Friday, September 19, 2014

Sierra National Forest Plans for the Future

Three of California’s national forests – Sierra, Sequoia and Inyo - are in the process of revising their management plans. They are at the leading edge of effort initiated by a U.S. Forest Service ruling in 2012, that encourages the inclusion of additional wilderness areas and coping with upcoming challenges such as climate change and wildfire. U.S. Forest Service officials have been taking public input to help guide decision-makers. One of those public sessions was held earlier this week in Fresno. Pacifica’s Vic Bedoian reports.

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Adjunct Faculty Union, Students Organize at Mills College

Adjunct professors at Oakland’s Mills College voted to form a union in May, joining a nation-wide movement organizing professors who are outside the tenure track of higher paid faculty. The campaign went smoothly, with no opposition from Mills College administration, and a 78 per cent vote to approve the union. But now activists at Mills are organizing in the wake of new lay-offs, cuts and re-organization they say raise questions about the direction of the college. Christopher Martinez reports from Oakland.

University of California Poised to Keep Investments in Fossil Fuels

The University of California is poised to keep its investments in fossil fuels despite calls, by students and faculty, for divestment. The university's Committee on Investments has instead decided to increase investments in alternative energy. The committee approved a plan that would invest one billion dollars in renewables over five years and create a framework for future sustainable investments. The committee did not approve immediate divestment from fossil fuels at the recommendation of a task force convened by UC president Janet Napolitano. Nick St. Charles filed this report.

LA School Police Returning Grenade Launchers, Keeping MRAP And M - 16s

Los Angeles Unified School District Police have announced that they're going to return three grenade launchers acquired from a federal military surplus program. But, they're going to keep 60 M-16 assault rifles and mine-resistant armored vehicle used in Iraq and Afghanistan. Pacifica's Dan Fritz files this report from Los Angeles.

Ronald Reagan and the Rise of the Right

Rick Perlstein, journalist for The Nation and author of several books on American conservatism, most recently The Invisible Bridge: The Fall of Nixon and the Rise of Reagan, speaks on America's shift toward the modern right and Reagan's role in making it happen.

The Language of Food

Dan Jurasky, Professor of Computer Science and Professor and Chair of Linguistics at Stanford University talks about his new book, The Language of Food, and how the etymology of the things we eat can tell us about our history, our society, and ourselves.

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Brown Signs Groundwater Legislation

Governor Jerry Brown has signed a package of bills to begin regulating groundwater, making California the last state in the west to regulate a water source that is becoming more valuable as homes and farms cope with the ongoing drought and shrinking water supplies from reservoirs and rivers. Christopher Martinez reports from Sacramento.

Monday, September 15, 2014

Valley Legislators Ask Governor Brown to Veto Groundwater Bills

Several Central Valley lawmakers today called upon Governor Jerry Brown to veto the groundwater legislation that passed through both legislative bodies and now sits on his desk. Republican Assembly member Jim Patterson of Fresno was joined by three other Valley legislators along with representatives of farming organizations at a press conference in Fresno. They say the groundwater bills take away local control, step on private property rights and that they were rushed out of the legislature at the last minute. Vic Bedoian reports from Fresno.

San Francisco Land Use Committee Debates Home Sharing

David Chiu, president of the San Francisco Board of Supervisors, joined the land use and economic development committee today to discuss the possible regulations for the controversial short-term house rental industry. Scott Baba reports.

Climate Train Heads for New York Climate Change Rally at UN

Climate change activists are converging on New York City for the upcoming United Nations climate summit, with what they say will be the largest demonstration in the history of the climate movement on September 21st. About 1,500 solidarity rallies are scheduled for that date around the world. Activists in California are taking part in what they’re dubbing the first ever “People’s Climate Train” to join the Sunday rally in New York. Christopher Martinez files this report.