Kirk Siegler http://publicradioeast.org en Unlikely Partnerships Spring From California Water Crisis http://publicradioeast.org/post/unlikely-partnerships-spring-california-water-crisis At a recent rally in Fresno County, Calif., farmers in plaid shirts stood side by side with migrant farmworkers in ball caps, holding signs that read <em>"sin agua, no futuro"</em> and "no water, no food." Fresno is the top agriculture-producing county in the U.S., with more than $6 billion in annual sales.<p>Protesters argued that farms could go out of business without more water, and there would be mass layoffs. That rhetoric may be familiar, but the two groups' alliance is decidedly unusual.<p>"I'm really tickled to death to see the farmworkers working with the farmers. Thu, 17 Apr 2014 20:23:00 +0000 Kirk Siegler 39180 at http://publicradioeast.org Unlikely Partnerships Spring From California Water Crisis Argument May Have Led To Fort Hood Shooting http://publicradioeast.org/post/argument-may-have-led-fort-hood-shooting Officials at Fort Hood, Texas, are investigating an argument that may have led to a shooting spree there this week. They are moving away from a focus on the suspect's mental health issues. Sat, 05 Apr 2014 11:52:00 +0000 Kirk Siegler 38197 at http://publicradioeast.org In Wake Of Fort Hood Shooting, Attention Turns To Base Security http://publicradioeast.org/post/wake-fort-hood-shooting-attention-turns-base-security While it appears the 2009 attack at Fort Hood was different in many ways from what occurred Wednesday, the latest attack is focusing attention again on security measures there. Meanwhile, we are learning more about the alleged shooter, Specialist Ivan Lopez. <div class="fullattribution">Copyright 2014 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.<img src="http://www.google-analytics.com/__utm.gif?utmac=UA-5828686-4&utmdt=In+Wake+Of+Fort+Hood+Shooting%2C+Attention+Turns+To+Base+Security&utme=8(APIKey)9(MDA4NDQ1MjMzMDEzMjA3NzExMTA5OTU5Yw004)"/></div><p> Fri, 04 Apr 2014 21:00:00 +0000 Kirk Siegler 38154 at http://publicradioeast.org Nevada Farmers Hack The Drought By Switching Up The Crops http://publicradioeast.org/post/nevada-farmers-hack-drought-switching-crops Take a drive around the perimeter of Colby Frey's farm in Nevada and it's clear you're kind of on an island — an oasis of green surrounded by a big, dusty desert.<p>Nearby, a neighbor's farm has recently gone under. Thu, 20 Mar 2014 08:31:00 +0000 Kirk Siegler 36861 at http://publicradioeast.org Nevada Farmers Hack The Drought By Switching Up The Crops Calif. Fight Over Concealed Weapons Could Head To High Court http://publicradioeast.org/post/calif-fight-over-concealed-weapons-could-head-high-court California is shaping up to be the next major battleground over the Second Amendment, as gun rights activists in the nation's most populous state push for loosening concealed carry laws.<p>The state has some of the most restrictive such laws in the country. To get a permit to carry in public, you have to show "good cause" to a local official like a sheriff. In San Diego County, like a lot of urban areas, the sheriff set that bar high. Tue, 18 Mar 2014 09:24:00 +0000 Kirk Siegler 36690 at http://publicradioeast.org Calif. Fight Over Concealed Weapons Could Head To High Court Even After The Floods, The Drought Continues http://publicradioeast.org/post/even-after-floods-drought-continues Transcript <p>AUDIE CORNISH, HOST: <p>Here's some good news about the water situation in Northern California: More rain is falling today. San Francisco has seen eight inches over the past week and down south, L.A., has seen four. That's more rain than those two cities received over the whole past year. But the drought is still on and is still severe. And California's farmers are still looking at a bleak situation.<p>Here's NPR's Kirk Siegler.<p>JOE PALCA, BYLINE: Like most farmers in California's Central Valley, Dan Errotabere was elated by the recent rain. Wed, 05 Mar 2014 21:29:00 +0000 Kirk Siegler 35766 at http://publicradioeast.org Even In A Desert, Drought Spells Trouble For Ranchers http://publicradioeast.org/post/even-desert-drought-spells-trouble-ranchers In northern Nevada, a place famous for its wide, open spaces and expansive cattle operations, ranchers are in a bind due to the historic drought.<p>Much of the state is desert, so when people talk about drought, they're really talking about the snowpack in the Sierra Nevada. It's at barely 20 percent of average.<p>This is a huge concern for farmers and ranchers like Julie Wolf, because the mountains store the snow that melts and feeds rivers and reservoirs. Sun, 02 Mar 2014 22:12:00 +0000 Kirk Siegler 35508 at http://publicradioeast.org Even In A Desert, Drought Spells Trouble For Ranchers Drought Could Dry Up Nevada Dairy Farmers' Expansion Plans http://publicradioeast.org/post/drought-could-dry-nevada-dairy-farmers-expansion-plans When Pete Olsen talks about drought on his fifth-generation dairy farm in Fallon, Nev., he's really talking about the snowpack 60 miles to the west in the Sierra Nevada.