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Posts from — March 2009

Now It’s Spices

The Seattle Times report on the recall of ground pepper for salmonella:

The Public Health Division says the Union International Food Co. of Union City [California] has launched a spice recall. The ground pepper was under the Lian How and Uncle Chen labels.

There are actual cases in the Pacific Northwest associated with this recall. The spices are imported, and then processed and packaged at the Union City plant. They are sold at retail and to restaurants. Both white and black pepper are being recalled.

March 31, 2009   Comments Off on Now It’s Spices

They Don’t Learn

This was printed in the New York Times: Ex-County Comptroller Fined in Florida

A judge has fined Escambia County’s former comptroller $1,600 but decided against a jail term for the former official, Joe Flowers, who entered a plea of no contest to charges that he mishandled taxpayer money, including a $15 million loss on derivatives.

Mr. Flowers pleaded no contest to four counts of malfeasance in office.

He was accused of purchasing the derivatives, entering into reverse repurchase agreements with brokerage firms to cover up the losses, banking money without open bidding and approving a lease-purchase deal with a computer company — all without authority.

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March 31, 2009   Comments Off on They Don’t Learn

Manitoba Update

The CBC reports Flood-threatened communities plead for volunteers and food

Usually, most properties in Winnipeg and the rural municipalities are protected from rising river levels by the floodway, which redirects the water through a 48-kilometre channel between St. Norbert and Lockport.

It can’t do anything, though, when ice is causing sections of river inside those protected areas to rise so quickly.

I don’t understand why they don’t just put a grid, say half meter squares, in front of the flood gates and open them? The ice floats on top, but the water underneath will flow into the channel and reduce the pressure and the rising level. I understand that they don’t want to just open the gates and have an ice jam form in channel, so filter out the ice. There has to be something I’m missing.

March 30, 2009   4 Comments

Going Nuts

Update via Fallenmonk, the FDA’s Pistachio Product Recalls: Salmonella page.

CBS is reporting: Salmonella Worries Prompt Pistachio Recall

The recalls began last Friday when the Georgia Nut Company recalled its Kraft Back to Nature Nantucket Blend trail mix after some samples tested positive for salmonella. Setton Farms has started a separate recall of roasted pistachios, and grocery operator Kroger also has recalled some pistachio products.

The problem is that the pistachios haven’t definitely been identified as the problem in the trail mix, but Setton Farms is being proactive with the recall. So, don’t eat them, but don’t throw them out, because California officials have just started checking the facility.

Georgia agriculture isn’t over the peanut problem and now they have been hit with this. Maybe people will finally understand why not inspecting is bad for business as well as public health.

March 30, 2009   6 Comments

With Friends Like These…

According to the Local Puppy Trainer, the warm and wonderful Bay County Commission, bless their hearts, has sent a letter to the Air Force saying that it’ll take the F-35 training center, if they get tired of dealing with the city of Valparaiso.

These are the same people who told anyone who would listen that the Air Force was going to shut down our airport, when justifying earmarks to finance their new facility. Bay County is to the East on the “bump in the Panhandle”, and includes Panama City and Tyndall AFB.

Lovely people.

March 30, 2009   Comments Off on With Friends Like These…

Good News

It look like our drought of three days will end tomorrow with three more days of thunderstorms.

The local rivers are all above flood stage, but were slowly receding, so this will prevent people from removing the mullet from the front lawn and ‘gators from the swimming pool.

The average annual rain for this area is just under 70 inches. We usually get the bulk of that rain during hurricane season from tropical events.

We are getting mildew on the toadstools.

March 30, 2009   2 Comments

As If It Wasn’t Bad Enough

I guess a flood wasn’t enough to worry about, so a blizzard may be added to the scenario – from CNN, Red River receding; North Dakota braces for snowstorm:

FARGO, North Dakota (CNN) — Residents braced for an early spring snowstorm Monday, even as they held their breath while record floodwaters receded.

Officials cautioned residents not to let their guard down, especially in the face of the approaching winter storm, which forecasters said could bring as much as 10 inches of snow and wind gusts of 35 mph to the Red River Valley area.

“We are very confident now that [the] river is in a slow decline,” said National Weather Service meteorologist Greg Gust. “Hopefully, it will be at about 38 feet by next Sunday.”

Officials said winds from the storm will cause waves in the floodwaters that will put more pressure on the sandbag dikes along the Red River, but the river levels were expected to continue their gradual decline.

So you know, the Red River runs between North Dakota and Minnesota, and the people in Moorhead, Minnesota are having the same problems. Oh, Michelle Bachman is not their Congresscritter.

