Tuesday, July 31, 2018

Valley Fever Diseased Dust in Antelope Valley

Flying dust is not only an issue for renewable energy projects, but also tract home developers, agriculture and even archaeological digs must contend with airborne particulates, often on a daily basis. Add to that the high winds that blow all over the valley and you have an uncontainable problem. Lurking within Antelope Valley’s sandy soils is a mysterious and debilitating disease mostly known as valley fever but scientifically called Coccidioidomycosis, or “cocci” for short. It’s a fungal disease endemic to Antelope Valley, but also San Fernando and West Valley’s. Various locations in and around Antelope Valley have tested positive near housing developments. Cycles of rain and drought are known to exacerbate fungal growth and correlate to the rise of valley fever cases occurring within the state. Symptoms of Valley Fever are fever, coughing, chills, night sweats, chest pains, headaches, and spotty rashes. If one has a weakened immune system then more difficult cases can break out. Some ways to avoid valley fever are: Stay inside during dust storms and close your windows. Avoid activities that involve close contact to dirt or dust, including yard work, gardening, and digging. Clean skin injuries well with soap and water to reduce the chances of developing a skin infection, especially if the wound was exposed to dirt or dust.

Monday, July 9, 2018

The Desert Landscape of Antelope Valley has Grown Enormously Since 1980

The population and landscape of the Antelope Valley has undergone a substantial transformation the last 40 years. In the 1980s, the area began shifting from a sparsely populated, mostly white, high desert life to a bedroom community. Prices in lower LA County have priced out lower income families who then sought better housing costs in Lancaster and Palmdale. About 75000 AV residents commute daily into the greater Los Angeles area for work via car and rail. As of 2012 the population of AV is 507k with 153k in Palmdale and 157k in Lancaster with the remainder in the surrounding smaller cities. 48% of the population is non-Hispanic white, the second largest group is Hispanic, then African American and Asian. With the gradual growth has come a water issue. The aqueduct has brought in water since 1970 but as of 1964 Agriculture has taken most of the water, and in the AV farming land takes up more water per acre than anywhere else in the state. Currently, 35,000 acres of desert land, originally cultivated within Antelope Valley, lie fallow while about 10,000 acres are still actively farmed. AV got its greatest growth in the 80’s growing from 60 thousand to 222k by mid 1990. And 485k by 2010. That is 8 times in thirty years. Today with the growth of the Aerospace industry, solar farms, regional hospitals, the housing market has grown. These jobs are professional jobs with higher incomes allowing for much nicer homes, and many parts of the valley are now filling this need. If the valley continues to grow then more housing will certainly be needed.

Tuesday, July 3, 2018

Lockheed Martin joins race to make long-haul airships (Modern Blimp)

Lockheed Martin Corp. in Palmdale is looking to deliver a heavy cargo freighter. Skunk Works in Palmdale created the SR-71 Blackbird spy plane and the F-117 Nighthawk stealth fighter. Now the hangars has a 120-foot-long, 21-foot-tall dirigible that resembles a cloud with three puffs. This is a prototype of a much larger hybrid airship that Lockheed Martin Corp. has said may deliver heavy cargo and personnel to remote locations. It is called the LMH-1 will be a 21 metric ton, 300-foot-long and 78-foot-tall airship that is intended to carry truck-size loads to areas that are inaccessible to more traditional modes of transportation. It maybe more fantasy than reality though as they have no customers for the craft according to an LA Times report. This modern heavy lifting plane could be used for oil, and gas or other mining needs, humanitarian relief. The cost of the unit will cost $40 million, so likely only a government can afford such a craft. The skunk works units remains a high tech facility with a future vision in mind. This works for the growth of high paying jobs with higher educated people in need for housing and appealing surroundings.