Dr. Steve Fujimoto from Sierra Park Dental says “open up and say ahh” to young Steven Alvarado during last week’s Kindergarten Round Up. (Photo: Geisel)
To the Editor:
In a letter that was printed in last week’s Sheet, Peter Kobylarz wrote that he was “pissed off” after getting a parking citation for parking in front of a fire hydrant on Lakeview near Canyon Lodge. He acknowledges that there were signs posted indicating “No Parking” and “No Snow Storage.” Although he didn’t state this, the signs also indicate there’s a fire hydrant at the location.
I regret that he was pissed off over getting a ticket for parking in front of a hydrant that was covered in snow, but I can assure him that if there had been a fire in the area and the response of the Fire Department was delayed because of his car blocking the hydrant, a lot of firefighters and residents would be more than pissed off at him. Mr. Kobylarz appears to want to shift the blame to the snow plow operators. They do the best they can to direct snow around vehicles, structures, and fire hydrants. Whether the snow was blown there by a snow plow is irrelevant. Fire hydrants are covered following a heavy snow. There isn’t sufficient staff to clear the hydrants immediately. That’s why MLPD officers carry shovels to clear the snow before the Fire Department arrives. If the officers don’t get there first, it takes seconds for the Fire Department to clear the snow. That is, if they can access the hydrant. They can’t do this if some inconsiderate or inattentive driver parks a car blocking the hydrant.
I believe there are two “parking felonies.” They are parking in front of a hydrant and parking in a handicap zone without a placard. One is extremely inconsiderate. The other is not only inconsiderate, but also can cause unnecessary property damage, injury, or even death.
My advice to Mr. Kobylarz is to pay attention to the signs.
Chief of Police
The EMF fog
I’m not a doctor, I’m a physicist/engineer, and I thought I might be able to shed a little light on the subject of EMF (covered in an article by Dr. Mike Dostrow in The Sheet, Feb. 26. You can view the article at https://thesheetnews.com/archives/7584). In an effort to keep this simple, some of the physics I present will be oversimplified, but it will be generally correct.
What are EMF’s?
We are surrounded by electrical and magnetic fields (EMFs) and have been so since the dawn of time. The spinning of the earth generates EMF, and the Sun generates EMF. Even the atoms in our cells generate EMF. The EMF in our atoms is what allows doctors to use Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI).
The Earth’s magnetic field, the one that swings a compass needle, is measured in gauss and is about 50 milligauss. This field changes over time but the change takes place very slowly and is recorded in rock where the earth’s crust is splitting apart. The magnetic field in an MRI machine is about 400,000 times bigger. Both of these examples change relatively slowly and there is very little electro-magnetic interaction.
Electrical potential is measured in volts, and voltage is what can create electrical current. When comparing electricity with water, water pressure is like voltage and water flow is like current. You may have sufficient pressure for a good shower, as long as no one flushes the toilet. If that happens, the water pressure will drop and the flow will drop along with it. On dry days we notice voltage potentials of thousands of volts being dissipated when we touch door knobs, car doors, the clothes dryer and each other.
The high voltages we feel dissipate in a very short period of time, and cannot produce much current. The small shock you get is like taking a shower under a water balloon. The pressure in the balloon may be high as
long as there is no flow. As soon as the flow starts the pressure in the balloon drops, and the flow only lasts a short time.
As long as electric or magnetic fields are unchanging, they do not interact, and their influence degrades with distance in the same way sound degrades. Doubling your distance from the sound source will reduce what you hear by four times. However, when electrical current changes, magnetic fields are produced, and whenever a magnetic field changes, electrical fields are produced. When these changes take place they produce EMF. We have very common names for these fields based on how quickly the changes in the fields take place.
Here are some examples, arranged from low to high frequencies:
Frequency: Common name:
10-9 Earth’s magnetic field
10 Brain waves, electrical power in your house
103 If you could hear EMF, these would be sound
106 Radio, AM, FM, TV
109 Microwave ovens
1014 Infrared from the sun
1015 UV light from the sun
Most of us have heard of photons. Although we tend to think of photons as particles of light, the term can apply to any EMF. As we look for smaller and smaller bits of EMF, at some point the electro-magnetic energy seems to arrive in small packages and we call these photons. One of the interesting things about photons is that the energy that comes in each photon is proportional to the frequency. A higher frequency means a higher energy. When we look at the chart at left, we notice that known harmful EMFs have very high frequencies. UV light causes sunburns, and x-rays can damage DNA. This is because the energy in each high frequency photon is enough to destroy molecular structures. Photons that exist at lower frequencies do not destroy molecules, no matter how many of them there are.
