Health

Lori Saldana’s North Pacific Dispatches: an Alaskan Cruise, Sans Cocktails

July 29, 2014 by Source

Alaska 1By Lori Saldaña

Background: Two weeks ago I got a call from a friend who has captained merchant and research ships around the globe for many years. We’ve known each other’s family for decades, and have done some local sailing off San Diego.

He recently retired from Scripps in La Jolla, and now coordinates research vessels out of Moss Landing, near Monterrey. He called to ask: have you ever been to Dutch Harbor Alaska? What he really meant was: want to volunteer on a research cruise?

So… that’s where I will be for the next two weeks: aboard the R/V Point Sur, helping collect ocean water samples from the Bering Sea off Alaska and northern Pacific, as we cruise back to California.

I left San Diego late Saturday night (July 26), spent a few hours in Seattle before a 6 am flight, and just finished breakfast in the Anchorage airport (surprisingly tasty, in Silver Gulch Brewing & Bottling cafe: “America’s most Northern Brewery.”) Interesting decor.

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Dude, is it legal yet?

July 23, 2014 by Marc Snelling
Thumbnail image for Dude, is it legal yet?

By Marc Snelling

Dude, is it legal yet?

People have been saying this since the seventies. Speaking to activists from this era, it seems many felt that legalization of marijuana in the US was imminent in the early seventies. But other than Alaska in 1975 (re-criminalized in 1991) the seventies did not see legalization of marijuana come to pass.

The activists of the seventies (Baby Boomers) have now been joined by the next generation – the children of the seventies (Gen X). With these two generations working together public support for legal marijuana is now over 50% and is on the rise. Victories in the battle to change US laws continue as both generations of activists work towards change.

Today the answer to ‘Dude, is it legal yet?’ is becoming ‘Yes!’ for more and more people as Washington and Colorado have moved to legalization, nine states have decriminalized and twenty-three have introduced medical marijuana legislation.

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California Halts Injection of Fracking Waste, Warning it May Be Contaminating Aquifers

July 22, 2014 by Source

contaminatedwater[1]By Abrahm Lustgarten / ProPublica

California officials have ordered an emergency shut-down of 11 oil and gas waste injection sites and a review more than 100 others in the state’s drought-wracked Central Valley out of fear that companies may have been pumping fracking fluids and other toxic waste into drinking water aquifers there.

The state’s Division of Oil and Gas and Geothermal Resources on July 7 issued cease and desist orders to seven energy companies warning that they may be injecting their waste into aquifers that could be a source of drinking water, and stating that their waste disposal “poses danger to life, health, property, and natural resources.” The orders were first reported by the Bakersfield Californian, and the state has confirmed with ProPublica that its investigation is expanding to look at additional wells.

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9 Marijuana Policies from Around the World that Are Way Ahead of the U.S.

July 22, 2014 by Source

mjworldThe U.S. is far behind when it comes to drug laws that actually make sense.

By April M. Short / AlterNet

Some Americans, stuck in the Nixon-era “war on drugs” mentality, are panicking about the “unknown dangers” and “potential risks” of loosening marijuana policy in the U.S. Those people have failed to look outside of the U.S. bubble and see that many nations have already implemented health-based, sensible marijuana laws and practices with overwhelming success.

In the U.S. today, 23 states have legalized medical marijuana (New York just this month) and two (Colorado and Washington) have legalized pot for recreational use (although it’s worth noting that in many states medical marijuana laws are severely restricted). The majority of American medical doctors think medical marijuana should be legal and the majority of American voters think it should be legal and regulated like alcohol. However, it remains safe to say the U.S. is not at the global forefront of progressive, sensible marijuana policy.

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Summer gardens coming on strong in San Diego!

July 21, 2014 by Source

By Susan Taylor

artichoke flower

Hello fellow gardeners. How does your garden grow? Here in San Diego it is mid-summer with temperatures in the mid 90s, five miles in from the beach and further east. Watering enough? Perhaps you have over watered your tomato vines as I have, resulting in way more vine than fruit. Might be time to fertilize your beds with an organic fertilizer or fish emulsion. If you have garden veggies that are looking stressed from the heat and are not productive, do pull them out—there’s time to re-plant beans, squash, basil and other herbs.

