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September 14, 2012 - Image 7

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The Michigan Daily, 2012-09-14

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The Michigan Daily - michigandaily.com

Friday, September 14, 2012 - 7A

New York officially passes
controversial soda-pop ban

Volcanic ash spews from the Volcan de Fuego as seen from Palin, south of Guatemala City, on Thursday.
Volcano in Guatemnala
erupts, cities e vacuate

displaced as ash
reduces visibility
ESCUINTLA, Guatemala
(AP) - A long-simmering vol-
cano exploded with a series of
powerful eruptions outside one
of Guatemala's most famous
tourist attractions on Thurs-
day, hurling thick clouds of ash
nearly two miles (three kilome-
ters) high, spewing rivers of lava
down its flanks and prompting
evacuation orders for more than
33,000 people from surround-
ing communities.
Guatemala's head of emergen-
cy evacuations, Sergio Cabanas,
said the evacuees were ordered
to leave some 17 villages around
the Volcan del Fuego, which
sits about six miles southwest
(16 kilometers) of the colonial
city of Antigua, home to 45,000
people. The ash was blowing
south-southeast and authori-
ties said the tourist center of
the country was not currently in
danger, although they expected
the eruption to last for at least
12 more hours.
Hundreds of cars, trucks and
buses, blanketed with charcoal
grey cash, sped away from the
volcano along a two-lane paved
highway toward Guatemala
City. Dozens of people crammed
into the backs of trucks. Thick
clouds of ash reduced visibility
to less than 10 feet in the area
of sugarcane fields surrounding
the volcano. The elderly, women

and children filled old school
buses and ambulances that car-
ried them from the area.
Authorities set up a shelter at
an elementary school in Santa
Lucia, the town closest to the
volcano, and by Thursday night
people had started trickling in.
Most were women and children
carrying blankets and going
into bare classrooms.
Miriam Carumaco, 28,
arrived to the shelter along with
16 members of her family.
"We heard loud thunder and
then it got dark and ash began
falling," Carumaco said. "It
sounded like a pressure cooker
that wouldn't stop."
Carumaco said parents sent
their children to school despite
the darkening skies, but that
classes were later cancelled and
teachers walked them home.
The emergency agency said
lava rolled nearly 2,000 feet
(600 meters) down slopes bil-
lowing with ash around the
Volcan del Fuego, a 12,346-foot-
high (3,763-meter-high) volcano
whose name translates as "Vol-
cano of Fire."
"A paroxysm of an eruption
is taking place, a great volcanic
eruption, with strong explo-
sions and columns of ash," said
Gustavo Chicna, a volcanologist
with the National Institute of
Seismology, Vulcanology, Mete-
orology and Hydrology. He said
cinders spewing from the vol-
cano were settling a half-inch
thick in some places.
He said extremely hot gases
were also rolling down the sides


of the volcano, which was almost
entirely wreathed in ash and
smoke. The emergency agency
warned that flights through the
area could be affected.
There was a red alert, the
highest level, south and south-
east of the mountain, where,
Chicna said, "it's almost in total
He said ash was landing as
far as 50 miles (80 kilometers)
south of the volcano.
By Thursday evening, the ash
plume had decreased to a little
more than a mile high, partly
due to rain, which diminished
the potential risk to aviation, said
Jorge Giron, a government volca-
nologist. He said ash continued to
fall heavily, however, and advised
residents near the volcano but
outside of evacuation zones to
clean their water systems before
using them, and to not leave their
homes because of the ash.
He said a red alert would be
in effect until 4 a.m. local time.
Teresa Marroquin, disaster
coordinator for the Guatemalan
Red Cross, said the organization
had set up 10 emergency shel-
ters and was sending hygiene
kits and water.
"There are lots of respiratory
problems and eye problems,"
she said.
Many of those near the volca-
no are indigenous Kakchikeles
people who live in relatively
poor and isolated communi-
ties, and authorities said they
expected to encounter difficul-
ties in evacuating all the affect-

