Virginia’s Rivers Second Most Polluted in Nation

Virginia is second-worst in the nation for toxic chemicals dumped into its waterways, according to a report released this month.

The report, “Wasting Our Waterways: Industrial Toxic Pollution and the Unfulfilled Promise of the Clean Water Act,” claims 18 million pounds of toxic chemicals are released by industrial facilities into state rivers, lakes and streams annually.

Five Virginia rivers made the report’s list of 50 worst waterways in the nation, while other findings show that more than 377,000 pounds of toxic pollutants were dumped into the Shenandoah River, and 400,000 pounds were released into the Potomac River.

Now this calls for outrage. Oh Shenandoah, one of America’s most notable rivers in folk song can now shrivel your toes because it is so toxin. How have things gotten so bad?  It takes a minute to play.  O Shenandoah by the Statler Bros.

    (O Shenandoah-click here)

“Virginia’s waterways are a polluter’s paradise right now,” said Laura Anderson, field organizer with Environment Virginia. “There’s obviously something wrong if polluters are dumping 18 million pounds of toxic pollution into our waterways here in Virginia every year.”

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Jon Stewart gives Spike Lee a lesson in manners

After he admonishes Mitt Romney on international gaffes.



Once Jon Stewart gets hold of you, you know you have been taken to task.  He thinks McLean family is darling.  A tweet isn’t the best way to apologize to a 70 year old couple. 

What has Spike Lee done to atone for his social gaffe against this retired couple?

MD Clinic Landlord Gets Even: Voice of Choice

A clinic’s landlord turns the tables on anti-abortion protesters

Todd Stave is the landlord of a clinic in Germantown that provides abortions. Reproductive Health Services became the focus of antiabortion protesters when it was leased to LeRoy Carhart, one of the few doctors in the nation who acknowledges performing late-term abortions. 

Todd is no stranger to clinic protests.  His father owned the clinic and his sister managed it.  He has been around protests since he was 5 years old.  He doesn’t mind people protesting.  He feels it is their first amendment right to protest there. 

I’ve been a member of this fight since Roe v. Wade, since I was 5 years old,” he said. The office was firebombed when he was a kid, and protesters gathered outside the family home as he was growing up. So he’s no stranger to the harassment and bullying of doctors and their families.

It has become routine for protesters to distribute fliers and create Web sites that supply personal information about doctors and encourage others to badger them. Kansas doctor George Tiller was killed in 2009, and the farm of his protege, Carhart, was burned to the ground in 1991

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ABC Video asks more questions than it answers about George Zimmerman

The Daily Caller:

Former NAACP leader C.L. Bryant is accusing Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton of “exploiting” the Trayvon Martin tragedy to “racially divide this country.”

“His family should be outraged at the fact that they’re using this child as the bait to inflame racial passions,” Rev. C.L. Bryant said in a Monday interview with The Daily Caller.

The conservative black pastor who was once the chapter president of the Garland, Texas NAACP called Jackson and Sharpton “race hustlers” and said they are “acting as though they are buzzards circling the carcass of this young boy.”

Let’s look at this story from another vantage point. If it weren’t for Al Sharpton, where would this story even be?  Where was it before March 5 when Al Sharpton got wind of it?  It was nowhere.  Not even a blip on the radar.

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And yet another anti abortion bill….Congress this time

The Huffington Post:

The House Judiciary Committee voted 20-13 on Tuesday to advance a bill that would make it a crime for anyone but a parent to accompany a young woman outside of her home state to have an abortion. The committee rejected several proposed amendments that would have provided exceptions for victims of rape or incest, women facing threats to their health, and grandparents and older siblings trying to accompany their family members to abortion clinics.

The Child Interstate Abortion Notification Act (CIANA), sponsored by Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-Fla.), imposes a prison term of up to a year for a doctor who performs an abortion on an out-of-state minor that is not accompanied by a parent. It has 158 cosponsors in the House and a companion bill in the Senate.

“This legislation is based on common-sense,” Ros-Lehtinen said in a statement on Monday. “Parents have the right to be involved in their children’s lives.”

