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Cornell Lab of Ornithology and Audubon
159 Sapsucker Woods Rd, Ithaca NY 14850
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Call us toll-free at (800) 843-BIRD (2473)
|Copyright © 2009 Express written permission is required for use of images or text on these pages.
Cornell Lab of Ornithology and Audubon
159 Sapsucker Woods Rd, Ithaca NY 14850
Questions or Comments?
Call us toll-free at (800) 843-BIRD (2473)
University of Hokkaido Professor Tetsuya Endo expresses alarm at the high levels of contamination among residents of Taiji, site of the killing of dolphins featured in “The Cove”. Dr. Endo is calling for “efforts to curb consumption of whale meat which is highly contaminated with mercury.”
Message From Ric O’Barry
Save Japan Dolphins
The dirty secret of the largest slaughter of dolphins on Earth is that the dolphin meat being sold to an unsuspecting public in Japan is poisoned by mercury contamination.
We have brought this to public attention since we began our campaign four years ago. More recently our testing of dolphin meat and the mercury contamination issue (including the Japan government’s cover-up with a compliant media) is receiving global attention in the award-winning documentary “The Cove.”
In Taiji, Japan, the little town that slaughters a thousand dolphins a year and sells the meat in markets around Japan, one brave town council member, Mr. Yamashita, objected to the inclusion of mercury-laden dolphin meat in the town’s school lunch program, a PR gimmick by the dolphin-killers to get another young generation hooked on poisoned dolphin meat. Taiji dropped the school lunches, but unfortunately Mr. Yamashita has been shunned and left Taiji.
However, one of his legacies was a decision by the town council to test the mercury levels in Japanese citizens in Taiji. The results have been held up for months, but now enterprising reporters in Japan are bringing out the story.
The Japan-wide news service, Kyodo News, just published this story, picked up here by The Japan Times, which has been bravely printing the story of the dolphin slaughter and our Coalition work for several years.
The story states that Taiji residents, who eat dolphin meat, are showing mercury levels ten times higher than average Japanese.
The Japan media is finally getting out the story of mercury contamination in dolphin meat. As more stories appear, more reporters and editors will feel safe in investigating further.
Mercury-laden dolphin meat is a crisis that should bring an end to the dolphin slaughter in Japan, and not just in Taiji, but all across Japan.
We still have a long way to go to get this story out to the Japanese public and help organize the protest to their government to end the cover-up and the sale of dolphin meat.
I believe we are getting closer! And we will not stop until the dolphin slaughter ends, period.
— Ric O’Barry
Here’s how you can help immediately:
1. Join our Call to Action to Ban the sale of dolphin meat immediately!
Take action at:
2. Help us with a donation to get the word out in Japan. When the Japanese public sees The Cove, and realizes that the dolphin meat is poison, the killing will end. Go to:
3. Go to:
to sign up for the latest updates.
4. Read the full text of the Mercury Poisoning story at:
KYODO NEWS/THE JAPAN TIMES
Mercury levels of whale-eating town’s residents 10 times average
Friday 22nd January, 06:40 AM JST
Levels of mercury in hair samples of residents of Taiji, Wakayama Prefecture, which is known for customarily eating small whales caught by coastal whaling, are about 10 times the average in Japan, possibly due to consumption of whale meat with high concentration of mercury, one of researchers who conducted the survey said Thursday.
Hair samples were collected from 30 men and 20 women living in the whaling town with a population of about 3,400 through local collaborators between December 2007 and July 2008 for testing, Tetsuya Endo, an associate professor at Health Sciences University of Hokkaido, said.
The survey showed the average total mercury levels in the men’s and women’s hair samples were 21.6 parts per million and 11.9 ppm, respectively, while the levels of average Japanese men and women are 2.55 ppm and 1.43 ppm, he said.
The highest concentration level discovered in the survey was 67.2 ppm in a male aged in his 50s, as a total of three people exceeded the level of 50 ppm for no observed adverse effect set by the World Health Organization, Endo said.
Endo expressed alarm that contamination levels among some of the residents appeared to be high enough to develop health problems according to oversea standards.
