State Stands Its Ground on Tough New Water Rules
Gov. Jerry Brown is standing firm on his historic mandate to cut water use by 25 percent, despite protests from some cities. On Tuesday, the governor and state water regulators offered some details on the carrots and sticks that may be used to reach the new conservation goals.
Bill to Reform Solitary Confinement in State Prisons Clears Hurdle
California prisons have long utilized security housing units (SHU), in which they lock up the inmates they say are the state's most dangerous. There, inmates sit in windowless cells alone for years at a time. Prisons have been under pressure to reform that system, which advocates say is abusive. But legislators say they lack information to assess reforms' effectiveness. Oakland Sen. Loni Hancock and San Diego Sen. Joel Anderson co-wrote a bill that requires data collection on inmates in the SHU. The bill passed the Senate Public Safety Committee on Tuesday.
New App Could Create Low-Cost Earthquake Early Warning System
We've been hearing a lot about the death and destruction in Nepal and how everybody knew the big one was coming, only they didn't know when. There's an effort in Silicon Valley to create smartphone apps that can detect earthquakes and send out early warnings. If scientists can get it to work, smartphones could provide a cost-effective earthquake early warning system for impoverished countries like Nepal.