Post and courier. April 26, 2022.
Editorial: Welcome to horseshoe crab protections, but SC still needs another one
It’s been a good week for those concerned about the health of South Carolina’s horseshoe crab population — and also the viability of endangered red knot shorebirds that rely on crab eggs. for food during their annual migration along our coast. But we still need more action from the state to address all of our related concerns.
First, the SC Department of Natural Resources decided not to issue a special permit to harvest horseshoe crabs from part of the ACE Basin, pristine coastal habitat south of Charleston – a decision that should never have been questioned. but unfortunately it was. A few days later, the US Fish and Wildlife Service announced that it would not allow Charles River Labs contractors to collect horseshoe crabs from the Cape Romain National Wildlife Refuge, another pristine habitat just north of Mount Pleasant. .
This latest move was particularly welcome as the protection of shorebirds is one of the main reasons the wildlife refuge was established here in the first place. Two environmental groups had sued the Fish and Wildlife Service when it allowed fishermen to collect crabs there; a judge temporarily halted the practice, and federal officials eventually decided to require permits for crab harvesting, ending the lawsuit. Most recently, the agency concluded that issuing such a permit would not be appropriate.
While state and federal actions have been laudable and prudent, the state still needs to do more to steer our wildlife regulators away from Charles River Labs, a pharmaceutical and animal breeding company that pays contractors to harvest crabs. . The company is bleeding crabs for a lucrative ingredient in an extract that can detect deadly toxins in vaccines and medical equipment. The main problem with this is that the state agency that regulates the company has no definitive data on whether the crab fishery has fallen below a sustainable level. Although bled crabs are returned to the ocean, their survival rates are unclear and the Department of Natural Resources does not even release information on the number of horseshoe crabs caught.
But, as we mentioned earlier, there have been some head-turning moves in Frankfurt. And this was one of them: the bill did not exclude pregnancies caused by rape or incest, which could require a victim, under the law, to carry the child to term. child of her rapist.
“These are violent crimes,” said Democratic Rep. Rachel Roberts. “This bill forces these women to be raped again.”
We certainly agree on this point. This needs to be rectified.
In overturning another bad ruling by the Democratic governor, Republicans were once again right to knock down Beshear’s veto of legislation that would ban transgender athletes from competing in gender-segregated sporting events from sixth grade through college. Under the new law, a student’s sex will be determined by the “biological sex” listed on the student’s certified birth certificate “as originally issued at the time of birth or adoption”.
Republican Senator Robby Mills, the bill’s lead sponsor, said the measure would allow girls and women to compete with other “biological women”.
It makes perfect sense.
Last, but not least, was a bill that thankfully didn’t reach the governor’s desk.
Senate Bill 63 — opposed by the Daily News, the Kentucky Press Association, the ACLU of Kentucky and many others — would have restricted freedom of speech for Kentuckians and made it impossible for local news outlets to report specific information on some of the most senior government officials. state officials.
If Senate Bill 63 had become law, public bodies would not have been allowed to release “personally identifiable information” if government officials and their family members had requested protection. This would include records disclosing birth, marriage, property and vehicle registration records as well as email addresses. If it had become law, newspapers wouldn’t have been allowed to run stories about an elected official coming to Bowling Green on a certain day and we wouldn’t have been able to tell before the trial which judge was going to hear the case. ‘affair.
Unfortunately, this bill was actually passed by the Senate and a House committee. Fortunately, it didn’t go any further.
Republican Senator Danny Carroll, sponsor of the bill, has also tried to pass this legislation in previous sessions.
Luckily for freedom of expression, it failed again.
Again, as the door closes on this session, we believe many good things for Kentucky have come out of this General Assembly. But ugly (and likely unconstitutional) legislation like SB 63 is going to pop up from time to time, and that’s why vigilance is always needed when lawmakers are in session.
Times and Democrat. April 28, 2022.
Editorial: Time outdoors makes sense to improve lives
A key debate during the pandemic has been how much danger a person is when outdoors. It seems clear that being outdoors has benefits in the fight against coronavirus, but there is much more.
News from Anderson University at Anderson and Professor Dr. Travis “Rocky” Nation, is information we all need. The College of Arts and Sciences biology professor and his students are looking for ways to deal with stress – naturally.
Nation used their own experiences as a springboard to further their studies of how to recognize stressors and deal with how they are internalized.
“Several years ago I had realized and recognized that stress and anxiety were friends or acquaintances. It was probably something that had been there for a very long time. I never really dealt with it” “Eventually, as is the case with many people, it came to a head and – long story short – I ended up in the ER. It was just a kind of reckoning time, an assessment of “what I’m doing and what I need to work on”.
It is a fact in life that there will always be things beyond our control. That said, Nation focuses its studies on the best ways to react when things go wrong.
“The big overarching message is that stress is universal; you can’t run away; you cannot eliminate it; but you can learn to manage it,” he said. “One of the big central themes is the concept of resilience and the ability to respond to disturbances and stressors and return to a normal, healthy state.”
For much of her life, Nation loved being outdoors. He believes that everyone can benefit from intentional time spent outdoors. With his students, Nation is studying how people’s heart rate and blood pressure are affected by spending more time outdoors.
Taking his class outside to nearby Rocky River Nature Park, he conducted research with his students. Students sit on folding outdoor chairs and do nothing but admire the sights and sounds.
“We would do a series of measurements. Even after 20 minutes, it’s quite remarkable. You see an average drop in heart rate and blood pressure and an increase in heart rate variability,” he said.
Nation advocates that exercise, healthy eating, and disconnecting from devices (phones, tablets, computers) help individuals become more resilient under pressure.
He created Carolina Wilderness Renewal (carolinawildernessrenewal.org), an organization offering programs to help those who help others by promoting the therapeutic value of nature. He wants to make presentations at seminars, continuing education and professional development activities. He also hopes to publish a book.
“The wheels of creativity started turning and I had the idea of starting a project to talk about stress and its physiological aspects, but also how to manage everything in the context of being outdoors. and incorporating some of these elements of forest bathing or ecotherapy. I tend to talk about nature-based stress management,” he said.
So what are the things anyone can do?
Nation says the simple act of going for a walk introduces the element of exercise.
“There’s a lot of research that suggests there’s something to do outdoors, whether it’s away from man-made noise or real parts of the environment like colors, textures and sounds that have been been shown to bring down these stress responses. Just taking a walk in a natural area if it’s not a wilderness area can have therapeutic effects. There are tons of papers that show this. a walk sometimes of 15 to 30 minutes is fine. Even more is better,” he said.
“It’s not a magic bullet. It is not a panacea. You’re not going to cure some illnesses by spending 30 minutes a day outside. It’s good for you and it can help eliminate some of the problems we have. But it’s pretty easy, it’s pretty accessible, and in most places it’s free.
Whether you’re an “outsider” or not, Nation’s approach is worth trying.
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