For decades, more than 70 Navy and merchant ships known as the "ghost fleet" have been anchored in Suisun Bay, waiting for disposal. While many served in World War II, today they're the subject of a lawsuit filed by environmental groups who are concerned about the pollution these aging vessels are leaching into the bay. Now, some of the ships are finally on the move.
The 8.8 magnitude earthquake that struck Chile last month may offer some clues for how California would withstand such a massive quake. Andrea Kissack spoke with one Bay Area engineer who just returned from Chile where he was looking at how U.S. building codes held up in the quake.
Alcatraz, the iconic former prison in San Francisco Bay, goes green. Extra stimulus funds have made it possible to replace two aging diesel generators with solar panels that will power up to 60 percent of the island. Amy Standen reports on how the National Park Service plans to hide more than 1300 dark blue solar panels from public view.
This week, voters on both sides of a contentious measure set for California's June ballot will take the stage in a public hearing in San Francisco. Proposition 16 has to do with how electricity will be delivered to our homes, and by whom. The issue is shaping up to be an epic showdown between local non-profit groups and the utility giant PG&E. Amy Standen has more.
After three years of drought, California is finally getting some wet relief. Yet a series of strong storms doesn't end the state's need to conserve water. A new California law will impose restrictions on landscaping for decades to come. Katharine Mieszkowski reports on the future of the suburban lawn.
Is your yard a dated relic of California's water guzzling past, or, an exemplar of the drought-tolerant future that the state's trying to nudge us all towards?
Post on Mar 05, 2010 by Katharine Mieszkowski
Thanks to stem cells and other cutting-edge technologies, doctors hope they may one day be able to restore sight to people who were born without it, or lost it, later in life. But a rare case here in the Bay Area suggests that curing blindness may be more than meets the eye.
When Mike was three years old, he opened up a jar containing an explosive chemical that the miners had left behind. The accident left him nearly blind. Forty-two years later, doctors fixed one of his eyes in a series of two procedures.
Post on Feb 26, 2010 by Amy Standen
Art Rosenfeld is retiring, stepping down from his post with the California Energy Commission. The 83-year-old nuclear physicist pushed California to enact some of the toughest energy efficiency standards in the world. QUEST talks with Rosenfeld about his passion for saving kilowatts. Andrea Kissack reports.
The recent rain storms have drenched Northern California, dumping in some places almost twice as much rain as we'd expect to see at this time of year. That's great news for a state that's suffered three years of drought. But are we finally in the clear? Amy Standen went in search of answers.
By using water as a commodity, we are using up the fresh water the planet provides faster than it can replenish it. Reporting this piece introduced me to a subculture I hadn't paid much attention to before: Water nerds. It turns out I sit right next to a couple of them, right here at KQED. [...]
Post on Feb 05, 2010 by Amy Standen
Coho salmon conservationists in Marin County are losing hope they'll see large numbers of the fish return to spawn this year, even after our recent rains. Marine biologists say the future looks grim after a series of drought years, and they're looking for ways to stop the fish from being sucked into what they call "the vortex of extinction." Dan Brekke reports.
This month, truckers at the Port of Oakland face new rules on diesel rigs.The rules call for expensive filters that cut down the amount of soot the trucks spew out. Many truckers say they can't afford the new gear, especially amid a recession. But treating the health effects of diesel pollution may be much more expensive.
Poor air quality can exacerbate breathing problems such as asthma, as well as cause other negative health outcomes. In few places is this more apparent than West Oakland, where reporter Amy Standen investigates the amount and types of carcinogens that are being emitted by diesel trucks and new air quality rules air officials believe will turn things around.
Post on Jan 22, 2010 by Amy Standen