AFP, Sept. 16, 2014: Earthquake rocks Tokyo… Tokyo shook as a strong quake hit Japan, but there was no immediate risk of a tsunami.. the epicentre was believed to be in the south of Ibaraki prefecture… The US Geological Survey said the quake had a magnitude of 5.6… the effects of which could be felt in buildings for more than a minute after the initial shaking began… Australian radio broadcaster Jason Morrison experienced the earthquake from a Tokyo high-rise and tweeted as it unfolded… Hotel staff say jolt was “biggest this year”… The operator of the Fukushima nuclear plant… said nothing unusual had been noted at the still-fragile site. An official at the Ibaraki prefectural government said… “We are still checking if the quake could result in damage”…
Asahi Shimbun, Sept. 16, 2014: UPDATE: Quake shakes Tokyo and outlying areas; rail services affected — A relatively strong earthquake rattled Tokyo and the Kanto region around lunchtime on Sept. 16, but there were no immediate reports of major damage… Shinkansen services experienced temporary delays… Intensities of lower 5 on the Japanese scale of 7 were reported in southern Tochigi Prefecture, southern Gunma Prefecture and northern Saitama Prefecture. The quake had an intensity of 4 in central Tokyo and many other areas… The Tokaido Shinkansen Line temporarily stopped service between Tokyo and Odawara in Kanagawa Prefecture.
TEPCO Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Station Video Tour (at 18:00 in): Temporary seawall built as a measure against the accompanying tsunami aftershock — “The pile of black knit bags filled with rocks is a temporary sea… a measure against the tsunami that would follow a magnitude 8 scale aftershock, which several experts pointed out will occur in the offshore side of the earthquake center of the Tohoku Pacific Ocean earthquake. 4,700 knit bags of rocks were piled up to a height of approximately 4 meters along the coastline. The seawall will prevent a tsunami from finding its way to the land where the buildings housing the water treatment system are located… The actual tsunami [on 3/11] was approximately 15 meters.”
Gov’t Scientists: “Something very unusual occurring” off west coast of US, Canada — “Unprecedented in historical record” — “Will dramatically reduce productivity” in 6,500 sq. miles of ocean — Anomaly extends “across Pacific to Japan” — “Who knows what will happen?” (MAP)
Fishletter Issue 335, July 24, 2014 (emphasis added): There is a massive pool of warm water in the Gulf of Alaska, NOAA scientist Nate Mantua said in an email. It is unprecedented in the historical record, he added… the past year is way out of the historical range — “so who knows what will happen?“
NOAA Fisheries, Sept. 2014: Scientists across NOAA Fisheries are watching a persistent expanse of exceptionally warm water spanning the Gulf of Alaska that could send reverberations through the marine food web
Former Gwinnett County Lawyer Indicted for Stealing Client Funds
U.S. Attorney’s OfficeSeptember 12, 2014
Northern District of Georgia(404) 581-6000
ATLANTA—Former attorney Michael Rene Berlon has been arraigned on federal charges of mail and wire fraud.
“This defendant is charged with defrauding his own clients out of over $1.8 million,” said United States Attorney Sally Quillian Yates. “They came to him for legal help, and instead he drained their bank accounts.”
J. Britt Johnson, Special Agent in Charge, FBI Atlanta Field Office, stated: “Individuals relying on the professionalism and trust of individuals like Mr. Berlon should be able to turn to someone when that trust is violated. The FBI, in being well positioned to investigate such allegations involving the diversion of funds through mail and wire fraud, is that someone.”
According to United States Attorney Yates, the charges, and other information presented in court: Berlon, who practiced in Grayson, Ga., through his law firm, the Law Office of Michael R. Berlon, is charged with obtaining funds from clients of his law firm and other individuals through false pretenses. The indictment alleges that some clients provided money to him believing that he would create a trust for them, and would hold the funds in trust. Instead, Berlon used the funds for personal expenses, including to pay his American Express bill and to repay other clients.
