Friday, January 9, 2009

Environmental causes should be explored for rapid rise in autism,researchers say...And More

Legal Toolkit Workshop Archive
On November 28th, Anastasia Litner and Hugh Wilkins of Ecojusticeworked with 18 environmental leaders in Toronto in a day long sessionthat at the legal tools that are available to protect our air, water,land and health. Participants were led through the process ofidentifying the strategic legal mechanisms available to them whenworking on environmental issues.
The objectives of the workshop were to:
* educate community activists in the environmental field aboutlegal tools; * provide overview of the laws that protect our environment; * work with lawyers in small groups to discuss their experiencewith legal tools; and, * strengthen participants’ peer networks as they learn, share andcollaborate.
For a copy of their presentation, handouts and a list of participants,visit:http://sustainabilitynetwork.ca/Events/workshops/112808.htm
LEGAL TOOLKIT - OPTIONS, STRATEGIES AND TACTICS
Presented by Ecojustice: Anastasia Lintner and Hugh WilkinsNovember 28, 2008
This one-day training session educated the participants who are activein the environmental field about the legal tools available to protectour air, water, land and health. Lawyers from Ecojustice (formerlySierra Legal Defense Fund) facilitated the workshop, leading theparticipants though a process of identifying the strategic legalmechanisms available to them when working on environmental issues. Theobjectives of the workshop were to:
* educate community activists in the environmental field aboutlegal tools; * provide overview of the laws that protect our environment; * work with lawyers in small groups to discuss their experiencewith legal tools; and, * strengthen participants’ peer networks as they learn, share andcollaborate.
Presenters Bios
Anastasia M. Lintner is Coordinating Lawyer in Ecojustice's TorontoOffice. In addition to her work on green spaces and water protectionin Ontario, Anastasia is an adjunct professor in the Economicsdepartment at the University of Guelph. She volunteers for the GuelphRound Table on Environment, Economy and Society and Wellington WaterWatchers. She has a PhD in natural resource and environmentaleconomics from the University of Guelph and a law degree from OsgoodeHall Law School.
Hugh Wilkins is a Staff Lawyer with Ecojustice, bringing his expertisein international law, climate change and municipal law issues. Hisfocus is on global warming and energy issues as well as on sustainablecommunities and protection of the greenbelt area around Toronto. Healso edits an international law journal (Review of European Communityand International Environmental Law). He studied environmental law atQueen’s University and the London School of Economics.
Click here for Ecojustice legal toolkit notes and resources.
Click here for presentation handouts.
http://sustainabilitynetwork.ca/Events/workshops/112808.htm
==================
THE LEGAL TOOLKIT: OPTIONS, STRATEGIES, AND TACTICSfor Ontario environmental groupsSierra Legal Defence Fund30 St. Patrick St., Suite 900Toronto, OntarioM5T 3A3
http://sustainabilitynetwork.ca/Events/powerpoint/legal%20toolkit.ppt.
==================
Paul BubelisExecutive Directorpaul@sustainabilitynetwork.ca
Victor ReyesProgram Managervictor@sustainabilitynetwork.ca
Sustainability Network215 Spadina Ave.Suite 128Toronto, ONM5T 2C7
Tel: 416-324-2792Fax: 416-979-3936
December 2008, Ontario Edition
Welcome Victor!
We are very pleased to announce that Victor Reyes will be joining theSustainability Network as Program Manager on January 5.
Victor comes to us after working with the Canadian Land Trust Allianceas well as the Ontario Land Trust Alliance. Before moving to Canadaseveral years ago, Victor worked as an educator at the MelbourneAquarium and for WWF in the Philippines on marine mammal conservation.He has an undergraduate degree in industrial engineering as well as agrad degree in environmental engineering.
