Archive for March, 2012
San Diego Police, Sheriff’s Dept. Among Agencies Receiving Free Weapons, EquipmentSAN DIEGO — Among its fleet of helicopters, patrol cars, inmate buses and other vehicles, the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department keeps four long-haul semitrailers ready to go at a moment’s notice. Their purpose: Travel the country retrieving discarded — and free of charge — U.S. military hand-me-downs for its deputies to use in California. M16 rifles, helicopters, microwaves, survival kits, workout equipment, bayonet knives, ammunition cans and more – the LA sheriff’s office snaps up an average of $4 million to $5 million in surplus military equipment annually. “You name it,” said Sgt. Bob Watkins, whose unit of four deputies checks an online database every Saturday for newly available items. “Anything the military uses on a daily basis, from toilet paper to heavy equipment and everything in between – if we can use it and we can get it from them for free, it comes through our program, and our department doesn’t have to go out and buy it.” Los Angeles County is far from alone in tapping a vast supply of free military surplus to arm and equip its officers. Public agencies and employees as diverse as Oakland school police have grabbed cast-off military goods that become available on a weekly basis. The Department of Defense’s equipment bazaar is another sign of how aggressively some police departments increasingly resemble small armies. Civilian law enforcement have equipped themselves with assault-style weapons and even tanks, first as part of the war on drugs and later in the name of fighting terrorism. California police accumulated more equipment during 2011 than any other year in the equipment-transfer program’s two-decade history, according to a California Watch analysis of U.S. Department of Defense data. A total of 163,344 new and used items valued at $26.2 million — from bath mats acquired by the sheriff of Sonoma County to a full-tracked tank for rural San Joaquin County — were transferred last year to state and local agencies. Police nationwide sought $498 million worth of equipment, including 60 aircraft and thousands more weapons than in 2010. Listed dollar amounts are based on what the military initially paid for the equipment. More than 17,000 public agencies across the country – mostly police and sheriff, but some fire departments – have taken advantage of the equipment giveaway of an estimated $2.8 billion since Congress enacted laws in the 1990s that created the program. “We’re always happy to get any firearm for free,” San Diego County Sheriff’s Department Lt. Pete Callewaert said. Callewaert, who runs the weapons training unit sheriff’s department, said the department has claimed its share of free gear — mostly guns — through the years. “This is the most common acquisition we will get from the military and this is a Remington 870 shotgun, a standard 12-gauge shotgun,” Callewaert said as he handled the weapon. Police across San Diego County have been signing up for military surplus gear since the early 1990s. For example, the San Diego Police Department picked up two personal parachutes, while the San Diego Harbor Police Department acquired a pair of night-vision goggles. National City police picked up rescue equipment, while Escondido police received a chemical mask. The sheriff’s department has also been getting chemical masks from the military for years. “The original M-17 mask that I was issued 20 plus years ago was the same gas mask that I wore when I was in the army,” Callewaert said. For the sheriff of Orange County, it was hundreds of flashlights, exercise equipment, four trumpets and gun parts. The Vacaville Police Department in Solano County got “combat coats,” pistol holsters and water canteens. Thirty-four M16s were made available to the Elk Grove Police Department in Sacramento County last year. The program is run online and open to law enforcement and other public agencies that sign up with the Department of Defense. Once the goods are transferred, the civilian police departments are responsible for maintenance and storage. In Rio Dell — a small Humboldt County town with just four full-time officers, not including the chief — the police department has used the program to pick up two vehicles, two M-16 rifles, and last year, two radios and laptops. The vehicles arrived in good shape. The department had mixed results, however, with last year’s electronics equipment, said Police Chief Graham Hill. One radio was in poor condition and a laptop was obsolete. Hill said he shops sparingly so the department doesn’t end up with “a whole parking lot full of stuff to insure, maintain and fuel.” “It’s not eBay,” Hill said. “The challenge is going to get it and whether it’s going to be worth it.” Police are allowed to sell or transfer the military surplus after a year. But weapons and anything else with “offensive military capability” can’t be sold off – the equipment technically belongs to the Department of Defense and is considered on permanent loan to the civilian police agencies. The program has ballooned despite congressional largesse that since 2002 has resulted in billions of dollars worth of homeland security grants – including $3.8 billion for California alone – set aside for disaster preparation and counterterrorism. Erroll Southers, a former top state homeland security official, said the combat-ready equipment can look intimidating to the public, but it enhances safety during critical, high-stress calls. “I don’t know how it could not look threatening, but that’s not the intent,” said Southers, now an adjunct professor at the University of Southern California. “God forbid we have an officer hurt or killed when we had that kind of equipment