Saturday, March 31, 2007

Pandemic Flu Preparedness in Rochester


This is a great story about our community’s leadership and commitment to addressing one of the biggest environmental health problems we face—a pandemic flu.


There are speculations all over the world about the probability that our planet will face another pandemic like the Spanish Flu that killed between 50 and 100 million people in 1918-19. This makes the pandemic flu more dangerous to our species than the Black Plague because, though the Black Plague killer a larger percentage of the population back in the 1300’s, in pure numbers a pandemic flu may have killed more individuals.


Some think another pandemic likely, some less. But in matters like these, even a small likelihood of a pandemic flu requires that we act responsibly and ready ourselves for such a quick-moving and devastating disease. It’s important to remember that unlike other forms of the flu, a pandemic flu will not simply strike at the young and old and those with compromised immune systems—it will strike everyone.


So, preparedness is key and that one of our universities in Rochester is being signaled out to establish a research center on this critical issues show what an advanced and environmentally community we are. URMC receives money for new bird flu research center - News - MSNBC.com The medical center has been awarded tens of millions of dollars to establish a new bird flu research center. The National Institutes of Health hopes to lower the yearly death toll from seasonal flu and to make future influenza pandemics less deadly. (March 31, 07) Rochester, NY news from WHEC-TV - MSNBC.com

Friday, March 30, 2007

Plastic Shopping Bags Vs Paper Vs Reusable


I am in favor of “State Senator Jim Alesi (R-Perinton) is drafting a bill that would make drug and grocery stores cut their non-biodegradable plastic bag use in half by the end of 2010 and stop using them altogether by the end of 2012.” But, I also think Wegmans has a good argument—customers reusing canvas sacks.


Reusing sacks, where customers would bring back their bags each time they shop and reuse the same bag, would go far in eliminating the majority of debris surrounding our city. Plastic bags are an eyesore that gets blown into our trees, the ground, along our trails, on yards, on power lines, you-name-it.


But, the best solution, reusable shopping bags is gong to take a change of habit for American shoppers and that will probably take a major publicity campaign. Mostly, we want our cake and eat it too. We want to have our way of life and keep our environment friendly also, but sometimes you just have to change your habits in order to do that.


I think the shopping bag argument, which environmentalists have been chewing over for years, is unsolvable if we want a product, even a biodegradable one that has to be produced in the billions and then thrown away. A reusable shopping bag, is the best solution, though in the beginning not the most convenient. Read: State Senator Wants Plastic Bag Ban - 13WHAM.com Paper or plastic? Soon, you may not get a choice. State Senator Jim Alesi (R-Perinton) is drafting a bill that would make drug and grocery stores cut their non-biodegradable plastic bag use in half by the end of 2010 and stop using them altogether by the end of 2012. - (March 30, 2007) Home - 13WHAM.com


Learn more about Recyling in Rochester, NY at Recycling In Rochester.

Thursday, March 29, 2007

Rochester Bee Problem


I am glad to see that the Democrat and Chronicle is finally on this story. It’s been news around the country for awhile now, but even though New York State and Rochester depend heavily on pollinating bees our major media has been slow on this story. This is the kind of story our local major media needs to be out in front on because a potential problem with pollinating bees could have a major impact on our agricultural economy, but more importantly it might be a harbinger of environmental problems.


In order for the public to contact their public officials so aid can be brought for important studies on why Bee Colony Collapse Syndrome is occurring we need preemptive reporting by our media long before the consequences of this type of problem gets in the headlines. The sooner the media gets on these stories, the sooner the public and our public officials can monitor and support measures to solve these kind of environmental problems before they become unsolvable.


The article above is good as far as it goes, but what measures are underway to conduct a comprehensive scientific inquiry into this bee disease? What will our public officials do to solve the problem? What kinds of potential causes (pesticides, invasive species, pollution, etc.) are behind this problem and what measures will be taken to solve this kind of problem?


