Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Supreme Court Calls Lying by Politicians an Expression of Their Religion

April 22, 2014

WASHINGTON (The Borowitz Report)—In a landmark decision, the Supreme Court of the United States declared on Tuesday that lying by politicians is protected by the First Amendment because it is an expression of their religion.

By a 5–4 majority, the Court struck down an Ohio law that would make it harder to lie in political ads, arguing instead that “any attempt to restrict or punish lying by politicians is an unconstitutional infringement on a religion they have practiced for decades.”

The Court’s decision won praise from politicians of both parties, with many saying that the Justices’ recognition of lying as a religion was “long overdue.”

Writing for the majority, Chief Justice John Roberts argued, “For politicians, lying is a religious observance akin to attending a church or a synagogue, except that they do it seven days a week.”


Tax comparisons

Councillor Spiers posted tax calculators for Vernon and Coldstream. If you wish to find out the tax differences visit these calculators, insert your property values (land and improvements) into both calculators and you can compare your 2013 and 2014 taxes in both jurisdictions.

Have fun comparing!


Saturday, April 19, 2014

Friday, April 18, 2014

Obama Administration Again Delays Keystone XL Decision

WASHINGTON –- The Obama administration is delaying a decision on the Keystone XL pipeline to gain clarity on the pipeline's proposed route through Nebraska and allow more time for comment from other government agencies.

In February, a state district court in Nebraska invalidated the route that had been proposed through the state. The State Department told representatives from congressional offices on Friday that they are extending the time period for agency comment until there is more certainty on the route.

There were supposed to be 14 days left in the agency comment period -- a 90-day period that started with the release of the final environmental analysis at the end of January. Given the continued uncertainty about the route, State said it will give agencies at least those additional 14 days once there is a decision on the Nebraska route.

The State Department said it is is reviewing the 2.5 million public comments that it has received. The extension announced Friday applies only to agency comments, however.
In a call with reporters Friday, a senior State Department official speaking on background said that, because the route through Nebraska may change, "the prudent decision was to allow additional time."

The department, the official said, "felt that it is important to have additional information and a better understanding of what that route might be, because it could have implications for the environmental, cultural and socioeconomic impacts that are being evaluated by the agencies."

The official noted that the route is "central to the environmental analysis of the project." If Nebraska decides to significantly change the approved route, that may require additional analysis and comment. If there is not a significant change, however, the official said, "there would not be a need for another public comment period around that route."

The official emphasized that the agency is continuing its evaluation of other aspects of the pipeline decision, despite the delay on the Nebraska route. "We are moving ahead very diligently with all other aspects of the review that are necessary for the national interest determination," said the official.
The announcement likely means that there will not be a decision on whether to approve or deny the pipeline until after the November 2014 elections. Nebraska is appealing the district court decision, which threw out a state law that gave decision-making power on the pipeline route to the governor, and would have allowed TransCanada to declare eminent domain over land in the proposed path. Anti-Keystone activists in Nebraska say there likely won't be a state Supreme Court decision on the issue until January 2015 or so.

Anti-Keystone activists praised State's move to delay the decision. "The basic fact that Nebraska has no legal route is reason to delay any decision until our state can analyze a route using a process that follows our state constitution," said Jane Kleeb, director of Bold Nebraska, a state-based group that has opposed the pipeline. "This delay is yet more proof this project is not permit-able and not in our national interest."

Several pro-Keystone Democratic senators blasted the delay in statements on Friday. "Today’s decision by the Administration amounts to nothing short of an indefinite delay of the Keystone Pipeline," said Sen. Mary Landrieu (D-La.), chairwoman of the Energy Committee. "This decision is irresponsible, unnecessary and unacceptable."

The office of Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper also criticized the delay. "We are disappointed that politics continue to delay a decision on Keystone XL," Jason MacDonald, Harper's director of communications, said in a statement. "This project will create tens of thousands of jobs on both sides of the border, will enhance the energy security of North America, has strong public support, and the U.S. State Department has, on multiple occasions, acknowledged it will be environmentally sound."

This story has been updated to include details from a State Department call with reporters, a statement from Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper and details on the Nebraska district court's decision.


Thursday, April 17, 2014

Check out this stork nest webcam!



