Sunday, January 30, 2011

Carol Griffee, the purest of pure journalists, had she not died last week, would be wishing she could write about Fayetteville's streamside ordinance: Griffee wrote fact-based news stories not opinion. But when she wrote the facts she always convinced the reader to finish the story believing exactly how she thought a good opinion column would have made the reader think, because Carol always understood all the implications of the stories she wrote

Please click on image to enlarge view of Carol Griffee. Apologies to the Arkansas Democrat/Gazette for using the full story this time. But Carol was the most effective and intelligent reporter I have ever known and worked with. I only wish she had been a journalism professor for the final decade of her life. She had much to teach about quality of research, writing, objectivity and devotion to the truth.
Carol M. Griffee
North Little Rock, AR
1937 - 2011

Published: January 27, 2011
Veteran journalist CAROL M. GRIFFEE, 74, of North Little Rock, died January 24, 2011 after a long struggle with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) caused by smoking. Carol was born December 30, 1937, in Washington, D.C., to University of Arkansas graduates John F., a newsman, and Leda Mae Woodruff Griffee. After John's death in June 1946, his widow moved the family to Fort Smith where Carol graduated from high school in 1955 and immediately began her first full-time journalism job as a reporter for the Fort Smith Times-Record. Carol graduated with honors Phi Gamma Kappa (now Phi Beta Kappa) in journalism-history/political science from the University of Tulsa in 1959 and received her masters degree in history/political science from that institution in 1966. She was a member of Mortar Board; Phi Alpha Theta (history); Pi Gamma Mu (social sciences); Phi Delta Epsilon and Pi Alpha Mu (journalism); was president of Epsilon Gamma Chapter of Phi Mu sorority and of Lottie Jane Mabee Hall for Women; and was chosen three consecutive years for Who's Who Among Students in American Universities and Colleges, among other honors. She also worked full-time during college as a Tulsa World reporter.
She returned to the Washington, D.C. area in 1961 and was a reporter/photographer/editor for two Farifax County (VA.) weekly newspapers before joining the staff of the old Washington Star from 1963-66. From 1966 until returning to Arkansas in December 1972, Carol was city and then executive editor of the Arlington-based Northern Virginia Sun, a daily. Carol was a reporter for the old Arkansas Gazette from 1973 until resigning in 1985 to become an independent journalist and add book and magazine writings to her efforts through her own company. Although her Gazette assignments varied widely, she became known primarily for environmental, investigative, and political coverage and for being a fierce protector of the Freedom of Information Act, including serving on the state Electronics Records Study Commission in 1999.
She wrote several histories, including those of the Little Rock Wastewater Utility, the Arkansas Conservation Sales Tax, and the Bayou Meto Wildlife Management Area. She was the current parliamentarian and a former president of the Arkansas Press Women Association, a former board member of the National Federation of Press Women, and had been active in the Arkansas Professional Chapter, The Society of Professional Journalists, which gave her a Lifetime Achievement Award, October 20, 2010. Among other honors, she was the Arkansas Wildlife Federation's 1985 Conservationist of the Year; 1996 Arkansas Journalist from the University of Arkansas at Little Rock; received the Arkansas Press Association's Freedom of Information Award in 1997; was inducted into the Arkansas Outdoor Hall of Fame 1999, and received the Ernie Deane Award for valor in journalism in 2004. She also served on the board of the former Greater Little Rock Community Mental Health Center and of the Arkansas Women's History Institute. Carol moved to North Little Rock in late 2005 after 32 years in Little Rock.
She was predeceased by a brother, John F. Griffee Jr. Survivors include his widow, Shelly van Loben Sels Griffee of Marion; nephews John F. Griffee III (Char) of Marion, and J. Mark Griffee Sr. (Virginia) of Memphis, Tenn.; nieces, Karen G. Phares (David) of Chandler, Ariz., and Kim Griffee (Herb Ross) of Livermore, Colo.; sister-in-law Barbara Maltby of Clinton, Miss.; two great-nephews, John F. Griffee IV of Little Rock and J. Mark Griffee Jr., of Memphis, and two great-nieces, Dr. Susan R. Griffee of Marion and Susannah L. Griffee of New York City. Carol wanted no services.
Burial in Fort Smith will be private by Edwards Funeral Home. Memorials would be welcome to the Arkansas Press Women Scholarship Fund, c/o Treasurer Terry Hawkins, 216 S. John St., Dumas, Ark. 71639, or to a charity of one's choice. Online condolences may be sent to: www.edwardsfuneralhome.com.
Obituary for Emma Gean Green - NEXT >

