Patterico's Pontifications


Follow-Up: Los Angeles Officials Moved To Clean Up Piles Of Rotting Garbage After Report Details Health Dangers

Filed under: General — Dana @ 6:31 pm

[guest post by Dana]

[Ed. Ignoring pleas for help from residents of the city, and the subsequent procrastination of city officials to confront the enormous health threat posed by the mountains of rotting garbage and a dangerous rat infestation speaks to why so many Americans loathe elected officials in general.]

In a follow-up to my post about the mountains of rotting garbage and subsequent rat infestation on the streets of Los Angeles, we are learning today that the city has begun to clear the garbage. Funny how far bad publicity can go toward motivating politicians. It’s also sad that that is what it takes:

Just 48 hours after the I-Team exposed a mountain of trash, that stretches for almost a city block, Los Angeles appears to finally be taking action.

Sanitation crews started clearing away the mountain of garbage on Ceres Avenue late Wednesday afternoon, as rats scurried all around in an alley between downtown LA and the Fashion and Produce districts. The giant public health hazard has been expanding just a mile and a half from Los Angeles City Hall and LA’s mayor has ignored the filth.

As the I-Team has documented, this pile had been left to fester and rot since last fall, even though business owners have been calling the city to have it cleaned up.


Minutes after the city cleared away the trash on Ceres Avenue, I-Team cameras caught rats running all over the area, which is next to LA’s Produce District.

But really, this is some serious bullshit pushed by city officials who said earlier this week that it would take at least 90 days for the city to clear the garbage. Angelenos should be relentless in the public shaming and calling out of their city officials for their blatant lies and bureaucratic laziness.

Residents and business owners realize that, at best this is but a temporary fix given that the city still has no rat abatement plan in place. This, as well as there being a seeming lack of interest in tackling the problem in both the short and long term. And if Mayor Garcetti’s refusal to answer questions from NBC’s I-Team is an indicator. After having made numerous requests to talk with the Mayor, his spokesperson told the I-Team that they could possibly catch the mayor at a public event.

Note: Los Angeles City Hall has already encountered a problem with rats in the building. Worse, Deputy City Attorney Liz Greenwood, whose office is at Los Angeles’s City Hall, was diagnosed with typhus in November of last year. She believes it was the result of being bitten by fleas in her office.

(Cross-posted at The Jury Talks Back.)


Washington State Takes “Going Green” To New Level: Now Legal To Compost Deceased Loved Ones

Filed under: General — Dana @ 9:10 am

[guest post by Dana]

Gov. Jay Inslee, who is also a is a Democratic 2020 presidential candidate, showed voters he is serious about “going green” when he signed off on a controversial-to-some third option for deposing of human remains:

Gov. Jay Inslee signed legislation Tuesday making Washington the first state to approve composting as an alternative to burying or cremating human remains.

It allows licensed facilities to offer “natural organic reduction,” which turns a body, mixed with substances such as wood chips and straw, into about two wheelbarrows’ worth of soil in a span of several weeks.

Loved ones are allowed to keep the soil to spread, just as they might spread the ashes of someone who has been cremated — or even use it to plant vegetables or a tree.

Supporters believe this process is a far more environmentally friendly route to go. The process would help alleviate environmental and financial concerns that come with traditional burials and cremation: the increasing use of land used to bury the dead as well as the lack of available land for burials in other areas, harsh chemicals like formaldehyde (used in traditional burials) eventually seeping into groundwater, and exorbitant costs which can run anywhere $8,000 and $25,000 for a burial, and $6,000 or more for cremation. The targeted cost for human composting is around $5,500.

The idea of human composting is the brainchild of Katrina Spade, an architecture student who adapted the traditional method used by farmers to dispose of their livestock:

She tweaked the process and found that wood chips, alfalfa and straw created a mixture of nitrogen and carbon that accelerates natural decomposition when a body is placed in a temperature- and moisture-controlled vessel and rotated.

A pilot project at Washington State University tested the idea last year on six bodies, all donors who Spade said wanted to be part of the study.(The) body is covered in natural materials, like straw or wood chips, and over the course of about three to seven weeks, thanks to microbial activity, it breaks down into soil.

While there have been objections to the legislation, and accusations of the process being undignified and disgusting, Spade’s company, Recompose is pushing ahead to raise $7 million for a facility in Seattle, with plans to expand to other locations as well.

(Cross-posted at The Jury Talks Back.)


Healthy Pet Dog Is Euthanized So It Can Be Buried With Deceased Owner

Filed under: General — Dana @ 6:10 am

[guest post by Dana]

This is just awful:

Emma, a healthy Shih Tzu mix, was euthanized recently because her owner left explicit instructions in her will: The fur baby was to be put down — and laid to rest with her.

“Heartbroken” shelter volunteers at Chesterfield County Animal Services — where Emma had a two-week reprieve from death — said she was a well-bred, pampered and much-loved pup. They appealed to the executor of the dead woman’s estate, begging them to not go through with ending Emma’s life — but their pleas were ignored.

“We did suggest they could sign the dog over on numerous occasions — because it’s a dog we could easily find a home for and re-home,” Carrie Jones, manager of Chesterfield County Animal Services, tells WWBT NBC. “But ultimately, they came back in on March 22nd and redeemed the dog.”

Emma was taken directly to a vet to be euthanized. After she was cremated, her ashes were placed in an urn and returned to the “authorized representative of the estate,” following her owner’s last wishes to the letter.

Note: While Virginia state code prohibits burying animals with humans in commercial cemeteries, there are exceptions for final resting spaces that are family-owned.

According to reports, a number of veterinarians said that putting a healthy dog down just so it can be buried with its deceased owner is not ethical, and they would not fulfill such a request.


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