Tag Archives: Southern California

Horrifying video of the raging wildfires in Southern California show how rapidly destruction has spread

A series of wildfires have broken out in Los Angeles and Ventura counties, and continue to rage as of late in the day on Wednesday.

The three largest blazes — the Thomas Fire, the Creek Fire, and the Rye Fire — are burning around Ventura, Sylmar, and Santa Clarita, with no signs of stopping. The fires have already destroyed hundreds of homes, and prompted the evacuation of 200,000 people across region.

Because the flames have been fed by strong, dry Santa Ana winds of up to 80 mph, authorities have not been able to contain the fires.

Continue reading Horrifying video of the raging wildfires in Southern California show how rapidly destruction has spread

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Dalai Lama Brings Message of Compassion to Southern California

Dalai Lama Brings Message of Compassion to LA

Tibetan spiritual leader the Dalai Lama poses for a “selfie” with blogger and activist Alek Boyd during a break between panel discussions at an event entitled: “Happiness, Free Enterprise, and Human Flourishing.”

The Inglewood visit follows a meeting with President Obama and talks in the Bay Area

The Dalai Lama’s California speaking tour continues Tuesday when he visits The Forum for a mid-day talk on social integrity that is expected to draw protests from hundreds of Buddhist monks and nuns who accuse him of religious persecution.

The spiritual leader, awarded the 1989 Nobel Peace Prize for his non-violent struggle for the liberation of Tibet, is scheduled to speak Tuesday at 12:15 p.m. The theme for the event organized by the Lourdes Foundation will be Non-Violence and the Effects of Compassion in the 21st Century.

Tickets for the event start at $38 and cost up to $224 for floor seating.

Compassion was the subject of his talk Monday at Santa Clara University, where he wore a visor featuring the school’s name and posed for at least one selfie with a member of the audience.

“Through kindergarten up to the university we must include teaching of compassion or teaching of warmheartedness,” he said.

The talk was projected on a screen at the school cafeteria.

“I think it would be really shortsighted to focus on getting homework done or not getting homework done fast enough, and not have that experience to listen to his wisdom,” said Katie O’Keefe, a Santa Clara University senior.

Protesters from the International Shugden Community have followed the Dalai Lama throughout his California visit, which began Friday and included speeches in Richmond and Berkeley. About 30 demonstrators gathered outside the sold-out event in Santa Clara.

They are upset about the banning of Tibetan-exiles who make prayers to the Buddhist deity Dorje Shugden, protesters said.

A frequent visitor to the U.S., the Dalai Lama has lived in exile in northern India since fleeing China in 1959. He met last week with President Barack Obama over the strong objections from China that the U.S. was meddling it its affairs.

Beijing decries the Dalai Lama as an anti-Chinese separatist because of his quest for greater Tibetan autonomy. The White House calls him a respected cultural and religious figure who is committed to peace. 

Beijing frequently protests meetings with the Dalai Lama, and the dust-ups have become something of a diplomatic ritual for Obama, who faced Beijing’s ire when he met with the Tibetan leader in 2010 and again in 2011. In his first year in office, Obama put off a meeting with the monk in what was seen as a move to placate China.

“I have severe doubts that the Chinese would proceed to do anything in response or retaliation that would undermine much larger Chinese interests” with the U.S., Jonathan Pollack, a China scholar at the private Brookings Institution, told The Associated Press.

The Dalai Lama told Obama he’s not seeking Tibetan independence. Both leaders said they hoped talks would resume between Beijing and the Dalai Lama’s representatives.

Google to invest in six more large solar panel farms in the Southwest

Google’s over a billion dollar commitment to clean energy projects — a Hoover’s Dam worth of renewable energy — keeps growing. On Thursday Google announced that it will invest $80 million into six solar panel farms in California and Arizona.

The solar panel farms have been under developed by project developer Recurrent Energy, which was bought by Sharp a few years ago, and has been rumored to be soon sold off by Sharp(though Sharp denied that rumor this Summer). The solar panel farms have a combined capacity of 106 MW, which can generate enough electricity to power 17,000 homes, and five of the projects are in Southern California, while one is in Arizona.

Google teamed up with investment group KKR to purchase the plants –which will be operational next year — outright for a total cost of $400 million. Back in late 2011 Google made a similar deal with KKR and Recurrent Energy for some solar panel farms in Sacramento.

This latest clean power move by Google shows not only the search engine giant’s long standing commitment to put large sums of money into clean power infrastructure, but also the variety of options that Internet companies have to help green the grid. Google makes these types of investments partly because they can make money off of them, and partly because these projects can be areas that could feed electricity to Google data centers. Google can also get renewable energy credits from investments like these.