World News

Nuclear Shutdown News – November 2016

December 9, 2016 by Michael Steinberg
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By Michael Steinberg / Black Rain Press

Nuclear Shutdown News chronicles the decline and fall of the nuclear power industry in the US and abroad, and highlights the efforts of those working to create a nuclear free world. Here is our November 2016 issue:

Fukushima quake rock’s Japan’s and the globe’s psyche.

On Tuesday, November 22, at 5:39 a.m., a strong earthquake hit Japan’s southeast region, including the devastated Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant, causing widespread panic and immediate tsunami warnings. The 11-23 Japan Times reported:

“Sirens rang continuously along the coast, and on TV screens a red banner read”Flee immediately!”

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Remembering Pearl Harbor in the Time of Trump

December 7, 2016 by Frank Gormlie
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World War II Vets Would Not Have Stood for President-Elect

Remembering this December 7th – Pearl Harbor Day – has special significance for us today in this new Era of Trump. The 75th anniversary of the attack by Japanese forces on US air and naval power in Hawaii in late 1941 finds few surviving members still with us. And our collective memory of “the day of infamy” – as President Franklin Roosevelt declared it the next day before Congress – which pushed the country into World War II – has all but faded.

But yes, we need to remember this day – and all that it represents – all the contradictions of that historic moment and context. And all the parallels from that day to ours today.

Yet this day does have a special meaning for us now -…

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The PangeaSeed Murals of Local Ocean Beach Artist, Celeste Byers

December 6, 2016 by Source

meredith-celeste-1By South OB Girl

Local artist Celeste Byers has done ten murals for PangeaSeed Sea Walls: Murals for Oceans.

Some of the murals have been in San Diego and some have been abroad. PangeaSeed mural projects aim to raise awareness about different issues effecting our oceans. As an artist for PangeaSeed she has traveled to Sri Lanka, Vietnam, New Zealand, and several cities in Mexico.

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Victory at Standing Rock! Department of Army Says No to Dakota Access Pipeline

December 5, 2016 by Source

Standing Rock Sioux Tribe’s Statement on U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Decision to Not Grant Easement

Standing Rock Sioux Tribe
Cannon Ball, N.D.— The department of the Army will not approve an easement that will allow the proposed Dakota Access Pipeline to cross under Lake Oahe. The following statement was released by Standing Rock Sioux Tribal Chairman Dave Archambault II.

“Today, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers announced that it will not be granting the easement to cross Lake Oahe for the proposed Dakota Access Pipeline.

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How We Can Defend the Ocean now that Trump Will Be at the Helm of the Ship of State

November 22, 2016 by Source

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By David Helvarg / Blue Frontier

Like a rogue wave the Election Day victory of Donald Trump for President has left about half the nation stunned and the other half giddy. Among those most worried – environmentalists who are girding for a long series of battles around climate and expecting attacks on keystone agencies, executive orders and legislation including pollution emission standards, the Clean Water Act and the EPA.

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Police Use Water Cannons in Freezing Weather on Protesters at Standing Rock

November 21, 2016 by Source

Photo Credit: MagicZoetrope / Flickr Standing Rock

By Alexandra Rosemann / Alternet

Police used water cannons and tear gas against hundreds of Dakota Access Pipeline protesters in Cannon Ball, North Dakota, late Sunday, Nov. 20. At least one person was arrested and dozens injured.

The confrontation began at 6pm, near the encampment were the protests against the $3.8 billion pipeline have been ongoing for months. According to the Morton County Sheriff’s Department, 400 protesters attempted to cross Blackwater Bridge on state Highway 1806 after removing a burned-out truck.

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Nuclear Shutdown News – October 2016: Hurricane Matthew Imperiled US Nukes

November 1, 2016 by Michael Steinberg
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By Michael Steinberg / Black Rain Press

Hurricane Matthew Imperils US Nukes As It Threatens Millions

Hurricane Matthew, which brought death and destruction from Haiti to the Carolinas in October, also had an impact on a number of aged nuclear facilities in the US. There are no nuclear plants in Haiti, Cuba or the Bahamas, which suffered the worst of the hurricane’s wrath.

On October 4, as Matthew approached Florida, Florida Power & Light, the electrical utility that runs the St. Lucie nuke plant in the southeast part of the state, declared an “unusual event” at the plant.

