News, Some New, Some Old.
"Happy New Year! On behalf of the board and staff of NPCA, I thank you for helping protect America’s national parks in 2011.
It was a successful year for the parks because of supporters like you.
From the historic Civil War battlefields of Virginia and Pennsylvania to the vast reaches of Grand Canyon and Olympic, our national parks are better protected than they were just a year ago!"
Here are our greatest park victories of 2011:
- Thanks to NPCA's persistent advocacy, the biggest dam removal project in U.S. history is now underway in Olympic National Park, restoring the Elwha River and soon welcoming the return of spawning salmon.
- After months of debate, the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board finally denied the application for a license to open a casino within a half mile of Gettysburg National Military Park.
- The Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) agreed to phase out 18 units at dirty, coal-fired power plants and install modern pollution controls on three dozen additional units by 2018, which will improve air quality in national parks like Great Smoky Mountains and Mammoth Cave.
- Although a final Record of Decision is expected soon, Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar announced that his department would protect one million acres of federal lands around Grand Canyon National Park by banning the area from new uranium mining claims for the next 20 years.
- Using the Antiquities Act for the first time in his presidency, President Barack Obama proclaimed Fort Monroe in Hampton, Virginia, our country's newest national monument in November.
- NPCA achieved another major victory for air quality by securing an agreement from the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to ensure that all 50 states reduce air pollution in our national parks. Adequate pollution reduction plans will result in healthier air for people and parks.
- With pressure from more than 30,000 activists, Walmart announced that it would abandon plans to build a superstore on a privately owned portion of the Wilderness Battlefield adjacent to Fredericksburg and Spotsylvania National Military Park.
- Thanks to NPCA's supporters, the Wyoming State Legislature approved plans for the U.S. Department of the Interior to purchase state trust lands located within the boundaries of Grand Teton National Park, protecting the park's iconic vistas and vital wildlife habitat.
- Last April, nine representatives from local tribes and state and federal agencies finalized an agreement allowing bison from Yellowstone National Park to freely migrate onto 75,000 acres of additional habitat just north of the park.
With only four years left until the National Park Service celebrates its centennial in 2016, it is more important than ever that we continue to advocate for adequate funding and protections for our national parks. "
Jan 09 2012. "U.S. Sen. John Cornyn (R-Texas), a member of the Senate Finance and Budget Committees, today issued this statement following a report that the national debt is now larger than our entire economy:
“This dismal benchmark underscores the President’s aversion to making tough fiscal choices in an election year. Rather than listening to the campaign advice coming from Chicago, the President should heed the advice of his own fiscal commission.
“Next month the President will submit his budget to Congress and voters will see if we have a leader who possesses the audacity to right the ship, or one who will continue to lead us down a path that has brought economies in Western Europe to their knees.” "
"The F-35B short takeoff/vertical landing variant completed ship suitability testing aboard the USS WASP (LHD-1) off the coast of Virginia in October 2011. Combined, F-35B test aircraft BF-2 and BF-4 accomplished 72 short takeoffs and 72 vertical landings during the three-week testing period.
Uploaded by LockheedMartinVideos
"Have you heard of Dwolla? Dwolla is a new money transfer company started by a young man in Iowa that is a cross between credit & debit cards and PayPal but side steps the fees. Quite simply, they charge me (the merchant) 25 cents for any payment over $10 (all free for the consumer) as opposed to 2 to 4 percent for any purchase with a card. So each "money transfer" from $11 to $11 million will cost 25 cents and can all be done from your smartphone or computer - instantly."
Your FREE clicks did this in 2011:
"The Hunger Site has given over 808,072,651 cups of food since June 1999."
The Breast Cancer Site has given 54,352 mammograms since October 2000.
DID YOU KNOW THAT?
Q: Why do people clink their glasses before drinking a toast?
A: In the past enemies were killed by offering them a poisoned drink. To prove that a drink was safe, it was customary to pour a small amount of guest’s drink into the glass of the host. Both would drink simultaneously. When a guest trusted his host, he would touch or clink the host's glass with his own.
Q: Why are people in the public eye said to be 'in the limelight'?
A: In 1825, a limelight was used in lighthouses and theatres by burning a cylinder of lime which produced a brilliant light. In the theatre, a performer 'in the limelight' was the centre of attention.
Q: Why is someone who is feeling great 'on cloud nine'?
A: Types of clouds are numbered according to the altitudes they attain, with nine being the highest cloud. If someone is said to be on cloud nine, that person is floating well above worldly cares.
Q: Why are zero scores in tennis called 'love'?
A: In France, where tennis became popular, a round zero on the scoreboard looked like an egg and called 'l'oeuf,' – French for 'egg.' When introduced in the US, Americans (mis)pronounced it 'love.'
Q: Why do X's at the end of a letter signify kisses?
A: In the Mid Ages, many people were unable to read or write. Doc were often signed using an X. Kissing the X represented an oath to fulfill obligations. The X and the kiss became synonymous.
Q: Why is shifting responsibility to someone else called 'passing the buck'?
A: In card games, it’s customary to pass an item, called a buck, from player to player to signify who would deal. If a player didn’t want to deal, he’d 'pass the buck' to the next player.
January 13, 2012 - "Darris and Gary look at an upcoming Beyond Today program about how events surrounding the Temple Mount in Jerusalem affect your life."
On This Day:
The first colonial constitution, Jan 14, 1639:
"In Hartford, Connecticut, the first constitution in the American colonies, the "Fundamental Orders," is adopted by representatives of Wethersfield, Windsor, and Hartford.
The Dutch discovered the Connecticut River in 1614, but English Puritans from Massachusetts largely accomplished European settlement of the region. During the 1630s, they flocked to the Connecticut valley from the Massachusetts Bay Colony, and in 1638 representatives from the three major Puritan settlements in Connecticut met to set up a unified government for the new colony.
Roger Ludlow, a lawyer, wrote much of the Fundamental Orders, and presented a binding and compact frame of government that put the welfare of the community above that of individuals. It was also the first written constitution in the world to declare the modern idea that "the foundation of authority is in the free consent of the people." In 1662, the Charter of Connecticut superseded the Fundamental Orders; though the majority of the original document's laws and statutes remained in force until 1818."
It froze that night. I had turned on the heat in the shed to protect the paint and caulk, undone water hoses, turned off the outside faucet's main shut off, and filled the bird feeder. I was ready for it.
Jay wanted to work, so Misty and I, bundled up in our padded coats, went to get him. The workshop's back door was sticking again. The contractors had installed it so tight in the frame, that we had to relieve it here and there with the sawzall, and re-screw it in place.
It took both of us to carry the 'new' 25" TV to the computer area. It is B I G ! after having a 20" in there for all these years, but it is so much easier to adjust the picture. The one we took out of there still works, and I had managed to adjust the dark picture somewhat, but the 'new' one is better.
Then we got a yard stick, and measured the distance from each of the 5 ceiling fan blades to the ceiling. It had been wobbling, but bending the offending fan blade up, solved that problem.
Last night, a disaster! I spilled juice on my favorite keyboard. The adapter had arrived and it was working great. I was so disgusted that I went to bed, hoping that it would dry out. But it didn't work this morning, so I am back to the keyboard with the narrow keys. It takes ages to delete the extra letters that it types.
My pedal powered laptop charger!
Not really. It is an exerciser which fits under my computer desk.
Now I can cycle to all those far away places in my monitor.
I traveled quite a few miles yesterday.