Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

Knut the Bear Homeless (for the moment)

December 6, 2008

Vodpod videos no longer available.

more about "Knut the Bear Homeless", posted with vodpod

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Global Warming News, Or is It Cooling?

November 30, 2008

The Jonah Center for Earth and Art will be hosting a public meeting Tuesday evening Dec 9, 2008, at 7PM in the Memorial Room at First Church, 190 Court St, Middletown. The subject: “What You Can Do About Global Warming and Energy Policy in Connecticut“. The speaker:

Roger Smith, Coordinator of the Connecticut Climate Coalition and Campaign Director of Clean Water Action will tell us what energy- and climate-related legislation is coming up in the January 2009 session of the Connecticut General Assembly. Roger has a wealth of information and experience in this area.

In what will certainly be another tough budget year, citizen action will be critical in order to pass progressive energy-related legislation and help consumers hurt by high fossil fuel prices. This is your opportunity to help shape our energy future and slow global warming.

A slight shift of gears is called for here as we mention one of our favorite bloggers on the subject of climate change; Gateway Pundit. Their post today presents a huge array of sources and stats that gives credence to the notion that the earth is cooling not warming. Read about it here…..

Of course cooling has been mentioned before; remember Newsweek from April 25, 1975? (PDF)

Finally, we couldn’t resist….

Global Warming or Cooling?



Farmer's Almanac Says It's Global Cooling

Farmer's Almanac Says It's Global Cooling


Old Farmer’s Almanac Latest Prediction for 2009 and beyond (video)

Why You Should Vote….

November 3, 2008


Tagged: why vote,bother to vote,mccain-palin

Reporting From Seattle….

September 20, 2008

I am visiting with my daughter in Seattle for a week or so; thought I’d post a few photographs. Seattle is a very interesting city. The climate here is quite temperate and the garden and plantings are lush. Every sidewalk and roadway is lined with vines, hedges, roses, and trees of all sorts.


Interesting sidewalk planting!


This 1906 church being converted to condos while preserving the exterior including stained glass dome.


Here is view of interior and dome.


A very young street musician!


Red sun, red hair, red wine!

A giant steps out at Seattle Art Museum!

The SAM giant

Lots of fish in Seattle!

Kiss a Fish!

Fish in your face!


Gov. Sarah Palin vs Animal Advocates….

September 4, 2008

Many organizations and groups were calling for rejection of Gov. Sarah Palin as Republican nominee for Vice President citing her positions on predator control via aerial shooting. While this is a very serious matter for animal advocates it is primarily a matter to be settled by Alaska’s citizens and their legislature. It is possible, however, that the practice could be addressed on the federal level when McCain and Palin take office. Aerial hunting is prohibited under The Airborne Hunting Act of 1972 and only continues in Alaska via a loophole in the law. (see below)

I am not a single issue voter and I support Sarah Palin for numerous reasons above and beyond the single issue of Alaska’s Fish and Game laws. However, I would certainly wish to confront the McCain/Palin administration on this issue when they take office. Some of the history of the controversy I discuss below.

The question of predator control involving aerial shooting of wolves and other animals is a contentious one in Alaska and, indeed, in the lower 48. Animal rights organizations are furious with Governor Sarah Palin for her support of Alaska bill HB 256/SB 176 the intent of which was “Clarify, Clean UP Statutes, Encourages Abundance-Based Management“. The Defender of Wild Life Action Fund states:

“Governor Palin is an active promoter of Alaska’s aerial hunting program whereby wolves and bears are shot from the air or chased by airplanes to the point of exhaustion before the pilot lands the plane and a gunner shoots the animals point blank.”

Before Alaska statehood in 1959, shooting wolves from airplanes was common. Aerial sport hunting was banned in 1972, but the law allowed aerial shooting for predator control.

In 1996 and 2000, voters rejected using aircraft to help track and kill wolves. The Legislature, in both cases, caved in to special interest groups and overturned the measures.

Nick Jans, co-sponsor of Ballot Measure 2, expects victory again in the Aug. 26 primary election. Alaskans for Wildlife collected nearly 57,000 signatures to get the initiative on the ballot. Defenders of Wildlife, a national wildlife conservation group, is one of its principal supporters.

