Archive for July, 2011

July 24, 2011

Medical Marijuana Protestors at Huntington Beach Pier

Out in force yesterday at Huntington Beach were the “weed warriors” protesting the proposed changes to medical marijuana laws. I don’t smoke weed but I am an advocate of legalizing pot and making medical marijuana available for those who want and need it. There are more issues that should demand the government’s attention than marijuana usage. I find more problems with alcohol abuse and prescription drugs.
The conclusion is let those who want to use cannabis for medicinal reasons do it and let the growers and suppliers grow, cultivate and harvest. Regulate them and make sure they are operating in a formal business structure. Perhaps the decriminalization of pot will help the economy and cut down the cost of pursuing, investigating and prosecuting those who deal in the Marijuana trade.

Go to HempRadio to get more info.

July 16, 2011

Lithia Camp: horse riding with artistic expression

impressionist art of horse

Imagine sitting in your treehouse peering out over a local ranch. The sun is shining, the breeze is blowing and children are expressing themselves in a very positive way below you. The smell of fresh cut grass and hay wafts thru your open window and the sounds of happy kids surrounds you…this is Lithia Camp

By JOHN CEBALLOS | South Shore News & Tribune
Published: July 15, 2011
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A little horse riding in the morning followed by some drawing and painting in the afternoon.

That’s the idea behind the week-long Art on the Farm summer camps at Chaps Acres.

Jonnie Chapman — co-owner and operator of Chaps Acres along with Nick, her husband of 26 years — has conducted summer horse riding camps for 15 years. She got the idea to officially combine her love of horses with her affinity for art three years ago.

“Even before we started Art on the Farm it would get so hot during the day that I’d have the kids come in and sculpt or draw in the afternoon,” said Chapman, who has a bachelor’s degree in art from the University of Alabama at Birmingham.

Chaps Acres has been a part of Lithia for more than 25 years. Twenty-two of those years were spent at the farm’s previous location on Dorman Road. The Chapmans have spent the last four years at their current, 15-acre location, where Jonnie offers riding lessons and boarding for horses throughout the year.

“My father-in-law owns the surrounding 35 acres, so at the end of every camp the kids get to go riding across the 50 acres,” Chapman said. “By that time, they’re pretty comfortable with their horses.”

Last year, Chapman decided to team up with Dustin Goolsby for the art portion of the camps. The two met through the Valrico Church of Christ. Goolsby has been a professional artist for 10 years and is in his fourth year of teaching art at the Florida College Academy in Temple Terrace.

“When they’re little, most students get glitter or feathers in their art classes,” Goolsby said. “By the time they get to middle school, they don’t have basic art skills and they get easily discouraged.”

Goolsby said having his students express their artistic sides can be beneficial to other aspects of their lives.

“My approach is to teach confidence and stick-to-it-ness through art,” he said. “Even if they don’t go on to become artists, these are skills they can use.”

Each of the camps has a theme, and this year’s include World Travelers, Cowboys and Indians and Simply Medieval.

Chapman said kids age 7 to 17 are welcome, but she prefers to keep each camp to about four or five students.

“I’ve seen people who take on 10 or 12 students, but then you see a bunch of kids just standing in line and waiting on their horses,” she said. “I like to devote as much of my attention to each camper as I can.”

Though her summer camps will soon wrap up, Chapman plans on continuing to express her artistic side.

“My kids are either out of the house or about to leave or get married,” Chapman said. “This is as good a time as any to get back into it.”

July 3, 2011

Plastic Ocean

On the eve of our country’s birthday celebration it seems fitting to make my 100th post about the revolting mess of plastic floating in our oceans now called the “Great Pacific Garbage Patch”. I am a avid surfer and lover of the beaches around the world especially southern california beaches where I grew up. Over the years I have noticed many times floating plastic in the waters as I paddled around. Specially plastic that holds beer cans together. Look I don’t mind if you want to drink beer at the beach but throw your trash away! Plastic in the water is ingested by sea life and it kills them and as a source of food for we humans it becomes uneatable. Ok so here’s an article I’ve picked up to repost. People it’s up to us to stop all this. The next time you see some jerk tossing plastic garage on the beach or in the water “school the fool” let them know this is unacceptable!

Fish in the North Pacific ingest plastic at a rate of roughly 12,000- to 24,000 tons per year, according to researchers from the Scripps Environmental Accumulation of Plastic Expedition (SEAPLEX).

That’s news that should give all of us a bellyache.

Peter Davison and Rebecca Asch, two graduate students from SEAPLEX, traveled more than more than 1,000 miles west of California to the eastern sector of the North Pacific Subtropical Gyre on the Scripps research vessel New Horizon, says Science Daily. They collected numerous samples of fish specimens, water samples and marine debris at both surface level and thousands of feet below the surface.

Of the 141 fishes spanning 27 species dissected in the study, Davison and Asch found that 9.2 percent of the stomach contents of mid-water fishes contained plastic debris, primarily broken-down bits smaller than a human fingernail. The researchers say the majority of the stomach plastic pieces were so small their origin could not be determined.

“About nine percent of examined fishes contained plastic in their stomach. That is an underestimate of the true ingestion rate because a fish may regurgitate or pass a plastic item, or even die from eating it. We didn’t measure those rates, so our nine percent figure is too low by an unknown amount,” said Davison.

You can see photos of the SEAPLEX expedition via Flickr. To get an idea of what the plastic bits found in the fishes’ stomachs look like, here’s a photo of the hundreds of shards of plastic found in the stomach of a sea turtle off the coast of Argentina.

The study was published in Marine Ecology Progress Series.

The SEAPLEX team mostly studied lanternfish, who have luminescent tissue; they play a key role in the food chain as they connect plankton with higher levels. As Asch notes, “We have estimated the incidence at which plastic is entering the food chain and I think there are potential impacts, but what those impacts are will take more research.”

The SEAPLEX researchers were specifically focusing on plastic ingestion and studying such effects as the “toxicological impacts on fish and composition of the plastic” were not part of the study, but would certainly be areas of study to pursue, especially as far the effects of plastic pollution on both fish and the ocean. Who knows what the fish we sit down to eat have themselves ingested?

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