Thursday, July 31, 2008
When you grow up with these trees and remember how they cradled and protected the neighborhood for so long, one grows to respect them and realize all the benefits they provide---yet get taken for granted. Cutting them down for frivolous reasons such as 'not wanting to rake leaves' is not only disrespectful to the institution of a long time living thing, but also to the many people who have grown to respect these trees for all the fond memories they have provided. One does not realize just how much the trees meant to the neighborhood until the trees gone. In many places which we considered to our "urban forest", what remains is boring patch after patch of turf grass.
The letter I wrote was a bit passionate, maybe off-putting to some, but when I wrote it, I didn't care because something had to be done, and I was not about to wait for a backwards city council to draft proper progressive legislation to protect historic trees on private property within city limits! The rather lengthy letter reminded people clearly what they may want to consider before removing in a matter of hours, what took a long human lifetime and much more to grow--and just what these trees meant to the value of the neighborhood! If you have a similar tree assault problem in your neighborhood, maybe this letter can inspire you to do something a bit proactive in your own way. My choice was to go straight to the neighbors and remind them a thing or two about trees. I think it worked because the cutting has stopped!
I have been a long time resident of the “Genesee/Oak Knoll” area
neighborhood and a volunteer former member of the one time Warren City
Arbor Commission. I write today to many of you to share a few thoughts
about what I am seeing with the poor stewardship of our city’s trees
both on public and private properties. This most valued asset of the
neighborhood has been entirely taken for granted and it has really gone
far enough to the point I felt I had to write one resident at a time
hoping that you will take all the following beneficial assets about
trees on board before you chose to remove one.
If you are considering removing trees on your property, please take a
few moments to read the following information before you pay a lot of
money to have it done by one of the various so called “tree expert”
companies which often don’t even have a qualified degreed arborist
working for them…yet are allowed to continue this destruction of our
trees in the neighborhood.
Granted, over the years, some have been or may need to be removed for
obvious safety reasons -- or they have been blown down by storms, but
many more are continually coming down for somewhat frivolous reasons
such as not wanting to rake/mulch leaves, or allowing sun to penetrate
to the ground. (which can be easily achieved through trimming the tree,
rather than removing it wholly)
By making the decision or “a” decision to cut down the perfectly
healthy tree in your yard, you will have contributed to being a part of
the following problems….
* Helping to make already dirty air even dirtier, (Ohio has amongst the
worse air quality, in various categories, in the nation -- see EPA
website) as well as to help increase the effects of global warming
effects caused by greenhouse gases, which trees assist in greatly
reducing. Trees help remove air pollution while producing oxygen we
need…to continue to remove then will be costly to all of us via
health care and many other ways!
* Helping to make a town, which is already chronically noisy , even
noisier. Trees help to reduce noise pollution acting as a sound buffer.
(loud motorcycles, boom cars, gas powered leaf blowers, etc.)
* Helping to make water resources dirtier. Trees are integral parts of
the hydrogen cycle and help clean our water for free……no one will have
to pay extra taxes for this service!
* Helping to undermine the beauty and value of the neighborhood. Often,
well maintained housing in neighborhoods which boast lush tree lined
streets often have higher property values. Trees add beauty and value
to the neighborhood! The high aesthetic and monetary property value of
the Oak Knoll neighborhood owes this in part to the trees. Many
neighborhoods would die to have trees like this and yet we keep cutting
them down each year without replacing them! Now our neighborhood is
beginning to look like a cheap housing development…bare and naked…and
not with the “cozy and safe” feeling that well tree planted streets
provide. As other neighborhoods continue to lose their trees, this kind
of “forested” neighborhood amidst the concrete of the city, will be
rare, hence a much sought after feature in the neighborhood by
potential good home buyers. Please think about the sense this makes.
* Helping to create higher heating and cooling bills. In a national
Arbor day Foundation study, it was discovered that in towns and cities
where trees were more abundant, that heating and cooling bills were
lower than the averages. Trees help in reducing utility bills. *See
National Arbor Day Foundation
* Helping to Increase landfill waste, landfill space, and consumption
of more energy to manage them. Paper is one of the top 5 “ingredients”
in landfills. The highest point in Trumbull County to date is a
landfill! Ohio accepts trash from 7 states while struggling to manage
* Helping in destroying harmless “backyard wildlife” habitat. This
creates a scenario where this wildlife could now become a problem, such
as taking refuge in chimney’s and spouting, or in garages, because they
have no place to go. Trees provide beneficial habitat so that we can co-
exist peacefully with harmless yet beneficial small animals.
* Helping to create more drought-like conditions or intense rainfall in
the Summer, which could lead to excessive water consumption or
flooding. Trees are an integral part of the hydrogen cycle. By
removing too many trees, when it does rain, it will be intense heavy
rain which can greatly contribute to soil erosion around the home and
water in basements of homes. Tree roots can help “suck up” water and
hold soil together.
Note: Trees provide the above benefits and many more for free! Nobody
has to pay any extra taxes for this. It is our hope that you did not
remove this tree for the somewhat frivolous and lazy reason of:
…..“because you don’t want to rake leaves” If so, you may want to learn
the money and time saving benefits of mulching, vs. raking and/or
bagging. It’s not likely that the tree was a threat to safety as
indicated above, but whatever the reason, we strongly urge you to
replace what was destroyed so that we can leave, and provide current
future residents with all the benefits trees offer. In the long run,
you only stand to gain. Warren has done nothing to plant new trees in
recent years. We have only been taking them down. It is one sobering
thought to see how many the city removes without replacing them, let
alone all the residents who do, and who do not replace them. Take a
look around and notice how many times this happens. Why chose to be a
part of the many problems that are created due to lack of trees? It’s
shameful that what takes several years to grow, is destroyed in a
matter of a few hours.
