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Hundreds of L.A. Schools May Close Next Week as Workers Plan to Strike

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Hundreds of L.A. Schools May Close Next Week as Workers Plan to Strike

It’s Friday. A 3-day strike deliberate for subsequent week could shut down the Los Angeles Unified Faculty District. Plus, a robust new exhibit on the de Younger Museum in San Francisco.

Roughly half 1,000,000 college students in California could possibly be staying house from college subsequent week if staff of the Los Angeles Unified Faculty District, the nation’s second largest public college system, perform a deliberate three-day strike that will begin on Tuesday.

Saying that negotiations with the district had stalled, the union that represents 30,000 cafeteria staff, bus drivers, custodians and different college staff introduced that the employees meant to stroll off the job subsequent week. And the academics’ union, which represents one other roughly 30,000 L.A.U.S.D. staff, mentioned its members, in solidarity, wouldn’t cross the picket line.

That implies that greater than 1,000 Los Angeles Unified faculties could have to shut from Tuesday by means of Thursday, in keeping with the district superintendent, Alberto Carvalho.

S.E.I.U. Native 99, the union that represents the staff who’re planning to strike, is in search of a 30 p.c elevate and different will increase in compensation. Its members “know a strike shall be a sacrifice, however the college district has pushed staff to take this motion,” Max Arias, the chief director of Native 99, mentioned in a press release.

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The district is providing a 5 p.c wage enhance for the present college yr and one other 5 p.c elevate for the following, in addition to one-time bonuses and extra raises for sure positions, officers mentioned this week.

Carvalho referred to as {that a} “historic supply,” and mentioned that the district was working to achieve a take care of union officers that will avert a strike. However in an indication that the walkout was turning into extra possible, he urged dad and mom to start making preparations with their employers and little one care suppliers to organize for faculties to be closed. The contract dispute comes at a time when schoolchildren are solely starting to get well from instructional setbacks they suffered throughout the Covid-19 pandemic.

“I wish to personally apologize to our households and our college students,” Carvalho wrote on Twitter this week. “You deserve higher. Know that we’re doing the whole lot attainable to keep away from a strike.”

Public help for organized labor is at a 50-year-high in america, and unions have made main inroads just lately at high-profile firms like Amazon and Starbucks. Strikes, particularly by academics and training staff, have change into more and more widespread over the previous six years, a mirrored image of widespread frustration with low wages, poor working situations and rising revenue inequality, in keeping with Kent Wong, director of the U.C.L.A. Labor Heart.

“There’s great discontent amongst working those that this isn’t working for them,” Wong informed me. “The rise in employee organizing and the rise in employee strikes is completely an indication of the occasions.”

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Extra American staff have been on strike in 2018 than in any of the earlier 30 years, in keeping with Jane McAlevey, a senior coverage fellow with the U.C. Berkeley Labor Heart. The pandemic briefly paused the pattern towards extra strikes, however staff’ anger continued to rise, she mentioned, as they handled the damaging work environments and staffing issues that the pandemic precipitated. “I believe all of that is boiling over now,” McAlevey informed me.

Lecturers went on strike in Oakland final yr to protest college closures, and courses have been canceled for greater than every week in Sacramento throughout a academics’ strike there final spring.

And in November, roughly 48,000 educational staff at College of California campuses throughout the state went on strike in what was the biggest and longest university-based labor motion in American historical past. It ended practically six weeks later with massive pay will increase for the employees — an end result that’s prone to preserve inspiring others to stroll out, Wong mentioned: “There’s nothing that encourages staff to take motion greater than success.”

In 2019, when the academics’ union in L.A. Unified organized a six-day strike, college campuses stayed open however attendance was low. Eric Garcetti, who was mayor of Los Angeles on the time, stepped in to assist dealer a deal to finish the walkout.

That strike was a watershed, due to the way in which the general public rallied across the academics, Wong informed me. He mentioned the success of that strike was the explanation the academics union determined this week to face in solidarity with the district’s blue-collar staff, one thing he referred to as “extraordinary.”

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A U.C. Irvine Ph.D. candidate was denied a Fulbright-Hays scholarship underneath a regulation that penalized candidates in the event that they grew up talking the language of their proposed nation for analysis.

Asparagus, goat cheese and tarragon tart.


