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tv   Assignment 7  ABC  January 16, 2011 4:30pm-5:00pm PST

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to. welcome to assignment 7. today on our program the invasive aquatic weed becoming a threat to boaters in the delta. also, how the story of a mysterious pacific island is is helping your alcohol addiction. and a massive cleanup that has to be done. >> but we begun with the thousands of veterans serving this country. one is the tuskegee airmen. cheryl jennings talked to some of the surviving members.
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>> they live in the bay area and is part of an elite group known as the legendary tuskegee airmen. >> you're talking about the blacks that swerved world war ii >> roosevelt administration made the decision in 1940 that black americans would be included in military aviation even though the armed forces were not integrated. nearly a thousand pilots trained as a segregated airfield in alabama. the program ran nearly ten years. >> i enjoyed the pleasure of being in the very first bomber pilots created from the tuskegee airmen. >> i was in the first class. >> they faced a war at home with racist attacks and ig dignity from americans that were white.
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>> it's the blacks that wanted to be pilots. >> they are in their 91 the year harold is 83. they served at different times and places but their memories of those days are still sharp. >> it was trying to win this war that was continuing. >> president harry truman issued an order to integrate the armed forces and harold was part of that group. >> with we arrived there was 200 flight student officers and 300 flight student cadets. when we got there, the armed forces is now integrated so the tuskegee mere men proved they were smart enough to fly airplanes, they had the courage to fight in combat, it's going
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to be up to you fellows to show that you can perform in an integrated situation with white students. >> the original tuskegee mere men were not allowed to serve with their white counterparts. the red tails flew 15,000 sorties and more than 200 combat missions. >> they had the best escorting allied planes during the war. >> congress presented them with a congressional gold medal in 2007. it recognized that they are heroes and legends to be honored and remembered. they made history by serving their country and this country is better for their service. cheryl jennings, "abc 7 news". what once a popular aquarium plant has become an invasive
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aquatic weed. laura anthony reports from discovery bay. >> now what you see is this. >> it littered the bay of discovery bay. the tentacles rise together surface. it's called the brazilian water weed that many fear that some could take over the waters. one that surfaces 12% of the delta. >> it's an aquarium plant that was probably released as a dumping or trying to release their aquarium to put them in the wild and they don't realize the impact to the environment. >> now as deep as 20 feet, it's not just nuisance, its del danger to boaters and swimmers and fishermen. >> it's so crowded that the larger fish can't swim into that area.
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>> this past summer, in parts of discovery bay, they have become so thick homeowners paid for a harvester to cut back the plant. then they put up special buoys to try to keep it from coming back. in other areas, homeowners have come up with their own methods for fighting back. >> this is the first year we've seen it like this. where now it's really starting to come up. >> jerry says it's so pervasive that the efforts of individual homeowners provide only temporary relief. >> i'm afraid it's going to get so bad it's going to be wild, wild west show, they are going to do whatever they want, throwing chemicals in. >> state agencies have begun a task force. >> we need to work very hard on advocacy and lands to give them power and authority to work more
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comprehensively on the issue and funding is critical. >> this the worst year we've seen as far as of the weed. >> the long serving commissioner important boat and waterways. >> the plan going forward is going to be a combination of trying to harvest a lot of it in the very beginning in april and then apply a herbicide that has been approved for the area and won't damage the water or the environment. >> its plan that will require at least two to three million dollars in funding from a state that may not have it to give. a solution can't come soon enough for those most impacted by the insidious plant. >> here is cabrillo, the weeds have grown so thick, in some places people have a hard time getting their boats out of the
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slips. in fact the boat we were riding in became entangled in the weeds. a problem that is growing by the day. >> in discovery bay, laura anthony, "abc 7 news." >> we are following falling behind in traffic fatalities. the comparison the academy is now pushing for an overall of national traffic safety guidelines. here is more from heather ishimaru. >> the national academy sciences says other countries are showing us the way to reduce traffic fatalities. from 2005 to 2009, france saw 52% reduction. australia, they dropped 25% and 15 other high income countries 15% as compared to 19% to the u.s. >> it showing it can done.
