The little-known proposal to wipe out the light brown apple moth, which if it became established could destroy the region's agricultural industry, has developed increasing opposition among some residents who fear for their health.
Hundreds of people whose homes and yards were sprayed in Santa Cruz and Monterey counties from September to December have filed reports that said the pesticide seems to have caused coughing, wheezing, muscle aches and headaches, among other symptoms. One Monterey family reported that a child had a first-time asthma attack.
State officials say the amount of pesticide applied shouldn't pose severe health risks, but they've also refused to rule out that the spray can affect humans, particularly sensitive people such as children and the elderly.
It's a remarkably efficient system, but it does have a few problems where two words can be produced from one sequence. Some simple examples are 'of'/'me' and 'if'/'he'.
There are also some more amusing ones, mostly caused by the limitations of the T9 dictionary particularly with regards to brand names.
For instance, the name of Vodka brand Smirnoff is rendered as 'poisoned'. This has become a slang term among some young people, normally bringing a laugh of recognition the first time it is brought up. Misspellings can also cause confusion, and I have heard people talk about their 'plans for unoppo', which is what results from forgetting the m in 'tomorrow'. Thanks to the prudes at Nokia and Samsung similar problems arise with swear words. The first suggested word for 'bitch' is 'chubi', which has gained some popularity as a word on its own. There are many other examples that I could give you, but I will finish with the term 'book' meaning 'cool' which is something I used to hear a lot in London.
I know we have some home-schooling experts around here. What are your thoughts on this?
The homeschooling movement never saw the case coming.
"At first, there was a sense of, 'No way,' " said homeschool parent Loren Mavromati, a resident of Redondo Beach (Los Angeles County) who is active with a homeschool association. "Then there was a little bit of fear. I think it has moved now into indignation."
The ruling arose from a child welfare dispute between the Los Angeles County Department of Children and Family Services and Philip and Mary Long of Lynwood, who have been homeschooling their eight children. Mary Long is their teacher, but holds no teaching credential.
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