Tom Dwyer Automotive http://tomdwyer.com Portland's Best Auto Repair - Now Servicing 1998+ Vehicles Fri, 11 Apr 2014 19:30:12 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=3.8.2 Tom’s Tidbits- The McCutcheon Fiasco http://tomdwyer.com/2014/newsletters/the-mccutcheon-fiasco/ http://tomdwyer.com/2014/newsletters/the-mccutcheon-fiasco/#comments Thu, 10 Apr 2014 21:57:15 +0000 http://tomdwyer.com/?p=15265 Continue reading ]]> aaaTidbitsButtonGreetings!

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One thing on my mind this month: the abominable Supreme Court decision in the McCutcheon v. FEC case.    Shaun McCutcheon contributed to 17 candidates in 2011-2012, and wanted to support 11 more.  His contributions were all under the per-candidate limits, but combined they would have exceeded the per-cycle limit.  Shaun sued to prevent this muzzling of his free speech, and on April 2 the Supremes handed him the right to buy all the free speech he wants by striking down the per-cycle limits for Presidential and Congressional candidates.   We have details on this story in our “News to Make You Furious” column this month, so I won’t dwell on the details here.  Instead, I’d like offer a few thoughts on Chief Justice John Roberts’ majority opinion…

Among many other jaw-droppers, Justice Roberts said:

“Money in politics may at times seem repugnant to some, but so too does much of what the First Amendment vigorously protects… If the First Amendment protects flag burning, funeral protests, and Nazi parades—despite the profound offense such spectacles cause—it surely protects political campaign speech despite popular opposition.”

He’s right that the First Amendment protects those things, but it’s because stifling repugnant speech defeats the idea of free speech!  This logic doesn’t apply to “money in politics”, which was not being restricted because it was repugnant.  It was repugnant because it was (and is) dangerous to the very functioning of democracy!  We have no democracy when our representatives only respond to the 1% who can write checks big enough to buy them!

McCutcheon is just one more look at what the power brokers think about democracy in America, and who has to pay the price for it.  They have no problem if poor, elderly, or minority people lose their voting rights to solve a non-existent “voter fraud” problem.  They solemnly intone that no law is perfect, and that if a few people (actually hundreds of thousands across the country) are adversely affected, that’s just the collateral damage of a secure voting system.  But, when a few (the Sunlight Foundation identified about 20 people who would likely exceed the donation cap) rich guys can’t speak as loudly as they want in order to allow participation for the rest of the country, then democracy be damned.

Rights in a free society are a balancing act.  I’m a huge believer in freedom of speech and I use that freedom but even I recognize it’s not absolute.  “Shouting ‘fire’ in a crowded theater” is the classic example of how a balance can be struck, but the SCOTUS didn’t attempt to strike a balance of any kind in their decision.  They held that ‘freedom of speech’ was not only a good, but they blindly, cynically, obstinately held that it was the only good.  No other considerations mattered.  Corruption?  Doesn’t exist.  Political access?  Who cares.  They shamelessly used freedom of speech as a fig leaf while they, through malice or incompetence, drove yet another stake into the heart of representative democracy.

Take Care and Make a Great Day

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What NOW?!! Toons- Our April check-in with Keith Tucker http://tomdwyer.com/2014/newsletters/what-now-toons-our-april-check-in-with-keith-tucker/ http://tomdwyer.com/2014/newsletters/what-now-toons-our-april-check-in-with-keith-tucker/#comments Thu, 10 Apr 2014 21:56:57 +0000 http://tomdwyer.com/?p=15266 aaaWhatNowToonsButtonMcCutcheon-decision-what-now-506-Sm-color-72-dpi-RestOfNewsletter

 

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You love the Grid. The Man says so. http://tomdwyer.com/2014/uncategorized/you-love-the-grid-the-man-says-so/ http://tomdwyer.com/2014/uncategorized/you-love-the-grid-the-man-says-so/#comments Thu, 10 Apr 2014 21:52:43 +0000 http://tomdwyer.com/?p=15267 Continue reading ]]>

Feature- The Man

The Man’s fighting, but he may be losing.