Protecting stream corridors a major goal for many reasons

Finally, the city of Fayetteville, Arkansas, is poised to pass an ordinance to protect our streams from erosion and pollution of many kinds, but the emphasis is on a meeting EPA regulations for certain pollutants.
The ordinance, if enforced fully and if property owners and future developers buy into it and understand it, will contribute to several goals of the city.
For instance, the council last year passed a resolution supporting the Environmental Action Committee's effort to qualify Fayetteville as a wildlife-habitat community. The idea is to provide native plants (native grass, native shrubs, native forbs or wildflowers and native trees) to provide not only food for birds and insects and mammals but also for amphibians and reptiles and fish and crustaceans and the tiny forms of life in streams at the base of the food chain.
Protecting trees that keep the stream shady means the water will be cool in summer and warmer in winter, which sometimes means less time frozen and more time providing water for wildlife.
The caterpillars of our butterflies rely on native species exclusively. And there are insects, particularly beetles, bees and others that rely on dying trees, dead trees, and hollow trees and scattered dead wood at all stages of decay. And many birds, large and small, depend on cavities in trees for nesting sites. The reasons to protect land along the streams from clearing and mowing and soil disruption are seemingly endless.
One WEAKNESS of the current version of the proposed ordinance is that property owners are only discouraged but not forbidden to use pesticides and herbicides in the protected area.
An excellent story in Sunday's Northwest Arkansas cites examples of similar streamside  or riparian-zone ordinances in three cities. Columbia, Missouri's ordinance addresses the use of chemicals and other protections.
"Under Columbia’s ordinance, which only focuses on new development, distinctions are made by whether a waterway is a perennial stream, a non-perennial stream or a “natural channel.” According to (an official in Columbia), the widest buffer is 100 feet, with inner and outer zones. Within the 50-foot inner zone, activities such as pesticides and vehicle storage and livestock housing are strictly prohibited. “People really just need to leave it alone,” he said. In the outer zone, only vegetation removal, soil disturbances and filling or dumping are prohibited." Columbia's riparian-zone ordinance was enacted in 2007.
Lenexa, Kansas, adopted its "stream setback ordinance" in 2002 after officials recognized that the city was wasting public money trying to repair watershed damage done by developers building near streams. Lenexa's buffers vary from 50 to 150 feet and may be widened if the property is in a flood plain or on a steep slope, the Times reports. Lenexa also uses retention ponds, bioswales and wetland to control stormwater and prevent erosion.
A second WEAKNESS in the current version of Fayetteville's streamside ordinance is that the basic buffer is only 50 feet with the strictest rules applying only within 25 feet of the stream bank.
Alpharetta, Georgia, in the Atlanta area, passed an ordinance matching a 2006 model ordinance created by the North Georgia Water Planning District., the Times reports. Allpharetta's ordinance prohibits removing vegetation, installikng septic tanks and building certain types of fences within 100 feet of streams that run year-round and within 50 fee of streams that are dry for much of the year.
A weakness in that kind of arbitrary rule is that some streams in karst areas such as Fayetteville  show no or little surface water because they are losing streams, where the bedrock allows water to go underground in dry times but actually can become dangerous, wide, raging torrents overflowing their banks during heavy rain. Any nearby structure may well be destroyed and property damage may be huge.
Of particular concern to many people is that the planting of ONLY native species in the riparian zones is NOT a requirement of the current version of Fayetteville's proposed ordinance. That was a part of the initial version. The effort to utilize only native species is growing and its importance cannot be exaggerated.
For several years, Fayetteville's long-term plan has included a connected, city-wide green infrastructure. And nothing is more important than stream corridors for that purpose.

Saturday, January 29, 2011

NO PAVING FOR ANY PURPOSE inside the 50-foot buffer or even the floodplain of city creeks and branches

A few examples of how building and paving trails on flood plains and particularly within the riparian (streamside) zones should be outlawed by the proposed riparian ordinance to be considered Tuesday by the Fayetteville City Council. The current version allows city trails FAR too close to creeks and most of the trails built already have removed vegetation and killed nearby trees and replaced absorbent soil and done about every kind of harm that the streamside ordinance is supposed to prevent.

Why carry material 200 feet behind the house and burn it in the streamside area when it could be recyled if put only 35 feet in front of the house?

