In smoggy Los Angeles, one neighborhood pushes back

News about Boyle Heights in Los Angeles tends to be about crime or gentrification. There’s little coverage of air pollution, lack of safe and green spaces, lack of access to affordable and healthy food options — or the residents and organizations that are determined to change this.

Interview with “Smogtown” authors

In the kickoff to Here in the City’s “Air Check: petroleum and air pollution from a community perspective,” Sara Harris interviews Chip Jacobs and William Kelly, the authors of “Smogtown: The lung-burning history of pollution in Los Angeles.”

“The Smogometer”

I’m knee deep in Smogtown: The Lung-burning History of Pollution in Los Angeles by Chip Jacobs and William Kelley. It’s written like the pair wishes they were really James Elroy, but it’s chock-full of archival research and unbelievable anecdotes about just how toxic the miasma called air was in Los Angeles before the oil companies and defense manufacturers were ever subject to regulation.

L.A. Targets Gangs for Hate Crimes

The Southern Poverty Law Center says a Latino gang based in the California prison system has widened its feud with a rival African American gang, and is now engaged in an “ethnic cleansing” campaign that targets blacks indiscriminately. The latest victim, 14-year-old Cheryl Green, was fatally shot after straying too close to the “forbidden line” that divided her neighborhood down the middle, NBC4 in Los Angeles reports. Race-based attacks there have spiked in the past few years, and state and federal agencies are teaming up for a crackdown. Sources:
“L.A. blackout”
Intelligence Report (Southern Poverty Law Center), Winter 2007
“Injunction to be filed against 204th street gang”
NBC4.TV (Los Angeles), January 19, 2007
“No age of innocence in gangland’s turf war”
New York Times, January 21, 2007