If The Food’s In Plastic, What’s In The Food?

The government has long known that tiny amounts of chemicals used to make plastics can sometimes migrate into food. The Food and Drug Administration regulates these migrants as “indirect food additives” and has approved more than 3,000 such chemicals for use in food-contact applications since 1958. It judges safety based on models that estimate how much of a given substance might end up on someone’s dinner plate. If the concentration is low enough (and when these substances occur in food, it is almost always in trace amounts), further safety testing isn’t required.

In a study published last year in the journal Environmental Health Perspectives, researchers put five San Francisco families on a three-day diet of food that hadn’t been in contact with plastic. When they compared urine samples before and after the diet, the scientists were stunned to see what a difference a few days could make: The participants’ levels of bisphenol A (BPA), which is used to harden polycarbonate plastic, plunged — by two-thirds, on average — while those of the phthalate DEHP, which imparts flexibility to plastics, dropped by more than half.

The findings seemed to confirm what many experts suspected: Plastic food packaging is a major source of these potentially harmful chemicals, which most Americans harbor in their bodies. Other studies have shown phthalates (pronounced THAL-ates) passing into food from processing equipment and food-prep gloves, gaskets and seals on non-plastic containers, inks used on labels — which can permeate packaging — and even the plastic film used in agriculture.
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“Wheels up, rings off” Mentality Being Scrutinized

It’s widely known that the divorce rate among special agents in the FBI and Secret Service are very high.  This recent scandal concerning the Secret Service in Columbia makes one begin to see why.

The accusations are triggering scrutiny of the culture of the Secret Service — where married agents have been heard to joke during aircraft takeoff that their motto is “wheels up, rings off” — and raising new questions at both the agency and the Pentagon about institutional oversight at the highest levels of the president’s security apparatus.
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Paladino Endorses Marine Corps Vet In 105th Assembly District

Buffalo, New York: Today, TEA Party backed 2010 Republican gubernatorial candidate Carl Paladino enthusiastically endorsed Kieran Michael Lalor in New York’s 105th Assembly District race.  According to Paladino, “Kieran Michael Lalor has already demonstrated that he is willing to take on the entrenched establishment of both parties and be an independent conservative voice for reform and economic growth.”

Lalor, a former teacher at Our Lady of Lourdes High School in Poughkeepsie, is a Marine Corps veteran of Operation Iraqi Freedom and founder of the Dutchess County based defense industry consulting firm KML Strategies, LLC.  In 2008 Lalor was the GOP candidate for the Hudson Valley’s 19th Congressional District where he earned more votes than nearly every other Republican challenger in the state. 

Lalor is a frequent guest on the Fox News Channel and the founder of Afghanistan & Iraq Veterans for Congress, a national organization that supports Republican veterans running for federal office.  Lalor is a graduate of Providence College and Pace Law School.  He lives in Fishkill with his wife Mary Jo and their four young children. 

Referring to Lalor’s Empire State Compact which asks candidates to self-impose and champion key reforms including term limits and a 10% salary cut for state lawmakers, Paladino said, “Lalor has been a fearless voice for reform.  Because he is willing to lead from the front and self-impose a salary cut and refuse the other expensive perks lawmakers have voted themselves, he will begin to save taxpayers money the day he is sworn in to office.” 

Of the endorsement Lalor said, “Carl Paladino has been an outspoken leader on reform, taxation and job growth.  I am pleased to have Carl in my corner.”

Lalor has also been endorsed by Congressman Michael Grimm (R-NY,13), Citizens United Political Victory Fund, Veterans Victory Fund, Freedom’s Defense Fund and Dutchess County Legislator Joe Incoronato.  As of the last Board of Elections filing, Lalor’s fundraising totals surpassed that of every incumbent Republican Assemblyman in the Hudson Valley and more than 600 people have contributed to the Lalor campaign.

Concluded Paladino, “As a Marine Corps infantryman who served in Iraq, Lalor has already demonstrated selfless service to country and community.  When you compare Lalor’s pedigree of honor and integrity with the culture of corruption and abuse of power in Albany, the difference is stunning.”

The 105th Assembly District includes nine towns in Dutchess County.  Due to redistricting and the retirement of Assemblyman Joel Miller, the District is essentially an open seat.

