Category Archives: Safer

Trump has no clue what it takes to ensure clean air and water.

A New Jersey startup called Bowery grows leafy greens stacked in columns five high under the watchful eyes of an AI system.

The operation, which officially launched last week, uses 95 percent less water than traditional methods and is 100 times more productive on the same footprint of land, according to the company.

Bowery calls itself “post-organic,” a label to describe its integration of tech and farming practices and its pesticide-free produce. That distinguishes it from large-scale organic farms, which do use pesticides — they’re just organic ones.

Bowery

Its AI system automates ideal growing conditions for crops by adjusting the lighting, minerals, and water, using sensors to monitor them. It can alter conditions to tweak the taste — emphasizing a wasabi-like flavor in arugula, for instance.

More than 80 crops are grown at the farm, including baby kale, butterhead lettuce, and mixed greens. The produce is delivered to New York stores within the day after harvest, and the greens go for $3.49 a box — on par with the competition.

Visit link: 

Trump has no clue what it takes to ensure clean air and water.

Posted in alo, Anchor, Citizen, Everyone, FF, G & F, GE, ONA, organic, oven, Ringer, Safer, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Trump is coming for your clean water.

A New Jersey startup called Bowery grows leafy greens stacked in columns five high under the watchful eyes of an AI system.

The operation, which officially launched last week, uses 95 percent less water than traditional methods and is 100 times more productive on the same footprint of land, according to the company.

Bowery calls itself “post-organic,” a label to describe its integration of tech and farming practices and its pesticide-free produce. That distinguishes it from large-scale organic farms, which do use pesticides — they’re just organic ones.

Bowery

Its AI system automates ideal growing conditions for crops by adjusting the lighting, minerals, and water, using sensors to monitor them. It can alter conditions to tweak the taste — emphasizing a wasabi-like flavor in arugula, for instance.

More than 80 crops are grown at the farm, including baby kale, butterhead lettuce, and mixed greens. The produce is delivered to New York stores within the day after harvest, and the greens go for $3.49 a box — on par with the competition.

View the original here:  

Trump is coming for your clean water.

Posted in alo, Anchor, Citizen, Everyone, FF, G & F, GE, ONA, organic, oven, Ringer, Safer, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Defending California Once Again

Mother Jones

<!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC “-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.0 Transitional//EN” “http://www.w3.org/TR/REC-html40/loose.dtd”>

Here is Mike Males in the LA Times this morning:

President Trump has cast California as “out of control” because of proposed legislation that would make the entire state a sanctuary for illegal immigrants, who, he says, “breed crime.” But in reality, as California’s immigrant population has grown, its crime and violence rates have plummeted.

Let’s start with the demographics….Over the last two decades, California has seen an influx of 3.5 million immigrants, mostly Latino, and an outmigration of some 2 million residents, most of them white. An estimated 2.4 million undocumented immigrants also currently live in the state.

….And yet, according to data from the FBI, the California Department of Justice, and the Centers for Disease Control, the state has seen precipitous drops in every major category of crime and violence that can be reliably measured. In Trump terms, you might say that modern California is the opposite of “American carnage.”

It’s true. And since a picture is worth a thousand words, here’s a picture:

Apologies for the ugliness of the chart. Edward Tufte would be appalled. But here’s what it shows. The foreign-born share of the population has increased from 9 percent to 27 percent since 1970. However, from 1995 to 2015, violent crime in California has declined at a faster rate than in the US as a whole.1

So do immigrants cause an increase in violent crime? It doesn’t really look like it, does it? And yet, Bakersfield Rep. Kevin McCarthy, the current House majority leader, continues to warn his fellow Californians that they should be nicer to President Trump. At the same time, Trump continues to justify hiring 10,000 new immigration agents and changing the deportation rules based on the idea that it’s important to get rid of anyone who’s committed even a minor infraction. That might make the base happy, but it’s not going to make anybody safer.

