Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Nat. Parks. Really Dark Side. Funds for Nat. Parks. 1/11! Cargo Trailer.

“Tomorrow, I’m pleased to announce that the Washington Monument, as well as the entire federal government, will be open for business.”  President Barack Obama   April 8, 2011 at 11:04 p.m.

For Travel Tuesday:  If the Shutdown had progressed, just think what we would have missed.  National Parks, National Historic Sites, etc., would be closed.
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This would have been cancelled:

"Into the Wild’s Jack Hanna to Help Grand Canyon Celebrate Wildlife Day"

Jess1
NPS Photo by Michael Quinn
Ranger Jessica Collins shares a mountain lion skull with Dante and Jakiah Smith Evans.

"Grand Canyon, Ariz. – Grand Canyon National Park will Celebrate Wildlife Day on Saturday, May 7 this year; and television host Jack Hanna will be joining in the celebration.

Celebrate Wildlife Day is an annual event that provides an opportunity for Grand Canyon National Park visitors to become acquainted with the unique wildlife of Arizona and the Grand Canyon, and to learn about the work of wildlife biologists. During the celebration, the Shrine of the Ages will be transformed into an exhibit hall with posters and interactive exhibits, educational demonstrations and live animals from the Adobe Mountain Wildlife Center in Phoenix, Arizona. This year, there will also be talks and outdoor activities for the entire family on topics including: the endangered humpback chub, ravens, mountain lions, reptiles and amphibians, telemetry, and tracks and scat.

Jack Hanna is currently the Director Emeritus of the Columbus Zoo and host of the Emmy Award winning television series Jack Hanna's Into the Wild. He has dedicated his professional career to educating the public about wild animals and the places they live. Previously, he hosted the television series Jack Hanna's Animal Adventures and directed the Columbus and Central Florida Zoos. He has also written numerous children's books. Hanna will be this year's featured presenter at Celebrate Wildlife Day and will provide his program twice in order to assure ample opportunity for everyone to attend.

"We are thrilled that Mr. Hanna will be joining us this year. His enthusiasm and extensive knowledge will add a whole new dimension to our celebration; and we expect his programs to be very popular with our visitors," said Lori Rome, Supervisory Park Ranger and member of the Celebrate Wildlife Day planning committee.
Grand Canyon visitors and residents are invited to join the celebration from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and are encouraged to attend one of Hanna's special programs, offered at 3 p.m. and at 8 p.m. All programs and activities will be free of charge and will take place at the Shrine of the Ages.

To reach the Shrine of the Ages, visitors may walk along the rim from hotels in Grand Canyon Village (about 1.5 miles), take the Blue Route/Village Route shuttle bus, or park in Lot A.

Celebrate Wildlife Day is made possible through a partnership between the National Park Service, the Grand Canyon Association, Adobe Mountain Wildlife Center, the Arizona Game and Fish Department, Grand Canyon Unified School District, Leave No Trace Center of Outdoor Ethics, Xanterra Parks And Resorts, Grand Canyon Railway and Delaware North Companies Parks and Resorts.
For a copy of the event schedule or to learn more about Celebrate Wildlife Day, please visit the park's website at www.nps.gov/grca/naturescience/wildlife-day.htm

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AND The Shutdown would have really made it:  The Dark Side of National Park Visits.















Visitors listen to a presentation on cultural astronomy prior to looking through Chaco Culture's 25" observatory telescope. NPS photo.

"When you're planning a visit to a national park, don't overlook the dark side. No, we aren't suggesting you join forces with Darth Vader, but many parks offer a great opportunity to enjoy a view that's unfortunately becoming increasingly rare in much of the country—the night sky. An upcoming nationwide event and several other opportunities can help you protect and enjoy the beauty of the night.

Many of us live in or near cities, where the wonders of the night sky are obscured by artificial light. Some the best remaining spots to enjoy celestial views are in parks, prompting the NPS to remind visitors, "On your next national park visit, remember that a spectacular sunset is just the prelude to the wonders of the night sky."

With half of the world’s population now living in cities, many urban dwellers have never experienced the wonderment of pristinely dark skies and maybe never will. Light pollution is obscuring people’s long-standing natural heritage to view stars. The GLOBE at Night program is an international citizen-science campaign to raise public awareness of the impact of light pollution by encouraging everyone everywhere to measure local levels of night sky brightness and contribute observations online to a world map."
Five Easy Star-Hunting Steps:
1) Find your latitude and longitude.
2) Find Leo or Crux by going outside more than an hour after sunset (about 8-10pm local time).
3) Match your nighttime sky to one of our magnitude charts.
4) Report your observation.
5) Compare your observation to thousands around the world.

Other Dark Sky Areas:
National Parks: Utah’s Natural Bridges National Monument, recently awarded IDA’s first International Dark Sky Park designation is the only Bortle Class 2 (typically truly dark site) designation in the United States. West of Natural Bridges is Bryce Canyon National Park, which offers star parties.

Other national parks offering memorable dark skies: Arizona's Grand Canyon National Park; California’s Joshua Tree National Park, Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Park, Mt. Diablo at John Muir National Historic Site, Death Valley, Lassen Volcanic National Park, and Yosemite National Park; and New Mexico’s Chaco Culture National Historical Park, which offers the Chaco Night Sky Program.

The dark sky residential community of Arizona Sky Village in Portal, Arizona, is “dedicated to the preservation of dark skies.” It has established significant lighting restrictions and architectural review. A community center, a community observatory, and rental telescopes are among planned on-site amenities.

Tonopah, Nevada, 200 miles northwest of Las Vegas, boasts that “the only bright lights you see around Tonopah are the stars.” 