At the moment’s tip comes from Bruce Christie, who recommends Shelter Cove, between Fort Bragg and Eureka in Humboldt County:

“Shelter Cove is the one coastal neighborhood within the 75-mile stretch of California’s “Misplaced Coast,” the place engineers gave up on extending Freeway 1 due to the steep terrain. Twenty-six miles west of Garberville on Freeway 101, it’s a city of about 600 full-time residents with a handful of lodgings and eating places.

We began visiting 30 years in the past after we have been residing in L.A., drawn by the fantastic thing about the mountains and sea. We grew to like the darkish nights, days when the sound of surf is all you’ll be able to hear, and an setting that appears solely frivolously touched by the arms of man.

Shelter Cove is a superb place to unwind, go fishing or mountain climbing or tide-pooling, or simply watch spectacular sunsets.”

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Inform us about your favourite locations to go to in California. E-mail your options to CAtoday@nytimes.com. We’ll be sharing extra in upcoming editions of the e-newsletter.


Richie Henderson is an iconic determine in Ukiah, the biggest metropolis in Mendocino County. For 20 years, he has warmly greeted clients and cleaned tables on the fashionable Schat’s Bakery and Cafe in downtown, The Ukiah Every day Journal experiences.

Now, Henderson’s face smiles from a billboard alongside Freeway 101 — a tribute by the bakery’s proprietor, Zach Schat, to honor his longtime worker. “Thanks, Richie!” proclaims the signal.

The gesture has moved locals and prompted tons of of on-line feedback about Richie, of whom many individuals appear to be a fan. One commenter wrote: “I used to be there when he began. From the cameo performances at Christmas events to his glad good mornings on his stroll to work, Richie is without doubt one of the greatest elements of this neighborhood.”


Thanks for studying. I’ll be again on Monday. Get pleasure from your weekend. — Soumya

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P.S. Right here’s immediately’s Mini Crossword.

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Wyoming Democratic Caucus Results

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Wyoming Democratic Caucus Results
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Iran seizes Israel-linked container vessel

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Iran seizes Israel-linked container vessel

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Iran’s elite Revolutionary Guards have seized an Israeli-linked container ship in the latest escalation of hostilities between the Islamic republic and Israel.

The capture of the MSC Aries comes as Tehran has been vowing to respond to a suspected Israeli air strike on Iran’s consular building in Damascus this month that killed seven guards members, including two senior commanders.

Video published online showed two guards soldiers sliding from a helicopter down ropes on to the deck of the a 366m-long container ship in the Gulf of Oman.

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The vessel is operated by Geneva-based Mediterranean Shipping Company, the world’s biggest container shipping line. It is owned by Gortal Shipping, a finance company affiliated with Zodiac Maritime, a company controlled by Israel’s Ofer family.

Israel Katz, Israel’s foreign minister, accused Iran of conducting a “pirate operation”. 

IRNA, Iran’s state news agency, said the guards’ naval forces had captured the ship after boarding it using a helicopter.

The seizure took place in the Gulf of Oman, close to the critical chokepoint of the Strait of Hormuz, a vital maritime trade route through which much of the world’s crude shipments pass.

Iranian leaders have blamed Israel for the April 1 strike on its diplomatic mission and likened it to a direct strike on the republic. The assault has raised concerns over the risk of a full-blown regional war erupting.

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Hostilities across the region have intensified since Hamas’s October 7 attack on Israel killed 1,200 people, according to Israeli officials, and triggered the war in Gaza.

Iranian-backed militants have launched drones, rockets and missiles against Israel and US troops in the region as Israeli forces have mounted a retaliatory offensive against Hamas in Gaza, which has killed more than 33,000 people, according to Palestinian officials.

Tensions also soared in the occupied West Bank on Saturday, with settlers torching Palestinian houses and cars in the village of al-Mughayyir after a 14-year-old Israeli went missing. The army found his body and said that he had been killed in a “terrorist attack”.

Iran has sought to avoid a direct conflict with Israel and the US, and has signalled that its response to the April 1 strike on its consular building will be calibrated.

Iranian forces have previously seized tankers during periods of heightened tension with the US and other western states.

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The seizure of the MSC Aires is the first in waters off Iran since January, when Iranian forces seized the Greek-owned oil tanker St Nikolas in a similar position.

