Volume 5 Issue 35

In this week's issue, Japanese radioactive fallout contaminates Californian food, evidence of global warming melting the northern hemisphere's ice, fishing at Cebolla, the enlightenment of a plant, review of Afro Vegan Cooking, 2 yards of Chaffee County Trash, and so much more!
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2 yards of Chaffee County Waste

EDITOR’S PICK: Sometimes, the perspective of the camera matters as much as anything else. But there is a limit to what can be done: trash, and urban, industrial and mineral developments have become ubiquitous in Colorado, and the scenic value of these 2 yards of Chaffee County Waste could not be ignored.

Radiation danger from food originating on West Coast

by Aaron Brachfeld - - - Shortly after the Fukushima nuclear disaster, the US Government was quick to assure citizens that no radiation endangered the West Coast.  However, this was premature: the ocean would take 2-4 years to begin bringing the radiation to our soil, and so of course, even in the years following the disaster, there would be no fallout.  Now that the issue has largely passed from the public interest, radiation is beginning to rise, and will – as anticipated by American, Chinese, Russian and Japanese scientific models – develop to hazardous levels.

        One of the most comprehensive early models was published in China Earth Sciences (An ensemble estimation of impact times and strength of Fukushima nuclear pollution to the east coast of China and the west coast of America, August 2013, Volume 56, Issue 8, pp 1447-1451).  The models were echoed by scientists around the world, including in the United States: the Chinese scientists concluded that radiation levels would tend to accumulate on the eastern rim of the Pacific, along the North American West Coast., estimating that radiation levels would increase 4% by 2017, and that even China, with a somewhat lower 3% increase, would also be endangered.

        American scientists presented warnings during a meeting of the American Geophysical Union's Ocean Sciences Section that by April 2014, the first radiation would reach the West Coast of the United States.  The AGU has begun testing radiation levels in advance of the anticipated fallout, something which the US Government has refused to do.  What the AGU found was surprising: significant toxicity left over from the nuclear tests of the 1960 could be detected in the waters, even before radiation from Fukushima will accumulate along the coast.

        By March 21, 2012, the Alaska Dispatch-News and other local papers began reporting a new kind of disease in some predators whose migratory habits brought them near Japanese waters or whose prey migrated there.  It resembled the symptoms of radiation poisoning. 

        On May 22, 2013, the Japan Times published reports by the Japan Agency for Marine Earth Science and Technology which detected fallout in plankton across the Pacific.  Plankton is the basis of most oceanic food chains, and bioaccumulation in predators could be expected: similar to the accumulation of DDT in Bald Eagles, as the cycle of predation occurs, fallout particles would naturally accumulate in higher predators.  The JAMEST reported concentrations of cesium-134  exceeding 10 becquerels per kilogram (1/10 the safe concentration for drinking water in the US and Japan).

        On June 12, 2012, the US National Academy of Sciences published a report which indicated an astounding 100% of Pacific Bluefin Tunas carried fallout particles (Pacific bluefin tuna transport Fukushima-derived radionuclides from Japan to California): as early as August, 2011, tuna caught off California’s coast exhibited 6 times the background level of cesium-134.  The USAS concluded that migratory animals were carrying fallout particles to the northern and southern pacific.  This includes your local supermarket: much of the fish sold in the US comes from Japan.

        But don’t just skip the fish.  The European Geosciences Union (Atmos. Chem. Phys., 13, 1425-1438, 2013) reported in 2013 that the atmosphere carried 20% of the fallout beyond the Pacific Ocean around the world, including to soils where crops are grown.  This was confirmed by measurements taken by Russian scientists in Mexico, who recorded airborne fallout particles as soon as 8 days after the disaster, according to Maxim Shingarkin, Deputy Chairman of the State Duma Committee for Natural Resources (Voice Of Russia, December 26, 2013).  The Russians estimate that it will take 10-15 years to understand the full effects of the disaster, but at this point radioactive iodine levels have risen more than 200 times over the natural level along the Californian Coast.