More people are moving to sustainable, or at least less-wasteful, lifestyles.  It makes environmental sense to reduce waste, but it makes economic sense as well.  Why should cities fill landfills with materials that can be sold and recycled?  Why buy Frankenfoods or tasteless goo shipped around the world when we could eat healthy from our own gardens?  Why pay for electricity from dirty coal plants when we could get it free and clean from the sun?  But more people unplugging from the Grid means fewer dollars flowing into the pockets of The Man.  At first He thought it was just cute, but now it’s beginning to get noticeable.  And The Man doesn’t like it, so now He’s starting to fight back…

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Our web of energy, food, and waste systems are built on fundamental assumptions about the way we live.  When the energy grid was built there was no option for on-site power, so it relies on people staying plugged in to cover costs.  People used to produce their own food, but migration to cities and improved transportation efficiency meant an increasing dependence on a food grid.  The waste disposal grid assumed that it was cheaper and easier to throw things away than reuse them, but that assumption ignores economic externalities that can no longer be denied.  There are thousands of these “grids”, large in small, and all their assumptions are being questioned as changes in our society multiply and accelerate.  The question is how these grids will (or can) accommodate the changing reality, how they will be funded going forward, or what will replace them.

These are fundamental problems, and there could be a variety of valid approaches to solve them.  Open, reasoned debate among competing interests might lead to solutions in the interest of people as well as industries.  But The Man isn’t interested in debate.  He represents entrenched interests and the status quo and He’s not interested in change; the way things work now are the way things work for Him.  If He can’t stop change completely he still has the money and power to make it extremely difficult for everyone else.

Here are several stories about how The Man is fighting back against people building sustainable lifestyles.  These are just the tip of the iceberg of similar stories we’ll see as society goes through painful and needed changes, but there is hope.  The Man may be strong but he gets his strength from money, and when Money talks even The Man listens.  The last story tells us that Money is beginning to talk, and it’s saying that The Man’s time may be limited.

Living Off The Grid And The Assault On Personal Freedom

Ann Werner, Liberals Unite

ALEC’s Assault On Homeowners Who Have Gone Solar

Ann Werner, Liberals Unite

Texas State Tried To Shut Down A Sustainable Community

Joe Martino, Collective Evolution

Florida Woman Evicted by Code Enforcement after sharing her story of sustainably living in the city without city power or water.

David Webster, Off Grid Concepts

How the Koch Brothers Are Hacking Science

Frank Ackerman, Talking Points Memo

ALEC calls for penalties on ‘freerider’ homeowners in assault on clean energy

Suzanne Goldenberg and Ed Pilkington, The Guardian

Largest Power Company in U.S. Joins ALEC in Plot Against One State’s Solar Revolution

David Pomerantz, GreenPeace

The Campaign Against Net Metering: ALEC and Utility Interests’ Next Attack on Clean Energy Surfaces in Arizona

Gabe Elsner, Huffington Post

Costs Down, Profits Up: Green Energy Looking Good, Says UN

Jacob Chamberlain, Common Dreams

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The Dirty Truth About Fuel Injectors http://tomdwyer.com/2014/uncategorized/the-dirty-truth-about-fuel-injectors/ http://tomdwyer.com/2014/uncategorized/the-dirty-truth-about-fuel-injectors/#comments Thu, 10 Apr 2014 21:52:27 +0000 http://tomdwyer.com/?p=15268 Continue reading ]]> Feature- Injectors

We’ve had many clients who have been sold fuel injection cleaning services by convenience oil change providers, in what seem to us a deceptive way.  Fuel injector cleaning is definitely a valid service; clean injectors are critical to proper engine function and efficiency.  But knowing why it’s important, how it works, and when it should be done will keep you from paying for this service if it’s not really necessary.

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How fuel injectors work   

Fuel injectors pressurize fuel and pump it through either a fixed or electronically-controlled aperture, delivering the fuel as a fine, cone-shaped spray to the engine.  This mist is easier to ignite than a solid stream, burning more evenly and efficiently.   Over time, deposits from the burning fuel build up in the aperture, decreasing the injector’s performance and turning the fine mist into an inconsistent dribble.

