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Staten Island Advance, October 4th, 2017

FULL TEXT:

CITY HALL — State and federal authorities supported killing Staten Island deer in order to control the borough herd, officials confirmed.

The feds even undertook an environmental assessment of such a deer "cull" in 2015, but the NYPD "blanched" and the city refused, Borough President James Oddo wrote on Facebook Tuesday.

The Parks Department confirmed Oddo’s account, but said the NYPD didn’t "blanch." A cull was considered unrealistic because Staten Island is still an urban environment and even a controlled slaughter would require large swaths of borough green space to be cordoned off by the NYPD.

Police supervising the hunt would only add to the cost and complexity of the endeavor. Hunting is illegal across the five boroughs, so the city would have to get special state approvals for the kind of massive deer cull demanded by Staten Island’s large herd. And because hunting is illegal, any city slaughter would likely be delayed by potential lawsuits.

Ultimately the city decided to sterilize hundreds of Staten Island bucks. More than 875 vasectomies have been performed on them since the program began last year.

Oddo wrote about officials discussing the deer cull in a Facebook post that linked to an Advance story about an injured deer barging into a clothing shop on New Dorp Lane Monday afternoon. The deer was euthanized.

The borough president said that situations like this "might become more prevalent" during the mating season.

The number of collisions with vehicles tends to increase during the mating season or "rut" for white-tailed deer because bucks and doe are less cautious and are primarily focused on mating. The rut in New York is typically between October and January.

"I have long warned that one day we will see the tragic loss of human life occur," Oddo wrote on Facebook. "It has not yet happened, but it feels inevitable."

Oddo wrote he’s "tried to raise the alarm with literally every level of government."

"We even got the federal, state, and city officials together to discuss a solution that could have included a cull of the population, and the federal government undertook an environmental assessment throughout 2015," Oddo wrote. "In fact, the USDA and State DEC were ready and willing to undertake a cull, similar to what has been done in other jurisdictions similar to Staten Island. This was stopped because the NYPD blanched, the City of New York refused, and activists were waiting on standby to bring lawsuits that some believe would have delayed any action for many years."

Oddo’s office didn’t immediately respond to a request for additional comment. The NYPD, U.S. Department of Agriculture and state Department of Environmental Conservation didn’t immediately comment.

"Under the current integrated deer management plan, the City has been able to act as rapidly and humanely as possible to limit the future impacts of deer on Staten Island," Parks Department spokesman Sam Biederman said. "We have sterilized an estimated 90% of the male deer on Staten Island, enhanced driver safety measures and educational efforts, and taken aggressive action to protect Staten Island’s natural resources. And as Borough President Oddo says, awareness is key: Drivers in Staten Island must stay vigilant for deer during rutting season."

VASECTOMY EFFORT CONTINUES

An unrestrained deer herd can harm parks and private property, spread tick-borne illness like Lyme disease and wander into roads more often, increasing the risk for deadly vehicle collisions.

Manipulating deer fertility is only permitted by the state as part of scientific research. The state Department of Environmental Conservation, which regulates wildlife, approved the city’s vasectomy program last year.

Parks Department contractor White Buffalo will be paid up to $3.3 million by the city to perform vasectomies over the course of a three-year research program. The second year will be divided into two phases — from Aug. 15 and Oct. 20 and then in winter 2018.

The vasectomy effort is expected to eventually reduce the herd 10 to 30 percent annually, though some wildlife experts thought the plan won’t work because the city is ignoring basic deer biology and conventional herd management practices.

The Parks Department believes the herd is now growing mostly through reproduction, not migration, and sterilizing males instead of females is meant to be faster, cheaper and more humane.

There are between 1,918 and 2,188 deer across Staten Island, according to a estimate from White Buffalo using data from the vasectomy program.

That’s about four times the city’s last count and a 9,000 percent increase in the herd since 2008.