Let’s imagine that the photons are baseball-sized, and that molecules in your body are like buildings. Photons all travel at the same speed (the speed of light) and they are all the same “size”, but they still have different energies. If our baseball-sized particles are all thrown at the same speed, the only way for us to give them different energies would be to give them different masses.
Imagine that the low frequency photons are baseballs made with Styrofoam and the high frequency photons are baseballs made with lead. You can now visualize how photons can (or cannot) cause molecular damage. No matter how many foam baseballs (photons) are thrown at the buildings (molecules), they will not cause damage. You will have to resort to throwing lead baseballs to actually cause damage.
The energy of the photons that are used in radio communications (cell phones, FM radio, CB, etc.) have about 0.001 kilojoules/Mole (which is a measure of their energy). The photon energies used by plants to make our food are about 250,000 times greater. To produce this kind of energy difference our baseball analogy would require us to make one baseball out of air, and to pack the mass of two full sized pickup trucks into the other baseball.
It is very difficult to prove that EMFs do not cause cancer, in much the same way that it is difficult to prove that eating bananas for breakfast causes people to drop coins on the sidewalk. The correlation between these events is very random, and even when correlations exist there would be many possible explanations. Objective analysis is made even more difficult if there are a bunch of “studies” being done by organ-grinder monkeys, who profit by discussing the merits of coins verses bananas.
One thing we can do with our limited knowledge is to compare the merits of more EMFs. In order to eliminate manmade EMF from our lives we would need to banish all uses of electricity; cars, communication systems, refrigerators, MRI machines, etc. I don’t know about you, but I think the benefits of these technologies far outweigh the practically undetectable increased risk of cancer. Even if we somehow eliminated all manmade EMF, we still could not survive without that big EMF generator in the sky: our sun.
I think it is noteworthy to mention that our bodies have adapted to use the EMF spectrum where the most EMF energy is, in the visible light band. Visible light is allowing you to read this. Perhaps in another several million years we will be able to see in the GigaHertz band. Then we won’t need iPhones.
Don’t give away the store
Last month, Cougar Gold and its parent company Electrum visited Mono County, supposedly to share its plans for mineral exploration and likely development of a gold mine in the Bodie Hills. Yet Cougar Gold refused to tell the Supervisors anything about their possible plans for the mine, although basically all gold mining is open pit with cyanide leaching. Any time a question was asked about mining, Cougar Gold demurred. They repeated over and over that either the Board needs to support diminished protection for the land or they would simply leave. Because it is possible to mine in the Bodie Hills under its present status, it seemed odd to me that Cougar would throw away the $7 million they have already invested and just give up.
So, I did a little digging online for information to learn more about this company. I found “How Far to Go for Gold?” by Eric Reguly (which first appeared in Toronto’s Globe and Mail newspaper). Electrum and two other companies have purchased about half of Gabriel Resources, owner of Rosia Montana Gold Corp. in Romania. After fighting for well over a decade to build the mine, this company has relocated almost all of the residents of an ancient village to make room for its mine, slated to be the largest gold mine in Europe. According to the article, “None of the three (mining companies) … is likely to stick around
for the long term.” Once Gabriel Resources gets its permits…”Gabriel’s market value will soar, and the billionaires will want to cash out and move on to the next kill.” Meanwhile the communities will be left to cope with the mess to come. Two possible buyers of Rosia Montana are our Nevada neighbors, Barrick and Newmont. You might have seen their huge open pit mines. Is that what we want for Mono County?
I strongly suggest that rather than being lured by the myth of the great modern day gold rush in the Bodie Hills, our County Supervisors do a lot more digging themselves, and ask a lot more questions before simply giving away the store to Cougar Gold and Electrum. We as constituents deserve to have all the answers. So do our grandchildren.
Welcoming the class of 2024
The Mammoth Elementary School class of 2024 had their first introduction to their new school at Kindergarten Round Up at MES last Wednesday. More than 100 parents and their children joined the school staff and volunteers to learn about the Kindergarten routine, meet their teachers, and get free dental checkups.
Special thanks to our many volunteers who made our Kinder Round Up so successful, including dentists Dr. Steve Fujimoto from the Sierra Park Family Dental Clinic and Dr. Craig Schrager and son Mal, from Mammoth Dental; Valerie Case, RDH; Kiara Raazi, Mammoth Hospital; and Sandra Augilar, First 5 volunteer.
If you missed the Round Up and would like to pick up a registration packet and schedule a pre-K assessment for your child, contact the school at 760.934.7545. For information on how you can help your child prepare for school next fall, or to arrange for a free dental check up for your child, call First 5 Mono at 760.924.7626.
Rosanne Lampariello, Principal
Kathy Peterson, Director
First 5 Mono County