Northwest Ohio battles with toxins in drinking water

Darwin Dunten's photo.

Ohio National Guard is dispensing clean water to residents who cannot drink their tap water because of an algal bloom affecting northwest Ohio’s drink water.

By Sharon Dunten, editor of

Northwest Ohio communities, including Toledo and Lucas County, who are dependent on drinking water from Lake Erie are facing a water fiasco today as a harmful algal bloom is producing toxins in their water which could be harmful to humans and animals.

The Associated Press reports that Ohio Governor John Kasich has declared a state of emergency and activated the National Guard.

“The reemergence of harmful algal blooms in Lake Erie is an ecological and economic setback for communities along the coast,” said U.S. Representative Marcy Kaptur about a NOAA’s report released on July 10.

In other words, they saw it coming.

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) predicted that western Lake Erie would have a significant bloom of cynanobacteria during the 2014 bloom season in late summer.

Humans might be affected with symptoms including skin irritation, stomach cramps, vomiting, nausea, diarrhea, fever, sore throat, headache, muscle and joint pain, blisters of the mouth and liver damage, says the The World Health Organization (WHO)

The Toledo News Now reports a harmful algal bloom or HAB occurs when excess nitrogen and phosphorus are present in lakes and streams. These toxins could be a result of over-fertilized fields and lawns or malfunctioning septic systems from livestock pens.

A number of environmental factors have to come into play for algal bloom to be triggered.  For example, eutrophication, or excessive plant and algal growth, in a waterway could happen to lakes as sediments accumulate over many years.  But humans have accelerated the process with the use of additional nutrients in America’s bodies of water.

The Knowledge Project website,, states that eutrophication might also be caused from “aquacultural scientists and pond managers often intentionally ‘urtophy’ water bodies by adding fertilizers to enhance primary productivity” for recreational fishes.

Another bloom trigger  is thermal stratification.  The Center for Earth and Environmental Science at Indiana-Purdue University, Indianapolis, defines this phenomenon as when the top layer of the water becomes warmer while the bottom layer remains cooler.  When the bottom water becomes depleted of oxygen, the nutrients from the sediments in the water, or if the nutrients are added to the water by humans, become fuel for algae to grow on the top of the water.

According to NOAA harmful algal blooms were common in northwestern Lake Erie between the 1960s and 1980s but lapsed until the 2000s.

Two Americans with Ebola arrive today in US to fight for their lives

By Sharon Dunten, editor of

One American citizen, either Dr. Kent Brantley and Nancy Writebol is coming home for treatment to probably get the best chances for survival of the  deadly disease Ebola.  Emory Hospital in Atlanta is preparing for their arrival sometime today. The Ebola patient will be flown into Dobbins Air Force Base, reports the Wall Street Journal.  Both healthcare workers contracted the disease while serving in a hospital where Eloba patients were treated.  Brantly and Writebol are among more than 1300 patients infected with Ebola since February in Guinea, Sierra Leone and Liberia, reports WSJ.

The Ebola virus is known to kill up to 90 percent who are infected, but this statistic is only known for Africa and not in other areas of the world. Ebola virus mainly strikes in remote villages of Central and West Africa, states the WebMD website.

Dr. Brantly was serving as medical director for the Samaritan’s Purse Ebola Consolidated Case Management Center in Monrovia, Liberia’s ELWA hospital when he tested positive for Ebola, reports the Samaritan’s Purse organization.  Writebol is a SIM hygientist who decontaminated health care workers entering and leaving the isolation ward at the hospital.

Samaritan’s Purse is a nondenominational evangelical Christian organization providing spiritual and physical aid to people around the world. Since 1970, Samaritan’s Purse has aided victims of war, poverty, natural disasters, disease and famine with the purpose of sharing Samaritan’s message of God’s love through His Son, Jesus Christ. The SIM ELWA Hospital is a health facility SIM founded in 1965. SIM is an international mission organization with more than 1600 active missionaries representing more than 30 nationalities who serve in more than 60 countries.