        The US and Japanese governments are denying the research, and when forced to concede, concede only that the levels of radiation are safe and below acceptable levels.  These “acceptable levels” for water, soil and air were raised in 2013, sometimes to allow more than 423 times more radiation exposure.

        There is also mounting evidence of a suppression of information.  In an interview with the Young Turks on December 29, 2013, former MSNBC host Cenk Uygur described a top-down effort by US and Japanese governments to hide the truth about the severity of the nuclear disaster.  “I was on MSNBC at the time when this happened, I said, “Don’t trust what the Japanese government is saying, they’ll say trust what the electric power company is saying. Go, go, go, get outta there. Get as far away from that plant as you can. It’s literally a core meltdown.” And they always don’t want people to panic, so they were always like, “Oh it’s going to be okay.” [...] I’m like, “You’re crazy man, don’t be anywhere near that reactor.” And I remember at the time, of course not at The Young Turks, but on cable news, people were like, “Hey Cenk, you know, I don’t know that you want to say that, because the official government position is that it’s safe.” Oh, is that the official government position? Now go explain that to the people who served on the USS Ronald Reagan.”

        Besides suppressing media information, Japan presented false information to the US.  The USS Ronald Reagan was among the first responders to the disaster, and 71 sailors have begun lawsuits against Japanese officials who reported safe radiation levels when, in fact, dangerous radiation levels were present and allegedly led to several injuries, including radiation burns.

        There is evidence that the fallout continues to leak from the damaged power plant, and that conditions at unit 4 pool are close to uncontrollable fission.  Such an explosion would require the evacuation of Tokyo.

        On May 25, 2011 the University of California Berkeley Department of Nuclear Engineering (UCB)—one of the few organizations testing food, soil, air and water in the U.S.—reported that it had detected the highest level of radioactive cesium 137 in nearly a month in raw milk samples taken from a dairy in Sonoma County where the cows are grass fed. UCB also reported elevated levels of cesium 134 and cesium 137 in pasteurized, homogenized milk samples with a “best by” date of May 26 from a Bay Area organic dairy “where the farmers are encouraged to feed their cows local grass.”

        The State of California reported on May 2, 2011 that it detected higher levels of radioactive iodine 131 in milk samples tested at CalPoly Dairy Farm in San Luis Obispo compared to milk tested at the end of March. Additionally, the new milk samples contained trace amounts of radioactive cesium 134 and cesium 137, which were not seen in the March samples. The presence of iodine 131, with a short half-life of eight days, in the new milk samples indicates that even now, nuclear reactions are occurring at the crippled Japanese plant, bringing fresh fallout on a daily basis to Asia, North America and around the northern hemisphere.

        On May 16, 2011, UCB reported detectable levels of radioactive cesium 137 in samples of kale, strawberries and grass grown in northern California. UCB has also found higher than normal levels of cesium 134 and cesium 137 in foods grown in the Bay Area, including spinach, arugula and wild-harvested mushrooms.

        Dr. Alan Lockwood, MD, board member of Physicians for Social Responsibility, warns of the danger especially to children. “Children are much more susceptible to the effects of radiation and stand a much greater chance of developing cancer than adults,” said Andrew Kanter, MD, president-elect of PSR’s board. “So it is particularly dangerous when they consume radioactive food or water.”  

        His concerns are echoed in France, where the respected radiological research institute CRIIRAD in mid-April 2011 cautioned pregnant and breastfeeding women and children in Europe to avoid eating certain foods due to the spread of radiation from Fukushima, including milk and creamy cheese, and spinach and other broad leaf vegetables, due to the potential health risks associated with ingesting radioactive particles that may accumulate in these foods. In making the announcement, CRIIRAD said the risks related to prolonged contamination among vulnerable groups of the population can no longer be considered “negligible” and it is now necessary to avoid “risky behavior.” CRIIRAD also estimated that the West Coast of the U.S. is being subjected to eight to 10 times higher levels of radiation than Europe from the nuclear meltdown in Japan.

        Fallout is especially dangerous when ingested. 

        One of the easiest ways to protect yourself against the fallout is to avoid foods from areas most affected by radioactive fallout: avoid foods from the Pacific, including the West Coast of the US. 

