As chair of the powerful House Energy and Commerce Committee, Waxman is poised to play a leading role in putting the Obama agenda into law, particularly in health care and in pushing the auto industry into manufacturing energy-efficient and minimally polluting cars.
I love Los Angeles, but let's face facts: We're fast becoming a second-rate city. Public safety is broken. Jews in Los Angeles were rightly outraged in June when Hamas rocket attacks from Gaza killed one Israeli in Sderot. But in one weekend of that same month, 14 Angelenos were murdered in gang-related shootings.
The problem of plastic grocery bags is explored.
Gil Yaakov and Sagit Rogenstein arrived in Los Angeles on March 2 to address an awakening among American Jews to the environmental threats to Israel. The two were among a group of 18 academics, environmentalists and politicians participating in the Friends of Israel's Environment exchange program. The goal of the exchange, which is sponsored by the Tel Aviv-Los Angeles Partnership of The Jewish Federation of Greater Los Angeles, is to share solutions for environmental problems that plague both cities, such as air pollution, wastewater treatment, recycling and planning green spaces.
It sits at the lowest spot on earth, is fed by one of the world's most significant waterways, and served witness to humanity's passage out of Africa. And it's dying. The Dead Sea, among the most remarkable natural phenomena on the earth's face, has lost a third of its surface area over 50 years, and continues to shrink three or more feet annually -- entirely because of human behavior.
Thanks to nonprofits like Zalul Association for Environmental Protection, Israel's environmental awareness has awakened, and, during the first week of March, a delegation of about a dozen academics, environmentalists and politicians will spend five days in Los Angeles working with their local counterparts.
The Arava Institute has about 40 students, including three Palestinians from the West Bank and 10 Jordanians. They all live and study at the kibbutz center on Kibbutz Ketura, about 25 miles north of Eilat. The institute is under construction to house up to 100 students in the near future. The 10-year-old institute has graduated more than 400 students from its yearlong program. It receives funding from the Jewish National Fund and other American Jewish groups and donors. Among the graduates is the son of Jordanian Prime Minister Ma'roof Al-Bakeet.
As a result, the industry is highly fragmented with numerous regional participants who provide customers with a limited range of solutions to control different pollution subproblems. That's why the simple and cost-effective Israeli solution developed by Vortex Ecological Technologies, which cleans both pollutant gases and fine particles, is being touted as a breakthrough.
When Moses sent his spies into the Promised Land, they famously reported back that "it does indeed flow with milk and honey." If the spies were to take a gander at the pollution in some of Israel's rivers today, though, it's anyone's guess what they would tell their boss.
Standing at Israel's Alumot Dam, a 30-minute walk south from the Sea of Galilee, it's a typical midwinter day: deep blue sky, birds everywhere and a brisk breeze that carries a nauseating stench. Reduced to a thin stream by this point, the Jordan River stops. A few feet south of the dam, untreated sewage gushes directly into the riverbed.
Last Yom HaShoah, or Holocaust Memorial Day, Walter Essinger did not attend any community vigils or synagogue commemoration services. Instead, the 73-year-old survivor spent that day, April 26, being interrogated by Ventura County detectives. He was then arrested, handcuffed and eventually booked into the Ventura County Jail.
When businessman Evan Kaizer traveled to Israel with his wife in 1999, it had been almost 20 years since his last visit, and much had changed, but that wasn't what threw Kaizer for a loop.
"Traveling in the Galilee used to give way to majestic views of the Golan; [this time] we could barely see the Golan through the haze," he said. "Trash was everywhere. Traffic was gridlocked, and at the Dead Sea ... we could not see Jordan, just a few short miles away." When he asked his guide why that was so, the man brushed his question aside by saying it was just a dust storm.