I find it interesting and distressing that the Greensboro City Council voted to take money from the so-called transportation bonds passed several years ago to move water pipes for the Jones Brothers development on Smith Street. (Never mind the fact that I voted against the transportation bond issue in 2000. I read the proposed use of that money and disagreed with much of it.)

I was at the meeting where this expenditure was approved. The agenda reference was for $750,000, but I think that the actual amount voted to be given was $200,000.

Let me tell you about my own experience with relocating city water pipes.

-Two real estate investors bought an old building at the corner of South Elm and McGee streets, near Hamburger Square.
-Two fires on the same night did some damage to the interior of the old building brick building.
-Fires were ruled to be arson. Limited investigation has not (to my knowledge) turned up responsible arsonist.
-New owners did a wonderful job of renovating building, turning it into a bar and restaurant and mini brewery with outside dining and drinking.
-Owners discovered, during renovations, that water supply to two nearby buildings runs through their property. No legal easements were found.
-City water meters are located on McGee Street and water pipes run from these meters into two buildings that face South Elm.
-New owners notify owners of nearby buildings that the water pipes must be moved.
-Nearby business owners contact Greensboro City Water Department about problem, and are referred to City Engineering Department.
-City engineering department can't find maps identifying pipes, and refer business owners back to water department.
-Water pipes are cut and temporarily re-connected with hoses from meters.
-Small business owners speak to Greensboro Legal Department and are told that it is a private property matter.
-Owners ask water department to run pipes from city water meters to their property lines and are told that there will be a charge to do this. Owners inquire about price and are told that it depends on what is involved.
-Message left on phone by city staff tells owners that the city will not move water, even if owners pay.
-Complaint to Mayor of Greensboro gets reply that the new business will be good for the area and will help all businesses downtown.
-Results: Two small business owners paid over $8,000 to have water pipes moved.

-Questions: How are small business and property owners treated by the City of Greensboro? Does the city play favorites?

Cause of Stroke Unknown

An article in the N&R today tells about Laura Bolden, a 28-year-old woman who suffered a stroke and almost died. No cause was found for this stroke.
I wonder if Laura was a heavy user of artificial sweeteners.

After one of my daughters suffered a mini stroke (TIA) I have found much information about the artificial sweetener called Aspartame. Some of it is not documented, but much of the information came from the United States Senate record and from government sources like the FDA.

Here is some of the information that I found.

A thirty-four year old woman in Georgia suffers a stroke. A seventeen year old student in North Carolina has chest pain and heart palpitations. A twenty-seven year old teacher in Florida suffers from hives, itching, and heart beat irregularity. A forty-two year old man has head and neck pain and feels that his short term memory is suffering. A three year old child in Texas suffers from earache and dizziness, a twenty-three year old woman dies in her home and her cause of death is listed as unknown.

What do these people have in common? They were all regular users of products that contain the artificial sweetener Aspartame. Aspartame poisoning is commonly undiagnosed or misdiagnosed because Aspartame-induced symptoms mock textbook disease symptoms.

Aspartame is a low calorie sweetening ingredient used in almost 5000 products around the world. It can be found in a wide variety of food products including chewing gum, candy, soft drinks, children's vitamins, fruit drinks, dry mixes, tea and prescription medications. It is primarily marketed as the sweeteners called Nutrasweet and Equal. The FDA knows that it is not safe, yet our government allows its use.
Aspartame is made from two building blocks of protein just like those found naturally in protein foods such as meat, fish, cheese, eggs and milk and it also contains methanol. Proponents of its use say that Aspartame is digested by the body in exactly the same way as other protein foods and so does not add anything new to the diet. As a safeguard for people who must avoid protein foods, products which contain Aspartame have the label "Contains phenylalanine." This is to warn people who have the rare inherited genetic disorder phenylketonuria (PKU). But there is no warning about the other side effects of this artificial sweetener. Aspartame should not be used in food products. At the very least, consumers should know how much Aspartame is in the products they are eating and drinking and the possible side effects of its consumption.