Please click on individual images to ENLARGE view of material illegally burning near the Town Branch of the West Fork of the White River.
Aluminum cans, steel cans, glass bottles, newspapers, cereal boxes and other material that city recycling trucks will pick up in front of the house once a week should not be burning anywhere recyling service is available. Metal and glass don't become ash and disappear when burned. They just lose their shine!






Places to recycle near Fayetteville, AR

Springdale Recycling Center

 - Place page
maps.google.com - 905 Hembree Avenue, Springdale - (479) 751-9571

Advantage Recycling

 - Place page
www.advantageii.com - 1457 E Robinson Ave # A, Springdale - (479) 444-6080
 - Place page
maps.google.com - 7115 South McGuire Street, Fayetteville - (479) 521-6929
 - Place page
www.aertinc.com - 914 Jefferson Street, Springdale - (479) 756-7400
 - Place page
maps.google.com - 1246 South School Avenue, Fayetteville - (479) 443-2145
 - 1 review - Place page
www.arkomasolutions.com - 444 Old Wire Rd # A-2, Springdale - (479) 571-8300
 - Place page
www.accessrecycling.com - 1205 Esi Dr, Springdale, Arkansas - (800) 783-1523
More results ne

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Public Acccess Channel premieres film about history of Fayetteville Open Channel and hopes to raise funds for future operation tonight: Free but donations accepted


Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Tuesday, January 25, 2011 - 18:06:07

The Open Channel: Public Access Television and the People Next Door

At long last, the impressive documentary telling the 30 year history of public access in Fayetteville by film-maker Niketa Reed will have a public showing in Fayetteville.
Thursday night, at 7pm at Fayetteville’s Cosmopolitan Hotel, will be the official “world premiere” of this impressive piece of work.
I’ve seen it, and it’s a beautiful documentary. It details the very beginnings of public access in Fayetteville, all the way from Fayetteville Open Channel to Community Access Television.
It was also be an evening in which the public will be introduced to Ms. Anne Shelley, the new director at the station, as well as the new name for the station.
Yes, stalwart readers, a new name.
It will also be an opportunity to meet folks from both the past and present, and a chance to honor Marion Orton, without whom Fayetteville probably would not have the thriving public access scene it has today.
Getting back to the documentary, the passion and eloquence of those who love and defend public access shines throughout the documentary.
You really don’t want to miss this lovely piece of work.

Council of Neighborhoods needs you: Do you know whether your neighborhood has a representative attending the meetings?

AGENDA FOR A MEETING OF THE FAYETTEVILLE COUNCIL OF NEIGHBORHOODS
Thursday, January 27, 2011, 6:00 p.m.
Room 326, City Hall
 Call to Order
 1. Introduction of neighborhood representatives
 2. No minutes from December to approve
 3. 2011 Officers Nominating Committee
 4. Motion to change Treasurer & related items
 5. Chairman’s report
 6. Neighborhood Updates & Announcements
 Adjourn

Julie McQuadeCommunity Outreach Coordinator
City of Fayetteville
113 West Mountain, Suite 320
Fayetteville, AR 72701
(479) 575-8302

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Can't open the white links on this site? Try link below

Streamside protection ordinance to be discussed during Tuesday, January 24, 2011, City Council Meeting: Passing and enforcing it on future projects near streams can prevent many problems


Streamside Protection Ordinance

The Nutrient Reduction Plan, completed in April 2009 by Geosyntec Consultants as part of an Agreement with the Beaver Water District and the City of Fayetteville, recommends the development and implementation of a riparian buffer ordinance. This ordinance is part of a series of recommendations designed to reduce non-point source loadings of total phosphorus in the Beaver Lake Watershed and would ultimately reduce the non-point source loadings of total phosphorus in all the City’s waterways.

The City of Fayetteville hosted two public education and input sessions on streamside protection in early March, as well as an online survey during March and April, in order to get citizen input in the development of the ordinance.  Questions asked of participants included input into which streams should have buffer protection and what activities should be allowed or prohibited in the protected areas.   

A question and answer session for property owners who might be affected was held on October 12 at the City Administration building.  The question and answer slide show from this meeting can be found HERE.

The Planning Commission forwarded the Streamside Protection Ordinance to the City Council with a recommendation for approval on November 8, 2010 with a vote of 7-2-0. The ordinance will go to City Council on February 1, 2011.

