Murder Hornet gets loose and was recaptured


The imgaination runs wild……

An unsuspecting citizen opens the door and there is an insect with gun.

Not quite

Last week, scientists with the Washington State Department of Agriculture (WSDA)captured a live Asian giant hornet ,known as “murder” hornets for their ability to decimate honeybee populations. The scientist used dental floss to attach a tracking device to its body, which “worked quite well,” said Sven Spichiger, WSDA’s managing entomologist, during a news conference on Monday.

When scientists released the hornet into the wild onto an apple tree, they were initially successful in tracking the insect, but after some time they were unable to locate a signal when it flew into a heavily vegetated area and then quickly darted away thus evading the scientists.

“We did get an initial direction of the flight,” he said. “We were able to meet with several of the property owners and get a few more eyewitness accounts of seeing hornets earlier the week before or earlier in the summer, and so we are starting to narrow down exactly where the hornets’ nest is.”

This isn’t the first time the state has tracked a live giant hornet. The team did so earlier this year, but the tracker fell off the hornet due to gluing issues.So far, Spichiger said there are at least two Asian giant hornet nests in Whatcom County in Washington, with a possibility of a third.Once a nest is located, the plan is to vacuum out the hornets and use carbon dioxide gas to knock out any remaining hornets in the nest, he said.Asian giant hornets are the world’s largest hornet, as they can become up to 2 inches long, according to the WSDA. What makes them so dangerous is that they can destroy a honeybee hive in a matter of hours, killing the bees by decapitating them.If the hornet becomes established in the state, it will negatively impact the environment, economy and public health, the WSDA said.Since the preliminary reports in 2019, there have been 18 confirmed Asian giant hornets found in Washington, but there have been even more additional sightings.

A live Asian giant hornet is affixed with a tracking device using dental floss on October 7 before being released in a photo provided by the Washington State  Department of Agriculture.
The captured Asian giant hornet on the apple tree.
This one looks pisssed!

From CNN

Voter Suppression: CAILFORNIA Phony Drop Boxes (Coming to a state near you?)


California Republicans allegedly tricking voters with fake ballot drop boxes  | The Independent

Unauthorized election ballot drop boxes have been found across California — in Los Angeles, Orange and Ventura counties as well as in Fresno.

On Monday, California’s Secretary of State Alex Padilla and Attorney General Xavier Becerra sent out cease and desist letters to the state Republican Party, which appears to own at least some of these collection boxes.

According to reporting from the Orange County Register, many of these drop boxes bear signs claiming that they are “official,” and are located at local political party offices and churches, as well as at candidates’ headquarters. In Fresno, the local ABC affiliate reported that in some instances, the boxes were simply cardboard containers without locks.

Contagious for the Win


Trump Boasts at Florida Campaign Rally of Feeling 'So Powerful' - Bloomberg

Coming to a battleground state near you.  A President without a mask.  An event filled with hundreds possibly thousands of supporters standing shoulder to shoulder without masks in support of the President in what could be considered a Superspreader event.

Superspreader Event in Iowa

NEW ROCHELLE – Iona College was locked down Monday. Its classes switched online for at least two weeks — after a single superspreader event among student athletes led to at least 65 positive COVID-19 tests late last week.In a news release from spokeswoman Diana Costello, the college said: “Late last week, Iona’s surveillance testing identified an uptick in positive COVID-19 cases among certain athletic teams. Iona immediately accelerated aggressive, widespread testing of all teammates and potential contacts. More than 800 tests were quickly performed. A total of 58 cases have been identified at this point.”

“I feel so powerful,”

The President said at rally at the Orlando Sanford International Airport yesterday 

“I’ll walk into that audience. I’ll walk in there, I’ll kiss everyone in that audience. I’ll kiss the guys and the beautiful women … everybody. I’ll just give ya a big fat kiss.”

Outrage!

The press has been very critical of the Presidents maskless events.  Expect masks on his supporters directly behind him. Everyone else, party down!

As the world has broken a three-day record for new virus cases.  President Trump”s Doctor says he’s is no longer contagious.

The response from the Medical Community

Lauren Hashian Wtf GIF by swerk - Find & Share on GIPHY

CityFella

Bout Time? Megan Thee Stallion Speaks. Tory Lanez faces 23 years.


Tory Lanez Drops New Song & Album 'Daystar' Detailing His Side Of The Story  Of Megan Thee Stallion Shooting | Hot97

Megan initially said she didn’t name Lanez because she was afraid. A month later she named him on Instagram Live video saying he was making false claims about her.

“Yes!!! Tory shot me. You shot me and you got your publicist and your people going to these blogs lying,” the rapper said the Instagram video. “Stop lying. Why lie? I don’t understand.”

Lanez was initially charged with carrying a concealed firearm in his SUV on the day it took place. He was released after posting bail. No charges were filed against him at that time. Megan initially reported to have had a foot wound caused by glass.

Rumors, Confusion and downright head scratchin

Initially, the greatest controversy of the night before Megan Thee Stallion’s alleged shooting had to do with the fact that she and Jenner were even together, as PageSix reported. Megan Thee Stallion is known to hang around with Jordyn Woods, the shunned former best-friend of Jenner. Woods was kicked out of her friend’s life after rumors surfaced Khloé Kardashian’s ex Tristan Thompson cheated on her with Woods while Kardashian was pregnant with his child. 

Megan Thee Stallion and Jenner posted a poolside Instagram Live video on the night of the shooting, which caused a stir among fans who followed the saga. However, in the hours following the shooting, something tragic happened that put any past drama between Jenner and her old friend Woods on the backburner. 

Following Megan’s Instagram post, her friend Kelsey Nicole, who was the other woman found in the car, came forward on her own social media to also set the record straight. “I want to clear up the the rumors that I shot Megan. I WASN’T the one with the gun and would never do something like that . However I was present,” she wrote in a since-deleted Instagram post.

