Saturday, April 24, 2010

Near Blythe, historian sees solar plants as threat to desert carvings

This story was sent to you by: Tom Abercrombie

Near Blythe, historian sees solar plants as threat to desert carvings --------------------

Alfredo Figueroa has made it his mission to guard huge carvings known as geoglyphs. His biggest concern was damage from off-roaders. Now he worries that solar energy plants could do even more harm.

By David Kelly, Los Angeles Times

April 25 2010

After a rough ride through narrow desert washes, Alfredo Figueroa came to a clearing and ordered the vehicles to halt. The complete article can be viewed at: Visit at

Posted via email from The Newport Beach Blog

The New Biofuels? Mud and Beef

Two new biofuels are coming from unlikely sources – mud and beef.

The Navy is testing a microbial fuel cell that works by converting decomposing marine organisms buried in mud into electricity, according to PlanetSave.

The fuel cell has been tested, and so far has shown promise in powering sensors. Researchers hold out hope that it could one day power underwater unmanned vehicles and various underwater devices that monitor the ocean environment.

In theory, researchers say the fuel cells could power equipment for years without servicing.

“We are working on a 4-foot long autonomous underwater vehicle that will settle on the seafloor and recharge its batteries using this fuel cell approach,” said researcher Linda Chrisey, in a press release. “We are already able to power many types of sensors using microbial fuel cells.”

Out of the water and onto the prairies, another form of biofuel is coming in the form of a beef byproduct.

An Amtrak train – Heartland Flyer – recently took its first trip using a B20 blend – 20 percent biofuel and 80 percent diesel.

The biofuel comes from beef fat left over from processing, reports Inhabitat.

Posted via web from eWaste Disposal and Recycling

Why he sold his Strand ( Dana Point) home in an auction

I spoke with Kelly Burt, who just sold his multimillion dollar Strand home in a live auction last weekend.

A developer for 25 years, Burt studied the auction process for a year first and interviewed the top four auction companies in the game to choose the company to sell his homes, he says.

He even flew out to Hawaii to watch the auction of singer Cher’s home, which sold for $8,720,000 in February.

“I know what down markets are like. When the market starts turning, you need to stay ahead of it,” he says of deciding to sell both his homes – 7 and 9 White Water Lane – through auction, which can be risky.

Burt says the real estate industry is just now starting to feel the impact of the Internet’s influence, “The Internet has disrupted almost every field, from how we date to how we elect political candidates,” he said. “We need to figure out a way to sell more quickly, more efficiently, and to reach a broader audience.”

This is the first time Burt used the auction platform to sell a home. The final bid price of the home auctioned by Concierge Auctions is not being released, upholding a confidentiality agreement signed by both Burt and the buyer.

“The benefits are pretty obvious, we’re in the throes of negotiating putting another one (house) on,” he said. “I’m very pleased with how things went, pleased with the number of participants, pleased that it was an all-cash buyer that can close in less than 30 days.”

The published reserve – or even the opening bid – for the auction that just passed was $6.9 million. Both 7 and 9 White Water Lane were up for grabs to the highest bidder, who got to select their personal favorite (and 7 White Water Lane was chosen by the highest bidder).

Burt raised the published reserve to $7.9 million to sell the remaining 9 White Water Lane listing by auction May 20. Why?

“I feel that the market will bear it,” he said. “That’s a steal. The history and this process would suggest that we should be successful.”

“We have to find new techniques and new ways of exposing the market,” he said. “The consumer is the big winner on this.”

Posted via web from The Newport Beach Blog

Check out these Laguna Beach open houses

Here is a list of all homes for sale offering open houses in Laguna Beach this weekend (Apr. 24 and 25).

CLICK on address links for additional information.

Happy hunting!

1255 Pacific Avenue

Sunday, Apr. 25, 1 p.m. to 4 p.m.

31897 Circle Drive

Sunday, Apr. 25, 1 p.m. to 4 p.m.

165 Crescent Bay Drive

Saturday, Apr. 24, 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. and Sunday, Apr. 25, 1 p.m. to 4 p.m.

22200 Paseo Del Sur

Sunday, Apr. 25, 1 p.m. to 4 p.m.

639 Buena Vista Way

Saturday, Apr. 24, 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. and Sunday, Apr. 25, 1 p.m. to 4 p.m.

