Friday, October 14, 2011

On My Radar 10.14.11

Passings. News. Happenings. Fall Clean-up Tips…Here are some of the items on my radar.


Steve Jobs died on Wednesday, October 5, at the age of 56. The news spread instantly on devices of Steve’s design, and the world paid him homage in ways that would have been impossible without his vision. We mourn his passing and wonder what more would have been in store if Steve’s life had not been so short. On the day after his death it was reported that former Yale SOM Dean Joel Polodny had been recruited by Apple and Steve Jobs to plan a training program in which company executives will be taught to think like Jobs, “in a forum to impart that DNA to future generations.”

Nobel Laureate Wangari Maathai died on September 25. In an era where women in Kenya were not educated and had little power, she was the first woman in East and Central Africa to earn a doctorate degree, and in 1977 founded the Green Belt Movement which has planted an estimated 45 million trees around Kenya. Frances Beinecke, president of the Natural Resources Defense Council, reminds us to honor Wangari’s life by remembering what one person can achieve.


On October 8, Denmark’s new “fat taxwent into effect. The nation imposed a tax on fatty foods, including butter, believed to be the first such action in the world, as an additional step to raising life expectancy of Danes. Denmark, as well as some other European countries, already has higher fees on sugar, chocolates, and soft drinks. 

Faster than the speed of light? A new discovery, if proven true, may upend our understanding of the universe and our concept of timeResearchers working underground in Italy in one of the world’s largest physics laboratories recorded neutrinos traveling at a fraction of a second faster than the speed of light, an event that is impossible in Einstein’s theory of special relativity.


While New Haven is still no shopping mecca, it is no longer a shopping desert.

New Haven’s Apple Store opened on September 24 to jubilant High-5s from all the new employees. The first 1000 visitors received a commemorative black t-shirt.

New employees of the Elm City Market have begun stocking the store's shelves........ A soft opening is promised for members (currently at 688) later this month as soon as all the permits are in order. The Market still has job openings and is in particular need of a meat cutter. Members, there is a $50 gift certificate in it for you if you recommend the person who is hired. 

Common Ground High School raised $2,551 at the Community Day at Whole Foods in Milford last month. All of those funds will be invested in their core programs. That figure represents 5% of the net sales at that one store on September 21. That’s a whole lot of shopping!

New Haven’s Wild, Wild West. A query about wildlife sitings in Westville and Beaver Hills  (for those who don’t know, just a couple of miles from downtown) yielded a remarkable number of results including: plenty of woodchucks, the occasional deer, 4 wild turkeys trotting down the sidewalk, turtles, an opossum who ate all the baby robins from a nest right outside a window, and a red-tail hawk who swooped down and caught a squirrel at a busy corner. The woodchuck I reported earlier in the summer on the east side of town has not been seen since shortly before Hurricane Irene (at least by me).

On September 24, people around the world by participated in Moving Planet. In New Haven there were a number of events, including the planting of 44 fruit trees in Edgewood Park,  awarded to Friends of Edgewood Park as a prize for winning a national Communities Take Root contest sponsored by Edy’s Fruit Bars and the Fruit Tree Planting Foundation. A large part of the day’s theme was the celebration of alternative forms of transportation, and hundreds rode their bikes (and people-powered vehicles) through downtown streets, beginning and ending on the historic New Haven Green.

Even with the recent expansion of the City’s ambitious tree planting campaign and the new fruit trees in Edgewood Park, we are in the red this year. New Haven lost 1,250 trees during Hurricane Irene, and several were felled recently on Trumbull Street in preparation for the new storm sewer, one a very old London planetree. We watched with sadness as each limb was crudely sawed off… 

The new Connecticut chapter of Slow Food USA, Slow Food Shoreline, held its first event, a happy hour at Zinc, on Tuesday, October 11. You can follow them on Facebook  or Twitter. Now is a good time to join Slow Food USA. Through October 15, membership is give-what-you can, and the gift will be matched dollar-for-dollar by the generosity of a Slow Food USA board member. 


E-Cycling for New Haven Residents
City residents can bring old electronics (any item can be plugged in, with the exceptions of light bulbs, batteries, and equipment containing refrigerants) to the Transfer Station (260 Middletown Avenue) Monday through Saturday from 9:00 am - 12:00 noon. All electronics collected during the month of October count toward New Haven's total tonnage in a statewide competition that rewards the community recycling the most electronics per capita during the month of October. The first prize is a $3000 scholarship for New Haven schoolchildren.

Community Shredding
If you live in CT, you can go online to locate shredding events in your area. 

Helping Hands Community Thrift Store & Furniture Bank is in particular need of beds and offers free pick-up in New Haven. Click here for a list of what they do and do not accept as donations. 

October 29
National Prescription Drug Take-Back Day
Last year nearly 4,000 state and local law enforcement agencies throughout the nation participated in drug take-back  events, collecting more than 309 tons of pills. You can enter your zip code here to find a collection site near you. 

October 29
Last Fall collection day at HazWaste Central (Collections will resume mid-May, 2012) Free to residents of Bethany, Branford, Cheshire, East Haven, Fairfield, Guilford, Hamden, Madison, Milford, New Haven, North Branford, North Haven, Orange, Wallingford, West Haven and Woodbridge, CT. For details click this link.


October 15
1:00 pm - 4:00 pm
Common Ground - 358 Springside Avenue in New Haven
Common Ground - 358 Springside Avenue in New Haven
The Voodoo Fix, an LA-based genre-bending rock band with roots in blues, soul, and funk, is bringing their national Tour-Ganic to Common Ground. All proceeds from the concert will help CitySeed and Common Ground get good, local, affordable food to our neighbors who need it most. $10 suggested donation.

October 16
11 am - 2 pm
Cabot Creamery Cooperative Open Farm Sunday
If you live in NE or NY, check this link to locate a farm near you

October 19
5:30 pm -7:30 pm
New Haven Green Drinks
The Red Lentil, 25 Temple Street, New Haven
Theresa Labriola, Senior Associate, Northeast Fisheries Program will speak at 6:30 on the topic of the program’s campaign to implement new, more conservative, catch limits on menhaden, which have dropped to less than 10% of their original population.

October 24
First Annual Food Day 
Food Day seeks to bring together Americans from all walks of life to push for healthy, affordable food produced in a sustainable, humane way. We will work with people around the country to create thousands of events in homes, schools, churches, farmers markets, city halls, and state capitals.” Senator Tom Harkin (D-IA) and Representative Rosa DeLauro (D-CT) are the Honorary Co-Chairs for Food Day 2011 which is sponsored by the Center for Science in the Public Interest. Click here to find an event near you.

October 28
Critical Mass Halloween Ride
Gather at the flagpole on the New Haven Green at 5:30
There will be costumes. Wear a helmet. Have a working light.

October 29
CT NOFA’s 2011 Annual Meeting
Noon - 4 pm, Common Ground High School
Special Guest Rep. Richard Roy will speak about his efforts to label GMO food in CT


I have had several visits from readers from Mississippi. I now have all 50 states, and every continent except Antarctica. Thanks.

Over 135 people have signed my petition requesting that Stop & Shop use American grown green beans in their Nature’s Promise line. I am trying to get to 500. Please click if you have not done so already.

TGIF. Have a great weekend. Come back soon.

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