Health Benefits of the Beach and Sea Water

beach and sea wtaer

by Desroches Hotel

We all love relaxing on the beach, but did you know that there are countless health benefits of the beach and sea water as well?

Simply by throwing on a swim suit and driving to the shore, you can help improve your acne, skin smoothness, dandruff, brain strength, and more.

Combine the salt water with sand, sun, seaweed, and seafood, and it’s practically like going to a spa—if you know what to do, that is.

The Health and Beauty Benefits of Salt Water

Many of us have been told that sea water is good for us. We have been told to “take our troubles to the water,” but what does the ocean really do for our health?

Well, let’s start off with the basics. We are made up of water. Our bodies consist of about two-thirds water, and the only mineral we can ingest is salt. We have the elements of sea water within our systems, so how does swimming in the ocean help us?

  1. First of all, sea water is a miracle treatment for acne and semi-permanent scars. Salt is an excellent curing, clearing, and cleansing agent. Why do you think we cure pork with salt? Sodium chloride helps to cleanse the skin and is effective for mild acne. Instead of using harsh chemicals that can damage pores and cause scarring, try taking a trip to the waves instead.
  2. Salt water heals cuts and sores. Have you ever been told to go into the ocean for your scrapes? Salt water has been used as a cleanser for thousands of years. It helps rid the skin of toxins and cures cuts. That’s why it is often recommended that we gargle with salt water. Salt also dries out the pus in wounds. It may sting when you first touch the water, but when you come out, your sores should be much less painful than they were before you went in.
  3. Salt water also acts as a natural shampoo. Have you noticed that your hair is extremely dry after coming out of the water? This is because the salt in the ocean removes excess oils. If you have a particularly greasy scalp, then salt water is an excellent way to strip those heavy oils. Bathing in sea water also adds volume to your hair, especially if you use many products. The salt gets rid of the built-up chemicals from conditioners, hair sprays, and gels, and thus your hair isn’t nearly as weighed down. The water even gets rid of dandruff, especially when the salt particles are large, because it acts as an exfoliant to your scalp.
  4. It clears your nasal passageways. If you’ve ever gone into the water with a stuffed nose, you know that the moment salt water enters your nose, tons of goop comes seeping out. Gross, right? If you’ve ever had a stuffed nose, you may have used a neti pot full of salt water to cleanse your sinuses. Doctors often recommend flushing the nostrils with salt water to help alleviate built-up mucus. Why use a neti pot when you can just go for a swim? Don’t worry, whatever goes into the water gets cleansed by the ocean’s natural janitors, the algae and sea plants.
  5. Finally, swimming in sea water helps you stay fit. This is perhaps the most conventional of the beach’s benefits. When you are swimming, you use muscles in your shoulders, arms, and legs that aren’t used in any other activity. That’s why swimming is often recommended as a great way to exercise. Even treading water at a fast pace will burn 590 calories an hour if you weigh less than 130 lbs. If you weigh more, then it burns even more calories.

Is it Healthy to Drink Salt Water?

You’ve probably heard that drinking salt water is bad for you, and this is certainly true if it is your only source of hydration. Salt water is called a hypertonic fluid because it has a has a salinity level of 35. It contains almost four times the amount of salt than human blood! Too much salt causes cell shrinkage and wreaks havoc on our bodies. If you drink too much salt water, you will actually deplete your body of fluids.

You may have been told that salt is bad for you, and it is true that excess sodium is not healthy. However, if you have good health, watch your diet, and do not overindulge in salty foods, drinking a solution of salty water can be good for you. Small doses of unrefined sea salt can be very beneficial to your health, since salt has many trace minerals and nutrients your body needs. Salty water and drinks are imbibed after a heavy workout by extreme athletes to help them regain the salt and fluid they lost in sweat. Salt water was used in ancient Ayurvedic practices to cleanse and detox the body. Some say drinking salt water helps clean and repair your digestive tract. Among other benefits, salt helps to

  • maintain a healthy balance of blood sugar
  • regulate your metabolism
  • boost the immune system
  • maintain bone strength
  • alleviate inflammation
  • maintain healthy skin

Instead of drinking seawater (which may be too impure or salty), most proponents of doing a salt water flush simply drink a big glass of moderately-salty water when they get up in the morning. Simply dissolve anywhere from 3 or 4 teaspoons of good salt (sea salt, Himalayan salt, or iodized salt is fine) in about 4 cups of water and drink.

Consult your doctor before you add any salt to your diet.

The Health and Beauty Benefits of Sand

Obviously, at the beach, sand is everywhere. We walk in it, bury ourselves in it, and play with it. But how do these little grains of rock turn the beach into a spa?

