Culver City Observer -

Disease Threatens Orange Crop


March 12, 2015

By Neil Rubenstein

Observer Columnist

Why not check with Sacramento and see if the State Controller’s Office is holding your money in an unclaimed property account? Call (800) 992-4647 or go to

In analyzing the credit files of seven million Americans, the Urban Institute found over 25% of the country had debt in collection. The average debt was $5,000 from credit card bills, child support, medical bills, utility bills and parking tickets.

Here in California the orange growers are fighting tooth and nail to protect the crop from the onslaught of a disease called citrus greening. The blight that hit Texas and Florida is threatening Georgia, Louisiana and South Carolina. Early detection is critical because it can take two years before a tree shows symptoms of exposure, and there is no known cure for the disease.

The May 2014 issue of “Nutrition Action Health Letter” states men taking high doses of selenium or vitamin E could raise their risk of prostate cancer. Check with your medical professional. Researchers are saying not to take more than the recommended dietary allowance for selenium (55 MCG) or vitamin E (22IU, twenty-two international units).

It just seems every week or two someone we know has passed away with diabetes. In the May 2014 issue of Tufts University “Health and Nutrition Letter,” I learned that diets rich in magnesium are associated with slower progression to diabetes. Per a recent report published in “Diabetes Care,” the recommended daily allowance for magnesium is 400-420 milligrams for adult men and 310-320 for adult women. Good sources of dietary magnesium are whole grains, nuts, fish and vegetables. If the internist says you are pre-diabetic, ask about magnesium.

Many of us truly enjoy broccoli, and it isn’t just because it’s full of anti-cancer glucosinolate compounds. The journal PLOS ONE recently reported that University of Illinois researchers are working to extend shelf life by spraying the plant shortly before harvest. What a great idea.

In May 2014 the “Harvard Health Letter” wrote that larger prescriptions of ED drugs may be covered by insurance if ED is also accompanied by benign prostatic hyperplasia (an enlarged prostate). Most insurance companies have a limit of four per month.

Have you had a chance to read “Bloomberg Business Week”, the March 2, 2015 issue? Well, folks, it’s time once again to get your wallet out because the people in the nation’s Capitol want to raise their portion of the gasoline tax by 15 to 20 cents per gallon. This is on top of the Sacramento love pat of 20 cents that we received in February.

Did you know the Federal Highway Trust Fund is scheduled to run out of money this spring? The big shots are scheming and one possibility would be to charge us a fee for each mile we drive, or even a flat rate per year. It was suggested at a Sacramento conference that a $50 flat fee to fix the bridges and roads would be okay. Don’t the big spenders realize $50 today will be $250 in a few years? Talk about a bunch of gimmicks . . .

Once again I am spreading the news, so will someone please sound the alarm? The new tax on the Internet – that’s right, cowboy, the president wants users to pay federal universal service fees up to 16.1%. Don’t forget the utility users tax in Culver City of 11%, and the sales tax. Culver City needs this money to pay for their fat cat pensions, wages and other benefits.

Since last month’s ruling by the Supreme Court my dentist has been very quiet and I cannot blame her. In North Carolina it’s okay to get your teeth whitened at hair salons and day spas, according to the court ruling of six to three.

Earlier this month over 250 representatives from over 40 tribes met at the first Tribal Marijuana Conference. The gathering came after the Obama administration announced it would not interfere with any federally recognized tribe that wants to grow and sell pot on the reservation.

The City of Berkeley, California is considering a two-year moratorium on police use of drones.

In Sacramento lawmakers are reconsidering a law to make diapers free from sales tax. Some claim it could save families up to $100 per child per year.

Again in Sacramento the Assembly Speaker wants to charge a $75 fee to record some real estate documents. The fee could rise between $300 million to $720 million a year, according to a 2013 state estimate.

Many of us know about Colonel Anthony B. Herbert, a true American hero. The Colonel was a veteran of Korea and Vietnam. As a member of the U.S. Army in Korea he was awarded four Silver Stars, four Bronze Stars and four Purple Hearts. In Vietnam he earned another Silver Star, two Bronze Stars an Air Medal and an Army Commendation Medal in only 58 days of combat. The Colonel died of cancer at 84 on June 7, 2014 and was buried with full military honors on February 9, 2015 in Arlington National Cemetery. A big thank you to the New York Times and writer Sam Roberts.

For those who missed an article, all my commentaries can be found at by placing Rubenstein in that website’s search box.


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