20October2014

Safety and Public Awareness

Road failure closes road to Bear Harbor indefinitely

According to a press release from California State Parks:
A large section of road recently failed between the Needle Rock Visitor Center and Bear Harbor in the Sinkyone Wilderness State Park, making it impassible to vehicles.  State Park officials are looking at possible ways to re-route the road, but Park Superintendent Michelle Gardner says it will remain closed to vehicles "indefinitely," and likely for at least the next two years.  The three-mile route from the visitor center to Bear Harbor and Orchard Camp is 3 miles and can only be traveled by foot or bicycle.  Gardner asks that any cyclists carry their bikes while traveling on or near the section of road that has failed.

The photos below are courtesy of California State Parks:

  

 

  • Written by Bob Froehlich
  • Hits: 516

Changes to Social Security method of payment announced

According to a press release from the Office of Congressman Mike Thompson, dated March 1, 2012:
Congressman Mike Thompson (CA-1) today released the following statement notifying Social Security beneficiaries that beginning exactly one year from today, March 1, 2013, those not already signed up for direct deposit will start receiving their monthly benefits through direct deposit or a prepaid debit card.  “Starting next year all Social Security recipients – and all others receiving federal benefits – will get their payments directly deposited into their bank accounts – meaning folks will be getting their benefits quicker and more easily,” said Thompson. “If you haven’t set up direct deposit with the Social Security Administration, please take the time to sign up. These changes will not impact the amount of benefits you receive.”

To sign up for direct deposit, or to receive a prepaid debit card, you can visit GoDirect.org or call the Go Direct helpline at (800) 333-1795.

 

  • Written by Bob Froehlich
  • Hits: 348

Testimony demands service members subjected to DOD's chemical testing receive health benefits

According to a press release from Congressman Mike Thompson's Office, dated Feb. 23, 2012:
Congressman Mike Thompson (CA-1) today demanded that service members who were subjected to the Department of Defense’s (DOD) chemical weapon testing be able to receive full medical care and disability compensation for their service-connected medical conditions. In late 2002, the DOD revealed for the first time that between 1962 and 1974 it had tested harmful chemical and biological agents by spraying them on ships and sailors. These tests – known as Project 112, which included Project Shipboard Hazard and Defense (SHAD), exposed at least 6,000 service members without their knowledge to harmful chemical and biological weapons and included some of the most deadly chemicals on Earth: Vx Nerve Gas, Sarin Nerve Gas and E. coli.
 
Many veterans who were subjected to chemical tests as part of Project 112/SHAD have developed serious medical issues but do not currently receive priority care from the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) or disability benefits because the VA does not officially recognize any long-term health consequences from exposure to the chemical agents from these specific tests. In 2010, Congress passed a law requiring the VA to contract with the Institute of Medicine (IOM) to consider the health impact on veterans that were part of Project 112/SHAD. The IOM Study committee charged with investigating these potential health impacts today held a field hearing in Sacramento. If the scientific study by the IOM finds a connection between the chemical testing and long-term health consequences, the VA will likely be compelled to provide all service members exposed to this testing priority medical care and full disability compensation. Thompson today submitted testimony to the committee. “Our country must ensure that any service member who has become sick or developed a disability because of these tests is provided with the treatment they deserve and benefits they’ve earned,” said Thompson. “We cannot wait any longer. Many brave men who served our country are now sick or have passed away because of Project 112’s chemical and biological testing. It is our duty to right this wrong and get our service members the care they need.”
 
In 2002, Congress directed the IOM to conduct a study of the health effects associated with the chemicals used during Project 112/SHAD.  Numerous reports by other agencies and departments within the U.S. government, such as the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, say exposure to these substances have long-term health consequences.  However, after five years of research the IOM study found no connection existed between the substances tested and the health problems now widely seen among known SHAD veterans.  As a result, the VA does not recognize any long-term health consequences from the Project 112/SHAD tests. The IOM has since conceded that the first study did not adequately sample the full universe of Project 112/SHAD veterans, and that the study panel could not obtain sufficient information to assess levels of exposure to specific agents. The initial study also failed to account for the job and duty assignments of various personnel on board all the ships and tugs involved in the chemical testing. Because of this, the first study failed to take into account the different levels of exposure.  For instance, some personnel were exposed during training and testing to multiple weapons, experimental vaccines, trace elements, stimulants, and decontamination agents, whereas other personnel would have had limited exposure because of where they were stationed. For these reasons, Congress passed a 2010 law requiring a second study.
 