I hope our major media stays on this story, coordinates with other news media in other communities (which have long been reporting on this problem) and keeps the public informed on the specific solutions being tried and what the overall (connecting the dots) message is about Colony Collapse Syndrome. -- A honey of a mystery stings area - Hamlin farmer to testify in Congress today about puzzling loss of bees. In his four decades of beekeeping, Jim Doan has never seen anything like it. He'll check on a hive and the bees will be gone. Like other beekeepers across the country, this Hamlin man is witnessing a mysterious phenomenon. Bees are vanishing from hives without a trace. (March 29, 2007) Democrat & Chronicle

Change your media:


I would mention and capitalize on the New York State’s Heath Department’s message about Turning Off the TV Week message by stating that American needs to move away from the TV media and explore other ways to get information, especially environmental information. There are many ways to get environmental information that is not clouded and made murky by the corporate media—the Internet, podcasts, and some radio programs.


State Health Announces First Statewide TV-Turnoff Week "The goal of the TV-Turnoff Week is to bring home the message to children and families throughout New York that less screen time and more physical activity will lead to a healthier lifestyle," says Dr. Daines. ALBANY, NY, March 28, 2007 - State Health Commissioner Richard F. Daines, M.D. today announced in conjunction with The Center for SCREEN-TIME Awareness, that the first statewide TV-Turnoff Week in New York will be held from April 23rd through 28th to coincide with the National TV-Turnoff Week. --from New York State Department of Health


Here are some great environmental podcasts:


GLRC A weekly roundup of environmental news from the Great Lakes Radio Consortium. To have each week's Environment Report automatically downloaded to your mp3 player, see our podcasting help page.


Earthwatch Radio Podcast Earthwatch Radio is produced by staff and students at the Sea Grant Institute at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. We cover a wide range of subjects that concern science and the environment and give special attention to global climate change, the Great Lakes and the oceans. We produce five programs every week and distribute them to more than 125 radio stations and other broadcast outlets, mostly in North America.



Living on Earth: Sound Journalism for the Whole Planet Living on Earth offers a podcast feed of the current show.


The url is: http://www.loe.org/podcast.rssNET.org >> The National Environmental Trust The National Environmental Trust is a non-profit, non-partisan organization established in 1994 to inform citizens about environmental problems and how they affect our health and quality of life. Check out our campaigns and special reports (links to the left) to learn about the issues on which we currently focus. http://www.net.org/newsroom/audiovideo.vtml


NPR : National Public Radio : News, Arts, World, US. - NPR: Environment [NPR] Environmental science and reporting on issues from Morning Edition, All Things Considered and other award-winning NPR programs.Science Friday: Making Science Radioactive - Science Friday: Making Science Radioactive - Audio and Podcasting


Sierra Club Radio Main - Sierra Club Saving the planet starts at home -- so many Americans are looking for ways to make their own lives more "green." That's why we're launching Sierra Club Radio. Our mission is to offer tips and tell stories we all can use as consumers, as citizens, as neighbors, and as parents to make responsible choices, to connect to the growing environmental community. Sierra Club Radio Main - Sierra Club


NOAA Home Page - Podcasts These are short reports on NOAA science and research. They are in mp3 files for easy downloads to desktop and laptops, as well as mobile devices capable of playing these files. You also can listen to these programs by simply clicking on the link.


Greenpeace Podcasts Greenpeace International Here's the complete contents of the Greenpeace Audio & Video podcast. To subscribe to the Greenpeace Podcast via iTunes and your iPod device, just open iTunes

Friday, March 23, 2007

Environmental News, Wouldn’t It Be Nice?


Wouldn’t it be nice if Rochester, like some other cities in the US had a separate section in their newspaper, or other media, for just Environmental News? The Toledo Blade has a section totally devoted to environmental stories and keeps them listed online for a long time. Doesn’t seem like a tall order, usually one good reporter devoted exclusively to an entire community’s environmental health would do.


I know that most of our Rochester-area media already has some environmental reporting on an ad hoc basis, especially when a showcase issue pops up—like a large chemical spill. But that is not responsible environmental reporting.