1I was lazy and only looked up the crime rates for every five years. I imagine I could also dig up crime rates by state earlier than 1995 if I really tried, but I didn’t try very hard. If anybody has them, I’ll be happy to pop them into the chart.

Continue reading here: 

Defending California Once Again

Posted in FF, GE, LG, ONA, Safer, Uncategorized, Venta | Tagged , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

This Is What It’s Like on the Front Lines of Trump’s Travel Ban

Mother Jones

<!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC “-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.0 Transitional//EN” “http://www.w3.org/TR/REC-html40/loose.dtd”>

On a gloomy afternoon at San Francisco International Airport, a dozen or so men and women assembled by the terminal’s Starbucks, waiting for their assignments. Behind them, two people huddled over laptops, flanked by a printer, a whiteboard, and stacks of paperwork. A small cardboard sign, cut from a FedEx box, said “Lawyer” in English, Arabic, and Farsi. For weeks, this desk was the headquarters for a temporary legal office that helped travelers affected by President Donald Trump’s sweeping executive orders on immigration.

Legal clinics like the one at SFO sprang up in major airports across the country, including in Los Angeles, Chicago, and New York. Staffed entirely by volunteers, they were an early sign of the rapid grassroots organizing taking place among lawyers, civil rights activists, and everyday people in response to the executive orders.

Federal courts have suspended the orders, which banned immigrants from seven predominantly Muslim countries as well as all refugees from entering the United States. Volunteer lawyers are no longer physically stationed at airports—they are on call to assist passengers who need help. But as the Trump administration continues to expand the scope of immigration enforcement, the clinics offer an intriguing snapshot of what future rapid-response aid may look like as groups move quickly to help people who may be affected.

Boots on the ground

The airport legal clinics formed hours after Trump signed his January 27 executive order. The order’s hasty implementation led to chaos, as Customs and Border Protection officers began detaining travelers who came from Iraq, Syria, Iran, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, and Yemen the first weekend the immigration ban was enforced. It drew harsh criticism from civil rights groups, and thousands of protesters clogged airports.

While state attorneys general and national groups such as the Council on American-Islamic Relations and the American Civil Liberties Union mounted legal challenges against Trump’s executive order in federal courts, the volunteer attorneys in airports focused on providing support to individual travelers. During the first days of the travel ban, large organizations such as the International Refugee Assistance Project and the ACLU organized attorneys at airports. Later, this shifted to local groups.

“They’re the command centers, while we’re the boots on the ground,” said Julia Wilson, the chief executive officer of OneJustice, one of several nonprofits that coordinated volunteers for the clinics in the Bay Area.

In Los Angeles, clinic volunteers have assisted more than 300 passengers, while volunteers at SFO have conducted nearly 100 intake interviews since the executive order was signed, said Wilson. The San Francisco airport numbers are an undercount, she said, since the airport was flooded with protesters during the first days the immigration ban was in place, and volunteers could not track exact numbers.

Two volunteers monitoring flights at SFO Kanyakrit Vongkiatkajorn

At SFO’s international terminal, Renée Schomp, a petite woman with wavy brown hair, stepped forward and began handing out assignments. Arabic and Farsi speakers would serve as interpreters, standing near the arrival gates with signs offering free legal advice. Two volunteers would track important flights. Attorneys would handle intake forms.

It was 4 p.m. and only a handful of people were in the terminal. Schomp pointed to the gate at her left.

“It might seem like you’re wasting your time, or you might wonder why you decided to come here,” Schomp said. But as soon as flights landed, passengers would soon be streaming out the gates—and the volunteers must be ready.

Think of yourselves as firefighters, she said. “Firefighters aren’t fighting fires all the time. Sometimes they’re just sitting around playing cards,” she said. “But they’re ready to jump up and take action when the fire actually comes.”

The volunteers’ main goal was to gather and disseminate information, especially about how Customs and Border Protection officers were complying with court orders.

