Friday, September 28, 2012

Pets Share Our Environment and Our Diseases

by Lindsey Konkel of Environmental Health News
Fri, Sep 28, 2012 at 9:26 AM

When Janet Riordan returned home from a European vacation in January, she expected a storm of tail wagging and barking from her seven-year-old golden retriever, Reggie. The moment she saw him, she knew something was wrong. “He came to me in my arms and appeared to be sobbing. I had never seen an animal behave like that,” said Riordan, who lives in Mequon, a suburb of Milwaukee, Wisconsin.

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Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Jane Brunner Has 'Some Brass'

by Robert Gammon
Tue, Sep 25, 2012 at 10:00 AM

Last year, several Oakland councilmembers put forward a plan to make the city attorney an appointed position. It was clear at the time that the council intended to keep City Attorney Barbara Parker in her job. Parker has earned a reputation over the years as being both an excellent lawyer and a consummate professional. Councilmembers also knew that one of their colleagues, Councilwoman Jane Brunner, planned to run against Parker if the city attorney remained an elected position. Although Brunner also is a lawyer, she is known better for being a career politician and prodigious fund-raiser.

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Pregnant Women Near Urban Green Spaces Breathe Easier

by Virginia T. Guidry of Environmental Health News
Tue, Sep 25, 2012 at 9:07 AM

Pregnant women who live in city neighborhoods with more grass and trees were exposed to lower levels of particulate air pollution than pregnant women with little vegetation around their homes, according to a study from Barcelona, Spain. Exposures were lower even when the women spent more time outside. The conclusions are important because exposure to traffic-related air pollution during pregnancy can affect fetal development and health at birth. These can include low birth weight, heart deformities, and infant mortality.

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Friday, September 21, 2012

Kids Exposed to Mercury or Lead More Likely to Have ADHD Symptoms

by Marla Cone of Environmental Health News
Fri, Sep 21, 2012 at 9:41 AM

Children exposed to higher levels of mercury or lead are three to five times more likely to be identified by teachers as having problems associated with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder, according to a scientific study published today. The study — of Inuit children living in Arctic Quebec — is the first to find a high rate of attention-deficit symptoms in children highly exposed to mercury in the womb. In addition, the Inuit children more often had hyperactivity symptoms if they were exposed to the same low levels of lead commonly found in young US children.

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Thursday, September 20, 2012

After Controversy, AC Transit Picks New Security Firm

by J. Douglas Allen-Taylor
Thu, Sep 20, 2012 at 3:16 PM

The AC Transit Board of Directors reversed itself and ignored a staff recommendation at its regular board meeting this week, awarding a $6.5 million five year security contract to Cypress Private Security of San Francisco after the agency acknowledged it had improperly approved the contract of Securitas USA of Walnut Creek in July.

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Tuna Served in Public Schools Contains Excessive Mercury

by Brett Israel of Environmental Health News
Thu, Sep 20, 2012 at 9:59 AM

Canned albacore tuna purchased by US schools contains more mercury than what government officials have reported, raising the risks for some tuna-loving kids, according to a new study from a coalition of advocacy groups. Children who eat two medium servings of albacore, or white, tuna per week could be exposed to as much as six times the dose that federal guidelines consider safe, according to the report prepared for the Mercury Policy Project. It is the first study to test the mercury content of tuna brands purchased by schools.

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Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Public-Service Announcement: Our Most Popular Stories Box Is Down

by Ellen Cushing
Wed, Sep 19, 2012 at 3:37 PM

i.e., that little box thingy in the righthand column about halfway down the page. Our tech dudes are working on it; in the meantime, DON'T PANIC.

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Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Judge May Not Let Cops’ Union Intervene

by Robert Gammon
Tue, Sep 18, 2012 at 9:31 AM

The Oakland police union is attempting to intervene in a court process that could lead to OPD becoming the first department in the nation to be put in federal receivership. Attorney Michael Rains, who represents the union, is asserting in court papers that the police union should be involved because a federal receiver likely would have the power to discipline Oakland cops involved in misconduct.

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UPDATED: Berkeley Schools Superintendent Candidate Withdraws

by Robert Gammon
Tue, Sep 18, 2012 at 9:03 AM

Updated 9/18 9:03 a.m.: Edmond Heatley, the embattled applicant for Berkeley schools superintendent, has withdrawn his candidacy for the job. Heatley had come under intense fire from Berkeley activists, in part, for his role in the passage of a pro-Prop 8 measure in the Chino school district when he was the superintendent there.

Heately's announcement further confirmed that the Berkeley school board had failed to fully vet the leading candidate for superintendent of Berkeley Unified. Berkeleyside was first to report the connections that Heatley, who had been the sole finalist for the superintendent’s position, had with the pro-Prop 8 resolution in Chino.

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