By its nature environmental stories, especially the one we have the potential to do something about, have to be investigated early, long before they become an overt problem. The VHS story provides an excellent example. If you look from bottom to top on this list of articles about this fish disease [VHS News Link List] you will see a progression from the first occurrence of this invasive species virus in our area to a full blown outbreak of an environmental problem that will be with us a long time.


My point is that if our local media had dedicated environmental reporters who had the time and special connections with pubic officials, environmentalists, and fishing groups, this issue could have been dealt with earlier. We could have had town meetings for pubic comment earlier and maybe government action earlier. We might have had time to explore the implications of this wide-spread fish disease and found a way to spread the consequences of the actions needed to halt the spread, rather than the present panic to find a solution and keep the public and even fishermen in the dark.


Dedicated environmental reporters, that is, reporters hired specifically to ferret out environmental stories are critical to any community because they have the skill and education to pursue a subject most corporations, public officials, and the public do not want to hear—that their environment, which they take for granted, may be in trouble.


A professional reporter would be able to sift through the early information from troubling signs on an environmental issue to prevent unnecessary alarmist stories and provide to the pubic a responsible concern long before an actual consensus of scientific information is proven. For that is the real problem with good environmental reporting, the public needs to know a probable concern before an actual concern can be validated. If we don’t get this absolutely important point about environmental information, that our level of concern must be expressed before proven scientific certainty, we are not going to avoid grave environmental problems—we are going to only ratchet them up until an initially small problem becomes a major problem—like avoiding having periodic screenings for colon cancer. If you wait until colon cancer forces itself upon you, it will be too late. It’s a cancer that is treatable if caught early—same with environmental problems. If you snooze, you lose.


Our collective disinclination to focus on the environmental health of our planet, because it potentially creates such economic, political, or even real estate havoc, makes it imperative that we designate a few to constantly look for potential problems in our environment so we can act in time to prevent the worst case scenarios.


I ask that each major Rochester-area media devote a designated section and at least a designated environmental reporter to constantly sweep their environmental connections and possible areas of influence (say, any environmental concerns going around the Great Lakes because any problem in any of the other Great Lakes will probably end up in Lake Ontario) for environmental concerns the pubic must be kept aware of. Remember, we cannot wait for absolute certainty on environmental issues before we act, we must have educated, calm professions look at all the potential problems around us and be able to rise to the level of pubic awareness real concerns when a real problem surfaces. The bar to which the public must place their attention for potential environmental matters must be lowed to the level of potential action, not scientific certainty. You wouldn’t stand in the street facing an oncoming car until it actually hit you before you moved, would you?

Thursday, March 22, 2007

Is VHS Worth Worring About?


Environmentalists as Chicken Little

Remember when the Zebra Mussel problem in our area was just a twinkling in the eyes of the environmental Chicken Littles'? Well, now as you know, the Zebra Mussel problem is everywhere around us and has changed the water climate of all our surrounding Finger Lakes and Great Lakes. Zebra Mussels, though there was back in the 1980’s a concerted effort to halt the progress (infestation is a better word), is now a part of the ecology of all our local lakes.


I say all this because a new threat to our lakes is underway by Viral Hemorrhagic Septicemia (VHS). You can find all about this disease by checking this link by the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation. But, that won’t tell you the whole story.


The story is that after questioning several fishermen, I find that no one knows what I am talking about when I mention this disease. That’s interesting because, like the Zebra Mussel problem, this invasive disease is not going away in the near future: It’s going to dramatically change our lakes, fishermen’s activities, and maybe a lot of other environmental, economic, and recreational issues. There are a lot of other issues surrounding this issue, the most prominent, I suppose, is the lack of international coordinated effort to stop invasive species affecting our Great Lakes.


We are as a people, going to have to address how we can (or should) compensate those who have to pay the highest burden when an environmental disaster strikes—in this case, the bait industry is reeling from the laws being passed to curtail the spread of VHS.


Anyway, I wanted to point out that there has been a increasing number of news stories about this disease and efforts to stop the spread of this fish disease (which does not pass to humans) and it should be on everyone’s radar as an invasive species problem to be solved with the myriad of other invasive species problems and as a specific issue that will affect all the lakes around our community.


