SoCal News Briefs: Carpinteria Smoking Ban, Momyer Fire Update, Owens River Restoration

Kayakers take advantage of the Lower Owens River restoration area

Smoking Ban: Carpinteria today becomes the first city in Santa Barbara County to ban tobacco use in most all outdoor areas. The law is not only intended to reduce secondhand smoke exposure, but also to cut down on tobacco-related litter. Lighting up is now verboten on public streets and sidewalks, in common outdoor areas in multi-unit housing complexes, business entryways, outdoor worksites (except for a few designated smoking areas for employees), bar and restaurant patios and public events. The city becomes the 38th in Cailfornia to regulate outdoor smoking. About 100 miles to the north, San Luis Obispo was the first to institute a strict smoking ban in the 1990s, and more recently, adopted an even stricter one like Carpinteria's.

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Momyer Fire: Officials at San Bernardino National Forest have sent out their final update on this wildfire that has burned 150 acres since Mother's Day. Currently 90% contained, full containment of the blaze that has injured three people is expected Tuesday. Hikers should note that the Momyer Trail will remain closed until further notice while the Vivian Creek Trail will re-open today.

Restoring the Owens River: The Owens River is a major source of water for Los Angeles, but also a major source of controversy for those who live in the Owens Valley. But as Molly Peterson at KPCC reports, restoration on 62 miles of the lower portion of the river is happening and officials are asking what kind of recreational activities people want. And Peterson herself poses this question: Could the lower Owens River be LA's playground?

SoCal News Briefs covers items from within KCET's coverage area, which includes 11 counties in and around Southern California.

The photo used on this post is by Flickr user Antonio Villaraigosa. It was used under a Creative Commons License.

About the Author

Zach Behrens is KCET's Director of News, Region and State, working on digital and on-air news products that relate to Southern California and beyond.
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