Monday, November 21, 2011

Deadly dog treats, LA street slides into the Pacific, Nebraska sues over 420 vanity license plate

           Good Morning Humboldt County!

The coffees on…c’mon in, grab a cup and a seat and let’s start this day with a few stories. The days are flying by, so it’s nice to start them off slowly with this quiet time. Enjoy: 

Chicken jerky treats linked to mystery illnesses, deaths in dogs

Chicken jerky treats may be to blame for dozens of new reports of mysterious illnesses and some deaths in dogs, prompting a renewed warning for pet owners by the Food and Drug Administration.

At least 70 dogs have been sickened so far this year after reportedly eating chicken jerky products imported from China, FDA officials said. That’s up from 54 reports of illness in 2010. Some of the dogs have died, according to the anecdotal reports from pet owners and veterinarians. The new warning follows previous FDA cautions about chicken jerky treats in 2007 and 2008. But after a high of 156 reports of illness in 2007, the number of complaints dropped. Now, it's rising again. Dog owners and vets are reporting that animals may be stricken with a range of illnesses within days or hours of eating chicken jerky, including kidney failure and Fanconi syndrome, a condition characterized by low glucose.

Image: Cracks in seaside road

Chunk of LA street, cliff slide into Pacific

A large chunk of a Los Angeles street and the coastal bluff it sat on crumbled into the ocean amid heavy rains on Sunday.

A section of Paseo Del Mar in the San Pedro area that for months had been creeping toward the ocean collapsed as a storm struck Southern California, Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa said in a statement.

The mayor said there were no injuries and no property was damaged. The scenic route had been long closed. It had been bisected by 25-foot-deep fissures in places and the city had erected a chain link fence and warning signs. The fissures first appeared last spring, and engineers had been monitoring potential landslide risk. The peninsula's scenic qualities prompted decades of homebuilding that some experts blame for further destabilizing the historically unstable ocean bluffs.

Nebraska refuses pot-promoting vanity plate, ACLU sues

The American Civil Liberties Union is suing Nebraska's motor vehicle department for refusing to issue a personalized license plate that refers to an unofficial holiday known as National Pot Smoking Day.

An attorney who supports marijuana legalization had requested a plate reading "NE 420", letters and numerals that refer to Nebraska and April 20, the date of the unofficial holiday.Frank Shoemaker, the attorney from Holbrook, Nebraska, who requested the plate, is the sponsor of a petition drive for a state ballot measure next year to legalize marijuana.Beverly Neth, director of the DMV, refused to issue the plate and said the "420" numerals were used to promote marijuana use, an illegal drug in the state.

Officials aren’t so picky in Ohio (photo above)

She said the numbers were also a combination that could be associated with Adolf Hitler, who was born on April 20, 1889, and the Columbine High School massacre in Colorado, which took place on April 20, 1999. Amy Miller, Nebraska ACLU legal director, said there was nothing obscene or offensive about Shoemaker's proposed plate. "It's purely political speech relating to a current ballot initiative." The 8th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals has ruled that license plates are a legitimate place for personal and political expression, said Tracy Hightower-Henne, an ACLU volunteer cooperating attorney in Omaha.

Time to walk on down the road…

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