“We would ask folks, ‘Were you asked any religious questions? Were you asked about any political practices’?” says Junaid Sulahry, one of the volunteer lawyers. “We were trying to gain a sense of whether people were being pulled into secondary screening based off how they look, or if CBP officers were engaging in inappropriate questioning.”

Sulahry says he spoke to one Iranian national who had been placed in secondary screening for four hours. “We hesitated to approach her because she was in tears,” he says.

Attorneys aimed to monitor CBP officers’ actions and document anything unusual that happened to passengers. They interviewed passengers who wanted to share their own experience going through customs, as well as passengers who may have witnessed something and wanted to report it. Depending on the case, they provided legal advice or made referrals to civil rights organizations or congressional officials if an incident was particularly severe.

In the first few days of the ban, civil rights groups struggled to get information from CBP officers about who may or may not have been detained or deported.

“We had no access to our clients,” says Nicholas Espíritu, a staff attorney with the National Immigration Law Center. “It was like a black box.”

The Department of Homeland Security and the White House have been criticized for the chaotic rollout of the executive order, as well as a lack of transparency surrounding the number of people affected. (White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer, as well as Trump, initially said only 109 people were affected by the ban. CBP now says on its website that more than 1,000 people were recommended denial of boarding.)

On February 1, the DHS inspector general announced it would conduct a review of the department’s implementation of the executive order “in response to congressional request and whistleblower and hotline complaints.” The watchdog office would also review whether DHS officials complied with court orders and allegations of misconduct.

“I was so angry”

Local community groups such as the Asian Law Caucus say monitoring also helps provide resources for family members who may be targeted by the ban.

“There’s a lot of confusion, anxiety, and fear about what is happening and what will happen to family members abroad,” says Elica Vafaie, a staff attorney with the Asian Law Caucus. Without lawyers or other volunteers present, families would have little access to information or resources in case something does happen.

Schomp leading an orientation for new volunteers Kanyakrit Vongkiatkajorn

Many of the volunteers I met at the clinic had attended protests of the executive order at the airport or had heard of the clinic online and signed up. Negeen Etemad who is from San Diego and was volunteering as a Farsi interpreter, found out about the clinic through Facebook. For her, the work felt personal: Her uncle, a green card holder from Iran, had been detained for 13 hours after the executive order took effect.

“My family was frantic,” says Etemad, 26. “I was physically sick because I was so angry.”

Cori Van Allen, an accountant based in the Bay Area, told me she heard of the clinic through work and wanted to help in any way she could. “I’m concerned over how this ban was rolled out—it feels unconstitutional, like we’re singling out people in a way that just feeds into ISIS propaganda,” said Van Allen, 47. “I don’t feel like it makes me any safer.”

As I watched the volunteers work, I could see how organized the clinic was. Volunteers worked in four-hour shifts, staffing the airport from 8 a.m. until 11 p.m. At least one attorney would remain on call overnight. Name tags were color-coded—orange meant you were an immigration attorney; green was for coordinators. A stack of clear plastic boxes tucked underneath the chairs were crammed with supplies: Post-it notes, Sharpies, Kashi bars, and intake forms. Pizza arrived around mid-afternoon, carried in by a volunteer with a white name tag.

The airport followed a rhythm: quiet at one moment, then bustling with people the next. Toward evening, a woman and her daughter came by to ask for advice. The woman’s mother was an Iranian green card holder, and though the White House eventually said it would allow green card holders to enter the country, she wanted to talk to the lawyers just in case.

Another man sitting near the clinic leaned over and told the lawyers he was grateful for their work. He said he was expecting a relative to arrive and it had been an hour since the flight landed at 4:30 p.m. Should he be worried?

After 15 minutes, the Iranian woman happily returned with her mother and filled out a quick intake form. The man’s relative also emerged from the gate. They loaded up a luggage cart, waving as they passed by. The evening volunteers’ shifts had begun. One man knelt on the ground to draw a larger “lawyer” sign on a white poster, slowly tracing the letters in black ink.

