ABC 22 News Team
- Alexandra Lewis
- Amber Watson
- Christian Hauser
- Elyse Coulter
- Kelly May
- Kristine Frazao
- Natasha Williams
- Nicole Grigg
- Rhonda Moore
- Ann Reynolds
Low: 9 Winds: N 3-6 mph
Tomorrow: Sun Returns - A Little Warmer but Still Below Average.
High: 31 Winds: SE 4-8 mph
Thursday: Sleet & Light Freezing ...
California Homeowners Warned About Brown Lawns
LOS ANGELES (AP) -- Some homeowners following the state's new drought-conscious motto that brown is the new green are being warned by local governments that they could be slapped with fines because of those dried up lawns.
In an attempt to get Californians to take the drought seriously, the state water board voted this week for mandatory outdoor watering restrictions that carry the threat of $500 fines.
"Having a dirty car and a brown lawn should be a badge of honor because it shows you care about your community," said Felicia Marcus, the board's chairwoman.
Not all communities see it that way.
Michael Korte and his wife Laura Whitney received a letter from the city of Glendora warning them about their brown lawn on the same day the state approved the fines. The letter said the couple could be hit with up to $500 in fines and possible criminal action if they didn't restore their landscaping within 60 days.
"Despite the water conservation efforts, we wish to remind you that limited watering is still required to keep landscaping looking healthy and green," read the letter.
The couple thought they were being good citizens by reducing outdoor watering to twice a week, taking shorter showers and doing laundry less frequently. The state is recommending they go even further by watering lawns twice a month.
"My friends in Los Angeles got these letters warning they could be fined if they water, and I got a letter warning that I could be fined for not watering," said Whitney. "I felt like I was in an alternate universe."
The governor signed an executive order in April prohibiting homeowner associations from punishing residents for scaling back on landscaping, and a bill at his desk enshrines that provision into law. While both measures are silent on fines imposed by local government, the governor's office condemned moves punishing drought-conscious Californians.
"These efforts to conserve should not be undermined by the short-sighted actions of a few local jurisdictions, who chose to ignore the statewide crisis we face, the farmers and farmworkers losing their livelihoods, the communities facing drinking water shortages and the state's shrinking reservoirs," said Amy Norris, a spokeswoman for CalEPA, in a written statement.
Local officials say conserving water and maintaining healthy landscaping are not mutually-exclusive goals. They caution that even in times of water shortages residents shouldn't have free rein to drive down property values and can use drought-resistant landscaping or turf removal programs to meet local standards.
"During a drought or non-drought, residents have the right to maintain their landscaping the way they want to so long as it's aesthetically pleasing and it's not blighted," said Al Baker, president of the California Association of Code Enforcement Officers.
Anaheim resident Sandra Tran, 47, said she started installing drought-resistant landscaping after receiving violation notices from Orange County Public Works. She spent more than $600 on the changes as the agency mandated she water and maintain her yard in "a healthy green condition."
Yet Tran drives home from work seeing conserve water signs flashing on the freeway.
"It's almost crazy because one agency is telling you one thing and another is forcing you to do the opposite," she said.
Assemblywoman Cheryl Brown, D-San Bernardino, introduced a bill that would have prohibited local governments from imposing fees. She dropped AB1636 after cities in her district promised not to penalize homeowners for brown lawns during a drought emergency.
Brown was shocked when she heard the practice continued elsewhere in the state, and said she would consider reviving her bill in 2015.
"It seems to me those cities aren't using common sense," said Brown. "It's too bad you need a law."
Miami Valley Crime StoppersIf you have information about a crime that has occurred, call Miami Valley Crime Stoppers at 937-222-7867 (STOP) 800-637-5735, 24 hours a day. Callers can remain anonymous.
Border CrisisGet the latest developments on the border control issue!
Chefs CornerWe often invite local chefs into our studio kitchen to demonstrate their cooking techniques and recipes. Watch those video segments on this page.
Pay It ForwardElk & Elk, FOX45, and ABC22 recognize the good deeds of people and organizations who make the Miami Valley a better place.
Health Care ReformThe Supreme Court ruling to uphold the Affordable Care Act sparked a new battle. Check here daily for the latest developments, locally and across the country.
Cool SchoolsOur children are the way of the future and it all starts with our schools. Join us as our Hilary Zalla goes inside schools around the Miami Valley to find out what cool things students and teachers are ...
Town HallJoin in as our expert panel discusses jobs in Ohio
No Text ZoneTexting While Driving Kills Thousands of People Each Year. Many More are Seriously Injured. You Can Help Make Our Roads a NO TEXT ZONE.
Washington TimesPolitics, Breaking News, US and World News.
On Time TrafficGet the latest traffic information and updates here!
School ClosingsGet the list of all closings and delays for schools and businesses within the area, and sign up for text alerts!
Save Local TVFind out how you can save local TV right here!
Raw NewsWatch raw, unedited and uncensored news stories right here!
Pump PatrolFind the lowest gas prices, check out local and national price trends, report low prices and get fuel saving tips!
Political PulseArmstrong Williams is a pugnacious, provocative and principled voice for conservatives and Christian values in America's public debates.
News LinksThese links were chosen by the newsroom for their newsworthy content. These sites enhance the news stories that aired on the newscast on the dates cited.
On the MoveGet the latest news and more on your mobile phone!
Good MorningIt's Fun, it's fresh, the way mornings should be!
Top StoriesGet up to the minute information from across Ohio in our Top Stories section!
Your Voice. Your Future.As the country faces challenges from federal budget issues to jobs and national debt, your voice is critical to the future.
Waste WatchHow are your tax dollars being spent? Waste Watch tracks whether local, state and federal governments or any groups are using your money wisely...or wasting it.
Disappointing earnings, weaker outlooks highlight latest financial results
NEW YORK (AP) -- Several big-name companies have turned in disappointing earnings or weaker outlooks today.
WEST PALM BEACH, FL -- (Marketwired) -- 03/21/14 --
Companies that pride themselves on being eco-friendly may have conflicted
ideas between marketing with ad specialties and maintaining their green
JOAN RIVERS - LAWSUIT
NEW YORK (AP) -- Melissa Rivers says no family should have to go through what she, her son -- and her mom -- went through.
SUPER BOWL-MEDIA DAY MOMENTS
PHOENIX (AP) -- If the Super Bowl is the show -- then Media Day has to be the sideshow.
IN THE NEWS: DRONE "MYSTERY" SOLVED
WASHINGTON (AP) -- It was an accident -- but the invasion of a two-foot-long drone onto the White House grounds is raising new concerns about the president's safety.
Tonight on ABC 22
6:30 pm ..... ABC World News
7:00 pm ..... Family Feud
7:30 pm ..... Family Feud
8:00 pm ..... The Bachelor
10:00 pm ... Castle
11:00 pm ... ABC 22 News at Eleven
11:30 pm ... Jimmy Kimmel Live
12:30 am ... Nightline