Thursday, September 30, 2010

Weekend Updates 9.10

The theme Times are Strange (7/16) continues—with weather events vs. fauna this time around. As I write, the drought in Connecticut is ending, as we are being soaked (off and on) by the remnants of tropical storm Nicole combined with a secondary low tracking up the Eastern Seaboard. Nicole is the 14th named storm of the hurricane season which begins on June 1 and ends on November 30. It is considered to be an “active” year when there are 16-17 named storms. 

To the South, heavy rains had been plaguing Mexico and Central America for weeks before Hurricane Matthew arrived. On September 27, as many as 30 people were buried in a landslide in northwest ColombiaThe next day, a large mudslide engulfed a sleeping village in Oaxaca, Mexico: 11 people are missing. At least 16 perished in a second mudslide in Chiapas, Mexico. 

Weeks of rain in the northern Midwest caused the Wisconsin River to rise to an all-time high of 20.6 feet: it crested on the 27th. Some 300 people became trapped in Blackhawk Park, Wisconsin after the access roads were washed out.

Also on the 27th, LA reached its hottest recorded temperature — 113°F! Not the hottest temperature for that date, but the hottest temperature ever recorded since records began in 1877. Temperatures have only been 110 degrees or higher three other times in LA. 

Igor, the hurricane that avoided a direct hit with New England, pummeled Newfoundland on September 21, technically as a “post-tropical” storm, but with the same power as a hurricane. The last storm to strike Newfoundland with such force occurred in 1935, before storms were named. 
Two tornadoes roared through Brooklyn, Queens, and Staten Island on September 16. One person died when a tree fell onto the roof of the car she was driving. An estimated 10,000 trees were wiped out. 

Yesterday the spider was still catching insects in our backyard in its stunning web (albeit in a slightly different location). Alas, the web has not survived the storm. But perhaps he/she’ll be back at it when the sun comes out tomorrow or the next day.

Food News:
Jack DeCoster, owner of Wright County Egg, testified before the House Committee on Oversight and Investigations on September 22. “We were horrified to learn that our eggs may have made people sick,” DeCoster said in the statement he read to the subcommittee. “We apologize to every one who may have been sickened by eating our eggs. I pray several times each day for all of them and for their improved health.” Jack DeCoster has a history of violations at egg operations in Maine, Iowa, and elsewhere going back many years. 

Other News:
An article titled “Cleaner for the Environment, Not for Dishes” became the most emailed story of the day when it appeared in the New York Times. In brief, it documented user dissatisfaction with their favorite dishwashing detergents once the phosphate concentrations were reduced (by laws that went into effect in 17 states in July). Numerous blogs picked the story up. Over 370 readers posted comments on the NYT site. Several friends confided that they had thought their dishwashers were broken until they read the article. 

In a post dated May 17, I referenced New Haven’s goal to plant 10,000 trees over the next ten years. From a Metro North window I read a poster announcing New York City’s goal to plant one million new trees across the City’s five boroughs over the next decade. Clearly they have experienced a huge setback with 10,000 trees lost in the recent tornadoes.

Political campaigns are heating up across the country. On Sunday former President Bill Clinton stumped for Dick Blumenthal just up the street at my son’s alma mater, Wilbur Cross High School. You can read all about it in the New Haven Independent. It’s too close to call in many states: you just might hold the deciding vote. You can see which way your state is trending by going to this google blog where there is an interactive map. 

The Devil’s Gear Bike Shop has completed its move and is now open for business on the ground floor of New Haven’s newest and greenest apartment building, 360 State Street. On October 6, from 6:00 pm–8:00 pm at the Hall of Records, 200 Orange Street, there will be a public meeting to discuss the food co-op that will occupy the remainder of the space. Elm City Market is scheduled to open in February, 2011.

On a sad and ironic note, Jimi Heselden, the owner of the Segway Corporation, met his death on September 27 when he inadvertently rode a Segway off a cliff and into a river on the grounds of his North Yorkshire estate. HIs death has raised some safety concerns with the environmentally-friendly vehicle, popular with many police departments and urban tour companies.

1 comment:

  1. If you click on the pictures they expand for a larger view.