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  • CA-37: Representative Juanita Millender-McDonald died of cancer at the age of 68. Speaker Nancy Pelosi writes, "The loss of Congresswoman Juanita Millender-McDonald is a personal one for me. She was always optimistic and determined to make a difference. The dignity with which she faced her illness was an indication of the determination with which she always served the people of her district. They have lost an effective leader and spokeswoman, and I have lost a dear friend." Condolences to her family, friends, and supporters.

  • Somalian unrest escalates. "Continued fighting in Mogadishu killed 41 civilians and six insurgents on Sunday, taking the death toll in the last five days of battles to 230."

  • Alberto Gonzales is still Attorney General.

  • Democratic presidential candididates out-raised the Republicans by 35 percent in the first quarter of 2007. "The Republicans are dogged by the unpopularity of... Bush and the war in Iraq" and the "specter of... actor and former senator Fred Thompson" who left more than a few of House Republicans "starry-eyed".

  • Senator John Edwards "has been able to keep together the core of donors who fueled his 2004 run for the presidency."

  • "Frozen out of casino profits, thousands of descendants of Minnesota's Dakota Indians have sued, asserting their rights to the money. A federal judge in Washington has strengthened their claims... The case could leave U.S. taxpayers on the hook for billions of dollars. It also could leave Indians across the country wrestling anew with the meaning of tribal identity."

  • Julia Campbell, a 40-year-old Peace Corps volunteer in the Philippines, was murdered and found buried in a shallow grave. She was "killed by blows to the head and there were signs that she had tried to ward off an attack, police said Saturday." Campbell was a "freelance journalist who had been teaching English in the Philippines since October 2006."

  • "Elephant manure will heat a new exhibit at the Denver Zoo... Inspiration came from the 75 tons of manure produced annually by elephants Dolly and Mimi." This interesting Denver Post story for Earth Day highlights what some Colorado communities are doing with sustainable and renewable energy. I think it would be awesome if the 2008 Democratic National Convention held in Denver could be literally powered by elephant dung.

  • An OpEd piece in the Star Tribune, Time to build a better railroad, brings to attention two Minnesota bonding bills that may help advance plans for a high speed passenger rail line between the Twin Cities and Chicago.

  • New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg proposed a $8 fee on car drivers, and $21 for truck operators driving into Manhattan.

  • Tsetsegee Munkhbayar, a self-educated Mongolian yak herder, has won a "$125,000 Goldman Environmental Prize for founding the Onggi River Movement which is Mongolia's largest environmental pressure group."

  • Tonight is the last really good night to watch the Lyrid Meteor Shower for this year. "They began last week, and should remain visible until Wednesday. But the most activity is predicted to occur tonight into Monday morning. Early in the evening, a bright moon will drown out the fainter shooting stars. To see more meteors, wait until the moon sets around 2 a.m." People in Longmont, Colorado reported seeing a greenish-red fireball in the sky late Friday night. A meteorite reported landed somewhere near NORAD and the Air Force Academy near Colorado Springs.

  • How are the birds and the bees doing on Earth Day? Well Migratory birds poisoned by pesticides in Latin America. Migrating song birds are "facing habitat loss, lack of food and chronic pesticide poisoning in the tropics. When it's time to head north, many of these migrants are too thin and sick to make the journey back to breed... farmers in Latin America use pesticides like an insurance policy: the chemicals are cheap and easy to get, so they use them all the time, even if their crop is bug-free, to make sure it stays that way."

    Honeybees aren't faring any better. Beekeeper Steve Bentley, reported to Florida regulators in February that "thousands of his honeybees had died that month after the pesticide Lorsban was sprayed in a Sebring citrus grove... The ensuing state investigation confirmed that the pesticide had been sprayed even though bees were in the area - contrary to federal law - and regulators issued a technical-violation warning letter to the subcontractor that applied the chemical... But ever since filing the report, Bentley says he's been banned from the area..."

    We become part of the food chain when we buy these foods that were cultivated using pesticides and herbicides. While "some people just worry about how their food affects them, but this is damaging ecosystems that we depend on." Buying produce that is in season, local, and organic has a broader impact than just on our own bodies, buy doing so we can help ecosystems thousands of miles away from where we live.

    In the Pacific Northwest, gardeners and yardworkers are chosing to go green. According to the Seattle Times, "surveys indicate that about 25 percent of gardeners choose products labeled organic." And "once you've chosen to eliminate toxic chemicals from your lawn or garden, you can display a "Pesticide-Free Zone" sign. These cheerful, red ladybug-centered signs adorn institutions and private homes throughout Washington."

  • In case you missed yesterday's digest, please listen to Professor Tyrone Hayes's talk "From Silent Spring to Silent Night". His talk explains how we're killing frogs and other amphibians by using the herbicide Atrazine on major crops such as corn.

  • By the numbers: Bush has 637 days left in power. 3312 U.S. deaths in Iraq. Over $419,416,000,000 spent on the war in Iraq.

Originally posted to Magnifico on Sun Apr 22, 2007 at 08:57 PM PDT.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Have a great night (21+ / 0-)

    Please treat this as an open thread and share what you think are important news stories from today.