The indictment also alleges that in one instance, Berlon obtained money from two individuals who were looking for his assistance with starting a new business. He told the victims that he would help them get a loan, but they were required to provide a percentage of the requested loan amount as a down payment. Instead of assisting them with obtaining a loan, Berlon used the funds for his personal expenses and debts. In total, it is alleged that Berlon received at least $1.8 million in client funds from 2008-2013.
Berlon, 55, of Grayson, Ga., was arraigned before Linda T. Walker, United States Magistrate Judge. He was indicted by a federal grand jury on September 9, 2014.
Members of the public are reminded that the indictment only contains charges. The defendant is presumed innocent of the charges and it will be the government’s burden to prove the defendant’s guilt beyond a reasonable doubt at trial.
This case is being investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation.
Assistant United States Attorney Jamie L. Mickelson is prosecuting the case.
Today’s announcement is part of efforts underway by President Obama’s Financial Fraud Enforcement Task Force (FFETF) which was created in November 2009 to wage an aggressive, coordinated and proactive effort to investigate and prosecute financial crimes. With more than 20 federal agencies, 94 U.S. attorneys’ offices and state and local partners, it’s the broadest coalition of law enforcement, investigatory and regulatory agencies ever assembled to combat fraud. Since its formation, the task force has made great strides in facilitating increased investigation and prosecution of financial crimes; enhancing coordination and cooperation among federal, state and local authorities; addressing discrimination in the lending and financial markets and conducting outreach to the public, victims, financial institutions and other organizations. Over the past three fiscal years, the Justice Department has filed more than 10,000 financial fraud cases against nearly 15,000 defendants including more than 2,700 mortgage fraud defendants. For more information on the task force, visit www.stopfraud.gov.
Corroborating what I have been saying for years on this blog, the Supreme Court of the state of California is reasserting its position that if entity ABC wants to collect on a debt in California, then that particular entity must own the debt. This is basic common sense and simply follows article 9 of the Uniform Commercial Code. If a court were to adopt the position of the banks, then a new industry would be born, to wit: spying on people to determine whether or not they are behind on any payment to anyone and then beating the real creditor to court, filing a complaint and getting a judgment without the real creditor even knowing about it. The Supreme Court of the state of California obviously understands this.
This is not really complicated although the words used are complicated. If you find out that your neighbor is behind in payments on their credit cards, it is obvious that you can serve your neighbor and collect. You don’t own the debt because you never loaned any money and because you never purchased the debt. If you are allowed to sue and collect on the credit card debt, you and the court would be committing a fraud on the actual creditor. This is why it is absurd for lawyers or judges to say “what difference does it make who they are the debt to? They stopped making payments and they are clearly in default.” Any lawyer or judge makes that statement is wrong. It lacks the foundation of the factual determinations required to establish the existence of the debt, the current balance of the debt after deductions for all payments received from all parties on this account, and the ownership of the debt.
In the first year of law school, we learned that the note is not the debt. The note is evidence of the debt and the terms of repayment but it is not a substitute for the actual transaction documents. Those transaction documents would have to include proof of transfer of consideration, which in this case would mean wire transfer receipts and wire transfer instructions. The banks don’t want to show the court this because it will show that the originator in most cases never made any loan at all and was merely serving as a sham nominee for an undisclosed lender. The banks are attempting to use this confusion to make themselves real parties in interest when in fact they were never more than intermediaries. And as intermediaries that misused their positions of trust to misrepresent and create fraudulent “mortgage bond” transactions with investors that led to fraudulent loans being made to borrowers.
The banks diverted or stole money from investors on several different levels through multiple channels of conduit sham entities that they called “bankruptcy remote vehicles.” The argument of “too big to fail” is now being rejected by the courts. That is a policy argument for the legislative branch of government. While the bank succeeded in scaring the executive and legislative branches into believing the risk of “too big to fail” most of the people in the legislative and executive branches of government on the federal and state level no longer subscribe to this myth.
There are dozens of other courts on the trial and appellate level across the country that are also grasping this issue. The position of the banks, which is been rejected by Congress and the state legislatures for good reason, would mean the end of negotiable paper. The banks are desperate because they know they are not the owner of the debt, they are not the creditor, they have no authority to represent the creditor, and their actions are contrary to the interests of the creditor. They are pushing millions of homeowners into foreclosure, or luring them into an apparent default and foreclosure with false promises of modification and settlement.
