We Demand that the U. S. Senate not confirm Andrew Puzder as Secretary of Labor
Andrew Puzder is among Trump's more controversial Cabinet picks because he has publicly opposed the overtime rule and various other Department of Labor regulations, and because the fast-food industry, from which Puzder hails, is a top wage-theft enforcement target at the department. Puzder is CEO of CKE Restaurants, which includes Carl’s Jr. and Hardee's. It’s actually very hard to imagine a worse choice for Labor Secretary than Andy Puzder. The Labor Secretary’s job is to look out for American workers. Trump's Labor nominee has opposed increasing the federal minimum wage from $7.25 an hour to $10.10 an hour and efforts to expand eligibility for overtime pay. It would be kind of funny if it wasn’t so serious. During the election, Trump made a lot of promises to create good jobs. But he’s filling his cabinet with CEOs and right-wing billionaires who have spent their lives undermining working people’s rights to come together in unions, while fighting minimum wage increases, paid sick leave and family leave policies. The evidence clearly demonstrates that protecting the rights of the people who work at Puzder’s company or its franchisees doesn't seem to be his priority. Puzder has run a business model that has produced widespread labor abuses at the companies. According to data compiled by Bloomberg BNA, over the previous seven years, about 60 percent of all Labor Department investigations of Carl's Jr. Restaurants found violations of the Fair Labor Standards Act. While working people at his fast food chains sometimes were making below minimum wage, Puzder was taking big compensation packages. In 2012, he made 291 times as much as workers at his restaurants. Now, he could be in charge of enforcing our nation’s labor laws—from ensuring workplace safety to investigating wage theft. His companies had the fourth highest incidents of wage theft reported to the government. ‘Wage theft is a rampant, everyday problem in the fast-food industry: Nearly nine out of 10 fast-food workers across the country report having money stolen from their paychecks by their boss,’ Kendall Fells, the Fight for $15 national organizing director, told Bloomberg BNA via e-mail. Bloomberg reported. “Fells referred to a 2014 poll commissioned by the campaign of more than 1,000 fast-food workers nationwide. The survey documented such common worker complaints as being forced to perform tasks before clocking in or after clocking out, having the cost of uniforms deducted from their paychecks, and not receiving breaks during long shifts.” Puzder’s Carl’s Jr. restaurant chain also has a history of sexist television. He thinks it’s appropriate to peddle sex to kids if it sells the product. “We believe in putting hot models in our commercials, because ugly ones don’t sell burgers,” said the CEO in a 2011 press release, according to Fortune. “We target hungry guys, and we get young kids that want to be young hungry guys.” Let’s target Puzder’s nomination instead. Just Say No Puzder at Labor. This petition will be delivered to the full Senate and to the Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions Committee of the U.S. Senate
No on HJ69/SJ18: killing wolf pups in dens, hibernating bears, stealjaw toe traps on bears
Tell your Senator and President Trump to vote NO on H.J. 69/S.J. Res. 18! 225 heartless House Members voted to overturn a federal rule – years in the works, and crafted by professional wildlife managers at the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service – to stop some of the most appalling practices ever imagined in the contemporary era of wildlife management. Denning of wolf pups, killing hibernating bears, spotting grizzly bears from aircraft and then shooting them after landing, and trapping grizzly bears and black bears with steel-jawed leghold traps and snares. The stuff of wildlife snuff films. And not just on any land. On our country’s national wildlife refuges. More specifically, on 16 national wildlife refuges covering 76 million acres, all in the state of Alaska. In this case, Alaska has a bloodthirsty Board of Game, whose members enthusiastically implement a draconian policy called “Intensive Management.” That policy dictates that state managers drive down wolf, bear, and coyote numbers to boost caribou and moose numbers for hunters — turning Alaska’s wildlife refuges into what retired Arctic National Wildlife biologist Fran Mauer calls “game farms” — the very thing the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service acted to stop through a rigorous, science-based, and legal federal rulemaking process that was overturned by today’s vote. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service shouldn’t run refuges like game farms, as Alaskan officials want to do. Only the U.S. Senate and President Trump can now stop this unwinding of a decision by a professional wildlife management agency. Please contact your U.S. Senators and tell them to steer clear of a disgraceful resolution, and to honor limits in the conduct of wildlife policy in the United States of America. From the Humane Society (http://blog.humanesociety.org/wayne/2017/02/u-s-house-sanctions-killing-hibernating-bears-wolf-pups-dens-federal-refuges-alaska.html
Together we can help fight a disease impacting sickle cell trait carriers