1.Free Book for Ontario-Based Environmental Nonprofits: MessageMatters
2. Webcast: Pollster Angus McAllister on Connecting with YourAudience
3. Grassroots Fundraising Journal Article: Fundraising and MovementBuilding: Keynote speeches from Raising Change 2008: A Social JusticeFundraising Conference
4. New on our Site: Legal Toolkit Workshop Archive
5. Website of the Month: US Council of Nonprofits on the EconomicDownturn
6. Reminder: Training Bursaries Available to Ontario-BasedEnvironmental Nonprofit Leaders
7. Webinars: Cullbridge on Social Marketing
8. Reminder: New Research Available: Ontario Trillium FoundationReleases Information on Demographic Trends to Help Not-For-ProfitsAddress Community Needs
9. Free Online Book: A Community Guide to Environmental Health
10. Reminder: CRA Introduces New Charity Information Return Forms
11. Capacity Building Opportunities: Tele-Learning Workshops: FilingCharity Returns
12. Announcement: Metcalf Foundation Field Internships
13. Announcement: Leadership Development Scholarships for the BanffCentre
14. Announcement: Launch Pad Offers Office Space for SmallOrganizations in Toronto
15. Report: NGO Ambivalence About Corporate Partnerships
16. Report: 2008 TREC Salary & Benefits Survey Report
17. Report: Maytree Foundation Showcases Best Practices onDiversifying Public Boards.
18. Report: Convio on Online Holiday Fundraising
19. Report: US Study Reveals How Philanthropists Approach Giving
20. Resource: Legal Risk Management Checklists for Nonprofits andCharities Available from Carters
21. Briefing Paper: Effective Nonprofit Evaluation
http://sustainabilitynetwork.ca/Nexus/12-08.htm
=======================
08 January 2009
arbroathherald.co.uk
COUNCILLOR DONATES GARDENING TROPHY
ARBROATH Councillor Jim Millar is donating a new prize to the AngusCouncil Tenants Garden Competition. The competition, run annually,attracts an extremely high standard of entrants.
The new prize will be for the most ecologically sustained garden andwill be judged on several factors including wildlife friendly nativeplants and flowers providing nectar. The judges will also considersustainable planting such as shrubs, perennia
ls and drought resistant plants.
How the garden is maintained will also be looked at, with points addedfor the use of organic fertilisers and water economy by using suitablewater butts.
The role of composting will be taken into account, with compostingfacilities for garden and kitchen waste being awarded points. Markswill also be given for the overall structure of the garden, forexample the use of recycled materials and containers.
Councillor Millar said: "I have been amazed at the extremely highstandard of the gardens that attract nominations for the competition,and the results are a credit to those who put so much time and effortinto them.
"There are already several trophies, with Angus being split into 10areas for the competition, each with a first, second and third prize.As we move away from the use of harsh chemical pesticides and adopt amore holistic approach to gardening, I felt it was appropriate torecognise sustainability in the competition."
In keeping with the spirit of the new prize, Councillor Millar iscommissioning a trophy by Angus sculptor Bruce Walker, which will bemade from sustainable materials.
http://www.arbroathherald.co.uk/news/COUNCILLOR-DONATES-GARDENING-TROPHY.4857699.jp
=======================
01/08/2009
San Jose Mercury News
Anti-spray group wants city to get toughBy Genevieve Bookwalter - Sentinel staff writer
The fight is not over, apparently.
For some county residents, it is not enough that the state backed downlast year on plans to spray Santa Cruz County neighborhoods withpheromones from airplanes to fight the invasive light brown applemoth. Some residents still fear they could be exposed to chemicalsused by the state or someone else to fight the moth or another pest.
So activists say they will ask the Santa Cruz City Council next monthto pass an ordinance that would impose a blanket ban of "the bulkapplication of pesticides" by corporations.
The ordinance is being proposed in the hope it will stop any effortsby the state or a corporation to use any kind of pesticide in any formto fight the light brown apple moth or another future pest, said DickAndre with the group People Against Chemical Trespass. However, theban also could include farmers spraying their fields, said Andre, anAptos resident.
Residents spraying their personal property would be exempted, as wouldthe county's Integrated Pest Management program, according to thegroup's proposal.
"The citizens of Santa Cruz, as of other parts of the nation, have theright to freedom from interference in their lives and their property,"Andre said. "On that basis, they should be the ones to decide if agovernment agency, or corporation hired by a government agency, cancome around and start spraying stuff on them."
The proposed ordinance does not define "bulk" numerically.Advertisement
Leaders with the California Department of Food and Agriculture,however, insist they will only use techniques shown to be safe by anenvironmental report that is in-progress. Until that report is done --it should be finalized in September, spokesman Steve Lyle said -- theagency is not taking any steps to eradicate the moth in Monterey orSanta Cruz County, per judges' orders.
