Friday, May 6, 2011

Early May 2011 News Roundup & Blog Updates 5.6.11

With all that’s been going on these past few days, there are a number of stories that came and went without too much notice. I’d like to take this opportunity to recycle a few.

According to Reuters, Japanese engineers are still struggling to gain control of the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant. Two of the six reactors are now considered stable. Check out these Q+As for the latest on the progress. 

For a detailed summary and analysis of the April 25-28 tornado outbreak in the South, check out Dr. Jeff Masters’s blog.  If you scroll down the page, you will find a video of the Birmingham-Tuscaloosa tornado, which killed at least 66 and injured over 1000.

The threat of flooding along the Mississippi was so severe that the Army Corps of Engineers blew up the levee at Birds Point, Missouri (designed to be destroyed in the event of a record flood), intentionally flooding 133,000 acres of rich farmland. According to Jeff Masters, the levee was demolished once before, during the historic 1937 flood.

Yale Environment 360 reported that scientists at MIT have unveiled transparent solar cells that someday soon may turn skyscrapers into solar collectors. With perfection of this invention, the entire surface area of a building’s windows could be used to generate electricity, without interfering with the view to the outside. You can read more at the MIT site

Slow Food USA sent out an alert about Mark Bittman’s Op-Ed of 4.27 commenting on proposed legislation in several states that would make it illegal to photograph farms. According to Bittman, in Florida it would become a first degree felony to photograph any farm without the owner’s written permission. Slow Food is gathering signatures for a petition  and also requests that over the next few days everyone goes out armed with cameras and join their “farmarazzi.” Here is the link to the Slow Food Facebook page where farm photos are starting to appear. 

Santa Clara County joined the growing list of California communities banning the distribution of plastic shopping bags.  Customers without bags will have to pay 15¢ each for paper ones beginning January 1.

Stop & Shop opened on Whalley Avenue and seems to be doing a brisk business. I’ve already been there a couple of times.

The Elm City Market solicited written good wishes for placing on the store’s dirt floor prior to its being covered with concrete.

I felt like Forrest Gump last weekend:

The Yale Institute of Sacred Music staged an elaborate Flash Mob at Union Station  on April 29. I was there but you’ll have to look really closely to spot me at 4 seconds in.

I rode in the third annual Rock to Rock bike ride on April 30, a benefit for 14 environmental groups in the community. It seemed everyone I knew came out of the  woodwork for a wonderful event on this sunny Saturday. This year more than 500 riders raised over $50,000. Those of us on the short ride were treated to a police escort and the thrill of zooming through the City on streets closed to traffic. The “Pot Heads” from the New Haven Land Trust were the winners of both the team spirit  award and the top team fundraising award. The group’s executive director Chris Randall won the highest individual fundraising award. The success of the event is a real boon for the City’s environmental organizations. As just one example, funding for the New Haven Land Trust’s community garden program in the proposed City budget is facing a $17,500 cut— from $25,000 to $7,500.

I was one of over 500 participants in Connecticut Food Bank’s annual WALK Against Hunger in New Haven on May 1. The WALK will take place in Bridgeport on May 15 and in Waterbury on May 22.

On Wednesday I discovered that at the tables down at Mory’s one can now enjoy a mean Vegetarian Green Tomato BLT. 

Brown paper still covers the window of the storefront on Broadway where it is rumored that an Apple store will open. Apple still has not made an official announcement, but on the Apple site, applications are being accepted for retail jobs in New Haven. Why does this matter? Broadway is a lot closer than Farmington or Danbury, which means smaller carbon footprints for local Apple addicts.

I still need Mississippi. Someone must know someone there.

May 7 (tomorrow)
Opening of the 8th season of the Wooster Square Farmers Market
Lettuce toss at 9 am. CitySeed  says special guests include Senator Martin Looney, Mayor John DeStefano, and Director of the New Haven Office of Sustainability Christine Eppstein Tang, who will bring along a few free compost bins.

May 1- May 8
Compost Awareness Week
Earth 911 has lots of information to up your awareness and get you started on making your own black gold. [more in my February 24, 2010 post

Now until May 31
Vote to bring fruit trees to New Haven. 
Friends of Edgewood Park have been nominated to receive a free fruit orchard. Help the Friends get to the next level of the competition. Vote for them once daily at the Edy’s Fruit Bars site.

Freebie Friday Returns!
In the spirit of my winter Freebie Friday posts I offer up this link to a A Google A Day,  a daily trivia game some of you may have seen in the New York Times. You are meant to google to get the answer, but to avoid spoilers, be sure to do it here. You can read more about the puzzle here.  Test out your search skills! Put your brain to work!

TGIF. Have a great weekend. And please come back soon.

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