The Great Lakes Zephyr - Wind Energy & Hydrogen Journal

Saturday, January 17, 2009

I am moving this blog!

The new domain should be:

This will cause me to lose my hit counts & you'll need to update your links to the new domain, but it will allow me to use the full features of the blog, and claim it properly on

Please visit the blog at its new location.

Thank You, and thank You for reading!

Dan Stafford

I will be re-vamping this blog soon...

It's long-past time for me to give the Zephyr a new template. I may also need to move it to blogspot for hosting due to technical difficulties with, I'll wait and see on that yet.

I will try to preserve as much of the look and feel of the Zephyr as I can when I move to the new template, and I'll save a copy of the current template script for reference in updates.

The new template should make it easier for publishing and adding features, and make this blog easier to find. It will also allow me to integrate with Feedburner, fix the comments and backlink features, integrate with Twitter, and other things this old template just can't handle.

Please bear with me while I go through this process, and struggle to bring you as much environmental news as I can in one place.

Regards, and thank You for reading -


Monday, January 05, 2009

Technorati claim post

Technorati Profile

Just me claiming the Zephyr on Technorati & about time.


01/05/2009 T.O. Enviro-news

The Boston Globe | Wind, Waves, and Watts The Boston Globe: "The steady, strong winds over the Atlantic off New England have attracted another developer interested in harnessing them for power generation. A new wrinkle in the proposal by Grays Harbor Ocean Energy Company, of Washington state, is that the supports anchoring each wind turbine platform to the ocean floor would be designed in a way to turn wave action into electricity as well."  Greening the Ghetto Elizabeth Kolbert, The New Yorker: "A few months ago, Van Jones, the founder and president of a group called Green for All, went to visit New Bedford, Massachusetts. His first stop of the day was the public library, where someone had assembled an audience of about thirty high-school dropouts. They leaned back in their chairs, hands in the pockets of their oversized sweatshirts. A few appeared to be stoned."

GLIN NEWS: 05 January 2009

GLIN Daily News wrote:

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Great Lakes Daily News: 05 January 2009

For links to these stories and more, visit

Engineers to inspect 3 state dams for waste ash
Three Minnesota dikes that hold vast amounts of coal waste ash will be inspected by state engineers in light of the disastrous ash sludge spill last month in Tennessee. Source: Star Tribune (1/5)

Oberlin sets up more ways to show how resources are used
Oberlin College has secured an $812,000 grant from the Great Lakes Protection Fund for a four-year pilot project to monitor and display personal and community water consumption. Source: The Chronicle-Telegram (1/5)

Canada ready to plug into electric cars: study group
Plug-in electric cars can make a breakthrough into the North American market within the next decade as the economy emerges from its current slowdown, says the head of an industry-led panel advising the Harper government. Source: The Montreal Gazette (1/4)

Lyme grass, a new plant 'invader,' could take over dunes
Lyme grass is flourishing at 125 sites in the coastal dunes of Lake Michigan, according to a new report prepared for The Nature Conservancy. The plant concerns botanists because it competes with native marram grass, or dune grass - one of the predominant species in Great Lakes coastal dunes. Source: Muskegon Chronicle (1/4)

Scientists find signs of 13,000-year-old extinction event
It's well-known that a meteorite colliding with Earth is considered the most likely reason why dinosaurs died off 65 million years ago. Now a team of scientists says it has found new evidence that a comet triggered a similar extinction 13,000 years ago, at a time when humans were around. Source: Chicago Tribune (1/2)

Pipeline company to pay $1.1M for violations in Wis.
The company that built a 321-mile, $2 billion oil pipeline across Wisconsin has agreed to pay $1.1 million for environmental violations, Attorney General J.B. Van Hollen said Friday. Houston-based Enbridge Energy Co. will pay the money to settle a lawsuit accusing it of violating state permits. Source: Chicago Tribune (1/2)

Dow Chemical in talks for Michigan dioxin cleanup
More than three decades after Dow Chemical was blamed for some of the worst dioxin contamination in history, federal regulators are meeting with the company yet again about cleaning up polluted waterways in eastern Michigan. Source: Chicago Tribune (1/1)