Symptoms of clogged injectors

Symptoms of dirty fuel injectors may include:

  • hard starting
  • rough idle
  • throttle “tip-in” hesitation
  • pre-ignition (sometimes heard as that ‘pinging sound’)
  • poor overall performance
  • decreased gas mileage

How to know if your injectors need cleaning

The business end of fuel injectors can’t be seen while the engine is running.  Since it can take well over an hour to access and evaluate fuel injectors, injector maintenance is done by time and mileage intervals rather than from direct inspection.  We recommend cleaning fuel injectors at least every 36 months or 45,000 miles.  Consider it a tune up for your fuel system- it’s really amazing the difference people experience after having a fuel injection and throttle body cleaning on a car that has gone more than 60,000 miles without those services.  Many engine parts can be replaced without noticeable improvement in performance, but when dirty injectors are cleaned there can be a distinct before-and-after difference!

How to keep your injectors cleaner longer

2004-and-newer vehicles are less likely to need fuel injectors cleaning as often, because newer designs and today’s better fuel additives reduce fouling.  Pre-2004 models benefit from the use of high quality fuel, as this decreases (but doesn’t eliminate) the need for periodic injector cleaning.  There are plenty of “cure-in-a-can” fuel system products, but you shouldn’t waste money or risk damage on these potions.  The only do-it-yourself fuel system cleaner that works and won’t damage your car is Techron from Chevron.  We’re not talking about relying on the low level they put in their fuel at the pumps, we mean dumping a 20oz bottle into the gas tank.  For real benefit, Techron must be used at least every 4,000 miles or so.  Unfortunately, even when used properly, Techron doesn’t work as well as professional-grade cleaning systems.  Your injectors will still need to be properly cleaned eventually.

How to clean your injectors properly

The best commercially available systems for cleaning fuel injectors use a self-contained fuel delivery system with a detergent-enhanced gasoline, pumped directly into the fuel injection system of the engine. MotorVac (the system we use) is just such a machine.  This system circulates detergents thru your fuel rail and pressure regulator, using a venture action to remove insoluble material from the injector inlet screens, before cleaning the injector ports, rather than just spraying solvent thru the injector.  The complete fuel rail (injectors, screens, hoses, and regulator) is scrubbed clean first, and then the engine is run for about 30 minutes to clean the injector nozzles.  These systems hold many advantages over the pressurized-can cleaning setups from years past, (which actually never worked very well at all in our opinion).

Forewarned is forearmed

The best possible reasons to recommend a fuel injection cleaning are appropriate mileage intervals or an attempt to resolve an existing vehicle symptom.  If a quick lube tries to sell you a fuel injection cleaning because your air filter is dirty, or because they show you a finger full of dirt scraped from somewhere, don’t be fooled, be angry! Unfortunately most convenience oil change providers try to up-sell services that they can get done in a hurry. (“Up-sell” means bringing in customers with a cheap deal and then selling them more profitable items that may or may not be in their best interest.  Unfortunately, this is a very common practice in the automotive convenience market.)  Convenience shops are also not equipped to deal with any of the very real problems that may crop up during cleaning.  You should avoid buying a fuel injection cleaning service from shops that can’t test your fuel pressure, diagnose or replace a damaged fuel injector, or offer any of the other services you might need as well… or instead.

So, the next time someone tries to sell you a fuel injection cleaning you’ll know how to tell if you actually need the service.  If you do need it, make sure that the facility has the best equipment and the expertise and will take the time to do the job right… it’s a waste of your time and money to do it wrong!

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We sang the Healthcare Blues… and we liked it http://tomdwyer.com/2014/uncategorized/we-sang-the-healthcare-blues-and-we-liked-it/ http://tomdwyer.com/2014/uncategorized/we-sang-the-healthcare-blues-and-we-liked-it/#comments Thu, 10 Apr 2014 21:52:09 +0000 http://tomdwyer.com/?p=15269 Continue reading ]]> RestOfNewsletterFeature--Blues

Report back from the Healthcare Blues Fest

April 5 was the third year for the blues festival with the longest name ever- the “Inner City Blues Festival Reunion In Support Of Single Payer Health Care.”  It was also our third year supporting the event, so we thought we’d give you a taste of what you missed.  We’ve got pictures, and even a minute-and-a-half recording from the big blowout closing number.  More importantly, you’ll find a couple links to follow if you’d like to help bring Single Payer to Oregon.  Don’t spend the rest of this year kicking yourself because you missed the show… give a couple dollars to the Single Payer campaign, rock out on the video, and start making your plans for next year!