available and we decided not to use it because it didn’t look politically correct.” Officials attribute the recent surge in demand to better promotion and outreach, an influx of equipment with the war in Iraq winding down, and money woes that have left police across the state scrambling to fill their needs. “State and local budgets are rapidly diminishing and dwindling, so they’re getting pretty creative about looking for alternative sources of equipment,” said Twila Gonzales of the Defense Logistics Agency, which oversees military transfers to police. “[Our] program certainly helps in that regard.” Borrowing no longer needed Shortly before noon on New Year’s Eve 1984, Kenneth Mohar, a 39-year-old with a history of alcohol abuse, stood angry in the doorway of his Concord home, pointing a hunting rifle at his new roommate’s head. Following an argument, Mohar shot the 27-year-old, killing him instantly in the driveway. When local police arrived, they feared Mohar wasn’t finished. So they dialed up the nearby Concord Naval Weapons Station to ask if they could borrow something: a Peacekeeper armored personnel carrier. Nearly three decades later, Concord police no longer need to borrow armored trucks from the weapons station. In November, the military’s excess equipment program enabled the city to obtain its own 8½-ton bulletproof tactical vehicle, among other discarded equipment. A new paint job is in progress, and the truck awaits deployment. “Without the surplus program, these are probably items that we as an agency couldn’t afford,” said Concord police Lt. Bill Roche. “It provides us with an ability to remain competitive with the criminal community.” During earlier years, requests were small and limited mostly to helmets, binoculars and other items. Much of the gear sought last year across California had nothing to do with firearms or bulletproof vehicles and served more of an everyday need – things like treadmills, parkas, computers, tweezers, cameras and office supplies. But some agencies have used the program to get big-ticket items that might otherwise be no more than a fantasy under today’s budget belt-tightening. The Santa Barbara County Sheriff’s Department has taken in more than $13.8 million worth of surplus equipment since the late 1990s. Four helicopters account for much of that money, while other items include wrenches and undershirts, combat boots and garbage cans, pry bars and riot-control face shields, body armor and self-inflating sleeping mats. Spokesman Drew Sugars said the aircraft help deputies reach lost or stranded hikers in isolated areas of the county that include parts of the Los Padres National Forest. Influenced by massacres like the 2007 Virginia Tech attack, even colleges and universities have used the program. At El Camino College in Torrance, campus police received $414,525 worth of equipment, such as tactical apparel, riot shields and a $23,000 remote-controlled ordnance disposal robot, records show. Police at the Los Angeles Unified School District have scooped up free M16 cartridge magazines and special sights for firearms. Considering war-ready appearances Police are aware of the potential for negative public perception and the appearance of officers being ready for war rather than curbing crime. Burbank police spokesman Lt. John Dilibert said civilian law enforcement and the military have distinctly different missions. Combat troops “cover” one another with a spray of bullets, but police are responsible for defusing situations with as little violence as possible. His department during the 1990s received a Peacekeeper armored vehicle from the program and, more recently, purchased with homeland security funds a $275,000 SWAT truck, he said. Dilibert outlined one scenario where the truck would be useful: As a barrier between a gunman and someone who needed to be rescued. “It’s not so much going after the bad guy as much as it’s an armored rescue vehicle,” he said. The LA County Sheriff’s Department won’t take some items because they have too much of a militaristic look. That includes Humvees and armored personnel carriers. Any equipment that has a green, combat-ready appearance is repainted. The force did at one time have armored trucks that came from the military, but they weren’t suited for Los Angeles and its tangled web of freeways, Watkins said. Full-blown tanks would be out of the question, too. Other departments can’t resist free machinery that most people would have difficulty imagining on America’s streets, even if it might not fit their image or needs. The San Joaquin County Sheriff’s Office, for instance, last year picked up a full-tracked tank, even though it already had a sophisticated $532,000 mobile-command vehicle bought with federal grant money. A spokesman said the county has since gotten rid of the tank because it didn’t meet the agency’s “mission needs.” Demand for surplus equipment in the meantime doesn’t appear to be slowing. “There’s a lot of competition for it,” said Sgt. Jon Zwolinski, who leads the effort to track down excess property for the Sacramento County Sheriff’s Department. “The longer you delay in ordering it, the more likely the chances someone else is going to get it. So you just have to be quick on the draw.” Story by G.W. Schulz and Andrew Becker, California Watch This story was edited by Robert Salladay and copy edited by Nikki Frick. This story was produced by California Watch, the state’s largest investigative reporting team, is part of the independent, nonprofit Center for Investigative Reporting. For more, visit www.californiawatch.org. Schulz can be reached at email@example.com
Becker can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org
Copyright 2012 by 10News.com. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.
