These news bits include how a mining company evicts a town, gardens for all, and how white bread production has dropped.
Mining Company Evicts Town. Lark, Utah residents have been given notice that their town will “close down” as of August 31, 1978. Kennecott Copper Corporation — which recently bought the town of Lark from U.V. Industries — says it may try to help Lark’s 591 residents find a new home . . . but then again, it may not. Spokesmen for the copper company gave no reason why the mining town was being shut down.
White Bread: On the Way Out? Recent figures show that the production of white bread in the U.S. has dropped 4.4% over the past five years while — during the same time frame — the output of “alternative loaves” (whole wheat, rye, wheat germ, etc.) has soared 67.5%. Variety breads now account for 24% of all bakery sales . . . and the percentage of such sales is still going up. (As we go to press, ITT-Continental Baking is planning to introduce a 100%-whole-wheat version of its popular Wonder Bread.)
The First Man in History to Make a Solo Dog Sled Trek to the North Pole, Naomi Uemura, successfully accomplished his mission April 30, 1978 after crossing more than 500 miles of frozen Arctic Ocean from Cape Columbia on Ellesmere Island (in Canada’s Northwest Territories). The 37-year-old Japanese explorer arrived at the Pole alone after enduring a blinding snowstorm, two attacks by a polar bear, and numerous tortuous detours around impassable ice ridges. A complete account of Uemura’s 54-day journey will appear soon in National Geographic magazine.
The 12th-Century Stained Glass of Canterbury Cathedral is succumbing to erosion by acids in the polluted London air. According to the Very Reverend Ian White Thompson, Dean of Canterbury, “The deterioration of much of the early glass is far advanced and it will take all the resources of scientific skill and equipment to save it.” A glass-restoration workshop has been set up inside the Cathedral.
The World Spent a Whopping $1 Billion a Day on Weaponry Last Year, according to the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute. This is despite the fact that (as SIPRI points out) the world’s arsenal of nuclear warheads is now so large that if even a significant fraction were deployed, “most of the cities in the Northern Hemisphere would be destroyed in a flash, and the bulk of their inhabitants would be killed instantly”. NATO and Warsaw Pact countries are said to account for 70% of the world’s military spending.
Hawaii’s Biggest Cash Crop is no Longer Sugar: It’s cello (otherwise known as marijuana). Last year’s sugar crop brought farmers in the 50th state $242 million . . . while the cultivation of pakalolo (some varieties of which such as Maui Wowee — fetch $3,000 a pound on the mainland) netted backyard producers between $360 and $400 million (according to police estimates). “It’s become a major cottage industry on every island,” says state representative Neil Ambercrombie.
Gardens for All (The National Association For Gardening) was formed in 1972 in conjunction with a community garden project in Burlington, Vermont to serve as a non-profit educational organization. Since then, GFA has broadened the scope of its activities . . . and it now serves as a national clearinghouse for both community and general gardening information.
POW’S Who Subsisted on Rice and Vegetables in North Vietnamese prison camps are now in better overall health — it appears — than their non-captured peers, according to a survey performed by the U.S. Navy’s Center for POW Studies in San Diego. John A. Plag — director of the center — attributes the “pronounced” (and positive) difference in the health of the ex-POW’s primarily to the low-cholesterol, low-fat diet the men received while in North Vietnam. Many of the ex-POW’s have remained at their ideal body weight since their release years ago from prison.
CBS Has Paid MGM $35 Million for the Rights to show Gone With the Wind 20 times over the next 20 years, the highest fee ever paid for the TV rights to a movie . . . . The Environmental Protection Agency has approved A Natural Insect Virus (Trade Name: Gypcheck) to Kill Gypsy Moths. The U.S. Department of Agriculture expects to be distributing the viral pesticide for general use within two years . . . . It had to happen: Last year — official figures show — the U.S. Automobile Industry Recalled More Cars Than it Sold (10.4 million recalls vs. 9.3 million sales) . . . . “A Decentralist Bookshelf” — a free listing of more than 80 books that span the full range of modern-day populist writings — is available now from the Institute for Liberty and Community, Concord, Vermont 05824 . . . . The Tax Foundation estimates that Spending by the Federal Government Will Amount to $9,960 Per Household This Year, which is up from $9,107 in 1977 . . . . In suburban Prince Georges County, Maryland, a measure was recently adopted that would allow the county council to Refuse a Sewer Hookup to Any Firm That Uses More Than 50 Gallons of Water Per Employee Per Day (the typical fast food stand uses 153 gallons per person per day) . . . . As of April 1978, The Average Price of a New Home in the U.S. Was $61,600, according to a report in The Wall Street Journal . . . . “Save a Paper, Warm a Home” — an excellent article on newsprint recycling that appeared in the National Wildlife Federation’s Conservation News (January 15, 1978) — has been reprinted by the EPA.