Friday, October 9, 2009

Research: W.W.A.H.V

Research: W.W.A.H.V

Research: W.W.A.H.V

Research: W.W.A.H.V

Research: W.W.A.H.V

Research: W.W.A.H.V

Research: W.W.A.H.V

Research: W.W.A.H.V

Research: W.W.A.H.V

Research: W.W.A.H.V

Research: W.W.A.H.V.

Research: W.W.A.H.V.

Research: W.W.A.H.V.

Research: W.W.A.H.V.

Research: W.W.A.H.V.

Research: W.W.A.H.V.

Research: W.W.A.H.V.

Research: W.W.A.H.V.

Research: W.W.A.H.V.

Research: W.W.A.H.V.

watch video here

Research: W.W.A.H.V.

Monday, September 28, 2009

u.p.c.o.m.i.n.g. s.t.u.f.f.

So, we have been off the blog for sometime. Sorry. We have been real busy in the studio. We are preparing for several upcoming exhibits. We will be traveling to Venice, Italy next month for a top secret mission (more later). In early January, we will be in Baltimore working on our Go project at the Contemporary Museum. At the end of January, we will be presenting WETLAB in a group exhibit at the MAG. Followed by our POSTWAR ART project at MOCA on the first Sunday in February. Finally, we will be in an exhibition at the Laguna Art Museum in mid February.

Saturday, June 27, 2009

Water Projects - Moisture (Claude Willey and Deena Capparelli)

via moisture

Water Projects - Western Waters by Sant Khalsa

via Sant Khalsa

Water Projects - Tap Water Pavilion and Water Bar By Tao Urban

via HDTS

via Tao Urban Web site

Water Projects - Rhine Action and Small Water Big Water by Rob Sweere

via rob sweere

VIA Environmental, Health and Safety News: Water - The REAL problem... not CO2, carbon, energy or oil.

Via Environmental, Health and Safety News

The top five biggest average daily users of water are the U.S., Australia, Italy, Japan, and Mexico - all five of these use well over 300 liters daily. The countries where water poverty is the worst and water usage is the lowest are Mozambique, Rwanda, Haiti, Ethiopia, and Uganda - these five use 15 liters or less daily. While some parts of our water footprint, including how much corporations and agriculture use or waste water, are not under our control, we can find simple ways to cut our daily water use, and even save money.

The U.S. has one of the largest water footprints, and the absolute highest daily household use of 575 liters. Our large footprint is primarily because of our beef habit - large consumption of meat per capita. High consumption of water-guzzling industrial products also contributes.

Amazingly, one kilo of boneless beef takes a massive 16,000 liters of water to produce, much of that used to grow the grain the cows will eat. One hamburger uses 2,400 liters of water! We in the U.S. also have the dubious distinction of being one of the eight countries - the others are China, India, the Russian Federation, Indonesia, Nigeria, Brazil, and Pakistan - that together represent 50% of the entire world's water footprint. Weekday vegetarianism, here we come. We can also stop buying bottled water (the bottle itself entails the use of 7 liters of water) and really reduce paper consumption (10 liters per sheet).

The simple truth is that in many countries, water is pumped up for agricultural use at a higher rate than it can be replenished. While India's water footprint is below average at 980 cubic meters per capita, the massive population makes the country's overall footprint 12% of the world's total. India has faced dire water shortages, but on the bright side the country has adopted more rainwater harvesting than in other regions. By harnessing rainwater, villages like Rajsamadhiya have become self-sufficient in their water supplies. India's higher incidence of vegetarianism (approximately 30% of the population) does play a role in keeping individual footprints lower - the water contained in our diets varies with a vegetarian diet using 2.6 cubic meters of water each day.

Fur Jam

Friday, June 26, 2009

Misc. Water Tech

Misc Potted Plants

Watering Cans

Water Device Images

Crossing The Water by Sylvia Plath

Crossing The Water by Sylvia Plath

Black lake, black boat, two black, cut-paper people.
Where do the black trees go that drink here?
Their shadows must cover Canada.

A little light is filtering from the water flowers.
Their leaves do not wish us to hurry:
They are round and flat and full of dark advice.