2211 Crestview Place

Sunday, Apr. 25, 1 p.m. to 4 p.m.

739 Marlin

Sunday, Apr. 25, 1 p.m. to 4 p.m.

629 Alta Vista Way

Saturday, Apr. 24, 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. and Sunday, Apr. 25, 1 p.m. to 4 p.m.

26 Blue Lagoon

Saturday, Apr. 24, 1 p.m. to 4 p.m.

1813 Temple Hills Drive

Saturday, Apr. 24, 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. and Sunday, Apr. 25, 1 p.m. to 4 p.m.

31561 Table Rock Drive #214

Sunday, Apr. 25, 1 p.m. to 4 p.m.

32021 Virginia Way

Posted via web from The Newport Beach Blog

Friday, April 23, 2010

Squatters snatch homes in deed scheme

  • SQUATTERS: Register writer Tony Saavedra reports today about a businessman filing quitclaim deeds on homes he doesn’t own, then renting the homes out to tenants. (O.C. Register) MORE HERE!
  • GARBAGE DUTY: A million New York City residents avoided the need to take out their own garbage and sort their own mail when a doorman strike was averted. (WSJ) MORE HERE!
  • GEKKO HOUSE: A look inside the house where Gordon Gekko’s protege and son-in-law lives in the Wall Street movie sequel. (N.Y. Times) MORE HERE!
  • SAMPRAS HOUSE: A look inside the new Brentwood home purchased by tennis star Pete Sampras. (Shelterpop) MORE HERE!
  • SHAKY MARKET: Tax credits sparked a big jump in home sales last month, but the longer-term housing outlook remains clouded. (WSJ) MORE HERE!
  • GOLDMAN Q&A: To help clear up some confusion over this “Wall Street Gone Wild’” saga, writer Bill Lucey consults a few financial experts to sort out exactly what Goldman Sachs is being charged with. (Huffington Post) MORE HERE!
  • REITS TAKE OFF: Real estate investment trusts in the U.S. may exceed the $25 billion they raised last year in share sales as an economic recovery boosts investor confidence. (Bloomberg) MORE HERE!
  • BUILDER INCENTIVES: There’s a good chance that plenty of incentives will be available after the federal tax credit expires on April 30. Only these will be provided by the builders themselves. (L.A. Times) MORE HERE!

  • Posted via web from The Newport Beach Blog

    Thursday, April 22, 2010

    Naps boost memory, so don't let them call you names!

    A new finding underscores just how important sleep is to memory and mental function.
    A new finding underscores just how important sleep is to memory and mental function.
    • An afternoon power nap may boost ability to process and store information, study suggests
    • During dreams, the brain looks at connections that you might not think of or notice when awake
    • Nappers did better than the students who had stayed awake in a maze test
    Sleep has long been known to improve performance on memory tests. Now, a new study suggests that an afternoon power nap may boost your ability to process and store information tenfold -- but only if you dream while you're asleep.

    "When you dream, your brain is trying to look at connections that you might not think of or notice when [you're] awake," says the lead author of the study, Robert Stickgold, the director of the Center for Sleep and Cognition at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, in Boston, Massachusetts. "In the dream...the brain tries to figure out what's important and what it should keep or dump because it's of no value."

    In the study, Stickgold and his colleagues asked 99 college students to memorize a complex maze on a computer. The researchers then placed the students inside a virtual, 3-D version of the maze and asked them to navigate to another spot within it. After doing this several times, half of the participants took a 90-minute nap while the other half stayed awake and watched videos. What's keeping you awake at night?

    When the students were given the maze test again five hours later, the nappers did better than the students who had stayed awake, even those who had reviewed the maze in their heads. However, the nappers who dreamed about the maze -- one described being lost in a bat cave -- performed 10 times better than the nappers who didn't.

    The students who dreamed about the maze did poorly on the test the first time around -- which may not be a coincidence, the researchers say. If a task is difficult for you, your brain seems to know it, and you may be more likely to dream about it than if the task were easier.

    "If you're not good at something, and you dream about it, you seem to get better at it -- especially if the information can be used in different situations," says Michael Breus, the clinical director of the sleep division for Arrowhead Health, in Glendale, Arizona, who was not involved in the study.