The theory that steroids might produce long-term effects is supported by observations of more-natural phenomena. Even the effects of a normal, unenhanced training regimen can linger in the body for years. Consider a hypothetical, non-doping power lifter who trains hard for several years, reaching a maximum squat of 500 pounds. Then he suffers an injury and can’t train for one year. At the end of that year, his max has dropped to 350 pounds. Once he starts training again, that lifter will get back to his 500-pound max more quickly, and with less intense training, than would a beginner who started from a 350-pound max at the same time. Researchers aren’t completely sure why this happens, but some believe that heavy, prolonged exercise causes epigenetic changes that make it more efficient to create the proteins that build muscle. While these changes aren’t permanent—a sedentary former athlete will eventually lose the benefits of his former workout regime—the effects of intense exercise seem to last for a long time. An athlete who used performance-enhancing drug might see this change extended or intensified, if only because he was able to train harder and for longer hours during the time he was juicing.
Editor’s note: Dr. Melina Jampolis, CNN’s diet and fitness expert, is a physician nutrition specialist and the author of ” The Calendar Diet: A Month by Month Guide to Losing Weight While Living Your Life. “
Q: Is there a safe way to drop weight quickly for spring break?
A: A juice fast or cleanse may help you drop weight quickly, but such measures can leave you tired and flabby. Cleanses lack the nutrients you need, and you may lose muscle as a result of inadequate protein intake.
Instead, here are some tips to help you drop weight quickly while maintaining muscle mass and keeping energy levels high:
Double your vegetable intake and cut carbohydrates in half.
Research shows that dieters lose weight more quickly on a low-carb diet, but generally only for the first six to 12 weeks. So if you want to drop weight quickly, cutting back on starchy carbs — bread, pasta, rice, potatoes, cereal, crackers — can help.
Increasing your vegetable intake helps you cut calories without cutting portion sizes, allowing you to feel full on fewer calories.
For a health bonus, cut out sugar and processed grains, as these carbs are the least satisfying and nutritious.
Make workouts more effective.
There are several ways to make workouts more effective. Interval training is a great way to burn more calories as it allows you to up the intensity of your exercise and continue to burn more calories for several hours after your workout.
Intervals involve alternating short sprints with your regular workout pace. For example, if you usually walk, try jogging for 30 seconds, then walking for one minute and repeat 10 times. You can also add a second workout, even if it is just a brisk walk, to boost metabolism and burn more calories.
If you are lifting weights, try limiting the rest time between exercises to keep your heart rate elevated, or do 10 jumping jacks to turn strength training workouts into cardiovascular workouts, too.
Cut liquid calories.
If you are trying to lose weight quickly, liquid calories — including sodas, juice, energy drinks, sweetened water, lattes and alcohol — may interfere.
Research shows that liquids are not as satisfying as solids and people do not eat less if they drink their calories. You don’t have to cut coffee completely, but have a splash of nonfat milk instead of a large latte. Sipping on green tea with a squeeze of fresh lemon is an even better idea, as studies show that the phytonutrients in green tea may help with fat burning, particularly during exercise.
Get a good night’s sleep
Sleeping less than six hours a night may increase hunger and decrease your ability to process carbohydrates, both of which can make weight loss more challenging.
Follow a specific meal plan
Here is a sample menu that I provide patients who are trying to lose weight more quickly.
1 egg plus 2 egg whites scrambled with 1 cup of spinach (cooked in 2 teaspoons of olive oil)
1 cup strawberries
1 cup of green tea with lemon
1 cup of nonfat Greek yogurt (plain or vanilla)
Salad made up of 3 cups or more of greens, 3 ounces of lean protein such as chicken or tuna (no mayo), ½ cup of beans (any kind), colorful vegetables plus 1 tablespoon of olive oil mixed with 2 tablespoons of vinegar
1 cup of iced green tea with lemon
Small apple plus ¼ cup of nuts
1 cup of green tea with lemon
4 ounces of fish
2 cups of vegetables (roasted or stir fried in 2 teaspoons of olive oil)
½ cup of brown rice or whole wheat pasta (optional)
1 ounce of dark chocolate (optional)
Have a great time on spring break!