  1. Perhaps most importantly, sand is a natural exfoliant. Have you ever noticed that after leaving the beach, the soles of your feet are really soft? This is because you’ve been walking around on the sand all day! The finer the sand, the better the exfoliation. Although I do not recommend using sand on your face because it can be harsh, for your legs, feet, arms, or torso, the grains make for a healthy alternative to the chemical-heavy exfoliants you buy at the store. It is important to exfoliate because you are simultaneously stripping away dead skin cells (thereby making your skin soft to the touch) and allowing your pores to breathe better (making break-outs less likely). It is recommended that you exfoliate twice a week. So now you have an excuse to head to the beach!
  2. Walking in sand also helps you stay fit. Did you ever notice how walking on the beach takes so much more effort than walking on the ground? This is because of the sand’s inconsistency and how it shifts under your feet. You burn up to 50% more calories walking on sand—plus, since your muscles are trying so hard to get traction, they get toned a lot faster. Now you know why those beach joggers are so fit!
  3. Finally, have you ever buried yourself in the sand? You might have thought this was just a fun thing to do, but it turns out that doing this is good for you, too. It increases your body’s overall resistance and also raises your circulation and metabolism. Your body works a lot harder with all that extra weight on it. This is similar to the effect of being bigger than other people: It’s easy to see that the more you weigh, the harder your body has to work. This is why it is often easier for people who are especially thin to do exercise than someone who has more weight. By burying yourself in the sand, your body has to work harder, thus increasing your heart rate and consequently your metabolism.

Health and Beauty Benefits of Sun and Heat

We all love to bathe in the sun’s warm rays, but this relaxing activity can also help your body and mind.

  1. It is a well-known fact that human beings should get some sun. Ideally, you should spend at least half an hour in full sun daily. Most people know that light from the sun stimulates vitamin D production in your body, but what does vitamin D do? Well, in scientific terms, it is a fat-soluble vitamin or a secosteroid. It goes into the nucleus of cells in your body and either turns them on or off. Vitamin D helps to reduce your risk of heart attacks, osteoporosis, Alzheimer’s, and depression, while also boosting your immune system, reducing acne, and combating type 2 diabetes. Perhaps most importantly, vitamin D helps to dramatically reduce your risk of cancer. Due to the growing shift towards working in cubicles and offices rather than outside, vitamin D levels are at an all-time low worldwide. There’s a great excuse to go to the beach! Don’t forget to use a sunscreen of at least SPF 15 because this way you will get vitamin D but reduce the risk of skin cancer.
  2. It turns out that exposure to the sun also makes you happier. People who don’t spend at least a half an hour a day in the sun are nine times as likely to be depressed. So keep that smile going strong by going to the beach.
  3. The sun also makes you look great. This one may go without saying, but I had to include it on this list because it’s one of my main reasons for going to the beach. Sunlight stimulates the production of melanin in your skin (gives you a gorgeous tan). It also lightens hair, giving it natural and lustrous streaks. (Don’t forget to use shampoo that has SPF 15 because your hair can get damaged from too much exposure.)
  4. Finally, the sun (and consequently the heat) also makes you perspire which, as it turns out, stimulates your heart rate, circulation, and metabolism. Sweating is very healthy, ridding the body of excess toxins while also helping it cool off. So don’t be afraid to let out the sweat!

Health and Beauty Benefits of Seaweed and Sea Food

Seaweed is one of the most revolutionary and extraordinary natural health agents of all time. According to recent studies conducted by biochemist Dr. Haengwoo Lee, the benefits of seaweed are staggering. Seafood (such as crabs, oysters, lobsters, and salmon), while being delicious, is also wonderful for you brain and heart.

  1. Seaweedcontains an antioxidant that is up to 100 times more powerful than antioxidants like vitamins C and E. This “super-antioxidant” has wondrous health benefits. Studies show that taking a seaweed supplement for only six weeks can reduce LDL (bad) cholesterol while increasing HDL (good) cholesterol, increasing the elasticity and openness of arteries, improving memory, boosting circulation, enhancing mental sharpness, and even helping you sleep better.
  2. Seafood, especially salmon, tuna, and catfish, contain omega 3 fatty acids. Normally our bodies get bombarded by omega 6 fatty acids, these fats are found usually in chips or other packaged products. However, over 70% of humans lack omega 3 fatty acids because they are so hard to find. Among the few foods that have omega 3s besides seafood are nuts and avocados. But fish and fish oil is undoubtedly the most plentiful supply of these healthy fats. Omega 3 not only regulates the triglycerides in the blood, but also reduces blood clotting, inflammation, risk of heart disease and stroke, and is vital in the production of brain and eye tissue. It’s so important that it is often added to baby formula.

So after your day of spa treatments at the beach, get some of the other benefits from the ocean while also filling your belly by getting some seafood. Pair it with seaweed, as they do in sushi, and you’ll maximize the benefits!

Final Word

Don’t forget to moisturize when you get home from the beach. Although the sand and water are good for you, salt can also be drying, so after a day at the beach spa, take a shower, and put on some lotion.

Grassroots Opposition to Offshore Drilling and Exploration in the Atlantic Ocean and Eastern Gulf of Mexico

best-central-california-beaches

by Oceana Protecting the World’s Oceans

Overview

East Coast communities strongly oppose offshore oil and gas drilling and exploration, including seismic airgun blasting—an extremely loud and dangerous process used to search for oil and gas deposits deep below the ocean’s surface—because these activities threaten their economic well-being and quality of life.  Along the Atlantic coast, communities rely on healthy ocean ecosystems to support jobs in fishing, recreation and tourism.

