Initiative aims to solve area’s ‘housing desert’

A new effort designed to identify and solve housing issues in northeast New Mexico was scheduled to be launched Monday this week with the initial meeting of a task force that is to include numerous entities, companies, and individuals involved in the housing industry.

The task force is to be headed by Terry Brunner, New Mexico state director of the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Rural Development agency, which created the task force to address the “housing desert” in the northeast part of the state.

Currently, six counties — Colfax, Harding, Mora, Quay, San Miguel, and Union — are not seeing many homes being bought or built, according to Rural Development. The initiative seeks to address the following communities: Raton, Cimarron, Springer, Maxwell, Des Moines, Wagon Mound, Roy, Mosquero, Mora, Clayton, Las Vegas, Tucumcari, and Logan.

Organizations and entities such as contractors and mortgage lenders, realtors, elected officials, and nonprofit organizations that provide credit counseling have been invited to participate in the task force. The task force was scheduled to meet for the first time Monday morning in Mosquero. At the meeting, an initial plan was to be developed to work on ways to provide greater housing opportunities to the public. Ultimately, organizers say, the meeting is to produce other meetings and a database of contact information through which people can contact each other when seeking to provide housing in individual communities.

According to an announcement of the “housing desert” effort from Rural Development, problems that are causing the housing issues include low population, credit issues, access to financing, and difficulty getting contractors to build in remote rural areas. The task force’s work is also to include providing homebuyer education.

A young Palestinian in the Intensive Care Unit after being shot at Bethlehem protest

Mohammad al-Kurdi, the 13-year-old boy from Aida Refugee camp, was shot yesterday with live ammunition during clashes to protest the death of Arafat Jaradat.

Yesterday at noon, a large number of demonstrators rallied at Bab Ez-Iraq, in the center of Bethlehem, to show solidarity with the martyr Arafat Jaradat on his funeral day. The demonstration, organized by the three refugee camps in Bethlehem; Aida, Deishah and al-Aza, marched towards Rachel’s Tomb and reached the entrance of Aida camp, where clashes erupted with the Israeli army. Confrontations continued until the evening. Tear gas canisters, rubber-coated steel bullets, and live ammunition were fired at demonstrators.

Dozens of people were injured from tear gas suffocation. In addition, two boys were shot with live ammunition. One of the boys, Mohammad al –Kurdi, was taken to Beit Jala hospital in critical condition and is now in the Intensive Care Unit. Doctors declared the bullet cannot be removed as it is close to his spin. Another boy was shot with rubber-coated steel bullet in the head and, after being denied medical attention by the Israeli army for more than half an hour, was taken to a hospital in Jerusalem.

On the day of Arafat Jaradat funeral, numerous demonstrations occurred in cities and villages across the West Bank and Gaza. These protests coincided with the multiple demonstrations in solidarity with Palestinian prisoners and hunger strikers which have taken place all across Palestine in the last weeks.

Destination Weddings in St. John

Couples may wish to marry in the Virgin Islands, especially on the island of St. John. On St. John, they can select from so many natural wonders to hold the ceremony. Couples may exchange their vows at sunset on a white sandy beach, or at a private villa by the water, or they may use historical ruins as a backdrop. They may also choose to get married at a resort, with all the trimmings.

Trunk Bay Beach

The most popular beach for weddings, this white sand beach is surrounded by coconut palms and sea grapes. The bay extends about a quarter of a mile long and forms a heart shape. Its aqua-blue water and rustling waves, combined with the sparkling sand make this location a photographic favorite for wedding couples, especially at sunset, when the beach is less crowded, and the sunset is breathtaking over the water.

Trunk Bay Beach
North Shore Rd., Rte. 20
St. John

St. John Villas

Private villas allow couples to relax by their own swimming pool and deck and have access to Peter Bay. This villa is only 50 feet above the ocean, so having it on several levels will provide couples with multiple views of the ocean. Couples may enjoy gazing out “Anniversary Point,” named after the owners’ 25th wedding anniversary, where they can stare at the coral reefs in Peter Bay and watch the waves in the water. On their wedding day, couples may choose to exchange their vows near their villas on Peter Bay Beach. If couples wish to host a reception, they need to get permission from Villa management to bring in up to 30 guests.

St. John Villas
Island Hideaways
(800) 832-2302

Annaberg Sugar Mill and Plantation Ruins

This former Danish estate still stands in the U.S. National Park on St. John. St. John’s was known for sugar making, and the mill was named after the daughter of plantation owner William Gottschalk, and means, “Anna’s Hill.” Sugar making was hard manual labor and done by slaves at the wind-driven mill. The National park has protected the sugar mill and plantation ruins, and the stone terraces on the hill provide a beautiful backdrop for wedding photos. The natural beauty and the history of the plantation appeal to many couples.

