Kirk Siegler http://kuow.org en LA County's New Watchdog May Not Have Much Bite http://kuow.org/post/la-countys-new-watchdog-may-not-have-much-bite The Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department is one of the nation's most troubled law enforcement agencies.<p>Eighteen current and former deputies <a href="http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=249920055">are facing felony charges</a> as part of a federal probe into allegations of widespread prisoner abuse in county jails. Mon, 21 Apr 2014 07:39:00 +0000 Kirk Siegler 32909 at http://kuow.org LA County's New Watchdog May Not Have Much Bite Unlikely Partnerships Spring From California Water Crisis http://kuow.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 32756 at http://kuow.org Unlikely Partnerships Spring From California Water Crisis Argument May Have Led To Fort Hood Shooting http://kuow.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 31973 at http://kuow.org In Wake Of Fort Hood Shooting, Attention Turns To Base Security http://kuow.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 31950 at http://kuow.org Nevada Farmers Hack The Drought By Switching Up The Crops http://kuow.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 30895 at http://kuow.org Nevada Farmers Hack The Drought By Switching Up The Crops Calif. Fight Over Concealed Weapons Could Head To High Court http://kuow.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 30748 at http://kuow.org Calif. Fight Over Concealed Weapons Could Head To High Court Even In A Desert, Drought Spells Trouble For Ranchers http://kuow.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. Mon, 03 Mar 2014 16:54:20 +0000 Kirk Siegler 29746 at http://kuow.org Even In A Desert, Drought Spells Trouble For Ranchers Drought Could Dry Up Nevada Dairy Farmers' Expansion Plans http://kuow.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 29621 at http://kuow.org Drought Could Dry Up Nevada Dairy Farmers' Expansion Plans LA Mayor: 'The Basics Have Been Neglected For Too Long' http://kuow.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 29018 at http://kuow.org LA Mayor: 'The Basics Have Been Neglected For Too Long' Scientists Help Western States Prepare For Drought As New Norm http://kuow.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 28286 at http://kuow.org Scientists Help Western States Prepare For Drought As New Norm Oil Train Derailments Spur Calls For Safety Measures http://kuow.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 14:01:00 +0000 Kirk Siegler 28076 at http://kuow.org Commuting To Distant Oil Fields: Good Money, At A Price http://kuow.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 27971 at http://kuow.org Commuting To Distant Oil Fields: Good Money, At A Price On The Plains, The Rush For Oil Has Changed Everything http://kuow.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 27829 at http://kuow.org On The Plains, The Rush For Oil Has Changed Everything Whale Traffic Jam Delights Visitors And Baffles Scientists http://kuow.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 26282 at http://kuow.org Whale Traffic Jam Delights Visitors And Baffles Scientists A Tragic Year For Wildland Firefighters Ends In Reflection http://kuow.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 26191 at http://kuow.org A Tragic Year For Wildland Firefighters Ends In Reflection