<p>The Sierras, Olsen says, are their lifeblood.<p>That is, the snowmelt from them feeds the Truckee and Carson rivers and a tangle of reservoirs and canals that make this desert bloom. Some of the highest-grade alfalfa in the world is grown here. And it makes perfect feed for dairy cows, because it's rich in nutrients.<p>But like much of the far West, northern Nevada is in the grips of a historic drought. Fri, 28 Feb 2014 08:21:00 +0000 Kirk Siegler 35346 at http://publicradioeast.org Drought Could Dry Up Nevada Dairy Farmers' Expansion Plans LA Mayor: 'The Basics Have Been Neglected For Too Long' http://publicradioeast.org/post/la-mayor-basics-have-been-neglected-too-long Los Angeles may be known for its celebrities, glitz and glam, but the city's mayor, Eric Garcetti, is focused on something decidedly less flashy: infrastructure.<p>Take the city's airport LAX, for example. You'd be forgiven for mistaking its terminals for a cramped bus station. And stepping out onto the curb can feel like an assault on the senses, with the horns, aggressive shuttle drivers and travelers jostling for taxis.<p>"It seems a little disorganized," says business traveler Burton Webb of Boise, Idaho, on his first impressions. Wed, 19 Feb 2014 08:44:00 +0000 Kirk Siegler 34639 at http://publicradioeast.org LA Mayor: 'The Basics Have Been Neglected For Too Long' Scientists Help Western States Prepare For Drought As New Norm http://publicradioeast.org/post/scientists-help-western-states-prepare-drought-new-norm At a 10,000-foot summit in Yosemite National Park, Frank Gehrke clicks into his cross-country skis and pushes off down a small embankment onto a meadow of crusty snow. He's California's chief of snow surveys, one of the most influential jobs in a state where snow and the water that comes from it are big currency. Wed, 05 Feb 2014 23:42:00 +0000 Kirk Siegler 33662 at http://publicradioeast.org Scientists Help Western States Prepare For Drought As New Norm Oil Train Derailments Spur Calls For Safety Measures http://publicradioeast.org/post/oil-train-derailments-spur-calls-safety-measures Transcript <p>RACHEL MARTIN, HOST: <p>The state of North Dakota produces a lot of oil - everyday roughly a million barrels. But there isn't the pipeline capacity to ship all that oil to major markets right now, so the industry has been turning to the railroads. Tens of millions of dollars of new infrastructure has been built on western North Dakota's Bakken rock formation in recent years to transport all this oil. But after some recent derailments and explosions involving oil tanker trains, some are calling for a slowdown. Sun, 02 Feb 2014 12:53:00 +0000 Kirk Siegler 33390 at http://publicradioeast.org Commuting To Distant Oil Fields: Good Money, At A Price http://publicradioeast.org/post/commuting-distant-oil-fields-good-money-price Think your commute is bad? Try 580 miles, one-way.<p>Door to door, that's how far Rory Richardson travels between his home in western Montana and his job on the oil fields near Williston, N.D. Fri, 31 Jan 2014 07:59:00 +0000 Kirk Siegler 33249 at http://publicradioeast.org Commuting To Distant Oil Fields: Good Money, At A Price Gunmakers Protest Microstamping Law In Calif. http://publicradioeast.org/post/gunmakers-protest-micros-stamping-law-calif Transcript <p>STEVE INSKEEP, HOST: <p>NPR's business news includes halted gun sales in California.<p>(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)<p>INSKEEP: Two of the nation's largest gun manufacturers have announced they will stop selling semi-automatic hand guns in California. This is because of a dispute over a new identification law.<p>NPR's Kirk Siegler reports.<p>KIRK SIEGLER, BYLINE: California's new micro stamping law effects all new or redesigned semi-automatic handguns sold here. Thu, 30 Jan 2014 09:48:00 +0000 Kirk Siegler 33164 at http://publicradioeast.org On The Plains, The Rush For Oil Has Changed Everything http://publicradioeast.org/post/plains-oil-boom-transforming-nearly-everything <em>A remarkable transformation is underway in western North Dakota, where an oil boom is changing the state's fortunes and leaving once-sleepy towns bursting at the seams. In a series of stories, NPR is exploring the economic, social and environmental demands of this modern-day gold rush.</em><p><em></em>On a Sunday at dusk, Amtrak's eastbound Empire Builder train is jampacked, filled with people heading to their jobs in North Dakota towns like Minot, Williston and Watford City.