Saturday, May 16, 2009

Are You Eating Too Much Salt?

We may be getting nearly four times the amount of salt we need
By Kate Barrett
ABC News

Today one group advocating healthy eating says that at some chain restaurants, we may be getting nearly four times the amount of salt we need in a day in one single sitting.

"If the meal was high in fat, it was high in salt. If it was low in fat, it was low in salt. Salt city at restaurants," Michael Jacobson, executive director of Center for Science in the Public Interest told ABC News.

Instead of eating those meals, some suggest steering clear of salty foods and choosing healthier alternatives when eating out, cooking at home and even opting for drive-through where portions are smaller.

U.S. dietary guidelines recommend healthy adults get a maximum daily dose of about 2,300 mg of salt. But some of the meals on CSPI's list had more than 6,000 mg. With large portion sizes, sit-down restaurants like Red Lobster, Chili's and Olive Garden can be more of a problem than fast food.

Doctors like Keith Ayoob, director of the nutrition clinic at Albert Einstein College of Medicine, worry because too much salt can contribute to high blood pressure, potentially leading to heart attack and stroke.

But salt is an inexpensive flavor enhancer that your taste buds quickly get used to and crave -- and it can be tricky to monitor how much you're consuming, Ayoob said.

Two cases in point: An otherwise healthy stir-fry can be loaded with salt and so can broth-based soups.

See: Are You Eating Too Much Salt?

GM not renewing 1,100 dealers' leases

GM seeking to reduce the number of dealers from 6,200 to roughly 3,600
By Christopher K. Hepp - Inquirer Staff Writer

Notifications came a day after Chrysler, which is in bankruptcy, announced it was cutting ties with 789 of its 3,200 dealers, including 11 in the Philadelphia region.

The moves by both automakers are designed to bolster performance by reducing the number of competing dealerships.

GM is seeking to reduce the number of its dealers from about 6,200 to roughly 3,600 by the end of 2010. The remaining cuts will come from closed Saturn and Hummer dealers, along with 400 dealers that the company expects will close voluntarily. An additional 500 would be consolidated into other dealerships.

GM is doing so as part of a restructuring aimed at saving the automaker. It has received $15.4 billion in aid from the federal government and faces a June 1 government-imposed deadline to dramatically reduce costs or file for bankruptcy. Chief executive officer Fritz Henderson said yesterday that bankruptcy was "probable."

See: GM not renewing 1100 dealers' leases

Chrysler Plans to Shut 1 in 4 of Its U.S. Dealers

Nearly 800 dealers were given notice that they would be cut off next month
By Bill Vlasic and Nick Bunkley
New York Times

The historic downsizing of the American auto industry swept through new-car showrooms on Thursday, as dealers across the country, from Fuller Jeep in Rockland, Me., to Island Dodge in Hawaii, learned that they would be forced to close their doors.

In all, nearly 800 dealers selling various Chrysler brands were given notice Thursday that they would be cut off next month. Meanwhile, General Motors is preparing to close up to 2,600 more of its dealers by next year.

Dealers like Ward Drennen, who runs the business his great-grandfather opened 101 years ago near Birmingham, Ala., learned of their fate in letters delivered Thursday morning by U.P.S.
“I had a small crowd around me when I opened it, all hoping for the best,” said Mr. Drennen, who took over ownership of Don Drennen Chrysler Jeep from his ailing father only a few days ago.

“We were shocked,” he said. “We’ve been in Birmingham for almost as long as Birmingham has been here, and selling cars for almost as long as they’ve been building them.”

The National Automobile Dealers Association has estimated that all the dealership closings, including ones already announced by G.M. and Chrysler, represent 187,000 jobs, more than the number of people who work for the two car companies in the United States.

“Even though we knew it was coming, it’s still a shock to see those names in black and white,” said John McEleney, chairman of the dealers association.

