Category: Uncategorized

It’s been a minute. The last time we had Outdoors Day at Mt. Loretto was 2019. Here’s hoping it once again becomes an annual event. For me it’s a workday outside of the office. A chance to meet people I don’t normally work with and meet the public.

I was assigned to “Camping”. I don’t camp, my idea of camping is a hotel with no room service. But I was going to make the best of it. Outside with fresh air (pollen), nature (ticks) and people (too many). The highlight of the place was Smores. We had a campfire and all the ingredients. I don’t know how to make Smores, I’ve never made or eaten Smores. Someone said today might be the day! It was not.

To be perfectly honest, I don’t stick around much. Did a lot of wandering, my co-worker was there with his wife and dog, he said he didn’t mind.

One thing I saw, after completing the Nature Walk and walking back to my designated spot was a Mallard duck. I thought it was a decoy because it was so perfect looking and still. I walked toward it and it turned and quacked at me. Definitely a real duck.

We left after planting a tree in memoriam to a co-worker that has sadly passed away. Their family was there and it got really emotional, for them, I didn’t really work with them or know them very well.

My ride dropped me off down town so I walked to Fool’s Gold on Houston Street for a beer (or a dozen, lost count).

All around a good day.


This is an improvement?

Decided to post on Knitting with a city girl, haven’t posted in a while and got the new block editor! Yay! Except after trying three times to center my pictures, they are still on the left side! What the actual fuck WordPress? Below is how it should look.

And other lies I tell myself. Like, not starting any new projects until I finish some.


When I first moved to the city I took a picture of me in front of my window to show everyone I had fucking arrived and now everything is fucking shit!

This is me now, so fucking fat and ugly. Thought living in the city was my dream. And it was, until it wasn’t.

I look out at these businesses and wonder, will any of them reopen? To illustrate my fear, the black building is a parking garage that temporarily closed during the construction of the 2nd Avenue Subway. It has not reopened.


WASHINGTON (Dec. 4, 2019) — Today, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced a $4 million cooperative agreement with Restore America’s Estuaries to help fund projects supporting National Estuary Program coastal watersheds and estuaries. Restore America’s Estuaries will operate a competition that provides entities from across the country an opportunity to apply for funding for projects that will improve the health of our nation’s waters.

“EPA is pleased to work with Restore America’s Estuaries to advance our shared goal of protecting our nation’s waters and supporting aquatic ecosystems,” said EPA Administrator Andrew Wheeler. “This cooperative agreement is the first of its kind and solidifies the partnership between EPA and non-governmental organizations as we work together to improve the health of our coastal waters.”

The National Estuary Program is an EPA initiative committed to protecting and restoring the water quality and ecological integrity of 28 estuaries across the country. Estuaries play an important role in our environment, providing places for recreational activities, scientific study and aesthetic enjoyment. EPA is committed to working with our partners to protect estuaries from issues that threaten their stability, including coastal flooding and marine litter.

“Restore America’s Estuaries is proud to have been selected to administer this critical new program. Combined, Restore America’s Estuaries and EPA bring decades of knowledge and experience, and together, we’ll have a significant impact on our nation’s estuaries by strategically funding critical projects and programs that will have long-lasting impacts,” said Restore America’s Estuaries President Jeff Benoit.

EPA is providing $4 million over four years to Restore America’s Estuaries to fund a wide variety of projects. Projects will include those that apply new or innovative approaches and technologies to treat, remove, or prevent pollution before it enters estuaries; build on and implement existing nutrient management strategies; build local capacity to protect and restore coastal watersheds; and prevent trash from entering or removing trash that has entered coastal waters. Restore America’s Estuaries will fund awards between $75,000 and $250,000.

For more information about Restore America’s Estuaries, visit Protecting & Restoring Our Nation’s Coasts & Estuaries

For more information about the Coastal Watersheds Grant, visit Estuaries and the National Estuary Program.

Nature World News, April 2nd, 2019


Staten Island residents have another reason to apply insect repellent and obsessively check for ticks this spring and summer: the population of a new, potentially dangerous invasive pest known as the Asian longhorned tick has grown dramatically across the borough, according to Columbia University researchers. And the tick–which unlike other local species can clone itself in large numbers–is likely to continue its conquest in the months ahead.

"The concern with this tick is that it could transmit human pathogens and make people sick," explains researcher Maria Diuk-Wasser, an associate professor in the Columbia University Department of Ecology, Evolution and Environmental Biology, who studies ticks and human disease risk.

In a new study appearing in the April issue of the journal Emerging Infectious Diseases, Diuk-Wasser and colleagues provide the most exhaustive local census of the new species to date–and suggest the Staten Island infestation is far more advanced than previously known.

