Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Civil disobedience on the Yukon; Marshall fishermen ignore closure


June 29, 2009 at 12:33PM AKST

In an act of civil disobedience, fishermen in six boats left the village of Marshall on Friday to go subsistence fishing on the Yukon River, though fishing was closed, said one of the protestors.

The group caught 100 king salmon in their gillnets.

State and federal authorities have severely restricted king salmon on the Yukon this summer in an effort to help the struggling run recover.

Villagers along the lower Yukon say they’re suffering.

Commercial fishing for kings hasn’t been allowed, and subsistence fishing has been limited to two 18-hour openings each week.

King salmon has long been a staple food along the Yukon. Residents dry or freeze the fish to eat year round. Also, commercial fishing for kings usually provides one of the few opportunities for villagers to make money.

This summer’s restrictions are worrying residents who don’t have enough king salmon to last the year, said Nick Andrew Jr., a member of the Ohagamuit tribal government, based in Marshall.

Andrew said he and five others went fishing late Friday night, when subsistence fishing was closed. They caught three totes of kings about 10 miles upriver from Marshall, a village of about 400.

“It’s now June 29,” Andrew said. “Usually by this date everyone’s subsistence king salmon needs are met and on the drying racks and in the freezers and salted.

“But as we speak only 20 percent of the village’s king salmon needs have been met. It’s a bad situation."

The fishermen saw no wildlife troopers and weren’t cited, he said.

They returned to Marshall and quickly cut the fish for drying and freezing. Then they delivered it to widows, elders and disabled residents, he said.

One elderly woman cried when her portion was delivered, he said.

Andrew said the protest fishing was sanctioned by the Ohagamuit and Marshall tribal governments. Ohagamuit created the resolution and the Marshall council approved it.

Earlier this summer, Andrew, in a letter published by The Tundra Drums, said he and others would get their kings, even if it meant going to jail or getting a ticket.

“Our original intent was to protest,” he said. “We went out there all gung ho, ready to bear a grin and go out for a cause. The Lord provided us our fish and no law enforcement.”

Villages along the lower Yukon have had a long, hard winter that followed similar restrictions to king fishing last year, he said. Many Yukon fishermen blame the Bering Sea pollock fleet for inadvertently catching too many river-bound king salmon on the high seas.

Village governments have requested fishery disaster declarations. The state has said it can’t declare such a disaster. U.S. Secretary of Commerce Gary Locke is considering a request.


Alex DeMarban can be reached at 907-348-2444 or 800-770-9830, ext. 444


NC Boy Takes Deathly Ill After Dip in Local Lake

A ProMED-mail post

ProMED-mail is a program of the
International Society for Infectious Diseases

Date: Fri 26 Jun 2009
Source: WWAY NewsChannel 3 (North Carolina), Associated Press (AP) report

A 14 year old boy from North Carolina is in hospital with a rare infection
that cost him part of his nose and 5 teeth after swimming in a local lake.
The Fayetteville Observer reports that doctors at UNC [University of North
Carolina] Hospitals in Chapel Hill are treating the boy for an infection
caused by a bacterium called _Chromobacterium violaceum_, which was found
in Hope Mills Lake.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says that fewer than 150
cases have been reported worldwide since 1927.

The patient's father said his son is in serious condition but that
antibiotics are beginning to clear the infection from the teen's blood.
Doctors had to remove the left side of [his] nose and palate, and his
father said he lost 5 teeth. Brian McKinney said doctors won't consider
reconstructive surgery until the infection is gone.

communicated by:

[_Chromobacterium violaceum_ infection is typically found in tropical areas
and was first described by Wooley in 1905 as an infection in dead and dying
water buffalo in the Philippines (1). The 1st human case was described from
Malaysia in 1927. Most cases are reported during the summer months and are
commonly, as in this posting, associated with water exposure. The infection
may be more likely to occur in patients who are immunodeficient,
particularly those with chronic granulomatous disease. Most infections are
associated with multiple cutaneous and visceral abscesses and may be
associated with concomitant septic shock (2). This type of presentation in
a patient from a tropical environment and water exposure also suggests the
possibility of melioidosis (_Burkholderia pseudomallei_ infection).

