by Tara Bard, Contributing Writer
New Jersey's Gov. Chris Christie recently vetoed a bill that would allow gay marriage in the Garden State. From an economic perspective, this was a poor decision. Forced to tie the knot elsewhere, gay couples must marry elsewhere (such as nearby New York), taking the revenue with them in this troubled economy.
New Jersey has a major deficit problem. Gov. Christie won the last gubernatorial election primarily upon his financial policies--but now he's taken a stand against gay marriage due to his personal and religious feelings on the issue.
Being one of the first states to legalize gay marriage could keep gay weddings in the state, adding money to local businesses and government (marriage license fees, park photography fees).
Possibly hoping for a bid as the running mate of a Republican presidential candidate, Christie took a politically advantageous stand on the issue.
With gambling now legal in Pennsylvania, Philadelphians no longer have to venture to Atlantic City to gamble. In this economy, people just don't have the money to spare on gambling for entertainment, either.
Atlantic City and other South Jersey locations have decided to brand themselves as ideal for destination weddings. For many, it's also a less expensive destination than Las Vegas. The local economy will lose out on destination weddings as gay marriage is still banned.
As a state full of firsts, New Jersey strives to be seen as trend-setting. New Jerseyians are sensitive about being compared to (or second to) nearby Philadelphia and New York City--but delaying the eventual legalization of gay marriage only reinforces this stereotype.
UPDATE: Same-sex marriages have been legal in New Jersey since October 21, 2013.
This post was originally published on Examiner.com.
by Lyn Lomasi, Staff Writer
July 29, 2008 | The moment I realized Monday, July 28, was Beatrix Potter's birthday, I knew I had to say something about this special author. She has held the interest of adults and children for years, especially with her Tale of Peter Rabbit. Born in 1866, I believe Beatrix was way ahead of her time when it came to telling stories for children. Even though she passed away some time ago (1943), her creations will live on for eternity, entertaining children for centuries to come.
As a little girl, I would constantly request for my mom to read me the Tale of Peter Rabbit. In fact, I had a collection that was solely for display, as well as one that was for reading. That's how much I enjoyed it. I learned how to read at 3 years old and the Tale of Peter Rabbit was one of my favorites to read from the very beginning. Of course, in the beginning, I'm sure I stumbled on some words, but kept at it. Once I learned how, I probably reread it thousands of times - maybe more. I lost track. My mom would still read Peter Rabbit to my siblings and I after that as well.
Once I grew up and had kids, I knew that the Tale of Peter Rabbit would have a reserved spot in our family library. I was right. Each and every one of our children has come to love the wonderful Tale of Peter Rabbit. Countless story times have featured the adventures of Peter and his friends.
At times we have even ventured off into our own stories. Potter had the right idea with Tales of Peter Rabbit, in more ways than one. Not only is it a great adventure story for kids, but it can invoke imagination skills as well. The story is so exciting that kids can't help but imagine that they are inside the story, which after a small amount of time causes them to create their own adventures. There are also some good lessons to be learned from the story plot, some big, some small.
For this family, it comes as no surprise at all that Beatrix Potter's Tale of Peter Rabbit is still entertaining countless households with and without children. In my opinion, anyone who has never gotten the privilege to open up a copy of Peter Rabbit is missing out on a big adventure in fun and imagination.
*I originally published this via Yahoo Contributor Network
by Lyn Lomasi, Write W.A.V.E. Media Staff
Nov 28, 2007 | Recently, there have been many recalls of children's products because of the discovery of unsafe amounts of lead. These prompted some internet research on my part. I had a head start, armed with the knowledge of many symptoms caused by lead from previous research.
However, I wanted to re-check exactly what symptoms lead produced, as well as see if there were more symptoms I hadn't known about. I then wanted to compare the symptoms and effects to certain learning and behavioral conditions affecting children (LD, ADD, and ADHD ) to see if there was a connection between those and lead poisoning.
Symptoms of Lead Poisoning, or Plumbism
Firstly, you need to know that some lead poisoning can cause emergency symptoms, such as abdominal pain and/or cramping, vomiting, seizures, staggering or stumbling, muscle weakness, and coma.
However, it is more common for lead poisoning to build up over time and do internal nerve, kidney, and brain damage with either no symptoms or the following symptoms.
Lowered IQ, difficulty sleeping, slowed growth, hearing problems, behavior problems, attention/focus problems, failures at school, kidney damage, irritability, aggressiveness/aggressive behavior, low or reduced appetite, low or reduced energy, headaches, reduced sensations, loss of developmental skills (mainly in younger children), anemia, and constipation are all symptoms of lead poisoning.