View a draft of the current proposed Streamside Protection Ordinance that goes before the City Council for review on 2_01_11.
View a draft of the City's Streamside Protection Best Practices Manual.
View a draft of the City's Streamside Protection Zone Map.
View a draft of the City's Streamside Protection Ordinance that was forwarded by the Planning Commission on 11_08_10.

The Arkansas Cooperative Extension Service published a Streamside Protection Ordinance Fact Sheet which also offers information on protecting riparian zones.

Images from March 6 Input Session and field trip to College Branch at Martin Luther King Boulevard
(March 6 Images courtesy of Aubrey Shepherd)

        
         


Images from March 10 Input Session and field trip to College Branch 

        

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Public-access television fund-raiser and film premiere Thursday night, reports Richard Drake on his Street Jazz blog


Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Tuesday, January 25, 2011 - 18:06:07

The Open Channel: Public Access Television and the People Next Door

At long last, the impressive documentary telling the 30 year history of public access in Fayetteville by film-maker Niketa Reed will have a public showing in Fayetteville.
Thursday night, at 7pm at Fayetteville’s Cosmopolitan Hotel, will be the official “world premiere” of this impressive piece of work.
I’ve seen it, and it’s a beautiful documentary. It details the very beginnings of public access in Fayetteville, all the way from Fayetteville Open Channel to Community Access Television.
It was also be an evening in which the public will be introduced to Ms. Anne Shelley, the new director at the station, as well as the new name for the station.
Yes, stalwart readers, a new name.
It will also be an opportunity to meet folks from both the past and present, and a chance to honor Marion Orton, without whom Fayetteville probably would not have the thriving public access scene it has today.
Getting back to the documentary, the passion and eloquence of those who love and defend public access shines throughout the documentary.
You really don’t want to miss this lovely piece of work.

Monday, January 24, 2011

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Excellent plan completed in 2005 could have reduced flooding in the Town Branch Neighborhood, but it was rejected by growth-oriented officials of the University of Arkansas and now school officials are expanding Fayetteville High School in a way that may make the problem worse

Please click on individual images to ENLARGE view of sample pages of the plan prepared at considerable expense by cooperating organizations. Several good plans were drawn but ignored.
The main reason for the downstream flooding is apparent in the photos below illustrating how much water rushes down the campus tributary of the Town Branch of the West Fork of the White River.
The solution is to remove parking lot 56 and use the absorbent soil that, before paving and construction, allowed runoff to soak into the ground where is fell.


The total-marsh concept was the one that could have made the most difference. But restoring a large former prairie to something like its previous watershed-protecting state wasn't on the UA plan.
 The UA provided much of the expertise that went into the planning process, but the UA athletic department destroyed the existing housing and built more athletic facilities and parking spaces in the area, preserving only a portion of the land for tailgating parties and protecting some absorbent soil but maintaining it as lawn rather than encouraging native wetland plants to help cleanse runoff and decrease runoff. Adjacent street and most surface runoff from the hills to the east, west and north continues to be piped directly into the Town Branch. Beaver Lake, Northwest Arkansas' main source of drinking water, is the final recipient of that unfiltered water.
For a copy of the whole plan as a book or on a CD, contact the University of Arkansas' Community Design Center.

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Uncut tall grass and and cone-flower heads and other native-wildflower seeds available in streetside peace-circle garden on World Peace Wetland Prairie feed many birds on January 20, 2011

Please click on individual images to enlarge view of scenes from WPWP on January 20, 2011.






March 30 to April 13, 2007 video of water & sewer work on South Duncan Avenue and other outdoor activities in Fayetteville, Arkansas

Audubon's Wilson Spring wetland nature area on Jan. 19, 2011: 185 photos from a 2-mile walk with Mike Mhlodnow

Wilson Spring nature area: Tagging along with one of Northwest Arkansas' most dedicated and talented birders.

Please click on image to ENLARGE and use link above to view more photos of Mike and the scenes along the way.