  •  Excellent sites/cites, thank you ... (5+ / 0-)

    Re the elephant dung, multiply this across all the animals that we've got domesticated ... cows, chicken, sheep, etc (and, to be honest, domestic pets and, perhaps, humans) and the fuel supply potential skyrockets ...

    Blogging regularly at Ecotality Blog for a Sustainable Future.

    by A Siegel on Sun Apr 22, 2007 at 08:56:17 PM PDT

  •  Zoo Doo! (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Trix, peace voter, ek hornbeck, Magnifico

    Years ago the Portland (OR) zoo began to sell its Elephant doo as zoo doo for fertilizer. I think it is great that the Zoo in Denver is recycling poo to generate heat.

    Alot of the other news listed isn't quite as happy or hopeful. Thanks for providing them, though.

    It's always because we love that we are rebellious; it takes a great deal of love to give a damn ~Kenneth Patchen~

    by cosmic debris on Sun Apr 22, 2007 at 09:09:17 PM PDT

  •  Continuing Saga Of Gore Run - Not Run (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    walkshills, Magnifico

    But Gore spokesperson Kalee Kreider emails us this: "There is not a secret campaign operation in Nashville or any other part of the country to mobilize a campaign...other than that which the former Vice President has stated, to mobilize the American people to address the climate crisis." TPM Cafe

    •  To be, or not to be: that is the question— (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      MO Blue

      Maybe Gore is a fan of Shakespeare's Hamlet?

      To be, or not to be: that is the question:
      Whether 'tis nobler in the mind to suffer
      The slings and arrows of outrageous fortune,
      Or to take arms against a sea of troubles,
      And by opposing end them? To die: to sleep;
      No more; and by a sleep to say we end
      The heart-ache and the thousand natural shocks
      That flesh is heir to, 'tis a consummation
      Devoutly to be wish'd. To die, to sleep;
      To sleep: perchance to dream: ay, there's the rub;
      For in that sleep of death what dreams may come
      When we have shuffled off this mortal coil,
      Must give us pause: there's the respect
      That makes calamity of so long life;
      For who would bear the whips and scorns of time,
      The oppressor's wrong, the proud man's contumely,
      The pangs of despised love, the law's delay,
      The insolence of office and the spurns
      That patient merit of the unworthy takes,
      When he himself might his quietus make
      With a bare bodkin? who would fardels bear,
      To grunt and sweat under a weary life,
      But that the dread of something after death,
      The undiscover'd country from whose bourn
      No traveller returns, puzzles the will
      And makes us rather bear those ills we have
      Than fly to others that we know not of?
      Thus conscience does make cowards of us all;
      And thus the native hue of resolution
      Is sicklied o'er with the pale cast of thought,
      And enterprises of great pith and moment
      With this regard their currents turn awry,
      And lose the name of action.—Soft you now!
      The fair Ophelia! Nymph, in thy orisons
      Be all my sins remember'd.

      Hamlet, Act III, Scene I, William Shakespeare

  •  you comment: (0+ / 0-)

    "I think it would be awesome if the 2008 Democratic National Convention held in Denver could be literally powered by elephant dung"

    i believe it is entirely possible that both conventions will be powered by elephant dung, considering there are speakers scheduled for both events.

  •  "Sinking on the west side" (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    peace voter, walkshills, Magnifico

    Today's front-page story in the Fresno, CA BEE reports that between 1925 and 1977 the land sank 30 feet in parts of Fresno County and has probably dipped 15 more feet since then, resulting in millions of dollars in damage to roads and irrigation canals.  The reason: deep-water pumping for farm irrigation. The article notes that "land sinking underfoot" is an issue all over the world.

    •  Sucked dry (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      RunawayRose, peace voter, walkshills

      From reading that Fresno Bee article, it seems that the aquifer is being sucked dry. I did a quick search and found this map of the extent of the subsidence. Are there any predictions to when and if the water will run out?

      •  Using river water instead of wells (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Magnifico

        except in times of drought reduces the effect of deep-water pumping. The article says probably "billions of gallons" still remain in the aquifer. However, there's another reason for the sinking, and that is soil compaction due to the weight of the added water.  The deep-water pumping causes a "landscape-sized drop" while the

        weight of irrigation water on the surface creates rolling hills by causing the ground to sink in places.  The effects of near-surface sinking can be felt while driving on Interstate 5 in gentle, rolling undulations of the freeway.  [Elsewhere,] the ground has gone from flat to rolling hills, a shift that forced some people out of their homes in the 1970's....Deep-land subsidence basically ceases when river water is used.

        Reviewing the article, I notice that since 1977 the land has probably sunk 10 feet, not 15 as I said in my first comment.

  •  Essence of Creativity (0+ / 0-)

    doing something positive with the shit

    metaphoric encapsulation:

    what is happening with world response to bush administration

    crisis? yes, and opportunity

    Love is the source, substance and future of all being. --St. Francis

    by ksingh on Mon Apr 23, 2007 at 03:46:46 AM PDT

  •  I am not convinced Gore will run (0+ / 0-)

    but I admit I was a little excited by that article. It would be satisfying if he were to run and then win (again). But I am not going to hold my breath.

    Thanks again for a great list of relevant and interesting links!

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