CB’s Green Report: Post Turkey Day News

Free veggies anyone? More than 40,000 people showed up to pick free vegetables left over from the harvest at a Colorado farm about 37 miles north of Denver. The farm owners expected about 5,000 to 10,000 people to pick a few carrots and potatoes last Saturday. Instead, more than 11,000 cars showed up and the people picked the fields clean. Owner, Ms. Miller, told the Denver Post, “Overwhelmed is putting it mildly. People obviously need food.”

And in Los Angeles recently, Mayor Villaraigosa revealed his long-range plan to generate “enough solar power to meet one-tenth of the city’s energy needs by 2020.” His goal could be achieved if solar panels are installed on public and private energy generating facilities as well as on residents’ homes. This initiative will also help the city’s Department of Water and Power reduce its use of fossil fuels, like natural gas and coal, and benefit global warming reduction efforts. If the Mayor’s plan were successful, Los Angeles would become the “hub of the solar-energy industry.”

The White House may become a “green” house. In the recent Barbara Walters interview with President-elect Barack Obama and his wife Michelle, Obama said that he wants to make the White House green. He plans to work with the chief usher for house and evaluate his new home’s energy efficiency. When asked why the focus on greening the house, Obama said, “Part of what I want to do is to show the American people that it’s not that hard.”

Global warming is a global concern. Although the global economy is in the pits right now, HSBC bank’s second annual global poll found that 43 percent think climate change is a bigger problem than the financial crisis. And 78 percent of those polled want their countries to do their “fair share” of reducing greenhouse gas emissions. Although the global citizens polled want their governments to fight global warming, invest in renewable energy (55 percent), and participate in climate talks (27 percent), as individuals, these people are less willing to change their own lifestyle than last year (47 percent in 2008 vs. 58 percent in 2007). Have they ever heard the expression that change begins with YOU?

So if you are a big greenie, where can you meet like-minded individuals? Funny you should ask. There is a new social networking site called Greenwala. The site is designed to help people learn more about being green, brag about their green works with family and friends.

Rihanna & Justin Timberlake in “Rehab” video

Rihanna is starting to grow on me. And choosing Justin Timberlake for her latest video, “Rehab,” was a step closer to making me a fan. Check out the duo walk back and forth (and back and forth some more) in heated passion I suppose. Don’t you wish love was that intoxicating?

Daily News Roundup: BlackBerries, Barack and Bombs

In technology news, the new BlackBerry Storm smartphone has a New York Times reviewer calling it the “BlackBerry Dud.” Unlike its predecessors, the BlackBerry Pearl and Bold, the Storm model doesn’t appear to live up to the BlackBerry tradition. According to the review, the new touchscreen (designed to compete with the iPhone) doesn’t respond well to touch. And its lauded email capabilities have been compromised on the new Storm. Hey BlackBerry makers, Research in Motion (R.I.M.) maybe you should have listened to the old adage: if it’s not broken don’t fix it….(Note: Blackberries still outsell iPhone).

With the U.S. economic problems looming, President-Elect Barack Obama named Paul Volcker, the former Federal Reserve Chairman to head his Economic Recovery Advisory Committee. Obama chose Volcker for his independent and fresh thinking. “At this defining moment for our nation, the old ways of thinking and acting just won’t do,” Obama said at a news conference in Chicago reported Bloomberg. This economic board will look for new ways to revive the U.S. economy.

In other President-elect cabinet news, sources tell CNN that Defense Secretary Robert Gates will keep his job for at least the first year of Obama’s administration. These sources also report “Obama is interested in some continuity at the Pentagon because he is entering office while dealing with two wars in Iraq and Afghanistan as well as the international financial crisis.” Other analysts claim the new president-elect is demonstrating his commitment to bipartisanship.

And if we haven’t noticed, the President-elect is making his cabinet picks fairly quickly. Obama is once again making presidential history with choosing his picks faster than most of the other presidents. Many political insiders are surprised because of the President-elect’s extensive candidate questionnaire and background check. Yet Obama appears committed to acting quickly to ensure a quick transition that will strengthen the economy and preserve jobs, which are on the minds of most Americans.