MSC confirmed that the vessel had been seized by “Iranian authorities”.

The ship was operating a service for MSC from the United Arab Emirates port of Khalifa to Nhava Sheva in Mumbai.

“She has since been diverted from her itinerary towards Iran,” the company said. It added that the ship had 25 crew on board. “We are working closely with the relevant authorities to ensure their wellbeing, and safe return of the vessel,” MSC said.

The UK’s Maritime Trade Operations office, based in Dubai, reported that the vessel had been “seized by regional authorities”.

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A bulletin on the incident from Ambrey, a UK maritime intelligence company, said that Zodiac had encountered “Iranian hostile acts” in the past because of its Israeli ownership.

“Israeli-owned shipping is advised to reconsider transiting the Strait of Hormuz,” Ambrey wrote.

The waters of the Strait of Hormuz, near where the MSC Aries was seized, are the world’s most important route for oil tankers, carrying oil from Saudi Arabia and other Gulf producers to the wider world. They are also an important route for container ships going to and from Khalifa and the vast container port at Jebel Ali, in Dubai.

Container ships have mostly stopped sailing through waters off Yemen since December, after Iranian-backed Houthis launched a series of attacks on vessels linked with Israel, the UK and US, claiming to be acting in support of Gaza’s Palestinians. However, the route through the Strait of Hormuz had not until now been as big a concern.

The MSC Aries’ Automatic Identification System stopped broadcasting shortly after the vessel left Khalifa. Ships seized previously by Iran, including the St Nikolas, have generally been taken to the Iranian port of Bandar Abbas.

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What biologists see from the shores of the drying Great Salt Lake

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What biologists see from the shores of the drying Great Salt Lake

Scientists Carly Biedul, Bonnie Baxter and Heidi Hoven look for migratory birds on the eerily dry south shore of the Great Salt Lake in Utah.

Lindsay D’Addato for NPR


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Scientists Carly Biedul, Bonnie Baxter and Heidi Hoven look for migratory birds on the eerily dry south shore of the Great Salt Lake in Utah.

Lindsay D’Addato for NPR

SALT LAKE CITY, Utah — Drive west of this sprawling high desert city, past its newly built international airport, through a series of locked gates into the Audubon’s Gillmor Sanctuary and it’s like entering another world.

Or maybe better put, an other worldly landscape: the vast, and drying wetlands along the Great Salt Lake, the largest saline lake left in the western hemisphere, some fifty miles long and thirty wide.

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“It’s quite an adventure to get out here,” says Carly Biedul, a wildlife biologist at nearby Westminster University. She’s part of a team of scientists who have been tracking the lake’s decline amid the West’s record megadrought made worse by climate change. They’ve been conducting weekly trips to various sampling and study sites for the last several years at the remote lake that only recently started making international headlines due to its sharp decline.

Even since its water levels peaked in the 1980s, the Great Salt Lake has always had this mysterious vibe. It’s shallow and boggy. It can stink, especially in the heat of summer.

But zero in right here at this private sanctuary – where steady water still flows in due to a complex web of agreements – and it soon becomes clear how alive this ecosystem can be and how hugely important of a stopover it is for migratory birds.

Wetlands ecologist Heidi Hoven looks for shorebirds at the Gillmor Sanctuary, which she helps manage.

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Wetlands ecologist Heidi Hoven looks for shorebirds at the Gillmor Sanctuary, which she helps manage.

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Water diversions by farmers and Utah’s booming population are seen as some of the biggest culprits behind the Great Salt Lake’s decline.

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Water diversions by farmers and Utah’s booming population are seen as some of the biggest culprits behind the Great Salt Lake’s decline.

Lindsay D’Addato for NPR

Despite recent moisture, the lake is still shrinking

2023 brought record snow to Utah, and a healthy spillover of runoff into the imperiled lake. Scientists warn the lake has already shrunk nearly in half from its historical average.

“It’s because of so many years of drought and climate change and water diversions, and we can’t keep going like that,” says Bonnie Baxter, director of the Great Salt Lake Institute.

But she says there’s still time to reverse its decline. The last two years has bought the state some time. Researchers here are already detecting sharp declines in shorebird populations such as burrowing owls and snowy plovers. As the lake and its wetlands dry, the brine shrimp the birds feed on are dying out.

