Greenman’s UFC 140 Predictions

Chris Greenman’s IFC 140 picks

My UFC and StrikeForce pics for the last 3 years is 425 correct 68 wrong, that is 86% for those of you cant do the math too well

This is a free service I offer anyone that follows my stuff, so if your in Vegas you can buy me dinner or something email me and ask about my Pick of the year

Jon Jones vs Lyoto Machida

Jon Jones will single handedly put an end to the Machida hype that took place about a year and half ago, Bones is for real…..

Frank Mir vs Big Nog

Mir happens to be one of my favorite fighters because he is nice and fights people no one would think he could beat and finds way to win.  He also continues to learn the sport unlike many people still around. This fight should resemble their first meeting with Mir the victor.

Tito Ortiz vs Lil Nog

Tito’s win over Bader made me thankful that I had on my depends, lighting does not strike twice for pumpkin head

Claude Patrick vs Brian Ebersole 

Ebersole is developing nicely, his wrestling background will ultimately be the decider here

Mark Hominick vs Chan Sung Jung -Hell lets just flip a coin and go for Hominick, I haven’t been impressed with our Japanese fighters so far in the UFC

Pro Sport Reviews

  • Lions’ Suh earns 2-game ban for stomp |
  • 3-8 Jags fire Del Rio | Team being sold |
  • : Is Chris Paul New York-bound?
  • Ohio State hires Meyer as new coach |
  • CNN: Fine to face second sex abuse investigation
  • Neuheisel out at UCLA | Arizona St. cans Erickson
  • Hunter details NBA labor deal in memo
  • Kentucky rises to No. 1 in AP poll; UNC falls to 5
  • Report: Johnson apologizes to Plaxico for dance
  • No. 11 Xavier sinks Vandy in OT |
  • Florida gives Donovan 400th win |
  • Texans’ Leinart to undergo surgery, out for year

Senator Heller receives a very stern letter from a decorated Retired Col from the U.S. Air Force

Senator Dean Heller                                                                           November 28, 2011

Russell Courtyard 4
Washington, D.C.


Senator Heller,


I am appalled and greatly disappointed in the Republican Party members who signed a pledge promising never to vote to raise taxes. The issue that is so disturbing is not taxes but rather the blatant insinuation by Mr. Grover Norquist that Republicans legislators either comply with his position on taxes or face not being reelected in their next election.  As Steve Kroft reports, his biggest coup was getting more than 270 members of Congress, and nearly all of the 2012 Republican presidential primary candidates, to sign a pledge promising never to vote to raise taxes.

Mr. Grover Norquist is a lobbyist who has gotten virtually every Republican congressman and senator to sign an oath called “The Pledge.” It’s a promise that they will never, under any circumstances, vote to raise taxes on anyone. And so far Grover Norquist has held them to it, controlling 279 votes, including the speaker of the House, the Senate minority leader and all six Republican members of the Joint Committee on Deficit Reduction

It is my understanding that each elected official is responsible to their constituency and the United States of America and not some lobbyist who imposes his views on an entire political party.  I do not understand how highly educated and successful legislators can bend to the will of one man unless the personal gain for them outweighs all other consideration.  This bare-knuckle political strategy have some of the characteristics of a protection racket. Many Republican congressmen fear retaliation from Norquist if they even suggest that a tax increase for the wealthiest of Americans should be up for discussion in the current deficit negotiations.

Signing a written pledge to anyone or  special interest group on political issues for which the public has entrusted you is wrong in so many ways.  This pledge reeks of the perception that each Republican that has signed the pledge is being bought by Grover Norquist and sold to the American people as a person who represents their best interest.  I am sure you can rationalize you support Mr. Norquist’s position but it should be the other way around where there is independent thought and form a position that is best for America and then and only then can Mr. Norquist support your position.

I fully understand the weight and responsibility of an oath by serving in the U.S. military for over 30 years.  We both served this nation and there is a clear distinction between service and servitude, which the Republicans that signed Mr. Norquist’s pledge have forgotten.  I value courage, honesty, service before self, and many other attributes in my leaders but anyone in office who signed this pledge falls very short of my expectation of leadership.

Every American deserves better of their elected officials than being led by Mr. Norquist so they can be reelected.  It is a reasonable expectation that once one achieves a position of leadership that they LEAD and not follow those who have their own private  agenda.  This whole issue makes the words power and greed synonymous with politicians and lobbyist.

It is disheartening to know that the Gover Norquists of this world wield so much power and that those entrusted with this nation well being tend to place self before service. When and where does it stop?  How many pledges will you sign when the rich lobbyist threatens your political future?  Mr. Norquist and his fellow lobbyist are not the problem, the problem having so called leaders who do not possess the courage and fortitude to withstand the efforts of a few for the overall greater good.

I expected  and deserve better from our politicians but this “pledge” shows just how far we are from being better.  I sincerely hope that you have not succumbed to the lobbying pressure and can act in the best interest of Nevada and the entire country.

As a Nevada resident and voter, I want to know more about what/who drives my elected officials.  I am requesting information regarding whether you signed the Norquist pledge and if you have committed yourself to other lobbying efforts either in writing or verbally.  Since, this information was not shared during your election campaign and I know how  important it is to have informed voters, your immediate reply is greatly appreciated.




Las Vegas, NV. 89145


The LA Lakers have more problems

Mike Brown must absolutely love challenges.

The Los Angeles Lakers have more problems — and potential problems — than the Kardashian marriage did. Whereas Kim was able to divorce Kris Humphries, the Lakers marriage to Brown hasn’t even truly begun yet.

Whenever the work stoppage finally ends and LeBron James’ ex-coach finally gets to run a practice in Los Angeles, the Lakers will have to deal with the fact that — coming off back-to-back titles — they were humiliated in last year’s playoffs by the world champion Dallas Mavericks. They’ll also have to find ways to deal with age, injuries, perceptions and a brand new coaching staff.

