All posts by lyadmin

Meet ‘Concerned Kitten’. A Tiny Cat That Always Looks Worried Thanks To His Natural ‘Eyebrow’ Markings

This tiny, eight-week-old kitten has been dubbed the ‘Concerned Kitten’ because its small eyebrow shaped markings make him look permanently surprised.
The eight-week-old moggie has gone viral since his owners aptly named him ‘Concerned Kitten’.
Owner Andy Entwistle, 40, said: ‘When he was born there were just these two little black blotches on his forehead.

 

Elderly Couple Refuses To Leave Dogs Behind During Flash Flood [Video]

Dramatic video footage has been released showing a Joso City couple and their two dogs rescued from a rooftop by helicopter after vast swathes of eastern Japan suffered under heavy flooding.

The couple and their canines were just some of the many Joso city residents rescued by Japan’s Self-Defence Force (SDF) on 10 September after freak torrential rain caused the Kinugawa River to burst its banks and inundate the area.

Rescuers winched down from a helicopter to lift up the woman and a dog, and then subsequently, the man and the remaining dog, as water gushed through and around their house.

Record-breaking rain prompted authorities to issue “rare weather warnings” for 5 million people in a wide swathe of eastern Japan, with a further 800,000 people advised to evacuate.

Some areas received more than twice their usual monthly September rain in just 48 hours by Thursday, after Tropical Storm Etau cut across the main island of Honshu on 9 September. Rainfall reached 600mm (24 inches) in one part of Ibaraki prefecture, where Joso is located.

Japan storm Etau floods
People wait to be rescued from the roof of their homeJiji Press/AFP

Japan’s NHK said two people are missing in the floods. Rescuers were looking for a 63-year old woman after a landslide hit her home early on Thursday, and a man in his 70s, believed to be trapped in his house as it was swept away.

Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said: “The government will work as one to prioritize the safety of the people and do our best to prevent any further disaster.”

Japan has worked to improve its disaster response measures in the wake of the country’s 2011 earthquake and tsunami which left 20,000 dead. The massive tremors precipitated the Fukushima nuclear disaster, the effects of which continue more than four years later.

The Japan Meterological Agency warned of more rainfall of at least 200mm in parts of eastern Japan. The rain is predicted to stop on 11 September.

Man Grows Citrus Year-Round For $1 Per Day With His Geothermal Greenhouse

Those who live in the Midwest United States understand how difficult it can be to eat local during winter. But for Russ Finch and his community, the task isn’t too difficult. A former mailman living in Nebraska, Finch designed a greenhouse that produces lemons, grapefruit-sized oranges, green figs, and grapes — all for just $1 a day. His magic trick? Geothermal heating.

Finch calls his structure the Greenhouse in the Snow. The original, which he constructed more than 20 years ago, is connected to his home. Finch specifically grew citrus in the greenhouse to prove that it’s possible. “Any type of plant we saw, we would put it in and see what it could do. We didn’t baby anything,” said Finch. “We just put it in and if it died, it died. But most everything really grows well. We can grow practically any tropical plant.”

NPR reports that the structure’s design is base don a walipini, or a pit greenhouse. The floor has been dug down 4 feet below the surface, and the roof has a slant toward the south to catch the sun’s rays. During the daytime, temperatures in the greenhouse can reach over 80 degrees F. At night, geothermal heat is relied on to combat the plummeting temperatures.

Only warm air is used to heat the greenhouse — no propane or electric heaters. Warm air is obtained from perforated plastic tubing that is buried underground. The tubing runs out one end of the greenhouse and extends in a loop to the opposite side. It is circulated via a single fan. “All we try to do is keep it above 28 degrees in the winter,” said Finch. “We have no backup system for heat. The only heat source is the Earth’s heat, at 52 degrees at 8-foot deep.”

Greenhouse in the Snow, Russ Finch, greenhouse, Nebraska, geothermal, sustainability, economics, low-cost, healthy eating, environment,

Because the 1,200 square foot greenhouse is not dependent on fossil fuels, energy costs are down to just $1 a day. Particularly in midwestern states, low energy costs matter. “There have been hardly any successful 12-month greenhouses on the northern High Plains because of the weather,” said Finch. ”The cost of energy is too high for it. But by tapping into the Earth’s heat, we’ve been able to drastically reduce the cost.”

