Torrance executive Lentz behind Toyota’s wheel

first_imgToyota also appointed Dian Ogilvie, 64, to senior vice president and secretary of Toyota Motor North America in New York. She is Toyota Motor Sales senior vice president, general counsel and chief environmental officer. Both promotions take effect immediately, the company said. 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! Toyota promoted company veteran Jim Lentz to president of its U.S. sales, marketing and distribution operations Tuesday. Lentz, 52, who joined Toyota in 1982 and has worked in the auto industry for 29 years, had been executive vice president at Torrance-based Toyota Motor Sales U.S.A. The promotion comes after a series of high-profile defections from the company, including the stunning departure of Jim Press, 61, the former head of Toyota’s North American operations, who left in September to become president and vice chairman of Chrysler LLC. Press’ promotion as the first non-Japanese board member at Toyota had been approved with fanfare just three months earlier. Press was president of Toyota Motor Sales U.S.A. until his promotion to lead the company’s North American operations. AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREStriving toward a more perfect me: Doug McIntyre Lentz’s promotion fills a vacant position, the company said. “Jim Lentz is especially well-qualified to lead TMS into the future as it marks 50 years in America,” Toyota Motor Sales Chairman Yuki Funo said in a statement. “His experience spans all major operational areas, and he has an outstanding sense of what our customers, dealers and associates expect.” In addition to Press, Jim Farley, a 17-year veteran and group vice president and general manager of Toyota’s Lexus luxury division in the U.S., left to join Ford Motor Co. as group vice president of global marketing and communications. Deborah Wahl Meyer jumped to Chrysler to become vice president and chief marketing officer. Meyer, 44, had spent the past six years at Toyota, most recently as vice president of marketing for Lexus. Lentz has served in many positions with Toyota including merchandising, distribution, field operations and sales administration. He also was responsible for the launch of Scion, Toyota’s new, funky brand designed to appeal to young buyers. last_img read more

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Hemlock creates havoc in area lowlands

first_img Raptors like to hunt in the flat, grassy areas of the region. The low grasses make it easier for the birds to spot a meal of rabbits and squirrels. But hemlock can grow up to 6 feet tall, making for dense rodent cover where raptors are trying to eke out a meal in spots such as Whittier Narrows. “The hawks cannot hunt in that area,” Allen said. “When the hawks go someplace else, you start losing the whole chain.” During the winter months hemlock dies off, leaving behind hulking, brown skeletons to dry in the winter sun. “It becomes a serious fire problem,” Allen said. But it is hemlock’s dark reputation that captures the imagination. Shakespeare mentioned it in several of his plays. The weed is one ingredient in the nutty crown King Lear wears on his head when he goes bonkers and runs for the woods. Perhaps it’s most famous as the likely ingredient in the fatal brew served to the condemned philosopher Socrates. Ancient Greeks frequently used hemlock to kill off convicted criminals. All parts of the hemlock plant are deadly at all times during its life cycle. “It can cause paralysis, convulsions and, of course, even death if the intake is sufficient,” said Dr. Martin Stoner, a 38-year professor of plant pathology, mycology and economic botany at Cal Poly Pomona. It’s a plant best left alone, but there is a curious breed of person who insist upon eating wild plants and run the risk of poisoning. “A lot of people go out and want to try everything,” Strong said. Stoner volunteers for a poison hotline, and although he has never heard of any local hemlock poisonings, it is not too uncommon for folks to nibble at other deadly flora in the region. [email protected] (626) 962-8811, Ext. 2717160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! “Scale of dragon, tooth of wolf, witch’s mummy, maw and a gulf, of the ravin’d salt sea shark, root of hemlock digg’d in the dark …” Wolves and sharks are not much of a threat in the San Gabriel Valley and Whittier areas these days, but we are home to one of the deadly ingredients of the witch’s brew conjured in Shakespeare’s “Macbeth.” Hemlock, the poison herb of legend, has quietly invaded the region. The stuff grows in practically every lowland where there is water and a little shade. According to plant expert Jane Strong of the Mount Baldy Nature Center, hemlock can be found in Whittier Narrows, Eaton Canyon, Whittier Hills, Skyline Trail in the Puente Hills, Monrovia Canyon and the Lower Arroyo Seco. It’s better-liked relatives are carrots, parsley, cilantro, fennel, angelica, parsnips, caraway and chervil. AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MORECoach Doc Rivers a “fan” from way back of Jazz’s Jordan Clarkson Hemlock blooms around late April to early May, but right now it’s in a gremlin stage – a cute, furry little thing similar to a carrot top or parsley. “You know what it’s going to become,” said Grace Allen, a guide at the Whittier Narrows Nature Center in South El Monte. Hemlock’s deadly toxicity, ugly looks and pungent smell aren’t the only reasons the plant is considered problematic. Hemlock is considered an invasive species from the Mediterranean. “It’s pushing out our native grasses,” Allen said. Hemlock is much taller and stronger than the native grasses and is quickly overtaking “raptor fields,” the hunting grounds for red-tailed hawks and American kestrels. last_img read more

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