From the description of the significant morbidity in this young man, it
appears that the organism has caused a necrotizing soft tissue infection.
Of note, a previously reported case of _C. violaceum_ linked to a (not
specified) North Carolina lake resulted in a necrotizing skin infection (3).

1. Wooley PG. _Bacillus violaceum manilae_ (a pathogenic organism). Bull
Johns Hopkins Hosp 1905; 16: 89.
2. Jitmuang A. Human _Chromobacterium violaceum_ infection in Southeast
Asia: case reports and literature review. Southeast Asian J Trop Med Public
Health 2008; 39: 452-60 [abstract available at
3. Brown KL, Stein A, Morrell DS. Ecthyma gangrenosum and septic shock
syndrome secondary to _Chromobacterium violaceum_. J Am Acad Dermatol 2006;
54: S224-8 [abstract available at
]. - Mod.LL

Hope Mills Lake is a reservoir in Cumberland County in the state of North
Carolina, USA. It can be seen via the HealthMap/ProMED-mail interactive map
at . - Sr.Tech.Ed.MJ]


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Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Fighting Poverty with Donkey Carts

Social Innovation: a Donkey Cart
or IDE-A Winner?

International Development Enterprizes (IDE) is premised on the belief that market forces are a critical weapon against poverty, a belief that amounts to heresy through much of the development world. In 1981 in Somalia, for instance, the International Labor Organization and the U.N. High Commission for Refugees funded a program to help refugee women produce sleeping mats, which the U.N. then bought for $4 each and distributed. When the relief organizations left, so did the market. At the same time, IDE was helping blacksmiths in the refugee camps build 500 donkey carts, which were sold on credit. On average, a donkey cart owner could net $200 a month hauling water and other goods, enough to pay back the loan in two and a half months. When Polak proposed expanding the program in partnership with the UNHCR, he was met with outrage—the organization wanted to stick to the old system of giving things away. Eventually, Polak prevailed.

Giving the Poor a Means to Work

Paul Polak and his company, International Development Enterprises, have helped 17 million people lift themselves out of poverty
by Jessie Scanlon

Most books about poverty are downright depressing. The figures—1 billion people live on less than $1 a day, according to the U.N. Development Program—are depressing. The complexity of the problem—poverty is connected to poor health is connected to lack of clean drinking water is connected to lack of education—is daunting. And spend any time at, say, the Web site of the World Bank, the organization that's "Working for a World Free of Poverty," according to its tagline, and you start to sense a disconnect between the experts' fancy "comprehensive development frameworks" and poverty-mapping techniques, and the daily needs of the poorest poor.

But one new book on the subject, Out of Poverty: What Works When Traditional Approaches Fail by Paul Polak, offers optimism. Optimism not just for those fighting poverty and those fighting to get out of it, but for any company interested in a basically untapped 1 billion-person market. That optimism is based on the author's real-world experience as the founder of International Development Enterprises (IDE), a nonprofit organization that develops and/or markets products such as treadle pumps and drip irrigation systems that have already helped 17 million people lift themselves out of poverty.

Founded by Polak in 1981, IDE is based on the belief that there are simple solutions to the seemingly complex problem of poverty, and that those solutions are based on enabling the entrepreneurial spirit of the poor. The logic of IDE's approach is so simple it seems ridiculously obvious: Poor people are poor because they don't have enough money; 800 million of the world's poorest earn their living from one-acre farms; those people could earn more if they knew how to grow high-value crops; to do that, the poor need access to very cheap tools—seeds, fertilizer, irrigation—and to markets where they can sell their goods.

Only Products That Pay for Themselves
Given this, IDE's focused mission has been to develop radically low-cost tools that will help subsistence farmers become small-scale commercial farmers. For instance, IDE's $25 treadle pump (a foot-powered suction pump) enables a family working two to six hours a day to irrigate a half-acre of vegetables during the dry season and earn an average of at least $100 a year after expenses. Other products include a $40 water storage tank and a drip irrigation system that costs roughly $200 an acre, four-fifths the cost of a conventional system.

