Angela Johnston | KALW

Angela Johnston

Cal OES

A massive wildfire that started over a week ago in the hills of Yolo and Napa counties is now 73 percent contained.

Tom Levy

Architecture has the power to transform. A building can make us feel joy or sadness, powerful or weak. 

Steve Johnson via Flickr Creative Commons

Even though we are entering another summer drought-free, Governor Jerry Brown just signed two new water conservation bills into law. These laws will require permanent water conservation, regardless of whether or not California is in a drought.

KALW’s environment reporter Angela Johnston tells us more on AB 1668 and SB 606

"one-forty/three-sixty-five" by CC Flickr User Laura LaRose

 

The votes are in — or, most of them anyway, with some mailed-in ballots yet to be counted. And California voters have weighed in on state and local propositions as well as many elected offices.

Angela Johnston

Some Napa winemakers and environmentalists feel the Valley has reached its limit. They say too many vineyards are hurting the environment — but their solution is producing a divisive battle at the ballot box.

Stan Shebs / Wikimedia Commons

 

Fifty years ago, Napa Valley winemakers and community members wanted to protect the valley from housing and commercial development.

They declared agriculture — which in Napa Valley basically means grapes — the “highest and best use” of the land.

This paved way for the growth of the wine industry that currently coats the valley floor, and the tens of billions in profit the valley churns out each year.

But now some winemakers and environmentalists feel Napa Valley has reached its limit.

 

California’s recent six-year drought was the worst the region had experienced in over 500 years.

Water restrictions imposed by the state during the drought led many residents to start collecting water themselves, with buckets in their showers, rain barrels in the yard, or more complicated rainwater storage contraptions.

Homeowners who installed rainwater capture systems to conserve water may have had to pay higher property taxes as a result. That’s because constructing these systems can count as a property improvement.

 

California’s Proposition 70 is about cap-and-trade money, so at its core, it’s a proposition about how the state is addressing climate change.

 

That’s because cap-and-trade is a program designed to curb the use of greenhouse gases. Certain companies need to get permits for the greenhouse gases they create.

 

Image cropped and reused from Wikiemedia Commons

Over the past few decades, the San Francisco skyline has undergone a transformation. It's building up.

San Francisco now has over 100 buildings taller than 240 feet, and more are on the way. But many are being built on sandy, unstable ground, known for their high risk of behaving like quicksand during an earthquake.

 

Prop 68 is all about the environment. It’s known as the Parks, Environment, and Water Bond. 

 

And if it’s approved, it would collect over $4 billion for those issues.

 

Robert Huffstutter / Flikr / Creative Commons

 

The redevelopment of the Hunters Point Shipyard is slated to be San Francisco’s biggest redevelopment project since the 1906 earthquake.

 

The Shipyard is a former naval base and nuclear-weapons testing lab — and the cleanup of radioactive materials used there has been ongoing for decades.

 

Marissa Ortega-Welch/KALW

 

This is the first story in our four-part series “Persistent Poison: Lead’s Toxic Legacy in the Bay Area  

A 2017 Reuters report showed that a few Bay Area neighborhoods have some of the highest rates of childhood lead poisoning in the country.

Angela Johnston

 

This is the second story in our four-part series  “Persistent Poison: Lead’s Toxic Legacy in the Bay Area,” an in-depth look at childhood lead poisoning in the Bay Area.

Marissa Ortega-Welch

 

This is the third story in our four-part series  “Persistent Poison: Lead’s Toxic Legacy in the Bay Area,” an in-depth look at childhood lead poisoning in the Bay Area.

The numbers show the lead poisoning problem in the Bay Area is bad — but is what we know just the tip of the iceberg?

Angela Johnston

 

This is the last story in our four-part series “Persistent Poison: Lead’s Toxic Legacy in the Bay Area.”  

In Alameda County, which has some of the highest lead levels in the country, an energetic public health nurse helps families after their child has been lead poisoned. But her work is a stopgap solution. What’s the answer to preventing leading poisoning before it starts?

Sulfur CC-BY-SA-3.0 Wikimedia Commons

 

This is part of our series  “Persistent Poison: Lead’s Toxic Legacy in the Bay Area,” an in-depth look at childhood lead poisoning in the region.

Marissa Ortega-Welch

Concerned about lead? Resources vary by city and county, but here are a few starting points.

 

Testing your child’s blood for lead

If you have private insurance or Medi-Cal, ask your primary care provider. All health insurance plans are required to pay for the blood lead test.

 

If you are uninsured, contact your local county health system to enroll in a county health care program.

 

This month we’ve experienced record-breaking weather across the state.

 

Angela Johnston / KALW News

 

In hundreds of communities across the state, the water coming out of the tap is still not drinkable. Many of these places are small, rural, and economically disadvantaged — the bulk of them are located in the Central Valley. But the Bay Area isn’t immune, and the solutions aren’t easy.

Angela Johnston

A long legal battle over shipping coal out of the new Oakland export terminal is headed to trial.

Angela Johnston

 

Ben Durkee is a true Trinity local. He’s lived and worked in the Northern California county his entire life.  

Angela Johnston

The devastating October 2017 wildfires in Northern California were the worst in the state’s history, and fire scientists expect more of these extreme blazes to become the norm. Millions of dead trees turn forests into tinderboxes. And many of those trees were killed by one tiny culprit — the bark beetle.

Flickr user Jasperdo under CC BY-NC-ND 2.0

 

Governor Brown’s plan to build tunnels under the Delta suffered another setback when the Santa Clara Valley Water district decided it would only fund the project if it is scaled back.

Flickr user J R under CC BY 2.0

 

From switching to renewable energy to battery storage, to taxing drinking water. Out of the hundreds of bills that the California Assembly debated in the final hours of the legislative session this month, many dealt with water, climate change, and the environment. KALW's energy and environment reporter Angela Johnston shares some of the key environmental legislation now sitting on Governor Brown’s desk, and the ones that didn’t make it there.

Angela Johnston

Three years ago a major earthquake rattled the Bay Area. Napa Valley was hit the hardest: 200 people were injured, one person died and the total financial damage in the area was almost a billion dollars. It was also the first time an experimental early warning system called Shake Alert notified researchers of a major quake before it actually happened. If researchers secure enough funding, we may have more time to duck, cover and hold on before the next big one.

"Pier 14 King Tide 2-2016" by Flickr user Dave R, under CC BY-NC 2.0, cropped and resized

Two California counties and one city did something unprecedented last week: San Mateo County, Marin County, and Imperial Beach down in San Diego are suing 37 different oil and gas companies for the projected effects and costs of sea level rise along the coast.

Angela Johnston

 


If you drive east on the Bay Bridge out of San Francisco and look down at Treasure Island, it’s hard to miss what look like enormous piles of dirt. These mounds are actually the remains of old Navy barracks, ground into pieces.

 

Almost everyone who flies into San Francisco or San Jose airport has seen it -- a vibrant patchwork quilt of colorful water. There, on the southern edge of the San Francisco Bay, you can see bright pinks, pumpkin oranges, neon greens and deep magentas, contrasted against the dark blues of the natural bay water. The last time KALW listener Donna Staton peered out an airplane window, she saw it, too.

 

@PickerCPUC

The Environmental Protection Agency is one of the hardest-hit agencies in President Trump's preliminary budget. The blueprint slashes the EPA's budget by nearly one third.

Angela Johnston

 

Almost nothing goes to waste at Bob Giacomini’s family dairy farm north of Point Reyes Station.

Pages