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EARTHTALK®: BENEFITS OF PUBLIC TRANSIT

E - The Environmental Magazine

Written and edited by Roddy Scheer and Doug Moss

December 24, 2012 (San Diego)--Dear EarthTalk: It might seem obvious, but what would be the primary benefits of public transit as an alternative to the private automobile if our country were to make a major commitment to it?                                                        -- James Millerton, Armstrong, PA

The benefits of making a major commitment to building up and efficiently managing a larger and more comprehensive public transit network are many.

FROM THE CHIEF'S CORNER: CHRISTMAS DAY SAFETY - IT'S HERE!

December 20, 2012 (San Diego) – Well Christmas is officially here! The last couple weeks we have focused on both outdoor and indoor holiday safety. Christmas day will arrive soon and there’s a few additional safety tips to be aware of!

We’re going to be cooking more over the next few days and on Christmas. Be careful wearing loose clothing around open flames on the stove. Use a timer and use “post it’s” to remind yourself of cooking times in the oven (were going to be distracted more this week than ever). Do not cool hot pans with water if grease is in the. Have a fire extinguisher near-by and know how to use it. A lid placed over a pan on fire will remove oxygen and put the fire out! Be careful using candles at the dinner table (especially if toddlers are present).

FROM THE CHIEF'S CORNER: INDOOR HOLIDAY SAFETY TIPS

December 20, 2012 (San Diego) – Now that your outdoor decorations are placed, it’s time to focus on some indoor holiday safety tips.  Thousands of accidents and fires can be prevented each year if you take the time to practice safety measures says Fire Chief Sam DiGiovanna.

EDUCATION TOUR: DECEMBER CHECKLIST FOR SENIORS

 

Education News and Notes

By Anat Tour, math teacher and children’s author/illustrator

December 19, 2012 (San Diego’s East County)--December is a busy time for the holidays, but if you are a high school senior this is the season to get your college checklist in order.

In addition, here are my picks for this month’s top stories of interest to local students, teachers, and parents:

MEDIA WATCHDOG: HOW MEDIA CONSOLIDATION AND CORPORATE CONTROL OF MEDIA—ESPECIALLY RADIO—HURTS DEMOCRACY

By guest columnist Jennifer Douglas, Save KLSD film writer/co-producer

December 17, 2012 (San Diego)--As we celebrate the holidays and ring out 2012, it’s also time to pay attention what is happening right now with ownership of the mass media. Sad to say, the mood is more Scrooge-like than reflecting the spirit of Santa or Jesus. The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) is about to deregulate the media--and San Diego’s very own media mogul, U-T owner/developer Doug Manchester, may buy-up even more media outlets.

ON THE SILVER SCREEN: BLOTTO PILOT (FLIGHT)

Doing some catch-up on films I’ve missed.

By Brian Lafferty

December 15, 2012 (San Diego) – Every now and then someone writes to Dear Abby, saying his friend or relative is addicted to alcohol and drugs.  The friend thinks nothing is wrong with him, but doesn’t realize the damage his addiction is causing to his relationship with his friends, family, and significant other.  Invariably, all Abby can advise the writer is that – as much as he’d like to believe otherwise – he can't change or rescue his friend or loved one from their problem.  Only the friend can change and, unless he admits he has a problem, there’s nothing that anyone can do.

LEFT HOOK COLUMN: JUDICIAL RIGHTS—THE MOST IMPORTANT FIGHT OF OUR TIME

By Walter Davis

December 8, 2012 (San Diego)--The proud grandparents had come to Italy to witness the birth of their granddaughter. Their sailor-son-in-law was Command Center Supervisor on a Navy admiral’s staff in Naples – Commander Fleet Air Mediterranean. While touring Naples, they visited a fabulous furniture store. Granny got her wish and Pop ordered a living room and dining room set. The ornate carvings on the chairs and tables were very beautiful. They picked a gold fabric to match the beautiful hardwood on their new custom made sofa and chairs. They enjoyed their beautiful new granddaughter. She was joined by a beautiful little sister the following year.

The sofa was delivered in Los Angeles just before the proud new Navy mom and dad arrived about a little more than year later. They were on their way to Japan; to a new assignment in USS MIDWAY CV-41 and new adventure.

They loved their two little girls, born in Germany and Italy during their tour with the Navy’s Sixth Fleet. The oldest, little Adria had been born at 37 weeks, she had been taken by air ambulance to Frankfurt, Germany to be born due to her premature birth. A massive earthquake had hit Italy and her mother went into labor.

