This is Memorial Day weekend and while many of the week’s Care2 Causes stories will lift your spirits — maybe even enough to throw on that “Kiss the Cook” apron and fire up the grill — others are of news you might wish to forget. You don’t want to be uninformed though. That would be downright un-patriotic! So hold off on the barbecues for a hot second and read the Friday Wrap.
First, I’ll give you the bad news…even though the May 23rd deadline has come and gone, BP has ignored an EPA directive and continued to dump large amounts of the dispersant Corexit (which some have described as deodorized kerosene) into the Gulf of Mexico as part of a feeble attempt to keep the massive sea floor oil plumes from surfacing and washing ashore. Ouch. Beth Buczynski will give you the full run-down in “Chemicals Continue Flowing Into Gulf, While BP Ignores Safer Alternatives.”
Now on to something a little more uplifting! Smile! Feel that May sunshine?(Hopefully you’re seeing some, because here in the Bay Area it’s been rains-ville…) Read “Geoffrey Canada and his Harlem Children’s Zone: A True Trailblazer in the World of Education” and Suzi Parrasch’s inspiring story “READ Global: Building Libraries and Encouraging Education and Entrepreneurship for the Rural Poor.” READ Global is an organization that seeks to empower and educate the rural poor in Nepal, India and Bhutan by partnering with villages to build libraries and start for-profit enterprises in order to maintain them. With an estimated five million people moving to cities each month, many in search of work to support themselves and their families, READ Global’s major impetus is to stem the tide of migration to urban centers, and work with the rural poor so they can thrive in their own communities.
Hopefully you’re hosting a backyard cookout at home this weekend because, as we learned in Ann Pietrangelo’s “Warning: Dining Out May Result in Extreme Eating,” eating at a restaurant could cost you some serious calories. Not so great for swimsuit season! Extreme calories, extreme fat, extreme sodium, extreme portions… would you order a meal if you knew it contained more calories than you should eat all day? Many chain restaurant meals do.
And speaking of backyard shindigs: think before you drink! Milk, that is. We got an inside look at an Ohio dairy farm this week and it wasn’t pretty. Luckily there was some good “moos” (get it?) as well: a UK supermarket chain has launched a nationwide program to humanely treat cows. Sharon Seltzer will tell you all about it in “From Abuse At Dairy Farm To Reward For Healthy Cows.”
On to some love, American style. FedEx has announced that it will begin offering same-sex domestic-partner benefits to its 200,000-plus U.S. employees as of 2012. Great! But why the wait? Find out more in Steve Williams’ “FedEx to Deliver Same-Sex Partner Health Benefits in 2012.”
Unfortunately, not all of America is feeling so lovey-dovey…Jessica Pieklo tells us in “Arizona’s Next Step: Explicitly Targeting Latino Citizens” how the authors of Arizona’s controversial immigration law now want to deport legal US citizens if their parents are undocumented. Now, is that in the American spirit?
I know something that is! If there’s one thing we Yankees love, it’s being green. Well, and of course, our dogs. Whatever tickles your fancy, we’ve got it. You can read about the American Kennel Club finally opening up to mutts in “After 125 Years, the AKC Welcomes Mutts” or about the green stuff in Nancy Roberts’ “Marijuana’s Social and Environmental Mayhem: Can Pot Ever Be Green?” How can a crop that is fostered by violent organized crime, uses pesticides and other poor ag practices and uses up public land, become more green? Local or personal growing and regulation might just be some of the answers to greening pot.
Whoa, whoa! We’re talking about backyard barbecues, not backyard grow houses!
But really, if there is one thing that is unapologetically American, it’s lawsuits. We love the constitution, and we love to rub it in each other’s faces when we violate it. Take this former high school student in Pennsylvania — from Judy Molland’s “Nude Photos Lead to Big Trouble at School” — who’s suing her school and the district for taking her cell phone, complete with nude and semi-nude photos, and turning it over to authorities. Now THERE’s a girl who paid attention in her Government class.
Have a great Memorial Day everyone, and please don’t take the chuckles in this wrap too seriously. I love my country. And if you’re not American, I hope you just had a nice read and didn’t feel too left out. The bottom line is: I know these stories are as juicy as your Memorial Day veggie burger will be. There, that was the last one!
photo courtesy of Peaco Todd