Ford could turn Native American lands into toxic waste dump


a reminder a warning and a repost

For 25 years, Ford Motor Company dumped toxic waste from a nearby factory into New Jersey’s Ringwood State Park.

Members of the Ramapough tribe, who’ve lived on the land for generations, routinely fell ill from various poisons. Their children suffered nosebleeds any time they played outside.

Cancer rates in the area are elevated, and the Bergen Record found arsenic and lead one hundred times above safe levels in the nearby Wanaque Watershed, which supplies water to millions.

But instead of working to clean up the area, the Environmental Protection Agency is actually considering giving the land back to Ford to use it as a toxic waste dump.

There’s not much time left to protect the park — the EPA is announcing its plan in less than two weeks.

Edison Wetlands Association started a petition on Change.org asking the EPA to keep the park public and make Ford clean up the park for the public’s use. Click here to add your name to Edison Wetlands’ petition to demand the EPA protect Ringwood State Park from Ford’s continued pollution.   http://www.change.org/petitions/save-ringwood-state-park-dont-let-ford-motor-company-use-it-as-a-toxic-landfill

Right now, Ford is secretly lobbying both state and federal officials to gain the right to resume toxic dumping in the park. But a national outcry can outdo them.

Sign Edison Wetlands’ petition to the stop Ford from polluting before the EPA’s deadline in less than two weeks:

http://www.change.org/petitions/save-ringwood-state-park-dont-let-ford-motor-company-use-it-as-a-toxic-landfill

Thanks for being a change-maker,

– Corinne and the Change.org team

Matt Bevin ekes out an 83-vote win but recanvass looms


  • KY-Gov: We were expecting a tight GOP primary, but not this tight! With all precincts reporting, tea partying businessman Matt Bevin leads state Agriculture Commissioner James Comer by just 83 votes, a 0.04 percent margin. Former Louisville Councilor Hal Heiner was about 6 points behind with 27.1 percent of the vote, while former state Supreme Court Justice Will Scott brought up the rear with just 7.2 percent. Comer says he’ll ask to have the results recanvassed, which won’t take place until May 28. The Lexington Herald-Leader‘s Sam Youngman describes the process:

    In a recanvass, printed vote totals are checked against figures sent to the state Board of Elections. No individual votes are actually recounted.

    It’s rare for election outcomes to change after the fact, but you never know what will happen in a race this close. However, Comer says that if he’s still behind when all is said and done, he’ll back Bevin. Tuesday’s vote brings an end to an incredibly nasty primary. A few weeks ago, Comer’s college girlfriend came forward and accused him of abusing her two decades ago and taking her to get an abortion, and her former roommates confirmed parts of her story. Comer denied everything and in turn accused Heiner of paying her to lie. Comer also claimed that a blogger connected to Heiner threatened his running mate’s children, a charge local prosecutors are investigating. Bevin managed to stay out of the slugfest, though Heiner ran a last-minute spot that sought to drag him into the muck with Comer. Bevin’s apparent victory comes just one year after his primary challenge against now-Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell went down in flames. When Bevin entered the gubernatorial race at the last minute, he appeared to have a better shot of winning than he did in his prior attempt, but he was still the underdog. However, Bevin had the personal resources to join Heiner and Comer on television, and while McConnell was able to portray Bevin as a big-spending hypocrite, Bevin benefited from having the spotlight trained on his two major rivals. Heiner’s allies ran ads against Bevin that rehashed some of McConnell’s old attacks, but they weren’t quite enough this time. However, if he proceeds to the general election, he can expect Team Blue to zero in on his many flaws. The eventual Republican nominee will face Attorney General Jack Conway, who easily won the Democratic primary. While Kentucky is a conservative state, voters there have been much more willing to elect Democrats at the state level even as they’ve spurned them federally. A recent SurveyUSA poll gave Conway a hefty 48-37 lead against Bevin, though things may get closer once the wounds from this primary start to heal. At the very least, Conway won’t mind if his would-be Republican foes spend a little extra time fighting with one another.

