Posts Tagged ‘ legislature ’

Is Frances Bean Cobain Engaged?

October 26, 2011

At just 19-year-old Frances Bean Cobain, the daughter of Courtney Love and the late Kurt Cobain, shocked the fashion world with a series of very grown up photographs this summer. Now there are reports she’s engaged … to a guy who looks a lot like her father. According to OC Weekly , Frances has been dating The Rambles’ lead singer, Isaiah Silva, for more than a year, and changed their relationship status on Facebook to engaged a few weeks ago. While the paper notes the couple recently removed the status, they allude to their engagement in online posts, which can be viewed here . In one post Frances writes: “Getting to spend the rest of my life loving my best friend makes me the luckiest woman in the world.” OC Weekly also points out that Silva shares a remarkable resemblance to Frances’ father Kurt Cobain, who committed suicide in 1994. It’s a little weird, right? If the couple are in fact engaged, we can’t wait to hear what Frances’ mother Courtney Love has to say about it. Continued here: Is Frances Bean Cobain Engaged?

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John A. Perez: New Law Will Increase Access to Healthy California Foods

October 26, 2011

On the dawn of the Great Depression, then-presidential candidate Herbert Hoover famously promised a chicken in every pot and a car in every garage. Today, even as our nation muddles through our own Great Recession, one look at the 405 freeway during rush hour makes clear that as a nation and state, we have certainly managed to put a car in almost every garage. However, our ability to deliver on the chicken — and other healthy food items — is a challenge we absolutely must meet if we are to protect and improve the health of the people of California. While most would consider dietary choice one of the biggest hurdles to healthy living, California’s nutritional shortcomings extend beyond that of trans fat and caloric challenges, and into the disturbing realm of simple access to affordable, healthy food options. Even in the year 2011, there are urban and rural communities throughout the state whose residents do not have access to grocery stores that offer fruits, vegetables and dairy products. These communities, referred to as “food deserts,” are not only prevalent in California, but are cause for concern throughout the entire country. Residents of food deserts generally have higher incidences of premature death, and are susceptible to a variety of nutrition-related ailments, including heart disease and diabetes. Even though California’s farmers have an international reputation for their production of high quality, healthy fruits and vegetables, food deserts are a real public health problem in California. That’s why I authored Assembly Bill 581 , legislation that begins to eliminate food deserts, increases access to healthy foods and has the potential to create jobs in the local economies of food desert areas. Last year, President Obama initiated the Healthy Food Financing Initiative , a partnership between the U.S. departments of Agriculture, Health and Human Services, and Treasury, to invest $340 million nationwide with the goal of eliminating food deserts across the country within seven years through innovative financing, grants and private sector engagement. AB 581 creates California’s own Healthy Food Financing Initiative, marking the beginning of an effort to assist communities of need through financing options, as well as partnerships with governmental agencies, non-profits and philanthropic groups. AB 581 also enables California Department of Food and Agriculture Secretary Karen Ross to establish an advisory committee that will provide the Legislature with recommendations by July 1, 2012, on how to increase access to healthy foods. I have firsthand knowledge of the economic benefits that occur in communities that combat food deserts. I worked for nearly a decade to bring a full-service grocery store to the downtown Los Angeles neighborhood I now represent. The community — which was previously considered a food desert — is now home to one of the most profitable stores in the entire chain. Bringing that grocery store to the neighborhood benefitted both the public health and the local economy — something AB 581 stands to duplicate all over California. California’s farmers have been providing healthy food to people all over the world, and now the Legislature’s overwhelming bipartisan support of AB 581, coupled with Gov. Brown signing the bill into law, will increase access to healthy foods in underserved rural and urban communities, right here at home. So even if someone doesn’t have a car in their garage, they won’t have to look too far to find a healthy chicken — and vegetables — for their pot. Reprinted with permission from the “California Farm Bureau Federation’s AgAlert.” Read the original post: John A. Perez: New Law Will Increase Access to Healthy California Foods

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Bob Burnett: It’s the Water, Stupid: The Perils of Clearcutting

