Hawaii’s Cuts To Pest Control Have Allowed Dengue To Thrive
Honolulu Civil Beat, February 2016
It’s a threat as fearsome as any of the other calamities that global warming might rain down on Hawaii: widespread outbreaks of insect-borne diseases that could decimate tourism, debilitate the state’s workforce, and cost millions to combat.
Scientists and health experts, who link the swift spread of diseases like Zika and chikungunya to a rise in global temperatures, say it’s only a matter of time before they arrive on Hawaii’s shores.
But Hawaii’s real enemy isn’t dengue fever or the Zika virus, it’s the mosquitos that spread them. And despite all the advances in medicine and technology in the last century, mosquito control seems to be something we’ve gotten worse at — not better. Read more
Mauna Kea Telescopes: The Business of Astronomy Is Not an Easy One
Uncertainties abound for asylum seekers
Homeless students struggle to keep up
Orange County Register, December 2013
Part 1 of a two part series
In 2012-13, 29,860 O.C. students were living in situations so unstable they were considered homeless under federal education standards – twice as many as before the recession, according to state figures. That’s 1 in 17 students.
Foundation Making Pitch for Long Stalled Jackie Robinson Museum
Tribeca Trib, September 2012
Along a nearly half-block stretch of Canal Street and around the corner on Varick, you can’t miss the great Jackie Robinson. There, in the high windows that wrap around 1 Hudson Square, the larger-than-life face of the man who broke baseball’s color barrier looks back at you. So, too, does the promise of what, one day, will lie behind those covered windows: The Jackie Robinson Museum.
It has been like that for more than four years now, 11,000 square feet of prime ground-floor space lying empty and waiting for the day that the Jackie Robinson Foundation can raise the rest of the $42 million it says it needs to build and endow this ambitious dream. First slated to open in 2010, a sign in the window now gives two different anticipated completion dates, 2014 and 2015. Read more
Caught in a Legal Limbo, Church in BPC School Waits for Answer
Tribeca Trib, March 2012
February was a month of uncertainty for the many churches that meet in school buildings across the city, their fate hinging on the twists and turns of a prolonged church-state court battle.
In an event space in northern Tribeca, Ryan Holladay, the pastor of Lower Manhattan Community Church, which usually holds services in Battery Park City’s P.S. 89, stood before his parishioners on the last Sunday of the month and tried to reassure them.
“We have a lot of peace about God taking us where he wants us to be,” the 27-year-old pastor and law student said before launching into his sermon. “Thanks for being along for the ride.”
The congregation—mostly Battery Park City residents—made the trek with small children in tow to the Desbrosses Street space for the church’s first meeting outside of P.S. 89, their home for nearly 10 years.
Passion for Preservation Behind Historic Ships Coming to Pier 25
They are ships with a past. Sail, steam, and diesel-powered vessels that have hauled passengers, tended lighthouses, and pushed oil freighters into harbor. Together they conjure visions of a time when the Hudson River was not only a working waterfront, it was the city’s main artery.
They are the Lilac, Tug Pegasus and Clipper City, and they are expected to take up berths this month on the north side of Tribeca’s Pier 25, at the end of North Moore Street. Their arrival will be the fulfillment of a promise by the Hudson River Park Trust to bring history into the park.
Although the rebuilt pier is a barely recognizable vestige of New York’s maritime past (AstroTurf and volleyball courts where cargo and coiled lines might once have lain) the pier has bollards just as working piers did. And it will have ships.“I guess what people are saying is that let’s not totally forget this was once a working harbor,” said Gerald Weinstein, president of the Lilac Preservation Project.
New Farmers Face Urban Elements
Professional and novice gardeners alike thought the biggest challenge faced by the new Urban Farm at the Battery might be the subway: Every few minutes trains rumble underneath the park, causing freshly mounded soil to shake around the fragile roots of seedlings.
But that was before the pigeons arrived…and the squirrels…and the rats …and the occasional dog.
Keeping such pests from ruining crops is not a problem faced by farmers in, say, Iowa. But here, in Lower Manhattan’s first farm in 400 years, a special urban solution needed to be found.
Trash: It’s what’s for dinner
Orange County Register, June 2009
Pushing aside a large white plastic skeleton wrapped in cellophane, Grace Hill-Speed scales the side of a green metal dumpster, jumps in and begins scrounging beneath packages of mushroom brie for other edible food.
Warned by her dumpster diving partner to watch out for maggots beneath her right foot, the petite blonde woman pulls three apples out of the trash, notices an odd smell and shudders.
“OK, I am done,” she says slinging one leg over the bin. “I am just doing this now because I am addicted to dumpster diving.”
Hill-Speed and her fellow diver, Eric Einem, survey their loot: several packages of cheese, a pound of butter and a half-dozen apples. They carry them back to their truck, already laden with boxes of tangerines, shrink-wrapped meat, flour, cookies, pecans and granola – a week’s worth of groceries pulled from the refuse of two local supermarkets.
Once thought of as an activity for the destitute or simply crazy, dumpster diving is part of a growing subculture. A simple online search reveals videos and blogs, discussion boards, articles and even dumpster diving recipes. Orange County residents dive for food, clothes, furniture, and even some things as specific as collectible clocks—often without the knowledge of their friends or spouses.