‘‘It’s necessary to conduct more detailed research on their health conditions and the current status of contamination,’’ he said. ‘‘We should also make efforts to curb consumption of whale meat which is highly contaminated with mercury.’‘
The researchers, also including Koichi Haraguchi at Daiichi College of Pharmaceutical Sciences in Fukuoka, will publish the survey result in an international science magazine on oceanic pollution.
According to Endo, the researchers also discovered high levels of mercury in products made from local marine mammals and fishes, such as pilot whales, dolphins, tunas and skipjack, distributed in and around the community.
In particular, the total contamination levels in the red meat from 22 samples of pilot whales, a cetacean commonly consumed in the town, averaged 9.6 ppm, with the level for methyl mercury alone coming to 5.9 ppm, both well beyond the tentative national regulation figures of 0.4 ppm and 0.3 ppm, respectively.
Among the 50 residents tested, the average total mercury level in those who eat pilot whale once a month or more was 24.6 ppm, while the levels in those who eat it only once every several months or not at all were 15.5 ppm and 4.3 ppm, respectively.
No epidemiologic survey has been conducted in Taiji although health hazards to the residents from the consumption of whale products are suspected, according to Endo.
© 2010 Kyodo News. All rights reserved.
The Shroud of Turin Website – STERA, Inc. | 1094 Highland Meadows Dr. | Florissant | CO | 80816
The Harris Company
On April 16, 1905, Philip and Herman Harris put an advertisement in The Daily Sun:
Harris’ Opening: On Wednesday, April 19, we will formally open our doors to the public of San Bernardino and vicinity…A cordial Invitation to visit our store is extended to you all. We are strangers among you, but have come to stay and we want to get acquainted…We have come here prepared in every way to do a large Dry Goods business. If courteous treatment, low prices, good goods and honest methods are appreciated here then we will certainly have no difficulty in gaining your trade. We mean every word we say and say just what we mean. Try us…Harris ‘Has It For Less.’
Philip, Herman and Arthur Harris were three of eleven children from a German mercantile family.
Harris’ First Location
Their San Bernardino business was the flagship for a chain of stores which became synonymous with the Inland Empire of Southern California. Their first location was in the Armory Building at 462 Third Street, between D and E Streets. Harris’ was on the bottom floor, and had a mere 25 feet of frontage.
Philip and Herman began with $4,700 worth of stock from their store, the White House, which they closed in Santa Ana, and experience of working for their Uncle Leopold of Harris & Frank, in Los Angeles. They started their business with three employees: an office girl, and two sales ladies. Arthur Harris arrived in 1906 from his brother-in-law’s store in Anaheim, bringing $2,500 with him. The money aided in the move to Harris’ second location across the street from their original store. The Harris brothers hired a window trimmer along with a dozen employees, and became the style center of the city.
The Harris brothers quickly gained a favorable reputation and a loyal patronage for their straightforward business dealings. In 1907, the second floor was taken over to house their growing Millinery and Ready-to-Wear departments. The next year, Harris’ installed the first elevator in San Bernardino, attracting a lot of attention. It was the first time for many to see one. An early employee recalled that the grown-ups humored the kids by taking them up and down.
The brothers failed at a Colton location early on but found another success with the 1908 opening of their Redlands store. Philip Harris moved to Redlands to manage that store. His first wife had died when his son Melville was only two and he remarried in 1907. He was sorely missed by the San Bernardino staff.
By 1915, San Bernardino Harris’ was bursting at the seams and they expanded into Cartwright’s Dry Goods next door. They inherited their electrical sign and restrooms, took one wall out between the stores, and bought out their next door neighbor’s clothing store on the opposite side which happened to be owned by their brother-in-law, Rudolf Anker. By 1919, Harris’ management began to acquire land on the corner of Third and E Streets for creation of a new store. While construction for the San Bernardino store was underway, employees eagerly awaited the move to the new building. One employee said, "How thrilled we were when the new building was being constructed. We would go on our lunch hour to watch the progress of the workmen…Everyone was glad to say goodbye to smoky oil stoves!" A month before the move, the little business that started as a partnership of brothers became a corporation worth $1,000,000. The Harris Company graduated to the status of department store.