CITY REVIEWED MULTIPLE CONTROL METHODS

Before deciding on sterilization, city officials reviewed a variety of methods that could be used to manage New York state deer. They were outlined in a federal draft assessment prepared by the U.S. Department of Agriculture, Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service and Wildlife Services and released in November 2015.

Lethal solutions included shooting, hunting and euthanizing deer. Non-lethal methods included physically barricading or fencing deer, altering habitats, supplemental feeding to reduce crop damage, relocation, behavior modification with noise or visual stimuli, chemical pesticides or birth control.

De Blasio wouldn’t rule out killing the deer in March 2016, telling the Advance, "I don’t want to presume how we handle it yet until we finish the work of assessing the situation." That was two months before the city unveiled the sterilization plan.

Oddo has previously said lethal methods should be used to control Staten Island deer.

"Any deer management plan that does not take an integrated approach that includes lethal and non-lethal means is tantamount to kicking the can down the road and putting off the tough decisions. It is deciding by not deciding," Oddo said in a statement in March 2016. "Staten Island and Staten Islanders will pay a heavy price for that delay."

Oddo wrote Tuesday, "It seems no one is happy with the current deer situation."

"On the one hand, some want us to do nothing and leave them alone. Those folks cringe when they see bucks that have been tagged as part of the current male sterilization plan," Oddo wrote. "On the other end of the spectrum are those who want more aggressive action by government. Even those who favor the current male sterilization don’t really know what its impact will be."

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NYC Hawk Killed By Rat Poison

Patch.com, April 21st, 2017

FULL TEXT:

LOWER EAST SIDE, NY — A red-tailed hawk died earlier this year after eating a rat that had ingested rat poison, according to the New York Daily News.

The hawk is believed to have eaten a rat poisoned in a New York City park. Bird advocates have repeatedly condemned the city’s use of rodenticide, which can be toxic for hawks and other animals. Birds of prey in urban areas, like the substantial red-tailed hawk population in New York City, often hunt rats for food. Rats that have ingested rodenticide can then poison hawks second-hand.

The Daily News reported on Thursday that a sick hawk was found in January in the Sara D. Roosevelt Park on the Lower East Side. The hawk was treated by Dr. Katherine Quesenberry, a staff doctor at the Animal Medical Center in Manhattan.

"This particular bird was extremely anemic, as they usually are when they’ve ingested toxins," Quesenberry said. "That’s why it was so easy to catch; they’re so weak they can’t fly."

The hawk was given a blood-transfusion but was too anemic for the transfusion to work, Quesenberry, an exotic bird and animal specialist, told Patch. The bird’s necropsy — an autopsy for animals — showed that it died after it ingested an anti-coagulant rodenticide, according to the New York Daily News. The state’s Department of Environmental Conservation was not immediately able to provide a copy of the necropsy to Patch on Thursday.

The hawk that died in January is one of dozens of known cases of New York City in which rodenticide has been linked to a bird’s death. Lima, the former partner of the beloved Central Park hawk Pale Male, was found dead in 2012. A necropsy found small amounts of the chemical components of rat poison in the bird’s liver.

Quesenberry, who has worked as a vet in New York City for more than 30 years, said each year she typically treats between two and three hawks who have ingested rat poison. Just one poisoned rat can be enough to cause a hawk to fall ill or even die, depending on how much poison the rat has ingested, she said.

"From a veterinary standpoint, you have to think about the type of rodenticides because they can be toxic to other species," she said. "In New York City it’s hard to say ‘don’t use them,’ but unfortunately it’s a toxicity that can happen. It doesn’t just affect the one species."

The city’s parks department doesn’t use rodenticide in city parks during the hawks’ breeding season, between March and August.

"It’s good that they’re not using it during the breeding season, but any time they’re in use it happen," Quesenberry said of inadvertent hawk poisoning.

A spokesman for NYC Audubon told Patch that the group wasn’t aware of a hawk nest at Sara D. Roosevelt park and learned about the bird’s death after the fact. Audubon tracks raptor nesting locations that are reported to it.

