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The federal government’s decision to close California’s oldest and largest oyster farm over environmental concerns has the business community fuming.
“This is going to be devastating to our families, our community and our county,” Lunny, who employs 30 people at the farm, told the Associated Press. “This is wrong beyond words, in our opinion.”
Other local oyster companies agree. Martin Seiler, retail manager at Tamales Bay Oyster Co., just outside the Point Reyes National Seashore, told The Daily that shutting down the largest farming operation in the state makes no sense.
“One unintended consequence of this is that the price of oysters in California is going to go up,” Seiler said. “We want them in business. They’re the largest oyster operation in California and they supply us. There’s already a shortage here. Now we’ll have to import a lot more from Washington state.”
Earlier this year, geologists discovered that a series of unusual earthquakes in Ohio was caused by wastewater disposal linked to fracking. And that makes some Los Angeles residents very nervous, since fracking is used a mere 10 miles from the city’s downtown and it sits atop one of the most active fault lines in the country.
Ground zero over the debate here is the Inglewood Oil Field, a dusty, 1,000-acre spread in the middle of Los Angeles, where oil companies are testing controversial new fracking techniques atop the Newport-Inglewood fault, capable of producing a magnitude-7.4 earthquake. And that sends worry through surrounding Los Angeles neighborhoods.
“The thought of them injecting water near fault lines near my house horrifies me,” Maren Neufeld, a resident of nearby Culver City, told The Daily. “This is Los Angeles. Why would they ever think that would be a good idea?”
Many hoped that tiny Leroy, N.Y., upended by a bizarre outbreak of Tourette’s-like symptoms, would return to normal after nearly 20 teenagers were diagnosed with ‘mass hysteria.’ Instead, unanswered questions over a decades-old chemical spill have thrown the town’s residents into a panic.
“The kids are afraid. The parents are afraid. Everyone is afraid,” said Don Antinore, the owner of Cafe LeRoy Plus on Main Street. “Even if this thing with the kids isn’t connected to all these environmental issues we have, we’re not protected. Nobody is protecting us. We know that now.”
The EPA will test for harmful chemicals in an upstate N.Y. community where high school students (and now a 36-year-old woman) suffer from Tourette’s-like symptoms that had previously been written off as mass hysteria.
There has been enough speculation about possible environmental causes to draw famed activist Erin Brockovich’s attention. The Environmental Protection Agency said this week it will test and remove by month’s end drums containing rock and soil excavated when monitoring wells were drilled. The agency believes the materials are non-toxic, but as recently as 2008, 11 nearby properties needed filtering systems to keep out vapors seeping in from an underground contamination plume, the agency said.
Thanks to the La Niña climate pattern, the U.S. is experiencing a dramatic drop in snow coverage.
Meteorologists reported that only 23 percent of the surface of the lower 48 states yesterday was covered in snow, compared to 70.9 percent cover nationally on the same day in 2011. Joe Pollina, a meteorologist in the service’s New York office, said that the La Niña climate pattern is to thank for this year’s mild weather.
“This year’s very different from last year,” Pollina said. “We’re gonna see extremes in weather — last year there was heavier snow, and this year it’s milder.”
In 1998, Rishi Sowa built his first artificial island using 250,000 plastic bottles to keep it afloat, and today he lives on Spiral Island II, a smaller island that he built using 100,000 plastic bottles. The island features a house, beaches, ponds and even a solar-powered waterfall.
Even more ambitious than Sowa’s island is architect Ramon Knoester’s plan to build Recycled Island, a floating island the size of Hawaii made entirely of plastic from the Great Pacific Ocean Garbage Patch. Read more.