In San Diego it is still too early for fall planting, let’s hang back a bit. If you have stone fruits they should be ripening nicely and good luck with keeping the birds from getting their fair share! This wasn’t a good year in my garden for …

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The End of Pot Prohibition As We Know It

July 21, 2014 by Source

potprohibitionWithout federal leadership, you can count on marijuana legalization to keep spreading one state at a time.

By Emily Schwartz Greco and William A. Collins / OtherWords

How much longer will it take before the United States declares a truce in the Drug War?

This latter-day prohibition is taking an immense toll. And the stakes ought to be low, given that most Americans don’t want anyone jailed for being caught with small amounts of pot.

But it does require some courage to pipe up. So thank you, former Supreme Court Justice John Paul Stevens, for joining the swelling chorus that wants to see marijuana legalized.

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18 Million Americans Suffer from GMO and Gluten Intolerance

July 11, 2014 by Source
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NationofChange
Gluten intolerance is a hot issue these days. Research estimates that over 18 million Americans now have a gluten sensitivity. These new gluten sensitivities are likely due to genetic alteration of crops, and while there is no GMO-wheat, per se, GMOs and modern wheat are killing us.

Wheat’s mass production turned into toxic junk food, and now the combination of the two is causing headaches, stomach ulcers, prostate cancer, IBS, bladder and pancreatic cancers, and all sorts of …

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Tell SeaWorld: Stop the Nightly Fireworks

July 9, 2014 by Source
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Sign the Online Petition

There’s now an online petition to get SeaWorld to put a halt to their nightly fireworks explosions. As of Wednesday morning (July 9), it had 1,754 signatures.

Here is what the website states:

STOP the Nightly Fireworks at SeaWorld

SeaWorld is damaging the quality of life of hundreds of thousands of San Diegans on a nightly basis, 90 days straight during the summer season alone. They are causing hearing damage and overall the physical well-being of the citizens of San Diego who live within a 20 mile radius or larger.

The fireworks at SeaWorld constitute animal cruelty. Dogs, cats, and other companion animals don’t understand that the terrifying loud bangs are a celebration.

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To Hell with Hobby Lobby

July 2, 2014 by Source

By Lauree Benton

womanseye44“Corporations are people, my friend.”

Women? Well… the jury is still out on that. Whether you are a person or not may depend on the religious views of your boss.

Makes sense I guess. The Constitution does say that all men are created equal.

I’m sure the ALL MALE majority who made this stirring decision is just looking out for us lady types. You know, we can’t be trusted.

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Acai Bowls Return to Lazy Hummingbird “Coffee Shop”

July 1, 2014 by Matthew Wood
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Wrong standard had been applied to the coffee shop by over-zealous health inspector

By Matthew Wood

The acai bowls are back at the ‘Bird, and there is much rejoicing in OB.

For nearly a month, the coffee shop that shares a storefront with the OB Business Center on Santa Monica Avenue had to shut down the popular bowls and other food production because of what owner Danielle Eder calls an overzealous inspector.

“For the last three years, we’ve been getting A’s,” Eder said of health inspection reviews of the coffee shop, which just celebrated its third anniversary.

“They change the rules every day. There are so many exceptions to them, especially with food carts.”

She said the inspector – who she declined to name – had a problem with the way they were preparing some of their food and shut them down just before Memorial Day.

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Mid-Ocean Plastics Cleanup Schemes: Too Little Too Late?

July 1, 2014 by Source

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERABy Sarah “Steve” Mosko, PhD / Boogie Green

Imagine using a thimble to empty a bathtub, with the faucet still running. That’s how experts on ocean plastics pollution generally see schemes focused on extracting the debris from the open ocean instead of strategies to prevent plastic waste from getting there in the first place.

Interest in methods to rid the oceans of plastic debris is motivated by very real threats to the entire ocean food web. The “North Pacific Garbage Patch” is the most studied of the five subtropical gyres, gigantic whirlpools where waste is picked up and concentrated by slow-swirling currents. There, plastic debris already outweighs zooplankton, tiny creatures at the base of the food web, by a factor of 36:1, according to the latest trawls by the Algalita Marine Research Institute in Long Beach, CA.

