Previous month:
September 2007
Next month:
November 2007

October 2007

Lip Service: Try These Petroleum-Free Products

Traditional lip balms are made using petroleum (yes, that petroleum), but plant-based eco-options are now widely available and will rescue chapped lips - lickety split.                   

The benefits:

  • No more chapped lips. Lips don't have oil glands, so they don't retain moisture well. The answer's in a little twistable tube or tin.
  • Oil-free. Once the world's petroleum reserves are gone, they're gone.
  • A healthier you. Impurities in petrolatum, a common ingredient in many lip balms, have been linked to breast cancer (which is why the EU has restrictions on its use).

Wanna try?


Bluegrass Songs for Any Spooky Occasion

WALT HENSLEY: Ghost Riders In the Sky/Pickin' On New Grass (Rebel)
COUNTRY GENTLEMEN: Bringing Mary Home/The Early Rebel Recordings (Rebel)
SELDOM SCENE: I've Come To Take You Home/Like We Used To Be (Sugar Hill)
DEL McCOURY BAND: It's Just the Night/It's Just the Night (McCoury Music)
KATHY KALLICK: Burying Ground/Call Me a Taxi (Sugar Hill)
FRONT RANGE: Silent Ground/Silent Ground (Sugar Hill)
THE RARELY HERD: Simon Crutchfield's Grave/Midnight Loneliness (Pinecastle)
KAY JUSTICE & GINNY HAWKER: The Unquiet Grave/Come All You Tenderhearted
(June Appal)
DONE GONE: Quiet Grave/The Done Gone Band (self)
DEL McCOURY: The Ghost Of Eli Renfrew/My Dixie Home (Rebel)
DREADFUL SNAKES: Who's That Knockin' At My Door?/Snakes Alive! (Rounder)
TONY RICE: Brown Mountain Light/Plays and Sings Bluegrass (Rounder)
DON RIGSBY: Bluestone Mountain/Empty Old Mailbox (Sugar Hill)
ROBIN & LINDA WILLIAMS: At the Crossroads Again/Devil Of a Dream (Sugar
COOKE DUET Ain't No Grave Gonna Hold My Body Down/Family Circle (Smitty's
HAZEL & ALICE: Long Black Veil/Pioneering Women of Bluegrass
NASHVILLE BLUEGRASS BAND: Dark Shadows Of Night/Unleashed (Sugar Hill)
STANLEY BROTHERS: Keep Them Cold Icy Fingers Off Of Me/The King Years,
1961-1965 (King)
BILL MONROE & THE BLUE GRASS BOYS: Devil's Dream/Live at Mechanics Hall
(Acoustic Disc)
AUSTIN LOUNGE LIZARDS: Hillbillies In a Haunted House/Never An Adult Moment
(Sugar Hill)

[compiled by Peter Thompson of KALW 91.7-FM, host of Bluegrass Signal, KALW]

Foreclosure Watch: Empty House

A record 17.9 million U.S. homes stood empty in the third quarter. A mere 2.07 million empty homes were for sale. Let's do the math: 15.83 million vacant homes just sitting there. How long can that last? That is a huge potential supply of homes that for some reason or other is not listed yet. I suspect many of those are REOs (real estate owned) by banks and mortgage companies such as Countrywide. Every passing month that those REOs sit on the books waiting for higher prices means lost property taxes, upkeep costs, and balance sheet impairment.

Every month the figures get worse. For example, Countrywide has 13,000+- REOs for sale, but it also has 82,000 foreclosures. That alone represents significant pent-up supply as those foreclosures become REOs. See Option Arm & REO Problems At Countrywide OPTION ARM AND REO PROBLEMS AT COUNTRYWIDE for more information.

Add to that pent-up supply those with a second home who want to sell it as soon as they can "get even" on it. In the meantime, those people are "content" to rent. That contentment will turn to sour milk given enough time, or any problems necessitating a sale sooner rather than later. The siren song from Realtors is that now is the best time to buy ever. Straight up, it's easy to see that is a lie. The best time to buy was 10 or more years ago and the best time to sell was in 2005. It's still a long way down from here. Rising inventory, falling prices, and pent-up supply should be proof enough.