    "The sleeping brain seems to be processing information on one level, but on a higher level it helps evolve your memory network if the information is relevant or helpful in your life experience," adds Breus, who is also the author of "Beauty Sleep."

    The study's findings, which appear in the journal Current Biology, underscore just how important sleep is to our memory and mental function. 8 natural remedies that may help you sleep

    It doesn't even need to be a deep sleep, as the researchers found when they monitored the brain activity of the students while they slept. Although the deep slumber known as rapid eye movement (REM) is most closely associated with dreaming, the students' dreaming and learning occurred after as little as one minute of non-REM sleep. Turn your bedroom into a sleep haven

    The type of learning that occurs while you dream can be illustrated by the classic dream that many people have in which they show up for an exam that they haven't studied for, Stickgold says.

    "When you're in school -- especially college -- there's this ongoing sense that you haven't done enough," he says. "Maybe you didn't make it to a lecture, or you had a paper due in three days that you hadn't started, so you're laying down memories that say, 'I haven't done anything that I need to do.'"

    When someone has the exam dream (or nightmare), he says, "Your brain is taking the knowledge of what happened to help you behave differently in the future."

    You may be able to harness the dream power displayed in the study to perform better in your everyday life, Breus says. How to sleep easier and avoid midday fatigue

    "If you're studying something tough, get the basics down and take a nap. If you dream about it, you will probably understand it better," he says. "Or, go to bed a little earlier the night before, wake up early, review the material, and then take a quick nap to solidify your understanding."

    That's good advice, says Dr. Rafael Pelayo, an associate professor of sleep medicine at Stanford University School of Medicine, in Palo Alto, California.

    "Instead of cramming, study intensely, catch a nap, and then maybe do some more studying," he says. "A nap may be a good tool to enhance your ability to remember information."

    Posted via web from The Newport Beach Blog

    I'll be at the Newport Film Festival...

    A New Shade of Green

    We humans with our big cars and our big factories and our big cities were discharging terrible stuff into the air and water, and it had to be stopped or we would soon make our nest uninhabitable. The public was growing increasingly outraged. Every night on color television, we saw yellow sludge flowing into blue rivers; every day as we drove to work, we saw black smudges against the barely visible blue sky. We knew that our indiscriminate use of pesticides and toxic substances was threatening wildlife and public health.

    But we didn't do much about it. Until 1970, most regulation of industry was done by the states, which competed so strongly for plants and jobs that regulating companies to protect public health was beyond them.

    Environmentally, it was a race to the bottom.

    Until, that is, the public had enough and demanded action. A seminal moment: the first Earth Day, on April 22, 1970, when cars were buried and action was demanded from the Nixon administration and Congress.

    And they both acted. President Nixon created the Environmental Protection Agency, and Congress, starting with the Council on Environmental Quality, passed a cascade of laws designed to clean up our act.

    One of my first public actions as the first head of the EPA was to bring major enforcement actions against three large cities for violations of the Clean Water Act. We followed that with additional action against the steel industry and other industrial polluters. I knew that the job of the EPA would be far more contentious in the future if we didn't establish its credibility and its willingness to take forceful—and symbolic—action right from the start. The American people had to know we were serious about meeting their demands.

    The Last War
    [EARTH1] Etienne Delessert

    Fast forward to 2010. In so many ways, the problems of the 1970s seem almost quaint now—simpler problems of a simpler time. Our biggest challenge now is to make sure we don't succumb to our inevitable tendency to fight the last war. Or to put it more bluntly: Yesterday's solutions worked well on yesterday's problems, but the solutions we devised back in the 1970s aren't likely to make much of a dent in the environmental problems we face today.

    Don't get me wrong: Considerable progress has been made thanks to those early laws. Air pollution, particularly of the kinds listed in the Clean Air Act of 1970, has been driven to much lower concentrations, and public health and the environment have benefited greatly.

    Similarly, under the Clean Water Act, river basins and watersheds have been cleaned up all over the country. Back in the 1960s, Lake Erie was declared dead; it now supports a fishery of several hundred million dollars a year. The same can be said for many gross pollution problems—the smell, touch and feel kind. How quickly we forget what the world was like in the 1940s and '50s when most everyone burned soft coal in their furnaces to stay warm during the winter, putting an intolerable burden on our lungs and respiratory system.