Forested urban neighborhoods was once our most appealing visual aspect
of our neighborhoods and it‘s pitiful that we risk losing this because
of the fool who says he dosn‘t want to rake leaves, or some other weak
excuse. Worse is when the tree gets removed by the one who thinks that
just because one tree fell, or had a branch fall off, that we must act
in a “Chicken Little-like” paranoid way and start cutting all of them
down for fear that the one in 50 million chance of someone walking by
when it may fall, will actually happen….and that this ideology based on
gripping someone in fear, takes precedence over all the major benefits
our neighborhood trees provide on a daily basis, that we take for
granted. Even if something like that DID happen, a property owner is
not likely to be held responsible for what would be construed by the
insurance community as an “act of God”
Lastly, please note that just because a tree is rotting from the
inside, does NOT mean that it is going to fall over… or that this is a
bad thing. For many trees this is a perfectly natural cycle of life and
does NOT necessarily warrant it’s removal.
For more information on the benefits of trees, please visit The
National Arbor Day Foundation on the internet at:
If after strongly considering all of the above, and you still think you
need to remove the tree, please plan on replacing it with a native
Thanks for your cooperation!
If you have any questions, please call me at 330-393-4448
McCain knows for those who live in very auto-dependent areas, there is much worry about how you're going to afford a work commute, get the kids to school.... or if your job requires a lot driving....well.... the answers seem clear to support offshore oil drilling---especially if your immediate alternatives are few. McCain knows people will be open minded to any possible solution which may help them in a crunch. As Move On Dot Org indicates, "McCain is preying on that anxiety by offering offshore drilling as a quick fix." But will it help???
I don't think it will help at all. Oil has already fetched this price here so why should it come down? I agree when Move On Dot Org stated in a recent email "Offshore drilling won't fix gas prices or our dependence on foreign oil... there simply isn't enough oil offshore or in the Arctic, and it will take up to a decade to get what little is there. Even then, we would only save 3 or 4 cents a gallon!"
What will reduce current fuel dependency? Well, as a country which could really stand going on a strict diet from an insatiable appetite for oil---we may want to reconsider how we use it in the first place before we demand more of it from the earth. If the earth were an IRS agent, we'd be audited for wasteful oil use. Let's reconsider current use by asking ourselves questions like...."Are we wasting it by keeping 20 acres of suburban lawn in mow?" "Driving energy gluttonous vehicles?"....."Obsessively using gas powered lawn equipment?".... "Eating a diet that is highly oil dependent to produce?"
The way I see it, our government should be promoting an agenda that supports reducing dependence on OIL...(by promoting cleaner, greener, renewable sources) and not just reduce dependency on foreign oil. The current agenda only deepens dependence with our current oil appetite---and what little we get from offshore drilling, it will be used up faster than it can even go from the ground to the pump.
I also feel the offshore oil drilling agenda is nothing more than a means to break through much needed regulations in protecting our environment. If oil companies can succeed in breaking down the most protected areas in our natural world, then they have their foot in the door---and nothing is sacred. It's not worth the environmental pollution risks to feed the coffers of a few for a short time---while at the same time do NOTHING to relieve higher fuel prices.
Drilling is not worth leaving heavy dirty footprints on last pristine areas on the globe---all so that, for example.... some 5' 110 pound oblivious to the world woman can drive around in her SUV talking on her cell phone in a vehicle which has the capacity for 8......while her one passenger obese kid scarfs down a Happy Meal!!
The fuel we need lies in the fuel we waste and the alternatives we do not explore. With the money we are spending in Iraq right now, we could have developed a car which runs on Kool Aid! Lay off the drill because offshore drilling under the guise as fuel price relief is a behemoth of a scam!
Watch the ad below from Move On Dot Org
http://www.buffalon ews.com/home/ story/403639. html
Tuesday, July 29, 2008
Great deodorant products!
Great natural soaps!
AND, see why the raw food diet for pets makes a lot of sense!
Lastly, some great home cleaning supplies!
Natural & Organic Food, Health & Nutritional Supplements & Natural Health Beauty Products. Buy everything from organic baby clothes to natural beauty products, herbs and eco-friendly cleansers with same day shipping at a discount at Ediblenature.
Remember, when you purchase such products, you help support local or independent business which preserves local economic identity. With all the clone zone franchises to chose from these days, why not try some products, goods, services, etc..which are unique and one of a kind? You will be helping to support businesses trying to do the right thing environmentally as well as help drive down the costs of the better products by slowly increasing the demand.
Most of these businesses I have spoken to wish to concentrate on creating products which emphasize on quality instead of quantity, so will continue to remain smaller enterprises. Check out your locals or independents today....Very often the quality, service and knowledge is superior and hence you save money in the long run by sparing yourself the runaround or disappointment!
Thursday, July 24, 2008
Tuesday, July 22, 2008
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Monday, July 21, 2008
Friday, July 18, 2008
Here is a fabulous world news source. When I was in Australia, I had to watch this station to find out more about what is happening in the USA--than I do when I watch our national news networks. Excellent reporting and stories with substance. No Britney and Ashton drama or Janet Jackson's boob! Every day on SBS there is some kind of report on the environment. Reporting on such topics like the environment, for example, is rare in US News, hence probably why most people here still think climate change is a myth.
Photo: Mill Creek, Youngstown, Ohio
Wednesday, July 16, 2008
Isn't it time we remind some of the careless public that there are litter laws and they CAN be enforced? Here are Ohio's laws as posted on ODNR's website.
Ohio Litter Laws
Under Ohio law, litter is any trash thrown, discarded or dropped by a person onto public property, private property not owned by the individual, or into Ohio's waterways. The Ohio Revised Code prohibits littering, regardless of whether or not it was intentional. Numerous laws prohibit littering and illegal dumping.
Littering is a serious offense, punishable by fines of up to $500 and 60 days in jail. The Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR) is committed to keeping Ohio clean and beautiful.
There are many kinds of littering offenses; the following is a brief overview of Ohio's major litter laws.
Littering and Illegal Dumping
Dumping waste, such as discarded trash, oil, appliances, scrap tires, furniture and other items, on private or public land and waterways is strictly prohibited by Ohio law. In addition to being unsightly, illegal dumps can pose health and safety hazards to people and wildlife. Ohioans must use licensed disposal facilities and insist that contracted waste haulers dispose of trash safely and legally.