Click here to go to the Health Care For All Oregon website so you can help make SINGLE PAYER HEALTH CARE a reality!

The crowd looking toward the stage ...and the rest of the folks Amazing blues on the main stage People take time out to support SINGLE PAYER HEALTHCARE! Blues on the basement stage Our newest client signs up at the Tom Dwyer table

blowout-blues

Click here for video

 

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Drew’s Kitchen- Louisville Hot Browns http://tomdwyer.com/2014/newsletters/drews-kitchen-louisville-hot-browns/ http://tomdwyer.com/2014/newsletters/drews-kitchen-louisville-hot-browns/#comments Thu, 10 Apr 2014 21:51:22 +0000 http://tomdwyer.com/?p=15270 Continue reading ]]> aaaDrewKitchButtonIngredients
  • 8 strips bacon
  • 1 stick unsalted butter
  • 6 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 3½ cups whole milk
  • 6 tbsp grated parmesan cheese, plus more for sprinkling
  • 1 large egg, beaten
  • Kosher salt and greshly ground pepper
  • 8 slices thick white sandwich bread, toasted, crusts removed
  • 1 pound leftover roast turkey, sliced
  • 1 ripe tomato, sliced
  • Chopped fresh parsley, for garnish

RestOfNewsletterPreparation:

  • Preheat the broiler.  Cook the bacon in a skillet over medium-high heat until crisp, then drain on paper towels.
  • Meanwhile, make the cheese sauce:  Melt the butter in a saucepan over medium-low heat.  Add the flour and stir with a wooden spoon to make a thick roux.  Add the milk and bring to a simmer.  Cook, stirring, until the sauce thickens, about 5 minutes.  Stir in the parmesan, reduce the heat to low ans whisk in the egg until the sauce is thick (do not boil).  Remove from the heat and season with salt and pepper.
  • For each Hot Brown, place 2 bread slices side by side in a small baking dish.  Cover the bread with about ¼ pound turkey and place 1 or 2 tomato slices alongside.  Pour ½ to ¾ cup cheese over the turkey and bread.  Sprinkle with more parmesan and broil until the sauce is bubbly and speckled brown, 2 to 3 minutes.  Remove from the broiler, cross 2 strips of bacon on top and sprinkle with parsley and more parmesan.  Serve immediately.

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Shop Talk- Save $100 in April http://tomdwyer.com/2014/uncategorized/shop-talk-save-100-in-april/ http://tomdwyer.com/2014/uncategorized/shop-talk-save-100-in-april/#comments Thu, 10 Apr 2014 21:50:47 +0000 http://tomdwyer.com/?p=15271 Continue reading ]]>

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Save big now, and keep saving at the pump later

If you read our article this month, you know a real Fuel Injector Service means much more than adding a can of magic to your gas tank.  We use a system that circulates a potent cleaning solution through the fuel rail and injectors, actively scrubbing away deposits and restoring proper atomization and combustion.  You’ll feel the effects… smoother engine performance and better gas mileage.  We recommend cleaning fuel injectors every 3 years or 45,000 miles, so if you have a newer vehicle (2004 and up) or very low mileage your injectors may not need to be cleaned yet.  But, if you can’t remember the last time you had this important maintenance service done then here’s a little incentive…

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 Schedule your vehicle for service before April 30, 2014 and you’ll save $100 on your Fuel Injector Service.

A few restrictions do apply…  YOU MUST MENTION THIS DISCOUNT WHEN YOU SCHEDULE SERVICE because it is NOT VALID AFTER COMPLETION OF SERVICE, and it CANNOT BE COMBINED WITH OTHER DISCOUNTS.

So call us today (503-230-2300) and talk with one of our salaried Service Advisors if you’d like to take advantage of this offer.  We hope to see you in the shop soon!

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How’s that Referral Rewards program going?