Every year, the farmer grows a few hundred pounds of fruit which he sells at a local farmers market. His main business is selling the design for the Greenhouse in the Snow. A new version of his invention costs $22,000 to build. Finch says he has constructed 17 of them so far, throughout the United Statesand Canada.

Greenhouse in the Snow, Russ Finch, greenhouse, Nebraska, geothermal, sustainability, economics, low-cost, healthy eating, environment,

While Finch might not be able to supply a supermarket with the crops he grows, he can provide fresh produce to his local community. If more people in the rural midwest invested in greenhouses that rely on geothermal energy, carbon emissions from shipping fruit and vegetables all over the country would be reduced. This, in turn, would benefit the environment and people’s health as fresh, organically-grown food is more nutrient-dense and retains more flavor.

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Obese mother from Illinois who was too ashamed to look in the mirror reveals how she shed 155lbs in less than a YEAR

An obese mother who was too ashamed to look in the mirror has revealed how she shed nearly half her body weight in a bid to fit back into her wedding dress in time for her tenth anniversary.
Rachelle Hosick, from Vandalia, Illinois, was 19 when she tied the knot in April 2007, going on a rigorous crash diet at the time in order to squeeze herself into the size 0 gown she had bought.
But after slimming down for that happy day, Rachelle’s weight continued to fluctuate over the years and at her heaviest she tipped the scales at 292lbs. So, last year the mother-of-two, now 30, made the decision to turn her life around, losing an astonishing 155lbs in less than a year.

 

Transformation: Mother-of-two Rachelle Hosick, pictured before, decided to lose weight in February last year after struggling with her size for decadesShe shed 155lbs and was able to slip into her US size zero wedding dress in time for her tenth anniversary in April this year

After transforming her diet and her lifestyle, Rachelle was celebrate her anniversary by wearing her wedding dress for the first time since the big day, easily slipping her 141lbs frame into the stunning gown.
‘Losing weight has completely changed my life,’ Rachelle said of her transformation.’ I used to be so ashamed of the way I looked and honestly, I felt like I was an embarrassment to my family.
‘Now it is the complete opposite. My confidence is through the roof. I used to avoid going to baseball games or concerts because I couldn’t fit in the seats. Now I fit with room to spare.
‘I feel so much better. I love feeling strong. I love being confident. I love being able to go out in public and not feel like people are staring at me because of my size. I even own a full-length mirror now.’
Rachelle, a teacher’s assistant, described how she was overweight as a child and struggled with the issue into adulthood.

Unhealthy diet: Rachelle explained that she started her weight loss journey by throwing away all the junk food in her home

‘In Illinois, you’re required to have a check-up upon entering ninth grade. At that check-up, my weight was such an issue, my doctor wanted me to see a nutritionist,’ she explained.
So Rachelle began working with the nutritionist in order to get herself back to a healthy weight, taking up physical exercise as a means of trimming down and getting fit.
‘I got involved in our high school tennis team and eventually was at a healthy weight,’ she added.

Embarrassed: The Illinois native admits that she was too ashamed to look in the mirror when she was at her heaviest

Good example: Rachelle, pictured with her family before her weight loss, wanted to teach her children healthy habits
‘I met my [now] husband and we decided to get married. When my wedding dress came in, it was too small. So, I went on a crash diet to make it fit.
‘Then once our wedding day was over, it was like a free-for-all eating-wise; I didn’t have to worry about starving myself to fit into a dress anymore, so I could eat whatever I wanted.’
In February 2016, after slumping into her over-sized recliner with a plate full of pizza rolls, it suddenly dawned on her that she had to make a change and she started by throwing away all the junk food she had at home.