And Councilman Mike Rotkin wondered how much the ordinance wouldreally accomplish, as state decisions trump those made by the CityCouncil.
"I don't understand how this would have any force of law, even if wedid it," Rotkin said. "If they're looking for a symbolic statement,fine. It wouldn't be the first time I did something symbolic that hasno hope of doing anything real."
The conflict arises from a distrust of the California Department ofFood and Agriculture by many local residents after the state sprayedresidential neighborhoods with a pheromone to fight the moth in 2007.The city and county sued, and Judge Paul Burdick ruled in Santa CruzCounty Superior Court that spraying and other eradication efforts muststop until an environmental impact report is completed.
State officials later decided to stop aerially spraying urban areasfor the moth statewide, instead spraying rural acreage only andreleasing sterile moths. Ideally, those moths would stymiereproduction and thus lead to the demise of California's mothpopulation.
However, none of those plans can begin in Santa Cruz County until theenvironmental review is done, Lyle stressed.
Meanwhile, the number of moths trapped in Santa Cruz grew to 26,335this month, the highest number recorded and higher than any othercounty in the state. However, most moths have been trapped inresidential areas and no damage has been reported to crops, Lyle said.
Contact G. Bookwalter at 706-3286 orgbookwalter@santacruzsentinel.com.
http://www.mercurynews.com/centralcoast/ci_11403197
Copyright © 2009 - San Jose Mercury News
=======================
01/08/2009
Contra Costa Times
Environmental causes should be explored for rapid rise in autism,researchers say
By Sandy Kleffman
It is time to focus on environmental causes for the rapid rise inautism, a leading researcher said Thursday, after her study concludedthat such factors as earlier diagnosis and families moving toCalifornia cannot fully explain a dramatic seven- to eightfoldincrease in the state since the early 1990s.
"With no evidence of a leveling off, the possibility of a trueincrease in incidence deserves serious consideration," states thestudy, published in the January issue of the journal Epidemiology.
For years, experts have debated whether the autism increase is real.Skeptics argue that it is a result of better diagnosis, a change indefinitions and the inclusion of children with milder forms of thedisorder.
Irva Hertz-Picciotto and her colleagues at the UC Davis M.I.N.D.Institute and Department of Public Health Sciences set out to exploresuch hypotheses.
They concluded that while those factors explain some of the increase,they do not account for most of it.
The findings prompted Hertz-Picciotto, a leading autism researcher anda professor of environmental and occupational health and epidemiology,to urge policy makers to devote more research money to looking for anenvironmental trigger.
"Right now, about 10 to 20 times more research dollars are spent onstudies of the genetic causes of autism than on environmental ones,"she said. "We need to even out the funding."
Rick Rollens, the father of an autistic child and a co-founder of theM.I.N.D. Institute, agreed.
"This is a definitive study that should once and for all put theproverbial nail in the coffin of those who have been denying theexistence of an autism epidemic," he said.
"The sooner that people recognize the significance of this crisis, thesooner we'll be on our way in trying to address the needs of thechildren and families," Rollens said.
Autism is a developmental disorder marked by poor verbal andcommunication skills, repetitive behaviors and an inability to formsocial connections.
Once considered a rare disorder, it is now prevalent in industrializedcountries around the world.
The search for answers has taken on added urgency because children whohave autism often need expensive educational services and may requirea lifetime of care. As they reach adulthood and no longer have parentswho can care for them, the burden on taxpayers will escalate.
"Unless some really miraculous treatments come along, there are somebig financial questions ahead," Hertz-Picciotto said.
Her study found that the incidence of children diagnosed with autismby age 6 in California has risen dramatically. Fewer than nine out of10,000 children born in 1990 were diagnosed with the disorder. But forthose born in 2000, the rate had jumped to 44 per 10,000.
"The rise is still happening," Hertz-Picciotto said. "It's reallyimportant to realize it's not leveling off and it's definitely notdeclining."
