Thursday, April 2, 2009

Two important films @ Salem Progressive Film Series for April 2009

The Salem Progressive Film Series presents a double feature: Contaminated Without Consent and Toxic Bust

Thursday, April 9, 2009
Doors Open at 6:15 PM
Film Starts at 7 PM
$3. Adults/$2. Students
At The Grand Theater in Downtown Salem-191 High Street NE

Contaminated Without Consent

examines the scientific foundations for concern and the implications for human health from widespread contamination of toxic chemicals. Scientific studies link chemicals frequently found in consumer products to obesity, diabetes, birth defects, asthma, cancer, learning disabilities, and other health impacts. The video empowers viewers to take action in support of common- sense solutions and urgently needed government reforms that will protect families, homes, and the environment from toxic chemicals.

Toxic Bust

is a thought-provoking documentary that explores the relationship between breast cancer and exposure to toxic chemicals. The film focuses on three breast cancer "hot spots," (Cape Cod MA, The SF bay area, and workers in Silicon Valley) to explore more fully the connection between cancer and chemical exposure in the household, community, and workplace.

Guest Speakers & Audience Q & A to Follow

Dr. Sue Koger is a professor at Willamette University. Her scholarship focuses on the effects of toxicants such as pesticides on brain development and function, and the role of psychology in environmental studies. She is also a member of Salem Citizen’s for Alternatives to Pesticides.

Dr. Renee Hackenmiller-Paradis is the environmental health program director for the Oregon Environmental Council where she works to develop and promote policies and projects that protect children from toxic pollution, and to strengthen collaborative relationships with health professionals.

For more information:

Feed a car, starve a person

Given this reality:
Sharon Astyk: The only way we are likely to avoid massive world hunger in the coming decades is to cease having human beings, their pets and their cars compete with the world’s poor for human food - more than half the world’s population mostly eats grains in their most basic form. The same half of the world’s population spends 50-90% of their income on food - so while increased demand for meat or biofuels may merely inconvenience, as the price of food goes up, for other people it is the difference between life and death. And human life is not something you play games with. As much as we like meat, eating meat that has eaten 8 lbs of human-edible grain and helped increase the price is not ok. Milk and eggs raise the same difficulties.

Salem's efforts to help force biofuels into gas tanks -- to help turn land away from growing food for people and toward growing food for cars -- are immoral.

Protip: Using tags

By the way, in case you haven't tried it, if you find a post you particularly like (or, I suppose, hate) you can find more like it by clicking on any of the tag words (labels) at the bottom of the post -- that will instantly call up a list of other posts that have that same tag.

The Salem Funky Chicken

Only funky because the City Council is making this "chicken dance" all much harder than necessary.

Since hens were legal in Salem until the 70s, logic suggests that someone in the City ought to be able to explain what problems caused them to be banned -- except that logic had nothing to do with it. The hens got caught up in an ordinance change intended to ban real livestock -- like cows and horses -- from Salem residential areas, where they were present in the first place because Salem went on an annexation craze and brought some pretty rural areas into the city limits.

Ah well, seems like we'll eventually get there. After all, the City Manager touted the City's habit of "benchmarking" against other cities policies and procedures when responding to a citizen question at the budget "town hall meetings" recently. And any serious benchmarking effort would show that urban hens are both very successful and very popular in countless cities, from small, pretty rural towns to large, urban hypercities like New York and Chicago, and in many mid-sized cities very much like Salem. Eventually the City Council will have to stop giving a veto over this benign practice to the handful of fearmongers who imagine a parade of horrible consequences from hens while ignoring all the evidence of successful urban hens in all those other cities.