In the almost eight years Christie’s been New Jersey’s governor he’s done more harm than good. Probably why his popularity rating is about 12% – OK, wait, I just checked that statistic and it’s actually 18%.
So now, Christie is desperately doing what he should have been doing all along – moving projects forward to help the people of the state he governs, including giving attention to lead in schools’ drinking water. But with his history of blatant lies, it’s hard to figure out what he actually intends to do, until he’s actually done it.
Now Christie, destroyer of everything public education in the Garden State, is suddenly concerned with lead in the pipes of the same schools he refused to release repair funds for. Concerned about testing, that is. What are the chances that between now and the end of his term, the governor will actually give over the money schools need to get lead out of our public school students’ drinking water?
This weekend, 11,000 veterans including Cong. Tulsi Gabbard began their journey to join the Standing Rock Sioux and offer both solidarity and protection to indigenous Americans and allies who have been protesting the scheduled construction of the Dakota Access Pipeline through sacred native lands. On Sunday, Pres. Obama announced that a final construction permit for the pipeline would not be issued:
The Obama administration said Sunday that it would deny a permit needed to complete the last leg of an oil pipeline across the Midwest, prompting cheers and whoops from opponents who have camped in the cold here … (and) the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers said it would deny the company the easement it needs. The agency also called for a full environmental review and re-evaluating whether the route of the pipeline should be altered.
The Young Turks reports on the administration’s decision.
This is the most amazing news!!! I’m up here in Standing Rock. Our front line is celebrating. Tears of joy are streaming down faces. It was just announced the easement for the Dakota Pipeline was denied, which basically means the Pipeline CAN’T go through their Native land!!!! The Pipeline construction has STOPPED. There’s over 4,500 veterans here currently in support of the Water Protectors and more have been arriving non-stop all night and day. I couldn’t be prouder to be standing here with my brothers and sisters.
..took to the House floor Thursday in an impassioned plea to stop the Dakota Access Pipeline… (She) is one of the .. veterans planning to join the ongoing pipeline protests … (and) blasted the Army Corps of Engineers for granting permits for the pipeline’s construction without input from the communities most likely to suffer in the event of a spill or explosion.
The pipeline issue has been settled for now but other concerns will soon need to be addressed. Angel L. Matos writes,
If indeed the #NODAPL permit has been denied, we thank the administration for yet another better late than never action. The next order of business would seem to be identifying all those in law enforcement that abused their authority and bring their asses to justice. The amount of savagery they unleashed on these peaceful demonstrators makes me ashamed and angry. The least we can do is make sure some measure of dignity is served to those that suffered at their sadistic hands.
And the WSJ cautions that President-elect Trump supports the pipeline’s construction.
This report is from an email sent out today by the Center for Biological Diversity. Its content highlights the disturbing, pervasive and systemic racism at the heart of government practices even today, after having a Black president at the helm of our country for a full eight years:
A Stunning, Dangerous Verdict After Oregon Standoff
Like almost everyone, we were stunned by last week’s “not guilty” verdicts for the Bundy brothers and other defendants following the 41-day armed takeover of Oregon’s Malheur National Wildlife Refuge earlier this year.
“This is an extremely disturbing verdict for anyone who cares about America’s public lands, the rights of native people and their heritage, and a political system that refuses to be bullied by violence and racism,” said Kierán Suckling, the Center’s executive director. “The Bundy clan and their followers peddle a dangerous brand of radicalism aimed at taking over lands owned by all of us. I worry this verdict only emboldens the kind of intimidation and right-wing violence that underpins their movement.”
Particularly galling was the juxtaposition of the Oregon verdicts, which involved armed militants, with the brutal treatment of unarmed activists fighting the Dakota Access Pipeline in North Dakota.
Watch Kierán’s recent interview on DemocracyNow! and read Taylor’s McKinnon’s op-ed on the far-reaching implications of the Bundy verdicts.