Twitter:  @survivingtimes

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Milennials. Try moving away from home to find your first job

More and more post graduates are finding it hard to find their first job. Photo by

The state of Georgia is just one example of where the Millennial generation is having a hard time finding employment.  As covered by CEO Columbus’ Michael E. Kanell and Nicholas Fouriezos, Milennials: Big Numbers — And Jobless,  acquiring post-graduate employment is tough.  Many Milennials might have to literally to move away from their comfort zone to find their first job out of college.  This may include moving to a different part of the country.

Moving away from family and friends will probably be stressful and costly, but a Milennial might have to consider this option to gain experience and then later reexamine coming back to their hometown. Erin Kennedy, an international certified resume writer, has five points to consider if a Milennial is looking beyond Georgia for employment.

  1. Some states have better economies than others, some have not seen the tremendous job loss and mass exodus that states like California have seen–or my home state of Michigan at 10.5% as of June 2011– and other states have a robust economy with opportunity for job growth. With unemployment averaging over 9.0%, finding the right job can be frustrating and time consuming, but one thing you might consider is looking out of state for employment options. You could find a job that suits your skill set, while allowing you or your family to branch out into a new area.
  2. Yes, it can be scary to pick up and move to a completely new place, but you’ll meet new people and have a new experience that changes your life in a positive way. So how do you know if you should move out of state for employment? Well there are a lot of different things to think about before you decide to move. Take your time when considering the move and try to follow some of the following ideas.
  3. Before you decide exactly where you’re going to move send out some resumes to different business in that area. Pick at least 5 different locales that would suit your job needs and start sending out resumes to them. If you have a degree that’s more popular in one area, you might consider moving to that area to take advantage of higher job growth. If you have a degree in engineering and can not find anything but a servers position, then look at what areas around the country have a high need for engineers. There is a lot of opportunity out there, but you may need to look high and low for it.
  4. Consider contacting a headhunter. If you’re serious about finding employment in a new area, then find a headhunter who knows the city and can find you a position that would match your work experience. A temp agency might be one option but you want to find full time employment and most of these only offer contract work. They can be a good stop-gap option for you while you’re getting your feet wet in the new town, but a lot of people are wary of moving without full time employment.
  5. How do you move when you have a family? One option is to pack early and get all that out of the way. You might want to have your spouse or significant other stay with the children before your start your new job. You should go and get settled before moving the family to you. This allows them to step into their new situation with the house in order and avoids any culture shocks. Make sure you do a lot of research on your new location – read the newspaper online, listen to local radio shows online or just Google your new city. There’s so much information to be found online and you should take advantage of that.

Good luck Milennials!

- Sharon Dunten, editor of,

Twitter:  @survivingtimes

New film to help students take action on global water crisis

- staff report

We take it for granted when we turn on the faucet and clean drinking water  appears and is plentiful.  Yet, throughout the world more than 1 billion people do not have clean drinking water.  The Thirst Project, an proactive student organization hitting the clean water problem head on, says  80 percent of global diseases are water-borne and result from drinking contaminated water.  These diseases kill more than 2.2 million people per year.

In a new movie, “Earth to Echo,” the stars of the film receive “distress signals” on their phones from someone who needs their help.

Students can join The Thirst Project and “Earth to Echo” to take action against the global water crisis without having to give, donate, or raise any of their own money. All you have to do is TEXT the keyword ECHO (in all caps) followed by your message for hope and encouragement to someone in a developing community without safe, clean drinking water to 51555. For every message we receive, the movie “Earth to Echo” will donate to The Thirst Project to build wells to give clean water to those who need it most. Not only that, but we will capture the actual messages we receive and install them on murals on the wells funded by this campaign. Then, go see the movie “Earth to Echo” in theaters everywhere July 2014. Visit to learn how you can get involved today!