Then there’s the publicity hog formerly known as Ron Artest. While he’s currently keeping everyone entertained with his Tweet-splosions, the freshly named Metta World Peace has the potential to be the biggest disruptive force the Lakers have seen since J.R. Rider was on the roster — or Dennis “I only brought two left shoes to practice, coach Rambis” Rodman.

World Peace is definitely an impact player, one of the best man-up defenders in the league and an offensive force, when he decides he wants to be. He can also be carping behind people’s backs about a lack of respect shown toward him, or demanding trades in the middle of his team’s three-peat attempt.

The latest Tweet from MWP was a one-on-one challenge to Charlotte owner Michael Jordan, with the winner’s side winning the collective bargaining agreement. Then he had a swipe at NBA commissioner David Stern: “The NBA logo should be a picture of David Stern. Our bathrobes should have his signature on it. The league is better off communist,” he wrote.

“All hail David. We serve David in the morning. Imagine LeBron James making David breakfast in bed.”

He went on.

“I miss my tight shorts. I miss Ron Artest. I hope Blake Griff dunks on me and makes a kid coloring book with a popout poster with the dunk. I want to play instead of cooking. I feel like a Atlanta housewife.”

Mike Brown must absolutely love challenges.

Kobe Bryant will be entering his 16th NBA season, and even though he’s just 33 years old, his legs are considerably older. And following another knee surgery performed in Germany and shrouded in mystery, it’s conceivable the future Hall of Famer is on a rapid decline physically. He’s missed dozens and dozens of practices over the past two seasons dealing with his injuries, and it’s crucial Brown finds a way to get him on the floor as often as necessary. An entirely new system of offense and defense will be installed, and the leader of it all watching from the sidelines day after day will make the transition from the triangle offense virtually impossible.

On the positive side of things, if Kobe’s close to 100 percent physically, a less restrictive offensive game plan could make it easier to score, and running the floor would lessen the beating Bryant takes in a set offense.

Perception-wise, the Lakers have always had to deal with the “they’re soft” issue. They now have a seven-foot poster child for that insult named Pau Gasol.

A magnificent player, Gasol’s 2011 summer vacation began while the Lakers were still playing. He went from averaging around 19 points and 10 rebounds per game during the back-to-back title wins, to 13.1 points and 7.8 rebounds a contest. He was invisible defensively throughout the 10 postseason games he played, yet said he was physically fine, even though he was seen on more than one occasion removing a back brace before meeting with the media after practices.

Then certain media outlets said Gasol and his girlfriend were having problems that were messing with his psyche and ruining his game. He denied it, and his girlfriend continued to come to games at Staples Center. So what was the problem(s)? Doesn’t really matter. The Lakers just need for the Spaniard to return to the form that made him the NBA’s most versatile big man.

Point guard Derek Fisher has been running the offense for the NBA Players Association all summer, and it’s more than fair to ask how much the 15-year veteran will have left to give to the Lakers when play resumes.

He had already slowed down noticeably as last season unwound, and wasn’t nearly the threat he had been throughout his career. While never the fastest or quickest, he could always be counted on to make a huge defensive stop when it was most needed. Not last year, though, when he was torched on a regular basis. Fisher had been one of the great clutch shooters of his era. That also disappeared. There’s a very good chance he’ll end up coming off the bench this season, replaced by Steve Blake as the starter.

Blake had an impressive start to his Lakers career, scoring in double-figures three of his first six games. Then he hit double-digits just ONCE more in the other 73 he played. He shot an abysmal 36 percent from the field. Unfortunately, Fisher wasn’t much better last season. Needless to say, the point guard position is a weakness. A steady performance from Blake is crucial for the Lakers’ success.

However, the biggest question mark — literally — is center Andrew Bynum.

When healthy, he’s one of the top five centers in the game. But he’s shown a tendency to be immature and may have worn out his welcome with his antics in the Dallas series. Smashing guys to the court and ripping off your jersey is no way to earn respect in the NBA — or with your hometown fans, many of whom took to the airwaves to express displeasure with Bynum and demand his trade. That, of course, will never happen as long as Bynum’s benefactor, Jimmy Buss, is in charge of basketball operations. Buss drafted Bynum and is loathe to even hearing Drew’s name brought up in trade talks.

The bench situation is a tricky one, with the first reserves likely to be the enigmatic Lamar Odom, either Fisher or Blake, and the talented — but oft-injured — Matt Barnes. After that, it’s grab-bag city. General manager Mitch Kupchak would like to count on Luke Walton, but like his father Bill, back and leg injuries have derailed his career. So, once the new CBA is executed, Kupchak’s first order of business will be adding a half-dozen reserves to round out the roster.

As if all of this wasn’t enough to make even the strongest personality run for cover, Brown is portrayed in Shaquille O’Neal’s new book as somewhat wimpy when dealing with James in Cleveland. In “Shaq on Shaq: Uncut,” The Diesel claims that Brown would avoid the slightest criticizing of James, afraid of offending his superstar. If that’s true, it’s going to be very interesting to see Brown and Bryant interact, Kobe having a much more intense personality than LeBron.

Brown must absolutely love a challenge.

He’s got the biggest one in the NBA: Resurrect the Lakers for one more run before Kobe retires.

Yelp needs help, accusations point to possible class action for strong-arming tactics


Yelp looks for major credibility help, accusations point possible class action biased reviews, and extortion.


Yelp’s very own CEO, Jeremy Stoppelman, says that Yelp’s review criteria is “weird,” signaling chaos in the review giants credibility.