ORC 3767.32 also prohibits unauthorized persons from knowingly placing litter and household wastes in a private litter/trash receptacle, unless he or she has authorization to use the litter/trash receptacle or the waste materials were generated on the public property where the receptacle is located. This protects property owners from having to pay for wastes illegally dumped into their litter/trash receptacles.
Littering from a Motor Vehicle
Littering from a motor vehicle can result in fines of up to $100, depending upon the seriousness of the offense. For casual littering from motor vehicles, law enforcement officers can issue tickets, just as they do for other traffic violations. The driver of a motor vehicle can also be held responsible for litter discarded onto the roadway by passengers.
Littering from a Watercraft Vessel
This law is similar to littering from a motor vehicle law. No operator or occupant of a vessel, regardless of intent, may discard or deposit litter in any Ohio waters. The operator of a watercraft vessel can also be held responsible for allowing litter to be dropped out of the vessel.
This law requires vehicles transporting materials that could escape, leak or drop be designed to remain inside the vehicle at all times. In addition, vehicles loaded with garbage, solid waste or other unsanitary materials that are susceptible to blowing or bouncing out, cannot be driven unless their contents are sufficiently covered. Law enforcement officers do not have to witness the material falling from a vehicle in order to make an arrest. Exceptions to this law include farm vehicles transporting agricultural products and trash vehicles in the process of acquiring their loads.
IDEA: Illegal Dumping Economic Assessment
The Illegal Dumping Economic Assessment (IDEA) model was developed by the U.S. EPA, Region 5, to provide community leaders with a tool for assessing and measuring costs of illegal dumping activities. Use of the model can be a first step in quantifying such costs, thereby supporting cost management and policy-making decisions associated with illegal dumping prevention programs.
The IDEA model is easy to use and comes with a user's guide and provides general instructions and helpful tips for using the model to assess illegal dump site costs.
For more information, go to the U.S. EPA website: http://www.epa.gov/region5/illegaldumping/
Photo: Sunset at Kelly's Island, Ohio
About Northern Sun
Please see Contact Us if you have questions.
A short history of Northern Sun
Northern Sun got its start back in 1979, right before radiation started leaking from the Three Mile Island nuclear plant in Harrisburg, PA (March 28, 1979). Riding a bicycle and carrying a backpack full of tshirts, etc., Scott (the owner) began selling message-oriented items at anti-nuke events. In 1980, Ronald Reagan was elected President. Reagan's pro-war policies created a big demand for anti-war merchandise. We have been (slowly) growing ever since.
Monday, July 14, 2008
Stay tuned for my new online radio station available soon on the "You-Broadcast" List! This station will feature general talk about community quality of life issues, the environment, pets to politics, and other topics. There will also be music spanning various types such as Classic Soul and R&B, Easy Listening, Classic Rock, Alternative, Show Tunes, World Beat and others.....spanning the 30's to today! Recorded old time radio shows as well as discussion about topics of community interest will be included as well. I welcome your contributions and ideas. If you have something of public/community interest, non-copyrighted please contact me and we can discuss getting it on the air. I will also be selling ad space. Tired of hearing the same beat up opinions on the mainstream shows? Then come join us! I am trying to think of a name...If you have ideas, send me a note! I am thinking about calling it WCTR-68 (World Community Talk Radio)
Photo: Winter sky as seen from Edgewater Park bluff, Cleveland.
Wednesday, July 9, 2008
Welcome to Springtime in America!!!!
Welcome to Springtime in America where our neighborhoods are no longer filled with the sweet welcoming sounds of birds and crickets after a long winter---but rather---are a noise pollution nightmare acoustic SEWER filled with the excessive sound and putrid stench of leaf blowers weed wackers, and chainsaws!!! Oh, and I should mention the migraine headache causing SMELL of the household using a whole bottle of laundry detergent that you can smell from a block away!!!
Welcome to Springtime in America where we continually see the audio terrorists and wannabe THUGS riding around in boom cars!……AND.... the revving of them there good 'ole HARLEYS! YEEEEE---HAWWWWW!!! How nice this is at 2:00 AM….. what a sound to lull you to sleep! But heeeay…..it’s ok, these sweet benevolent guys can be as obnoxious or lawless behaving as they want because they believe in America, freedom, GOD..and the flag …..ride for the kiddies---and would rather put their money into illegally modifying their bike’s exhaust system than into beautifying their home!!!!
Welcome to Springtime in America where the sight of obesity is always within eye-shot no matter which direction you turn your head!
Welcome to Springtime in America where car windows have become trash disposals for fast food litter, cigarette butts and plastic cigar tips, junk food packaging, and a host of other trash!
Welcome to Springtime in America where you'll find a myriad of tapestry weaving turds from all breeds of dogs as owners are too lazy to use the bio-degradable bags to clean up after their lovely pets!
Welcome to Springtime in America where the one time flowery fragrance of spring now smells more like the Ortho Lawn chemical section at Wal-Mart!
Welcome to Springtime in America where we can catch George W. Bush and a host of other right wing extremists dropping our own Mother into a boiling pot of water----BUT still find a way to rationalize it, deny it……and go on supporting them as usual!!!!
Welcome to Springtime in America, where in many places, a single guy or gal in his/her 30's or 40's has the cast of Jerry Springer from which to chose!
Welcome to Springtime in America where we cannot even throw trash into the trash can....let alone recycle it!!!!
Welcome to Springtime in America where fashion is wearing pants hanging off your ass. (These pants are called "Crap Catchers" because those who wear them often seem to be running from police in such an awkward fashion, looking like a modern day minstrel show, and in their fear, crap in these pants which offer plenty of room to mess yourself multiple times!)
Welcome to Springtime in America where cutting down trees and mowing 30 acres of lawn is considered productive conservation!
Welcome to Springtime in America where in many places natural organic leaf litter from trees along the curb has been replaced with ripped out hair extensions (A.K.A. "Pimp Pieces") and condoms!!!
We hope you enjoy your stay in this wonderful hot pit of feral, rogue and ill-bred behavior where rude, loud and obnoxious behavior is glamorized by mass marketing…..where WWF, NASCAR, Huntin', 4-wheelin', fishin' and bingo are just but a stone’s throw away!!!