For organizers and civil rights groups, the airport legal clinics have helped lay the groundwork for future rapid-response legal efforts, showing how quickly volunteers can show up and the willingness among groups to share information and resources. Now organizers are likely to shift toward helping undocumented immigrants by providing free legal services and setting up know-your-rights trainings that can be deployed quickly.

“The legal profession as a whole is standing up,” said Wilson.

Continue at source: 

This Is What It’s Like on the Front Lines of Trump’s Travel Ban

Posted in FF, GE, LAI, LG, ONA, Oster, Radius, Safer, Uncategorized, Venta | Tagged , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Go to Jail. Die From Drug Withdrawal. Welcome to the Criminal Justice System.

Mother Jones

<!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC “-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.0 Transitional//EN” “http://www.w3.org/TR/REC-html40/loose.dtd”>

When Tyler Tabor was booked in a jail outside Denver on a spring afternoon in 2015, he told a screening nurse that he was a daily heroin user and had a prescription for Xanax. A friendly, outdoorsy 25-year-old with a son in kindergarten, Tabor had started using opioids after he injured his back on the job as a welder. When he was arrested on two misdemeanor warrants, his parents decided not to pay his $300 bail, thinking he would be safer in jail and away from heroin for a few days.

Three days later, Tabor died of dehydration at the Adams County jail, according to a coroner’s report. The alleged cause: drug withdrawal.

A lawsuit filed by the Tabors against the county and Corizon Health, the jail’s private health care provider, describes in chilling detail the three days of missed opportunities and seemingly callous medical care. It draws on video footage, some of which is shown below, from a surveillance camera in Tabor’s cell. By the end of the first day in jail, Tabor was in the throes of severe withdrawal: vomiting, diarrhea, low blood pressure. He was too dehydrated to provide a urine sample. A day later, he could no longer walk or unclench his fingers. When a nurse came by to give him the usual withdrawal medications—a cocktail of things like Gatorade and Pepto Bismol—he fell to the ground, trembling. Later that night, he begged for an IV—he knew from a previous detox that withdrawing from the combination of heroin, an opioid, and Xanax, a benzodiazepine, was particularly risky. But, according to the complaint, he was told IVs were only used when “absolutely necessary.” He died six hours later, leaving behind a wife and a five-year-old son.

“A simple IV would have almost certainly saved his life,” reads the complaint.

Adams County officials declined to comment on the case. Martha Harbin, a spokesperson for Corizon Health, said the allegations in the complaint were “inconsistent with the known facts.” She added, “It certainly is not our policy to deny a patient appropriate and indicated treatment.”

Yet as the nationwide opioid epidemic continues to spiral, more and more inmates who use heroin, painkillers, or methadone are showing up in jails across the country, where withdrawal treatment can be rudimentary. “So many more people are coming in hooked on opioids,” says David Lane, the attorney representing the Tabors. “If the jails are not trained and they’re not ready for it, you get a Tyler Tabor.”

No organization tracks how many people have died from drug withdrawal in jail, but Mother Jones found 20 lawsuits filed between 2014 and 2016 alleging that an inmate died from opiate withdrawal complications. That number likely represents just a fraction of all jail withdrawal deaths, Lane says. In addition to the counties, many families also sue the companies that public jails often contract with to provide health care—like Corizon Health, in the Tabors’ case.

By the time of Tabor’s death, in May, at least four other inmates in jails around the country had died that year from complications of opiate withdrawal, according to lawsuits filed by their families. In March, 37-year-old Jennifer Lobato was booked into Colorado’s Jefferson County jail, just a half hour from where Tabor would die, for shoplifting $57 of merchandise from Old Navy with her son. A guard scoffed at Lobato, a regular heroin user, as she vomited before collapsing, according to a subsequent investigation by the sheriff’s office. A month later, an 18-year-old aspiring artist named Tori Herr collapsed in Pennsylvania’s Lebanon County jail. “I just want something to drink,” she said to her mom on the phone days before she died. “I want lemonade.”

