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Face masks and gloves bound for the ocean are being tracked by California parties.

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Face masks and gloves bound for the ocean are being tracked by California parties.
Face masks and gloves bound for the ocean are being tracked by California parties.

Face masks and gloves bound for the ocean are being tracked by California parties.

 

During the coronavirus pandemic, disposable masks, gloves, and other forms of personal protective equipment are saving countless lives. They’re also contributing to global warming by littering streets and dumping hazardous plastic and other waste into landfills, drainage systems, and oceans.

Environmental organizations in Northern California are keeping track of the crisis along the coast — and seeking to do something about it.

The Pacific Beach Coalition, which has been cleaning beaches in and around Pacifica, south of San Francisco, on a monthly basis for nearly 25 years, has recently noticed a drastic rise in discarded PPE.

Volunteers keep track of what they find in order to determine what could end up in the ocean. The litter was mainly cigarette butts and food wrappers until 2020.

“How are we going to proceed? We were given masks. We were given gloves. We got all of the sani wipes and all of the hand wipes. They’re all over the place. They’ve taken up residency in my neighborhood and on my streets. Lynn Adams, the coalition’s founder, wondered aloud, “What should we do?”

The organization, along with others, is raising awareness about the problem, claiming that what has been identified is likely only a small portion of the personal protective equipment that is being used on beaches and in the oceans.

PPE can be consumed by larger animals, and the plastic from the products can damage ocean food chains. Adams said, “They’re all made of plastic.”

Based on global demand projections and other factors, a study released last year by the advocacy group OceansAsia estimated that approximately 1.6 billion masks would flood oceans in 2020 alone. According to OceansAsia, masks may take up to 450 years to degrade.

Animals may get stuck in discarded PPE or mistake it for food, according to the Marine Mammal Center, a conservation organization that rescues and rehabilitates mammals, conducts research, and offers education.

“Obviously, PPE is important right now,” Adam Ratner, the center’s conservation instructor, said, “but we also know that increased levels of plastic and a lot of this material going out into the ocean can be a very big danger to marine mammals and all marine life.”

Cutting the loops before discarding a mask, as suggested by Ratner, will help prevent animals from being trapped in them.

Last week, Sophia Woehl was one of the volunteers who helped clean up a beach in Pacifica.

“We want to keep ourselves secure, but we also want to keep the rest of the world safe, which we aren’t doing right now by only leaving them on the ground,” she said.

My self Eswar, I am Creative Head at RecentlyHeard. I Will cover informative content related to political and local news from the United Nations and Canada.

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Astros throw combined no-hitter to hand mighty Yankees second-straight loss, 3-0

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Astros throw combined no-hitter to hand mighty Yankees second-straight loss, 3-0

The 2022 Yankees, a galactic force, were brought back to this planet on Saturday. They didn’t just lose, they got no-hit, as Astros’ pitchers Cristian Javier, Hector Neris and Ryan Pressly turned in a historic performance, leading Houston to a 3-0 win in front of a stunned Yankee Stadium crowd.

This is the 14th no-hitter in Astros’ history and third time they’ve tag teamed one. It’s also the Astros’ second combined no-hitter at Yankee Stadium, joining a six-man effort on June 11, 2003. That day in 2003 was the last time the Yankees had been on the wrong end of a no-hitter.

Houston’s three pitchers allowed four base runners. Javier walked a guy, Neris walked two, and third baseman Alex Bregman committed a throwing error. They teamed up for 15 strikeouts, picking on Giancarlo Stanton for three of them.

The pitcher’s duel between Javier and Gerrit Cole went to Houston’s Javier, who threw seven no-hit, no-run innings with 13 strikeouts but was lifted after 115 pitches. Reliever Hector Neris walked two of the first three batters he faced before getting two tension-filled outs to bring the no-no into the ninth. Neris’ inning was by far the most nerve-wracking from a Houston perspective, as Pressly closed things with a 1-2-3 inning featuring two K’s.

Cole had his ace stuff as well, but rookie J.J. Matijevic (playing his seventh game in the big leagues) ambushed him for one of the most unlikely home runs of the season. Matijevic’s homer and bat flip were both extremely non-rookie-like, and his handiwork gave the Astros a 1-0 lead in the seventh inning.

