Betting man seeks angles

It’s unclear to seasoned observers whether the speculators behind Cadiz Inc, a company pushing an outlandish plan to tap desert groundwater for Southern California cities, plan to go for actual water, or are content to capitalize on the stock market on the sheer prospect of mining it. Cadiz founder Keith Brackpool likes to play all the angles.

To appreciate just how many angles, check out Capitol Weekly’s report today on a Brackpool-backed bill in the California legislature seeking to change rules as to how one can wager on horse-racing.

“One key component added to the bill is exchange betting,” reports the Weekly. “This is a type of betting that allows players to essentially bet against a horse, or bet that a horse will finish in a particular spot in a race, or take innumerable other possible positions. Unlike traditional betting, where the track provides odds on particular horses,

The city flower

LA's city flower, the bird of paradise, is actually a native of KwaZulu-Natal in South Africa. The image is a detail taken from "The Lilies," a Taschen collection of paintings of plants in the Liliaceae by botanical illustrator Pierre-Joseph Redouté. Click on the ikhamanga, aka Strelitzia reginae, aka bird of paradise, to find out more about "The Lilies" and the 18th century artist nicknamed 'Raphael of Flowers.'

A year after the Los Angeles Department of Water & Power began offering $1/square foot for home owners to rip out lawn, KPCC reports that the Los Angeles County Waterworks Districts is following suit. A teaser interview today by Patt Morrison with horticulturist Lili Singer, special projects director of the Theodore Payne Foundation for Wildflowers & Native Plants, will be followed by a longer appearance by Singer tomorrow on AirTalk.

By all means tune in because ripping out your lawn …

Heat wave

The National Weather Service on Sunday issued a heat advisory for Southern California lasting through Thursday. During the peak of it, valleys could range from 98-108 degrees F, lower mountains 96-107, Antelope Valley 102-110 and the inland coastal plain 90-98.

The week that was, 8/15-21/2010

"Ebb and Flow: Kern's Vanishing Water," an exhibit in which artists in California's Central Valley examine water, will be on show at framers JP Jennings, 1700 Chester Avenue, Bakersfield, CA through October 3. Click on "Gradient Reversal" (above) by Christine McKee to be taken to a Lois Henry article about the exhibit in the Bakersfield Californian.

In the early morning the cow had collapsed, and I could see it would soon be dead. Its eyes were beginning to dull, as the owner squatted next to it, sprinkling water into its mouth, as if it were possible to revive it. Its legs were swollen from standing in water, and its chest and torso were covered with deep cuts and scrapes, sheets of raw flesh where branches rushing past must have hit it. The rest of the family sat nearby on a string bed, resigned, waiting for the end. This was

The Dry Garden: Wet policy for a dry year

Source: NOAA. Click on the maps to be taken to composite graphics of precipitation trends during La Niña years.

We’ve been getting mixed messages about whether or not we need to conserve water. On one hand, we had a decent local rain year. Last week, the state legislature pulled a water bond from the November ballot that would have driven state-wide conservation. This week, the Los Angeles City Council amended the two-day lawn sprinkler ordinance to a three-day version.

Crisis over?

Not by a long shot. Local rain doesn’t fill our pipes. Of the three main sources that do, Lake Mead, the Colorado River storage reservoir serving Southern California, shrank in July to its lowest level since 1956. Last month, the State Water Resources Control Board concluded that the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta is overdrawn by 50%. Southern California could do its part to fix that by reducing water use from

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