Contaminated garlic

From HowGood in Brooklyn:

In the wake of Sandy, as our new offices sat empty, I took a walk along the East River in Greenpoint, Brooklyn, just around the corner from the HowGood offices. At the end of Greenpoint Avenue, on the south side of the street, a company called Fresh and Super garlic (see photo), which imports garlic from China, was flooded by the river last night. The scene taking place this morning involved their employees taking out the food that was soaked by the rising waters of the East River. The boxes were falling apart and no plastic was used to protect the garlic inside. They were drying out the garlic and repackaging it. I explained to them about the contaminants that come from the East River, which include feces and a host of environmental spills that have caused NYC to prohibit fishing in the river due to health concerns. Their manager ignored me.


We are reaching out to the Food Safety and Inspection Department in Brooklyn, but because of the storm, they are currently not reachable. I am continuing to talk to the different groups that take care of these issues, but again, because of the storm, most are overwhelmed with requests.


I have no guarantee that the company went through with selling these boxes of garlic, but I do know that I would not buy the Fresh and Super garlic brand for a long time to come.

Interesting

Since GoDaddy is such a big Republican donor:

The domain registration website GoDaddy on Wednesday suspended the domains of a Republican-connected firm that sent anti-Obama text messages to cell phone users in the Washington, D.C. area last night, according to The Hill newspaper. The messages, sent by ccAdvertising of Virginia, covered topics like abortion, MediCare and same-sex marriage and were sent from email addresses from the domains gopmessage.com and informedett.com.


While the firm’s identify was originally hidden, GoDaddy revealed the registration information because the websites were “suspended for spam and abuse.” The sites were registered by ccAdvertising chief operating officer Jason Flanary, a Republican who ran for Virginia state senate in 2011.

Fascism grows

In an empty belly. Keep an eye on Greece, because this is some scary shit:

The Golden Dawn office in downtown Athens is open three evenings a week. Most of the visitors are middle-aged women with dull eyes and sunken cheeks, faces too old for their bodies, hardened, tired expressions. More than 50 come in an hour. Quietly, they ask the bouncers, “Are they giving out food inside?” “Third floor,” the bouncers say; but most of the women come out empty-handed save for a mauve piece of paper with the Golden Dawn logo on it. There’s only enough today for voters from this ward; they’ll announce the next distribution on a poster, in the papers, if you phone.


Away from the door, Maria Kirimi tells me she’s been locked out of her flat with all her things inside since 29 July; the family are crowded at her mother’s now, seven people surviving on €400 a month. “We’re the living dead,” she says. Isn’t she troubled by Golden Dawn’s violence? “The boys in the black shirts are the only ones I’m not scared of. I feel they’ll protect me.” I ask her mother, old enough to remember the junta, what she thinks of their far-right views. “I heard Michaloliakos say on TV that their sign isn’t Hitler’s sign but a patriotic one,” she says, and then looks down at her feet. “It does upset me a bit. But I haven’t heard of anyone else giving out food.”

Five years ago

NASA scientists warned about hurricane danger to New York:

Even as we act immediately to curtail short term vulnerability, every exposed coastal city needs a risk assessment that takes global warming scenarios into account…Scientists at the NASA Goddard Institute for Space Studies in New York have been studying that city’s vulnerability to hurricane impacts in a changing world, and calculated that with 1.5 feet of sea level rise, a worst-case-scenario Category 3 hurricane could submerge “the Rockaways, Coney Island, much of southern Brooklyn and Queens, portions of Long Island City, Astoria, Flushing Meadows-Corona Park, Queens, lower Manhattan, and eastern Staten Island from Great Kills Harbor north to the Verrazano Bridge.” (Pause and think about that for a second.)

While Sandy was a Category 1 for wind, it was a Category 3 for storm surge.

Oopsies!

As we know, Republicans can’t win a national election unless they steal it. So as we count down to the presidential election, Republican election officials around the country are making all sorts of “mistakes” and accidentally “forgetting” all kinds of details:

WASHINGTON — Democratic activists in Riverside County, Calif., claim that a Republican voter outreach project may be illegally registering Democrats as Republicans to boost the GOP’s registration advantage, according to CaliforniaWatch.org, an investigative journalism outfit.


The website reports, “In a complaint filed last week with the county registrar of voters, the Democrats presented affidavits from 133 Democratic voters who said they had been re-registered as Republicans without their consent after they encountered petition circulators outside welfare offices and stores.


“A local Democratic Party spokesman told CaliforniaWatch.org that the registration project’s efforts may aid GOP fundraising efforts (by making local races seem more winnable) and impede Democrats’ ability to turn out their voters. A spokeswoman for the Golden State Voter Participation Project denied the allegations, saying, “Our canvassers are trained about the laws, the rules and how to conduct themselves.”


Here are some other election-related mishaps in the news:In Palm Beach County, Fla., election officials are red-faced about yet another printing error on absentee ballots. As HuffPost reported last week, the county must manually fill out copies of 27,000 absentee ballots that can’t be digitally scanned because of a design error. On Monday, elections supervisor Susan Bucher told the Palm Beach Post that she had to send new absentee ballots to another 500 voters because the flawed ballots they received didn’t contain one of 11 proposed amendments to the state’s constitution. The ballots also allow people to vote twice on three of those amendments because one of the ballot pages appears twice.


In Lakeland, Fla., an editorial in The Ledger warns that strict rules for counting absentee ballots may prevent some ballots from being counted. It points to a provision of Florida law that states, “After an absentee ballot is received by the supervisor, the ballot is deemed to have been cast, and changes or additions may not be made to the voter’s certificate.” The concern is that voters who don’t sign their absentee ballots before turning them in will have their ballots invalidated. In a swing state like Florida, every vote may make a difference: A mere 537 Florida votes separated George W. Bush from Al Gore 12 years ago.


In Oneida County, N.Y., officials say the cost of fixing a typo on 130,000 ballots will be about $75,000, according to the Utica Observer-Dispatch. The newspaper reports that the county had to print brand-new ballots because the “c” was missing from President Barack Obama’s first name. “I called the printer [Albany-based Fort Orange Press],” County Executive Anthony Picente told the paper. “She can cry poor me [in] this election and that election. They did it wrong and this is an embarrassment.”

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