Since the day we are born, doctors continue to be our heroes throughout bouts of colds and fevers. On occasion, they will stand out, birthing babies (or sometimes gorillas) in the middle of their own deliveries. Santa Rosa doctor Scott Witt defied the odds when he hopped on a motorcycle to rescue eight preemies from a fire.
“I got a call at 2 a.m. basically saying that there was some fire encroaching on the hospital so so we might have to evacuate,” said Dr. Witt.
“In California, you can split lanes so I just kind of went down the middle of lanes and got past everybody,”
Four miles from the center and an additional six from Santa Rosa Memorial Hospital, Witt braved a number of treacherous highways. Witt and his family lost their home, but his wife could not have been prouder of his actions.
“If my baby was in the hospital… I mean I’m a little biased but I would totally want them to be in some hands like Scott’s,” said Megan Witt.
Witt also trailed ambulances for three hours on several trips justifying not only his courage, but that a BMW is a pretty sturdy bike.
While chef José Andrés was serving 8,000 meals a day to victims of Hurricane Maria, a wildfire was devastating California. Not to disappoint the thousands who lost their homes, culinary star Guy Fieri decided to host a massive barbecue.
“This is the least we can do. We’re so happy to do it,” [said] Fieri… “We’re so sorry for friends who have lost homes. There’s a lot of really good people coming together,” he added.
Fieri set up shop in Santa Rosa Veterans Memorial Building with the help of the Salvation Army. Fieri, too, had to evacuate his home in the early morning but was determined to help.
“So I called the Salvation Army in Santa Rosa and I said, ‘I’m ready, I’ve got an army, I’m ready to help,'” [said] Fieri… “And they said, ‘Bring it.'”
The Food Network VIP cooked up lunch and dinner for evacuees for three straight days. Though package meals from neighboring communities were arriving quickly, nothing seemed to beat a delicious plate of sizzling pork.
Homelessness continues to be a pressing issue across the globe. At least 100 million people live off the streets, but good samaritans are doing what they can to help. Australian charity Every Little Bit Helps donates unused hotel toiletries to shelters. Studio Elmo Vemijs in the Netherlands recently erected a solar-powered village for transients. A blockchain program will be used by Austin to provide identity services to the homeless. To top it off, Housing Our Heroes in San Diego has successfully placed 1,007 veterans in rental homes.
Three large industrial tent structures that will shelter about 250 homeless people each are planned to be installed by the end of the year, and on Monday a city-sanctioned homeless encampment will open to about 200 people in response to a hepatitis A outbreak.
Among the 9,116 homeless veterans in the county, 5,619 are in San Diego. Housing Our Heroes hopes to assist another thousand veterans in the next 15 months. In regards to apartments, HOH offers incentives to various landlords. However, proprietor Jimmie Robinson says providing a space is not about the money.
“When you get to meet them, the satisfaction of helping people turn their lives around was more important,” he said. “When you see somebody rebuilding their lives, that’s what it’s become for me, more than than the incentives.”
Hopefully, in the coming years, we’ll get to greet all homeless veterans with a warm welcome home.
Major cities like Vancouver may have banned the sale of puppy mill animals in pet stores, but other issues are still neglected. Pet owners are over-vaccinating their animals and, even worse, abandoning them. To combat animal cruelty, the city of Denver has stepped up to the plate and banned the declawing of cats.
“We don’t even call it declawing anymore,” Dr. Enid Stiles, a veterinarian from a Montreal suburb, said. “We have decided to call it partial digit amputation. It’s like you’re removing their knuckles,”
Denver is the first city to join another eight in California that have supported the ban. However, while the procedure is unnecessary, it remains entirely legal in Canada. Fortunately, few vets are willing to perform the surgery.
“I have a distinct impression that for new veterinarians, coming right out of schools, more will not want to perform the procedure,” she said. Some veterinary schools have even stopped teaching the procedure, Stiles added.
