Thursday, May 30, 2013

Willful Burning of National Forests


COMMENTS DUE WEDNESDAY.  Comments may be emailed to, or posted here:

This type of project is going on all over the country.  The Four Forests Restoration Initiative ("4FRI") is the largest yet proposed, totaling more than two million acres in central and eastern Arizona.  The first half of the project is in an area around Flagstaff, in the Kaibab and Coconino National Forests.  The Forest Service wants to replace the unbroken forest with "a mosaic of interspaces and tree groups"; to eradicate most of the Ponderosa pines, which it considers a "weed"; and to do this by thinning and burning one million acres of Arizona forest, including 98% of protected habitat for the Mexican Spotted Owl.  In order to permanently alter the landscape, the Forest Service plans to burn every area of the forest every five years, from now on.  Before it burns the first time, however, it will invite a logging company from Montana down to harvest 300,000 acres of trees. 

The Draft Environmental Impact Statement is available here:

I posted general information on Face book regarding the Forest Service’s attack on our National Forests. Only one friend responded. I also posted the email comment I sent to the Forest Service and still no comments. My comment to the Forest Service follows:

“This project to burn over a million acres of forest land after reaping benefits from selling 300 thousand acres to lumber companies is one of the most incomprehensibly evil projects I've encountered in my lifetime. Your 4FRI project is another of the "new" so called scholarly environmental interventions designed to return the landscape to the way you figure it was back at the turn of the century etc. What a bunch of bull crap. You redesigned the waterways throughout the west with disastrous results. You redesigned the grasslands of the Midwest and created the great dust bowl disaster and on and on it goes. I'm certain you're aware of the catastrophic history of the Army Corp of Engineers and others like the Forest Service. It's too, too unfortunate that the pencil pushing engineers of this destruction won't be on the front lines of the great burns, sucking up the poisonous smoke all the southwest will be forced to endure. Too bad you have no regard for the wildlife population that will suffer horribly through loss of habitat and smoke inhalation and for what. This is supposed to be the people's land - we have not given our permission for this horror to ensue, nor will we benefit from the $$$$ the government will gain. I would rather die in the gutter than work for or be associated with an organization so diabolically evil.

The Forest Service policies toward the people’s land is certainly in keeping with the  general philosophy of the USDA which is responsible for developing and executing U.S. government policy on
Farming, Forestry, Food and Natural Resources.  And Obama shows his support of these philosophies in the signing of the Monsanto Protection Act which requires the USDA to approve the growing, harvesting and selling of genetically modified food.  Meanwhile, back at the “ranch”, Michelle is growing organic veggies  on the White-house lawn. Don’t you love the hypocrisy?

Thursday, April 25, 2013

Dehydration is Painful!

     Have you fainted for no apparent reason or experienced painful cramps throughout the body? Before rushing off to the emergency room, treat yourself with16 oz of water pronto and be amazed as nausea and pain diminishes or disappears. Hospital emergency rooms do a lot of rehydrating of patients and charge thousands of dollars before releasing the patient in a few hours. Don’t contribute to their coffers. 
     A dear friend, who happens to be an MD, misdiagnosed her dehydration experience. She fainted and hit her head with considerable force. She went to the emergency room for diagnosis; they rehydrated her for several hours and dismissed her; the bill was $5000. That’s a lot of bucks for a little water.
       18 years ago, shortly after moving to New Mexico, I fainted on a restaurant terrace while eating and never went to a MD. Initially, I thought it to be food poisoning or a strange allergy. That was way before my knowledge of dehydration. Now I know it was dehydration. It took me years before getting the message: drink sufficient water or suffer serious consequences.
     The next episode occurred years later when I awoke into horrible nausea while lying in bed. The ceiling rolled and the walls swayed. Fortunately a friend came to my aid in the middle of the night with mucho water and a potassium tablet. What an ordeal.  Soon as I drank approximately 16 oz of water all symptoms disappeared.
     For a while I drank more water, but gradually returned to earlier habits of juice, Kombucha and black tea. Little did I know the fire of fate challenged with my careless approach.  Then …..after sitting in a hot tub without drinking water, I fainted, in extreme nausea, while struggling toward drinking water and a potassium pill. I awoke on a cement floor, initially unable to move or determine how I arrived there.
     It took a while to get up…………. and move across a large room to a bed; a difficult assignment as I zigzagged, totally out of control in the general direction. The knot on the back of my head was enormous….. the size of a large orange. Once again I didn’t go to the hospital and felt prepared to die. My mom died 10 hours after falling from a 9 foot platform so it wasn’t out of the question. I had no fear as I drank a massive amount of water and quickly felt 100% better.
     I used to ignore a painfully dry mouth but now I know it calls for immediate action.  At 74 and living in the desert, I drink 8 oz of water every 3 hours AND always have water on hand in case of first signs of nausea or a sudden cramp, ache or pain. Each fainting spell was preceded by unbelievably severe nausea, a signal that must never be ignored in order to avoid cracking head or worse. Now I know to quickly lie down in order to avoid the crash against the floor.
      Never drink sport-drinks or water that comes in plastic. All plastics off-gas BPA, phthalates or other toxins. Never drink fluoridated water, instead try reverse osmosis and add electrolytes.Chemtrails leach potassium from the body so I take potassium and magnesium every day along with cell-salts.
    Everybody 60+ and desert dwellers must read Your Bodies Many Cries for Water. Years ago I thought the book most interesting. But now I know it’s truth from personal experience.  The book discusses the many health issues successfully treated with water including knee pain, arthritis and headache to name a very few.