Javier was popping the glove all day, mixing a mid-90s fastball with a curveball that dipped all the way down to 74 miles per hour. He threw enough strikes to continually get ahead, but not too many to where he became predictable or vulnerable to loud contact. His only walk came in the first inning to Josh Donaldson. After that, the 25-year-old Dominican retired 17 Yankees in a row before Donaldson reached on Bregman’s throwing error in the seventh. Javier gathered himself after the error with a brief mound visit from his infielders, a long contemplative stand behind the mound and a deep breath. Then came two strikeouts of Stanton and Gleyber Torres, taking the sun-baked crowd right back out of the game after the error briefly energized them.

Every hitter in the Yankees’ lineup looked hapless against Javier, but the six through nine hitters were particularly futile. Aaron Hicks, Jose Trevino, Marwin Gonzalez and Joey Gallo combined for five strikeouts in their eight plate appearances off Javier and only saw one three-ball count.

It’s time to talk about Gallo. The Yankees can’t move him any further down in the order, even if Gallo’s disposition says he’d love to move down, perhaps into the nearest underground chamber where nobody can watch him strike out any more.

Since hitting a home run in Toronto on June 17 (which came when the Yankees were already winning 10-3), Gallo is 0-for-17 with 10 strikeouts. His great defense is a minor saving grace, but when it comes in a corner outfield spot, it’s not nearly as important as his hitting, which has become nonexistent.

Gallo does not have any more minor league options, meaning the Yankees can’t just send him to Triple-A and bring up Miguel Andujar or Estevan Florial to take his spot. The only way out is through, whether that’s through busting his season-long slump or potentially through a transaction that ends with him on a different team.

On the flip side, the $324 million transaction the Yankees made for Gerrit Cole looks pretty dang good. Cole gave them seven innings on Saturday, striking out eight Astros and really only making one mistake, the fastball to Matijevic that leaked into the lefty’s down-and-in power zone. Despite a strong performance that kept his old team off the scoreboard for the first six innings, Cole was saddled with a tough luck loss.

Two losses in a row qualifies as noteworthy for these Yankees, who hadn’t dropped consecutive games since May 28 and 29. The last time they lost two straight home games was May 22 and 23, losses that are part of their only three-game losing streak of the season.

When you’re winning at an extraordinary pace like the Yankees are, you might as well make the losses extraordinary as well.

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Catcher James McCann returns after six weeks on injured list with hamate fracture

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Catcher James McCann returns after six weeks on injured list with hamate fracture

James McCann returned to his usual squat behind the plate on Saturday, catching for none other than the Mets starter with a six-pitch arsenal.

With McCann’s left hamate fracture, ensuing surgery and rehab behind him, the Mets backstop played for the first time in six-plus weeks, batting ninth, in the Mets’ game against the Marlins in Miami. Right-hander Chris Bassitt was on the hill for the Amazin’s, pitching to McCann again for the first time since May 2 against the Braves at Citi Field.

There is perhaps no other starting pitcher on the Mets’ starting five that missed McCann more than Bassitt, who has a 2.61 ERA in five starts pitching to him. That battery works so well because McCann is known to do extensive homework on his starters, and Bassitt’s toolbox features a sinker, cutter, slider, fastball, curveball and changeup that requires patience and quick-thinking behind the plate.

Mets pitching coach Jeremy Hefner has said Bassitt is at his best when he’s throwing all six of his offerings confidently. While McCann sat on the IL, it took nearly a month for Bassitt to get on the same page with Mets backup catcher Tomas Nido. During that stretch, Bassitt allowed 22 earned runs in 26 innings, making for the worst spread of starts in his eight-year career.

It should be smooth sailing for Bassitt with McCann back behind the plate, beginning with the righty’s 15th outing of the year on Saturday. For McCann, he will try to start anew and have a better season offensively than the numbers he posted to begin the year.

McCann is hitting a pedestrian .196/.266/.286 with one home run, six RBI, two walks, two doubles and 11 strikeouts across his first 21 games of the season. In the 28 games that Nido filled in for the injured McCann, the backup catcher hit .225/.281/.236 with nine RBI, six walks, one double and 23 strikeouts. Patrick Mazeika, who also helped replace McCann, was optioned to Triple-A Syracuse on Friday.

OTTO THE WORKHORSE

Adam Ottavino is quietly having one of his best seasons in three years. The veteran reliever, who pitched for the Yankees from 2019-2020 before landing with the Red Sox last year, has a 2.60 ERA with 35 strikeouts in 30 relief appearances for the Mets this season. His 27.2 innings pitched are fourth-most in the relief corps, behind Drew Smith (31.2 IP), Edwin Diaz (28.2 IP), and Seth Lugo (28.1 IP). His 11.4 strikeouts per nine innings are second-most on the Mets pitching staff (minimum of five innings pitched).