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Erie Community College Will Hold An Open House May 3, At All Three Campuses

Erie Community College will hold open house sessions from 4-7 p.m. Thursday, May 3, at all three of its campuses, in Buffalo, Williamsville and Orchard Park.

The three campuses, City Campus at 121 Ellicott Street, Buffalo; North Campus, 6205 Main Street, Williamsville, and South Campus, 5050 Southwestern Boulevard, Orchard Park, will conduct college-wide tours, provide information on ECC’s career-focused degree and certificate programs and discuss scholarships, financial aid and four-year transfer possibilities. Refreshments will be served and prizes will be given away at the end of the open houses.

“Erie Community College is an academic institution providing advancement and opportunities for many Buffalo and Erie County residents, educating them for improved chances of success and better futures. I am proud to have long supported the improvement of the City Campus while continuing to support the North and South campuses,” Legislature Chairperson Betty Jean Grant (D-Buffalo) said. “I invite students moving to the next level of education, non-traditional students seeking degrees they were unable to previously earn, veterans returning from honorably serving our country, and all students seeking to better themselves to learn about the educational and vocational programs ECC offers.”

ECC offers focused educational training for students seeking to transition into emerging professions or four-year colleges. While facilitating this training, ECC offers student support services that help students get the most out of their educational and social experience. ECC offers child care and counseling, as well as co-curricular and extracurricular activities, including student clubs, organizations and volunteer community projects. Through student clubs and activities, students can meet new friends and make college a more memorable experience.

Instant admissions will be available at the open houses; people must bring their sealed official high school transcripts or their original GEDs, with test scores. The instant admissions will only be offered for non-competitive academic programs. Sign up for summer classes will be held from May 21-June 29 for session I and from July 2-August 10.

To register or for more information, people can call 851-1ECC (851-1322) or visit www.ecc.edu.

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Bellavia Files GOP, Conservative Petitions

“All volunteer army” included activists, County parties

Conservative Republican David Bellavia today announced that he successfully submitted to the New York State Board of Elections more than enough petition signatures to qualify for the Republican and Conservative ballots for the June 26 primary election.

“I am deeply grateful to the all-volunteer army who carried my petitions,” Bellavia said. “I cannot thank our petitioners enough. I want to particularly thank 81-year-old Pat Bolland of Warsaw, a forty year member of the Conservative Party who collected more than one hundred signatures for our campaign.”

“The number of signatures we were able to collect – far more than the number required – is proof that this grassroots effort can accomplish anything in the 27th Congressional District,” Bellavia said.

“I look forward to a vigorous discussion of the issues with my opponent,” Bellavia said. “It’s time that we change the direction of government serving the voters of the 27th District, and I’m confident this primary will result in a candidate that can do exactly that.”

Bellavia began petitioning March 21, and his effort gathered steam as it became clear that a primary victory for former Erie County Executive Chris Collins was far from inevitable.

Bellavia was endorsed early on by the Livingston County, Orleans County and Wyoming County Republican committees, as well as New York State Senator George D. Maziarz. Bellaiva has also received strong support from Genesee County.

Bellavia successfully collected signatures from all eight counties of the 27th Congressional District, including Erie County, which was rumored to be Mr. Collins’ stronghold.

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Fox News Wins Pulitzer for Fiction

Prize Committee Praises Imagination, Inventiveness

NEW YORK (The Borowitz Report) – In an unprecedented honor for the Rupert Murdoch-led network, the Fox News Channel today won the Pulitzer Prize for fiction.

In its official statement, the prize committee praised Fox for exhibiting “an imagination and inventiveness that rival the best of Charles Dickens and J.R.R. Tolkien.”

In hailing Fox, the committee singled out the network’s fourteen-part story about President Obama’s birth in a mud-hut in Kenya.

For Mr. Murdoch, the stunning Pulitzer Prize win was a rare bright spot in what he acknowledged had been “a difficult year.”

“When I first heard about the Pulitzer committee’s decision, I didn’t believe it,” he said.  “I had to listen to their voicemails to hear it for myself.”

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Many U.S. Immigrants’ Children Seek American Dream Abroad

Samir N. Kapadia in the office where he works at the Gateway House in Mumbai, India

For generations, the world’s less-developed countries have suffered so-called brain drain — the flight of many of their best and brightest to the West. That has not stopped, but now a reverse flow has begun, particularly to countries like China and India and, to a lesser extent, Brazil and Russia.