My name is Cora Connor and I am writing you on behalf of the estimated 3.1 million Americans affected by Sickle Cell Trait, a common blood disorder, affecting more than three hundred million people worldwide. Individuals with this disorder only carry one defective gene and generally live normal lives. These individuals are at risk for kidney injury, as recently recognized by the NCAA, and other illness. Many people (Sickle Cell Trait carriers, family members, and even physicians) are unaware that there is a rare form of kidney cancer associated with sickle cell trait, called renal medullary carcinoma (RMC). Renal medullary carcinoma is a very aggressive form of kidney cancer and is almost exclusively seen in young African Americans, under the age of 30. The prognosis of these young patients is dismal. Typical survival is under 12 months. Renal medullary carcinoma was first discovered in 1995, but between 1995 and 2012, only 240 cases were reported to The North American Association of Central Cancer Registries (NAACCR). There are a number of areas of concern with regard to this cancer: We need to determine the true prevalence of RMC. Because we lack national health policy that reinforces education about sickle cell trait, many patients do not know their status, or their risk. Without standard screening tests, early detection is almost impossible. There has never been research funding for RMC, so treatment options are limited. Furthermore, most physicians are not familiar with the disease and lack knowledge to deal with this cancer effectively. When patients are able to reach doctors that have RMC expertise, they are usually out of state and many insurance plans will not allow their patients to leave the state of residence, even if there are no local options. This is particularly true for Medicaid covered children and young adults. As a result, many people are denied the option to receive expert care. We have assembled a multidisciplinary focus group, initially through support from The William Guy Forbeck Research Foundation, with physicians, scientists, and lay participant advocates from across the United States, Europe and the Middle East. The goal of this focus group is to begin to raise awareness and to elevate the research for RMC. We are appealing to the National Institutes of Health (NIH) to promote renal medullary carcinoma research, awareness and disease intervention initiatives across the United States. We need to educate the public, as well as health care providers, about sickle cell trait and renal medullary carcinoma. We also need to launch a screening program and create a registry for this disease in order for health care providers to work collaboratively, nationally and internationally, to treat this disease and bridge the gap that currently exists in meeting the health care needs of the individuals suffering from this disease. Thank you for your time and consideration. Respectfully, Cora Connor
Tripp Rabon's Law
South Carolina roads are literally killing people. No more meetings, audits, reports, or studies—it’s time to take action. No matter where you live, will you please join us in our fight for justice and safety for all? A quick visit to the official South Carolina Tourism website paints a picture perfect image of South Carolina. The simple slogan, “South Carolina—Just Right” is displayed prominently in the upper left hand corner of the website for all visitors to clearly see. What isn’t “Just Right” about South Carolina, however, is the condition of many roads across the state. On December 23, 2015, Glenn Forrest Rabon, Jr., better known as Tripp, was killed suddenly in a car accident ultimately caused by a flooded roadway on Highway 64 (SR 64) in Colleton County. The condition of the road was known and reported on multiple occasions, yet neglected countless times by the South Carolina Department of Transportation (SCDOT). Tripp was a senior in high school. He was an honor student and athlete with plans to attend Clemson University in the fall of 2016; but above all, he was a beloved son, brother, and a friend to all he encountered. His time on Earth was cut short due to no fault of his own—only the hazardous conditions of the South Carolina roads were to blame. Sadly, South Carolina is among the top 5 states in the nation for car crash fatalities due to unsafe conditions on the road. In fact, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration recently released a report (July 2016) illustrating that traffic deaths in 2015 were at an all-time high—a shocking 7.7 percent nationwide. Furthermore, there were 154 more fatal car crashes in 2015 than there were in 2014; that’s 977 fatalities total. Let that sink in for a moment—977 car crash fatalities in 2015. That’s an increase of 16 percent, or in other words, a fact that shows driving has proved to be almost twice as deadly for South Carolina drivers as opposed to drivers throughout the rest of the country. Interestingly, SCDOT is currently advertising and advocating for “a vision to zero traffic fatalities”, echoing the idea that “the road to zero starts with you [the driver]”. While safe driving is a responsibility that should be respected and practiced by all participants, the “Target Zero” safety initiative fails to address what the driver cannot control—the physical condition of the road itself. But together, as one voice, we can change this unsettling fact. Fatal traffic accidents, like the one that took Tripp’s precious life, can realistically be avoided. The