“The fire last week was a wakeup call to Los Angeles,” Weiss said. “That due to the light rainfall we experienced this year, we could be in for a very hot time this summer.” kerry.cavanaugh@ dailynews.com (213) 978-0390160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! After three homes were charred last week in a brush fire that began on a weed-covered lot owned by the Department of Water and Power, the utility and Fire Department have pledged to speed up brush clearance. Los Angeles Fire Department Chief Jim Hill said the department plans to seek contractors to remove brush on 14 DWP-owned parcels, and those lots should be cleared within three weeks. The department had not planned to clear the land until mid-May. “If there is another brush fire, it will not be as damaging and the Fire Department will have defensible space to work in those areas and be able to control those fires much quicker,” Hill told the City Council on Wednesday. Board of Water and Power Commission President David Nahai said the two agencies also have changed their policy to initiate trimming based on weather and need rather than the calendar. “We all recognize we’re going through climate changes and we have an unusually dry season,” Nahai said. “We’ve seen in Los Angeles that we have to be ready for other extreme conditions.” The Fire Department handles brush clearance on 14 large DWP parcels in the city, including the Franklin Canyon property where a downed power line triggered a wildfire April 12. The DWP was notified in February that the land needed to be cleared, but under its agreement the utility and Fire Department had until June 1 to get the work done. Councilman Jack Weiss, who represents the community near Franklin Canyon, said the policy to schedule brush clearance according to the climate makes sense.
WASHINGTON – President Bush sought to save Michael Mukasey’s troubled nomination for attorney general Thursday, defending the retired judge’s refusal to say whether he considers waterboarding torture and warning of a leaderless Justice Department if Democrats don’t confirm him. “If the Senate Judiciary Committee were to block Judge Mukasey on these grounds, they would set a new standard for confirmation that could not be met by any responsible nominee for attorney general,” Bush said in a speech at the Heritage Foundation, a conservative think tank. “That would guarantee that America would have no attorney general during this time of war,” the president said. Nonetheless, opposition continued to grow. Sen. Edward M. Kennedy, D-Mass., became the fourth of 10 Democrats on the 19-member Judiciary Committee to declare he will vote against Mukasey when the panel decides Tuesday whether to endorse or reject his nomination. The comments raised questions about whether Bush would nominate anyone else to succeed Alberto Gonzales as the nation’s top law enforcer. Bush could bypass Congress by filling the job with someone serving in an acting capacity or appointing someone while lawmakers are in recess to serve out the last 14 months of his administration. Asked if Bush was saying he would not nominate anyone if Mukasey is rejected, White House spokeswoman Dana Perino said: “We don’t believe it would come to that. No nominee could meet the test they’ve presented.” There is a way for Mukasey to get a full Senate vote even if committee Democrats are united in opposing him. The Senate Judiciary Committee could agree to advance the nomination with “no recommendation,” allowing Mukasey the chance to be confirmed by a majority of the 100-member Senate. Several vote-counters in each party said Mukasey probably would get 70 “yes” votes. Despite that prospect, opposition to Mukasey was growing among Senate Democrats. Most cited his refusal to say whether waterboarding is torture and thus illegal under U.S. and international law. In a letter to Senate Democrats this week, Mukasey said waterboarding is “repugnant to me” but added he wanted to review legal and other issues surrounding it before saying whether it is torture. Democratic Sens. Joe Biden of Delaware, Sheldon Whitehouse of Rhode Island and Dick Durbin of Illinois said this week they will vote “no” in committee. Assuming all nine of the panel’s Republicans vote for Mukasey, only one Democrat would have to side with the president for the nomination to move to the full Senate with a favorable recommendation. So far, the committee’s other Democrats have declined to announce their positions. That includes Mukasey’s chief Democratic sponsor, Sen. Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y. Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., told reporters he could not guarantee a full Senate vote if the nomination fails in committee. “I really believe in the committee process,” said Reid, who has not said how he would vote. “If I’m asked by members of the committee to stay out of the fray, I am willing to do that.” Two Republicans troubled by Mukasey’s initial answers said they would vote for him in the full Senate. But in a letter to Mukasey, GOP Sens. John McCain of Arizona and Lindsey Graham of South Carolina urged the nominee never to let waterboarding be used if he were to become attorney general. Still, signs abounded that Mukasey’s nomination was in trouble. Sen. John Kerry, D-Mass., who is not on the Judiciary Committee, declared his opposition. In the Oval Office, Bush complained about the delay and said it was unfair to ask Mukasey about interrogation techniques about which he has not been briefed. “He doesn’t know whether we use that technique or not,” the president said during the session. Bush said, “It doesn’t make any sense to tell an enemy what we’re doing.”160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREGame Center: Chargers at Kansas City Chiefs, Sunday, 10 a.m.Kennedy said Mukasey’s unwillingness to say that waterboarding, an interrogation technique that simulates drowning, is torture increases the chances that it will be used against U.S. troops. “Judge Mukasey appears to be a careful, conscientious and intelligent lawyer and he has served our country honorably for many years,” Kennedy said in a Senate speech announcing his opposition. “But those qualities are not enough for this critical position at this critical time.” Judiciary Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy, D-Vt., planned to announce today in his state how he will vote next week. Bush framed Mukasey’s nomination with the familiar theme of national security and the attorney general’s role in it. “It’s important for Congress to pass laws and/or confirm nominees that will enable this government to more effectively defend the country and pursue terrorists and radicals that would like to do us harm,” the president said earlier Thursday during a rare Oval Office session with reporters.
