Category Archives: Health

Christie OKs lead testing for school water but what about repairs?

drinking water
Source: app.com
In the almost eight years Christie’s been New Jersey’s governor he’s done more harm than good. Probably why his popularity rating is about 12% – OK, wait, I just checked that statistic and it’s actually 18%.

So now, Christie is desperately doing what he should have been doing all along – moving projects forward to help the people of the state he governs, including giving attention to lead in schools’ drinking water. But with his history of blatant lies, it’s hard to figure out what he actually intends to do, until he’s actually done it.

Now Christie, destroyer of everything public education in the Garden State, is suddenly concerned with lead in the pipes of the same schools he refused to release repair funds for. Concerned about testing, that is. What are the chances that between now and the end of his term, the governor will actually give over the money schools need to get lead out of our public school students’ drinking water?

I’m not holding my breath.

EPA rebates fund cleaner schoolbuses in 5 New Jersey towns and 88 fleets around the US

Healthy-Buses-Healthy-Kids
Source: http://gasp-pgh.org

WASHINGTON – The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) today awarded more than $7.7 million to replace or retrofit 401 older diesel school buses. The funds are going to 88 school bus fleets in 27 states, each of which will receive rebates through EPA’s Diesel Emissions Reduction Act (DERA) funding. The new and retrofitted buses will reduce pollutants that are linked to health problems such as asthma and lung damage.

In New Jersey, the five school systems that receiving retrofit funding are Orange, Lakewood, North Brunswick, Wall and Toms River.

“Thanks to DERA funding, we are protecting our children from breathing diesel emissions as they travel to school,” said Christopher Grundler, director of EPA’s Office of Transportation and Air Quality. “Nearly 17,000 of our country’s schools are located within steps of a heavily traveled road, potentially exposing more than six million children to traffic-related pollution at a time when their developing lungs are particularly vulnerable to the harmful effects of air pollution.”

Applicants replacing buses with engine model years of 2006 and older will receive rebates between $15,000 and $25,000, depending on the size of the bus. Applicants also had the option of retrofitting school buses with engine model years between 1994 to 2006 with a Diesel Oxidation Catalyst plus Closed Crankcase Ventilation system (DOC plus CCV) to reduce toxic emissions. EPA will fully fund the cost of these devices up to $4,000.

EPA has implemented standards to make newer diesel engines more than 90 percent cleaner, but many older diesel school buses are still operating. These older diesel engines emit large amounts of pollutants such as nitrogen oxides and particulate matter, which are linked to instances of aggravated asthma, lung damage and other serious health problems. 

The full list of 2016 DERA school bus rebate recipients are:

State  City     Selectee Funding   Buses
AZ Marana Marana Unified School District #6 $465,000  20
CA Moorpark Moorpark Unified School District $25,000 1
CA Soquel Santa Cruz City Schools  $155,000 9
CA Tulare Sundale Union Elementary School $20,000 1
CO Glenwood Springs Yampah Mountain High School $20,000 1
CT Ashford Town of Ashford $20,000 1
FL  Orlando School Board of Orange County, FL $240,000 20
FL Fort Pierce The School Board of Saint Lucie County $200,000 10
IA Bondurant Bondurant-Farrar Community School District $70,000 3
IA Lawton Lawton-Bronson Community School District $80,000 4
IA Sioux City Sioux City Community School District $20,000 1
IL St. Charles Community Unit School District 303 $20,000 1
IL Frankfort Lincoln Way Area Special Education District 843 $75,000 5
IL Mt Vernon Spring Garden School District 178 $20,000 1
IN Greensburg Decatur County Community Schools $75,000 3
IN Waterloo DeKalb County Central United School District $100,000 5
IN Goshen Fairfield Community Schools $40,000 2
IN  Gary Incandescent Transportation Solutions LLC $25,000 1
IN Versailles South Ripley School Corporation $55,000 3
KS Emporia Unified School District # 253 $40,000 2
KS  Sublette Unified School District # 374 $20,000 1
KS Ottawa      Unified School District # 290 $40,000 2
LA Alexandria Rapides Parish Schools Board $100,000 5
ME Kennebunk Regional School Unit 21 $160,000 8
ME Sullivan Regional School Unit 24 $40,000  2
MI Haslett Haslett Public Schools $60,000 3
MI Hudsonville Hudsonville Public Schools $60,000 3
MI Whittemore Whittemore-Prescott Area Schools $60,000 3
MO Jamestown Jamestown C-1 School $55,000 3
MO Louisiana Louisiana RII Schools District $25,000 1
MO  Sullivan Sullivan School District $40,000 2
MO Wheaton Wheaton R III School $40,000 2
NE Arlington Arlington Public Schools $20,000 1
NE Wahoo Wahoo Public Schools $20,000 1
NJ Orange Belair Transport Inc. $145,000 7
NJ Lakewood Klarr Transport Service Inc. $200,000 10
NJ North Brunswick North Brunswick Township Board of Education $85,000 5
NJ  Wall Student Transportation of America $200,000 10
NJ Toms River Toms River Regional Schools $180,000 9
NY Brocton Brocton Central School District $40,000 2
NY Belmont Genesee Valley CSD $20,000 1
NY Huntington Station Huntington Coach Corporation  $200,000 10
NY  Huntington Station Huntington Coach LLC  $200,000 10
NY Craryville Taconic Hills Central School District $20,000 1
NY  Verona Vernon Verona Sherrill Central Schools $60,000 3
NY Whitesboro Whitesboro Central School District $30,000 2
OH Sullivan Black River Local Schools $20,000 1
OH Rawson Cory-Rawson Local Schools $70,000 3
OH Lynchburg Lynchburg Clay Local Schools $60,000 3
OH Thornville Northern Local School District  $60,000 3
OH Andover Pymatuning Valley Local School $80,000 4
OH Canton Stark County Board of Developmental Disabilities $60,000 3
OK Boswell Boswell Public Schools $20,000 1
OR  Lakeview Lake County School District #7 $40,000 2
OR Pendleton Mid Columbia Bus Co. Inc  $180,000 9
PA Carlisle Deitch Buses Inc. $80,000  4
PA Glenmoore George Krapf, Jr. & Sons, Inc. $60,000 3
PA Philadelphia School District of Philadelphia $165,000 10
SC Columbia SCDOE (For Anderson 1 School District) $100,000 5
SC Columbia SCDOE (For Charleston County School District) $200,000 10
SC Columbia SCDOE (For Chester County School District)  $40,000 2
SC Columbia SCDOE (For Colleton County School District) $140,000 7
SC Columbia SCDOE (For Dorchester 4 County School District)  $80,000 4
SC Columbia SCDOE (For Greenville County School District) $200,000 10
SC Columbia SCDOE (For Kershaw County School District) $100,000 5
SC Columbia SCDOE (For Lexington 4 County School District) $80,000 4
SC Columbia SCDOE (For Orangeburg 5 County School District) $80,000 4
SC Columbia SCDOE (For Spartanburg 3 County School District) $40,000 2
SC Columbia SCDOE (For Spartanburg 6 County School District) $80,000 4
SD Hayti Hamlin Public School District $20,000  1
TX Rockport Aransas County ISD $105,000 5
TX Uvalde Uvalde Consolidated Independent School District $20,000 1
UT St. George Washington County School District $250,000 10
UT West Haven Weber School District $100,000  5
VA Alexandria Alexandria City Public Schools $64,000 16
VA Charlotte Court House Charlotte County Public Schools $100,000  5
VA Norfolk Norfolk Public Schools $200,000 10
VA Salem Roanoke County Public Schools $215,000 10
WA Vancouver Evergreen Public Schools $235,000 10
WA Lind Lind-Ritzville Transportation Co-Op $20,000 1
WA Longview Longview Public School District #122 $95,000 4
WA Northport Northport School District $20,000 1
WA Quincy Quincy School District No. 144 $50,000 2
WA Sumner Sumner School District $20,000 1
WI Spencer Burnett Transit $40,000 2
WI Dousman Dousman Transport Co., Inc.  $200,000 10
WI Beloit  School District of Beloit Turner $40,000 2
WI Shell Lake School District of Shell Lake  $20,000 1

For more information about this rebate program, visit http://www.epa.gov/cleandiesel/clean-diesel-rebates.