As of February 2018, more than 160 East Coast municipalities and over 1,200 local, state and federal elected officials including the Governors of New Jersey, Delaware, Maryland, Virginia, North Carolina and South Carolina, have formally opposed offshore drilling and/or seismic airgun blasting. Numerous fishing and tourism interests, including local chambers of commerce, tourism and restaurant associations, and an alliance representing over 41,000 businesses and 500,000 fishing families from Florida to Maine, also oppose oil exploration and/or development in the Atlantic. The South, Mid-Atlantic, and New England Fishery Management Councils have all expressed concerns about the risks posed by seismic surveys and oil and gas development to managed resources, fisheries and coastal communities along the Atlantic coast. Finally, NASA, the Department of Defense, and the Florida Defense Support Task Force have all expressed concerns about expanded offshore oil and gas development threatening their ability to perform critical activities.

Click here to view the full size map.

Where the movement began: Kure Beach, North Carolina, a picturesque tourist destination known for its small town atmosphere and the oldest fishing pier on the Atlantic coast, was ground zero in the fight against offshore oil exploration in the Atlantic Ocean. This tiny spit of sand that 2,000 people call home sparked a movement that has spread like wildfire up and down the East Coast. On January 27, 2014, more than 300 residents showed up to protest the mayor’s position on seismic airgun blasting. Check out the video of the meeting, and read more on our blog.

Ever since that fateful night in January, opposition to seismic airgun blasting and Atlantic drilling has been mounting. Members of Congress and East Coast Governors need to hear from the people who will be most affected by seismic blasting and offshore drilling — and that’s where you come in. We have some great momentum, but we’re only going to #StopTheDrill if more of us take up the call, and urge our elected officials to #ProtectOurCoast. Check out all the opposition to offshore oil and gas exploration and development, spread the word and join the movement.

Equal Pay Day Bill S.257 filed by Senator Mia McLeod -Financial Advancement for SC Women

senator-mcleod-swearing-inBy Bridget Birchett April 6, 2017

 

CaucusLogo

Forty Six Blue Report is an Exclusive partner of the SC Legislative Black Caucus

S. 257

STATUS INFORMATION

General Bill
Sponsors: Senator McLeod
Document Path: l:\council\bills\nl\13652sd17.docx
Companion/Similar bill(s): 3599

Introduced in the Senate on January 17, 2017
Currently residing in the Senate Committee on Labor, Commerce and Industry

Summary: SC Equal Pay for Equal Work Act

HISTORY OF LEGISLATIVE ACTIONS

     Date      Body   Action Description with journal page number
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------
   1/17/2017  Senate  Introduced and read first time (Senate Journal-page 3)
   1/17/2017  Senate  Referred to Committee on Labor, Commerce and Industry 
                        (Senate Journal-page 3)

View the latest legislative information at the website

VERSIONS OF THIS BILL

1/17/2017

(Text matches printed bills. Document has been reformatted to meet World Wide Web specifications.)

A BILL

TO AMEND THE CODE OF LAWS OF SOUTH CAROLINA, 1976, TO ENACT THE “SOUTH CAROLINA EQUAL PAY FOR EQUAL WORK ACT”, BY ADDING CHAPTER 12 TO TITLE 41 SO AS TO PROHIBIT ON THE BASIS OF SEX THE PAYING OF WAGES TO EMPLOYEES OF ONE SEX AT A LESSER RATE THAN THE RATE PAID TO EMPLOYEES OF THE OPPOSITE SEX FOR COMPARABLE WORK IN JOBS WHICH REQUIRE THE SAME OR ESSENTIALLY THE SAME KNOWLEDGE, SKILL, EFFORT, AND RESPONSIBILITY; TO PROVIDE DEFINITIONS, EXCEPTIONS, AND PROHIBIT SPECIFIC EMPLOYER ACTIONS WITH REGARD TO THESE REQUIREMENTS; AND TO PROVIDE ADMINISTRATIVE AND, WHERE APPLICABLE, JUDICIAL REMEDIES FOR VIOLATIONS.

Be it enacted by the General Assembly of the State of South Carolina:

SECTION    1.    This act is known and may be cited as the “South Carolina Equal Pay for Equal Work Act”.

SECTION    2.    Title 41 of the 1976 Code is amended by adding:

“CHAPTER 12Equal Pay for Equal WorkSection 41-12-10.    The General Assembly declares that the practice of discriminating on the basis of sex by paying wages to employees of one sex at a lesser rate than the rate paid to employees of the opposite sex for comparable work in jobs which require the same, or essentially the same, knowledge, skill, effort, and responsibility unjustly discriminates against the person receiving the lesser rate, leads to low worker morale, high turnover, and frequent labor unrest, discourages workers paid at the lesser wage rates from training for higher level jobs, curtails employment opportunities, decreases mobility of workers and increases labor costs, impairs purchasing power and threatens the maintenance of an adequate standard of living by the workers and their families, prevents optimum utilization of the labor resources available to the state, threatens the well-being of citizens of this State, and adversely affects the general welfare. It is therefore declared to be the public policy of the State of South Carolina through its police power to eliminate, as rapidly as possible, discriminatory wage practices based on sex.