To determine whether people moving to the state could explain thisincrease, the researchers compared autism diagnoses with birth recordsand excluded children who were not born in California. They concludedthat migration to the state has had little impact on the largeincrease in autism.
They also looked at whether including people with milder forms of thedisorder could explain the increase.
In 1993-94, the standard definition of autism was broadened, enablingmore people to receive the diagnosis. But the study determined thatincluding milder cases accounted for less than one-tenth of the 600percent to 700 percent increase in autism since 1990.
Diagnosing children at an earlier age, which could make it seem as ifmore people have the disorder, also accounted for only a small portionof the increase, the study found. That left most of it unexplained.
The study did not directly address another factor that could play arole in the increase in diagnoses — greater public awareness. But ifthat is a major cause, at some point the numbers should start levelingoff. Hertz-Picciotto notes that this is not happening.
She and her colleagues at the M.I.N.D. Institute are conducting twolarge studies to explore whether some combination of environmentalfactors may be triggering autism in genetically susceptible children.
"We're looking at the possible effects of metals, pesticides andinfectious agents on neurodevelopment," she said. "If we're going tostop the rise in autism in California, we need to keep these studiesgoing and expand them to the extent possible."
Rollens, like many other parents of autistic children, also believesvaccines should be investigated, although much of the medicalcommunity disagrees.
"We've put way too much time and effort in trying to find the elusiveautism gene," Rollens said. "We've got a big problem here and we needto be addressing it."
In addition to focusing on possible environmental causes, Hertz-Picciotto urged her fellow scientists to continue focusing onimproving therapies and developing new ones.
"These children are now moving toward adulthood," she said, "and asizable percentage of them have not developed the life skills thatwould allow them to live independently."
Reach Sandy Kleffman at 925-943-8249 orskleffman@bayareanewsgroup.com.
http://www.insidebayarea.com/health/ci_11411611
=======================
Friday, 09 January 2009
The Amherst Daily News
Feel the differenceLocal woman brings organic clothing to lifestyles
by RAISSA TETANISH
AMHERST - Stephanie Moreau's struggle to find breathable, comfortableclothing for yoga lead her to another aspect of an organic lifestyle -clothing.
Already incorporating organic produce, such as vegetables, andskincare products to her daily lifestyle, turning to organic clothingwas just another beneficial step.
"I'm attracted to the idea of organic lifestyles," said Moreau.
"There's no comparison. The feel is so different. Bamboo and soy feelsimilar to cashmere. Hemp, even though it's a little rougher, it wearsbetter and will last longer - like a good pair of jeans."
Plus, she says, soy promotes blood circulation and contains aminoacids.
Moreau says organic clothing is made from organic yarns made fromorganic fibers that come from organic fields. What makes a fieldorganic, she says, is not spraying fields with pesticides, herbicidesor synthetic materials for three years or more.
"Organic clothing is so beneficial, because there are no chemicalsclose to your skin. Your skin is porous and it absorbs chemicals," shesaid.
For instance, says Moreau, bamboo is antibacterial forever.
"It's also thermal so it will keep you warmer in the winter and coolerin the summer."
Having only discovered organic clothing herself four or five monthsago, Moreau thinks it's the newest trend and has opened Flow, aboutique in downtown Amherst with clothing and skincare products.
She feels there's going to be a need of accessibility to organicclothing over the next few years as people from the west coast, wherethe clothing is already popular, move to the east coast to retire orsettle down.
"I think people along the west coast are more educated on the idea andconcept of an organic lifestyle."
While only about 40 per cent of her own wardrobe is made from organicmaterials currently, Moreau is anxious to increase it.
"People need to feel the difference. Organic clothing is comfortable,breathable and thermal, and contrary to popular belief, the price iscomparable to any other brand names. Not to mention the benefits onthe environment and people themselves."
rtetanish@amhersdaily.com
http://www.amherstdaily.com/index.cfm?sid=208638&sc=58
=======================
Jan 9, 2009
2theadvocate.com
Crawfish group sues Icon pesticide maker
By RICHARD BURGESS * Advocate Acadiana bureau
A group of crawfish processors and buyers have filed a class-actionlawsuit against the maker of a rice pesticide blamed for killingcrawfish.
The case comes 10 years after the introduction of the pesticide Iconin south Louisiana, where crawfish are often farmed in the same fieldsas rice.