“This is an issue that has been addressed and addressed again. It is a clear matter. The will of the people has already been known and we are just reasserting it here,” Jans said. “We are both puzzled and enraged that we are back at this point again.” Source

Unfortunately, this years measure did not pass; it was rejected by the voters 56%-44%. Ultimately this is an issue that will have to be settled by the citizens of the state through interaction with their legislators. Governor Palin has had to consider all of the competing interests and come down on the side of what is best for her state in the long run. In May 2007 Palin

” introduced a bill in the State House and Senate that will simplify and clarify Alaska’s intensive management law for big game and the state’s “same day airborne hunting” law. “I have said many times that my administration is committed to management of game for abundance, and to a proactive, science-based predator management program where appropriate,” said the Governor. “The bill I am introducing will give the Board of Game and state wildlife managers the tools they need to actively manage important game herds and help thousands of Alaskan families put food on their tables”

Aerial hunting is illegal under federal law (the Airborne Hunting Act of 1972) but Alaska has managed to circumvent the ban by a loophole.

“For more than 30 years, the state of Alaska has attempted to circumvent the intent of the Airborne Hunting Act by exploiting a loophole in the law allowing states to “administer” wildlife using aircraft. Under the guise of wildlife management, Alaska contends its current aerial hunting program is not hunting at all but constitutes legitimate wildlife management that artificially boosts wild moose and caribou populations.”

The loophole allows:

…for predator control, permitting state employees or licensed individuals to shoot from an aircraft for the sake of protecting “land, water, wildlife, livestock, domesticated animals, human life, or crops.” Source

Tags: sarah palin,alaska aerial shooting,aerial predator control,wolf shooting,wolf hunting,alaska ballot question 2,alaska legislature

Committees of Buzzards!

September 1, 2008
Quote:
SANFORD, Fla. — Homeowners in neighborhoods still flooded from Tropical Storm Fay continue to battle high waters and other problems, like huge committees of buzzards.

I don’t have my copy of “An Exaltation of Larks” handy but I have consulted some other sources and can find no reference to “committees” as a name for a group of “buzzards”, or more accurately, vultures. Here’s a link to a drawing from Florida show one such “committee” awaiting the decomposition of an alligator. In another photo we see the “committee chairman” at lunch. More “buzzard” news:

Quote:
BARTOW (FL) | A flock of about 200 black vultures has invaded southwest Bartow, picking the rubber casing around car windows and shingles off roofs.

h/t lvn600 for Black Vulture shot; a handsome specimen. (click here for full size)

Dugout Paddlers Off For Florida….

June 8, 2008

Dugout Paddlers Off For Florida
Middletown Press reports today:

MIDDLETOWN — With a grey-clouded sky over the river five brave boaters set out for Key West in dugout canoes Thursday.

Setting forth in two handcrafted dugouts, Captain George Frick and four crew members headed down the Connecticut River towards Saybrook and the open water beyond. They are then to head down Long Island Sound to New York and then traverse the Inland (IntraCoastal) Waterway to Florida, a journey that will take about 6 weeks. We reported earlier on the making of the canoes and on an earlier trip down river to Greenport, Long Island. The photo at top is from an earlier excursion on the river and the one below is a view of two incomplete dugouts taken in Harbor Park, Middletown last year. A full account of the earlier trip can be read here and here (PDF). The top photo is from that site.

Here is an excerpt from a web site documenting the building of the canoes:
THE PROJECT
Getting the tree
An Eastern cottonwood tree — 60 feet in length and 12 feet in circumference — had been
identified on Wilcox Island under the Arrigoni Bridge. Ron Klattenberg, Middletown City
Council member and project organizer, observed that there were several auspicious signs
for this project. The first was the weather. The massive tree identified to be cut down for the
project fell during a storm; then subsequent days of rain helped wash the tree trunk down
parallel to the river for launching.
The cottonwood was floated downriver to Harbor Park in Middletown. Clients went
upriver to watch the process. Not only were the clients watching, so were police, fire and
Coast Guard boats. Everyone marveled at how George Frick, president of Friends of the
Connecticut River, was able to manage to straddle the tree without falling off, then to bring
it to shore.
Crafting the canoe: Trial and error
Now it was time for the AIC clients to begin the arduous and grueling process of chopping,
burning, and carving the tree into a canoe. Under the guidance of George Frick and Ron
Klattenberg, the young men set to work hollowing and carving out the dugout canoe. For
a month they burned the wood to make it soft, then dug out the tree, all the while using
primitive tools. Each day they carved, cooked lunch over the burning embers, then carved
some more. While there are no historical records as to how the Indians in fact crafted these
boats, Frick had some knowledge of the methods and type of shape that would be necessary
to make this journey successful.