So c'mon inside, grab yer food stamps, take yer shoes off, wave yer flag and THUMP yer Bible, tote yer gun....have a smoke or a chew.. maybe a beer....SHOW US YER TATOOS….pet yer pit bull…show us your snake...trim yer goatee, and relax... Take in all that Springtime in America has to offer!!! We'll leave a spot for ya on the front porch couch!
Be sure to redeem this article for free Wal-Mart coupons or a FREE 1 year NRA membership and/or subscription to Tea party News--the party that benefits the little guy!!!
Does any of the above happen in YOUR neighborhood these days? Has any of the above activity or kind of individuals compromised your quality of life? If so, leave me a comment!
NANFA-- OHIO NANFA OUTING: Mosquito Creek Canoeing and Seining.... Friday, July 28th 2000
Among many rivers that go under-appreciated in Ohio, I would like to throw
Mosquito Creek in Trumbull county Ohio into the "box of nominations!!!"
Mosquito Creek, near Warren, Ohio, is part of the Ohio River drainage, and
is contained within the Mahoning River watershed. On Friday, July 28, 2000,
I had the pleasure of hosting fellow NANFA member and Cleveland Metroparks
Zoo Aquatic Biologist, Nick Zarlinga and his wife Linda, on what would
prove to be a very challenging, yet beautiful canoe trip. We would also
stop along the way to seine a few areas for fish and other aquatic life. The
weather was relatively cooperative; approximately 78 degrees and partly
cloudy. Later on our trip, we would hear the faint sound of thunder in the
distance, but fortunately, nothing reached us!
I am going to start by describing this 6 mile portion of the creek's
corridor as what appears to be a very remote "wilderness" cutting through a
region that has a population combined of over 500,000. This small river
greenway, according to a local botanist, contains many rare and state
endangered plants, and is recently being considered for nomination of an
extremely important birding area. The nearby Mosquito Creek Wildlife
Reserve, operated by ODNR, is home to nesting Bald Eagles. When canoeing
down this river moving south of the tail water and dam of the Mosquito Creek
reservoir, it doesn't take long to see that you are completely surrounded by
hundreds of acres of wetland forest. Where ever you look, be it to the
front, left, right, and the back, there is nothing but woods!!! What is so
special about this? Well, as mentioned above the river cuts through a
densely populated area of N.E. Ohio, yet most of the land is privately
owned, making it a sitting duck for developers to forever change in most
likely a negative way. Recently, 14 acres has been considered for donation,
by a local developer, who simultaneously, has plans to develop up to 300
acres. With that in mind, and seeing suburban housing rapidly closing in on
this hidden jewel, it becomes disappointing to see it as it is now, and to
wonder what it will look like in 25 years.
Ironically, area elected officials have made no noise about area planning maps sitting on shelves
collecting dust, that show this entire corridor as a future preserved
greenway that would boast hiking and biking trails, and serve other
multi-use "green recreation" uses. Nearby Howland township, however, in
recent township meetings, has expressed interest in preserving 200 acres of
the watershed. Anyone visiting from out of town with an interest in nature,
or "green recreation", would find it unbelievable that local governments
have expressed little interest in making this the areas next large land
tract greenway. Their has been plenty of interest, however, in developing
houses and fast food type development in the area of the river. This agenda
probably sprouts from an ancient and outdated mindset of many area elected
officials, that a piece of land is worthless unless it is developed.
Well, getting back to the canoe trip, and now that you have an idea in your
mind as to the kind of place I am describing, let me continue the tour!!!
After canoeing downstream for about 20 minutes enjoying the scenery, Nick
Zarlinga and myself took a short break and pulled the canoes over to seine
for fish a little while, but before we did, we had to apply some mosquito
repellent, as they don't call this place Mosquito Creek for nothing!!!It
could have easily been called "POISON IVY CREEK" as well, due to the many
areas of the plant taking control of some of the banks. I think I avoided
most of it, as I haven't started scratching yet!!!
Moving on, as we waded
through the water, we came across several shallow weedy beds in the river
and decided this would yield something interesting. As Nick's wife Linda
acted as this outing's "official photographer", Nick and I carefully
maneuvered the seine net in a corralling fashion towards the shore. We then, in
typical seining fashion, quickly rose the net from the water, and amidst a
startled group of various water insects, and aquatic vegetation, we were
able to identify several juvenile spotted Large Mouth Bass about one inch in
length. apparently, we raided an area where they were taking refuge from
predators, and feeding on small aquatic life. These fish were handsome
"little devils", gleaming with a silvery emerald green, and showing
scatterings of tiny mottled type black spots. In the same catch, we noticed
what appeared to be one to one and a half inch juvenile Black Crappies. We
both agreed, that when being used to seeing these fish as the large and
voracious feeders they can be, it is really a treat to see them this tiny.
For the aquarium sake, too bad they can't stay this small!!!
After getting back into the canoes and enjoying more of the trip we would
once again decide to seine for more fish in a nearby back water shallow pool
that was inundated with various wetland plants. This is the last moment of
what appeared to be an easy canoe trip!!!... LOG JAMS GALORE AHEAD!!! Most
of them probably the cause of recent logging practices near the banks. Let's
get back to some seining for a moment! Our next "scoop of the net" yielded
some tiny sand shiners, what appeared to be about 2 inch Blackstripe
topminnows, and some juvenile Pumpkinseed sunfish. A friendly young Bullfrog
also refused to leave my hand!
As we were trying to retrieve some larger
bait for a stop along the river to fish rod and reel for a while, we were
unsuccessful, due to the many snags our seine net experienced while
underwater on branches and such. Nick, Linda, and myself just decided then
to simply watch the scenery, take photographs and enjoy the rest of the
trip. We witnessed Great Blue Herons, Red-tailed Hawks, Beaver, young and
curious Raccoons, a Black Rat snake, and Deer, as well as enjoyed the sound
of many song birds. As I mentioned above, this was the last moment of
relaxation!!!.... Nick, I know you are going to plan something good after I
put you through this!!!....