The building formally opened on November 7, 1927. It housed a basement, first floor, mezzanine level, second floor, third floor and roof garden. The Harris Company was built as a fireproof structure that would include all the modern amenities of the time. There was a tea room, lunch counter, beauty parlor and barber shop, a sit-down soda fountain, candies, stationery, and on the south side of the building, a grocery store called Sage’s Market. The southeast corner of the building had a staircase of colorful tiles, which led up to their second floor restaurant, Café Madrid. The buildings doors were made of hammered copper. The main entrance archway fitted with Italian marble rose 29 feet, while the interior lobby ceiling was an impressive 32 feet high. The exterior had alternating intricate stone and wrought iron ornamental grillwork. The Harris coat-of-arms was molded within the stonework similar to businesses in Europe. The structure revealed a face to match Harris’ reputation of quality and service. The Sun, eloquently stated the significance of the Harris building in San Bernardino when it printed, "Towns do not have department stores. The Inland Empire has arrived."
Many thought the Harris brothers were taking a gamble to build a modern department store in a city of roughly 20,000 people. Three years later, the risk was realized when the Great Depression began closing banks across the country. Herman and his nephew, Leslie, devised a plan to save at least one of the banks that backed Harris’. Throughout the day, regular deposits were made for the Harris Company and employees were sent over to open new accounts. Herman stood atop a chair and announced his confidence in the bank, prompting other leading citizens to follow suit. According to R. D. McCook, co-founder of First National, Herman nipped the panic in the bud. Even though the years were lean, by saving electricity and cutting salaries, none of the Harris employees were laid off.
Tragically, Herman passed away in 1933 of a heart attack, and only six years later, Philip died as well. Both men were lauded in the papers for their community involvement and civic mindedness. Out of respect, each Harris store in San Bernardino and Redlands closed early on the day of the burials. The area’s citizens mourned the loss of these great men. Philip’s three sons, Leslie, Harold, and Melville had been raised in the business since childhood and were next in line to be at the helm. The second generation of Harris’ successfully continued management of the Harris Company and ushered in a period of significant growth.
One program initiated by this trio in the late 1940s was called, Men’s Night. One shopper recalled, "Only men were allowed in the store to shop for Christmas gifts for their wives, girlfriends, children and others. It was great fun, and the clerks, mostly older women, were a tremendous help."
Another feature throughout the 1940s and ’50s, which became synonymous with Harris’ and the holiday season was their animated window displays on E Street. Many Inland Empire residents had an annual tradition of stopping by the Harris Company to see the Christmas windows. Additionally, for many years, the Harris Company had the only Santa in the region. Numerous children met their very first Santa Claus at Harris’ Toyland.
Similar to the original founders, the second generation worked hard to ensure that San Bernardino had everything the big cities had. In 1947, the Harris Company was the first building to have a ‘motorstair,’ or escalator (as it is known today) in the Inland Empire. It created quite a stir since the closest alternative was an hour away in Los Angeles. For the next three days after its inauguration, parents knew exactly where to find their children when they shopped.
In the years ahead, the Harris Company underwent several expansions to their San Bernardino and Redlands stores. More importantly, they also extended the Harris’ chain, opening a new store as the main anchor of the Riverside Plaza on September 30, 1957.
Sadly, during this era of growth and memories, three more Harris’ passed away. Arthur, the youngest of the founding brothers who knew many customers by name, died in 1951. Harold, Philip’s second son, passed away in 1965, and Leslie, Philip’s eldest, passed away in 1971. When Leslie died, the mayor said, "The death of Harris is a great loss to the community of San Bernardino…[his] achievements will go down in the history of this city as an inspiration not only to those who lived here in his time, but to those who follow…"
The suburbs had been growing steadily since the end of World War II, and with the spurt of highway construction across America, downtowns lost many historic structures. In the late 1960s and early 1970s, due to the Central City redevelopment program, major changes occurred at the San Bernardino store. The 1927 floors were taken out and retrofitted, the upper floor windows were in-filled, and lightweight concrete was used to build a fourth floor in order to relocate the executive offices formerly on the mezzanine level. The majority of the mezzanine level was removed, though Café Madrid, gift-wrapping and alteration facilities remained.
