Herbicide in our watershed

A recent report reveals a particular herbicide causes birth defects.

The Arundo is growing back. The chemical treadmill continues. Herbicide retreatment in the Ventura River and Matilija Canyon Watershed will begin again July 25- Oct. 28, 2011. (Three retreatments back to back will take place during that time.)

The county will start up again April 23, 2012-September 2012 (again, three retreatments back to back).

The county has already applied AquaMaster (glyphosate) with surfactant and added blue-green coloring in our watershed six times over the past three years. The County has reported using 3,105 gallons of AquaMaster in the watershed so far to treat the arundo.

Even on Monsanto’s own Material Safety Data Sheet for AquaMaster, it states: “Keep out of drains, sewers, ditches and waterways.” The County obtained an ‘incidental take permit,” meaning that it’s OK if they kill red-legged frogs.

In June 2011, some important information has come out in the report:  

Roundup and birth defects: Is the public being kept in the dark?

Excerpts from the report summary:

“Concerns about the best-selling herbicide Roundup® are running at an all-time high. Scientific research published in 2010 showed that Roundup and the chemical on which it is based, glyphosate, cause birth defects in frog and chicken embryos at dilutions much lower  than those used in agricultural and garden spraying ….

 “The public, in contrast, has been kept in the dark by industry and regulators about the ability of glyphosate and Roundup to cause malformations…”

 We can let Supervisor Bennett and the Ventura County Watershed Protection District know that we, as a community, do not support the spraying of toxic herbicides into our watershed. Let’s protect our water, wildlife and our children!    

Patty Pagaling


Drug abuse in the nursing home: fact or fiction?

While it may be titillating for the public to believe that residents in nursing homes are drugged to keep them quiet, that simply is not the case.

At issue are psychotropic medications used in treating dementia, depression, anxiety, sleep disorders and psychosis.

The process and use of these drugs in the nursing facilities in Ventura County and elsewhere is basically the same as for any other medication, except for the regulatory issues and the stigma attached to them.

Essentially, an individual who enters an acute-care hospital on medication — such as for high blood pressure or anxiety issues — has those medications continued. The process is the same when the resident transfers from the acute-care hospital to the nursing home. This is the point that is often misunderstood and has resulted in the derision of nursing homes and the physicians themselves. When the patient arrives at a nursing home, the medications are ordered and dispensed to the nursing home by the pharmacy. The name of the physician who has accepted care of those residents is the name entered at the pharmacy as the prescribing physician.  

To those who are unaware or ill-informed, it may appear that nursing-home physicians are over-prescribing these medications, which leads to the belief that they are being used to sedate or chemically restrain patients. The physician accepting care of the resident is required to obtain informed consent prior to the first dose being delivered, and to describe the risks and benefits of their use to the patient or patient’s responsible party. Now, this has never, in most cases, been done by the primary care physician or the hospital physician. Patients arrive in nursing homes at all hours of the day, and nursing homes do not have physicians on staff. To obtain informed consent is often difficult as the family may be unavailable and the patient too sick or tired to realistically understand the informed consent process.

However, it is required and nursing homes are being cited by the Department of Public Health for not obtaining informed consent. In addition, physicians are being taken to court and made to appear as if they are over-prescribing and abusing these medications simply to make it easier for the nursing home to take care of the patient.

It is a shame that lawyers and supposed advocates of the patients are unaware of the actual process and continue to drag the physicians and nursing homes through the mud in order to create public outrage over an issue that is simply about the continuity of care.

In the end, this will just create an environment where nursing homes will be unable to accept patients if they can’t obtain the informed consent in a timely manner, and physicians will stop following their patients in nursing homes for fear of litigious action by overzealous attorneys.  

There have been times when abuse and neglect has happened in nursing homes, but if the community is educated and involved in the care of our loved ones, the experience can be a positive one.

Suz Montgomery


Suz Montgomery is an Extended Learning Academy and anAdult Education teacher who has classes at the Ventura TowneHouse and Venturan and is in daily contact with the residents and patients.

From the web:

Aptly named Nothingville

RE: Oxnard unveils new branding identity (News, 7/7)

I have lived in Oxnard a while now; not much has changed in two decades. It is still flat and 99 cent stores are everywhere. The town hasn’t had much improvement, unless you count endless commercial and residential developments. No public aquatic center, no parks to speak of. College Park, which could have been a huge open-space park for the entire public spectrum, is now a sports venue for soccer and baseball. We do not even have a shopping mall: What we have are strip mall’s. No new museums, no zoo, no water front to speak of. We do have a so-called revitalized downtown, a huge two blocks with a failing theater and a useless parking structure. Our tax dollars are given to the Visitors Bureau by the City Council and this is the crap they come up with. We still have nothing. Call the city Nothingville.

— Montrose

It’$ not that bad …

Re: The used-game wars: online experience sold separately (Media, 7/14)

I won’t scoff at a measly five dollars, especially walking into a Gamestop yesterday and seeing FFXIII for a measly 17 dollars. A pitiful game, of course, but a triple-A pitiful game nonetheless. A five dollar charge on top of that (well, obviously not that particular game), along with a company that doesn’t charge for online services (before the PS Pass existed) isn’t going to break my bank or my faith in the PSN.

If Sony’s found a way to get some cash out of used games — AND if a good portion of that money goes to developers of said games — then I think this sounds more like a ceasefire than a declaration of all-out war.

A five-dollar ceasefire. But if it goes up to six, I’m firebombing something.

A dumpster, perhaps.

— AtomicBananaPress

The Faux in Fox

Re: Murdoch’s empire (editorial, 7-14)

UK politicians who were close to Murdoch and his minions at first issued mild tsk tsks over the breaches of law and decency in the UK. So did the police who were supposed to investigate but instead provided assistance in the wrongdoing. What brought Murdochgate to a head were ordinary British citizens on a group list for moms who, in their outrage, targeted ADVERTISERS of News of the World.

One commentator suggested that the demise of the tabloid had much in common with the Egyptian uprising, wherein fed-up ordinary people gathered through the new social media brought down the government.

The difference is that by aiming at the advertisers the British moms picked the most effective target without leaving their homes.

Think about it. Those of us who object to the Faux in Fox might do the same. Beck has already gone via this route.

— Cassandra