Urban Forestry Restoration Project: Helping our Trees Help Us

first_imgFacebook2Tweet0Pin0Submitted by The City of LaceyThe Urban Forestry Restoration Project, administered by the Washington State Dept. of Natural Resources (DNR) Urban and Community Forestry Program, is an exciting opportunity to enhance the capacity of urban forests to manage storm water and improve air and water quality by improving the health and functionality of trees and forested sites in urban settings. Even more exciting is our opportunity to participate in this program here in Lacey at Lake Lois Habitat Reserve.A Puget SoundCorps team will work with City staff to remove the English ivy, Himalayan blackberry, Spurge Laurel, Scotch Broom and Robert’s Geranium from Lake Lois Habitat Reserve during the month of December. These invasive non-native plants prevent forested areas from providing our community the full benefits and services of healthy forests by competing for water and nutrients, and in some cases even killing trees. Many undesirable plants that grow in dense thickets also harbor rats and other vermin, creating a public safety hazard as well. Once the unwelcome plants are gone, native vegetation will be planted in its place.The Lacey Board of Park Commissioners approved the Forest Management Plan for Lake Lois Park and Lake Lois Habitat Reserve in September of 2012. Volunteers have been removing invasive plants and re-planting those areas with native trees to implement the recommendations in the plan.  Paul Royer, Chair of the Park Board states, “Many people are not aware of Lake Lois Habitat Reserve, but once they have been out to volunteer, they realize the importance of what they are doing and the difference it makes in the health of the forest.”To learn more about future volunteer opportunities, contact the Lacey Parks and Recreation Dept. at (360) 491-0857, or Lacey’s official website at www.ci.lacey.wa.us.For more information about the Urban Forestry Restoration Project, visit the Project online or contact Micki McNaughton at (360) 902-1637 or micki.mcnaughton@dnr.wa.gov. DNR’s Urban and Community Forestry Program is made possible through a partnership with the USDA Forest Service. Puget SoundCorps is part of the broader Washington Conservation Corps program administered by Washington Dept. of Ecology. Puget SoundCorps crews work on projects that help restore and protect water quality in Puget Sound. The Washington Conservation Corps is supported through grant funding and Education Awards provided by AmeriCorps.last_img read more

Sparky the Danger Bear, Shelton Electricity Adventurer, Returned to the Wild

first_imgFacebook66Tweet0Pin0Submitted by Mason County PUDSparky, the orphaned bear who took refuge in a Bonneville Power Administration substation last year, returned to the wild earlier this month.In October 2015, a frightened bear cub wandered into the utility sub-station in Shelton.“Folks really took to the little fellow,” said Joel Myer, spokesman for Mason County Public Utility District No. 3, the local utility that affectionately named the bear cub Sparky after he narrowly avoided electrocution. “We’re thrilled to hear Sparky is healthy and back home in the woods.”Last October, the frightened black bear cub entered BPA’s substation in Shelton, Wash., about 20 miles northwest of Olympia, and climbed on energized high-voltage electrical equipment. (Read Sparky’s backstory.)“That was a really close call,” recalled substation operator Bob Armanino, whose quick action to de-energize the equipment saved the bear’s life. “Hopefully, Sparky’s done touring power substations.”Sparky was lured out of the substation by donuts.Eventually, Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife staff lured him out of the substation and into a trap with donuts. About a week later, he was taken to Idaho Black Bear Rehabilitation (IBBR) near Boise.“He weighed just 40 pounds when we took him in and was too young to take care of himself,” said center founder Sally Maughan.“He is a big, beautiful 178-pound bear now,” Maughan said.Sparky is now a healthy bear and has been released back into the wild.In preparation for his return to Washington’s Olympic Peninsula, Sparky was tranquilized, marked, tagged and given a health check. He was one of eight bears released by the rehab center on May 11.According to IBBR, more than 96 percent of the bears released successfully reintegrate back into the wild.last_img read more

