Contrary to legend, rangers have found it possible to infuse brainpower in summer tourists in Yosemite National Park. The numbers this week show that bear incidents are down 99 percent in 20 years at Yosemite, from a peak of 1,500 in 1997 to a low this year of three. In 2018, they verified only 22 incidents for the year. The consensus is that new rules, enforcement and wildlife education have largely solved what was an epidemic. Park rangers now require that food and garbage be kept within arm’s reach or placed in bear-proof lockers and garbage cans, and in bear-proof canisters in wilderness. They will write tickets to violators, such as a visitor who leaves an old fast-food bag on the front seat of their car. The next phase is getting drivers to slow down, and the U.S. Park Police in Yosemite are making headway there, too. An officer in Yosemite Valley showed me how the park police are using radar to write tickets and try to reduce speed and wildlife strikes. In the past 25 … [Read more...] about Yosemite National Park: Rules, crackdown reduce bear problems
By CAROLYN HAXAdapted from a recent online discussion.Dear Carolyn:My mother makes everything negative. Tell her a piece of good news, like a job promotion, and her first impulse is to belabor how bad job security is, how much hard work managing people might be, etc. There's never really an, "Oh that's great!" and no matter how much I try to shake her off the path, she inevitably reverts to negativity. It's severely impacting my mental health -- I'm in therapy for anxiety -- but I can't find a way to reveal so much as what I ate for breakfast without her going down a negative wormhole. I feel like my only choices are to cut her off completely, or spend every call fighting this battle. Any ideas? -- Negative WormholeYou say mom's negative, I'm thinking anxious. With the important disclaimer, as always, that I'm not a medical professional, I think she's a candidate for treatment. Maybe it's not just mom's negativity that pushed you to therapy, but also your genes. Worth asking your … [Read more...] about Carolyn Hax: Keep calling, but stop resisting, negative Mom
By Paige St. John, Los Angeles TimesThere was a man in the window. The boy in the bed could see him, a head hanging over the eaves, the tassled top of a knit cap bobbing. And he could hear him, thudding on the roof.Then came the sweep of a flashlight beam across his bedroom. The terrified 4-year-old ran to his parents’ bed.It wasn’t until morning that Inspector Richard Shelby woke to the story from his son. Shelby was a lead detective on the East Area Rapist case. There was no question in his mind who had been on his roof. His Rancho Cordova home was in the heart of where the EAR _ as the police called him _ was operating; in fact, the rapist would later stage his 44th assault just four blocks away.What Shelby didn’t know was whether the rapist knew he lived in that house. Was he casing his next victim or targeting the detective trying to catch him? It was May 1977, a month in which five attacks would be reported. The month the rapist began to openly taunt … [Read more...] about The Man in the Window: Closing in on DeAngelo (Part Four)
It all started on a Tuesday night, when I came home from work to an unmistakable absence. My brown-and-white pitbull mix, Maizey, wasn’t at the top of the stairs to greet me. Instead, she was in her bed, shaky and confused.When I tried to get her up, she stumbled, nearly falling over while standing still. Walking to the vet, she leaped like a puppy chasing imaginary balls.Later, at the 24-hour veterinary clinic in San Francisco’s Mission District, the staff ran tests and determined Maizey was in no immediate danger. Instead, they wagered a guess that Maizey was simply high. On marijuana.How Are Dogs Getting High?“Dogs will get into anything and everything,” said veterinarian Dorrie Black of the San Francisco-based veterinary clinic Animal Internal Medicine and Specialty Services.Thirty-three states and the District of Columbia now have legalized pot in some form. And since Colorado ushered in recreational marijuana in 2014, nine more states and D.C. have … [Read more...] about Ruh-roh: What happens when your dog gets into your weed stash
By Richard Gunderman, Chancellor’s Professor of Medicine, Liberal Arts, and Philanthropy, Indiana UniversityLongtime “Jeopardy!” host Alex Trebek announced in March that he had been diagnosed with stage 4 pancreatic cancer. Within days, he offered thanks to “the hundreds of thousands of people who have sent emails, texts, tweets, and cards wishing me well regarded my health.” Then last month, Trebek reported that his cancer was in “near remission,” saying that his doctors “hadn’t seen this kind of positive results in their memory.” Although the odds remain stacked against Trebek (advanced pancreatic cancer has a 3% five-year survival rate), his experience raises an intriguing question: What are the benefits of such well wishes?Greeting card industry statistics amply demonstrate the relevance of the question to most Americans: We buy about 6.5 billion greeting cards a year, and while birthdays constitute the number one … [Read more...] about Does Alex Trebek prove ‘thoughts and prayers’ actually work?