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A Reader Responds to his Senator....

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Sen. Schumer,
 
I don't consider myself to be a political activist by any stretch of the imagination, but the proposal to reduce federal standards that would allow the dumping of partially treated sewage into the nation’s waterways is for lack of a better term, insane.
 
I understand that the current state of the world is forcing the nation to be more fiscally responsible, but the long term costs, in the context of the environmental damage that this proposal will force upon us is staggering.
 
Prior to 1996 I had resided for a good portion of my life in the upper Midwest. Last summer I returned to the northern regions of Lake Michigan with my wife and two children, all who are lifelong residents of New York. They were absolutely astounded as to the size and the sheer beauty of the lake. I was proud to have introduced them to it. After a week of swimming in the lake, we returned to New York. Shortly there after, both of my children came down with coccsacia (sp?), a nasty rash that left them with sores in their mouths. I thought that it may have been a coincidence, but my nieces from both Michigan and Colorado were also infected. It may be that the lake was not responsible, but the pattern of our nation’s lakes becoming eutrophic concerns me none the less.
 
My college education centered around limnology and oceanography, and I have spent a great deal of time over the last 15 years working for small engineering firms designing and building wastewater treatment plants, so I am somewhat comfortable in my knowledge of the subject. I understand that there are politicians who view those that they serve as hamsters. That's fine, it may well be the case, but they need to keep in mind that our cages need to be cleaned on a regular basis. I trust that you will, or already have, become familiar with the proposal and will make the right decision.
 
Sincerely,
 
E.H.
Mahopac, NY
 
 


Environment  Other  

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  • I only wish that more people could do the kind of writing that N. C. Of Mahopac...more
    - [fishingone]
  • Hey I need some help here, does anybody know where to find a copy of the propose...more
    - [rant]

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Mountains are the result of forces that the human experience cannot begin to comprehend.

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Mountains are technically large geological projections formed by the collision of tectonic plates. Mountains are the result of forces that the human experience cannot begin to comprehend. A force that can turn coal into diamonds, much like a microwave turns kernels into pop corn, except that the force is compressive - not expansive.

Mountains in the span of a generation or more, are static. The structural changes are incremental in geological time only. The visible changes are not the result of the forces of nature, but rather the blight of humankind. The changes are superficial, for mankind cannot hurt the mountain, only scratch the skin. While the bite of blade will open a gash and leave a scar that repulses, the scar itself is not fatal, and over time, the scar may fade. It is in the hidden inaccessible regions of the mountains, where we find the magic.

Newtonian physics tells us that for every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction. That for every force, there is a counterforce. This is wherein the magic lies. For all of the compressive forces on the mountain, there are expansive forces. Forces that can open our hearts and souls to the elements, bare them naked to the world.

Walking in the mountains I tread in the footsteps of my father and grandfathers. Footpaths, that they shared with the Blackfoot, Flathead, and Arapahoe before them. Journeys into the past, and into the future. Walking in the mountains I hear their voices and catch glimpses of them in the shadows of the lodgepole stands. We greet each other as friends long out of sight, and joyfully converse about the past and present.

I respect the gift and the love that they gave to me, and eagerly await to share it with my son, and the generations who will follow him. The mountains offer a quieting force that fades the scars of our daily battles, and allow us to catch our breath and take stock of what is to come. submitted by E. Hough



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  • Ever think about how the forses came to be? Mountains are mentioned 300 time in...more
    - [name not provided]

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Pat Dunsworth - Mineapolis, Minnesota

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Pat Dunsworth

Pat Dunsworth has been a freelance photographer for more than thirty years, focusing on yacht-racing events in the Midwest. Based out of the Twin Cities, Pat has provided sailing images for several national and regional publications, specializing in youth events and in inland scow, iceboat and keelboat competitions. His goal is to always capture the excitement and beauty of sailboat racing.  more...

 

PD-A-008.JPG

 

 



Sailing  

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Coutts rises to challenge

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Russell CouttsAfter a nightmare year, America's Cup ace Russell Coutts could be forgiven for counting down the days until it ends.