Annaberg Sugar Mill and Plantation Ruins
U.S. National Park at St. Johns
Visitor Center
(340) 776-6201

Westin St. John Resort and Villas

Located on Cruz Bay, this pristine resort allows couples to relax and celebrate in a tropical paradise on 47 acres of lush gardens and sandy beaches. Couples will relax in fine accommodations, with views overlooking the beach, the garden or the pool. They may choose where they wish to exchange their vows, in the beach-side gazebo, in the tropical hilltop gardens or on the beach by the sparkling waters. The resort will assist couples in planning their reception as well, by arranging tables under a tent by the Palm Terrace. They will also have their caterers suggest fine cuisine for the reception, and suggest local entertainers and florists so that the wedding will be perfect.

Westin St. John Resort and Villas
P.O. Box 8310
St John, USVI
(888) 627-9113

A Real Look Into the Problem of Yeast Infections

The best-known type of yeast infection is thrush, which is a form of candidiasis that generally affects the genitalia of women. Yeast infections are not only contracted by women, however, as men have been known to get the disease. Yeast infections aren’t exclusive to any gender, but only certain body areas are affected.

Candida, the fungus that causes yeast infections, normally affect mucous membranes of the skin of human beings. When viewed in agar plates in a laboratory setting, they have a whitish-gray, cream, or white appearance. They look like big colonies that are round in shape. One of the species of Candida that cause yeast infections is Candida albicans. There are also other species of Candida that cause this infection.

There are a bacteria that is naturally present in the body, that allows candida albicans to get along with other flora in the body, and keep its growth regulated. Candida albicans thrive in warm, dark, moist body areas. Yeast infections love the mouth, intestines, vaginal area, ears, and any other part of the skin that stays warm and wet. Yeast infections can even occur in armpits and different folds of skin.

The name Candidiasis, or yeast infection, is named because the natural form of Candida albicans is formed from single yeast cells that are oval in shape. It reproduces itself through budding when it is in the form of yeast. Cells have bulbs that sprout out of them, making clones of their genetic makeup. Before letting go, the bulbs stay attached to the parent cells for a short time length.

What are the ideal conditions for yeast infections? Two things that have to happen to allow Candida albicans and other bacteria to flourish without messing with other flora, is that the body’s temperature has to be at a certain level, and balanced ph levels must be maintained. Bacteria such as these die if the ph levels or temperature changes. When this happens, cells of Candida albicans are allowed to morph into fungi and reproduce itself with no restraint.

When Candida albicans start to overtake an area of the body, they produce tingling, itching, burning, and soreness. Quite often, several symptoms can be present at the same time. Scratching the area that is bothersome will only make the condition worse.

Some of the symptoms of the condition are: inflammation and/or swelling joints, water retention, mood changes, odd cravings for carbohydrates, alcohol, or sugar, sadness or depression, poor balance, concentration, and coordination, along with memory loss, tiredness, muscle pains, dizziness, sleepiness, irritability, or swelling of body tissues. These symptoms can also be related to other problems, so more common symptoms should be seen before making a diagnosis.

Wherever there are too many fungi present, side effects that are site specific can occur. Yeast infections that can go down as far as the soft palate in the mouth are patches that are cream or white in color. Having bowel movements can be harder, as well as the potential for problems with digestion. When a penis is affected, it can have sores that appear in patches on the foreskin or head. Discharges from the bowels, genitalia, and ear can be caused by Candidiasis.

Serious or fatal diseases can occur due to yeast infections. When people have a human immunodeficiency virus, acquired immune deficiency syndrome, diabetes, or compromised immune symptoms, they are particularly vulnerable to complications arising from yeast infections. If proper diagnosis and treatment are sought in time, people who suffer from yeast infections can be cured completely.

Stages of Cancer and Treatments for Each Stage

As there are different stages of cancer, there are different treatments that are usually recommended for each stage. What factors decide what stage of cancer you are in?

The stage of breast cancer is determined by your general health, how large the tumor is in relation to your breast, the results of further testing and biopsies, and if you have gone through menopause. Some tumors are fed by hormones and this needs to be determined to decide which stage you are in, and what treatment you will need.

Stage 0 is a precancerous stage. This means that a woman may have cells that appear as precancerous. Lobular carcinoma in situ or LCIS does not need treatment. You will be told of the problem and your doctor will ask you to have regular checkups for any signs of breast cancer. The healthcare provider may also suggest taking Tamoxifen to reduce the chances of developing breast cancer. This new drug does have some side effects but most agree the side effects are small compared to the danger of breast cancer. Others may be asked to take part in studies that are looking into preventive treatments for breast cancer. If you have LCIS in one breast, it increases the possibility of cancer in both breasts. Occasionally, a doctor may recommend the removal of both breasts. This is called bilateral prophylactic mastectomy. This radical approach has lost its appeal since new research has given scientists hope for a cure and extended life.

