Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Updates from PESTed HQ

Hello dear fair ground readers! Several updates for you:

* Welcome to our (new and hopefully improved) blog. We apologize that we were looking so shabby there for a while, and hope you'll hang in there with us for a few more weeks while we work out the kinks with our new system. I'll let you know when it's time to update your links.

* We're proud to introduce PESTed's newest staff person to the blogosphere: Ana Pardo, Communications Coordinator. She's working to expand PESTed's Spanish-language outreach and organizing work, and improve media coverage of our work in both English and Spanish. You'll also get to hear from her on fair ground - look out for future posts authored by "Ana."

* Today (Weds, Oct 10th), several North Carolina public school systems are being honored for their progress in implementing least-toxic Integrated Pest Management (IPM) programs at a ceremony in Raleigh. PESTed's Fawn Pattison will be speaking, along with Fuquay-Varina High School environmental science teacher Randy Senzig, and several state officials, most notably NC Superintendent for Public Education, June Atkinson. Congratulations to all the honorees!

>>For a complete list of today's School IPM honorees, click here (downloads a PDF file).

>>Don't see your school system on that list, and wondering what they're up to? Take Action!
Check out PESTed's most recent Action Alert - Readin', Writin' and Riddin' of Bugs - for information about the rights of parents and teachers under the NC School Children's Health Act, and a sample letter you can send to your school system.

>>For more information
on School IPM and PESTed's Toxic Free Kids program, click here.

* The latest news on the Ag-Mart case is not so great, and not actually all that new, but still very frustrating. From the Raleigh News & Observer, dated Oct 9:
A judge has recommended that the state Agriculture Department drop nearly all its 369 charges of pesticide violations against tomato grower Ag-Mart, the company announced Monday.

In a ruling issued last week, an administrative law judge said Ag-Mart should pay $6,000 in fines, down from an original fine of nearly $185,000.

But, as the article notes: "The final decision on the case still rests with the state Pesticide Board, as the judge's ruling is only a recommendation."

>>Full article from the Raleigh News & Observer

>>Don't like what's going on? Take action - you can start by writing a letter to the editor. Visit a PESTed Action Alert on Ag-Mart for tips - it's a little out of date, but the advice for writing a letter to the editor is still a-o-k. You may also be interested in other ways of taking action - just contact us for more ideas.

* Last, but definitely not least - Buggin' Out! Our first of three screenings of this zany reel of vintage film strips about bugs and pesticides took place in Raleigh last Sunday night, and was a huge success. Thank you very much to A/V Geeks' Skip Elsheimer, Tír Na Nóg Irish Pub, volunteers Heather, Robyn and Kate, and especially to everyone who came out to enjoy the evening and donate to PESTed. We really appreciate your support!

>>Did you miss the show in Raleigh? It's not too late to see Buggin' Out! in Greensboro on 10/20 or Chapel Hill on 10/21! More information here - please save the dates, and tell your friends and family to come join us.

>>Can't make it, but want to contribute towards making Buggin' Out! a success? Contact us to find out what we currently need in the way of volunteer help and supplies, or make a donation any time on our website.
That's all the latest news from PESTed HQ. Have a great week!

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