Fingerprinting Oil Spills

When an oil spill happens on the Great Lakes, who do you call?
Federal law says spills must be reported to the National Response
Center. But when spills are discovered, often no one knows where
they came from. That’s when the detective work begins. The Great
Lakes Radio Consortium’s Michelle Corum attended a conference on
oil spills. She learned how the ”fingerprint” of an oil spill can help
determine ”who dunnit”:

Cherry Power Packed Into Pills

A cherry grower in Northern Michigan has farmed his last million poundsof tart cherries and is now pressing the fruit into service as a healthpill rich with anti-oxidants and other beneficial compounds. The GreatLakes Radio Consortium’s Michelle Corum reports from Traverse City:

Transcript

A cherry grower in Northern Michigan has farmed his last million
pounds of tart cherries and is now pressing the fruit into service
as a health pill rich with anti-oxidants and other beneficial
compounds. The Great Lakes Radio Consortium’s Michelle Corum reports
from Traverse City.

Bob & Janet Underwood are working in a warehouse packing up cherry
pills. This is the first fall in years, they aren’t manning their orchard
market selling apple and cherry products.

“Last weekend would have been our busiest time of the
year.”

Now they buy their cherries from a local cooperative because as Bob
Underwood explains, they’re done farming.

“You know that’s history for us for now, we’re in another venture
that’s taking the fruit and putting it in a tablet form, giving the
public the chance to get whole fresh fruit in a diff way. Before it was in a cup, now its in a pill”

They call it “Cherry Rich”. Cherries fresh from the orchard are
only available for about 3 weeks. So Underwood came up with the
idea of putting cherries into tablets and chewable wafers so they
can be eaten year round. Making them is a region wide
production that sends the cherries around Lake Michigan: They’re
quick frozen in Traverse City, dried in northern Illinois, and
packaged in Watoma, Wisconsin, and marketed back in northern
Michigan.

The Underwoods say for years, customers have asked for their pure
cherry juice concentrate because they find it helps their
arthritis.

Michigan State University has taken note of anecdotal evidence like
that and done research on red tart cherries. Dr. Muralee Nair,
researcher in MSU’s department of Horticulture tells what they
discovered.

“What we found in the lab study is the cherry compound has the ability to inhibit the inflammation causing enzyme.”

And it’s the cherry’s red color which, he says, is superior to
other red-colored fruit.

“The red color in tart and sweet cherries are the same
compound. But the red color in raspberry is not the same as the red color
in tart cherries.”

He says eating about 20 tart cherries a day (and consuming its
compound called anthocyanin), could reduce inflammation and
headache, possibly better than aspirin.

Michigan State University researchers say their work is ongoing and
they don’t endorse any product. But “Cherry Rich” may not be
exclusive for long. Amway has rights to use patents from
Michigan State University research related to Tart cherries.
They’re developing their “Nutrilite” brand foods and supplements
involving cherries that they’re not ready to announce yet.

Nutriceuticals are compounds in plants that may have almost drug-
like properties. Research is only NOW finding out what these
properties are and how to extract them.

The Cherry Marketing Institute, (a promotion organization funded by U.S.
cherry growers) is doing it’s own research of the nutriceutical
properties of cherries. They say preliminary results of a
University of Texas Medical School study show cherries have high
levels of the anti-oxidant melatonin. Cherry Marketing President
Phil Corson says their studies are continuing.

“We’ve spent 40-80 thousand a year over five years, our goal is to
take a look at what’s there, and we feel we’ve only scratched
the surface.”

But although nutriceutical research is new and producing some
interesting results. David Schardt of the Center for Science in the
Public Interest in Washington DC expresses caution:

“Simply because a fruit has antioxidant value in a lab test
doesn’t mean it’ll have that same potency in a capsule.
It’s one thing to see something in the lab. It’s something else to
see it work inside our body when we’re under different
influences. It’s by no means assured that cherries
will have the terrific antioxidant capacity they seem to have in
the lab.”

Still, industry officials hope research can lead to more fruit
consumption and help a stunted market that hasn’t been a bowl of
cherries lately. Underwood’s plan is to bottle the positives
of cherries, and hopefully sell others on the pill’s convenience
and health. For the GLRC, I’m Michelle Corum, in Traverse City, Michigan.