Section 41-12-20.    As used in this chapter, the term:

(1)    ‘Commissioner’ means the Commissioner of Labor of the State of South Carolina.

(2)    ‘Employ’ means to permit to work.

(3)    ‘Employee’ means any individual employed by an employer, other than domestic or agricultural employees, and includes individuals employed by the State or any of its political subdivisions, including public bodies.

(4)    ‘Employer’ means any person employing ten or more employees and acting directly or indirectly in the interest of an employer in relation to an employee. The term ’employer’, as used in this chapter, means an employer who is doing business in the State of South Carolina, in regard to its employees located in this State.

(5)    ‘Occupation’ means any industry, trade, business or branch of it, or any employment or class of employment.

(6)    ‘Wage’ or ‘wage rate’ means all compensation for employment, including payment in kind and amounts paid by employers for employee benefits.

Section 41-12-30.    (A)    An employer having employees subject to any provisions of this chapter may not discriminate, within the establishment in which the employees are employed, between employees on the basis of sex by paying wages to employees in the establishment at a rate less than the rate at which the employer pays wages to employees of the opposite sex in the establishment for equal work in jobs which require equal skill, effort, and responsibility, and which are performed under similar working conditions, except where payment is made pursuant to:

(1)    a seniority system;

(2)     a merit system;

(3)    a system which measures earnings by quantity or quality of production; or

(4)    a differential based on any factor other than sex.

(B)    An employer who is paying a wage rate differential in violation of this section in order to comply with this section, shall not reduce the wage rate of any employee.

Section 41-12-40.    An employer may not interfere with, restrain, or deny the exercise of, or attempt to exercise, any right provided under this chapter. An employer may not discriminate, retaliate, or take any adverse employment action including, but not limited to, termination or in any other manner discriminate against any employee for inquiring about disclosing, comparing, or otherwise discussing the employee’s wages or the wages of any other employee, or aiding or encouraging any other employee to exercise rights pursuant to this chapter.

Section 41-12-50.    An employer subject to this chapter may not discriminate, retaliate, or take any adverse employment action including, but not limited to, termination against an employee because, in exercising or attempting to exercise the employee’s rights under this chapter, the employee has:

(1)    filed any complaint or has instituted or caused to be instituted any proceeding to enforce the employee’s rights under this chapter;

(2)    provided or will provide any information in connection with any inquiry or proceeding relating to any right afforded to an employee pursuant to this chapter; or

(3)    testified or will testify in any inquiry or proceeding relating to any right afforded to an employee pursuant to this chapter.

Section 41-12-60.    (A)    An employee who in good faith believes that the employee’s employer is in violation of this chapter shall submit written notice of the alleged violation to the employer. An employer who receives the written notice from an employee has sixty days from receipt of the notice to investigate the matter and remedy any violation of this chapter. If an employer remedies the violation in a manner that complies with this chapter and within the time provided in this chapter, the employee may not bring any action against the employer pursuant to this chapter except as provided in subsections (B) and (C).

(B)    If an employer fails to resolve the dispute to the satisfaction of the employee within the time provided, the employee may file a complaint with the commissioner requesting an investigation of the complaint.

(C)    If the commissioner finds evidence of discriminatory, retaliatory, or other adverse employment action on the part of the employer in violation of this chapter but is unable to resolve or mediate the dispute or fails to render a decision as to the dispute, or issues a finding of no discrimination on the part of the employer, the employee may institute a civil suit in the court of common pleas.

Section 41-12-70.    (A)    Any case appealed to the court of common pleas pursuant to this chapter must be heard de novo, and except in a finding of a violation of Section 41-12-40 or 41-12-50, or both sections, the employer is liable to the affected employee in the amount of the employee’s unpaid wages, interest at the legal rate, and reasonable attorney’s fees.

(B)    If in the court of common pleas there is a finding of the employer’s violating Section 41-12-40 or 41-12-50, or both sections, then the employer is liable for compensatory and other damages, including punitive damages, limited to those specific violations.

Section 41-12-80.    Nothing in this chapter prevents the settlement of a claim by agreement of the employer and employee for a lesser amount than the employee alleges the employee is due.

Section 41-12-90.    (A)    An action for inadequate wages or any other form of relief for a violation of this chapter must be commenced within one year of the date that an employee is aware or should have been aware that the employee’s employer is in violation of this chapter.

(B)    This one-year prescriptive period is suspended during the sixty-day period allowed the employer pursuant to this chapter to respond to the employee’s written notice, or during the pendency of any administrative review or investigation of the employee’s claim by the commissioner or the United States Department of Labor, or both.

Section 41-12-100.    (A)    The commissioner shall have the power and it shall be his duty to carry out this chapter; and for this purpose the commissioner or his authorized representative shall have the power to:

(1)    assist any employer to ensure that all employees are receiving comparable pay for comparable work in jobs which require comparable skill, effort, and responsibility;

(2)    assist any employer so that the character of the work and operations on which persons are employed can be compared, to question the persons, and to obtain other information as is reasonably necessary for the administration and enforcement of this chapter; and

(3)    eliminate pay practices unlawful under this chapter by informal methods of conference, conciliation, and persuasion.

(B)    The commissioner is authorized to request witnesses to appear and to produce pertinent records for examination by the commissioner or his authorized representative in the county of the place of business of the employer. In the event of failure of a person to attend, testify, or produce records voluntarily, the commissioner may make application to the court of common pleas of the county in which the business is located and, after notice and hearing, the court, in its discretion and upon proper cause shown, may issue an order requiring the person to appear before the commissioner or his authorized representative and testify or produce records as requested by the commissioner.

(C)    The commissioner shall have the authority to promulgate those regulations appropriate to the carrying out of this chapter.

Section 41-12-110.    Every employer subject to this chapter shall keep an abstract or copy of this chapter posted in a conspicuous place in or about the premises where any employee is employed.

Section 41-12-120.    This chapter is supplemental and is not intended to supersede any other cause of action or remedy available to an employee under state or federal law.”

SECTION    2.    This act takes effect July 1, 2017, and applies for complaints for wage discrimination occurring after June 30, 2017.

—-XX—-

HRC Honors Pro-Equality Female Senators for Women’s History Month 2017 Pearls of Wisdom

#pearlsofwisdom

by Brian Mcbride March 26, 2017

While the outcome in the 2016 Presidential race was devastating for many in the LGBTQ community, the election wasn’t all bad news. In down ballot races, the election proved that pro-equality women can still come out on top. Hillary Clinton didn’t break the highest and hardest glass ceiling, but four incredible women made history in their own right by winning U.S. Senate seats: Catherine Cortez Masto, Tammy Duckworth, Maggie Hassan and Kamala Harris.

This Women’s History Month, we’re honoring these female advocates who made U.S. Senate history: Cortez Masto is the country’s first-ever Latina senator; Duckworth is the first-ever Thai American senator, and the first woman senator to serve in a combat role in the U.S. Army; and Harris is the country’s first Indian American senator, and California’s first African American senator.

The 115th U.S. Senate has more women members than ever before — a record-breaking 21 — including Wisconsin Senator Tammy Baldwin, who is the nation’s first openly-lesbian U.S. Senator.

Senator Catherine Cortez Masto (D-NV)

As Nevada’s Senator, Cortez Masto is committed to working with HRC to ensure that historic LGBTQ equality gains are protected and to fight LGBTQ discrimination. She has said, “It is outrageous that in 2016 people can still be at risk of losing their jobs in this country because of whom they love.. in the Senate I will focus on ensuring LGBT people are treated equally under the law by working to end discrimination.”

Senator Tammy Duckworth (D-IL)

Senator Tammy Duckworth has been a strong LGBTQ ally in the House of Representatives. Duckworth received a perfect score on HRC’s Congressional Scorecard for both of her terms in the House of Representatives. She is a cosponsor of the Equality Act and the Global Respect Act, which would provide a means to prevent individuals who violate the human rights of LGBTQ people from entry into the United States.

When the U.S. Supreme Court ruled in the landmark marriage equality case, Obergefell v. Hodges, she said, “I am so proud that the Supreme Court ruled in favor of love, commitment and equality today. The LGBT community is entitled to the same rights afforded to everyone else and our nation has taken an enormous step towards being more fair and just.”

Senator Maggie Hassan (D-NH)

Throughout her career, Maggie Hassan has fought for the rights of all citizens to participate fully in the civic and economic life of their communities. As a state senator, she worked tirelessly to achieve marriage equality, helping make New Hampshire one of the first states to pass legislation ensuring access to legal marriage for all. Last year, as Governor of New Hampshire, she took a bold and historic step by issuing an executive order extending vitally important non-discrimination protections to transgender people in New Hampshire with respect to government employment, contracts and programs.

Hassan’s commitment to LGBTQ equality is illustrated in a digital ad HRC released in support of Hassan, “Raymond Braun Reflects on Why He Came Out to Maggie Hassan.” “I’ve known Maggie Hassan for more than 10 years,” Braun said, “and I’ve seen firsthand what a great champion she is for equality. Maggie was one of the first people I came out to, and I am honored to be able to share my experiences with the great people of New Hampshire.”

Senator Kamala Harris (D-CA)

As California Attorney General, Kamala Harris stood up for LGBTQ rights. She led the team that helped bring down California’s Proposition 8 at the U.S. Supreme Court, and in 2015, worked to  stop an abhorrent and unconstitutional proposed ballot initiative that could have criminalized same-sex relationships, potentially threatening those convicted with death. She advanced a robust platform for LGBTQ equality in her Senate campaign, fighting for LGBTQ youth, and vowing to work to include essential protections for sexual orientation and gender identity in the Civil Rights Act of 1964.

In 2014, Harris spoke at HRC’s Los Angeles Gala, where she shared her experience fighting for marriage equality in California and across the United States. She said, “Let us stand together on the side of fighting for justice and equality,” and called for LGBTQ equality, reproductive health rights, immigration reform and voting rights.

Despite the uphill climb for this congress to advance legislation protecting and defending the rights of the LGBTQ community, members of Congress plan to reintroduce the Equality Act during this legislative session — proving that these remarkable women will continue to stand on the right side of history.

House panel OKs workplace accommodations for pregnant women, new mothers

Beth Bern

House backs $60-a-year tax hike to repair SC’s ragged roads

gas tax

The S.C. House voted 97-18 Wednesday to increase the state’s gas tax and other driving fees to raise about $600 million a year to repair the state’s crumbling roads and bridges.

Under the plan, the state’s gas tax would increase by 2 cents a gallon each year for the next five years. When fully phased in, the 10-cent-a-gallon increase would cost the average S.C. driver $60 a year.

The state Department of Transportation estimates it needs an added $1 billion a year to repair and maintain S.C. roads.

“We’re at crisis point when it comes to roads in South Carolina,” said House Majority Leader Gary Simrill, R-York, who has championed the bill.

The House approved the tax increase with a wide enough majority to override a potential veto by S.C. Gov. Henry McMaster.

McMaster, a Richland Republican who faces running for governor in 2018 in a tax-averse GOP primary, has not said whether he will veto the plan. Instead, he has said taxes should be raised only as a last resort.

After a perfunctory final House vote Thursday, the tax-hike bill will go to the state Senate.

There, the bill faces the hurdle of libertarian-leaning state Sen. Tom Davis, the Beaufort Republican who has filibustered a gas-tax increase two years in a row. Pro- and anti-gas-tax hike groups also are expected to roll out lobbying efforts.

But the GOP-controlled House overwhelmingly voted to raise the gas tax Wednesday.

“Refusing to compromise will not solve our roads problem, but simply places politics above responsible public policy,” said House Speaker Jay Lucas, R-Darlington. “A delayed resolution continues to threaten the safety of South Carolina drivers and increases costs for repair and resurfacing of decaying roads and bridges.”

The state’s 16.75 cent-a-gallon gas tax, last increased 30 years ago, is the second-lowest in the nation.

“We don’t have enough money to keep our roads in a safe condition,” said state Rep. Russell Ott, D-Calhoun.

 sc roads2

The first priority of the new money would be to enact a safety program for the state’s deadly rural roads, costing roughly $50 million a year, said S.C. Transportation Department chief Christy Hall. That plan includes adding rumble strips to alert drivers they are near a road’s edge and widening shoulders to give drivers time to correct if they run off the highway.

According to the Transportation Department:

▪ Roughly half of an added $600 million a year from the higher gas tax and driving fees would be spent to improve the condition of the pavement on the state’s roads. The goal is to bring 58 percent of the state’s primary roads into good condition.

▪ Another $200 million would be spent to widen interstates and launch a freight-mobility program.

  •  Roughly $60 million would improve day-to-day maintenance levels to “fair,” a level with few deficiencies. Highway workers now are struggling to keep up the highway system, much of it in poor condition.

Supporters of the tax hike pointed to the condition of the state’s roads.

“You’ve got potholes on the interstate,” said state Rep. Joe Jefferson, D-Berkeley, adding lawmakers could override any veto by Gov. McMaster.

SC House Passes Bill to Expand Definition of Anti-Semitism

beth bernstein

Columbia, SC (WLTX)- House lawmakers voted 103-3, passing a bill aimed to combat anti-semitism on college and universities in the wake of recent incidents nationwide.

The bill (H.3643) would require schools to use the U.S. State Department’s definition of anti-semitism, a move that had critiques concerned about infringing on their first amendment rights.

“The State Department’s mission is not to set policy for American Citizens,” Rep. Jonathan Hill said on the House Floor Thursday. “The definition that they apply to other nations in determining whether an action is anti-semetic may not be the best way to measure that for American citizens.”

Rep. Beth Bernstein, co-sponsor of the bill, said the legislation would instead address any criminal activity that is spun from anti-semitism.

“It does not affect the curriculum of what a professor wants to teach in class,” Bernstein said. “This is aimed at combating all of the anti-semetic incidents that we are seeing across the nation at an alarming rate.”

The bill’s language includes that “Nothing in this act may be construed to diminish or infringe upon any rights afforded by the first amendment to the U.S. constitution.”

rick quinn

The State Department’s examples of anti-semitism under their definition are below:

Contemporary Examples of Anti-Semitism:

-Calling for, aiding, or justifying the killing or harming of Jews (often in the name of a radical ideology or an extremist view of religion).

-Making mendacious, dehumanizing, demonizing, or stereotypical allegations about Jews as such or the power of Jews as a collective—especially but not exclusively, the myth about a world Jewish conspiracy or of Jews controlling the media, economy, government or other societal institutions.

-Accusing Jews as a people of being responsible for real or imagined wrongdoing committed by a single Jewish person or group, the state of Israel, or even for acts committed by non-Jews.

-Accusing the Jews as a people, or Israel as a state, of inventing or exaggerating the Holocaust.

-Accusing Jewish citizens of being more loyal to Israel, or to the alleged priorities of Jews worldwide, than to the interest of their own nations.

What is Anti-Semitism Relative to Israel?

EXAMPLES of the ways in which anti-Semitism manifests itself with regard to the state of Israel, taking into account the overall context could include:

DEMONIZE ISRAEL:

-Using the symbols and images associated with classic anti-Semitism to characterize Israel or Israelis

-Drawing comparisons of contemporary Israeli policy to that of the Nazis

-Blaming Israel for all inter-religious or political tensions

DOUBLE STANDARD FOR ISRAEL:

-Applying double standards by requiring of it a behavior not expected or demanded of any other democratic nation

-Multilateral organizations focusing on Israel only for peace or human rights investigations

DELEGITIMIZE ISRAEL:

-Denying the Jewish people their right to self-determination, and denying Israel the right to exist

However, criticism of Israel similar to that leveled against any other country cannot be regarded as anti-Semitic.

© 2017 WLTX-TV

 

 

New Jersey Senate Passes a Bill That Requires New Pet Stores to Sell Only Rescue Animals

 

by BY Lauren Matthews

The Humane Society estimates that there are at least 10,000 puppy mills in the U.S. producing more than 2.4 million a year—and less than 3,000 of those are regulated by the U.S. Department of Agriculture. Meanwhile, according to the ASPCA, approximately 3.9 million dogs enter shelters every year—and each year, 1.2 million dogs are euthanized.

In an effort to crack down on the use of puppy mills, one state is taking a stand: The New Jersey Senate approved a bill earlier this week that would require pet stores licensed after January 12, 2016 to sell only dogs and cats obtained from shelters and animal rescue organizations. The bill will now head to the Assembly where it will be debated, reports The Record. “These puppy mills have gained a notorious reputation for putting profits ahead of the humane treatment of dogs and cats,” Senator Raymond Lesniak, who introduced the bill, told reporters last December. “Their mass breeding has created inbred health and behavioral problems and the inhumane conditions have left too many of these pets to suffer from neglect and mistreatment.”

Those against the bill—namely, representatives of the pet industry—say it undermines existing pet protection laws, and that it will make it difficult for new pet stores to open and will limit pet choice for future owners.

 

Representative Gilda Cobb Hunter Sponsors Bill H 3361 to protect Family Pets from Abuse in Domestic Violence

By Bridget Birchett 11/27/2016

Bill -H 3361  Signed in law by Governor Nikki Haley  June 6, 2014 

Session 120 – (2013-2014)

H*3361 (Rat #0292, Act #0251 of 2014) General Bill, By Cobb-Hunter, Long, Weeks and R.L. Brown
Summary: Domestic Abuse
AN ACT TO AMEND SECTION 20-4-60, AS AMENDED, CODE OF LAWS OF SOUTH CAROLINA, 1976, RELATING TO AN ORDER FOR PROTECTION FROM DOMESTIC ABUSE, SO AS TO PROVIDE THAT THE COURT MAY PROHIBIT HARM OR HARASSMENT TO PET ANIMALS OWNED, POSSESSED, KEPT, OR HELD BY THE PETITIONER AND OTHER DESIGNATED PERSONS, AND TO PROVIDE THAT IN ORDERING TEMPORARY POSSESSION OF PERSONAL PROPERTY, THE COURT MAY ORDER THE TEMPORARY POSSESSION OF PET ANIMALS; TO AMEND SECTION 47-1-40, AS AMENDED, RELATING TO THE ILL-TREATMENT OF ANIMALS, SO AS TO REVISE THE PENALTIES FOR THE ILL-TREATMENT OF ANIMALS; TO AMEND SECTION 47-1-130, RELATING TO ARREST FOR VIOLATION OF THE LAWS PROHIBITING CRUELTY TO ANIMALS, SO AS TO PROHIBIT THE SOUTH CAROLINA SOCIETY FOR THE PREVENTION OF CRUELTY TO ANIMALS OR OTHER SIMILAR ORGANIZATIONS, FROM MAKING AN ARREST FOR A VIOLATION OF THE LAWS IN RELATION TO CRUELTY TO ANIMALS; TO AMEND SECTION 47-1-140, AS AMENDED, RELATING TO THE CARE OF ANIMALS AFTER ARREST OF THE PERSON IN CHARGE OF THE ANIMAL, SO AS TO MAKE CONFORMING CHANGES DELETING REFERENCES TO ARRESTS BY THE SOUTH CAROLINA SOCIETY FOR THE PREVENTION OF CRUELTY TO ANIMALS AND TO PROVIDE FOR THE EXTINGUISHMENT OF A LIEN FOR THE EXPENSES FOR THE CARE AND PROVISION OF ANIMALS UNDER CERTAIN CIRCUMSTANCES; TO AMEND SECTION 47-1-150, AS AMENDED, RELATING TO SEARCH WARRANTS AND CUSTODY OF ANIMALS, SO AS TO MAKE CONFORMING CHANGES DELETING REFERENCES TO ORDERS BY THE SOUTH CAROLINA SOCIETY FOR THE PREVENTION OF CRUELTY TO ANIMALS; AND TO REPEAL SECTION 47-1-160 RELATING TO THE DISPOSITION OF FINES FOR VIOLATIONS OF THE CHAPTER REGARDING CRUELTY TO ANIMALS. – ratified title
View full text          View Vote History