        Then consider becoming vegetarian.  A study evaluating over 30,000 atomic bomb survivors in Hiroshima and Nagasaki found that those with the highest consumption of fruits and vegetables had a 13% lower risk of dying from cancer over the twenty year study period than those who consumed fruits and vegetables less than once per week. Sulfur-containing antioxidants found in cruciferous vegetables, such as broccoli, kale, and cabbage, have been found to provide protection against radiation exposure through their detoxifying properties. Pectin in fruits has also been shown to reduce levels of the radioactive substance Cs-137. Plant based foods provide protection against free radical damage and they can reduce the absorption of radioactive substances.

Global warming reduces snow levels across Northern Hemisphere

Some would have you believe that there is no climate change, that humanity have nothing to do with that climate change, and that regardless of humanity’s role in climate change, humanity can do nothing about it.  They are wrong.
        Steven Goddard presents this kind of misinformation on his blog which is mistitled “Real Science.”  He just wrote, “Northern Hemisphere winter snow extent is going through the roof, due to Arctic air pushing further south” and then printed this graphic, supposedly from the Rutgers University Climate Lab (http://stevengoddard.wordpress.com/2014/08/28/nothing-to-see-here-move-along-9/)
        But looking at the ACTUAL Rutgers University Climate Lab (http://climate.rutgers.edu/snowcover/table_area.php?ui_set=1&ui_sort=0), it is apparent that Mr. Goddard is falsifying information to purposefully mislead his readership and justify his wrong view.  Snow is decreasing.
        The disappearance of numerous glaciers, the destruction of coral reefs, and so many changes to the biosphere are both the result of human activity, and a prelude to the desertification of the United States of America – and much of the world.  Do not listen to the lies: it is not too late! Now is the time to take action, to the limit of our individual ability.

Volume 5 Issue 34

SPECIAL REPORT: Shark week dumbing down audiences. Vic Meyers: child refugees are an American Problem Remembering Summer Camp Dalai Lama on homelessness, LEARNING BEAUTY, BIBLES WITHOUT BIAS, Transcendental Dependent Arising, Buddhism, non-violence, DEEPAK MORRIS!!! and much more!
With this issue's Featured Photographers: Brooke Michelson and Jason Roberts

We are community supported, and appreciate your support! Tell your friends to subscribe! Subscriptions are only $12 per year for the electronic edition, $45 per year for the paper. We also have very affordable advertising rates, as well.

Cleaning clothes in the Platte

Impossible to read the bible objectively

by Linda Hobden - - - When we know what to look for regarding the culture and history of the people the Bible was written to we need to look at what we bring to the text we are studying.  Unfortunately, we aren't objective or neutral.

        We've probably observed a Christmas pageant replete with Mary, Joseph, baby Jesus, angels, the shepherds,  wise men and of course the animals. But who delivered baby Jesus? Joseph? He was a carpenter, not a farmer. Joseph might build a functional cradle, but deliver a child? An Ethiopian pageant has Mary and Joseph accompanied to Bethlehem by a host of female relatives. They give Mary motherly advice, companionship and are seasoned midwives.

        Wait, that's not in the Bible account! True, but that doesn't mean their version is wrong and ours correct. All cultures fill in the missing pieces with what is familiar to them. Personally, their version is probably closer to what actually occurred.  Everything we read is colored by our preconceived notions. Our ideas may be correct, and maybe not. Since we don't come with an "erase" button, what do we do to ensure we come to an accurate portrayal of God's intended message?

        First, we don't let our pride get in the way, assuming our ideas are always correct. Next we don't skip over a familiar passage but instead study it carefully. Third, we do not force the passage to match our view but spend time searching for what God is teaching.  And we don't let our culture skew what we see.