The researchers found the species Haemaphysalis longicornis in 7 of 13 parks surveyed in 2017 and in 16 of 32 in 2018. In one park, the density of the ticks per 1000 square meters rose almost 1,698 percent between 2017 and 2018, with the number of ticks picked up in the sample area rising from 85 to 1,529. They also found the ticks on anesthetized deer from the area.

The news comes less than a year after the New York City Department of Health announced the discovery of the first member of the species in the city–a single tick–found on southern Staten Island last August.

The tick, native to Asia and Australia, had been identified in the months prior to the Staten Island sighting in New Jersey, West Virginia, North Carolina and Arkansas and just a few weeks earlier in Westchester County. The Westchester sighting prompted a number of state senators to send a letter urging state health officials to act aggressively to stop the spread of the new species.

Public health officials are particularly concerned because the longhorned tick is notorious for its ability to quickly replicate itself. Unlike deer ticks, the common local variety known for carrying Lyme disease, the female Asian longhorned can copy itself through asexual reproduction in certain environmental conditions, or reproduce sexually, laying 1,000-2,000 eggs at a time. They are typically found in grass in addition to the forested habitats that deer ticks prefer, adding a new complication to public health messaging. The Columbia analysis suggests that the public warnings may have come too late.

"The fact that longhorned tick populations are so high in southern Staten Island will make control of this species extremely difficult," says Meredith VanAcker, a member of Diuk-Wasser’s lab who collected the data as part of her Ph.D. thesis. "And because females don’t need to find male mates for reproduction, it is easier for the population to spread."

The threat these new arrivals pose to human health is still unknown. In Asia, there have been reports of ticks passing on a virus that can cause a number of diseases, including hemorrhagic fever and ehrlichiosis, a bacterial illness that can cause flu-like symptoms and lead to serious complications if not treated.

The arrival of the species on Staten Island adds another unwelcome dimension to the region’s tick woes, which have grown dramatically in recent years. Thanks to an expanding deer population, Lyme disease spread through deer ticks has reached epidemic proportions in some areas of the Northeast. Deer ticks (also called black-legged ticks) are capable of disseminating six other human pathogens.

The first Asian long-horned tick in the U.S. was identified in New Jersey in 2013. A large population was later found on sheep in Mercer County, New Jersey. Diuk-Wasser became aware of the potential danger when a doctor at a Westchester clinic removed a tick from a patient and sent it in for identification. The discovery of the first human bite prompted widespread alarm.

By then, the Columbia team was already in the midst of an extensive "tick census" on Staten Island to determine how the landscape connectivity between urban parks influenced the spread of disease.

The Asian longhorned is easy to miss because it resembles a rare native species of rabbit tick. VanAcker spent months combing areas of Staten Island for ticks, dragging a square-meter corduroy cloth over leaf litter and examining it every 10 to 20 meters Diuk-Wasser, post-doctoral student Danielle Tufts and other members of the Diuk-Wasser lab found huge numbers of them on the bodies of unconscious deer that had been captured and anesthetized by wildlife authorities.

VanAcker found her collections were overflowing with the new species, leading to publication of the current study in Emerging Infectious Diseases. Her work on landscape connectivity, slated to appear in the June issue of the same journal, drives home the difficult decisions facing policymakers as they attempt to arrest the spread of the new species and others like it.

"The easier it is for deer to maneuver through urban landscapes between parks, the more likely the ticks are to spread to new areas," Diuk-Wasser says. "This suggests that the emphasis on urban wildlife corridors has a previously unappreciated downside for human health."

The EPA Thinks So. New York State’s DEC Says No Way.

Published on Apr 22, 2019 3:09PM EDT

Lissa Harris

Few environmental cleanup efforts in US history have been as extensive—or as emotional—as General Electric’s years-long, $1.7 billion dredging project on the Hudson River to remove millions of pounds of PCBs dumped between the 1940s and ’70s.

Last week, that project hit a major milestone—or a major roadblock, depending on your perspective. On April 11, the federal Environmental Protection Agency issued a Certificate of Completion to GE for the dredging conducted so far. The certificate was a major victory for GE; the company promptly gave a statement announcing that the dredging had been a success. For New York State, whose own Department of Environmental Conservation holds that the river is still unacceptably contaminated, the EPA’s decision was a slap in the face.

The EPA plans to study the impact of the cleanup effort on the river and its wildlife. Agency officials say that GE could still be compelled to dredge more, or take other actions, if further research shows the cleanup has failed to achieve results. That’s not enough for Gov. Andrew Cuomo or Attorney General Letitia James, who announced within hours of the EPA’s decision that they intend to sue the federal agency.