Fayetteville closes city hall and all non-essential services for the day

City of Fayetteville Non-Essential Services Closed

01/20/2011

Due to inclement weather Mayor Jordan has announced that the City of Fayetteville City Administration Building and all Non-Essential Services will be closed today January 20, 2011.
 All Essential Services, the Fire Department, Police Department, and Street Department will continue to operate.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Riparian-ordinance meeting Wednesday night at this address.
View Larger Map

Learn more about Fayetteville's proposed streamside (Riparian Zone) ordinance at 6:30 p.m. Wednesday, January 19, 2011

 League of Women Voters of Washington County has organized the extremely important meeting. Please attend and invite others. Details below:
A streamside, or riparian zone, protection ordinance is scheduled to come before the Fayetteville City Council in early February, 2011.   To help inform the public, the League of Women Voters of Washington County has organized a panel discussion of the Fayetteville ordinance and similar streamside protection legislation.   The discussion will take place on Wednesday, January 19, 2011, at 6:30 pm in the Pat Walker Center for Seniors at the Washington Regional Education Center, 12 East Appleby Road in Fayetteville.
This discussion will focus on the proposed Fayetteville ordinance and the reasons for its proposal, the economic implications of riparian protection, and the possibility that the Fayetteville ordinance could be a model for other area cities.
Panelists will include Robert Morgan, Manager of Environmental Quality for the Beaver Water District; Sarah Lewis, Ward 4 Representative to the Fayetteville City Council; and Karen Minkel, Director of Strategic Planning and Internal Consulting for the City of Fayetteville.
The public is invited and encouraged to attend this important environmental forum.
A copy of the proposed Fayetteville ordinance, a fact sheet prepared by the University of Arkansas Division of Agriculture and a citizens’ guide to best riparian management practices can be found on the city website,www.accessfayetteville.org; search for “Streamside Protection Ordinance.” 
A 2005 EPA study on the effectiveness of riparian buffer zones can be found at:www.epa.gov/nrmrl/pubs/600R05118/600R05118.pdf.A study released in December, 2010, of the overall quality of water in Beaver Lake, our drinking water reservoir, entitled “Constituent Concentration, Loads, and Yields to Beaver Lake, Arkansas, Water Years 1999-2008” can be found at www.bwdh2o.org.

Friday, January 14, 2011

September 18, 2006, video of eroded fill dirt washing off the Aspen Ridge (now Hill Place) construction site at 11th Street and South Duncan Avenue

Fish, waterfowl and other aquatic creatures can't feed, reproduce or even survive long in muddy water: Please watch video to see why Beaver Lake and Lake Tenkiller have been uncharacteristically muddy in many recent years.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Federal Commission on oil spill presents final report: If you didn't watch it on C-Span, here it is.

Oil Spill report link.

National Oil Spill Commission Final Report

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In an early excerpt of their final report, the National Oil Spill Commission found BP, Transocean, Haliburton and federal overseers largely to blame for the Gulf of Mexico disaster last April.
The presidentially-sponsored Commission has spent the past eight months examining the accident, considered the worst oil spill in U.S. history, and has released its final report to President Obama today.
In the report, the panel called for increased funding for the federal agency that currently regulates offshore drilling.  They also indicated that Congress should create an independent safety agency within the Interior Department.
The Commission’s preliminary findings from November 2009 indicated that Halliburton knew its cement job on the Macondo well was unstable, possibly leading to the accident. The new report expands to include the role played by all parties and offers recommendations to prevent future oil spills due to offshore drilling.
Former Florida Democratic Senator Bob Graham (D-FL) chairs the Commission. The Co-Chair is former Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Bill Reilly, who served during the first Bush administration.

Updated: 10 hr., 26 min. ago

Great-spangled fritillary and other pollinators using purple milkweed on July 9, 2010

For many more photos of various species of milkweed and some of the insects that utilize them, please go to Flickr milkweed set of photos.



Friday, January 7, 2011

Please speak up now: Full disclosure of chemicals used in fracking is open for comment to the Arkansas Oil and Gas Commission

To those interested in the natural gas development in Arkansas:

Pittsburgh stands first in the country to have banned the fracking process from their city.  Attending the rally before the vote was Josh Fox giving a spirited speech.  I thought you would be interested to hear the passion he displays even after the long involvement he has had with this project.

Update on Arkansas activity:

Arkansas Oil and Gas Commission - 

Jan. 10th is the cutoff date to make comment requesting full disclosure of all fracking chemicals by CAS identification.  While there have been improvements made to the Oil & Gas Commissions rule on disclosure, it is incomplete by failing to incorporate the Federal standards for proprietary secrecy.  A simple request that they finish to the job of disclosing chemicals for public safety and land owner consideration is in order.  Request that all comments be extended to the commissioners as well.  Use the following information to make comment:

Copy to:  Commissioners - Chad White, Chairman, W. Frank Morledge, Charles Wohlford, Bill Poynter, Mike Davis, Kenneth Williams, William L. Dawkins, Jr., Jerry Langley, and Chris Weiser

Mr. Lawrence C. Bengal, Director
Production and Conservation
Arkansas Oil and Gas Commission
301 Natural Resources Drive, Suite 102
Little Rock, Arkansas 72205

Subject:  Full disclosure of chemical constituents used in natural gas fracking

Issue:  The current B-19 ruling is incomplete in providing limited claims for proprietary formulas.  The best approach would be full disclosure of every constituent by CAS identification, but at minimum the Federal guidelines for trade secrets should be included in the rule in their entirety.  The current wording is incomplete and does not provide how secrecy would be granted or what percentage would be allowed.