The rest of the trip was spent trying to maneuver around several log jams, as
mentioned earlier. We were successful, felt challenged, and as though we
certainly accomplished something!. I know I slept wonderful that night. It
seemed as though every 50 to 100 yards we were either literally pulling our
canoes under a jam, lifting them out of the water to carry them over a jam,
or somehow getting through them by accident!!!I honestly didn't think there
would be as many as we encountered! This would have made a great training
and obstacle course for even highly experienced canoers. All the while
trying to avoid poison ivy, we actually did finish the trip!
What usually is
approximately a 4 hour trip, seining and all took over 7 hours. So I think
if we had not stopped to do anything else, the jams probably added one and a
half hours to the trip!!! Although we certainly didn't find a whole lot in
our seines, I would like to add that this river is part of The Mahoning River
Watershed(Ohio River drainage), that is home to over 64 species of fishes,
according to recent Ohio EPA, and Ohio Division of Wildlife surveys taken
between 1980 and 1996. Despite the "more than our share" of obstacles, The
Mosquito is a place of enchanting beauty worth our attention and protection.
As many anglers are familiar with the popular Mosquito Creek State Park, few
people get to see what we witnessed: The mostly unscathed 6 mile green
stretch that lies between the dam and Howland township, near Warren, Ohio.
For those of you interested in taking a trip down this river, feel free to
contact me, Rob Carillio, to arrange a date and time. Hopefully I can get a
few volunteers to cut small passages through some of the log jams just
enough to let canoers pass. Maybe then, when more concerned and caring
people see this remarkable "green giant" amidst a highly urbanized region,
perhaps then, their will arise enough interest to pull those dusty plans
from the shelves of county planning offices, and make The Mosquito Creek
Greenway a reality, and to be protected for all times..... Robert S.
Carillio - Ohio NANFA There will be photos of this outing available
Ashtabula County, Ohio
By: Rob Carillio
I have always loved the many kinds of streams located in Ashtabula County, Ohio, mainly for the interesting geological features, but one stream in particular that has always stood out among them is Phelps Creek, located in the deepest S.W. corner of this Amish influenced county. The creek, with it's highly visible evidence of "natural artwork" sculpted by glacier activity, boasts thick, mature, and healthy streamside forests. It is undoubtedly one of the higher water quality and scenic streams in North East Ohio.
The medium sized tributary is a major tributary of the State Scenic and Wild River, The Grand River, and is part of the Lake Erie drainage. (water drains north to Lake Erie) The particular site I would visit on a beautiful early October afternoon, welcomed Myself, Trumbull County Metroparks Board Member Bill Flynn, NANFA'S Nick Zarlinga, his wife Linda, and of course, the best wild bird sound impersonator east of the Mississippi!!! This "birdman" , among us "fish heads", was none other Cleveland Metroparks Naturalist Jeff Reibe.
Ok everyone, moving right along, we gained access to the stream near the old 1867 covered bridge, spanning Windsor Hollow, which had long been closed off due to liability situations. Ashtabula County is well known for it's several covered bridges, sixteen, to be exact, but Since we couldn't cross it, we had to literally climb down a steep embankment of sandstone rocks to the creek bed. Although somewhat challenging, this only added a spice of adventure to the outing! Taking a moment to reflect, I feel compelled to recollect memories of that wonderful historic covered bridge I mentioned a moment ago near the stream access point. This bridge was constructed with huge wooden beams, well tanned and weathered from time. It was well over 40 feet above the stream, at least 70 feet in length, and was supported by large tan sandstone block columns! Looking at this bridge would remind one of a simpler time when cars were merely something someone only heard about occasionally. Oh well, I could go on and on about this bridge, alone, but I'd be drifting off the focus of the stream in this story! In any event, that old covered bridge was a classic sight, this alone was worth the trip, to at least get some post card perfect snapshots with my camera!
The trees surrounding the bridge and stream wore foliage which was in blazing Autumn colors of red, yellow, brown, orange, mauve, and green. All of this, coupled with the rocky cliffs, (Chagrin Shale and Siltstone) and Phelps Creek lazily flowing below, was an enchanting and stunning sight to behold! By this time, I was already through my roll of film! I wanted to save some for the fishes we would observe today, but as always, when I "fishwatch", I am left with permanent photos in my mind from their always splendid and memorable appearance. Looking around the creek, Summer's end was evident as the waters were very low.
Seeing that it was almost 6pm, at this time of year, we obviously weren't going to have much daylight left. For this reason, we started doing what we visited the creek for in the first place-- we began wading the stream to look for fish and other aquatic life. Outdoor temperatures were in the high 60's to low 70's,. water temp was around 65 degrees. Nick, Bill and Jeff were the primary fish seekers, as I basically handled the buckets! Hey... I'm for hire. Ha! Now totally relaxed in the palms of Mother Nature's hands, all of us suddenly heard something raising quite a ruckus in the hemlock and sycamore trees high above the gorge... Look up in the sky! Up in the forest canopy... what did we see? No...not Darterman...but... four wild turkeys! This was quite inspiring, seeing that in recent times, these birds were absent from Ohio.
After the turkey distraction, our attention turned back to the waters. While shuffling and seining with our fish nets in Phelps Creek, another impressive sight was the small waterfall up stream a short distance. As we were hiking the streambed searching for suitable fish sampling spots we were captivated by all the overwhelming natural beauty that surrounded us. As we were lost in our own little world making way up stream, we were informed by a woman atop the gorge banks that we were venturing on private property. Nick Zarlinga took the liberty and explained to the wary property owner that "her stream" was the subject of "high naturalist interest", and that we were just trying to see what species of fish and other aquatic life inhabit the diverse habitats in the stream. Nice job Nick-- this lady was now seemingly proud that the stream which ran behind her home, was of major interest and "in the spotlight" of naturalist interest!