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Senate:

  • FL-Sen: Democratic Rep. Alan Grayson’s divorce settlement with his estranged wife, which would reportedly have annulled their marriage, has fallen apart. We don’t know why, though supposedly Grayson signed the agreement but his wife did not. Why is this even news, though? Because Grayson couldn’t resist taking an ugly, public swipe at his wife—the mother of their five children—on his way into court:

    “I’ll sum it up for you. Gold diggers gotta dig. That’s all I gotta say,” Grayson said on Monday. “We had an agreement. She’s trying to renege.”

    And Grayson’s gotta grayse. Lately he’s sent his acerbic rhetoric into turbo mode: He dubbed one local reporter a “shitting robot,” berated two others, reportedly cursed at DSCC chair Jon Tester, and allegedly called Rep. Patrick Murphy, his would-be primary rival, a piece of shit. So Grayson’s latest outburst is far from surprising, but it certainly doesn’t help his hot-headed image, and this isn’t exactly the kind of remark your average woman voter will like. Meanwhile, we have a new name emerging on the GOP side. Marc Caputo reports that wealthy businessman Randy Fine might drop his bid for the state House and take on a much more ambitious Senate campaign. Supposedly, Fine is willing to self-fund “seven figures,” though even at the higher end of the range, that’s not terribly impressive for Florida (Gov. Rick Scott spent $70 million of his own money in 2010). Right now, the only declared Republican is Rep. Ron DeSantis, a Club for Growth acolyte, so you know that the establishment is looking for an alternative. Whether that’s Fine or, say, Lt. Gov. Carlos Lopez-Cantera, remains to be seen.

Gubernatorial:

  • IN-Gov: Less than a year ago, it looked quite possible that GOP Gov. Mike Pence would forgo his re-election campaign in order to run for president. But over the last few months, Pence sounded reluctant to risk his day job. In any case, the national firestorm over the Religious Freedom Restoration Act pretty much ended any chance Pence had at mounting a serious bid for the White House, and turned his once-safe re-election campaign into a much tougher slog. So it comes as no surprise that Pence’s campaign says that he will announce on June 18 that he will seek a second term as governor.

House:

  • CA-17: Former Obama Administration official Ro Khanna came close to unseating fellow Democrat Mike Honda last year, and he’s set to make a “special announcement” on May 30. It’s probably too much for Honda fans to hope that Khanna raised $801,000 only to decide not to run again.
  • IL-08: Democratic state Sen. Tom Cullerton formed an exploratory committee shortly after Rep. Tammy Duckworth announced that she would run for Senate, and he made his campaign official this week. Cullerton comes from a powerful family (his cousin is the state Senate president) and is well-connected to labor. Cullerton will face businessman and 2012 candidate Raja Krishnamoorthi, and fellow state Sen. Mike Noland has also formed an exploratory committee. The Democratic nominee should be favored in this Obama 57-41 Chicagoland seat.
  • NH-01: In what passes for good news for Rep. Frank Guinta these days, the New Hampshire Republican Party’s Executive Committee decided not to call for his resignation on Monday. Their statement wasn’t exactly warm, saying that “[u]nless further information comes to light, the Executive Committee of the New Hampshire Republican State Committee, will take no further action.” Guinta has been in hot water since last week, when he paid a fine to the FEC over an illegal six-figure 2010 donation from his parents, and prominent Republicans like Sen. Kelly Ayotte have called for his departure. Guinta has maintained that the donation was legal but hasn’t convincingly explained why, and he awkwardly refused to answer questions from Roll Call on Monday. Guinta looks very likely to face a credible primary challenger if he follows through with his plans to seek another term, but, at least for now, his base isn’t calling for his head. According to GOP pollster Reach Communications, registered Republicans in NH-01 agree Guinta should not resign by a 61-39 margin. It’s unclear if Reach (whom we’ve never heard from before) allowed respondents to say if they were undecided or not. There’s a big difference between saying that Guinta shouldn’t resign in disgrace and saying that he should be renominated, but this survey may encourage him to keep hanging on. Democrats are going to contest this swing seat regardless, but they’d rather face a damaged Guinta than a fresh opponent.

