Plastic Bag Bans Lead to E-coli Deaths (click here): One green pet cause du jour is the banning of disposable plastic bags at supermarkets and other grocery stores. These measures, which are designed to encourage shoppers to use their own reusable tote bags, have been spreading widely in recent years, and have already gone into effect in cities like San Francisco, Seattle and Washington D.C.
This may make the world marginally safer for plants and animals, but a new study by the Property and Environment Research Center shows there may be a significant downside for human health. Researchers examined these reusable totes and found significant amounts of bacteria, including, among others, E-coli. And there seems to be a correlation between plastic bag bans and increased illness, as bacteria-related deaths spiked immediately after San Francisco's bag measure began. The International Association for Food Protection reports:
"Reusable bags were collected at random from consumers as they entered grocery stores in California and Arizona. In interviews, it was found that reusable bags are seldom if ever washed and often used for multiple purposes. Large numbers of bacteria were found in almost all bags and coliform bacteria in half. Escherichia coli were identified in 8% of the bags, as well as a wide range of enteric bacteria, including several opportunistic pathogens. When meat juices were added to bags and stored in the trunks of cars for two hours, the number of bacteria increased 10-fold, indicating the potential for bacterial growth in the bags."
Chris Holden's kind of questionable campaign contribution (click here): Yesterday we discussed the possibility of so-called affordable housing being build on property owned by the Pasadena Unified School District. With one of the key drivers behind this odd effort being none other than Pasadena City Councilman Chris Holden, who is currently running for our new State Assembly seat. The kicker is Chris apparently brokered a meeting at Pasadena City Hall with a couple of PUSD types, some City senior officials, and a developer known as Urban Housing Communities (UHC). Which certainly could leave one with the impression of an expensive back room deal in process.
The partners at UHC are the Bigley Brothers, of which there are three. Which I suppose makes them the Pep Boys of stack and pack development. And if you click on the Project Vote Smart link provided just after the ocher colored letters above you will notice that among those donating to Holden's campaign is one Douglas R. Bigley, and for a cool $2,400. I'm certain that is just a coincidence ...
Sierra Madre anticipates discussions of proposed Green Commission (click here):
... a large part of the council's discussion was, and will continue to be, centered on the controversial land use issues contained in the Sierra Madre Environmental Accords, which were adapted from the United Nations Urban Environmental Accords. The concern is that these Accords may allow outside influences to decide development and density issues in this small foothill town.
Of particular concern to some members of the community is Action Item 21 of the Accords regarding urban design. Some believe this action item calls for development that is out of character with the foothill village: "Adopt urban planning principles and practices that advance higher density, mixed use, walkable, bikeable, and disabled-accessible neighborhoods, which coordinate land-use and transportation with open space systems for recreation and restoration."
According to former Sierra Madre Mayor MaryAnn MacGillivray, the International Council for Local Environmental Initiatives wrote what became Chapter 28, Local Agenda 21, "which is an attempt by NGO's (non-governmental agencies) to influence local land-use laws to shift the population away from low-density residential areas into high-density urban areas, and to put limits on production and consumption of items and services of all kinds including food, transportation, public utilities, natural resources and open space utilization for recreation."
(Mod: I don't know if you have ever spent any time with the Civic Brief news site that I've cited here, but it can be quite informative at times. It's publisher is one Jim E. Winburn, a freelance newsie who writes for the Sierra Madre Weekly and other Beacon Media publications. Seems to be a pretty good guy. Shows up at City Council meetings, so be sure to say hello.)
The Mountain Views News has a highly questionable Wikipedia entry (click here): "The Mountain Views News is a legally adjudicated newspaper of general circulation that serves the cities of Sierra Madre, Pasadena, Altadena, Arcadia, Monrovia and Duarte, California. Their offices are located in Sierra Madre (Headquarters), Pasadena and Monrovia.
The paper was established in 1997, under the name Sierra Madre Mountain Views by Beth Buck (now Beth Greenfield) and was first sold, in 2004, to Steve Tobia, owner and publisher of THE Magazine. Tobia sold the newspaper to Grace Lorraine Publications, Inc. in 2007. First published as the Mountain Views Observer, the name was changed to Mountain Views News in March, 2008. Susan Henderson is the President of Grace Lorraine Publications, Inc., and Publisher/Editor of the Mountain Views News."
(Mod: Talk about fiction. No mention of Katina Dunn or the lawsuit Susan utterly and completely lost in California State Superior Court for "misappropriating" the paper from her former partner. Nor is their any mention whatsoever of the $10s of thousands of dollars in penalties levied on Henderson by the Court for her extra-legal shenanigans. It would also be interesting to note on this Wikipedia page that Henderson is a disgraced former high ranking Democratic Party official cast off for egregious fibbing on her resume while also using that organization's credit card for things such as golfing junkets and Victoria's Secret purchases. Maybe I should get in there and edit this absurdly inaccurate entry a little bit.)
San Gabriel cops drop recall and lawsuits (click here): After months of legal turmoil, the Police Officers' Association announced it will drop its planned recall of a City Councilwoman and will no longer pursue several lawsuits targeting the city.
Clients of the controversial Lackey, Dammeier and McGill, the POA posted a "message to the community" on its website saying that it will not challenge a city council decision refusing to place two POA sponsored initiatives on the March 2013 ballot.
The web post also said the POA will not pursue a recall of City Councilwoman Juli Costanzo.
Though a city attorney said he doesn't think it is a "coincidence" that the POA's decision comes amid accusations by Costa Mesa officials that Lackie, Dammeier and McGill attempted to frame a city councilman for a DUI, a POA spokesman said the two are not related.
(Mod: You see that? The POA can be beat. All it takes is a little community resolve.)
Enjoy your day of rest.