And if following up on his earlier threat to Obama, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) said al Qaeda has sent a “plausible but unsubstantiated” report to Federal authorities that may have mentioned attacking transit systems in or around New York City. The DHS and FBI said Tuesday that the attacks would be waged with suicide bombers or explosives on trains and subways. Although the agencies don’t have details at this moment, they issued the warning because of a potential attack during the holiday season.

Letterman’s Top Ten Excuses For Palin’s Turkey Slaughter Interview

In the spirit of Thanksgiving around the corner, Alaska Governor Sarah Palin pardoned a turkey. However, during her turkey-themed interview, the cameraman catches a poor turkey being slaughtered in the background (which Palin appears not to notice) in the now-infamous video. Well, funny man David Letterman’s “Top Ten” list Monday gave Palin’s excuses for the turkey kill, which poked fun at her foreign policy (in)experience and earlier Katie Couric interview among other campaign blunders.

Six Apart Offers Bailout Program for Journalists — Including Me

With the economy in serious trouble, automakers and financial institutions are seeking a government bailout. And the banks and financial folks got one to the tune of $700 billion. Well, The New York Times recently reported that Six Apart, the maker of Moveable Type blogs called TypePad, has created a bailout program of their own: “The Journalist Bailout Program.” (Spoiler alert—they interviewed me!)

The new initiative is designed to help journalists who recently lost their jobs get back on their feet. Once accepted into the program, Six Apart will give 20 to 30 individuals a TypePad pro blog with full technical support (worth about $150 a year), inclusion in its advertising program (which is an opportunity to earn money) and his or her blog featured on Blogs.com, a blog aggregator site. Six Apart’s Moveable Type software and platform is used by some great sites like Barack Obama’s campaign site, The Washington Post, and NPR—just to name a few. This is a huge gesture and generous offering for struggling journalists who may need both financial and technical help to start blogging.

About a week or so ago, I saw a Tweet about the program. (I’m a bigger Twitter user and advocate.) So, I immediately clicked on the link and saw blogger and Six Apart vice president, Anil Dash’s, blog post about the opportunity.


Lorne S. Wellington Makes Bras Beautiful Again for Breast Cancer Survivors

I was recently tipped off to the accomplishment of one exceptional lady! Lorne S. Wellington of Sculpted Silhouette in Culver City, Calif. is doing really good work. Known as “The Chief Bra Lady,” Wellington has created a product called “The Bra Pocket,” which allows women who underwent a mastectomy due to breast cancer to wear regular bras. “This multi-colored disc-shaped pocket transforms almost any bra into a prosthetic bra,” said Wellington. “No longer do you have to choose from limited styles and designs for bras.” This pocket device goes a long way in the emotional aspect of losing a breast, which may leave some women feeling unbalanced and unattractive. Breast cancer survivors can now wear any bra of their choosing. How empowering!

Sculpted Silhouette also “fits, sells and educates women of all shapes and sizes about bras and the right fit.” I encourage all the ladies out there to check her out.

To women doing great things,

The Caramel Bella

The U.S. is One Step Closer to Hillary Clinton as Obama’s Secretary of State

After much back and forth, examining of Bill Clinton’s financial records, it appears that President-elect Obama is going to offer Hillary Clinton the Secretary of State position in his cabinet. And although Clinton has not formally accepted the position, the Los Angeles Times reports “she is ready to give up her Senate seat.” It looks like it’s going to be a Obama-Clinton team after all. For more, check out the news clip above.


The Caramel Bella

Couric Gives Letterman the Details on Her Palin Interview

Many of us saw and held our breath as Republican vice presidential candidate, Sarah Palin, conducted one of her first on-camera interviews following her nomination with Katie Couric a couple of months ago. There were several moments during the questioning that Palin was stumped and had a difficult time answering the questions. Couric talks for the first time about the interview on “The Dave Letterman Show” recently. Check out the clip from the interview.

CB’s Green Report: Beetles & Bills

Our western forests are under attack. All across the west, a bark beetle, which is the size of a piece of rice, is turning grown trees into red dust. The New York Times reported recently that “Montana has lost a million acres of trees to the beetles, and in northern Colorado and southern Wyoming the situation is worse.” Forest consultants are worried that the beetle, whose Latin name means “tree killer”, could end up in the Great Lakes. Several landowners are actually cutting down trees to prevent the infestation.