City Goose Hunt

Communities around the Great Lakes are struggling with a goose problem. Migratory Giant Canada geese are staying in towns longer, and in somecases, they’re never leaving. They make themselves at home as long asthey can find food and water. These so-called ”resident” geese aremultiplying. In fact, an in-city hunt is underway now in Upper Michiganto kill many of them. The Great Lakes Radio Consortium’s Michelle Corumvisited Sault Sainte Marie, Michigan, to see how they’re handling thisbird that many consider a nuisance:

Transcript

Communities around the Great Lakes are struggling with a goose
problem. Migratory Giant Canada geese are staying in towns
longer, and in some cases, they’re never leaving. They make
themselves at home as long as they can find food and water. These
so-called “resident” geese are multiplying. In fact, an in-city
hunt is underway now in Upper Michigan to kill many of them.
The Great Lakes Radio Consortium’s Michelle Corum visited Sault Sainte Marie, Michigan, to see how they’re handling this bird that many consider a nuisance.


In Michigan’s Upper peninsula, the honk of the goose is like
clockwork.
Dave Gonyo says the first sound of a goose in April is thrilling.


“You know spring has arrived when they get here, they’re in
pairs, little geese are cute, big ones aren’t”


And there’s too many, he says. At least there were before
Sault St. Marie started moving them and hunting them.


“Two years ago we wouldn’t be walking here because it’d be so
covered with goose droppings. We have prisoners come in to keep
it clean. We couldn’t use this park and football fields, in fact,
some were deemed caustic.”


(Natural sound… honking)


Town officials tried different methods, short of a hunt, to get the
birds to move on. They asked people not to feed them. They tried
scaring them with starter pistols. They also
“translocated” 360 birds earlier this year. That means capturing
them, marking them and moving them to a less populated area west of
town. (But the process has drawbacks. It’s expensive and some
of the adult birds return “home” to the city after being moved.)
The Canada goose can weigh up to 14 pounds.


Joe Wartella lives in the city limits, near the water where the
geese gather.


“They come into your yard and poop and then you can get two
big buckets full, they try to attack you and the kids are
scared of them and it’s a problem.”


Canada geese are federally protected by the Migratory Bird Treaty
Act, and they can only be hunted with a license during hunting
seasons.


With the number of birds in town still high, and complaints
growing, Sault Saint Marie (last year) created an ordinance to allow
in-city hunting. Hunters can shoot up to five birds each during
Michigan’s early goose season through September 10th. Last year,
155 Canada geese were shot by police and other hunters who got a
permit from the city. The hunt went off without much controversy.
Last year, only one protester against it showed up.


Whether they’re being shot or permanently leaving town, City Parks
and Recreation director Dan Wyers says there’s been improvement


“It’s my understanding we’re one of the few urban areas that
are doing this,(down in se Michigan),but as far as
a goose hunt, we’re one of the few that have a goose management
programs with in the city limits.


Wyers says they’re not out to get every goose, they just want to
take back their parks.
But despite claims of success, resident Joe Wartella says he
hasn’t had any relief.


“I don’t think it is any better. They’re back in the early
spring.”


Wildlife biologist Rex Ainslee of the Michigan Department of Natural
Resources says geese are adaptable to their surroundings. That’s
why they’re reproducing faster in the cities than in remote areas. He says hunting is effective.


“The reason for removing them is . . .. . we’re replacing some
of the natural controls they’d have on them in the wild.”


The Parks and Rec director says their methods are subject to
change. They may continue the annual in-city hunts and they may
keep moving the birds, although the Department of Natural Resources
says that’s getting complicated too.


“We are concerned about running out of places to put the
birds, the western UP is about the last place.”

The hunt is supervised by the city police department.
Hunters have to register and get special training on hunting in the
city. They’ll will be looking for the Canada geese in parks,
football fields, the golf course and the sewage treatment plant.
I’m Michelle Corum for the Great Lakes Radio Consortium in Sault
Saint Marie, Michigan.