Welcome to DU! The truly grassroots left-of-center political community where regular people, not algorithms, drive the discussions and set the standards. Join the community: Create a free account Support DU (and get rid of ads!): Become a Star Member


Rhiannon12866's Journal
Rhiannon12866's Journal
August 31, 2013

Advocate for gays in US military killed in New York state car crash

PITTSFORD, N.Y. -- Darren Manzella, a gay combat medic discharged from the Army after criticizing the military's 'don't ask, don't tell' policy in a 2007 television interview, has died in a traffic accident in western New York. He was 36.

His aunt, Robin Mahoney, on Friday confirmed his death. Manzella lived in the Chautauqua County town of Portland; he and his partner were married in July.

The Monroe County Sheriff's Office said Manzella was driving on Interstate 490 in suburban Rochester about 8:30 p.m. Thursday when his vehicle sideswiped a car. Deputies said he stopped his vehicle, got out and began pushing the car from behind. He was then hit by an SUV, pinning him between the two vehicles. He died at the scene.

Manzella's December 2007 appearance on "60 Minutes" from the combat zone in Iraq was followed by his discharge in June 2008 for "homosexual admission," a violation of the since-rescinded policy prohibiting service members from openly acknowledging they are gay.


Darren Manzella, who was discharged from the Army after criticizing U.S. policy on gays in the military, has been killed in a traffic accident.

August 27, 2013

New York at risk from combination of rising seas and stronger hurricanes, experts warn

Projections by the National Weather Service and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers show that much of the five boroughs will be submerged if another strong hurricane hits New York in the year 2100.

Thanks to rising seas brought on by global warming, New Yorkers can count on a very wet, deadly, and expensive future.

Based on projections from the National Weather Service and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, if a storm equivalent in strength to Hurricane Sandy were to hit the five boroughs in the year 2100, vastly larger swaths of the city would be submerged.

The reason is simple. Sea levels are forecast to rise by as much as six feet before the end of the century, making low lying cities like New York all but defenseless to the wrath of powerful storms

Read more: http://www.nydailynews.com/news/national/rising-seas-threatening-new-york-experts-warn-article-1.1437794#ixzz2d9E0YZkL

In its forthcoming report, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change estimates that sea level could rise by as much as six feet by the end of the century.

August 22, 2013

Powering the Future: New York City's taxi of the future (includes video)

NEW YORK Shrewd New Yorkers may have spotted some sleek silver and yellow cabs racing around the city's streets.

They're the newest taxis being tested out in a pilot program to see how electric cabs can survive in one of the busiest places in the world, where roads look like "ploughed fields," according to one veteran New York City taxi driver.

The city-run program is to see if New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg's plan of having one-third of the taxi fleet be electric by 2020 is actually feasible.

"That's absolutely do-able. What we need to do is put chargers throughout the city so taxis can charge up. The technology is there ... now we've got to find the space and get the installations done. That's real work, but it's absolutely do-able," said David Yassky, New York City's Taxi and Limousine Commissioner, in an interview with CBSNews.com.


New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg arrives in an electric taxicab for a press conference on April 22, 2013 in New York.
/ AP Photo/Bebeto Matthews

August 20, 2013

Gulf Spill Sampling Questioned

An analysis of water, sediment and seafood samples taken in 2010 during and after the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico has found higher contamination levels in some cases than previous studies by federal agencies did, casting doubt on some of the earlier sampling methods.

The lead author, Paul W. Sammarco of the Louisiana Universities Marine Consortium, said that dispersants used to break up the oil might have affected some of the samples. He said that the greater contamination called into question the timing of decisions by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration to reopen gulf fisheries after the spill and that “it might be time to review the techniques that are used to determine” such reopenings.


Like other studies after the spill, the new analysis, published last week in the journal Marine Pollution Bulletin, found that components of oil were distributed along the Gulf Coast as far west as Galveston, Tex. — about 300 miles from the well site — and southeast to the Florida Keys.

But the study found higher levels of many oil-related compounds than earlier studies by NOAA scientists and others, particularly in seawater and sediment. The compounds studied included polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons, some of which are classified as probably carcinogenic, and volatile organic compounds, which can affect the immune and nervous systems.


Fireboat crews battling a blaze at the Deepwater Horizon drilling rig in the Gulf of Mexico, off Louisiana, on April 21, 2010, a day after the rig exploded, killing 11 workers and resulting in the blowout of an exploratory well owned by BP. Ultimately, roughly 200 million gallons of crude oil gushed into the gulf.

August 20, 2013

New York cracks down on distracted drivers

New York State and local police have an eye on you. So don't even think about texting anyone or even touching that cell phone.

Governor Andrew Cuomo announced last week that police would be putting out extra patrols to enforce the state's laws governing use of cell phones and portable electronic devices while driving during the summer of 2013. He wasn't kidding.

