Friday, October 26, 2012

Is America's Food Policy Completely For Sale

THIS IS AN IMPORTANT ISSUE AND THE AMERICAN PUBLIC IS BEING BOUGHT BY BIG FOOD.  Think about it - if there was nothing wrong with GMOs then why is there a problem with putting that label on our food.  It is just another CHOICE in a FREE COUNTRY.  

The article below is by Max Goldberg - read it - it is very important!!  And also read the Mark Bittman Article in the New York Times.  You can Google it from anywhere!!
Have a wonderful day and think about your children and grandchildren!!  Don't let Big Food buy your vote!!

There are a few things that we know for sure when it comes to food policy in our country.
First, according to the Food & Water Watch, $572 million was spent on lobbying by the biotech and chemical industries from 1999-2010.
Two, when considering approving genetically-modified crops (GMOs) in the 1990s, scientists at the FDA were very, very concerned about the problems that GMOs would cause to human health – allergies, GI issues, etc. – and wanted longer-term research completed before granting approval.
These worries were quickly dismissed by Michael Taylor, the person at the FDA who recklessly approved GMOs 16 years ago and also happened to be a former lawyer for Monsanto.
(By the way, guess who President Obama recently appointed as the Food Safety Czar at the FDA and has made it his priority to crack down on small organic farmers selling raw milk? Yes, you got it – Michael Taylor.)
What is glaringly different about the two examples above and Proposition 37, the GMO-labeling initiative in California, is that Big Ag and the chemical companies can no longer influence policy behind closed doors. They must “buy” their policy in the public domain.
In today’s New York Times, I strongly suggest that you read Mark Bittman’s excellent column “Buying the Vote on GMOs” where he talks about this very issue in more depth.
To me, Proposition 37 isn’t just a vote on GMO-labeling.
It is the first step in taking back control of our food system from politicians and bureaucrats who have completely “sold out” the American consumer.

Thursday, September 20, 2012


At the risk of sounding like I am repeating myself, this issue sounds a lot like the fire-rings issue. The wealthy folks who own property along the bay don't want anyone close to them — or cluttering up the waterway with little tiny floating devices. If they could, they would make this a yachts-only basin. Even a large-yacht-only basin.
Newport Harbor belongs to the people of California to enjoy, not just the people who can afford to buy land along the harbor. Once again, this is about people having fun at a low cost — renting a paddleboard and exploring our harbor that so far they may only have had a chance to glimpse from the Balboa Island Ferry. And yes, those who own land along the waterway will have to put up with the downsides, as well as the upsides. There is no perfect world.
I  have not heard of any collisions between paddle boarders and boats. Or between boats and the large number of smaller boats, like dinghys, that the big boat guys need to ferry stuff to their large yachts.
This is a much more likely scenario. We have had explosions of new users before — kayaks, jet skis, sail boarders, etc. I have heard the lines they are using that this needs to happen "before a serious accident" several times.
Fads come and go, and eventually so will this one. The remaining true enthusiasts will then be stuck with these expensive, invasive, unnecessary lanes. We do not need to spend money on lanes that could be outdated in a year or less. Nor a special cordoned off area for beginners.
This would impact someone along the waterway and would benefit those teaching paddle boarding. Next there would be a use tax to use the "beginners" area, and if you didn't use the cordoned off area for a beginner there would be a fine.
And who would determine at what point one stops being a beginner and is then able to use the whole waterway? Who would police the use of this area or these lanes? Police persons on paddleboards? Now there is a vision. We are definitely opening a huge can of worms.
There is plenty of work on the City Council's plate already. The council needs to concentrate on representing all the residents and businesses in Newport Beach. Those who own $1-billion boats, and those who are trying (in this time of recession) to make a few bucks with a new paddleboard business.
There are far more "little people" in Newport Beach, paying taxes in small amounts, but those small amounts add up.
Thank goodness Mayor Nancy Gardner is a paddle boarder; too bad there isn't someone on the council that needs the fire rings.

Tuesday, August 7, 2012


Not everyone is an Astrology fan.  I am.  I tell everyone that Astrology is like a map - it is all mathematical and has been around for centuries.  Astrology really doesn't have much to do with the stars themselves, but rather, think of it as a Thomas Guide - a map.  The stars are a map which you can follow or you can wander around ending up in dead ends or places that you weren't intending to go.

There is a phenomenon called Mercury Retrograde.  We are now exiting one that started in July.  During those times there are delays and communication foul ups.  Equipment breaks.  Traffic delays are much more common. Not a great time to travel.  Or make new plans.  A time to revise, revisit, review.

Several years ago Mike and I were John Wayne Airport ready to get on a plane to Vancouver.  The flight was canceled and we would have a several hour delay before a new one could be found.  I told my husband, who said, "Why aren't you upset - you certainly are taking this in stride."  (Not my normal reaction).  I replied, "It is Mercury retrograde and I knew that it was possible.  I was prepared for the worst and hoping for the best."

