed by the National Rifle Association, are trying to over-turn the City of Sunnyvale’s ban on high-capacity magazines that can hold more than 10 bullets. A 14-year-old state law bars the sale of high capacity magazines, but last year Sunnyvale voters went a step farther by passing a local ordinance to ban possession of such magazines. Christopher Martinez reports from San Francisco.

Friday, November 14, 2014

Delta Tunnels Pushed by State, Opposed by Environmentalists

A new report on Governor Jerry Brown’s plan to build giant tunnels through the Bay Delta says the project will be affordable for water customers. But critics blast the plan as a $64 billion boondoggle that will devastate the fragile delta ecosystem. They say it would make California families pay for the benefit of a few mega-farmers who continue unsustainable farming on unsuitable land. Christopher Martinez reports.

Thursday, November 13, 2014

Western Governors Discuss Drought

The on-going multi-year drought in California is part of a wider trend of drought conditions across the western and southwestern states. Members of the Western Governor’s Association gathered at the state capitol for the latest in a series of forums on drought and how to respond to the problems it brings. Christopher Martinez reports from Sacramento.