Fluoride was recently added to our water supply over the objections of many citizens. Now that the damage is in place, some of us may want to know what can be done to protect our families. Protection is available, but at a price. The ultimate solution would be to purchase a whole house fluoride removal system made from a special clay for between $600 and $1,200 plus installation costs. If you can afford this, just get on the computer and Google “fluoride water filters.” If that is out of your price range, maybe you can afford a reverse osmosis unit to purify your drinking water. (Charcoal filtration will not remove fluoride.) If you drink bottled water, be aware that purified bottled waters may contain fluoride. So you may have to use only bottled spring or distilled water. Purchase only fruit juices that are “not from concentrate” because the reconstituted fruit juices and drinks may be made with fluoridated water. Grapes and tea are often sprayed with a fluorinated pesticide. If due to monetary considerations you are stuck with bathing in and drinking the fluoridated water, you may want to make sure to include a little iodized salt or a little seaweed in your diet. This will help replace the iodine that the fluoride removes from your body.
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Open Letter to the Landmarks Commission: 2nd and 4th Street Trees
I disagree with the reports being used to help the Commission decide this issue. To begin with, they are all so nearly identical, almost word for word, that they can hardly be believed to represent any independent analysis. They appear to be cursory, and also to be an unseemly rush to judgment.
Counter to the conclusion of these reports, I believe these trees add substantially to the character of their streets, that they do make significant and outstanding aesthetic impacts to their settings, and that they are excellent, distinctive, and noteworthy. Further, they are obviously planted in unique locations – 2nd and 4th Streets. They also possess a particularly singular physical characteristic of their type, which is that they have managed to survive, even thrive, over 40 years of abuse by the City of Santa Monica. For the city to do so extreme, callous, and unhealthy a hack job on both the roots and branches of these trees year after year, and then determine they are not good representative examples of their type, is unacceptable. When they get better nurturing, they will appear even more beautiful than they currently do, and they will become more conventionally excellent than they currently are.
I believe these trees should be “Landmarked” for a reason that is perhaps less obvious, and that is because they are already landmarks in the history of the City of Santa Monica. Residents of this city have waged many battles to try to save trees. Many residents have their own personal horror stories about the destruction of beloved trees. This particular area of Santa Monica is already considered terribly overbuilt by most residents, and it is here that a historic line is being drawn in the sand – or in this case in all the cement and the steel and the noise. People have had enough. The saving of these trees is a landmark experience for the city. It is precisely at this place where these trees are living, that history for the City of Santa Monica is being made. The so-called “Historic Period” for this district will have to be expanded to include the present. Thousands of individuals, along with many organizations and businesses, and all of the Neighborhood Councils, have spoken up to require that these trees be saved. These trees are being “Landmarked” by the residents and the visitors who love them; regardless of what this Commission does they will be saved. The Landmarks Commission has the rare opportunity to rise above illegitimate political and developmental pressures by recognizing these trees as the historic landmarks they have become. You can do the right thing morally for these scores of living things. You can become known as some of the Santa Monicans who understood what was happening here, at this particular point in time, and so helped save the lives of these trees. You can recognize them now or you can recognize them later.
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I am writing in response to your story, “A Day Without a Plastic Bag,” written by Anna Cummins in the December 13-19 issue. Taking strides to reduce waste is an important step for the health of the environment; however, there are additional actions that citizens can take to reduce waste.
It is important to remember that plastic bags are 100 percent recyclable. In California, a law passed last year (AB 2449) requires grocery stores to accept plastic bags for recycling. Most local supermarkets have recycling bins in front of the stores where consumers can bring in their old bags to recycle.
In addition to grocery store and retailer recycling, numerous cities and counties across the state accept plastic bags through their curbside recycling systems. Because there are so many avenues available for consumers to recycle plastic bags, it indicates that an infrastructure already exists statewide that should be further promoted to achieve greater recycling rates. Taking your plastic bags back to your local grocery store is easy, and those bags can be recycled into products such as new plastic bags, decking materials, and park benches, which is good for you and the environment. Just like with bottles and cans, by working together, we can make plastic bag recycling the status quo.
Donna Dempsey, Senior Managing Director
Progressive Bag Alliance