Thank you for assisting with this important comment, if you are able to help.  Pass the word.

Fayetteville City Council will be considering the proposed streamside ordinance (also known as the riparian-zone ordinance) during February meetings: Please use the survey linked below to select types of information you believe everyone should learn before the ordinance is passed

Survey on Streamside ordinance at this link.

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Video includes material from Joyce Hale's fall fracking show at the Fayetteville Library; tonight's post shows three slides from Hale's show tonight at Environmental Action Committee: Watch for the whole slide show on Government channel this weekend or next week

Please click on individual images to ENLARGE view of still shots before and after the video.
More still shots from Joyce Hale's fall fracking show at Fayetteville Public Library at Severance Tax Web log.
Joyce Hale's fall show at FPL at bottom of conservation people's set on Flickr.


Joyce Hale includes fracking information on Web site of League of Women Voters of Washington County, Arkansas.




Tuesday, January 4, 2011

New Year's Eve fireworks may have frightened birds from roosting area, causing deaths and injuries during panic-driven flight, according to authorities quoted in news articles

Just one more reason to outlaw the manufacture, sale, possession or use of fireworks.
Often, large firework shows send dogs and other pets on long runs from which they never find their way home.
Obviously, urban wildlife of all species experience similar trauma. And human beings often call 911 when the big booms sound.
A sample of organized efforts to Ban the Bang.
College students with fireworks

Good list of reasons to ban fireworks.

Olympic committee may ban fireworks

Utah's ban on fireworks ignored by many

Rural county in Washington State considers banning fireworks

A PETITION signed by almost 75,000 people was delivered to Prime Minister Tony Blair's front door yesterday by the Animal Welfare Fireworks Coalition calling on him to ban fireworks because of the misery they cause animals and their owners. The coalition, which includes the Guide Dogs for the Blind This article is about the guide dog school in the United States. For the British charitable organization, see The Guide Dogs for the Blind Association.

Guide Dogs for the Blind
..... Click the link for more information.,RSPCA RSPCA (in Britain) Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals

RSPCA n abbr (Brit) (= Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals) → SPA f


..... Click the link for more information.,Blue Cross and the Dogs Trust list the following reasons for their ban:

1 Firework explosions can produce a blind panic in animals that can lead to serious injury,deep-rooted, debilitating fears,or even death. This is partly because the events do not last long enough for animals to become accustomed to the explosions.

2 Many injured or terrorised animals run away from their homes to escape the traumatising detonations of fireworks.

3 Animals who are too close to firework explosions often suffer significant burns and eye damage.

4 Fireworks generate a noise level which can cause irreversible ear damage in humans,let alone animals, which have much more sensitive hearing.

5 Research in Canada indicates that the combined responses to fireworks of panic and disorientation can result in wild birds flying into a building or heading too far out to sea.

6 Last year, a dog hanged to death when its collar got caught on a fence as it was spooked by a firework and tried to escape.

7 A horse, terrified ter·ri·fy
tr.v. ter·ri·fied, ter·ri·fy·ing, ter·ri·fies
1. To fill with terror; make deeply afraid. See Synonyms at frighten.

2. To menace or threaten; intimidate. by a firework, had to be put to sleep after breaking its leg.

8 A disorientated cat almost starved to death following a firework explosion.

9 Near Aberdeen, three calves died recently in a blaze on fire; burning with a flame; filled with, giving, or reflecting light; excited or exasperated.

See also: Blaze when a firework was thrown,possibly by youths,at a barn.