    No Place to Hide

    The tactics of the 1970s show what we can accomplish if we put our minds to the task. But today's tasks require more than putting our minds to them. They require a new mind-set.


    William Ruckelshaus at his 1970 swearing in as the EPA's first administrator


    To understand why, remember that most of the laws we put in place back then were based on the belief that the fundamental problem was the weakness of state regulatory programs. If we just centralized the regulation of industry at the federal level, there would be no place for the polluters to hide.

    The current generation of problems that we are facing, though, is much more subtle, much less visible to the naked eye—and often not nearly as susceptible to a top-down, command-and-control approach.

    The rise of climate change as a major national and global problem offers a vivid example. Climate change is difficult to deal with politically because the people who benefit (future generations) are not the same as those who pay (the current generation). That is, our children and grandchildren will reap the gains of any costs that we bear in reducing our current use of carbon.

    On these kinds of issues where the payer and beneficiary are not the same, the American people are ideological liberals and operational conservatives. They are all for the promised results; they just don't want to pay for them. Little wonder that most people will tell their pollsters they are in favor of reducing the impact of our current lifestyle on future generations, but their scant support for policies that will accomplish that belie their commitment.

    I believe that if we are going to address climate change successfully, the top-down, standard-setting enforcement process of the 1970s has to be rethought. It worked just fine when the goal was clear: cutting the amount of specific pollutants from a finite number of industrial and municipal entities. But climate change—which involves the behavior of all of us who heat our homes and drive our cars, not just business and industry—is too big and too complicated for something as blunt as this approach.

    Instead, I believe we are going to have to make the substances that cause the problem (for example, carbon or methane) cost more. In other words, if you want people to use less of something, tax it, and then give society flexibility in achieving the desired reductions. If we ever get serious about climate change, that's what we will do.

    Let me offer another example of how the environmental fight has to change tactics. In 1970, when the EPA was first started, the estimate of its water-quality office was that 85% of the problems of water pollution in the country were large point-source discharges, like municipal sewage-treatment plants or industrial operations. Only 15% were non-point sources—the runoff from city streets, suburban lawns, and rural and farm areas.

    Over the course of the past four decades, we have largely brought the point-source pollution problem under control by instituting a national permit program that spells out for each discharger, whether industrial or municipal, precisely what they are allowed to put into waterways, and in the event they do not live up to those permit requirements, enforcement action is likely to follow.

    By the same token, we have made little or no progress on non-point-source pollution. In fact, the EPA's latest estimate is that the percentage impact on receiving waters is just the reverse of that in 1970: 15% of the problem is point sources, and 85% of the impact is non-point sources.

    Impractical Approach

    The problem is that instituting a top-down solution for this kind of pollution is a lot more difficult than passing laws that target big industrial or municipal offenders. It turns out that while people will support such rules in the abstract, they aren't nearly as eager when it comes to allowing inspectors on their land to tell them how they should manage, say, storm-water runoffs. What's more, in practical terms, it's simply impossible to regulate and monitor everyone who owns property in these areas, as opposed to the comparatively small number of industrial plants and sewage facilities.

    The result has been to frustrate efforts to clean up places like the Chesapeake Bay or the Great Lakes. These efforts have floundered on the shoals of landowner intractability in the face of regulatory mandates. Often the people who support the controls in the abstract and those who resist in the particular are one and the same.

    Even when legislators or local governments mandate certain land-use practices, they will not appropriate money to hire inspectors to enforce them, or local courts will not back up the full reach of land-use restrictions. Our lawmakers and courts are simply reflecting the public's ideological/operational disconnect by their actions. (After all, that is what elected officials who want to stay elected do.)

    Lessons for the Future

    So what does this all mean for 2010? What does it mean for protecting the environment 40 years after that first Earth Day and nearly 40 years after the EPA first opened its doors?

    I am convinced that when we put our creative minds to it, we are perfectly capable of harmonizing human prosperity and growth with environmental protection. But putting our mind to some of the more intractable modern problems like climate change and non-point-source pollution is indeed quite a task. It will take a level of public understanding and knowledge of the relationship between the way we live and what we are doing to our natural systems, coupled with a sense of responsibility for the stewardship of our planet, that does not currently exist.