Hundreds of crawfish farmers settled with Icon-maker AventisCropScience — now Bayer CropScience — in 2004 for $45 million.
The recent class-action lawsuit is the latest round in the lingeringlitigation on behalf of crawfish buyers and processors.
“It’s the same cause of action. They poisoned the crawfish, and allthe people lost money,” said attorney AndrĂ© Toce, one of a group ofattorneys representing the buyers and processors.
He estimated about 150 business owners could be eligible for a claim.
“About 100 of them went out of business,” Toce said.
Icon, which has been taken off the market, was a treatment used onrice seeds before planting.
Farmers argued that the pesticide devastated crawfish being raised inthe same fields as rice. They cited production numbers that dropped bymore than half the year that Icon was introduced.
Attorneys argue that the makers of Icon did not conduct thorough teststo determine the effects of Icon on crawfish and concealed whatinformation was known about the effects.
The lawsuit claims that as recently as 2006, tests showed thatcomponents of the pesticide still remained at harmful levels in southLouisiana rice and crawfish fields.
The pesticide maker has argued that the drop in crawfish productionwas caused by an extensive drought.
The buyers and processors are seeking damages for lost income and lostmarket share associated with the declining numbers of crawfish.
The petition for class-action comes after a group of three processorswon a $2.6 million judgment in 2007 against the pesticide maker, a“bellwether” case to test whether the claims would survive in court,according to Toce.
That judgment, in state court in St. Landry Parish, is now on appeal.
The class-action was filed in state court in St. Landry Parish but hasbeen moved to federal court.
Copyright © 1992-2008, 2theadvocate.com, WBRZ, Louisiana BroadcastingLLC and The Advocate, Capital City Press LLC, All Rights Reserved.
http://www.2theadvocate.com/news/acadiana/37318394.html?showAll=y&c=y
=======================
Washington State Budget Cuts Target Pesticide Poisoning SurveillanceProgram
(Beyond Pesticides, January 8, 2009) Washington State’s model healthprotection programs are expected to be hit hard by Governor ChrisGregoire’s proposed budget cuts despite the minimal costs of runningthese essential programs, according to local activists in the state.The governor’s proposed budget will decimate the Washington Departmentof Health (DOH) Pesticide Program, including the Pesticide IncidentReporting and Tracking (PIRT) program, and the state’s Poison ControlCenter. Farm workers, children and the uninsured will likely be mostaffected. The proposed budget imposes almost no cuts to entitiessupported by the agrochemical industry.
According to Carol Dansereau, an attorney with the Farm WorkerPesticide Project, and Liesl Zappler, PIRT Panel’s public member, theproposed cuts will eliminate half of the DOH’s Pesticide Programstaff. DOH staff-time goes to pesticide incident interviews,toxicology research, sampling, gathering medical and spray records,analyzing and reviewing data, transmitting data, and writing reportsincluding the PIRT report. DOH also works with growers and applicatorsto prevent accidental poisonings. The proposed DOH budget cuts alsoexplicitly eliminate the PIRT Panel and its reporting requirementseven though the PIRT Panel activities costs’ are minimal. Last year,DOH contributed $13,000 to PIRT; and with cuts instituted this year,the total cost is approximately $7,600 for a part-time coordinator.PIRT was created by the Washington State Legislature to address issuesof health and environmental impacts from pesticide use and misuse.
PIRT has been under assault from pro-pesticide groups. In addition,controversy has surrounded the Panel’s toxicologist position. Lastyear, Governor Gregoire appointed Charles Timchalk, Ph.D., a scientistwho works with Dow Chemical Company, to the Panel’s toxicologistposition instead of reappointing Steven Gilbert, Ph.D., director andfounder of the non-profit Institute of Neurotoxicology andNeurological Disorders. (Dr. Gilbert was instrumental in persuadingPIRT to endorse pesticide drift monitoring.) After the news mediareported on the new appointee’s financial conflicts of interest, heresigned before what would have been his first meeting. For over sevenmonths, Governor Gregoire has left the toxicologist position on thePanel unfilled, despite available candidates without financialconflicts of interest.