Cold worlds shake from the oar.
The spirit of blackness is in us, it is in the fishes.
A snag is lifting a valedictory, pale hand;

Stars open among the lilies.
Are you not blinded by such expressionless sirens?
This is the silence of astounded souls.

The Old Men Admiring Themselves In The Water by William Butler Yeats

The Old Men Admiring Themselves In The Water by William Butler Yeats

I heard the old, old men say,
'Everything alters,
And one by one we drop away.'
They had hands like claws, and their knees
Were twisted like the old thorn-trees
By the waters.
I heard the old, old men say,
'All that's beautiful drifts away
Like the waters.'

Underwater Autumn by Richard Hugo

Underwater Autumn by Richard Hugo

Now the summer perch flips twice and glides
a lateral fathom at the first cold rain,
the surface near to silver from a frosty hill.
Along the weed and grain of log he slides his tail.

Nervously the trout (his stream-toned heart
locked in the lake, his poise and nerve disgraced)
above the stirring catfish, curves in bluegill dreams
and curves beyond the sudden thrust of bass.

Surface calm and calm act mask the detonating fear,
the moving crayfish claw, the stare
of sunfish hovering above the cloud-stained sand,
a sucker nudging cans, the grinning maskinonge.

How do carp resolve the eel and terror here?
They face so many times this brown-ribbed fall of leaves
predicting weather foreign as a shark or prawn
and floating still above them in the paling sun.

Under The Waterfall by Thomas Hardy

Under The Waterfall by Thomas Hardy

'Whenever I plunge my arm, like this,
In a basin of water, I never miss
The sweet sharp sense of a fugitive day
Fetched back from its thickening shroud of gray.
Hence the only prime
And real love-rhyme
That I know by heart,
And that leaves no smart,
Is the purl of a little valley fall
About three spans wide and two spans tall
Over a table of solid rock,
And into a scoop of the self-same block;
The purl of a runlet that never ceases
In stir of kingdoms, in wars, in peaces;
With a hollow boiling voice it speaks
And has spoken since hills were turfless peaks.'

'And why gives this the only prime
Idea to you of a real love-rhyme?
And why does plunging your arm in a bowl
Full of spring water, bring throbs to your soul?'

'Well, under the fall, in a crease of the stone,
Though precisely where none ever has known,
Jammed darkly, nothing to show how prized,
And by now with its smoothness opalized,
Is a grinking glass:
For, down that pass
My lover and I
Walked under a sky
Of blue with a leaf-wove awning of green,
In the burn of August, to paint the scene,
And we placed our basket of fruit and wine
By the runlet's rim, where we sat to dine;
And when we had drunk from the glass together,
Arched by the oak-copse from the weather,
I held the vessel to rinse in the fall,
Where it slipped, and it sank, and was past recall,
Though we stooped and plumbed the little abyss
With long bared arms. There the glass still is.
And, as said, if I thrust my arm below
Cold water in a basin or bowl, a throe
From the past awakens a sense of that time,
And the glass we used, and the cascade's rhyme.
The basin seems the pool, and its edge
The hard smooth face of the brook-side ledge,
And the leafy pattern of china-ware
The hanging plants that were bathing there.

'By night, by day, when it shines or lours,
There lies intact that chalice of ours,
And its presence adds to the rhyme of love
Persistently sung by the fall above.
No lip has touched it since his and min

Water, is taught by thirst by Emily Dickinson

Water, is taught by thirst. by Emily Dickinson

Water, is taught by thirst.
Land -- by the Oceans passed.
Transport -- by throe --
Peace -- by its battles told --
Love, by Memorial Mold --
Birds, by the Snow.

All Day I Hear the Noise of Waters by James Joyce

All Day I Hear the Noise of Waters by James Joyce

All day I hear the noise of waters
Making moan,
Sad as the sea-bird is when, going
Forth alone,
He hears the winds cry to the water's

The grey winds, the cold winds are blowing
Where I go.
I hear the noise of many waters
Far below.
All day, all night, I hear them flowing
To and fro.

Subterranean Homesick Blues by Bob Dylan

...The pump don't work
Cause the vandals took the handles...

Going for Water by Robert Frost

Going for Water by Robert Frost

The well was dry beside the door,
And so we went with pail and can
Across the fields behind the house
To seek the brook if still it ran;

Not loth to have excuse to go,
Because the autumn eve was fair
(Though chill), because the fields were ours,
And by the brook our woods were there.