        The culture around us colors everything we observe. Where you live (inner-city, the deep south, a ranch), your family (two loving parents, single parent, an alcoholic parent), the family status (poverty, great wealth, middle-class) plus much more will impact how we view everything around us.  For example, someone who has grown up with an abusive father will have difficulty seeing the Heavenly Father as loving and compassionate.  So,  we need to spend time and study the text carefully and thoroughly and grow in our understanding. Otherwise, we will simply see what we saw the last time we read it and will quickly become bored. We will never obtain total objectivity, but that isn't our goal. We want to uncover what it is God is saying to us.

the Dumbing Down of Shark Week

by Gary “Two Horse” Green - - - At one time, Discovery Channels “Shark Week” was a summer Highlight. Now, like TLC, and other channels, “Shark Week” has been dumbed down to the lowest common denominator. There was a time when one could watch “Shark Week” and learn something about these majestic, yet misunderstood creatures of the deep.

        At one time, it was not unusual to learn things such as to a Shark, humans taste terrible. Why do they attack? When a human is in the water, he is not the most graceful creature swimming. There is a lot of splashing and to a Shark; this means a meal is in trouble. So he goes after it and that is his job.  A shark, much like the Bald Eagle, is a scavenger. He and his fellow sharks will eat a dead whale if one  is available. They go after seals and this helps keep the seal population under control. Sharks like dead things because they are opportunists. They also like old fish, crippled fish, young fish, and injured fish.  Sharks belong to a family of fish that have skeletons made of cartilage, a tissue more flexible and lighter than bone. They breathe through a series of five to seven gill slits located on either side of their bodies. All sharks have multiple rows of teeth, and while they lose teeth on a regular basis, new teeth continue to grow in and replace those they lose.

        Shark ‘skin’ is made up of a series of scales that act as an outer skeleton for easy movement and for saving energy in the water. The upper side of a shark is generally dark to blend in with the water from above and their undersides are white or lighter colored to blend in with the lighter surface of the sea from below. This helps to camouflage them from predators and prey.

        Sharks have adapted to living in a wide range of aquatic habitats at various temperatures. While some species inhabit shallow, coastal regions, others live in deep waters, on the ocean floor and in the open ocean. Some species, like the bull shark, are even known to swim in salt, fresh and brackish waters. 

        You have different species such as the Angel Shark (Squatina squatina); The shark prefers mud and sand bottoms inshore 16.4 ft [5 m] on coasts and estuaries up to over 492.1 [150 m] on the continental shelf. The shark is born at a length of 0.8 to1 ft [24 to 30 cm]. Females mature at 4.1 to 5.5 ft [126 to167 cm], and males reach a maximum length of 6 to 7.3 ft [183 to 224 cm]. Feeds mainly on flatfishes, skates, crustaceans, and mollusks.

        Basking Shark (Cetorhinus maximus); A very large shark with a pointed snout, huge mouth and gill slits that almost encircle the head, strong lateral keels on caudal peduncle, and a lunate tail.  This Shark is highly migratory, often seen feeding on surface aggregations of plankton, moving slowly forward with open mouth. The sharks are sometimes seen in large groups. Complex courtship behavior has been reported. Can leap out of the water. Generally placid but has been known to bump boats.

        Bull Shark (Carcharhinus leucas); This shark feeds primarily on bony fishes, but it is a versatile and opportunistic feeder and will eat smaller sharks, skates, turtles, birds, mammals, crustaceans and offal and garbage. The shark uses the teeth of its lower jaw to impale prey, and then it swings its head from side-to-side using the heavy triangular teeth of its upper jaw to carve a mouthful of tissue from its prey.  This is a large, aggressive shark with massive jaws and it moves like a seasoned warrior. The GSAF has several cases in which the rapid ascent of a diver may have `released’ an aggressive response (similar to when an intruder flees from a guard dog). In each case, after a single bite on the diver’s leg (no tissue was removed by the shark), the shark sped back to the reef. More often, when this shark bites, it resembles a pit bull; it makes multiple bites accompanied by head-shaking to remove tissue, and inflicts injuries that are far more difficult to repair than those caused by a white shark. Perhaps because the shark scavenges on carrion and may make forays into polluted areas, wounds caused by this species have a higher-than-usual rate of infection.