“The elimination of PIRT,” states Ms. Dansereau, “is a political movefalsely presented as a fiscal measure.”
The proposed budget cuts will also reduce funding for the WashingtonPoison Center by 50 percent to $1million although it is critical inreferring pesticide poisoning cases to DOH. Poison Control Centersproduce significant savings to the community by preventing expensivecare at emergency rooms, and reducing the length of hospital stays.
“Washington State has one of the best pesticide poisoning surveillanceprograms in the country, it matches and may even exceed is someaspects California’s excellent program,” states Geoffrey M. Calvert,MD, MPH, with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. “It’sunfortunate it’s under attack.”
Data compiled from these Washington State programs are vital inestablishing a statewide and national perspective on pesticides’impact on public health and the environment. For instance, a recentmulti-state assessment study of acute pesticide poisonings amongagricultural workers by Dr. Calvert used data pooled from theCalifornia Department of Pesticide Regulation (CDPR) and NIOSH’sSentinel Event Notification System for Occupational Risks-Pesticides(SENSOR-Pesticides) program, which collects information from ten statehealth departments, including Washington State’s. The study finds thepesticide poisoning incidence rate among U.S. agricultural workers tobe thirty-nine times higher than the incidence rate found in all otherindustries combined. A 2005 study finding that that students andschool employees are poisoned by pesticide use at schools and fromdrift off of neighboring farmlands also used surveillance data fromWashington States’ DOH PIRT program as part of the SENSOR data, CDPRand Toxic Exposure Surveillance System (TESS).
TAKE ACTION: Contact Governor Chris Gregoire and share your views onthe importance of such health programs and its national impact. ForWashington State residents, also contact your state legislators andRepresentative Frank Chopp, Speaker of the House, asking them torestore adequate funding to DOH, PIRT and the Washington Poison Centerso they can continue to protect the health and safety of Washington’scitizens.
http://www.beyondpesticides.org/dailynewsblog/
=======================
January 06, 2009
Montclair officials weigh tighter rules for leaf blowers
by mdowling 06:10AM
Already well into snow-blowing season, Montclair officials are castingtheir eye toward spring.
They are considering tighter restrictions against leaf blowers thatwould close the window on their use in spring to six weeks from fourmonths. The restrictions also would outlaw noisier and dirtiermachines.Star-Ledger file photoLeaf blowers have drawn criticism for beingnoisy.
None of this sits well with Jens Karns, the owner of Upper MountainLandscaping. His crews juggle 19 backpack leaf blowers and threeground blowers, he said, all of which don't meet the tougherenvironmental rules.
"In these poor economic times, asking us to effectively replacemachines that cost us over $500 each seems unjustified," he said in aletter to Montclair's councilors.
The ordinance, unanimously introduced Dec. 9 and scheduled for apublic hearing tonight before Montclair's governing body, would makeit unlawful to operate a leaf blower without a decibel rating of 65 orlower and prohibit blowers that do not comply with the latest federalstandards.
"The goal is to be able to set a high standard," Mayor Jerry Friedsaid at that meeting.
Specifically, the ordinance would allow the use of leaf blowers fromMarch 15 to April 30 -- a substantial reduction from today's window ofMarch 1 to June 30. The autumn period of use would be unchanged,running from Oct. 1 to Dec. 15.
The rules governing decibel levels and environmental standards wouldkick in on March 10, 2010, for homeowners but earlier for commerciallandscapers, come Oct. 1 of this year.
The revised measure, too, doesn't apply to the clearing of publicproperty, a point that drew from criticism from Kathryn Weller, an at-large councilor.
"I'm not comfortable making a rule for everyone else but us," she saidat the last meeting.
Nor is Karns of Upper Mountain Landscaping. "That to me just seemedunfair," he said.
Then, there's simply the bottom line, he said, of his customers."Obviously, the costs. ... More labor time involved."
Nick Lewis, the 3rd Ward councilor who is championing therestrictions, said Montclair's council might, in fact, table themeasure tonight, if only to give landscapers more time to weigh in onthe restrictions.
A meeting agenda also lists a pre-vote presentation on the leaf-blowerrestrictions by Montclair's Environmental Commission, which has takena lead on the issue.