goal of this movement is to enact legislation to implement a way to prioritize projects that promote transportation safety across the state. It is notable that only months ago (September 2016), the SCDOT Commissioners approved $23,000,000 to be used for beautification projects across the state instead of allotting the money to roadways in dire need of repair. It is the hope of Tripp’s family and friends that passing TRIPP’s Law will ultimately make South Carolina safer, and thus, save the lives of others before it is too late. TRIPP’s Law will require SCDOT to make use of advanced technology to create an online, up-to-the-minute-report, which will utilize both public and government input of reported, unsafe road conditions. The law will require a prioritized repair report called, TRIPP’s Report, which similarly will use past and present road conditions. It will likewise include recent repairs (completed or pending) and show statistics (such as accidents, fatalities, 911 calls, public repair requests, etc.) in real time. Anyone that knew Tripp would say, without a shadow of a doubt, Tripp was put on this Earth to make the lives of others better. Please help us continue to promote Tripp’s legacy of kindness and his willingness to help others by both signing and sharing this petition to protect and inform drivers who travel in South Carolina about crash and repair reports for SC roadways. Together, we can come together to advocate for safer South Carolina roadways so we can save lives! Anyone who is willing and feels he or she would be of substantial help to the cause, TRIPP’s Law, is encouraged to contact Tripp’s sister, Emily, at TrippRabonsLaw@gmail.com These facts and more can be found on the following websites: http://counton2.com/investigative-story/news-2-i-team-new-details-uncovered-in-death-of-shs-teen/ http://www.nhtsa.gov/Data http://www.thestate.com/news/local/crime/article89560862.html http://www.dot.state.sc.us/inside/internal_auditor/reports.aspx
Senator Tim Scott and Senator Lindsey Graham Town Hall Meeting Request
Constituents of Tim Scott and Lindsey Graham would like to request a town hall meeting to discuss a variety of issues including: - Repeal/replacement of the Affordable Care Act -National Security Council - Pursuing sanctions against Russia for election interference -EPA and preservation of current federal park lands and forests - Gun control -Senator Scott's and Senator Graham's logic and argument for affirming controversial cabinet appointment Betsy DeVos as Secretary of Education and Jeff Sessions as Attorney General. A town hall meeting would give you the opportunity to communicate with your constituents in larger numbers, and would grant us the opportunity to clearly understand your positions and to voice our own concerns. We would like to schedule this meeting as soon as possible. Thank you, Residents of South Carolina
Help Paralyzed Woman Receive All Benefits to Keep Independence
I was 7 years old when I was paralyzed in a car accident. Through recovery and rehab, I fought and continue to fight to lead a normal, independent life, pursuing the same life goals any young woman wants; graduate, go to college, find love, marry, buy a home, have a family and have a career. Nine years ago I had no option but to undergo several risky operations that failed, which left me in a much worse situation. I deal daily with chronic pain, a surgical opening, and surgical hardware exposed. I am in a painful and risky situation that makes it difficult to have any kind of quality life and prevents me from working like I did before the surgeries. However, through it all, I persist to not lose hope or my independence, continuing to live on my own and fight to be the productive member of society I strive to be. I graduated with great grades, worked, paid my own way through college, but my savings quickly diminished, making me unable to complete my degree and SSI not enough to pay the bills. I still only have SSI as an income and it's not enough, I take out of my savings every month to pay living expenses. I soon won't have savings to keep renting or to buy a home; the hope I had for my savings to go towards. And until my doctors can form the best surgical plan, my only option to work would be from home. With this limitation, it's hard to find a trustworthy and well paying job. SSI also retracts from my already unsubstantial check when I make a certain amount of money working. I'm asking for your signature to plea with my government officials to help inform me of all programs and benefits I qualify for that would help me financially, and help me to enroll for such benefits. This will get me to a place in my life where I can provide for myself, be able to afford my home, car and education. I don't want to just collect a check, live off of Social Security. I'm not asking for handouts, just help from every avenue I qualify for that get me on the best path to a better income to and the life I've fought for. I need benefits to help pay for my care as well; I don't want to end up in a care facility, my health worsen, or give up on my dreams after all my hard work. Please help me have a voice to those who can make a difference, who can direct me to assistance, programs and fiannces, providing me enough of an income to live independently with my disability and it's restrictions. Everyone deserves independence. Please help me get the income that saves me mine. Thank you.