Twitter:  @_survivingtimes


Occupy Our Homes Atlanta protests Fannie Mae executive at press club event

APC protest photo

An Occupy Our Homes Atlanta protester stood up during Egbert Perry’s conversation with Atlanta Press Club guests. – photo

By Sharon Dunten, editor of

Protesters from Occupy Our Homes Atlanta today crashed the Atlanta Press Club during a luncheon for Egbert Perry, Integral CEO and Fannie Mae board chair at the Commerce Club in Atlanta.

After the lunch and an introductory conversation with Perry,  APC facilitator and board member, Maria Saporta,  noticed the Occupy members starting to spreading themselves throughout the meeting room, standing in between tables and chairs, and also holding up signs and distributing printed materials stating, “Shame on Fannie Mae.”  Saporta asked the protesters repeatedly to sit down and remain quiet.

“What Fannie Mae has done to this country is criminal,” said the protester closest to the podium where Perry was speaking.   But not heeding her demand, she announced the program was over.  Perry was whisked away by his staff as Occupy members encircled him for a direct talk.

In his short stay as a highlighted speaker, Perry did say that the city of Atlanta has “an absent vision and is left with opportunities to cannibalize” both at the urban and rural levels in Georgia. He said Atlanta is not a city of collaborators, and leadership does not exist to make investments in infrastructures including transportation, education and water issues.  “The metro area (Atlanta) is separated by large distances,” said Perry in regard to the city’s public transportation system.

The city of Atlanta started discussing the MARTA system (Metropolitan Atlanta Rapid Transit System) in the 1950s, but the first bore hole was not made until June of 1979.  With $12.9 million in their pocket, the vision was to be Atlanta’s primary bus and rail transportation system.  By the 2000s, MARTA rail line only expanded to one stop north of Sandy Springs and as far south as the Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport. To the east, the last stop ended at Indian Creek and the western stops ended at Bankhead and another stop inside the 285 beltway

Egbert Perry

“It ought to be a ‘no brained,'” said Perry. As far away as the state of Connecticut there are effective transportation services to provide an infrastructure up and down the East Coast, he said.

A U.S. veteran, Mark Harris, also interrupted Perry’s conversation with APC guests.  He said Fannie Mae evicted him from his home. Literature distributed by protesters stated that Harris was only $100 away from a compromise to keep his property, when Fannie Mae evicted him.

ST Blog: Some healthcare insurance coverage might deter doctors to give quality medical care

In February 2014, I was diagnosis by a podiatrist surgeon that I had a torn Achilles tendon and other tendons in my left foot.  I saw the MRI results — horrible stuff. The podiatrist said my left foot was a mess with Planter Fasciitis, a bone spur, and again, a torn Achilles tendon.  I was fitted with an orthopedic boot and scheduled for physical therapy. He said two surgeries were needed.  Okay, I said to myself, “This is serious, and I have proactive measures in my future.” The podiatrist said weight loss, physical therapy and a wellness program was the formula to provide strength and a good plan for recovery after the surgical repairs. I was vigilant in keeping up with my physical therapy, lost some weight and felt positive in moving toward the enviable surgery.

By April, the physical therapy had greatly reduced the foot pain, but the pain returned if I walked without the orthopedic boot for very long.  I knew the long-term goal: surgery.

I returned  to my podiatrist in late April for a six-week check up.  Soon after I checked in at the doctor’s office,  the receptionist immediately asked me to make a payment for what the insurance company had not paid for the doctor visits, the MRI and orthopedic equipment. I had no idea how much the insurance company paid or did not pay — ya know, the deductible thing.

I was told that if a payment was not paid immediately I would not be able to see the doctor today for the appointment. The receptionist said I owed $800. At this time, I did not have the information to make a decision about any payment.  I asked when the bill with insurance information was sent.  The receptionist said, “Yesterday.”