But Coutts, back in Auckland for Christmas, was bright as a button reflecting on the year and what lies ahead.

Sensationally sacked from Alinghi in July, he watched in dismay as his boss and friend Ernesto Bertarelli teamed up with Oracle head Larry Ellison and changed the cup protocol to prevent him from joining another team.

Coutts took neither his dismissal nor the rule change lying down, and is now going through legal arbitration with Bertarelli, which will decide whether he is part of the next regatta.

Since the process is expected to take a while, Coutts has been back doing what he does best - sailing.    more...


 



Sailing  Sailing - Am Cup  

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Tsunami miracle: Ed and Helen's story

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American sailors Ed and Helen Muesch are taking part in the Blue Water Rally in Tahlequah, their Hans Christian 43. They were anchored in Phi Phi Don in Thailand when the tsunami struck. What follows is their terrifying account, in which Helen nearly died.

We have had several other terrible reports, which we hope to publish in our March issue. A number came from yachtsmen who had taken great risks to treat the injured ashore.

Just a short but important digression before progressing with Ed and Helen's story: In the last few days there has been much passionate discussion about the necessity - and the failings - of aid agencies on the Yachting Monthly Scuttlebutt forum page, Click here.   more...

 



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One-Design Fleet Building

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The author's theories on class & fleet roles in getting more boats on the line—largely through leadership and communication—based on a presentation at US SAILING's 2004 One-Design Symposium

By John Burnham 


1. Fleet Building: This topic is the baseline issue for every fleet and every class; it's really what the US SAILING One-Design Symposium is all about. If classes focus on the basics of fleet building and make sure each fleet is paying attention to them, the good, innovative ideas will naturally flow and the fleets will grow.

2. Takin' it to the Fleets: This was the headline of a story one of us at US SAILING wrote a number of years ago, and I like it enough to use it again. The point is that fleetbuilding energy has got to happen at the fleet level, but class leaders can have a big influence on the process. They can influence growth in several ways, most of them pretty straightforward:
a) Communication: web, newsletter, listserv/email;
b) Schedule coordination, regatta planning;
c) Builder relations, revising rules;
d) Collect memberships, finances, & report how you're doing—which often creates calls to action. For example, some classes keep better track of their membership numbers than others. You should do it every year if for no other reason than it reminds you to get your fleet leaders in gear to make sure their fleet members are paid-up class
 


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Getting through the Off-Season

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Current FeatureSometimes it seems as if sailors are gluttons for pain. How about those long cold hours in the cockpit staring at a featureless horizon, or cooking a dinner while sailing at a 20-degree heel, or going forward to the plunging bow to wrestle down the jib while being doused by a steady stream of water. But, of course, these are among the joyful discomforts of sailing. There is also the real pain that comes with this crazy passion called sailing.

That's the pain, for example, of taking the final sail of the year before having to put the boat away for a season, or the pain of seeing your boat ill-kept or dirty. But the most devastating pain of all is the pain of deprivation, a.k.a. winter.   more...

 



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NOAA scientist: Close door on lake invaders

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In the two decades since zebra mussels were discovered in Lake St. Clair, efforts to keep more exotic species from invading the Great Lakes could be summed up in four words: All bark, no bite.

Now, a leading Great Lakes scientist says, it's time to close the door to the "carriers" of those harmful creatures.

Politicians have outlawed the introduction of new exotic species, usually brought in by ocean-going vessels. Scientists have documented how foreign organisms are causing "ecosystem shock" in the Great Lakes. And government agencies, municipalities and private companies have spent billions to limit the harmful effects of zebra mussels and other exotics.   more...

 



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Intruders at the gate

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The more Dan Thomas learns about the bighead carp swimming toward the Great Lakes, the more the avid salmon fisherman fears for the future of Lake Michigan.

The monstrous fish, brought from Asia to North America by Southern fish farmers in the 1970s, are believed to have escaped on floodwaters into the Mississippi River more than a decade ago. They have been migrating north ever since.

Bighead and their cousins, silver carp, are now believed to be within 50 miles of the Chicago shoreline.