July 27th Megan went on her Instagram Live about her surgery addressing the gunshot wounds in her feet.  “I was shot in both of my feet, and I had to get surgery to get the shit taken out, get the bullets taken out, and it was super scary,” she said while wiping away tears. Fortunately, she reported the bullets in both feet didn’t hit her bones nor break any tendons

Was Megan trying to protect Kylie Jenner, Jordyn Woods or someone else. Lanez said he didn’t do it. Chapter one of this saga begins October 13, 2020 in Los Angeles where Lanez will be arraigned

Social Media is filled with accounts of Lanez, beating up former girlfriends, but this is Social Media where everything can be true.

If Tory is charged, he faces a possible maximum sentence of 22 years and eight months in prison.

CityFella

When will Americans be allowed to travel to Italy again?


When will Americans be allowed to travel to Italy again?

Tourists take photos at the Portico d’Ottavia ruins in Rome’s Jewish Quarter on September 15th. Photo: AFPSome travel from the US to Italy is allowed, but only in certain circumstances. Here’s what you need to know.

With many people in the US still anxious to get back to Italy as soon as they can, here’s what is happening with the Italian travel rules for Americans during the coronavirus pandemic.

The Italian government updated its emergency regulations on September 7th, but the rules covering travel from the US to Italy are largely unchanged. They are up for review again on October 7th.

The latest decree includes a new travel ban exemption for those in “stable” relationships – meaning people can now travel from outside Europe to visit their partners in Italy.

But otherwise, the rules for people wanting to visit Italy from the US remain the same: non-essential travel is not allowed

Those hoping to plan an Italian vacation are keeping a close eye on the European “safe list”.

The EU has published its list of “safe” countries which it recommends members allow travellers to enter from – but the USA is still NOT on it.

Photo: AFP

So what does this mean for Americans?

Firstly, the travel rules are based around where you are coming from, not what passport you hold. So a US citizen travelling from France, for example, would be permitted to enter Italy because there are no health restrictions on the French-Italian border.

Secondly there are exemptions in place for certain travellers including Italian citizens and people who have their permanent residence in Italy, and for types of travel deemed essential.

But travelling from the USA for tourism is currently not allowed.https://02c1a769b7c0ef938bcd89cef211cbe5.safeframe.googlesyndication.com/safeframe/1-0-37/html/container.html

Is that decision final?

Italy is set to revise its current Covid rules on October 7th.

It is not known whether ministers will look at revising travel restrictions at this point as cases are rising again across Europe, and transmission rates remain high in the US.

The EU revises its “safe list” every few weeks, as it is based on virus circulation in each country. To make the EU’s “safe list”, countries must have controlled the coronavirus outbreak to the same degree as the EU average or more, with levels set based on ECDC data.

The latest version of the list, updated on August 7th, has 10 countries on it: Australia, Canada, Georgia, Japan, New Zealand, Rwanda, South Korea, Thailand, Tunisia, Uruguay

But there is no indication that that is about to happen, as new case numbers remain high in the US and Italy’s own figures have also risen again in recent weeks.

As the EU’s list is advisory, member states are free to impose different rules if they want. So in theory the Italian government could lift the restriction on the USA if they chose to.

But while it remains complicated, not all travel to Italy is completely impossible.

There are exemptions for what is considered “essential travel”.

What is “essential” travel?

The EU does not define what counts as an ‘imperative reason’, however people who can travel into the European bloc now include:

  • Citizens of an EU country
  • Non-EU citizens who are permanent residents of an EU country and need to come home
  • Healthcare workers engaged in crucial work on the coronavirus crisis
  • Frontier workers and in some circumstances seasonal workers
  • Delivery drivers
  • Diplomats, humanitarian or aid workers
  • Passengers in transit
  • Passengers travelling for imperative family reasons
  • Persons in need of international protection or for other humanitarian reasons
  • Third country nationals travelling for the purpose of study
  • Highly qualified third-country workers IF their employment is essential from an economic perspective and cannot be postponed or performed abroad

Who else can travel to Italy?

US citizens who are permanent residents of Italy can travel, but they will need to show proof of residency at the border.

Some travelers warn that even though they were entitled to enter Italy – for example being a resident, or the spouse or child of an Italian citizen – they still faced difficulties and lengthy checks at the border.

On September 7th. the Italian government also signed off on a travel ban exemption for those in “stable” relationships – meaning people can travel from outside Europe to visit their partners even if they are not married or cohabitin

Unmarried partners of Italian citizens, and relatives other than spouses and children, were not allowed to travel under previous rules.

However, anyone allowed to travel to Italy for reasons deemed essential will stlll need to undergo quarantine on arrival in Italy.

You will also be subject to any other travel rules associated with travel from those countries. For example, at the moment travellers from Croatia (as well as four other countries) need to undergo mandatory coronavirus testing on arrival in Italy.

As the travel restrictions change frequently you are advised to check for updates regularly on the Italian government’s Viaggiare Sicuri website.

Photo: AFP

Travel rules

You will also need to fill in extra paperwork at the airport relating to the purpose of your trip and a contact locator form providing details for how you can be contacted if one of your fellow passengers later tests positive for Covid-19.

Finally check carefully with your airline on any extra rules, especially around masks. Some airlines specify that medical-grade masks must be worn and you can be denied boarding if you turn up at the airport without the correct type of mask.

Will US travellers arriving in Italy have to quarantine?

Yes, if you can prove your trip is essential and are allowed into Italy, you will have to quarantine yourself for 14 days after you arrive.

Even travellers from countries on the EU’s “safe list” are still required to quarantine on arrival in Italy, which is not the case in other EU member states.

You will also need to complete a self-certification form (available in English here) informing authorities of where you plan to isolate yourself and your arrangements for getting there. You must not travel by public transport.

Health authorities will call you daily throughout the quarantine period to check whether you have symptoms.