Waukesha may face radium fines
The state Department of Justice likely will fine the City of Waukesha, Wis., for failing to completely rid its drinking water of potentially cancer-causing radium, Mayor Larry Nelson said. Source: Milwaukee Journal Sentinel (1/1)

Group pushes water-conservation measures
Investing $10 billion in water-efficiency programs could play an important role in America's "green economy," creating as many as 220,000 jobs while protecting a priceless natural resource says a new report produced by the Chicago-based Alliance for the Great Lakes. Source: Muskegon Chronicle (12/31)

Slowing economy has some ships tying up early for winter
There are still a couple of weeks in the Great Lakes shipping season, and the Army Corps of Engineers will be operating locks at Sault Ste. Marie, Mich., until Jan. 15. But the recession is drying up business, and a number of Great Lakes ships have already called it quits, tying up for winter early. Source: Minnesota Public Radio (12/31)

Cuyahoga County wins Ohio environmental cleanup grant
Cuyahoga County is receiving a $2.1 million environmental cleanup grant from the state of Ohio to help rehabilitate the Cuyahoga River channel. Source: Crain's Cleveland Business (12/30)

COMMENTARY: Don't expand the landfill
Additional hazardous waste landfill capacity in New York State is unnecessary. Demand is down and there's no need to encourage it, the state concluded a long time ago. So, why does the proposed expansion of a hazardous waste site in Niagara County remain an issue? Source: The Buffalo News (12/26)

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GreenBuzz :: Our Top 10 Stories of 2008, The Year in Greenwashing, and More...

GreenBuzz :: Dec. 29, 2008
January 5, 2009
In This Issue GreenBuzz
  » The Latest News on Sustainable Business Practices
  » Featured News:'s Top 10 Most Popular Stories of 2008
  » Expert Insight from the GreenBiz Blog
  » GreenBiz Radio: Starting With the End: Designing Products for Reuse
Sign Up Now for our

»Subscribe Here

Taking Care of Business

By Joel Makower

Happy 2009! I hope you are beginning the new year with a fresh sense of optimism and hope. I certainly am.

Admittedly, it's no small feat. The economy is sinking, with little certainty of when we hit bottom, let alone resurface. This is destined to be a year of change, some of it much-needed, some of it painful. We're in uncharted territory now, with barely a working compass.

But beyond the inevitable chaos is hope -- and no, not just the campaign slogan type, but real hope, the hope of fresh starts -- that the changes ahead will yield innovative solutions in how business is done, and the environmental and social impacts that result. We'll all be watching.

Of course, my team and I will be doing more than watching. We're planning a spate of new features and services to help you find your way, from stories of how your colleagues are faring to nuts-and-bolts survival strategies. We'll track the money flows of the new administration, looking for opportunities to tap into what is expected to be multi-billion-dollar expenditures to foment a green economy. And we'll continue to offer leading-edge research, starting with our 2009 State of Green Business report (and concomitant conference), launching February 2.

You'll also be seeing greater focus on the GreenBiz Blog, and the growing cacophony of voices from thought leaders as well as our own editorial team. We'd love to have you participate -- to share your observations from the trenches, your insights into what's working, what's not working, and how you're surviving -- and, I hope, thriving -- in the coming year. If you have ideas, or simply want to review our blogging guidelines, send a note to Leslie Guevarra.

For now, enjoy some of the topics we covered over the holidays. But get ready for all that's yet to come. It's going to be an adventure!

   The Latest News on Sustainable Business Practices
Fiji Water, Clean Coal and Political Parties Make 2008 Greenwash List
By GreenBiz Staff

Companies and coalitions big and not-so-big have made the ranks of most notorious "green" campaigns in the year-end list from National Public Radio's Greenwash Brigade.... Read More

California Gives $20 Million to Recycling Projects

U.S. Diners Looking for Greener Restaurants and Healthier Fare in 2009: Survey

Sustainable Community Concept Takes Hold in Texas, Georgia, Tennessee

Public Buildings in U.K. Emit More CO2 Than All of Kenya

Industry Leaders Team Up to Green Food's Supply Chain

Pacific Northwest's E-Waste 'Paradigm Shift' Launches Jan. 1

Ohio Launches Advanced Energy Masters Degree Program

Harvard Extension School Offers E-Learning Course on Environmental Management

   Featured News's Top 10 Most Popular Stories of 2008
By GreenBiz Staff

In a year when the economy was all the business world could talk about, our readers dug in deep to stories about creating change, overhauling the ways business gets done, and yes, how going green can save big money.... Read More


