Friday, April 18, 2014

Smaller Vessels Screened For Radiation At SoCal Ports

Incoming boats and ships were screened today as part of an ongoing operation to block illegal radiation sources from entering through the ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach. KPFK Reporter John Matthews has the story.

Concern for U.S.-Russia Relations Tempers Hope for Ukraine Agreement

Thursday's Geneva agreement may represent a light at the end of the tunnel for the hostilities in Ukraine, according to Katrina vanden Heuvel, editor and publisher of the Nation magazine. But, vanden Heuvel adds, U.S. sanctions against Russia and the drumbeat for war on the part of many American politicians threaten to undermine the future of diplomatic cooperation between the U.S. and Russia. Pacifica's Geoffrey Upton reports.

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Nancy Pelosi Joins San Francisco's Religious Leaders to Call for Immigration Reform

House Democratic leader Nancy Pelosi joined undocumented immigrants, city officials and religious leaders for a foot washing ceremony at St. John Evangelist Episcopalian Church in San Francisco to call for immigration reform. Nick St. Charles filed this report from San Francisco's Mission District.

Crude Oil on Trains Spurs Legislative Proposal

Sacramento Assemblymember Roger Dickinson is introducing legislation he says will help protect communities from train accidents involving crude oil. The move comes as rail shipments of crude oil are skyrocketing, and activists warn of catastrophic accidents involving the highly flammable crude oil shipped on trains as much as a mile long through cities and communities across the country. Christopher Martinez reports from Sacramento.

U.S. Appeals Court Overturns Ruling on Water Contracts and Delta Protection

The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals on Wednesday overturned a lower court ruling on the impact of long term water contracts on the endangered Delta Smelt. The eleven member panel unanimously ruled that the federal Bureau of Reclamation should have consulted with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service before deciding that contracts with California water users would not affect the environment of the Bay Delta and its species. Yesterday’s ruling will send the matter back to Federal District Court decide how federal and state agencies should manage water flow into and out of the Delta while still protecting the species that live there. Vic Bedoian reports from Fresno.

Minimum wage fight not over yet for Seatac Airport workers

The City of SeaTac Washington, with a population of about 25,000, grew up around seatac airport which is entirely within city boundaries. The airport takes up nearly a third of the city’s 10 square miles. 35 million passengers a year pass through the airport, making it the 15th largest in the U.S.
In November 2013, Seatac became the U.S. City with the highest minimum wage, $15 an hour, as a result of a ballot initiative -- AN EFFORT spearheaded by airport workers and a coalition of labor and community groups. By Comparison, the minimum wage for San Francisco airport workers is $12.74 an hour and $12.66 an hour in the rest of the city. Workers at Oakland airport are covered by California’s minimum wage law which is $8 an hour now and goes up to $9 July 1. Activists in Oakland are CURRENTLY gathering signatures now to put a $15 minimum wage law on the November ballot.
Tom Herriman recently talked to several workers at SeaTac airport to find out how the new Seatac minimum wage law, which passed by 77 votes, came about and how it’s working out. (Photo: Hosea Wilcox, Seatc Airport baggage Handler.)

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Whittier's Residents Challenge At-Large Voting System

An East LA city may see changes to the process of electing its city council members. A non jury trial has been scheduled for next year to determine whether Whittier should replace its current at-large balloting system with voting districts. Three Latino residents filed a lawsuit last August against the city, alleging the current system is unfair to the city’s more than half Latino population.
KPFK's Agnes Radomski has the story.

14 Injured After Fire Truck Slams Into Monterey Park Eatery

A pair of fire trucks collided at a Monterey Park intersection today, sending one of the trucks careening into a restaurant, injuring at least 14 people. KPFK Reporter John Matthews has more.

The Board of San Francisco's Municipal Transportation Agency Approves Two-Year Budget

The board of San Francisco's Municipal Transportation Agency has approved a 1.8 billion dollar budget for the next two years that increases fares for adults, provides free Muni passes for low-income eighteen year olds and eliminates metered parking on Sundays. The board will consider free Muni passes for seniors and the disabled pending a review of the agency's fiscal health next year. The budget’s approval comes amid increasing public pressure to make municipal transit more affordable for low-income riders. Nick St. Charles filed this report.

Immigrant Farm Workers Organize Against Union Busting at Sakuma Bros. Farms

Immigrant farm workers delivered a letter to the US Department of Labor and the Mexican consulate in San Francisco urging officials not to send guest workers from Mexico to work on a berry farm in Washington state. The workers at Sakuma Bros. Farms say their employer has applied to bring guest workers from Mexico to replace workers who have been organizing for a higher wage and better working conditions. Nick St. Charles filed this report.