If you’re not able to quarantine at your home address, Italian health authorities will require you to stay at a state-run facility – which could be anything from a repurposed hotel to army barracks. Readers have asked if they could spend spend the period at a regular hotel, but most are carefully screening guests for Covid symptoms and are very unlikely to accept guests hoping to quarantine on their premises.

Are there many flights available from the US to Italy?

Some flight connections have been reistated, such as Alitalia’s Rome-New York route, and passengers can freely purchase tickets. Yet this does not mean that restrictions for travelling into Italy have been lifted.

In fact many of those hoping to travel on these flights told The Local that they were turned away at the airport.

Some passengers said they had trouble finding clear, official travel information ahead of their flight, meaning they traveled unnecessarily to the airport hoping they may be able to board after being allowed to book tickets.

Alitalia confirmed to The Local that the airline could not provide passengers with Italian travel information before they arrived at the airport.

“On our website we recommend that travelers check the entry restrictions of the destination country on the local Department of Foreign Affairs website,” an Alitalia spokesperson told The Local.

“Passengers should also inform themselves if they are eligible for travel to Europe,” they added, citing information from the US Embassy in Italy.

Stay updated

At the time of writing, the US government was “recommending that travelers avoid all nonessential travel to Italy”.

Anyone planning to travel is advised to check the latest updates from the US State Department and Centers for Disease Control, and to find out whether they are covered by their travel insurer. Otherwise, and unless you are an Italian resident registered with the Italian health authorities, you can incur medical bills if you fall sick while in Italy.

The US Embassy in Rome directed us to the following advice for any US citizens planning to travel to Italy:

This also applies to those who are entering Italy via another European country on a connecting flight, such as via Germany or the UK, if they have been in the US (or anywhere else outside of Europe) within the past 14 days.

For more details travellers are advised to check the relevant country information on the ViaggiareSicuri website. You may also wish to check the Italian Foreign Ministry’s website (in English) as well as the latest advice from the government of any countries you’re travelling to or from.

The Local

Who won the 2020 Vice Presidential Debate?


White House Covid-19 outbreak overshadows vice-presidential debate | US  elections 2020 | The Guardian
Kamala Harris Mike Pence

The first Covid 19 Vice Presidential debate was a bit more civil than the Presidential Debate last week.

The Candidates were 12 feet apart and separated by plexiglass.

The Biden/Harris has a sizeable lead over the Trump/Pence ticket. Vice President Pence needs to stop the slow defections in his base.

Senator Harris, needed to convince America, she is qualified to be number two.

Both candidates had strong moments, and a few stumbles, over the course of the 90-minute affair.

Last Night’s moderator was Susan Page, the current Washington Bureau Chief for USA Today

Both were well prepared last night. Harris defended her record as California’s Attorney General. Pence pressed hard on Biden’s Tax plan and Pence warned that the Green New Deal would “crush American energy” and accused Biden of wanting to “abolish” fossil fuels and ban fracking.

Harris failed to exploit the number of Covid infections orgininating from the White House.

The Trump-Pence ticket is struggling with women voters and his steamrolling of moderator Susan Page. resulting in another admonishment of the Republicans. Along with the interruption of Harris. “Mr Vice-President, I’m speaking,” “If you don’t mind letting me finish, then we can have a conversation. Is not likey to earn him points with the few undesided women voters.

Who Won The Debate?

It is was very obvious, from the moment they appeared on stage, we were captivated.

The fly that landed in Mike Pence's hair during the debate endorses the  Trump campaign.

The Winner of the 2020 Vice Presidential Debate is Faddios or Flora F. Fly

We were all captivated, how still he or she was in Pence’s hair, and captured in High Def

Senator Harris and Vice President Pence, both performed well, but it was the fly

We Need To Talk About the Fly on Mike Pence's Head

(Faddious or Flora) that captured the attention of the viewing audence.

CityFella

They arrested me for playing basketball


Basketball Courts | Walt Disney World Resort
A personal argument in favor of defunding the police
In juvenile detention, I caught a glimpse of what funding programs aimed at helping at-risk kids instead could do

By: Darryl Robertson/Salon.com

My tidy bedroom at 1784 Devonshire Road, on the northside of Columbus, Ohio, is where I learned the craft of creating Magic through my imagination. My bedroom was my ark, a planet within a universe of physical, verbal and emotional abuse that lodged inside my home. Upholding my imagination were a couple of books, and the stacks of King, XXL, Slam, and The Source magazines that were neatly stacked inside of my closet or sprawled across my bed. 

I studied bylines just as much as I poured over the feature stories. When creating Magic inside my ark, I attached faces to the bylines. Inside my mind’s eye, me and my imaginary writer friends would bond over, and debate hip-hop and basketball. We traded cards and looked through Becketts together. I imagined flying to California to interview Nas, Jay Z, Scarface Denzel Washington, Wesley Snipes and Omar Epps. 

But despite this Magic inside my mind, real life awaited me outside of my bedroom. 

I was unwinding inside of my magical ark after a long day as an 8th grader. Before I could get comfortable and munch on an after-school snack, I saw two police officers walking toward the front door. This can’t be good. I knew I hadn’t committed a crime, but I was recently released from the Franklin County Juvenile Detention Center. My mom had developed a habit of involving the state of Ohio in our business, so I was sure that the police came to the house for

This situation started with me throwing a brick through the window of a childhood friend-turned-foe.  At the conclusion of this fiasco, I served a few days in jail, and my mom had to pay $70 to the kid’s mother. But the judge played on my mother’s ignorance by suggesting that she put me on house arrest, and If I were to go outside, she should call the police and have me arrested. It must be noted that I was not required to wear an ankle monitor or report to a probation officer. Basically, the judge told my mom to put me on punishment. My mom, an uneducated general laborer, was probably too intimidated to question the judge’s agenda. As one who follows a general train of thought, my mom, as well as many others parents, fell for the false narrative that jails solve problems created by trauma, poverty, and lack of education.  