Mike Shedlock/Mish

In the Pacifica Tribune legals:

October 17: 33 foreclosures

October 25: 29         "

October 31: 28         "

And in San Mateo county in general: "Notices of default, which signal that a borrower has missed making payments, doubled from the third quarter of last year to the third quarter this year, according to a report released last week by a Southern California-based research firm. In the third quarter of this year, there were 581 such notices filed in San Mateo County compared to only 290 in the third quarter of 2006, according to the report from DataQuick Information Services. Loans in San Mateo County were among the least likely to go into default, along with those in San Francisco and Marin counties, according to the DataQuick report. Borrowers in Merced, San Joaquin and Riverside counties were most likely to default." (San Mateo Daily News, 10-30-07)


Steep Yourself in The Healthy Tea Tradition

Pesticide-free tea time. Although it's outlawed in the United States, tea from other countries can still contain toxic baddies like the pesticide DDT, and while you can wash away pesticides on your non-organic veggies, you can't wash 'em off your tea.

No strings attached. Prevent waste by opting for biodegradable teabags without staples or strings, or, even better, loose-leaf teas. Little things add up...

Fairer field wages. Look for the fair-trade seal, which guarantees that tea-estate workers are paid fairly.

Better health. Tea, especially green tea, is rich in antioxidants. Take a hint from big tea-drinking countries like Japan, home to fewer cases of heart disease and cancers than America.

Choice English Breakfast Tea - well-balanced classic that's fair-trade and organic; oxygen-bleached, stringless bags in bulk ($33).

Republic of Tea Ceylon Breakfast Tea - organic, fair-trade, whole-leaf black orange pekoe tea with a smooth finish, in a refillable tin ($11).

Srina Young Hyson Tea - full-bodied green loose-leaf packaged in recycled materials and grown without pesticides by well-paid workers in Sri Lanka ($10).

Honest Tea First Nation Peppermint Tea - organic, mellow mint tea. Proceeds help to fund Native American programs, and it's packaged in completely biodegradable teabags without staples or strings ($5).


Coastal Commission Questionnaire on Shelter Cove Access

When the Coastal Commission evaluates all of the data gathered from the questionnaires, here are the two big questions they will be asking: Did people feel like they used/ had access to Shelter Cove Beach as if it were a public place? Did people who went to the beach feel like they needed any permission to be there? If the majority of the answers are Yes and No, respectively, and the timeframe of unrestricted "permissive" use was at least five years, then they will have a good case for establishing legal prescriptive rights (i.e., a public easement) to the beach.

It is important to note that if you were invited to Shelter Cove by the owner, a resident (renter), or a business, then you were there by implied permission. This would NOT support our case for prescriptive rights. Think about your experiences there. Even if you were invited to Shelter Cove at times, it is important to recount times that you were there and were not particularly invited. Were there other members of the public coming and going at will? There are some fine lines, for sure.

Let me know if you have any other questions and I'll try my best to answer them. Keep in mind: I'm not a lawyer, but I did stay at a Holiday Inn Express last night :-)

Chris Mejia

Fish That's Safe to Eat

  • Get advice about which fish are safe to eat. Albacore tuna, for example, tends to have three times more mercury than chunk light tuna.
  • Promote sustainable fishing and seafood. Long-line fishing operations are notorious for catching and killing unintended marine life, such as endangered sea turtles. Always go for troll-caught.
  • If you eat fish, you’re not going to avoid it altogether, but you can make sure your intake is lower than the EPA guidelines.
  • MONTEREY BAY AQUARIUM. Print a Seafood Watch wallet card for your region and reference it when shopping and eating out. Avoid shark and swordfish and stick to smaller wild fish such as catfish, tilapia and halibut.
  • Instant reading of your mercury intake, based on how much fish you eat each week.


Lenore Navarra Lafayette: Shelter Cove History

(the author emailed replies to questions from Chris Mejia)

Your e-mail asks some questions that I can readily answer. First of all, my family leased the house on the Shelter Cove land. We came and went as we wanted. About the Forties, Mr. Lewis (owner at that time) started charging 50 cents per car. People still came at will. Weekends were the busiest times for visitors. To my knowledge, people just came down there to the beach when they wanted to - no invitations. You should see the pictures in my book, Shelter Cove the Early Years. You will see people sitting on the beach.  Mr. Lewis did not "invite" them to come. They just showed up (like you would go to Ocean Beach in S.F.)


