Stacy London: What Not to Promote

April 23, 2014

On July, 8, 2013, Stacy London, star of the TV show What Not To Wear, entered into a partnership with drug maker AbbVie, manufacturer of the anti-psoriasis drug, Humira. Humira is reportedly responsible for 70% of the drug maker’s profits. The promotional campaign is called  “Uncover Your Confidence with Stacy London.”

StacyLondon

Stacy London of the TLC TV show “What Not to Wear,” promotes a psoriasis self-help website in partnership with AbbVie, the manufacturer of Humira, a drug the company promotes to treat psoriasis. Humira has been demonstrated to have potentially deadly side effects. Warnings even say Humira can CAUSE psoriasis — the very condition is is prescribed to treat.

The campaign would be great except for the long list of dire adverse effects and side effects Humira has had on patients who have used it.

Humira works by suppressing your immune system, but a weakened immune system can leave your body’s defenses too weak to protect you from ordinary bacterial infections and a host of other rare deadly diseases. The adverse effects and side effects of Humira have been so bad that the FDA has required a black box warning on the drug telling users they can get “Serious infections and malignancy that may lead to hospitalization or death.” Infections and cancers linked to Humira include tuberculosis, lymphoma, skin cancer, leukemia,  Kaposi’s sarcoma (a tumor caused by a herpes virus). Adverse effects of Humira include liver failure, sarcoidosis, Guillain-Barre syndrome (progressive paralysis), stroke, pulmonary embolism, deep vein thrombosis and more.

The campaign featuring London leads people to believe that she recovered from psoriasis by using Humira, but she has written a book in which she states that her psoriasis cleared up after the had a tonsillectomy at age 17. She writes, “No only did the operation clear up my skin, but I haven had an outbreak of psoriasis since.”

The information about what actually cleared up London’s psoriasis is not contained on her “UncoverYourConfidence.com” website, sponsored by AbbVie.

Dr. David Healy, who wrote a book exposing the pharmaceutical industry called “Pharmageddon” (and who runs the website RxIsk.org, which crowd-sources data on drug side effects),  wrote an article in August, 2013,  “Stacy London, What Not to Take,” which asked London to help psoriasis sufferers by letting them know AbbVie has taken legal action against the European Medicines Agency to try and block access to data on Humira’s side effects (pdf).

In addition to treating psoriasis, AbbVie markets Humira to treat rheumatoid arthritis, several other forms of arthritis, Crohn’s Disease and ulcerative colitis.

In June, 2013, a jury ordered AbbVie to pay $2.2 million to a North Dakota couple who sued the drug maker after the wife got a life-threatening fungal infection after taking Humira. The jury found the drug company failed to notify doctors about the potentially fatal side effects of taking the drug.

Ironically, the post-marketing experience with Humira also reveals that it can lead to a very bad skin reaction: “new or worsening psoriasis” — the very condition it is widely prescribed to treat, with help of course from Stacy London.

Jumpin’ Without Jesus: Get Air at the Silo to Open Soon in Grand Junction

April 17, 2014
The old Mesa Feed building on south 7th Street in LoJo is being rebuilt into a climbing and trampoline amusement park.

The old Mesa Feed building on south 7th Street in LoJo is being rebuilt into a climbing and trampoline amusement park.

A controversy arose in Grand Junction last month after a parent complained about a video a teacher showed to Grand Mesa Middle School students promoting Fellowship Church’s youth indoctrination center, “4640.” The video boasted that 4640 had a foam pit, a ledge swing, a “spider jump center” and a delicious food court “filled with more junk food than you can imagine.” The only problem was that kids going to 4640 are subjected to pressure to become Christian.

But Fellowship Church is about to get some secular competition for the bodies and minds of recreation-starved area youth.

A trampoline and climbing amusement park called Get Air at the Silo is getting ready to open in the old Mesa Feed building at 715 S. 7th Street in LoJo (lower downtown Grand Junction). Word is the silo on the property is getting remade into a climbing course.

Attractions will include a foam pit, a series of pit trampolines that allow people to jump like a rabbit from one to the next, dodge ball,  gymnastics training, “Extreme Air Training,” an angled tramp you can run up to do flips, “air jam basketball” (a tramp for slam-dunking basketballs into a hoop), a course for smaller kids and a snack and party room for eating and drinking. The facility will be equipped with delayed-view recording cameras and a giant, flat-screen monitor that lets patrons and their friends review their jumps.

The facility is a franchise of Get Air Management, which operates large trampoline parks worldwide. Get Air has existing parks in Tucson, AZ, Kennewick, WA, Temecula, CA, Huntington Beach, CA, Kaysville, UT, Nicholasville, KY, Poway, CA with more parks set to open this summer in Oregon, Georgia, Pennsylvania, Kansas, Washington and Maine.