The reason is simple. Without a foreclosure sale at auction, the banks are exposed to an enormous liability for all the money they collected on the alleged defaulted loans. The amount of the liability is vastly in excess of the entire principal of the loans, which is why I say that the major banks are publishing financial statements that are based on fictitious assets and fictitious income. Nobody can ignore the fact that the broker-dealers (investment banks) are getting sued by investors, insurers, counterparties on credit default swaps, government agencies who have already paid for alleged “losses”, and government agencies that have paid on guarantees for mortgages that did not conform to the required industry-standard underwriting practice.
This latest decision in which the Glaski court, at the request of the banks, revisited its prior decision and then reaffirmed it as a law of the land in the state of California, is evidence that the banks are turning the corner in favor of the real creditors and the real debtors. The recusal by two judges on the California Supreme Court is interesting but at this point there are no conclusions that can be drawn from that.
This opens the door in the state of California for people to regain title to their property or damages for the loss of title. It also serves to open the door to discovery of the actual money trail in order to trace real transactions as opposed to fictitious ones based upon fabricated documentation which often contain forgery, backdating, and are signed by people without authority or people claiming authority through a fictitious power of attorney.
Fukushima forecast used by gov’t shows nuclear waste crossing ocean in single massive cluster — “Maximum concentration propagates eastward in Pacific toward U.S.” — Highest levels worldwide remain along coast of N. America through 2026 (VIDEO)
Nansen Environmental and Remote Sensing Center (Norway), 2013 (emphasis added): The massive nuclear leakage into ocean from Fukushima Nuclear Power Plant was observed on March 25th,2011. The transport of leaked radioactive pollutant from the Fukushima Nuclear Power Plant was simulated… assuming constant and continuous leakage for 20 days (scenario 1) and for one year(scenario 2) starting from March 25th, 2011 and was integrated for 20 years… There is no remarkable difference of transport pathways… for the nuclear waste… The results of the ensembles indicate that the nuclear pollutant for both scenarios transports eastward to eastern Pacific… It takes about 10 to 15 years to reach the coast of East Asia… a realistic sourcefunction is required and atmospheric fallout and role of ocean ecology should also be taken into account, in order to get a more reliable assessment of possible impact of the radioactive leakage on the ocean environment.
Nansen Environmental and Remote Sensing Center, Prof. Ola Johannessen, University of Bergen Geophysical Institute: Ocean spreading of radioactivity from the Fukushima nuclear plant in Japan [...] The results show that the maximum concentration propagates eastward in the Pacific toward the United States during a 7-year period while the total concentration drops to 1-2% of the source concentration (100%) after 5 years.
Nansen-Zhu International Research Centre, China: Extraordinary earthquake hit Japan and led the nuclear leakage of Japanese Fukushima reactor to the ocean. Dr. Yongqi Gao with colleagues at NERSC and NZC used the numerical model to simulate the propagation of radioactive elements in the ocean. Model system has been used for EU RADARC (Simulation scenarios for potential radioactive spreading in the 21st century from rivers and external sources in the Russian Arctic coastal zone, 2001-2003) and Norwegian Research Council supported project ARC (Arctic Radioactive Contamination, 2004-2006)… results were also cited by the State Council of China.
Fukushima nuclear material reported in West Coast groundwater; It’s discharging into Pacific Ocean — Fallout also found in meat and fish from same area — “Routinely detected’ in plant life long after March 2011
Diablo Canyon Power Plant (DCPP) Units 1 and 2 Annual Radiological Environmental Operating Report, published April 30, 2014: Isotopic releases occurred in Japan and were carried by the jet stream to the west coast of the United States… [DCPP] periodically detected cesium (Cs-137) within market fish and cow meat due to deposition of Cs-137 from [Fukushima]… Fukushima Cs-137 was detected within one sample of monitoring well… Cs-137 was detected in three samples of market fish most likely due to rainwater washout of Fukushima Cs-137… Cs-137 was detected in [a] 2013 meat samples due to the Fukushima Japan…
It appears that an alleged illegal GM rice trial on University students in China has led to an incidence rate of acute leukemia of up to 3 times the normal rate in the country. Following the alleged GM rice trial, it was discovered from the Huazhong Agricultural University that ‘over 10 students now have leukemia within a 4-year period.’