On a scale of 1 to 5, an Unusual Event is a 1, with the worst such nuclear plant emergency being mandatory evacuation.

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How Much More Extraction of Fossil Fuels Can We Do? – Answer: Zero

October 17, 2016 by John Lawrence

Keep It In the Ground

By John Lawrence

Fossil FuelsBill McKibben of 350.org said recently, “If our goal is to keep the Earth’s temperature from rising more than two degrees Celsius—the upper limit identified by the nations of the world—how much more new digging and drilling can we do? Here’s the answer: zero.”

The goal of keeping earth’s temperature rise below 2 degrees C is already in danger even with the coal mines, oil wells and pipelines currently in operation and assuming there will be no new ones. That means we shouldn’t be doing any more digging or drilling. It all has to stop — now — if the earth is to survive.

Some scientists think it is already too late. Meanwhile, the Federal government continues to lease land for oil and gas drilling.

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Rising Ocean Temperatures Causing Marine-Related Tropical Diseases and Harmful Algal Blooms

October 7, 2016 by Source
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Impact on Human Health Stressed

From Science Daily / October 4, 2016

Rising sea surface temperatures are causing marine-related tropical diseases and harmful algal blooms to spread towards the poles, a shift that is impacting human health, according to a chapter from a new report by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) authored by professors from The University of Texas at Austin and Plymouth University.

The report, Explaining Ocean Warming: causes, scale, effects and consequences, was compiled for IUCN by 80 scientists in 12 countries and draws on several decades of scientific research from across the spectrum of marine science.

The chapter on “Impacts and effects of ocean warming on human health” highlights the spread of Vibrio vulnifucus, an often lethal disease-causing bacteria.

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Fear and Loathing in El Cajon – 1,000 People in the Streets for Alfred Olango

September 29, 2016 by Frank Gormlie

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Hundreds of demonstrators took to the streets of El Cajon Wednesday, September 28th, in protest of the fatal shooting of Alfred Olango by police Tuesday afternoon. And on several occasions, the non-violent demonstrators faced off with helmeted police, as night fell and tensions mounted. This is my accounting of the protest that swept through the suburb of San Diego over a 7 hour period.

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Vaping Can Help Some Smokers Kick Cigarettes, English Study Shows

September 20, 2016 by Source

vaping-e-cigsBy Karen Kaplan / LA Times / Sept. 13, 2016

The more that vaping takes hold in England, the better the odds that smokers there will succeed in their attempts to stop using regular cigarettes.

These parallel trends, reported Wednesday in the BMJ medical journal, don’t prove that electronic cigarettes help smokers kick the habit. But that possibility is looking more and more likely, experts said.

Smoking prevalence in the United Kingdom fell significantly from 2014 to 2015, and that’s a sign that something over there is working, …

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President Obama Should Pardon Edward Snowden

September 19, 2016 by Source
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By Anthony Romero / ACLU

Thanks to Edward Snowden’s act of conscience, we’ve made historic strides in our fight for surveillance reform and improved cybersecurity. That’s why with the release of the Oliver Stone movie “Snowden,” we’re unveiling a major effort calling on President Obama to pardon the NSA whistleblower.

Cases like Edward Snowden’s are precisely the reason the president’s constitutional pardon power exists.

Historically, outgoing presidents have often invoked this power in the last days of their terms — at times on behalf of people who’ve committed reprehensible acts — under the premise that mitigating circumstances outweigh the rationale for punishment. President Obama now has the opportunity to use this power proudly, in recognition of one of the most important acts of whistleblowing in modern history.

Since Snowden first disclosed documents in 2013 detailing the National Security Agency’s mass surveillance programs, we’ve seen an unprecedented global debate about the proper limits of government spying.

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Humans Have Pushed Oceans to Their Absolute Limit, Warns Report

September 12, 2016 by Source
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Oceans protected us from worst effects of climate change by absorbing most of humans’ CO2 emissions, report finds, but they can’t take anymore—and will soon release that CO2 back into the air

by Nika Knight / Common Dreams / Sept. 6, 2016

The effect of climate change on the world’s oceans has been understudied, a recent report from the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN) finds, and it is far worse than many scientists and politicians had previously thought.

“We all know the oceans sustain this planet,” said Inger Andersen, IUCN’s director general, to National Geographic, “yet we are making the oceans sick.”