Diet Pepsi (8 fl. oz)
Contains: Carbonated water, caramel color, Aspartame, phosphoric acid, potassium benzoate (preserves freshness), caffeine, citric acid and natural flavors

Diet Caffeine Free Pepsi (8 fl. oz)
Contains: Carbonated water, caramel color, Aspartame, phosphoric acid, potassium benzoate (preserves freshness), citric acid and natural flavors

Sugar Free Jell-O:
Ingredients: Gelatin, Adipic acid (for tartness), Disodium Phosphate, (controls acidity), Maltodextrin (from corn) fumaric acid (for tartness) Aspartame** (sweetener), Acesulfame Potassium (sweetener), salt, red 40.
**PHENYLKETONURICS: Contains phenylalamine

Scooby Doo Vitamins:
Ingredients: Calcium Carbonate, Sorbitol, Starch, Sodium Ascorbate, Natural and Artificial Flavors (including fruit acids), Stearic Acid, Gelatin, Magnesium Stearate, Vitamin E Acetate, Niacinamide, FD&C Red 40 Lake, FD&C Yellow 6 Lake, Aspartame (a sweetener), FD&C 2 Lake, Pyridoxine Hydrochloride, Riboflavin, Thiamine Mononitrate, Vitamin A Acetate, Monoammonium Glycyrrhizinate, Folic Acid, Beta Carotene, Vitamin D, Vitamin B12.
Warnings: Do not use this product if safety seal bearing Bayer Corporation under cap is torn or missing.
Phenylketonurics: Contains Phenylalanine

Aspartame is listed as an ingredient on the labels of many products we consume daily, but the amount the product contains is rarely listed on the label. It is almost impossible to determine how much Aspartame is being consumed without proper labeling.

The government knows that Aspartame is bad for people and the manufacturers know that Aspartame is bad for people. This is a political issue. It should be a health issue. Aspartame is a poison allowed by our government to be introduced into many food products that we eat everyday.

For more information about Aspartame, Google "Aspartame" or "Aspertame." There is also some information about it at The People's Pharmacy website and at the Federal Drug Administration webside.

Importing Trash

According to the NC Conservation Network:
"North Carolina is becoming a hot spot for other states to dump their trash.
"Compared to MidAtlantic and Northeastern states, our land is cheap, we lack a state disposal charge, and numerous NorthCarolina communities are desperate for new sources of revenue........The problem with importing trash is that it is a short term revenue fix for these communities. It does not get to the heart of economic woes in these counties - but it does saddle each community that hosts a landfill with a potentially expensive, future environmental problem."

See: http://ncconservationnetwork1.org/campaign/importingtrash

What do you think?

Bike Safety

Riding a bike is great fun, good exercise and cheap transportation. I posted some thoughts about bicycles in October.

What do you think?

Where Does Traveling Garbage Go?

As Landfills Close in Big Cities, Garbage Travels Farther

Excerpts from an AP report: Read the whole article at: http://enn.com/today.html?id=8215

July 12, 2005: By David B. Caruso, Associated Press

Environmental News Network reports that in 2003, nearly a quarter of all municipal trash in the United States crossed state lines for disposal, according to the Congressional Research Service. Ten states imported at least 1 million tons of trash that year, up from only two states in 2001.
At issue for many importing states is the smell and the threat to the environment if the garbage is handled improperly -- reasons that more urban trash is winding up in rural communities where political resistance is likely to be minimal.
For instance, New York transports more than 1,300 tons of garbage each day to Fox Township, Pa., located in hilly hunting country 130 miles northeast of Pittsburgh.
Michael Keller, a township supervisor, said living near the landfill isn't that bad because it's hard to smell or see it from the street. But he can't shake the worries that the landfill's protective liners won't hold up forever.
"My concern is that 50, 60 or 70 years from now, they'll be saying, 'What were those guys thinking, allowing something like this to be built in this community?' "he said.
......... Michael Town, director of the Virginia chapter of the Sierra Club. "Transporting all of this garbage so far away means that the people that generate it don't have to deal with its consequencences." Town said. "And if that's the case, where is their incentive to create less of it?"
Source: Associated Press

I miss my maple tree

It was fall and the leaves were beginning to show beautiful colors all over Greensboro. Lowell and I and the children were cleaning up a yard that, I am told had been beautiful when the Sink family lived here, but was now overgrown and neglected. We had moved into an old house on an oak tree-lined street where many squirrels scampered. It was fall and the leaves were beginning to show beautiful colors all over Greensboro.

