Chromium-6 in the water in Joshua Tree, California

So a dear friend posts the following on FaceBook:

Make sure you read the insert on Chromium 6/Hexavalent chromium in your Joshua Basin Water District water bill this month. I can’t find it on their website as of yet, but where Erin Brockovich when she’s needed? (Shared with permission per the note from the water district.)

So I thought I would share with you this insert, placed in her bill.  Download the PDF here.

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For more about the health risks of Hexavalent Chromium, or Chromium-6 (also Chromium VI) go here. And here. And here.

What can I do if my water is contaminated?

From the EPA website:

Can home treatment devices remove chromium-6? 

      Some home treatment devices are certified by organizations to remove chromium-6. Two certification organizations are:

NSF International and the Water Quality Association 

      These certification programs are based on current drinking water standards and home treatment devices are only certified to remove chromium-6 to either 50 or 100 parts per billion. Contact the device’s manufacturer for specific information about how effective the product is, given your water and treatment goal. Your public water system’s water quality report and your water system’s staff can help you understand the characteristics of your water.

If you choose to use a home treatment device, it is very important to follow the manufacturer’s operation and maintenance instructions carefully in order to make sure the device works properly.

Consumers should be aware that the current EPA drinking water standard for chromium requires that public water systems provide drinking water that does not exceed a total chromium concentration of 100 ppb.

Facts on the California Water Drought:

Meanwhile, remember this gem?

Where is Erin Brokovich when you need her?

Community Fundraiser for Go Conscious Earth

Join us June 27th at 3:00pm-5:00pm at the Chapel Hill Library for this community fundraiser event to benefit our global tribe.


Photo credit: Sylvia Freeman

Scheduled is a poetry reading by NC Literary Hall of Fame inductee Jaki Shelton Green, along with music by Godi Godar and Dean Deboer.  A silent auction will take place to raise money for Go Conscious Earth and the Nsoli Rain Forest and the Lac Tumba people of the Congo.

Please visit Go Conscious Earth to learn more about this organization’s efforts to save the Nsoli Rain Forest and the Lac Tumba, and how to make a financial donation. We appreciate your donated gifts for auction.  Contact us for more details.

Proudly sponsored by SistaWRITE, Jacar Press, and Sable Books.

GCE works to save the Nsoli Rain Forest as well as combat the poverty of the Lac Tumba people in the Congo.

lac tumba

From the website:

Lac Tumba is a beautiful, life-sustaining, and unspoiled lake in the heart of the Congo Basin Rainforest, the 2nd largest rainforest in the world, second only to the Amazon. The Congo Basin Rainforest has one of the most bio-diverse ecosystems on the planet and is extremely resistant to climate change. Rainforests are the lungs of the earth. They remove tremendous amounts of carbon dioxide from the air while producing great amounts of oxygen, stabilizing Earth’s climate.

The Congo Basin Rainforest provides food, shelter, water, and medicine to over 75 million people.

The Congo Basin Rainforest is being destroyed by multinational corporations using it for timber, mineral extraction, and commercial farming. Its destruction threatens to destroy the communities that depend on it, irrevocably harm the global climate, and cause the extinction of many species of wildlife.

Lac Tumba is home to 100,000 indigenous people. All of the people living here live without adequate food, clean water, healthcare, education, electricity, or transportation.  In their efforts to survive, they are forced to use farming and fishing techniques that harm the rainforest and the lake. They want to preserve their rainforest home, but they need more resources in order to implement alternatives to these practices.


The New Household Names: Ray Rice, Greg Hardy, and domestic violence

In that I live in North Carolina and my hometown is the also the hometown of the Carolina Panthers, and given that my father physically abused my mother during their 23-year marriage, to say the Ray Rice scandal touches my life is putting it mildly.  And for the Panthers to have been willing to play Hardy on Sunday was appalling in the light of the new “Zero Tolerance” policy handed down on the heels of the leak of the now famous elevator tapes that we’ve all either seen or been made aware of. Never mind that it took the videos for the NFL to do the right thing.   (Not that I never mind it at all.  It’s simply too abhorrent for words, really.)

But when I heard that the Panthers planned to allow Greg Hardy to play even though he’d already been convicted for spousal abuse and was headed into the appeals process — I mean, a guilty verdict, guilty of partner violence — I had to wonder what Zero Tolerance really meant.  Zero except when your lawyers are still planning on tying the matter up in the courts?

We’ve had talks about this incident at my house, too, because we like the Panthers, and have watched them for years. So when I received the following picture from my oldest, to say I was proud of him is putting it mildly.  He gets it.  Of course, kids always get these kinds of things.  Well before the adults do, it seems.



I am not just going to sit here hoping that this trend continues.  I am going to work actively to remind friends, family and fans to get involved.  It’s not enough to say, Oh, we really don’t like this.

I am glad to learn that Roger Goodell has appointed four women to “address domestic violence and social issues,” but I confess I don’t know yet what that really means.  Will they have any real authority?  Will the men in leadership truly support their efforts?

Steve Almond writes that “it’s time for the fans to start quitting,” and points out that along with women making up 45% of the NFL’s audience, corporate sponsors FedEx and Marriott are watching closely.  Of course we have to hit them in their wallets for them to concede.  But oh, I long for a day when corporate America does the right thing because it’s the right thing to do.

No, we can’t compartmentalize the violence on the field with the violence behind closed doors.  And yes, asking us to do that is outrageous.  But apparently, Zero Tolerance is a fluid situation, and it’s time to reach out again and contact the Panthers and the NFL.

Writing for Peace

writing_for_peaceI have proudly accepted the role and honor as a member of the advisory panel for Writing for Peace.  If you are not aware of this fine organization, run by Carmel Mawle, here is their mission statement:

Through education and creative writing, Writing for Peace seeks to cultivate the empathy that allows minds to open to new cultural views, to value the differences as well as the hopes and dreams that unite all of humanity, to develop a spirit of leadership and peaceful activism.

Writing for Peace is currently accepting submissions for the 2015 anthology Dove Tales, An International Journal of the Arts.  The theme this year is Nature.  Learn more about the submission process and the type of work that will be included here.

I am very proud to be involved with this fine organization, and want to express my deep gratitude to Carmel Mawle for the invitation.