January 2020

Considering microplastics in food, water & air

This is a followup to an article of mine published on 12/13/18, and was inspired by a recent measurement of the likely ingestion of microplastics by typical Americans through diet and inhalation.  The findings are of real concern, given the risky chemicals associated with plastics and new data showing that, once microplastics get into our tissues, they can translocate to other organs and are even showing…


You’re eating microplastics and don’t know it

We’re increasingly aware of how plastic is polluting our environment. Much recent attention has focused on how microplastics – tiny pieces ranging from 5 millimetres down to 100 nanometres in diameter – are filling the seas and working their way into the creatures that live in them. That means these ocean microplastics are entering the food chain and, ultimately, our bodies. But fish and shellfish…


HQ Wigs TOO provides comfort, and hair, to chemotherapy patients

Cathy Ketchum is flying down Grand Avenue on a wig and a dream. “I just love the work I do with chemo patients,” Ketchum said. “I want to go over and above making them feel good about themselves.” Ketchum has a lot of experience helping cancer patients although she isn’t a medical professional or health care worker. In some ways, though, her work sometimes can…


John Elway sent me to the Pro Bowl

John Elway sent me to the Pro Bowl. Guess who is my favorite all-time NFL player. The Pro Bowl generally is a laid-back affair, past and future, played for most of its years at Aloha Stadium. It features special rules such as no blitzing, no zone defenses, no trick offensive formations. The 2020 Pro Bowl is 12 p.m., Sunday, Jan. 26 at Orlando’s Camping World Stadium for the…


Re-booting the past: Escondido shoe repair shop one of the few left around North County

Not a lot of us are left, Doart Shoe Repair owner Lucia Capuano says before jumping out of her lunch to wait on yet another customer. Capuano’s talking cobblers, not customers. A steady stream of the latter enter the 35-year-old fixture at 103 S Broadway, just south of the 100 block of W Grand Avenue, constantly interrupting her attempt to lunch. Not to worry, time…


3 carpetbaggers infest the 50th Cong. District

As a 25-year veteran of California’s 50th Congressional District, we’ve seen a lot of the strangest political stuff possible. This ain’t your standard issue power to the people kind of place. It’s been more like a political cesspool represented by the worst bottom feeders imaginable. Think about it. Dear old Randy “Duke” Cunningham, top gun and top corruption felon, who parlayed his 50th stewardship into…


Homeless folks tied to nearly 13% of fire calls

Fire incident calls tied to homelessness are on the rise in San Diego. Last year, they made up nearly 13% of all fire-related calls. “We’re addressing it as best we can,” said Assistant Fire Chief Chris Webber, who added that the growing homeless problem is “no secret.” While the number of all fire calls has fluctuated over the past five years, fire calls that mentioned…


Esco homeless vet testifies to ongoing issues

Veteran homelessness has been cut nearly in half in the last 10 years, but tens of thousands of vets remain on the streets, and a program intended to help is short-staffed and thousands of housing vouchers are going unused. On Tuesday, members of Congress heard the story of a veteran known simply as “Mr. Brown.” Brown received an other-than-honorable discharge because of alleged drug use during his…


Hunter resigns, doesn’t pass go, gets pension

One of these centuries soon—but really, soon—Congress has got to come to grips with the problem of its errant members. So far, for the crimes you commit, you can be ordered to stop voting on bills, you can be deprived of all committee assignments, and of course you won’t be held accountable for any number of absences from Congressional sessions, you can be expelled, you…


CSUSM Democracy in Action touts public art

When San Marcos city officials were looking for guidance on how to proceed with their plan to install public art in the emerging North City neighborhood, they knew just where to turn.  They went to their trusted community partner in Cal State San Marcos and tapped into the collective brainpower of 25 Art, Media and Design majors. Last month, members of the upper-division class Art and…