Ukiah Daily Journal 4 December 1990 › Page 6
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6 — TUESDAY, DEC. 4, 1990 Bored kitties will perk up when they see 'Video Catnip' HERNDON, Va. (AP) — At last, the purr-feet Christmas stocking stuffer for indoor cats who have everything. It's their very own videotape, featuring a mouth-watering parade of live birds, squirrels and chipmunks cavorting on the TV screen. The 25-minute, full-color video, taped in a wooded backyard of this Washington suburb, is sure to delight all those latchkey kitties who are bored with napping, scratching the furniture and swatting ornaments off the Christmas tree. Just slip a $19.95 copy of "Video Catnip" into the VCR and watch them turn into regular couch fur- balls. But heed the warning at the start of the tape: "While watching this video, your cat may become excited and attempt to get inside your television set to get at the birds. ... We' strongly suggest that you remove all breakables from on top or around your TV set. No kitting." Creator Steve Malarkey promises "some cat-a-clysmic fun with no paws in the action." His satisfied customers, speaking for their pampered pussycats, say his video really delivers the goods. The live action is divided into segments titled "Cheep Thrills," "Mews and Feather Report" and "A Stalk in the Park." Voyeuristic feline viewers will enjoy lots of juicy close-ups of their favorite outdoor creatures, feasting noisily on birdseed and popcorn. Malarkey was a disgruntled computer technician searching for a career change when he decided to "get into the cat business." He tried making heated "cat houses" and tree-shaped scratching posts, but both were flops. Then one night, he said, "I was sitting in front of the TV with my wife, watching a National Geographic special on birds of the Cayman Islands or somewhere," he said. '"Our cat Stick, who never even glanced at TV before, came out of his box like a shot and sat right in front of the screen, growling and meowing." Malarkey borrowed a friend's video camera and tripod, seeded his backyard with treats and let the tane run for an hour. "When I brought the tape back to the house and showed it to Stick, he went ballistic," Malarkey said. Malarkey hired a professional camera crew and doused his backyard with 200 pounds of birdseed and popcorn. "It was springtime, and things were really hopping out there," he said. Can cats really "see" a TV video? Veterinarians agree with Malarkey that although cats don't discern shapes and colors as distinctly as humans, they are acutely aware of moving figures and sounds that excite them. Malarkey has sold 7,000 tapes since "Video Catnip" appeared on pet store shelves a little more than a year ago. He's already planning sequels, with "bigger birds, bigger squirrels, maybe some sea gulls thrown in." EDfTOR'S NOTE: Malarkey takes telephone orders at 800-TABBY TV. -THE UKIAH DAILY JOURNAL- Adult strays need home Roly Shiipe-Brmh/The Daily Journal TWO adult stravs one male and one female, need adoption from the Mendocino Animal HospItT Both are black and white In coloration and said to be "mellow ' Thecats, from left, are named Mickey and Monica. Both have been vaccinated. For Information, telephone 462-8833. TRASH TALK How one family cut trash by 80 percent Demos seek to drop donation limits WASHINGTON (AP) — Democratic leaders, invigorated with the results of last month's election, are already proposing changes in House rules to bolster their majority in 1992. The House Democratic caucus votes today on a proposed rule change that would let lawmakers accept unlimited donations to cover legal costs they may incur in the upcoming redistricting. Boundaries of congressional districts will be changed nationwide as a result of the 1990 census. Because the changes could critically affect many 1992 House races, key redistricting plans could wind up being settled in the courts. "The likelihood is high that a number of members would want legal advice," said Rep. Martin Frost, D-Texas, who heads a Democratic group that is reviewing House rules and making suggestions for changes. But Fred Wertheimer, president of Common Cause, said his citizens group was urging House Democrats to reject the proposal, which he said runs counter to public demand for tighter ethics rules. The proposed rule change would create an "outrageous loophole" at "a time when the House should be taking steps to eliminate the ability of outside interest groups to provide money to elected officials who decide their interests," Wertheimer said. Normally, House rules limit gifts to members to $200. Under Frost's proposal, that rule would be waived for any donations for legal costs associated with redistricting. In addition, federal election law limits on campaign donations would not apply. Lawmakers would have to report contributions and spending from their special redistricting accounts. Another leadership proposal to help incumbents would change the rules in the taxpayer-financed House Recording Studio, which lawmakers use to make prerecorded messages to their home districts. Lawmakers now must pay studio costs from their office accounts. The new proposal would let them accept private reimbursement for those expenses, thus freeing more office account money for mass mailings and other purposes. Decisions on the rules changes were coming a day after the Democrats and Republicans re-elected their leadership teams from the last Congress. House Majority Leader Richard Gephardt, D-Mo., told the Democrats they faced "the challenge of improving the reputation and credibility of this institution." Speaker Thomas S. Foley, D- Wash., cited Democratic gains in November and in earlier special elections as a sign the Republicans are on the run. "So much for realignment," he told the Democrats. Recycling is like the weather — everybody talks about it, but few of us do much about it The Mayland family in Redwood Valley is different They've launched a private war on trash. Peter and Laurel Mayland and their 13-year-old twins, Kate and Gabe, decided a year ago to start a family project to recycle and compost as much of their household trash as possible. The result has been an 80 percent reduction in the trash they haul to the Ukiah dump. "All of us were worried about the environment," recalls Laurel. "But we were throwing away as much as everyone else. It was wonderful to say, this is something we can really DO about it" Now the Maylands give their trash special handling the moment it gets thrown away. All