A similar Get Air facility in Tucson, AZ charges $10 for one hour of jumping, but some cities in California charge up to $14/hour.  The facility will be available for parties, and passes will be available. For the fee, patrons can jump all they want with zero pressure to become Christian.

Get Air Management requires users to sign a legal waiver regarding injury and follow specific safety rules. Users of recreation facilities like foam pits and trampolines, whether they are in secular or religious facilities, need to be aware of the potential for serious injury from these activities. 

Get Air Silo is located at 715 S. 7th Street in Grand Junction, near the Daily Sentinel building.

Where are the Jobs? Where are the Trails? Brady Trucking Site Sits Untouched

April 16, 2014
BradySite

The Brady Trucking site by the Colorado River more than a year after citizens voted to re-zone the site after proponents promised the creation of high-paying jobs and a landscaped extension of the Colorado riverfront trail.

 

“Jobs! Trails!”

That was how local pro-business interests promoted passage of Referred Measure A on the April, 2013 City ballot, which asked voters to uphold light industrial zoning by the Colorado River and the proposed Las Colonias Park site, so a private company, Brady Trucking, could expand its operations.

The Grand Junction Area Chamber of Commerce, it’s deep-pocketed lobbying arm, the Western Colorado Business Alliance and the West Slope Oil and Gas Association all championed the re-zoning measure.

Chamber President Diane Schwenke, CEO said, “This is an issue where the voters can support good jobs and development of trails.” Schwenke promised that if the measure passed, the new jobs Brady would provide would average $70,000 per year.

“What would we as a community be willing to give up to attract this kind of business and job opportunity? And yet here we have a private company that is willing and eager to provide the opportunity and actually enhance the riverfront’s recreational opportunities at the same time,” Schwenke crowed.

If the measure passed, voters were told, Brady Trucking would build a walking and biking trail within on a 50-foot wide easement along the river, as well as fencing and landscaping. Proponents boasted Brady’s expansion would attract even more businesses and jobs to the area.

Voters passed the measure, but a year later the site is completely untouched.

No jobs. No trails. No landscaping. No nothing.

So much for promises.

 

Colorado GMO Labeling Law Heading for Signature-Gathering Phase

April 16, 2014

GMORightToKnowColorado Ballot Initiative #48, the “Colorado Right to Know Act,” would require food manufacturers to include the words “Produced with Genetic Engineering” on the packaging of any products that contain genetically-modified organisms. If foods containing these organisms and are not properly labeled, they will be considered “misbranded.”

Federal law currently does not require foods containing genetically-modified ingredients to be labeled, so consumers unaware whether their food contains these organisms and unable to make an informed choice about consuming them.

The measure survived a Colorado Supreme Court challenge by biotech, pesticide and conventional grocery interests, which disputed the title, the “Colorado Right to Know Act,” as unfair, inaccurate, confusing and misleading.

Proponents of the measure will not start collecting signatures to get the measure on the November, 2014 ballot. If it passes, the law will go into effect on July 1, 2016, and would not apply to food or drink for animals, chewing gum, alcoholic beverages, restaurant or food freshly-prepared for consumption or medically-prescribed foods.

Supporters will need 86,105 valid signatures to get the measure on the ballot.

Help out, donate or keep up with the progress of the campaign for the Colorado Right to Know Act at RightToKnowColorado.org.

Untangling Colorado’s Web of Anti-Fracking Ballot Initiatives

April 15, 2014

NoFrackingColorado voters who try to figure out all the proposed statewide ballot initiatives to regulate drilling and hydraulic fracturing (“fracking”) are in for a real challenge. So far, fully eleven ballot initiatives have been proposed on the subject, with many of them extremely similar to each other.

It’s tempting to think the oil and gas industry filed some of them to confuse voters and try to pass a watered-down measure, but that doesn’t seem to be the case. So far all of the initiatives filed seem to have been brought by people who truly want more serious regulation of the energy industry, or who are trying to gain an advantage over Colorado’s legal and regulatory regimen, which favors corporate dominance over the desires of residents.