We environmentalist are often labeled as alarmists or Chicken Littles, who scream out disaster at every ‘potential’ environmental threat. Well, that’s probably an apt description of the environmentalist’s role—we ascribe to the Precautionary Principle “When an activity raises threats of harm to the environment or human health, precautionary measures should be taken even if some cause and effect relationships are not fully established scientifically.” because given the complexity of all environmental problems, it’s difficult to assess and predict the outcomes of small actions on a large complicated system like our environment.


This all matters because we are living in Extraordinary Times, where a plethora of environment problems are cropping up. And, it’s especially important that environmentalists sound the alarm at any potential environmental problem because with most environmental problems we cannot wait until we are absolutely sure of the evidence of catastrophe before we act. For example, we should have acted a long time ago on the probably effects of Global Warming. Now, all we can do is head off the worst scenarios if we act now. Had the public been capable of listening to the reasonable arguments of those out in front of the environmental repercussions of an Industrial Revolution run rampant, like John Muir, we might not be continually inching up against a myriad of environmental tipping points. Anyway, don’t take my word for the potential of the VHS problem, check out this list of news links from all over and decide for yourself if VHS reaches the level of public concern: VHS News Links

Saturday, March 17, 2007

Highlights of the February 2007 RENewsletter:


As always, there's lots going on in the Rochester area pertaining to our environment. You just have to look all over the Internet to find the stories. But, here at RochesterEnvironment.com we bring it all to one place.

* Hottest issue this month of February 2007: My vote for the biggest environmental story for our area this month is Global Warming. Two events outside the Rochester area – AL Gore wining an Oscar for “An Inconvenient Truth” and the ‘Climate Change 2007' by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change—have altered the public debate about the validity of Global Warming. Al Gore’s documentary proves, despite the present Bush Administration’s dismissal of the dangers of Global Warming, that the public cares deeply about this issue and wishes desperately to do something about it. Major corporations were asking the Bush administration before his last State of the Union address to provide a level playing field (something he has always been loathed to do) for limiting global warming gases for all businesses. Also, the “Climate Change 2007” report by a very conservative UN panel ends the public debate about whether climate change is imminent and due to made-made causes. As well as we can know about this issue with absolute certainly (which is an impossible bar to reach when determining whether or not to act on an environmental problem) we now know that it is time to act. There is enough information and consensus of scientific knowledge to act now. So, it is important for all to focus on how Global Warming could be affecting our area. You can keep abreast of this issue for our area here: http://www.rochesterenvironment.com/weather&climate.htm The wind turbines going up at the old Bethlehem Steel site in Lackawanna called “Steel Winds” is a major story about development of renewable power for our area. But, still there are stories about our local townships trying to delay the development of wind farms in our area. It is my opinion that we have a responsibility, now that Global Warming has moved to the forefront of important issues this century that we do our part in developing renewable energy and help the world alleviate the repercussions of Global Warming. This means that in any pubic discussion about installing wind farms in our area, the world-wide crisis of Global Warming should be part of the debate. And that means communities considering limiting construction of wind farms in their area would be acting irresponsible if they did not also consider this renewable energy source in the context of Global Warming. For they are going to consume energy anyway and just because they don’t see the coal plant on their horizon spewing out green house gases and mercury doesn’t mean they have preserved their environment by halting a local wind farm that offends their notion of environmental purity.


* Other Hot Environmental issues this month: As usual, energy issues predominate in our area. Perinton is considering the banning of outdoor furnaces, which in my view is the kind of legislation town boards should be considering on energy: deciding on the wider impact of an energy source instead of its immediate relief from high energy bills. There is an article about politicians upping the ante on energy efficiency, retrofitting school buses to run cleaner on diesel fuel, bringing more wind turbines into Webster, and more development on energy fuel cells. No longer can we as a responsible people use energy without being aware of its impact on our environment. We must make sure that our representatives and the corporations we work for and buy from are part of the global solution on Global Warming and not part of the problem. I encourage all to visit http://www.ipcc.ch/ The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change to understand the immediacy of the energy/Global Warming issue.