Victor Moses ‘will complete £9m move to Chelsea’

first_imgWigan star Victor Moses is set to join Chelsea for £9m, the Daily Mirror say.It is claimed that Latics chairman Dave Whelan has agreed to a deal worth less than the £10m he insisted it would take to prise the former Crystal Palace forward away from Wigan.Moses is now tipped to discuss personal terms and complete his move to Stamford Bridge.The Mirror also say Chelsea plan make-or-break talks with Marseille on Monday to try to land Spanish right-back Cesar Azpilicueta – and that QPR’s Joey Barton is on the verge of a season-long loan move to Blackpool.It is claimed Barton is open to the idea of joining the Tangerines and that Blackpool are keen to sign him in order to get one over their neighbours Fleetwood Town.Barton, who is banned for the first 12 matches of the season, has been training with Fleetwood and it has been suggested that he could join them on loan.This page is regularly updated.See also:Saints confident of seeing off Chelsea’s interest in youngster – reportFollow West London Sport on TwitterFind us on Facebooklast_img read more

Changing Stories at Saturn and Titan

first_img(Visited 28 times, 1 visits today)FacebookTwitterPinterestSave分享0 News from the ringed planet and its largest moon shows scientists can’t keep their stories straight when trying to keep Saturn billions of years old.Saturn NewsAge of the rings:  First they were old, then they were young, now they are old again.  Mike Wall at Live Science claims that the “age of Saturn’s rings” has been “revealed.”  The revelation was not inspired, though: “Saturn’s iconic rings likely formed about 4.4 billion years ago, shortly after the planet itself took shape, a new study suggests.”  How, then, do they remain so pristine?  How do they keep from grinding down to dust?  How do they escape the constant bombardment of micrometeorites and atomic nuclei?  Sascha Kempf (U of Colorado) bases his judgment on the low particle count coming from the Cosmic Dust Analyzer (CDA) for which he is a prime investigator.  The extremely low hit rate (10-19 g/cm2-s-1) at 2 to 50 Saturn radii is “consistent with an old ring system,” he says – at least for the main rings.  The article did not address how the more ephemeral D, F, G, and E rings are maintained, or how the rings survive other destructive processes like sputtering, collisional spreading, gas drag, and sunlight pressure.  CDA only detects dust, not ions.  For a primer on Saturn’s rings, see a feature on Space.com.Tiny blip to moon factory:  A barely-visible lump at the outer edge of the A ring is causing some to imagine Saturn as a modern moon maker.  “A rebellious moon might have just popped out of Saturn’s rings,” Lisa Grossman wrote for New Scientist.  Cassini scientists saw a disturbance that has quieted down.  What does it mean?  If a tiny “weird object” popped out, it’s too small to see – less than a kilometer wide.  But they gave it the name “Peggy” anyway.  This object (if it exists) might grow into a moon, they say, but then again, it might have been destroyed in a collision.  They didn’t explain how a moon-growing process could go on for billions of years.  If material is being lost from the rings continually, why is there a finite number of small moons, and where does new material come from to replenish what is lost?Plasma in, plasma out:  Remarkably, most of the plasma in Saturn’s magnetosphere comes from the little geysering moon Enceladus, when its water gets dissociated and swept into the magnetic field.  That puts plasma in; what takes it out?  The plasma content appears to be nearly in a steady state.  An article on PhysOrg suggests that Saturn’s fast rotation sets up currents that sweep excess ions down the magnetotail.  The article did not address the question of how long the tiny Arizona-sized moon Enceladus could feed the giant.A hex on Saturn:  A beautiful color movie of Saturn’s north polar hexagon made the news on Dec. 4 (see JPL press release).  This atmospheric feature – unique in the solar system – is thought to form by standing waves in a jet stream, but there are mysteries.  