Cats may be chronic scratchers, but the behavior is nothing out of the ordinary. Purchasing a scratching post will save you the cost of surgery, and spare your cat from a lifetime of pain.
These days, restaurants are not only serving up delicious new meals, but becoming mindful of their impact on the environment. Chains such as TGI’s are serving vegan burgers to reduce meat consumption, while bay-area cafes are returning oyster shells into oceans. Each bit of effort is unique, while every vision remains the same — to go green. Lavish with five-star establishments, California is taking its eco-consciousness even further against plastic straws. A new law requires sit-down restaurants to dispense straws only if specifically requested.
“Really, what’s at stake here is a few moments of convenience creating a years-long environmental threat,” said David Lewis, executive director of Save the Bay.
The bill follows California’s ban on single-use plastics and will hopefully transition into a total ban. Let’s be real. Paper straws are tons better than their plastic counterparts, but not when they thaw into a soggy mess.
“We are aware of the problem we’ve created with plastic and wanted to get away from it as much as possible,” said [Daniel] Parks, the beverage manager at Pagan Idol.
While every activist would prefer a complete wipe-out, it may take others some time to realize straws really aren’t all that.
Following Vancouver’s ban on puppy mill animals in pet stores comes a promising American contender. Home to the rich and famous, California is the first U.S. state to require pet stores to sell shelter animals. Any noncompliance will amass a stiff fine of $500!
“This landmark law breaks the puppy mill supply chain that pushes puppies into California pet stores and has allowed unscrupulous breeders to profit from abusive practices.”
Private breeders can remain in practice, given that the animals are well kept. Reckless breeding methods result in some 1.5 million euthanized animals yearly. The fact that 99% of pet store puppies are from mills is even more disturbing.
Despite the numbers, change seems promising, as 36 cities follow a ban on mass breeding. Pet shops have opposed the ban, citing breed specificity will be a problem. If you aren’t into half-breeds, you may need to get with the times!
Climate change is a force to be reckoned with. With the help of technology such as the carbon calculator, we can much more easily reduce our damaging footprints. However, for some communities, the change is too gradual, and acting quickly is a much preferred option. This is why Los Angeles is painting its streets white — to combat urban warming.
15 streets were covered with this asphalt-based paint-like substance to cool down the streets by about 11-13 degrees Fahrenheit and therefore cools down the buildings around them.
In sunny California, road surface temperatures can boast a whopping 130 – 140 degrees. Being able to fry an egg on the road is no longer just a myth. In fact, it’s the perfect temperature — but not for bare feet.
It might not seem like a lot, but… if 35% of LA’s streets were covered with a reflective surface like this, it would translate into a 1-degree drop in temperature throughout the city.
1 degree may seem insignificant, but it’s enough to save $100 million in energy spending. It’s a small but practical fix. Not to mention the roads are looking and feeling a lot cooler.
If I could measure how much of an animal lover one truly is, I’d use the locals of Kuta as my benchmark. Due to the recent activity in Mount Ugong, villagers have been relocating livestock into safe zones, despite the hazards. Perhaps the only individual who has since matched their obvious dedication is California local Peter Lang. The 77-year-old refused to evacuate in order to rescue animals from the Safari West Park and Animal Preserve.
Armed with only everyday garden hoses, Lang fought the fires as they began to close in on him and the animals he was trying to protect.
My garden hose can barely sustain my crumbling garden. Quips aside, Lang choosing to remain with the animals meant there was no hope for his own home. Though many have reached out to make donations, Lang humbly refused to receive any personal aid.
“Thank you for all the messages of love and support. So many of you have offered to donate money or establish funds in our name and we are stunned and humbled by your generosity. Please, if you do feel compelled to make a donation, direct it to a charity or organization that benefits all the victims of this terrible event,” [said Lang.]
Lang is truly the epitome of heroism. If a giraffe could, it would probably salute him.