Abandoned Boats

Are people abandoming boats in the Monterey Bay area? Let us know. If so, let’s find happy homes for those boats!! Cameorn Jackson cameronjacks@gmail.com See below story.

MOUNT PLEASANT, S.C. — Boat owners are abandoning ship

Brett Flashnick for The New York Times
Gary Santos, a Mount Pleasant, S.C., councilman, checks a state notice on a forsaken sailboat.
They often sandpaper over the names and file off the registry numbers, doing their best to render the boats, and themselves, untraceable. Then they casually ditch the vessels in the middle of busy harbors, beach them at low tide on the banks of creeks or occasionally scuttle them outright.

The bad economy is creating a flotilla of forsaken boats. While there is no national census of abandoned boats, officials in coastal states are worried the problem will only grow worse as unemployment and financial stress continue to rise. Several states are even drafting laws against derelicts and say they are aggressively starting to pursue delinquent owners.

“Our waters have become dumping grounds,” said Maj. Paul R. Ouellette of the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission. “It’s got to the point where something has to be done.”

Derelict boats are environmental and navigational hazards, leaking toxins and posing obstacles for other craft, especially at night. Thieves plunder them for scrap metal. In a storm, these runabouts and sailboats, cruisers and houseboats can break free or break up, causing havoc.

Some of those disposing of their boats are in the same bind as overstretched homeowners: they face steep payments on an asset that is diminishing in value and decide not to continue. They either default on the debt or take bolder measures.

Marina and maritime officials around the country say they believe, however, that most of the abandoned vessels cluttering their waters are fully paid for. They are expensive-to-maintain toys that have lost their appeal.

The owners cannot sell them, because the secondhand market is overwhelmed. They cannot afford to spend hundreds of dollars a month mooring and maintaining them. And they do not have the thousands of dollars required to properly dispose of them.

When Brian A. Lewis of Seattle tried to sell his boat, Jubilee, no one would pay his asking price of $28,500. Mr. Lewis told the police that maintaining the boat caused “extreme anxiety,” which led him to him drill a two-inch hole in Jubilee’s hull last March.

The boat sank in Puget Sound, and Mr. Lewis told his insurance company it was an accident. His scheme came undone when the state, seeking to prevent environmental damage, raised Jubilee. Mr. Lewis pleaded guilty last week to insurance fraud.

While there are no reliable national statistics on boating fraud, Todd Schwede, an insurance investigator in San Diego, said the number of suspicious cases he was handling had roughly tripled in the last year, to around 70.

In many cases, he said, the boater is following this logic: “I am overinsured on this boat. If I make it go away so no one will find it, the insurance company will give me enough to cover the debt and I’ll make something on the deal as well.”

Lt. David Dipre, who coordinates Florida’s derelict vessel program, said the handful of owners he had managed to track down were guilty more of negligence than fraud. “They say, ‘I had a dream of sailing around the world, I just never got around to it.’ Then they have some bad times and they leave it to someone else to clean up the mess,” Lieutenant Dipre said.

Florida officials say they are moving more aggressively to track down owners and are also starting to unclog the local inlets, harbors, swamps and rivers. The state appropriated funds to remove 118 derelicts this summer, up from only a handful last year.

In South Carolina, four government investigators started canvassing the state’s waterways in January. They quickly identified 150 likely derelicts.

“There are a lot more than we thought there would be,” said Lt. Robert McCullough of the state Department of Natural Resources. “There were a few boats that have always been there, and now all of a sudden they’ve added up and added up.”

In January, it became illegal in South Carolina to abandon a boat on a public waterway. Violators can be fined $5,000 and jailed for 30 days.

“We never needed a law before,” said Gary Santos, a Mount Pleasant councilman.

Tasty Pork

01pigs1_190Emod Istvánmajor, Hungary
Mangalitsa pigs.

Tamas Dezso for The New York Times
IN THE UNITED STATES, TOO Juan Vicente Olmos Llorente, above, takes the meat of curly-haired Hungarian Mangalitsa pigs and finishes it in Spain.
LIKE style on the runway, style for pigs is changeable. With their abundant fat, the curly-haired Mangalitsa pigs of Hungary were all the rage a century ago. But as time went on, they became has-beens.