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Sewage Spill at Garbage Beach in Point Loma

June 18, 2014 by Staff
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Local media reported that there was a sewage spill on Tuesday, June 17th, that entered a local storm drain which resulted in nearly 500 gallons being dumped in and around Garbage Beach. Garbage Beach is a favorite surfing and swimming area along beautiful Sunset Cliffs.

The overflow of sewage is reported to have begun at Ladera and Cordova Streets just before 8 a.m. City crews jumped right on it, and said they had it under control in less than 30 minutes.

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June Notes from the Garden

June 16, 2014 by Source

Gardening is the new front porch in urban America- share yours!

tomatoes

By Susan Taylor / San Diego Free Press

Here’s good news for everyone. Ninety-five percent of all the insects you find in your garden are beneficial! Before you use or purchase any chemical (read toxic) solutions, you can first check online at the UCDavis Integrated Pest Management (IPM) site. Take a photo of your suspicious little bug and check it at the IPM website to be sure what your insect is and what, if anything, to do about it. Often times you can put some water and a drop or two of dish soap into a plastic spray bottle and that will do the trick (aphids come to mind). Remember to spray UNDER the leaves as well as the tops. I find this website very reassuring because I can’t remember everything, but I can remember where to look for information.

It is early June here in San Diego and you can still plant all your summer vegetables.

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Warm-Water Fish Caught Early Off San Diego Signals Large-Scale El Niño, Oceanographers Report

June 13, 2014 by Source
Thumbnail image for Warm-Water Fish Caught Early Off San Diego Signals Large-Scale El Niño, Oceanographers Report

By Susan Murphy / KPBS / June 11, 2014

Above-average sea surface temperatures are developing in the tropical Pacific Ocean. The weather phenomenon, called El Niño, changes the heating pattern of the atmosphere and pulls the Pacific jet stream farther south. It has the potential to play havoc on weather systems across the globe, causing heavy rain and mudslides in some areas, drought in others, and disrupting the marine food chain.

Previous strong El Niños caused above-average rainfall and coastal erosion in San Diego. In 1997-1998, the event was credited with dumping 17 inches of rain at Lindbergh Field.

“This looks really a lot like the ’97-’98 El Niño event, which was one of the biggest ones ever recorded,” said Tim Barnett, marine research physicist emeritus with Scripps Institution of Oceanography.

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Both Medical Marijuana Dispensaries on Voltaire Street in OB Closed Down

June 12, 2014 by Frank Gormlie
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There was a day not too long ago, that the 4800 block of Voltaire Street in OB had two medical marijuana dispensaries on it. Now there is none.

Both the med pot shops at 4827 A Voltaire and at 4852 Voltaire are totally gone, dude.

The first one to open was the storefront at 4852. Bill Tsiamis, the property owner, told me he did not know what was going on in the storefront that he owns.

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Why Goats Are Coming to An Urban Backyard Near You

June 2, 2014 by Source

Quieter than dogs, but just as affectionate, goats produce delicious milk and cheese. But they’re not for everyone.

Urban_goat

By Jill Richardson / Alternet

Believe it or not, chickens are not the only farm animals turning up—legally—in cities. Goats are now legal (with some limitations) in Seattle, San Diego, San Francisco, Pasadena, St. Louis, Oakland, Portland, Cleveland, Fort Worth, Berkeley, and St. Paul.

But do goats belong in a city? Strangely enough, goats can actually make nice neighbors, so long as their owners have a good fence. But, as a new generation rediscovers agriculture, they are also finding out that raising goats, particularly if you wish to raise them for milk, takes work.

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Inside the U.S. House’s Historic Vote on Medical Marijuana

June 2, 2014 by Source

mmjcongressAn amendment that would prohibit the Fed from interfering in state medical pot laws is still up in the air.

By April M. Short / AlterNet

The GOP-controlled House surprised just about everyone when it voted 218 to 189 for a pro-medical marijuana amendment on Friday. The amendment, tacked onto the much larger criminal justice funding bill (H.R. 4660), would prohibit the Department of Justice (DOJ) from using federal taxpayer funds to interfere with medical marijuana laws in 22 states that have passed them.

The House vote was historic. It was the first time since the Marijuana Tax Act of 1937 that the majority of a chamber of Congress voted in favor of something that would alter national marijuana policy.

