Eddie C

Author's details

Date registered: 07/04/2010

Latest posts

  1. Changing Times: History and Botanical Science in America — 02/11/2011
  2. My Views Today — 01/05/2011
  3. NYC Gov going “Locavore” Big Time! — 12/11/2010
  4. Sen. Mike Enzi’s ‘Pack of Lies’ vs. 9/11 Victims — 12/07/2010
  5. Fracking A! New York — 11/30/2010

Author's posts listings

Feb 11 2011

Changing Times: History and Botanical Science in America

You don’t need a Hubble telescope to explore frontiers. Of the roughly 400,000 species of plants on this planet about 70,000 are still a complete mystery to science. Unlike the space frontier, since it is estimated that about twenty-five percent of the plant species on this planet will be wiped out in the very near future, there is a sense of urgency to systematic botany.

Recently I attended a New York Botanical Garden lecture “Briefings From the Field: The Frontiers of Plant Discovery and Conservation.” Field studies are more exciting than you would expect. The first time I was invited to hear these Indiana Jones type stories that range from Ewok lifestyles in the treetops of Costa Rica to high-water adventures on the “Amazon Queen” was back in 1987.  

In those few years there have been big changes in both science and the interactions with governments and industry to report. From 1987 when tropical rain forest covered only six percent of the earth’s land surface to now with only five percent left, the stories were less about adventure and more about political advances scientist are making in the conservation mission.  

Below the fold are some of the facts I learned at this year’s lecture, either advances in an improving landscape or a last ditch effort to save biodiversity, you decide.  

Jan 05 2011

My Views Today

Today was a perfect winter day for a walk here in the Bronx. I took my camera, my first DSLR out for a test drive. I’m just getting used to it and enjoying how easy it is to use.

During a nice walk in Van Cortlandt Park the new bright viewfinder made all the difference from my usual compositions. Just a few more images of a crisp clear day below the fold.  

Dec 11 2010

NYC Gov going “Locavore” Big Time!

Posted earlier at La Vita Locavore and DailyKos.

Cross-posted at DailyKos.

Yesterday on The Leonard Lopate Show the lead story was called Feeding The Soul and for anyone seeking to restore their faith in good government, it did just that. Two guest in an interview to discuss Food Works in New York City that would have seemed an unlikely pair as recently as two days ago.

One was Chef Dan Barber who has been a great advocate in the New York area for the local food movement. The other was City Council speaker Christine Quinn. yesterday they were on the same page. It was amazing to hear Christine Quinn’s introduction sounding more like Marion Nestle in talks about what the government needs to do, hearing a powerful politician discussing things being done now and progressive plans for a sustainable future. I’ve never heard such a merger of bottom up activism and top down good government action before.

The city has already moved $4.5 million in public school food spending over to local farms and is trying to change the $300,000 spent on school lettuce to money being pumped into the Rockland County farm economy and processing facilities in the economically depressed Bronx. But that was just the tip of the iceberg.

Dec 07 2010

Sen. Mike Enzi’s ‘Pack of Lies’ vs. 9/11 Victims

The best people America has to offer have been getting sick and dying from their heroic efforts at the World Trad Center. As you can see from this recent Daily News front page, Mike Enzi is not the only Republican to tell the 9/11 first responders and heroes to drop dead.

The James Zadroga 9/11 Health and Compensation Act that provides $3.2 billion for long-term health care for rescue and construction workers at Ground Zero, plus another $4.2 billion in compensation for others who were exposed to airborne toxins will be out of time once the Republicans control the House.

These heroes who answered the call for help on September 11, 2001 and the horrible weeks that followed have been pushing hard for justice before it is too late. After a barrage of local media coverage, multiple visits to Washington from Ground Zero worker, victim’s family members pleading with the Senate and a huge bipartisan effort from tri-state politicians, one Republican has signed on. The rest have voices disagreement with Sens. Schumer and Gillibrand’s method of financing healthcare for heroes. The cloture count is now at 59 and their big day in the Senate is tomorrow.  

Now that there is some hope for a bill named after an NYPD detective who died at age 34 of a respiratory disease attributed to participation in the rescue and recovery operations at the World Trade Center, Mike Enzi is working hard to stop the bill from going forward. His reasoning is that the nation has already given enough.

