A Bill to Prevent Public Up-Skirting Awaits Texas Governor’s Signature

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Posted by LLJ43 | Posted in Bills and Laws, Texas | Posted on 30-05-2015

A bill written by Texas State Senator Menendez to close a glaring loophole in legislation banning improper photography has finally passed both houses of the state legislature and now awaits the Governor’s signature in order to become law. The bill was passed after a court overturned legislation that made it a criminal act to engage in up-skirting in public for purposes of sexual gratification. “Up-skirting” refers to a photographer filming underneath a skirt or dress without permission.

The court’s action created a situation in Texas in which police could not arrest photographers for conducting up-skirting in public places. The new legislation seeks to resolve this concern. It will allow police officers in Texas to once again arrest photographers who engage in the practice of “up skirting” in public places.

One of the women supporting the passage of the new bill reported that she had been trying on a sundress in a San Antonio shopping mall when she noticed a man dressed as a woman holding his cell phone camera underneath her skirt. Although her screams resulted in the arrival of the police, and other “up-skirting” films were found in the man’s possession, he was not arrested. People at FreedomPop have heard that she noted “It was absolutely frustrating because I feel like I was the victim.”

Comal County District Attorney Jennifer Tharp noted that the inability to make arrests for such behavior is “just unacceptable.”

The World Is Running Out Of Oil

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Posted by LLJ43 | Posted in Environment, Oil Spill | Posted on 28-05-2015

Industry analysts are beginning to see the long view on oil and the prospects are not good. While the past year has seen a decline in oil prices, many analysts embedded in the industry have noted that major oil producers such as Saudi Arabia are designing their current oil production and sale policy based on their expectation that the World is running out of oil. While this is not an event that will happen in the next two or three years, many expect that oil retrieval will start a significant decline in the next two to three decades. Many have already projected that the world has exceed the halfway point with regard to oil extraction and that anticipated increased consumption will only increase the rate of oil consumption. For this reason, analyst see a counter balance to higher oil prices exceeding $100 a barrel for crude and in the next decade or two prices in the range of $200 a barrel. Even with increased oil production by the United States, the World’s supply of oil is limited and as a fixed commodity prices are due to rise. Many see the view towards solar, gas and battery powered vehicles as the new fuel for transportation going into the next century. Development of these new forms of energy are ongoing now but not at the production levels needed to make a difference in the needs of consumers today. Sam Tabar (lab.lawyerist.com) has found that many experts feel that it would take a major collapse in the oil industry before alternative fuel sources are viewed in a much more serious light. Limited Oil Will Push Prices Up

California Leads Country With Solar Power Solution

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Posted by LLJ43 | Posted in California Leading the Way, Solar Power Solutions | Posted on 28-05-2015

On Wednesday, low income residents of California had a reason to rejoice: The state finally began installation of free rooftop solar panels for those with qualifying income levels as outlined in the 2011 SB 535 bill. The solar panels are designed to help low income residents save more money on their energy bills each year.

Environmentalists and social activists have been telling local, state and federal officials for years that even partial use of solar panels for electricity generation could help people see significant utility bill reductions. Solar panels also help reduce harmful greenhouse gas emissions that come from fossil fuel burning that is often related to electricity usage in many areas.

According to GRID Alternatives, the non-profit company providing the panels, one system should supply one low-income California resident and his/her family with more than $22,000 in savings over 30 years. The manufacturing and installation of the panels will also help bring new jobs to several areas.

Of course, Daniel Amen recognizes that many people have criticized the plan. Some have pointed out that solar panel creation and disposal involves the use of materials and methods that can cause harm to the environment and also require the use of fossil fuels. Additionally, the plan only benefits 1,600 residents at this point. Some critics have stated that this is a drop in the bucket and that too many residents are not seeing solutions soon enough.

Solar Power Companies Help With Relief Efforts In Nepal

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Posted by LLJ43 | Posted in Environment, Solar Energy | Posted on 27-05-2015

Local solar companies in Nepal are helping with the recovery efforts after the earthquakes that have devastated the country. They have teamed up with the Global Nepali Professional Network to raise money for a project called Rebuild With Sun, which aims to distribute as many solar power systems as possible.