SAY NO to offshore drilling on South Carolina's pristine coast
DON'T PUT OUR PRISTINE SOUTH CAROLINA COAST AT RISK SAY "NO" to Off Shore drilling on South Carolina's beautiful coast! Sign this petition to tell Gov. Haley, Sen. Scott, & Sen. Graham "NO TO OFFSHORE DRILLING". When you look out across the horizon from South Carolina beaches, you won't see any oil rigs. Beaufort, SC mayor Billy Keyserling worries that could change, affecting marine life and our life on land. Read below to learn why offshore drilling isn't worth putting our coast at risk. Impact on marine life Concerns over new drilling amount to more than just a worry about spills. To find potential oil reserve researchers send seismic waves into the ground. The waves bounce back to reveal the buried topography and can hint at a possible reserve. But seismic noise disorientates whales and leads to mass beachings, said Richard Charter, a government relations consultant for the Defenders of Wildlife Action Fund. Laboratory experiments attempting to pin down the impact of seismic waves on wildlife often must rely on caged animals, which raises questions about whether the animals would have fled and avoided ear damage if they could have, note Robert McCauley and colleagues in The Journal of the Acoustical Society of America. However, Andy Radford, a policy advisor at the American Petroleum Institute, isn’t worried. "[We] make sure there are no whales in the area when we are doing our seismic search," Radford said. Several weeks ago, ExxonMobil suspended exploration near Madagascar because more than 100 whales had beached themselves. Ultimately, the seismic tests only help geologists make educated guesses. "You never know until you drill," said Eric Potter, associate director of the Bureau of Economic Geology at the University of Texas at Austin. The usual outcome is failure, Potter said, sending wildcatters back to the seismic drawing board. Questions on land too There are also questions about the impacts on land. Radford described advances that reduce oil drilling’s environmental footprint. For instance, oil companies are now able to drain several oil fields from one platform. And new horizontal drilling techniques allow more oil to be extracted from a single well. Major infrastructure – such as roads, jet landing strips, repair shops, homes and industrial complexes – is, of course, still necessary and could disturb wildlife that is accustomed to pristine land, said Charles Clusen, director of National Parks and Alaska Projects for the Natural Resources Defense Council. Similar concerns about wildlife arose before construction of the Alaskan Pipeline, built in the 1970s. "But there hasn't really been any effect on the wildlife; they congregate near the pipeline and it doesn't seem to bother them," said UT's Eric Potter. I don't know about you, but a giant industrial pipe would be so ugly and totally ruin a beautiful view! Do we really want that on our coast? However, any development of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge (ANWR) for drilling, as President Bush has long advocated for, could have a greater impact. Polar bears, caribou and other animals trek across this unique area to give birth, said Clusen. Birth is the most vulnerable time in a species’ life cycle and disrupting it will lead to diminished populations, he explained. The true overall environmental impact of oil drilling is hard to gauge, due to the paucity of baseline studies, said Jeff Short, a supervisory researcher for the U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). In the wild, most animals quickly flush PAH, a toxin associated with oil wells, from their bodies — which is why PAH rarely concentrates in the food web and is of minimal risk to humans. The animal’s justifiably panicked immune response to PAH can cause cancer — especially if the animal is exposed continually by, say, living near an oil platform, explained Short. As for human populations, many coastal communities depend on tourism and fishing — both of which may be affected by off-shore drilling by increased development, pollution and disruption of marine life habitats. The Coastal Conservation League warns that just one spill, like the BP Deep Water Horizon disaster in the Gulf, could decimate tourism and fishing industries. They say that spill cost $23 billion in tourism damage over a three year span there. Spills and transportation Clusen says there are 300 to 500 spills every year, a number which will grow with increased production. "And once you have a spill, you are pretty much screwed," NOAA's Short said. That's because oil spreads on water at a rate of one-half a football field per second. Recovery can take decades. After 20 years of natural weathering, Prince William Sound — the area affected by the Exxon-Valdez spill — appears completely recovered to the casual observer, said Short, but animals high up on the food chain are just now starting to re-colonize. Even a perfectly functioning oil well is a cause of concern due to "produced water," explained Short. Produced water — which rises with oil and contains