Thompson provided testimony along with former Senior Navy Officer and Humboldt County resident Jack Alderson today at the committee. Alderson was in charge of five different light tug operations from 1964 to 1967. As a senior officer, Alderson was notified of some military chemical tests performed on animals on his ship while he was in service.  Once he started getting sick, he asked Thompson to investigate whether or not there could be a link between his health problems and Project 112/SHAD. It was found that the DOD performed experimental tests by spraying live chemical and biological agents on ships and sailors to test the Navy’s vulnerability to toxic warfare. Alderson commanded some of the ships used in these experiments. He has since been diagnosed with malignant Melanoma, several types of skin cancers, prostate cancer and doctors have found four occurrences of Asbestos in his lungs. “Jack, and all the people who served with him, deserve to know the truth,” said Thompson. “If we don’t get these service members the care they need, then how can we ask our current service members to put their lives on the line knowing that harm from the enemy may not be the only danger they encounter? It is imperative for us to right our governments past wrongs and help these brave veterans who were unknowingly subjected to these tests.”
 
Click here for more information on the IOM study.

  • Written by Bob Froehlich
  • Hits: 404

$450,000 of additional funds allocated for Humboldt Harbor and Bay dredging

According to a press release from Congressman Mike Thompson's Office, dated Feb. 10, 2012:
Congressman Mike Thompson (CA-1) today announced that Humboldt Harbor and Bay would receive an additional $450,000 for dredging. The funds come from the Army Corps of Engineers’ discretionary account, and were awarded in order to address the operation and maintenance needs of Humboldt Bay.
 
“Humboldt Bay is a lynchpin of the North Coast economy, serving as hub for trade and commerce within the U.S. and internationally,” said Thompson. “With these funds the waterways at Humboldt Bay will continue functioning at the depth level necessary for the only deep water port on the North Coast of California. It is important that we continue to maintain and improve this economic engine.” “The Humboldt Bay Harbor, Recreation and Conservation District very much appreciates the commitment, hard work and advocacy that Congressman Thompson and his staff have done to help keep our harbor infrastructure maintained” said Mike Wilson, President of the Board of Commissioners of the Humboldt Bay Harbor, Recreation and Conservation District.
 
On an annual basis, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers determines the amount of funds required to maintain harbors and navigable waterways throughout the United States.  The $450,000 is in addition to the $2.74 million previously requested by the Corps and appropriated by Congress last December for Fiscal Year 2012. Annual harbor channel dredging is critical to maintaining harbor entrance safety for our shipping and fishing feet as well as enhancing environmental protection such as the prevention of fuel barge accidents. This dredging effort is also essential in preserving Humboldt Bay as an important part of the north coast economy and transportation system and maintains our area’s competiveness for exports to Asia.

  • Written by Bob Froehlich
  • Hits: 620

Local complaints about telephone scams continue

According to a Humboldt County Sheriff's Office Press Release, dated Jan. 24, 2012:
The Sheriff’s Office is continuing to receive reports of telephone scams from the public.  One citizen received a call from someone who identified himself as her grandson. The caller told the citizen he had been involved in a drunk driving accident with a family from Lebanon, and he needed the citizen to wire him money to pay for the damage he did to their rental car. He could not get out of jail until this was done. The caller had a British accent.  The deputy who was investigating the report assisted the citizen in determining the grandson was fine and the call was a scam.

In the second case the citizen reported receiving a call from a  “John Stone”  who told her she won the lottery and a car. The caller told the victim he needed $200 to pay for the processing of the victim's winnings. The caller asked the citizen to go to a local store and obtain a prepaid credit card which the victim did. The caller then asked the victim for the card number over the telephone which the victim provided and the money was then removed from the prepaid credit card by the suspect. 
   

The Sheriff’s Office would like to continue to remind callers to not send money, money orders, provide credit card information, checking account information or any other personal information to people over the phone or on line. Go to your local bank and see them in person if they claim to be with your bank.  The lottery will not ask you to send them money to obtain your prize.

If you have any questions call your local law enforcement agency.

  • Written by Bob Froehlich
  • Hits: 400
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