October 7, 2011

When you fly to the west coast, you usually pass over the Sierra Nevada mountain range. On a clear day you’ll notice the surrounding forests are irregular; they’ve been “checkerboarded.” Millions of acres have been logged and “clearcut.” While problematic on many levels, clearcutting imperils the drinking water for 45 million Americans. Clearcutting is a logging technique where all trees in a given area are cut down. The valuable timber is hauled away and the residue, the “slash pile,” is burned. Then the ground is scraped and sprayed with herbicides to suppress native vegetation. The area is replanted with one species, typically pine. In recent years, this process has been rebranded as “even-age” timber management. In California, clearcutting is only permitted on private land and usually occurs on property owned by Sierra Pacific Industries — the largest private landowner in the state holding over 1.7 million acres. Since 1990 Sierra Pacific has received permission from the California Forestry Board to clearcut over a quarter million acres. In 2000, the California legislature debated a bill that would have banned all clearcutting because of concerns about its environmental impact. Democratic Governor Gray Davis killed the law by declaring he would only sign legislation “that was the result of compromise between environmentalists and loggers.” (Sierra Pacific made significant contributions to Davis’ campaign and on July 13, 1999, hosted a fundraiser that raised $129,000 for the governor.) Clearcutting has two major consequences. First, it impacts biodiversity. Replacing native trees and plants with a solitary species, pine, may simplify logging but it disrupts the habitat for plants and animals. Clearcutting fractures the fragile forest ecology causing species to migrate and, in some cases, disappear. And, wherever there is clearcutting there are roads for logging trucks; these roads also impact the environment directly by the introduction of polluting vehicles or indirectly by increasing the number of landslides. Second, clearcutting has a savage impact on water resources. 60 percent of California’s water supply comes from watersheds in the Sierra Nevada — 15 percent comes from the Colorado River and the remaining 25 percent from groundwater. The logging practices of Sierra Pacific have three impacts. The initial clearing process leaves the Sierra Nevada topsoil exposed and vulnerable. Winter rains often carry the best soil away, clogging streams and damaging habitat far away from the logging site. That’s the problem at Battle Creek a stream that descends from Mount Lassen in California’s Shasta County. The US Bureau of Reclamation is overseeing a $128 million project to revive the Battle Creek Salmon population; five dams are being removed and four others modified so steelhead and winter- and spring-run salmon can return to their spawning habitat. Tragically that same habitat is threatened by erosion resulting from upstream Sierra Pacific clearcutting, authorized by the California Department of Forestry. California doesn’t require loggers to monitor water quality and the agency charged with overseeing fish habitat, California Department of Fish and Game, has been decimated by budget cuts. The second impact of clearcutting is alteration of the rate of rainwater absorption. In a natural forest, native tree root systems trap and filter rainwater; as a result water percolates slowly through the soil, gradually recharging streams and aquifers over California’s dry months. In “even-age” forests, this process is altered and water is primarily distributed when it’s not needed. In the summer there is less stream water and this negatively affects fish habitat as well as plants and animals on adjacent properties. The third impact is from the introduction of herbicides. Each year an average of 200,000 pounds of herbicides are used to domesticate California private forests. Until recently, the most commonly used herbicide was Altrazine. In 2004, the European Union banned Altrazine “because of its persistent groundwater contamination.” US researchers are alarmed by Altrazine’s effects as an endocrine disruptor and its epidemiological connection to low male sperm count. (Health problems from aerial herbicide spraying have been reported in Triangle Lake, Oregon where most residents have tested positive for atrazine in their urine.) Recently, Altrazine has been replaced by Roundup, the most widely used US herbicide. The European Union classed Glyphosate, Roundup’s main ingredient, as “dangerous for the environment” and “toxic for aquatic organisms”. In 2006, the Union of Concerned Scientists reported on Global Warming and California’s Water Supply : “By the end of the century, if global warming emissions continue unabated, statewide annual average temperatures are expected to rise into the higher warming range (8-10.5°f). This temperature rise will lead to more precipitation falling as rain instead of snow, and the snow that does fall will melt earlier, thus decreasing the spring snowpack in the Sierra Nevada by as much as 90 percent… spring stream flow could decline up to 30 percent.” There are many signs that California’s water supply is imperiled by global climate change. Clearcutting increases the probability that the Sierra Nevada watershed will be furthered diminished or rendered unfit for consumption. It’s time for Governor Brown and the Legislature to ban clearcutting in all circumstances. Go here to read the rest: Bob Burnett: It’s the Water, Stupid: The Perils of Clearcutting

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Miguel Cabrera DUI stop video released

March 9, 2011
Miguel Cabrera DUI stop video released

Authorities have released evidence including pictures, audio tapes and video of baseball All-Star Miguel Cabrera, who was arrested in St. Lucie County on DUI and other charges in February.

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Rob Briley DUI Arrest Video (Part I)

September 12, 2007
Rob Briley DUI Arrest Video (Part I)

Representative Robert Briley (D-Nashville) on dash cam video in Watertown, Tennessee during a DUI stop. Briley faces charges of DUI, evading arrest charges and vandalism.

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Raw Police Video