Borrowing from the famous football coach Vince Lombardi, Polak writes, "Affordability isn't everything. It's the only thing." And so IDE only develops products that will pay for themselves in the first year through the buyer's increased productivity.

But IDE does more than design cheap products. It nurtures the private-sector supply chains essential for economic development. When IDE began promoting treadle pumps in Bangladesh in the 1980s, for instance, the organization recruited four manufacturers to produce the pumps by offering them marketing assistance. IDE also offered programs to train well-drillers to install the pumps and to educate farmers interested in using irrigation to grow high-value crops. There are now 75 small-scale manufacturers, 2,000 village dealers, and 3,000 well-diggers earning a living making, selling, and installing treadle pumps, according to Out of Poverty.

Taking the Focus Off Charity
If this focus on the market seems obvious, it hasn't been. As Polak writes, "Development leaders were outraged by my notion that you can and should sell things to poor people at a fair market price instead of giving things to them for nothing." But the case that Polak has made over the years, and that he makes in this book, is persuasive: The only sustainable, scalable approach to fighting poverty is to give poor people a way of increasing their income; to treat the poor as potential entrepreneurs, rather than as recipients of charity.

Giving the Poor a Means to Work
(page 2 of 2)

of traditional poverty initiatives gone awry: a program to help Somali refugee women make and sell soap that was so expensive the business had little hope of surviving once the subsidizing organization had moved on; a promised giveaway of 20,000 treadle pumps that never materialized but nonetheless put existing pump manufacturers, dealers and well-drillers out of business; the donation of village hand pumps that, when they broke, were never fixed because "nobody had assumed ownership."

For every failed initiative Polak mentions, leaders of the World Bank and the United Nations Development Program could no doubt point to a program that did make a measurable impact on poverty. But at what cost? "We have invested a staggering $568 billion in development aid in Africa over the past 42 years, and have very little to show for it," says a World Bank economist quoted in Out of Poverty.

From Maverick to Expert
Ultimately, the strength of IDE's approach is its return on investment. "Total investments by IDE and its donors…over the past 25 years were $78 million," writes Polak. "During the same period, dollar-a-day farmers invested a total of $139 million in income-generating tools promoted by IDE. Their investments generated $288 million per year in permanent new net income." It's hard to argue with numbers like that.

IDE's successful track record has transformed Polak from a maverick to a sought-after keynote speaker. IDE's measurable results have earned it two grants from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. The most recent, announced at the 2008 meeting of the World Economic Forum in Davos, brought IDE $27 million over four years to expand its micro-irrigation program in India.

A Broader Range of Solutions
While many development organizations still follow traditional approaches, IDE's success has inspired some imitators, and Out of Poverty seems to have been written to attract more. Polak tells the stories of individual farmers like Krishna Bahadur Thapa, a Nepali who increased his family's annual income from an average of $100 to more than $500. Such anecdotes are woven together with charts of hard data showing IDE's impact, and practical, straightforward advice for organizations, businesses, and governments wishing to follow IDE's approach. The book is part policy rant, part case-study, part how-to, and it is anything but depressing.

Polak, meanwhile, is moving on. In 2007 he founded D-Rev: Design for the Other Ninety Percent, a hybrid nonprofit organization and for-profit company that will focus on the 300 million dollar-a-day people living in urban areas. One D-Rev project, for instance, is a solar-powered water purification technology capable of delivering 1,000 gallons of marketable drinking water a day at an investment cost for an entrepreneur of less than $300. Projects like these will provide opportunities for those living in urban slums as well as rural areas. "At IDE, our focus was on increasing the income of small-acreage farmers," he says by phone. "I want to take what I've learned at IDE and apply it to a broader range of problems."

For more, see BusinessWeek.com's slide show.

Jessie Scanlon is the senior writer for Innovation & Design on BusinessWeek.com.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Action Alert for Mother Earth & BLMs Rule # 2.5!

There are 5 days until the end of the comment period on the EPA's Endangerment Findings report – a study acknowledging that greenhouse gases contribute to air pollution and pose a threat to public health and welfare. Seems like common sense, right?

Well, unsurprisingly, coal and oil companies have been rallying against this finding since it was first published two months ago.