Left: Tori Herr as a high schooler. Right: Herr in the hospital after withdrawal in jail. Courtesy of the Herr family

Jefferson County settled the Lobato case for $2.5 million last fall. County spokesman Mark Techmeyer said the jail’s withdrawal treatment and evaluation protocols changed in response to Lobato’s death; Lebanon County officials declined to comment on the Herr case.

Outside of jails, dying from opiate withdrawal is exceedingly rare because, with few exceptions, it is so preventable. Dehydration, the withdrawal symptom that usually kills people, can be treated with intravenous fluids. It’s nearly unheard of to withdraw from opioids without slowly tapering or having emergency medical care, says Kevin Fiscella, an addiction specialist who sits on the board of the National Commission on Correctional Health Care (NCCHC), which accredits correctional health services. “What’s happening in jails, it’s kind of a natural experiment to see what happens,” he says. “And in fact some people do die.”

When a user quits opioids cold turkey, the body quickly starts to experience the opposite effects of the original drug, resulting in a rarely fatal but often tortuous withdrawal process that can persist for days or weeks. Where opioids reduce pain, withdrawal makes the body hypersensitive to it. Opioids induce euphoria; withdrawal feels like the world is going to end. Opioids cause constipation; withdrawal causes diarrhea and vomiting. If a person going through withdrawal can’t keep fluids down and is not given an IV, he or she can succumb to dehydration.

Fiscella notes that a number of factors can make withdrawal behind bars risky. Inmates don’t always tell nurses during the screening process that they’re drug users; sometimes, withdrawal kicks off a domino effect that makes other health conditions, like heart problems, act up. Lots of opioid users are also on benzodiazepines like Xanax or Valium, known for enhancing and extending the effects of heroin, painkillers, or methadone. Benzodiazepines can make withdrawal much more dangerous.

What’s more, many cash-strapped jails lack basic medications or medical equipment like IVs. And often, Fiscella says, there simply aren’t enough health care staff to check in regularly on each and every withdrawal patient. “In a lot of these deaths, people were simply ignored,” he says.

Of the 20 alleged opiate withdrawal deaths in jails that Mother Jones found, five occurred in jails served by a privately held company called Correct Care Solutions. Based in Tennessee, CCS is one of the country’s largest correctional health care services, providing medical services to 250,000 patients in jails, prisons, state hospitals, and forensic treatment centers throughout the country.

In 2015, the company brought in nearly $1 billion in revenue, according to the Nashville Business Journal. CCS President Patrick Cummiskey told the Journal that the company had “grown 20 percent-plus annually since inception, so growth is our norm.”

Related: Seven Charts That Speak Volumes About the Opioid Epidemic

Despite the company’s robust finances, treating withdrawal can fall through the cracks, according to four jail nurses who currently or recently worked for Correct Care Solutions. Their names have been changed to protect their privacy.

During the evening shift at the Brown County jail in Green Bay, Wisconsin, there is one nurse—and no other medical staff—for roughly 700 inmates, according to nurses who worked at the facility. “I had people detoxing, I had people with chest pain, I had people getting into fights, I had emergencies where people aren’t breathing,” said Abby, who worked at the facility for nine months before leaving last fall. “I can’t assess somebody three times a shift when there’s one nurse for 700 inmates, and do a meaningful assessment, and also provide interventions when I have 20 people on opiate withdrawal.”

Abby says she bought her own medical supplies because the blood pressure cuffs, thermometers, and stethoscopes provided by CCS didn’t always work. She often found herself stuck between a rock and a hard place: There was no IV therapy in the jail, but sending inmates to the hospital was frowned upon. In order to send a withdrawal patient to the hospital, she said, the inmate would “need to be at the point where their vital signs were dropping, their internal organs were starting to become compromised.”