environmental toxins such as polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAH) — is usually tossed overboard. At high concentrations, the contaminants are lethal to marine life. At lower concentrations, according to lab experiments, they can cause birth defects, impaired growth and skewed sex ratios. Prices at the pump Estimates for the output of drilling sites can only accurately be given in very large ranges, Potter explained. For example, the Energy Information Administration predicts ANWR could produce between 1.9 and 4.3 billion barrels of oil, and that might not do much for our pocketbooks. In 2007, the United States consumed 7.5 billion barrels, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA).In the best-case scenarios, said Clusen, "we're talking lowering the price of gas by three cents, 20 years from now." Offshore drilling poses too big of a risk to our beautiful coastline, marine life, lifestyle, and economy. All information above shared from: http://www.livescience.com/4979-oil-drilling-risks-rewards.html http://www.wsav.com/story/26585284/beaufort-mayor-asks-residents-to-write-lawmakers-on-off-shore-drilling?utm_source=County+Passes+Bailey+Bill,+Drilling,+Rising+Tides+,+Funny+video,+worthy+causes+a&utm_campaign=Billy+Keyserling&utm_medium=email KNOW YOUR NUMBERS, ECONOMICS of OFFSHORE DRILLING IN SC Offshore oil and gas development could potentially create some jobs for our state, however it also creates large liabilities in terms of oil and gas pollution. As demonstrated by the BP Deepwater Horizon accident of 2010, even one spill can decimate tourism and fishing industries. The US Travel Association estimates that the BP spill caused $23 billion in tourism impacts over a three-year span for Gulf Coast states. That doesn’t include the impacts to coastal real estate and the region’s fisheries. Considering South Carolina’s economic reliance on tourism (over 175,000 jobs and $19.3 billion in annual economic output), which is directly dependent on our pristine coastal resources and quality of life, it simply doesn’t make economic or environmental sense to pursue offshore drilling. Economics SC Board of Economic Advisors (2009) - Given the relatively low amount of potential resources off our shores and the environmental sensitivity of our coastline there does not seem to be much incentive to drilling off South Carolina at current prices. Energy Information Administration (2007 under George W. Bush) - The projections in the OCS (outer continental shelf) access case indicate that access to the Pacific, Atlantic, and eastern Gulf regions would not have a significant impact on domestic crude oil and natural gas production or prices before 2030. Because oil prices are determined on the international market, however, any impact on average wellhead prices is expected to be insignificant. SC Department of Commerce (2008) - Offshore natural gas drilling will not likely have a significant, direct economic impact in terms of new jobs and capital investment in SC. A.P. Statistical Analysis (2012) - American oil production is about 11 percent of the world's output, so even if the U.S. were to increase its oil production by 50 percent -- that is more than drilling in the Arctic, increased public-lands and offshore drilling, and the Canadian pipeline would provide -- it would at most cut gas prices by 10 percent. There are not many markets where the United States can't impose its will on market outcomes. This is one we can't, and it's hard for the average American to understand that and it's easy for politicians to feed off that. Recent Pro-Drilling Studies A number of recent studies focused on the potential for offshore drilling to create jobs and generate economic output have resulted in disparate estimates of what South Carolina could expect from the oil and gas industry within our borders. Only one of these studies attempts to quantify the environmental costs associated with oil spills and pollution. The most recent study from the Interstate Policy Council (IPC) found the largest potential benefits by a wide margin, while also considering the costs of some environmental impacts. A closer look reveals serious flows in this analysis. Flaws in the IPC Study The report assumes a revenue sharing system that does not exist for the Atlantic. It assumes the same system that is in place in the Gulf of Mexico where states receive 37.5% of lease sale and royalties payments. There is no law on the books now that provides for this system. - Although the report includes comparisons of certain cost/benefit scenarios, it ignores other less optimistic scenarios (it only matches up low production/low environmental impacts, medium production/medium environmental impacts, and high production/high environmental impacts) -A low production/high impacts scenario for SC would result in 2.4x the costs to benefits - The report also fails to consider the economic impact of accidents on tourism, real estate, and fisheries. The environmental impacts considered are for air pollution and oil spill clean up costs. - The report presents technically recoverable