Board of Health
regulations likely
to be challenged in
NEW YORK (AP) - New York
City cracked down on the sale of
supersized sodas and other sug-
ary drinks Thursday in what was
celebrated by some, as a ground-
breaking attempt to curb obesity
but condemned by others as a bla-
tant intrusion into people's lives
by a busybody mayor.
Public health experts around
the nation - and the restaurant
and soft-drink industry - will
be watching closely to see how
it goes over among New Yorkers,
a famously disputatious bunch.
Barring any court action, the
measure will take effect in March.
The regulations, approved eas-
ily by the city Board of Health,
apply to any establishment with
a food-service license, including
fast-food places, delis, movie and
Broadwaytheaters, the concession
stands at Yankee Stadium and the
pizzerias of Little Italy. They will
be barred from serving sugary
beverages in cups or bottles larger
than 16 ounces.
No other U.S. city has gone so
far as to restrict portion sizes at
restaurants to fight weight gain.
"We cannot continue to have
our kids come down with diabe-
tes at age 6," said Mayor Michael
The mayor rejected suggestions
that the rule constitutes an assault
on personal liberty. "Nobody is
banning anything," he said, noting
that restaurant customers can still
buy as much soda as they want, as
long as they are willingto carry it
in multiple containers.
He said the inconvenience is
well worth the potential public
health benefit, and likened the
city's actions to measures taken
decades ago to phase out lead in
household paint.
Others, though, likened the ban

to Prohibition. A New York Times
poll last month showed that six
in 10 New Yorkers opposed the
"It's aslipperyslope.When does
it stop? What comes next?" said
Sebastian Lopez, a college student
from Queens. He added: "This is
my life. I should be able to do what
I want."
The restrictions do not apply
to supermarkets or most conve-
nience stores, because such estab-
lishments are not subject to Board
of Health regulation. And there
are exceptions for beverages made
mostly of milk or unsweetened
fruit juice.
(Because convenience stores
are exempt, the rules don't even
apply to 7-Eleven's Big Gulp, even
though the belly-busting serving
of soda has become Exhibit A in
the debate over Americans' eating
Some health experts said it isn't
clear whether the ban will have
anyeffect on obesity. But theysaid
it might help usher in a change in
attitude toward overeating, in the
same way that many Americans
have come to regard smoking as
The regulations follow other
ambitious health moves on Bloom-
berg's watch, many of which
were attacked as a push toward a
"nanny state."
Yet some have proved to be
national trendsetters, such as
making chain restaurants post cal-
ories on their menus. The city has
also barred artificial trans fats in
french fries and other restaurant
food, cracked down on smoking
and promoted breast-feeding over
The Board of Health approved
the big-soda ban 8-0, with one
member, Dr. Sixto R. Caro,
abstaining. Caro, a doctor of inter-
nal medicine, said the plan wasn't
comprehensive enough.
Others spoke forcefully of the
need for action to deal with an
obesity crisis.
"I feel to not act would really
be criminal," said board member

Susan Klitzman, director of the
Urban Public Health Program
at Hunter College. City Health
Commissioner Dr. Thomas Farley
called the rule "a historic step to
address a major health problem of
our time."
The restaurant and beverage
industries complained that the
city is exaggerating the role sug-
ary beverages have played in mak-
ing Americans fat.
"This is a political solution and
not a health solution," said Eliot
Hoff, a spokesman for an industry-
sponsored group called New York-
ers for Beverage Choices, which
claims to have gathered more than
250,000 signatures on petitions
against the plan.
He said the group is considering
suing to block the rule.
"We will continue to voice our
opposition to this ban and fight for
the right of New Yorkers to make
their own choices. And we will
stand with the business owners
who will be hurt by these arbi-
trary limitations," Hoff said in a
Enforcement will be carried
out by New York City's restaurant
inspectors. Violations will carry a
$200 fine.
Complying might prove compli-
cated for some establishments.
Starbucks is trying to figure
out whether the regulations bar
it from selling its calorie-packed
Frappuccinos in the 24-ounce size.
Another issue could be iced cof-
fee, which many cafes sweeten
with liquefied sugar. Customers
might have to add the sweetener
Fast-food restaurants with self-
serve soda fountains will be pro-
hibited from giving outcups larger
than16ounces, but people will still
be allowed refills.
Manhattan pizza shop owner
Vinnie Siena said halting sales of
large sodas will hurt his already
thin profit margin, unless he raises
"I'm having a tough time as it
is. They don't want the little guy
to survive, it seems," he said.