Photo Gallery - Killer grouse of the orchard - Debbie

We have a male Blue Grouse in the neighbourhood  who appears very friendly but in fact he is attacking everybody!  There must be a nest nearby.

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Mandatory GMO Labeling Bill Passed In Vermont Senate, Could Be Nation's First

By Carey Gillam and Lisa Baertlein

April 16 (Reuters) - The Vermont Senate passed a bill on Wednesday that would make the state the first in the United States to enact mandatory labeling of foods made with genetically modified crops.

"We are really excited that Vermont is going to be leading on this," said Falko Schilling, a spokesman for the Vermont Public Interest Research Group, which backed the bill.

The bill, approved 28-2 by the Senate, has already passed the Vermont House of Representatives. It now goes back to the House to see if members will approve changes made by the Senate.

The law is set to take effect July 1, 2016.

The move in Vermont comes as the developers of genetically modified crops and U.S. grocery manufacturers push for passage of an opposing bill, introduced in Congress last week, that would nullify any state law that requires labeling of foods made with genetically modified crops.

The Vermont law passed by the Senate would do just that - processed foods that contain genetically modified corn, soybeans or other GMO ingredients and sold at retail outlets would have to be labeled as having been produced or partially produced with "genetic engineering."

Andrea Stander, a spokesperson for the Vermont Right to Know GMOs coalition, said they expect the biotech industry to sue in an attempt to stop enactment of the bill. As such, the language of the bill includes formation of a fund that would pay legal bills.

"It's not just Vermont," said Stander. "This affects everyone who eats. Consumers all across the country have woken up to the fact that we've become an unregulated feeding experiment by the biotech industry. People want to know if their foods are made with these ingredients. This gives people the choice."

Consumer groups say labeling is needed because of questions both about the safety of GM crops - known as GMOs - for human health and the environment.

The language of the Vermont bill states that foods made with genetically engineered crops "potentially pose risks to health, safety, agriculture, and the environment" and should be labeled.

Last October, a group of 93 international scientists issued a statement saying there was a lack of empirical and scientific evidence to support what they said were false claims the biotech industry was making about a "consensus" on safety.

The group said there needed to be more independent research as studies showing safety tend to be funded and backed by the biotech industry.

But GMO crop developers like Monsanto, and their backers say genetically modified crops are proven safe.

"This debate isn't about food safety," said Karen Batra, spokeswoman for the Biotechnoloy Industry Organization. "Our science experts ... point to more than 1,700 credible peer-reviewed studies that find no legitimate concern."

Batra said mandatory labeling creates needless extra costs and complications for farmers and the food industry.

Ballot measures in California in 2012 and last year in Washington state narrowly lost after Monsanto and other GMO crop developers and members of the Grocery Manufacturers Association poured millions into campaigns to defeat the measures.

The Vermont bill makes it illegal to describe any food product containing GMOs as "natural" or "all natural." Unlike bills passed last year in Maine and Connecticut, which require other states to pass GMO labeling laws before they can be enacted, Vermont's law contains no such trigger clause. (Editing by Bernadette Baum)

Volunteers needed - Earthday project

Please join *SPrKL* for our Feel Good Earth Day Project
Anytime between 11:00 am. and 12:30 pm.
Tuesday April 22nd
Creekside Dog Park
(Corner of Kalamalka and Kidston Roads Coldstream)
Bring work gloves, and pruners/shovels/rakes if you have any – make sure you put your name and phone # on them!
Snacks and juices will be provided
Hope to see you there!


Coldstream Ratepayers News! All Coldstream residents are ratepayers!

The opinions expressed by "Coldstreamer" are strictly his own and do not represent the opinions of Coldstream Council!

Because I value your thoughtful opinions, I encourage you to add a comment to this discussion. Don't be offended if I edit your comments for clarity or to keep out questionable matters, however, and I may even delete off-topic comments.

Gyula Kiss


We must protect our rights and freedom! (Photo courtesy of D. Gibson) Click on eagle to watch EAGLECAMS

About Me

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I have been a resident of Coldstream since 1976. I have had 15 years of experience on Council, 3 years as Mayor. As a current Councillor I am working to achieve fair water and sewer rates and to ensure that taxpayers get fair treatment. The current direction regarding water supply is unsustainable and I am doing all I can to get the most cost effective water supply possible.