The students claim that:
“When we entered the University, the school required all students to promote genetic modification (GM), upon entering the University, our teacher told us that the rice used by our canteen is GM rice from the university’s experimental base.”
Normally, leukemia among young adults in China is about 2 to 3 cases per 100,000 people. In the case of the students claiming to be fed GMO rice at the University’s base, the rate is at least three times higher. Seven students are on record now as having developed the disease.
These accusations are corroborated by a study conducted by Brazilian researchers, one which showed that Bt toxins found in GM rice are toxic to the blood of mice and cause red blood cells to rupture.
“Hematotoxicity of Bacillus thuringiensis as spore-crystal strains Cry1Aa, Cry1Ab, Cry1Ac, or Cry2Aa in Swiss albino mice” suggests there could be a link between Bt toxins and leukemia.
Chen I-wan, an Advisor to the Committee of Disaster History to the China Disaster Prevention Association, suggested Thursday that:
“The Supreme People’s Procuratorate, the Ministry of Public Security, the National People’s Congress and the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC) should jointly organize a working team to enter the Huazhong Agricultural University and investigate if Zhang Qi-fa, the chief developer of Chinese GM Bt rice, influenced the University to feed GM Bt rice to the students on a regular basis, and if the fact that the leukemia incidence rate of the students at the Huazhong Agricultural University is about three times the normal incidence rate. And, if this is basically verified, then they should sue those responsible with public prosecution based on “endangering public security by dangerous means!””
The University Students’ accusations come on the heels of a CCTV report last month, which revealed that unapproved GMO Rice was discovered in two southern China provinces.
Residential real estate firm Morris Hardwick Schneider alleges that founder Nathan Hardwick IV embezzled more than $30 million from the firm and its affiliated title company, LandCastle Title.
In a suit filed Monday in Fulton County Superior Court, the firm claims Hardwick used the money to pay for casino expenses, private jet rides, a luxury Buckhead condo and real estate investments.
The two firms allege in the complaint that Hardwick raided the trust and escrow accounts that the firms maintain for residential mortgage closings and then created false bank statements and altered accounting records to hide the deficits.
Hardwick was listed as MHS’s managing partner and as the board chairman and CEO for LandCastle Title in a biography that has been deleted from MHS’s website.
A nanny who answered the phone at Hardwick’s residence at the St. Regis in Buckhead said he was not at home.
LandCastle’s lawyer, W. Reese Willis III of Fidelity National Law Group, declined to comment on active litigation. “The complaint speaks for itself,” he said.
Art Morris, another founding partner of MHS, did not respond to requests for comment, nor did MHS’s lawyer, Jeffrey Schneider of Weissman, Nowack, Curry & Wilco.
Fidelity National Title Group bought a 70 percent interest in LandCastle Title, one of its agents, after the escrow account losses were discovered, according to a letter Fidelity National posted Monday to MHS and LandCastles’ joint website.
A “significant shortage” in the accounts of MHS and LandCastle prompted the acquisition and Fidelity National is funding the shortages in return for the ownership interest in LandCastle, according to the letter. Fidelity National Title Group is owned by Fidelity National Financial.
Hardwick has resigned from MHS and Mark Wittstadt is now the managing partner, according to the letter, which was signed by Wittstadt and David Baum, the Southeast regional manager for Fidelity National Title Group who is now the president of LandCastle Title.
According to the suit, Hardwick spent $4 million from MHS’s trust accounts in wire transfers to casinos, $1 million to pay private jet companies, and $645,000 to cover losses from failed property investments.
He diverted $6.3 million from MHS’s trust accounts to a personal holding company called Divot, according to the suit, which names Divot as a co-defendant. According to Hardwick’s firm bio, he is an “avid golfer.”