We ran as if to meet the moon
That slowly dawned behind the trees,
The barren boughs without the leaves,
Without the birds, without the breeze.

But once within the wood, we paused
Like gnomes that hid us from the moon,
Ready to run to hiding new
With laughter when she found us soon.

Each laid on other a staying hand
To listen ere we dared to look,
And in the hush we joined to make
We heard, we knew we heard the brook.

A note as from a single place,
A slender tinkling fall that made
Now drops that floated on the pool
Like pearls, and now a silver blade.

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Water Conservation Basics

Going green: Rainwater harvesting

Water Conservation--Gardening

What are the benefits of Xeriscaping?

The Angry News - Water Conversation

Recycleman - Water Conservation Rap

Frisco Water Conservation

The Water Conservation Song

Sprinkler Rainbow Conspiracy


San Marcos, CA - City of Pools

San Marcos - The City of Swimming Pools


Water Fun!

Bridge Over Troubled Water


Local Food and Water

Peak Water

Plants Need Water Man

Dancing Plants

Plants Gone Wild

Singing Plants

Singing Trees

Plants Phones Home

Making a Talking Tree

Talking To Plants

Talking Plant

Talking Bush

Talking Trees

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

M.O.L.D. Bioindicator Incubation Update - Angels Gate

Bioindicator #46

M - Ezekiel organic sprouted wheat
D - Van de Camps wheat bread
F - Ralph's Bakery San Francisco Sourdough
S - 
Cinnabon Raisin bread 

Bioindicator #41

C - Ezekiel organic sprouted wheat
F - 
Weber's enriched white bread
S - 
Cinnabon Raisin bread 

Bioindicator #33
E - Van de Camps wheat bread
Q - Ralph's Bakery San Francisco Sourdough
C - Weber's enriched 
white bread

Bioindicators are  living species used to monitor the health of an environment or ecosystem. They are any biological species or group of species whose function, population, or status can be used to determine ecosystem or environmental integrity. Such organisms are monitored for changes (biochemical, physiological, or behavioral) that may indicate a problem within their ecosystem. Bioindicators can tell us about the cumulative effects of different pollutants in the ecosystem and about how long a problem may have been present, which physical and chemical testing cannot.

M.O.L.D. workshop participants will build their own bioindicators using common airborne mold to assess the quality of various bread samples. FS believes that food with less additives, preservatives, and/or related genetic modification will demonstrate more accelerated mold growth. 

The food hosts for this experiment will be various breads ranging from certified organic to highly processed. Workshop participants will choose from 110 food-related government agencies for the subject of their bioindicator. The initials from the chosen government agency will be surgically carved out of various bread samples. Each participant will create two identical bioindicators, one to remain in the installation and the other to be taken by participant.

Sunday, April 26, 2009

M.O.L.D. Press Release

M.O.L.D. Bioindicator, Concept Image, 2009

M.O.L.D. by Finishing School

Performance: Sunday, May 3, 2009 at 12-4pm

Exhibition Dates: May 3 - June 14, 2009

Angels Gate Cultural Center
3601 S. Gaffey St. San Pedro, CA

M.O.L.D. Patch, Edition of 100, 2009

About the Project

M.O.L.D. is a hot zone-themed wet lab and workshop that investigates the science, politics, and culture of food decomposition. The audience is invited to participate in various experiments and build their own amateur bioindicators (living species used to monitor the health of an environment or ecosystem) to assess food quality and safety. According to Finishing School, food molds have an anecdotal value in determining the quality of their hosts by demonstrating the presence of decay-fighting preservatives, additives, and genetic engineering. The goal of the installation is to engage participants in a critical experience about the quality and safety of the food we consume.

Students from El Camino College will assist the artists with the project. This project is generously funded by The James Irvine Foundation, Epson America, The City of Los Angeles Department of Cultural Affairs, Getty Foundation, The California Community Foundation, and the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors through the Los Angeles County Arts Commission.

M.O.L.D. Operational Tactics, Sign, 2009

About Finishing School

Formed in late 2001, Finishing School is a collective identity that explores art, design, and technology through interventions that conflate praxis, play, and activism. Finishing School attempts to demystify the experience of cultural production and engage viewers through various participatory models. Finishing School and their work has been presented extensively both nationally and internationally.

