Crushed containers await recycling at a California facility. (Photo: Joseph Sohm)
OPINION: The fact of the matter is that recycling rates are falling in California. For the first time in a decade, the percentage of beverage containers being recycled has dropped below 80 percent. The decline means that about 1.7 million containers that five years ago were being recycled are today being buried in landfills or, worse, tossed aside as litter.
The California state Capitol in Sacramento. (Photo: Adonis Villanueva, via Shutterstock)
OPINION: The leadership of the California Association of County Treasurers and Tax Collectors (CACTTC) is comprised of five elected women and two men, thus reflecting the success of women in elected office. Representing the concerns of CACTTC, we find it ironic that at a time when gender balance in politics is front-and-center, the office to which historically more women than men are elected is being eroded through consolidation of treasurer-tax collector with auditor-controller without voter approval.
The deeply forested landscape in Humboldt County, where environmental protection is a critical issue. (Photo: Ethan Daniels)
OPINION: The resignation of Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Scott Pruitt was met with a collective sigh of relief across the nation. Pruitt, one of President Donald Trump’s most loyal foot soldiers in the Trump Administration’s ongoing war on environmental quality, environmental justice, and environmental health, had overseen some of the most egregious rollbacks of environmental protections in history during his brief and troubled tenure in office.
An aerial and solar energy installation in the southern California desert. (Photo: Veeterzy, via Shutterstock)
OPINION: The clean energy revolution is here, now, and California is a trailblazer of its success. Solar and wind power, electric vehicle use, rooftop photovoltaics, and community choice aggregation are all on the rise in California. The traditional centralized, fossil-fuel power plants are now competing with renewable and distributed energy sources, forcing the industry and regulators to adapt, and upending close to one hundred years of power generation and distribution.
Smoke from the Mendocino Complex fire creates a "blood moon." (Photo: Padelphoto, via Shutterstock)
OPINION: With the Mendocino Complex fire burning through three counties in Northern California, the Habematolel Pomo of Upper Lake Tribe could only watch and pray as flames consumed massive amounts of our homelands, forcing the closing of our small casino and all governmental buildings as well as the evacuation of Tribal members and our neighbors.
Students at Alliance Susan & Eric Smidt Technology High School, Los Angeles. (School photo)
OPINION: College application season is upon us. This fall, I will begin my senior year of high school at Alliance Susan & Eric Smidt Technology High School and submit my application to my first-choice school, the California Institute of Technology, to study engineering. I’m excited to make my college dreams come true, after four years of hard work.
A worker spreads warning tape at a home being cleansed of lead paint. (Photo: D_Townsend, via Shutterstock)
OPINION: The right of citizens to propose laws by ballot initiative is one of California’s great checks and balances. Often viewed as a last resort to express the will of the voters (see: Proposition 13), it can also be incorporated into the legislative process. At the end of June, the Legislature faced nine proposed initiatives that would likely qualify for a vote in November.
Students at the graduation ceremonies of UCLA. (Photo: Joseph Sohm)
OPINION: California is recognized as an innovative economic leader boasting access to world class higher education, yet the state is quickly being outpaced in the percentage of students who actually complete their degrees. What drives this chasm between shining opportunity and lackluster outcomes? One reason is as simple as it is startling: Students’ basic needs are not being met.
A depressed man sits alone atop an office building. (Photo: Fure, via Shutterstock)
OPINION: The effects of poor behavioral health can be seen all around us every day. We see it in the form of alcoholism or drug addiction, including the epidemic of opioid use. It can be seen in the daily struggles of those with depression, anxiety, or other psychiatric conditions. It can make headlines, as with the shocking suicides of celebrity chef Anthony Bourdain and designer Kate Spade.
A roadside sign for the city of Inglewood near Los Angeles. The picture was taken in April. (Photo: Albert Campbell)
The California economy is booming at a record pace. The State’s unemployment rate is at a historic low of 4.2 percent, with investments in technology, health care, transportation and construction projects helping lead the way. But the Golden State’s success has been uneven.The economic wave of prosperity missed some of California’s most vulnerable populations, leaving some of the most diverse and socio-economically disadvantaged communities behind. The City of Inglewood is one of those communities.