Copyright © 2012 CNN. All Rights Reserved
(MENAFN Press) (EMAILWIRE.COM, March 28, 2012 ) Dallas, TX MUSCLE PHARM CORPORATION (OTCBB: MSLP) “Up 51.00% in morning trading”
Headquartered in Denver, Colorado, MusclePharm is a healthy life-style company that develops and manufactures a full line of National Science Foundation approved nutritional supplements that are 100% free of banned substances. Based on years of research, MusclePharm products are created through an advanced six-stage research protocol involving the expertise of top nutritional scientists and field tested by more than one hundred elite professional athletes from various professional sports leagues including the National Football League, Mixed Martial Arts, and Major League Baseball. The Company’s products address all categories of an active lifestyle, including muscle building, weight loss, and maintaining general fitness through a daily nutritional supplement regimen. MusclePharm is sold in over 120 countries and available in over 5,000 U.S. retail outlets, including GNC and Vitamin Shoppe. MusclePharm products are also sold in over 100 online stores, including bodybuilding.com, Amazon.com and Vitacost.com.
MEDEFILE INTERNATIONAL INCORPORATED (OTCBB: MDFI) “Up 66.67% in morning trading”
Headquartered in South Florida, MedeFile has developed and globally markets a proprietary, patient-centric, iPHR (Internet-enabled Personal Health Record) system for gathering, digitizing and organizing medical records so that individuals can have a comprehensive record of all of their medical visits. MedeFile’s primary product is its web-based MedeFile solution, a highly secure system for gathering, maintaining, accessing and sharing personal medical records. Interoperable with most electronic medical record management systems marketed to the healthcare industry, the MedeFile solution is designed to gather all of its members’ actual medical records and create a single, comprehensive Electronic Health Record (EHR) that is accessible 24 hours a day, seven days a week by the member and the member’s authorized users on any web-enabled device (PC, cell phone, smartphone, e-reader) and portable MedeDrive unit.
OTCPicks.com, one of the leading penny stock Web sites, presents its daily Stocks to Watch and Midday Market Movers every weekday. In addition to all the latest penny stock news, OTCPicks also offers daily newsletters, unique commentaries and free profiles, alerts and investing tips.
The stocks presented above are available in OTCPicks.com’s Free Daily Email Newsletter. For daily stock alerts go to http://www.otcpicks.com to sign up.
Disclosure: OTCPicks.com and affiliates have not been compensated by any of the companies covered in this release.
email@example.com This is a press release. Press release distribution and press release services by EmailWire.Com: http://www.emailwire.com/us-press-release-distribution.php. Source: EmailWire.Com
Chinese officials have come up with an unlikely welfare measure in the hope that rising unrest among Tibetan monks will soon run its course: setting up treadmills in Tibet’s monasteries.
The Tibet Autonomous Region (TAR) local government has said it will install gym equipment in 20 monasteries under a package of welfare measures announced last year, which included health insurance and the provision of better living conditions. The measures were unveiled amid a spate of self-immolations, with at least 30 monks and nuns setting themselves on fire to protest religious restrictions.
The government has, in recent months, adopted a dual approach to the unrest: on the one hand it has tightened security by deploying officials within monasteries and launching “patriotic education” campaigns and on the other it has offered a range of welfare benefits to monks and nuns.
The latest measure was announced on Thursday by the sports administration of TAR, which said it had dispatched gym equipment worth 1.2 million yuan ($190,000).
“We want to improve the exercise conditions in the monasteries in order to enrich the cultural and athletic life of monks and nuns,” Yang Zhanqi, the deputy head of the regional sports bureau, told the official Xinhua news agency.
Each monastery will be given a set of 14 pieces of gym equipment including treadmills, elliptical trainers and rowing machines, described by Xinhua as “a novelty for Buddhist monasteries in Tibet, some of which are still housed in centuries-old mud-and-brick compounds”.
The Communist Party chief in Tibet, Chen Quanguo, announced a slew of welfare measures for monks last year, a move seen as an attempt to address the rising unrest in several monasteries in TAR and neighbouring areas in Sichuan and Qinghai.
The unrest began last year with protests and self-immolations by monks at the Kirti monastery in Sichuan, following which dozens of monks were taken into detention and made to undergo “patriotic education”.
Since then, the government has said it will set up a “managing committee” in monasteries to “better regulate Buddhist activities, property, and the management of their cultural relics”.