        Goblin Shark (Mitsukurina owstoni); These sharks prefer deepwater, outer continental shelves, upper slopes and off seamounts. They very rarely surface, and usually remain at depths of 885.8 to 3149.6 ft [270 to 960 m], to at least 4265.1 ft [1300 m]. This shark’s body form suggests that it is a poor swimmer. Its blade-like snout may be used to detect prey, and its highly specialized jaws can shoot forward rapidly

to snap up prey. Its slender front teeth suggest a diet of small, soft-bodied fishes and squid, but its back teeth are modified to crush food.

        White Shark- (Carcharodon carcharias); This is the super-predator; it is without question the most formidable of all sharks. The white shark swims stiffly, and is capable of great speed. A shark, implanted with a sonic tag, had an average cruising speed of 3.2 kph. The shark sometimes raises its head above the water (“spy hops”), a behavior frequently observed in the vicinity of seal colonies and in baited situations. The white shark is intelligent, curious and learns by experience. However the shark does not have hands and it often uses its teeth to inspect an unfamiliar object. Danger to humans – sightings of a white shark does not mean that an attack is inevitable; the shark is often indifferent to divers. However, this species has been implicated in numerous unprovoked attacks on swimmers, surfers and divers. Most bites by white sharks are not fatal, but incidents in which a white shark partially consumed a human have occurred. In baited situations divers are advised to remain inside a shark cage.

        Perhaps the most unusual shark of all is the Whale Shark (Rhincodon typus); A huge shark that looks like it was designed by Walt Disney. It has a broad, flat head, short snout, and a huge transverse, terminal mouth almost as wide as a double bed. The shark has prominent lateral ridges.  Whale sharks are known to divers as “Gentle Giants” due to their placid nature. SRI has placed visual and satellite tags on more than 800 whale sharks in an effort to discover their migratory routes. Long-distance, long-term migrations are undertaken; the longest so far recorded was 8077.8 miles [13,000 km] (in one direction only) in over a 37 month timespan. Tagging and photo-identification of individuals indicate regular visits to favored feeding sites to feed at annual, seasonal, or lunar fish and invertebrate spawning events. The high density of plankton produced on these occasions is consumed by suction feeding and gulping, often while hanging vertically. Whale sharks are extremely vulnerable to over-exploitation due to their gentle nature, and they do not do well in captivity. In 1999, Honduras became the first nation in the Caribbean to legislate protection for whale sharks. In 2002, whale sharks received protection by listings on two United Nations Treaty organizations: The Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES) Appendix II, and the Convention on Migratory Species (CMS), also known as the Bonn Convention.

        Does “Shark Week” cover this anymore? Last year, people complained the producers of “Shark Week” tried to sensationalize on a Shark which has not existed for millions of years; The Megalodon.  In 2013, Discovery Channel featured a Megalodon documentary in which scientists go looking for the extinct shark. Undaunted by sharp criticism it received for the bogus show, which polls showed had most , Discovery Channel came back this year with more fiction-as-fact, including a feature about a legendary 20-plus-foot hammerhead named Old Hitler, a fake documentary about a boat called Joy Ride that sinks in sharky waters, and more efforts to convince us that still cruises near popular beaches. (Last year, Discovery stood by its Megalodon piece and its disclaimers.)

        Shark Week first aired in 1988.  "As late as 1995 and 1996, it was almost exclusively about conservation and exploration," says Sean van Sommeran, founder of the Pelagic Shark Research Foundation in Santa Cruz. "Now, it's big game trophy fishing, extreme sports diving and science fiction monster sharks that sink ships in the night. The science highlighted is wildly speculative and harmful." One of the underlying problems with Shark Week, van Sommeran says, is a basic failure to understand sharks as real wild animals. "Sharks aren't from Mars, they're wildlife, and one of the most basic tenets of wildlife care is 'don't feed the wildlife,' " van Sommeran says. "Of course this applies to large, potentially hazardous sharks, same as with other wild, potentially dangerous large predators."