(IJR News November 22 ,2011) A staggering number of complaints are mounting from businesses that claim “Yelp” is anything but a help. In fact, the colossal review icon is being accused of only posting views that attract the interest of viewers and helps its advertisers, rather than reveal an unbiased truth.  This is well after the numerous complaints of Extortion allegations posted by The New York Times and the Wall Street Journal, where business owners said that the Yelp sales reps would move the negative reviews off their sites.


IJR News has been contacted over twenty times in the last month by businesses who are frustrated and are expressing overall distraught with Yelp. IJR News has had additional prior complaints that claim that unless a business advertises with Yelp, the described review bully makes sure it effects that business’s bottom line.  IJR investigated the accusations and the results are disturbing.  Most complaints seem to point to a direction that Yelp listings are biased and are anything but credible.


Market Place Tech, a non-profit and highly respected user resource, had their senior business correspondent, Bob Moon, record a recorded a conversation with the sales people at Yelp.

The conversation was very disturbing and was highlighted by Yelp CEO, Jeremy Stoppelman, explaining that the “weird” automated system causes certain reviews not to be posted and that the same weird system filters out certain reviews and even keeps a single bad review on top to create controversy. Making matters worse for the CEO was his own admission that this “weird” system was based on criteria he didn’t detail.  It’s not clear what makes a review “trustworthy,” but Yelp says there’s a line between the reviews and its sales team signaling a benefit to those that advertise with Yelp.


Bob Moon also spoke of another case where Hyde, who owns M&M Auto Werkes near San Jose, wonders why he was told — he says — that some missing reviews could show up again for a price, Hyde told Moon, “I think that if you’re putting a Website up that’s reflecting peoples’ opinions of businesses, that all those opinions should be allowed to be heard, and they shouldn’t be leveraged to advertise with them to make sure they stay there.” Hyde says “that’s unethical,” and he’s been talking to one of the lawyers seeking class-action status in the legal challenge against Yelp, and he is not alone.

Another targeted group is doctors according to an overwhelming amount of  Yelp patrons.  Overall, deep pockets and reliability of reputation seems to fuel this group as the best Yelp advertisers, and victims as well.  There are always two sides to any story, but perception can make or break a professional when it comes to something as sacred as the field of medicine.  Should a doctor’s reputation be compromised because their unwilling to advertise with Yelp?

IJR searched doctors in Newport Beach, home to some of the best doctors in the world according to Physicians Practice’s website.  IJR investigator and editor in chief, Michael Gingino researched highly reviewed physicians in the Newport Beach area.  Gingino also performed two random reviews of local doctors, Urgent Care at Newport Center and Nvision Laser Eye Centers.  Both of these professional practices appearing in the number one position in the Yelp reviews. Gingino found that NVISION also was the top advertiser and Urgent Care was not. The Yelp advertiser, NVSION was in its prominent highlighted advertising spot on Yelp just like Google’s sponsored ads.

The IJR New editor completed a test review that simply said, “I had fall at the Pier in Newport Beach and thought I might have sprained my ankle, I went to Urgent Care and was quickly seen and treated for what turned out to be a broken ankle.  Dr. Doonan and his team were incredibly professional and I would highly recommend them.” After confirming his email via Yelp’s “weird” information gathering security system, Gingino waited over 24 hours for it to be posted.  However, Gingino observed Nvision, was racking up “recently reviewed” points on the Yelp sidebar.

The following day, Gingino was able to connect with the Urgent Care lead physician and explained his review test and Dr. Doonan told the editor in chief this, “It doesn’t surprise me, in fact we use to have our website connected with Yelp until I got an influx of complaints because patients were leaving me good reviews and Yelp wasn’t posting them.  I wasn’t even aware that they were doing it to try and lower a review of me that was unfavorable, I was actually flattered.   What this review ended up being was a bill issue and not a missed diagnosis issue as the patients girlfriend complained of.  The complaint wasn’t even made by my patient but his girlfriend, and his instructions was to go to hospital if it continued or worsened.  Regardless it ruined my day because of what people might perceive.  Anyone that knows me or is a patient of mine knows I care about all my patients and always make sure their treatment is of the highest standards and based on the best of my experience and abilities.  Another patient of mine brought the complaint to my attention and he is a internet guy and told me Yelp keeps any controversial reviews at the top in order to help those that advertise with them, he said it is like political posturing by Yelp that rewards their advertisers and forces the other doctors not

Many popular websites have joined the effort against these lopsided reviews, posted this, “Why a five-star restaurant serves one-star food.” A host of new websites promise to make online reviews of products and places more reliable. To listen to the raves, Fred’s Coffee Shop serves a mean weekend breakfast. The omelets at this little joint just a skip across the Golden Gate Bridge from San Francisco are said to be “fluffy beyond belief,” the bacon “thicker” and “tastier” than at anyplace else, and the French toast — oh, the French toast, cooked up soft and then deep-fried and slathered in sugar — will help you find Jesus. Fred’s, according to reviews posted on the popular local-ratings site Yelp, makes the best breakfast in Sausalito. Thirty-eight reviewers give it an average score of 4.5 stars — a number that really stuck in my craw as I gulped down limp slabs of two-star French toast, sipped at one-star coffee, and took in the ordinary two-star ambience.


With a website that mimics Google as far as looks and feel with a well copied advertising and rankings platform, Yelp is among the most profitable websites in the world. However, Yelp is seemingly straying from what got them to be a popular website which was given unbiased and credible reviews.  This now mega-review giant is taking capitalism to a whole other level, and must deal with accusations that mimic mafia-type business practices.


As with any review, IJR News does not directly endorse any website but does advise all consumers to fully research where they are getting their information first, and always ask, “Is this website making money on advertising, and if so how are they doing it?”  Maybe a simple answer could be, it is impossible to run a website without operating income, however there are ways to receive funds and remain unbiased.  Many review type of websites take donations versus advertising, Word Press offers this as an alternative when designing and building websites, as does many proven neutral information Mecca websites.