In the same vein, my son flew here to California during this past Mercury Retrograde.  I warned him to be ready for delays.  I said, "Plan ahead and be prepared - if the delays don't happen - great.  However, if they do don't be surprised."  There were several, several delays during his trip - one of which almost caused him to miss the plane.  Luckily Mercury Retrograde is more about delay than cancellation.

The last Election that was negatively affected by Mercury Retrograde was 2000.  The Bush -Gore Election.  In my research I discovered that there was another election which was affected by Mercury Retrograde - The Compromise Election of Rutherford B Hayes in 1876.  In that election a Commission of House and Senate Representatives and Supreme Court Judges - 5 Republicans, 5 Democrats and 1 Independent was appointed to determine the results of the disputed electoral votes  -   sound familiar?  That Commission didn't make a decision until March 4, 1877 - two days before what was then Inauguration Day.  Like I said delays, rather than out and out endings.

This November's election - once again is on the day that Mercury goes retrograde.  In the Bush/Gore election Mercury was coming out of retrograde - in this election it will be going in to retrograde.  Once again things could get a little dicey - and as pointed out in this article, it depends also on the person's chart - Romney and Obama both are affected, but in different ways.

Like I told me son - expect the worst - and if it doesn't happen - at least you are prepared.  And Astrology is a fun, helpful science- it has helped me deal with a lot of people and situations in my life.  I used to get frantic calls from my house cleaners asking me if it was Mercury Retrograde (I wouldn't pre program them) and when I said yes, they always said, "Thank God - just tell me when it ends."

If you are interested in the Mathematical Basis of Astrology:

Friday, May 11, 2012

Garage Sale

Balboa Island Garage Sale - Love it or hate it - what it your take?

Having been in the newspaper business all my life I know the haters are the ones squeak the most because I am a squeaker! So I need some feedback from the other 99 percent.

Call The City - Call the Newport Beach Police Department. Tell them there is a person named Matt Dingwall who would love to shut our Garage Sale down because of a few whiners. Or make us pay exorbitant fees - bring in Bathrooms - Policemen. We have bathrooms. Other neighborhood garage sales do not.

And when you get right down to it what we do is totally legal. They determined that last time we went to bat on this issue. They just don't like that we are on the OC Marathon Weekend. Excuse me - this was my weekend way before the Marathon came along. And the Marathon doesn't care one whit about Balboa Island.  They don't even clean up after themselves and their trash goes into our beautiful bay.

 We have businesses on Balboa Island. The Garage Sale Day is also a huge day for Retail Business on Balboa Island and the Markets and the Restaurants - tax Revenue for Newport Beach. It is Starbucks biggest day of the year!

The only people who have a truly legitimate issue are the hair dressers. If I were a hair dresser I would either close down for the day or hire a driver to bring my clients from off the Island to my salon - how cool would that be!! They might even chauffeur new clients who would want a new experience!

So if you want to see another Garage Sale - contact your City Council Person Ed Selich - Contact Matt Dingwall at the Recreation Department (are Garage Sales Recreation?)

I will need volunteers next year to help with the traffic issue - much as we love them, we don't need to be paying policemen to direct traffic - we solved the problem with volunteers for the Parade. Maybe we can make this a walking event! We can do better!!  And now that I will be 66 for the next Garage Sale I actually do need some help!!! Thanks

Please leave comments at the end of the this blog - I have changed the settings so anyone can comment and so that the comments go to my e-mail   The comments link is very tiny - so if you don't see it just e-mail me.  Thank you - I really need help on this.

Friday, March 16, 2012


The Beach is a place for youth, for families, for fun and frolicking, for surfing and swimming, for babes and bikinis. For nightly fires and music and songs. Now the City of Newport Beach wants to take away the fire rings.
Who are the residents who moved there fully aware that the fire rings were there, and now want them gone because of "air pollution"? Do they take an early morning swim before going to work? Or grab their surf board after work and catch a wave?
The Beach is a resource that belongs to the people of the State of California - to enjoy. Not to be restricted by rules by people of my generation who have outgrown their youth and their tolerance for the antics of the beach - and the beach if full of antics!!
I grew up at the beach as a child. I would get up - grab my boat and water ski all day - play at the beach and have lots of fun. My dad had a huge bell mounted on a pole that he rang so we knew when it was time to come home for dinner.
I have always said I would live in a closet at the beach rather than live inland - at times my living space wasn't much bigger than a closet.
Now I am 65 and the noise, the traffic, the music, the confusion and everything that comes with beach living does not always appeal to me. So I moved inland. I still visit the beach and I jokingly tell my friends who are still there that my current neighbors must all be in the "witness protection program'. It is that quiet. However, the quiet, the peace, the pool outside my back door all fit my life style as an older adult.
Don't take out the fire rings - let another generation of people enjoy what we did. The beach was never meant to be a place of silence. Don't use the fire rings to get rid of "certain elements" at the beach. Try and remember how much fun the beach was when you were young.
Besides that juicy steak on your plate is far more likely to kill you than any small amount of "air pollution" from a fire ring.