This is our chance to fight back against Big Coal and Oil – and show that there is strong public support to fight global warming.

Click title above to submit a comment to the EPA in support of the Endangerment Findings.

But hurry! The comment period is almost over and we need to submit at least 5,000 comments.

This report is a huge step in the right direction for our country and our planet. If finalized, the Endangerment Findings will give the EPA both the authority and obligation to fight global warming.

The study notes that climate change will have a huge impact on human health – not only through the air we breathe, but also by creating more droughts, more heavy downpours and flooding, more frequent and intense heat waves and wildfires, and further harm to water resources, agriculture, wildlife and ecosystems.

We need action today! Coal and oil companies have spent tens of millions of dollars rallying to prevent this vital first step by President Obama's EPA. If they are successful, we'll lose the green jobs a clean energy economy would generate to the dirty energy interests of the last century.

Can we count on you to help us reach our goal of 5,000 comments in the next 5 days?

Take action NOW and submit a comment to the EPA in support of a report that could change the future of our planet.

Together, we can show that there is strong public support for change and encourage the EPA to take swift, decisive action to regulate global warming gases.

Thank you again for your support.


Michael Town
Campaign Director, SaveOurEnvironment.org
Interesting Side-Note: I was researching BLM policies regarding Global Warming when I came across this site for BLM employess only (MineInfo) . It is a "training" site where they are teaching their BLM students (and/or shareholders in minining exploration) to "Ignore Global Warming" and you would not believe their reasoning......in so many words, because it will not effect the short-term profitability of their mining explorations!!! Talk about selfish, uncaring motives!

Read more about the BLMs Rule# 2.5;

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Peaceful Homeless Protest - "Arcata Cops Gone Wild"

Sun Jun 14, 2009 9:56 am (PDT)

Eureka and Arcata California / Homeless Constitutional and Civil Rights Violations

"ARCATA, CA (September 2, 2008) A lawsuit regarding ongoing civil rights violations against homeless people on the North Coast of California has been brought against employees and police of City and County government and California Highway Patrol in Humboldt County. Actual and punitive damages, as well as declaratory and injunctive relief, arising from State and Federal claims are demanded by PEOPLE PROJECT Plaintiffs in the lawsuit filed in San Francisco's Federal Court. People Project, a cooperation of community members who are focused on human rights and building dignified community spaces as, with, and for houseless people hopes to prohibit the City of Arcata and other governments throughout Humboldt County from continuing their persistent harassment, abuse, and extra-judicial punishment of houseless people."



Click on title above to go to video;

Friday, June 12, 2009

NY to Gass 2,000 Wild Geese!

Click on title above to see and sign petition.

STOP NY's Plan to Gas Canadian Geese

NYC is preparing to capture and GAS Canadian geese from their public parks in an effort to prevent plane crashes. I saw it on CNN this morning. Has anyone else heard about this and can anything be done to stop it? Gassing is a horrible, cruel death! The state of GA recently outlawed it for animal shelters because of its cruelty. Even NY has a law against gassing of shelter animals. Is there no wildlife group that can be put on notice about this?

Call the people in charge of the killing and ask them to please find another way to remove the geese.....

Contact Information:

Allen Gosser

New York Wildlife Services State Director
1930 Route 9
Castleton, NY 12033

Phone: (518) 477-4837

FAX: (518) 477-4899


NYC: Canadian Geese to Get the Ax
June 11, 2009

Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg, the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, and United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) Animal and Plant Health Inspection Services State Director Martin Lowney today announced a comprehensive set of safety measures to reduce the population of Canada geese near City airports and on properties owned by the City.

The safety measures include removal of Canada geese from select City-owned properties, new efforts to discourage Canada geese from landing on Rikers Island – which is less than one mile from LaGuardia Airport’s runways – and new signage in City parks. These safety measures are the first set of actions taken by the New York City Wildlife Hazard Management Steering Committee, formed earlier this year to coordinate Canada geese and other wildlife mitigation efforts in the New York Metropolitan area.