The measure also adds enforcement provisions enlisting the Montclairpolice and institutes penalties of $100 for the first offense up to apossible one-year revocation of a landscaper's license.
To Mike Cerra of the New Jersey League of Municipalities, the tightercontrols on leaf-blower use, intended to restore a peaceful quiet tosuburbia as well as combat pollution, is going to become more common.
"I don't think we're going to see 100 of these over the next couple ofweeks," he said, "but over a couple years you'll probably notice it."
http://www.nj.com/news/index.ssf/2009/01/montclair_officials_weigh_tigh.html
=======================Warning Industry Propaganda Below=======================
December 28, 2008
2008--It Was a Year of Losses in Many Ways!
by Art Drysdale
It has been customary for me at the end of each year to review whathas happened in gardening and horticulture in the previous 12 months.I think I should do something similar this year.
Although readers, especially those outside of the southern Ontarioregion might not agree, one of the most outrageous happenings thisyear was my losing my AM740 Garden and Home show at the end of June.
The other major loss this year was the closing down of the magazineGardening Life. It was closed down on November 14 and all employeeswere told to clean out their desks and leave.
Another loss that just began to show up in 2008 was the use ofpesticides by gardeners. Over Christmas I had a short note from Dr.Keith Solomon, the director of the Centre for Toxicology at theUniversity of Guelph, and also the chairman of the Board of Directorsof the Canadian Network of Toxicology Centres. His message was rightto the point when he said: “May your garden thrive in the absence ofpests because, for sure, you will not have pesticides.”
Keith has worked hard to convince the head-in-the-sand negative groupsof the value of pesticides, and that if used properly they pose littleor no risk. But as he indicates, all of that I guess now is prologue,and least in Ontario and some other provinces.
I still think that some of the uses may be returned to us down theroad, and of course, the development of other alternate materials willcontinue as well.
http://www.icangarden.com/document.cfm?task=viewdetail&itemid=7600&categoryid=25
=======================
Friday, 09 January 2009
Cumberland News
Proposed ban on pesticides slammed
A PROPOSED ban on the use of key pesticides in European farming goestoo far, too fast, politicians have been warned.
The proposal has already been condemned by industry leaders forrisking a doubling of the price of vegetables.
Now, as the European Parliament prepares for a crucial vote on theissue, an MEP says practical alternatives to some vital chemicals inuse have not yet been fully developed.
The ban is due to be approved in Strasbourg on Tuesday.
It involves changing the way pesticides are assessed for use on crops,as part of a goal to halve the use of toxic products in farming by2013.
The plans have already been scaled back after Europe’s pesticidesindustry warned the new assessment standard would remove products fromthe market that have been used safely for years.
A compromise hammered out between EU governments and MEPs means areduced number of 22 toxic substances would be banned from use as cropchemicals.
But SNP MEP Alyn Smith said even the compromise was too much, adding:“Alternatives to many of the chemicals which the legislation proposesto ban have not been fully developed, and are mainly highly-targetedniche options. This often makes them expensive and impracticable, andwe can ill afford to make farming more expensive at a time of risinginput costs.”
The proposals update EU pesticides rules introduced in 1991, andinclude new criteria for registering potentially hazardous pesticides,while emphasising a balance between tough food safety standards andviable farming.
http://www.cumberland-news.co.uk/farming/1.350394
=======================
Thursday, January 8, 2009
ServiceMaster, Scotts Lawn Service Aggressively Hiring in 2009By careerbuilder.com
Though 2008 was wrought with layoffs and economic struggles, the NewYear means rejuvenated hope for job seekers.
While several companies continue to make mass layoffs, other companiesare shifting their focus to hire aggressively in the beginning of2009.
"This is a difficult economy, no doubt," says Andrea Hough, vicepresident of talent acquisition for ServiceMaster, a lawn care andlandscape maintenance company. "However, I would caution job seekersto be thoughtful about whom they are going to work for and not act outof desperation. There are some very strong companies with solid ethicsin need of employees eager to be a part of a thriving organization."
