Zem Joaquin had a furniture dilemma. In 2005, the interior designer was trying to make her Marin County house a healthy environment for her two toddlers. But virtually all the couches on the market, she learned, contain foam with toxic flame retardants, the unintended result of a 1970s California law. So with a furniture maker´s help, Joaquin designed her own sofa. Yellow and big enough to seat seven, it is made of sustainably harvested wood, natural latex foam, organic wool - and no flame retardants. "I ended up actually designing my own furniture because there wasn´t an alternative out there yet,
Comments: Want The Right to Choose a sofa minus the government-mandated toxic chemicals? You can have it, but only if you´re wealthy. This is the Two Americas touted by the Silky Pony: rules and regulations for us, back doors for them.
A lot of my best pieces were purchased in second hand stores or estate sales. Easy to find vintage, real wood and good Early American pieces with good bones. Then I take it to a wonderful fellow who reupholsters, stuffs it with good quality, American made, no funky chemical stuffing.
Her sofa is highly flammable. If she has children they should be taken from her.
I wish I had had a flame retardant sofa in college. I didn´t. And a visitor´s cigarette fell in the cushions. It smoldered smokelessly and unnoticed mostly because we were all in the process of leaving for the evening. The house burned down. It was obvious that the fire started at the sofa. The visitor later admitted she had dropped the lit cigarette but thought it probably went out and anyway the danger of fire never occurred to her because... well... she was dumb.
This is such a typical Marin attitude. Everything has to be special just for them because they´re more special than the rest of us. So annoying. Especially since it´s people like her that love telling us what we should and shouldn´t do. Serves her right if she couldn´t easily find the "special" couch she wanted.
Trenton — Lawyers for the NAACP and a coalition of other civil rights groups claim New Jersey has been violating the National Voting Rights Act and say they will sue if changes are not made. The 1993 act, also known as the “motor voter” law, requires social service agencies across the country to give clients the chance to register to vote when filling out paperwork for services. (Snip) “Public assistance agencies are a vital component of the voter registration system because they connect with Americans, including low-income individuals and persons with disabilities, who are less likely to register through other means,”
Orlando, Fla. - A pretend game of cops and robbers landed a Florida elementary school boy with a very real suspension after he made a pretend gun with his thumb and index finger. The mother of 8-year-old Jordan Bennett said her son was only playing with his friend at Harmony Community School in St. Cloud. She fears his one-day suspension, which was handed down Friday, wrongly labels Jordan as a violent person. There was nothing in his hand. He used his thumb and index finger, Bonnie Bennett told a local TV station. It was a game. He made no
Newark — The state’s campaign finance watchdog agency today issued a 13-count complaint against Essex County Executive Joseph DiVincenzo, charging he violated state law by using campaign funds for vacations, to attend sporting events and cover other personal expenses. The 32-page document released by state Election Law Enforcement Commission charges that DiVincenzo failed to disclose 614 campaign expenditures over a two-year period from 2010 to 2012, worth a total of $71,810. The agency charged that of the expenses the powerful Democrat did disclose, he misspent $15,548 in 51 instances, ranging from paying for gym memberships to a trip to
This heart-wrenching image has captured the incredibly rare moment a mourning elephant says goodbye to her fallen friend. John Chaney, 63, was on a safari trip in Botswana with his wife Diane when they came across the carcass of a dead elephant surrounded by vultures and hyenas. As their guide called park rangers to come and remove the tusks so they wouldn´t fall into the hands of poachers, another elephant charged over to the body. The female elephant scared off the animals surrounding the carcass before tenderly placing her trunk around the tusk of the dead male. Mr Chaney revealed
MetroPCS store on Oakland´s MacArthur Boulevard. 7:45 p.m. Thursday. Store owner Abdullah Qasem is behind the counter when two men in hoodies burst in through the back door. The men cover their faces with their hands, and one suggests he has a gun. This is Qasem´s first time being robbed, but he knows the drill. (Snip) Another night in the robbery capital of America. No city had more robberies per capita than Oakland in 2012. According to new federal statistics, Oakland had 10.9 robberies per 1,000 residents. And 2013 is shaping up to be even worse. The trend defies easy
New Brunswick — A former chemist at Bristol-Myers Squibb was sentenced today to life in prison for murdering her husband by feeding him thallium, a tasteless, odorless and highly lethal chemical, after he sought a divorce. Judge Michael Toto ordered Tianle Li of Monroe to spend life in state prison. Under the terms of the no early release act, Li, who is 44, must serve 85 percent of her sentence, or at least 62 years, six months and 19 days in prison. (Snip) "Ms. Li sat at her husband´s bedside and watched his condition deteriorate knowing there was an antidote
Montgomery, Ala. — A federal judge has approved a settlement to end the segregation of HIV-positive inmates in Alabama prisons. U.S. District Judge Myron Thompson issued an opinion Monday saying the agreement isn´t perfect but can take effect. Female inmates already are living with other prisoners at the state´s lone women´s prison, and male inmates will be integrated into the general prison population next year. Thompson sided with prisoners in December and ordered the Department of Corrections to quit making HIV-positive inmates live in housing areas away from other prisoners. (Snip) The American Civil Liberties Union represents inmates who sued
