iNPLACENEWS Blog Has MOVED

September 14, 2008

Hey everyone!  From all the staff to all the readers of our blog and the watchers of our live news programming broadcasted live over the internet directly to your desktop, we want to thank you for all your support and participatiion.  We have relocated our blog to iNPLACENEWS.COM.  There you will find all our blogs, including the old posts, your comments you made, the place to download our free desktop player and all of the current news from around the world.  Stay up-to-date on all the current events by watching our broadcasts, reading our blogs, and watching videos-on-demand.  Again, go to iNPLACENEWS.COM for all the newest blogs and the older posts you love to go back to read.  Thank you again for your time, support, and participation.

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Plastic Bottles Still Cause Major Safety Concerns

September 4, 2008

The National Toxicology Program (NTP), of the U.S. Deptartment of Health and Human Services, released a final report yesterday about the chemical compound bisphenol A (BPA), which is used in hard plastic products, including baby bottles and other baby products. The government indicates that there is still “some concern” that the plastic chemical may cause problems with development and health.

Bisphenol A is a chemical compound used in the production of polycarbonate, a type of hard plastic. The BPA chemical helps prevent the plastic from shattering, which many argue is a necessary safety feature.

In recent years, concerns have emerged about the health risk this plastic bottle chemical may pose to the general public, and particularly young children and infants who are still developing.

BPA has been suspected of having adverse effects on reproductive health as it is an estrogen agonist and mimics the action of the body’s own natural hormone, estrogen. It is also an endocrine disruptor and may cause malfunctioning of the hormonal system if the body is exposed to low doses of BPA over a long period of time.

Animal studies between 1997 and 2005 have shown changes in the genital tract, a decline in testicular testosterone, decreasing maternal behaviors and changes in breast tissue, predisposing it to carcinogens. Though these findings have not been conclusively established, it is thought that low doses of BPA absorbed into the body over a long period of time may cause chronic toxicity in humans.

The NTP report does not call for a ban of the plastics chemical, but states that further investigation and testing of BPA in human studies is needed. It rated their level of concern as “some concern”, which falls in the middle of a five level scale of concerns which ranged from “negligible concern” to “serious concern.”

Earlier this year, the FDA took a controversial position when they indicated that BPA was safe to use in feeding bottles, and that they had no reason to believe the chemical should be banned. However, the FDA is holding an advisory panel meeting of independent experts on September 16, 2008 to discuss the issue further.

There have been movements in several states to ban the use of the BPA plastic bottle chemical, and law makers in Canada announced their intention to ban BPA in baby bottles in April 2008. U.S Senator Charles Schumer (D-NY) has introduced legislation banning BPA in infant products throughout the United States. In addition, a number of large retailers, including Wal-Mart and Toys “R” Us, have stopped selling any baby bottles that contain the BPA chemical.

In June 2008, a plastic baby bottle class action lawsuit was filed against five companies who manufacture and sell baby bottles that contain BPA, including Evenflo Co., Avent America, Inc., Handicraft Co., Playtex and Gerber Novartis. The lawsuit alleges that the manufacturers failed to adequately disclose the health risks associated with the plastic bottle chemical.

Article courtesy of AboutLawsuits.com

iNPLACENEWS


The Pope Addresses the Environment and Child Molestation

July 12, 2008


Pope Benedict XVI said Saturday he wants to wake up consciences on climate change during his 10-day pilgrimage in Australia. During this trip, according to a statement given to reporters on the Papal plane, the Pope’s trip would also be to work for “healing and reconciliation with the victims” of sexual abuse by Catholic clergy there “just as I did in the United States” earlier this year.

Less than an hour after the pope’s flight took off from Rome, Benedict walked back to the section where journalists sat. He called on five journalists to ask questions that had been submitted to the Vatican earlier in the week, including one about climate change following discussions on the environment during this month’s G-8 summit in Japan.

There is a need to “wake up consciences,” the Pope responded. “We have to give impulse to rediscovering our responsibility and to finding an ethical way to change our way of life.” Benedict said that politicians and experts must be “capable of responding to the great ecological challenge and to be up to the task of this challenge.” “We have our responsibilities toward Creation,” the Pope said, stressing, however, that he had no intention of weighing in on technical or political questions swirling around climate change.

Benedict said he would address the problem of sexual abuse by Catholic clergy.

He reiterated his view that sexual abuse is “incompatible with the behavior” required of priests. At the start of his U.S. pilgrimage, Benedict had said he was “deeply ashamed” of the abuse scandal and pledged to work to make sure pedophiles do not become priests.

Benedict acknowledged that the Church in the West was “in crisis” but insisted it was not in decline. “I am an optimist” about its future, he said.

iNPLACENEWS


Couple Caught Skinny Dipping in Portland Reservoir

July 1, 2008


Two people, Ryan Langsdorf, 28, and Ashley Moyer, 23, were caught skinny dipping in a Portland reservoir. This reservoir is the main source of water for the city and was nearly closed leaving officials to almost dump millions of gallons of water.

The couple were found in the section of the Mount Tabor Reservoir not in use at about 3 a.m. Saturday during a spell of unusually hot weather. Had that section been in use, water bureau officials say they would have had to dump millions of gallons of water from that pool and possibly shut off the reservoir. They were cited for trespassing.