New York's increased enforcement of distracted driving laws began over the Fourth of July weekend of 2013. The state dedicated $1 million to its efforts to catch drivers who use their phones behind the wheel. For the rest of the summer, police officers will be patrolling the roads in unmarked sport utility vehicles, called Concealed Identity Traffic Enforcement vehicles, that are equipped with special enhancements to help police catch people on their phones while driving. The vehicles have been designed to ride at higher levels than other automobiles on the road so that officers can look into other vehicles to see if drivers are using cell phones or other portable electronic devices. It's like fishing in a barrel.

Citations for using cell phones or electronic devices can come with stiff penalties. As of June 1, 2013, drivers receive five points on their driving records for violating the state's cell phone use while driving laws. Drivers who accrue 11 points within 18 months face suspension of their driver's licenses.

Read more at http://blog.gasbuddy.com/posts/New-York-cracks-down-on-distracted-drivers/1715-548088-1951.aspx#GzVdkciEkWFvWGUu.99

August 20, 2013

Not hardly!

You must have missed the Harrisons, the Coolidges, not to mention TR's boys:

August 15, 2013

Earth orbit changes were key to Antarctic warming that ended last ice age

For more than a century scientists have known that Earth’s ice ages are caused by the wobbling of the planet’s orbit, which changes its orientation to the sun and affects the amount of sunlight reaching higher latitudes, particularly the polar regions.

The Northern Hemisphere’s last ice age ended about 20,000 years ago, and most evidence has indicated that the ice age in the Southern Hemisphere ended about 2,000 years later, suggesting that the south was responding to warming in the north.

But new research published online Aug. 14 in Nature shows that Antarctic warming began at least two, and perhaps four, millennia earlier than previously thought.

Most previous evidence for Antarctic climate change has come from ice cores drilled in East Antarctica, the highest and coldest part of the continent. However, a U.S.-led research team studying a new ice core from West Antarctica found that warming there was well under way 20,000 years ago.


A West Antarctica Ice Sheet Divide project researcher stands in a snow pit next to an ice core with data from 68,000 years ago. The prominent line across the middle of the ice separates one year’s ice and snow accumulation from the next year’s.

August 15, 2013

O'Hare's grass gives burros, llamas, goats and sheep something to chew on (includes videos)

An assortment of burros, llamas, goats and sheep have been chewing on O'Hare International Airport's hard-to-reach landscape for two weeks now, and Tuesday morning the group of about 25 welcomed a new addition.

The baby lamb, a boy, was named O'Hare.

Chicago Department of Aviation officials said the project is part of the airport's sustainability effort. It is spending $19,500 on a two-year contract for the animals. Department Commissioner Rosemarie Andolino could not say how much the airport saves by using them instead of a landscaping service.

Similar programs have been used at airports in Seattle, San Francisco and Atlanta.

Andolino said the areas where the animals graze are virtually impossible for machinery to reach. She also said they serve a second purpose by shooing away other wildlife by gobbling up their habitat.


August 11, 2013

Tea party leader, Joe Gilbert, enters race for 21st Congressional District

Joe Gilbert, a tea party leader from St. Lawrence County, has entered the race for the Republican nomination to challenge U.S. Rep. Bill Owens, D-Plattsburgh, in 2014.

“It is the House of Representatives, and I don’t think the people are being represented any more,” Gilbert said Saturday in a telephone interview.

Gilbert, a retired Army major, is director of emergency services for St. Lawrence County.

He is the second candidate to announce his candidacy for the Republican nomination in the 21st Congressional District, which includes Warren, Washington and northern Saratoga counties.

Elise Stefanik, a business woman from Willsboro, announced her candidacy Tuesday.


This is all we need! We already have Chris Gibson...

August 10, 2013

Cut Emissions? Congress Itself Keeps Burning a Dirtier Fuel

WASHINGTON — As part of the climate change agenda he unveiled this year, President Obama made a commitment to significantly reduce the federal government’s dependence on fossil fuels. The government, he said in a speech in June at Georgetown University, “must lead by example.”

But just two miles from the White House stands the Capitol Power Plant, the largest single source of carbon emissions in the nation’s capital and a concrete example of the government’s inability to green its own turf.

The plant, which provides heating and cooling to the sprawling Capitol campus — 23 buildings that include the Library of Congress, the Supreme Court and Congressional office buildings, in addition to the Capitol building itself — is operated by Congress, and its transition to cleaner energy sources has been mired in national politics for years. But the failure of Congress to modernize its own facility also raises questions about the Obama administration’s ability to limit emissions from existing power plants when it has not been able to do so at a government-run facility so close to home.

The office of the architect of the Capitol, which oversees the operations of the plant, first moved to end the use of coal there in 2000 but was turned back by resistance from powerful coal-state senators who wanted to keep it as the primary fuel. The effort was revived in 2007 as a central part of the Green the Capitol Initiative, led by Nancy Pelosi, the House speaker at the time. The effort was defunded in 2011 after the Republicans took control of the House.


The Capitol Power Plant, which provides heating and cooling to the sprawling Capitol campus, is the largest single source of carbon emissions in Washington.

Profile Information

Gender: Female
Hometown: NE New York
Home country: USA
Current location: Serious Snow Country :(
Member since: 2003 before July 6th
Number of posts: 194,962

Journal Entries

Latest Discussions»Rhiannon12866's Journal