FROM THE CHIEFS CORNER: MOVE RIGHT FOR SIRENS AND LIGHTS

By Fire Chief Sam DiGiovanna

December 5, 2012 (San Diego) -- During this busy time of year, there are more and more people on the road now than ever before. This is the “season” and we will likely be spending more time ourselves shopping, traveling, attending gatherings and rushing about during this time. This is when accidents occur as we have many distractions. If you or someone you love is in need of emergency assistance, you want help to arrive immediately.

FROM THE CHIEF'S CORNER: OUTDOOR CHRISTMAS SAFETY

By Fire Chief Sam DiGiovanna

December4, 2012  (San Diego) -- Regrettably, far too many of us tumble from ladders and rooftops, receiving a numberless wounds, sprains, busted bones, head wounds and even death when trimming for the holidays. Last year, over150, 000 people were treated in emergency rooms just from ladder accidents, not to cite thousands more electrical and additional trimming misadventures. Neglecting to adopt the suitable safety safeguards when trimming your home this holiday season can rapidly take the Merry right out of your Christmas says Fire Chief Sam DiGiovanna.

EARTHTALK®: NUTRITION STANDARDS FOR SCHOOL LUNCHES

E - The Environmental Magazine

December 4, 2012 (San Diego) – Dear EarthTalk: What are the new nutrition standards for school lunches that have some students boycotting their cafeterias and discarding the food?                

-- Melissa Makowsky, Trenton, NJ

Indeed, some 31 million American kids participating in the federally supported National School Lunch Program have been getting more whole grains, beans, fruits and vegetables in their diets—whether they like it or not. The change is due to new school meal standards unveiled by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) last January, per the order of 2010’s Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act. The new standards are based on the Institute of Medicine’s science-based recommendations, and are the first upgrade to nutritional standards for school meals since 1995 when low- and no-fat foods were all the rage.

FROM THE CHIEF'S CORNER: THANKSGIVING COOKING SAFETY TIPS

By Fire Chief Sam DiGiovanna

Thanksgiving Cooking Safety Tips!

November 20, 2012 (San Diego)--Thanksgiving signifies the beginning of the Holiday Season and many of us will be spending more time in the kitchen preparing for the Holidays according Fire Chief Sam DiGiovanna. Thanksgiving Day is the leading day for home cooking fires, with three times as many occurring on Thanksgiving as any other day of the year. In 2010, there were 1,370 fires on Thanksgiving, a 219 percent increase over the daily average. “Thanksgiving is a fun, festive holiday, but it’s also very hectic says DiGiovanna. “All the entertaining and distractions make it easy to forget about what’s cooking on the stovetop.”

POLITICAL REFLECTIONS: AFTER THE ELECTION...

By Mark Gabrish Conlan

November 20, 2012 (San Diego) – Is it really over? I’ve lived with the 2012 Presidential campaign for so long that it’s become a fixture of my life, sort of like a piece of ugly furniture you never sit on anymore but you can’t bear to get rid of.

FROM THE CHIEF'S CORNER: NATURAL GAS/HEATER SAFETY

By Fire Chief Sam DiGiovanna 

November 18, 2012 (San Diego)--As temperatures cool down, home heating use goes up. It’s important for homeowners and renters to inspect their home-heating appliances and perform any maintenance necessary to avoid any health or safety hazards.

ON THE SILVER SCREEN: STAND TALL AND DELIVER (LINCOLN)

By Brian Lafferty

November 16, 2012 (San Diego) – Earlier this year I interviewed for a volunteer position.  The interviewer looked at my resume and asked, "What's your least favorite part of being a film critic?"  I was stumped.  My work at East County Magazine unites two of my biggest passions - movies and writing - and I love doing it so much that it never occurred to me there was something that I least enjoyed about it.

After months of reflection, I now have an answer.  Far too often I get bombarded with questions from family, friends, and colleagues like, "What did you think of so-and-so movie?"  Anyone who is familiar with me on a personal and professional level know that I am an infinitely better writer than a speaker.  If you read my writing and later met me in person, I guarantee you'd be amazed at the difference between my spoken words and my written words.  When I do oblige, usually all I can muster up is, "It was good," or, "I didn't like it.”

FROM THE CHIEF'S CORNER: FIRE PREVENTION AND FLU PREVENTION

November 15, 2012 (San Diego) – Fire prevention and flu prevention stages?

We just changed our smoke detector batteries with daylight savings this weekend for fire preventive measures. Flu season is among us and like fire prevention, it’s important to take cold/flu preventive measures. Emergency rooms become saturated this time of year due to those with the flu. Unfortunately this may delay those that have significant health/medical issues or injuries from getting treatment quickly according to Fire Chief Sam DiGiovanna.

