On Our Blogs: trails, whales, and transit media coming to an end
SANTA MONICA SMOKING REGULATED: Earlier this month, the Santa Monica City Council unanimously approved an ordinance to regulate smoking in common areas of multi-unit residential housing. The ordinance states that it is now a "criminal infraction to smoke in outdoor common areas, including patios, gardens and pool areas and parking lots."
MTA TV MEETS AN END: Transit TV, the program that provides advertisements and transit news on buses in L.A. County, has filed for bankruptcy. Torstar Corp., the Canadian firm that owns Transit TV, announced last week it was closing Transit TV, and televisions on the buses soon will be removed.
L.A. HORSE TRAILS HEEDING: Suburban expansions in the northeastern San Fernando Valley are contributing to the already declining equestrian culture in California. The Los Angeles Horse Council is working to keep the horse culture alive by attempting to change property-tax rules that would allow horses to be considered "agricultural use" and by preventing horse properties from being rezoned for commerical use.
FDA FIXER-UPPER: After the salmonella outbreak from a peanut-processing plant in Blakely, Ga., Congresswoman Rosa DeLauro (D-Conn.) introduced, with Obama's support, the Food Safety Modernization Act. The act threatens to shake up the lax health standards of the FDA by creating a separate Food Safety Administration under the Department of Health and Human Services, which would allow authorities to mandate recalls and make surprise federal inspections on food producers. For more information, visit Times' writer Johanna Neuman's post here.
WHALE WARS WANE: After more than a month of butter hurling and water cannon blasting, the battle over whales in Antarctica is coming to an end. Having exhausted its fuel and resources, the Steve Irwin vessel of the Sea Shepherd Conservation Society is withdrawing its attacks on Japanese whaling ships. However, Capt. Paul Watson of the Steve Irwin is not backing down and promises to be back next year with an even bigger and faster ship.
Photo: Ann Walbert rides her horse on a trail in the hills above her home, in the precious open space that is left in the eastern San Fernando Valley. She wants to preserve this rural enclave, where dozens of equestrian facilities have fallen to condos and parking lots in the last decade. Devlopers see it differently. Credit: Anne Cusack / Los Angeles Times