In answer to your question about a period when there was no charge to the general public, it would have to be in the Thirties. The fifty cent charge did not come into effect until the late thirties. I don't believe that anyone paid to get down to the Cove before that time. I think that a person could park elsewhere (maybe by the old depot) and walk down to the beach - just a few blocks away. {the book is available at Florey's bookstore on Palmetto}


In 1927, my Dad was a realtor in San Francisco in the office of Charlie Burns. Charlie had a client who wanted to sell a small cottage that he owned at Shelter Cove. Dad, my Grandfather and two other relatives bought the house at the Cove for a mere $300 for summer get-aways. It was the land that was leased by the owner at the time, George Lewis. In my book, I have pictures that show a smaller house that my family remodeled, adding a garage, another bedroom and a large porch with windows that faced the ocean. We also added a wash room and sink with running water.


Another story that I remember is that the neighbors talked about the train that used to run above the houses. Every time it passed, gravel rolled down the hill on top of the roofs below. Amazing what people will put up with when they want to live in a certain location! Our family did not have the house down there at that time. The train stories were so interesting. I was fascinated by the tales I was reading in the old newspapers that I found at Redwood City Library. There is a wealth of information available if you are willing to search for it. I spent a lot of hours in the library digging up the facts, and it was well worth it.

Lenore Navarra Lafayette

Mother Earth News: Reading for Your Green Thumb


Get to know Utne Reader's sister publication Mother Earth News. Whether you have a backyard garden, a suburban spread, or acres of virgin land, Mother Earth News can bring you into closer harmony with nature—with your dreams—and save you money at the same time!

Mother Earth News is the leading source of information on solar, wind, biodiesel and other clean, renewable energy options. The magazine reveals information on how easy and cheap it can be to use free solar energy from the sun to power, heat, and light our homes! But those aren't the only topics found in each issue. You'll also be offered practical information on:

* Ways to cut energy costs
* Do-it-yourself home improvements
* Organic gardening
* Using recycled building materials
* Building an affordable solar home
* Getting more from your money with green investing
* And much more!

Mother Earth News is a great resource for consumers wanting to learn how they can do their part to protect the environment and also save money. Subscribe to Mother Earth News and start living a healthier, better-balanced, more meaningful life! Click MOTHER EARTH NEWS for information.

Kind Regards,
Cheryl Long, Editor in Chief

Raging Grannies Smash Diebold Voting Machine

Voting Activists Smash Diebold Machine at SF Civic Center and Ask ***WILL THE NEXT ELECTION BE CONDUCTED FAIRLY?***

Election procedure reform IS proceeding, say voting rights activists in Sacramento and San Francisco, but FAR too slowly.  "A very real and still present danger is the use of secret computer code controlled by private manufacturers of voting machines," says national voting rights activist Brent Turner.

Activists dramatized the failures of the voting machine industry. A Diebold TS Touchscreen Voting Machine, one of the worst offenders, was tried, sentenced, and smashed at the rally. Open Voting Foundation president Alan Dechert, who participated in the rally, has examined the inner workings of one of the Diebold TS touch screen voting machines. Dechert said that "with the flip of a single switch inside, the machine can behave in a completely different manner compared to the tested and certified version." This very model  is used widely in public elections in the United States. Dechert said that "mistakes, conflicts of interest, incompetence, and outright corruption are turning the issue of voting modernization into a national scandal."

The Raging Grannies performed songs about voter rights to start off the rally, followed by a trial of the Diebold Touchscreen Machine for "Crimes Against Democracy." Rally participants were part of the jury, heard testimony against secret software, and witnessed justice delivered by a sledgehammer.

* See OPEN VOTING FOUNDATION for pictures of the actual voting machine on trial.

Sponsored by :

The San Francisco Election Integrity League


League of Young Voters

Black Box Voting

Election Defense Alliance

Raging Grannies Action League