BIRD TALK: RARE BIRDS IN EAST COUNTY

By Greg Dunne

November 15, 2012 (San Diego’s East County)--We have our share of rare bird sightings now and then in our East County. The three I am going to talk about are the Greater White-Fronted Goose, the Nutmeg Mannikin, and the Vermilion Flycatcher. The Vermilion Flycatcher and the Nutmeg Mannikin are going to be the hardest to spot by the novice birder, but with any experience watching birds you should be able to see these uncommon visitors.  The Greater White-Footed Goose on the other hand can easily be seen any time of day at Lindo Lake.

RENO DISPATCH: WHAT DOES THIS ELECTION REALLY MEAN FOR VETERANS?

November 11, 2012 (San Diego) – Veterans Day is a day to remember and honor all American men and women who served our country. But this year, it's also a day to reflect on just what impact last week's election will have on America's 22 million veterans.

In his stirring victory speech late Tuesday night, President Obama passionately reminded the nation how important it is to support our warriors and their families. He reiterated that support today in a speech at the Arlington Memorial Cemetery's Memorial Amphitheater, saying, "No one who fights for this country overseas should ever have to fight for a job, or a roof over their head, or the care that they have earned when they come home."

Full column:  http://therenodispatch.blogspot.com/2012/11/what-does-this-election-really-mean-for.html

ON THE SILVER SCREEN: LICENSE TO THRILL (SKYFALL)

By Brian Lafferty

November 9, 2012 (San Diego) – Practically every commercial I saw for Skyfall emphasized the action sequences.  Not surprising, since studios throw all the best parts in the trailers and ads.  Here's some irony for you: MGM and Columbia only thought they included the best parts.  Audiences who watch the official trailer and the TV spots think they're getting a dark action movie.  Wrong.  Unlike such recent spy films as Salt - which are ninety-percent action and ten-percent espionage - Skyfall is ninety-percent spy film and ten-percent action…as a James Bond movie should be.

EARTHTALK® BURROWING OWL CONSERVATION NETWORK

E - The Environmental Magazine

Written and edited by Roddy Scheer and Doug Moss

Dear EarthTalk: What is the Burrowing Owl Conservation Network and why is it so important to put so much effort into saving one species?                               -- Ginny Bateman, Portland, OR

November 9, 2012 (California) --  Western burrowing owls (Athene cunicularia) are tiny, long-legged members of the owl family, native to the Americas and preferring open landscapes where they can dig new holes or use existing ones (such as abandoned prairie dog, skunk or armadillo homes) to nest and rear their young. Unlike most other owl species, these small but charismatic birds are more often seen out and about during daylight hours, but they are most active and do their primary feeding at night, preferring a diet of small rodents and large insects.

POLITICAL WRANGLING: BIGGERS WINNERS AND LOSERS—WHO WEREN’T ON THE BALLOT

By Buck Schott

November 9, 2012 (San Diego) –Some of the biggest winners and losers in this election weren’t candidates—though they’ll clearly be feeling the impacts of the election outcomes.

So who in town needs crying towels, and who should be popping champagne?  From our region’s not-so-influential media mogul to techie geeks who proved social media can help defeat special interests, here are our picks for the biggest post-election winners and losers:

EARTHTALK®: GROUNDWATER QUALITY

E - The Environmental Magazine

Written and edited by Roddy Scheer and Doug Moss

Dear EarthTalk: What is currently being done in the U.S. to ensure the wise use and safety of our nation’s groundwater?    --Kevin Orr, Baton Rouge, LA

November 5, 2012 (San Diego) -- Keeping fresh water safe and abundant is a challenge for all societies. In the U.S., about half of the country’s drinking water comes from groundwater sources. Many rural areas derive all of their drinking water from groundwater, which also provides 40 percent of the irrigation needs of American farmers. 

RENO DISPATCH: ONE QUESTION BEFORE YOU VOTE—WHO IS BETTER FOR VETERANS?

By Jamie Reno

Despite the fact that we have been a nation at war for more than a decade, sadly, and surprisingly, the plight of America's veterans has not by any measure been a front-burner issue in this presidential election. But it's not too late for you to make it one.

Full column:  http://therenodispatch.blogspot.com/2012/11/election-eve-question-wholl-be-better.html

MARKETING MATTERS: REVIEW AND REGROUP FOR 2013

Tips and Tricks for Business Success and Growth

By Rama Beerfas

November 3, 2012 (San Diego’s East County) – As we approach the end of 2012, it is time to review the year's business successes, challenges and (dare I say it?) failures. If we want to make a difference to the growth opportunities we have available in 2013, then it is critical that we evaluate what worked, what didn't, and where we didn't pursue opportunities that we should have. From that assessment, we can develop a more informed plan for the coming year that will be more likely to succeed than a plan made from hopes, dreams and wishes.