Other Races:

  • Jacksonville Mayor: Voters went to the polls in the mayoral runoff in Florida’s largest city, and Republican businessman Lenny Curry narrowly unseated Democratic incumbent Alvin Brown by a 51-49 margin. Brown was always in for a tough campaign in this conservative city, and the state GOP made winning city hall back a major priority. Brown did his best to appeal to crossover voters even though he was always at risk of jeopardizing his popularity with his party’s base; in the end, he simply came up short.
  • PA-AG: Two years ago, Democratic state Attorney General Kathleen Kane was a rising star in Pennsylvania politics who looked likely to serve in the Senate or governor’s mansion before too long. Now, Kane is facing an indictment for allegedly leaking secretive information to embarrass political enemies. Over at Philadelphia Magazine, Robert Huber gives us a fascinating look at Kane’s rise and fall.
  • Philadelphia Mayor: Former City Councilor Jim Kenney won a decisive victory in Tuesday’s Democratic primary, defeating state Sen. Anthony Hardy Williams 56-26. Williams’ pro-charter school allies heavily outspent Kenney’s labor backers, but Kenney was able to win over key endorsements from notable African-American politicians, even though Kenney is white and Williams is black. Kenney also benefited from ex-District Attorney Lynne Abraham’s steep drop in support. While Abraham started the contest with high name recognition, she didn’t have much money or any high-spending super PACs on her side, and in the end, she only took 8 percent of the vote. A late gaffe by Williams also appears to have contributed to his defeat. Williams called for the dismissal of Police Commissioner Charles Ramsey, arguing that he was the architect of Philadelphia’s stop-and-frisk policies. However, Ramsey was incredibly popular across racial lines, and Williams had no time to recover from this misstep. Philadelphia hasn’t elected a non-Democratic mayor since the 1940s, and Kenney will be the heavy favorite in November.
The Daily Kos Elections Morning Digest is compiled by David Nir and Jeff Singer, with additional contributions from David Jarman, Steve Singiser, Daniel Donner, and Taniel.

Nausea, nosebleeds, and chest pains


Tell BP: Oil Cleanup Workers Need Respirators and Safety Training

 a repost a reminder a warning

Tell BP: Protect Cleanup Workers  in the Gulf of Mexico

Click here to sign the petition.

Nausea, vomiting, nosebleeds, headaches, and chest pain: these are just some of the identical symptoms reported by people working around BP’s oil in the Gulf Coast.1

More than 100 people in the Gulf have fallen ill from BP’s oil, and that doesn’t include untold numbers of workers hiding their symptoms for fear of being fired by BP.2

Yet despite clear evidence of illness from exposure to oil and dispersants, BP refuses to provide respirators to people cleaning up its disaster. Why? Because BP is afraid of the PR impact from images of people wearing this critical safety equipment in pictures and on TV.3 BP even threatened to fire workers who choose to wear their own.4

This is ridiculous. No amount of good PR images for BP is worth the health and lives of people battling BP’s oil in the Gulf Coast.

Sign our petition for BP to pay for proper safety equipment and respirators for cleanup workers. Click here to add your name:

http://action.firedoglake.com/respirators

We’ll make sure that your petition also goes to key government decision makers on the oil disaster and worker safety so they can take steps to protect cleanup workers in the Gulf.

BP’s oil disaster isn’t the first time in recent history that workers responding to a hazardous emergency have had their lungs – and lives – put at risk.