Focusing back our attention on the search for Phelps Creek aquatic life, we finally discovered some rather healthy looking habitat areas. Nick, Bill, and Jeff, were able to sample various pools. These were mostly the only habitats available due to the low water levels. By the way, Linda Zarlinga, Nick's wife, who in recent days has not had much luck with hiking in natural areas (she broke some bones on a recent trip!), found safe solitude on a large stream rock which made a perfect sitting spot. Linda had the right idea, as she knew how extremely slippery the stream rocks were, due to algae growth. I will verify this, because I almost fell twice! Photos courtesy of Ohio Department of Natural Resources.
Colorful trees along the rocky cliffs near Phelps Creek ￼
Picturesque Countryside within The Grand River/Phelps Creek Watershed
Finally, the fish finding would begin!!! Using various fish collection methods taught by "The Nick Zarlinga School for the Inseine" (By the way, "seines" are fish nets, for those of you not aware.. hence my little joke..), In approximately two hours, we managed to retrieve and identify only 10 species of fish, among other various aquatic life, such as crayfish, insects, etc. This low number of fishes netted was largely due to the nets getting caught on large rocks, causing us to struggle when handling them, allowing the fish to escape under them! Score one for the guys with the fins! Photos by B.J. Casseday and Mike Wolfe.
Although Phelps Creek boasts a diverse assemblage of native fishes, on this late afternoon, our sampling inventory read like this.... Johnny Darter, Rainbow Darter, White Sucker, Common and maybe Striped Shiner, Blacknose Dace, Bluntnose Minnow, Central Stone Roller, Mottled Sculpin, Northern Hog Sucker (a big fella!), Creek Chub, Sand Shiner, Green Sunfish, Fantail Darter, and among the other aquatic life we caught, some various Crayfish. Pictured below, are some of the fishes which inhabit Phelps Creek. How many pictured, did we find on this day??? Do you remember??? You can click on the fishes below to enlarge the picture. Illustrations by Joe Tomelleri www.americanfishes.com Other photos by Rob Carillio and B.J. Casseday.
After taking species inventory, and as darkness began to cast foreboding shadows and eerie sounds upon Phelps Creek Gorge (actually Windsor Hollow), we thought it best to pack up the gear and begin climbing out. I thought it was difficult climbing down with empty hands... try climbing UP with buckets full of fish and water! Add to this, the fact that Phelps Creek Gorge, in the early evening, can appear quite spooky. This was so fitting for October, however, as I now know what Ichabod Crane must had felt as he was riding his rickety old horse fearfully slow when heading home from the Village of Sleepy Hollow! Despite the spooked feeling that overcame me on the way out, I hope to return to this extremely picturesque stream. Perhaps I will go in the Spring time, when water is a little higher, and fishes are in full spawning colors. This is a "best kept secret" kind of place in North East Ohio, and I think anyone would find the trip worthwhile. I suggest that any native fish enthusiast reading this story should trek to Phelps Creek, even if just to enjoy the scenery alone.
Phelps Creek is truly a natural gem, amidst the highly populated and developing northeast portion of Ohio. Thank you Nick and Linda Zarlinga, Jeff Reibe, and Bill Flynn for attending this small but quality gathering. Thank you Nick for your hospitality, as we ventured back to your home to unwind and enjoy refreshments. I also have to mention what a great native fish aquarium you have!
September 5, 2007
Advanced Custom Sound
1894 Elm Road N.E.
Warren, Ohio 44483
Dear Sir or Madam:
Noise Free Ohio is a chapter of Noise Free America, a national non-profit organization devoted to restoring peace and quiet to our neighborhoods. We were somewhat appalled to read about the recent coverage your businesses had in a recent Tribune article, written by Larry Ringler in the spring of 07, with tones of praising such businesses like yours, as though they are providing some kind of valuable service to the community.
Larry Ringler was also written a response from our national group, as well as our affiliate organizations regarding that article. While it may be true that you may feel that your customers have a “choice” about how they listen to their noise, what many businesses such as yours fail to recognize is that at the same time these thoughtless and selfish people are depriving the rest of us, of the choice NOT to listen to it.
Many of the products you sell and install are creating a national health crisis and I write to enlighten you about some of the damage you are doing to persons, property and communities.
Please read on:-
First, at an increasing rate, cities across the nation are passing or strengthening noise ordinances, and the sad truth is, the people who buy these audio weapons are bringing these new laws on themselves. They know the moment they buy and install your equipment, they are going to be:
Breaking the Law
Annoying the Public
Creating a dangerous highway situation for emergency workers whose sirens cannot be heard
Waking people who have to work nights and sleep days (as well as the rest of us who try to sleep at night in cities plagued by these weapons).
Ruining their own hearing and that of their passengers
Damaging the brains of small children trapped in their car seats only inches away from the speakers
Destroying property values
Take a moment to educate yourself about what loud noise does to a human body – both the noisemaker and his victims.
Make a note every time you sell one of these subwoofers, or an entire trunk load of them, that the 10% of the population, myself included, suffer real health damage from the combination of high decibels and low frequency vibrations. We suffer chest pain, stomach pain, headaches, rapid heart rate, sweating and/or nausea. Elevated blood pressure, and worst of all, instant and involuntary aggression brought on by a rush of adrenaline. Not healthy in the least. Medically speaking, this is not endemic to just an elderly population, it can and does happen in all age groups.
In large cities, one car in four stopped for booming produces a wanted criminal, an illegal weapon, drugs or all three. Booming is often a form of drug advertising. The Police in most large Cities know this. The excuse that this is a healthy hobby or an alternative to drugs for kids, as commonly touted by those associated with your kind of industry, is a lie and nothing more. Installing equipment that has no other purpose except to disturb, defy, damage, ignite and destroy (the words used by the manufactures themselves) is not a hobby. It is an act of defiance of the law, it is antisocial, it has no socially redeeming value.
If you are not warning the “kids” or adults who spend their money on these subwoofers, that using them at full blast is illegal and that they can be fined, you are not only assisting in the commission of a crime, you are yourself being socially irresponsible. The audibility requirement in the Florida state law for citing a specific example of this issue was reduced in July 2005 from 100’ to 25’, resulting in a doubling of the tickets written. This law was fought for by a SWAT team commander with the Orange County (Orlando) sheriff’s office – he feared for the lives of his deputies because their sirens could not be heard over the din on the highways and at traffic lights.