Confident: Rachelle said her husband is now married to a

Personal journey: The mother-of-two shows he she now has extra room in her old clothes

‘I was sick of missing out on doing things my husband and kids due to my size and health,’ she said. ‘I was sick of feeling bad all the time.
‘I was sick of all the aches and pains I had. I was just plain sick and was ready to finally make a change and be a good example for my kids.’
Rachelle also joined the Beachbody community, an online network of fitness coaches who help people stay motivated in improving their lifestyle and health.
She said: ‘The hardest part was just deciding to finally start. I didn’t have to spend hours in a gym or feel deprived. I get to achieve amazing results just by working out in my son’s tiny little room.’
Now Rachelle helps others as a coach and said her family and friends have been astonished by her transformation.
‘I’ve had multiple people tell me that they didn’t recognise me. They have even made the comment that they thought my husband got himself a different wife.
‘In a sense, he did. He got a better version of the old me.’

source:http://www.dailymail.co.uk

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Several Million Misguided Americans Believe Chocolate Milk Comes From Brown Cows

Today in “What the hell is going on here,” we have the following astonishing statistic, via the Washington Post: approximately 16.4 million Americans believe chocolate milk is produced by brown cows.

The Post cites an online survey by the Innovation Center of U.S. Dairy found at least 7 percent of the American populace never stopped believing that old dad joke everyone heard at age 6 when asking, as kids do, just where that good-tasting brown stuff came from.

 

If the statistic is accurate at all, reports the Post, there’s actually a pretty good reason—no one knows anything about farming:

For decades, observers in agriculture, nutrition and education have griped that many Americans are basically agriculturally illiterate. They don’t know where food is grown, how it gets to stores — or even, in the case of chocolate milk, what’s in it.

One Department of Agriculture study, commissioned in the early ’90s, found that nearly 1 in 5 adults did not know that hamburgers are made from beef. Many more lacked familiarity with basic farming facts, like how big U.S. farms typically are and what food animals eat.

According to Cecily Upton, an expert contacted by the paper, this kind of bizarre misinformation is due to “an exposure issue.”

“Right now, we’re conditioned to think that if you need food, you go to the store,” Upton told the Post, “Nothing in our educational framework teaches kids where food comes from before that point.”

 

 

Really, thinking chocolate milk comes out of some sort of cocoa-infused miracle bovine makes as much sense as assuming fried eggs were produced by setting a chicken on fire or that cotton candy comes from exploding clowns.

Still, it’s not a bad idea to try turning this tide today by making sure your kids know the truth.

While you’re at it remind them the salt on salted caramel treats comes from dad’s tears, shed as he spends money on overpriced, trendy foods.

h/t Washington Post

US Court of Appeals: States and counties can ban GMO crops despite federal laws

The entire organic community of the United States just won a massive victory that many may not yet even realize. Even though the DARK Act was passed by Obama and some Senate goons to prohibit labeling of GMOs nationwide, the US Court of Appeals just passed a law that enables states and counties to completely ban genetically engineered crops from ever being planted in the first place. Think about that for a minute. You see, back in the year 2000, Monsanto undermined all US organic and conventional farming by claiming that manipulating genomic material of plants did not introduce dangerous bacteria or even plant “pests” into the equation, but their noxious “Frankenfoods” prove otherwise. So biotechnology giants figured a way to not have their cancer-causing, Alzheimer’s-causing, pesticide-laden plants classified as a risk to the environment or humans. But now, none of that really matters anymore.

Thanks to the Ninth Circuit US Court of Appeals and their recent interpretation of the Plant Protection Act, all U.S. states, counties, and local communities can actually ban (or regulate) the planting of any and all commercially-grown genetically engineered crops, no matter what the feds or Monsanto claims about GMO.

Neither the Plant Protection Act nor the DARK Act can stop states and counties from banning the planting of GMO crops

Farmers with seed sanctuaries around the country are celebrating this huge victory because they know exactly what it means. No farmer in America who has any lick of common sense wants genetically engineered seeds that contain pesticides in their genetic makeup. It’s bad enough that 90% of US corn, soy, sugar beets, alfalfa, and canola are GMO, we don’t need biotech corporations controlling all seeds and crops. This new court decision sets a precedent and puts in place a powerful fulcrum for stopping Monsanto and Bayer in their tracks, literally. If they can’t plant and grow their Frankenfoods on our soil, they can’t ruin the surrounding environment that’s full of natural, healthy life either.

