The Lions of Ventura County

Let me post (with some pride) my cover story this week in the Ventura County Reporter, on mountain lions, which benefitted enormously from pictures donated to the cause of the cougar by the National Park Service. Here’s the cover: How could you not love P-19? And here’s the story. THE TRUTH ABOUT BIG CATS |Continue reading “The Lions of Ventura County”

Drought over for Ojai? Not yet, but…

Much of Ventura County has now (this water year, beginning in October) reached 100% of annual rainfall. Cheri Carlson writes in the VC Star This is the first winter since 2011 for the area to get above-average rainfall. Much of the Ventura County has had 120 to 180 percent of normal rainfall so far this year,Continue reading “Drought over for Ojai? Not yet, but…”

Is desalination the answer for drought in Ventura County?

Although climate change was hardly mentioned in the two-hour discussion of desalination led by Ventura County supervisor Steve Bennett last Thursday at the county government center, the question of drought has clearly been very much on the minds of water officials in the county. Even more alarming, possibly, might be an earthquake that could interrupt supplies toContinue reading “Is desalination the answer for drought in Ventura County?”

A Matter of Dignity: Bill of Rights for Farmworkers

Really like the cover that the Ventura County Reporter found for my story on farmwork in Ventura County:                               That in one image and a handful of words expresses the plight of tens of thousands of hard-working people in the thisContinue reading “A Matter of Dignity: Bill of Rights for Farmworkers”


Here’s the image that inspired scientist Bill Patzert to call a particularly epic El Niño “Godzilla.”                                   See that monster lurking off Central America? With the jagged jaws and the beady little green eye? Here’s the story that explains whyContinue reading “FORECAST: GODZILLA”

Scenes from an explosion: “Nothing to worry about — it’s just sewer water.”

After a vacuum truck blew up in the yard of Santa Paula Waste Water last November, the Santa Paula Fire Department arrived at shortly before 4:00 a.m. According to the interview with Captain Milo Bustillos, they were told “You have nothing to worry about it is just treated sewer water.” As Bustillos and two otherContinue reading “Scenes from an explosion: “Nothing to worry about — it’s just sewer water.””

An oilfield waste plant blows up in Santa Paula: from the police interviews

On November 18th of last year, a vacuum truck at an oilfield wastewater treatment plant outside Santa Paula blew up. Besides severely injuring several people on site, including three firefighters, the explosion led to an extraordinarily dangerous fire and a cloud of toxic chlorine gas that drifted west over farm fields and sent 46 peopleContinue reading “An oilfield waste plant blows up in Santa Paula: from the police interviews”

A botannical moment from the Sespe

Went on a tamarisk-removal expedition down a Southern California tributary of the Sespe this past weekend with friends and with support from the Forest Service. Happy to do it and glad for the opportunity but know that the agency would rather us not post any on trips to protected places. So here's my allowable momentContinue reading “A botannical moment from the Sespe”

Anterra suspected of dumping hazardous waste in Ventura County

As I mentioned in a post in early September, Anterra, a small company with two offices in the Ventura County, was raided back on September 8th by District Attorney Christopher Harman, for a suspected criminal violation of law.   I talked to the District Attorney in a story published in the Santa Barbara Independent, butContinue reading “Anterra suspected of dumping hazardous waste in Ventura County”