After a couple of days on house arrest, I decided to go play basketball at the local rec center, something that I did regularly. I didn’t think my mom would actually call the police on me, but unbeknownst to me, she did. A tall, Black police officer, followed by his white partner entered my bedroom. Seeing the magazines, “Night” by Eli Weisel and Asha Bandele’s “Daughter” laying around my room, the Black officer told me that I seemed like a smart kid, but I needed to follow rules If I wanted to be successful.

“Your mother told us to come get you, because you went outside when you weren’t supposed to,” he said. “She doesn’t hate you, she’s only called us because she cared. She cares about you.” With this, I was placed in handcuffs and taken to Franklin County Juvenile Detention Center. 

As a radical dreamer, I see a world where police officers provide resources that will assist parents and children in unearthing the traumas associated with unhealthy behaviors. I envision a world where when a police officer sees stacks of magazines and books inside the room of a 12-year-old kid’s room, the officer will usher the kid to a community program that will help hone his interest in hip-hop, journalism, and Black history. 

Since the killings of George Floyd and Breonna Taylor, activists have been asking city council members to redirect money from police departments to community programs. One of the theories with #DefundThePolice is that more education will reduce crime. In recent weeks, some districts have defunded police departments. Baltimore City Council voted to reallocate $22 million from its police department to recreation centers, trauma centers, and forgivable loans to Black-owned businesses. Los Angeles is reallocating $100 million dollars of police department budgeted funds to marginalized communities. Defunding police departments, I believe, is a step toward ending the culture of punishment. 

Franklin County Juvenile Detention Center sits above Interstate 71 in downtown Columbus. 

We were in our morning art class. My fellow inmates were either pretending to be, or seriously engaged in the day’s lesson. Near the front of the class, a group of baby faced inmates created art with popsicle sticks. Not me, though. Firstly, I wasn’t interested in playing with popsicle sticks. Secondly, the activity did not relate to anything that I was experiencing at home. I was less than 24 hours removed from seeing my mom tell the judge that she didn’t want me. Being creative with popsicle sticks wasn’t going to help heal me. With tears on the cliff of my eyelids, I stayed aloof, sat next to a window looking down at the cars speeding through I-71. 

Days turned into weeks in jail. We wasted time by debating who’s the best MCs and NBA players, riffing on each other, and lying about our sexual exploits. There were fist fights, too. But overall, we laughed more than we fought. We were still babies, and very much concerned with being kids. Our frolic behavior was a combination of holding on to loose threads of childhood joy, immaturity, and us being ignorant of the trap we were in. Unhealthy relationships, drug addiction, prison, rehab facilities and death awaited us. The correctional officers knew this, too.  But they weren’t community activists dedicated to appeasing underlying issues that led to juvenile delinquency. Also, many of our parents lacked the language, education, or in some cases mental faculties to understand what was going on. So, there we were. Little kids, 12-13 years old, stretching out useless hope on a road that was already predetermined with convictions and addictions.  

Mr. Wrench, a freshly dressed Black correctional officer assigned to the pod I was housed at in Franklin County Juvenile Detention Center, told us that some students from Wilberforce University were coming to the jail to engage with us. Mr. Wrench explained that Wilberforce was the first private HBCU. I’d never heard of Wilberforce or HBCUs, but I was interested. Spending time with Black college students seemed interesting. Much more interesting than that wack art class. 

The enthusiastic student-teachers regaled me with seeds of hope. Their presence was comforting, and they acted as if they’d known us for years. On the first day of class, they played a scene from the movie “Roots,” which was new to me. In the clip, Kunta Kinte, played by actor LeVar Burton, is chained and whipped until he accepts his new name, Toby. We then had a discussion about identity, how we saw ourselves, how our friends saw us, how the world sees, versus how we wanted to be seen.

The following week, we read and discussed passages from Chinua Achebe’s “Things Fall Apart,” which was new to me, too. And once again, I was taken aback by the simple profundity, and inventiveness of a Black creator that I never heard of. Reminiscent of “Of the Meaning of Progress,” one of the student-teachers expressed special interest in me. She spent much of the class sitting next to me, helping me pore over sentences that I jotted down. I believe she understood that I was aware of my ignorance, or maybe I reminded her of a loved-one with unlimited potential that slipped through the cracks. After the readings of “Things Fall Apart,” we only saw the Wilberforce student-teachers twice. It was a four-week class, broken down to once-a-week intervals. On their last day at the jail, I cried.

For a few weeks, through books, writing and a show of concern from some college students, I experienced the magic that I used to create in my bedroom. But budgets stripped me of meaningful education given to me by Wilberforce student-teachers. I was eventually released from juvenile jail into a life of drug dealing, adoption, violence, a cocaine addiction, and a prison sentence at Parchman, Mississippi State Penitentiary. It was in Parchman where I had to unearth the power of magic as a way to cope with the calendars that I served in prison.  

As America continues to fight with moral issues, the college board has launched a national curriculum on race. The curriculum will allow students to study Black life through the slave trade and other movements led by minorities. The new curriculum is supposedly more than a traditional African American history course. As an example, a student might trace the roots of hip-hop to Jamaica, redlining, and gentrification, or conduct independent research on Black power educational institutions.  

Had I had this curriculum, or one similar been available to me as a child, it’s safe to say that I would’ve dodged prison, as well as drug addiction. Police officers are not concerned with reaching hearts and minds the way that Wilberforce student-teachers touched my heart. These college students introduced me to content that directly related to my experiences. They also brought out in me an eagerness to learn. This is why defunding police departments is important — real change comes from shifting thought patterns, but people have to be put in place to help impressionable minds wrap their minds around unhealthy thought patterns. 