The True Value of Rackspace Hosting for your business

Minimize your risk by removing large hardware investments and payroll expenses and let us perform as an extension of your IT Department. This includes an experienced team dedicated to your business that provides unlimited, 24x7x365 expert support and industry-leading SLAs. We are here for you. Click here for more information.                                     
   GreenBiz Radio
Starting With the End: Designing Products for Reuse
By Sarah Fister Gale

Milliken and Co. has long subscribed to the belief that waste and pollution cost money. Sustainability Director Bill Gregory speaks to GreenBiz Radio about how the carpet industry is joining together to improve carpet recycling and the ways in which end-of-life thinking has led to new products.... Listen

   Columns and Blogs
Joel Makower
Behind IBM's Quest for a 'Smarter Planet'
>
Ariel Schwartz
Hidden Electric Bill Fee Finances New York's Energy Projects
>
Robert Pojasek
Once is Not Enough: Continual Improvement is Essential to Sustainability
>
Cary Krosinsky
The Responsibility of Ownership: New Year's Resolution 2009
>


Waste & Opportunity: U.S. Beverage Container Recycling Scorecard and Report, 2008

Twenty-three beverage companies are scored on the based on their reduction of virgin content in containers, use of recycled content, activities related to recovery and recycling legislation and program, and communication of their recycling goals and efforts.

Sustainable Aviation CO2 Roadmap

This report assesses carbon dioxide emissions from United Kingdom aviation from 2000-2050.

» All News
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Sr Mechanical Engineer
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State of Green Business Forum 2009
Date: February 2, 2009 - 9:30am
Location: San Francisco ,Calif.

This exclusive one-day event will be held on February 2, 2009 at the PG&E Auditorium in San Francisco, California. The Forum will coincide with the release of’s State of Green Business 2009, our highly-acclaimed annual report on the status of corporate environmental trends and progress.

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Sunday, January 04, 2009

UW-Madison News Release--Climate Changes and Empire Decline

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE 12/4/08  PHOTO EDITORS: High-resolution images are available for download at  CONTACT: Ian Orland, 608-262-8960,; John Valley, 608-263-5659,   CAVE'S CLIMATE CLUES SHOW ANCIENT EMPIRES DECLINED DURING DRY SPELL  MADISON - The decline of the Roman and Byzantine empires in the Eastern Mediterranean more than 1,400 years ago may have been driven by unfavorable climate changes.  Based on chemical signatures in a piece of calcite from a cave near Jerusalem, a team of American and Israeli geologists pieced together a detailed record of the area's climate from roughly 200 B.C. to 1100 A.D. Their analysis, to be reported in an upcoming issue of the journal Quaternary Research, reveals increasingly dry weather from 100 A.D. to 700 A.D. that coincided with the fall of both Roman and Byzantine rule in the region.   The researchers, led by University of Wisconsin-Madison geology graduate student Ian Orland and professor John Valley, reconstructed the high-resolution climate record based on geochemical analysis of a stalagmite from Soreq Cave, located in the Stalactite Cave Nature Reserve near Jerusalem.   "It looks sort of like tree rings in cross-section. You have many concentric rings and you can analyze across these rings, but instead of looking at the ring widths, we're looking at the geochemical composition of each ring," says Orland.  Using oxygen isotope signatures and impurities - such as organic matter flushed into the cave by surface rain - trapped in the layered mineral deposits, Orland determined annual rainfall levels for the years the stalagmite was growing, from approximately 200 B.C. to 1100 A.D.   While cave formations have previously been used as climate indicators, past analyses have relied on relatively crude sampling tools, typically small dental drills, which required averaging across 10 or even 100 years at a time. The current analysis used an advanced ion microprobe in the Wisconsin Secondary-Ion Mass-Spectrometer (Wisc-SIMS) laboratory to sample spots just one-hundredth of a millimeter across. That represents about 100 times sharper detail than previous methods. With such fine resolution, the scientists were able to discriminate weather patterns from individual years and seasons.   Their detailed climate record shows that the Eastern Mediterranean became drier between 100 A.D. and 700 A.D., a time when Roman and Byzantine power in the region waned, including steep drops in precipitation around 100 A.D. and 400 A.D. "Whether this is what weakened the Byzantines or not isn't known, but it is an interesting correlation," Valley says. "These things were certainly going on at the time that those historic changes occurred."  The team is now applying the same techniques to older samples from the same cave. "One period of interest is the last glacial termination, around 19,000 years ago - the most recent period in Earth's history when the whole globe experienced a warming of 4 to 5 degrees Celsius," Orland says.   Formations from this period of rapid change may help them better understand how weather patterns respond to quickly warming temperatures.  Soreq Cave - at least 185,000 years old and still active - also offers the hope of creating a high-resolution long-term climate change record to parallel those generated from Greenland and Antarctic ice cores.   "No one knows what happened on the continents... At the poles, the climate might have been quite different," says Valley. "This is a record of what was going on in a very different part of the world."  In addition to Valley and Orland, the paper was authored by Miryam Bar-Matthews and Avner Ayalon from the Geological Survey of Israel, Alan Matthews of the Hebrew University in Jerusalem and Noriko Kita of UW-Madison.  Funding for the project is from the Comer Science and Education Foundation, National Science Foundation, U.S. Department of Energy, Israel Science Foundation, Sigma Xi, and the UW-Madison Department of Geology and Geophysics.  ### - Jill Sakai, 608-262-9772,    **************************************************** For questions or comments about UW-Madison's email news release system, please send an email to:  For more UW-Madison news, please visit:  University Communications University of Wisconsin-Madison 27 Bascom Hall 500 Lincoln Drive Madison, WI 53706  Phone: (608) 262-3571 Fax: (608) 262-2331   