March 30, 2009   10 Comments

Public Service

Apparently it takes an economic disaster for people to start looking at what the local government has been up to with tax money. The Local Puppy Trainer is filled with the stories.

I’ve talked about the Sheriff’s problem which led to this dig by a crime victim, Cash Moore: “‘The main thing is … try to help me see whether they’ll give me my 800 back,’ he said. ‘If I don’t hurry up and get my 800 back, they’ll give it out as a bonus.'”

Cash [that’s his real, legal, first name] owns most of the liquor stores, and a good number of the strip clubs [male, as well as female] in the county. He had gone after a guy who had robbed one of his stores of $800, and nearly got his head shot off in the effort. The $800 is being held as evidence by the Sheriff’s Department.

In the Clerk of Courts office a Fired county clerk arrested over missing funds. The individual was performing marriages at the Clerk’s office, but not recording or turning in the $30 when the happy couple paid in cash. No one has suggested that the marriages performed aren’t legal because they were part of a crime. [Just causing trouble because no one married in the Okaloosa Clerk of the Courts office is going to have their divorce featured on Court TV.]

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March 29, 2009   2 Comments

No North For US

In local flood news, the Puppy Trainer has a list of roads under water, which includes all of the major North-South roads in the County.

To get to I-10 will require driving up to 35 miles East, or even further West to find a road that is passable. The county received about 9 inches of rain from these systems and the local rivers are still rising.

March 29, 2009   Comments Off on No North For US

Flood Wall Failure

The CBC reports Breach sends water onto school campus in Fargo

The slowly receding Red River breached a dike on the city’s north side early Sunday, sending water flowing into buildings at a school campus before it could be contained, city and school officials said.

The extent of the damage at Oak Grove Lutheran School wasn’t immediately known. The surrounding neighbourhood was not evacuated, but residents in some areas were told to plug their sewers and monitor basements.

This was a private flood wall system, and one section of the concrete structure was undermined by the water. The good news for the area is that they have a secondary system to will make their problem worse, but protect the surrounding community.

These problems will continue for a week, so this will not be the only flood structure that fails.

March 29, 2009   Comments Off on Flood Wall Failure

Warning !!!

Avoid Cute Overload for a while!

They have a spyware ad that insists on scanning your computer for a virus that doesn’t exist.  The least obnoxious of these ads tries to sell you software that you don’t need, but many are Trojan horses that muck about with your computer.

The only relatively safe thing you can do is click on the Close X in the upper right corner.  Clicking on anything within the window will have unknown results that you probably won’t like.

The safest thing to do is a system shutdown, i.e. crash out, something Windows is quite good at.

March 29, 2009   4 Comments

Red River Update

Via the CBC Red River may have peaked in North Dakota.

The current feeling is that because of the cold weather the rise may have stop at 12.44 meters [40.81 feet], rather than the 43 feet that had been predicted at Fargo. This is good news as Fargo had sandbagged for 43 feet and doesn’t need to be concerned about overflow, but the high levels will be maintained for at least a week, and the levees have to be watched for possible failures.

The other problem is ice dams forming along the river which can raise the level as they restrict the flow. While Winnipeg has good flood defenses, an ice dam at the wrong location can prevent them from being effective.

March 28, 2009   Comments Off on Red River Update

We Have Some Weather

… The National Weather Service in Mobile has issued a flood warning for the following rivers in Florida and Alabama:

  • Big Coldwater Creek near Milton affecting Okaloosa and Santa Rosa counties.
  • Yellow river at Milligan affecting Covington, Okaloosa, and Santa Rosa counties.

… Forecast flooding changed from minor to moderate severity for the following rivers in Alabama and in Florida:

  • Blackwater River near Baker affecting Covington, Escambia, Okaloosa, and Santa Rosa counties.
  • Shoal River near Crestview affecting Okaloosa County.

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March 28, 2009   6 Comments

Status Quo Ante

That’s a legal reference in law suits. That is what plaintiffs are looking for, to have themselves restored to their life before the injury they claim was caused by the defendant. It is impossible to achieve without a time machine.

It is also used in regard to peace treaties, especially when borders are involved. While the borders may be restored to their old positions, the people who died are still dead.

This seems to be the goal of the “cunning plan”, to restore the financial system to the point it was at before everything went South. I would assume that they believe that all of the lives that have been ruined are just “collateral damage”.

Paul Krugman addresses this in his column, The Market Mystique, and there are a couple of things I wanted to highlight to show how shallow the media coverage has been.

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March 28, 2009   Comments Off on Status Quo Ante