James LaRue has uncovered enough hidden horrors in the home to make us want to take refuge on the relatively safer confines of downtown streets. The National Center for Healthy Housing advisory board member (and former TV and radio host known as the HouseMender) says, "There are so many triggers in the residential structure that can cause a problem." We shudder.
LaRue is one of the speakers at Sunday's Prevention Convention, a daylong event centered on indoor health hazards. Topics include black mold, pesticides, air quality, and nutrition. Exhibitors and experts will fill folks in on the dangers of pesticides, fungal exposure, and home cleaning products, and what can be done to keep everyone safe.
But don't start tearing your house apart just yet, LaRue cautions. Experts are just beginning to connect the dots between illness and the home. "We're still discovering all kinds of things," he says. "We are so enamored of all the things that we can produce technologically, but we haven't thought very carefully about the consequences." Prevention Convention takes place from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. at the State Theatre, 1519 Euclid Avenue. Admission is $6. Call 216-241-6000 for more information. -- Michael Gallucci
Shatner visits sci-fi con.
Since William Shatner is unlikely to make his way into the Rock Hall, this weekend's Vulkon Cleveland Sci-Fi Convention may be the only opportunity local fans will get to rub shoulders with the former Star Trek captain, who appears Saturday. While much of the gathering will be filled with enough Trekkie things -- like panels, memorabilia, and screenings -- to keep even Lieutenant Worf happy, other sci-fi faves (2001: A Space Odyssey, The X-Files) will represent too. It culminates in a costume contest and dance. Watch out for Klingons, though. "When they get into it, they really get into it," says Chris Stephenson of the U.S.S. Maximillian, a Star Trek fan club. Geeks unite 7 p.m. to midnight Friday, 9:30 a.m. to midnight Saturday, 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Sunday at Holiday Inn, 6001 Rockside Road in Independence. Admission is $25. Visit www.vulkon.com/clevelandscifi2004. -- Andrew McMillan
Nature's Grocery Store
Food: It's not just from factories anymore.
Saturday's Taste of the Earth 2004 features a meal made with homegrown herbs, fresh veggies, and locally raised chicken. But Joanne Buckman hopes diners will leave with more than just full stomachs. "We want you to know that there are places that want to preserve the earth and the beauty and the heritage of this area," says the director of the Crown Point Ecology Center. "We want you to connect with local foods." She also wants you to connect with the centerpieces: Tables will be adorned with flowers plucked from nearby gardens. Live music and auctions join the fun. It starts at 5 p.m. at the Crown Point Ecology Center, 3220 Ira Road in Bath. Tickets are $40; call 330-668-8992. -- Diane Sofranec
Gary Lee is BugFest's official music man. "I use my mouth for a kazoo and buzz like a bee," he explains. But that's as close to insects as his lips get, he says. "I never would eat one!" You, however, can. You can also make crafts, sing songs, and race mealworms 10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Saturday at Garfield Park Nature Center (off Broadway Avenue in Garfield Heights). It's free. Call 216-341-3152 for more information. -- Lucy McKernan
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