* The silent stories [important stories we didn't hear much about]: If you have been following the recent developments in Australia who are thinking of adopting a radical new proposal to ban old incandescent light bulbs to the new energy efficient florescent bulbs it must be heartening to see this simple idea take hold that could have a profound effect on saving energy. Instead of a light bulb using most of its energy draw to create heat, the new bulbs merely do what you want: create light. That our neighbors up north in Canada are also considering compact florescent bulbs might induce our area to do the same. Perhaps. But, one of the things that I have come across is that these new compact florescent bulbs, while saving energy, also have environmental negative effects because they contain mercury. Check out this article: On mercury in compact fluorescent lights Grist Ask Umbra 16 Jan 2003 http://www.grist.org/advice/ask/2003/01/16/umbra-mercury/ They should be disposed of properly and this should be a part of any wholesale program to adopt these new bulbs. Let me be clear, I am totally in favor of individuals and communities, even counties, adopting these compact florescent bulbs, but they should be disposed of properly.


* On-Going Concerns: One of my greatest on-going concerns for this area’s environment is the increasing lack of local environmental reporting by the major media. (Do any major media in Rochester have an environmental reporter any more?) RochesterEnvironment.com tries to link all environmental stories in this area each day, but I am finding that I have to locate stories about our area from other areas, other than our own, that include us. That’s too bad because only a proactive news force that tries to anticipate environmental issues, instead of reporting on catastrophes that could have been avoided, serves the public properly. The stories recently by the Washington Post on Walter Reed Hospital problems with outpatient services for returning service personnel in Iraq is a good example of a news service listening to possible problems from the public and performing the exhaustive research into the issue and presenting it to the public. Problems, including environmental problems, cannot be solved if the public does not know about them. And environmental problems are particularly difficult to ferret out because there is usually no objective research to depend on, little inclination by the government and business to include environmental degradation to their financial burden, and because it is usually so difficult to connect the dots of incidents over many years, and little interest to the public on confusing stories about things that don’t seem to immediately impact their lives. One must think seriously about how one gets environmental information these days—instead of relying on traditional news sources that are disinclined to scour an issue that doesn’t bring them much money. One of the best sources for environmental news stories is the Internet and I’ve listed all the major online podcasts on my E-News page in my Global Environmental Resources web at http://globalenvironmentalresources.rochesterenvironment.com/E_News.htm#Environmental_Podcasts

* Environmental Actions you can take for our area: The most important environmental action event coming up has to be from http://www.stepitup2007.org/ “This April 14th, tens of thousands of Americans will gather all across the country at meaningful, iconic places to call for action on climate change. We will hike, bike, climb, walk, swim, kayak, canoe, or simply sit or stand with banners of our call to action:” Also, New Yorkers should consider the Bigger Better Bottle Bill, which has been blocked for several years, but now, because of our new governor, this bill might have a chance to pass. Check out my article in Environmental Thoughts, “Bigger Better Bottle Bill”, http://rochesterenvironmentny.blogspot.com/ for the skinny in this issue.


* Rochester-area Environmental Site of the Month: The Nature Conservancy - Protecting nature, preserving life The Nature Conservancy is the leading conservation organization working to protect the most ecologically important lands and waters around the world for nature and people. The Nature Conservancy in New York - Central & Western New York

Sunday, March 11, 2007

Potential Bee Problem in NY?

This story, from The Gainsville Sun indicates how the media should be upfront on possible dangers to our environment. Honey bees account pollinating a third of our agriculture in the US and if New York were to experience this disease, it could have a divesting effect on our apple industry—at least. So, how come our New York State media is not on top of this possible threat and helping to determine the cause of colony collapse disorder and steering the public and the scientific community (backed by funds) to investigate this issue?

Are Coyotes Too Close - Or Are We?


This article “Coyotes Too Close” 3/09/07 by WHEC-TV—Rochester, NY is representative of a badly constructed article by the major media in our area about environmental issues in the Rochester area. Foremost, it assumes that coyotes are bad, which only continues the irrational discussion (and thus policy) on the role of the coyote in our area. No other North American animal has more misinformation perpetuated about it than the Eastern Coyote. Just the sight of a coyote gives most people an adrenalin rush that makes them think they have to 'do something' about the presence of this animal.