Finishing School was recently the inaugural participants in MOCA's Engagement Party, an ongoing "artists residency" program at MOCA in Los Angeles. Other current projects include Little Pharma, which investigates alternative medicines and lifestyles as a viable antidote to some of the drug industry's pathologies. Little Pharma consists of a series of workshops, roundtable meetings, lectures, weblog, community medicinal garden, and drug themed bike ride. Past projects include Public Interaction Objects (2006), a series of low-tech participatory objects such as meet/greet, a semi-autonomous drone designed to move through public spaces and greet individuals with multilingual salutations representing the six official languages of the United Nations; The Patriot Library (2003), a working library that provides access to books, periodicals, and other media considered "dangerous" by the United States government; and Saturday School (2001), a temporary, nomadic teaching institution offering multidisciplinary classes that dissect, question, and illuminate various aspects of everyday life.

M.O.L.D. Installation Gear, 2009

The Future Of Food

Saturday, April 18, 2009

US Federal / State / Local Government Agencies and Programs that are food-related

AARCC Alternative Agricultural Research and Commercialization Corporation
ACDC Acute Communicable Disease Control (LAC)
ACP Animal Care Program (CA)
Agriculture & Environmental Stewardship (CA)
AES Agricultural Export International Trade (CA)
AGRICOLA Agricultural Online Access
AHFSS Animal Health and Food Safety Services (CA)
AIP Avocado Inspection Program (CA)
AMS Agricultural Marketing Service
APHIS Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service
ARS Agricultural Research Service
ASHRAE American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air Conditioning Engineers
ATF Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms
ATSDR Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry
BCG Buy California Grown
BLM Bureau of Land Management
BAR Beehive (Apiary) Registry (CA)
BCP Biological Control Program (CA)
BMDD Division of Bacterial and Mycotic Diseases
BSAI Border Station Ag Inspections (CA)
CAHFSLS California Animal Health and Food Safety Laboratory System (CA)
CASS California Agricultural Statistics Service
CBL Brands, Livestock (CA)
CBP California Biologics Program (CA)
CCP California Citrus Program (CA)
CCDHP Center for Chronic Disease and Health Promotion (CA)
CDC Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
CDPH California Department of Public Health (CA)
CDMG California Division of Mines and Geology (CA)
CDOW Office of Water (CA)
CEH Center for Environmental Health (CA)
CFMP Farmers' Market Program (Certified) (CA)
CFH Center for Family Health (CA)
CFMP Certified Farmers Market Program (CA)
CDFA California Department of Food and Agriculture
CFS California Food Safety
CHCQ Center for Health Care Quality (CA)
CEQA Agricultural Resources Program (CA)
CIS California Inspection Services (CA)
CICB Inspection and Compliance Branch (CA)
CFSAN Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition
CHPDAC California Health Policy and Data Advisory Commission (CA)
COP California Organic Program (CA)
CVM Center for Veterinary Medicine
CEQ Council on Environmental Quality
CID Center for Infectious Diseases (CA)
CSREES Cooperative State Research, Education, and Extension Service
CSS California Seed Services
DHS Department of Homeland Security
DOT Department of Transportation
DHCS Department of Health Care Services (CA)
DPH Department of Public Health (LAC)
DQAP Dairy Quality Assurance Program (CA)
DWEM Drinking Water and Environmental Management (CA)
EHS Environmental Health Services
EPA Environmental Protection Agency
EQC Egg Quality Control (CA)
FAS Foreign Agricultural Service
FFEQP Fruit Fly Eradication Quarantine Projects (CA)
FBI Federal Bureau of Investigation
FDA Food and Drug Administration
Food, Drug, and Radiation Safety (CA)
FEMA Federal Emergency Management Agency
FFLDRS Feed, Fertilizer and Livestock Drugs Regulatory Services (CA)
Food Facility Closure Listing (LAC)
FMC Federal Maritime Commission
FNCS Food, Nutrition, and Consumer Services
FNS Food and Nutrition Service
FREP Fertilizer Research and Education Program (CA)
FSA Farm Service Agency
FSP Food Stamp Program (CA)
FSIS Food Safety and Inspection Service
FSIC Food Safety Information Center
FWS Fish and Wildlife Service
GATT General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade
GIPSA Grain Inspection, Packers, and Stockyards Administration
HHS Department of Health and Human Services
HRSA Health Resources and Services Administration
IHS Indian Health Service
LACFS Food Security (LAC)
LACFSP Food Stamp Program (LAC)
LACSFH Safe Food Handling (LAC)
LHM Livestock Health Management (CA)
MCL Monitoring and Compliance Laboratories (CA)
MDFS Milk and Dairy Food Safety (CA)
MEB Market Enforcement Branch (CA)
MMS Minerals Management Service
MPI Meat and Poultry Inspection (CA)
NASS National Agricultural Statistics Service
NCEA National Center for Environmental Assessment
NCID National Center for Infectious Diseases
NFSE National Food Safety Education
NEP Nutrition Education Program (LAC)
NIH National Institutes of Health
OPP Office of Pesticide Programs (CA)
OSHA Occupational Safety and Health Administration
PFSE Partnership for Food Safety Education (CA)
PHPPS Plant Health and Pest Prevention Services (CA)
RMA Risk Management Agency (Agriculture)
RFI Retail Food Inspection (LAC)
SBFA State Board of Food and Agriculture (CA)
LACSFH Safe Food Handling (LAC)
WHO World Health Organization
WIC Special supplemental food program for Women, Infants, and Children
USDA U.S. Department of Agriculture
USPS US Public Health Service