Now that succulent pork is back in fashion, the Mangalitsa — saved from near extinction on a farm here at the edge of Hungary’s bleak and barren Great Plain — are making a comeback.

Most of those raised here become ham and other cured meats in Spain. But Mangalitsas are also being raised at farms in the United States for chefs who pay as much as 40 percent more for them than for Berkshires, another elite breed.

Last Wednesday April Bloomfield at the Spotted Pig in Greenwich Village served the belly and trotters of a Mangalitsa/Berkshire crossbreed with Agen prunes for $32. (She hopes to have more in two to three weeks.)

“When I tasted this pig,” Ms. Bloomfield said of the Mangalitsa, “it took me back to my grandmother’s kitchen on a Sunday afternoon, windows steaming from the roasting pork in the oven. Back then pork tasted as it should: like a pig. This pork has that same authentic taste.”

Devin Knell, executive sous-chef at the French Laundry, confits the belly of the Mangalitsa (pronounced MAHN-ga-leet-za); roasts the liver, kidneys, and chops, and poaches the saddle sous vide with a garlic mousse.

“Unlike workaday pork,” Mr. Knell said, “Mangalitsa is marbled, and the fat dissolves on your tongue — it’s softer and creamier, akin to Wagyu beef.”

George Faison, an owner of the New York City specialty meats company DeBragga and Spitler, will start selling chefs pork from Mangalitsas fattened on the West Coast this summer. He said the fat was luscious, more like that of duck than pork. Recalling a tasting for chefs last fall, he said, “The belly meat was unctuous, but it was the loin meat that really impressed me.”

Mosefund Farm in Branchville, N.J., sells Mangalitsa pork to restaurants, including the Spotted Pig, for $10 to $11 a pound, about $3 a pound more than what Berkshire pork costs. Ms. Bloomfield said Mosefund sells the Berkshire crossbreed for $7.99 pound.

Mangalitsas were bred for their lard on the Hungarian farms of Archduke Joseph in the 1830s. Herds shrank with the collapse of the Austro-Hungarian Empire after World War I and declined further with the introduction of fast-growing white pigs and cheaper, higher quality vegetable oils after World War II.

But Peter Toth, a Hungarian animal geneticist, did not want this Hapsburg legacy to be lost. He has worked to save the pigs here on a farm with buildings of whitewashed stone, with roofs of thick thatch. Dimly lighted wooden pens filled with straw shelter piglets and nursing sows. Breeding boars and sows live in pens open at one end. On a tour of the farm, 100 miles east of Budapest, a bitter wind blew out of the Carpathian foothills just visible to the east.

Their feed is a mix of barley, wheat, wheat bran, alfalfa, and sunflower seeds, but unlike the feed on factory farms, little corn and nothing with soy.

“When Communism collapsed,” Mr. Toth said, “the state farms that served as the last gene banks also collapsed. It was a total anarchy in the country. When I started to save Mangalitsas, to search for them in 1991, I found only 198 purebred pigs in the country. Sometimes, I would rescue the pigs right from the slaughterhouse.”

Today his company, Olmos and Toth, in addition to maintaining breeding stock, fattens some 8,000 pigs and oversees the production of 12,000 more on farms in the surrounding regions.

Because these pigs can cost 40 percent more to raise, Hungarians, who earn less than most Europeans, use them mostly to make lard and sausages.

“The Mangalitsa — many problems!” Mr. Toth said. “We must kill them at 140 kilos” — about 300 pounds — “to make sure that the marbling is maximized and the meat the best quality. If you kill it at 80 kilos” — 176 pounds, when industrially produced pigs are slaughtered — “you won’t have marbled meat. You need time, more than one year, when a normal pig takes five months to raise.”

boys 4 times more likely to get autism

Below is a video discussing the genetics of autism.  If one twin has autism,  an identical twin has a 90% chance of having autism or an  autistic spectrum disorder.  That is a very high heritability  rate.  Boys are 3  to 4 times more likely to have autism than girls.  No one gene is implicated; it appears to be combinations of genes that are  involved.