Our Referral Reward program has been going on for about 10 weeks now, and 32 clients have contributed a total donation so far of $1085.55!  Here are the latest groups to benefit (along with web links if you’d care to donate yourself)…

We encourage you to take part, too.  It’s simple… for every new client you refer to us we’ll donate 20% (up to $50) of the qualifying purchases from their first invoice to the non-profit group of your choice.  Each quarter we’ll highlight the client and group with the most referrals and make an additional donation of up to $200.00 to their cause.  Then, at the end of the year we’ll highlight the client and group with the highest total referrals and make an additional donation of up to $500.00 to their cause.  You can get the full details on our Referral Reward webpage, located here.  Although we’ll be thankful for anyone you refer, oil changes, tires, and batteries don’t count toward donation totals.  And remember, referrals don’t have to come singly- you can coordinate your group to come in as a whole.  Thank you to everyone who has participated so far, both for your loyalty and your generosity!  We’re calling our next group of referrers this week, and we hope to see your group on the list next month!

Share our services with the world

AskForReviewButtonWe are constantly grateful for the supportive and loyal clients we have developed over the years.  Your comments and appreciation keep us on the right road to providing the superior automotive service you deserve.  Your reviews and referrals are not only the highest compliments we can receive, but they’re the lifeblood of our new business.  If you like what you’ve found at Tom Dwyer Automotive Services, please tell a friend or take a minute to write a review on YelpAngieslistGoogle, or the review site of your choice. Thank you!

Latest Automotive Recalls 

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Automobiles are just like any other product; occasional flaws in manufacture or design can cause problems once they leave the factory.  When an issue is identified the manufacturers and government work hard to bring the vehicles back in for refit or repair, but not all recalls make the front pages.  The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration maintains a constantly updated list of recalls from every manufacturer.  Clicking the button at right will take you to the full list at the NHTSA website.

 

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Your kids’ diapers are full of s#!+ http://tomdwyer.com/2014/uncategorized/your-kids-diapers-are-full-of-s/ http://tomdwyer.com/2014/uncategorized/your-kids-diapers-are-full-of-s/#comments Thu, 10 Apr 2014 21:50:36 +0000 http://tomdwyer.com/?p=15272 Continue reading ]]>

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Toxins in Huggies and Pampers Aren’t What You Want to Put Near Baby’s Skin

Jill Richardson on Alternet, Feb 18, 2014

The disposable diaper industry sells products containing endocrine disruptors, carcinogens, and sometimes even heavy metals.

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When parents pull a box of diapers off the shelf, how many of them are aware of the risks to which they are exposing their children: cancer, asthma, hormone disruption, and others. Dioxins, sodium polycrylate, dyes, fragrances, and phthalates are some of the ingredients credible scientific researchers have found in disposable diaper brands including Huggies and Pampers used by millions of parents. It’s even been discovered that the dyes used to put decorations on diapers are known to cause diaper rash. Fortunately, there are much healthier alternatives.

Dioxins are a class of potent carcinogens (cancer causers) that are not made on purpose but are created as a byproduct of industrial processes like chlorine bleaching of paper pulp and some natural processes like volcano eruptions. The name “dioxins” refers to hundreds of chemicals, out of which about 30 are the most toxic. The most toxic, TCDD, was the contaminant in the infamous Agent Orange that made it so deadly. They are considered persistent pollutants because, once created, they hang around for a long time without breaking down and they stay in the human body for a long time, too.

Phthalates, on the other hand, are classed as endocrine disruptors. This means that they mimic human hormones and send false signals to the body.

A 1999 study tested emissions from three brands of diapers on mice and concluded, “some types of disposable diapers emit mixtures of chemicals that are toxic to the respiratory tract. Disposable diapers should be considered as one of the factors that might cause or exacerbate asthmatic conditions.”

The anatomy of a disposable diaper is pretty simple. There’s the inner layer touching your baby’s skin, the waterproof outer layer and the absorbent core in the middle. The diaper might have some fragrance and dyes as well. When your baby does his or her business, the liquid is supposed to be trapped and distributed within the absorbent core.

The inner layer is often made from polypropylene (and maybe some aloe and vitamin E), the absorbent core from wood pulp and sodium polyacrylate.

The website BabyGearLab, which was founded by a pediatrician and mother, tested the absorbent cores of a number of diapers and reported that, “every one of the diapers we tested includes a matrix of fluff material and chemical crystals known as Super Absorbent Polymer (SAP) to soak up and trap fluid [more on this below]. The role of the fluff, usually made from wood pulp and may also include wheat/corn based materials, is to distribute the fluid, while the SAP is intended to absorb fluid and locks it in the core away from baby.”