The Harris Company was slated to be one of the anchor stores of the new Central City Mall which would be completed in 1973. An addition was built to link the Harris Company to the mall. Harris’ redesign team used tiles and wrought iron from Portugal to create a beautiful stairway and landing. The ornate ceiling clock was moved from its original location to the new staircase to complete the space.
Harris’ Link to Mall
The third generation of Harris’, Harold Jr. (Hap), Don, son of Melville, William Engel, son-in-law of Harold, and Bennet Meyers, son-in-law of Leslie, faced a recession in the ’70s that had far reaching effects stretching into the Gulf War recession of the 1990s. Even though a parent company, El Corté Inglés, came on board in 1981, with expansions (growing the chain to nine stores) other factors came into play that resulted in the end of the Harris Company as we knew it. Aside from two recessions within a 20 year period, Bennet Meyers died in 1975, Bill Engel retired early after heart surgery in 1977, Don, who was prone to headaches, slipped into a coma in 1984 and passed away in 1988, and Melville, the last of the second generation, died shortly after. A final crushing blow to the local San Bernardino economy, came with the closing of Norton Air Force Base in 1994. Harris’ merged with Gottschalks in August 1998, and Harris’ flagship store in San Bernardino closed four months later on January 31, 1999. The remaining stores in the chain became Harris’ Gottschalks and El Corté Inglés retained ownership of the flagship building and the name the Harris Company.
* For a more detailed history on the Harris family and the Harris Company, please see The Harris Company (Arcadia Publishing) by Aimmee L. Rodriguez, Richard A. Hanks, and Robin S. Hanks
To see this information in graphic format, click here.
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Although the killing of bottlenose dolphins – the primary target species – has dramatically decreased compared to previous seasons, they, along with other dolphin species, including many pilot whales and Risso’s dolphins, continue to be captured for aquariums and slaughtered for meat by the Taiji fishermen.
Since the showing of the documentary The Cove, which exposes the slaughter of dolphins in Taiji, Japan, many rumors have swirled around one question: Did The Cove stop the killing of dolphins in Taiji? Some media outlets have publicized statements that would lead the public to believe that dolphins are no longer being hunted there. Sadly, this is not the case. The policy of no killing of bottlenose dolphins has not lasted and was most likely a strategic short-term publicity stunt, aimed at reassuring the international media that bottlenose dolphins would no longer be killed. Bottlenose dolphins are being hunted and killed in Taiji again, along with many other species of dolphin.
It is important to remember that this is the world’s largest dolphin slaughter. Japan issues 23,000 permits annually to fishermen around its shores; in Taiji alone, 1,500 or more dolphins are slaughtered every year. It has been going on for more than 400 years, although the drive fishery has only gone on for the past 70 years or so, and of course the capturing of dolphins for aquariums and swim-with-dolphins programs is a modern, very lucrative addition.
It is not realistic to think that we, or anyone else, can shut it down before this year’s hunting season ends in March 2010. In order to once and for all stop the dolphin slaughter in Japan, The Cove must be viewed by the Japanese people. So far, it has not been. There are 126 million people in Japan. Less than 300 of them have seen the documentary so far. The work, therefore, is now about launching an effort within Japan to ensure that as many Japanese people as possible see The Cove.
The Save Japan Dolphins Coalition is leading that effort, and we are currently finishing up the Japanese translations for The Cove and making copies to distribute around the country, particularly to decision-makers in Tokyo. Additionally, our Coalition will be screening copies around the major cities shortly. We are getting e-mails from people in Japan eager to help us spread the word.
Your donations help our efforts. We want to thank you for all your support. Help us reach those 126 million people in Japan by donating today:
Working together with our friends in Japan and from all around the world, we can stop the killing. We are already seeing stories in the Japanese media that would never have appeared without our Save Japan Dolphins Campaign. The Japan Times, for example, recently printed a story listing ten important human rights issues in Japan — the Japan dolphin slaughter was number 9! Go to:
We don’t know how long this campaign is going to take, but we are in it to win protection for all the dolphins and whales. You can count on that.
Save Japan Dolphins Coalition:
Earth Island Institute, Animal Welfare Institute, Elsa Nature Conservancy of Japan, In Defense of Animals, Campaign Whale of the UK, and OceanCare of Switzerland