Denise Neumann

Senior Journalist , IJR News


Sports Recap for mid November


Blatter says sorry for racism remark, won’t resign
Fri Nov 18, 2011 05:31 AM EST

Fox Sports

New deal shows MLB learned lesson
Fri Nov 18, 2011 04:00 AM EST

Cubs name Sveum new skipper
Fri Nov 18, 2011 03:51 AM EST

Fox Sports

US still leads despite Tiger falling
Fri Nov 18, 2011 03:11 AM EST

CBS Sportsline

Tebow lifts Broncos to comeback win vs. Jets
Fri Nov 18, 2011 02:51 AM EST

Sporting News

Call Tebow polarizing, unconventional, inaccurate, but call him a winner
Fri Nov 18, 2011 02:51 AM EST

CBS Sportsline

Thomas leads Va. Tech past UNC for 10th win
Fri Nov 18, 2011 02:51 AM EST

CBS Sportsline

U.S. keeps lead in Presidents Cup; Woods loses again
Fri Nov 18, 2011 02:51 AM EST

Fox Sports

Edwards: Driving will silence Stewart
Fri Nov 18, 2011 02:31 AM EST

USA Today-Sports

No. 15 Arizona handles St. John’s in New York
Fri Nov 18, 2011 02:11 AM EST

Luke Winn: North Carolina leads power rankings, with Kentucky, OSU not far behind
Fri Nov 18, 2011 02:11 AM EST


Chandler: We’ve overdone the hero worship
Fri Nov 18, 2011 02:11 AM EST


Thomas boosts No. 8 Virginia Tech past UNC
Fri Nov 18, 2011 02:00 AM EST

Presidents Cup: Woods loses, but U.S. leads 7-5
Fri Nov 18, 2011 01:51 AM EST


Tiger fails again, but US keeps Presidents Cup lead
Fri Nov 18, 2011 01:51 AM EST

Broncos ride Tebow magic past Jets 17-13
Fri Nov 18, 2011 01:31 AM EST


PFT: Jets can no longer hide Sanchez
Fri Nov 18, 2011 01:31 AM EST

Tiger loses, but U.S. leads 7-5 at Presidents Cup
Fri Nov 18, 2011 01:31 AM EST

USA Today-Sports

USA leads Presidents Cup 7-5 after Day 2
Fri Nov 18, 2011 01:11 AM EST

USA Today-Sports

Mississippi State beats No. 18 Texas A&M
Fri Nov 18, 2011 01:11 AM EST

Tebow somehow keeps hope alive in Denver
Fri Nov 18, 2011 01:11 AM EST

Sporting News

What we learned from Jets-Broncos: Jets playoff hopes are in serious trouble
Fri Nov 18, 2011 01:00 AM EST

Jets 13, Broncos 10
Fri Nov 18, 2011 01:00 AM EST

Fox Sports

Tebow scores winner to top Jets
Fri Nov 18, 2011 12:51 AM EST

USA Today-Sports

Presidents Cup: USA leads 7-5 after Day 2
Fri Nov 18, 2011 12:51 AM EST


PFT: Tebowmania takes control of NFL
Fri Nov 18, 2011 12:51 AM EST

USA Today-Sports

Giants QB Eli Manning proving detractors wrong
Fri Nov 18, 2011 12:51 AM EST


Tiger falls again, but US keeps Presidents Cup lead
Fri Nov 18, 2011 12:51 AM EST

USA Today-Sports

Commission to decide Friday if Margarito can fight in N.Y.
Fri Nov 18, 2011 12:51 AM EST

USA Today-Sports

No. 7 Virginia Tech holds off North Carolina
Fri Nov 18, 2011 12:51 AM EST

Broncos 10, Jets 10
Fri Nov 18, 2011 12:51 AM EST

USA Today-Sports

And the winners of third annual NFL announcers poll are …
Fri Nov 18, 2011 12:51 AM EST


Arc: Boeheim defends assistant, says sex-abuse accuser ’lying’
Fri Nov 18, 2011 12:31 AM EST


Woods without a point as American keep the lead
Fri Nov 18, 2011 12:31 AM EST


Tebow, Broncos rally past Jets in final minutes
Fri Nov 18, 2011 12:11 AM EST

Sporting News

Watch: Predators’ Craig Smith earns instant infamy with empty-net miss
Fri Nov 18, 2011 12:11 AM EST

Fox Sports

Tebow rallies Broncos past Jets
Fri Nov 18, 2011 12:11 AM EST

Sporting News

Even with title on line, Beckham and his next move overshadows all
Fri Nov 18, 2011 12:00 AM EST

Sporting News

Gretzkys agent: ’Nothing happening’ regarding Maple Leafs purchase
Thu Nov 17, 2011 11:51 PM EST


Sources: BCS proposes only handling title game
Thu Nov 17, 2011 11:31 PM EST

Sporting News

Even against Isles, Habs show they can’t snooze through start
Thu Nov 17, 2011 11:31 PM EST

Sporting News

Nine arrested in death of ex-NFL quarterback’s son
Thu Nov 17, 2011 11:11 PM EST

Sporting News

Syracuse basketball aide placed on leave as police investigate sex abuse claims; Boeheim issues denial
Thu Nov 17, 2011 10:31 PM EST


Jets’ Greene has rib injury, return questionable
Thu Nov 17, 2011 9:51 PM EST

Fox Sports

Jets RB questionable to return
Thu Nov 17, 2011 9:51 PM EST

Fox Sports

Tebow, Broncos aim for third straight win
Thu Nov 17, 2011 9:00 PM EST

Fox Sports

Syracuse’s Fine accused of molestation
Thu Nov 17, 2011 9:00 PM EST

CBS Sportsline

Astronomical shift will pay off in long run for baseball
Thu Nov 17, 2011 8:51 PM EST