The nearest analogy mentioned is the ozone hole at Earth’s south pole, but most such features are “notoriously turbulent and unstable,” atmospheric scientist Andrew Ingersoll said.  “A hurricane on Earth typically lasts a week, but this has been here for decades – and who knows – maybe centuries.”  The images are clear enough to see “small vortices rotating in the opposite direction of the hexagon,” some as large as Earth hurricanes.  A massive storm rotates at the center of the 220,000-mile-across feature.  The south pole has a similar vortex, but no hexagon.Titan NewsTitan swamped:  Titan is Saturn’s largest moon.  Keeping Titan old for billions of years requires erasing all the craters that should be there.  Only 11 have been found for certain; another 50 are “potential” craters.  Science Magazine tried various crater erasing theories.  Sediments from mountain lakes?  No; some craters are out in the plains.  Wind-blown sand from the dunes?  No; there’s no sand in the crater-free polar regions.  Cryovolcanoes?  Doesn’t explain why craters are in some regions and not others.  Methane rain?  Not fast enough to erase a large crater.  The latest theory is that Titan has a methane-soaked, swampy surface hundreds of meters deep.  Impactors would sink into the quicksand-like material, leaving no trace.  There are exceptions, like well-preserved craters in the Xanadu lowlands (Titan’s oldest terrain), that require some ad hoc reasoning to explain.  Maybe those craters were formed when the surface was dry, before the atmosphere formed.  It’s convenient that none of those theory-rescuing factors are observable, otherwise someone might think Titan is young.Glorifying Titan’s methane lakes:  Titan’s north polar lakes made news on two fronts.  For one, the radar mapper has a big enough composite picture to amaze viewers.  Simon Redfern at The Conversation gave a nice write-up and picture, with video clip, of the latest buzz.  See also coverage by the BBC News, New Scientist, and Jet Propulsion Laboratory.   The other news comes from Cassini radar’s chance to ping the depth of one of the large northern seas named Ligeia Mare.  Bounces from the bottom of the lake indicate it is 170 meters deep (like Lake Michigan) at most.  Surprisingly, its radar transparency suggests it is filled primarily with methane (CH4), not ethane (C2H6) as expected.  Though not nearly the global ocean once predicted, the lake is still a big container; nearby Kraken Mare is four or more times as large.  “The total volume of the hydrocarbon Titanic seas corresponds to around 300 times that of Earth’s oil reserves, in a celestial body smaller than Earth,” Redfern said.  (Titan’s diameter would just about cover the United States.) Space.com states the volume is estimated to be 2,000 cubic miles.Still, that much fluid falls far short of the global ocean predicted:Jeffrey Kargel, from the University of Arizona Tucson, pointed out that the presence of extensive methane seas and lakes at Titan’s north pole makes worse a long acknowledged deficiency of heavier hydrocarbons expected from models of Titan’s chemistry.  Among them are ethane, ethylene, propylene, acetylene and benzene – heavy hydrocarbons generated as sunlight causes chemical reactions in Titan’s soup of natural gas.(We’ve reported on the ethane deficit problem since before Cassini arrived at Saturn; search on Titan for entries.)  Another puzzle, though, is how smooth the liquid surface is.  Radar measurements show that there are no ripples higher than 1 millimeter.  That’s as smooth as the paint on your car.  This is surprising for a moon windy enough to form a belt of large sand dunes around the equator.Titan get-together:  The uncharacteristic size of Titan compared to all the other Saturn moons makes planetary scientists wonder how it got there.  Science Now addressed the puzzles that Douglas Hamilton [U of Maryland] is trying to answer:Titan is dominatingly big, having almost twice the mass of Earth’s moon and comprising 90% of the mass in orbit about Saturn. Titan is alone, orbiting in a million-kilometer gap bounded by tiny moons. And Titan’s orbit is odd: It is slightly elliptical rather than nearly circular and is tilted with respect to Saturn’s equator. With all those oddities, Hamilton said, “the biggest mystery is how it came to be in the first place.