UW-Madison News Release--Climate Impact Predates Industrial Age

UW-Madison news wrote:

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE 12/16/08  CONTACT: Steve Vavrus, 608-265-5279,; John Kutzbach, 608-262-2839,  STUDY: DID EARLY CLIMATE IMPACT DIVERT A NEW GLACIAL AGE?  SAN FRANCISCO - The common wisdom is that the invention of the steam engine and the advent of the coal-fueled industrial age marked the beginning of human influence on global climate.  But gathering physical evidence, backed by powerful simulations on the world's most advanced computer climate models, is reshaping that view and lending strong support to the radical idea that human-induced climate change began not 200 years ago, but thousands of years ago with the onset of large-scale agriculture in Asia and extensive deforestation in Europe.  What's more, according to the same computer simulations, the cumulative effect of thousands of years of human influence on climate is preventing the world from entering a new glacial age, altering a clockwork rhythm of periodic cooling of the planet that extends back more than a million years.  "This challenges the paradigm that things began changing with the Industrial Revolution," says Stephen Vavrus, a climatologist at the University of Wisconsin-Madison's Center for Climatic Research and the Nelson Institute for Environmental Studies. "If you think about even a small rate of increase over a long period of time, it becomes important."  Addressing scientists here on Wednesday (Dec. 17) at a meeting of the American Geophysical Union, Vavrus and colleagues John Kutzbach and Gwenaëlle Philippon will provide detailed evidence in support of a controversial idea first put forward by climatologist William F. Ruddiman of the University of Virginia. That idea, debated for the past several years by climate scientists, holds that the introduction of large-scale rice agriculture in Asia, coupled with extensive deforestation in Europe began to alter world climate by pumping significant amounts of greenhouse gases - methane from terraced rice paddies and carbon dioxide from burning forests - into the atmosphere. In turn, a warmer atmosphere heated the oceans making them much less efficient storehouses of carbon dioxide and reinforcing global warming.  That one-two punch, say Kutzbach and Vavrus, was enough to set human-induced climate change in motion.   "No one disputes the large rate of increase in greenhouse gases with the Industrial Revolution," Kutzbach notes. "The large-scale burning of coal for industry has swamped everything else" in the record.  But looking farther back in time, using climatic archives such as 850,000-year-old ice core records from Antarctica, scientists are teasing out evidence of past greenhouse gases in the form of fossil air trapped in the ice. That ancient air, say Vavrus and Kutzbach, contains the unmistakable signature of increased levels of atmospheric methane and carbon dioxide beginning thousands of years before the industrial age.  "Between 5,000 and 8,000 years ago, both methane and carbon dioxide started an upward trend, unlike during previous interglacial periods," explains Kutzbach. Indeed, Ruddiman has shown that during the latter stages of six previous interglacials, greenhouse gases trended downward, not upward. Thus, the accumulation of greenhouse gases over the past few thousands of years, the Wisconsin-Virginia team argue, is very likely forestalling the onset of a new glacial cycle, such as have occurred at regular 100,000-year intervals during the last million years. Each glacial period has been paced by regular and predictable changes in the orbit of the Earth known as Milankovitch cycles, a mechanism thought to kick start glacial cycles.   "We're at a very favorable state right now for increased glaciation," says Kutzbach. "Nature is favoring it at this time in orbital cycles, and if humans weren't in the picture it would probably be happening today."  Importantly, the new research underscores the key role of greenhouse gases in influencing Earth's climate. Whereas decreasing greenhouse gases in the past helped initiate glaciations, the early agricultural and recent industrial increases in greenhouse gases may be forestalling them, say Kutzbach and Vavrus.   Using three different climate models and removing the amount of greenhouse gases humans have injected into the atmosphere during the past 5,000 to 8,000 years, Vavrus and Kutzbach observed more permanent snow and ice cover in regions of Canada, Siberia, Greenland and the Rocky Mountains, all known to be seed regions for glaciers from previous ice ages. Vavrus notes: "With every feedback we've included, it seems to support the hypothesis (of a forestalled ice age) even more. We keep getting the same answer." ### - Terry Devitt, 608-262-8282,    **************************************************** For questions or comments about UW-Madison's email news release system, please send an email to:  For more UW-Madison news, please visit:  University Communications University of Wisconsin-Madison 27 Bascom Hall 500 Lincoln Drive Madison, WI 53706  Phone: (608) 262-3571 Fax: (608) 262-2331   