CBS Sportsline

Tiger looks to rebound in Day 2 of Presidents Cup
Thu Nov 17, 2011 8:51 PM EST

CBS Sportsline

Cubs name Sveum manager, to make introduction Friday at Wrigley
Thu Nov 17, 2011 8:51 PM EST

CBS Sportsline

Off-balance Ravens mostly agree on one thing: Rice needs the ball
Thu Nov 17, 2011 8:51 PM EST

CBS Sportsline

Margarito OK to fight in Mississippi, rematch vs. Cotto to be moved
Thu Nov 17, 2011 8:51 PM EST


Syracuse coach Fine in molestation inquiry
Thu Nov 17, 2011 8:11 PM EST


Broncos’ McGahee active, Jets’ Tomlinson out
Thu Nov 17, 2011 8:11 PM EST


Syracuse coach Fine target of molestation probe
Thu Nov 17, 2011 7:51 PM EST


U.S. leads in 2nd day of Presidents Cup
Thu Nov 17, 2011 6:31 PM EST

Cement is the new enemy to pollution, relieving Coal Power

The smokestack stands more than nine stories above the southeastern Kansas prairie and the small city of Chanute, and it’s bright, white flashing lights are like a beacon in the night sky.

“In the wintertime when the leaves are off the trees you can see that,” says Ken Lott, 71, a pecan farmer and Lutheran minister with a farm two miles northeast of the stack. “I tell people that that’s my Christmas tree over there because it really looks good.”

But for Lott and for people in communities across the country, smokestacks like the one in Chanute provide mixed messages. They signal some of the best-paying jobs around (137 people in Chanute), funding for community projects and revenue streams for local governments.

Sarah Harris wrote about the Galemore family for Slate and The Center for Public Integrity and adapted her story for NPR.

A Family’s Fight To Clear The Air

The Galemore family is struggling with the community it’s trying to save.

From Slate: Permission To Pollute
From CPI: Town Divided Over Employer’s Permission To Pollute

Many also emit toxic air pollution affecting millions of Americans as NPR and the Center for Public Integrity have documented in a joint investigation. In some cases, companies fail to meet pollution standards and regulators fail to respond quickly.

But the Ash Grove cement plant in Chanute, a town of 9,000 people, and its skyscraping smokestack have not run afoul of the law or the state and regulators who enforce it. The plant does not appear on Environmental Protection Agency lists of facilities requiring urgent enforcement or extra scrutiny as many coal producing companies do.

“The plant is in compliance,” says Karl Brooks, the regional EPA administrator.

“We have a standard and we comply with it,” adds Curtis Lesslie, an Ash Grove vice president, as he stands on a steel, wind-swept platform just below the top of the smokestack. Below him, the massive fiery cement kiln spins.

The kiln burns hazardous waste for fuel, which concerns some people living downwind despite the assurances of regulators. They’ve pleaded with state and federal officials for help, in tense and testy meetings.

John Galemore, 74, who owns an oil business in Chanute, has pushed regulators hard. “We have no other protection than you people,” Galemore told them. “You’re our front line and our defense. And all we’re asking is that you assure us with testing that we’re safe.”

Lott also attended the meetings. “They are not watching closely,” he says of the EPA and the Kansas Department of Health and Environment, or KDHE. “They are not sampling the air coming out of their smokestack.”

Kilns ‘Not Designed To Burn Hazardous Waste’

Regulators have resisted, citing Ash Grove’s compliance with pollution standards. But those standards give cement kilns permission to pollute when they burn toxic junk for fuel.

Kilns are legally allowed to pump more toxins into the air than are hazardous-waste incinerators, which burn many of the same dangerous materials, including industrial solvents, aluminum plant waste and other toxic leftovers from the production of chemicals, oil and pharmaceuticals.

The Ash Grove Cement Kiln, as seen from an aerial photograph, sits on the northern edge of Chanute, Kan.

EnlargeDavid Gilkey/NPRThe Ash Grove Cement Kiln, as seen from an aerial photograph, sits on the northern edge of Chanute, Kan.

“The problem with cement plants that burn hazardous waste is that they’re not designed to burn hazardous waste,” says Jim Pew, a lawyer for the environmental group Earth Justice. “In my view it’s a loophole for the cement industry.”

Kilns like the one in Chanute that were built or rebuilt before 2005 can emit 43 percent more lead and cadmium — close to four times the hydrogen chloride and chlorine gas, and twice the particulates — than actual hazardous waste incinerators. Thirteen cement kilns in six states operate under those standards.

Three newer or upgraded kilns can emit even more toxic pollutants under EPA standards, including 18 times the lead and cadmium and 15 times the mercury.

These elevated levels are not harmful, says the EPA’s Brooks, because federal pollution limits are “set with a margin of public healthy and safety.”

The industry considers the safety margin huge — “far lower than what is necessary to protect human health and the environment,” says Mike Benoit of the Cement Kiln Recycling Coalition. The numbers are deceiving, he adds, and the actual emissions are minuscule.

“We’re talking about nanograms,” Benoit continues. “We’re talking about micrograms. Millionths of a gram — billionths of a gram.”

Mercury Pollution

But tiny measurements can add up, especially when it comes to mercury emissions at Ash Grove.

“In the year 2004, for example, the Chanute plant was the second-largest emitter of mercury in Kansas,” says Craig Volland, an environmental consultant who advises the Kansas Sierra Club on air pollution issues.