        Almost every show on Discovery Channel this week has involved tossing hunks of meat or fish to sharks — activity that van Sommeran says conditions sharks to associate humans with food, creating a potentially dangerous interface at swimming and snorkeling sites. Other programs on Shark Week depict researchers catching sharks on hook and line and, eventually, wrestling with the fish and trying to place tags in their hide. "The science-fiction stuff [on Shark Week] doesn't help sharks in the least, and the science is all too often speculative and contrived. Moreover, it often involves injuring the sharks needlessly," van Sommeran says. Peter Knights, of the environmental group WildAid, last week that Shark Week does much more to harm sharks than it does to help them, largely by portraying them as man-eaters — a reputation that conservationists and educators have been trying earnestly to dispel for years. Shark Week, they say, isn't helping. Viewers of 2014 Shark Week have watched with titles like Alien Sharks, Zombie Sharks, Sharkageddon, Great White Serial Killer and Sharkpocalypse, and Americans are devouring it. Last year, Shark Week set viewership records. This year, even more people watched. As I said, the lowest common denominator.

An American Problem

by Vic Meyers - - - In 2011 there began to be a surge of children coming to America, and other countries, seeking refuge from the drug-lords, rape and murder in Central America.  The numbers are now at a crisis point as our government doesn’t have the resources committed to dealing with so many refugees.    We don’t have enough judges and courtrooms for all of the cases that need to be heard.  We don’t have the social services personnel to deal with so many cases and we don’t have enough facilities to house all of these children.

        This is currently being talked about as an American problem but the fact is that other countries, including Mexico, Belize, and Panama are also seeing an influx of children seeking asylum.  This is an international problem and America is in the international spotlight as we deal with it.  Unfortunately, we’re not looking very good in this spotlight.  Like so many things these days, America has an opportunity to lead the world but we can’t because our politicians are too busy jockeying to get their talking points out on the Sunday talk shows.

        Our current congressman is doing the partisan thing and blaming President Obama.  Even though he’s now running for the U.S. Senate he can’t break away from the hold of the extremists in his party and look for solutions rather than name-calling.  He’s forgetting that bi-partisan Immigration Reform passed the Senate over a year ago and he hasn’t called upon his party leaders to take it up for a vote.  Congress also seems to have forgotten the William Wilberforce Trafficking Victims Protection Reauthorization Act of 2008, which was signed into law on December 23, 2008 by President George W. Bush.  This law was passed by voice vote in the House and unanimous consent in the Senate.  Among other things, it provides a legal framework for evaluating and helping children from Central America who come to our border seeking safety.  It wasn’t a partisan issue in 2008.

        This issue won’t be in the spotlight for much longer.  In our 24-hour news cycle media there is sure to be drunken celebrity or spoiled athlete to draw the attention away any day now.  I think it is important for candidates to speak out specifically on this issue while it is still in the minds of the voters.  I hope the media will ask congressional candidates for specifics on how they think this crisis should be dealt with. 

As for me, I believe we should be treating these children as refugees because this is a humanitarian crisis that is being compounded by the political crisis of American partisan politics.  America is the richest and most powerful nation on Earth.  We have the resources to deal with these children in a way that is befitting of our stature and our history.  Congress should allocate the funds necessary to handle this problem.  In the meantime, President Obama and Sec. Kerry should be working hard with other nations affected by this problem to bring about change in the countries these children are fleeing from.  Our Senate and House members need to lay down their swords and become statesmen and stateswomen for a day.  That’s as long as it would take to solve this problem if they really wanted to.

Vic Meyers is a candidate for Congress, and has been endorsed by the Herald.

Volume 5 Issue 33

Check out our brand new format!

SPECIAL REPORT:SHERIFF HEAP & JUDGE HOLMES REDUCE JAIL POP., No place for a toy gun, Buttcall from Inside Jail, Sheriff Blotter, Flooding Dillon, Unexpected visitors at the Birdfeeder, Stealing Hiawatha, Kevin Weatherby, Importance of Stallions to breeding horses, Buddhism, non-violence, DEEPAK MORRIS!!! and much more
With this issue's Featured Photographers:  Brooke Michelson, Mary Prewitt, and Jason Roberts

We are community supported, and appreciate your support! Tell your friends to subscribe!  Subscriptions are only $12 per year for the electronic edition, $45 per year for the paper. We also have very affordable advertising rates, as well.