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Standoff at Standing Rock: Even Attack Dogs Can’t Stop the Native American Resistance

September 8, 2016 by Source

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San Diego “No Access” Rally in Support of Standing Rock – Friday, Sept. 9th at Federal Building at 9:30 am – 3 pm.
(Facebook here)

By Amy Goodman & Denis Moynihan / Democracy Now

The Missouri River, the longest river in North America, has for thousands of years provided the water necessary for life to the region’s original inhabitants.To this day, millions of people rely on the Missouri for clean drinking water.

Now, a petroleum pipeline, called the Dakota Access Pipeline, is being built, threatening the river. A movement has grown to block the pipeline, led by Native American tribes that have lived along the banks of the Missouri from time immemorial.

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Dakota Access Pipeline Company Attacks Protesters With Dogs and Mace

September 5, 2016 by Source

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Security guards confront Indigenous protesters with dogs and pepper spray. (Screenshot/Democracy Now!)

Video and photos of a private security team pushing dogs to bite Native American protesters from Democracy Now!

By Nadi Prupis / Common Dreams

The ongoing Dakota Access Pipeline (DAPL) protests were hit with violence on Saturday, as private security forces reportedly hired by the pipeline builders descended on the Native American activists with pepper spray and dogs that bit and threatened the protesters.

Democracy Now!, which was on the ground at the time, posted several photographs and video of the attack:

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Nuclear Shutdown News – August 2016

August 31, 2016 by Michael Steinberg
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By Michael Steinberg / Black Rain Press

Nuclear Shutdown News chronicles the decline and fall of the nuclear power industry in the US and beyond, and highlights the efforts of those who are working to create a nuclear free future. Here is our August 2016 edition:

US nuclear industry reaches a new low with resale of decrepit nuke plant already scheduled to permanently shut down next year.

On July 12, Syracuse.com in upstate New York announced, “Entergy to sell FitzPatrick to Exelon in mid-August.”

The FitzPatrick nuclear plant is located in Lake Ontario near the Canadian border. It started up in late 1974, not long after Richard Nixon’s reign over the White House permanently shut down. This means the nuke plant’s one reactor has been cranking away for almost 42 years, releasing radiation into the air and water in the Great Lakes region all the while.

US nuclear reactors were designed to operate only 40 years.

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A Long Hot Summer: Where’s the Love in the Anthropocene?

August 29, 2016 by Jim Miller

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By Jim Miller

One of the more thought-provoking books I read this summer was Love in the Anthropocene, a collection of stories by Dale Jamieson and Bonnie Nadzam. As the title suggests, the tales in this volume are about what the world is becoming and will be as a result of climate change.

Interestingly the world Jamieson and Nadzam depicts is not a Hollywood-style apocalyptic landscape, but an earth largely bereft of natural environments, where zoos house the last animals, natural food is rare, cities have adjusted to catastrophic weather, and those fortunate enough to live inside the bubble of “civilization” are surrounded by vast discarded populations who are left to tough it out on the outskirts of “normal life.”

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Trump’s Daughter Is Vacationing With Putin’s Girlfriend

August 16, 2016 by Frank Gormlie
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Just when you thought the 2016 Presidential race couldn’t get any crazier, here come reports that Donald Trump’s daughter Ivanka is actually vacationing in Croatia with Putin’s girlfriend, Wendi Deng Murdoch.

From an August 14 article on People online:

Ivanka Trump is taking a break from the campaign trail to vacation with friends. The daughter of GOP nominee Donald Trump shared a scenic snap with Wendi Deng Murdoch, the ex-wife of billionaire media mogul Rupert Murdoch, from Dubrovnik, Croatia.

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Remembering a Sad Moment in ‘Gay Paree’

August 15, 2016 by Ernie McCray

By Ernie McCray

Photo credit: flickr / Sean X. LiuParis. Maria and I and her family spent 16 days there in late June, literally taken by its beauty and its charm.

I have such sweet memories of our time there:

Our cursing the five flight of stairs to our apartment every time we returned from somewhere;

All the sights, the art, the culture, the fashion, the cuisine; the Metro; the soccer madness created by the Euro-Games;

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Extreme Weather Change: Devastating Heat

August 9, 2016 by John Lawrence

Extreme Weather WatchThere’s been an extreme weather change.

Two Middle Eastern locations hit 129 degrees F, the hottest temperatures ever recorded in earth’s history.