DARRYL ROBERTSON

Darryl Robertson is a former staff writer at VIBE, and graduate student at Columbia University studying African American history. He is especially interested in understanding how the Black Panther Party serviced Black communities during the late-1960s. His writing has appeared in Ebony, Billboard, XXL, Don Diva and Black Perspectives. Follow him on Twitter @dvrobertson88.

Poison Water: Flint Michigan “Enviromental Racism”


Water Management in Flint, Michigan, USA | EJAtlas

Flint, Michigan is located seventy miles northwest of Detroit Michigan.

Poisoning People, the Future and the Public Interest in Flint, Michigan |  NRDC

Flint,Michigan is located 70 miles northwest of Detroit. The city has a population of 100,000. General Motors, was founded in Flint in 1908. Flint’s Nickname is “Vehicle City” and was a manufacturing powerhouse for General Motors. At its peak, nearly ninty thousand people worked for General Motors in Flint, today less than five thousand people work for GM. The majority of the population is black. More than 40% of the population in Flint lives at or below the poverty level.

In August,The State of Michigan reached a $600 million agreement to compensate Flint residents for the state’s role in failing to protect them from lead-tainted water.

What Happened ?

Former Michigan Governor Rick Snyder’s administration wanted to restructure Flint’s debt as the city was in danger of becoming insolvent. One cost-saving measure considered was to find a cheaper source for the city’s drinking water. The source of Flint’s water was Detroit.

March 2013: City and State officials believed Flint could build its own pipeline to connect to the Karegnondi Water Authority (KWA). That option was projected to save the region $200 million over 25 years.

Flint Emergency Manager Ed Kurtz tells the state treasurer, that the city is going to join the KWA. To connect with (KWA water supply would take 30 months).  The Detroit Water and Sewerage Department (DWSD) negotiated with Flint officials by offering to restructure water payments. Flint refused, insisting that KWA was the best water supplier.

DWSD argued that Flint could not spend more money on a new water system and that Lake Huron’s system was more efficient. DWSD demanded that the state deny Flint’s request, as it would start a water war which would essentially hurt DWSD. April 15, 2013, State Treasure Andy Dillion approved the water purchase. contract with the KWA .

April 17 2013, the DWSD delivered its one-year termination notice after Flint rejected their last offer. The DWSD expected that Flint would reimburse the investments for the water system that benefited regional customers. Flint and Genesee County rejected such responsibility but indicated their willingness to purchase pipelines. A day later, Detroit’s water system tells Kurtz it is terminating service to the city effective a year later, in April 2014

Needing reassure citizens, the government needing an alterative source of water turned to the Flint River. A source that was discontinued in the sixties.

Water from the Flint River water started flowing to the city on April 25,2014 Although the connection to the Flint River was temporary,many citizens were concerned about the water quality

Michael Prysby of the Michigan DEQ Office of Drinking Water verified that ‘the quality of the water met all of state’s drinking water standards and Flint water was safe to drink. Flint Mayor, Dayne Walling said “Its regular, good pure drinking water and it’s right in our backyard”

Complaints and Coverups

Immediately, some Flint residents complained about the smell and color of the new water, which was 70 percent harder than the previous water source.

In August 2014, E. coli and total coliform bacteria are detected in Flint’s water, prompting multiple advisories for residents to boil their water. Michigan’s Department of Environmental Quality (MDEQ) says the city addressed the problem by increasing chlorine levels in the water.

The Environmental Protection Agency limit for lead is fifteen parts per billion in drinking water, the city’s tests revealed a lead content of 104 parts per billion in the home of a Flint resident.

For nearly 18 months, residents’ complained of foul-smelling and discoloured water, of hair loss and skin rashes. Michigan DEQ Office of Drinking Water told the public “anyone who is concerned about lead in the drinking water in Flint can relax.”

On January 13, 2016, Snyder said that 87 cases of Legionnaires‘ disease, a waterborne disease was reported in Genesee County from June 2014 – November 2015, resulting in 14 deaths.

By early October 2014, officials at MDEQ were aware of a possible link between the water in Flint and the Legionnaires’ outbreak, but the public was never informed, and the agency gave assurances about water safety in public statements and at public forums

Boom!

October 2014, General Motors stopped using Flint River water, fearing corrosion in its machines. “Because of all the metal … you don’t want the higher chlorine water (to result in) corrosion,” GM spokesman Tom Wickham says “We noticed it some time ago (and) the discussions have been going on for some time.”

Month’s after members of Government telling Flint citizens their water was safe with Goverment officials Pretending to drink Flint’s water in front of the media.

A team from Virginia Tech tested hundreds of homes for lead in Flint, Michigan and their preliminary test show serious levels of lead in city water.

The levels that we have seen in Flint are some of the worst that I have seen in more than 25 years working in the field,” Dr. Marc Edwards, a member of the Virginia Tech team. 

The EPA says it was notified by the MDEQ on or about April 24 “that the City did not have corrosion control treatment in place at the Flint Water Treatment Plant.”

Lead in Children

September 24,2015. Doctors from Flint’s, Hurley Medical Center presented findings of rise in blood lead levels of children less than 5 years old living within Flint zip codes 48501-48507 after the switch to Flint River water as the source. A spokeswoman for the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services said the elevated lead level results may be a result of seasonal changes,rather than the change in the water source.

Exposure to lead can seriously harm a child’s health, including damage to the brain and nervous system, slowed growth and development, learning and behavior problems, and hearing and speech problems.

Gov. Snyder’s chief of staff, Dennis Muchmore, wrote in an email that the MDEQ and Department of Community Health “I feel, that some in Flint are taking the very sensitive issue of children’s exposure to lead and trying to turn it into a political football claiming the departments are underestimating the impacts on the population and particularly trying to shift responsibility to the state.”

National News Starring Governor Snyder

Free state supplied water filters proved ineffective. On October 16th, Flint returned back to the Detroit river for the source of its water. The governor’s office said in press briefing notes that the Detroit water “will be easier to manage. It comes from a more stable source than the river, it is fully optimized for corrosion control, and it is clear that residents of Flint have more confidence in this water source.”

