Single payer healthcare, medicare for all | Common Dreams

Single-payer’s advantage is that everybody is in, nobody is out. It is far more efficient, allows for better outcomes, saves lives, prevents injuries and illnesses, relieves people of severe anxieties and wasted time spent figuring out often fraud-ridden, inscrutable computerized bills and allows for the collection of pattern-detecting data to spot harmful trends.

Courtney joins effort to proceed with Yucca Mountain nuclear waste facility – Mobile Edition

“Yucca Mountain is a safe location for a permanent repository.”

In a recent decision, the Washington Circuit Court of Appeals ordered the NRC to restart its work on the licensing process for a permanent nuclear waste repository at Yucca Mountain. Currently, the agency has about $11.1 million remaining to conduct licensing activities. Rather than trying to restart every part of the licensing process, the bipartisan letter urges the NRC to focus on completing the Safety Evaluation Report, a key part of the review process.

In a news release, Courtney said he strongly supports restarting the review process for a permanent repository for spent nuclear fuel. In 2010, he joined bipartisan opposition to the Energy Department’s plan to shut down the Yucca review process.

Courtney helped pass bipartisan amendments in 2011 and in 2012 to provide additional funding to support resumed work on the licensing review of Yucca Mountain as a permanent disposal site. Earlier this year, he supported a bipartisan coalition to defeat a proposal to eliminate funding for continued review of the project from the 2014 energy appropriations bill.

Courtney’s district includes the Millstone Power Station in Waterford, which is expanding its on-site storage facility for spent nuclear fuel. It also includes the decommissioned Connecticut Yankee plant in Haddam Neck.

Sacramento’s Radioactive Dirt | News Fix | KQED Public Media for Northern CA

Katharine Mieszkowaki and Matt Smith reporting.


Picture by Randy Newmann

“By 2019, when the military wants to hand over the arena-sized dump to the city, he’s hoping he won’t have to deal with the current crop of state regulators and city officials balking at his plans.

‘They have their right to their opinion, and we have ours. We’ll continue to go forward with our plans.”

“There will be a different governor then, too, and (regulators) all work for the governor,” said Mayer, the Air Force’s remediation program manager for McClellan.

Mayer’s attitude about state and local officials, and his insistence that the Air Force can bulldoze ahead despite the state’s strict environmental laws, highlights an escalating clash between military officials and local communities over the plight of former bases now being converted for civilian use.

In a case that could affect bases around the state, the Air Force is burying radioactive waste on the site it supposedly is cleaning up, bypassing state environmental regulations because it is on federal land. The state regulators say the dump does not pose a health risk to nearby residents. But by pushing through the unwanted dump, the Air Force might create a precedent for other places where military agencies wish to avoid costly out-of-state hauling fees.

At McClellan, Mayer said the objections won’t stand in the military’s way.”

Murky Waters in Uzbek City – Institute for War and Peace Reporting – P220

Georgy Vitryakov reporting on lack of resources to insure steady flow of clean water to Uzbekistan city of Angren. There are regulations to treat water supply with chlorine and ultraviolet light but chlorine is in short supply though it is more likely to be used during the rainy seasons – spring and fall. Residents are often told to boil the water before use. Georgy reporting:

“Problems with water provision in this city of 170,000 people, about 100 kilometres south of Uzbekistan’s capital Tashkent, stem from years of under-investment in the local treatment plant. The poor state of the infrastructure has forced staff to cut corners just to keep any kind of supply going.

In Soviet times, Angren developed into an industrial centre, with engineering, construction materials and rubber factories all powered by the plentiful coal deposits in the area.

One resident, a pensioner who gave his name as Ilhom, described how householders stored up water in buckets and plastic containers whenever the taps were working.

“After we let the water settle, there’s always dirt, mud or sand at the bottom. When it rains, the water coming out of the tap is brown and smells of clay,” he said. “It’s always been like that. What can we do about it?”

Daily power cuts interrupt the pumping of water through mains pipes, and this is compounded by numerous leaks in the network. A source at the city’s hygiene and disease prevention agency told IWPR that perhaps 90 per cent of the mains network was in need of repair or replacement.

The situation is only made worse by people in villages near Angren tapping into the mains supply to divert water for their own use.

Officially, health experts say that problems with the supply are not a danger to human health. Angren’s hospital refused to provide data on waterborne diseases, while the city hygiene agency said it had only recorded one case in the last five years, which involved people drawing contaminated water from a well rather than from the mains supply.

Doctors say that boiling tap water should ensure it is safe, and Angren’s residents have been made aware of this.”

Go to IWPR website for full article:

Upstate NY fall foliage peeping

New York State’s colorful foliage season is officially under way as the first significant signs of spectacular fall colors are beginning to appear in the Adirondacks and Catskills regions, according to observers for the Empire State Development Division of Tourism’s I LOVE NEW YORK program.

In the Adirondacks, observers based in Old Forge, in Herkimer County, expect 15 percent color change by the weekend with shades green, gold and burgundy of average brilliance. To the north, in Franklin County, foliage spotters in the Mt. Arab/Tupper Lake area expect 10-15 percent color transition with leaves of muted brilliance. Look for touches of mustard, copper and some isolated crimson leaves to provide an impressive early-stage foliage display. In northwest Warren County, spotters in based in North Creek are expecting up to 15 percent color change in elevations above 2000’, including in the Upper Hudson River Gorge, Blue Mountain, North Creek and Newcomb. In Indian Lake, in Hamilton County, spotters expect 15 percent color transition by the weekend with the maples and birches showing red and yellow leaves of less than average brilliance.