Re: Windpower Monthly Wind.Alert December 2008 wrote:

Windpower Monthly Wind.Alert December 2008   As you requested, here is a taste of the top news stories and  special opinion pieces just published by Windpower Monthly.  The text-bites below are quick summaries of a small selection  of articles in the latest print issue of Windpower Monthly and  on our web site.  You signed up for this newsletter at; see below for  unsubscribe or address change information. For the full list  of our extensive news coverage, see:  SELECTED NEWS STORY SUMMARIES  Out of 91 news and feature articles in the print magazine this  month, we have written summaries of 8 stories for the benefit of visitors to our web site.  *  Huge volume of Spanish wind unplugged: Weekend storms trigger controversial wind generation shutdown by grid operator  *   Turnaround by French government: Environment minister now favours large and not small wind farms for France  *  Danish bid for total energy independence:Global warming fears behind Prime Minister's new goal for fossil fuel phase out  *  Wind to replace coal in Finland: Government launches plan for renewables dominated power system  *  Groundwork for a wind powered future: Europe kicks off electricity infrastructure revolution with offshore grid proposal  *  Preventing bat and bird deaths: Major wind project developer in United States applies wildlife friendly practices countrywide  *  Chinese market drivers stronger than ever: Political support and fiscal policy help wind industry through downturn  *  Still uphill for offshore wind in America: Draft regulations apply resource depletion penalties to inexhaustible wind   For summaries of these selected stories, see:  If you want an edge on this fast-growing global industry,  there is no better source of authoritative news, views and  analysis than Windpower Monthly. For delivery of the  magazine to your desk 12 times a year, subscribe now at:  Interested in a corporate subscription for your company?  Contact our customer services manager Anne-Marie Howe at   COMMENT COLUMN  *  A questionable outlook  When an organisation as conservative as the International Energy Agency issues an annual report calling for a "major transformation of the energy system" to encourage "large-scale investment in low-carbon technology development and deployment," political and business leaders the world over sit up and take notice. They may even take action. But there is a hitch. ... ... More     For an abstract of this comment column, see:  FOCUS COLUMN -- ONLINE-ONLY  *  A limited world outlook  The International Energy Agency is calling for a big reduction in the use of fossil fuel and far greater use of renewable energy. It believes its recently released World Energy Outlook 2008 "will provide a solid basis for all countries seeking to negotiate a new global climate deal." That is just what is worrying environmental organisations and the wind power industry ...  More  For free access to the rest of our online focus column, go to:  For the full picture, including access to the extensive online  article archive from 1994, subscribe now at:  Advertise to a quality audience via Wind.Alert or Windpower  Monthly. For more information, contact  For wind power technology facts and figures check out  WindStats:  ------------------------------------------------------------  Subscribe to this free service at  All contents (c) Windpower Monthly 1985-2008  ============================================ Windpower Monthly News Magazine     