"It is very unfortunate and sad," the spokesman said in an email to Patch. "It is true that rodenticide poisoning is one of the leading causes of death among urban raptors such as red-tailed hawks. We advocate against the use of rodenticides in all places in the City, especially parks."

City parks department officials say they know of about 20 pairs of nesting hawks throughout New York City.

PROTECT STATE WATERBODIES

DEC ENCOURAGES HOMEOWNERS TO PRACTICE SUSTAINABLE LAWN CARE TO PROTECT STATE WATERBODIES

DEC launches “Look for the Zero” campaign to urge homeowners to purchase phosphorus-free lawn fertilizer

To protect water quality this spring, the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) today is urging New Yorkers to practice sustainable lawn care by going phosphorus free, using native plants and grasses, and reducing fertilizer use. DEC has launched the “Look for the Zero” campaign to encourage New Yorkers to purchase phosphorus-free lawn fertilizer, as more than 100 water bodies in New York State cannot be used or enjoyed as a result of too much phosphorus.

"The actions New Yorkers take in their backyards can have a big impact on the environment. By choosing sustainable lawn care, homeowners are helping protect water quality and public health,” said DEC Commissioner Basil Seggos. “Excess phosphorous is causing problems in many New York waterbodies, making them unusable for swimming, fishing, or as a source of drinking water. I urge residents to ‘look for the zero’ and buy phosphorous-free fertilizer this spring. By eliminating phosphorus and reducing pesticide use on lawns, New Yorkers can play an important role in addressing water quality impairments across the state."

New York’s nutrient runoff law prohibits the use of phosphorus lawn fertilizers unless a new lawn is being established or a soil test shows that the lawn does not have enough phosphorus.

Generally, only newly established lawns or those with poor soil need phosphorus. Phosphorus applied to lawns that don’t need it will not be used and can cause water pollution. Regardless of the location, excess phosphorus from lawns can wash off and pollute lakes and streams, harming fish and ruining boating and swimming.

Consumers should review bag labels for phosphorus content when shopping for fertilizer. Fertilizer labels have three bold numbers. The number in the middle is the percentage of phosphorus in the product, such as: 22-0-15. The state’s law requires retailers to display phosphorus fertilizer separately from phosphorus-free fertilizer and post signs notifying customers of the terms of the law.

Homeowners have several options to practice more sustainable lawn care. DEC encourages homeowners to choose native plants and grasses, which are adapted to the local climate and soil conditions. These plant species provide nectar, pollen, and seeds that serve as food for native butterflies, insects, birds, and other animals.

Organic lawn care can easily be implemented on any lawn. Safe and effective alternatives exist for most chemical pesticides and fertilizers. Organic lawn care treatments promote deep root systems, natural photosynthesis, and longer grass growth. Visit the DEC sustainable landscaping page to learn more LINKY.

Additional recommendations for sustainable lawn care include spreading a quarter inch of compost on the lawn to improve moisture retention and soil texture and add beneficial microorganisms and nutrients. Another suggestion is to allow grass to grow to three inches and then cut no more than one inch off the top. This is the "one-third" rule and helps to develop a deeper root system, which is a natural defense against weeds, disease and drought. Visit DEC’s Lawn Care web page for more information.

DEC also encourages homeowners to leave lawn clippings on the yard in order to improve the health of the lawn. Grass clippings are 80 percent water and contain 2- 4 percent nitrogen, phosphorus, potassium, and other nutrients. Leaving clippings also saves homeowners time while mowing and reduces the amount of garbage thrown out. Grass clippings can account for as much as 10 percent of garbage.

DEC has posted a new video (WATCH HERE) to its YouTube channel that shows how phosphorus and other chemicals can run off lawns and enter our waterways. For more information, visit DEC’s Lawn Fertilizer webpage at LINKY.

The nutrient runoff law does not affect agricultural fertilizer or fertilizer for gardens.

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Second Avenue Subway

If you look at all the ads, you would think the new subway was the best thing to happen to the Upper East Side since Gehrig was born there.