Nov 30 2010

Fracking A! New York

This has got to be the best political news I’ve read in a long time. A little before 1:00 a.m. last night, by a vote of 94-44, the New York State Assembly passed the moratorium on hydraulic fracture drilling.

Well it may only be state legislature and the governor still need to sign but apparently this moratorium to protect our drinking water is a first. It’s not top down and the Working Families Party humbly takes some of the credit for more than 52,000 New Yorkers signing the petition urging the Assembly to act.

Go ahead: get up from your chair. Do a little dance, pump your fist, or do whatever you do to celebrate a victory of grassroots action over corporate power.

I just received a letter form the WFP and I was doing just that.  

Nov 28 2010

Well what do you make of this?

Union Drops Health Coverage for Workers’ Children

One of the largest union-administered health-insurance funds in New York is dropping coverage for the children of more than 30,000 low-wage home attendants, union officials said. The union blamed financial problems it said were caused by the state’s health department and new national health-insurance requirements.

Just squeezed out.

The union fund faced a “dramatic shortfall” between what employers contributed to the fund and the premiums charged by its insurance provider, Fidelis Care, according to Mitra Behroozi, executive director of benefit and pension funds for 1199SEIU. The union fund pools contributions from several home-care agencies and then buys insurance from Fidelis.

“In addition, new federal health-care reform legislation requires plans with dependent coverage to expand that coverage up to age 26,” Behroozi wrote in a letter to members Oct. 22. “Our limited resources are already stretched as far as possible, and meeting this new requirement would be financially impossible.”

And the hits just keep on coming.  

Nov 28 2010

Well what do you make of this?

Union Drops Health Coverage for Workers’ Children

One of the largest union-administered health-insurance funds in New York is dropping coverage for the children of more than 30,000 low-wage home attendants, union officials said. The union blamed financial problems it said were caused by the state’s health department and new national health-insurance requirements.

Just squeezed out.

The union fund faced a “dramatic shortfall” between what employers contributed to the fund and the premiums charged by its insurance provider, Fidelis Care, according to Mitra Behroozi, executive director of benefit and pension funds for 1199SEIU. The union fund pools contributions from several home-care agencies and then buys insurance from Fidelis.

“In addition, new federal health-care reform legislation requires plans with dependent coverage to expand that coverage up to age 26,” Behroozi wrote in a letter to members Oct. 22. “Our limited resources are already stretched as far as possible, and meeting this new requirement would be financially impossible.”

And the hits just keep on coming.  

Nov 23 2010

Entice the Rich and Scrap the Cap

Doing away with the cap on Social Security tax would allow the Social Security trust fund to continue in the black indefinitely and the nation would never need to confront the fact that this peoples’ trust is the one debt elected officials don’t want to pay. It could also raise benefits and there might even be enough left over to lower instead of raise the retirement age.

But with the direction of the national debate, getting high income Americans to pay on a larger portion or their entire income is a pipe dream. I would like to point out a diary written by fake consultant, Social Security: If The Rich Paid Taxes Like You And Me…Problem Solved.

A diary not about the more sensible but unobtainable goal of getting the rich to pay in support of the rest of the nation. Instead of removing the tax cap to support the middle class, remove the cap and increase the benefit schedule. This does not shore up Social Security as much but it could get another class of people interested, people with influence.      

Nov 23 2010

Jan Schakowsky on the PBS NewsHour

It was so good to see a bit of reality from an elected official. Last week Chris Bowers presented Jan Schakowsky’s deficit reduction plan and tonight she spoke up on the TV.

You can find the transcript here. The interview is really worth viewing and really worth passing around. A proposal that says we don’t have to go after the middle and lower classes and should go after the rich coming from an elected official was refreshing.

But will anybody else ever hear Rep. Jan Schakowsky?

Nov 22 2010

My Views from Last Week

Posted at DKos as “Just Looking.”

I have a few pleasant photography stories to tell from a week ago. Between the autumn color and the desperation of one last warm weather week, it was a good week for a photo buff. Now don’t go busting my bubble by just looking at the photos because you can learn a lot from a photographer. We see things.

Below you will find a Third Rock from the Sun brief encounter during an evening walk in the Village. I have several memories from a lecture I attended on photojournalism. There is a pleasant Veterans Day walk under the George Washington Bridge on the New Jersey side followed by a sunset from the New York side. Then a Friday afternoon walk in Central Park with some music videos I made and all day Saturday there too. There is even a little taste of Florence, Italy.

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