    My own experience in a variety of posts over the past 40 years leads me to certain conclusions.

    First is that people affected by change have to be deeply involved in the crafting of solutions—they are going to pay for them either economically or through changes in how they live. We need more democracy, not less. Trying to enact rules centrally to control the behavior of hundreds, sometimes thousands of people in a watershed when their individual contribution is minuscule, but collectively overwhelming, is futile. We have been trying a command-and-control, top-down approach for the past four decades to control non-point sources of water pollution. The examples of the Great Lakes, Chesapeake Bay and Puget Sound are grim testimony to our failure. If one solution doesn't work, the answer is not to push it harder but to look for new approaches.

    Second, we have to get better at both involving people in the process of change and providing them with enough information to make that involvement useful and worthwhile. My experience recently helping with salmon recovery efforts in Puget Sound tells me that when people understand their self-interest in solving a problem, they are more than willing to agree to the trade-offs necessary to come to a solution.

    Third, we need uniformly supported science and technical support to inform the discretion of the "deeply involved" people if they are going to come up with sustainable solutions. Dueling scientists make for confused participants in the decision-making process and the subsequent lawsuits lead to expensive and time-consuming nonsolutions. Yes, scientists often disagree, but if the parties affected take an adversarial position to one another at the outset, then scientific disagreement is inevitable. If all interested parties are working together and can agree on a scientist or group of scientists as they start their efforts to fashion a solution, they can avoid the court-inspired dueling-scientist phenomenon.

    Hard Collaboration

    Fortunately, we have some examples in the Great Lakes, Chesapeake Bay and Puget Sound where all the interests affected by the needed changes have been invited to the table, and challenged by the government or themselves to put their positions in their pocket and their interests on the table. What people often find is that their interests can be harmonized, and we can have prosperous farms and healthy fish, safe drinking water and sustainable development, and so forth.

    These citizen collaborations have to be carefully structured, stimulated and led by leaders in the government or private sector, facilitated by trained professionals, and end with an outcome of clear goals and objectives.

    This is hard work: It takes time, effort and skills not often enjoyed by governments. But the payoffs from avoiding delays—and the economic and environmental costs that come with those delays—are well worth it.

    If there is any overriding lesson we should learn from the progress we made over the past 40 years, it is this: We have always shown our ability to adapt to meet new and complex challenges, as long as we are given the chance to go to work on them.

    Mr. Ruckelshaus was the first administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency upon its creation in 1970, and served as EPA administrator again during the 1980s. He is now the strategic director of Madrona Venture Group and chairman of the Leadership Council of Puget Sound Partnership.

    Posted via web from eWaste Disposal and Recycling

    Wednesday, April 21, 2010

    Brokerage Firm Fined $375,000 for Unsecured Data

    Brokerage firm DA Davidson has agreed to pay a fine of $375,000 for failing to protect confidential client data from Latvian hackers who breached the company in 2007 in an online extortion scheme.

    The hackers used a SQL injection attack to obtain access to the company’s database on Dec. 25 and 26, 2007.

    The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority, which announced the fine agreement on Monday, said although the attack activity was reflected in the brokerage’s server logs, administrators failed to examine those logs. The intruders obtained data on about 192,000 customers, according to the press release announcing the fine. (Previous reports indicated that more than 300,000 customer files were stolen). The data included customer account numbers, Social Security numbers, names, addresses, dates of birth and other private information.

    The company discovered the breach only after receiving an extortion e-mail from one of the hackers on Jan. 16, 2008, which contained an attachment with the records of 20,000 customers as proof of the intrusion. DA Davidson contacted the Secret Service, and the subsequent investigation led to four suspects, three of whom are Latvian nationals, who were extradited from the Netherlands to face charges in Montana.

    Read More…

    Posted via web from eWaste Disposal and Recycling

    Anaheim businessman collects rent on vacant homes he does not own

    California's foreclosure crisis has spawned an unusual operation by a bankrupt Orange County businessman who takes control of vacant homes and rents them out, according to police, property records and neighbors.

    From an office at an Anaheim massage clinic, Blair Hanloh has recorded deeds on at least 12 vacant houses in Southern California that he does not own. Property records show no evidence that the owners deeded interest to him—and five owners interviewed by The Orange County Register said that they had not.