Obama Here: More Hope, Change, Not Much Else

May 25, 2008

This will be a blog posting on the fly today. First a photo essay (a beautiful day for photography by the way) from Obama’s appearance at Wesleyan University in Middletown to give the 176th annual commencement address in place of the ailing Ted Kennedy. Following the photos there will be an 8 minute video of the event and later I will add some comments about the address and also about remarks by President Michael Roth.

Funny, Obama thought he was at Wellesley; listen at around 6:10 in the video. (Omitted from the Obama campaign official You Tube video posted on Wesleying blog) And the Courant’s blogger Melissa Pionzio thought she was at Palmer Field instead of Andrus Field (“Well, I’m here sitting under the trees on the side of Palmer field where the Wesleyan Commencement ceremonies will begin in about 45 minutes.”) She also seems alarmed by the obvious presence of heavily armed security agents:

“There appears to be sharp shooters of some kind atop the glass connection between the campus chapel and I think Judd Hall (home of the psychology dept.) They are in black, with their arms folded – looks like there are about four of them. A woman with binoculars behind me confirmed that they have rifles up there, yikes!!

The following video runs a little over 8 minutes:


Tags: barack obama at wesleyan,barack obama,ted kennedy,wesleyan university,middletown ct,wesleyan commencement,global warming,climate change,progressive politics,michael roth,wesleying,

This blog also appears today at http://conservacity.blogspot.com
and http://middletown.ctlocalpolitics.net

Carbon Offset Scam: $$ to Assuage the Guilt

May 21, 2008

Wesleyan Recommends Buying Good Feelings….

Wesleyan is making a green pitch to help well heeled, guilt laden alumni, traveling to the upcoming Reunion/Commencement, feel better about their carbon footprint. The Wesleyan University web site says:

To offset your carbon emissions when traveling to Reunion & Commencement Weekend this year, please visit the Carbonfund.org web site! Use their Auto and Airline calculators to estimate the amount of carbon you will produce in traveling to and from Middletown, and make a donation to Carbonfund’s carbon-reducing projects to offset your impact. (and)

You will notice a new color standing out against the traditional black and red regalia decorating the 176th graduating class during its commencement ceremony this year: Green. A symbol of our dedication to producing an increasingly sustainable Reunion & Commencement Weekend, all graduating seniors, graduate students, alumni and their families, as well as faculty and staff members, will have the opportunity to don green ribbons indicating their commitment to the Wesleyan Community Climate Agreement and to leading a more environmentally conscientious and sustainable lifestyle in future pursuits.

The Washington Post had an interesting article on Aug 16, 2007 (excerpts):

With a click, a credit card and $99, visitors can pay a Silver Spring nonprofit group, Carbonfund.org, to “offset” a year’s worth of greenhouse-gas emissions. Whatever the customer put into the atmosphere — by flying, driving, using electricity — the site promises to cancel out, by funding projects that reduce pollutant

Sites such as this one, offering absolution from the modern nag of climate guilt, have created a $55 million industry that once would have been beyond the greenest of imaginations. The market for “voluntary carbon offsets” now encompasses dozens of sellers and thousands of buyers, including individuals and corporations.

But in some cases, these customers may be buying good feelings and little else.

A closer look reveals an unregulated market in which some improvements bought by customers are only estimated, extrapolated, hoped-for or nil. Some offsets support projects that would have gone forward anyway. Others deliver results difficult to measure.

Carbonfund.org, for example, has advertised offsets that finance wind farms and tree-planting projects. But some wind farms said the donations haven’t led to anything new….

Blogger Doug Bandow at OpenMarket.org opines:

What a great system. I think I will open a carbon offset business. Pay me, oh, $100 and I will plant a sprig that will eventually become a tree, absorbing the carbon dioxide that you’re causing by getting on an airplane or buying a computer or, especially, driving to work. And I am offering a special deal, today only! A dozen trees for just $1000. How can you beat that? Just send your checks to me, in care of CEI. It is a classic win-win situation: You can feel good about yourself while I can go look for another antique chess set or rare history book.

Easter Sunday on Indian Hill….

March 23, 2008

The video below was made today at Indian Hill Cemetery in Middletown. The brownstone 1850 chapel is a hidden architectural gem tucked away on this hillside. It was very windy there today so some segments of the video are marred by a roaring wind sound.