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Showing posts from May 5, 2014

Colorado faces oil boom "death sentence" for soil, eyes microbe fix

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[An issue that has not received much press to date. "The overall impact of the oil and gas boom 'is like a death sentence for soil,' said Eugene Kelly, chief of soil and crop science at Colorado State University." *RON*]
By Bruce Finley, The Denver Post, 05/04/2014
Colorado's intensifying oil and gas boom is taking a toll on soil — 200 gallons spilled per day seeping into once-fertile ground — that experts say could be ruinous.

The state's approach has been to try to compel companies to excavate and haul the worst muck to landfills.

But with support from state regulators, oil companies increasingly are proposing to clean contaminated soil on site using mixing machinery and microbes. This may be cheaper for the industry — and could save and restore soil.

But it is not proven.

"I'm comfortable with it. It is another example of innovation and opportunity by the oil and gas and service industries," Colorado Oil and…

Is Elizabeth Warren the Only Person Standing Between You and Total Bank Domination?

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[Friendly advice from Larry Summers: "She could be an insider or she could be an outsider. Outsiders, he warned, can say whatever they want, but insiders don’t listen to them. Insiders, on the other hand, have access and power, and powerful people listen to them. But insiders understand one rule: they don’t criticize other insiders." *RON*]
By Lynn Stuart ParramoreAlterNet, May 1, 2014
There’s really a storybook quality to Elizabeth Warren. How did this cookie-baking housewife from Oklahoma end up staring down the most powerful financial powers on Planet Earth, causing them to tremble in their wingtip shoes?

Seemingly conjured up from the fabled town of Mayberry, a place of bake sales and heart-to-hearts with Aunt Bea (she actually had an Aunt Bea), Sen. Warren seems aware of her mythic dimension: at one point in her new memoir, A Fighting Chance, she refers to herself as “Alice in Crazyland.” As Alice/Elizabeth heads down the rabbit h…

Coca-Cola Removes Controversial Flame Retardant Chemical From Its Powerade Drinks

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["...10,000 chemicals are allowed to be added to our food, but about 3,000 of them have never been reviewed for safety by FDA officials." *RON*]
By Tara Culp-Ressler, Think Progress, May 5, 2014

Coca-Cola has agreed to remove a controversial ingredient from its Powerade sports drink, after controversy around the chemical spurred Gatorade to drop it last year. The chemical in question, brominated vegetable oil (BVO), was first patented as a flame retardant and isn’t legal in Japan or the European Union.

Last year, BVO was the subject of an online petition started by 15-year-old Sarah Kavanagh, who wanted the Food and Drug Administration to crack down on the chemical’s use in products marketed to athletes. Kavanagh pointed out that health-conscious individuals probably don’t want to ingest a chemical that’s banned in other countries. Her Change.org petition garnered over 200,000 supporters, and about a month later, PepsiCo Inc. announced t…

Foreign Worker Reports Death Threats, Coercion

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[Immigration officials agree that these cases fit the legal definition of human trafficking: working hundreds of hours without pay, under threats of death and deportation. The company is still operating; its Temporary Foreign Workers permits have not been revoked; the federal government has been aware of the problem for months. *RON*]

By Kathy Tomlinson, CBC / Huffington Post, May 5, 2014


A temporary foreign worker who sold massage devices and other products in mall kiosks has reported he and his colleagues worked hundreds of hours for no pay, while forced to live under constant threat of deportation.

“It’s all organized from the start,” said Anton Soloviov, 25, who worked for 0860005 B.C. Ltd, a company run by B.C. resident Dor Mordechai and his wife, Anna Lepski.

The couple operated kiosks in malls in B.C.’s Lower Mainland and on Vancouver Island, including in Nanaimo's Woodgrove Centre, where Soloviov worked.

“They import you as a worker.…

Rocco Galati, Lawyer Who Challenged Nadon Pick, Calls Harper Comments 'Inappropriate'

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[Given that MacKay and McLachlin discussed Nadon's nomination last summer, Galati said the Harper government was "hoodwinking" the public when it claimed to be taken aback by the court's decision. "I am shocked by the depravity of the prime minister in now making these ridiculous statements with respect to the chief justice, who is a person of integrity and had every right to raise this with the justice minister" See also PMO Snubs Lawyers' Request For Clarity On Allegation Against Chief Justice.*RON*]
By Benjamin Shingler, CP / Huffington Post, 05/05/2014


The Toronto lawyer who first challenged the appointment of Justice Marc Nadon says Prime Minister Stephen Harper's statements toward the head of the country's top court are "totally inappropriate."

Rocco Galati says he believes Supreme Court Chief Justice Beverely McLachlin was right to warn the Conservative government that Nadon, a Federal Cou…

We Lose When B.C. Government Listens To Bond Raters Over Citizens

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["...the province invites bond raters to advise as provincial budgets are developed," trading austerity programs for lower bond rates. The Finance Department also testified in court "that government agreed with the raters that the economy was fragile, even though this analysis was contradicted in the government's message to the people of B.C." *RON*]

Susan Lambert, Past President, B.C. Teachers' Federation, Huffington Post, May 5, 2014

Peter Cameron's warnings that the economic skies of B.C. will fall should government negotiate a fair contract for B.C.'s teachers reminded me of Doug Foster's testimony in the historic court case won by the B.C. Teachers' Federation this spring.

Foster, assistant deputy finance minister and unabashed fervent apostle of "free market" based economic policy, testified that the province invites bond raters to advise as provincial budgets are developed. That advice …