    Article Tab : house-renters-investor-co
    Mark Bellinger, an investor in the property at 7820 Rainview Court in Anaheim Hills,has had trouble getting the, "renters" out of the house. The former owner of the house, Sam Ahmed, is in the background.

    Hanloh uses his deeds, to homes in Orange, Los Angeles, San Bernardino and San Diego counties, to line up tenants and to placate police, who are inevitably called by neighbors to oust new residents they believe to be squatters. (Click to learn more about the properties.)

    Hanloh's scheme has rattled neighbors, befuddled police and frustrated the properties' real owners – who say they must spend thousands of dollars in legal fees to evict the tenants.

    "I feel it's a sign of the times," said Erika Chowaiki, whose house for sale in San Dimas was seized without her knowledge by Hanloh. "People are out there desperate, trying to figure out a way to make money."

    Mark Bellinger, an investor in an Anaheim Hills home taken over by Hanloh, fretted that he might lose the property.

    "It'll take more:

    Posted via web from The Newport Beach Blog

    Priciest O.C. house for sale again


    Two years after a waterfront home in Newport Bay was sold by actor Nicolas Cage for an Orange County record price, the mansion’s new owner has but the property back on the market — for $3.25 million less than he paid for it.

    Jerry Herbst, owner of the Las Vegas-based Terrible Herbst chain of gas stations and casinos, paid $35 million for Cage’s home on Bayshore Drive in January 2008.

    That’s the highest price ever recorded for an Orange County home. Although numerous homes are on the market with higher asking prices, they either never sold or sold for less. (See 15 of the priciest homes ever sold in O.C.)

    Photo by Laylan Connelly - click to enlarge

    Last week, the bayfront house went back on the market for $31.75 million.

    Herbst bought the home from Cage, who paid $25 million for it in July 2005.

    The six-bedroom, nine-bathroom home sits at the intersection of Lido Channel and the Main Channel, with views clear across the harbor to the Balboa Pavillion. At night, rooms in the upper floor have views down the coast all the way to Dana Point, said listing agent Rob Giem of Hom Real Estate Services. It sits on a 30,492-square-foot lot.

    The large boat dock that Nicolas Cage built has been enlarged to accommodate boats up to 156 feet long, plus several smaller craft, making it the harbor’s “largest single boat dock,” he said. (For more photos, CLICK HERE!)

    Read the rest of this entry »

    Posted via web from The Newport Beach Blog

    Navy “Partnering for a Greener Future” on Earth Day

    The United States Navy is celebrating the 40th Anniversary of Earth Day on April 22, 2010, with Navy and Marine Corps commands worldwide participating in activities on and around that date to celebrate environmental stewardship.

    The Navy’s theme for Earth Day 2010, “Partnering for a Greener Future,” emphasizes the Navy’s partnerships with other military services, federal and state agencies, non-government organizations, industry, and civilians. The Navy relies on partnerships to achieve the shared goals of protecting the environment and providing energy security for the nation and its allies. Examples of these efforts are as follows:

    • Since summer 2009, the Navy has participated in the Interagency Ocean Policy Task Force, led by the White House Council on Environmental Quality. The task force’s purpose is to develop national policy and a framework that enables sustainable use of oceans, lakes, and coastal areas in a manner that supports the nation’s environmental, economic, recreational, and security priorities.
    • The Navy is working with the shipbuilding industry to integrate a broad spectrum of energy efficiency initiatives on ships, such as stern flaps and propeller coatings that reduce petroleum consumption per mile.
    • The Navy has completed environmental planning, permitting and consultations for eight training, testing, and operating areas at sea, with six more to be completed this year. These efforts mark the beginning of a continuous cycle of environmental planning work and annual renewals with the National Marine Fisheries Service.
    • In 2009, the Navy commissioned the USS Makin Island, the world’s first hybrid fuel warship. Built by Northrop Grumman, the ship will conserve fuel and enable the Navy to save hundreds of millions of dollars in fuel costs over the life of ship.
    • The Navy continues to collaborate with academic institutions and government agencies to fund research that will increase scientific knowledge about marine mammals and minimize the potential for Navy activities to affect marine life.
    United States Navy
    Secretary of the Navy Ray Mabus speaks with reporters about the Navy's F/A-18 Green Hornet. The Green Hornet, powered by a 50/50 biofuel blend, will be test flown on Earth Day 2010.

