1. WICed Off: The last three WIC-only stores in Marion County closed today, because? Because of new federal guidelines. WIC is not an entitlement program so states don't get more money when more people sign up. It's just that simple...
2. Oregon is hardening its program for controlling mercury pollution. The DEQ had to take action because the public was seriously underwhelmed by the agency's original plan.
3. In Olympia, nine women have filed complaints with the State Board of Pharmacy alleging that they were unable to get their prescriptions for the 'morning after' pill filled . Meanwhile back in DC legislators are dithering over the decision to make the pill available without prescriptions at all. The new FDA chief looked like an asset in the war over women's bodies. Now it seems he may be more of a liability.
4. At Loggerheads: The pros and cons of salvage logging have still not been sorted out. This despite the fact hat there is sound scientific evidence that leaving forests alone is the best route to recovery (But the route to profiting from disaster... )
5. Firefighters are up slightly in this summer's fire games.
6. Ron Saxton's bilious 'spending Limits' measure gathered enough signatures to get on the November ballot. It will cost the State $2.2 billion dollars. Scratch the surface of the bill and you'll see the leering faces of Karl Rove and Grover Norquist who have already been twisting Oregon's knobs all summer while you weren't looking,...
7. The Service Employees International Union held their collective noses and endorsed Kulongoski.
8. In Seattle, police have named the suspect in the shooting at the Jewish Federation Center. Turns out he used to Muslim, is from an Arabic background, recently converted to Christianity (That'll do it every time... ) and was thinking of becoming a Mormon - the man sounds seriously dangerous.
9. Marine mammals are being poisoned by demoic acid which is in the algae blooms that are more explosions than "blooms." Agricultural run-off has pumped chemical nutrients into the ocean in such large quantities that coastal waters have become unsafe for fish and crustaceans and further up the food chain, marine mammals. Scientists say the creatures are a bellwether for human survival. And the weather is not good.
10. The Midwest is enduring a scorching heat wave. The Senate cleared the way for legislation that would open 8.3 million protected acres in the Gulf of Mexico to oil and gas drilling.
11. NSA wiretapping/spying/eavesdropping trials are going to be secret. How secret? Can't tell you... .It's a secret.
12. The US has sent a strong signal to the Middle East: 'op that fighting right now, you two... .don't make me come down there... ' Unfortunately the sense of the message was: We want a ceasefire the minute Israel has wiped out Hezbollah. Israel's response? "Would you like Syria with that?"
13. The Congressional investigation into pre-war intelligence is nine months overdue. Remember when Democrats, angered at the slow pace, shut down the Senate... ah, those were the days. Now the Dems are so useless they aren't even trying to make this mess look good.
14. Refugees being resettled in the US have to take classes on how to eat American food without getting sick.
15. Chat room websites such as MySpace are being banned in schools, because, say the Powers that Be, the children must be protected from sexual predator. How about Senate and Congressional predators that have sold these children's future down the river... ..
16. First it was the bingo halls and the speed; and now: Rural Kentucky is getting a Natural History museum based on creationism, courtesy of a wealthy Australian headcase.
17. Fidel Castro handed over the reins of power to his brother Raul. Castro is having surgery today. Miami's deranged brigades of Cuban success stories partied like it was 1958 in Little Havana. And oil was discovered off the coast of Cuba.
18. The UK says someone needs to think up what to do with waste from the nation's nuclear reactors - and fast. (Yucca Mountain?)
19. In Russia there has been an oil spill that is in the same size range as the Exxon Valdez.
20. In the waters off the coast of Lebanon, yet another environmental disaster: An oil slick caused by Israeli bombing of the Jiyyeh power station now covers 50 miles of coast. (Observation: Nothing will be done about it because of the humanitarian crisis and the heat of war. This is just a hint of things to come when nations collide when the oil runs out and precious water supplies begin to run dry... )
21. An Iranian student leader has died in jail while on a hunger strike to demand his release.
22. Akbar Mohammadi was originally sentenced to death for his role in anti-government protests... .so all in all, he came out well...
23. Israel is expanding its ground offensive.
24. Doctors in New Delhi were caught on camera amputating the limbs of people kidnapped by Beggarmasters, who then capitalize of the pre-fab deformities. Last year there were stories of people being kidnapped, drugged and their organs "harvested". So, you see, there's another bright side, right there... .
25. Results are being to trickle in from the Democratic Republic of Congo. One thing is clear; charges of massive fraud may not be far from the mark.
26. Malaysia has passed a new law prohibiting parents from giving their children names like 'Hitler', 'Smelly Head' and 'Sexual Intercourse.' (But think of the careers in rap these kids are going to miss out on... ).