AROUND THE STATE
Pollution expected to decline despite increase in traffic
Jacksonville’s air pollution from traffic is expected to fall by 2020 despite a trucking boom fueled by the recent growth of JaxPort, a city agency said March 24.
The performance of newer vehicles built to meet tougher emissions standards will lead to dropped pollution levels.
Although the expansion of JaxPort is expected to add 7,000 trucks per day to Florida 9A, Jacksonville’s Environmental Quality Division said in a recent report that the cleaner new vehicles could easily offset that and cut total highway emissions of pollutants by more than 40 percent.
“This data suggests there would not be a significant impact,” said Steve Pace, an air-quality administrator, to the members of a protection board committee during a recent City Hall meeting.
AROUND THE NATION
New Jersey attempts to ban ‘Brazilian’ bikini waxing
The New Jersey state Cosmetology and Hairstyling Board backed off March 20 from its original proposal to ban “Brazilian” bikini waxing after angry salon owners complained about losing business ahead of swimsuit season.
The board proposed the ban in the wake of two women who were hospitalized for infections following the procedure.
But, consumer Affairs Director David Szuchman effectively killed the plan. In a letter to the board, Szuchman said he won’t support the ban, and since his office oversees the board, the ban would never be approved.
“Many commenters noted that the procedure can be safely performed,” he said, in a written statement to the board.
“I, therefore, believe that there are alternate means to address any public health issues identified by the board. ”
AROUND THE WORLD
U.S. to send agents to Mexico to reduce drug trade, violence
The Obama administration said March 24 hundreds of federal agents and new crime-fighting equipment will be sent to the Mexican border as the U.S. tries to push back the tide of drug-related violence throughout
The renewed push for a stronger law enforcement presence along the border stems from the recent push by the Mexican government to break up drug cartels responsible for murdering 6,500 people last year, Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano said.
“Our role is to assist in this battle because we have our own security interests in its success,” she said.
The plan commits $700 million to bolster Mexican law enforcement and crime prevention efforts. The funds will provide, among other things, five new helicopters to increase mobility for the Mexican army and air force as well as new surveillance aircraft for the Mexican navy.
Compiled by James Cannon II