“Mercury is a very insidious pollutant,” Volland continues. “So any additional mercury that’s emitted from any facility has the potential to increase the health impact.”

EPA air records show that the Ash Grove cement kiln in Chanute emitted more than 500 pounds of mercury a year in three of the past 10 years, when the plant was operating at capacity. Total mercury emissions for the past decade top 3,000 pounds.

“That would compare to the 170 pounds of mercury a year at a major coal-fired power plant,” Volland adds.

The EPA itself is aggressively attacking mercury. Last year, the agency proposed tough standards for mercury that would reduce emissions by 92 percent at conventional cement kilns.

“Mercury can damage children’s developing brains,” the EPA says in a 2010 news release. “Mercury in the air eventually deposits into water, where it changes into methyl mercury, a highly toxic form that builds up in fish.”

Volland says that any additional mercury emitted from facilities can increase the health impact. “In many freshwater lakes in the United States, we’ve already reached the threshold of harm of methyl mercury in fish tissue,” he adds.

EPA’s Formula For Cement Kiln Compliance

The formula begins with what the least polluting kilns can actually achieve given the pollution control technology available when the standards were set.

So, if the cleanest kilns in the bunch are relatively dirty than the standards permit more pollution. The standards are not based on what might be desirable or what might be possible with new pollution controls.

Then the precise mixture of hazardous waste is considered, along with operating conditions of the kiln, emissions measurements during occasional test burns, and computer modeling that estimates exposure to people downwind.

If enacted, the EPA’s new mercury standards for cement kilns would not apply to kilns that burn hazardous waste, given the special category of regulation Congress carved out for them alone.

Despite the EPA’s expressed concern about mercury, the agency’s Brooks seems unconcerned about mercury emissions at Ash Grove. “Every test that’s been done,” Brooks says, “every inspection that’s been done verifies that there is full compliance with every relevant part of that permit, including the mercury part.”

Compliance is based on a very complicated, arcane formula that is difficult to digest, except, perhaps, for the small circle of industry experts and regulators fluent in the nuances.

The Galemores Lack Of Trust

Regulators say nearby residents are safe if they stick to the formula, but that doesn’t satisfy Jeff Galemore, 53, who works in his father’s oil business.

“The reason I don’t trust it is they’ve battled us so hard on the testing,” Galemore says, as he drives his white Dodge pickup through his Chanute neighborhood, pointing to house after house.

“This person right here has cancer,” he says. “His granddaughter has cancer. This gal has cancer. … The one across the street from where I live has cancer. Two houses south of me has cancer. But they repeatedly tell us there’s not a problem.”

Interactive: Air Pollution In Your Town

See how facilities in and around Chanute, as well as in your community, score based on the EPA’s human-health risk screening tool. Search Map >

Chanute, Kan.


In the back seat of the pickup, Galemore’s sister, Selene Hummer, 51, believes she has the explanation. “The government has to have someplace to dispose of this. So they’re not really going to hammer away at somebody, because they’ve got to have some place to put it,” she says.

That’s a reference to the nation’s hazardous waste crisis more than 30 years ago, when buried toxic junk and serious illnesses forced the evacuation of an entire neighborhood at Love Canal in upstate New York. Burial of hazardous waste was banned, and incineration was considered the only viable alternative.

Specially designed incinerators were expensive and took time to build, and cement kilns were already operating with the kind of heat that could destroy toxic waste. As a bonus, kilns were paid to take hazardous waste, so they could replace expensive fuel oil and transform fuel costs into income.

The industry and the EPA refer to the process as recycling because the kilns “recover” the energy value in the waste when it’s burned.

“Why would it ever make sense to throw away a material that has significant energy value if you could use it as a fuel and a replacement for fossil fuel instead?” asks Benoit, of the Cement Kiln Recycling Coalition.

At first, cement kilns burning waste were largely unregulated, but by 1996, the EPA had developed rules. Ash Grove became the first cement kiln in the country to receive a hazardous-waste permit.

There was some concern in Chanute, but there have also been voices in the community strenuously defending the company. “I do not have a high level of concern because I trust the regulators,” says J.D. Lester, Chanute’s city manager, who calls Ash Grove a model corporate citizen. “And I just don’t, at this time, feel like that threat exists.”

Regulator Relationships Questioned

But trust is an issue for skeptics because of a perceived coziness between industry and regulators in Kansas. An email exchange obtained by NPR illustrates that perception.

Last year, when the EPA announced its proposed emission standards for cement kilns, William Bider, the Kansas director of waste management, reached out to Lesslie, Ash Grove’s vice president. Lesslie predicted “extreme impacts on the industry.”

More From The ‘Poisoned Places’ Investigation

The Continental Carbon plant sits on the southern outskirts of Ponca City, Okla. Until August, the plant was on an internal EPA "watch list," for violating rules of the Clean Air Act.

Part 1: Secret ‘Watch List’ Reveals Failure To Curb Toxic Air

The system Congress set up to clean up poisonous air still exposes towns to hazardous chemicals.

The Continental Carbon plant sits on the southern outskirts of Ponca City, Okla. Residents blamed the plant, which produces a black dust known as carbon black, for polluting their city.

Part 2: Powdery Pollution Coats Oklahoma Town

After complaints, protests and lawsuits, Ponca City residents no longer struggle with carbon black.

Bider then wrote to two colleagues, including one heavily involved in Ash Grove matters, that the EPA’s new standards “will help put our cement plants out of business… EPA is out of control as far as I’m concerned.”

Lesslie is a former state regulator. He drafted the company’s first hazardous-waste permit 15 years ago and spent seven years with a consulting firm before moving on to Ash Grove.

NPR provided a copy of the email, which was obtained from state records, to John Mitchell, Bider’s boss and the director of the environment division at KDHE.