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Pet Bereavement

There is an article in the Washington Post entitled The Death of a  Pet can Hurt as Much as the Loss of a Relative that absolutely brought me to my knees.  I have felt guilty for years that my little dog Smitty’s death clobbered me worse than the death of my father.  It has been 20 years since that dog died and I still am not over it.  I have lost other dogs and a cat since then.  It still stands out as the absolute worst of the worst other than the loss of my mother.  In that case, it might have tied.  She, of all people, would understand that so I don’t feel guilty. 

The article talks about why we feel pet loss so intensely and it is worth reading.  Do it when you aren’t embarrassed to start tearing up.  It is sort of a private read.  Too little is done for people who lose pets.  I try to send condolence cards to my friends and family when pets die.  I don’t get to everyone but I try.  As a society, we say we are sorry but we move on about our every day business.  We don’t ask how that person is doing or probably even think that some of our friend go home to an empty house after the death of a pet. There was no funeral, no visitation.  Just a long empty drive home, in some cases. 

Stoney’s ashes sit on my desk.  I bought a gray toy stuffed Schnauzer to sit on top of the urn.  I am ok with his death.  I poured thousands of dollars into his wellness and he and I both ran out of patience.  It was time.  Mr. Howler is a wonderful human being about pets and when it is time.  He always goes and does the dirty deed.  I know they are in good hands and I make a point of telling people that is one reason why I married him.  I mean it as the highest of compliments because that is something very important to me.  My son has inherited some of the dirty deed work and he has his father’s compassion.  It kills him but he does it. 

Where are the pet bereavement groups?  Are there local groups?  Are they face to face?  Are they online?  If pet death is as bad or worse than the death of family members, we as a society sure have come up lacking in that department.  There seems to be a group for everything else.  What happens to us when our pets cross over the rainbow bridge? 

Your thoughts on a very sad topic?  (I am happy to report my pets, to my knowledge, are in good health.)



Never Forget: What We Carry project




“Evil does not need your help, just your indifference.” Hanns Loewenbach, survivor

The East Coast premiere of “What We Carry,” a documentary featuring the stories of four Hampton Roads Holocaust survivors, will be held at 3 p.m., Sunday March 25, at the Tidewater Community College Roper Performing Arts Center.

The 63-minute film boldly documents four survivors’ unique stories through a riveting format that creates an immediate emotional intimacy, so that truth can live on, questions can be asked, and history cannot be rewritten.

Produced by award-winning filmmakers Janice Engel and Amber Howell, “What We Carry” combines interviews with still photos, archival footage and music created specifically for the film.

The documentary was developed for the Holocaust Commission of the United Jewish Federation of Tidewater’s innovative project by the same name.

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Plastic Waste

Morning Joe has guests sounding the alarm about plastic pollution.  One guest is warning about grocery bags.  She says that the plastic bags will outlive the pyramids.  She strongly recommended that everyone take the recyclable bags to the grocery store. 

The men on Morning Joe all cringed and said they refused to walk in a grocery store with a cloth grocery bag.  Is it really a sissy thing to do?

Nearly everything is plastic.  Our bottles and jars are plastic.  The garbage bags we buy are plastic.   Even the make up I use that used to be in glass jars has gone plastic.  I thought we got to recycle plastic bottles.  Is this something to fix or is someone pushing the alarm buttons again?  Do you have any plastic warnings?  Plastic tips?  Is it sissy to take a recyclable bag to the grocery?

Aftershock! 3.1 Magnitude: the Old Dominion is still shaking


There was another after shock late last night, around 11:21.  This time the quake registered 3.1 on the Richter Scale.  Are we turning in to California?  We have summer in March and earthquakes.  The world is turning upside down.  I am waiting for hordes of grasshoppers and for it to rain frogs.

Have you looked at buying earthquake insurance?  I have.  It isn’t what I had imagined.  I expected if an earthquake hit my house, the damage would be covered and the deductible would be what it is for any other disaster, frogs, hail, wind, etc.  Such is not the case.  There is a huge deductible, usually in the thousands.  It also isn’t cheap.  I guess if your house falls down on you then its worth it but then you have to think of the probability.  If this aftershock stuff keeps up though, I might have to change my mind.  I had said no. 

Does anyone have any information or experience with  earthquake insurance?  Do you think that it is worth it?   The Haiti earthquake wasn’t in a predictable area either was it?