“The serious dangers that Canada geese pose to aviation became all to clear when geese struck US Airways Flight 1549,” said Mayor Bloomberg. “Thanks to the heroic efforts of Captain Sullenberger, the Flight 1549 crew, local ferry boat operators and the City’s emergency response agencies, no lives were lost. But the incident served as a catalyst to strengthen our efforts in removing geese from, and discouraging them from nesting on, City property near our runways.”

In addition to the emergency landing of US Airways Flight 1549, there have been 77 goose strikes with aircraft in New York over the past 10 years, according to the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA). The State Department of Environmental Conservation states that the Metropolitan region, encompassing New York City; Nassau; Suffolk; Rockland; and Westchester counties, has an estimated 20,000 to 25,000 resident Canada geese.

The City of New York is contracting with the USDA to remove Canada geese from approximately 40 parks, wastewater treatment plants, and various City-owned properties within five miles of JFK and LaGuardia Airports. USDA and City personnel will remove and dispose of Canada geese from targeted areas, including Flushing Meadows-Corona Park and Fort Totten Park, during the molting season from the middle of June through the end of July.

(Dov Gordon - YWN)


Tuesday, June 9, 2009

The Great International Land-Grab; Foraging for Crop-Land

Tuesday, June 9, 2009
Land grab site


GRAIN is launching today a new website that offers the mostcomprehensive information tool on the global land grab for outsourcedfood production: http://farmlandgrab.org. This new site is an improvedversion of the site initiated by GRAIN last year, which provides anopen, up-to-date and easy to search library of over 800 articles,interviews and reports on farm land grabs around the world published since the outbreak of the food crisis in 2008.

The global trend to buy up or lease farmlands abroad as a strategy tosecure basic food supplies, or simply to get rich, is not slowing down-- it is getting worse. The scale is becoming more apparent now, withresearchers counting some 20 million hectares of good cropland alreadysigned off to foreign investors, or soon to be, worldwide. Morecountries and corporations are getting involved, from Sri Lanka toCongo or Hyundai to Varun. Farmers' organisations, human rights groupsand other social movements are agitating against this obscene approachto feeding their countries, while at least one government – theRavalomanana regime in Madagascar -- has been brought down because ofits involvement in such a deal.

Next month, through a move by the Japanese government, which has a direct stake in locking down its own outsourced food supply, the Group of Eight most powerful countries are going to release a set of criteria to make these deals look "win-win". The words will be smooth,but people won't be fooled.
Like its predecessor, this new website contains mainly news reports,videos and audio interviews to help people track and understand whatis going on. However, its role as a public clearinghouse on otherwise secret deals will be stronger:

- The new site is open-publishing, meaning anyone can register and upload material.
- The website will contain as many land grab contracts as possible,releasing them into the public domain because the secrecy surroundingthese deals is unacceptable. (Please contact us if you have any such documents to share. Anonymity will be respected.)
- The website will serve as an active forum for debate and proposalson how to turn things around, with free and open space to write yourown piece, comment on someone else's or create new sections.

The site is updated daily, with all posts entered according to theiroriginal publication date. If you want to track updates in real time,you can subscribe to the RSS feed. If you prefer a weekly email, withthe titles of all materials posted in the last week, you can subscribeto the email service.

This land grab blog is an open project. Although currently maintained by GRAIN, anyone can join in posting materials or developing it further.
Further information:
- URL: http://farmlandgrab.org
- Email: info@farmlandgrab.org

- In October 2008, GRAIN published "Seized: The 2008 land grab for food and financial security", one of the first overall analyses of this new trend. It is available in English, French, Spanish, Arabicand Bahasa Indonesia.


- GRAIN also maintains a landgrab resource page bringing together GRAIN materials, other organisations working on the issues, andrelevant actions & events. There are also a number of land grab mapsfrom various sources. http://www.grain.org/landgrab/
GRAIN is a small international non-profit organisation that works to support small farmers and social movements in their struggles forcommunity-controlled and biodiversity-based food systems.

Click on title above to go to GRAIN site;

Posted by Rami Zurayk at 8:51 PM

Marine scientist calls for abstaining from seafood to save oceans

Jeremy Hance
June 08, 2009

Click on title above to see article;