The court recognized the potential destruction to the environment and farmers from the widespread planting of Franken-crops citing well-documented concerns, including adverse economic impacts caused by transgenic farming on non-GE crops.

The reduction of biodiversity cited by the US courts as reason to limit GE crop planting

The Ninth Circuit US Court of Appeals also recognized that “the cultivation of GE crops also may raise environmental concerns, such as harm to beneficial plants and animals caused by the increased use of pesticides sometimes associated with testing and growing GE crops, the proliferation of ‘superweeds’ and other pests resistant to pesticides, and the reduction of biodiversity.”

The court continued to protect organic farming rights for states and local communities throughout the United States, saying: “The regulation of commercialized crops, both of GE and traditional varieties, remains within the authority of state and local governments.”

Though the legislature left “field trials” of GE crops up to the nefarious USDA, as long as local and state authorities stand up for their newly declared rights to ban the planting of GM crops on their land, the organic world and conservation groups in general have won the “war” for clean food. Much like the victory celebrated recently by Sonoma County, California, when voters approved a measure to prohibit GE crops from being planted in their county (The Sonoma County Transgenic Contamination Ordinance), local and organic growers and producers nationwide have reason now to celebrate having power and control to protect Mother Nature and human health in general.

Organic farmers and consumers nationwide may have lost the GMO-labeling battle, but we just won the war – the one that bans the planting of Franken-crops! Now, at the local, county and state level, farmers and consumers can support organic crops right down to the roots, and that’s even more important than labels. It’s time to make sure everything you buy is local or labeled “certified organic.” Let’s all work together to put the finishing touches on this clean food movement.

US Court of Appeals: States and counties can ban GMO crops despite federal laws

How to Grow Tangerine Trees at Home

With its deep green foliage, tangerine (Citrus reticulata) is an attractive tree that grows well indoors in cool climates, outdoors in U.S. Department of Agriculture plant hardiness zones 8b through 11. Growing a tangerine tree from seed is an interesting project, especially for kids as the seeds germinate easily and develop into attractive trees. However, most tangerine trees grown from seed never grow large enough to blossom and develop fruit.

  1. Purchase tangerine seeds from a garden center or nursery. Alternatively, save the seeds from a fresh tangerine. Wash fresh seeds thoroughly as the sweet juices may cause the seed to mold.
  2. Fill a small pot with commercial potting mixture. Use a fresh mixture that contains materials such as compost, peat moss and perlite. Be sure the pot has drainage holes in the bottom, as poorly drained soil will rot the young seedlings.
  3. Water the potting mixture and then set the pot aside to drain until the mixture is lightly moist but not soggy.
  4. Plant two or three seeds in the pot. Cover the seeds with 1/2 inch of potting mixture.
  5. Cover the pot with clear plastic, or slide the pot into a plastic bag. The plastic promotes germination by keeping the potting mixture warm and moist.
  6. Place the pot in a warm location such as the top of a refrigerator or other appliance. Light is not important at this stage.
  7. Water as needed to keep the potting mixture moist, but not soggy. Never allow the mixture to become dry. Watch for seedlings to develop in about three weeks.
  8. Remove the plastic covering as soon as the seedlings emerge. Move the pot into a location with bright, indirect sunlight and room temperatures of about 70 degrees Fahrenheit. Avoid direct sunlight, which may scorch the tangerine seedlings.
  9. Repot the seedlings into individual, 4- to 6-inch pots when the seedlings have a pair of true leaves, which are the leaves that appear after the initial seedling leaves. Continue to keep the potting soil lightly moist.
  10. Feed the tangerine tree monthly throughout spring and summer, using a liquid, acid-based fertilizer for rhododendrons or azaleas. Mix the fertilizer at half the strength suggested on the container.
  11. Repot the tangerine tree into larger containers as it grows, using a pot only slightly larger each time. The moisture in a too-large pot may cause the plant to rot. Alternatively, plant the tree outdoors in spring if you live in a warm climate.

Things You Will Need:

  • Small pot with drainage hole
  • Commercial potting mixture
  • Clear plastic or plastic bags
  • Individual pots 4 to 6 inches in diameter

Ferrari 430 Scuderia Destroyed 1 Hour After Purchase

THE owner of the jet black Ferrari 430 Scuderia is licking his wounds after his $288,000 burst into flames just one hour after he bought it.