Freeze Warning Tonight

From the Washington Post:

Just 48 hours ago it was in the low 80s, but in another 30 hours, temperatures may dip near or even below freezing in the metro region. The National Weather Service has issued a freeze watch late Monday night into early Tuesday morning everywhere in the greater Washington, D.C. metro region except for Calvert and St. Mary’s county – due to the moderating Bay waters.

Temperatures are likely to dip to about 31-34 inside the beltway and and east of town, but 27-32 west and north of the beltway.

Impatiens are greatly at risk.  The pansies that have survived the winter will be fine.  Daffodils will be ok, if there are any left.  I am not so sure about the tulips and hyacinths.

We are really in uncharted territory this spring.  I have blue bells in front of my front porch.   The latest last freeze was April 29, 1874.

Will fruit trees be damaged?  How about the non-fruit producing flowering trees?

The Bluebell Festival will be held on Sunday, April 15, 2012 at Merrimac Farm Wildlife Management Area in Prince William County, Virginia.   I hope there are still bluebells left.

Oooops…look what I just found!  Why it’s Charlie Grymes giving us the inside story on Merrimac Farm and whats planned for the festival this year.

Bluebell Festival at Merrimac Farm from Elizabeth Lockard on Vimeo.



John Boehner urged to drop the contraception controversy

In the year 2012 this issue will not go away.  UFB.  I simply do not understand why we are still having a discussion over contraception.  It should be a part of health care.  Period.  It should be in every grocery, drug and Target-type store.

I think maybe too much is taken for granted by some of you young people.  FYI, ‘Young People” covers a lot of decades if I am saying it.  When I was a girl/young woman it was an issue. It shouldn’t be now.  I have passed the torch.  You folks have to get out there and fight for it yourself.  Censored and I both did it for our generation.  Frankly, we are now more worried about defending  upcoming social security. 

Your reproductive rights are in serious danger.  No one commented on the ERA.  That speaks volumes, right there, that you don’t think it can happen to you.  Can one of you imagine at age 20 being told you had to have parental permission to get contraception?  That’s just the way things were.  The old time TV sets weren’t just a prop.  It looks like things are headed right back that way. 

Don’t worry whether you like a president or not.  You will never have to rub elbows with that person.  Think Supreme Court appointment.  That is any president’s true legacy.  A Supreme Court Justice is a gift that keeps on giving and giving and giving, over the decades.  Men, if you have daughters, do you want them to have to come ask you for permission to get contraception at age 20?  Didn’t think so.

It is hard for many of you folks under 55 to even imagine what some of this would be like.  Everyone is used to being their own boss about such issues, which you should be.  However, that could all come to an end.  You all have been warned.

Listen to EVERYTHING Geraldo said, not just the sound byte

Geraldo is being excoriated all over the internet for a stupid remark.  Yup.  I listened and thought ” You idiot!”
But is he?  If you listen to all his remarks instead of just a sound byte, he speaks to an issue that our young people need to think about.   Geraldo said he has bellowed at his own kid for wearing baggy pants hanging off his butt and a hoodie.  Why?  Impression.  Mind-set.  I have had the same hissy fit with my granddaughter about walking aound Manassas with a short skirt and low cut tops.  It borrows trouble.
The world is full of dirtbags.  Let’s not give them reason to act out because our kids refuse to listen to common sense.  If you don’t want people to think you are a thug, don’t dress like one. If you don’t want males to think you are looking for action, don’t show a lot of skin.  Why can’t they just make common sense pills to give our off-spring.
On the other hand, hoodies are in style.  All sorts of people wear hoodies.  Young people particularly like black, gray or white hoodies.  Its the style.  Wearing a hoodie is no reason to get killed.  Perhaps Gerlado’s words might be better taken if he had waited a couple of weeks.  What he has to say in important.   Its important for minority youths in particular but its important for all kids to hear.  All young people are vulnerable, not just minority kids.
Make no mistake, the wearing of a  a hoodie didn’t kill Trayvon Martin.  Extremely poor judgement on the part of a person who was  allowed to carry a weapon is what killed.  I think what Geraldo might be getting at is that lots of people have very poor judgement.  Let’s do everything we can to help improve their judgement.  It is a shame that only a sound byte of what he has to say is being heard.  That really isn’t what he said.