Court Ruling on Water Pricing Threatens California's Conservation Efforts
A Southern California appeals court ruled earlier this week that San Juan Capistrano's tiered water rates are unconstitutional. The city had been charging its heaviest water users nearly four times what it costs to provide the water in hopes of spurring conservation. The decision could have statewide implications as about two-thirds of California's water districts use tiered pricing. Gov. Jerry Brown recently encouraged local water agencies to utilize tiered pricing to help meet a 25 percent reduction in water use.
When Colorado legalized recreational marijuana last year, it opened the floodgates to $700 million in legal sales, orchestra "weed concerts" and the world's first pot credit union. So what would California look like if it legalized recreational marijuana use? The issue could be on the ballot as early as next year, and a task force led by Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom is studying how the state should prepare for possible legalization. Would pot be sold, as some entrepreneurs envision, in high-end marijuana resorts? Would enforcement become comparable to that of alcohol? In this hour, we imagine a future California where marijuana is legal and examine the economic and cultural implications.
Activists Target Nestle for Tapping California Groundwater
Environmental groups are accusing Nestle of exploiting the state's scarce water supply after reports that the company is bottling water from a Southern California national forest. When it comes to overall water usage, experts say bottled water is a drop in the bucket compared to things like agriculture and lawns. But critics contend that bottled water is inherently unsustainable, and that the state's precious groundwater should be off limits, drought or no drought.
As the Ottoman Empire collapsed a century ago, more than a million Armenians died at the hands of Ottoman Turks or from starvation or disease. On Friday, people around the world will commemorate the 100th anniversary of what the Armenians and most historians refer to as a genocide. The Turkish government still rejects that terminology when referring to those events. We'll speak with some Bay Area Armenians about what the anniversary means to them and hear their family stories of survival.
Conflict Persists in Yemen Following Saudi Ceasefire Announcement
Saudi-led airstrikes continued in southwestern Yemen on Wednesday, even as Saudi officials declared an end to a month-long aerial offensive against the Houthi rebel group. Yemeni president Abdu Rabbu Mansour Hadi, who was driven from power by the Houthis, remains in exile despite Saudi efforts to restore him. We discuss the conflict, its causes and its implications for peace and stability in the region.
High Living Costs Force Oakland's Artists to Get Creative
Oakland is known for a vibrant arts scene and its monthly Art Murmur event, a lively gallery walk and street party. But the city has also experienced the second-highest rent increases in the country. As part of our Boomtown series, we talk with members of the local arts community about the impact they're seeing: economically, artistically and beyond. They will join us for a live broadcast from the Oakland Museum of California, which is currently featuring a "Who is Oakland?" art exhibit, highlighting the city's diversity.
Development and Displacement in a Changing Oakland
Oakland has gotten a lot of buzz in the national press lately. The New York Times dubbed the city "Brooklyn by the Bay" and listed it as a top global destination. While many Oakland residents are thrilled with the new bars, restaurants and excitement about the city, many worry about the soaring housing and rental prices, gentrification and the displacement of long-term residents. As part of our Boomtown series, Forum looks at whether the Bay Area's economic surge will translate into more jobs and revenue for a city that has long struggled with poverty, crime and budget shortfalls.
Americans for Tax Reform President and Republican leader Grover Norquist once famously said that he hoped to reduce government "to the size where I can drag it into the bathroom and drown it in the bathtub." As always, the Internal Revenue Service is at the top of his list of government agencies to dissolve. Norquist joins us in studio to talk about his new book, "End the IRS Before It Ends Us." We'll also get his take on the 2016 presidential election.
The Food and Drug Administration began hearings Monday on the regulation and marketing of homeopathic products. Homeopathy is based on the notion that illnesses can be cured by highly diluted doses of the substance causing the illness. At issue is whether or not these remedies should go through a drug approval process similar to conventional treatments. Considered a pseudo-science by the medical establishment, patients and practitioners swear by the efficacy of homeopathy. We'll get an update on the hearings and discuss whether or not the FDA should regulate homeopathic products.
Philosopher John Searle on 'Seeing Things As They Are'
UC Berkeley philosopher John Searle is no stranger to challenging authority. After all, he was the first tenured professor to join Berkeley's Free Speech Movement. Today he is one of our leading philosophers and in his new book "Seeing Things As They Are," Searle takes on icons like Rene Descartes and Immanuel Kant, and outlines his own theory of perception. Searle joins us to talk about why Western philosophy is all wrong about how we experience reality.