Nation says goodbye to Neil
Armstrong in D.C. ceremony

Buzz Aldrin,
0 John Glenn, other
astronauts pay
nation bid farewell Thursday to
Neil Armstrong, the first man to
take a giant leap onto the moon.
The pioneers of space, the
powerful of the capital and the
everyday public crowded into the
Washington National Cathedral
for a public interfaith memorial
for the very private astronaut.
Armstrong, who died last
month in Ohio at age 82, walked
on the moon in July 1969.
"He's now slipped the bonds
of Earth once again, but what a
legacy he left," former Treasury
Secretary John Snow told the
Apollo 11 crewmates Buzz
Aldrin and Michael Collins, Mer-
cury astronaut John Glenn, 18
other astronauts, three NASA
chiefs, and about two dozen mem-
bers of Congress were among the
estimated 1,500 people that joined
Armstrong's widow, Carol, and
other family members in the cav-
ernous cathedral.
Collins read a prayer tailored
to Armstrong's accomplishments
and humility. A moon rock that
the Apollo 11 astronauts gave the
church in 1974 is embedded in one
of its stained glass windows.
"You have now shown once
again the pathway to the stars,"

Eugene Cernan, the last man to
walk on the moon said in a trib-
ute to Armstrong. "As you soar
through the heavens beyond even
where eagles dare to go, you can
now finally put out your hand and
touch the face of God."
Cernan was followed by a slow
and solemn version of "Fly Me to
the Moon" by singer Diana Krall.
The service also included
excerpts from a speech 50 years
ago by John F. Kennedy in which
he said America chose to send
men to the moon by the end of the
1960s not because it was easy, but
because it was hard. The scratchy
recording of the young president
said going to the moon was a goal
that "will serve to organize and
measure the best of our energies
and skills, because that chal-
lenge is one that we're willing to
accept, one we are unwilling to
Shortly after that speech in1961
at Rice University, Armstrong,
not yet an astronaut but always
a gifted engineer, was already
working on how to land a space-
ship on the moon, NASA admin-
istrator Charles Bolden recalled.
Snow talked of the 12-year-old
Armstrong who built a wind tun-
nel. But most of Armstrong's
friends and colleagues spent time
remembering the humble Arm-
strong. Snow called him a "regu-
lar guy" and "the most reluctant
of heroes."
Bolden, a former astronaut, said
Armstrong's humility and cour-
age "lifted him above the stars."
"No one, but no one, could have

accepted the responsibility of his
remarkable accomplishment with
more dignity and more grace than
Neil Armstrong," Cernan said.
"He embodied all that is good and
all that is great about America."
Bolden read a letter from Presi-
dent Barack Obama saying, "the
imprint he left on the surface of
the moon is matched only by the
extraordinary mark he left on
ordinary Americans."
Armstrong commanded the
historic landing of the Apollo 11
spacecraft on the moon July 20,
1969. His first words after step-
ping onto the moon are etched in
history books: "That's one small
step for man, one giant leap for
mankind." Armstrong insisted
later that he had said "a" before
man, but said he, too, couldn't
hear it in the recording.
Armstrong and Aldrin spent
nearly three hours walking on
the lunar surface while Collins
circled above the moon. In all, 12
American astronauts walked on
the moon before the last moon
mission in 1972.
Armstrong was a U.S. Navy
aviator. He joined NASA's prede-
cessor agency in 1955 as a civilian
test pilot and later, as an astro-
naut, flew first in Gemini 8 in
1966. After the moon landing he
spent a year in Washington as a
top official at the space agency,
but then he left NASA to teach
aerospace engineering at the
University of Cincinnati. He later
was chairman of two electronics
companies, but mostly kept out of
the public eye.

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