Wednesday, December 14, 2011
Friday, December 9, 2011
Mark Bittman in this morning's New York Times asks, What's the difference between eating a cookie for breakfast and having a helping of a sweetened breakfast cereal? Usually, the cereal has more sugar! Bittman outlines the lobbying and political pressure that the "breakfast food" industry applies to any attempt to reduce sugar content or marketing to children. So far, the industry wins every time.
Meanwhile, Republican presidential candidate Rick Santorum is calling for big cutbacks in the federal Food Stamp program.
“If hunger is a problem in America, then why do we have an obesity problem among the people who we say have a hunger program?” Santorum asked. ThinkProgress.
Three-quarters of those who live in this country are either overweight or outright obese. The health problems that accompany obesity are well-documented. What Santorum doesn't understand is that access to calories does not mean access to nutrition.
Some few people manage to resist marketing and the lure of cheap food, but the deck is stacked against us. Occupy Breakfast?
Photo from Frapestaartje's photostream at Flickr.
Thursday, December 8, 2011
Something interesting did happen last night, though: PRE sent stenographers to record the proceedings. That in itself is not unusual; they've done it before. But what I did find interesting is that PRE didn't bother to send stenographers for the first attempt of city council to appeal the permit. Why didn't they send the stenographers for that meeting? Because obviously, they knew that no vote would be taken. And why was no vote taken? Because Councilor Katari Walsh invoked Rule 20. My, my, my..
Wednesday, December 7, 2011
Commissioner Ken Kimmell, Mass. DEP, rejected his Presiding Officer's recommended decision that a ten citizens' group (that is, those of us in Springfield who are appealing the air permit issued to Palmer Renewable Energy) do not have the standing to appeal, and sent the case back to the officer to be determined on its merits! Of course, he reserved the right to challenge our standing after the determination is made. So we're back in the game.
Tonight, at a special meeting, the Springfield City Council will take a vote to appeal the building permit issued to PRE by Building Commissioner Steve Desilets. The city council revoked PRE's special permit back in May, and thought that would be the end of the matter, only to find out that its vote didn't count for much-- PRE is saying tit never really needed the special permit that it asked for and received in 2008.
Every day that we hold off this plant is a day that Springfield residents-- and the rest of the Valley-- don't have to breathe air even more polluted than we already have to live with.