LINK fall Edition

Wayne Duke wrote:

The LINK fall edition has been posted at Thanks to all who contributed articles. It takes your participation to make LINK a success!



Wayne Duke

Publications and Events Coordinator

Illinois Sustainable Technology Center

Division of The Institute of Natural Resource Sustainablity

One Hazelwood Drive, MC-676

Champaign IL 61820-7465


217-333-8944 (fax)


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Mixed Public-Private Finance for Renewable Energy Projects

Yiuping Shu wrote:

New Opportunities in a Credit-Constrained World

Special Morning Speaker
Mayor Peter Corroon, Salt Lake County

Meet renewable energy fund representatives, lenders, public finance advisors, institutional implementers and developers and:

Explore the opportunities in developing renewable energy projects for universities, hospitals and other institutions
Learn how to access public investment funds for renewable energy
Assess the options for using public finance instruments in renewable energy project finance
Take advantage of state, county and city incentives for developing renewable energy

Don't miss the Pre-Summit Workshop: "Elements of Public Finance: A Primer"
Quickly come up to speed on the range of tools and techniques available for public financing of infrastructure and their impacts on project economics.

Workshop: Elements of Public Finance: A Primer
Monday, January 26, 2009, 1:00 pm to 5:00 pm

Summit: Mixed Public-Private Finance for Renewable Energy Projects
Tuesday, January 27, 2009, 8:15 am to 5:30 pm and
Wednesday, January 28, 2009, 8:30 am to Noon

The "yes" button below will begin the registration process.

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Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Frosty The Pyromaniac



U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission

Office of Information and Public Affairs

Washington, DC 20207

December 23, 2008
Release #09-073

Firm's Recall Hotline: (800) 425-5627
CPSC Recall Hotline: (800) 638-2772
CPSC Media Contact: (301) 504-7908

Hallmark Recalls Jumbo Snow Globes Due to Fire Hazard

WASHINGTON, D.C. - The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, in cooperation with the firm named below, today announced a voluntary recall of the following consumer product. Consumers should stop using recalled products immediately unless otherwise instructed.

Name of Product: Jumbo Snowman Snow Globes

Units: 7,000

Importer: Hallmark Cards Inc., of Kansas City, Mo.

Hazard: When exposed to sunlight, the snow globes can act as a magnifying glass and ignite nearby combustible materials, posing a fire hazard.

Incidents/Injuries: Hallmark has received two reports of the snow globes igniting nearby materials. No injuries have been reported.

Description: This recall involves a Hallmark Jumbo Snow Globe in the shape of a snowman with model number 1XAG5093 and UPC code 795902066666. The snow globe measures 11 by 12 by 17 inches. The model number and the UPC code can be found on the back of the hangtag.

Sold at: Hallmark Gold Crown stores nationwide from October 2008 through November 2008 for about $100.

Manufactured in: China

Remedy: Consumers should immediately remove the snow globe from exposure to sunlight and return it to any Hallmark Gold Crown store for a full refund.

Consumer Contact: For additional information, contact Hallmark at (800) 425-5627 between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. CT Monday through Friday or visit the firm’s Web site at


Picture of Recalled Snow Globe


Send the link for this page to a friend! The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission is charged with protecting the public from unreasonable risks of serious injury or death from thousands of types of consumer products under the agency's jurisdiction. The CPSC is committed to protecting consumers and families from products that pose a fire, electrical, chemical, or mechanical hazard. The CPSC's work to ensure the safety of consumer products - such as toys, cribs, power tools, cigarette lighters, and household chemicals - contributed significantly to the decline in the rate of deaths and injuries associated with consumer products over the past 30 years.