“It disappoints me to see our staff putting something like that in writing,” Mitchell said in an interview, while asserting that Bider expressed his personal opinion. “Our position certainly is that if changes come down the pike, we will consider those … as we regulate the businesses in Kansas. I have no doubt in my mind.”

NPR then asked Mitchell why concerned people in Chanute would trust a key state regulator, who was so openly critical of the EPA, the state’s partner in Clean Air enforcement.

“We don’t always see eye to eye on everything,” Mitchell said of the EPA.

When shown the email, the EPA’s Brooks would say only that “KDHE has held up its end of that partnership bargain.”

Volland says the email is “crossing the line a bit” but also says “KDHE is always under enormous pressure from the politicians in Kansas, who are very conservative. … [Regulators] are always being pressured to be accommodating to the industries that they regulate.”

Residents’ Concerns Leads To Testing

The persistence of concerned people in Chanute prompted KDHE officials to respond. First they updated a review of health records in the area and found no excessive rates of cancer. Some in the community don’t trust that assessment, claiming many people seek cancer treatment at distant hospitals in big cities.

A pedestrian crosses the main street in downtown Chanute, Kan.

EnlargeDavid Gilkey/NPRA pedestrian crosses the main street in downtown Chanute, Kan.

But the study identified higher-than-expected rates of treatment for asthma in the Chanute area. State officials also looked back at a 2006 sampling of fish in the creek that runs right past the Ash Grove plant and noted elevated mercury in one sample.

So they decided to conduct independent testing of air, water, sediment and fish in Chanute.

KDHE’s Mitchell is confident the new testing will show there’s no cause for alarm.

“We’ve done far more here in Chanute to investigate the concerns that these folks have had than we typically do based upon the lack of concrete documentation that there’s an existing problem,” Mitchell says. “If we really don’t find some sound scientific basis to delve deeper it’s very hard for us to do more.”

Brooks predicts the testing will allay fears in the community and resolve questions about the validity of the EPA standards.

“You’d like to make sure that everybody affected by emissions from a permitted facility understands what’s being emitted and has some confidence that the permit is doing what it’s designed to do,” Brooks says. “That would be the hope, that the evidence that’s supplied to people will give them that confidence.”

The testing began this summer. It’s not clear when results will be available.

In the meantime, the cement kiln at Ash Grove in Chanute will be silent and the smokestack unused for an indefinite time after New Year’s Day. The plant will shut down because of weakness in the cement market. In recent years, the shutdowns have lasted a few months.

NPR’s Sandra Bartlett, who produced this story for radio, contributed to this report.

Obama Sending Clinton To Repressive Myanmar

Obama Sending Clinton To Repressive Myanmar


BALI, Indonesia November 18, 2011, 04:56 am ET

BALI, Indonesia (AP) — Seizing an opportunity for historic progress in repressive Myanmar, President Barack Obama is dispatching Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton to the long isolated nation next month in an attempt to accelerate fledgling reforms.

The move is the most dramatic sign of an evolving relationship between the United States and Myanmar, which has suffered under brutal military rule for decades. But Obama said Friday there had been “flickers of progress” since new civilian leadership took power in March.

“If Burma continues to travel down the road of democratic reform, it can forge a new relationship with the United States of America,” Obama said as he announced Clinton’s trip while on a diplomatic mission to southeast Asia.

Clinton will be the first U.S. secretary of state to visit Myanmar in more than 50 years.

In exploring a breakthrough engagement with Myanmar, also known as Burma, Obama first sought assurances of support from democracy leader and Nobel laureate Aung San Suu Kyi. She spent 15 years on house arrest by the nation’s former military dictators but is now in talks with the civilian government about reforming the country.

The two spoke by phone on Thursday night while Obama was flying to Bali on Air Force One.

By sending in his chief diplomat, Obama’s is taking a calculated political risk in a place where repression is still common. He warned that if the country fails to commit to a true opening of its society, it will continue to face sanctions and isolation. But he said that the current environment is a rare opening that could help millions of people “and that possibility is too important to ignore.”

Myanmar is subject to wide-ranging trade, economic and political sanctions from the U.S. and other Western nations, enforced in response to brutal crackdowns on pro-democracy protesters in 1988 and 2007 and its refusal to hand power to pro-democracy leader Suu Kyi’s party after the 1990 elections.

Clinton said that while there may be an opening for a democracy push in Myanmar, the U.S. was proceeding cautiously.

“We’re not ending sanctions. We’re not making any abrupt changes,” she said during an interview with Fox News. “We have to do some more fact-finding and that’s part of my trip.”

Suu Kyi’s lawyer, Nyan Win, welcomed news of Clinton’s visit.

“It is time for the U.S. to make such a high level visit. This is going to be a very crucial visit,” Win said.

Senior Obama administration officials said the U.S. wants to see a number of actions from Myanmar going forward, including the release of more political prisoners; serious internal domestic diplomacy between the government and ethnic groups, some of which have been in civil war for decades; and further assurances with regards to their interactions with North Korea.

The administration’s policy toward Myanmar has focused on punishments and incentives to get the country’s former military rulers to improve dire human rights conditions. The U.S. imposed new sanctions on Myanmar but made clear it was open to better relations if the situation changed.

Myanmar’s nominally civilian government has declared its intention to liberalize the hard-line policies of the junta that preceded it. It has taken some initial steps, such as easing censorship, legalizing labor unions, suspending an unpopular, China-backed dam project and working with Suu Kyi.

Officials said Clinton would travel to Myanmar Dec. 1, making stops in Yangon and Naypyitaw.

A U.S. opening with Myanmar would also contribute to Obama’s goals of rebalancing power in the region, as Burma’s military leaders for long had close ties to China.