Hardwick partially financed the February 2013 purchase of a $3 million unit at the St. Regis in Buckhead with funds from MHS and LandCastle, according to the suit, and siphoned off another $390,000 in regular payments to himself from MHS’s trust accounts, after draining the operating accounts.
The suit alleges that Hardwick has been embezzling money for at least 18 months, saying the $390,000 in personal payouts from the MHS trust accounts occurred between January 2012 and July 2014.
‘The far-reaching impact on lenders, realtors, law firms and consumers would have been a catastrophe had our parent company, Fidelity National Financial Inc. not stepped in with the capital and resources available to us and a plan to allow them to move forward,” said Fidelity National Title’s state manager Jim Petropoulos in an email to members of the Mortgage Bankers Association of Georgia.
MHS and LandCastle Title are headquartered in Atlanta. They have more than 50 offices in Georgia, Florida, Alabama, Mississippi, South Carolina, Tennessee, Virginia, West Virginia, Delaware, Maryland and Ohio.
Nathan Hardwick IV denied Wednesday that he embezzled $30 million from his residential real estate law firm, Morris Hardwick Schneider, and its affiliated title company, Landcastle Title.
In a suit filed Monday in Fulton County Superior Court, MHS and Landcastle Title claim Hardwick used the money to pay for casino expenses, private jet rides, a luxury Buckhead condo and failed real estate investments.
The firms allege in the complaint that Hardwick raided the trust and escrow accounts that they maintain for residential mortgage closings and then created false bank statements and altered accounting records to hide the deficits.
Hardwick was MHS’s managing partner and the board chairman and CEO for Landcastle Title, according to a biography that has been deleted from MHS’s website.
Hardwick denied the fraud allegations in a statement supplied by his lawyer, Ed Garland.
“Nat is not guilty of any improper, illegal or unethical conduct,” the statement said. “Nat became aware of a problem with the accounting earlier this summer and immediately alerted his partners and initiated a review by outside auditors.”
“The law firm was profitable and Nat believed that all of the money he received was properly distributed to him as his share of the profits of the firm,” the statement said.
Hardwick has resigned from the firm, according to a letter from Fidelity National Title Group that was posted Monday to MHS and Landcastle’s joint website.
Fidelity National Title Group bought a 70 percent interest in Landcastle Title, one of its agents, after the escrow account losses were discovered, the letter said. A “significant shortage” in the accounts of MHS and Landcastle prompted the acquisition and Fidelity National is funding the shortages in return for the ownership interest in Landcastle, it said. Fidelity National Title Group is owned by Fidelity National Financial.
Mark Wittstadt is now MHS’s managing partner, according to the letter, which was signed by Wittstadt and David Baum, the Southeast regional manager for Fidelity National Title Group, who is now the president of Landcastle Title.
“To allow Landcastle to fail would have been a calamity for the company’s employees, consumers, and the real estate industry, as a whole. We are grateful that FNTG made the decision to put the financial resources of the company behind Landcastle Title. Together, we are working to restore confidence in our industry,” said Wittstadt in a statement.
According to the suit, Hardwick spent $4 million from MHS’s trust accounts in wire transfers to casinos, $1 million to pay private jet companies and $645,000 to cover losses from failed property investments.
He diverted $6.3 million from MHS’s trust accounts to a personal holding company called Divot, according to the suit, which names Divot as a codefendant. According to Hardwick’s firm bio, he is an “avid golfer.”
Hardwick partially financed the February 2013 purchase of a $3 million condo at the St. Regis Residences in Buckhead with funds from MHS and Landcastle, according to the suit, and siphoned off another $390,000 in regular payments to himself from MHS’s trust accounts, after draining the operating accounts.
Landcastle’s lawyer is W. Reese Willis III of Fidelity National Law Group. MHS’s lawyer is Jeffrey Schneider of Weissman, Nowack, Curry & Wilco.
The suit alleges that Hardwick has been embezzling money for at least 18 months, saying the $390,000 in personal payouts from the MHS trust accounts occurred between January 2012 and July 2014.
