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Mackinaw bumps into Grand Haven seawall

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Muskegon Chronicle
By Terry Judd
CHRONICLE STAFF WRITER

The crew of the new U.S. Coast Guard Cutter Mackinaw left a bigger impression on the city of Grand Haven Monday afternoon than it would have liked.

With residents huddled in cars to watch the arrival of Coast Guard's newest icebreaker for a first-time stopover in Grand Haven, the Mackinaw rammed a section of the boardwalk leading to the south pier as it entered Grand Haven Channel.

The impact left a scar of red paint, ruptured the boardwalk seawall and created a visible dent on the Mackinaw's starboard bow.    more...

 



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Changing of the Guard cutter

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Traverse City Record Eagle

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New Mackinaw coming to port

      CHEBOYGAN - A bitter wind blew off Lake Huron into the faces of seamen Sean Smith and Ben Gjerstad on the deck of the U.S. Coast Guard cutter Mackinaw.
      It was 15 degrees outside as the men worked to break inches-thick ice off the deck and push it into the Cheboygan River, and prepared the ship for an expected onslaught of visitors this weekend.
      Spectators will gather at 11 a.m. Saturday at Cheboygan County Marina to watch a historic event - the new U.S. Coast Guard cutter Mackinaw will pull into home port and dock next to the older icebreaker bearing the same name.
      The older ship arrived for the first time in Cheboygan nearly 61 years ago, on Dec. 30, 1944, and is scheduled to be decommissioned in June 2006.
      The celebration planned for Saturday is intended to re-create what happened when "Old Big Mac" first arrived in Cheboygan, said retiree Ed Pyrzynski, former master chief of the boat.
      "It's almost a duplicate of what happened here many years ago," Pyrzynski said.  more...


 



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$20B in doubt for Great Lakes fix

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The Detroit News

WASHINGTON-- A presidential task force Monday released a historic $20 billion, 15-year blueprint to restore the ailing Great Lakes -- but without promises from the White House or Congress to fund it.

If implemented, it would be among the most ambitious environmental projects in U.S. history. And it was to be followed today by another historic measure to protect the world's largest freshwater resource. Great Lakes political leaders were ready to sign an agreement banning diversion of Great Lakes water.

After representatives of the Great Lakes basin -- eight U.S. governors and two Canadian premiers -- sign the compact, it must be approved by the eight state legislatures and the U.S. Congress.   more...

 



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States OK stopper for the Great Lakes

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Chicago Tribune
By James Janega
Tribune staff reporter


The governors of the Great Lakes states and Ontario officials have agreed to all but ban pumping water out of the Great Lakes basin, home to a fifth of the world's fresh water, a resource expected to grow more precious in coming decades.

The pact, to be signed Tuesday in Milwaukee, would ban new or increased diversions of water from the Great Lakes and St. Lawrence River to other watersheds outside that drainage area, conference officials say.

The agreement formalizes how water from the lakes can be used while also requiring states and provinces to implement water-conservation programs and other steps.

The diversion issue has been at the forefront of Great Lakes conservation. It has made battlegrounds out of suburban areas on the cusp of the lakes' drainage area, where they have sought to import Great Lakes water just a few hundred yards for municipal use.   more...


 



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Sydney to Hobart plodders take the long way home via the Falklands

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By Alan Kennedy  http://www.smh.com.au/

The veteran yachtsmen Alex Whitworth and Peter Crozier like a challenge. In 1998, sailing Berrimilla, one of the smallest boats in the Sydney to Hobart fleet, they took on the savage storm that hit the race, leaving six dead and several boats sunk. They made it to the finish line, winning their division.

This year they have decided to go one better.

Whitworth and Crozier will race to Hobart and, after dismissing the rest of their crew, will take the long way home via Cape Horn, the Falklands and England. They will sail in the Fastnet race and return to Australia around the Cape of Good Hope.

If all goes according to plan, and they are the first to admit they are sailing into uncharted waters, they will be back in Sydney in time for next year's race south.

Whitworth, 62, a sailing instructor, and Crozier, 59, a builder, have been talking about the trip for years.   more...

 



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Volvo Ocean Race: Pirates of the Caribbean back in the water

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Sacha Oswald: http://www.bymnews.com


The Pirates of the Caribbean were back on the water and sailing today for the first time since withdrawing from the opening leg of the race.

After suffering a leak through the keel fairing doors on the first night of racing The Black Pearl was forced to pull out of the opening leg and seek urgent repairs in Cascais, Portugal.

