Spinal Bonds

My name is Khambrel Green. Six years ago, I received a C-4 Spinal Cord Injury from a 9-foot fall. A former employee at Seaside’s Artmax, I was a youthful member of Monterey’s vibrant art community. Reading about Rachael’s accident and recovery is making me cry (“Rachael Short’s crushing accident reminds us that the star photographer sees things in her own unique way,” March 24-30). Yet, I know of her situation and how it shall improve. Currently, I continue painting and my career is flourishing. I have walked six steps and enjoy full body sensations. Continuing in her artistic pursuits does do wonders for Rachael Short’s self-esteem. I am here in Chattanooga, Tenn. rooting for her. - Khambrel Green | via Web

Midas Masters

Since 2002, Arysta LifeScience has welcomed all questions about methyl iodide use. The same spirit of openness has been offered to the Monterey County Weekly on several occasions. Still, stories with obvious bias and disregard for the facts have continued to run in the Weekly’s pages (“Years after approving the strawberry fumigant methyl iodide, EPA may reconsider,” March 24-30). Methyl iodide is being used safely today without harm to farmworkers, bystanders or the environment. A naturally occurring substance developed as a fumigant right here at UC-Riverside, methyl iodide has a safe track record of real world use on more than 17,000 acres without a single safety incident. Other countries are moving to bring methyl iodide to market. All of the questions surrounding methyl iodide’s safety and use have been asked and answered through a rigorous review by both the EPA and the state Department of Pesticide Regulation.

Today, we are working with the agricultural community throughout California to provide an industry-leading training and stewardship program, equipping applicators to use methyl iodide in accordance with the rigorous standards set by DPR and in a manner that remains protective of California’s communities. The science is clear and the record of use confirms that methyl iodide can be used safely. We continue to stand behind it as a viable agricultural tool. - Jeff Tweedy | Cary, N.C. (Note: Mr. Tweedy is Arysta LifeScience’s head of business development and regulatory affairs.)

Berry Bucks

A California without methyl iodide will be a better California for all of us (“Years after approving the strawberry fumigant methyl iodide, EPA may reconsider,” March 24-30). By alternating crops on land used to raise strawberries, we can have our wonderful strawberries and fumigant-free environment, too. All I ask of the major California berry producers is to figure out what the methyl iodide-free, excessive nitrate run-off free economics will translate to in terms of what their wonderful berries will cost the consumer. I will pay them whatever it takes to make California berry production sustainable and environmental trade-off free. - Steinbecker | via Web

Plastic Planet

I’m in the Middle East for some work. When I arrived about two weeks ago, one of the first things one of my coworkers asked was, did I bring the Bag It movie? Unfortunately, I couldn’t procure the DVD in time for my trip. Plastic pollution is certainly not only a U.S. problem… as I sit here in my hotel room surrounded by plastic water bottles provided by the hotel that have labels in Arabic.

A few days after I arrived, I was reading the local paper – the English version. On the “Americas” page was a photograph of a mass of plastic bottles. Here’s the title and caption:

“Bottles, bottles everywhere!

“Hundreds of recycled plastic water bottles are piled up inside the Recology recycling facility in San Francisco,” it proceeds. “The multimillion-dollar bottled-water industry continues to prosper despite outrage from environmentalists who point out that at least half of the empty bottles end up in landfills instead of being recycled.”

As I was in the middle of writing this, I got a knock on the door. Someone from the hotel brought me a complimentary bottle of wine… in a glass bottle. Now that’s how liquid should be wrapped. - Dan Linehan | Monterey

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