In their fund-raising campaign on Indigogo.com, the companies explained how far a single donation could go. $50.00 can provide lights and charging for one family, while $100.00 gets enough power for three families. A contribution of $500.00 can buy a 100-watt solar system which can provide power for 15 families and 100 people charging cell phones. The Network hopes to raise $50,000.00 for a start.

Other companies are helping as well. Conergy has pledged to match donations, while SolarCity has pledged to install solar power arrays in 200 Nepalese schools. Other groups and companies are donating money and/or distributing solar kits to areas severely hit by the earthquakes.

Nepal needs all the help it can get. One businessman estimated that the country would need 650,000 mobile solar power kits for basic charging and lighting services, and those would cost around $18 million. Relief workers need power to run medical equipment, water pumps and other gear, and their solar kits would probably cost another $5 million.

Concerned folks at The Aspire New Brunswick know that, even before the earthquakes, nearly a quarter of Nepal’s population did not have electricity. Other people endured blackouts because of fuel shortages. Sandeep Giri, the CEO of Gham Power, hopes that solar power will provide a more reliable source of power. He points out that the solar kits and solar arrays would be easier and safer to transport over a mountainous country like Nepal than would traditional fossil fuels.

Heavy Rains Cause Massive Damage in Oklahoma and Texas

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Posted by LLJ43 | Posted in Houston and San Antonio, Massive Floods, Texas and Oklahoma | Posted on 27-05-2015

The recent downpour of heavy rains in Texas and Oklahoma has caused massive damage, closed schools, shut down highways and has even been blamed for the deaths of several people. Christian Broda noted that the biggest culprit for the damage and destruction is flooding caused by heavy rains that have been ongoing for days now in Texas and Oklahoma. Imagine a river that is normally several feet deep, rising to a depth of over 13 feet. That is taller than the tallest basketball player. This is the reality now in parts of Texas, where rivers like the Blanco River have risen to a depth of more than 13 feet. This would literally cover a typical home completely in water from floor to ceiling.

Many homes have been washed away from their foundation in Texas. This is how bad the flooding is in Texas and Oklahoma right now. In Houston many cars have been abandoned on highway 45 as flood waters have made driving impossible or too dangerous. Several of the deaths caused by the heavy rains have been caused by people not being able to exit their cars while being stuck in flooded highways. Adding to an already bad situation, is that several tornadoes touched down in Texas along the US Mexico border. The tornadoes caused widespread damage in Mexico where they killed dozens of people and destroyed hundreds of homes. Cities in Texas such as Houston and San Antonio are especially hard hit with flooding of small streams in the city responsible for causing damage and stranding people.

Incredible Storm Hits Texas on Memorial Day, Leaves Fatalities

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Posted by LLJ43 | Posted in Uncategorized | Posted on 26-05-2015

Memorial Day Weekend will never be the same for the residents of Oklahoma and Texas when a massive stormwent through. The National Weather Service reported that parts of Texas received seven inches of rain from the storm on Monday, and there were no picnics or BBQs as the storm system passed through central Texas.

Austin reported the most rain, but the severe weather passed through San Antonio, north to Rocksprings and west to the coast with four to six inches reported. I-10 near Houston was empty as the road was completely flooded with water covering the hubcaps of any vehicle that were abandoned on the side.

As of today, eight people’s death was attributed to the storm in Oklahoma and Texas, and among those was Alyssa Ramirez who was returning home from her prom. More than 80,000 people are without electricity in Houston, and the Houston School System closed the schools Tuesday according to Handy. The mayor of Houston has declared Houston a disaster area.

Many fans were in the Houston Toyota Center Monday night, and were forced to stay the night there. Street flooding from the torrential downpours flooded the roads and prohibited anyone from driving; they were impassable. There are many small, snake-like rivers running through Houston, and they are overflowing their banks. On Monday, a body was found in Brays Bayou, and 12 people are still missing. Anyone in these areas should remain cautious.