The fish may share the same last name with common carp, but that's about it.  more...

 



Environment  

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Great Lakes Ports Get Less Cash To Implement Security

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CLEVELAND -- Fences now enclose many docks on the Great Lakes, extra lighting has been installed, security patrols added and new surveillance cameras positioned to record all traffic in and out.

The changes are required by law at all ports nationwide, but Great Lakes ports, vessels and companies received 2.6 percent of the federal money designated for the upgrades. Most of the cash has gone to coastal ports, which arguably face the greater threat.

Port directors say they are spending money on security that otherwise would pay for improvements -- such as dredging channels -- at the gateways for materials used in construction and to produce steel used in automobiles, appliances and other consumer goods.

  more...

 



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SMALLER FISH AFTER ALEWIFE DIE-OFF

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This past year, the size of salmon in some Great Lakes is getting smaller because their main food source is dying off in some areas of the lakes. The Great Lakes Radio Consortium's Lester Graham reports:

In the 1960's, fish and game officials introduced Pacific salmon such as chinook, coho and steelhead to control the invasive species alewife. That's a small fish that moved in from the Atlantic. The salmon are popular fishing. But since the alewives are not native… they're especially susceptible to quick weather changes. And fisheries managers suspect competition with zebra mussels for food also affects alewives. Recently, alewife populations have crashed in some places. Jim Dexter is with the Michigan Department of Natural Resources…   more...

What is an alewife?

Predator and prey in the Great Lakes

More about the alewife

 



Environment  Fishing  

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Barrier may not keep Asian carp out of Lake Michigan

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CHICAGO The Army Corps of Engineers is warning that the nine-(m)-million-dollar electric barrier being built in Lemont may not be enough to keep Asian carp from getting into Lake Michigan.

The voracious invasive fish are seen as a threat to the four-and-a-half-(b)-billion-dollar sport and commercial fishing industry in the Great Lakes.

The electric fence being built at Lemont replaces a temporary barrier that has been in place near Romeoville.   more...

 



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Ducks Unlimited Great Lakes/Atlantic Region

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Ducks Unlimited HomeThe Great Lakes/Atlantic Regional Office, located in Ann Arbor, MI and established in 1998, provides comprehensive conservation solutions to help restore and protect diminishing wetlands in 18 states, from Wisconsin to Virginia and north to Maine.

Historic wetland loss, conversion of lands to development, water quality problems and an expanding human population are the greatest challenges that face this region.   DU is dedicated to reversing the trends of wetland habitat losses, restoring and protecting habitats, educating conservation values, and making the Great Lakes/Atlantic region a better place for breeding, migrating and wintering waterfowl.  

more...

 



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IRC Sail Measuring

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Need to get ready for the IRC Handicap Rating?

Detroit, MI, December 16, 2004 - Bayview Yacht Club has announced that they will run it's major summer racing event under the IRC rule beginning in 2005. The handicap rule will be used exclusively for monohulls racing on the Southampton Course (253NM) of their Bacardi Bayview Port Huron Mackinac Race which begins on July 23, 2005. ... more...

Bring by your sails to our North Sails office in St. Clair Shores to get your sails measured and an official measurment IRC form for your sails. 

For more information contact: Jim Neumann or Wally Cross    586-776-1330    

http://rorcrating.com/

 

 

 

 

 



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From Gale to Becalmed, Team Fine Line's Sydney Hobart Race

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The fleet has a mandatory weather briefing at 8:30 AM. Two crewmembers are required to attend. Again, most of our crew is there. I notice that several other boats are well represented as well.

The forecast confirms what we saw on the Internet yesterday. Things have improved somewhat since the briefing on the 24th. But, difficult conditions with some gale winds and high seas are still in the forecast for day 2.

The docks at the marina are crowded with people quite early. Along with over a thousand sailors make last minute preparations or just staying busy to burn off nervous energy, there are wives, girlfriends, family, friends, the media, and the curious. If one is not already keyed up tight, the atmosphere on the docks will get you there.   more...


 



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