There is no mention in this article of efforts by many groups who are trying to educate the public on the larger role of these top predators in our area’s environment (now that we’ve killed off the wolf, the puma, and most of the bears). This article only increases the mindless hostility towards any animal that annoys some people and helps foster regional animal killings like the yearly coyote killing contest in Honeoye and the Auburn crow kills.

The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation itself admits that it needs to investigate the role that the Eastern Coyote now plays in an area without other major predators. But that is going to be difficult if a thoughtful inquiry is set against a background of prejudice, misinformation, and hideous retaliations for differing views on the worth of another creature.

Here are some things that we have learned about the Easter Coyotes from the experts.
1. They do not carry or transmit rabies
2. They do not attack humans.
3. They do not affect the deer populations, because they do not hunt in packs and because of their size they are incapable of bringing down a healthy adult deer.

Wouldn’t it be more helpful if this article suggested that the Department of Environmental Conservation actually did a study of the Eastern Coyote in New York State? This would allow the public to make an informed decision about the best policy towards these animals, which are obviously filling a top predator niche that has been vacated by other animals we have slaughtered? This is vital because we do not need any more animal killing contests, which are revolting and actually (because of coyote behavior) stimulate coyote populations to increase. We need to know exactly how coyotes are affecting other animals (and thus plants) populations in New York State because they are now one of our top predators, which play a vital role in determining the wholesale scope of our local ecology.

I’ve recently learned from an expert that there is a symbiotic relationship developing between our area’s coyotes and vultures, where coyotes notice the vultures circling overhead, and chomp up the dead bones so the vultures, which have not the strength, can digest bone fragments. This interesting development and others are the kinds of information we might learn if our media and our official environmental bodies adopted investigations, instead of allowing public hysteria to reign and killing contests to prevail.

To learn more about what experts have already learned about coyotes and what more could be gained from serious study of the Eastern Coyote, please check out these web sites:
1. Living With the Wiley Coyote - E-Files - Sierra Club The Navajo call the coyote "God's dog" and, in some ways, this member of the dog family does seem to enjoy divine benefaction. While virtually every other North American predator has seen its numbers decline, the coyote has managed to increase both its range and numbers during the past century -- despite a long history of trapping, poisoning, and hunting by humans.
2. The Coyote in New York State - From the SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry... The coyote has been present in New York state for about 85 years. As with its western cousin, the eastern coyote has been the object of much controversy as well as curiosity.
3. The Coyote in New York The Eastern Coyote - at a glance Description: The Eastern coyote looks like a medium-sized German shepherd dog, with long thick fur. The tail is full and bushy, usually carried pointing down. Ears are erect and pointed. Length:4 to 5 feet (including tail) Weight: 35 to 45 pounds (males usually larger than females.) Color:Variable, from blonde or reddish blonde to dark tan washed with black. Legs, ears and cheeks usually reddish.
4. Fox Wood Wildlife Rescue, Inc --- Fox Wood Wildlife Rescue is a Wildlife Rehabilitation facility, Education Center and Sanctuary located in East Concord, NY.
5. The Humane Society of the United States The human-animal bond is as old as human history. We cherish our animal companions for their unconditional affection and acceptance. We feel a thrill when we glimpse wild creatures in their natural habitat or in our own backyard. Unfortunately, the human-animal bond has at times been weakened. Humans have exploited some animal species to the point of extinction.

Friday, March 09, 2007

Earth Day Events in Rochester -


Earth Day 2007 may be one of the most historic of Earth Days because social consciousness has risen.

Gone are the days when, for a couple of decades, environmental matters were prejudiced to be the bailiwick of the Left. With Al Gore’s documentary ‘An Inconvenient Truth’ winning two Oscars and since the publication of 'Climate Change 2007' by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, most responsible citizens have come to realize that there are good reasons for concern about our environment and that the consequences of Global Warming are too dear to dismiss.

