Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Very Late March 2011 News Roundup & Blog Updates


Temperatures have been cool, and a cold wind has been blowing off the water, but the sun has been shining brightly and the skies have been blue for days now — finally! Everyone’s thoughts are turning to Spring and being outdoors.

The March Critical Mass bike ride took place last Friday, and the Smart Cycling Handbook (see more below) was introduced yesterday. But what should have been joyful events for New Haven’s bicycling enthusiasts were tainted by grief.

The cycling community and everyone whose life Mitchell Dubey touched are still reeling from his death last Thursday night. The popular Devil’s Gear Bike Shop service manager, punk rock musician, and straight edge vegan  was shot in the chest while sitting on a couch in his New Haven home, in the presence of his housemates. It appears that the home had been targeted for a robbery. According to the most recent reports, a ringing cellphone may have startled the armed killer. No suspect has been apprehended.

Friday’s Critical Mass ride was dedicated to Mitch, and the somber ride took a route which passed his home in Newhallville. On Sunday evening hundreds of friends from near and far gathered on the plaza outside the Devil’s Gear to grieve and to remember Mitch in the presence of his family.

A memorial concert featuring bands with which Mitch was associated will be held at Toad’s at 6 pm on Sunday, April 3 in an all-ages, alcohol free show. $10 minimum donation. Proceeds will benefit the Dubey family.

Smart Cycling Handbook: A Handbook for New Haven Cyclists has been available on the web as a pdf for some time. Yesterday it was introduced in printed form at an event at the Devil’s Gear Bike Shop. The handbook was developed the City’s Street Smarts campaign, in partnership with bicycling advocates, law enforcement officials, and local leaders. Dana Barnes (Yale SPH ’11) began this project while serving as a summer intern in the New Haven Department of Transportation, Traffic & Parking. The handbook is designed to promote cycling in New Haven while promoting safety and traffic education. The comprehensive 48-page guide addresses topics including: reasons to bike, hand signals, ordinances, proper fit for equipment, trails and parks, and how to get involved in the bike community. It’s all in there. You can access the complete guide here. According to literature distributed at the event by the advocacy group Elm City Cycling, out of every city on the East Coast, New Haven boasts the second-highest percentage of residents who walk or bike to work, but has the highest number of motorist/bicycle accidents of any city in Connecticut.


Honey, I'm Homemade: Sweet Treats from the Beehive across the Centuries and around the WorldBack in December [blog post of 12/27/10] I spoke of college classmate Dr. May R. Berenbaum, editor of the cookbook Honey, I’m Homemade, whose proceeds benefit the University of Illinois Pollinatarium — the first freestanding science outreach center in the nation devoted to flowering plants and their pollinators. May was just awarded the prestigious John & Alice Tyler Prize. According to information available at the Tyler Prize site: “Berenbaum has studied the ‘arms race’ that exists between plants and the insects that feed on them, particularly with regard to the chemical and genetic changes that plants make to keep insects from eating them and that insects make to overcome plant defenses.  Berenbaum's study of this perpetual conflict has uncovered the genetic underpinnings for the theory of coevolution, and in making these discoveries, she has transformed chemical ecology itself.” Past Tyler Prize recipients include American biologist and Pulitzer Prize-winning author Edward O. Wilson, primatologist and animal conservationist Jane Goodall, and conservation biologist Paul Ehrlich. Honey, I’m Homemade is just one of six books, 40 book chapters, over 200 letters and papers published in scientific journals, and more than 100 articles and editorials for non-scientific publications which May has written. Her list of honors is impressive, but perhaps the most telling is that May's name has appeared on the “List of Excellent Teachers” for at least 29 semesters since she began teaching at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign in 1980. Congratulations, May! 

My playlist: 38 artists have donated tracks to the benefit album Songs for Japan available on iTunes for $9.99. All proceeds go to the Japanese Red Cross. FYI, not every song on this album is destined to remain on my personal list, but I’ve labeled several with 5 stars.


Sunday, April 3
6:00 PM: Benefit for Mitchell Dubey, Toad’s Place, New Haven. $10 minimum donation.

Friday, April 22
Saturday, April 30
Saturday, April 30
National Prescription Drug Take Back Day. Visit this site for a location near you.

That’s it for today. Please remember to return for Freebie Friday. I’ll have something awesome for everyone who cooks or considers cooking.

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