resources rather than current estimates for economically recoverable oil and gas resources. - For example, for the aggregate of the states in this analysis, the economically recoverable oil and gas is over 50% lower than what this the IPC study presents, thereby doubling the oil and gas estimates. - For South Carolina and Georgia, the economically recoverable oil and gas is estimated to be over 70% lower than the technically recoverable resource. - The IPC study also assumes a multiplier of around 2 to over inflate resource estimates. This multiplier is arbitrarily applied to the Atlantic based on some historical under-estimates of resources in the Gulf of Mexico. - Based on the points above, this study artificially quadruples the oil and gas estimates, which quadruples the benefits to drilling. - The report ignores other environmental impacts such as those from seismic testing and exploratory drilling. Overview of Recent Studies - Interstate Policy Council (2014) - 2035: 16,597 additional jobs - $14.5 billion in economic output - Miley & Associates (2012) - 2030: 7,485 additional jobs - $2.2 billion in economic output - Wood Mackenzie (2011) - 2030: 6,799 additional jobs - $481 mill in total government annual revenue In the IPC Study, a low production/high environmental impacts scenario for South Carolina would result in 2.4x the costs to benefits. SEISMIC TESTING Will Atlantic Ocean Oil Prospecting Silence Endangered Right Whales? Companies have been cleared to seek seismic noise permits in the Atlantic, but ocean researchers fear for whales Whales talk. But what makes them stop talking? Scientists have long known that the marine mammals use creaks, groans, growls, and buzzes to communicate with each other—often over long distances—to find food, and even for mothers to keep track of their calves.But what happens when the watery echosphere of their communication is filled with a drumbeat of undersea booms? To the dismay of some who study whales, they may soon find out. The Obama administration this month gave the go-ahead for oil and gas companies to seek permits to use seismic noise cannons to map the Atlantic Ocean off the East Coast, to prepare for possible drilling after 2017. Drilling companies already have carved up a target zone from Delaware to Cape Canaveral, Florida. The permits will allow their ships to crisscross the area dragging an array of cannons that erupt with a shock wave of sound every 10 to 15 seconds. The sound travels to the seafloor, enters the substrate, and bounces back to receivers on the ships. From the seismic pattern of those bounces, the companies' geologists can make some good guesses about the location of gas and oil deposits under the ocean floor. May Silence Whales But some scientists believe the sonic booms will be a deafening cacophony to whales and dolphins, and may prompt them to stop communicating with one another. "This is going to add more noise to the already huge problem whales are dealing with—man-made noise in the ocean," said Sofie Van Parijs, who studies acoustics for the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's Northeast Fisheries Science Center at Woods Hole, Massachusetts. "The long-term effects are not easily observed or clear," she said. "They may not hear each other as well, find each other, find mates. Socializing, breeding, and foraging may be affected." The whales may just clam up. Douglas Nowacek, an associate professor of conservation technology at the Duke University Marine Lab in Beaufort, North Carolina, has studied whale behavior in the Gulf of Mexico, where seismic cannons are used extensively for seabed mapping. In 2000, he and other researchers set off sonic cannons in a relatively quiet area of the Gulf and recorded the reactions of sperm whales. Those whales use what he calls "buzzes" to home in on fish at depths of 1,300 to 2,000 feet (400 to 600 meters), and especially to nab their favorite snack of giant squid. When the scientists fired the cannons, "we saw the sperm whales tended to reduce the numbers of eco-buzzes. The rate of buzzes dropped off," he said. If the cannons cut down on their feeding success, that's not good for the whales, he noted. Singing Patterns Changed This behavior was similar to that of humpback whales in the Mediterranean. Faced with noise interference, the whales changed their singing patterns over long periods, Nowacek said. The researchers are particularly concerned about the majestic North Atlantic right whale. The right whales' documented response to sudden noises is to shoot for the surface, and then remain just under water. "That's a terrible place for right whales to be," said Michael Jasny, director of the marine mammal protection program for the Natural Resources Defense Council. Faced with noise interference, the whales changed their singing patterns over long periods, Nowacek said. When they hover just under the surface, the whales are vulnerable to becoming aquatic road kill for the ships that do not see the animals. The species was nearly extinguished by whalers, who found that their thick blubber and propensity