Beijing has poured billions of dollars of investment into Myanmar to operate mines, extract timber and build oil and gas pipelines. China has also been a staunch supporter of the country’s politically isolated government and is Myanmar’s second-biggest trading partner after Thailand.

Administration officials stressed that the new engagement with Myanmar was not about China. They said the Obama administration consulted with China about the move and said they expected China to be supportive. They argued that China in fact wants to see a stable Burma on its borders, so that it doesn’t risk problems with refugees or other results of political instability.

Human rights groups welcomed Obama’s announcement as an opportunity to compel further reforms.

“We’ve been arguing a long time that political engagement and political pressure are not mutually exclusive,” Benjamin Zawacki, Amnesty International’s Southeast Asia researcher, told The Associated Press, adding that Clinton “should not miss the opportunity in this historic visit to pressure the government and speak very clearly that the human rights violations taking place there need to stop.”

Elaine Pearson, the deputy Asia director at Human Rights Watch, said the Burmese government must realize that a visit by Clinton “puts them on notice, not lets them off the hook for their continually atrocious human rights record.”

Obama was to see Burma’s president during the summit of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations, or ASEAN, that brought him to Bali. The two have met before, at an ASEAN meeting in Singapore, when Thein Sein was prime minister.

ASEAN announced Friday that Myanmar would chair the regional bloc in 2014, a significant perch that Myanmar was forced to skip in 2006 because of intense criticism of its rights record.

Obama was to attend a meeting Friday afternoon with the heads of ASEAN, whose 10 members include host Indonesia, Vietnam, Singapore, Thailand and Malaysia. The group will expand for the East Asia Summit, a forum that also counts China, Japan, South Korea, India, Australia, New Zealand, Russia and the U.S. as members.

The president held one-on-one meetings on the sidelines of the summit with leaders from India, Malaysia and the Philippines. Administration officials said Obama discussed the issue of Myanmar in his meetings with Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and Philippine President Benigno Aquino III.

Earlier, in a move promoting American trade, Obama presided over a deal that will send Boeing planes to an Indonesian company and create jobs back home, underscoring the value of the lucrative Asia-Pacific market to a president needing some good economic news.

Obama stood watch as executives of Boeing and Lion Air, a private carrier in Indonesia, signed a deal that amounts to Boeing’s largest commercial plane order. Lion Air ordered 230 airplanes, and the White House said it would support tens of thousands of jobs in the U.S.


UFC’s Ben Henderson gets naked to make weight

UFC’s Ben Henderson gets naked to make weight, usually fighter try to make it in just their underwear.  But just like College wrestling, Henderson went old school.


All 20 fighters made weight for UFC on FOX.

Nov 11, 2011 – All 20 fighters made weight for the UFC On FOX card, Henderson had to do so naked.

Cain Velasquez steps will contain a whopping ten extra pounds UFC’s Junior dos Santos.

The weight intricacy did not seem to daunt dos Santos. “Get ready for a war,” dos Santos said after the weigh-in. Dos Santos will be fighting in the first championship fight in his career, and if anyone deserves it, he does.

In other historical events, the UFC makes history in its debut on network television and who other than fox is ready to enjoy all the benefits of the world’s fastest growing sport.

The Main Event is Live on FOX (7 p.m. Arizona Time):

·       Heavyweight Championship: Cain Velasquez (249) vs Junior dos Santos (239)

·       Preliminary Fights (Airing Live on UFC Facebook page at 2:45 p.m. Arizona Time):

·       Lightweight: Ben Henderson (156) vs Clay Guida (156)

·       Featherweight: Dustin Poirier (146) vs Pablo Garza (145)

·       Featherweight: Cub Swanson (145) vs Ricardo Lamas (145)

·       Welterweight: DaMarques Johnson (171) vs Clay Harvison (169)

·       Bantamweight: Kid Yamamoto (135) vs Darren Uyenoyama (135)

·       Bantamweight: Alex Caceres (136) vs Cole Escovedo (134)

·       Welterweight: Mike Pierce (171) vs Paul Bradley (171)

·       Light Heavyweight: Aaron Rosa (204) vs Matt Lucas (203)






Reverse the Effects of Gum Disease with Bone and Tissue Regeneration |

According to the American Dental Association (ADA)

  • Gum disease is the most common cause of tooth loss in the United States today, affecting nearly 10% of adults and many more who aren’t aware of their condition. Depending on the extent of an individual’s gum disease, a number of negative consequences can result, but there are solutions.
Scientific research

The following article explores the effects of gum disease and available treatment options.

Effects of Gum Disease
When heavily contaminated with bacteria, gums become severely inflamed. This inflammation causes the gums to pull away from the teeth and become infected. The gum begins to form spaces of pockets that allow infection to spread beneath the gum line. The bacteria begin to destroy the connective tissue and bone holding the teeth in place. Left untreated, the bones, gums, and tissue will be rendered useless and the teeth will become looser and looser until they have to be removed.

Treatment Options
Whether the patient is interested in tooth replacement or simply wants to reinforce the remaining teeth, bone and tissue regeneration is an option. This procedure will remove the infection and the doctor will place regenerative materials and tissue-stimulating proteins to induce the body’s natural healing process to regrow bone and tissue.

This procedure is the best bet to permit the patient to preserve a beautiful, natural smile, though it will require a customized home care program and proper professional cleanings. Keeping up with proper oral hygiene practices after this procedure is essential for maintaining the results. Regularly brushing and flossing is an essential habit for ensuring good tooth health.

For more information on bone and tissue regeneration or dental implants, contact Dr. Stuart J. Froum. Dr. Froum is a leading specialist in periodontics and can evaluate the state of your gums and suggest an appropriate method of treatment. Call (917) 338-0259 to schedule an appointment.

Written by Dr. Stuart J. From, DDS – Dentist NYC