There’s no telling how many lives can be saved if you know just what to do, right away, when a deranged gunman starts to take aim. That’s the point South Jersey law enforcement officials are making in the aftermath of last weekend’s mass shooting in a Nairobi, Kenya, mall. The attack for which terrorist group Al-Shabaab has claimed responsibility is just the latest in a long list of mass shootings worldwide over more than a decade. While law enforcement agencies, school officials and other authorities drill their personnel on active-shooter scenarios, a guide for everyone else who might be
Trenton — Gov. Chris Christie continued to press his case for a voter referendum on gay marriage in New Jersey, saying on national television today that “good people of good will have a difference of opinion.” Christie, a Republican running for re-election against Democrat Barbara Buono, gave an extended interview to CBS that aired today on “Sunday Morning.” “My view on it is, put it on the ballot,” he said about gay marriage, in the middle of a wide-ranging discussion about Hurricane Sandy, his weight and his presidential prospects. “Let the people decide." A state judge ruled to legalize same-sex
The NSA has been graphing American’s social networks and plotting them as they do organized crime since at least 2010, according to the latest published Edward Snowden leak. The highly secretive intelligence agency has been mapping out American citizens’ social connections – identifying associates, determining locations, and logging who they talk to – by taking advantage of loosened rules previously meant to restrict surveillance actions. As far back as November, 2010, the agency authorized spies to conduct ‘large-scale graph analysis on very large sets of communications metadata without having to check foreignness,’ the New York Times revealed Saturday. The agency augmented that
Los Angeles — A new study suggests the proliferation of gay and transgender characters in films and television shows has not prevented gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender actors from experiencing discrimination in Hollywood. The Screen Actors Guild-American Federation of Television and Radio Artists commissioned the survey, released Friday. It found that more than half of the actors who identify as gay, bisexual and transgender think directors and producers are biased against them. (Snip) Only 16 percent of the gay, bisexual and transgender respondents, however, said they had experienced discrimination. Gay men reported the most, with about one-fifth saying they had
Dallas — A year after the icon went up in smoke, Big Tex proves that you can’t keep a good cowboy down. Fairgoers will get their first live look at the new and improved Big Tex today, the opening of the State Fair of Texas, which runs through Oct. 20 at Fair Park in Dallas. Gates open at 10 a.m. An unveiling that had been scheduled for 2 p.m. today will instead be a “Welcome Back” event after high winds forced fair officials to drop the curtain hiding Big Tex on Thursday afternoon. (Snip) Big Tex was celebrating his 60th year greeting
The federal government lost its checkbook at midnight, and it may not find it for days or weeks. As the zero-hour drew closer on Monday, with other avenues exhausted, the White House´s Office of Management and Budget told federal agencies that they ´should now execute plans for an orderly shutdown due to the absence of appropriations.´ House Republican leaders on the Rules Committee had discussed the procedures for both parties to appoint ´conferees´--negotiating representatives--for a joint House-Senate conference committee empowered to hash out a compromise of the budget battle that has consumed Washington for days. The House GOP scrambled all
Get ready for Chelsea Clinton Bump Watch 2014 — the only daughter of the former president and former secretary of State is declaring next year the “Year of the Baby.” In an interview for the November issue of Glamour magazine on her work with the Bill, Hillary & Chelsea Clinton Foundation, Clinton reveals that she and husband Marc Mezvinsky are planning for a bouncing addition to their household. According to the 33-year-old Oxford grad, the pair, who married in 2010, sat down together a year after tying the knot and made a list focused on their future, saying, “We want,
On Tuesday evening, left-wing Politico ran a headline story encapsulating the theme of the day: “Government closed, Obamacare falters.” That message marked a massive loss for the Obama administration, which has claimed that Obamacare’s implementation could not be delayed, and used that rationale as an excuse to reject the House’s proposal for a one-year delay in favor of a government shutdown. The narrative began to shift early in the morning on Tuesday, when the Drudge Report ran a lead piece on the Obamacare health exchanges coming up with error messages for users across the country. “OBAMACRASH,” Drudge headlined. He followed
DALLAS —In a shopping center parking lot 1,300 miles from Washington’s bureaucracy and bickering, teen mom Karina Luciano loaded a watermelon and baby formula into her car. Luciano didn’t realize the federal assistance program that just purchased the food items for her children, Aimee, 2, and Jaiden, 11 months, is now in jeopardy because of the government shutdown. “Oh my god, I think I’m going to cry,” Luciano said upon learning the news. “This is really bad.” Nearly 9 million low-income mothers and children receive benefits under the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children. Congress’ inability to
First lady Michelle Obama tweeted on Tuesday afternoon that her Twitter account will see fewer updates due to the government shutdown. Due to Congress’s failure to pass legislation to fund the government, updates to this account will be limited. #Shutdown 12:55 PM - 1 Oct 2013. In 2009, FactCheck.org found that the first lady had a staff of 24 people. It is unclear whether any of the first lady’s staff have been furloughed as a result of the government shutdown.