Within that relatively simple structure, the most common chemicals causing alarm are dioxins, sodium polycrylate, dyes, fragrances, and phthalates. The previously mentioned 1999 study also named other chemicals it found in diaper emissions, such as toluene, which depresses the central nervous system; ethylbenzene, a potential carcinogen; dipentene, a skin and eye irritant; and styrene, which harms the nervous and respiratory systems. Many of these chemicals are commonly used in manufacturing plastics and other industrial products, so it’s not too surprising to find them in a diaper with an outer liner made of plastic.

The easiest chemicals to skip are fragrances and dyes. Buy fragrance-free diapers that don’t have cute cartoon characters or teddy bears depicted on their outsides. In 2005, Pediatrics found that the dyes used on diapers were often the cause of diaper rash. Some dyes can even contain heavy metals — and heavy metals are not what you want near your baby’s skin.

Next up, dioxins. Nobody disagrees over whether or not dioxins are bad. They are bad. Period. Dioxins are such potent carcinogens that they are measured in the parts per trillion. In diapers, they come from chlorine used to bleach diaper material. Even chlorine-bleached diapers only emit trace amounts of dioxins, but why risk even that when chlorine-free diapers are available?

For a scientific look at the dioxin picture, check out a 2002 study that tested four brands of diapers and four brands of tampons. The study found dioxins in all samples, although in much lower concentrations than the amount of dioxin exposure from one’s diet. While some believe that the tiny size of dioxin exposure from diapers means it’s nothing to worry about, others feel it’s worth it to reduce dioxin exposure even by that little bit.

Phthalates are chemicals that make plastics more flexible. In diapers, they are most likely used on the waterproof outer liner. As Pediatrics notes, these chemicals are bad news for endocrine and reproductive systems. They found that “Phthalates are not chemically bound to these products and are therefore continuously released into the air or through leaching into liquids, leading to exposure through ingestion, dermal transfer, and inhalation. Children are uniquely vulnerable to phthalate exposures given their hand-to-mouth behaviors, floor play, and developing nervous and reproductive systems.”

Last up, sodium polyacrylate, also known as Super Absorbent Polymer (SAP). The jury is out on whether or not this chemical is actually harmful. In the 1980s, it was linked to Toxic Shock Syndrome (TSS) in tampons. However, this might be because it allowed women to keep tampons in for longer periods, creating a breeding ground for bacteria as a result.

While the link to TSS may be nothing to worry about, there are viewpoints on both sides about whether or not SAP is actually bad for your baby. One study linked superabsorbent diapers to urinary tract infections in girls. If you want to play it safe, go with cloth diapers. One site makes the point that — if nothing else — SAP might contribute to diaper rash by allowing you to change your baby’s diaper less frequently.

However, even some conscious parents out there do believe SAP is safe and continue using disposables that contain it. The brand Diapers, which combines reusable diaper covers with disposable inserts that contain SAP, has a page explaining why they feel SAP is safe for babies.

Taking all of these criteria to mind — plus, of course, the additional criteria that a diaper must do its job as a diaper — BabyGearLab recommends three diapers based on its tests: Bambo Nature, Earth’s Best and Attitude. Other “conscious” brands include Honest Diapers, gDiapers, and — for an economical choice — Target’s Up & Up.

The winners tend to be fragrance- and dye-free, or use dyes that are free of heavy metals. They also eschew phthalates and chlorine bleach. However, they still contain SAP — you’ll probably have to switch to cloth if you want to avoid that.

Of course, yet another study — this one on the impact of diapers on walking — recommends allowing infants to go naked. While it has its obvious problems, it’s certainly one way to avoid any potential chemicals found in diapers.

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Computers power the reconstruction http://tomdwyer.com/2014/uncategorized/computers-power-reconstruction/ http://tomdwyer.com/2014/uncategorized/computers-power-reconstruction/#comments Thu, 10 Apr 2014 21:50:14 +0000 http://tomdwyer.com/?p=15273 Continue reading ]]> RestOfNewsletter

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There’s a saying that ‘the best vacations make the worst stories’.  If nothing goes wrong on your vacation, what do you tell your friends about?  You sat undisturbed on the beach for 6 hours before going inside to a good meal and a pleasant night’s sleep?  BORING!  The Sellwood Bridge construction presents the same problem.  We started this column to keep you up-to-date on major inconveniences or announcements you needed to know about, but there really hasn’t been much to talk about.  Construction just keeps percolating along without a hitch.  The bridge is open, traffic is flowing, and it’s completely safe.  It makes a very BORING story!