the food scraps go into a compost bucket, and every morning one of the twins carries it out to the garden where it is mixed into the composst pile along with yard waste. The other twin carries the recycling container out to the garage and sorts it into different cans for aluminum, tin and bimetal, clear glass, brown glass, green glass, PET plastic bottles, and toxic items like batteries. There's also an ordinary trash can for what's left over. Laurel is in charge of paper. She puts newspaper in one pile, magazines in another, office paper in a third, and everything else in a "junk mail" stack after she has torn off contaminants like the plastic windows in envelopes. Not much trash is left over after Peter trucks the recyclables to B&J Recycling Center in nearby Calpella. Their recycling fervor has allowed the Maylands to stretch out their trips to the dump to once every four months. Previously, they went as often and dumped twice as much each time. What's left to dump now? "Mostly plastic containers and Mike Sweeney Sweeney is active locally In diverting unnecessary trash from the landfill milk cartons," says Peter. "I'm still impressed by how much we have to throw away. We have to keep working on it." Laurel rides along to the dump and says that it "Blows me away what we find there." Among the things they have scavenged from the dump are new children's clothes, books, lawn furniture, electronics, and some of the garbage cans they now use to sort their recyclables. One of the biggest challenges for Laurel is shopping at supermarkets, because she knows that all the packaging must be thrown away unless it can be recycled. "It's hard," she says. "Some things I won't buy because they're double or triple wrapped." The Maylands are storing their hazardous waste, like small batteries, oil filters, paint and chemicals. They haven't yet found any safe opportunities to dispose of them. The coming Christmas season, with its traditional trash blizzard from wrapping paper and ribbon, is another challenge to the Maylands. Peter thinks they should just leave the gifts unwrapped. Laurel has decided to use the Sunday comics and magazine pages as wrapping paper. "It's part of our lives now," says Laurel. "We don't forget that we're still heavy consumers, in spite of everything we've done." EDITOR'S NOTE: Sweeney is cofounder of Keep Mendocino Beautiful, a non-profit corporation that addresses solid waste issues. Budget cuts force change in child welfare services Judge denies use of AIDS drug SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — A federal judge has refused to order a federal agency to allow sale of an experimental AIDS drug to two men who claimed they would slip into dementia without it. Ron Woodroof of Dallas sued the Food and Drug Administration last Friday, saying the compound Peptide T, now undergoing clinical trials, was all that had enabled him to keep control of his mind and body for the last year. He was joined later by Greg Lee of Springfield, Mo. In the ruling Monday, U.S. District Judge Charles Legge called the case "heart-rending" and said he thought terminally ill patients should be allowed to buy unapproved drugs. But Legge said he found no such provisions in the law and no such rights under the Constitution. Woodroof said his supply of the drug was cut off Nov. 19 by a California laboratory, which said it was following the FDA's regulations. His lawyer, Michael Cascino, said Woodroof ran out of Peptide T last week, and in a telephone conversation Monday lost track of what he was saying in the middle of a sentence and couldn't remember his own phone number. Woodroof filed suit claiming violation of his constitutional "freedom of thought." Cascino said that Lee had been receiving his supply of the drug from Woodroof. Supreme Court cases recognizing "freedom of thought" allow individuals to think and express themselves free of government interference, and do not establish a constitutional right of mental health, Legge said. LOS ANGELES (AP) — The amount of services that counties must provide abused or neglected children is being scaled back because of state budget cuts, officials said. To cope with a $55 million budget cut, the state Department of Social Services no longer will require local agencies to investigate every child abuse report they receive, said Loren Suter, a deputy director of the agency. Social workers can eliminate reports that contain no direct evidence children are being abused. In addition, they no longer must respond to reports that children are not attending school, that families are homeless or that parents abuse drugs and alcohol. Suter told a Monday meeting of the Children's Services Commis- sion the groundwork for many of the changes was contained in legislation passed two years ago. Some child advocates criticized the changes, saying abuse often is rooted in other family problems. "Over and over again we've seen cases where it looked like a nothing case until the worker actually got there," said Helen KleinberR. a commission member. Meanwhile, officials announced a $6.5 million cut in state funding of the county's child welfare agency because an audit found the county billed the state for more child abuse cases than it handled. Including general statewide budget cuts, the state has reduced its funding for the Los Angeles County Department of Children's Services by $23 million, officials said. Ukiah Daily ournal Get that last minute boost on your Christmas sales. This advertising program will increase traffic in your business with 2 insertions in the Ukiah Daily Journal on Friday, December 14th and Friday, December 21st AND 1 insertion in the Journal Plus on Tuesday, December 18th for total market coverage. Only ' 125 for a 2 column by 6 Inch ad Call our advertising department today at 468-0123 Deadline for copy Is Tuesday. December 11th at noon. Smart Santas Know Where To Get Cash 24 Hours Savings Bank OF MENDOCINO COUNTY A Full Service Comnwci*! Bank Member FDIC Our Instant Tellers are at your service day and night-- and they're especially handy during the busy holiday season. And now, in addition to getting cash, you can use your Instant Teller card to pay for purchases at thousands of locations. Use it locally at Raley's, PayLess, Harvest Market and Carl's Jr. Use it wherever you see this symbol. •NTCRUNK* To discover the convenience of Instant Teller, stop by your favorite Savings Bank office today. Instant Teller-with the hours Santa keeps, it's a wonder he ever got along without it.