Ottavino has allowed one earned run in his last 19 relief appearances, posting a 0.50 ERA with nine hits, five walks and 18 strikeouts in that span. He tossed 1.1 scoreless innings against the Marlins on Friday, including leaving the bases loaded in relief of Smith in the seventh inning. He’s holding right-handed hitters to a .147 batting average this season, and has posted a 0.71 ERA with three walks and 14 strikeouts in 14 games on the road this year.

The Mets acquired Ottavino in March, just days after the MLB lockout was over and spring training had finally begun. The Brooklyn native posted a 4.21 ERA in 69 appearances for the Red Sox last year, striking out 71 batters in 62 innings. But he hasn’t had a season this good since 2019 with the Yankees, when he recorded a 1.90 ERA with 88 strikeouts in 66.1 innings and 73 outings.

NL EAST WARRIORS

The Mets have done a solid job squashing their division so far this season. They are 23-8 against the NL East this year, including an 11-1 mark in their last 12 games against division rivals. The Amazin’s have lost back-to-back games against NL East opponents only once all season, which took place more than two months ago at Washington and Philadelphia on April 10-11. Their .742 winning percentage is the best intradivisional record in baseball, and they’ve outscored their NL East rivals 162-101 this year.

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Magic’s secrecy during NBA draft process could lead to long-term benefits

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Magic’s secrecy during NBA draft process could lead to long-term benefits

What seemed like a 180-degree turn really wasn’t. The Orlando Magic knew what they were doing all along.

The Magic chose Duke star Paolo Banchero at No 1 overall. He was too good to pass up for one of the league’s worst offenses. He can score in a multitude of ways such as transition, pull-up jumpers and offensive rebounds.

Banchero wasn’t the expected choice on well-respected mock draft boards like CBS Sports and ESPN. Most thought he’d be a top-three pick, likely landing with the Houston Rockets, but the Magic kept who they desired most a mystery until the last minute.

Why the secrecy?

The answer is simple — strategy.

“It helps you do business better,” Magic president of basketball operations Jeff Weltman told the Orlando Sentinel on Thursday night. “Whatever partners you’re trying to engage with — whether it’s an agent, another team or whomever — they trust you more if they know you can be discreet with managing your information. It’s a smart way to do business. It’s a part of our strategy of success.”

There was a method to the Magic’s magic. They worked out several prospects during the lead up to the draft, including Jaden Ivey, Jabari Smith and Chet Holmgren. Not Banchero.

It wasn’t unusual for the Magic not to have their future picks partake in pre-draft workouts. Jalen Suggs, a 2021 lottery pick out of Gonzaga, didn’t workout for them.

Banchero had multiple conversations with the Magic that included how coach Jamahl Mosley plans to use him and how he’d fit on the team.

“Talking to coach Mosley, he told me he just wanted to teach guys how to play and how to play efficiently,” Banchero said. “I feel like I really thrive with that.”

Banchero averaged 17.2 points, 7.8 rebounds, and 1.1 steals per game at Duke, but his fit is about more than numbers.

All the while, the Magic were operating in stealth mode.

The Magic likely earned respect from a lot of teams by keeping their intentions clandestine, including from the teams at Nos. 2 (Oklahoma City) and 3 (Houston). The influence of social media and power held by agents, who can leverage that information to benefit their clients, makes leaks inevitable.

The Magic took control instead and buttoned up.

“Honestly, I think that serves a good purpose because not only is it important for us to keep our information discreetly so the players know they can trust us,” Weltman said. “But it’s also important when teams call because I believe we’re a team that other teams know they can make discreet phone calls to and it won’t get out. The way you manage information is a big part of this business.”

The next stage comes July 1 when free agency opens. Maybe the Magic’s tactfulness will pay dividends immediately and help accelerate their rebuild. Leaks can weaken a team’s position in the market. A 22-win team, second-worst in the NBA last season, has to be even more meticulous.

“You never know what’s going to come up. You never know what other teams are trying to do behind you,” Weltman said. “I can tell you we’ve had conversations with every team, including those right behind us [in the draft]. I could flip the question and say, ‘What’s to be gained [by talking]?’

“It’s the best way to do business.”

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