If you're looking for work in the New Year, here are a variety of suchstrong companies in various industries, which are looking to hire adiverse selection of jobs in 2009, despite the tough economy:
ServiceMaster
Who they are: A company which provides such services as lawn care andlandscape maintenance, termite and pest control, home warranties,cleaning and disaster restoration, house cleaning, furniture repairand home inspection, Hough says. Its brands include TruGreen, TruGreenLandCare, Terminix, American Home Shield, ServiceMaster Clean, MerryMaids, Furniture Medic and AmeriSpec.
Whom they are looking for: "We are a service-based organization thatstrives to earn our customers' business, build trust and exceed ourcustomers' expectations," Hough says. "In addition, we are arelationship-based firm that prides itself on employing hard working,ethical employees that our customers can trust to invite into theirhomes and enrich their lives."
The Scotts Miracle-Gro Company/Scotts LawnService
Who they are: Scotts LawnService is a division of The Scotts Companysupplier and marketer of consumer products for do-it-yourself lawn andgarden care, says Peter Korda, senior vice president. It was foundedin 1997 to provide products and services for customers who desiresomeone else to take care of their lawns for them.
Whom they are looking for: "We are looking for people to join our teamand help us deliver the very best in professional lawn care. Joiningour team allows you to grow green, healthy and lush lawns, trees andshrubs, and provide the service and support customers have come toexpect from a premium brand such as Scotts," Korda says.
"You will have an opportunity to grow your career; we'll provide youwith the knowledge and opportunities you need to succeed. ["We'rehiring for territory service representatives, sales representativesand customer service representatives."]
http://www.lawnandlandscape.com/news/news.asp?ID=7468
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St. John's Daily Spray Advisory

My Past Articles

More enforcement needed for pesticide spray regulations
The Western Star (Corner Brook) - Final - 10-01-2002 - 413 words
Karen Griffin - Judie Squires says someone needs to patrol the companies that spray residential areas for pesticides because she's observed nine violations of the Environmental Protection Act in her Paradise neighborhood alone


Spray woes: Province falling down on monitoring pesticides
The Telegram (St. John's) - Final - 10-01-2002 - 253 words
Judie Squires - environment to become poisoned? A temporary ban on all residential pesticides has to be put into place, to protect us, our wildlife and our environment as a whole. Judie Squires Paradise


Government lax on cosmetic pesticide regulation: advocate
The Telegram (St. John's) - 08-28-2004 - 613 words
Stokes Sullivan, Deana - Despite increased awareness about adverse health effects from pesticides, Judie Squires, a member of the Pesticide Working Group of Newfoundland and Labrador, isn't optimistic the province will ban cosmetic use


Woman doesn't expect cosmetic pesticide ban any time soon
The Western Star (Corner Brook) - 08-30-2004 - 712 words
Stokes Sullivan, Deana - Despite increased awareness about adverse health effects from pesticides, Judie Squires, a member of the Pesticide Working Group of Newfoundland and Labrador, isn't optimistic that the province will ban the


Province lagging behind in pesticide control
The Telegram (St. John's) - 09-04-2005 - 496 words
Squires, Judie - it to do is to prohibit the cosmetic use of synthetic pesticides altogether in order to protect our citizens and the environment. Judie Squires writes from Portugal Cove-St. Philip's


The two sides to pesticide use
The Telegram (St. John's) - 07-16-2006 - 781 words
Judie Squires - health of your families. When Canada's most respected health authorities tell us pesticides threaten our health, we should all be listening. Judie Squires writes from Portugal Cove-St. Philip's


Inquiry implicates BTk
The Telegram (St. John's) - 06-24-2006 - 353 words
DEANA STOKES SULLIVAN - of trees. The live spores can be inhaled by humans and animals exposed to BT. Judie Squires, secretary of the Northeast Avalon Group of the Sierra Club, says despite claims that


Delayed pesticide laws 'disappointing'
The Telegram (St. John's) - 06-24-2006 - 833 words
DEANA STOKES SULLIVAN - at the end of this year. These products will only be sold to certified dealers. Judie Squires, secretary of the newly formed Northeast Avalon Group of the Sierra Club, isn't


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Time for provincial lawn pesticide regulation
The Telegram (St. John's) - 03-14-2009 - 419 words
pesticides. Please join me in lobbying our province for a pesticide ban Judie Squires Portugal Cove...

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