Alden

23 Apr 19
Mindzilla®

State College, PA — Cryogenic-Electron Microscopy (cryo-EM) has been a game changer in the field of medical research, but the substrate, used to freeze and view samples under a microscope, has not advanced much in decades. Now, thanks to a collaboration between Penn State researchers and the applied science company Protochips, Inc., this is no […]

23 Apr 19
ThinkProgress
By Marlene Cimons The poisoning of Flint is a tragedy without end. Five years after learning their water supply was laced with lead, the residents of this Michigan town 66 miles northwest of Detroit still are reeling. And they may be doing so for a long time. “We were and remain in deep trauma… grasping for hope,” said Bob Brown, a community activist who chairs WOW Outreach, a community-based organization dedicated to eliminating inter-person violence in Flint. “We are very resilient in Flint, but the trauma of what was done to us will take a long time to get over.” Community activists like Brown are trying to create new hope for residents. He is among those in the Flint community working with Laura Schmit Olabisi, an associate professor of community sustainability and environmental science and policy at Michigan State University, to help residents cope with the ongoing health effects of lead poisoning. Her focus is on nutrition, trying to find ways to improve their access to healthy food. When people don’t eat enough fruits and vegetables  — and fail to consume nutrients like calcium and iron  — the impact of heavy metals like lead in the body is exacerbated. Olabisi described, for example, how Brown tearfully told of unknowingly serving lead-tainted Kool-Aid to his young son and his son’s friends. Another woman described how she miscarried midway through her pregnancy, certain that lead was to blame. “It made me angry,” Olabisi said of the anguish she heard during the church-based listening session. The Flint River. CREDIT: George Thomas Lead exposure is extremely dangerous, especially for young children. It can stunt mental and physical growth, including lowering intelligence, and — among other things — can cause kidney and central nervous system damage. It affects every system in the body. It can be found in bones and in the blood. Lead can sometimes be removed, but the damage it causes can’t be reversed. Moreover, it can take decades for lead to leave the body, if it ever leaves at all. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimate that at least four million American households with children are currently being exposed to unacceptably high lead levels, including half a million children younger than five. The nutrients in healthy food, especially calcium and iron, can prevent the body from absorbing it. “We want to keep it from interacting with brain chemistry, and the way you do that is through proper nutrition, so [the lead] stays locked away in the bones and doesn’t reach the brain,” Olabisi said. “If it’s going to be a lifelong thing, you have to manage it, and nutrition helps you manage it.” Vintage advertisement for the 1917 Paterson 6-45 Touring Car, which was built in Flint, Michigan until 1923. CREDIT: Alden Jewell The history of Flint belies its bleak present. It was once a thriving city, buoyed by the auto industry boom. For a time, it was a leading manufacturer of cars and parts, second only to Detroit. But when the auto industry began to suffer, and General Motors began shutting down its Flint plants during the 1980s, the city’s fortunes plummeted, bringing social and economic chaos. “In the 1960s, Flint was a very wealthy city,” Olabisi said. “The food system was local and healthy. You could get good food from your local mom and pop stores. Then things started to go downhill as the auto industry began declining and local businesses began closing. That’s when fast food places and dollar stores started moving in. Today, the businesses are not locally owned. There are big box supermarkets outside the city, but they aren’t accessible unless you have a car.” Brown agreed. “When I go grocery shopping, I drive several miles out to the suburbs, buy my food, drive home, and unload multiple food bags from the car,” he said. “I would challenge anyone to do this via public transportation. Yet this is the challenge that many residents face.” Downtown Flint. CREDIT: Michigan Municipal League “Flint is a community that suffers under food apartheid,” he added. “Over the last decade, all the major grocery stores have pulled out of Flint. Even when they were here, chain grocery stores in Flint had less variety than the same stores in the suburbs. The further out you went, the better the variety. Now many people in Flint only have access to convenience stores that sell alcohol and processed foods high in salt and sugar. These stores have very little foods high in vitamin C, calcium, and iron, the lead-mitigating champions.” The current level of access to fresh produce and other healthy foods is a direct result of the lack of economic investment in Flint, Brown and others said. The residents, who are predominantly black, have to deal with the same challenges facing many other communities of color, namely limited job opportunities and high levels of pollution. “The economy really fell out, and the water crisis made things even worse,” Olabisi said. In 2014, as a cost-saving measure, Flint’s water source changed from Lake Huron and the Detroit River to the Flint River, where lead escaping from pipes — and inadequate water treatment — heavily contaminated the water supply. Flint residents drank the water, cooked with it, and bathed in it. One recent study showed that lead in children’s blood doubled after the switch, a rise researchers did not find in areas outside of the city. Another study found a decrease in fertility rates, and a higher rate of miscarriage. A Michigan National Guard member provides water to a Flint resident. CREDIT: Michigan National Guard “This is a community that has been traumatized and hurt in a way that didn’t have to happen,” Olabisi said. “These people were treated callously. They will be dealing with this for the rest of their lives.” Olabisi had been working with Flint residents on nutritional issues before the water crisis began unfolding, and after it struck, she intensified her efforts. “A sub-optimal diet has many health effects, including higher rates of obesity and diabetes, so it’s not just about the lead,” she said. “Food is an important part of the whole health system. A poor diet can also be linked to poor emotional regulation, which encourages violence. It just touches so many aspects of peoples’ lives that it’s important to get it right.” She and her colleagues have a federal grant for a four-year program to examine Flint’s food system and develop ways to improve it. “Our [community] partners are still frustrated by the low level of healthy food access in Flint,” Olabisi said. “We have little pockets of success here and there, but the whole city is still underserved. We are trying to analyze the food system, including looking at Flint’s history and the root causes of its problems, to see if we can shift some of those levers.” Professor Olabisi with young Flint residents. CREDIT: Chelsea Wentworth Some of these initiatives include the North Flint Food Market, a local food cooperative, and FlintFresh, a program that delivers boxes of fruits and vegetables directly to homes, businesses, restaurants, and mobile markets. The food delivery is funded by community groups and foundations, she said. Also, residents can use their food assistance benefits at some of the mobile markets to buy healthy produce. Other ideas include promoting community gardens, linking local farmers to mobile markets and finding ways to coordinate transportation to enable people to reach grocery store locations where they can more easily buy fresh food, Olabisi said, adding that the project is trying to involve as much community input as possible. “Flint residents have heard that organizations inside and outside of the community [are] working toward improving circumstances, but it will take time to earn back their trust,” said Lottie Ferguson, director of grants and development for the Flint & Genesee Chamber of Commerce. “The project will have to be sensitive to [their] needs… and allow them to have a seat at the table, [and confirm] their voices will be heard.” The project “should tell us what levers we can adjust to improve access to nutrition for Flint families,” Ferguson added. Flint residents eye innovative solutions for the future as they try to move beyond the water crisis Education also is a critical component, Olabisi said. The idea is to support residents to make healthy food choices, and encourage them to cook fresh, healthy meals from scratch, she said. Ultimately, “we’re hoping something better can be built, a better system so that something like this can never happen elsewhere.” Marlene Cimons writes for Nexus Media, a syndicated newswire covering climate, energy, policy, art and culture
23 Apr 19
Fantasy Faire 2019

