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Published: 04/28/11

Calif. Lawmakers Seek Liquefaction as Alternative to Cremation

By  Tori Richards - AOL News
Calif. Lawmakers Seek Liquefaction as Alternative to Cremation

It sounds like the stuff of horror movies -- placing a body in a steel tube and then covering it with a mixture of water and acid until most of the remains are liquefied. But it's actually a scientific process called alkaline hydrolysis that is on track toward becoming an alternative to cremation in California. Lawmakers are unanimously supporting a bill that would legalize the procedure with heavy oversight at mortuaries and funeral homes. Last year Florida passed a similar law, but no business has a license to perform the procedure. California Assemblyman Jeff Miller sponsored the bill...

Published: 04/22/11

Obama's Deficit Plans Run Into Economic Reality

By  not in system - AOL News
Obama's Deficit Plans Run Into Economic Reality

LOS ANGELES -- President Barack Obama headed west to sell his big picture deficit-reduction plan. But many people are waiting for a quick fix to their own economic problems caused chiefly by persistent unemployment and the crippled housing market. Audiences in California and Nevada understood why it's important to get a handle on the deficit over the long term. Yet they made clear that the economic recovery hasn't fully taken hold in ways that are meaningful to them. As Obama shifts into re-election mode, he will need to show that he hasn't lost his focus on jobs even as the conversation in...

Published: 04/22/11

California Family Approaches Zero Waste

By  Rebecca Delaney - AOL News
California Family Approaches Zero Waste

You recycle your junk mail and your water bottles, you bought some new energy-efficient light bulbs and you bring your own shopping bags to the grocery store. You feel pretty good about your green self, right? Well, meet the Johnson family of Mill Valley, Calif. All of their household trash for the past six months takes up slightly more than a wineglass -- and they are not hoarders. Courtesy Bea Johnson Bea Johnson and her family, of Mill Valley, Calif., are working toward a "zero-waste" lifestyle in they don't buy any food with packaging. They also compost food waste, using...

Published: 04/19/11

Prison Guards Getting Payoff for Supporting Calif. Gov. Jerry Brown?

By  Tori Richards - AOL News
Prison Guards Getting Payoff for Supporting Calif. Gov. Jerry Brown?

A taxpayer rights group has blasted California Gov. Jerry Brown, a Democrat, for giving the prison guards who funded his re-election a new contract that will eventually cost millions to a state that is virtually bankrupt. The new contract, which must be ratified by the Democrat-controlled Legislature, undoes reforms that were put in place by former Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger aimed at curbing the powerful California Correctional Peace Officers Association. Specifically, Schwarzenegger imposed furlough days and refused to sign a new contract granting additional benefits. Justin Sullivan,...

Published: 04/18/11

Calif. Debates Place of Gay History in Textbooks

By  not in system - AOL News
Calif. Debates Place of Gay History in Textbooks

SAN FRANCISCO, Calif. -- California conservatives were outraged in 1966 when the state Board of Education adopted a new junior high school history textbook. The book's inclusive treatment of the civil rights movement and influential black Americans would indoctrinate students, undermine religious values and politicize the curriculum, they said. Forty-five years later, gay rights advocates say similar arguments are being advanced to defeat a bill that would make the state the first to require the teaching of gay history in public schools. The California Senate approved the landmark measure...

Published: 04/16/11

Toxic Chemicals Injected Into Wells, Democratic Report Says

By  not in system - AOL News
Toxic Chemicals Injected Into Wells, Democratic Report Says

WASHINGTON -- Millions of gallons of potentially hazardous chemicals and known carcinogens were injected into wells by leading oil and gas service companies from 2005-2009, a report by three House Democrats said Saturday. The report said 29 of the chemicals injected were known-or-suspected human carcinogens. They either were regulated under the Safe Drinking Water Act as risks to human health or listed as hazardous air pollutants under the Clean Air Act. Methanol was the most widely used chemical. The substance is a hazardous air pollutant and is on the candidate list for potential...

Published: 04/16/11

Gas Prices Top $4 in Nation's Capital, 5 States

By  not in system - AOL News
Gas Prices Top $4 in Nation's Capital, 5 States

NEW YORK -- Drivers in Washington, D.C., on Saturday joined motorists in five states who are paying more than $4 per gallon for gasoline. The average price for gas in New York could top $4 by early next week. Hawaii, Alaska, California, Illinois and Connecticut already have pump prices above that mark, according to AAA's Daily Fuel Gauge. Hawaii has the highest price in the U.S. at $4.47 per gallon. Jae C. Hong, AP Gas prices are reflected on an SUV at a gas station in Los Angeles late last month. Gas prices have topped $4 per gallon in Hawaii, Alaska, California, Illinois,...

Published: 04/15/11

A Sign? Man Bursts Into Flames at San Francisco Sex Shop

By  David Lohr - AOL News
A Sign? Man Bursts Into Flames at San Francisco Sex Shop

For seven years, Roger Huang, a pastor who runs a rescue mission in San Francisco's Tenderloin district, has been trying to shut down the sex shops there. This week he may have seen a sign that his efforts are working. On Wednesday, a man burst into flames while inside one of those porn shops, police said. Could this bizarre incident be attributed to a higher power? Jeff Costello, AOL News An employee smokes in front of the Golden Gate Adult Superstore in San Francisco. "I believe so. I definitely believe so," Huang told AOL News, adding that he hopes the unidentified man is...

Published: 04/14/11

Fires Rage, Drought Intensifies in Southern Plains, Southwest

By  Paul Yeager - AOL News
Fires Rage, Drought Intensifies in Southern Plains, Southwest

While much of the country has been hit with flooding rain, dangerous thunderstorms and even late-season snow, just the opposite in the Southwest and Southern Plains has resulted in a decidedly different problem: extreme drought and wildfires. Extremely dry ground and vegetation, very low humidity and strong winds are fueling numerous fires in eastern New Mexico, western and northern Texas and Oklahoma. More than 360,000 acres of land have been burned nationally by ongoing fires this week, according to the National Interagency Fire Center. More than 900,000 acres have been burned so far this...

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3/14/11 at 11:00 PM

French Comedy 'Potiche' Mixes Laughs With Social Message

By  Eleanor Clift

For women, and men too, weary of nuance and...

3/14/11 at 8:27 AM

Can the Girl Scouts Help Balance Georgia's Budget?

By  Joanne Bamberger

If Georgia lawmakers get their way,...

3/13/11 at 1:30 PM

Mom Has Cancer. Her Son Reacts.

By  Donna Trussell

My friend Julie Levine had everything I...

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