Earlier this year, millions of gallons of water were dumped when someone put latex paint, a construction cone and hundreds of flyers into the water.

iNPLACENEWS


Forget Endangered Species, Border Security is the Most Important

June 23, 2008


The Supreme Court on Monday turned down a plea by environmental groups to curb the Bush administration’s power to waive laws and regulations to speed construction of a fence along the U.S.-Mexican border. Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff has used his Congress-given authority to ignore environmental and other laws and regulations to move forward with hundreds of miles of fencing in Arizona, California, New Mexico and Texas. Earlier this year, Chertoff waived more than 30 laws and regulations in an effort to finish building 670 miles of fence along the southwest border. Administration officials have said that invoking the legal waivers, made possible when Congress authorized it in 1996 and 2005 laws, will cut through bureaucratic red tape and sidestep environmental laws that stand in the way of fence construction.

As of June, 13th, 2008, 331 miles of fencing have been constructed in California, Arizona, New Mexico and Texas, but this specific case involved a two-mile section of fence in the San Pedro Riparian National Conservation Area near Naco, Arizona, which has since been built.

Congressman Thompson who chairs the House Homeland Security Committee 13 other House democrats (including six other committee chairs) filed a brief in support of the environmentalists’ appeal.

Congress failed to pass comprehensive immigration reform when it had the chance in 2007.

Thompson said, “Without a comprehensive plan, this fence is just another quick fix.”

Environmentalists have said the fence puts already endangered species such as two types of wild cats – the ocelot and the jaguarundi – in even more danger. The fence would prevent them from swimming across the Rio Grande to mate.

iNPLACENEWS


Bush Urges Congress to Lift Ban on Offshore Oil Drilling

June 18, 2008

With gasoline topping $4 a gallon, President Bush urged Congress on Wednesday to lift its long-standing ban on offshore oil and gas drilling, saying the United States needs to increase its energy production. Democrats quickly rejected the idea.

“There is no excuse for delay,” the president said in a statement in the Rose Garden. With the presidential election just months away, Bush made a pointed attack on Democrats, accusing them of obstructing his energy proposals and blaming them for high gasoline costs. His proposal echoed a call by Republican presidential candidate John McCain to open the Continental Shelf for exploration

“Families across the country are looking to Washington for a response,” Bush said.

Congressional Democrats were quick to reject the push for lifting the drilling moratorium, saying oil companies already have 68 million acres offshore waters under lease that are not being developed.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi called Bush’s proposals “another page from (an)… energy policy that was literally written by the oil industry – give away more public resources.”

Sen. Barack Obama, the Democrats’ presumptive presidential nominee, rejected lifting the drilling moratorium that has been supported by a succession of presidents for nearly two decades.

“This is not something that’s going to give consumers short-term relief and it is not a long-term solution to our problems with fossil fuels generally and oil in particular,” said Obama. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, lumping Bush with McCain, accused them of staging a “cynical campaign ploy” that won’t help lower energy prices.

“Despite what President Bush, John McCain and their friends in the oil industry claim, we cannot drill our way out of this problem,” Reid said. “The math is simple: America has just three percent of the world’s oil reserves, but Americans use a quarter of its oil.”

White House spokesman Tony Fratto retorted: “Anyone out there saying that something can be done overnight, or in a matter of months, to deal with high gasoline prices is trying to fool people. There is no tool in the toolbox out there that will lower gas prices overnight, or in weeks, or probably not even in months.”

Bush said offshore drilling could yield up to 18 billion barrels of oil over time, although it would take years for production to start. Bush also said offshore drilling would take pressure off prices over time.

There are two prohibitions on offshore drilling, one imposed by Congress and another by executive order signed by Bush’s father in 1990. Bush’s brother, Jeb, fiercely opposed offshore drilling when he was governor of Florida. What the president now proposes would rescind his father’s decision – but the president took the position that Congress has to act first and then he would follow behind.

Asked why Bush doesn’t act first and lift the ban, Keith Hennessey, the director of the president’s economic council, said: “He thinks that probably the most productive way to work with this Congress is to try to do it in tandem.”

Before Bush spoke, the House Appropriations Committee postponed a vote it had scheduled for Wednesday on legislation doing the opposite of what the president asked – extending Congress’ ban on offshore drilling. Lawmakers said they wanted to focus on a disaster relief bill for the battered Midwest.

Bush also proposed opening the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge for drilling, lifting restrictions on oil shale leasing in the Green River Basin of Colorado, Utah and Wyoming and easing the regulatory process to expand oil refining capacity.

With Americans deeply pessimistic about the economy, Bush tried to put on the onus on Congress. He acknowledged that his new proposals would take years to have a full effect, hardly the type of news that will help drivers at the gas stations now. The White House says no quick fix exists.

Still, Bush said Congress was obstructing progress – and directly contributing to consumers’ pain at the pump.

“I know the Democratic leaders have opposed some of these policies in the past,” Bush said. “Now that their opposition has helped drive gas prices to record levels, I ask them to reconsider their positions.”

Bush said that if congressional leaders head home for their July 4 recess without taking action, they will need to explain why “$4 a gallon gasoline is not enough incentive for them to act. And Americans will rightly ask how high gas prices have to rise before the Democratic-controlled Congress will do something about it.”

Bush said restrictions on offshore drilling have become “outdated and counterproductive.”

In a nod to the environmental arguments against drilling, Bush said technology has come a long way. These days, he said, oil exploration off the coastline can be done in a way that “is out of sight, protects coral reefs and habitats, and protects against oil spills.”

Congressional Democrats, joined by some GOP lawmakers from coastal states, have opposed lifting the prohibition that has barred energy companies from waters along both the East and West coasts and in the eastern Gulf of Mexico for 27 years.

On Monday, McCain made lifting the federal ban on offshore oil and gas development a key part of his energy plan. McCain said states should be allowed to pursue energy exploration in waters near their coasts and get some of the royalty revenue.

Obama retorted that the Arizona senator had flip-flopped on that issue.

This story is courtesy of Associated Press

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