Liberty Planet Weblog

Archive for July 2013

Rochester, N.Y. — She says she had no warning that someone was going to search her car after she left to catch her flight. So the woman contacted News10NBC.

We found out it happened to her because she valet parked her car. Those are the only cars that get inspected.

So if security feels it is necessary to search some cars in the name of safety, why not search all of them?

Laurie Iacuzza walked to her waiting car at the Greater Rochester International Airport after returning from a trip and that’s when she found it — a notice saying her car was inspected after she left for her flight. She said, “I was furious. They never mentioned it to me when I booked the valet or when I picked up the car or when I dropped it off.”

Iacuzza’s car was inspected by valet attendants on orders from the TSA. But why only valet parked cars? That’s what News10NBC wanted to ask the TSA director about. We reached him by phone.

Berkeley Brean asked, “Are the cars in the short term lots and long term lots getting searched as well?”

John McCaffery, TSA, said, “No, those vehicles that are in the garage, short term long term parking, even if they carry pretty large amounts of explosives, they would not cause damage to the front of the airport. But for those who use the valet, the car could be there for a half hour or an hour so there is a vulnerability.”

News10NBC went to the valet parking and one of the attendants showed us the notice they put in the cars.

We asked, “You’re required, they tell you, you have to search the car?” Valet Parking Attendant Frank Dettorre said, “I have to do it.”

We also noticed a large sign that alerts customers that their vehicle will be inspected. The sign is on the kiosk window. Iacuzza says it was not there when she dropped off her car. “I think the public should be aware of the fact that if their car is going to be searched, they should be informed of it.”

Iacuzza said she doesn’t mind the security measure. She just wants to be told if her car is getting searched.

News10NBC asked the owner of the company that runs the valet parking when they put up the sign but he wouldn’t answer.

TSA says this is part of its overall security plan and that it’s a proactive move. The attendants said they’ve only been doing it for about a month.

Source: WHEC

NEW YORK (AP) — PepsiCo Inc. said it will no longer label its Naked juices as being “all natural,” after a lawsuit complained that the drinks contain ingredients that don’t fit that bill.

The company, based in Purchase, N.Y., also agreed to pay $9 million to settle the lawsuit.
In an emailed statement, the company said it uses an “added boost of vitamins” in some of the drinks. But a lawsuit filed against the company noted that the vitamins are actually synthetic ingredients, including a fiber made by Archer Daniels Midland.

PepsiCo did not respond when asked whether those synthetic fibers are in fact included in the juices. The company’s statement said it will drop the use of the word “natural” until there is more regulatory guidance around the world.

A hearing for the settlement is scheduled for Monday and has not yet been approved by a judge, noted Shirish Gupta, an attorney who’s representing a plaintiff in one of the lawsuits filed against PepsiCo’s Naked juices.

Gupta noted that the settlement was reached by a different attorney who was negotiating on behalf of several similar cases. Gupta’s firm plans to oppose the settlement, in part because he feels the method of notifying affected customers wouldn’t reach a broad enough audience.

The case highlights the confusion around the use of the word “natural” in in the industry. The Food and Drug Administration doesn’t currently have a definition for what constitutes a natural product. But it says that it doesn’t object to the term’s use if the food doesn’t have “added color, artificial flavors or synthetic substances.”

Notably, the FDA said it’s difficult to define a food product that is natural, since it has likely been processed and is no longer a “product of the earth.”

Michele Simon, a public health lawyer and critic of food industry marketing practices, noted that there are numerous cases making their way through the legal system because of food companies’ use of the word “natural.” She said the PepsiCo case was notable because the company was in essence addressing the murkiness of the word with the settlement.

“This company is basically surrendering the use of the offensive, deceptive marketing term,” Simon said.
One of the lawsuits against PepsiCo noted that the company cultivates a “healthy and socially conscious image” to boost sales of the drinks, which typically cost around $4 a bottle. It noted that PepsiCo knew its target market would be willing to pay more for natural drinks that are 100 percent juice and free of genetically modified organisms.

The lawsuit also claimed that PepsiCo used genetically modified organisms in its Naked juices. In its statement, the company denied that claim and said its drinks will continue to be labeled “non-GMO.” It said it plans to enlist a third-party to confirm the non-GMO status of the juices.

PepsiCo did not say when it planned to make the labeling changes in line with the settlement, reached earlier this month. On Friday, the website for Naked Juices still showed bottles with the words “all natural” on them.

Source: Yahoo Finance

New Jersey State Police Ticketing:
Here’s the latest NJ State Police Initiative (Radio Station NJ 101.5 confirmed this info).

