Oct 30, 2007

Greenland paddle making

Hans' article of carving G paddle.

Hand carving paddle is the most relaxing activity I experienced.

Result of 1 day working with wood: 7 new Greenland sticks - picture by Tom van Steenbergen

Here is his article.

Amazing rolling video

I was reading Hans' entry about greenland paddle making and came upon a remarkable video of rolling.

See the video of Dubside and Leon Somme

Oct 21, 2007

Mayor Cup 2007

It was a great race, a fast race but a slow race for me.

I like to congratulate Glen and Orlova of the club being the first and the first of Fast Touring Men and Fast Touring Women. Joe Glickman placed the 7th in Elite Touring.

I finished. I met Margo of the Maine to Miami trip. Here is her late entry of red tide of Ocean City, New Jersey.

Oct 18, 2007

Dig these words from Patagonia

We enjoy silent, human-powered sports done in nature, where the reward involves no audience and no prize other than hard-won grace. These entail risk, require soul and invite reflection. They bring us closer to the natural world and to ourselves.

- Zen Ripped from Patagonia site

Oct 15, 2007

Rx for sick Jamaica Bay wetlands

By Gary Buiso

The city last week released the blueprint it feels will improve the ecological health of Jamaica Bay, where poor water quality and disappearing marshlands have left the waterbody in critical condition.

The two-volume Watershed Protection Plan by the city’s Department of Environmental Protection’s (DEP) details the troubling conditions in the bay and offers a guide for its future management.

The plan, delivered to the mayor and City Council, offers recommendations for the implementation of “hard and soft infrastructure projects, pilot studies, regulatory initiatives and public outreach efforts,” according to the DEP, which said some improvements would begin immediately.

Most significantly, the plan calls for specific measures to improve water quality, including limiting the amount of nitrogen that is released in the bay.

Nitrogen release is suspected as a cause of the bay’s diminishing water quality, and the prime culprit in the rapid disappearance of the bay’s saltwater marsh islands.

In the plan, DEP proposes the addition of carbon at the 26th Ward wastewater plant and at the Jamaica Water Pollution Control Plant—facilities that deposit cleaned waste in the bay.

Oct 13, 2007

Weiner seeks help to save Jamaica Bay's marshlands

Rep. Anthony Weiner (D-Brooklyn, Queens) examines a map of Jamaica Bay's disappearing salt marshes.

Rep. Anthony Weiner (D-Brooklyn, Queens) examines a map of Jamaica Bay's disappearing salt marshes.

Rep. Anthony Weiner challenged the city on Friday to treat Jamaica Bay's vanishing marshlands as an "emergency" - or face the heavy hand of the feds.

Weiner, advocates and a City Council member all slammed the Environmental Protection Department's plan to protect the bay, released earlier last week, saying it was too little, too late.

An alarming new study suggests the fragile saltwater marshlands could disappear by 2012 - or 12 years sooner than previously predicted, said Weiner (D-Brooklyn, Queens), who proposed an aggressive four-step remedy.

"The city's plan doesn't do enough quickly enough," he said. "What we need to do is to realize that we have to go into kind of a crisis mode here."

Each day, the bay is flushed with 250 million gallons of treated wastewater, which raises the nitrogen content, ultimately killing fragile marsh roots, research has shown. Roughly 33 acres of marshland were lost last year, Weiner said - twice the depletion rate of seven years ago.

Dan Mundy Jr., vice president of the Jamaica Bay Eco Watchers, said the city has chosen to tighten its purse strings rather than safeguard the bay.

"The DEP's plan falls short. It's too little, too late. They've basically chosen not to take the necessary steps to save the bay," Mundy said.

Weiner is calling for the bay's nitrogen levels to be reduced 20% by 2010 and 60% by 2017. To prevent untreated sewage and storm water from washing into the bay, he wants the city to double its sewage capacity by 2011.

"It is time to start to treat this as [the] environmental emergency that it is," Weiner said as he unveiled his strategy.

To bankroll his proposals, Weiner said the state could tap into federal dollars through the Clean Water Act, or the city could dip into its "enormous wellspring" of water-tax revenues.

Last week, the DEP released its long-awaited Jamaica Bay Watershed Protection Plan. It includes nitrogen-control measures at two wastewater treatments plants. It also recommends ways to restore habitat.

But Councilman James Gennaro (D-Fresh Meadows), who authored legislation in 2005 mandating bay-protection measures, criticized the city plan for its lack of specific goals and timelines.

"This is a plan for a plan," he said. "Unfortunately, it is not clear exactly what DEP will do or when and how it will do it."