    On Earth Day 2010, the Navy will demonstrate an F/A-18 Super Hornet, called the Green Hornet, powered by a 50/50 biofuel blend. The fuel, made from the Camelina sativa plant, is produced by Sustainable Oils of Bozeman, Montana. The flight demonstration will take place at Naval Air Station Patuxent River, Md. The Navy is also participating in research and development to identify other biofuel sources with the goal of reducing dependence on foreign energy sources and using fuel with a lower net carbon footprint than petroleum fuels.

    More than 50 installations are celebrating Earth Day 2010, with community events such as shoreline and neighborhood cleanups, tree plantings, recycling challenges, fun runs, wildlife rescues, and more.

    For more information on Navy Earth Day events, visit

    For more information on Navy environmental stewardship, visit

    Posted via web from eWaste Disposal and Recycling

    Tuesday, April 20, 2010

    19 of the Greatest Ocean Heroes

    See the men and women who have been on the frontlines of protecting our blue world. One will win a 2010 Heart of Green Award.By Brian Clark HowardBuzz up! 1 of 20

    26 Real People Making a Real DifferenceWho Will Win a Heart of Green Award?The 13 Most Endangered Sea CreaturesAmazing Wildlife PhotosHow to Start a Garden
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    Wallace J. Nichols
    As David Rockefeller, Jr. recently told The Daily Green, "Ninety-five percent of environmental conservation efforts go to the land, with only five percent left for oceans. Yet 71% of the globe is covered by oceans." Seen from space, Earth is a blue marble.

    To bring this concept home, sea turtle researcher and conservationist Wallace "J." Nichols, PhD started the Blue Marbles Project, a global initiative that asks participants to pass along a blue marble to someone they see expressing care for the oceans. So far 60,000 marbles have been shared, and the stories have been told via social media and other outlets. Nichols was recommended to TDG by two members of our Facebook community. He is a research associate with the California Academy of Sciences and is the founder of "We ocean lovers need to be the voice for the ocean," Nichols told TDG.
    photo credit: Neil Ever Osborne/

    keywords: wallace j nichols, wallace nichols, blue marble project, oceans, environmentalists, scientists, researchers, water

    Read more:

    Lender can come after home equity line

    Q. My daughter bought a house in 2003. Her first mortgage was $340,000. She got a home equity loan for $10,000 with which she and her husband bought five properties so they have five loans. Their own house has gone down in price. So far, they make the monthly fees. If one of them is laid off from work, they want to know if they are forced to foreclose or do a short sale, can the bank or first mortgage or HELOC come after them and take their rentals?

    A. Because Because you are asking about the legal ramifications, you need to talk with an attorney. I will offer the following brief, generalized observation and refer you to two Web sites for more information.

    In California, mortgages used to purchase a home are non-recourse, meaning the lender can’t come after you for a shortfall. Home Equity Loans, HELOCs, are different and, in general, they are recourse loans, meaning if they are not paid in full, the lender can come after the borrower to collect any deficiency.

    If they should choose a short sale rather than a foreclosure, there is an opportunity to make any deal the HELOC lender would agree to, including an agreement that they would accept whatever they got as payment in full. Any agreement wouldn’t mean, however, that they wouldn’t report a deficiency to a credit bureau.
    For more information, CLICK HERE and HERE.

    Q. We have a first and second mortgage on our existing home.
    First mortgage, 15-year fixed at5.625% with only eight years left on loan with $2298.46 payment balance of $176,606.75
    Second mortgage, 30-year fixed at.5% with 27 years, 7 months left on loan with $1922.28 payment balance of $244,770.50
    We were trying to refinance second loan, but Bank of America said they are not doing anything with seconds at this time. But we could redo first for 20-year. loan at 4.75% lowering our payment about $1,112 a month. The loan has a discount point of 0.750% or $1,376.25 plus title fees and $400 application fee. Our plan is to keep paying the $1,100 dollars but putting it towards the second to the principal of the second loan. I am a little hesitant on doing this because I feel like we are going backwards on the length of the loan on the first mortgage. Loan officer says look at it as we are using the banks’ money to pay off the higher interest loan. If we do go ahead with this refinance, in the future when banks are working with customers on their second mortgages we would like to change it to a 15-year loan to pay it off sooner. My husband is 50 at this time and I am 47. He is self-employed contractor and I stay at home with our daughter. I believe the loan is going to cost.