Thursday, March 15, 2012


Why is the Balboa Island Post Office, Post Offices all Over America and Postal Delivery Service in danger of being closed, modified or discontinued altogether? The people that staff these post offices and deliver your mail have middle class jobs—jobs that pay a good wage. Jobs that cannot be outsourced to China. Jobs for people who buy houses, support our schools, pay taxes, and spend money in our local communities.

Think about it - why is the post office going away? Because everyone uses e-mail and faxes to send us bills, bank statements, price lists, direct deposits to bank accounts, flyers, etc. Because we pay our bills online. What if we tell all our vendors and employers that they have to MAIL everything? They will tell you that is a lot of work.

I will tell you what is a lot of work— undoing identity theft. Leaving all your banking information at sites all over the internet is an incredible risk - the Chinese and other third world countries have legions of people trying to access our bank sites - and they will. Because the banks don’t really care. Fighting identity theft will take a lot of time - years actually. For you—NOT the banks—they don’t care because they don’t have to do the work that comes with identity theft. It isn’t THEIR problem.

Stop complaining about job loss in the United States to immigrants - support the jobs that we have in this country already—use the post office as much as you can. These middle class jobs that can be saved by each American spending a little more time paying their bills. And there are plenty of programs out there that let you print your checks quickly and easily and save all the information in one place - Quicken and Quick Books just to name a couple.

There are other jobs involved as well—jobs printing those checks by companies who sell them, jobs sending out the checks here in the United States , jobs opening the envelopes with your payments in them and jobs entering the information into computers. Let’s support jobs for people—not computers.

If you think it won’t affect you—your job WILL be the next one to be outsourced—guaranteed!!! It started with the factory jobs, now the middle class jobs—next the white collar jobs and eventually even your CEO will live in India. We have had factories all over the world for centuries. Accounting can be done in a foreign country just as well as in California or Kansas. Stand up and be an American and support jobs in this country and one of our oldest institutions—the United States Post Office!!!

It takes small steps to do big things—and this is something you can do to change the world!!!

Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Crystal Cove

When my eldest son called me at Christmas and asked what I was doing on January 29 - I told him that as far as I knew I was absolutely free. He then booked me a room at Crystal Cove State Park - in the cottages.
I have stayed there many times in the past, and love the quaint cottages restored to their former selves. It is a quiet hideaway for me - no tv, no internet connection. Recently I read people were paying thousands of dollars to stay in hotels with just those amenities - amazing!! Everyone needs time out.
Even though I thought January - probably rain - but what the heck - I love the sunsets and the sound of the waves at night. And the pods of dolphins that swim past in the morning.
This January has been extraordinarily warm and Sunday night the sunset was the most beautiful one I have ever seen from Crystal Cove. Catalina Island, Palos Verdes, and Catalina Island were all in sight. The waves were calm - the sky was clear.
When I woke up at 3 am I could clearly see Orion and all the constellations. There is not a lot of city light to interfere with the show in the sky.
I met another woman who had traveled from Riverside to meditate and journal - apparently I am not the only one that takes advantage of that. It was her first time - and she was without her husband. She was nervous at first and almost turned around and went home. But she persevered and was ecstatic that she had.
If you need a little peace in our hectic world - try to book a small room in the dorms - very inexpensive - and retrieve a piece of your sanity.
Thank you son - you know me well!!

Sunday, January 15, 2012


At 9:00 am on Friday the 13th I received a call from my good friend Tom Stanton who has a computer repair service on Agate Street on Balboa Island. At the end of Agate is the Balboa Island Ferry where 3 cars at a time cross the bay - back and forth - back and forth - from Balboa Island to Balboa Peninsula - usually a short. scenic, peaceful ride.

Things got a little more exciting Friday morning when a Balboa Island resident accidentally hit the accelerator of her car instead of the brake- pushing the van in front of her 30 feet and into Newport Harbor. The van carried a Taiwanese family - mom, dad, daughter 6 and son 4. It wasn't quite the Whale Watching trip they were expecting.

Newport Bay being the place it is - it took only a very few moments before a friendly fisherman, Skip Staats, 46, pulled up to the van and got three of the four occupants into his dingy. The mother climbed over to the driver's seat and was pulled to safety by another local fisherman, James Donoghue, 47. As a testimony to how quickly the rescue occurred, only the mother's shoes were dampened before the van sank in 15 feet of water.

It was actually a lucky day that the incident ended as it did And the Newport Beach police union paid for a new rental car for the family - I love Newport Beach!!!

Photo Credit to Mark Boster/LA Times.