The Wider World

Soot, ash sift into cars, homes

THE SAN FRANCISO skyline is shrouded in smoke from the wildfires burning all across the area (Flickr).

Over 5 million acres in the Pacific Coast have been burned, as firefighters battle dozens of blazes that have blackened hillsides and polluted skies across the west.

While winds have abated somewhat today (Monday), the dirty air is making its way into homes and cars as well as dumping a layer of haze that runs almost from the Canadian to Mexican borders.

The situation is made more acute, according to the Associated Press, because more housing is being built in once-remote areas, and the coronavirus pandemic has made many people stay-at-homes.

Hazardous air conditions are reported all along the West, making breathing difficult for those affected with respiratory issues, including asthma. Some elderly people are also at a greater risk, say health officials.

“It’s so bad that you can likely smell (smoke) inside your house,” said Sarah Present, a health officer in Oregon. “In some areas the air quality is so hazardous it is off the scale of the EPA’s rating scale.”

 $12 million settlement in Breonna Taylor slaying

The City of Louisville, Kentucky announced today (Tuesday) that it has agreed to pay $12 million to the family of Breonna Taylor and to reform some police procedures in the settlement of a lawsuit over the March 13 fatal shooting by police of the emergency medical technician.


She was killed when police, executing a “no-knock warrant,” raided the apartment of Taylor, who was living with her boyfriend Kenneth Walker. Believing the noise was from an intruder, Walker fired first, according to the Associated Press. The officer returned fire and Taylor was struck several times. No drugs – the subject of the warrant – were found at the site.

“As significant as today is, it is only the beginning,” said Taylor’s mother Tamika Palmer, who is seeking criminal prosecution of the officers involved.

In the news:  Hurricane Sally threatens floods

The stock market continued its modest gains on Tuesday, with the three leading indexes each showing increases over the day before. The Dow Jones Average was up 2.27 points and the S&P 500 increased 17.66 points. The tech-heavy Nasdaq with up 133.67. • Hurricane Sally is continuing to soak the Gulf Coast of the U.S. Faced with the danger of massive flooding, many people in Alabama, Florida and Mississippi are fleeing their homes for higher ground. • Apple wants you to get fit … especially is it’s on new Apple Watch Series 6, or the Apple One Bundle of $15 a month for a variety of features including TV, music, games and more.  • While COVID-19 cases and deaths are spiking in the Dakotas, the general trend nationally is down. According to The New York Times, over the past 14 days, new cases of coronavirus are down 12 percent, while deaths are down 15 percent.

Hazy skies for West Orange County

Hazy weather today and tonight in the West Orange County area, with a high of 88 today (Tuesday) and a low overnight of 65.  More haze on Wednesday with a high of 88, clearing a bit at night with an overnight low of 66. Thursday looks like patchy fog followed by sun, with a high of 87, according to the National Weather Service. Along the coast, highs will be lower: 77 on Tuesday, 79 on Wednesday and 77 on Thursday.

Clippers knocked out by Nuggets

Any fans hoping to see an all-Los Angeles Western Conference final series were disappointed Tuesday night when the Denver Nuggets pulled off an historic comeback winning their semifinal series 4-3 after overcoming a 3-1 deficit. The Nuggets will face the Lakers on Friday in the NBA Western finals.

  • Denver Nuggets 104, Clippers 83. Jamal Murray scored 40 points as Denver stunned the Clippers. The LA team led by two points at the half, but were outscored the rest of the way 50-33. Montrezl Harrell scored 20 points off the bench for the Clippers.
  • Arizona Diamondbacks 9, Angels 8. The Halos rallied from an 8-1 deficit but ultimately fell short. They hit four home runs in the effort. Jared Walsh and David Fletcher each had three hits. Their record is now 20-29 with 21 games left to play.
  • Dodgers 3, San Diego Padres 1.The Dodgers survived a bases-loaded jam in the bottom of the ninth to beat the Padres and put a little distance between themselves and their pursuer in the NL West.  Kenley Jansen gave up two hits to load the bases with one out but stuck out the next two batters to earn the save. Dodgers are now 34-15 while San Diego is 2.5 games back at 32-18.

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