“Hamilton’s latest proposal is that several small moons got together to form the giant.  This would explain why there’s a gap.  Assuming tidal interactions affected the collisions, it would also explain the strange orbit.  To make it work, Hamilton has to assume the collisions were gentle, so the bodies would merge instead of splatter.  It’s also ad hoc; “even Hamilton acknowledges he’s not sure how he would ‘prove’ that he is right.”  How all that nitrogen and methane got into its atmosphere is for others to figure out.Futures:  Cassini has about 3 and a half more years to go before the end of its second extended mission.  Planned observations include more Titan mapping, an Enceladus plume fly-through in August 2014, shots of Enceladus’s north pole, high-altitude studies of the rings, and as much science as the limited fuel will allow before the orbiter’s death plunge into Saturn in 2017.  Having observed Titan since before its equinox, scientists are excited to watch for changes in the lakes and dunes as the Saturn system approaches northern solstice.  Will the lakes migrate from the north pole to the south?  Only time will tell.In my 14 years’ experience on the Cassini team, I had the opportunity to meet and talk with many of the scientists, and hear them lecture, including Sascha Kempf and Andy Ingersoll.  There is no question all the JPL scientists are extremely smart and talented at what they do.  They got a bus-sized spacecraft to Saturn after all.  They cannot see their bias, though, when it comes to dating things.  The Age of the Solar System (A.S.S.) is a Law of the Misdeeds and Perversions, which cannot be altered (from Daniel 6:8).  It’s not that these scientists are incapable of conceiving a younger age than 4.5 billion years, it’s that their brains have marinated in millions-and-billions language throughout their education and career, it never enters their minds to follow the evidence for youth honestly; the old age is a great Truth that they all Know.  I’ve heard one of them say that he was trying to make Saturn’s rings last for billions of years for “philosophical reasons,” implying that the idea of young rings was repugnant to him.Another factor is the “herd mentality” among scientists (see 12/09/13).  These scientists all know each other.  They meet at international conferences several times a year.  They give presentations to one another.  While there is some limited latitude for unique ideas that don’t stray from the A.S.S., there is no question that wanting to be liked and accepted by their peers is a factor in their behavior.  None of them wants to hear his esteemed colleagues call out “boo” or indicate disgust with an idea too far outside the paradigm.  This is how a consensus can form and persist despite powerful evidence against it.  No ad-hoc scenario is too bizarre to prevent a kick in the A.S.S.  And when you consider that youth of planets is often associated with the despised “young earth creationists,” none of them would ever dare to give aid and comfort to such “anti-science” outcasts.  Evidence be damned; long live the consensus!It appears hopeless to penetrate the dogma in this community, even if an individual here or there might be open to consider out-of-the-box ideas.  Probably it will take a younger community doing a better job of explaining things outside the paradigm, over time as the old graybeards fade away.  Meanwhile, we’ll keep reporting the news here, praising the good, pointing out the bad, and asking questions the paradigm never considers.Research projects: (1) Calculate the volume of Titan’s lakes and see if the production rate of ethane can account for it in 4.5 billion years.  Is there an upper limit?  (2) Calculate the output of plasma by Enceladus and infer the water emission rate.  What percentage of the moon’s mass would have to be ejected over 4.5 billion years?  (3) Considering the rate of dust measured by the CDA instrument, what would be the maximum age of the rings?last_img read more