Riverkeeper and Scenic Hudson, the environmental groups that have long been at the forefront of the effort to restore the Hudson River, were also quick to condemn the EPA’s action. In a statement issued about the decision, Riverkeeper explains how the granting of the certificate will make it legally more difficult to compel GE to do more cleanup in future:

Issuing this certificate triggers a “covenant not to sue,” which will severely limit the EPA’s ability to compel GE to conduct additional cleanup action. Therefore, even if the EPA finds after evaluating several additional years of data that the goals of the cleanup will not be met—and that remaining PCBs continue to harm communities and wildlife—it will be more difficult for the EPA to hold GE accountable. In fact, issuing the Certificate of Completion without a fully supported finding that the remedy and the cleanup goals have been met is inconsistent with Superfund law.

Riverkeeper and the New York State DEC don’t always see eye to eye, but on the matter of the Hudson River PCB cleanup, they have been unanimous: GE’s work is not yet done.

New York isn’t the only state where federal and state officials are currently at odds over corporate pollution. Not far from the river, in Edgewater, New Jersey, residents have complained about toxic fumes released by Honeywell’s ongoing cleanup of the Quanta Superfund site. Here too, state officials appear to be taking risks to human health and the impacts of pollution more seriously than their federal counterparts.

According to a report by, the EPA has assured residents that despite the smells coming from the site, levels of naphthalene—the main chemical in mothballs—were merely a nuisance, not a danger to human health. But a recent health report issued by the state of New Jersey found otherwise: The state Department of Health has declared that naphthalene levels near the site were high enough to potentially cause harmful short-term health effects” in local residents.

River at a Crossroads

This week, American Rivers named the Hudson as one of America’s ten “Most Endangered Rivers of 2019.” Each year since 1984, the organization has published their Endangered Rivers report, which aims a spotlight on regions where looming critical policy decisions threaten a river and the natural and human communities that surround it. The Hudson River last appeared on the list in 2001, when the GE dredging project was being weighed as a solution to PCB contamination.

The key decision that landed the Hudson on the list for 2019 is an Army Corps of Engineers proposal to build a massive storm surge barrier separating the river and its tidal estuary, New York Harbor, from the Atlantic Ocean. The proposal is one of a number of alternatives currently being evaluated by the corps to deal with the accumulating impacts of climate change and sea level rise on New York City and the surrounding region.

Conservationists are deeply alarmed by the proposal, which would restrict the tidal flow of the river, partially blocking the movement of both water and marine life. In a statement released on Tuesday, Riverkeeper roundly condemned the proposal:

“For the Hudson, the stakes in this decision cannot be overstated. These storm barriers pose a truly existential threat to the Hudson. We cannot–must not–allow these barriers to be built. The twice-daily tides are the essential respiration and the heartbeat of this living ecosystem. The mouth of the river must remain open and unrestricted, as it has been for millennia,” said John Lipscomb, Riverkeeper Patrol Boat Captain and Vice President of Advocacy. “The Hudson has never faced a threat even close to this magnitude.”

In a 2018 article about the storm barrier proposal, The Hudson Independent discussed a similar structure that was built in the 1980s, the Eastern Scheldt Barrier in Holland—to the detriment of the river’s tidal estuary, conservationists say. Communities outside the proposed Hudson River barrier’s zone of protection are also worried:

New York State As­sem­bly­man Steven Otis wor­ries about what will hap­pen when the bar­ri­ers close. His con­stituents, in­clud­ing Ma­maro­neck, New Rochelle, Port Chester, Rye and oth­ers, are out­side the wall. “Where will the wa­ter go?” he asked. “To the Sound Shore com­mu­ni­ties.”

The corps has held a series of public hearings in New York and New Jersey to discuss the storm surge protection proposals. The Brooklyn Eagle has more on the timeline of decision making on the proposal, which will not be complete until at least 2022.

For more background on the efforts to clean up PCBs in the Hudson River, see our January story, “Cleaning Up The Hudson.”

For the meat lovers sweet tooth

It’s fat free, low sodium, cholesterol free, peanut free and gluten-free. bacon

March 5 1934-2019

Sixty-five years. And mom is only 39.


Brock Turner is trash

This dude is appealing his conviction. Not his sentence cause he got 6 months if which he only served 3 months. No he wants his conviction overturned because he didn’t want to rape her just ‘dry-hump’ her. Ok you entitle white asshole, you deserve to die in a fire.

It wasn’t consensual so it is still sexual assault! You ruined your life, despite what your asshole father said, this is all on you, not the victim.

Staten Island Advance, October 4th, 2017


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."


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.


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."