Today we learn that Monsanto has enjoined Starbucks to sue the little State of Vermont to force non-labeling of food products with GMO information. Starbucks doesn't think you have the right to know what's in your coffee. So it's teamed up with Monsanto to sue the small State of Vermont to stop you from finding out.
Neil Young pointed this out on his website, where he sings an awesome song about why food labeling and environmental stewardship are not just something to do; they are for our children's children's children.
Hiding behind the shadowy "Grocery Manufacturers Association," Starbucks is supporting a lawsuit that's aiming to block a landmark law that requires genetically modified ingredients be labeled.
Monsanto money forced the defeat of California and Oregon initiatives to label food with ingredients including GMOs. Not remove food. Just LABEL IT.
Listen to Neil's song: www.neilyoung.com/
Learn why Neil is boycotting Starbucks: http://neilyoung.com/?frontpage=true
Read the news story: http://blog.sfgate.com/dailydish/2014/11/17/neil-young-boycotts-starbucks/
Sign the petition: http://action.sumofus.org/a/starbucks-gmo-gma/
In an upset victory in the November 4 elections, Pacifica voters sent a clear and unequivocal message of opposition to a Caltrans proposal to widen one section of Highway 1 in southern Pacifica, and of support for alternatives to the widening.
Anti-widening candidates were elected to two of the three seats by significant margins. Incumbent Councilmember Sue Digre, who opposes the widening, finished as the top vote-getter, with just under 20% of all votes cast, significantly ahead of the other incumbent, Mike O’Neill (just over 17%).
Even more striking was the victory of newcomer John Keener, who centered his campaign on the highway issue, opposing widening and favoring alternatives. Keener garnered 16.5%, just half a percent less than veteran O’Neill, and well ahead of several other candidates who had far more experience and name recognition in Pacifica politics, and who spent far more money.
Pacificans for Highway 1 Alternatives (PHIA) strongly endorsed and supported Keener's and Digre's campaigns. PH1A held two large public forums and several rallies, carried out a high-profile campaign gathering more than 1,000 petition signatures to get the Pacifica City Council to hold public hearings and hire an independent consultant to explore more effective, less disruptive alternatives to the Caltrans widening.
Todd Bray reports that the contractor for Harmony @ 1 hit a water main and fouled all water fed from the storage tank above the project into the east and west areas of Rockaway. This was confirmed by a member of the NCCWD Board. The contractor has caused the tap water to be a murky brown color. But according to the NCCWD board member, no contaminants were recorded in the brown water. The water should be clean once again by Saturday afternoon at the latest.
Now that the Pacifica City Council election is behind us, it’s time to analyze the results, specifically whether they are a mandate against the Caltrans widening plans for Highway 1 between Rockaway and Vallemar, by all accounts the primary issue in this election cycle.
Of the seven candidates, three were against widening, one was for, and three were vague or uncommitted on the issue. Three distinct tiers of candidates emerged: incumbents, contenders, and also-rans. In each tier, the anti-widening candidate fared the best.
Sue Digre, anti-widening incumbent, has a solid base of constituents, but many of her supporters had grown frustrated by her inability to build consensus and her increasing isolation on the council. Nevertheless, she beat popular incumbent Mike O’Neill by a solid 704 votes for the top spot.
Of the contenders, John Keener was the long shot. He was virtually unknown until a few months ago, and not a polished public speaker, yet he snagged the third seat, solidly trouncing Eric Ruchames, a popular school board member with deep roots in the community, and Victor Spano, who finished second two years ago and who basically has been campaigning for nearly three years.
Keener actually got more Election Day votes than O’Neill, and finished only 101 votes behind him (and a whopping 639 votes ahead of fourth-place finisher Eric Ruchames). Since Keener made opposition to the highway widening the centerpiece of his campaign, people on both sides of the issue framed Keener’s campaign as a clear referendum on the widening.
As for the also-rans, 23-year-old anti-widening newcomer Matt Dougherty beat 82-year-old pro-widening Therese Dyer by 554 votes, and on Election Day even got more votes than Spano. Matt has a bright future and could be a legitimate contender in two years with a little seasoning. Therese was the only candidate to unequivocally support Caltrans' widening plan, thus her poor showing, getting only 8 percent of the total vote despite decades in the public eye, implies weak support for the widening plan among the public.
Additionally, the low turnout of a midterm election usually skews toward older, conservative, absentee voters. All three anti-widening candidates fared considerably better on Election Day than they did with absentee voters. Thus, it is likely they would have finished even stronger in a higher-turnout election.
Although many factors are involved, making it impossible to fully separate the signal from the noise, surprisingly strong showings by all three anti-widening candidates suggests that this election was indeed a mandate against widening Highway 1. Our public officials would be wise to take heed.