Bridge Update 3This month we decided to give you a glimpse behind-the-scenes at one of the things helping keep the project so blissfully boring.  The Sellwood Bridge reconstruction is mind-bogglingly complex, and uses state-of-the-art Computer Aided Design (CAD) systems in every aspect of the project.  It’s such a high-profile, in-depth CAD utilization that AutoDesk, the makers of the systems involved, is using it as a showpiece to highlight their product’s capabilities.  They created a 6-minute video showing the role CAD is playing in the design, simulation, scheduling, and communication of the project.  It’s well worth a look!

Multnomah County continues to maintain the definitive website on everything related to the Sellwood Bridge Replacement project at www.sellwoodbridge.org.  Construction and closure alerts, archived information, and other resources are all available 24/7 for your convenience.  If you’re looking for something that’s not on the website, you can contact Mike Pullen (mailto:mike.j.pullen@multco.us503-209-4111) or visit www.sellwoodbridge.org.

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Book Spotlight- “Dirty Wars” by Jeremy Scahill http://tomdwyer.com/2014/uncategorized/book-spotlight-dirty-wars/ http://tomdwyer.com/2014/uncategorized/book-spotlight-dirty-wars/#comments Thu, 10 Apr 2014 21:50:01 +0000 http://tomdwyer.com/?p=15274 Continue reading ]]> aaaBookSpotlightButton

“Dirty Wars- The World Is A Battlefield”

by Jeremy Scahill

In Dirty Wars, JereRestOfNewslettermy Scahill, author of the New York Times best-seller “Blackwater”, takes us inside Americas new covert wars. The foot soldiers in these battles operate globally and inside the United States with orders from the White House to do whatever is necessary to hunt down, capture or kill individuals designated by the president as enemies.

9781568586717Drawn from the ranks of the Navy SEALs, Delta Force, former Blackwater and other private security contractors, the CIAs Special Activities Division and the Joint Special Operations Command ( JSOC), these elite soldiers operate worldwide, with thousands of secret commandos working in more than one hundred countries. Funded through “black budgets,” Special Operations Forces conduct missions in denied areas, engage in targeted killings, snatch and grab individuals and direct drone, AC-130 and cruise missile strikes. While the Bush administration deployed these ghost militias, President Barack Obama has expanded their operations and given them new scope and legitimacy.

Dirty Wars follows the consequences of the declaration that “the world is a battlefield,” as Scahill uncovers the most important foreign policy story of our time. From Afghanistan to Yemen, Somalia and beyond, Scahill reports from the frontlines in this high-stakes investigation and explores the depths of Americas global killing machine. He goes beneath the surface of these covert wars, conducted in the shadows, outside the range of the press, without effective congressional oversight or public debate. And, based on unprecedented access, Scahill tells the chilling story of an American citizen marked for assassination by his own government.

As US leaders draw the country deeper into conflicts across the globe, setting the world stage for enormous destabilization and blowback, Americans are not only at greater risk — we are changing as a nation. Scahill unmasks the shadow warriors who prosecute these secret wars and puts a human face on the casualties of unaccountable violence that is now official policy: victims of night raids, secret prisons, cruise missile attacks and drone strikes, and whole classes of people branded as “suspected militants.” Through his brave reporting, Scahill exposes the true nature of the dirty wars the United States government struggles to keep hidden.

Review:

“Dirty Wars is the most thorough and authoritative history I’ve read yet of the causes and consequences of America’s post 9/11 conflation of war and national security. I know of no other journalist who could have written it: For over a decade, Scahill has visited the war zones, overt and covert; interviewed the soldiers, spooks, jihadists, and victims; and seen with his own eyes the fruits of America’s bipartisan war fever. He risked his life many times over to write this book, and the result is a masterpiece of insight, journalism, and true patriotism.”

Barry Eisler, novelist and former operative in the CIA’s Directorate of Operations

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