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Loving to Paint

I came to art in my ‘50s which means I’ve been drawing and painting for 20 years. It began when beloved Mousie died and I needed illustrations to convey his beautiful story. Living in Georgia at the time and running a newspaper, it was a delightful pastime away from the horrors of local news.

With the exception of “Gypsy Caravan” everything is focused on animals and desert scenes. Animals are my passion, the desert my endurance - compelling me to work at the canvas when I’d probably enjoy the simple pleasures of snoozing in bed.

The donkeys lived with me in Georgia and filled each day with many delights. Bumble, the silver jackass, was air lifted from the Grand Canyon, during the donkey removal in the ‘80s. Although he was already quite old when he came to Georgia, he was full of fire and brimstone, producing a lovely family with beautiful Ginger.

Traveling throughout the southwest I walked the magical arroyos, Rockies, mesas, and pedernals, experiencing wondrous scenes from long ago when native populations ruled the day.  Bumble’s World is the first of the mirage series. I was walking an unusually deep arroyo in the Capital Reef area when suddenly 4 children between 10 and 12 appeared, running in front of me. They cut in front from the right and quickly ascended a mound overlooking a vast expanse where a monumental event was occurring. The drumming and chanting could be heard from a distance calling forth the gigantic spirit forms often depicted in the abundant rock art.

Often my art tells a story, in keeping with a long history in NYC theater. For example, “Finale”, shows a penguin family watching an elder walk off into the desolate mountains to die. This is a yearly occurrence in the frozen wilds of the South Pole. 

A love affair with Ravens started at Grand Canyon. We pulled into the tourist shower area where I sat transfixed by enormous Ravens large as penguins. I’d never seen one before; it was love at first sight.

“Fire Storm” is inspired by living next to a national forest that has burned several times, creating very scary experiences. One night I awoke at 3 am to see an enormous fire raging behind my house.   

In Georgia I sold controversial color drawings showing the KKK at outdoor carnival-fair and sharks circling an island of beauty. I love juxtaposing opposites. I plan to do some more of the small social commentary pieces in the near future…………..I guess, if I continue loving to paint.

This is the first time I’ve shown my art in a very public venue. Hope you enjoy them – and let me know if you would like to make a purchase.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Sunday, April 11, 2010

The Big Stink

*Gagging From Stinking Up with Artificial Fragrances*

Have you seen the endless TV ads for artificial fragrances, pushed on possibly unsuspecting consumers looking to cover a big stink of some sort ? One of my favorite ads shows a grandmother arrive for a visit, ignore the children and immediately fall into an ecstatic trance, sniffing Febreze scented air, tennis shoes and various fabrics.

We are inundated with toxic artificial fragrances in the form of odor neutralizers, plug-ins, aerosols, room fresheners, car air fresheners, fabric fresheners, perfumes, scented candles/oils, paraffin candles and garbage bags. Scented garbage bags are the pits. Some brands are kind enough to put “scented” on packaging, others are not so thoughtful. I opened a box of Glad bags and became nauseous immediately from a Febreze-like odor. Gag!!!!!!!!! Upon returning to the store I punched little holes just large enough to catch a whiff of the inner contents before purchasing more bags.

