Saturday, July 9, 2011

News: Yellowstone Oil Spill. Sheriff Joe. Bad Wipes. Hindu Treasure. Fire in NM. White House Pay. Chicken's Victory. Giant Hogweed.

Some news articles, in case you missed them:


Yellowstone Oil Spill Prompts Evacuations Yellowstone Oil Spill


LAUREL, Mont. — "Hundreds of barrels of crude oil spilled into Montana's Yellowstone River after an ExxonMobil pipeline beneath the riverbed ruptured, sending a plume 25 miles downstream and forcing temporary evacuations, officials said.

The break near Billings in south-central Montana fouled the riverbank and forced municipalities and irrigation districts Saturday to close intakes.

The river has no dams on its way to its confluence with the Missouri River just across the Montana border in North Dakota. It was unclear how far the plume might travel.

Cleanup crews deployed booms and absorbent material as the plume moved downstream at an estimated 5 to 7 mph.

"The parties responsible will restore the Yellowstone River," Mont. Gov. Brian Schweitzer said."     More at:


July 8th.:  "An estimated 1,000 barrels of oil, or 42,000 gallons, have fouled areas along the scenic Yellowstone since Friday after a 12-inch pipeline operated by Exxon Mobil Corp. broke near the south-central Montana town of Laurel.
George Nilson, 69, of Billings, said the fumes from oil that washed into his neighbor's property have been overwhelming."

More at:



Sheriff Joe Arpaio says three officers arrested for drug and human trafficking

Left to right: Marcella Hernandez, Alfredo Navarrette, Sylvia Najera

(Credit: KPHO)

(CBS/KPHO) PHOENIX - "Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio announced Tuesday afternoon that one of his deputies and two of his detention officers were part of a drug and human trafficking operation.

The deputy and detention officers were arrested along with nine other people, according to CBS affiliate KPHO.

Arpaio said his deputy, Alfredo Navarrette, would drive illegal immigrants to California. When deputies arrested Navarrette, he had two undocumented immigrants there, Arpaio said.

Navarrette once served on Arpaio's anti-smuggling unit. Arpaio said he supplied details of crime suppression sweeps to leaders of the trafficking operation.

The two detention officers arrested were Sylvia Najera and Marcella Hernandez, who is 8 months pregnant, Arpaio said. The father of her baby is Lorenzo Arce-Torres, who was the ringleader of the Phoenix-based trafficking operation, according to Arpaio. Hernandez had $16,000 cash on her when she was arrested.

"No one is above the law, and apparently no one is beyond the reach of drug trafficking organizations in Mexico, so we must remain ever vigilant," said Maricopa County Attorney Bill Montgomery.

Deputies served 16 search warrants at various homes and businesses throughout the valley on Tuesday. They seized $200,000 in cash, 7 weapons, 10 pounds of heroin and 7 vehicles.

"We have enough problems on violence - not to have moles in my own organization to put my deputies in danger," Arpaio said. He said the investigation started a year ago after his office received a tip."


Image: Tent City jail in Phoenix


Coverage of Sheriff Joe Arpaio on Crimesider


The Arizona Republic via AP /NBC News, 7/3/2011

"Chris Habetler, left, and Robert Chavez eat from cups of ice given to them to deal with the heat at the Tent City jail in Phoenix on Saturday."





FDA probes new death, infections tied to tainted wipes

"Federal health officials are investigating whether contaminated alcohol prep products from a shuttered Wisconsin firm led to the death of a 66-year-old man who developed a bacterial infection after being treated for skin cancer and diabetes.

  1. The death is among eight reports of fatalities, 11 infections and nearly 250 other problems now associated with medical products manufactured and distributed by the Triad Group and H&P Industries Inc. of Hartland, Wis., newly released records from the federal Food and Drug Administration show.

The death is the second fatal report to the FDA that specifically cites a rare infection with the bacteria Bacillus cereus in a patient who used Triad Group alcohol prep pads. Last month, the Wisconsin firm was legally barred from making or distributing the products because of potential contamination with that life-threatening bacteria." More at:



Hand Sanitizers Carry Unproven Claims to Prevent MRSA Infections

"Some hand sanitizers and antiseptic products come with claims that they can prevent MRSA infections.

Don’t believe them. These statements are unproven, says the Food and Drug Administration (FDA).

MRSA (methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus) is a bacterium that can cause severe — even life-threatening — infections that do not respond to standard treatment with the antibiotic methicillin.

Staphylococcus aureus itself is a very aggressive organism,” says Edward Cox, M.D., M.P.H., director of FDA’s Office of Antimicrobial Products. “It’s often associated with patients in hospitals who have weakened immune systems, but the bacterium can also cause significant skin infections and abscesses in a normal, healthy person. And it can get into the bloodstream and, less frequently, may involve the heart valve, which is very difficult to treat.”

