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In a rural California region, a plan takes shape to provide shade from dangerous heat

MECCA, Calif. (AP) — When Limba Contreras moved to the desert community of Oasis, California, about 50 years ago, her family relied on a water cooler to keep temperatures inside their home comfortable. Other times, they sprayed each other with a hose outside.
But when the heat topped 100 degrees Fahrenheit (about 38 Celsius), the cooler was futile, and the hose was a temporary reprieve.

“We suffered because of the heat and because we didn’t have any other resource,” said Contreras, a retired elementary school librarian.

Contreras and her family now have air conditioning, but she worries about the lack of shade in playgrounds and fields in the few parks they have.
“In the midst of extreme heat, the children can’t play because there’s no shade,” said Contreras on Saturday in …

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