A driver in the United Kingdom has destroyed his Ferrari supercar in an accident after owning it for just one hour.

Police in South Yorkshire said the driver was able to walk away with just cuts and bruises after the Ferrari 430 “went airborne and burst into flames” in South Yorkshire on Thursday.

It’s unclear what he paid for the car, but it was one of only 499 ever sold with an original list price of $288,000. These cars currently fetch between $80,000 to $220,000 according to one dealer.

In a statement on Facebook police added: “Officers asked the driver what sort of car he ‘had’ to which he replied ‘It was a Ferrari’.”

“Detecting a sense of damaged pride he then said ‘I’ve only just got it, picked it up an hour ago’.”

 

South Yorkshire Police said when officers arrived, firefighters were already dousing the car which was 50 meters off the main M1 freeway.

The Ferrari 430 Scuderia can reach 60 miles per hour in 3.3 seconds and has a reported top speed of 198 miles per hour.

But in an update Friday, police said they “do not believe excess speed was a contributory factor in this collision.”

Not much you can say, but poor dude.

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How a hydroponic tomato garden inspired cops to raid a family’s home

The police report would claim it all kicked off at 7:38 a.m., but Bob Harte later thought it had to be earlier.

His 7:20 a.m. alarm had just yanked him awake. Got to get the kids — a boy in seventh grade, a girl in kindergarten — ready for school. Then he heard, like a starter’s pistol setting everything into motion, the first pounding on the front door of his home in Leawood, Kan., a bedroom suburb south of Kansas City. It was thunderous. It didn’t stop. Should I get up? Bob thought. Should I not? Sounded like the house was coming down, he would recall later.

Wearing only gym shorts, the stocky 51-year-old left his wife in bed and shuffled downstairs. The solid front door had a small window carved at eye-level, one-foot-square. As he approached, Bob saw the porch was clogged with police officers. Immediately after opening the door, seven members of the Johnson County Sheriff’s Office (JCSO) pressed into the house brandishing guns and a battering ram. Bob found himself flat on floor, hands behind his head, his eyes locked on the boots of the officer standing over him with an AR-15 assault rifle. “Are there kids?” the officers were yelling. “Where are the kids?”

“And I’m laying there staring at this guy’s boots fearing for my kids’ lives, trying to tell them where my children are,” Harte recalled later in a deposition on July 9, 2015. “They are sending these guys with their guns drawn running upstairs to bust into my children’s house, bedroom, wake them out of bed.”

Harte’s wife, Addie, bolted downstairs with the children. Their son put his hands up when he saw the guns. The family of four were eventually placed on a couch as police continued to search the property. The officers would only say they were searching for narcotics.

Addie had a thought: It’s because of the hydroponic garden, she told her husband, they are looking for pot. No way, Harte said, correctly reasoning marijuana wasn’t a narcotic. And all this for pot?

But after two hours of fruitless search, the officers showed the Hartes a warrant. Indeed, the hunt was for marijuana. Addie and Bob were flabbergasted — all this for pot?

“You take the Constitution, the Bill of Rights, all the rights you expect to have — when they come in like that, the only right you have is not to get shot if you cooperate,” Harte told The Washington Post this week. “They open that door, your life is on the line.”

The April 20, 2012, raid would not furnish JCSO with the desired arrests and publicity (a news conference had already been planned for the afternoon). But it would cause considerable embarrassment. Not only were the Hartes upstanding citizens with clean records, they were also both former Central Intelligence Agency officers. And they were not marijuana growers. Rather, the quick-trigger suspicion of law enforcement had snagged on — it would later turn out — tea leaves and a struggling tomato plant.

 

The Hartes would eventually file a federal lawsuit against the county, city, and officers involved. And although a federal judge later threw out their claim, this week a three-judge panel on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 10th Circuit ruled that the family could move forward in court. The decision has larger implications for Fourth Amendment litigation and legislation targeting badly behaving police officers.

