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Environmental Health (News)

Richmond hopes to protect 5 miles of wetlands

Submitted by News Desk on Tue, 03/03/2009 - 10:47am

The north Richmond shoreline has seen its share of blasts and explosions - from the dynamite factory, shooting range, oil refinery and a century of political fireworks.

But negotiations are under way to make the 5-mile stretch of wetlands - among the last undeveloped swaths of San Francisco Bay shoreline - a much quieter, calmer place.

Developers, city officials and park advocates are working to transform three parcels of private property into permanent open space, most likely part of the Eastshore State Park.

"We see it as inevitable, let me put it that way," said Robert Cheasty, former Albany mayor and head of Citizens for East Shore Parks. "People are finally getting it. They're seeing what this space can be. It's going to happen."

The land, a marsh that's home to egrets, herons and 15 threatened species, stretches from the West Contra Costa Sanitary Landfill, just north of the Chevron oil refinery, to Point Pinole Regional Shoreline. The Richmond Rod and Gun Club occupies the southern portion, and the rest is zoned for light industrial uses. The Giant Powder Co., which made dynamite, and the town of Giant, both now vanished, once occupied the northern end.

Water Exporters Want to End the Endangered Species Act

Submitted by News Desk on Fri, 02/13/2009 - 12:54pm

Barbara Barrigan-Parrilla, campaign director of Restore the Delta, today issued an urgent action alert today in response to the introduction of legislation to temporarily suspend the Endangered Species Act (ESA) as it applies to the California Delta pumping facilities during times of drought.

The bill will also establish a Delta Smelt conservation hatchery, a bad idea that was defeated in the State Legislature last year, due to opposition by a coalition of environmental organizations, fishing groups and Delta residents.

Serious Concerns About New Tranquillon Ridge Offshore Oil Development

Submitted by News Desk on Mon, 02/02/2009 - 11:38am

While PXP and the Environmental Defense Center on behalf of their clients had reached an agreement for new offshore oil development of Tranquillon Ridge in exchange for an end date and other oil exploration curtailing offers, I had serious concerns about approving this deal

My first concern is that the details of the agreement between PXP and the Environmental Defense Center were never available for public review.

The fate of public lands cannot be decided in contracts negotiated behind closed doors. Our coastal economy contributes more than $50 billion to the State of California, and protecting our natural resources is an essential goal that I know we all share for not just ourselves, but future generations. Because Californians have a vested interest in protecting our coast and preserving our economy, the details of this agreement must be presented to the public.

Momentum Gathers for Truly Universal Health Care

Submitted by News Desk on Mon, 01/26/2009 - 12:07pm

A new campaign was launched to make clear to policy-makers that the moment is right to embrace truly universal health care. Labor activists from 31 states gathered in St. Louis last weekend, solidifying their strategies to push "Medicare for all" -- and to oppose the half-hearted health care plans circulating in Washington.

The meeting launched Labor for Single-Payer Healthcare, a campaign whose reform would cut the insurance industry out of health care and expand an improved Medicare system to everyone.

The single-payer concept has been endorsed by 39 state AFL-CIO federations, 100 central labor councils, and more than 400 local unions.

Richmond plans threaten Point Isabel

Submitted by News Desk on Mon, 01/19/2009 - 11:25pm

RICHMOND'S PLANNING Commission voted to rezone Point Isabel to accommodate a Kohl's department store with 400 parking spaces. Local developer Oliver Construction, who owns the land, has already vacated the stores and offices on the corner of Central Avenue and Rydin Road. There is constant traffic from Costco and USPS trucks. The dog-park lots are often full. Hundreds of people daily use the area for hiking, cycling, dog walking and bird watching. There are thousands during weekends.

Green Worker Cooperatives

Submitted by News Desk on Mon, 01/12/2009 - 11:13am

Making business healthy and profitable in the South Bronx
When environmentalists approach poor communities of color, often the first impression they make isn’t very promising. “The mainstream environmental movement is full of rich, white people who try to tell people of color what to do,” says Omar Freilla, the founder of Green Worker Cooperatives, a grassroots, green enterprise in the South Bronx.

Cancer at 23: How Health Insurance Failed Me

Submitted by News Desk on Fri, 10/17/2008 - 12:04pm

I had a job and health insurance when I got sick, but my claim was denied. And that was just the beginning.

"I'm too young for this," I thought. It wasn't the first time that those words had crossed my mind in the past few months. I thought it when I was diagnosed with advanced thyroid cancer. I thought it when the company I was working for began facing financial problems and my paychecks were bouncing. I thought it when I learned I would be dependent on a prescription drug every day for the rest of my life. And I thought it again when I got the bill. In spite of having insurance, I had been billed in full for my surgery and two nights in the hospital. The total was $20,759.89. I was 23 years old.


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