Starting July 28, New Jersey will launch a 30-day speeding ticket frenzy.
The state estimates that 9 million dollars will generated in speeding tickets.
One million dollars will go to pay state troopers over-time.

The will be 50 state troopers on duty at all times patrolling the 9 main intersections and highways as follows:

I-295 North and South,
I-95 Jersey Turnpike North and South,
I-80 East and West,
I-287 North and South,
I-78 East and West,
I-195 East and West,
I-280 East and West,
Route 130 – North and South,
Garden State Parkway – North and South.

5 MPH above the limit can justify a ticket and every state trooper is supposed to pull a car over and write a ticket every to 20 minutes.

They have issued 30 brand new unmarked Crown Victoria cruisers and are bringing in all of their part-timers on full time you work in NJ, NY, DE or CT, you will probably be on one of this highways.
So, please be on guard and drive safely!

Starting August 15, the price of a violation to show your driver’s license, registration or insurance card at the time you are stopped, increased from $44.00 to $173.00 (Keep these documents in your car). And the fine for not having all three documents is $519.00!

The fine for hand-held cell phone use while driving will be going up to $180.00.

Travel safely!

By Dr. Mercola

In 2004, the US government’s National Cholesterol Education Program panel advised those at risk for heart disease to attempt to reduce their LDL cholesterol to less than 100, or even less than 70, if you’re very high risk. Prior to this, a 130-milligram LDL cholesterol level was considered healthy.

In order to obtain the incredibly low LDL levels now recommended, you typically have to take a cholesterol-lowering statin drug, and sometimes two or three of them in combination.

Now, a new class of cholesterol drugs known as PCSK9 inhibitors promises to reduce LDL cholesterol levels to previously unheard of lows. Indeed, this type of drug can drop your level below 50!

My prediction? These drugs will absolutely kill people—not just some, but MANY. I cannot warn you against this terrible idea enough. While many worry that their cholesterol is too high, few give any thought at all to the damage that can result if your cholesterol is too low.

This is a topic near and dear to my heart, as I drove (without drugs) my own total cholesterol levels down to a risky 75 when I was a naive young doctor. Alas, when it comes to cholesterol, lower is not always better. In fact, when your cholesterol levels go too low, a host of negative things happen in your body.

Unfortunately, lowering cholesterol levels has become so common in the US that nearly every American reading this either knows someone struggling to do so, or has struggled to do so themselves.

This despite the fact that there is no evidence to support the notion that having an extremely low cholesterol level is beneficial, and increasing numbers of studies point to significant risks associated with cholesterol-lowering drugs.

For example, a 2008 paper published in the American Journal of Cardiovascular Drugs1 cites nearly 900 studies on the adverse effects of HMG-CoA reductase inhibitors (statins), which run the gamut from muscle problems to increased cancer risk.

Continue reading at: Mercola

Auburn, Alabama is home to sprawling plains, Auburn University, and a troubling police force. After the arrival of a new police chief in 2010, the department entered an era of ticket quotas and worse.

“When I first heard about the quotas I was appalled,” says former Auburn police officer Justin Hanners, who claims he and other cops were given directives to hassle, ticket, or arrest specific numbers of residents per shift. “I got into law enforcement to serve and protect, not be a bully.”

Hanners blew the whistle on the department’s tactics and was eventually fired for refusing to comply and keep quiet. He says that each officer was required to make 100 contacts each month, which included tickets, arrests, field interviews, and warnings. This equates to 72,000 contacts a year in a 50,000 person town. His claims are backed up by audio recordings of his superiors he made. The Auburn police department declined requests to be interviewed for this story.

“There are not that many speeders, there are not that many people running red lights to get those numbers, so what [the police] do is they lower their standards,” says Hanners. That led to the department encouraging officers to arrest people that Hanners “didn’t feel like had broken the law.”

Former Reason staffer Radley Balko, now an investigative reporter for the Huffington Post and author of the new book, Rise of the Warrior Cop, says that this isn’t just a nuisance, it infringes on public safety.

“You have a policy that encourages police to create petty crimes and ignore serious crimes, and that’s clearly the opposite of what we want our police to be doing,” says Balko.

Hanners repeatedly voiced his concerns through his chain of command, and the department responded that these requirements are necessary for increasing productivity.

Yet Hanners firmly believes that the quotas are entirely revenue driven.

“I had no intention of dropping it,” says Hanners, “This is a problem in more places than Auburn, and I think once the people know that they can hold their public officials accountable, it’ll change.”

Source: Reason


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