Some Conditions That Have Similar Symptoms
Is it possible that in some of the cases of Learning Disabilities (LD), ADD, or ADHD, children might have had early or prolonged exposure to lead? If so was that causing these disorders?
Take a look at the symptoms that are shared with these problems.
The shared symptoms are low IQ, behavior problems, attention/focus problems, difficulty sleeping, irritability, failures at school, and aggressiveness.
Not all children will have all of the symptoms for either Plumbism or any of the other conditions mentioned. Some may have only one.
Is There A Connection?
Comparing the notes above, it seemed to me that some childhood conditions may in fact be caused by lead poisoning. For me, the rise in cases of some of the conditions above was even more proof.
Plumbism develops over time, so it would make sense as a possible reason for mental and behavioral conditions being more prevalent than ever before. This research suggested to me that there must be an underlying cause for these increases and that cause could very well be lead.
I then dug deeper to find an answer.
There have been recent revelations that children in poverty perform the lowest academically and, coincidentally, are the same children who are at the highest risk of lead exposure. Just think about how many children chew on things or put things in their mouth that they aren't supposed to. In a house where lead exposure risk is low, that may not be too big of a deal. However, in a house where lead exposure risk is much higher, this could be extremely dangerous.
Some recent recalls of children's products are dating back to 2003, which could explain why disorders are at an all time high, especially in elementary-aged children. If children were exposed to lead in 2003 (4 years ago), that would make a 1st grader about 2 years old then, a common age for putting items in the mouth. If there are other items with lead in them from that time, which is possible, then it would seem to indicate lead as a significant role in causing learning disabilities in young children.
At one government link (since removed), I also found mention of attention deficit disorder (ADD) as a symptom of lead poisoning.
I could not find the same information elsewhere, but the fact that the symptoms are so closely related and the lead filled items seem to have been around at the right time seems to suggest a link. There's also the fact that at least one government agency mentions it, which when all pieced together, it leads me to believe that many learning problems can indeed be caused by lead poisoning.
Now, obviously, not every case of these conditions will be related to lead, but based on this research, I will have to say that some of them very likely are.
Where Can Lead Be Found
Household paint made before 1978 can contain lead. Even if your home was made after 1978, there may still be old paint in your home, due to someone using paint made before 1978 that could have been stored somewhere. Always check the painted surfaces in your home for lead. Popcorn paint designs (paint with raised bumps) are likely to contain lead as well.
Children's toys and products have now become a possible source for lead contaminants, especially those made in China. Many toys have been recalled due to lead poisoning and it's very possible that some toys that have not been recalled could still contain lead that has not yet been detected.
Because of this issue being so prevalent right now, it is imperative that parents have their children's toys tested for lead, as well as keep a watchful eye out for new recalls. Also, be sure to have children tested for lead regularly. Each time a new product is purchased, parents should always register the product when registration is available, so that they can be notified if there is ever a recall.
Any painted or dyed product made before 1978 or made outside of the United States could contain lead.
Lead can also be found in the drinking water of homes whose plumbing was made with pipes sealed with lead solder. This practice was changed and any new homes will be made with different materials. However, some modern faucets still contain lead.
Soil near houses and highways could contain lead, due to exposure of lead through car exhaust over time.
Lead can also be found in the following: lead bullets, fishing sinkers, plumbing, pipes, curtain weights, faucets, solder (or crafts/hobbies involving soldering), stained glass, jewelry making supplies, pottery glaze, miniature lead figurines, paint sets (even those made for children), art supplies (even those made for children), pewter dishes, and storage batteries.
More Facts And Warnings: What You Should Know About Lead
How To Reduce Lead Exposure
Is There A Treatment For Lead Poisoning?
The Importance Of Consulting Health Professionals
I am not a health professional. This article was simply written and researched out of my own curiosity and should not serve as medical advice or as a replacement of medical care or advice.
If you suspect you, your child, or anyone else has lead poisoning, contact a health professional right away. Lead poisoning is a serious matter.
If you have any concerns regarding any information contained in this article, consult with a health professional.
*This author welcomes feedback and suggestions in the comments section below.
Medline Plus Medical Encyclopedia - Lead Poisoning
Associated Content - Even Very Low Levels Of Lead Causes Brain Damage In Children
About.Com - The Major Symptoms of ADD/ADHD
ChildDevelopmentInfo.com - "About Learning Disabilities"
metrokc.gov - "Lead Facts"
Harvard.edu - "Chelation Therapy For Chilhood..."