But a month on, fully repaired and looking like new, The Black Pearl returned to the water for a practice sail this afternoon and skipper Paul Cayard was happy to report the problems which wrecked their first leg are now cured.

“The boat feels no different. It shouldn’t feel different. From a performance viewpoint, nothing has changed. We just repaired some things that were broken,” said the American winner of the 1998 Whitbread Race.   more...


 



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Home for the Holidays

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by Andrew L. McFarlane  - reprinted from the Northern Michigan Journal

Annie was home, wishing that she wasn't. Three years ago, when Molly was still in her belly, the idea that she would stay home with the child while Michael worked had seemed natural. One child had become two children, Molly and Mick, and though they were still the most important part of her life, she couldn't escape from the feeling that they weren't the entirety of that life. Five years ago, both of them had been working for the same company, bringing in enough money to afford this home, a rambling three story close enough to the heart of the city, yet far enough that the worst aspects of city life were, if not remote, at least not at the front door. As she looked around, as it seemed many times lately, it was as if she was a disconnected observer, watching not just three year old Molly, who had talked her into running Alladin again (something that wouldn't have happened a year ago, she felt sure), and year and a half Mick, who sat like a benevolent stone in his high chair (as happy with the idea that he could feed himself as the breakfast he was eating), but herself as well. She couldn't shake the feeling that the observer, that she herself, was passing some sort of judgement on the young mother -- "See, remember her? She used to be someone."

She made herself stop. She was still someone. Someone different, maybe, but still someone. She had to be. A knock at the door announced Olivet, her babysitter.

"All right Molly, TV off, it's time for you to go to school," she said as she opened the door and greeted Olivet.   more...


 



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22 Ways to Screw Up Your Engine

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By David Seidman - http://www.boatingmag.com
Ignorance Isn't Bliss, It's Expensive.

Think you know how to keep your engine going? Well, you might. You probably filter the fuel, change the oil, and make sure the cooling water is flowing. And of course you've read the engine manual. Or have you? I'm betting there are lots of things you've missed in that little bible, and that once you got past Page 7, you only looked at the pictures. Too bad, because even though you think you know what you're doing, you might be screwing up your engine by doing dumb things such as...

Economic Indicators Ignore an idiot light or warning buzzer once it comes on and risk a whopping repair bill. But sunlight can overwhelm LED or low-watt bulbs in indicators, making them hard to see. Solution? Provide shade, or move them. Even better are warning buzzers. But can you hear yours over the engine, stereo, and wind? At high speeds, noise levels can be in the 95+ dB-A range (like standing in a New York City subway station). Can your audible alarm top that? To be sure, install a Screamer 110 dB-A sounder for $8 (www.kitsrus.com). But keep in mind that by the time a warning goes off, the problem has already occurred. We like items such as Caterpillar's in-line water flow sensor that triggers an alarm when cooling water slows-well before overheating begins.  more...

 



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FT. LAUDERDALE'S REESER STEALS MARCH ON CORUM MELGES 24 WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP FLEET

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Photo ©: Tim Wilkes / www.timwilkes.com
- Keith Taylor - KEY LARGO, Fla., Dec. 12, 2006 – “It was like driving head-on into oncoming traffic!” With those words Fort Lauderdale’s Morgan Reeser described his starting line tactics as he drove Neil Sullivan’s Mfatic into a commanding lead on the second day of the 2005 Corum Melges 24 World Championship at Ocean Reef Club in Key Largo.

Reeser and Sullivan, who hails from Annapolis, Maryland, led on points after the first day of racing. They consolidated their lead with a first place in the first race today, never far from the lead in the ten-mile race inside the reef off North Key Largo. The second race in cool sparkling and sunny conditions with a puffy 10-knot breeze saw Mfatic trapped in the middle of the starting line with nowhere to go.

“We were trapped,” Reeser recalled. “The only thing to do was go over on the port tack before the starting gun sounded and sail against the oncoming boats, all of which had right of way over us. We ducked and dodged through 40 boats, just like driving head-on into oncoming traffic. It was kinda exciting.”

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GUNNING FOR SNOW: Ski resorts give nature a boost

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Gaylord Herald Times

GAYLORD - When the weather dips below 28 degrees, snowmaking becomes a 24-hour job at area ski resorts. This makes grueling work for those on snowmaking crews, such as that at the Otsego Club and Treetops Resort. At the Otsego Club, these crews are separated into three, eight-hour shifts Monday through Friday, then two, 12-hour shifts on Saturday and Sunday.