The scorching judicial pronouncement blasted authorities for laziness and possible fabrication, the kind of overzealous police work that’s become a sometimes deadly facet of the drug war. And despite the sustained effort of the Obama administration to power down the law enforcement’s more quixotic battles with illicit substances, Attorney General Jeff Sessions has promised to reprioritize marijuana investigations. The Hartes case is a textbook reminder how that can be dangerous.

“Our family will never be the same,” Addie told The Post. “If this can happen to us, everybody in the country needs to be afraid,” Bob added.

The events leading to the raid began a year earlier, according to court documents. Starting in 1997, Sgt. James Wingo of the Missouri State Highway Patrol started pulling surveillance shifts in the parking lots of hydroponic garden stores around the state. The project’s logic, as Wingo explained in a 2011 letter to other law enforcement agencies, was that the stores “sell items that are consistently found in indoor marijuana growing operations.” As customers came and went, Wingo would note their license plate information and enter names into a database.

In 2011, Wingo conceived of “Operation Constant Gardener.” In his letter to law enforcement, Wingo stated he would “supply your agency with the names of these customers that are within your jurisdiction. This will give your agency two weeks to initiate brief investigation” to “obtain probable cause for a search warrant.” Then, per Wingo’s plan, the various agencies would all strike on the same day — April 20. Wingo chose the timing due to the date’s association with marijuana: It was a date “celebrated in that community much as we celebrate Christmas.” Wingo promised the operation would be a “significant media event.”

 

The first series of “Operation Constant Gardener” raids were successful, and 30 agencies participated in the roundups. Fifty-two “indoor grows” were seized, according to court records. “The media coverage was 99% positive,” Wingo noted in an email to the agencies.

There was demand for a repeat in 2012. Thomas Reddin, a sergeant with the Johnson County Sheriff’s Office, emailed Wingo five months after the first raids asking about more joint operations on the upcoming April date. Wingo admitted in an email he didn’t have enough “new contacts to justify a full throttle 420 operation.” But the State Highway patrolman offered to share the names he did have with the county. On March 20, 2012, JCSO received the names from the garden store surveillance.

Bob Harte was among them.

He had met his wife, Addie, in 1989, when both were working for the CIA. Ten years later, the family relocated to the Kansas City area to raise a family. Addie worked as an attorney with a local financial group. Bob stayed home and raised the children. Around 2011, he’d come up with the idea of trying to raise tomatoes, golden melons, butternut squash and other vegetables in a hydroponic garden in the family’s basement as an educational project with his son. The setup was small, just two parallel tubes of PVC piping with plastic cups of seeds and dirt under the lamps. And to gather supplies for the project, on Aug. 9, 2011, Bob and his two children piled out of the family’s Kia minivan in the parking lot of a gardening store called Green Circle in downtown Kansas City.

Wingo was watching from a parked car and noted the license plate.

Eight months later, as law enforcement continued to search every inch of their house for drugs, Addie sat on the couch, trying to explain to her son what was going on. “I had nothing, how do you explain that? They know I can’t protect them then,” she told The Post this week. “Sitting in your home, having your Miranda rights read to you, it’s absolutely surreal.”

The raid turned up no marijuana. Before leaving the Harte house, police would only say the family had been targeted and surveilled because marijuana “seeds and stems” had been found on the property. The police also suggested the couple’s son was smoking pot, and told the Hartes to take him to a pediatrician for a drug test.

In the year following the raid, Addie and Bob both struggled to come up with an explanation for why marijuana seeds and stems would have been at their home. The couple say they’ve never smoked pot themselves. There just wasn’t a sensible reason for the raid. The unanswered question began to eat particularly at Bob; previously calm and carefree, he stopped sleeping, and found himself mentally tripping down a rabbit hole of possible scenarios. Who were they dealing with here, he wondered. Was this a situation of corrupt cops or a setup? Or did a neighborhood teen drop some marijuana on their lawn walking by?

Addie, whose brother was a former New York City police officer, watched as her children became frightened just driving by the police station or seeing a patrol car on the road.