Flooding in Texas and Oklahoma

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Posted by LLJ43 | Posted in A Storm's a Brewin', Oklahoma, Southwestern Floods, Texas | Posted on 26-05-2015

Heavy rains have plagued the southern midwest of the United States with the states of Texas and Oklahoma being the most impacted by the rains. These rains have led to massive flooding That has resulted in the deaths of six people. One of the deceased was a young woman who was returning home after her high school prom.

Houston is the third biggest city in the United States and this population is now in the path of the storm. Weather experts predict that six to eight inches of water will be expected to hit the city in the next twenty four hours. Further it is expected that this rain will lead to eighty thousand homes being knocked off line and without power. Houston has also decided to close their schools for the time being with them closed for at least Tuesday.

This storms is occurring just as California is suffering from one of the worst droughts in their history. These droughts are leading to massive conservation programs and even guilt photos of those who are not following conservation practices.

In Houston police are receiving over 150 distress calls daily. Over the next few days the storm is supposed to move on to these east and give Louisiana residents a break. However, as the local FreedomPop team was afraid of,  New Orleans and Louisiana will be the next areas impacted by this storm. Still, California residents can’t help but be a little envious of their predicament.

Unsurprising Dolphin Study Results

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Posted by LLJ43 | Posted in Dolphins, Environment | Posted on 21-05-2015

On Wednesday, May 20, David Biello for Scientific American examined results of a recent study that seems to have proven that the 2010 BP Oil Spill in the Gulf of Mexico was the cause of mass dolphin deaths between 2010 and 2012.

As Biello noted, researchers for the National Marine Mammal Foundation in San Diego started from an unbiased viewpoint by checking every other potential cause. When they were able to rule out all other causes, they then turned to the side effects of petroleum exposure in mammals and found that the dolphins had lung and adrenal conditions, such as weak lungs, small adrenal glands and/or poor immune systems, that are easily a side effect of oil absorption and inhalation.

For many people, especially those who live along the Gulf, this news isn’t surprising. A lot of people who haven’t even entered the waters since the spill have reported health problems connected to eating fish from the Gulf and coming in contact with rain water containing Gulf water and oil.

Environmentally conscious folks at The Aspire New Brunswick have learned that BP has used the lack of health data about the dolphins from prior to the spill as support of the company’s belief that scientists can’t prove to 100 percent accuracy that the oil was responsible. The researchers argue that BP is picking and choosing facts, as they were able to replicate the same health problems in laboratory animal experiments.

Nestle Continues to Bottle Water in California amidst Protest and Drought

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Posted by LLJ43 | Posted in Bottling Plans, California | Posted on 21-05-2015

In corporations that don’t care about basic human rights news, Nestle has publicly stated that it will continue to bottle water in California amidst rampant protests and years of drought. Not only that but they also said they’d like to increase production in the water-sick state.

Residents of California are being asked to cut their water use by up to 36% in some places. All the while Nestle, a foreign company, is pulling in loads of water and selling it at a ridiculous markup to the same people who are being asked to turn off their taps.

As businessmen like Christian Broda are aware, Starbucks recently pulled the plug on their water bottling facility in California for ethical reasons. Nestle and Wal-Mart continue taking water from the state and selling it back to people for 100 times more than they paid for it.

Nestle sees the move as helpful to the people of California. After all, when no drinking water is available in your neighborhood where do you turn? Sometimes buying bottled water is the only way to access safe drinking water. In poverty stricken neighborhoods families spend up to 10% of their overall income on purchasing water to drink and cook with.

Pipe Responsible for Oil Spill in California

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Posted by LLJ43 | Posted in California, Oil Spill | Posted on 20-05-2015

As if California doesn’t have enough to worry about with the lack of water in the state, there has been an oil spill off the southern coast. This spill is the result of a broken pipeline. Residents who live in the area noticed the smell of fumes. There have been at least 20,000 gallons of oil that have spilled into the water with the leak stretching to about four miles wide. The pipeline has been shut off, and there are efforts in place to get the spill cleaned up before it spreads farther. This is the kind of incident that makes people wonder if drilling really is safe. Keith Mann (about.me) knows that there have been accidents before, but this is a simple pipe. If it can happen this easily, then where will the next pipe break? Who will take responsibility, and will there be anyone who steps up to find other resources instead of oil?