Recently, Satao, Kenya’s largest elephant with tusks that reached the ground, was slaughtered at the hands of poachers involved with the ivory trade. Kenya has only less than a dozen Tuskers left. This is sad, gruesome news, especially for the conservationists keeping a watchful eye on the last of this megafauna.
New York recently banned the sale of ivory and rhino horn:
The Wildlife Conservation Society, Natural Resources Defense Council and The Humane Society of the United States praised the New York State Legislature today for passing landmark legislation that bans the sale and purchase of elephant ivory and rhino horn. It now goes to Governor Cuomo where it is anticipated he will sign it into law.
The legislation amends the state’s environmental law to ban elephant ivory sales with only a few exceptions for antiques with small amounts of ivory, certain instruments made before 1975, and transfers for educational and scientific purposes or through the distribution of estates.
Via NPR, Former State Health Employees Say They Were Silenced on Drilling.
This is disturbing coming from our home state of Pennsylvania. State health employees were not allowed to respond to residents’ concerns about natural gas drilling and their health. There are a number of illnesses that may have been linked to fracking including nausea, nosebleeds, rashes, as well as other complaints.
For drilling-related calls, Stuck said she and her fellow employees were told just to take the caller’s name and number and forward the information to a supervisor.
“And somebody was supposed to call them back and address their concerns,” she said, adding that she never knew whether these callbacks occurred.
Sometimes, Stuck said, people would call again, angry they had not heard back from anyone from the department.
Stuck did not usually answer the phone at the Uniontown office. But on the few occasions when she did pick up and the caller was making a drilling-related complaint, she never found out what happened after she passed the information on to her supervisor.
Stuck said she has spoken to employees working in other state health centers who received the same list of buzzwords and the same instructions on how to deal with drilling-related calls.
“People were saying: Where’s the Department of Health on all this?” Stuck said. “The bottom line was we weren’t allowed to say anything. It’s not that we weren’t interested.”
Marshall Deasy worked in the Bureau of Epidemiology in Harrisburg for more than 20 years, retiring last June. Deasy was a primary investigator of food- and waterborne outbreaks and his work put him in contact with community health nurses across the state, such as Tammi Stuck.
He said some nurses told him they were not allowed to respond to complaints about gas drilling.
In his office in Harrisburg, Deasy said the subject of natural gas development was considered “taboo” and was not openly discussed among fellow employees.
However, he was aware that a colleague in the Bureau of Epidemiology was maintaining a list of drilling-related calls. When reached by StateImpact Pennsylvania, that person declined to comment.
In lighter news, it has been more than a year since the unconstitutional Defense of Marriage Act was struck down!! Since then, many states have struck down their gay marriage bans, including mostly recently, Kentucky. I know I say this often, and the fight for equality in America still has a long way to go, but luckily, we are on the right path towards marriage equality in the US.