Finally, nearly a year after the incident, JCSO provided some documentation to the couple. Right away, they understood what had happened. On the official paperwork before the raid, investigators noted they had pulled the couple’s trash before the incident as part of the investigation. But the reports didn’t refer to “stems and seeds.” They referred to “wet glob vegetation.”

“As soon as we heard that, we knew it was my tea,” Addie told The Post, referring to a loose-leaf Teavana brand tea she drank regularly. “But it took over a year and about $25,o00 for a lawyer to figure out what had happened.”

There was more to learn about the pre-raid investigation.

Court records later indicated that after identifying the Hartes from Wingo’s tip, JCSO conducted three trash pulls on the house. On the first, April 3, the officers noted wet “plant material” but determined it was “innocent.” At the next two trash pulls — April 10 and April 17 — the same material was found again, but this time JCSO officers tested the material with a marijuana field test. The results came back positive, but the offices didn’t take photos of the results or send the material to a laboratory for confirmation. Instead, based on the Wingo tip and the two positive drug tests, JCSO applied for and was granted a search warrant for the April 20 raid.

In November 2013, the couple filed a federal lawsuit against the county’s board of commissioners, as well as the officers involved. The family claimed the raid was an unlawful search-and-seizure in violation of the 14th and Fourth Amendments. The suit, which asked for $7 million in damages, also argued law enforcement violated state laws including trespassing and abuse of power.

In December, 2015, U.S. District Judge John W. Lungstrum threw out the family’s case citing qualified immunity, the legal doctrine that shields officers from liability for otherwise lawful acts in the course of their duty. The Hartes appealed.

This week, the three judge panel — Carlos Lucero, Gregory Phillips and Nancy Moritz — ruled against the state, sending the case back to district court. The 100-page decision pushed back hard against the claim that police officers are immune from legal responsibility if they are just doing their jobs.
“The defendants in this case caused an unjustified governmental intrusion into the Hartes’ home based on nothing more than junk science, an incompetent investigation, and a publicity stunt,” Lucero wrote in his opinion. “The Fourth Amendment does not condone this conduct, and neither can I.”

The judge went on to question the department’s claim of probable cause for the raid — particularly on the issue of the supposedly “positive” field-tested tea leaves. “There was no probable cause at any step of the investigation,” the judge wrote. “Not at the garden shop, not at the gathering of the tea leaves, and certainly not at the analytical stage when the officers willfully ignored directions to submit any presumed results to a laboratory for analysis.”

Ed Eilert, a chairman of the Johnson County Board of Commissioners, did not respond to an email seeking comment on the decision.

The appellate win, if not successfully appealed, means the Hartes will be able to press their case in district court. Five years after the raid, the couple say they are committed to pushing forward especially if the challenge could impact the latitude law enforcement takes when conducting police work.

“The Fourth Amendment was not there when we needed it,” Bob said. “We want to restore that for future generations.”

 

source:www.washingtonpost.com

 

Meet The Woman Rescuing Fruit and Feeding Her Community

Currently, 40% of all food goes to waste in San Diego leaving one in five people in the city food insecure. Food insecurity means, simply, the state of being without reliable access to a sufficient quantity of affordable, nutritious food.

Supermarkets dispose of too much good food, regular consumers waste groceries, and the erosion of environmental resources means that North Americans lead the world in food waste. It’s a depressing thought for sure. Luckily, YouTuber and activist Rob Greenfield’s new video may give you some hope.

Enter, Nita Kurmins Gilson, the woman bringing fresh fruit to thousands of San Diegans in need. In 2009, Nita learned that one in six people in her county were going to bed hungry. She also saw an abundance of fresh produce going to waste all over the city.

Nita connected the dots to be part of the solution for both food waste and hunger. She began by picking excess fruit from neighborhood trees and hand-delivered it to local food pantries. What started with “one woman, one box, and one car” has expanded to 300 volunteers, and together they have harvested over 100,000 pounds of fresh fruit.

Besides fruit trees, they also harvest excess crops from local small farms, and collect unsold produce from weekly farmers markets.

All to feed children, families, seniors, veterans, and the homeless in need. Nita also speaks to and educates the community about sustainability and food justice. She co-founded CropSwap with the mission to feed the hungry and reduce waste, and she’s doing an amazing job!