Planning & Growth
"With two schools near a plant storing ammonium nitrate -- the fertilizer used in the Oklahoma City bombing -- West, Texas, Superintendent Marty Crawford said he had always worried about an explosion like the one that happened last week."
Seattle-based InvestigateWest published a feature package last summer documenting illegal parkland conversions in Michigan, New York City, and Oklahoma. They could not cover all the other states — that was left for you to do, with the assistance of their database of some 40,000 federal grants under the Land and Water Conservation Fund.
News stories about the April 17, 2013, explosion of a fertilizer storage plant in the town of West, Texas that killed 15 people have so far focused on the plant operator's risk-disclosure failure, instead of the likely fact that government agencies knew the nature and magnitude of the hazard — or should have known. The bigger story is the regulatory failure — and industry's decades-long campaign to keep the public ignorant of the threats they face. Photo: AP/LM Otero/Available through Creative Commons.
"CLEARWATER -- Despite warnings from scientists, rising sea levels still seem little more than a distant, imperceptible threat, a phenomenon whose change is measured in centimeters over decades."
In this issue: Special report on energy and climate change; first installment of new column 'Freelance Files' on goal setting; database helps track illegal parkland conversions; members cover sprawl, science and chickens; annual Sundance Film Festival report; and six book reviews.
"WASHINGTON -- More than 4 out of 5 Americans want to prepare now for rising seas and stronger storms from climate change, a new national survey says. But most are unwilling to keep spending money to restore and protect stricken beaches."
"Over the objections of environmentalists, community groups and neighboring Long Beach officials, Los Angeles harbor commissioners on Thursday approved a $500-million rail yard that could dramatically boost business but also drive more noise and dirty air into schools, parks and low-income neighborhoods."