    A. I do not know why your loan officer did not suggest combining both loans into one new loan. While the current loan balances slightly exceed the Fannie Mae Conforming limit of $417,000, you should round up a little cash to pay the difference. You could get a $425,000 to pay costs but there would be a severe 1 point, $4,250 cash-out penalty. Better to use the $4,250 to pay the loans down.
    You should always adjust the payment so as to have the loan paid off at some specified future time that fits your other plans.

    Posted via web from The Newport Beach Blog

    Bayer admits GMO contamination out of control

    Drug and chemical giant Bayer AG has admitted that there is no way to stop the uncontrolled spread of its genetically modified crops.

    "Even the best practices can't guarantee perfection," said Mark Ferguson, the company's defense lawyer in a recent trial.

    Two Missouri farmers sued Bayer for contaminating their crop with modified genes from an experimental strain of rice engineered to be resistant to the company's Liberty-brand herbicide. The contamination occurred in 2006, during an open field test of the new rice, which was not approved for human consumption. According to the plaintiffs' lawyer, Don Downing, genetic material from the unapproved rice contaminated more than 30 percent of all rice cropland in the United States.

    "Bayer was supposed to be careful," Downing said. "Bayer was not careful and that rice did escape into our commercial rice supplies."

    The plaintiffs alleged that in addition to contaminating their fields, Bayer further harmed them financially by undermining their export market. When the U.S. Department of Agriculture announced the widespread rice contamination, important export markets were closed to U.S. producers. A report from Greenpeace International estimates the financial damage of the contamination at between $741 million and $1.3 billion.

    Bayer claimed that there was no possible way it could have prevented the contamination, insisting that it followed not only the law but also the best industry practices. The jury disagreed, finding Bayer guilty of carelessness in handling the genetically modified crops. The company was ordered to pay farmers Kenneth Bell and Johnny Hunter $2 million.

    "This is a huge victory, not only for Kenny and me, but for every farmer in America who was harmed by Bayer's LibertyLink rice contamination," Hunter said.

    According to Hunter, the company got "the wake-up call they deserved."

    Bayer is still being sued by more than 1,000 other farmers from Missouri, Arkansas, Louisiana, Mississippi and Texas.

    Sources for this story include:;

    Posted via web from eWaste Disposal and Recycling

    Sunday, April 18, 2010

    Smiling surfer remembered

    Clark Adler kissed the box filled with his father Steve's ashes before gently letting it sink to the sand at the bottom of the ocean.

    Friends of Steve Adler surrounded his 13-year-old son, placing their hands on the big, green Stand Up Paddleboard, Steve's prize possession, where Clark sat.

    Article Tab : adler-paddle-dad-releases
    Clark Adler, 13, releases flowers during a paddle-out memorial for his dad Steve Adler who died after suffering from an aneurysm at age 40. He sits on his father's board.

    Many of the hundreds who gathered on the sand at Surfside beach on Sunday would have said Steve Adler was a great example of a good person, a mellow surfer with easygoing ways who always had a smile on his face.

    The surfing and SUP community said goodbye to one of their own during a traditional paddle-out ceremony, with more than 350 people who sat or stood on boards offshore, held hands and splashed as memories were shared.

    Steve Adler suffered an aneurysm in a vessel near his heart on March 11. He was 40.

    "Adler was the most social butterfly you have ever met in your life," said Lyndon Cabellon, a friend for more than 20 years. "He touched so many people. Ask anyone on the beach – he had the biggest smile. He just had the biggest heart."

    Steve Alder, who created a surfboard glassing shop when he was just 18, was a fixture in the surf community.

    Most recently, he glassed boards for Tim Stamps, and also teamed up with business partner Jodie Nelson to create ......

    Posted via web from The Newport Beach Blog

    SUP Magazine

    HVAC boot cleared of Asbestos in Los Angeles