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CjdTaiJuFu0[/youtube]

Chronic Lyme disease mimics many diseases

Below is list of symptoms for Lyme disease. Note some mental symtoms:  poor concentration and memory loss, irritability and mood swings, depression, diziness and fatique.  Couple those with lots of symptoms arcross multiple systems.  This is a disease that mimics multiple disorders.  Basic Information about Lyme disease.  This info came from Turn the Corner at  www.turnthecorner.org 

  1. Lyme disease is prevalent across the United States. Ticks do not know geographic boundaries. A patient’s county of residence does not accurately reflect their total Lyme disease risk, since people travel, pets travel, and ticks travel. This creates a dynamic situation with many opportunities for exposure for each individual.
  2. Lyme disease is a clinical diagnosis. Spirochetal infection of multiple organ systems causes a wide range of symptoms. Familiarity with its varied presentations is key to recognizing disseminated Lyme disease. Case reports in the medical literature document its protean manifestations.
  3. Fewer than half of patients with Lyme disease recall a tick bite. In some studies this number is as low as 15% in culture-proven Lyme borrelial infection.
  4. Fewer than half of patients with Lyme disease recall any rash. Although the bull’s eye presentation is considered classic, it is not the most common dermatologic manifestation of early-localized Lyme infection. Atypical forms of this rash are seen far more commonly. It is important to know that the Erythema Migrans rash is pathognomonic of Lyme disease and requires no further verification prior to starting 6 weeks of antibiotic therapy. Shorter treatment courses have resulted in upwards of a 40% relapse rate.
  5. There has never in the history of this illness been one study that proves even in the simplest way that 30 days of antibiotic treatment cures Lyme disease. However, there is a plethora of documentation in the US and European medical literature demonstrating histologically and in culture that short courses of antibiotic treatment fail to eradicate the Lyme spirochete.
  6. An uncomplicated case of chronic Lyme disease requires an average of 6-12 months of high-dose antibiotic therapy. The return of symptoms and evidence of the continued presence of Borrelia burgdorferi indicates the need for further treatment. The very real consequences of untreated chronic, persistent Lyme infection far outweigh the potential consequences of long-term antibiotic therapy.
  7. Many patients with Lyme disease require treatment for 1-4 years, or until the patient is symptom free. Relapses occur and maintenance antibiotics may be required. There are no tests available to assure us whether the organism is eradicated or the patient is cured.
  8. There are 5 subspecies of Borrelia burgdorferi, over 100 strains in the US, and 300 strains worldwide. This diversity is thought to contribute to Borrelia burgdorferi‘s antigenic variability and its various antibiotic resistances.
  9. Lyme disease is the latest great imitator and should be considered in the differential diagnosis of MS, ALS, seizure and other neurological conditions, as well as arthritis, CFS, gulf war syndrome, ADHD, hypochondriasis, fibromyalgia, somatization disorder and patients with various difficult-to-diagnose multi-system syndromes.
  10. Lyme is the number one tick-borne illness in the US. The CDC reports there are 24,000 new cases of Lyme disease in the US, but the CDC says that figure could be under reported by tenfold. ILADS believes newly diagnosed cases of Lyme may occur at a rate five times higher than the number of new AIDS cases. Chronic Lyme is reported in up to half of patients treated for Lyme.
  11. Symptomatic presentations of Lyme disease include:
    • Fatigue
    • Low grade fevers, “hot flashes” or chills
    • Night sweats
    • Sore throat
    • Swollen glands
    • Stiff neck
    • Migrating arthralgias, stiffness and frank arthritis
    • Myalgia
    • Chest pain and palpitations
    • Abdominal pain, nausea
    • Diarrhea
    • Sleep disturbance
    • Poor concentration and memory loss
    • Irritability and mood swings
    • Depression
    • Back pain
    • Blurred vision and eye pain
    • Jaw pain
    • Testicular/pelvic pain
    • Tinnitus
    • Vertigo
    • Cranial nerve disturbance (facial numbness, pain, tingling, palsy or optic neuritis)
    • Headaches
    • Lightheadedness
    • Dizziness
 

