- Carolita Johnson
Forty percent of the world's population depends on seafood as its primary source of protein. Although meat has recently gotten the plant-based makeover with products like Beyond Burger hitting the shelves, seafood has dallied in joining the rising vegan tide. But last year, companies like Good Catch and Atlantic Natural Food started to bring legume-, bean-, and algae-based "tuna" to the market. Products like Tuno are made from soy flour and sold in cans as well as pouches. While avoiding the usual seafood dangers, like mercury, PCBs, and microplastic health hazards, these new products are adapting to new consumer preferences, offering a tasty way to protect the oceans. Overfishing has caused detrimental effects on fish reserves in tuna-concentrated regions, like the Philippines, which are on course to disappear by 2048.
A new ad hoc group under the Trump administration has been established to question the severity of human contribution to climate change and carbon output. Unlike a formal advisory committee, this new group will not be treated with the same level of public scrutiny or subjected to the Federal Advisory Committee's ground rules, which require groups to meet in public, subject their records to public inspection, and include a representative membership. The counter-climate change coalition receives money from far-right organizations and donors with fossil fuel investments. In 2003, an extensive Pentagon report argued that climate change should be deemed a US national security concern. Despite this evidence, the group is moving ahead with plans to disprove decades worth of scientific research regarding climate hazards.
Source: Washington Post
Skepticism towards journalism has only intensified in the past few decades, causing more readers to fact-check and resist narratives of once-reputable information sources. An online poll, conducted last December by Reuters/Ipsos, showed that distrust in the press creates misguided understandings of journalistic processes and intentions. Responses from 4,214 adults (1,657 Democrats, 1,505 Republicans) showed that 60 percent of participants believe reporters get paid by their sources sometimes or very often. Nearly half of all Americans reported having "hardly any confidence at all" in the integrity of the press; less than 50 percent of millennials believe that the press is honest in their coverage. Democrats show a greater deal of confidence in the press than Republicans, while more white Americans distrust public journalism compared to their black counterparts.
Source: Columbia Journalism Review
On August 24, 2017, Red Hook resident Jenica Igoe was arrested and charged with two counts of public lewdness for topless gardening after an offended passerby snapped a picture of her and brought it to the police. A month later, the charges against Igoe were dropped, as it has been legal since 1992 for women to be topless in public in New York State as long as they aren't doing it for money. Igoe filed suit against the village and the arresting officer, Travis Sterritt, in 2018. On March 5, US District Court Judge Vincent Briccetti ruled that Igoe can sue Sterritt for false arrest and malicious prosecution, but she cannot sue the village for violating her constitutional rights by failing to properly train the officer.
Source: Daily Freeman
Nursing homes across rural America are closing or merging, exceeding 440 closures over the last decade. Unable to care for themselves, many patients end up at nursing homes that are far from their hometowns, causing traumatic stress for patients. Thirty-six nursing homes have been forced to close in the last 10 years due to failure to meet health and safety standards, but more have closed due to financial reasons. Changing health care regulations have affected the funding and survival of these nursing homes; as occupancy rates fall, more care is covered by Medicaid. In many states, this payment is not enough to keep homes open. At current reimbursement rates for Medicaid, nursing homes in states like South Dakota lose $58 a day for each resident, up to $66 million a year in losses statewide. Although rural states have enough long-term care beds for clients, the distance between the nursing homes and families have created difficult decisions for loved ones.
Source: New York Times
Although anti-vaccine groups are becoming more popular through celebrity and political support, a new study confirms decisively that the Measles, Mumps, and Rubella (MMR) vaccine does not increase the risk of autism. A new study of over 650,000 children in Denmark between 1999 and 2010 documented diagnoses of autism after the MMR vaccine was administered. Although over 95 percent of the children received the MMR vaccine, only one percent were diagnosed with autism. The myth of the link between vaccines and autism still holds strong in America, and the refusal to vaccinate has contributed to measles outbreaks. There were at least 206 cases in 2019 and 372 in 2018. Anti-vaccination groups are often supported by large, well-funded companies, like AmazonSmile's customer-driven fundraising program, which includes an array of anti-vaccine organizations such as American Citizens for Health Choice (ACHC). Facebook and Youtube have also faced backlash over spreading anti-vaccine propaganda.
Sources: CNN, Guardian
Last September, TSL co-founders Linda Mussmann and Claudia Bruce, Reverend Ed Cross, and Peter Spear were accused of painting illegal crosswalks at the center of Third and State Streets in the city of Hudson. This act of vigilante road maintenance was intended as a protest against the absence of crosswalks in Hudson, a significant threat to pedestrian safety. Both Mussmann and Bruce pleaded guilty to marking the pavement, which is a violation similar to a traffic ticket under the law. Bruce and Mussmann will serve one hour of community service, and the cases against Case and Spear were dismissed in the "interest of justice." The crosswalks have been repainted to meet state standards and increase public safety.
Compiled by Shrien Alshabasy