to float near the surface made them the "right whale" to hunt. The ban on commercial whaling in 1986 has helped other species rebound, but the North Atlantic right whale has struggled. Because it is often near the surface, its biggest threat now is ships. Only about 500 of the whales remain, and scientists keep meticulous track of them. They scour the waters to monitor the whales, and keep careful photo records of each known whale, often identified by the scars from the animal's encounters with propellers or bruises from hull strikes. "It's critical to understand that the ocean is an acoustic world," Jasny said. "Many species—whales, dolphins, fish, invertebrates—depend on their hearing, and the ability to be heard, for survival and to reproduce. "Air-gun surveys put out more noise than any other human source short of dynamite," he said. "Human noise can destroy the ability of right whales to communicate. If the whales are silent, then that means they are unable to feed cooperatively, unable to find mates. A silent whale is, for all intents and purposes, blind." Another Viewpoint But those predictions of grave effects on whales are rejected by the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM). "I think those assertions are wildly exaggerated and not supported by the evidence," William Y. Brown, BOEM's chief environmental officer, said in an interview. The agency issued the decision July 18 allowing drilling companies to take the first steps toward exploration of the East Coast waters, a move promised by President Barack Obama in 2010 but delayed by the Deepwater Horizon spill in the Gulf of Mexico. The real question is ... whether it disrupts them in a way that makes them move away from food or disrupts breeding. "The real question is whether [whales] are just hearing a noise and turning around, or whether it disrupts them in a way that makes them move away from food or disrupts breeding," Brown said. "There's just no evidence that happens." The bureau, part of the Department of the Interior, insists it has taken every precaution. To help "mitigate" the seismic blasts, BOEM ordered that mappers must watch and listen for whales, motor slowly and stop if a whale comes near, avoid right whale breeding grounds in the spring, and take other measures. Critics said those steps are too meager. The American Petroleum Institute, on the other hand, complains they are unneeded. "Operators already take great care to protect wildlife, and the best science and decades of experience prove that there is no danger to marine mammal populations," the oil industry association said in a statement. A federal environmental impact statement released in February asserted most impacts to sea life would be "negligible or minor, and no major impacts were identified." The Atlantic area involved contains some thousands of species, including 39 mammal species, seven of them endangered: the humpback, sperm, fin, blue, sei, and right whales and the West Indian manatee, according to the environmental impact statement. "We should be concerned about effects of sound on marine mammals and make sure it doesn't hurt them," Brown said. "But I am pretty sure the overall noise level in the Atlantic will only be incrementally affected by these surveys. There are orders of magnitude more noise from vessel traffic." Whales vs. Ships Scientists already have seen a dramatic, if tragic, demonstration that shipping traffic is weighing on the whales. Susan Parks, an assistant professor of biology at Syracuse University in New York who studies whale acoustics, and Rosalind Rolland of the New England Aquarium in Boston, who studies stress hormones in right whales, were working on September 11, 2001, the day of the terrorist attacks on New York and Washington, D.C. Scientists already have seen a dramatic, if tragic, demonstration that shipping traffic is weighing on the whales. When the world's ships docked for a week following the attacks, the seas went quiet and the stress-level indicators "showed a dramatic drop that we haven't seen any other years," she said. The finding showed that the whales are much more affected by human behavior than we might have thought, Parks said. "We just really don't know what it's going to do, but we know these are endangered species that are going to be put in harm's way," she said. Doug Struck is a veteran journalist and teaches at Emerson College in Boston. article via http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/2014/08/140811-seismic-science-endangered-right-whale-atlantic-oil-ocean What other cities on the east coast have opposed seismic testing? Click or copy & paste the link below to see! http://oceana.org/en/our-work/climate-energy/seismic-airgun-blasting/overview Offshore drilling poses too big of a risk to our beautiful coastline, marine life, lifestyle, and economy. Once the rigs are erected, they cannot be taken down. Sign this petition to tell Gov. Haley, Sen. Scott, & Sen. Graham "NO TO OFFSHORE DRILLING", you can make a difference!
After serving 24 years in prison, Michael deserves a second chance. Asking for appeal!