ticks carry Lyme Disease, common to Monterey Bay area

tickremoval2

Ticks disorders can lead to serious complications if left untreated.  If Lyme becomes a chronic condition it can lead to persistent muscle, bone, nerbe pain, fatique, and memory impairment.  Caught early, the typical treatment is 4 to 6 weeks of andibiotics. Be careful to check for ticks and see a physican for diagnosis and treatment.   What are the symptoms of Lyme disease?
The list of possible symptoms for Lyme disease is long, and symptoms can affect every part of the body. Symptoms usually appear within three to 30 days. The following are the most common symptoms of LD. However, each child may experience symptoms differently.One of the primary symptoms is often a rash that is pink in the center and a deeper red on the surrounding skin. The rash:
  • can appear several days after infection, or not at all.
  • can last a few hours or up to several weeks.
  • can be very small or very large (up to 12 inches across).
  • can mimic such skin problems as hives, eczema, sunburn, poison ivy, and flea bites.
  • can itch or feel hot, or may not be felt at all.
  • can disappear and return several weeks later.
Several days or weeks after a bite from an infected tick, flu-like symptoms can appear, including the following:
  • headache
  • stiff neck
  • aches and pains in muscles and joints
  • low-grade fever and chills
  • fatigue
  • poor appetite
  • sore throat
  • swollen glands
After several months, painful and swollen joints may occur.
Other possible symptoms may include the following:
  • neurological symptoms
  • heart problems
  • skin disorders
  • eye problems
  • hepatitis
  • severe fatigue
  • weakness
  • problems with coordination
Some people may develop post-Lyme disease syndrome (PLDS), a condition also known as chronic Lyme disease. Symptoms include persistent muscle, bone, and nerve pain, fatigue, and memory impairment.Symptoms of LD may resemble other conditions or medical problems. Always consult your child’s physician for a diagnosis.
How is Lyme disease diagnosed?
LD may be difficult to diagnose because the symptoms may resemble other conditions. The primary symptom is a rash, but it may not be present in up to 20 percent of cases. Diagnosis is usually based on symptoms and a history of a tick bite.Diagnosis of Lyme disease must be made by an experienced physician. Blood and laboratory tests are generally done to rule out other conditions.Research is underway to develop and improve methods for diagnosing LD.
Treatment for Lyme disease:
Your child’s physician will determine the best treatment plan based on your child’s individual situation. Lyme disease is usually treated with antibiotics for a period of four to six weeks.Treatment will be considered based on these and other factors:
  • If you are bitten by a tick that tests positive for spirochetes.
  • If you are bitten by a tick and have any of the symptoms.
  • If you are bitten by a tick and are pregnant.
  • If you are bitten by a tick and live in an area where the ticks are known to be infected.
Relapse and incomplete treatment responses occur. Complications of untreated early-stage disease include: 40 to 60 percent joint disease; 15 to 20 percent neurologic disease; 8 percent carditis; and 10 percent (or more) of persons are hospitalized, some with chronic debilitating conditions.

Utah autistic adults lead more fullfilling lives

If you have an adult child with autism – why not encourage them to live in Utah?  What is it about Utah that encourages or creates social connections?  Could it be that the Mormon religion and/or strong social ties  help? 

“Twenty years after first being assessed in a long-term autism study, 41 Utahns with the disorder had a higher social outcome than those in similar studies, University of Utah psychiatry researchers have reported in the Journal of Autism Research online.

Although the researchers can’t yet explain why the follow-up study showed the Utah group fared better overall in living independently, developing social relationships, and in some cases even showing higher IQs than 20 years ago, the results offer hope for many with a childhood diagnosis of autism, according to Megan A. Farley, Ph.D., the study’s first author and a research associate in the Department of Psychiatry at the U of U School of Medicine.

“This is an amazing group of people who, in many cases, did a lot more than their parents were told they would ever do,” Farley said of those who participated in the follow-up study. “This gives a lot of hope for younger people with autism and average-range IQs.”