“The far-reaching impact on lenders, realtors, law firms and consumers would have been a catastrophe had our parent company, Fidelity National Financial Inc. not stepped in with the capital and resources available to us and a plan to allow them to move forward,” said Jim Petropoulos, Fidelity National Title’s state manager, in an email to members of the Mortgage Bankers Association of Georgia.
MHS and Landcastle Title are headquartered in Atlanta. In Georgia, 57 lawyers work for MHS, according to the State Bar of Georgia’s directory.
It has 52 offices in 13 states, including Georgia, Florida, Alabama, Mississippi, South Carolina, Tennessee, Virginia, West Virginia, Delaware, Maryland and Ohio.
Hardwick, 48, started his own real estate closing firm, Jackson & Hardwick, in 1994. With visions of expanding into a regional or even national firm, he merged his firm in 2005 with the older and more established Atlanta closing firm Morris & Schneider.
Hardwick told the Daily Report at the time that he wanted MHS to be the nation’s biggest real estate firm within a decade. As comanaging partner with Randolph Schneider, he was responsible for marketing and business development.
MHS added foreclosure services in 2008 through a merger with Baltimore-based Wittstadt & Wittstadt. That firm was founded by Mark Wittstadt, now MHS’s managing partner, and his father, Gerard Wittstadt Sr.
Hardwick told the Daily Report in 2008 that MHS’s goal was to become a national one-stop shop for residential real estate. “We can take [property] from closing to refinancing to foreclosure to REO and back to retail again,” he said.
Mary Anne Walser, a real estate agent for Keller Williams Realty, expressed shock at the fraud allegations against Hardwick. “It’s the talk of every real estate and mortgage office in town,” Walser said. “No one had any inkling that there would ever be a problem.”
She said MHS is one of the major closing firms in the city, with a reputation as a “competent firm that does a good job.”
“All of us had at least one if not multiple closings there,” she said.
Walser spoke highly of Hardwick. “He is a smart guy and he built a great, wonderful firm. I hope there is some other side to the story,” she said.
Even though Fidelity National Title stepped in and covered the shortfall to the escrow accounts, real estate agents and mortgage lenders don’t know whether it is safe to use the firm, Walser said, adding that some mortgage companies have announced they’ve stopped using MHS for closings.
One mortgage lender, Ari Berman, said his company, Silverton Mortgage Specialists, has pulled all its real estate closings from MHS.
“The last thing we want to do is get involved in any kind of fraud or anything that smacks of fraud,” said Berman, who manages Silverton’s Dunwoody office. Silverton has nine Georgia offices and one in South Carolina.
Silverton can’t take the risk of entrusting mortgage money to MHS to hold in escrow during a real estate closing for fear that it could disappear, Berman said. “What if we end up losing those funds?”
“Even though it’s just an allegation, we can’t be associated with it,” he said. “That is a sacrosanct account. It’s other people’s money.”
Even though Hardwick has resigned from MHS and Fidelity National Title has covered the escrow shortfalls, Berman said there is no guarantee that he was the sole actor. “There is too much that is unknown. I’m not willing to take that risk,” he said.
“Fraud is a real hot-button issue in this industry. People lose their life savings because of it,” he said.
The state’s high court has suspended the law license of Buckhead attorney Robert T. Thompson Jr..
The Supreme Court suspended Thompson’s license on Tuesday after he failed to adequately respond to an ongoing investigation by the State Bar of Georgia that could lead to Thompson’s disbarment, according to court records.
It is the second time the bar has sought to suspend Thompson—who for years chaired the bar’s lawyers’ assistance committee—for failure to respond to a complaint. In June, the bar’s investigative panel asked the Supreme Court to suspend Thompson but rescinded its motion when Thompson filed a formal response before the high court could act.
On Wednesday, the bar’s general counsel, Paula Frederick, said she could not discuss details of the two underlying complaints against Thompson, because the bar did not seek Thompson’s suspension based on the merits of those allegations but rather on the lawyer’s failure to respond.
Thompson’s office telephone has been disconnected, and the Daily Report has been unable to reach him by email. Atlanta attorney Ann Shafer, who has been defending Thompson against a theft charge filed by a former client, could not be reached immediately on Wednesday.
