Chemical accident causes PE quad evacuation for decontamination – 4/14/2010

A chemical accident last Wednesday morning caused chlorine gas to be released in the PE quad, resulting in an evacuation and clouser of the area for most of the day.

The incident began in PE 3, when a contractor from Tri-Con used the wrong chemical mix to treat the pool water supply. This caused a reaction that released hazardous fumes. The contractor notified law enforcement at 9:06 a.m.

The Foothill-De Anza Police Department was the first to respond one minute later with the Santa Clara Fire Department arriving at 9:10 a.m., followed by paramedics. Police units were present during the day to provide safety for the evacuation and the coordination with the fire department officials.

“Because of the quick actions of the first responders, the situation was contained and the danger was mitigated by removing people from the immediate area. The disruption to the normal academic environment was kept to an absolute minimum,” said Ron Levine, chief of the Foothill-De Anza Police.

Students and staff were safe following the incident with only the contractor hospitalized. He was transported to Kaiser in Santa Clara with non-life threatening injuries where he was treated and released.

The fire department requested a HazMat unit at 9:18 a.m., which arrived within a few minutes. HazMat units from the fire department decontaminated the area and the PE quad was reopened at 6:00 p.m.

Chlorine is a chemical that is used in bleaching and disinfectants. However, as a gas, it is a toxin that irritates the respiratory system. Chlorine is heavier than air and tends to accumulate in poorly ventilated areas.

Published for La Voz Weekly
4/14/2010
Original Link: Chemical accident causes PE quad evacuation for decontamination

As The World Burns: The Social Time Warp – 3/14/2010

I hate to say it but its the 1930’s all over again.

Its year 4 ½ of the Global Financial Crisis and it seems that things are going from bad to worse in each passing day. While the economic nightmares have dominated our train of thought, Washington has done almost nothing to help the average American.

On the social front we are divided between the extremely idealist views of the representatives of fantasyland against extremely ignorant representatives from Earl’s trailer park who will kiss-up to Wall Street and Glenn Beck.

All we are missing now are the Public Enemies who roamed the Midwest like the cowboys before them. Sure outlaws like John Dillinger may have been killers, but at least he was a more respectable hero to admire then Bernie Madoff.

On a positive note we really don’t have to worry about a Business Plot since most banks and industries are investing in tea baggers. We also don’t have to worry about any fascist take over since we already laughably endured it during the Bush Administration.

However there is the fear that the nation could split into another civil war the minute some kind of major reform is passed. Our history has shown every time a major act of reform is passed, extremists go on a lynching spree.

Not everyone seems to be suffering in these dark days. All the investors who did not get busted for unethical marketing practices seem to be enjoying the status quo and are hoping their army of barbarians pressure Washington to keep it that way.

Its no surprise as ethics of greed has continued to dominate our moral values that in times of needed change, the most useless of people will join want to preserve it hoping that one day they might be the CEO of a million dollar industry.

There was some hope in the 2008 Election in which President Barack Obama symbol of reform. Instead all hope can be abandon as all the big election only did was give us Herbert Hoover 2.0.

As of 2010, American troops are still in Iraq while Afghanistan is crumbling, the economy is in a recession, and the GOP continues to divide the nation. All this while Obama continues to try and solve the nations ills with a few speeches about hope, reform and the same progressive spiel he gave during the campaign.

The irony is that I have lost faith in the Obama Administration in September 2009 were I had began to distrust the Bush Administration sometime in 2003.

Sure we can wait for some idealist fascist to try building an empire just to unite the nation into fighting tyranny in the hopes that the economy has been reborn in the post-war society. But with so many minor conflicts going on, there is no room for the final countdown.

So is there a reason to give a damn every time some figure comes along and wastes my time with a speech. or should I just turn off my TV, grab a cold drink and go outside to enjoy the view as the world burns.

Published for La Voz Weekly
3/14/2010
Original Link: As The World Burns: The Social Time Warp

As The World Burns: Faking My Religion – 3/8/2010

Is America a nation that is deeply religious where moral values are held in high regard, or are we pretending to have religious values?

Such a question may seem shocking given how Americans love their faith, but then it becomes obvious when one understands the greed that has polluted the moral fabric of our society.

Most of the major religions of the world have condemned greed, lust and gluttony. But in America, this has become the norm of the society. Rather than using religion as guidance for one to set the standards of his or her values, it has become a tool for one to appease his or her sins. If you want proof, look at the politicians and business leaders in the news, then compare how openly faithful they are versus the controversy regarding their unethical actions.

The best example to look at is Erik Prince, a devout Catholic who is board member of Christian Freedom International as well as the founder of Blackwater USA (now called Xe). Prince has been under investigation by the Justice Department with regard to massacres perpetrated in Iraq by Blackwater mercenaries (as defined by the Oxford Dictionary and the Geneva Code).

This obviously goes against the teachings of the Catholic Church, which has condemned acts of genocide along with apologizing for its past sins or blunders.

In a less extreme example, one could look at the sex scandals that have plagued the Republican Party. At a time when the GOP is in decline and desperate for power, Mark Sanford had to put South Carolina in panic so he could get a quickie in Argentina.

But public and business figures are not the only ones who are faking their religious values. American society itself is guilty of bastardizing religion.

In a 2009 survey by CNN of 742 people, 52 percent of those who attend church regularly supported the use of torture. Oh, and don’t forget the eight murders and 217 acts of terrorism committed by pro-life activists, according to the National Abortion Federation (notice the irony).

So who is to blame? We could say it’s American society not wanting to change its ways so they indulge themselves in religion. Or you can just blame Jerry Falwell and Ayatollah Khomeini.

If Americans really want to emrace their religion properly, then they should actually try and be decent people. Rather than listening to some fraudulent televangelist, try volunteering at organizations that help under-privileged people.

However, if religion is going to be used as a tool by society to hide its lack of moral fiber while leaders use it to fool a greater power, then pawn your tickets to the second coming and instead just sit back and watch the world burn.

Published for La Voz Weekly
3/8/2010
Original Link: As The World Burns: Faking My Religion