The sustainably planned community of Harmony, Florida, is designed to balance the ecology between humans and native wildlife and is dedicated to dark sky compliant streetlights throughout its properties.

Deerlick Astronomy Village in Sharon, Georgia, is “a unique planned community catering to the specific needs of amateur and professional astronomers.” The area is 96-acres of rural sky (Bortle Class 3) planned with an observing site, two wildlife preserves, and thirty home sites.

Florida’s Chiefland Astronomy Village is an observing/camping site along the Gulf Shore, south of Tallahassee."
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The Shutdown would not have affected these Dark Sky Areas in Canada:
Québec’s Mont-Mégantic National Park and ASTROLab are in the heart of IDA’s newly designated International Dark Sky Reserve [see page 12]. The IDSR encompasses an area of 5,500 km², including the counties of Granit and Haut-Saint- François and the City of Sherbrooke.

Other dark sky parks include the Dark Sky Preserve of Cypress Hills Inter-provincial Park in Saskatchewan and Alberta; McDonald Park Dark Sky Preserve in Fraser Valley in British Columbia; Wapusk National Park in Manitoba; and eight parks in Ontario—Beaver Hills Dark Sky Preserve, Elk Island National Park, Torrance Barrens Dark Sky Reserve, Gordon’s Park Wilderness Retreat and Interpretive Center, Echo Valley Observatory, Haliburton Forest and Wild Life Reserve, Northern Bruce Peninsula, and Point Pelee National Park and Dark Sky Preserve.
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NPCA header
 
“Tomorrow, I’m pleased to announce that the Washington Monument, as well as the entire federal government, will be open for business.”  President Barack Obama   April 8, 2011 at 11:04 p.m.
Donate "Dear Friend of the National Parks,
As we watched Congress and the administration scrambling to avert a government shutdown last week, one thing was clear: Americans care deeply about our national parks.
Scores of news reports examining the potential impacts of a shutdown referenced the fact that our national parks would be closed to the very people for whom they are held in trust. And even President Obama highlighted one of our national monuments as he spoke from the White House late Friday night and then chose to visit another - the Lincoln Memorial - the following day to greet school children and visitors from around the world.

But it shouldn’t take a crisis like the proposed shutdown for our leaders to understand that our national parks are facing a death by a thousand budget cuts.

If anything, the impacts of last week’s budget negotiations, and the upcoming budget debate, could be even more devastating than a temporary shutdown. The maintenance backlog is nearing $11 billion and our parks are operating at an annual shortfall of more than $600 million. Yet, Congress has already slashed the Park Service’s budget by $100 million, with more cuts likely on the way. Our parks simply can’t take any more.

The shutdown crisis may have been averted in the late hours of last week, but our elected leaders are still finalizing the details of the agreement they reached. As I write this, we still do not know the details of the broader negotiations. We do know that the cuts already made to the fiscal year 2011 budget will be painful for the parks. And there are already proposed cuts - deep cuts - to fiscal year 2012 spending that will put our parks in jeopardy.
In the weeks and months ahead, NPCA will be mobilizing partners like you from across the country to send a message. We want our decision-makers to know that national parks are not political playthings. They are a promise to our children, a repository of our heritage, and a down payment on our future. We cannot allow these precious places to languish for lack of funding.
 
Our nation needs to get its fiscal house in order, but national parks are national assets.

Cutting them further, even eliminating them altogether, would have minimal impact in the larger configuration of the federal budget. We should not cut further something that does so much good and costs so little.
Please help us show Congress and the administration that Americans care about our national parks – and want them protected for us and future generations.

Tom Kiernan photoWhile this letter is still on your screen, make the most generous possible contribution to NPCA’s park protection efforts. With your help, we can turn this terrible situation into an opportunity to foster even greater support for our national parks.

Many thanks for your stewardship, Thomas C. Kiernan, President
P.S.  You can also help our national parks by contacting your Members of Congress (202.224.3121), and telling them that you’re glad the parks are open, and Congress needs to adequately fund them.   "And No More Cuts."
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This year we will experience 4 unusual dates...
1/1/11, 1/11/11, 11/1/11, 11/11/11...
NOW figure this out...
take the last 2 digits of the year you were born plus
the age you will be THIS year and it WILL BE EQUAL TO 111.
Except, if the person was born on or after 2000, then it will be 11
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Today:

I didn't call Jay this morning to see when he would be ready to be picked up, but he called me.  I told him I hadn't planned on him working today.  I know he needs this money for beer, but I get tired of it.  I just needed a break from his 'not thinking straight'.  I have to watch every move he makes, as he can seem to pick the right side of a board or panel.  That stinkin' drinkin' thinkin' !

Ray and I tried to fit the panels that Jay had cut for the sides of the cargo trailer's closet, before Ray painted them, as we needed to know which are the important 'showing' areas.  I don't know what Jay was thinking, as one of them is 3" too short, and 1-1/2" too narrow.  I was going to cut another one, but we don't have any more of that material,... well we do, but it is 1/2" too short, so we are going to make do best we can, and we will have to to inset it.  Hopefully, I will be the only one who notices it.

Ray primed and painted the panels on this beautiful sunny day.

3 comments:

An English Shepherd said...

Glad your parks are still open :-)

Sandra said...

You seem to spend a lot of time righting Jay's wrongs, I'd fire him! LOL

LakeConroePenny,TX said...

Thank you for your comments, Wizz and Sandra.

Sandra, I don't have anybody else available nearby who can do some of the things we have to do. Jay is taller than Ray or me, so he does come in handy. As long as he is here, he isn't getting in his sick mother's hair, and he isn't drinking.
He'll be back.....