But this antibiotic-resistant strain is even more difficult to treat. “With MRSA, a number of the antibiotic drugs we typically used often don’t work, so we lose treatment options we used to rely upon,” says Cox.

FDA is cracking down on companies that break federal law by promoting their products as preventing MRSA infections and other diseases without agency review and approval."




Huge treasure has been found in a Hindu temple in southern India

Image: Treasure found in Indian temple

"Senior police officials arrive to check the security measurements at Sree Padmanabhaswamy temple in Thiruvananthapuram, Kerala, India. The inventory of the temple, maintained by the erstwhile royal family of Travancore, is being made by a seven-member Supreme Court of India, appointed panel.

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM, India — "A huge treasure has been found in a Hindu temple in southern India — gold and silver jewelry, coins and precious stones worth billions of dollars, Indian officials said Saturday.

The AFP news agency quoted Kerala Chief Secretary K. Jayakumar as saying the find had been estimated as worth more than $11 billion.

He said archaeological officials would have to examine the discovery in detail to determine its actual value.

The treasure was found in at least five underground vaults of the Sree Padmanabhaswamy Temple, known for its sculptures, AFP reported. The temple is in southern Kerala state, near the tip of the subcontinent.

Jayakumar told AFP that one more secret chamber remained to be opened.

 According to Wikipedia, the temple was dedicated to the god Vishnu, and the foundation of the current tower was laid beginning in 1566."

More at:



Cochiti Lake closure extended due to fire:

Las Conchas Fire, New MexicoTuesday, July 5, 2011.  "The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers  has extended the closure the Cochiti Lake facility through July 11 in order to continue the support of various fire suppression activities around the Las Conchas fire.

The closure includes all Cochiti Lake public use sites, including campgrounds, docks, boat ramps, picnic areas, swimming locations and the nearby golf course. It also prohibits fishing and boating on the lake.

At least four helicopters will be based in the area and will use water from Cochiti as part of fire suppression efforts. Spotter planes might use Tetilla Road as a temporary runway.

Investigators have determined that a falling tree caught fire when it came in contact with power lines, causing the Las Conchas fire, which is now the largest in New Mexico’s history."

More at:


Bob and Judy's account of this fire near them in NM:

"In one week the fire has burned 121,248 acres and is only 11% contained. There are 18 helicopters, 4 of them have been buzzing back and forth past our living room windows sucking up water from the lake and dropping it on the south edge of the fire. There are 72 engines, 26 water tankers, 8 bulldozers and 1,995 personnel fighting this fire, the largest fire in New Mexico history. So far 63 residences, 5 commercial buildings, and 32 out-buildings have been destroyed. There have been thousands saved by the fearless firefighters that have been battling the blazes. My thanks go out to these brave firefighters."  More at:


Wildlife Suffers Amid Las Conchas Fire,  Officials Put Down Female Bear Burned In Fire


LOS ALAMOS, N.M. -- "The New Mexico Department of Game and Fish reported its first animal casualty from the 130,000-acre Las Conchas fire.  They said a female bear was found surrounded by ash and smoke in the area where the fire started. Morgan said the animal was in shock and was euthanized Tuesday because the burns to its body were too severe to recover from."
Read more:



White House Salaries:




Finally inhumane treatment of factory farmed chickens, and egg laying hens should end:

July 7, 2011.  "Today, The HSUS and the United Egg Producers announced
an agreement which could result in a complete makeover of the U.S. egg industry."



humane action"I am excited to announce a historic agreement that The Humane Society of the United States reached this morning with the United Egg Producers, which could result in a complete makeover of the U.S. egg industry and improve the treatment of the 280 million laying hens used each year in U.S. egg production.

Thanks to your support over the years, through our state ballot initiatives and legislative and corporate campaigns, we now have a new pathway forward to ban barren battery cages and phase in more humane standards nationwide.

The HSUS and UEP have agreed to work together to advocate for federal legislation that would:

  • Require a moratorium at the end of 2011 on new construction of unenrichable battery cages -- small, cramped, cages that nearly immobilize more than 90 percent of laying hens today -- and the nationwide elimination of barren battery cages through a phase-out period;

  • Require phased in construction of new hen housing systems that provide hens nearly double the amount of space they’re currently provided;

  • Require environmental enrichments so birds can engage in important natural behaviors currently denied to them in barren cages, such as perches, nesting boxes, and scratching areas;

  • Mandate labeling on all egg cartons nationwide to inform consumers of the method used to produce the eggs, such as "eggs from caged hens" or "eggs from cage-free hens";

  • Prohibit forced molting through starvation -- an inhumane practice that is inflicted on tens of millions of hens each year and which involves withholding all food from birds for up to two weeks in order to manipulate the laying cycle;

  • Prohibit excessive ammonia levels in henhouses -- a common problem in the industry that is harmful to both hens and egg industry workers;

  • Require standards for euthanasia of hens; and

  • Prohibit the sale of eggs and egg products nationwide that don’t meet these above requirements.

