MORGANTOWN, W.Va. (AP) — Coal country is hurting, and the people who live there want the whole nation to know it.
Thousands of miners have been laid off this year across Kentucky, Virginia and West Virginia, many with little hope of getting their jobs back as power plants and the coal mines that once fed them shut down. Now the families, friends and business operators who depend on those miners are planning a multi-state show of solidarity they hope will be heard in Washington, D.C., and beyond.
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.
“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.”
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?
The male eagle brings back a fish for the female. Too bad some people aren’t this decent.
Hunters are wreaking havoc on the national bird, the Bald Eagle. The eagle population is dying because of consuming lead found in the ammunition left in animal entrails after that animal has been shot. According to the Daily Press:
Lead bullet fragments left in discarded entrails of deer and other animals are poisoning bald eagles and other scavenger birds, scientists and wildlife officials say.
The Wildlife Center of Virginia, a nonprofit that cares for sick and injured animals, has received four birds in the last two weeks suffering from lead poisoning.
The birds — two bald eagles, a red-tailed hawk and a black vulture — are not endangered but they are protected in North America under the Migratory Bird Treaty Act of 1918. One of the eagles was found near Stumpy Lake in Virginia Beach.
“That bird is still alive. He’s not doing well, but that’s better than being dead,” said Ed Clark, president of the Waynesboro-based center.
From the Huffington Post:
The year 2012 promises hope for the future of America’s oceans. Changes are expected that will help the creatures that live below the surface, the people who live and vacation along our coasts, and the clean energy developers who want to tap into the vast wind potential that lies off our shores.
Any day now, the National Ocean Council — a forum for federal agencies — will release a draft blueprint of how we should best tackle the major threats facing ocean life, such as ocean acidification, habitat protection, water quality and pollution. We are looking forward to a robust public discussion of how we can help.
The Washington Post:
“Climate change has become a wedge issue,” said Roger Pielke Jr., a University of Colorado professor who has written extensively on the climate debate. “It’s today’s flag-burning or today’s partial-birth-abortion issue.”
Historically, climate change has ranked near the bottom of issues that voters care about as they evaluate presidential candidates. It wasn’t a factor in 2008’s primary season or general election. The major parties’ nominees endorsed the scientific consensus and believed that the government should curb carbon emissions.
In fact, John McCain, back in 2007 clearly said to voters,
“I do agree with the majority of scientific opinion, that climate change is taking place and it’s a result of human activity, which generates greenhouse gases.” He made global warming a key element of every New Hampshire stump speech.
So what has changed? It appears that some Republican candidates are trying to out-conservative each other. Others have stuck with scientific thought. Mitt Romney and Jon Huntsman have both indicated that they agree with the majority of scientific opinion, that climate change is taking place. It’s a result of human activity and that green house gases are a by product of this human activity:
The nominal GOP front-runner, Mitt Romney, drew sharp fire from conservatives when he said in June that he accepts the scientific view that the planet is getting warmer and that humans are part of the reason. Former Utah governor Jon Huntsman Jr. (R) on Thursday tweeted: “To be clear. I believe in evolution and trust scientists on global warming. Call me crazy.”
Guest Contributor: Cargo Squid
So there we were….driving home down Highway 81, from the Lucky Gunner Blogger Machine Gun Shoot, listening to a mystery on tape, when out of the blue,
Turtle! Back there! Pull over!
I had seen a suicidal turtle making a mad dash for the interstate. About the size of a dinner plate, it was hurtling across the shoulder at top speed, on its way to CERTAIN DOOM.
So, my wife, familiar with my tendency to be insane, pulls over and backs up. (We appear to be a little suicidally crazy too.) I pull on my shoes and jump out of the car. The Turtle is about to cross…the WHITE LINE OF DEATH!
Family and Friends Night at the New Sudley Manor Starbucks!
Come out Thursday night, April 14, from 5-8 pm and visit the new Starbucks at 10638 Sudley Manor Drive in Manassas Crossroads. The new Starbucks is near Chick Filet and Walgreens and features a drive through. The new store is also the first Starbucks to be Leed Certified:
The U.S. Green Building Council’s LEED® certification program as a benchmark for success. (LEED® is short for Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design.)
Family and Friends events are very nice and a good way to sample new treats at Starbucks. The store manager extended a very special invitation to Moonhowlings contributors so make sure you stop by. Once the store is open, patrons will have improved laptop hookups, a patio, and a drive through for those who don’t have time to go in.
See you there. (pppssssssst no meals tax in the county)
Virginia scientists have discovered dead bats in Hamilton Cave in southwest Virginia. The bats have died of white-nose syndrome which makes the dead bats look like they stuck their noses in a vat of flour.
According to the Richmond Times Dispatch:
That white gunk was a fungus believed to cause a torturous disease in bats called white-nose syndrome.
In 2009, when scientists last checked Hamilton Cave in far Southwest Virginia, all the bats looked fine. But the mysterious fungus, new to science when it appeared in New York in 2006, is spreading quickly.
White-nose has killed more than 1 million bats from New Hampshire to Tennessee, including thousands in Virginia. At some Northeast caves, it has wiped out more than 90 percent of the bats, leaving behind little brown bones like pine needles.
Portland, Oregon is considering a restriction on fragrances for all city employees. The fragrances would fall under the category of anything that emits an odor like strong deoderants, perfume cologne, aftershave, etc.