Just like after 9/11, we’re already seeing cleanup workers with serious health problems after exposure to toxic chemicals without adequate protection. If the government properly enforced its safety standards after 9/11, every person at Ground Zero would have worn a respirator that could have protected their health and saved their lives.5

With workers’ rights advocacy group American Rights at Work, we’re launching this petition to key decision makers in the oil disaster for a simple idea: any worker who wants safety equipment like breathing respirators should get it, and BP should pick up the tab. We can’t afford to fail our nation’s workers in yet another disaster.

Join our call to make BP to pay for breathing respirators and other safety equipment for workers in the Gulf. Click here to sign our petition:

http://action.firedoglake.com/respirators

Cleanup workers deserve the best protection possible from the nasty effects from BP’s oil. Paying for safety equipment for workers who want it is really the least BP should do for the people cleaning up its disaster.

The government agency responsible for overseeing worker safety – the Occupational Health and Safety Administration (OSHA) – says that their tests showed respirators aren’t yet required for cleanup workers in the Gulf.6

While OSHA is still studying the air quality in the Gulf, it should be no coincidence that dozens of people working around BP’s oil disaster are falling ill with symptoms of chemical exposure to oil. Every worker needs access to the right respirators, training and safety equipment for protection from BP’s toxic stew in the Gulf.

In addition to sending our petition to BP, we’ll also send it to US Oil Disaster leader Thad Allen and government worker safety officials to make your voice heard by people who can make change happen. Click here to add your name to our call for BP to pay for respirators and safety equipment for cleanup workers:

http://action.firedoglake.com/respirators

Thanks for all you do to take on BP in its disaster.

Michael Whitney
Firedoglake

climate change realities …Haiti Still needs Help ~~ a repost


270px-Hurricane_Katrina_Mobile_Alabama_flooded_parking_lot_20050829

Haitians_fill_ferry_in_Port-au-Prince_2010-01-16                        SandyStrom

typhoonaid_1384259389

While we all watched in horror as SE Asia endured yet more storms following Haiyan …or Yolanda, we can all agree – it was definitely a catastrophic Typhoon. The number of deaths reported has reached beyond 6000, lest we even dare whisper about the number of folks missing from the Philippines or not.  There are several questions to ask ourselves about climate change.  I am no expert but American members of Congress need to listen to the People of the Philippines, the Marshall Islands and the Maldives, who have been screaming at us for quite some time to accept it … Climate Change is real.  I know we will never ever forget about Katrina Ike, Moore, Camille or Sandy. There were plenty of storms before Sandy but it is a great example of how climate deniers are hurting us while some in Congress were making insane stupid comments and generally showing just how unqualified they were eventually deciding to fund Sandy’s recovery, though Americans gasped in horror at how any Public Servant was able to say well the amount is too much let alone vote NO when  the next natural disaster is just as close as the vote or the next storm. These members of Congress debate vote, give foreign aid all the time… get a clue we are in a new phase, and the American experience called Climate Change has become a sad slap of reality. The question is, will these members of Congress, these Public Servants these Government workers who debate vote discuss challenge federal rights and promote states rights learn that a disaster like Katrina, Ike, Sandy, Haiyan or any of those in between tornadoes, hurricanes or snowstorms are telling us to pay attention NOW

A rude reminder …. and example of what could be if folks in Congress don’t accept Climate Change …

FYI: Haiti still needs Help

On Tuesday, January 12, 2010, a catastrophic earthquake struck near Port-au-Prince, Haiti.  Citing UN statistics, 400,000 are still homeless three years after the Haiti earthquake and for-profit companies having found their way into the game, reportedly were/are building temporary housing leaving out internal walls while one emergency after another is forcing those genuinely committed to helping to provide temporary solutions, only a tourniquet for the long term problems

Yes, Haiti experienced the worst earthquake to hit the area in more than 200 years. Entire communities, torn apart and as many as 3 million or more people directly affected, including tens of thousands of American citizens who are in Haiti.

In an article in the Miami Herald written on 1/13

“The country is becoming more and more difficult to live in,” said Simin, sitting outside a friend’s one-room home, where she sleeps on the floor with her two children. “We haven’t seen change. People have problems with food, problems with schools, and problems with housing. Once you have a problem with finding a place to sleep, you just might as well just die. There’s no living.”