Unanswered questions linger about the amendment, however …

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“Yes” on Props B & C is the Way to Support the Barrio Logan Community

May 31, 2014 by Ernie McCray
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by Ernie McCray

Here we go.

Same old same old politics in San Diego. The “Big Boys” have to get their way. They want us to vote “No” in opposition to a plan that was created to make a community healthy and safe.

And mayor, Kevin Faulconer, who has billed himself as an “independent” leader, has, as such, been going around talking about how when Propositions B & C are voted down, “it will be our opportunity to pass a plan that works to protect our families, to protect our economy.”

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Junco’s Jabs: San Diego’s Maritime Industry Feeding at the Electoral Trough

May 30, 2014 by Source

juncochanche03

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Community Plans – Both of OB and Barrio Logan – Discussed at OB Town Council

May 30, 2014 by Source
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by Lois Lane

The OB Town Council meeting on Wednesday, May 28, focused on Community Plans – the one in Barrio Logan under attack and the OB Plan hopeful of approval.

If you have read your ballot by now – A YES vote on Propositions B and C preserves the 2013 Barrio Logan community plan resulting from the city’s community process and approved by the San Diego City Council. Challenged by the shipyard interests, a NO vote will overturn the approved plan.

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Man Can’t Live on Cabbage Alone

May 29, 2014 by Source

Americans need credible nutrition advice they can trust, not a choice between quacks and “experts” sold out to junk food companies.

cabbage-faceBy Jill Richardson / OtherWords

I ran into an acquaintance recently and he told me he’d started seeing a new nutrition expert. “You know what?” he said, “It turns out I’m gluten intolerant.”

OK. Him and everyone else. I told him I was glad he found an expert who could help him.

A week later I saw him again. “I went back to the nutritionist,” he said. “I can’t have nightshades either.” That means no more potatoes, tomatoes, chili peppers, or eggplant.

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Science Debunks 10 Biggest Pot Myths

May 28, 2014 by Source

marijuanascienceBy any objective analysis, cannabis and cannabinoids exceed the FDA’s existing standards for medicine.

By Paul Armentano / AlterNet

Medical cannabis opponents are fond of promoting many myths and misconceptions about the herb. Here are the facts.

Medical cannabis is too dangerous to recommend as a medicine
The cannabis plant and its biologically active constituents, known as cannabinoids, possess an impressive safety profile compared to other conventional therapeutic agents. According to the National Academy of Sciences, Institute of Medicine, marijuana possesses an estimated dependence liability of less than ten percent. (Others have acknowledged that pot’s true dependence potential is likely even lower.)

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Junco’s Jabs: Beware of Big Business Wolves

May 23, 2014 by Source

juncocanche02

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Who Knew? Organic Foods Contain a Dose of GMOs

May 21, 2014 by Source

gmoisdangerousBy John Lawrence / San Diego Free Press

To be labeled as “USDA organic,” 95% of the ingredients must be organically grown and the remaining 5% may be non-organic agricultural ingredients or synthetic substances that have been approved for use in organics by the USDA.

The 5% of non-organic products are usually derived from GMO corn which is highly sprayed with Monsanto’s Roundup.

It’s a little known fact that some organic packaged foods contain GMOs and pesticides thanks to the lobbying efforts of Big Organic corporations.

For example, consider a container of Organic Tomato Basil soup, a product of Canada, purchased at Sprout’s.

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SeaWorld News: Park Plans for the Middle East while Attendance and Revenues Fall

May 16, 2014 by Staff
Thumbnail image for SeaWorld News: Park Plans for the Middle East while Attendance and Revenues Fall

Company Refuses to Acknowledge Impact of Anti-Captivity Campaigns for Orcas

U-T San Diego writer Lori Weisberg ran a very interesting story on Wed., May 14 filled with news from SeaWorld – one of the U-T’s favorite anchors for San Diego tourism. While not mentioning boss Papa Doug Manchester’s enthusiasm for tourists to have reasons to fill his hotels, Weisberg wastes no time in getting to the real news from the company that owns 11 sea-theme parks across the country. Attendance was down the first quarter of this year by a whooping 13%.  Weisberg reported:

“the company’s quarterly earnings report … revealed, as expected, that attendance at SeaWorld’s 11 theme parks dropped 13 percent, to a little more than 3 million visitors, …”

This bad news for the company is accompanied by the concurrent news that revenues were also down by 11%.