Abby left CCS last fall because she was worried that the quality of care at the jail was so low that she was violating her nursing license. “If I was called into court, I couldn’t say truthfully that I am providing good nursing care,” she said.

Brown County declined to comment for this article.

Greta, a nurse at a different jail served by CCS, described a similar scene. During a typical medical check, Greta had about 30 seconds to take an inmate’s vital signs, hand out medications, and gauge withdrawal symptoms—often in dim lighting and always standing next to a deputy jail guard. On top of it, she said, “You’re using your eyes and your ears because you don’t really have technology. You’re lucky to have a blood pressure cuff.”

Asked about the allegations, CCS spokesman Jim Cheney wrote in an email to Mother Jones, “While it is very difficult to respond to an anonymous source when determining the credibility of their assertion, CCS employs regional executives across the country to ensure that the service standards we have established are upheld. It is difficult to imagine a scenario in which a facility was not provided the instruments necessary for routine healthcare, and should there be a need, our nurses have immediate and direct access to administrative teams who can facilitate those resources in short-order.” He added that the staffing ratio is determined by “facility capabilities,” and the company does not frown upon the use of outside providers. In the event that the medical needs of an inmate fall beyond what the facility can provide, he said, “we rely on our medical partners in the community for support.”

Watch: WDIV investigates the death of David Stojcevski

But in some cases no one calls for support before it’s too late. A video strikingly similar to that of Tabor shows David Stojcevski, a 32-year-old from outside Detroit, losing 50 pounds over 16 days of vomiting, diarrhea, and trembling on the ground before his death in the summer of 2014. Stojcevski had been booked at the Macomb County Jail, also served by CCS, for being unable to pay a $772 fine for driving carelessly. Though he notified nurses of his prescriptions to methadone and Xanax, an opioid and a benzodiazepine, respectively, he never received either medication in jail, according to a lawsuit later filed by his parents.

A Department of Justice investigation of the case found no criminal wrongdoing on the part of Macomb County or CCS, saying there wasn’t enough evidence that jail staff acted with criminal intent to prosecute the case. The lawsuit filed by the family is ongoing; county officials declined to comment on the case. Cheney described CCS’s withdrawal protocol as “one of most advanced and respected in the industry,” adding that CCS follows standards from the NCCHC and the American Correctional Association. He added that “while tragic situations do occur, there are exponentially more circumstances in which our professionals save lives and improve the health of the individuals that they treat.”

Corizon Health, the health care provider in Tabor’s case and the nation’s largest privately held correctional health company, is currently facing at least one other lawsuit alleging an opiate withdrawal death. A year before Tabor died, Madaline Pitkin, a 26-year-old from Portland, Oregon, died of heroin withdrawal after repeatedly requesting help on medical forms, according to a lawsuit filed by her family. In her final request, she wrote, “This is a 3rd or 4th call for help. I haven’t been able to keep food, liquids, meds down in 6 days…I feel like I am very close to death. Can’t hear, seeing lights, hearing voices. Please help me.”

Harbin, the Corizon spokesperson, declined to comment on the specifics of Tabor’s or Pitkin’s cases because of active litigation and patient privacy rules. “One of the most common misconceptions about our company is that we somehow benefit from providing lower quality care,” she wrote in an email. “To the contrary, what makes good medical sense and good business sense is proactive preventive care—intervening early to treat conditions before they become serious and more costly to treat.”

Tabor’s family, meanwhile, is still reeling from their loss. Tyler’s son, D.T., an energetic six-year-old who loves fishing and biking, still regularly asks when his dad will come home. Tyler’s father, Ray, a manager at the local Safeway, tells D.T. that he went to heaven. “It’s one thing to lose a child,” says Ray. “But it’s another thing knowing that he died in a jail cell alone on the floor, asking for help.”

Originally posted here: 

Go to Jail. Die From Drug Withdrawal. Welcome to the Criminal Justice System.

Posted in alo, FF, GE, LAI, LG, ONA, Pines, Radius, Safer, Uncategorized, Venta | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment