Will This Week's Rain Put a Dent in the Drought?
This week's storms have dumped lots and lots of rain on California -- even causing floods and mudslides in some places. Everyone agrees the rain is good given the drought -- but how good? How big a dent does it put in our water shortage? We talk with meteorologist Jan Null.
Hmong Farmers Losing Battle Against Drought
A new report in the journal of the American Geophysical Union underscores just how big a rainfall deficit we've got. After analyzing California tree rings dating back to 800 A.D., they say this drought is the worst the region has seen in at least 1,200 years. Many California farmers are struggling to survive it, and some are starting to lose that fight. Fresno County's Hmong refugee growers are some of the state's newest and most disadvantaged farmers -- and many just can't afford the water others are buying to keep their businesses going. Emergency loans are available from the government, but as many are discovering, the help is often too little too late.
Condom Machines for Inmates in S.F. Jails Could Serve as Model for State
It's illegal for inmates to have sex in prison. But of course, it happens. And when it does, it can lead to the spread of HIV and other sexually transmitted diseases. Now, under a bill signed by Gov. Jerry Brown, California will develop a plan to make condoms available at all state prisons within five years. For guidance they might look to San Francisco, which decades ago became one of the first counties in the nation to provide free condoms to jail inmates. We visit San Francisco's central lock-up to find out how the program has worked.
California Foodways: Gambling With Olive Oil
The Capay Valley in Yolo County near Sacramento is bucolic, with ranches, alfalfa fields and small, organic produce farms that have earned this valley a reputation as an agricultural gem. Overall, it's pretty serene, except inside its most lucrative business: the Cache Creek Casino. That contrast has caused tension between local farmers and the Yocha Dehe Wintun Nation, the tiny California Indian tribe which runs it.
Pop Music Review: Silk Rhodes' Quirky Debut Album
If you take a duo obsessed with soul music, mix in a subversive sense of humor and a spirit of experimentation, then put them in a 1997 Honda -- you'll probably get a very interesting ride. That's the story behind the debut album by the Los Angeles-based band Silk Rhodes. Pop music critic Steve Hochman has a review.