Midnight Pagoda by Moira Draconia 

23 Apr 19
Cumberland Regional HS Media Center

Following by Jeffry W. Johnston. February 5, 2019. Sourcebooks Fire, 256 p. ISBN: 9781492664611.  Int Lvl: YA; Rdg Lvl: YA. Rear Window meets Serial in this riveting new thriller from Edgar Award-nominated author that follows Alden as he tries to solve a crime only he believes was committed. Alden likes to follow people. He’s not trying to be […]

23 Apr 19
BlackPressUSA

NEW ORLEANS DATA NEWS WEEKLY — Liberty Bank and Trust Company announced its partnership with the City of New Orleans, Newcorp, Inc., the Kresge Foundation J. P. Morgan/Chase, and Living Cities Catalyst Impact Fund to create a BuildNOLA Mobilization Fund. The fund will provide up to $10 million in capital for Disadvantaged Business Enterprises (DBE’s) to access work in the City of New Orleans’ Green Infrastructure rebuilding program

23 Apr 19
Ta Marque

Made in America is perhaps the single most defining sentence which can truly uphold the value of the great American Dream. From movies (Made in America 1993) to festivals (Made in America 2013), somehow we all share this dream. So perhaps it will be unjustified to narrowly equate this made in USA slogan to the […]

23 Apr 19
Fantasy Faire 2019

Every day the Fairelands will provide an amazing amount of events for you to enjoy! Pick your favourite flavor of fun and join in! Fantasy Faire Radio Promo of the Day: Literary Festival | Performances | Roleplay Shopping All Day Long: Shopping Catalogue Straight Booth SLurls & Pinterest Gallery of the New RFL Releases Voting All Day Long: Vote for the […]

23 Apr 19
Write Heart

Magkatabi kaming nanunuod ni Vander ng Eat Bulaga while Bambam is busy roaming around sa sala. Nakita niya si Alden na tinatanong yung mga participants kung ilan taon na sila. Vander: Nanay, ilang taon na kayo?Me: 33 (haha)Vander: Adi, mahal na kayo!Me: Anong mahal? Matanda na…Vander: Ni 33 na kayo edi mahal na kayong binili […]

23 Apr 19
True Crime

Jane Toppan Jane Toppan, born Honora Kelley, was born on 17 August 1854 to couple of Irish immigrants. No child’s life is ever planned to be hard, but Honora quickly learned that her life isn’t going to be an easy one. Honora’s mother died while she was still very young and her father was “famous” […]

23 Apr 19
Fantasy Faire 2019

Nature’s Grace by Moira Draconia I sat down for tea with the gorilla in the room and his kind eyes knew these kind eyes are like the forgiving eyes of the elephants in the river the rainbow emerging after the storm and life beginning again anew Fairy Garden meets Noah’s Ark

22 Apr 19
The Artistry Of Trees

A fool sees not the same tree a wise man sees ~ William Blake. Don’t underestimate the value of stopping every now and then, if only for a brief moment, to gaze upward.

22 Apr 19
Fantasy Faire 2019

The Faire is brimming with stories: breathtaking builds and fantastical creations designed to touch your heart and soul. What stories do they inspire in you? We invite you to put your Fantasy Faire experience into words. Bayounimba (Sweetgwendoline Bailey/Mondi Beaumont) For many centuries the kingdom of Lunimba lay in lush green forests, while its diverse […]