We pulled up lots of weeds, small trees and wild onions. Charlie, our first born, planted three of the little trees in our front yard. One maple survived. The main trunk of the tree broke a little and bent over. Charlie taped it up and the darned thing thrived. He watered it and kept the weeds and grass from swallowing it up. It grew into a beautiful tree near the street at the edge of our driveway. The colors of the leaves every fall were glowing. I loved that tree and the rustling sound of the dry leaves. It was beautiful in the spring when the green leaves shimmered in the rain. The shade it provided against the harsh rays of sun on hot summer days was refreshing.

Several years ago a big wind came and blew over a giant oak tree in a neighbor's yard. The tree was pulled out of the ground. Its roots pulled part of a front porch and steps out of the ground. The top of the oak tree landed in our driveway. There was damage to several houses and cars. The wind blew the top out of our beautiful maple tree and split the tree so badly that all of the limbs had to be taken down.

I couldn't bear to lose the tree completely; so, we left the tall stump standing until this summer. The flower bed that had been under the tree and then around the stump is still there. The yellow mums are a bit neglected this year but still beautiful. I miss my maple tree, but I have beautiful memories.

Maybe one of the little trees growing in the flower bed now will someday grow into a big tree that will offer beauty and shade to everyone who passes this way.

Happy, Satisfied Citizens

The people of Greensboro have spoken - that is - around 12 percent of the registered voters have spoken. Where are the rest?
They must be happy with business as usual in Greensboro. What a shame.

I thank each one of you who bothered to vote. I ESPECIALLY THANK those of you who had enough confidence in a long-shot candidate to vote for me.

Although I am a little bit down right now, I will keep voluteering for causes that I care about and I will keep working to bring important issues into local discussions. I love a good debate. I have a lot to learn. See ya downtown or around town and, of course, on the web.

Love ya all.

I Need Your Help! It Ain't Over!

Greensboro needs forward-thinking members on the city council. I offer myself as one of these. I need your vote tomorrow.

And, if you have time, I need a little help from my friends. I can use some folks to work at polling places for a few hours. After you vote, just hang around and talk to people on my behalf. I am running a hard campaign against candidates who are better financed. I need
help at Kiser Middle School, First Baptist Church, Page High School, Washington Elementary School, Peeler Rec. Center, and I could use help at your voting place, too. I have literature available that I can deliver to you today if you have time to hand out some . Just e-mail me at dianedavisgreensboro@yahoo.com or leave a message at 378-4457.

I am running a tight campaign against better-financed candidates. I believe that this election should be about ideas, not about raising money, or party affiliation.

I hope you know that I am honest and above board with my ideas about Greensboro City Government. If you think that I will work hard for the citizens of Greensboro, and you like my published ideas, then Help Me Get Elected. If elected, I will not disappoint you.

Thank you for reading my blog. Thank you for voting. Your vote can make a difference, if you vote for Diane Davis for City Council at Large. Call or e-mail your friends and remind them to vote. GO VOTE and take a friend. Remember what Yogi said "It ain't over till it's over"

Diane Davis Will . . .

to citizen concerns.
Safe, family-friendly Neighborhoods.
Public Transportation and encourage more Sidewalks and Bike Lanes.
improvements in the design and ecological use of developed and undeveloped areas.
the volume of waste going into landfills by
improved Recycling, Reuse, and Resource Recovery,
and Build a Waste to Energy program.
Greensboro to business & industry that
will provide Better Job Opportunities.
Monitor the use of taxpayer money.