The White House and the Department of the Interior rejected a request from Rep. Steven Palazzo’s office to have World War II veterans visit the World War II memorial in Washington, the Mississippi Republican told The Daily Caller Tuesday. Palazzo helped the veterans commit an act of civil disobedience against the Park Service Tuesday, when the heroes stormed through barricades around the closed memorial. The veterans were visiting the memorial as part of Honor Flight, a non-profit that provides veterans free transport to the nation’s capital to visit the memorials to the wars they fought in. “We got the heads up
New York Magazine writer Jonathan Chait spent his government shutdown day mocking WWII veterans who were shut out by the National Park Service (NPS) when they came to visit the National WWII Memorial in Washington, D.C. On Tuesday morning, Representative Michelle Bachman (R-MN) and several Republican members of Congress helped tear down the barricades shutting the elderly veterans out of the WWII memorial. After the barricades were removed, dozens of veterans flooded in to conduct their often emotional visits. But, thinking he was being funny, Chait took to Twitter to poke fun at the veterans, joking that the NPS should
“We are five days away from fundamentally transforming the United States of America.” — Barack Obama, October 30, 2008 “We are going to have to change our conversation; we’re going to have to change our traditions, our history; we’re going to have to move into a different place as a nation.” — Michelle Obama, May 14, 2008 There certainly is no question that Barack Obama wants to change the United States. And there clearly is no doubt that such fundamental transformation is difficult, given our tripartite system of government — even though Obama entered office with large Democratic majorities in
Ronan Farrow’s ol’ blue eyes may say it all. Farrow, long described as the only biological child of actress Mia Farrow and New York filmmaker Woody Allen, may actually be the son of Frank Sinatra, his mom acknowledged in a bombshell report Wednesday. While Hollywood has whispered about the prospect for years, it was the first time that Mia publicly admitted the possibility. Asked point-blank by Vanity Fair about Sinatra’s possible parentage of Ronan, Mia coyly replied: “Possibly.” The “Rosemary’s Baby’’ actress was married to Ol’ Blue Eyes from 1966 to 1968 but continued to be his lover on and off afterward — including
The government shutdown will temporarily slash the staffs and operations of every “nonessential” federal program — which, as you can imagine, adds up to a whole lot of programs. There are the ones you know about, like the national parks and the panda cam. Then there’s everything else. Here’s 21 effects of the shutdown you might not have heard about. 1) No one will oversee the program that makes sure your organic food is actually organic. That’s called the National Organic Standards Program, and its entire staff was furloughed. Also on the Department of Agriculture furlough list: the people who check
President Barack Obama has called off his trip to Malaysia to tackle the US government shutdown, the office of Malaysia´s PM Najib Razak has said. Secretary of State John Kerry will represent him next week instead, the office said. The US government has partially shut down after the two houses of Congress failed to agree a new budget. More than 700,000 federal employees face unpaid leave, and national parks, museums and many buildings are closed. Mr Obama earlier vowed not to allow Republicans to undermine his signature healthcare legislation as a condition to restart the US government. "They demanded ransom," Mr Obama said.
If President Obama were really clever, he’d jump at the Republicans’ proposal in the continuing resolution to delay Obamacare for one year. A one-year delay is perhaps the only chance to prevent the Obamacare exchanges from becoming a disaster. Don’t take my word for it. Here’s Kevin Counihan, chief executive of Connecticut’s exchange, Access Health CT: “It is highly complex , it’s unprecedented and it’s not going to be smooth…. This is a two- to three-year implementation we’re doing in 10 months. I wish we had one more year.” The problem is that the test runs have revealed the exchange websites aren’t