But there is a problem, the cities pipes. In an December email from Snyder’s communications director, Meegan Holland, also said that Flint never tested the impact of the Flint River water on the distribution system.

On Dec 14th, Flint Mayor Karen Weaver declares a state of emergency over the elevated lead levels in the city’s water. “I am requesting that all things be done necessary to address this state of emergency declaration, effective immediately!

Data shows that after the city switched the water source to the Flint River, fetal deaths rose 58% among women aged 15–49 compared to control areas.Overall, birth weight in Flint was found to be 48.9 grams less than the control group with a statistically significant 1.53% increase in incidences of low birth weight

Hot in Michigan!

POLL: Snyder takes hit over Flint water crisis

Statewide polls indicate they dissaprove of the Govenors handling of Flints water crises. On the 29th of December, MDEQ Director Dan Wyant and spokesperson Brad Wurfel resign. A day after the Flint Water Advisory Task Force, created by the governor, releases a preliminary report on the crisis and concludes that primary responsibility rests with the MDEQ. The report says that in the agency’s interactions with the public about their concerns, its response “was often one of aggressive dismissal, belittlement, and attempts to discredit these efforts and the individuals involved.”

On January 5, 2016, Governor Snyder declared Genesee County to be in a state of emergency. The State Emergency Operations Center recommended that all Flint children under six years old get tested for lead levels as soon as possible, either by a primary care physician or the Genesee County Health Department.]

January 2015: The Eniviriomental Protection Agency (EPA) issued an emergency order to take action on the Flint water crisis. “EPA has determined that the City of Flint’s and the State of Michigan’s responses to the drinking water crisis in Flint have been inadequate and that these failures continue” 

Febuary 2015: Gov. Snyder and EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy, testifies before the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform.

“Let me be blunt,” the governor says in his opening statement. “This was a failure of government at all levels. Local, state and federal officials — we all failed the families of Flint.”

Blame

No one, no Agency, is takeing responsibilty for Flint. The Govenor proposed a plan that would include providing professional support for children under 6 with elevated lead levels, replacing water fixtures in public facilities, replacing the city’s 8,000 lead service lines, and increasing resources for schools.

A the task force charged with investigating the causes of the Flint water crisis says in its final report that the MDEO bears primary responsibility.Task force member Chris Kolb tells said, “From a regulatory standpoint, to a protection of human health and the environment standpoint, they missed the boat completely. And it is extremely troublesome to me that an agency whose primary role, once again, is to protect human health and the environment came to these decisions, and they never backed off these decisions, no matter how many red flags they saw.”Others are also to blame, the report says, including the state’s Department of Health and Human Services, the city’s emergency managers and the governor.

Weeks, months, went by and despite the goverments best efforts the water remained unsafe to drink. Flints residents largely avoided the water and the water additives that would ‘re-scale’ corroded pipes in the water system, thereby preventing lead from leaching into the water, are not reaching the pipes because people in Flint didn’t want to pay for contaminated water that they can’t use.”

Scientists Now Know Exactly How Lead Got Into Flint's Water | Science |  Smithsonian Magazine

As Flints, pipes corrode. Michigan’s Attorney General sued ,Corporations, consultants, state employees accused of manslaugter and obstrution of justice . A total of 15 criminal cases

June 2019: The Michigan Attorney General’s Office dismissed all pending criminal charges arising from the Flint drinking water crisis,saying the initial investigation was bungled and it is opting to launch a new but expanded probe. Seven had earlier pleaded no contest to misdemeanors, with expectations they would cooperate with other pending prosecutions and their records would eventually be wiped clean.

On April 16, 2020, an article was published giving details of evidence of corruption and a coverup by Governor Snyder and Rich Baird, and stating that the statute of limitations on some of the most serious felony misconduct-in-office charges would expire on April 25, 2020. Responses from Michigan state authorities denied that a deadline was approaching, and said that criminal prosecutions would follow.

Nearly all of Flint water supply pipes are being replaced nearly every home and business. This Govermental error will cost taxpayers billions.

The Supreme Court said it wouldn’t block a lawsuit by Flint residents seeking to hold city officials accountable. Lawyers for the city had asked justices to step in, saying their clients had immunity from such lawsuits.

A previous ruling from a federal appeals court also sided with the residents.”Knowing the Flint River water was unsafe for public use, distributing it without taking steps to counter its problems, and assuring the public in the meantime that it was safe is conduct that would alert a reasonable person to the likelihood of personal liability,” the 6th US Circuit Court of Appeals held.

Enviromental Racism?

 Environmental racism, a form of systemic racism whereby communities of color are disproportionately burdened with health hazards through policies and practices that force them to live in proximity to sources of toxic waste such as sewage works, mines, landfills, power stations, major roads and emitters of airborne particulate matter. In practice, environmental racism can take many forms, from workplaces with unsound health regulations to the siting of coal-fired power stations close to predominantly non-white communities. It can mean citizens drinking contaminated groundwater or being schooled in decaying buildings with asbestos problems.

Paul Mohai, reseacher at the University of Michigan researcher said the Flint Water Crises the worst example of environmental injustice in recent U.S. history.

“Given the magnitude of the disaster in Flint, the role that public officials’ decisions played that led to the poisoning of the city’s water, their slow pace at acknowledging and responding to the problem, and the fact that Flint is a city of almost 100,000 people indeed makes this the most egregious example of environmental injustice and racism in my over three decades of studying this issue,” Mohai said.

“One of the important lessons from the Flint water crisis is the importance of preserving and protecting the local democracy and a system of accountability. The voices of community residents need to be heard and taken seriously, rather than disrespected, minimized or dismissed.”