Mike is 44 and has served 24 years in prison for self defense. Mike is the one that called the police right away and told them what happened. He had a court appointed lawyer that did not defend him. Mike told him every single detail of that day and the time leading up to that day and his lawyer withheld that information. He told Mike to plead guilty and take a deal. He was only 20. He was young and scared and thought his lawyer knew what to do. Mike is a model inmate. He hasn't had any charges since 2003. He gave his heart to the Lord over 7 years ago and preaches at the prison every week. All of the guards, the Chaplin, and many others that know him say that he is a good man, no danger to society, there is absolutely no reason for him to be kept there, and he should be set free. He has taken class after class, and has been working in prison industries for 13 years. Mike went up for a parole hearing on Oct 25th and was denied once again. The board was very quick and didn't let him present his case. All we are asking for is another hearing where the facts, letters, and accomplishments can be heard. I believe in this man 100%. Even the other inmates heard that day were in and out of there within 2-3 minutes. They all deserve a fair hearing and for their time spent in prison, their accomplishments, and their disiplinanary records to be looked at and considered. There are many innocent men and women in prison. Even if they did The crime, nature and seriousness of the crime will never, ever change! The Bible says forgive 70x7. Everybody makes mistakes and in God's eyes, they are all the same. Prison is overcrowded and the good, reformed men and women should get out. They all deserve a second chance. Parole is not entitled, but earned so the ones that have earned it deserve a chance. Please join me in signing this petition.
Upgrade charges from CDV H&A to Attempted Murder 1st degree
On February 7th, 2015 at 4:30 Horry County Police Department responded to a call at Sandy Monkey Bar and Grill. Michelle Messer was attending a function and had no idea her ex-boyfriend would also be attending. Mrs. Messer went to her vehicle in the parking lot where she was brutally attacked by Christopher Brian Campbell. The suspect beat Mrs. Messer furiously all over her body then BIT a piece of her nose off. He then told Mrs. Messer that he would then have to kill her so no one knew what he had done. Mrs. Messer was able to open her car door and attempted to escape. While bleeding profusely she only made it to the front of her car where she lost conciousness. The suspect then proceeded to kick her in the stomach while she was passed out, in view of approximately 20 onlookers. When the police arrived Christopher Campbell was still in the parking lot talking on his cell phone covered in the victims blood. He was advised to get on the ground and when he would not he was tazed into compliance. He was then said to have told the officer, "if I had a gun, I would have shot you in the head". Christopher Brian Campbell is no stranger to law enforcement. At the time of the incident he was out on $75,000 bond for the murder of Thomas Edward Unrue, Jr on February 9th 2013 - two years from this attack. Campbell is now at J Rueben Long Detention Center in Conway awaiting a bond hearing. He is charged with CDV of a High and Aggravated Nature. This charge carries a 1-10 year sentence with a mandatory minimum 1 (one) year but the court may suspend the remainder of the sentence on condition that the defendant complete a batterer's treatment program. This, my friends, is why SC is ranked 2nd (second) in the nation for woman killed by men. Please join me in fighting to increase his charge from CDV H&A to no less than Attempted Murder in the 1st Degree. Let's make SC safe for woman and children.
SC DEMANDS TO BE HEARD. OUR VOICELESS ANIMALS NEED US. NO MORE ABUSE. STOP THE KILLINGS.
The systematic killing of animals in S.C. shelters is not “necessary” or simply “lamentable.” And it is certainly not a “gift” as the heads of HSUS, the ASPCA and PETA have indicated to one degree or another. The system is ugly, broken, regressive and violent. And it is so by design. The sooner we recognize that, the sooner we can focus our energies on fixing it. By making our shelters the safe havens they should be, we make them safe for animal lovers to work at, too. But it is taking far too long, and too many animals are being subjected to systematic and unrelenting violence, because the large national animal protection organizations are defending and protecting the status quo. These organizations fight progressive legislation to save tens of thousands of animals every year from those brutal environments. They send letters and staff members to fight shelter reform. They defend the killing with circular reasoning, fuzzy math and regressive, antiquated dogmas. Or, they celebrate these agencies when they should be holding them accountable. And, in doing so, they abdicate their mission to protect animals through oversight of shelters in order to defend harm by providing those who abuse and kill animals political cover. And not one by one or two by two or a thousand by a thousand or even by the tens of thousands, but millions upon millions of animals are marched to their needless deaths while these national organizations continue to ignore their plight. So we must do it in spite of them. Ending the routine and casual killing of animals will not only save the lives of four million animals every year, but it will bring decency and compassion to our nation’s shelters where these virtues are in tragically short supply. The No Kill revolution starts with each and every one of us; the killing, and the accompanying neglect and abuse, ends when we demand that it does.