<p>Jennifer Brown is watching the snowy plains of northern Montana pass by outside the train's frosty windows. Wed, 29 Jan 2014 07:54:00 +0000 Kirk Siegler 33072 at http://publicradioeast.org On The Plains, The Rush For Oil Has Changed Everything Whale Traffic Jam Delights Visitors And Baffles Scientists http://publicradioeast.org/post/whale-traffic-jam-delights-visitors-and-baffles-scientists This is one of the best times of the year to spot gray whales off the coast of Southern California as they migrate south for the winter. But recently, there have been an unusually high number of sightings of other whales.<p>"We've had so many whales," Dan "The Whale Man" Salas tells the guests on his boat. "This is all in the last two weeks. We've had orcas, we had a sperm whale, we've got humpback whales, blue whales, fin whales. Mon, 30 Dec 2013 22:00:00 +0000 Kirk Siegler 30941 at http://publicradioeast.org Whale Traffic Jam Delights Visitors And Baffles Scientists A Tragic Year For Wildland Firefighters Ends In Reflection http://publicradioeast.org/post/tragic-year-wildland-firefighters-ends-reflection Thirty-four wildland firefighters died in the line of duty this year. Some of those fatalities were isolated incidents, but one event captured the nation's attention, sparking a larger conversation about the new dangers firefighters face.<p>That event unfolded in central Arizona the afternoon of June 30, a Sunday.<p>"I'm here with Granite Mountain Hot Shots. Our escape route has been cut off," says a crew boss on recently released radio traffic from the Yarnell Hill Fire. Sat, 28 Dec 2013 14:48:00 +0000 Kirk Siegler 30812 at http://publicradioeast.org A Tragic Year For Wildland Firefighters Ends In Reflection Scandal May Bring New Oversight To LA County Sheriff's Department http://publicradioeast.org/post/scandal-may-bring-new-oversight-la-county-sheriffs-department Longtime civil rights attorney Connie Rice has been following this week's indictments against officers in the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department. She says it points to a subculture of corruption within certain units, much like the city's scandal-ridden police department of the 1990s.<p>In the main downtown jails, sheriff's officers are accused of beating and choking inmates without provocation, harassing visitors and then covering it all up.<p>"It's like entering the Bastille," says Rice. "It's ancient — you descend down into these concrete bunkers. Thu, 12 Dec 2013 10:22:00 +0000 Kirk Siegler 29657 at http://publicradioeast.org Scandal May Bring New Oversight To LA County Sheriff's Department After Fight Over Colo. Gun Laws, Two Sides As Dug In As Ever http://publicradioeast.org/post/after-fight-over-colo-gun-laws-two-sides-dug-ever John Morse was president of the Colorado Senate until September, when he became the first elected official recalled in the state's history.<p>Three months later, he's climbing the rotunda steps of the gold-domed Capitol building — his office for seven years. He hasn't been here since October. Gazing up at the dome, he says, "This is one of my favorite things to do. That's my version of smelling the roses."<p>Morse's political career ended over the gun bills he pushed through these chambers eight months ago. But he says he would do it all again.<p>"I have zero regrets," he says. Wed, 11 Dec 2013 21:46:00 +0000 Kirk Siegler 29629 at http://publicradioeast.org After Fight Over Colo. Gun Laws, Two Sides As Dug In As Ever LA Sheriff's Deputies Face Charges Of Inmate Abuse http://publicradioeast.org/post/la-sheriffs-deputies-face-charges-inmate-abuse Transcript <p>RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST: <p>And here in Los Angeles this morning, 18 current and former deputy sheriffs are facing federal charges. They're accused of corruption and abusing inmates being held in the largest jail system in the country.<p>NPR's Kirk Siegler reports.<p>KIRK SIEGLER, BYLINE: Federal authorities are accusing the L.A. sheriff's deputies of a pattern of excessive force and civil rights violations inside L.A. County's main downtown jails.<p>U.S. Tue, 10 Dec 2013 12:29:00 +0000 Kirk Siegler 29485 at http://publicradioeast.org L.A. Sheriff's Deputies Indicted On Corruption, Civil Rights Abuses http://publicradioeast.org/post/la-sheriffs-deputies-indicted-corruption-civil-rights-abuses Transcript <p>MELISSA BLOCK, HOST: <p>In Los Angeles today, federal prosecutors announced charges of corruption and civil rights abuses inside the nation's largest jail system. The indictments came against 18 current and former deputies of the LA Sheriff's Department. NPR's Kirk Siegler has details from outside the federal building in downtown Los Angeles.<p>KIRK SIEGLER, BYLINE: Today's indictments are the result of an ongoing FBI criminal probe into widespread allegations of inmate abuse at LA County's main downtown jails. U.S. Tue, 10 Dec 2013 00:12:00 +0000 Kirk Siegler 29458 at http://publicradioeast.org