“What stands out about the Flint Water Crisis … is the apparent indifference and lack of concern that harm might be created,” Mohai wrote in the Michigan Sociological Review. “And even after the harm was created and finally acknowledged, there has been and apparent lack of sense of urgency to fix the problems.

“A fear I have is that the longer they remain unresolved, the more likely what has happened in Flint will become a precedent and model for how similar catastrophes are handled by state and federal governments in the future. The Flint Water Crisis and its aftermath should serve as a wakeup call for us all.”

600 Million

On the surface, 600 million seems generous for the citizens of Flint. But how do you measure, the long term effects of lead poisoning. There doesn’t seem to be a provision that provides continous health care for the citizens of Flint.

Nearly 80 percent of the settlement, which state officials said is likely the largest in Michigan history, would be paid to children who were younger than 18 when they were first exposed to Flint River water, which contained elevated levels of lead and bacteria in 2014 and 2015.

Adults in Flint exposed to city water will be eligible to recover compensation with proof of personal injury, the summary document says.

What’s daunting, are those citizens who aren’t showing outward signs of lead poisioning. What if the effects of the lead posioning is delayed? Is there a provision for those citizens? There are many organizations in Flint who says the settlement doesn’t go far enough.

In 2018, Michigan State University paid 500 million dollars to 300 victims of sexual abuse by a sports-medicine doctor who worked for the University..

600 million could be just the beginning?

CityFella

The virus slams into a broken Washington


Most D.C. crises follow an expected pattern. Not this one.
Former New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, front second from right, speaks with others after President Donald Trump announces Judge Amy Coney Barrett as his nominee to the Supreme Court in the Rose Garden of the White House. | AP Photo
Former New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, front second from right, speaks with others after President Donald Trump announces Judge Amy Coney Barrett as his nominee to the Supreme Court in the Rose Garden of the White House. | Alex Brandon/AP Photo

By: Jake Sherman/Politico

Let’s not mince words: Washington has been plunged into a crisis of historic proportions, frozen by a disease it is both unwilling and unable to control.

Washington crises typically conform to a predictable rhythm: They simmer, boil and come to their expected conclusion. The government shuts down for a few days, but it always reopens. A national security emergency demands an urgent response — and gets one.

But this time, America’s capital itself is crippled, leaving the country rudderless, leaderless and riven with bitter partisan fighting in the middle of a pandemic that has already claimed more than 200,000 lives and is nowhere near over.

One month before Election Day, with ballots already being cast, President Donald Trump is in a military hospital, where he will remain for days, being treated for Covid-19, a disease that’s particularly dangerous for people of his age and weight. His physician Saturday morning said he’s doing well and is fever free, but declined to say when precisely he was diagnosed, how long he expects him to be in the hospital. Asked whether the president was ever on supplemental oxygen, he was evasive.

Then, minutes later, a “source familiar with the president’s health” told a White House pool reporter: “The president’s vitals over the last 24 hours were very concerning and the next 48 hours will be critical in terms of his care. We’re still not on a clear path to a full recovery.”

The public is being given conflicting messages about the commander in chief’s health, fueling speculation and sowing confusion.

It’s not only the president who is ill: His campaign manager Bill Stepien; informal adviser Kellyanne Conway; Republican Party Chair Ronna McDaniel; and Chris Christie, who advises the president, have all tested positive. The disease is rippling through the president’s innermost circle.

The coronavirus is also coursing through the U.S. Capitol, the power center and beating heart of American democracy. Three Republican senators — Mike Lee of Utah, Ron Johnson of Wisconsin and Thom Tillis of North Carolina — have tested positive. Sens. James Lankford of Oklahoma and Ben Sasse of Nebraska are quarantining as a precaution.

Congress has been unable to agree on the size and shape of a new relief package, even as the economy throws off continued signs of distress. Airlines are on the brink of firing tens of thousands of workers, businesses are shutting their doors and state and local governments are starving for cash. Yet Congress may not be able to stop that. The leaders are at loggerheads over a rescue package. Even if they come to a deal, will the legislature be able to approve it if lawmakers are ill?

The Senate will now likely to take the next 16 days off, hoping to rid the virus from its ranks — but pushing the confirmation of a new Supreme Court justice closer to Election Day.

Senators sit next to each other at lunch, frequently lower their masks on the Senate floor and fly back and forth to D.C. each week. More infections seem inevitable.

The Capitol is filled with Republican lawmakers who decline to wear masks, ignoring nearly universally accepted scientific evidence that it prevents the spread of this disease. For example, Rep. Ralph Norman of South Carolina was on the street on Friday with no face covering, talking to a small group of people. Rep. Doug LaMalfa of California was strolling through the rotunda with two women earlier this week bare faced. Sen. Rand Paul of Kentucky — who had the coronavirus — doesn’t wear a mask. Sen. Jerry Moran of Kansas was chatting on the Senate floor earlier this week with nothing covering his face.

On the other side of Pennsylvania Avenue, Mark Meadows, the president’s chief of staff, conceded that the public should be prepared for more positive results in the White House in the coming days.

Congressional leaders — Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) and Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) — have stubbornly refused to mandate testing for members of Congress, or punish people who don’t wear masks, leaving hundreds of lawmakers, aides, reporters and Capitol workers susceptible to a virus without a cure. They first said it was insensitive, since Americans couldn’t get tests. They privately said the politics would be too tricky. Either way, the Capitol has the potential to be a super spreader event every single day. 

Wallace and Trump campaign adviser argue about debate

Washington’s dysfunction often has scant impact on the rest of the country, but this time the real-world implications are massive. Will the Senate be able to confirm Judge Amy Coney Barrett to the Supreme Court in three weeks? Or will Covid-19 prevent McConnell from filling Justice Ruth Bader Ginsberg’s seat, raising the specter of a deadlocked high court in the aftermath of a disputed election?

