on this day .. 7/31 1964 – The American space probe Ranger 7 transmitted pictures of the moon’s surface. 

1498 – Christopher Columbus, on his third voyage to the Western Hemisphere, arrived at the island of Trinidad.

1790 – The first U.S. patent was issued to Samuel Hopkins for his process for making potash and pearl ashes. The substance was used in fertilizer.

1792 – The cornerstone of the U.S. Mint in Philadelphia, PA, was laid. It was the first building to be used only as a U.S. government building.

1919 – Germany’s Weimar Constitution was adopted.

1928 – MGM’s Leo the lion roared for the first time. He introduced MGM’s first talking picture, “White Shadows on the South Seas.”

1932 – Enzo Ferrari retired from racing. In 1950 he launched a series of cars under his name.

1945 – Pierre Laval of France surrendered to Americans in Austria.

1948 – U.S. President Truman helped dedicate New York International Airport (later John F. Kennedy International Airport) at Idlewild Field.

1955 – Marilyn Bell of Toronto, Canada, at age 17, became the youngest person to swim the English Channel.

1959 – The Euskadi Ta Askatasuna (ETA) was founded. The group is known for being an armed Basque nationalist and separatist organization.

1961 – The first tie in All-Star Game major league baseball history was recorded when it was stopped in the 9th inning due to rain at Boston’s Fenway Park.

1964 – The American space probe Ranger 7 transmitted pictures of the moon’s surface. 

1971 – Men rode in a vehicle on the moon for the first time in a lunar rover vehicle (LRV).

1981 – The seven-week baseball players’ strike came to an end when the players and owners agreed on the issue of free agent compensation.

1982 – Yugoslavia imposed a six-month freeze on prices.

1989 – A pro-Iranian group in Lebanon released a videotape reportedly showing the hanged body of American hostage William R. Higgins.

1989 – The Game Boy handheld video game device was released in the U.S.

1991 – U.S. President George H.W. Bush and Soviet President Mikhail Gorbachev signed the Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty.

1995 – The Walt Disney Company agreed to acquire Capital Cities/ABC in a $19 billion deal.
Disney movies, music and books

1999 – The spacecraft Lunar Prospect crashed into the moon. It was a mission to detect frozen water on the moon’s surface. The craft had been launched on January 6, 1998. 

2007 – The iTunes Music Store reached 2 million feature length films sold.

Seattle: SmartMeters … get informed

POSTED 9:57 PM, MAY 11, 2017, BY ,

SEATTLE – Seattle City Light’s advanced meters will soon be coming to neighborhoods near you. Often referred to as Smart Meters, the wireless meters can keep track of customers’ electricity usage in real time and without the need for a reader to come to your home or business.

City Light said it will add accuracy and efficiency, but a small group in Seattle is fighting back against the meters, saying they are not safe or secure.

Jordan Van Voast put a sign up on the outside of his home near his meters that says “Do Not Install a Smart Meter.” He said he knows it won’t hold legal weight, but it does make him feel better.

“This is actually a bedroom on the other side of this wall,” said Van Voast, pointing at the outside wall his meter is mounted on.

Van Voast’s meter is soon to be replaced by a wireless meter, which he said is not safe. “There are adverse biological effects from radio frequency radiation,” he said.

Van Voast said he also has concerns about the security of the meter as well.

“There’s a big difference between what they’ll upload and what the meter is capturing,” said Van Voast.

Dubbed Smart Meters or Advanced Meters, Seattle City Light will be one of more than 500 utility districts across the country in the past decade to make the switch. In King County, they’ll be second to Puget Sound Energy.

“We are convinced that this is a safe technology to put into the field for our customers,” said Scott Thomsen, spokesman for Seattle City Light. Thomsen said the benefits will be captured immediately, once the two-year rollout is complete. Wattage information will be uploaded six times a day, providing more accurate bills. Immediate power outage notification and the eventual ability for homeowners to monitor their own usage will help save time and money, he said.

“Currently if we show up and a gate is locked, a dog is in the yard or a meter reader is sick and we can’t make it to your home, we have to estimate your electricity usage in order to generate a bill,” said Thomsen. “Sometimes we’re a little high, sometimes we’re a little low and then we catch up the next time we get a read.”

Thomsen said the technology is safe. “Much like what’s in your cell phone, only it’s less powerful than what is in your cell phone and other common household devices like baby monitors, even cordless phones,” he said.

Although Van Voast said he has security concerns, Thomsen said the data collected and transmitted is benign.

“The data that’s being transmitted is really simple. You get a meter number and you get kilowatt hours of data consumption, that’s it,” he said. “There’s no customer data about addresses, names, credit card info, Social Security, no customer information is shared across this. It’s only a meter number and the energy consumption of your entire building, whether that’s your home or your business.”

“There’s really no way of fact-checking that information,” said Van Voast.

He said his group is educating Seattle City Light customers about their concerns through the website www.safemeters.org. He said he’s hoping more customers will opt out after learning about the meters.

Seattle City Light reports less than 100 customers have opted out of the advanced meters, which comes at a cost. There is a $124.43 charge upfront, then customers will be charged an additional $15.87 on each billing cycle to pay for the meter reader coming to your home.

The last Pubic hearing is on Aug. 8 at 9:30 a.m, scheduled to be at Seattle City Hall. Hearings can also be watched on the Seattle Channel.

Water Contamination ~ Chromium-6 ~ EWG.org

It’s shocking that 25 years after Erin Brockovich’s work to expose chromium-6 contamination in Hinkley, Calif., the carcinogenic chemical remains completely unregulated at the federal level. EWG’s updated report reveals that more than 250 million Americans drink tap water contaminated with chromium-6.

Widespread Chromium-6 Contamination: Learn More


Once you’ve identified the contaminants of concern in your drinking water, make sure you check out EWG’s Water Filter Guide to find a filter that works for you and is certified to remove the specific contaminants in your tap water.

EWG's Water Filter Guide: Check Tt Out


See how your state stacks up! Check out water results by stateto see how many contaminants were found in your state’s drinking water and browse the results of the state’s largest utilities.

View Water Results by State

Agricultural pollution is a huge source of drinking water contamination for millions of Americans across the country. Our research report, Farming and Your Tap Water, shows that almost 8.4 million people are drinking water contaminated with atrazine, an herbicide linked to hormone disruption. Learn more about how farming may affect your tap water and what we can do to better protect waterways in rural areas.

Farming and Tap Water