Saturday, May 30, 2015

Senators Call Santa Barbara Oil Spill Response ‘Insufficient’

By Tony Barboza and Javier Panzar, Los Angeles Times (TNS)

LOS ANGELES — Three U.S. senators are raising concerns about a Texas-based company’s “insufficient” response to a pipeline failure last week that released thousands of gallons of crude into the ocean and fouled the Santa Barbara County coastline.

In a letter Thursday to the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration, Sens. Barbara Boxer (D-CA), Dianne Feinstein, (D-CA), and Edward J. Markey (D-MA) questioned whether Plains All American Pipeline acted quickly enough in detecting and reporting the May 19 spill from its oil line near Refugio State Beach.

“We need answers about why this happened, why the response was insufficient and what can be done to prevent another tragic spill like this from happening in the future,” the senators wrote.…

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Study Of Views On Gay Marriage Retracted By Journal Science

By Eryn Brown and Monte Morin, Los Angeles Times (TNS)

LOS ANGELES — Laura Gardiner knew she was making a difference with her work.

As national mentoring coordinator at the Los Angeles LGBT Center’s Leadership Lab, she and her colleagues had toiled to train 1,000 volunteers who had fanned out across Los Angeles and beyond, lobbying voters in precincts that had cast ballots against gay rights.

The idea was to push back against prejudice, house by house — and over the years, the group’s internal evaluations indicated, the Leadership Lab had gotten quite good at changing voter minds.

When an independent study published in the prestigious journal Science confirmed the group’s success, Gardiner had been thrilled.…

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More Flooding Could Hit Beleaguered Texas Communities This Weekend

By Asher Price and Sean Collins Walsh, Austin American-Statesman (TNS)

AUSTIN, Texas — Even as Central Texas waterways recede from their Memorial Day weekend flooding and insurers began processing claims, emergency officials and meteorologists warned that the area could see more flooding this weekend.

Texans downstream of flooded areas should be careful because swollen rivers are rolling their way, the chief of emergency management for the state said Thursday.

With waterways overflowing their banks and more rain in the forecast, “all of these rivers are going to heavily impact downstream communities,” said Nim Kidd, the Texas Department of Public Safety emergency management chief.…

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