Here’s a rundown on what is known so far about Colorado’s slew of proposed anti-fracking ballot measures. Read more »

Colorado Ballot Initiative Puts Rights of People Over Corporate Rights

April 14, 2014

corporate_logo_flag_new-500x333Think businesses have too many rights over citizens? Then attend a free informational session Tuesday, April 29 in Grand Junction about the groundbreaking Ballot Initiative #75, the “Right to Local Self-Government,” also known as the “Colorado Community Rights Amendment.” Initiative #75 would amend Colorado’s constitution to make the rights of people superior to corporate rights. It is now moving to the petitioning stage, and if it passes, will give local communities “the power to enact local laws establishing, defining, altering, or eliminating the rights, powers, and duties of corporations and other business entities operating or seeking to operate in the community.” Initiative #75 would bar the state from forcing unwanted for-profit corporate projects onto unwilling communities. It would let communities have the final say in whether they want to allow pursuits like hazardous waste dumps, factory farms, fracking, GMO crops, etc., near houses, schools, playgrounds, etc. Communities would be able to make these decisions freely, without the threat of lawsuits by the state or by corporations or their lobbying groups..

What: Informational session on Ballot Initiative #75
When: Tuesday, April 29 at 6:00 p.m.
Where: Mesa County Public Library, Central branch (5th St. and Grand Ave.)
Who: By the ballot initiative’s main listed proponent, Cliff Willmeng, a registered nurse from Lafayette, CO.

Grand Junction Regional Airport’s “Security Fence”

April 10, 2014
The Grand Junction Regional Airport's multi-million dollar, electrified, biometric-access-only  "Security Fence" ends out in the desert north of the airport. The fence surrounds the airport on three sides. The remaining side is fenced with an old, three-strand barbed-wire fence (Photo credit: Anonymous, taken April 7, 2014)

The Grand Junction Regional Airport’s multi-million dollar, electrified, super-secure, biometric-access-only “Security Fence” crumples to its end in the desert north of the airport. The fence surrounds the airport on three sides, with the remaining side fenced with a decrepit three-strand barbed-wire fence. The “security fence” was originally billed as a “wildlife fence,” but wildlife coming down from the Bookcliffs (seen in the distance) just stroll around it. (Photo credit: Anonymous, taken April 7, 2014)

Over Half of Weld County’s Winter Air Pollution Comes from Drilling Rigs

April 10, 2014
Weld, County, Colorado

Weld, County, Colorado

A team of atmospheric scientists from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) and the University of Colorado (CU) found that drilling operations for oil and natural gas in Weld County, Colorado was the “dominant wintertime source” of volatile organic compounds (VOCs) in the air pollution emissions in that area. VOCs contribute to the formation of ozone, a constituent of photochemical smog. The researchers tested the air at a site 2.5 miles east of downtown Erie, Colorado.

In 2011, at the time of the study, Weld County had over 15,000 active gas wells. Two years later, it had 19,000. The study, titled “Source Signature of Volatile Organic Compounds from Oil and Natural Gas Operations in NOrtheastern Colorado,” was published in Environmental Science and Technology in January, 2013.

The study’s lead author, Jessica Gilman, Ph.D., said, “Average levels of propane [in the air in Weld County] were higher than the range of values reported for 28 U.S. cities. For example, they were four to nine times higher than in Houston, Texas, and Pasadena, California.”

The CU-NOAA study also found that air pollution from oil and gas emissions have a “chemical signature” that clearly differentiates them from other air pollution sources, like vehicular exhaust.

The study found that more than half of ozone-forming pollutants in Erie come from drilling activity.

Retail Marijuana Coming to DeBeque

April 3, 2014

DeBequeThe new marijuana economy crept a bit closer to Grand Junction this week, after the citizens of DeBeque, Colorado, just 25 miles east of Grand Junction, voted to approve the sale of retail pot.

DeBeque’s election is an object lesson for everyone who thinks their vote won’t count.

DeBeque has just over 500 residents. Of the 234 ballots sent out, 165 were cast. Of those, 69 were in favor of retail marijuana and 65 against. The measure won by just four votes.

DeBeque’s Town Clerk, Shirley Nichols, reports the election went smoothly, with no questionable ballots.

So, in DeBeque’s case, just four voters indisputably made Colorado history.

Hey, man, but isn’t retail pot illegal in Mesa County?

Amendment 64 legalized recreational use of marijuana throughout the state, but the law allows cities and counties to opt out of permitting retail marijuana commerce within their borders.

In August, 2013, Mesa County’s three Commissioners — Rose Pugliese, John Justman and Steve Aquafresca — unilaterally passed an ordinance banning retail marijuana commerce (pdf) in the county, but the measure only bans retail pot in unincorporated areas of the county. Incorporated cities and towns can make their own choice, so DeBeque, an incorporated town, can do whatever it wants.

And it did.

Interestingly, DeBeque citizens voted down a medical marijuana question in November, 2012. That measure failed by about 13 or 14 votes. So what’s changed since then? Read more »

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