The temperature in Mitribah, Kuwait surged Thursday, July 21 to a blistering 129.2 degrees (54 Celsius). On Friday, the 22nd in Basra, Iraq, the mercury soared to 129.0 degrees (53.9 Celsius). At the same time, a heat dome in the US sent temperatures soaring to over 100º in much of the country.

A study published in the journal Nature Climate Change last October cautioned that by the end of the century temperatures may become too hot for human survival due to climate change.

Hottest Temps Ever Recorded

Last year was the hottest year ever globally — or it was until 2016 got off to a sweltering start. NASA announced that the first six months of this year have been the hottest since 1880, which is when people started keeping reliable records.

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Cody Miller Wins Bronze in 100-Meter Breaststroke

August 8, 2016 by Source

Cody Miller w bronze

RIO DE JANEIRO — American Cody Miller won bronze in the 100-meter breaststroke, finishing behind Britain’s Adam Peaty, who set a world record in 57.13 seconds.

Cameron van der Burgh of South Africa took silver in 58.69, .18 seconds ahead of Miller.

Cody Miller is a local OB celebrity – in a real sense – as he is the son of an Ocean Beach homeless man, Craig Miller, who died last year on Christmas Day.

Writers Vera Sanchez and Sunny Rey wrote about it for the OB Rag a couple of weeks ago. They described it then:

The road for Cody did not come easy.

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Nuclear Shutdown News for July 2016 – San Onofre Whistleblower: Utility Ruined its Own Nuke Plant.

August 2, 2016 by Michael Steinberg
Thumbnail image for Nuclear Shutdown News for July 2016 – San Onofre Whistleblower: Utility Ruined its Own Nuke Plant.

By Michael Steinberg / Black Rain Press

Nuclear Shutdown News chronicles the decline of the nuclear power industry in the US and beyond, and highlights the efforts of those who are working to create a nuclear free future. Here is out July 2016 report.

San Onofre whistleblower: Utility put profits above safety, ruined its own nuke plant.

A radiation leak at San Onofre nuclear plant in southern California caused its two reactors to shut down in in 2012, and resulted in its permanent closure the following year.

On July 19 the Times of San Diego reported on a press release by Public Watchdog, a nonprofit policy group, detailing allegations of a former employee at San Onofre. Southern California Edison is the controlling owner of the nuke plat, with San Diego Gas & Electric being a minority owner of the wrecked nuclear plant.

The whistleblower, Vinod Arora, is a former Edison fire protection engineer who worked at San Onofre.

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Washington Post: “Donald Trump is a unique threat to American democracy”

July 27, 2016 by Source

By Editorial Board / Washington Post / July 22, 2016

DONALD J. TRUMP, until now a Republican problem, this week became a challenge the nation must confront and overcome. The real estate tycoon is uniquely unqualified to serve as president, in experience and temperament. He is mounting a campaign of snarl and sneer, not substance. To the extent he has views, they are wrong in their diagnosis of America’s problems and dangerous in their proposed solutions. Mr. Trump’s politics of denigration and division could strain the bonds that have held a diverse nation together. His contempt for constitutional norms might reveal the nation’s two-century-old experiment in checks and balances to be more fragile than we knew.

Any one of these characteristics would be disqualifying; together, they make Mr. Trump a peril. We recognize that this is not the usual moment to make such a statement.

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Is This Election Good for the Fish?

July 20, 2016 by Source
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By David Helvarg / Blue Notes – Blue Frontier /July 19, 2016

The party conventions are now underway starting with the Republicans in Cleveland to be followed by the Democrats in Philadelphia.

The stark contrasts between presidential candidates Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump: on immigration, education, health care, trade, foreign policy, etc. do not end at the water’s edge where you might also find a Trump resort or golf course.

The ocean has yet to be mentioned on the campaign trail although our organization, Blue Frontier, is coordinating a letter to the candidates from ocean leaders in business, science, conservation, education and other fields that will be sent to the candidates after the conventions.

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A Review of the 2016 San Diego International Fringe Festival

June 30, 2016 by Source

By Mukul Khurana / San Diego Free Press

San Diego International Fringe FestivalThe 2016 San Diego International Fringe Festival arrived a month earlier than last year. There must be good reason, but it wasn’t announced.

Almost everything else remains the same.

Bi-national shows (San Diego and Tijuana being so close to one another) are now a fact since last year. The venues are pretty similar to last year too. However, this year, there are essentially two “centers.” Downtown has always been a base. Diversionary Theatre in University Heights got added to the mix.

