Monday, February 27, 2012

Strange garlic-like odor sickens Phoenix residents

PHOENIX—Authorities say a mysterious smell in a Phoenix neighborhood prompted 250 calls over two hours, with some people complaining of nausea and headaches.

Article courtesy of The Boston Globe by The Associated Press

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

HUD Announces New Sustainable Communities Resource Center

HUD recently launched the Sustainable Communities Resource Center (SCRC) — a new section of dedicated to providing information that supports local and regional strategies, with an emphasis on sustainable housing and planning.

Making City Streets Safer

When it comes to moving people around in healthy ways, New York City already has a leg up on most cities and towns around the country.

The city has sidewalks in all five boroughs; food stores and other shops are within walking distance of where most people live. It is served nearly everywhere by extensive, inexpensive and largely dependable public transportation.

Because so many New Yorkers use their feet to get them from place to place, they weigh on average six or seven pounds less than those who live in suburban America, said Dr. Richard J. Jackson, professor of environmental health sciences at the University of California, Los Angeles, and moderator of a public television series called “Designing Healthy Communities.”

Article courtesy of the New York Times by Jane E. Brody

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

L.A. air pollution may increase risk of stroke

L.A.’s smog problem might not be as visible as it was in the bad old days of the 1970s and '80s, but city residents might be at an increased risk of stroke even at levels of pollution that meet EPA standards. Oh yeah, and memory loss.

A new study published Monday in the Archives of Internal Medicine found that Boston residents experienced more strokes when exposed to “moderate” amounts of particulate air pollution, as opposed to “good” amounts of pollution, according to EPA standards. The types of pollution monitored included those specifically linked with car traffic.

Reviewing the medical records of about 1,700 stroke victims at Boston’s Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, the study’s authors found that the risk of stroke was 34% higher on days of “moderate” exposure than it was on “good” days. The effects were most acute in the first 12 to 14 hours after exposure.,0,7456303.story?track=rss

Article courtesy of The Los Angeles Times-Greenspace by Dean Kuipers



Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Hundreds protest fare hikes, service cuts proposed by MBTA

More than 400 public transit riders blasted the Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority’s proposed rate hikes and service cuts tonight in Boston, insisting that the measures would harm the poor, the elderly and disabled, and students.

Article courtesy of The Boston Globe –Boston & Beyond Now MetroDesk by Travis Andersen, Globe Staff



Monday, February 13, 2012

Sub-zero temperatures strand thousands, kill more in Europe

WARSAW, Poland — Freezing temperatures left thousands of people stranded without power in the Balkans and elsewhere in Europe on Saturday, as the death toll from one of the coldest winters in years continued to rise.

Blizzards hit the Western Balkans, while heavy snowfalls and gale-force winds were expected to last until Monday. The storms deposited a fresh layer of snow and created tall drifts, further hampering access to many areas in the region. Several villages were without stable electricity supply, as wind and snow knocked down power lines.

Article courtesy of the Boston Herald by Dominika Maslikowski, bori Babic and Clare Byrne/dpa


Energy-savings bug bites towns

The Metropolitan Area Planning Council last week selected Medway, Marlborough, and six other communities to take part in its new Local Energy Action Program to devise long-range energy plans and identify which projects have the best potential to successfully reduce energy use and greenhouse gas emissions.

Article courtesy of The Boston Globe by Jose Martinez

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Oil rises above $99 after US crude supply drop

SINGAPORE—Oil prices rose to above $99 a barrel Wednesday in Asia after an unexpected drop in U.S. crude supplies suggested demand is improving.

Benchmark crude for March delivery was up 83 cents at $99.24 a barrel at late afternoon Singapore time in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. The contract rose $1.50 to settle at $98.41 on Tuesday.

Article courtesy of The Boston Globe by Alex Kennedy-Associated Press

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Grim cod report accepted, regulators weigh action

PORTSMOUTH, N.H.—Regional regulators are meeting to try to minimize damage to New England's fishing industry after an assessment of Gulf of Maine cod indicates the valuable stock is severely overfished.

The new report could lead to a 90 percent cut in the allowed catch to protect the fish. That would wipe out major segments of the industry. But regional regulators at the New England Fishery Management Council are expected to buy time Wednesday by asking federal regulators for an emergency rule that would be in effect for a year, starting in May.

Article courtesy of The Boston Globe from Associated Press by Jay Lindsay   


U.S. seems to have largely escaped winter

A combination of factors has trapped winter's cold air over Canada and Alaska, making for unseasonably warm weather in the Lower 48.,0,6875555.story

Story courtesy of The Los Angeles Times by Eryn Brown