Saturday, January 1, 2011

Ronald Reagan's centenary coming

  • RONALD REAGAN'S CENTENARY COMING UP‏

From:j.dick.bennett@gmail.com on behalf of Dick Bennett (jbennet@uark.edu)
Sent:Sat 1/01/11 11:18 AM
To:
Preparing for Ronald Reagan's centenary, you're going to hear a lot of disinformation.   Mr. Blum knows what he is talking about.  During the 80s I was a Reagan watcher and wrote several articles about him. 
"Page One, Sensationalism, and the Libyan 'Hit Team'."  Newspaper Research Journal 4 (Fall 1982).
"Oceania and the United States in 1984: The Selling of the Soviet Threat."  Social Theory and Practice 10 (Fall 1984).
"Out of Disaster a Pep Talk."  Quarterly Rreview of Doublespeak 12.1 (October 1985). 
"Doublethink and the Rhetoric of Crisis: President Reagan's October 22, 1983, Speech on Arms 'Reduction'."   Kneupper, ed., Oldspeak/Newspeak (1985.
"President Reagan's Panegyric for the Marines Killed in Lebanon."  North Dakota Quarterly 55.6 (Spring 1987). 
"Censorship by the Reagan Administration."  Index on Censorship 17.7 (August 1988).
Dick