Farley and her fellow researchers drew the follow-up study participants from an original group of 241 Utahns with autism who took part in a University of Utah and University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA), study from 1984-1988. The average age of participants in the original study was 7, while the average age at the follow-up study was 32. Participants in the current study had an average childhood non-verbal IQ of at least 70.

For the follow-up study, the researchers assessed the participants’ overall social outcome by their ability to maintain paid employment, the existence of meaningful social relationships, and their degree of independence in daily life. From these criteria, an individual’s overall social outcome was assigned to one of five categories: very good, good, fair, poor, and very poor:

  • Very good meant the person held paid employment without extra support to perform job duties, had important social relationships, and a high independence in daily life.
  • Good indicated the individual had a generally high level of independence at work and in daily life, requiring some extra support, and also had a friendship or some acquaintances.
  • Fair reflected the need for regular support at work or home, but the person did not have to live at a special residential facility. The participants in this category had acquaintances through special activities but no particular friends.
  • Poor showed the need for a high level of support, such as a residential living facility and planned daily activities for people developmental disabilities. Those in this category had no friends outside their residential living arrangements.
  • Very poor meant the individual required a high level of care in a hospital setting with no autonomy and had no friendships.

By these measures, the researchers found that 24 percent of the participants had a very good social outcome; 24 percent had a good outcome; 34 percent had a fair outcome; and 17 percent were rated in the poor social outcome category. No one’s social outcome fell into the very poor category.

About half of the 41 study participants were employed in full- or part-time competitive jobs. Six were living independently, including three who owned homes. Three were married with children, and one person also was newly engaged to be married. Eleven of the participants have driver licenses and the same number had a higher IQ than when assessed 20 years earlier.

“Adults with autism haven’t received the attention from researchers that children have, but the few studies that have been done on similar groups showed 15 percent to 30 percent having good outcomes, compared to the 50 percent in our study,” Farley said. “One early Canadian study showed similar results to ours, but other studies have had fewer people living and working independently as adults.”

Although, Farley doesn’t know why the Utah group fared better than those in other autism studies, she thinks it may be related to early intervention to help children with the disorder and strong social and family networks in Utah.

The most important factor in whether study participants had a better living outcome was their degree of independence in daily activities – being able to take care of themselves, hold employment, live on their own or at least semi-independently, and take part in meaningful social relationships, according to Farley. Although IQ significantly influences social outcome, daily independence plays an even greater role in determining how well people with autism function, the researchers said.

Although encouraging, the follow-up study results also show autism’s devastating toll. About half the participants could not live or work independently, and the majority lived with their parents, although many of them had a high level of independence in their daily activities. Social isolation is a serious problem as well – 44 percent of the group has never dated. In addition, 60 percent of the study participants, even some of those who had achieved independent living and working, were prone to anxiety and mood disorders and worried about a social stigma attached to autism. The IQ of eight participants declined since they first were evaluated 20 years ago.

The 41 participants in the follow-up originally were identified through a statewide epidemiological survey between 1984 and 1988 conducted by the U of U and UCLA. The goal of that study was to identify every person born with autism between 1960 and 1984 and who lived in Utah during the four-year survey. The survey was one of the largest population-based autism studies in the world, meaning it tried to assess the whole population of Utahns with the disorder rather than a select group. By assessing participants from the original study, the follow-up gives a unique perspective on the long-term course of autism, according to Farley.

The long-term follow-up also will help researchers identify issues that affect the social outcomes of adults who were diagnosed with autism as children, providing information that can help determine services that will help these adults lead more fulfilling lives.

“Our current results have encouraged us to go further in following up the entire sample of 241 adults who were identified with autistic disorder in the 1980’s,” Farley said. “We now know that, with the help of the remaining adults and their families who are willing to give of their time and energy, we will be able to have a better understanding of the life course in autism. We’re excited now to contact all of the families who participated in the original study.”

Notes:

Hilary Coon, Ph.D., research professor of psychiatry, was the study’s senior author, and William M. McMahon, M.D., chairman of the School of Medicine’s Department of Psychiatry, was a member of the original study team and a co-author on the current study as well