The reason for considering this ban is the number of people who are allergic to strong scents. People have been known to go in to respiratory distress from fragrances. They can also trigger migraines.
Is this too much government interference? I am going to vote no. I am one of those people who is allergic to some scent. As ridiculous as it sounds, I can no longer use dryer sheets even. I would like for the restriction to go even further and include people in restaurants and stores. I think other jurisdictions should consider it.
One of the worst migraines I have ever had came from sitting behind some woman at a UMD basketball game. She must have bathed in perfume before coming to that game. I have this theory about fragrance. It should be for people you are up close and personal with. They should be able to smell it, not everyone who comes within 5 feet of a person. What say you?
Check out this monstrosity being built on Silver Lake, County property, leased by the Rainbow Riding Club. Citizens are wondering why there are no building permits for this construction. So we called, and this is what we were told…………………………….”since this is county property, we will not cite ourselves for improper building practices”.
WHAT????????????????????? So, what this tells us is that only regular citizens like you and I are held to a county standard. Really?
What may be most troubling, is WHERE was the legally required public hearing when this contract was created? Citizens were denied the right to comment on what would happen with THEIR public park land, public park land we all paid for through the Dominion Vally rezoning process.
This construction is on county PUBLIC PARK land that was leased to Rainbow Riding, but who is financing this building? If it is Rainbow Riding, well, they are a private entity LEASING public land, since when were they allowed exemption from building codes? Furthermore in their contract with the county, it states the exact opposite.
Pursuant the contract:
p2 b. All such improvements shall be constructed in a good and workmanlike manner, in accordance with all applicable governmental laws, ordinances and regulations, pursuant to approved site plans and building plans and therefore (if applicable ordinances and regulations require the approval of such plans), and after licensor obtains all required permits thereafter.
Where is the Environmental Impact Study? Where is the Public Facility Review? Where is the building permit? WHAT is this facility for? Is this just for private use by Rainbow Riding or will they charge a fee to rent it out for bigger horse events? If so, was there a traffic impact analysis completed?
What is very worrisome, when reviewing the contract with Rainbow Riding club, is that our county has basically given our public land away with little to no restrictions of what uses are allowed on County land.
From the Richmond Times Dispatch:
Gov. Bob McDonnell said Tuesday that he is prepared to protect Virginia’s coal-mining industry against costly and burdensome federal mining regulations, including a legal challenge if a surface or mountaintop-removal mining permit is denied.
McDonnell spoke to a “coal awareness” breakfast and assured industry leaders that coal is part of his overall plan to make Virginia the East Coast energy capital.
“For the foreseeable future, we know that coal’s going to be an extremely important part of Virginia’s and America’s energy future,” McDonnell told the gathering at a downtown Richmond hotel.
He added that Obama administration regulatory efforts have “been over the top” and have failed to balance job growth with environmental concerns.
Today’s guest contributor is Bear. Bear lived in Virginia several decades ago and now resides in New York State. He was an electronic engineer/middle management Semiconductor Designer with IBM for many years. Bear has some strong opinions and in-depth knowledge on many topics. I asked him to share some of his views on oil and off shore drilling.
[Disclaimer: guest opinions do not necessarily reflect the opinions of the blog administrators.]
There is a general misconception of what oil drilling in the US means. What most people think is that the oil we drill in the US stays in the US .
The politicians say “it makes us more independent” and somehow it helps the amount of oil available for US consumption. Not necessarily.
Once the oil is pumped out it goes into a commodities pool along with OPEC oil and is sold to the highest bidder like Japan China , etc. The basic idea is that there is little differentiation between a commodity coming from one producer and the same commodity from another producer - a barrel of oil is basically the same product, regardless of the producer. It doesn’t matter if it’s off-shore or the Alaska Pipeline or Canada.
So the only thing “Drill Baby Drill” means is more profit for oil companies and that doesn’t count the subsidies we give big oil for exploring off-shore.
If we don’t stop off shore drilling soon we deserve these oil spills!
Republican Rep. Joe Barton of Texas has spoken out against President Obama’s agreement with BP CEO and US Chairman and called it a ‘shake down.’ What is this man thinking? He apparently doesn’t feel that corporations have any culpability for their actions. How do those along the Texas gulf feel about this shakedown, especially those who are out of work. How about Florida? Alabama? Mississippi? Louisiana? All those gulf states will have economies wrecked, long term environmental damage, high rate of joblessness, and things we haven’t even thought of for years to come. We cannot continue to have companies come in for profit and leave a wake of destruction for the American people to deal with.
I suppose this guy is Michelle Bachmann’s soul mate. Bachmann stated over the weekend:
“But if I was the head of BP, I would let the signal get out there — ‘We’re not going to be chumps, and we’re not going to be fleeced.’ And they shouldn’t be. They shouldn’t have to be fleeced and make chumps to have to pay for perpetual unemployment and all the rest — they’ve got to be legitimate claims.”
Both apparently have the souls of vampires, feeding on the life-blood of those who make their livings, their homes, their lives along the Gulf Coast of the United States.
Had Rep. Barton apologized for the rude way some of his colleagues behaved towards Tony Hayword, I might not have minded. Some are grand-standing and posing like tough guys. They are an embarrassment.