In February, a Fulton County magistrate issued a criminal warrant charging Thompson with theft by conversion after Michael Samadi, a former client, accused Thompson of misappropriating $37,400 of Samadi’s funds. At the time, Shafer told the Daily Report that Thompson had repaid Samadi all but $6,400 of the funds, which Thompson claimed he had invested for Samadi at that client’s request, and intended to pay Samadi the remainder with interest once the invested funds could be retrieved without paying a penalty.
This year, Thompson has also twice been sanctioned by federal judges in Atlanta. In May, U.S. Magistrate Judge Gerrilyn Brill ordered Thompson to pay $13,565 to opposing counsel in a two-year-old foreclosure case because of “untimely and unreasonable requests” that Thompson made to depose the defendants’ witnesses and because he demonstrated “no real effort to work with defense counsel.”
In January, U.S. Senior District Judge Charles Pannell Jr. ordered Thompson to pay nearly $28,000 to opposing counsel in a Fulton County case to reimburse her costs of defending herself in federal court against what the judge said in his order were baseless allegations by Thompson. Pannell described Thompson’s conduct as “reprehensible” in his sanctions order, saying that the Buckhead lawyer had made “serious claims … without a proper basis” against Atlanta attorney Kimberly Childs.
Experts: ‘Scary’ problems on California coast — There may be “no food anywhere” along Pacific except in isolated areas — “It’s like crime scene investigation” in ocean — ‘Certainly’ Fukushima is one of stresses to sea life — Dolphins, whales more likely to be ‘bathed’ in radiation offshore (VIDEO)
4:30 in — “There‘s other issues going on, like with dolphins and sea lions… There’s all these different stresses happening and certainly Fukushima is one.”
8:30 in –” The problems we’re having in Monterey Bay, I think it’s pretty different than the sea star wasting. It is a very similar, heightened — scary, you know. Because the dolphins and sea lions, especially the dolphins, they’removing way offshore, miles and miles and miles. So those animals are more likely to be bathed in whatever — if there is significant levels of radiation to cause that — they’re more likely to be bathed on a chronic long-term level in that stuff, because they’re out in that… So we’re getting different types of exposure between the marine mammals and starfish. I can’t say anything, because it’s not, and this is where I wish — I’m looking forward to seeing what reports we get from the scientists that are just meeting to assess this… [Sea stars are] not like the big tuna that are starting to show signals of radiation. They’re not like dolphins or whales that are transiting the ocean waters all the time to areas that are closer to Japan.”
Santa Cruz Hilltromper, Aug 13, 2014: The Summer of Crazy… Monterey Bay is a strange place these days…. WTF, Monterey Bay? It’s like we don’t even know you anymore. Why is our beloved Bay suddenly so moody?… All the bay’s food, including the whale food, is concentrated near the shore [in a] very narrow feeding corridor… there isn’t much food along the Pacific Coast anywhere [and] the whales and other animals may be here, [MBARI’s resident nutrient monitor Ken Johnson] says, “because there’s no food anywhere else.”… Del Monte Beach was green… sea lettuce, from Sand City to Monterey, folks were a little freaked out… Mike Graham, an associate professor at Moss Landing Marine Laboratories, has seen similar events, though admittedly slightly smaller… So while primary (plankton), secondary (anchovy), and tertiary (whales and such) production has been crammed into the narrow strip of nutrient-rich waters by the shoreline, there isn’t much happening farther out in the bay.
Jason Smith of Moss Landing Marine Laboratories: Domoic acid… has been present in all but one weekly sample since early spring…. This is also very weird… not sure exactly why it’s happening… “California sea lions are… demonstrating negative effects.”
Andrew DeVogelaere, Research Coordinator for the Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary: “Unfortunately we don’t understand the ocean well enough to be able to tell you with certainty what’s happening as it’s happening”…It’s not so much that there were more animals than normal… they were packed in close by the shoreline… action (i.e. whale sightings) was pretty slow offshore… “Strange days in the Monterey Bay right now. It’s not the normal year by any means… Lots of mysteries to solve. It’s like the CSI of the sea.”