With my Irish temper in check, I assertively pronounced that I was not going to make a payment until I received “the bill.”  Again she said I would not be able to see the doctor today. My voice became a little louder. The other clients in the waiting room no doubt had heard me. I asked to see the doctor. The receptionist said she would see if the podiatrist was available to talk to me.

The doctor agreed to see me for the appointment.

After sternly articulating the humiliating experience I had at his reception desk, he looked at my foot for a follow-up. Oddly enough, he kept mentioning my insurance company in his conversations with me. Next, twisting my foot back and forth, he said the physical therapy was doing a great job in lessening my pain. His next statement, well, it shocked me. The doctor said the nothing of my major surgeries ahead but instead spoke of small cuts to release scar tissue on my foot as the new medical plan. Period. He said to come back in six weeks.

Stunned, I left the doctor’s office even more humiliated. This podiatrist had changed his mind about my medical care based on my insurance company’s ability to pay him well and not wanting to face an imaginary billing battle with me in the future. By the way, I have never defaulted on any medical bills.

I am looking for a new podiatrist.

- Sharon Dunten, editor of


Twitter:  @_survivingtimes



Hunger group provides way for gardeners and farmers help food pantries

As the weather becomes consistently warmer throughout the nation, many gardeners’ and farmers’ minds turn to the land and the spring planting season. But their thoughts also make considerations for the nation’s largest domestic hunger-relief organization, Feeding America, where food and grocery products will help feed more than 37 million low-income Americans through a network of more than 200 food banks in the U.S.

If gardeners and farmers wish to help their local food banks, Feeding America suggests the following steps:

Contact the local Farm Bureau’s Young Farmers and Ranchers organization and help contribute a bushel, a dollar or an hour. The organization provides 33 million pounds of food, volunteer hours and has given more than $800,000 to local food banks and pantries in 2013.  Contact for more information.

Farmers and families that live in rural areas might consider designating acres to donate their crops to local food banks or maybe taking a portion of their crop’s sale and donating it to local book food pantries.

Also, with more than 84 million households with gardens in the U.S., many gardeners are planting an extra row of produce for soup kitchens and food pantries to help feed the hungry. Plant A Row hotline is (887) 492-2727 to find a campaign in the area.

Feeding American is a nationwide network of more than 200 food banks that leads the fight against hunger in the United States. The organization provides food to more than 37 million people through 61,000 food pantries, soup kitchens and shelters in communities across the U.S. Feeding America also supports programs that improve food security among the people they serve; educates the public about hunger issues; and advocates for legislation that protects people from going hungry. Visit Feeding or go on or go to Twitter at America.


Twitter:  @_survivingtimes


The day in the life of a homeless person

Through the use of a 35 mm camera carried by a homeless person, viewers of HomelessGoPro can experience first hand what it is like to be Homeless.

Most Americans have never experienced what it is like to be homeless.  Through a San Francisco project called Homeless GoPro, photos and reports are developed to build awareness around homeless individuals’ daily interactions, as a way to experience them together and also address another aspect of homelessness – the empathy divide.


Twitter:  @_survivingtimes


How long will it take for the unemployed to find a job?

While market reports seem to be noting an upswing toward recovery in the U.S. economy, there are still many people who are unemployed that lost their jobs as a result of the Great Recession.  How long will it take for these individuals to find a job … a lasting job …?  The Brookings Institute Papers on Economic Activity reveals:

“The short-term unemployment rate is a much stronger predictor of inflation and real wage growth than the overall unemployment rate in the U.S. Even in good times, the long-term unemployed are on the margins of the labor market, with diminished job prospects and high labor force withdrawal rates, and as a result they exert little pressure on wage growth or inflation.”  See the study report here.

In addition, a FiveThirtyEight analysis says Americans who had the misfortune of losing their jobs during the height of the most recent recession in 2009 were more than four times as likely to end up out of work for a year or longer than those who lost their jobs during the comparatively good economy of 2007.  See analysis report here.


Twitter:  @_survivingtimes