Kimi Wei liked this post

Military mandate to reduce pesticide use sparked the creation of a device that kills weeds with heat & light #p2

NatureZap wand at work
Source: Good Neighbor
Imagine a weedkiller as effective as Monsanto’s Roundup (aka glyphosate) which doesn’t introduce any chemicals into the environment and can be completely localized: enter NatureZap version 2, which kills weeds by zapping them with a heat-light combo.

TakePart says the tool was created by the, “412th Civil Engineering Group at Edwards Air Force Base—who developed the device with Global Neighbor,” to satisfy a mandate for the military “to reduce its use of toxic chemicals under the Sikes Act.”

Isn’t that great?

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Easy tick removal with just a water-moistened cotton swab

Tick and cotton swab
Source: Popular worldwide on youtube.com
This video shows a tick being removed by a cotton swab slightly moistened in water, that you use to rotate the tick around until it falls off. That way, the mouth detaches from your skin. Looks easy but I wonder why they don’t moisten the swab with alcohol – wouldn’t that be better? If I learn of an even better way, I’ll share it.

The Green Wei liked this post

Michael Moore reports from Flint on the Flint Water Tragedy

Michael Moore on Flint Water Tragedy
Source: michaelmoore.com

Flint native and film maker Michael Moore arrived in the city a couple of weeks ago and went right to work gathering information about the origin and extended impact of what’s being nationally referred to as the “Flint Water Crisis”. He has released his article 10 Things They Won’t Tell You About the Flint Water Tragedy. But I Will.

When a bicycle transports as much as a car, including kids

Mom and kids on 4-wheeled bike
Source: stuffdutchpeoplelike
on Instagram
The excuse that you need a car because you can’t transport kids, backpacks and groceries on a bicycle? Well, the 4-wheeled bike this mom is riding blows that idea all to heck. Notice the leg space for the kids sitting in the back compartment – they’re completely comfortable back there.

“What happens when the kids get too big to ride back there?” you ask. Easy: they get to ride their own bikes alongside Mom!

Hat tip to Han Broekman for sharing.

Kimi Wei liked this post

Snyder lied: the reason for poisoning people of Flint was NOT money

Michael Moore on Snyder & Flint Water Crisis
Source: MSNBC report via YouTube
Detroit went to great lengths to remain the water supplies of Flint Michigan, offering them reduction upon reduction. In the end, it would have cost Flint 20% less to remain with Detroit Water and Sewerage Department (DWSD) than it did to take the deal of Karegnondi Water Authority, which lead to the poisoning of the people of Detroit.

The switch was made at the direction of an Emergency City Manager appointed by Gov. Rick Snyder.

Motor City Muckraker reports:

A high-ranking DWSD official told us today that Detroit offered a 50% reduction over what Flint had been paying Detroit. In fact, documents show that DWSD made at least six proposals to Flint, saying “the KWA pipeline can only be attributed to a ‘political’ objective that has nothing to do with the delivery – or the price – of water.”

The offer by DWSD raises serious questions about whether Gov. Rick Snyder was lying when he insisted the water switch was motivated by saving money for Flint, which was under the control of a state emergency manager.

“When compared over the 30 year horizon the DWSD proposal saves $800 million dollars or said differently – saves 20% over the KWA proposal,” then-DWSD Director Sue McCormick said in the e-mail dated April 15, 2013.

Flint native and filmmaker Michael Moore has been on the ground for a couple of weeks, looking into what happened and what can be done to help the good people of the city.