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

M.O.L.D. Progress Report - 1 Month

M.O.L.D. SAMPLES - Ezekiel Bread Organic Sprouted Grain Bread (4C), Sara Lee Delightful Wheat (3D), Ralph's Bakery Sourdough (5B)

Monday, April 13, 2009

Fight BAC (Bacteria) - FDA PSA

The "Fight BAC" campaign, developed by the Partnership for Food Safety, includes a colorful, 30-second, television public service announcement (PSA) featuring a frustrated "BAC" trying unsuccessfully to spread contamination throughout the kitchen. The PSA highlights the four basic safe food handling steps.

The proportion of foodborne illness associated with fresh fruits and vegetables has increased over the last several years. As health and nutrition experts continue to recommend we add more fruits and vegetables to a healthy daily diet, it becomes increasingly important that consumers know how to handle them properly. Make food safety a priority!

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Food Safety Music - Microbes Medley

A two-song medley: "Microbes, They Might Kill You" and "We Are the Microbes" is a parody of Queen's "We Will Rock You" and "We Are the Champions," as performed by Carl Winter.

(c) Copyright 2007. Carl Winter, Food Safety Music. UC Davis.

The animations were produced at New Mexico State University as part of USDA CSREES National Integrated Food Safety Initiative Project Number CD-D-FST-7057-CG.

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Safe Food by Marion Nestle

Safe Food, Bacteria, Biotechnology, and Bioterrorism

This is a great read. Below is a list of some stated concerns from the book:

1. The increasing concentration of food producers and distributors into larger and larger units
2. The overproduction and overabundance of food in the United States
3. The competitiveness among food companies to encourage people to eat more food or to substitute their products for those of competing companies
4. The relentless pressures exerted by food companies on government agencies to make favorable regulatory decisions
5. The invocation of science by food companies as a means to achieve commercial goals
6. The clash in values among stakeholders in the food system: industry, government, and consumers
7. The ways in which such themes demonstrate that food is political

The Complete Review wrote this:

A basic problem that Nestle identifies is the system of governmental oversight and regulation: "a system breathtaking in its irrationality: 35 separate laws administered by 12 agencies in six cabinet-level departments". Among the most amusing (and disturbing) examples of just how absurd the system is: the USDA (U.S. Department of Agriculture) regulates beef broth and dehydrated chicken soup, while the FDA (Food and Drug Administration) regulates dehydrated beef soup and chicken broth. (Regardless of whether one is for more or less governmental regulation and oversight, everyone would clearly benefit from a single agency handling all food-safety related issues -- but bureaucrats desperate to hold onto their little fiefdoms (and some in industry, who understand that it is easier to manipulate a divided bureaucracy) have managed to prevent any such sensible consolidation of responsibilities.