In the Catskills region, leaf peepers in Saugerties, in Ulster County, expect pockets of up to 20 percent color change by weekend, with bright shades of yellow and gold starting to appear against a mostly green backdrop.

The rest of the state reports 10 percent or less color change.

New York State’s Advantage

Why do people from all over the world head to the spectacular New York State foliage display? Unlike the rest of the country, the northeastern U.S. is particularly blessed with a great variety of broad-leaved trees, which help give the region’s foliage a spectacular color range. Also, New York State has almost as many acres of such trees as the rest of the Northeast combined.

New York State’s vast area means that you can enjoy peak conditions several times during the season in different parts of the state. The change in color from the bright greens of summer to the brilliant hues of fall follows a predictable pattern: It begins high in the Adirondack and Catskill mountains in late August and early September, and spreads out and down across the hills and valleys of the state, ending on Long Island and in New York City in early November. It takes about two weeks for the colors to complete their cycles in any given area, with peak brilliance lasting three to four days in any one spot.

Voyager 1 probe has left the solar system, NASA says | Fox News

Article from Fox News on NASA’s declaration that Voyager 1 has left the solar system going “where no machine has gone before”. Here is an excerpt about historic event and what is in store next for Voyager 1:

“Voyager 1 actually made its exit more than a year ago, scientists said. But since there’s no “Welcome to Interstellar Space” sign out there, NASA waited for more evidence before concluding that the probe had in fact broken out of the hot plasma bubble surrounding the planets.

Voyager 1, which is about the size of a small car, is drifting in a part of the universe littered with the remnants of ancient star explosions.

It will study exotic particles and other phenomena and will radio the data back to Earth, where the Voyager team awaits the starship’s discoveries. It takes about 17 hours for its signal to reach Earth.

While Voyager 1 may have left the solar system as most people understand it, it still has hundreds, perhaps thousands, of years to go before bidding adieu to the last icy bodies that make up our neighborhood.

At the rate it is going, it would take 40,000 years to reach the nearest star, Alpha Centauri.

Voyager 1’s odyssey began in 1977 when the spacecraft and its twin, Voyager 2, were launched on a tour of the gas giant planets of the solar system.

After beaming back dazzling postcard views of Jupiter’s giant red spot and Saturn’s shimmering rings, Voyager 2 hopscotched to Uranus and Neptune. Meanwhile, Voyager 1 used Saturn as a gravitational slingshot to power itself past Pluto.

Last year, scientists monitoring Voyager 1 noticed strange happenings that suggested the spacecraft had broken through: Charged particles streaming from the sun suddenly vanished. Also, there was a spike in galactic cosmic rays bursting in from the outside.”

For complete article go to:

Putin truth or Dare on Syria

V. Putin’s hoped in the NYT spurred on international and national dialogue about USA probable invasion of Syria. Max Fisher of the Washington Post takes the editorial line by line to fact check and analyzed it. Here is a brief excerpt to wet your curiosity with a link to Max Fisher’s complete analysis of Putin’s NYT op ed.

“Under current international law, force is permitted only in self-defense or by the decision of the Security Council. Anything else is unacceptable under the United Nations Charter and would constitute an act of aggression.” Putin NYT

This is true, and a real dilemma for Obama, given that he is attempting to portray strikes against Syria as meant to uphold international law against the use of chemical weapons.

Still, you’ll be shocked to learn that Putin does not hold himself to the same standard he’s setting here for Obama. Putin’s Russia launched a war against Georgia just five short years ago. He would argue that the war was justified, but it certainly wasn’t approved by the United Nations Security Council. Max Fisher Washington Post

“No one doubts that poison gas was used in Syria. But there is every reason to believe it was used not by the Syrian Army, but by opposition forces, to provoke intervention by their powerful foreign patrons, who would be siding with the fundamentalists. Reports that militants are preparing another attack — this time against Israel — cannot be ignored.” Putin NYT

This is the section of the op-ed that’s drawing by far the most criticism. There is very little reason to believe that rebels carried out the attack but strong circumstantial evidence that chemical weapons were used by the Assad regime. Max Fisher Washington Post

Stream gauges in NY funded | News from North Country Public Radio

Thank you Senator Schumer! Excerpt from AP on NY water gauges.

“Senator Charles Schumer says 21 high-priority gauges will receive federal funding and not shut down as planned at the end of the month.

Of those 21, Schumer says that 15 will receive long-term funding. The remaining six have been funded through at least 2014.

Among those with long-term funding are gauges measuring stream flow into Lake Champlain,  on the Great Chazy River at Perry Mills, and the Little Ausable River near Valcour , both in Clinton County, and a gauge on Lake Champlain north of Whitehall, in Washington County.

Schumer says the importance of New York’s more than 200 stream and river gauges is more apparent in light of recent upstate flooding. But he stresses the new funding does not include all of New York’s high-priority gauges.”