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“For these birds that queue into these saline habitats, there are fewer places for them to go,” says Heidi Hoven, a wetlands ecologist who helps manage the Gillmor. “All the saline lakes here in the West, and many in the world, are experiencing this loss of water and in essence that relates to a loss in habitat.”

Left: the Great Salt Lake is an important stopover for scores of migratory shorebirds. Right: as the lake dries, predators like coyotes are appearing in areas that used to be underwater.

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There are plenty of culprits behind the lake drying up

Scientists say the West is believed to be as dry as it’s been in 1200 years. The megadrought made worse by climate change has been contributing to the Great Salt Lake’s decline. But agriculture usually bears the bulk of the blame. Upstream water diversions for expanding alfalfa farms and dairies has meant less and less flows into the lake. Utah’s population is also booming. Hoven says development is now running right up to the sanctuary.

“You can actually see it over your shoulder,” she gestures. “It’s this advancement of large, distribution warehouses that are within a mile from the sanctuary now where it used to be open land.”

A short, bumpy ride later along a rutted out dirt track, Hoven pulls to a stop at a favorite vista. The setting sun is casting an eerie orange glow over the distant mountains that ring the dry lake bed. It stretches for miles with just a few pools of water here or there.

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Scientists Heidi Hoven, Senior Manager at the Gillmor Sanctuary and Audubon Rockies and Bonnie Baxter, Director at The Great Salt Lake Institute, look for small flies at a bird sanctuary where many species of birds are affected by the recession of The Great Salt Lake.

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Scientists Heidi Hoven, Senior Manager at the Gillmor Sanctuary and Audubon Rockies and Bonnie Baxter, Director at The Great Salt Lake Institute, look for small flies at a bird sanctuary where many species of birds are affected by the recession of The Great Salt Lake.

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Wetlands ecologist Heidi Hoven looks for small flies at a bird sanctuary where many species are in decline due to the alarming drying of the Great Salt Lake.

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Wetlands ecologist Heidi Hoven looks for small flies at a bird sanctuary where many species are in decline due to the alarming drying of the Great Salt Lake.

Lindsay D’Addato for NPR

It’s beautiful but also eerie, even for the trained eye of wildlife biologists like Biedul, who make weekly research trips to the lake.

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“Otherworldly is a great word,” she says. “It’s crazy. We’re at Great Salt Lake right now but there’s no water. The other places where I go and sample there’s water there at least. But here we’re still at the lake and it’s dry.”

Hoven chimes in, solemnly.

“It’s just so shocking, and you know, it’s a shock to me every time I see it,” she says. “But to see someone view it for the first time. You can really see them taking it in. You never thought you could see this dryness.”

The state is being galvanized into action

But all this shock and alarm, the scientists say, may be good. It’s pressuring state leaders into action. Utah Governor Spencer Cox has pledged the lake won’t dry up on his watch. The state legislature has put upwards of a billion dollars lately into water conservation programs, most geared to farmers.

“For generations the lake was seen as kind of this dead thing that just happens to be there and will always be there,” Cox told NPR recently. “And now that people are realizing there’s a potential that it might not always be here, that’s gotten people’s attention in a positive way.”

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Wildlife biologist Carly Biedul of the Great Salt Lake Institute closes the last of many gates to the protected Gillmor Sanctuary along the south shores of the Great Salt Lake.

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Wildlife biologist Carly Biedul of the Great Salt Lake Institute closes the last of many gates to the protected Gillmor Sanctuary along the south shores of the Great Salt Lake.

Lindsay D’Addato for NPR

Everything from lake effect snow for the lucrative ski industry, to mining, to air quality depends on the lake’s survival. Recent publicity around the crisis has raised public awareness but also started to bring more money which could lead to more comprehensive research that could inform everything from strategic action plans to save the lake to just understanding how the remaining migratory birds are coping.

Heidi Hoven, the wetlands ecologist, sees the shorebirds as a key indicator species.

“We have so much more to understand about what their needs are,” she says. “In these changing times, it’s really highlighting the need to understand these things quickly.”

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The scientists say the last two winters may have bought Utah a little time, but no one in the West is counting on another good snow year next year.

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