We made an earlier post detailing a more comprehensive list of federal, state, local, and NGO agencies involved in food safety. We are spotlighting each agency on the list here on this blog. Each agency spotlight includes the scope of their oversight, their specific role in regards to food safety, and contact info.

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

A Closed Mouth Catches No Flies


come and play at LACMA on saturday night

Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Monday, March 30, 2009

Totally Nuts! FDA says to avoid pistachios amid salmonella scare

via AP

By GARANCE BURKE, Associated Press Writer

FRESNO, Calif. – Federal food safety officials warned Monday that consumers should stop eating all foods containing pistachios while they figure out the source of a possible salmonella contamination.

Still reeling from the national salmonella outbreak in peanuts, the Food and Drug Administration said central California-based Setton Pistachio of Terra Bella Inc., the nation's second-largest pistachio processor, was voluntarily recalling a portion of the roasted nuts it has been shipping since last fall. A Setton spokeswoman said that amounts to more than 2 million pounds of nuts.

"Our advice to consumers is that they avoid eating pistachio products, and that they hold onto those products," said Dr. David Acheson, assistant commissioner for food safety. "The number of products that are going to be recalled over the coming days will grow, simply because these pistachio nuts have then been repackaged into consumer-level containers."

Two people called the FDA complaining of gastrointestinal illness that could be associated with the nuts, but the link hasn't been confirmed, Acheson said. Still, the plant decided to shut down late last week, officials said.

The recalled nuts represent a small fraction of the 55 million pounds of pistachios that the company's plant processed last year and an even smaller portion of the 278 million pounds produced in the state in the 2008 season, according to the Fresno-based Administrative Committee for Pistachios.

California alone is the second-largest producer of pistachios in the world.

According to the company's Web site, Setton Pistachio is in the corporate family of Commack, N.Y.-based Setton International Foods Inc. The company sells nuts, dried fruit, edible seeds, chocolate and yogurt-coated candies.

The FDA learned about the problem last Tuesday, when Kraft Foods Inc. notified the agency that it had detected salmonella in roasted pistachios through routine product testing. Kraft and the Georgia Nut Co. recalled their Back to Nature Nantucket Blend trail mix the next day.

The FDA contacted Setton Pistachio and California health officials shortly afterward, in what Acheson called a "proactive move."
By Friday, grocery operator Kroger Co. recalled one of its lines of bagged pistachios because of possible salmonella contamination, saying the California plant also supplied its nuts. Those nuts were sold in 31 states.

Fabia D'Arienzo, a spokeswoman for Tulare County-based Setton Pistachio, said the company was only recalling certain bulk roasted in-shell and roasted shelled pistachios that were shipped on or after September 1.

Because Setton Pistachio shipped tote bags of nuts weighing up to 2,000 pounds to 36 wholesalers across the country, it will take weeks to figure out how many products could be affected, said Jeff Farrar, chief of the Food and Drug Branch of the California Department of Public Health.

"It will be safe to assume based on the volume that this will be an ingredient in a lot of different products, and that may possibly include things like ice cream and cake mixes," Farrar said. "The firm is already turning around trucks in transit to bring those back to the facility."

Salmonella, the most common cause of food-borne illness, is a bacteria that causes diarrhea, fever and cramping. Most people recover, but the infection can be life-threatening for children, the elderly and people with weakened immune systems.

For nuts, roasting is supposed to kill the bacteria. But problems can occur if the roasting is not done correctly or if roasted nuts are re-contaminated. That can happen if mice, rats or birds get into the facility.

Last winter, a national salmonella outbreak was blamed on a Georgia company under federal investigation for flouting safety procedures and knowingly shipping contaminated peanuts.

The outbreak is still ongoing. More than 690 people in 46 states have gotten sick. Nearly 3,900 products made with peanut ingredients from Peanut Corp of America have been recalled.

California public health authorities have taken hundreds of samples at Setton's processing facility, but lab results have not yet determined whether salmonella was found at the plant, Farrar said. The food companies' own tests of the contaminated products isolated four different types of salmonella, but none were the same strain as the one found in the peanuts, Acheson said.
Associated Press writers Ricardo Alonso-Zaldivar in Washington and Tracie Cone in Fresno contributed to this report.