EARTHTALK(R): ARCTIC SUMMER SEA ICE AT LOWEST LEVELS EVER RECORDED

November 3, 2012 (San Diego) -- Dear EarthTalk: I heard that the Arctic summer sea ice is at its lowest level since we began recording it. What are the implications of all this melting?   -- Jo Shoemaker, Bowie, MD

It is true that on September 16, 2012 the world reached a new low: The National Snow and Ice Data Center (NSIDC) reported that the extent of sea ice across the Arctic was at its lowest since satellite record-keeping began in 1979. On that date the sea ice reached its summer minimum, 1.32 million square miles, half of what the average size of summer ice was between 1979 and 2000, and almost 20 percent lower than the previous record minimum of 1.61 million square miles set on Sept. 18, 2007. NSIDC added that, despite especially warm conditions in 2007 being much more favorable for sea ice loss than this year, the thinning of sea ice due to climate change has made the ice more vulnerable to breakup and melting.

WHAT IS DCA? THE REAL STORY BEHIND THIS ALTERNATIVE CANCER TREATMENT

By The Reno Dispatch Guest Blogger Martin C. Winer

November 3, 2012 (San Diego) -- One of the most devastating diagnoses a patient can receive is cancer, which can sometimes mean years of chemotherapy, radiation and/or surgery affecting the patient’s quality of life. As a result, patients often look to the Internet hoping to find an alternative that will restore their health with greater speed and fewer side effects.

A simple Internet search produces a plethora of results with great promises but little backing research. Separating the silver from the dross often requires a graduate degree, so typically, the patient, in frustration, brings a ream of printouts to his or her oncologist, who usually hasn’t heard of half of the remedies or at best rolls his or her eyes at them. 

http://therenodispatch.blogspot.com/2012/10/what-is-dca-real-story-behin...

FROM THE CHIEFS CORNER: CHANGE YOUR CLOCKS—AND CHANGE YOUR SMOKE DETECTOR BATTERIES

By Fire Chief Sam DiGiovanna

October 29, 2012 (San Diego’s East County)--It’s time to change our clocks this coming Sunday November 4th “back” for daylight savings and when we do that it’s a good time to change our smoke detector batteries and check their condition says Fire Chief Sam DiGiovanna. Roughly two-thirds of home fire deaths occurred in homes without working smoke alarms. Since most fatal fires occur at night, it’s essential that every home have working smoke alarms to provide an early warning.

LOOKING FOR FOREVER HOMES- SHELTER DOGS TO DREAM DOGS

October 30, 2012 (Alpine) -- Peanut is a mini-poodle; only 7 pounds at 7 months old and loves all people and dogs. His favorite thing to do is to be cradled in your arms like a baby, but is also game to play if you are. He bonds very closely and loves to follow me around outside or lie next to me while I work on my computer. He is quiet in his crate and a joy to have around! This adorable “ragamuffin” is a joy to train due to his wonderful, respectful listening skills.

EARTHTALK®: THE FRACKING CONTROVERSY

E - The Environmental Magazine

Written and edited by Roddy Scheer and Doug Moss

October 28, 2012 (San Diego’s East County) -- Dear EarthTalk: I have heard that fracking is becoming a major environmental issue in the U.S. Which parts of the country are already hosting fracking operations? Are there efforts underway to stop the practice in specific states or across the country?                             ­-- Jim Ross, Toronto, ON

ON THE SILVER SCREEN: DAYS OF OUR PAST LIVES (CLOUD ATLAS)

By Brian Lafferty

Photo courtesy of Warner Bros. Pictures

October 26, 2012 (San Diego) – As my friend and I drove home after the Cloud Atlas screening, we at first didn’t know what to make of it.  It’s a very cerebral film, one that elicits comparisons to Terrence Malick’s The Tree of Life and Michelangelo Frammartino’s Le Quattro Volte for its unconventional storytelling technique that leaves it up to the viewer’s interpretation, as well as its heavy reliance on cinematography.

COMMON CAUSE LAUNCHES EFFORT TO STOP VOTER SUPPRESSION IN SAN DIEGO COUNTY

By Nadin Abbott

October 24, 2012 (San Diego)-- It is ironic. This morning ECM attended a press conference dealing with voting suppression, while nearby volunteers from both the Democratic and Republican Parties were getting ready to register newly minted citizens after their naturalization ceremonies.

The conference was called by State Senator Leeland Yee (D-8). He was joined by State Representative Marti Block (D-78- Assembly), as well as Simon Mayeski of the non partisan Common Cause and Phillip W. Liburd, Executive Board Member of the NAACP San Diego Branch.

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