Warren, Ohio has a limit of 50 feet, meaning that noise should not be audible within 50 feet. Often it can be heard from blocks away. Current activity in City Council is addressing possible target enforcement of this law which your patrons behavior brought upon themselves because of the growing number of fed up law abiding, peaceful tax paying residents. Our city’s noise ordinance addressing this issue is in effect 24 hours a day, and I have included a copy of it for your convenience. Perhaps the responsible thing to do would be to hand out copies of it to your customers if you are going to continue to sell these noise weapons.
Just for enlightenment on this issue, here is what other Cities and States are doing to quiet this plague:
- No noise audible at 10 feet.
- No noise that can be heard from the car at all.
- Initial fines of $500, $1,000, $1,500. In one little town in New Jersey……….$3,000
- Jail time – 30-90 days.
- Suspension of car tag or driver’s license (or both) – 30-90 days.
The next time you sell an expensive mess of subwoofers to someone, ask yourself what he is going to do with it and then ask yourself if you can go to bed at night with a clear conscience. Better yet, go visit one or more of these web sites and educate yourself about he way you are earning a living:
You may be surprised at what you learn!
By the way, stiff fines, impoundment, confiscation and jail time DO make a difference. Even your customers would probably grow weary of paying $750 and having their car towed every time they are caught.
Finally, in the United Arab Emirates, one of the countries to which we selfish and greedy Americans export this dangerous practice to, their law simply states the first time you are caught booming, the authorities take away your car. This is how one official put it “if you are so stupid to think that this is the purpose of owning an automobile, you don’t deserve to have one”. In The United Kingdom, allowing noise to resonate from vehicles and invade other people’s right to peace in their own homes is an act seen as it should be seen; “Anti-Social and Irresponsible Behaviour” You may be asked to remove yourself from the neighborhood without permission to return.
Acting as such and breaking laws is not a freedom here in the US -- nor anywhere through the eyes of 99% of the thinking rational world. Do us all a favor and please take some social responsibility for yourselves and your customers. If you react to this letter with an “I will do what the “bleep” I want… and I don’t care how it hurts anyone else” attitude, then this only reaffirms our belief that we need to work harder with local law enforcement to nail down on this already illegal in-your-face behavior.
Noise Free America - Ohio Chapter
cc: Warren Police Chief, John Mandopoulos
cc: Warren City Safety Director, William Franklin
cc: Warren City Mayor, Michael O’Brien
Here are some links which feature various articles I have written or contributed to about my interest in native fishes.
In Greater Cleveland, the concept of the new style "big modern malls" featuring retail stores, banks, recreation, and other uses, all under one roof, blossomed in the late 1950's and hit a peak in the early 1970's --- so as my personal observation and experience shows me. Several downtown retailers could not resist the allure of a brand new facility with plenty of parking, as inner city retail districts were aging and often not meeting the demands of a new auto-dependent consumer base as trains and public transportation became the secondary means of getting around. Aging retail space base, crime, inadequate parking were all contributors of this flight of retail from the core.
But today, many of the original malls that killed the inner city retail base, have now themselves become victims of even further suburban sprawl----Many will call this out-migration of business phenomenon poorly planned urban growth and management. There are other driving forces for sprawl, but forces such as tax abatements are a story alone.
Nevertheless, there is now a re-discovery of the older inner urban retail infrastructure as many buildings and streets in downtown Cleveland, for example, are undergoing a slow, but steady revitalization. Still, this brings us back to the aging "first malls club"-- and I shudder to think that many of these retail behemoths could someday sit deserted amidst a vast sea of pavement which simply contributes to dirty stormwater runoff to our rivers and streams, also another story alone! With that in mind, I was inspired to dream up a new adaptive re-use of these malls as more than just retail alone.
I was a longtime patron of Randall Park Mall in Cleveland (Warrensville/North Randall) built in 1976. I remember when this crown jewel double decker mall opened and few people had ever seen anything quite like it. Huge anchor stores like Higbee’s, cascading fountains, red carpeted catwalks and ramps, theaters, and the list goes on.
Today, the mall is still a nice place to visit but nothing like it was when it first popped into the retail scene. I actually felt sorry for the place and so I offer some ideas on future uses for Malls like Randall Park, which struggle because of what I see, as an over production of retail space in North east Ohio among other factors.
I think malls as such can be great places not only for what, for example, the Randall Park mall is now, but for future "indoor neighborhoods" with trendy apartments, retail, post, groceries, fresh fruit and veggie and bakery markets, entertainment, all necessities for living, under one roof---maybe even a school or recreation center. Essentially, an "indoor complete neighborhood."
This is what they were in terms of just shopping in the past, BUT, adding social amenities like high quality living addresses, will see such a place transfer into a whole neighborhood and city under one roof. Huge areas where anchor tenants once stood, can be creatively divided into apartments, condominiums, with indoor atriums, pools and recreation/fitness facilities with skylights and courtyards. Then, rents could be collected from several sources, rather than one entity such as a large anchor retailer as in the past. Such a facility could be a national example of creativity and brilliant adaptive re-use! Good for North Randall.. Good for Greater Cleveland etc.
If marketed properly, all the above would be great for those who do not wish to rely on cars, or those who wish to reduce dependency on oil. I think this idea could really help revitalize the inner older suburban areas. I feel this may be the future of older but great malls like Randall. What are your thoughts?
Lawns On Drugs--Just Say NO!
Once upon a time, Spring was aglow and fragrant with the bright colors and sweet scent of benign beautiful plants like dandelion and clover, which had numerous culinary/nutritional values and medicinal properties. We made greens, salads and some even made coffee! After a long dreary and bland winter, awing at the avenues becoming a sudden corridor of color and sweet fragrance was a common and accepted sight in the mind.
Now the commercial lawn services came along and through their marketing methods have re-shaped our vision of how a lawn should look. They convinced us that anything other than a blade of grass is a terrible thing. “It must be destroyed or it will kill your lawn” they told you----And hence was born the lawn chemical company’s version of a lawn: A sterile patch of green with no signs of life--a mono culture.
