A cruise run by the Aquarium of the Pacific in Long Beach, Calif., sounds like a picturesque summer outing. But the Urban Ocean boat cruise highlights the juxtaposition of a powerful port with a fragile ecosystem: You're just as likely to see trash as you are to see marine life.
In front of the aquarium, school kids are running around, eager to go inside and pet the sharks and see the penguins. There's also a marina, where a small passenger boat called the Cristina shoves off from sunny Shoreline Aquatic Park.
The Salinas Valley in Northern California grows about 80 percent of the country's lettuce, and it takes a lot of people to pick and pack it. In a field owned by Duda Farm Fresh Foods, a dozen lechugueros, or lettuce pickers, are bent at the waist, cutting heads of iceberg lettuce. They work frantically to stay in front of a line of 12 more packers, who seal them with tape and toss them onto a conveyor belt.
It's MORNING EDITION, from NPR News. I'm Steve Inskeep.
RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:
And I'm Renee Montagne. Los Angeles has reclaimed its place at the top, as the city with the worst traffic in the country. That's according to a report from a company called INRIX, which makes systems that handle traffic data. And it doesn't surprise me, Steve, because a couple of days ago, it took me two hours to get six miles.
MONTAGNE: That would be three miles an hour, on average. NPR's...
Los Angeles is getting ready to elect a new mayor, and the field is down to two: city comptroller Wendy Greuel and city councilman Eric Garcetti. Now, while Garcetti speaks often of his Mexican ancestry on his father's side, neither candidate is seen as a product of L.A.'s Latino community or political establishment.
And this is notable because of all the attention paid to the current mayor's background when he came to office. Here's NPR's Kirk Siegler.
Guns are a big part of everyday life in Wyoming, and many residents have been directly impacted by a suicide in which a gun was used. The state has the highest suicide rate in the nation, and three-quarters of Wyoming's suicides are by firearm.
The rural state's relationship with guns has long made suicide prevention efforts challenging. But that may be starting to change.
Lax Gun Laws
Last year, there were more suicides in Natrona County than anywhere else in Wyoming.
The Los Angeles Archdiocese has agreed to pay $10 million to settle a priest sex abuse case. The settlement is the first since documents detailing the involvement of high-ranking church officials — including Cardinal Roger Mahony — in moving and protecting abusive priests. Mahony was at the Vatican where he was one of the 115 cardinals who gathered to select the new pope.
It's been almost 100 years since William Mulholland stood atop an aqueduct along the Owens River and said, "There it is, take it." He was referring to a diversion channel that started piping water to Los Angeles from 200 miles away. That water allowed L.A. to become the metropolis it is today.
But it also meant that the Owens River no longer flowed into the massive Owens Lake, which quickly dried up and became one of the biggest environmental disasters in the nation.
Spring has come early to the Yosemite Valley, and the melting snow makes for a spectacular rush of water off the granite face of Yosemite Falls, the tallest in North America.
Early March is when park officials would normally be gearing up for the busy tourist season. Instead, they're figuring out how to cut $1.5 million from their budget. Without a budget deal, the sequestration has forced the Park Service to cut a total of $134 million from sites around the country.
This is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED from NPR News. I'm Melissa Block.
We're learning more about the actions of Christopher Dorner, the former police officer turned fugitive in Southern California. Today, police in Los Angeles said they believe he stalked LAPD officers and their families before he began his alleged killing rampage. Authorities say Dorner killed himself last week during a violent standoff in the mountains east of L.A. NPR's Kirk Siegler has this update.
The manhunt for fugitive former police officer Christopher Dorner is officially over. Dorner was wanted for four murders. Tuesday he apparently perished in a burning mountain cabin, after a chase and a gunfight.
Yesterday, authorities offered new information about the ordeal. NPR's Kirk Siegler reports.
KIRK SIEGLER, BYLINE: When San Bernardino County Sheriff John McMahon faced reporters yesterday afternoon, he stopped short of confirming that it was Christopher Dorner recovered from the burned out cabin.
It's ALL THINGS CONSIDERED from NPR News. I'm Audie Cornish.
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I'm Robert Siegel. And we begin this hour in Southern California, where there are more questions than answers about yesterday's gun battle between police and a man thought to be Christopher Dorner. Dorner is the former LAPD officer who's been on the run. He's accused of setting out on a killing spree to avenge his dismissal from the force, and he's blamed for the deaths of four people in the past week.
We're also following a story in Southern California: the ongoing hunt for a former policeman suspected of a killing spree. Christopher Dorner is sought in the shooting of three people last week. The mayor of Los Angeles announced the city is offering a $1 million reward for any information leading to his arrest. As NPR's Kirk Siegler reports, one of the largest manhunts in California history is now going into its fifth day, with no major leads.
Catholics in Los Angeles are reassessing the legacies of their church leaders. A court order led to the release of thousands of pages of documents on sex abuse. The documents relate to something we've heard about on this program, that Cardinal Roger Mahony shielded abusive priests while he was archbishop. Here's NPR's Kirk Siegler.