The Anti-Empire Report

January 1st, 2011
by William Blum
www.killinghope.org

Preparing for the propaganda onslaught

February 6 will mark the centenary of the birth of Ronald Reagan, president of the United States from 1981 to 1989. The conservatives have wasted no time in starting the show. On New Year's Day a 55-foot long, 26-foot high float honoring Reagan was part of the annual Rose Parade in Pasadena, California. To help you cope with, hopefully even counter, the misinformation and the omissions that are going to swamp the media for the next few months, here is some basic information about the great man's splendid achievements, first in foreign policy:
  • Nicaragua
    For eight terribly long years the people of Nicaragua were under attack by Ronald Reagan's proxy army, the Contras. It was all-out war from Washington, aiming to destroy the progressive social and economic programs of the Sandinista government — burning down schools and medical clinics, mining harbors, bombing and strafing, raping and torturing. These Contras were the charming gentlemen Reagan called "freedom fighters" and the "moral equivalent of our founding fathers".  [Dick:  All of it violated the US Constitution, UN Charter, and other conventions and treaties.]
  • El Salvador
    Salvador's dissidents tried to work within the system. But with US support, the government made that impossible, using repeated electoral fraud and murdering hundreds of protestors and strikers. When the dissidents took to the gun and civil war, the Carter administration and then even more so, the Reagan administration, responded with unlimited money, military aid, and training in support of the government and its death squads and torture, the latter with the help of CIA torture manuals. US military and CIA personnel played an active role on a continuous basis. The result was 75,000 civilian deaths; meaningful social change thwarted; a handful of the wealthy still owned the country; the poor remained as ever; dissidents still had to fear right-wing death squads; there was to be no profound social change in El Salvador while Ronnie sat in the White House with Nancy.
  • Guatemala
    In 1954, a CIA-organized coup [under Eisenhower] overthrew the democratically-elected and progressive government of Jacobo Arbenz, initiating 40 years of military-government death squads, torture, disappearances, mass executions, and unimaginable cruelty, totaling more than 200,000 victims — indisputably one of the most inhumane chapters of the 20th century. For eight of those years the Reagan administration played a major role.
    Perhaps the worst of the military dictators was General Efraín Ríos Montt, who carried out a near-holocaust against the indians and peasants, for which he was widely condemned in the world. In December 1982, Reagan went to visit the Guatemalan dictator. At a press conference of the two men, Ríos Montt was asked about the Guatemalan policy of scorched earth. He replied "We do not have a policy of scorched earth. We have a policy of scorched communists." After the meeting, referring to the allegations of extensive human-rights abuses, Reagan declared that Ríos Montt was getting "a bad deal" from the media.  [Montt's military officers were trained at the School of Americas, Fort Benning, as were the El Salvadoran officers.]
  • Grenada
    Reagan invaded this tiny country in October 1983, an invasion totally illegal and immoral, and surrounded by lies (such as "endangered" American medical students). The invasion put into power individuals more beholden to US foreign policy objectives.
  • Afghanistan
    After the Carter administration provoked a Soviet invasion, Reagan came to power to support the Islamic fundamentalists in their war to eject the Soviets and the secular government, which honored women's rights. In the end, the United States and the fundamentalists "won", women's rights and the rest of Afghanistan lost. More than a million dead, three million disabled, five million refugees; in total about half the population. And many thousands of anti-American Islamic fundamentalists, trained and armed by the US, on the loose to terrorize the world, to this day.
    "To watch the courageous Afghan freedom fighters battle modern arsenals with simple hand-held weapons is an inspiration to those who love freedom," declared Reagan. "Their courage teaches us a great lesson — that there are things in this world worth defending. To the Afghan people, I say on behalf of all Americans that we admire your heroism, your devotion to freedom, and your relentless struggle against your oppressors." 12
  • The Cold War
    As to Reagan's alleged role in ending the Cold War ... pure fiction. He prolonged it. Read the story in one of my books. 13
Some other examples of the remarkable amorality of Ronald Wilson Reagan and the feel-good heartlessness of his administration:
Reagan, in his famous 1964 speech, "A Time for Choosing", which lifted him to national political status: "We were told four years ago that 17 million people went to bed hungry each night. Well, that was probably true. They were all on a diet."
"Undermining health, safety and environmental regulation. Reagan decreed such rules must be subjected to regulatory impact analysis — corporate-biased cost-benefit analyses, carried out by the Office of Management and Budget. The result: countless positive regulations discarded or revised based on pseudo-scientific conclusions that the cost to corporations would be greater than the public benefit."
"Kick-starting the era of structural adjustment. It was under Reagan administration influence that the International Monetary Fund and World Bank began widely imposing the policy package known as structural adjustment — featuring deregulation, privatization, emphasis on exports, cuts in social spending — that has plunged country after country in the developing world into economic destitution. The IMF chief at the time was honest about what was to come, saying in 1981 that, for low-income countries, 'adjustment is particularly costly in human terms'."
"Silence on the AIDS epidemic. Reagan didn't mention AIDS publicly until 1987, by which point AIDS had killed 19,000 in the United States."
– Russell Mokhiber and Robert Weissman 14
"Reagan's election changed the political reality. His agenda was rolling back the welfare state, and his budgets included a wide range of cuts for social programs. He was also very strategic about the process. One of his first targets was Legal Aid. This program, which provides legal services for low-income people, was staffed largely by progressive lawyers, many of whom used it as a base to win precedent-setting legal disputes against the government. Reagan drastically cut back the program's funding. He also explicitly prohibited the agency from taking on class-action suits against the government — law suits that had been used with considerable success to expand the rights of low- and moderate-income families."
"The Reagan administration also made weakening the power of unions a top priority. The people he appointed to the National Labor Relations Board were qualitatively more pro-management than appointees by prior Democratic or Republican presidents. This allowed companies to ignore workers' rights with impunity. Reagan also made the firing of strikers an acceptable business practice when he fired striking air traffic controllers in 1981. Many large corporations quickly embraced the practice. ... The net effect of these policies was that union membership plummeted, going from nearly 20 percent of the private sector workforce in 1980 to just over 7 percent in 2006. "
– Dean Baker 15
Reaganomics: a tax policy based on a notion of incentives which says that "the rich aren't working because they have too little money, while the poor aren't working because they have too much."
– John Kenneth Galbraith
"According to the nostrums of Reagan Age America, the current Chinese system — in equal measure capitalist and authoritarian — cannot actually exist. Capitalism spread democracy, we were told ad nauseam by a steady stream of conservative hacks, free-trade apologists, government officials and American companies doing business in China. Given enough Starbuckses and McDonald's, provided with sufficient consumer choice, China would surely become a democracy."
– Harold Meyerson 16
Throughout the early and mid-1980s, the Reagan administration declared that the Russians were spraying toxic chemicals over Laos, Cambodia and Afghanistan — the so-called "yellow rain" — and had caused more than ten thousand deaths by 1982 alone, (including, in Afghanistan, 3,042 deaths attributed to 47 separate incidents between the summer of 1979 and the summer of 1981, so precise was the information). President Reagan himself denounced the Soviet Union thusly more than 15 times in documents and speeches. The "yellow rain", it turned out, was pollen-laden feces dropped by huge swarms of honeybees flying far overhead. 17
Reagan's long-drawn-out statements re: Contragate (the scandal involving the covert sale of weapons to Iran to enable Reaganites to continue financing the Contras in the war against the Nicaraguan government after the US Congress cut off funding for the Contras) can be summarized as follows:
  • I didn't know what was happening.
  • If I did know, I didn't know enough.
  • If I knew enough, I didn't know it in time.
  • If I knew it in time, it wasn't illegal.
  • If it was illegal, the law didn't apply to me.
  • If the law applied to me, I didn't know what was happening.

--
Dick Bennett
STOP Wars and Warming:
My blog:
http://jamesrichardbennett.blogspot.com/
jbennet@uark.edu