At a large rally at Biola University June 1, the Jesus Film Project, in collaboration with the university, announced a new DVD entitled Jesus: Fact or Fiction?. Each household at the rally received a free copy. Half of the DVD contains the full length Jesus film, a project that has been translated into more languages (857) and seen by more viewers (5.7 billion) than any other movie. The other half is a “Journey” of faith, exploring frequently-asked questions about Christianity, God, science, the Bible, and philosophy, answered by 18 scholars, including Ravi Zacharias, Craig Hazen, Paul Maier, and others. It includes answers to scientific questions about evolution and design by William Dembski, Lee Strobel and more. Also embedded are true-life stories of Christians from a variety of walks of life explaining their own journeys of faith. Speakers at the event, a kick-off for a summer lecture series, included Craig Hazen, Frank Pastore, John Mark Reynolds, Lee Strobel, J.P. Moreland and others.This is a nicely-packaged, interactive, well-designed, low-key and attractive tool for discussing the important questions about God, origins, faith, the problem of pain, forgiveness, and eternity in a non-threatening way. The answers to questions are excellent. A better line-up of credible scholars could hardly be gathered. The interactive layout keeps you wanting to find out more. Watch it and you will be ordering dozens, if not hundreds, to hand out to neighbors, friends and work associates.(Visited 148 times, 1 visits today)FacebookTwitterPinterestSave分享0
Glowing sand was your cradle, claimed The Telegraph. “The sifting and collection of radioactive material by powerful tides could have generated the complex molecules that led to the evolution of carbon-based life forms –including plants, animals and humans.” The article acknowledged that “radiation may seem an unlikely candidate to kick-start life because it breaks chemical bonds and splits large molecules,” but thought some of the energy could be used productively. Radioactive grains in the sand could provide the chemical energy to build sugars, amino acids and soluble phosphates needed for life as we know it. This scenario is the brainchild of Zachary Adam, an astrobiologist at the University of Washington. His idea can “be added to the existing long and varied list of hypotheses.” Reporter Nick Fleming listed the usual suspects: Oparin, Miller, the clay hypothesis, panspermia, “and the intervention of a divine, intelligent designer.” The article is accompanied by a picture of humans at the beach. No claim was made whether the energy from sunlight was helping them evolve.Somebody else needs a kick-start. At least intelligent design wasn’t excluded from the list of possibilities this time. It’s the only contender that isn’t deaf, dumb, blind and lazy from the starting gate. (Clarification: speaking of the hypotheses, not their proponents).(Visited 9 times, 1 visits today)FacebookTwitterPinterestSave分享0
The Oscar envelopes and announcement cards that contain names of winners of the most coveted honour in movie industry are getting a facelift.Breaking away from a 70-year routine, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences will this year use a glamourous gold envelope at the 83rd Academy Awards instead of the plain, white paper envelope, the kind available at any office supply store.”The envelopes are such an integral part of the Academy Awards, yet there has never been a dramatic, specially designed envelope and card to announce the Oscar recipients,” telecast producers Bruce Cohen and Don Mischer said in a statement.The new custom-designed, handcrafted keepsake envelopes and announcement cards have been made by Los Angeles-based custom stationer Marc Friedland. The envelopes are made of “iridescent” gold paper watermarked with little images of Oscar. It is lined with shiny red paper embossed with gold Oscars.The winner’s name appears on a heavy piece of lacquered red paper inside, with the category listed on front and back. The envelope will be sealed with a shiny red sticker adorned with two strips of red ribbon.”The Art Deco-inspired satin gold envelope will contain a heavyweight ecru card featuring gold foil accents and a gold leaf-embossed Oscar statuette along with the phrase – ‘And the Oscar goes to…’,” the statement said.The winner’s name on the announcement card would be printed in charcoal ink and mounted onto a matching, red lacquer hand-wrapped frame. The back of the card will be printed with the award category.advertisementTill now, the envelopes were printed on heavy cream-coloured stock, with plain block letters sporting the name of the category and, inside, the phrase ‘And the Oscar goes to’ and the winner’s name and film.The Academy has been using sealed envelopes for the last 70 years after a winner’s name had leaked out early once.Friedland, whose company Marc Friedland Couture Communications has designed high-end invitations for the past 25 years, said in spite of the Oscar envelope being the most “iconic” and “symbolic” envelope in the world, “it was funny that it was the most non-descript, office supply store bought” till now.”At the end of the day, the event is a celebration of an amazing accomplishment. We wanted to bring back the elegance and glamour. The design concept was to be timeless, regal and rich and luxe… the envelope serves as an iconic symbol of that moment,” Friedland added.Friedland got the envelope assignment two weeks ago.He took design cues from the look of this year’s Oscar set. He will prepare cards bearing the names of each of this year’s nominees. After the ballots are tabulated, partners at PricewaterhouseCoopers will prepare two complete sets of correct envelopes, and destroy the remaining cards.This year, the Academy is also returning to the phrase ‘And the Oscar goes to…’ after a one-year experiment with ‘And the winner is…’ to announce who wins the award.