Owner/Applicant: Big Wave Group/Big Wave Group LLC, File Number PLN 2013-00451, Airport Street, Princeton. Assessor’s Parcel Number 047-311-060 and 047-312-040.
Consideration of design review recommendation to allow construction of the Big Wave Wellness Center (four buildings containing a total of 70,500 sq. ft. and 57 bedrooms for 50 developmentally disabled adults and 20 staff) and Office Park (five buildings containing a total 189,000 sq. ft. of industrial/office/manufacturing/ storage uses) and associated parking uses, proposed on the undeveloped north parcel (APN 047-311-060).
Outdoor Boat Storage Use is proposed on the undeveloped south parcel (APN 047-312-040) containing 26 boat storage spaces, 27 parking spaces associated with the boat storage use, and a 190 sq. ft. restroom building.
The Design Review permit is a part of the County’s review of other associated permits and actions including: a Use Permit for a modern sanitarium, Outdoor Boat Storage Use, and proposed parking uses to be located within the Airport Overlay (AO) Zoning District; a Major Subdivision of the north parcel into seven (7) lots; a Minor Subdivision of the south parcel into two (2) lots; a Grading Permit to perform 735 cubic yards of cut (for utility trenching) and 21,400 cubic yards of fill (gravel import); a Coastal Development Permit, appealable to the California Coastal Commission; and Development Agreement with the County of San Mateo to allow for phasing of project construction over 15 years.
Ever since scientists showed the endocrine-system-disrupting effects of the industrial chemical BPA, manufacturers have discontinued its use in water bottles, baby bottle, and binkies. (That's why everyone drinks water out of metal containers these days.) In estimating human exposure to the gender-bending chemical, federal regulators assume that the main source of exposure to BPA is from food and beverage packaging. But a new study by Frederick vom Staal and others in the journal PLOS One (plosone.org) shows that another significant point of entry could be handling of thermal receipts -- those ubiquitous slips of paper that come at the end of nearly every financial transaction -- especially if you have used hand sanitizer or various other skin creams. Doing so, the study found, can increase uptake of BPA 100-fold. Worse, if you handle a BPA-coated receipt and then eat food with your hands, you ingest the BPA as well. Finally, the study's results suggest a prudent course of action for shoppers: Don’t take a receipt. (Paul Rauber, Sierra Magazine)
Coastside Land Trust Art Gallery presents its 2nd annual "California Raptor Show." The exhibit features 26 local artists who have captured California's diverse raptor population through art. Mediums include oil, watercolor, batik, acrylic, mixed media, wood carving, and fine-art photography. All art is for sale. Show runs to February 13. Gallery hours are Thursday and Friday from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m., Sunday from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., and by appointment. Coastside Land Trust is dedicated to the preservation, protection, and enhancement of open space, including the natural, scenic, recreational, cultural, historical, and agricultural resources of the San Mateo County coast, for present and future generations. 788 Main Street, Half Moon Bay, 650-726-5056.
Richmond, California. All progressive eyes around the country were focused on this blue-collar city of about 100,000, where Big Oil and Wall Street sought to oust a progressive local government that has been battling big business for the past decade. Instead, the lefties won against overwhelming odds. Under Mayor Gayle McLaughlin and her progressive allies on the City Council, Richmond has challenged Chevron, which owns a huge refinery in the city, to clean up its pollution, pay more taxes into the city coffers, and be a more responsible and accountable corporate citizen. Faced with a decade of predatory lending and an epidemic of foreclosures and “underwater” mortgages, Richmond city officials pushed back against Wall Street banks, demanding that they help troubled homeowners save their homes. In Tuesday’s election, community groups, labor unions, the Richmond Progressive Alliance (RPA) and others mobilized a grassroots campaign to protect their gains and elect a progressive slate against candidates hand-picked and funded by Chevron and the real estate lobby.
The progressives won, despite operating on a shoe-string budget. City Councilman Tom Butt was elected mayor with 51.4 percent of the vote. He defeated Nat Bates, a longtime councilman who was heavily funded by Chevron but only managed to win 35 percent of the vote. The progressive slate of council candidates appears to have swept the four available seats. McLaughlin, the city’s termed-out mayor, won her City Council race as did her allies Jovanka Beckles and Eduardo Martinez. As of early Wednesday morning, progressive-backed incumbent Jal Myrick trounced fellow City Councilman Corky Booze for a two-year seat. If these leads hold, no Chevron-backed candidates will have won, despite dramatically outspending their progressive opponents. The RPA, the Alliance of Californians for Community Empowerment and SEIU waged a major grassroots get-out-the-vote campaign that triumphed over the Chevron funded assault that included an expensive flood of mailers, phone calls and an oil-stained local online “newspaper.”