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Letter From the Garden: Produce the World Around You

May 15, 2014 by Source

By Susan Taylor / San Diego Free Press

trug with toolsArtichokes are fun! They grow from a lovely, silver-green plant with fabulous long leaves. You can pick, steam and then eat them. Or you can let the choke stay on the plant till it erupts into a stunning purple flower that lasts a long time. My mother who wasn’t a native San Diegan took artichoke serving very seriously. She would prune off the sharp tips and outer leaves, cook them and serve them at dinner along with little Austrian bowls filled with warm melted butter.

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Overfishing to Blame for Sardine Shortage and Starving Sea Lions

May 12, 2014 by Frank Gormlie
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Last year an unprecedented number of sea lion pups were admitted to rehabilitation facilities, emaciated, dehydrated and very underweight for their age and NOAA failed to recognize that the sardine fishery had anything to do with the scarcity of sardines, which feed the pups.

From EcoWatch – Nation of Change / May 12, 2014

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) just announced a lack of Pacific sardines is a “likely contributor” to the “Unusual Mortality Event” (UME) that occurred last year where more than 1,600 California sea lions were found stranded and malnourished along the Southern California coastline. The big story, however, is the one NOAA is not telling us.

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San Diegans Called on Obama to Reject Keystone Pipeline During La Jolla Visit

May 9, 2014 by Source
Thumbnail image for San Diegans Called on Obama to Reject Keystone Pipeline During La Jolla Visit

Rally along Torrey Pines Road with 50’ Keystone Pipeline Banner, signs, chants

From SanDiego350

On Thursday, May 8, 2014, over 100 San Diegans gathered along Torrey Pines Road in La Jolla to call on President Obama, who was in the neighborhood for a fundraiser, to reject a permit for the Keystone XL Pipeline. The “KXL”, which would carry dirty tar sands oil from Canada to Texas for refining and export, has been called “game over” for the climate by the nation’s foremost climatologist, Dr. James Hansen.

Participants held large signs, including a 50-foot cardboard depiction of the Keystone Pipeline with the words “Stop the Keystone Pipeline. Fight climate change” in huge letters on it, and a large banner with a quote from the President that participants want to see him keep:

“We will respond to the threat of climate change, knowing that the failure to do so would betray our children and future generations.”

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Marijuana May Heal Health Problems That Come With Old Age: How Can People Living in Senior Homes Get It?

May 8, 2014 by Source

marijuanaelderlyFrom pain and trouble sleeping to cancer and dementia, pot can be a godsend for seniors.

By April M. Short / AlterNet

Sue Taylor, a retired Catholic school principal and grandmother from Oakland, California, was living in Atlanta, Georgia writing a parenting handbook when she got a phone call from her son that would disrupt her life.

“He told me, ‘Mom, I know how you can open up your metaphysical holistic center,’ which had been my goal,” Taylor said. Taylor had earned a degree in divinity in Atlanta and is now a metaphysical minister. “He said, ‘It will be supported by a cannabis dispensary.’”

“Cannabis dispensary?” Taylor asked him. “You talkin’ about that marijuana stuff?”

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San Diego Goddam! The June 3rd Election And Why You Should Care

May 8, 2014 by Doug Porter
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By Doug Porter

I borrowed the first part of this headline from one of my favorite songs by Nina Simone, who sang about a certain southern hellhole of a state of mind as her response to the murder of Medgar Evers in Mississippi; and the bombing of a church in Birmingham, Alabama that killed four black children back in 1964. The song speaks to the level of angst and frustration I’m starting to feel about the upcoming election.

Bad things are more likely to happen and good things probably won’t happen if you and your friends pass on your obligation as citizens to vote come June 3rd. Starting today and in the coming weeks we’ll be talking about those possibilities, so you need to (please!) pay attention.

Fast forward 50 years from Ms. Simone’s lament and there are 8 million eligible but unregistered voters in California. Of the 17.7 million voters that are registered to vote in the Golden State, only about one third will bother to cast ballots in the upcoming June 3rd elections. That works out to 14% of the total population deciding how things will be for next few years.

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