“Once the snowmaking starts, you don't have any time off,” said Mike Salkovich, mountain manager at the Otsego Club.

 

Snowmaking at area ski resorts has been an around-the-clock operation since mid-November, with the only down time being the few warm days just after Thanksgiving.

Mitch Buschbacher, director of facilities at Treetops, said because northern Michigan weather can be unpredictable, it's important to take advantage of cold weather days. “If we've got the weather, we try to get (snow) made because with Michigan weather, you never know when it's going to turn warm again,” Buschbacher said. “Temperatures (this year) have been real conducive to good snowmaking.”   more...

 



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Conservation catching on for region's water resources

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Lansing State Journal
By John Flesher
Associated Press

LUDINGTON - When the Metalworks company set out a couple of years ago to manufacture office furniture in a more environmentally friendly way, a consultant made a suggestion: Why not use less water?

Managers realized they hadn't given much thought to the roughly 24 million gallons used each year to prepare metal filing cabinets for painting. They reconfigured the Ludington plant's conveyor washing system to recycle water before sending it down the drain.

Double win

By 2004, Metalworks' water usage had fallen to 11.5 million gallons. This year's projected total: 8 million gallons - with no drop-off in production. The company's municipal water bill is down from $45,000 to about $15,000, more than recouping the $10,000 cost of upgrading the system.   more...

 



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Appeal date set in beach fence case

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MARY-JANE EGAN - The London Free Press

It's Round 2 in the battle over the fence on the Port Stanley beach.

A homeowner ordered by the Ontario Municipal Board in October to remove a chain-link fence -- which she argues protects her land ownership to the shore of Lake Erie -- will have her day in court Dec. 20 to fight the order.

In the meantime, Valerie M'Garry, lawyer for beachfront homeowner Paula Hewitt, said she is seeking a stay to allow the fence to remain pending the court ruling. She expects a ruling to be rendered after a hearing in the new year.

"It makes no sense to take out a solid, firmly constructed fence and then have to put it back again if we're successful," M'Garry said.    more...

 



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Governors poised to sign Great Lakes water rules

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Milwaukee Journal Sentinel By DAN EGAN

The Great Lakes governors are expected to sign a new set of rules Tuesday tightening diversions from the world's largest freshwater system. But the ceremony might signal only the beginning, not the end, of the fight over the future of who controls the Great Lakes.

If all eight governors do sign the new rules during the two-day meeting at the Pfister Hotel - and while this is likely, there is no guarantee that they will - those rules must still be approved by each of the eight Great Lakes state legislatures. Then Congress must sign off on the eight-state agreement, known as a compact.   more...

 



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TEN THREATS: BOTULISM KILLS BEACH BIRDS

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Lester Graham - Great Lakes Radio Consortium
December 12, 2005

We’ve been bringing you reports from the series, ‘Ten Threats to the Great Lakes’ which is now looking at the threat to beaches. Our guide through the series is Lester Graham. He reports that scientists are beginning to understand what’s killing thousands of Great Lakes shorebirds. It might be part of a larger problem indirectly caused by humans.

Researchers are beginning to understand what's killing thousands of Great Lakes shorebirds. It might be part of a larger problem indirectly caused by humans. The Great Lakes Radio Consortium's Lester Graham reports:

Along parts of Lake Erie, Lake Ontario, and Lake Huron, large numbers of dead birds and fish are washing up on shore. If they're left there, the disease that killed them can be passed on to other wildlife. That's why park officials such as Mike Mumau at Presque Isle State Park at Erie, Pennsylvania ask their staff to watch out for the dead carcasses.    more...

Learn more about botulism

More information about botulism

Information about quagga mussels



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Ten threats: Bacteria hits the beaches

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Great Lakes Radio Consortium
Shawn Allee
December 12, 2005

We’re continuing our series, Ten Threats to the Great Lakes. Our field guide through the series is Lester Graham. He says anyone who visits Great Lakes beach is familiar with one of the Ten Threats.

If you swim or play on the beaches around the Great Lakes, you've probably heard about 'beach closings.' At best, the situation is an inconvenience. At worst, it's a serious health risk for some people. That's because the beaches are closed due to dangerous levels of bacteria in the water. Beach closures are not all that new, but Shawn Allee reports… the science behind them could change dramatically in the next few years:    more...

Alliance for the Great Lakes on why beach closings matter

Sierra Club website on sewage overflows

EPA website about beach pollution



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