There are 470 federal elections in November, and they will be conducted in a country where the death count from coronavirus is 208,779. The president and his Republican allies have spent months suggesting the balloting would be riddled with fraud and corrupted by his opponents. Now, there’s a likelihood that the president and his party will have to wrap up election season from the sidelines.

How Eating Disorders Are Impacted By Quarantine Stress & What You Can Do To Cope


woman with eating disorder stress during covid-19 quarantine
Photo, Getty

By: Lesley Goth, Psy.D.

Quarantine life, as we all know, contributes to higher levels of stress, isolation, depression, and anxiety, to name a just a few of the many negative consequences of COVID-19.

In addition, these aftereffects also exacerbate symptoms related to eating disorders and tend to make recovery or managing an eating disorder exponentially harder.

Isolation and anxiety in and of themselves feed right into the need to hyper-control your food and become very rigid with rules related to eating and exercise.

Control and inflexibility around food and exercise are two main signs that you may have some form of disordered eating.

What is considered an eating disorder?

Eating disorders range from anorexia nervosa to bulimia nervosa or a mix of the two.

There can also be behaviors that are eating disorder related, but don’t exactly fit into a diagnosable category. This is called “eating disorder NOS” (not otherwise specified).

There is also binge-eating disorder which is similar to bulimia without the purging behavior that typically follows a binge.

You don’t have to have a full-blown diagnosis of an eating disorder to have what is called disordered eating.

Disordered eating is simply an unhealthy relationship with food that approximately five to 20 percent of people fall into if they don’t qualify for the full diagnosis of an eating disorder.

My guess is that percentage is actually much higher, as I have yet to meet a woman who doesn’t struggle in some way with her body and relationship with food.

If you struggle with an eating disorder or even with disordered eating, there is more going on underneath the actual diagnosis that gets masked and shows up as either restriction, bingeing, purging or all of the above.

In other words, the eating disorder is merely a symptom of a much bigger problem.

What are the symptoms underneath eating disorders that get inflamed by COVID-19?

  • High anxiety
  • Depression
  • Perfectionism
  • People pleasing
  • Obsessive-compulsive disorder
  • Fear of weight gain
  • A high need for control
  • A high need to stay busy and active

This list does not apply to everyone who struggles with their body and food, but are generally the underlying players in the eating-disorder game.

The stay-at-home order and the stress that ensues from quarantine life intensify all these underlying symptoms, as if they were on steroids!

Increased isolation is a breeding ground for eating disorders. So many eating-disorder behaviors come from shame and are done in secret where the voice of the eating disorder can have total reign and dominance over anything rational and logical.

The lack of freedom to exercise at a gym or having to wear a mask outside pushes against the rigidity of an eating disorder’s need to burn a certain number of calories on a daily basis, or at least have the control to stay busy and active.

This lack of control over the normal routine creates a tremendous amount of anxiety.

In addition, here is a list that is not exhaustive but illustrates just how many triggers there are and how quarantine life makes everything so much worse if you struggle with an eating disorder.

  • Higher stress
  • Increased time to sit around and think, which equals boredom
  • Increased time on social media
  • Either too much food in the house due to the need to stock up, or a fear of not having enough food
  • Fear of getting sick or being infected with people’s germs
  • Feeling out of control when restrictions will be lifted and life will get back to normal
  • Loss of income

Furthermore, the loss of control and the loss of routine could lead you to turn to other maladaptive behaviors, such as drinking, drugs, or bodily self-harm.

The impact of social media on eating disorders during COVID-19.

Believe it or not, obsessing over social media could be a subtle form of self-harm. Let me explain.

Social media in and of itself is not a problem. However, if you’re not secure in yourself, then social media is prime territory to compare yourself.

Feeling inferior directly correlates with a higher need to control your food, weight, or environment. Having more time to spend on social media creates a shame-based, “not good enough” mindset.

Ironically, it becomes a vicious cycle. The more shame you feel, the more you try to assuage those feelings with eating-disorder behaviors, the more shame you actually feel.

According to Rebecca Pearl, PhD, Assistant Professor of Psychology in Psychiatry and Director of Research at the Center for Weight and Eating Disorders, “Social media posts that stigmatize obesity and mock or diminish real struggles with weight and eating are harmful to people across the weight spectrum, and they may be particularly detrimental to individuals with obesity who are actively trying to manage their weight.”

If you are noticing that quarantine life and the stress of COVID-19 is impacting you and making your eating disorder worse, take a look at these tools and begin implementing them in order to feel better.

Here are 9 tools to manage the stress of COVID-19 while you’re also struggling with an eating disorder.

1. Meditation and yoga.

Practicing meditation and yoga are both particularly effective for anxiety and stress.

2. Stick to a routine.

Creating a routine helps you feel more in control.

3. Practice mindfulness.

A mindfulness practice — like writing in a journal and breathing exercises — help release and calm down the nervous system.

4. Light exercise. 

Self-care with exercise that is not too strenuous. Try to have the goal of exercise for self-care, versus needing to burn a certain number of calories.

5. Find new activities to help with boredom.

Try a new word game on your phone, or pick up crocheting or knitting and create something special for yourself or someone you love.

6. Stay connected with friends and family. 

Zoom with friends or family, and stay connected to people you care about.

7. Read.

Get lost in a great book.

8. Stay off social media.

The last thing you need is to be comparing yourself or looking at posts that are shameful about weight gain during this quarantine.

9. Seek out teletherapy.

Having professional support during the pandemic facilitates feeling safe to explore your recovery process.

If you or someone you know is struggling with an eating disorder, then please understand that COVID-19 is only making everything worse.

Be gentle with yourself and know that recovery is still very possible. It just may take time and patience to manage the increased stressors and pressures during quarantine life.

Lesley Goth, Psy.D., has specialized with eating disorders for over 16 years. She helps women learn important mindfulness tools in order to shift their relationship with food and their bodies. For more information, contact her here, or download her free ebook that teaches an important mindful eating tool.

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