01/17/13 House Introduced and read first time (House Journal-page 9)
01/17/13 House Referred to Committee on Judiciary (House Journal-page 9)
03/19/14 House Member(s) request name added as sponsor: Weeks
03/20/14 House Committee report: Favorable Judiciary (House Journal-page 7)
03/24/14 Scrivener’s error corrected
03/26/14 House Member(s) request name added as sponsor: R.L.Brown
03/26/14 House Read second time (House Journal-page 38)
03/26/14 House Roll call Yeas-68 Nays-39 (House Journal-page 38)
03/27/14 House Read third time and sent to Senate (House Journal-page 19)
03/27/14 Senate Introduced and read first time (Senate Journal-page 5)
03/27/14 Senate Referred to Committee on Judiciary (Senate Journal-page 5)
04/25/14 Senate Referred to Subcommittee: Hutto (ch), Allen, Hembree, Shealy, Young
05/21/14 Senate Committee report: Favorable with amendment Judiciary (Senate Journal-page 12)
05/22/14 Senate Committee Amendment Adopted (Senate Journal-page 45)
05/27/14 Senate Read second time (Senate Journal-page 21)
05/27/14 Senate Roll call Ayes-40 Nays-0 (Senate Journal-page 21)
05/28/14 Senate Read third time and returned to House with amendments (Senate Journal-page 37)
06/03/14 House Read third time and returned to Senate with amendments (House Journal-page 86)
06/03/14 House Senate amendment amended (House Journal-page 86)
06/03/14 House Roll call Yeas-95 Nays-0 (House Journal-page 87)
06/04/14 Senate Concurred in House amendment and enrolled (Senate Journal-page 11)
06/05/14 Ratified R 292
06/06/14 Signed By Governor
06/13/14 Effective date 06/06/14
06/16/14 Act No. 251

The Pet and Women Safety (PAWS) Act will save lives

 

By BY NATHANIEL FIELDS

One in four women has experienced domestic violence in her lifetime, and domestic violence is the third leading cause of homelessness among families. Additionally, intimate partner violence costs the U.S. economy $8.3 billion per year through a combination of medical costs and lost productivity, according to the Corporate Alliance to End Partner Violence. This issue is truly a national public health crisis.

In light of these shocking statistics, Congress must seize the opportunity it currently has to make a tremendous difference in the lives of victims of domestic violence. The Congressional Subcommittee on Crime, Terrorism, Homeland Security, and Investigations is considering H.R.1258, The Pet and Women Safety (PAWS) Act, which, if passed, will provide greatly needed protections and funding to both victims of domestic violence and their pets.

The bill, co-sponsored by Reps. Katherine Clark (D-Mass.) and Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-Fla.), proposes several measures to assist domestic violence survivors and their pets. It prohibits threats or acts of violence against pets via stalking or violating an order of protection and mandates restitution for veternary costs for the pet of a domestic violence survivor. It also provides critical funding for programs focused on housing and support services for survivors of domestic violence and their pets.

The public and even organizations that provide domestic violence services often overlook the connection between pets and domestic violence. When I first started working with survivors of domestic violence over 20 years ago, no one ever mentioned the possibility of bringing pets into a shelter. Today, two-thirds of U.S. households have a pet and, as a result, many sufferers of domestic violence are forced to consider the lives and well-being of their vulnerable pets in addition to their own. As many as 48 percent of domestic violence victims stay in abusive situations because they don’t want to leave their pet behind, resulting in further physical and emotional abuse of both the owner and their pet. The funding, services, and protections provided by the PAWS Act would mean that fewer people would have to make the heartbreaking decision between escaping to safety and staying in an abusive situation to protect their pet.

The Urban Resource Institute’s URIPALS (People and Animals Living Safely) program is the only program in New York City and one of the few nationally that allows domestic violence survivors to co-shelter (live in a domestic violence shelter apartment with their pets). In the more than two years that URIPALS has been in operation, we have learned a great deal about how abusers often harm pets in order to exercise control. In one such instance, a caller to URI’s emergency shelter hotline reported, “After he abused her, [her partner] grabbed her cats by the throat threatening to throw them out the window because he knows she loves her cats.” Abusers often also go beyond threats of violence toward pets. Another URIPALS client reported, “He would put my cat in the microwave and tie him up with twine if I didn’t come straight home from work.” Thirty-four percent of URI shelter residents who had a pet at any point while in an abusive relationship said their abusive partner inflicted physical harm on their pets.

In addition to the momentum it is gaining in the House, the bill has also received support in the Senate. Sens. Kelly Ayotte (R-N.H.) and Gary Peters (D-Mich.) have signed on as sponsors, and Sen. Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.) recently voiced his support for the legislation. In addition to elected officials, leading domestic violence and animal welfare organizations including the ASPCA, The Humane Society, and the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence have thrown their support behind the bill.

Passage of the PAWS act would be a huge step forward in providing essential services for domestic violence survivors and their pets. At URI, we’ve seen firsthand how pets support the healing process for not only their owners but also for other families within a domestic violence shelter. The bill would also help to raise much needed awareness about the connection between domestic violence and pets, which many people do not yet understand.

Domestic violence is a public health crisis. If PAWS is passed, it will give much needed hope and assistance to the hundreds of thousands of families (pets included) who are forced on a daily basis to choose between staying in an abusive situation and leaving their beloved pets behind.