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>> dave is director of safe transportation center. he says the academy center means the policies and technology are available. >> the only thing we're missing in this country is the political will and the resources to increase our efforts. >> the academy suggested the department of transportation work with state governments to create better traffic safety programs and it cites two programs. automated speed limit enforcement and frequent sobriety checks. >> a large number of policies could be effective, from vehicle design, highway design, enforcement, improved driver training methods. >> nearly 34,000 people died in traffic accidents in the u.s. last year. in california that number was just more than 3,000. >> it's been going down over the years but we can always do more.
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we are looking better ways to design the roadways. >> california is ahead of other states with a highway safety plan overseen by caltrans and chp. the academy suggestion for a national plan will create the political will to get it done. heather ishimaru, "abc 7 news." >> could something in the soil of a pacific island cure alcoholism. >> there is a lot in there. >> understanding how this might work. >> coming up, interesting discovery bay area researchers have found. 7 on your side michael finney ventures into the world of venture capital, what ité"é"é"é"
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>> in 1964 they were digging in the soil of easter island, famous for mysterious statues. they discovered a unique compound. it's commonly used in organ transplanted to prevent rejection. >> they explore addictions at ucsf at research center in emeryville. they were interested in the effect on signaling a pathway that is part of the brain's reward system. their test subjects were binge drinking rodents. >> she says when the same rodents were given the chemical, the change in their behavior was striking. >> they drink alcohol the same as the mice that were consuming only water. >> they went from binging to nearly sipping.
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it works in all mammals by block an enzyme, it influences several processes in the body including cell growth. >> rambimicin on cell behavior has been the target of research in recent years. some have tlookd it to slow the growth of tumors. others to see if it, expand longevity. >> last year we reported on the research in marin county where they are extending the life of true flies by slowing the metabolism of their cells. >> there is a lot of buzz in the field of understanding how this might work. >> in a dallas study, it you aren't erupted a specific reward pathway in the brain. they were no longer binging on alcohol were still attract to go other substances like sweets. >> it wasn't specific for alcohol but did not reduce
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reward for anything else. >> the doctor cautions while it's given to transplant patients, the powerful effect would make it too dangerous for use as an alcohol therapy. >> i do think there will be a new generation of drug that has we'll be able to use. >> researchers shall focused on unlocking the mysterious substance in the compounds. it seems every day, somebody dreams of starting the next big venture. what does it take to make those dreams come true? >> gin is going what she does most, painting. 29-year-old launched a company she has been dreaming about for almost 15 years, artists.com. >> it was in the babbling of my head. i need to help artists sell
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their work. >> they started a prep company when he was just 18 years omitted. >> i didn't ask for permission. i just did it. i went and met the people i needed to meet to make my business successful. >> 16 years later, travis is one of the people that entrepreneurs come to when they need money for their start-up. events like this take place regularly to give people with vision a chance to meet others with money. >> not all start-ups need a lot of capital to get going. scott started bucket list.org with sweat equity. just like in the movie of the same name, users of bucket lists write what they want to accomplish before they die. >> its labor of love.
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>> finding investors for your start-up means building relationships to meet the right people. >> these are not going to be hand today you. if you hustle and you are smart, you will run into the people in silicon valley that will help you and the people that will fund you. >> the investors and entrepreneurs we talk to say the best companies find a need and fulfill it. >> i think it's about seeing a problem and wanting to fix it. >> it takes a certain personality and certain amount of risk toll lance to be able to do it. i absolutely recommend doing it today. >> they allow artists to sell their work commission free. they display their artwork at amelia high gallery and he is also using artist.com. >> it gives artists an opportunity that not too many
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people have, to freely display your art. >> people try to talk you out of it, but do your research and tell your vision to as many people as position. >> we have links to everybody that we mentioned in our report, go to www.abc7.com. when we continue, a multibillion dollar plan to develop treasure island but there is a
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welcome back. treasure island in san francisco was military base for years. city officials are hoping to turn it into an emerging new neighborhood but before it can happen a cleanup must take place. dan ashley reports. >> this is what city planners hope the future treasure island will look like, a glean neighborhood with stunning views of the city and the bay. the plan for this more than 400
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acre island also includes 8,000 homes, a business district, farms and open space. >> we hope it's one of the, if not, most environmentally sustainable projects in the united states. >> he is deputy director of the development authority. it's the agency responsible for the $6 billion plan, in order to make that happen, this man made island in san francisco bay will have to than cleaned of 80 years of toxic waste, asbestos, oo radium and lead paint and other substances. >> from the city's perspective, we don't want to receive the land until it is clean. >> treasure island was created in 1936 for the golden gate international exposition. the southern part of the island served as an airport for the china clipper. eventually the navy took over and stayed until 1997.