Enterprising Americans have always sought opportunities abroad. But this new wave underscores the evolving nature of global migration, and the challenges to American economic supremacy and competitiveness.

In interviews, many of these Americans said they did not know how long they would live abroad; some said it was possible that they would remain expatriates for many years, if not for the rest of their lives.

Their decisions to leave have, in many cases, troubled their immigrant parents. Yet most said they had been pushed by the dismal hiring climate in the United States or pulled by prospects abroad.
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Statement from Congressman Brian Higgins

Brian Higgins

Congressman Brian Higgins, a co-chair of the bipartisan House of Representatives Congressional Hockey Caucus, released the following statement following the announcement by USA Hockey that the inaugural All-American Prospects Game will be held at the First Niagara Center in Buffalo:

“The news that USA Hockey will host their inaugural All-American Prospects game in Buffalo is very exciting for our city. This game will showcase some of hockey’s rising stars in the community that fostered talents like Patrick Kane, Tim Kennedy, Patrick Kaleta, and Todd Marchant and will give Buffalo the opportunity to once again welcome many new faces to our great city. I am pleased that USA Hockey has once again recognized Buffalo as having the nation’s most dedicated hockey fans and am hopeful that this will be a long-lasting partnership.”

During the 2010-2011 hockey season, Buffalo hosted the USA Hockey World Junior Hockey Championships at the First Niagara Center.

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World Book Night

Who is helping to give out half a million free books all across America on one day?          
We are!
From Kodiak, Alaska, to Key West, Florida, in 6,000 towns and cities across America, volunteers will give away half a million free books on one day: April 23, 2012.  Some of the volunteers will be picking up their books at our bookstore and then going out into the community in order to share them in locations as diverse as hospitals, nursing homes, schools, ballparks, mass transit, diners, and more.

World Book Night U.S. is an ambitious campaign to give away a half million free, specially printed books across America. Volunteer book lovers will help promote reading by going out and personally giving free copies of a book they enjoy to new or light readers, reaching them especially in underserved places – and even some fun spots.

We at Talking LeavesÂ…Books are proud to be a partner in the first World Book Night in the U.S., following the impressive launch of this campaign by our bookselling and publishing colleagues in the UK and Ireland last year.

Anna Quindlen, the U.S. campaign’s Honorary National Chairperson, said: “What’s better than a good book?  A whole box of them, and the opportunity to share them with new readers. The idea behind World Book Night is inspired, and as a writer and a reader I’m thrilled to be part of it.”

Sherman Alexie, author of the World Book Night U.S. 2012 pick The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian, said: “This is a celebration of the individual book and the individual reader. I am honored to take part.”

Also a World Book Night U.S. author, for her book Because of Winn-Dixie, Kate DiCamillo added: “It makes perfect sense to me that World Book Night will take place in spring. Extending your hand to give someone a book, a story, is a gesture of hope and joy. It is a chance for all of us, givers and receivers, to break into blossom.”

The books were chosen by a panel of booksellers and librarians through several rounds of voting. The printing of the free books was possible due to generosity of the authors, publishers, and book manufacturing companies.

For more information click HERE ~

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New Resource for Boating the Great Lakes Seaway Trail Blueway Online

Great Lakes Seaway Trail, NY and PA – Boaters interested in recreational port hopping along the Great Lakes Seaway Trail National Scenic Byway will find a new online resource at the ready with photos and service listings. A series of expansive new aerial photos of the 518-mile-long coastal byway’s 24 major harbors is found online at http://www.seawaytrail.com/boating/.
The Great Lakes Seaway Trail signed highway route that spans the freshwater shoreline of New York and Pennsylvania is an internationally-recognized water route for leisure boating.
Each photo of the byway’s harbors is accompanied by a list indicating which of 14 services are found there.  The list includes transient and seasonal docking, launch facilities, gas, diesel, repairs, pumpout, electric and water service, grocery, and nearby restaurants, lodging, attractions, and shopping.
The website at
http://www.seawaytrail.com/ also lists five distinct underwater discovery sites for scuba divers.

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