If enacted, this would be the first federal law relating to chickens used for food, as well as the first federal law relating to the on-farm treatment of any species of farm animal. "

To take action:



Now, maybe the abused, and ill-housed factory-farmed cows and hogs will have the same consideration.



This NJ woman is killing herself to get into Guinness Book of Records, and ruining her little daughter's life, too:

eating "Donna Simpson, a single mom in New Jersey, weighs 700 pounds and is trying to gain an additional 300 pounds so that she can claim and hold the Guinness World Records' title of World's Most Obese Woman. She says that she couldn't do it without the help of her 4-year-old daughter, who shops with her, helps her prepare food, and feeds her so that she can pile on additional pounds.


How does someone who relies on a 4-year-old and a reinforced scooter to get around make a living? Online, of course. Simpson pays for her $580-to-$750 per week eating habit plus other expenses by, basically, being overweight. She has a website,, geared toward "fat admirers," where people pay to see her eat and flaunt her flab."  More at:


Giant Weed Can Cause Blisters, Even Blindness


Image of giant hogweed

Officials urge people to steer clear of the giant hogweed.

Do Not Touch This Plant! Giant hogweed can grow to 15 feet or more

"Giant hogweed (Heracleum mantegazzianum) is a Federally listed noxious weed. Its sap, in combination with moisture and sunlight, can cause severe skin and eye irritation, painful blistering, permanent scarring and blindness. Contact between the skin and the sap of this plant occurs either through brushing against the bristles on the stem or breaking the stem or leaves."

"Experts are urging residents of several states to beware of the "giant hogweed," a tall plant native to Central Asia with umbrella-size flowers containing toxic sap that can cause burns, blisters and, in some cases, even blindness.

"Avoid it at all cost," Jodi Holt, a professor of plant physiology at University of California, Riverside, told ABC News.

"The sap causes something called phytophotodermatitis when it touches humans," causing scars and potentially blindness if it comes into contact with the eyes, Holt said. Some cases of blindness occurred after children used the hollow stalks as telescopes.

Heracleum Mantegazzianum, as hogweed is botanically known, is already a concern in the Northeast and spreading fast. Patches of giant hogweed have also been sighted in the Pacific Northwest.

With white blossoms a foot or larger in diameter, giant hogweed towers up to 15 feet tall and thrives in wet, cool places. It is often spotted near homes, roadways, railroad beds and streams, ABC News said.

Crews in several states, including New York, have been charged with seeking out and destroying the invasive species. New York has also set up a giant hogweed hotline — 845-256-3111 — for people to identify sightings.

If you spot giant hogweed, don't try to remove it yourself, experts said. Instead, report the sighting to your state or local department of invasive species control." More at:



As Ray couldn't be here to help me with the fuel pump line repair to the B+ motorhome, I was glad when Jim, the mechanic, called saying he would come up here and fix it.  He is rather portly, so he had to use a floor jack and jack stand to get underneath it to fix the line.  As soon as it was repaired, the B+ fired up right away, so I parked it in front of my workshop on Lot 2.  Now the man with the travel trailer could move it.

While we were working on it, the owner of that rented lot drove up, the man was in his trailer all the time.  So much for telling me that he would fix it for me!   She told the man that he could stay there a while longer, so I suppose he didn't care if I moved the B+ or not.   But I did, I wanted to get it on my property, not stuck out there in the cul-de-sac.



The lot line is at that remaining pine tree on the right, the oak is on the neighbor's lot, their Dish is set up on my lot.  The entrance to my Lot 3 is only 11 feet wide, due to a big drainage ditch, so they aren't leaving me much room.


With the debris from the tree felling I couldn't park the B+ in my driveway on Lot 3.   The other big pile of debris is right next to the cargo trailer.

I hope the neighbors will start cleaning it up on a cooler day.


Rod and Loyce Ivers said...

I thought you might be interested that I purchased a bag of the Taste of the Wild Chicken and Duck formula! Biscuit jumped up on me when I had the bag in my hands and demanded to have the bag opened. I mixed it into some of the other food, and she picked out the Wild and left the other stuff behind. I guess she has a new food now. I got it at Tractor Supply.

LakeConroePenny,TX said...

I am so glad that Biscuit likes it. My cats and dogs love it, too.
Now I will check at the Tractor Supply in the next town, thanks for the heads up on that. I will search and see who else carries in in our area.

Happy Tails, and Trails, Penny.