Kimi Wei liked this post

Plankton eating plastic caught on video for first time. Then we eat it too :-)

plankton eat plastic
Planton eat plastic. Courtesy: NewScientist
What you see in this amazing video all takes place inside of one drop of water: for the first time, plankton have been filmed eating plastic. This is part of the story of how people end up eating plastic too. Microscopic plankton eat even smaller fluorescent particles of plastic that fill up their digestive systems. Sometimes the particles stay in their system for days, making survival and reproduction difficult for them. When they get eaten by bigger sea life, the plastic gets lodged in those creature’s intestines and then they get eaten too. Eventually, people eat sea life that contains plastic, so we end up eating it too.

Where does all that plastic come from?

Cosmetic and healthcare products that have a scrubbing quality like exfoliating soaps and toothpaste use plastic microbeads that wash into drains and out to large bodies of water. Natural products could be used, but they mostly aren’t.

Then, there’s the island of plastic debris floating in our oceans – tons of the stuff – that breaks into tinier and tinier particles as pieces are hit by the sun and jostle against each other, and then against rocks and sand as they move around the ocean waters. Plastic breaks into tiny pieces but doesn’t disappear, and now we know that plankton eat it.

Hat tip to Theresa Lam for the share!

Big Tech tries to replace meat with chemicals but real foods are better

two cows
Source: Wikipedia
Nicholas Kristofferson of the New York Times tells us that Beyond Meat and Impossible Foods are two competitors creating meat-like products in laboratories with the backing of, “Bill Gates and both Biz Stone and Ev Williams of Twitter fame, not to mention Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers, the venture capital firm that backed Google and Amazon.” Didn’t take long for Big Tech to figure out how much money and power lies in controlling people’s food supply.

Beyond Meat’s, “best-selling product, the Beast Burger, is loaded with protein, vitamins, antioxidants and Omega-3s.” A healthy product, if you believe that eating a dinner of chemicals is good for your health. I actually don’t. I’d rather eat a chick pea curry or a falafel sandwich. They don’t taste anything like meat, but they’re filling, delicious and nutritious.

If you’re wanting to reduce your meat consumption, check out Ellie Krieger’s suggestions for truly healthy substitutes. And forget the chemicals.

Kimi Wei liked this post

Can the 1 Billion Oyster Project clean New York Harbor? We’ll soon know.

logosStudents of the New York Harbor School’s Professional Diving and Vessel Operations Programs work together to create a billion oyster reef and monitor how it impacts the harbor. The school’s ambitious 1 Billion Oyster Project goal is to introduce 1 billion oysters into New York Harbor, where they will clean the water and create much needed habitat for the restoration of harbor health and a variety of aquatic species.

The program is also going to give huge numbers of students an appreciation for the water that surrounds their city and prepare many for specialized careers that would otherwise be inaccessible to them. Aquatic Program Director Pete Malinowski, explains:

The port employs 300,000 people and only 12% of them went to public school in New York City, so there’s a fundamental disconnect between young people in the city and the water.

The school is situated on Governor’s Island, but Wall Street Journal producer Jeff Bush visited the teams on the water, at the site of an oyster reef they are monitoring. The school’s Co-Founder and President, Murray Fisher, told Bush that as each adult oyster, “filters a gallon of water an hour,” with a billion oysters, “the standing volume of water in New York Harbor could be filtered every 3 days.”

The Big Oyster bookMark Kurlansky’s book The Big Oyster: History on the Half Shell tells about the rise and fall of New York Harbor’s health in relationship to the oyster. According to Kurlansky, all we needed to do to sustain the health of New York Harbor was, continue throwing discarded oyster shells back into the water – because the breakdown of their shells will feed the growth of living oysters. Maybe we’ll be smarter this time around, taking our cue from the success of communities like Olympia, WA.

Maliownski teaches that being a keystone species, oysters “grow on top of each other and build their own habitat.” Oysters attach to each other to create large reefs which in turn, become environments for other species of aquatic life. “In NY Harbor they were the backbone of aquatic life,” Malinowski remarks.

Hopefully, the time is coming soon when they will be again.