Many generations of Chinook salmon were unable for a 100 year period to reach the Elwha River to lay eggs and raise their young. Access was blocked by two huge dams that are being removed, making the river and its tributaries habitat once again for fish travelling from the oceans where they spend their adult lives outside of spawning season. Many of the newly opened waterways lie within the protective borders of Olympic National Park in Washington state.
In 1986 the Lower Elwha Klallam Indian tribe challenged the relicensing of the 64-meter-tall Glines Canyon Dam and the 33-meter-tall Elwha Dam that prevented their “dammed salmon” from accessing the river. The removals open up 112 kilometers of river and tributary habit for wildlife, fish and other seafood and will restore the tribe’s access to the traditions and diet that are interwoven with its culture as river stewards.
Dam removal began on the Elwha River in mid-September 2011. Today, Elwha Dam is gone, over fifty percent of Glines Canyon Dam has been removed, the Lake Mills and Lake Aldwell reservoirs have drained, and the Elwha River flows freely from its headwaters in the Olympic Mountains to the Strait of Juan de Fuca for the first time in 100 years. Dam Removal dam is scheduled to be complete by September 2014.
A proposed law would help clean New Jersey waterways by requiring all new Jersey roadway authorities to use ONLY native plants for landscaping, land management, reforestation and habitat restoration.
Plant and grass fertilizers are a huge source of pollution for natural waterways, but native plants need no fertilizers. Native plants are also hearty and drought resistant, so they tend to thrive even when water becomes scarce – so they can keep on doing their job well: growing deep roots that retain topsoil and keep plants healthy. Those roots help stormwater seep into the ground where it gets channelled to the underground aquifers that
Gas explodes from Australian river near fracking site. I was shocked by force of the explosion when I tested whether gas boiling through the Condamine River, Queensland was flammable. So much gas is bubbling through the river that it held a huge flame.
Journalist James Nestor becomes a freediver: one of a group of mostly scientists interacting with Moby Dick whales without breathing gear – spermwhales – to depths over 100 feet and for times over 5 minutes duration. They study the whales’ speech and behaviour and next, will be trying to replicate their language and hold conversations about trees and other things whales cannot see from their watery perspective. Once believed too dangerous to attempt, this group has been diving since 2007 with whales that, “can grow as long as 60 feet and weigh up to 110,000 pounds,” and eventually, Nestor dove in too:
I HELD MY BREATH AND SWAM DEEPER, 10, 20, 30 feet. I heard a thunderous crack, then another, so loud they vibrated my chest. Below my kicking feet, two sperm whales emerged from the shadows, each as long as a school bus.
The cracking was coming from the whales; it’s a form of sonar called echolocation that species of dolphins, whales and other cetaceans use to “see” underwater. With these vocalizations, called clicks, the whales were snapping three-dimensional images of my body, and those of my diving companions, from the inside out — scanning us to see if we were a threat, or if we were food.
The New York Times offers a free virtual reality film app for Android or iPhone so you can get a taste of what swimming with whales feels like.
The Fontus bottles use solar power to pull in moisture from the air, cool it and fill them up with water. In high humidity conditions you can have half a quart of water in an hour (less in dryer conditions). Of course, you will want the air around the bottle to be pretty free of contaminants.
As Pamela Larsen succinctly points out in the short film Our Water, Our Future by The Story of Stuff, “There are water grabs happening everywhere.” Nestlé is bleeding water out of the land in California and Oregon, bottling it and selling it back to the people they stole it from.
And in New Jersey, private companies are getting ready to buy municipal water systems out from under the people – and then make customers pay them back the money they spent to buy the systems.
Taking care of ourselves, our society and our natural resources is our obligation as earth citizens. We need to get much better at doing this than we are.
For the convenience of Bergen County residents the BCUA offers 55 gal. rain barrels at the discounted price of $59 and Earth Machine composting bins for $60. Pick up is by appointment only at the Little Ferry plant at the foot of Mehrhof Road. Schedule your appointment by calling the BCUA Environmental Programs hotline 201-807-5825.
The BCUA accepts only checks or money orders. For more information about this and other community greening programs visit bcua.org.