Keep Kids Healthy - "Lead Poisoning Treatment"
Health Central - ADD/ADHD Statistics
Associated Content - China-Made Recall: Various Children's...
** UPDATE 4/5/2016: Some sources are outdated. Here are some new sources with similar information & further evidence:
ADHD symptoms caused by lead exposure, new study claims
Kids Exposed to Mercury, Lead at Risk for ADHD
What is Lead Poisoning?
by Lyn Lomasi, Staff Writer
October 4, 2007 | President Bush has vetoed a bill for $35 million in funding that would have gone toward SCHIP, a children's health insurance program geared toward low to moderate-income families. This veto has left the United States Conference of Mayors greatly disappointed.
In a meeting of the United States Conference of Mayors on October 3, led by Mayor Douglas H. Palmer (President of the mayoral conference, as well as mayor of Trenton, NJ), the mayors expressed their concern over Bush's veto. This veto means that 10 million American children, as well as their families will not receive medical insurance.
Mayor Palmer feels that this is merely a "political move that ultimately hurts the children, the future of America. No child in our nation should be without insurance. While the government is laying out billions of dollars to fund the war in Iraq, it is imperative that the Administration recognizes the need to also take care of its people at home."
In the conference, Bush's portrayal of the bill being a philosophical divide between Democrats and Republicans was also criticized.
Palmer went on to say "The SCHIP bill is a bipartisan effort of both the House and the Senate that is critical to children who don't have health insurance. There should be no room for politics when it comes to the health of our children who are the future of our country. Given what we know about the connections between good health and an individual's success in school, in the workforce, and as a parent, it makes no economic sense to deprive low-income children of medical care when they need it or to consign them to the emergency room for illnesses that could have been prevented. As a matter of policy and morality this veto is an embarrassment to our nation."
The Conference is asking the Congress to override Bush's veto on this bill. Palmer also mentioned that this bill would cover millions of children that normally would have no coverage. These are generally children who do not qualify for medicaid because their family's income is too high, yet they still cannot afford the high cost of regular health insurance coverage. Palmer believes that Bush's veto on this bill is a contradiction to the "compassionate conservatism" he has pledged to the people of America.
The United States Mayoral Conference has been consistently working toward full healthcare funding for children in America through their Poverty Taskforce. Mayor Palmer welcomes questions and can be contacted at 202-293-7330.
*I originally published this via Yahoo Contributor Network
Scientist-Bred Cow Produces Only Skim Milk; Scientists in Auckland, New Zealand, Successful
by Lyn Lomasi, Write W.A.V.E. Media Staff
May 27, 2007, Auckland | According to several sources, scientists in Auckland, New Zealand have bred a skim-milk producing cow successfully. In addition to producing milk that is skim, the milk from this cow also has other benefits.
Plans are in the making for creating herds of this type of cow, now that research shows it can be done. ViaLactia, the biotech firm responsible for breeding the cow, says it will target health-conscious consumers with their marketing campaigns. In addition to the milk being naturally skim (low in fat content), the milk also has other benefits. It has a normal level of protein, differing from skim milk that is manufactured.
Russel Snell, the chief scientist at ViaLactia told UPI about the original cow "She produces a normal level of protein in her milk but substantially less fat, and the fat she does produce has much more unsaturated fat. She also produces milk with very high levels of omega3 oils."
Protein is essential for hair and nails. They are made up of mostly protein. All cells require protein. It is used to build tissue and also to repair it. Protein is used in making enzymes, hormones, and other essential body chemicals.
This milk could also be great for heart health because according to the NIH, "Replacing some carbohydrates with protein and unsaturated fat may enhance heart health benefits". The Omega3 Oils, usually found in fish and soy products, are also heart healthy. These oils are highly recommended by the AHA (American Heart Association).
The original cow was found by ViaLactia in 2001, but it was recently evidenced that she passed the skim-milk producing trait on to her calves. With this success, it is a marketable product as the calves can then also be bred to create a herd, which in turn could create more and more of these skim-milk producing cows in accordance with product demand.
Snell says "You have to generate daughters and then they have to carry a calf and deliver milk. The eureka moment was when we found her daughters produced milk like their mother."
Science Daily | Scientists Breed Skim-Milk Producing Cow
Gate2Biotech | Scientists Breed Skim-Milk Producing Cow
Web MD | "The Benefits of Protein" Authored by Neil Osterweil
NIH News | "Replacing Some Carbohydrates With Protein And Unsaturated Fat May Enhance Heart Health Benefits"
AHA "Fish And Omega-3 Fatty Acids
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