Why do we need so many kinds of artificial fragrances? Guess folks prefer cover-up to clean –up. It’s hard to imagine a stink bad enough to force one to reach for an artificial fragrance. Hopefully they aren’t used around infants and pets. It doesn’t really matter what the fragrance-peddlers say about the safety of petrochemicals and exotic toxins, we know better. Asthmatics claim attacks are most often triggered by artificial fragrances.

If you frequent 2nd hand clothing shops and don’t like the smell of Febreze - beware - sniff out the garment before purchase because the odor will not come out. It’s there for all eternity. And if you are a traveler with sensitivities to Febreze and other noxious odors, it’s a good idea to call ahead and ask questions.

Wafting Aromas: Ingredients

Artificial fragrances are composed of untold combinations of highly volatile petrochemical derivatives. The raw materials of perfumery are the solvents hexane and petroleum ether. According to a Natural Resource Defense Council sponsored test, 12 out of 14 air fresheners contain phthalates. These off-gassing chemicals are never listed as ingredients. They are claimed as proprietary secrets. Other chemicals found in a majority of air-freshners includes formaldehyde, (used as a preservative) benzene and naphthalene.

Perfumed garbage bags are created through a process that involves perfumed composites of ethylene and various co polymers such as vinyl acetate and ethyl acrylate which enable bags to retain fragrance for a year or more. Other types of perfumed objects are coated with polyurethane to sustain the release of various fragrances.

Procter and Gamble had to seek approval from the NYS Division of Solid and Hazardous Materials in order to register *Febreze Antimicrobial* because it contains Didecyl Dimethyl Ammonium Chloride. This product is used on fabrics to kill odor causing bacteria. Wow. Imagine some of that stuff up against your skin for 10 hours. The official letter from the Director of the Bureau of Pesticides Management states DDAC is a severe skin and eye irritant and goes on to say * “In the risk assessment conducted by the U.S.EPA, post-application dermal exposures were determined to pose unacceptable risks.” *Yet – the product was given the O.K. for production.

Over the holidays I almost gave a toxic gift of an evergreen infusion. It looked great with a graceful bamboo wicking system and it had a pleasant aroma. Interestingly enough it did not list one ingredient. I called the company and discovered ½ of the content was a “cosmetic preservative”. Most cosmetic preservatives are extremely toxic, including many of the innocent looking creams that have the various parabens in the ingredients. I use organic cosmetics that list all ingredients.


There are many alternatives including the placement of cotton balls scented with essential-oils or cooking flavors such as cinnamon, lemon around the home. You can google “organic, natural room fresheners” and find an assortment of products such as: Aura Cacia Air Freshener, California Scents Air Freshener , Aubrey Organics Blue Cypress Air Freshener, and Baby Ganics Air Freshner and Odor Eliminator.

You might want to check out an air sanitizer device that uses UV-C light technology: Germ Guardian Plug In Air Sanitizer. Smellkiller K 15006 Classic Air Cleanser is a clever odor removal technique that uses no electricity or fragrance.

Baking soda is a good odor absorber that might work wonders for the auto - instead of those horrible smelling doodads hanging from the rear view mirror.

Never has it been more important to know what you are putting into your personal environment. Take great precaution with everything that is not apparently organic and non-toxic. Look up exotic items such as medicines, supplements, pet medicine and products used in the service of the big stink.

Saturday, March 27, 2010

Off-gasing Alien Nasties

Fire Retardants
I have removed nasty toxins from my home. My nasties came in the forms of plastics, brominated fire retardants (BFRs) and nylon, stain-resistant area-carpets. One of the items was with me for decades, causing a friend to remark: “Don’t you think you’re over-reacting? The damage is done.” Funny nobody felt that way when I quit smoking after 45 years of contaminating myself and the universe.

No, I don’t think I over-reacted and neither do my little dogs whose respiratory problems/allergies have improved. I even removed the office chair - because it is made of foam and foam off-gasses more with age. Soon I’ll have an empty house. Why would I go to these extremes? Just knowing the potential of these nightmare chemicals instills abhorrence for everything they inhabit.


