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Wednesday, 09 April 2008 01:02

Olympic Torch Relay A Bumpy Road

slide16.jpgThe Olympic torch arrived for its only North American stop in San Francisco amid heavy security yesterday, a day after its visit to Paris descended into chaos and activists here scaled the Golden Gate Bridge to protest China’s human rights record. The torch’s global journey was supposed to highlight China’s growing economic and political power. But activists opposing China’s human rights policies and a recent crackdown on Tibet have been protesting along the torch’s 85,000-mile route since the start of the flame’s odyssey from Ancient Olympia in Greece to Beijing, host of the 2008 Summer Olympics.

slide18.jpgThe flame arrived in San Francisco shortly before 4 a.m. and was immediately put in a vehicle to be whisked away to a secret location. No protesters greeted the flame at the airport, but hours later hundreds gathered in United Nations Plaza, a pedestrian area near City Hall, to call on China to cease its heavy-handed rule of Tibet. Hundreds of Chinese students from Stanford University also planned to board buses for San Francisco early Wednesday to attend the torch relay to show their support. San Francisco officials said they were developing a plan that strikes a balance between protesters´ rights to express their views and the city’s ability to host a safe torch ceremony. San Francisco was chosen to host the relay in part because of its large Asian population. After San Francisco, the torch is scheduled to travel to Buenos Aires, Argentina, and then to a dozen other countries. It is scheduled to enter mainland China on May 4 for the host country’s portion of the relay.

Monday, 03 March 2008 00:27

A Narrowing Gap

Dan lungrenRepublican Congressman Dan Lungren still represents a Republican district — but just barely. The California secretary of state says registered Republicans now outnumber Democrats by less than 5 percent in his Sacramento-area district, which includes parts of Alpine, Amador, Calaveras, Sacramento and Solano counties. It's the smallest edge for any California Republican congressman. Lungren's 3rd District is about 42 percent Republican and 37 percent Democratic. That's down nearly 2 percentage points from two years ago. Democrats are encouraged by the shift, which is part of a statewide decline in Republican voters. But a political analyst says Lungren still has the great advantage of being an incumbent when he runs for re-election in November.
slide15The Eldorado National Forest is one step closer to having a system of designated travel routes for wheeled motorized vehicles. On July 20, the U.S. Forest Service will release a Travel Management Draft Environmental Impact Statement for a 45 day public review period which will end on September 4. The Travel Management DEIS examines five alternative ways to manage a designated system of existing routes running throughout the Eldorado National Forest.  The DEIS describes these alternatives and the   public input used to develop them, the analysis of the alternatives and the effects of implementing each one. 
Sunday, 08 July 2007 23:47

Peace Mom May Run For Office

slide32Anti War activist and Mom for peace Cindy Sheehan issued a statement saying  she plans to run against House Speaker Nancy Pelosi unless Pelosi introduces articles of impeachment against President George W. Bush in the next two weeks. Sheehan told The Associated Press yesterday that she will run in 2008 against the Pelosi, a democrat from the San Francisco area.
slide23This Monday morning, debris burning in Tuolumne and Calaveras counties will be banned and that means the Amador El Dorado Unit will not be far behind. The announcement comes on the heels of increased fire activity in the foothills, including a 111-acre wildfire last week in San Andreas and a small grass fire Tuesday in the Sonora area. "It does seem that conditions are more severe earlier this year than past years," said CalFire Tuolumne Calaveras PreFire Division Chief Steven Hollett, Cal Fire, announced Wednesday that burn permits will be suspended starting 8 a.m. Monday. Tollet adds that "Experience has shown that suspending debris burns is an effective way of preventing wildfire escapes, especially as California enters a period of hotter and drier weather," he said. Beginning Monday, people wishing to burn debris on their property will be prohibited from doing so unless they can prove that their burn must be completed for health or safety reasons, fire officials say.
slide11The AWA Board of directors broached a touchy subject among Camanche residents, developers and the board itself Thursday afternoon as they discussed the current waste water situation in Camanche. Agency Manager Jim Abercrombie reported that last year the Camanche Wastewater Storage Pond capacity was increased through expansion efforts. Agency crews also added sprinklers in the disposal area for increased efficiency Abercrombie said the question that arose was whether or not the improvement provided enough capacity to lift the suspension of permit applications for some property owners.
slide27Dog biscuits made by an Alabama company are the latest addition to the pet food recall. The Food and Drug Administration says Sunshine Mills of Red Bay, Alabama, is calling back dog biscuits made with imported Chinese wheat gluten.The dog biscuits were sold under Sunshine brands as well as private labels sold by grocery, mass merchant, and dollar stores. They were marketed at Wal-Mart under the Ol'Roy brand. Testing shows the wheat gluten in the biscuits was contaminated with melamine, which is used to make plastics and other industrial products. Sunshine said it has no reports of dog illnesses or deaths. Meanwhile, Menu Foods, which was involved in the original pet food recall, expanded its call-back to include a broader range of dates, and more varieties of the "cuts and gravy"-style products. The recall now applies to products made between November 8 and March 6 -- not just those made after December 3.(
Thursday, 01 March 2007 22:27

Bad Baby Bottles ?

Chemicals leaching from some brands of baby bottles has parents all over the nation evaluating their feeding strategies tonight. Several popular baby bottle brands have been found to leach potentially harmful levels of a toxic chemical linked to developmental, neural and reproductive problems, according to a study released Wednesday by an environmental policy group. Even before the study was released, independent experts from the National Institutes of Health had already planned to meet next week to discuss the issue.The independent laboratory study was conducted in cooperation with the Environment California Research and Policy Center to test whether bisphenol A, a chemical used to make clear plastic for consumer products, including baby bottles, was released into the liquids the bottles contained, Environment California spokeswoman Rachel Gibson said.
slide30More children and teens are being exposed to online pornography, mostly by accidentally viewing sexually explicit Web sites while surfing the Internet, researchers say. Forty-two percent of Internet users aged 10 to 17 surveyed said they had seen online pornography in a recent 12-month span. Of those, 66 percent said they did not want to view the images and had not sought them out,
Monday, 22 January 2007 00:39

Wine and Grape Industry: An Economic Force

slide22 The wine and grape industry here in the United States is taking on prominence, and economic importance, and now pumps at least $162 billion annually into the nation's economy, according to a study released by MKF Research. That figure includes the economic impacts of sales, taxes, jobs and other benefits of the growing industry.