This spring’s flowers there are just so many of them cannot be compared to those of any spring in recent memory. Perennial plants native to dry climates and most of those in our gardens come from Mediterranean lands and the arid parts of South Africa and Australia, too are especially prone to flowering more after heavy rains. With their roots luxuriating in moist earth, dry climate plants “know” the soil will stay wet long enough for them to continue to absorb water through their roots and so remain fully hydrated to the tips of their shoots for an extended period. This “knowledge” encourages them to make scads of flowers in whose ovaries seeds are formed.
Frustrated by continual delays in refurbishing the Whittier Narrows Dam, U.S. Rep. Grace Napolitano summoned the commanding general of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to her office in Washington D.C. last week. Her tete-a-tete with Lt. Gen. Todd Semonite produced the same refrain the agency has been telling the 1 million people threatened by flooding if the eroding dam were to fail: The $500 million project will be completed in 2025 — at the soonest. Not satisfied, Napolitano, D-El Monte, who is 82, said she’s been working on getting the Army Corps to hasten the project for the last 12 years and wondered if she’d be alive by the time it gets finished.
Southern California got ready Monday for the first storm of the new rain season, due midweek, while also preparing for possible debris flows as the threatening remnants of tropical storm Rosa rolled through the mountain and desert areas. For a time Monday afternoon, authorities issued a voluntary flood evacuation for San Jacinto Mountain communities in the area of the Cranston fire that burned near Idyllwild as Rosa’s clouds headed north from Baja. That voluntary evacuation notice was lifted early Monday evening.
Algae blooms have reached toxic levels in Lake Elsinore, prompting state water officials to issue a danger alert and urge people — and their pets — to stay out of the lake until further notice. Lake Elsinore was the only body of water in Southern California to reach the “danger” level in the statewide advisory issued Friday by the California State and Regional Water Boards, which tested water quality in the state’s lakes last week. No area lakes received a “warning” level, in which people and animals are also told to stay out of the water, although three have received “caution” designations.