My body load of phthalates is probably higher because of an enormous, vinyl covered, overstuffed chair. It is a true beauty but it had to go. Didn’t have any Tupperware to throw out. It always looked too, too alien. Unfortunately I had no clue various plastic wraps and plastic food-containers off-gas phthalate. Now that I know, it’s hard to purchase anything but fresh foods, given that my local organic grocery stores bulk goods in a slotted rack of BPA leaching #7 plastic and wraps everything else in phthalate. Paying big bucks for organic produce laced throughout with BPA and phthalate is demoralizing. I might as well shop at the local Super Save. Not really.

Stain-resistant chemicals

Content tags on rugs said 100% nylon. Guess what – most nylon rugs are treated with super toxic levels of stain-resistance chemicals such as isocyanate, silane and polyurethanes. These are truly nasty chems. Isocyanate is extremely reactive and harmful to living tissue. It causes asthma. Silane is highly flammable and causes respiratory system damage. Nylon is made from petrochemicals, with all that implies.

The small hearth-rug is so fire resistant I can put a flaming log on it and not a mite of damage occurs. Ahgga! Brominated fire retardants (PBDE, HBCD, TBBPA) are unregulated and considered more toxic than PCBs. Less was known about PCB’s when banned than is now known about fire retardants found in the dust of every home and business tested. BFR neurotoxins are used in infant/toddler sleepwear, bedding, mattresses, fire retardant fabric, TVs, computers, textiles, electronics and foam furniture.

PBDE and other BFRs are added to plastics, in particular hard polystyrene, polyurethane foam, epoxy resins and usually constitute up to 30% of the final product. The BFRs are mixed with polymers as plastics are being made. Problem: they don’t bind chemically and off-gas continuously from the final product.
BFRs are bio accumulative, meaning they continue to buildup in the body over a life time. In minute doses BFRs impair attention, learning, memory and behavior in lab animals. In humans - thyroid, liver, fetal brain development and respiratory systems are under direct attack; no wonder childhood asthma is the most common chronic childhood disease. It is at epidemic levels with one in 13 children wheezing through life. For the bromine atom – it’s all in a day’s work.

Get rid of products containing BFRs and keep floors dust-free where infants, toddlers and pets crawl and play. Contrary to some misinformation, BFR in the form of Deca is widely used commercially in the U.S. Alternative products are available. Phone manufacturers and ask questions before a new purchase. When they say the information is proprietary tell them you are chemically sensitive and need to know the kind of fire proofing and stain resistance used.

Wall to wall carpet is one of the more toxic products on the market. A recent true story points this out. A small terrier in Georgia was suffering from extreme, unmanageable allergies. He had been furless for over a year. Several months after carpets were removed throughout the house, the fur began to return and now the terrier is fully recovered

Researchers with detection devices claim the source of most BFR in homes is TV sets. They suggest keeping screens and areas around and under TV very clean, in a manner that doesn’t spread dust. Be sure TV is off when cleaning the entire set with a damp cloth. You will be amazed at the blackness on the cloth. The concluding remarks of an article on “Toxic Dust Devils” in 1/09 BARK magazine states “Vacuum, vacuum, vacuum.”

Scan the internet links for some of the terms and phrases in this article and be amazed at how EPA, FDA and American Chamber of Commerce have failed us. A must read is "Exposed" where you will learn Europe has already banned Deca and 100s of toxic plasticizers.

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Reclining Meditation

Meditation is the doorway to altered states of consciousness and as I used to advise my NYU students: meditation brings insights and awareness one might not otherwise experience in a lifetime.

It’s pure joy to practice meditation in a reclining position….particularly since it produces similar results as sitting meditation. The same techniques apply to make it work: total focus on diaphragmatic breathing and absolute stillness.

Find a comfortable position and once the meditation is started do not move. Movement constitutes a restart.

Hopefully you have mastered diaphragmatic breathing. It’s one of the most important techniques to attain for long life, good health, relaxation and heightened consciousness. You will find articles on breathing techniques on the Commentary pages of my website.

It’s difficult to meditate in any position when you breathe high in the chest. You will feel uncomfortable as the breath ‘collects’ in your neck and upper sternum.

As you lie motionless in bed, on your side or back, focus all attention on monitoring the breath. Count: in, 2, 3, 4, out 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8. Initially you may not be able to maintain a slow breathing cycle. Adjust the count to your ability.

Should you find your mind wandering around considering mundane matters, immediately refocus on monitoring the breath. Do not look for results – but I will almost guarantee memorable experiences.

Thich Nhat Hanh is the contemporary master of living in the moment as facilitated by meditation. He has written many books.