As a resident of the UES, I can tell you that is a joke. First of all, it goes from 96th Street to Time Square, so if you need to go to GCT to catch the 7 train, well you still can, but you’ll be catching it from Time Square.

And tonight when I needed a train home from Harold Square, it wasn’t running. Add to that the fact that I am hearing rumors of huge rent increases leading me to believe I’m going to have to move and I hate moving … this is not helping my depression … new Q train is a fucking joke.

Depression is

Depression is a fucking bitch. As I say that I hope the people who I told to not read my blog, are not reading it, because they would be offended at my language. After years of denial, I have to face the truth, my BFF told me, Girl, you are so depressed. And then I spent an evening crying over Facebook. Not what someone posted to me, my hateful posts back to him. Amazingly, he still talks to me. Maybe he understands.

 

The first thing people say when someone says they are depressed is “What do you have to be depressed about?” That comment kept me from realizing my own depression. I now know. Depression doesn’t depend on external forces, depression comes from inside. Even though I am ‘living my dream’, my brain …. is fucking me up. Telling me, I don’t deserve anything good that happens to me. And, you don’t deserve to be happy, you don’t deserve the friends you have. I can’t figure out why these people who have it made want me to be their friend. And friends who have left me, because I couldn’t explain … I don’t know what I’m saying, “Depression lies & my brain is sometimes an asshole”. That’s all I got.

So here I am 

It was a frustrating day at first. Overslept so I missed church then was late to a new knitting group meeting. This one is a Ravelry group and there were just four of us but it was pleasant. 

Because of my screwups I didn’t get food. I was tempted to make my way to The Pony Bar for an avocado sandwich but opted for someplace I wouldn’t have to walk so far since my boot wore a hole in my heel. I ended up at the Dive Bar. 

Not “a dive bar”, The Dive Bar, 732 Amsterdam Ave., NYC. I had a Vegetarian Reuben. It came with a salad with no dressing, just the way I like it. Is it any wonder why I love this place? Well that and the power outlets under the bar and the access to free wifi. They also will fill a growler. 

It made me think of why I first came here, but it’s been so long I don’t really remember. I think I kind of stumbled upon it by accident the first time and was so impressed I keep coming back. Or at least try to stop here whenever I’m on the West Side. For a while I was writing snippy reviews on Yelp because the owner/manager would respond to any rating below a 4 and try to make it better. But I don’t know how this place could be any better than it is unless the food and drink was free.

Laundry 

Doing laundry is a pain, first there’s the whole actually having to wash my clothes. If i was rich and didn’t have trust issues (i don’t like people touching my stuff), I would pay for someone to wash my clothes.

It’s worse when it’s raining. Especially when it’s been raining all day so there are puddles i have to walk through. Add to that the construction workers keep moving the fences so i had to backtrack while pulling a rolling cart in the rain. Then i realized i had forgotten my laundry detergent, so i had to go back to my apartment to get it. I hate doing laundry.

Oh Hey, I am Running Boston

This is my friend, she is a great person, always encouraging me with my running. Now she needs encouragement and money, check out the blog. Do what you can. Thank you.

Running for My Life

So, figured I should start a better blog for all my running crap that I wish to spew about, because Tumblr ain’t cutting it.  Right now my big running news is I AM RUNNING THE BOSTON MARATHON, SO AWESOME.  This will end up being my 3rd Marathon as I am currently training for the Philadelphia Marathon and have already run the Vermont City Marathon.  Of course running Boston means you either need to qualify, or run for charity, and while my speed has improved, I am not that fast yet, so charity it is.  I am running for the Dana Farber Cancer Institute, because who really has not been affected my cancer, a disease I would love to disappear.  Anyways, I could use all of your help with this as I need donations, A LOT of donations.  I have to raise at least $5000, so if you could donate, or…

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Celebrate World Teachers’ Day

World Teacher Day

Infographic courtesy of Grammarly

5 years ago

and a week or so …