In April of 2013, hurricane Sandy left a trail of destruction which started in Haiti and until the issue of housing is resolved, Shelter Box has been there providing shelter. Shelter Box not only was there when Tropical Storm Isaac struck just a couple of months before but Haiti was, and still is, recovering from the 2010 earthquake that left over two million homeless and led to a widespread outbreak of cholera and food shortages. This complex environment made it challenging for the Shelter Box Response Team (SRT) that assessed the need following Sandy.

Haitian aspirations are to have a better life not to live in tents, but with all the money being pulled back, broken promises and Haiti’s still unreformed property laws prevent the sale and transfer of government land three years later proves a whole lot a folks broke their promises

The fact is the people of Haiti are migrating to other Caribbean Islands and those who created this mess, made promises, built sub marginal housing … need to step up and fulfill their obligations. ~~ Nativegrl77

 

Haitians are determined

 

Help Shelter BoxUSA by donating

 

Many thanks for your support.

They say the more you know the better prepared you can be … Tell that to your member of Congress !

Nativegrl77

another repost from 5/13

U.S. Waters Polluted by 10 Million Tons of Dog Poop


U.S. Waters Polluted by 10 Million Tons of Dog Poop

The 78 million dogs living in the United States create 10 million tons of feces annually, polluting waterways and posing a threat to public health, according to a pet waste removal service asking Americans to pledge to scoop the poop this Earth Day.

Dog Waste Threatens Public Health

“Dog waste is an environmental pollutant. In 1991, it was placed in the same health category as oil and toxic chemicals by the Environmental Protection Agency,” explains Virginia-based pet waste removal company Doody Calls in a press release. “The longer dog waste stays on the ground, the greater a contamination becomes. Bacteria, worms and other parasites thrive in waste until it’s washed away into the water supply.”

USAToday reports that 40% of dog owners do not pick up their dog’s waste at all and all that waste pollutes waterways. Because scientists are able to track the origin of the fecal bacteria to the species that excreted it, we even know how much. One study showed as much as 90% of the fecal coliform in urban stormwater was of non-human origin, mostly dog.

In just a couple of days, 100 dogs can deposit enough bacteria to temporarily close a bay, and all  watershed areas within 20 miles of it,                     to swimming  and fishing. Officials in Seattle consider waste from the city’s million dogs to be a major pollution source of Puget Sound. Dogs have also been shown to be a major source of water contamination in Clearwater, FL; Arlington, VA; and Boise, ID.

So What’s a Responsible Dog Owner to Do?

If you live in Cambridge, MA, you can drop your dog’s leavings into methane digesters to power the lights in some parks. If you live in Jefferson County, CO, you can join the poop patrol to remind your neighbors that there is no dog poo fairy (seriously). For the rest of us, the Natural Resources Defense Council has the following recommendations:

  • First, you definitely should not let your dog’s droppings lay near water ways, curbs, or even in your yard. What you should do is . . .
  • Wrap it in a plastic bag (biodegradable, corn-derived, or regular) and put it in the trash (though not all municipalities allow this).
  • Flush it. Dog waste can be managed by most sewage treatment systems and some septic tanks. (Do not flush cat waste because the parasite Toxoplasma gondii can survive sewage treatment plants.)
  • Install an underground pet waste digester. Basically a septic tank just for your pet.
  • Bury it in your yard. Keep pet waste away from vegetable gardens, the water table, and streams and buried at least 5 inches deep. Always cover fresh waste with with dirt.
  • Hire a poop collection service. Services will patrol your yard for poop on a weekly or bi-weekly schedule.  What a service does with the waste will vary, but you won’t have to handle it yourself.

Related Reading

The Cool Way To Clean Up After Your Dog [Video]

Lights Powered by Dog Poop! (VIDEO)

NRDC Study Finds U.S. Beaches More Polluted Than Ever