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Nuclear Shutdown News June 2016 – Diablo Canyon to Close in Decade

June 22, 2016 by Michael Steinberg
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By Michael Steinberg / Black Rain Press

Nuclear Shutdown News chronicles the decline and fall of the nuclear power industry at home and abroad, and highlights the efforts of those who are fighting to create a nuclear free future,

California Announces Last Nuclear Plant in State – Diablo Canyon – to Close by 2025

The really big news is that on June 21, PG&E, the utility that owns Diablo Canyon, announced that it had agreed to a proposal endorsed by environmental groups and labor unions to shutter California’s last operating nuclear power plant, Diablo Canyon, by 2025.

This is a major victory for environmentalists – California is going nuclear-free, ending atomic energy’s more than half-century history in the state. For years, anti-nuclear activists had called for the plant’s closure because of safety concerns over its precarious location near several major earthquake fault lines. Friends of the Earth, for example, has been fighting for the plant’s closure since the 1960s.

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Carbon Dioxide Levels Set to Pass 400ppm — Permanently

June 15, 2016 by Source

The findings highlight increasingly urgent concerns about global efforts to curb climate change as outlined in the Paris agreement. (Photo: Mikael Miettinen/flickr/cc)

Carbon emissions and extreme weather events poised to push CO2 levels past symbolic threshold for good.

By Nadia Prupis / Common Dreams

Record carbon dioxide levels are set to surpass the symbolic threshold of 400 parts per million (PPM) this year and will likely never fall below that line again in our lifetimes, according to a new study published Monday in the journal Nature Climate Change.

Scientists at the UK Met Office used emissions data, sea surface temperature figures, and a climate model from the Mauna Loa Observatory in Hawaii to track the trajectory of CO2 levels and found that carbon dioxide “will for the first time remain above 400 ppm all year and hence for our lifetimes.”

Emissions have increased over the past 12 months due to the continued burning of fossil fuels, but the impact has also been exacerbated by an unbridled El Niño event.

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Extreme Weather Watch: May 2016 – Canada Burns, India’s Extreme Heat Record, US Tornadoes

June 8, 2016 by John Lawrence

Too Hot to Go Outside

Extreme Weather WatchBy John Lawrence

A city in western India set an all-time heat record of 123.8 degrees F in May. Authorities issued a severe heat wave alert which means that people can expect temperatures of 117 degrees F or more. In addition, drought is affecting much of the country. The heat will probably not let up until the monsoon rains come sometime in June.

The prolonged heat wave has already killed hundreds and destroyed crops in more than 13 states. Hundreds of small farmers have reportedly killed themselves, and tens of thousands have been forced to abandon their lands and live in squalor in urban slums in order to eke out a living.

Rivers, lakes and dams have dried up in many parts of the western states of Rajasthan, Maharashtra, and Gujarat, and groundwater supplies are severely depleted.

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Honoring “The Greatest!”

June 7, 2016 by Ernie McCray

By Ernie McCray

I’ve been thinking about my man, Muhammad Ali, off and on, feeling sad that he’s gone. But as a contemporary of mine (he was four years younger than me) he’ll never be forgotten by me because he has meant the world to me.

When I first heard about him he had just fought his way to a gold medal as the Light Heavy Weight Boxing Champion in 1960 at the Olympic Games in Rome.

I had just graduated from Arizona with a degree in P.E. and all kinds of basketball scoring records. So he and I were two young black men, athletes, standing tall and all. Who knew, though, that he would take being a sports figure to levels that were, up to then, unseen.

He was Cassius Clay in those days, but not a household name yet, …

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Direct Action Journal: Overcoming Fear

May 17, 2016 by Source

Hand painted sign calling attention to threat of rising sea level to South Tarawa and plea to "Save these islands!"

By Will Falk / San Diego Free Press

Another episode with anxiety knocks me to my bedroom floor. Rational thought forsakes me. My body shakes with the strangled sobs of a man ashamed of his tears. Alicia bends over me. Her dark brown eyes – normally calm with the consistent rationality characterizing her personality – are wide with concern and weariness. We’re only several nights removed from the last episode. She must think, “Oh god, not again.”

Alicia seeks to hold me. I find a deep comfort in her touch – and a deep revulsion. It’s not her. The contradiction is born from the lies fear instills in me.

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