A DEP spokeswoman disagreed, calling the agency's framework "a very comprehensive plan that represents the diverse interests of Jamaica Bay." But Weiner said the city can no longer drag its feet.

"If they don't solve this problem quickly, the federal government and federal agencies are going to force them to solve it quickly."

Oct 8, 2007

Work Day 10/07/07

Where was everybody?

ok...so maybe some of us turned up a trifle late! :D

Season closer's the 28th, right?

Oct 7, 2007

Gowanus Canal sick with germs, City Tech professors say

A biology professor whose students found gonorrhea in the Gowanus Canal said the water is so ridden with "aggressive" strains of bacteria she wouldn't live anywhere near it.

The news comes as developers are hungrily eyeing the banks of the long-polluted canal between pricey Carroll Gardens and Park Slope for luxury condos.

"I wouldn't, and I wouldn't eat the fish either," said Niloufar Haque, a biology professor at New York City College of Technology, who has tested the canal's water for three years with her sister, Nasreen, also a professor at City Tech.

"We were just saying we wouldn't want our child growing up around that water," added Haque.

Besides gonorrhea, Haque and her students have found flu viruses and other "disease-causing" bacteria in the canal's fetid waters. But Haque said she is most disturbed by how virulent the strains appear to be.

"These are species of microorganisms that are very aggressive," said Haque. "When you take the samples and analyze them back at the lab it is scary."

The canal - once one of the most industrialized waterways in the country - has seen a resurgence in the last few years since the city first repaired its flushing tunnel in 1999 and helped cut down on its notorious smell.

When the tunnel is functioning, crabs and fish can survive in its waters and kayakers flock to its banks.

But advocates charge the canal is still far from clean, largely because it has never been dredged and raw sewage is still dumped directly into it during heavy rains, as it is in other places.

"When you put that much raw sewage into the system, it's really not surprising that you find a variety of pathogens, toxins and bacteria in the water," said Craig Michaels, an investigator with Riverkeeper, which has sued the city over the sewage issue.

Environmental Protection Department officials said yesterday they are working on several projects that will further clean up the canal, including an upgraded flushing tunnel that will increase flow by 40%, a better pumping station, and new sewer pipes to divert waste from the canal.

In the meantime, the city has begun soliciting bids for what could be the first new housing on a lot on 5th and Smith Sts.

Other big-name developers also have snapped up parcels and are pushing the city to allow luxury condos along its banks.

David Von Spreckelsen, an executive with Toll Brothers, which wants to build condos near 1st St., pointed to the city's planned upgrades for the canal and said he is confident people will want to live there.

"It doesn't worry me," said Von Spreckelsen, who a few weeks back took his young kids canoeing on the canal.

Canal booster Buddy Scotto said he has long battled the city over sewage flowing into the canal, but he said the canal is cleaner than ever and is ready for residences.

"That's the only way we can get it cleaned up," said Scotto.

The jetskis' end is near.

Yesterday, we were on Brighton beach reading a good book. They came driving through swimmers. Without lifeguards, they drove right through beach goers until they let me take these pictures with their number plates. I think I will be going to Brighton beach more often.

I called in 311 and they asked to wait for 911. We let the police know. We were there for two and half hours. I counted about fifteen jetskis getting within the stone throw. You could smell gasoline minutes after they left. There is big open space and they came to the beach showing off and taking pictures.

Number plates read; NY5127 ME, NY7680 FR, NY1700 ME.

We have been having an ongoing discussion over several months about jetskis back in the Jamaica Bay. It seems we lost it as the laws changed.

However it seems jetskiers are not so bright but timid. As lifeguards retreated after the labor day, they are coming out in droves ever so close to the beach and creating hazards.

Oct 3, 2007

Around LI In 5 Years If It Kills Us, Leg 1, Day 2 & 3 gallery DONE!

Racing for the beach!

Bit of a rush job as it's monthly close at work & I've been working some long days, but I've posted pictures from Days 2 & 3 of our trip out along Long Island. They've actually been up for a while, but I just finished off the last few captions on my lunch hour today.

I combine days 2 & 3 as I took half as many pictures those days - there was just a lot more variation in scenery on the first day, out of J-bay, around Breezy Point, along the Atlantic, in through the East Rockaway Inlet and finishing at Paddy's - dramatic changes in environment from urban to open just made for fun picturetaking. And then of course there was that unbelievably gorgeous sunrise...

Anyways, lunchtime's over, time to stop reminiscing - but what a wonderful 3 days. Thanks again, everyone who made it happen.

This should take you to the gallery!.

Cross-posted at Frogma.