You can find out what environmental events are going on around Rochester, NY by checking RochesterEnvironment.com’s Calendar. There’s a lot going on and this year is your chance to discover how the world-wide environmental concerns are happening near you.

Tuesday, March 06, 2007

Rochester Youth and Earth Day


There cannot be enough said about the brilliance and importance of Mayor Duffy’s program this April to get our youth focused on their future environment. The youth of today is going to live in a different world from the one we live in now, a world that has been highly influenced by man-made climate change and many other environmental issues. So, getting our children’s attention focused as early as possible on what is going on in our environment and how best to stay environmental friendly is one of the best things we as adults can do. Mayor Duffy is right on. Check out these programs for Rochester-area youth this April and Earth Day:



  • EARTH DAY POSTER CONTEST Entry Deadline: Mar. 28 at any City of Rochester recreation center Theme: "What Earth Day Means to Me" Youth invited to create a 12 x 18 poster and enter by age group (6-11 and 12-15). Posters will be displayed at local Recreation/Community Centers. Prizes will be awarded.

  • SCOUT SWEEP 9 a.m.-12 noon, Sat., Apr. 21 -Area scouts and other volunteers will pitch in to clean the entire length of the Genesee Riverway Trail from Turning Point Park to Genesee Valley Park. Scout troops may contact Otetiana Council at 244-4210.

  • CITY OF ROCHESTER EARTH DAY CELEBRATION AND CLEANUP -9:30-11:30 a.m., Sat., Apr. 21 Maplewood Park, Lake Ave. & Driving Park Ave. Durand Eastman Beach and Park, Lakeshore Blvd. Volunteers will gather to clear Maplewood Park and trails and help to clean winter debris from Durand-Eastman Beach and Park. Meet at Lake Ave. and Driving Park Ave. parking lot or parking lot A on Lakeshore Blvd. Supplies will be provided or bring your own loppers, folding saws, hand pruners and rakes. No preregistration required.

  • "CACHE IN, TRASH OUT" Earth Day Activity for Youth (ages 10-15) 9 a.m.-11:30 a.m. (Picnic at Noon), Sat., Apr. 21 Turning Point Park and Nature Area, 370 Boxart St.( off Lake Ave.) in Charlotte. To participate, register by April 5 at any City Recreation Center. Scavenger hunt that includes walks, games and demonstrations aimed at educating families about the natural environment. Each team also responsible for removing a trash bag of debris. Teams of youth and adult leaders from each recreation center will use global positioning systems to navigate through Turning Point Park located along the Genesee River. Parents welcome.

  • FREE ENVIRONMENTAL CLASSES FOR YOUTH Month of April Contact your nearest City Recreation Center for details and registration. Outdoor activities for ages 6-18. Earth Day activities are a part of the City's Flower City Looking Good Program for Gardeners and Environmentalists, sponsored by the City with corporate support from Preferred Care, the Democrat and Chronicle and Wegmans. For information about the City's Earth Day activities call Stacey Estrich at 428-6770, or visit http://www.cityofrochester.gov/ .

Monday, March 05, 2007

Possible Pandemic Flu Rochester


If you are concerned (and you should be because a major Pandemic Flu will be in your face and you will have to be ready for it) about the next possible Pandemic Flu outbreak, get all the facts by reading this book online: Bird Flu: A virus of our own Hatching - "The book is a zinger..." —From leading flu scientist Dr. John Oxford's review in Nature "A brilliant and captivating book, meticulously researched, beautifully and engagingly written with wit and grace, and argued with relentless logic. In addition to providing practical take-home tips for protecting oneself from the flu, the author elegantly demonstrates that the evolution of the devastating influenza virus, as well as that of numerous other zoonotic pathogens, stems directly from the proliferation of confinement agricultural systems. Every person concerned about human and animal health and welfare, self-preservation, and justice should read this book."—Bernard Rollin, PhD, Colorado State University Distinguished Professor

Wind Power Near Rochester


Wind Power is going to be an important renewable energy source for New York State. Check out this local site in Hamlin, NY dedicated to explain Wind Power in their area: Town of Hamlin/Wind Towers: This page is dedicated to news and information regarding the possible development of large-scale wind-energy generation systems in the Town of Hamlin

The Media & Our Environment

The major media are not doing their job on informing the public continually on our environmental matters. But, luckily, there are some excellent sources online for environmental new around the world by some of the top environmental media sources. Check out E News from Global Environmental Resources – and if you have a mp3 player, don’t miss out on the latest form of keeping informed on environmental matters – Environmental Podcasts.

