Pazhae Horace has a summer job with California Youth Energy Services, or CYES. It’s a program that hires youth aged 15-22 to do free “green house calls” in their communities. They go into people’s homes to evaluate energy and water efficiency, and then help install things like water-saving shower heads, or compact fluorescent light bulbs. Horace is 22, and this is her third summer working for the CYES site in Berkeley and Emeryville. She says that, at first, she was worried about talking to strangers, but now she really likes meeting new people, and helping them become more green.
August 6 marks the one year anniversary of the Chevron refinery fire in Richmond. The fire, caused by a leak in a 40-year old pipe, sent a plume of smoke across nearby neighborhoods, leading thousands of residents to eventually seek medical care.
The City of Richmond was hit hard when the housing bubble burst – about 12,000 homeowners there are underwater. That’s roughly half of all mortgage holders in the city. Richmond’s City Council recently approved a radical new plan to use eminent domain to buy underwater mortgages and resell them to beleaguered homeowners at lower prices. Richmond mayor Gayle McLaughlin spoke with KALW's Holly Kernan about her city’s radical plan to help homeowners drowning in debt.