Once we began to see all the diversity in our lawns disappear through years of spraying and fertilizing, we have been conditioned to think the lawn must look like marketing’s version of a lawn--and the moment a dandelion happens to reappear in this new sea of ‘green only’ yards--we freak out and run for the Round-Up, or worse, call the chemical guy again! Let’s try and un-condition the thinking that lawn chemical companies helped to foster: the mentality of a mono-culture lawn as a perfect and healthy lawn.
Is it really healthy?
Commercial lawn chemicals, despite claims by dealers as “being safe”, are not in the best interest of a healthier environment. Getting a lawn hooked on them like drugs, renders it virtually useless in fighting infection and pests on its own, as its "immune system" gets weakened, and therefore becomes even more susceptible to disease and/or pests these companies apparently set out to destroy in the first place! Adding chemicals to a lawn is not a magic bullet situation; the pesticides kill indiscriminately and kill many beneficial organisms within, and on top of the soil. Alternatively, a naturally healthy lawn is one where 95% of all organisms are beneficial.
With nature’s system of balance in the lawn absent from over-spraying, we have to rely on even more spraying of chemicals to do what nature used to do for free. Lawns are now becoming addicted to chemical fixes to remain artificially healthy. This scenario is analogous to a vampire needing blood to appear alive. By interfering with natural balance we often do more harm than good.
Here are some thoughts to consider about lawn chemical use:
* Phosphates from fertilizers getting into storm water runoff travel directly to our lake/water sources via storm drains after rains. Bad for aquatic life and health of lakes/rivers. Blue/Green algal blooms result from too much nitrogen/phosphate from fertilizers--when the blooms die, the algae rots and is consumed by bacteria which deplete water of oxygen, thus impacting aquatic life; and in particular the fishing economy. (Lake Erie-Perch fishing) Such causes bad odors results in huge dead zones in the lake and is very unhealthy for swimmers.
* Pesticides like 24-D (a defoliant used in Agent Orange), Diazinon, Dursban and others are all linked to cancer according to the USEPA.
* Chemical drift remains in the air days after application which contributes to respiratory irritation from fumes.
* Residue (petroleum based) from chemicals remains on lawn for days after application and can get tracked indoors despite contrary claims. Bad for you and your pet.
* Several US cities and many Canadian communities have either banned uses of many lawn chemicals or placed restrictions of their uses for mere cosmetic reasons.
Think about it, is all the above worth a green lawn? It is just a lawn; not a food source we are trying to protect from a devastating pest situation. It does not have to consist of grass plants only. We should de-program the images sold to us by lawn companies and try accepting another. A "weed" is not always a bad thing and in fact is just a name given to any plant growing outside its community of origin. “Going Green” does not mean your lawn has to stay green even in dormant times. If you still desire a mono-culture look of just green, consider the fact that there are many organic and safer alternatives to the chemicals to achieve this.
My next related article will deal with the concept of designing a yard/lawn that is not nearly as co-dependent on our water and oil resources. We will talk about a yard utilizing native plants, trees, and shrubs which "grew-up" and evolved locally without the help of people in any given place, thus making them more independent of water, fertilizers, etc. In the meantime, I recommend the following websites to introduce you to this concept. Discover how wonderful and full of good life your yard can be!
Tuesday, July 8, 2008
To learn more about the ill health impacts of noise pollution on your communities quality of life, property value, and even personal physical health, visit the following web sites to learn more. Drop me a line if you have a noise problem you cannot seen to do anything about and I will answer you personally with ideas on how to mitigate the problem.
I will also be posting a 24 minute talk radio style discussion about Boom Car noise pollution as a bonus. You may download this discussion and make copies of it for educational uses in dealing with this particular kind of noise pollution in your community. To learn about why this is a particularly dangerous kind of noise, or just exactly what a "Boom Car" is, see Lower The Boom Dot Org listed below.
Here is a letter I sent to Frito Lay about finding their litter all over the neighborhood. Wait until you see their response!
Dear Frito Lay,
We are writing to you on behalf of our local neighborhood block club group in Cleveland, Ohio about the concern for litter. As we organize a neighborhood litter clean up once per month, we have assembled an inventory of the types of litter which accumulates. A great portion of this litter comes courtesy of your customers discarding empty bags of Cheetos, Funions, Doritos, Potato Chips and just about every other .25 cents snack product you offer.
We are currently trying to initiate a “do not litter” mentality in local schools since much of this litter comes from school kids walking home after school who do not exercise the common sense or responsibility to put litter in its proper place. If we can reduce some of this litter it would make a great impact on improving the visual aspect of a neighborhood trying to revitalize itself. Quite frankly, we are tired of seeing Frito Lay products as the biggest part of our litter problem.
We are therefore writing to ask just as you have made your products look ‘cool’ to eat with characters such as Chester Cheetah and the like, you make it look equally cool to NOT throw litter on the ground by posting it clearly on your packaging---perhaps a caption over the head of Chester Cheetah informing your customers that it’s NOT cool to litter---and to please place the bags in a proper trash bin. Other packages can promote the same….clear and easy to see and read.
It’s a shame as example setters in this world today we now have to remind people to do what common sense used to dictate, but sadly this is how it has become. Much of this litter gets washed into our lake and near our lake shore where it harms aquatic and terrestrial wildlife. Community wise, it is a contributing factor to declining property value. Many of us are volunteering daily to clean up what essentially has Frito Lay as a part of the problem.
As we will do our part in promoting personal responsibility via the schools, we would like to ask as the number one litter source in our neighborhood, Frito Lay show a bit of leadership in doing their part in helping to set a better example of why we should not litter, as outlined in our suggestions above. Maybe you can even think of a better approach for yourselves, but at least it will show your company gives a darn about this problem. You can write back to us at the following address:
Franklin Clinton Block Group
c/o Rob Carillio
We look forward to your response!
Robert S. Carillio
Franklin Clinton Community Block Group - Cleveland, Ohio