  1. GLRC A weekly roundup of environmental news from the Great Lakes Radio Consortium. To have each week's Environment Report automatically downloaded to your mp3 player, see our podcasting help page.

  2. Earthwatch Radio Podcast Earthwatch Radio is produced by staff and students at the Sea Grant Institute at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. We cover a wide range of subjects that concern science and the environment and give special attention to global climate change, the Great Lakes and the oceans. We produce five programs every week and distribute them to more than 125 radio stations and other broadcast outlets, mostly in North America.

  3. Renewable Energy Access - Source For Renewable Energy News and Information - Renewable Energy Access Podcasts

  4. Living on Earth: Sound Journalism for the Whole Planet Living on Earth offers a podcast feed of the current show. The url is: http://www.loe.org/podcast.rss
    NET.org >> The National Environmental Trust The National Environmental Trust is a non-profit, non-partisan organization established in 1994 to inform citizens about environmental problems and how they affect our health and quality of life. Check out our campaigns and special reports (links to the left) to learn about the issues on which we currently focus. http://www.net.org/newsroom/audiovideo.vtml

  5. NPR : National Public Radio : News, Arts, World, US. - NPR: Environment [NPR] Environmental science and reporting on issues from Morning Edition, All Things Considered and other award-winning NPR programs.
    Science Friday: Making Science Radioactive - Science Friday: Making Science Radioactive - Audio and Podcasting

  6. Sierra Club Radio Main - Sierra Club Saving the planet starts at home -- so many Americans are looking for ways to make their own lives more "green." That's why we're launching Sierra Club Radio. Our mission is to offer tips and tell stories we all can use as consumers, as citizens, as neighbors, and as parents to make responsible choices, to connect to the growing environmental community. Sierra Club Radio Main - Sierra Club

  7. NOAA Home Page - Podcasts These are short reports on NOAA science and research. They are in mp3 files for easy downloads to desktop and laptops, as well as mobile devices capable of playing these files. You also can listen to these programs by simply clicking on the link.
  8. Greenpeace Podcasts Greenpeace International Here's the complete contents of the Greenpeace Audio & Video podcast. To subscribe to the Greenpeace Podcast via iTunes and your iPod device, just open iTunes

Sunday, March 04, 2007

Fish Disease (VHS) & Great Lakes


Because this fish disease is getting so much news lately, it’s important that those who care about the Great Lakes and fishing should get the official information from the New York State Department of Conservation about Viral Hemorrhagic Septicemia (VHS) in New York: NYSDEC: Viral Hemorrhagic Septicemia (VHS) in New York "What is VHS? Viral hemorrhagic septicemia (VHS) virus is a serious pathogen of fresh and saltwater fish that is causing an emerging disease in the Great Lakes region of the United States and Canada. VHS virus is a rhabdovirus (rod shaped virus) that affects fish of all size and age ranges. It does not pose any threat to human health. VHS can cause hemorrhaging of fish tissue, including internal organs, and can cause the death of infected fish. Once a fish is infected with VHS, there is no known cure. Not all infected fish develop the disease, but they can carry and spread the disease to other fish. VHS has been blamed for fish kills in Lake Huron, Lake St. Clair (MI), Lake Erie, Lake Ontario, the St. Lawrence River and Conesus Lake (Western NY). The World Organization of Animal Health has categorized VHS as a transmissible disease with the potential for profound socio-economic consequences. Because of this, they list VHS as a disease that should be reported to the international community as an exceptional epidemiological (study of diseases in large populations) occurrence."