Enough mergers already!

first_imgShare Facebook Twitter Google + LinkedIn Pinterest Ohio Farmers Union President Joe Logan said that “enough is enough” with further consolidation among the largest agricultural businesses that control more and more of the inputs farmers need to feed America and the world.He refers to a proposed merger of Dow Chemical Co. and DuPont Co.“Where are the Teddy Roosevelts and the trust busters of today?” Logan asked.Two previous waves of mergers in the agricultural inputs sector have already created what is known at the Big Six: Monsanto, Syngenta, Bayer, DuPont, Dow and BASF. The current rumored or announced deals—including Dow-DuPont, ChemChina-Syngenta, and Bayer-Monsanto—would be a third wave of consolidation.“Competition is eroding more and more with each of these mega deals. While financial markets applaud supposed efficiencies of larger businesses, customers — farmers — have fewer choices, less competition and input prices continue to go up,” Logan said.The National Farmers Union today joined Food and Water Watch and the American Antitrust Institute in a letter to U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) Antitrust Division urging a challenge to the Dow-DuPont merger.The proposed merger would create a powerful duopoly between Dow-DuPont and Monsanto. Together, the two companies would control 76% of the market for corn and 66% of the market for soybeans, giving them the power to charge farmers higher prices and effectively decide which seeds farmers could plant.“Seed costs are the highest input expense for farmers. While some of the cost can be attributed to more sophisticated technology, we have seen time and again that consolidation and market restructuring has increased the cost of crop inputs. In a lagging farm economy with multi-year trends of low commodity prices, additional cost increases for crop inputs could cripple a lot of family farms in this country,” said Roger Johnson, National Farmers Union president.The groups conclude that the proposed Dow-DuPont merger “would be difficult, if not impossible, to remedy.” The letter notes accumulating evidence on failed remedies in other mergers, the difficulty of finding viable buyers of to-be divested assets, and the ineffectiveness of divesting assets to other members of the Big Six firms.last_img read more

PBA is here to help its players on and off court, says Willie Marcial

first_imgPBA Commissioner Willie Marcial. Photo by Tristan Tamayo/INQUIRER.netMANILA, Philippines—Call it revolutionary or not but the PBA took a step in helping players not only take care of their physical bodies but also their mental health.During the league’ Players’ Orientation Friday at Meralco Theater, PBA Commissioner Willie Marcial said his office opened its doors to any player in the league who wants to have an avenue in regards to maintaining his mental health.ADVERTISEMENT MOST READ Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. SEA Games hosting troubles anger Duterte Oil plant explodes in Pampanga town LATEST STORIES US judge bars Trump’s health insurance rule for immigrants Oil plant explodes in Pampanga town Grace Poe files bill to protect govt teachers from malicious accusations ‘We are too hospitable,’ says Sotto amid SEA Games woes Marcial said the league’s motto for the 2019-2020 season of “Laban kung laban” isn’t just about basketball but also about the whole well-being of the players.“Our theme ‘Laban kung laban’ isn’t just about basketball, this also pertains to your studies, whatever you’re going through your life, even in your love life,” said Marcial in Filipino.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSPrivate companies step in to help SEA Games hostingSPORTSUrgent reply from Philippine ‍football chiefSPORTSPalace wants Cayetano’s PHISGOC Foundation probed over corruption charges“We will fight with you when you’re depressed so that theme also applies to the players’ mental health.”Marcial added that the Players’ Orientation wasn’t just for the athletes’ education on handling finances and making sure their future is in good shape, it’s also about presenting themselves to the public especially to the younger generation that look up to them. PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games PLAY LIST 02:42PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games01:44Philippines marks anniversary of massacre with calls for justice01:19Fire erupts in Barangay Tatalon in Quezon City01:07Trump talks impeachment while meeting NCAA athletes02:49World-class track facilities installed at NCC for SEA Games02:11Trump awards medals to Jon Voight, Alison Krauss Now FEU’s No. 2, Lycha Ebon channels inner Bernadeth Pons to lead team to victory “For me it’s a big thing for players to present themselves well in public because they’re essentially role models for the younger generation,” said Marcial.The Players’ Orientation was technically a crash course for the league’s athletes in how to dress in public and how to handle their finances once their playing days are over.Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next View comments ‘We are too hospitable,’ says Sotto amid SEA Games woes Private companies step in to help SEA Games hostinglast_img read more