The unprecedented closings reflect the precarious financial state of both G.M. and Chrysler, which have been subsisting on government loans since the beginning of the year.

See: Go to Article from The New York Times »

Nike to cut about 1,750 jobs worldwide

Demand for its products slow as the global economic meltdown hurt consumer spending
By Sarah Skidmore
Associated Press

Shoe and apparel company Nike Inc. said Thursday that it will cut about 1,750 jobs worldwide, or 5 percent of its global work force.

About 500 of the jobs lost will be at Nike's world headquarters in Beaverton, Ore. The company did not specify what departments the cuts would be in.

Nike had announced in February that it would cut jobs as part of a realignment of its business. In March, it said it was reducing layers of management, among other organizational changes.
Like many companies, Nike has seen demand for its products slow as the global economic meltdown hurt consumer spending.

The company plans to complete the reductions in the coming weeks.

"Our new structure sharpens our consumer focus globally to drive continued growth while positioning Nike Inc. competitively in today's marketplace," Chief Executive Mark Parker said in a statement. "We remain a growth company and we know these changes have created a stronger organization that will enable us to invest in our most significant opportunities."

The company, whose other brands include Converse, Cole Haan and Umbro, remains the industry leader. But Nike saw its profit drop in the most recent quarter, largely on one-time items, and its revenue fell 2 percent as the economic downturn dragged on.

Friday, May 15, 2009

California to layoffs of 5,000 state workers

Calif. ordering layoffs to cover $15.4B deficit
By Judy Lin
Associated Press

California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger said Thursday that thousands of state employees must be laid off and billions of dollars must be slashed from the budget to deal with a deficit that tops $15 billion and could widen again within days.

"I understand that these cuts are very painful and they affect real lives," Schwarzenegger said during a news conference. "This is the harsh reality and the reality that we face. Sacramento is not Washington — we cannot print our own money. We can only spend what we have."
The state approved billions in budget cuts and revenue increases earlier this year but they were not enough to keep up with a sharp drop in tax revenue as the recession batters the state's economy.

California still faces a deficit of $15.4 billion in the fiscal year that starts July 1. That will grow to $21.3 billion if voters reject budget-related measures during a special election next week.
The Republican governor released budget proposals that account for both deficit numbers and call for across-the-board cuts that will strike at the core of state services.

Starting Friday, the administration will send layoff notices to 5,000 state government employees, a move that is designed to cut the general work force by 5 percent but would take months to complete. Funding for health and human services and the higher education system also would be cut.

See: Calif. ordering layoffs to cover $15.4B deficit

Monday, May 11, 2009

KOY-Office of Environmental Affairs Recommends Planting Vegetable Gardens

Vegetable Gardens Save Money, Environmentally-Friendly
KNN Staff

Gardening means different things to different people. Thousands view gardening as a hobby, a relaxing escape from the pressures of an urban environment. For these people, the food produced may be almost secondary. Growing fresh vegetables, herbs, or fruits provides a great sense of joy and accomplishment. A vegetable garden can also reduce the family's food budget, and it can be a source of hard-to-find vegetables such as kohlrabi, Chinese cabbage, horseradish, salsify, and pak choi. One of the main reasons that people garden is that vegetables from the supermarket cannot compare in taste, quality, or freshness with vegetables grown in the home garden.

A great many things happen when you plant a vegetable garden, some of them directly related to climate change, others indirect but related nevertheless. Growing food, we forget, comprises the original solar technology: calories produced by means of photosynthesis. Years ago the cheap-energy mind discovered that more food could be produced with less effort by replacing sunlight with fossil-fuel fertilizers and pesticides, with a result that the typical calorie of food energy in your diet now requires about 10 calories of fossil-fuel energy to produce. It’s estimated that the way we feed ourselves (or rather, allow ourselves to be fed) accounts for about a fifth of the greenhouse gas for which each of us is responsible.

Let's change the world - Plant a vegetable garden today!!!!