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it is now responsible for the cleanup. the work is overseen by the state of department of toxic substances, the navy started it's initial cleanup work in the early 1990s. it's expected to be completed by 2016. stewart black is the assistant deputy director. >> the department of toxics works every step to make sure that the site will be safe for the proposed used. >> this is the dirtiest site on the island. ten acres directly under housing buy by the military. radiological debris was dumped here, including buttons a were coated in low levels of radium that made them glow. >> they were going to excavate first four feet to remove and that is where they found the radium buttons. >> this has to be demolished before the cleanup can be
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completed. there are other buildings that have to come down but before that happens, they first must undergo extensive cleaning. >> it was the early 1950s. >> they are making sure that no waste remains. >> what we're doing now is looking at the buildings to make sure it's been cleaned up to today's standards. >> it will take a couple weeks to scrub the building and then a day or two to tear it down. decades of cleaning and pressing navy uniforms left a release of potentially harmful chemicals. >> dry-cleaning operation, when you done with the chemicals out threw it out the backdoor. >> most of mess has been cleaned up, reducing the contamination from this, to this. the city says roughly two-thirds of the toxic sites on the island have been cleaned to safe levels. environmental activists worry about the speed at which the process is going forward.
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>> can they clean it up? yes. will they clean it up? that is another matter. >> they sued the navy to force to it clean up oil pollution on the island. >> cleanup by federal standards, because of the lack of money, oftentimes represents cutting off the exposure pathway to the public to pollutants rather than the actual cleanup or removal of the pollutants. >> the navy will only turn over land to san francisco as it is cleared by the agency as clean and safe. only then will the city begin the ambitious redevelopment plan. >> we're happy. we think the navy is doing everything they can to expedite the cleanup. >> they hope to break ground on the new neighborhood in late 2011 or early 2012. dan ashley, www.abc7.com. >> still ahead, new
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welcome back. it's time to catch golden at golden gate park. it's the third garden railway but there is something new this time, the conductor, don sanchez. >> all aboard and take a train trip through golden gate park. its wonderland of plants and flowers, it's been transformed into park landmarks. care sells and an old turn table. the dutch windmills and de young museum is the back of an old vcr materials recycled. >> they go out andally really cool stuff and reconfigure them.
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voila, you come up with cool things. it's so engaging with the visitors because they are studying things and figuring it out also. >> golden gate park is the centerpiece that plays hosts to 14 million visitors every year. >> we wanted to make a miniature landscape of golden gate park. and we have miniature tulips coming in. >> it's here in the full size version of the conservatory of flowers. the display a seasonal. >> we have change overs. >>s cars still climb past coit tower. this is the sign from an old scrabble set. and the all pipe organ in the castro theater. painted ladies are cereal boxes.
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the gate to chinatown and they will be running through march 13th. in san francisco, don sanchez, "abc 7 news." >> talk about creative, right? in if you want more information go to our website and look under the news links for assignment 7. that is all for this edition of assignment 7. i'm kristen sze. thank you so much for joining us. we'll see you back here next we'll see you back here next >> developing news in san jose where police have tied a murder -- suicide to a missing pens -- persons case. no word that the america's cup yacht
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