Obama means business with global warming initiatives. During a climate change conference in California on Tuesday, President-elect Obama (via video) “repeated his campaign vow to reduce climate-altering carbon dioxide emissions by 80 percent by 2050, and invest $150 billion in new energy-saving technologies.” And it appears Congress is listening….

Global warming bills on the horizon. Democratic Senators are already planning to introduce global warming legislation at the beginning of the year. Senator Barbara Boxer (D-Calif.), who is the chairwoman of the Senate Environment and Public Works committee, is planning to create legislation that will directly address Obama’s promises to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

Speaking of emissions. And the 2009 Green Car award goes to the 2009 Volkswagen Jetta TDI. The announcement was made Thursday at the Los Angeles Auto Show. Although there has been a lot talk about hybrids and plug-in vehicles, the 2009 Jetta TDI is “clean diesel” powered. The Green Journal wrote: “The 2009 Jetta TDI breaks new ground in the field of clean diesels, achieving emissions certification in all 50 states without the use of special additives or extraordinary measures.” And for those of us that are fuel conscious, the Jetta gets an amazing 41-mpg on the highway!

CB’s Daily News Break: Racial Slurs and Cabinet Rumors

In a message that appeared Wednesday on Islamist web sites, al Qaeda’s second-in-command warns President-elect Barack Obama about the “heavy legacy of failure and crimes that await him.” He also urged Muslims to keep up the attacks on the U.S. Perhaps in an attempt to anger and insult America’s next president, the terrorist leader, Al Zawahiri, also called Obama, Condoleezza Rice and Colin Powell, the “direct opposite of honorable black Americans” like Malcolm X. Zawahiri even went as far as to call them “house slaves” or the racial slur of “house Negroes.”

The buzz is surrounding Obama’s current picks for several key members of his cabinet. Sources tell CNN that Sen. Tom Daschle is being considered for the Secretary of Health and Human Services job. Daschle, the former Senate Majority Leader, is expected to take the position if offered.  And for the Attorney General job, Eric Holder, who was Clinton’s Deputy Attorney General, is the top choice for Obama. Holder, who co-chaired Obama’s vice president selection process, is also expected to accept the position.  History could be made again because “if confirmed, Holder would be the first African-American to lead the Justice Department.”

And Bill Clinton is trying to help his wife get the Secretary of State position in Obama’s cabinet. Clinton has offered to allow ethical reviews of his philanthropic and business work to ensure there isn’t a conflict of interest. Unlike Holder and Daschle, Clinton is reportedly unsure whether she will take the position. She will have to choose between remaining in the Senate or accepting the new position. “The question is where she can be of best service,” said a Clinton adviser.

More dismal news on the economic front. The U.S. cost of living fell by the most since the records began in 1947. The fewest number of homes (known as housing starts) were constructed last month. And the consumer price index (CPI) has slide backwards, which means deflation. Yes, this recession is the worst once for at least a quarter of a century.

And Xbox 360 gamers may be rejoicing worldwide. On Wednesday, Microsoft unveiled a revamped Xbox gaming console. The new internet-connected setup includes an updated dashboard, the ability to purchase movies and games from Xbox.com and streaming HD Netflix movies with membership. The “New Xbox Experience” (NXE) is available to Xbox Live members.



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my luvs

My Maltese puppy; lazy Sunday mornings; a day at the Beach; Yoga; breakfast anytime of the day; my gurls (and you know who you are); my family (I’m a daddy’s girl); making new friends; Los Angeles & Washington, DC; ocean views; Anguilla; healthy foods that don’t taste healthy; politics; "greenie" things; meditating; natural curls and movies.

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Bad drivers, cranky and moody people, lack of sleep, crime, filth

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  • profileCARAMEL BELLA: This is my place to write about my adventures and mis-adventures in this thing called life. I discuss my passions: the environment, politics, art & culture, writing as well as yoga, health and spirituality. The one thing you can expect from this blog is that it is not what you expected. Thanks for reading! To reach me email thecaramelbella at gmail.



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