Stages II, III, and IIIA are considered operable breast cancer. Your doctor will help you decide if you are a good candidate for breast-saving surgery or a mastectomy. Most women who have Stage I or Stage II breast cancer will have a partial mastectomy and follow that up with radiation therapy. Most women will have underarm lymph nodes removed at the time of the surgery. If no cancer cells are found in these lymph nodes, your doctor may decide if radiation treatment is needed. If cancer cells are found in the lymph nodes, or the tumor is especially big, then further treatments will be recommended. A woman may choose to have radiation or chemotherapy treatment before surgery to shrink the tumor to a size where the removal of the entire breast is not necessary.

Stages IIIB and Inoperable will usually be treated with chemotherapy. These stages also include inflammatory breast cancer. If radiation or chemotherapy reduces the tumor, then surgery can be considered.

Stage IV cancer will have many different forms of therapy. Hormone, biological, chemotherapy, or a combination of these may be considered as treatments. Supportive care is important for anyone with these stages of breast cancer. Treatment may come from one place, while pain management is taken care of at another location. Supportive care focuses on making the woman’s life better both emotionally and physically.

Women who have advanced cancer may choose to only have supportive care instead of chemotherapy, radiation, or hormone therapy.

The Dish on Three Miracle Foods That Burn Fat

Is this possible? Are there really foods that burn fat? You bet. Scientific studies show that people eating certain fat loss foods lose more weight than those who don’t eat those foods – all other factors being equal.

Know these 3 critical principles for a truly effective diet solution!

Here’s the dish on three popular foods that burn fat:

Skim Milk: A Fat Burning Machine
When the commercials say “milk – it does a body good,” they aren’t kidding. That’s because the calcium in milk contains a proven metabolism booster, making this the most popular of the foods that burn fat. Studies show that calcium causes weight loss. When researchers had two groups of people do everything the same, except that one group received three servings of calcium a day, the results were surprising. The group consuming the extra calcium lost almost three times as much weight as the other group.

Although milk is the most popular source of calcium, look to excellent vegetables like broccoli – packed with disease-fighting antioxidants – as good sources as well. Stay with skim milk if at all possible, but if you absolutely must have some fat, stick with 1% or 2% milk. Whole milk contains extra calories that will likely offset any benefits you might receive from the calcium.

Beans: A Miracle Fat Loss Food
Beans are an excellent source of both protein and carbohydrates and are a popular choice for effective weight loss. Beans challenge your digestive system so it takes your body longer to process them. But that’s a good thing as it keeps your blood sugar stable and you feeling full longer.

The truly big bonus of beans though is that they have lots of fiber content. Eating fiber gives your digestive system a workout, ensuring that everything runs smoothly. It also keeps your blood glucose at normal levels. To receive the greatest benefit, eat plain beans. Refried beans contain fat and sugary baked beans contain needless calories which could undermine your weight loss efforts.

Green Tea: The Zen of Losing Weight
There’s nothing to dislike about this powerful, fat burning brew. Claimed as a dieter’s best friend for years, green tea packs quite a wallop. Its lower caffeine content gently boosts the metabolism while its antioxidants reduce potentially cancerous free radicals in the body. And because it’s a mild diuretic, green tea helps flush out retained fluid.

Best of all, green tea has been shown to burn fat. Researchers discovered that people drinking four to five cups a day lose weight faster than those who don’t drink green tea. Now that’s effective weight loss.

Water: An Honorable Mention
Okay, it doesn’t contain any nutrients, but water needs to be in your list of foods that burn fat. First and foremost, water helps keep your metabolism working at its highest level of efficiency. It also dilutes sodium which reduces bloating, acts as a healing agent, pushes out retained fluids, and helps curb your appetite.

Consider this. Our kidneys, as our primary filtration system, push toxins and waste fluids out of our body. But they need water to function at their best. When they’re deprived of hydration they’re forced to call on the liver for support.

Filtering toxins and waste fluids aren’t the liver’s best talent. Its main job is to store fat into usable energy. But when it’s required to help the kidneys then it’s no longer able to metabolize fat as quickly as it should. So it should be obvious to you now that you need to drink plenty of water on a daily basis in order to keep your metabolism working at optimum levels.

Since you’re interested in losing weight, know that you can create effective weight loss by eating the foods that burn fat. Include 64 ounces of water each day and you’ll be well on your way to losing weight and staying fit.