Mr. Chen said last year the government would “take great pains” to provide public services such as water, telecommunications and electricity as well as raise coverage of medical insurance and pensions. While he did not say if every monk would be eligible for the benefits, he did stress that “patriotic law-abiding monks will be praised”.
By Jennifer Cohen
One of the most common questions I get is how to lose belly fat. Belly fat is actually the most dangerous type of fat – besides aesthetics, large waist lines are indicators of –disease-disease-disease.
It takes more than just crunches! We start to gain weight in our midsection when our cortisol levels spike. Stress is one of the primary culprits for high levels of cortisol secretion. When this happens cortisol breaks downs lean muscle (the type of tissue that burns calories most efficiently) and also holds on to fat storage in the abdominal region. That stress can even get WORSE with bad dieting; studies show that the stress caused by dieting can increase cortisol levels, making no change in belly fat even with calorie restriction. So how do you shape up? Incorporate these 6 things below and you will be on your way to a flatter belly in no time flat!
If you want to work late at night, think again. When your biorhythms are off, you end up eating more. When you’re tired you produce more ghrelin, which triggers cravings for sugar and other fat-building foods. Losing sleep can also alter your hormone production, affecting your cortisol levels that cause insulin sensitivity, prime reasons for belly fat! Getting about 7 hours of sleep a night is one of the best things you can do for your body shaping goals.
2. Short bursts of exercises
1000 crunches a night may get you strong abdominal muscles, but with a full layer of fat on top, you will not get the results you really want. Instead of all those crunches, do exercises that engage multiple muscle groups and work your cardiovascular system. Try planking, where you hold yourself in a push-up position, resting your forearms on the ground. Try 3 or 4 sets of holding for 30 seconds each. Getting up and moving throughout the day by going for walks will also help.
3. Sugar is your Enemy
Fighting belly fat is 80% healthy diet. Reduce calories by filling yourself up with protein, vegetables, whole grains, and replacing bad habit snacks with good ones. For example, if you have a sugar craving, replace your calorie laden latte with a Muscle Milk lite, one of my favorites, because it has zero sugar and a ton of protein that will satiate while also torching my sugar craving! Another great trick is a sprinkle of cinnamon in your morning coffee or oatmeal- the spice has been shown to help stabilize blood sugar. It also slows the rate at which food exits the stomach, which helps you feel fuller longer.
4. Vitamin C
When you’re under extreme stress, you secret more cortisol hormone. Vitamin C helps balance the cortisol spikes that happen to you under this stress. Besides being a good way to counteract a cold, Vitamin C is also essential for making carnitine, a compound used by the body to turn fat into fuel, making this vitamin your fat burning friend.
If you’re going through an emotional crisis, stress from work, or a bad eating splurge, increase your vitamin C – it’ll help counteract the negative side effects. Try bell peppers, kale or kiwi fruits. These have even more Vitamin C than the famous Orange!
5. Eat Fat
Your workout can be affected by your mood, what you ate during the day, and your energy levels, among other factors. But there are also simple, unexpected ways you can ensure you’re at your best before, during, and after your exercise. Find out what they are below!
Before: You know that coffee energizes you, so it may not seem so odd that this beverage can help you when you’re working out. But the reason why coffee works for your workout isn’t only because it makes you wired and ready to go. Caffeine actually increases your endurance by affecting how your muscles use energy in your body while you work out. Studies have shown that caffeine mobilizes fat in your body so your muscles use it as fuel, instead of glycogen in your body. That allows you to exercise longer, since your body
doesn’t use the carbs you ate before your workout until later. Caffeine has also been shown to help reduce postworkout DOMS (delayed onset muscle soreness), so go ahead and enjoy a small cup of coffee or tea before you work out.
During: Hold onto your water bottle while you go for a run? If you do, it may be just the thing that’s helping you keep going. A new study found that having cold hands kept obese woman exercising longer, since they were less likely to feel overheated and uncomfortable. If you want to try this trick to see if it helps you, add ice to your water bottle before an intense workout
session and use it to cool down your hands as you exercise.
After: Sore muscles are a common post-workout problem, but even though they are a good problem to have, having sore muscles can make it harder to stick to your workout routine or to go as intensely as you’d like. There are many ways to ease DOMS, but they don’t just stop at massages and warm baths. You can also drink a little bit of tart cherry juice to keep those muscles happy. Studies have found that drinking cherry juice (or eating cherries) before and after your workout can help ease muscle soreness. If cherries aren’t your favorite, try these other foods that help ease aches and pains.
Shoe-Tying Technique That Will Change Your Life