To report a dangerous product or a product-related injury, call CPSC's hotline at (800) 638-2772 or CPSC's teletypewriter at (800) 638-8270, or visit CPSC's web site at To join a CPSC email subscription list, please go to Consumers can obtain this release and recall information at CPSC's Web site at


Saturday, December 20, 2008

It Never Snows In Southern California, But It Blizzards, Man, It Blizzards.

It Never Snows In Southern California, But It Blizzards, Man, It Blizzards…



Tuesday, December 02, 2008

UW-Madison News Release--Residents Support Wetland Protection

UW-Madison news wrote:

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE 12/2/08  CONTACT: Bret Shaw, 608-890-1878  POLL SHOWS WISCONSIN RESIDENTS SUPPORT WETLANDS PROTECTION  MADISON - Wisconsin residents are concerned about the destruction of the state's remaining wetlands but don't know much about the wetland types that are most threatened, according to a recent statewide poll.  The Oct. 21-28 Badger Poll found that 84 percent of residents were concerned about the destruction of Wisconsin's remaining wetlands, with more than half reporting they were "quite" or "extremely" concerned.  "Most people correctly identified only the most obvious kinds of wetland features," says Bret Shaw, an assistant professor in the Department of Life Sciences Communication at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. "And that's a concern in a state that has lost 47 percent of its original wetlands.  "Many view the presence of ducks, cattails and open water as defining features of wetlands when, in fact, they're not," Shaw adds. "The poll's results suggest that people are much less familiar with the drier, less obvious wetlands. That's a problem because these are the wetlands that face the most threats from development and from the rush to grow commodity crops."  The state's definition of wetlands identifies water-loving plants, wet soils and hydrology - or soils saturated with water - as the three defining characteristics.   Three-quarters of respondents said that cattails were required for wetlands, and more than 50 percent said that each ducks and open water were required for a wetland.  On the positive side, Shaw said, the overwhelming majority correctly identified the range of benefits that wetlands provide. Ninety-nine percent recognized wetlands as providing wildlife habitat, and at least 80 percent recognized other benefits of wetlands including filtering stormwater runoff, storing floodwaters, offering recreational opportunities and providing habitat for young fish.   "These results reaffirm the 180-degree shift we've seen over the last 50 years in public attitudes toward wetlands and their benefits," Shaw says.   Throughout much of the state and nation's history, wetlands were viewed as wastelands and obstacles to development, and federal laws provided incentives for draining wetlands and converting them to other uses. In Wisconsin, for instance, 4.7 million of the estimated 10 million acres of wetlands left by glaciers and other processes were drained and filled between the 1800s and 1970s.  The Badger Poll results indicate that Wisconsin residents support government offering incentives to protect and restore wetlands.   More than 86 percent supported giving private citizens a tax break if they protect or restore wetlands on their property, with more than 50 percent saying they were "quite supportive" or "extremely supportive" of such incentives.  Current tax law penalizes many property owners who want to restore wetlands on property now classified as agricultural land. Lands restored under certain government programs, such as the United States Department of Agriculture's Wetlands Reserve Program, or without government assistance lose eligibility for agricultural classification for tax assessment purposes. The land is reclassified to "undeveloped land" which tends to be assessed at much higher values than agricultural lands.   The Badger Poll surveyed 538 people randomly chosen within households with working land lines and was weighted to correct for those with only cell phones. Results from this survey have a margin of error of a little over plus or minus 4 percent. The survey was commissioned by the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources in partnership with Shaw to fulfill grant requirements for evaluating DNR outreach materials about the state's drier wetlands.   ###    **************************************************** For questions or comments about UW-Madison's email news release system, please send an email to:  For more UW-Madison news, please visit:  University Communications University of Wisconsin-Madison 27 Bascom Hall 500 Lincoln Drive Madison, WI 53706  Phone: (608) 262-3571 Fax: (608) 262-2331       

Monday, November 24, 2008

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