Archive for June, 2010

East Chicago Portrait Series: National Black Musical Parade & Festival

June 28th, 2010 No comments

This is why I love East Chicago (cell phone photos).

Click on image to begin slideshow.


{ TAR SANDS } The Other End of the Pipeline

June 25th, 2010 No comments

The Other end of BP’s pipeline – From the Alberta TAR SANDS to BP’s Whiting Refinery.

via [ Democracy Now ] Indigenous Groups Lead Struggle Against Canada’s Tar Sands

{ The Water I Drink} Grand Calumet River Restoration Fund Council

June 12th, 2010 2 comments

via [ IDEM ]

The Grand Calumet River Restoration Fund (GCRRF) was established by Trust Agreement after settlement with “Industrial Users” in the case “United States of America v. The Sanitary District of Hammond, et al., Civ. Action No. 2:93-CV-225 JM”, for the benefit of the Indiana Department of Environmental Management (IDEM), the Indiana Department of Natural Resources (IDNR), the Deputy Director of IDNR’s Bureau of Water and Resource Regulation (IDNR Co-Trustee), and the Assistant Commissioner of IDEM’s Office of Environmental Response (IDEM Co-Trustee). The purpose of the Fund, as established in the Trust Agreement is to “…address and correct environmental contamination in the Area of Concern, including particularly the cleanup of contaminated sediment and the remediation and restoration of natural resource damages within the Area of Concern….and, more specifically, in and around the West Branch of the Grand Calumet River in the State of Indiana (the “Hammond Reach”).”

The administration of the GCRRF was established by a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) among the Commissioner of IDEM; the Director of IDNR; the IDNR Co-Trustee; the IDEM Co-Trustee; the Regional Director of Region 3 of the United States Fish and Wildlife Service; and the Regional Administrator, Region 5, United States Environmental Protection Agency. Each of these “Parties” appointed a representative to serve on a GCRRF Council, the purpose and function of which is to “….coordinate the Parties’ activities relating to the GCRRF in order to achieve the maximum environmental benefit.” The Council is authorized and directed to:

  • conduct and oversee scientific and technical studies, sampling, and other activities necessary to the development and implementation of sediment remedial action plans and natural resources restoration plans; make all necessary decisions for the management and administration of funds in the GCRRF in accordance with applicable law and this MOU;
  • and arrange for contracts with professional consultants as necessary to provide services to the Parties to undertake activities pursuant to this MOU and the GCRRF Trust Agreement.”

The GCRRF Council has initiated Restoration Alternatives Development and Evaluation for contaminated sediment cleanup and restoration of natural resources in the West Branch Grand Calumet River. This project was divided into 3 phases: Phase I was to compile historical information on sediment contamination and to identify data gaps necessary for alternatives development (results of this portion of the study are included in Technical Memorandum Restoration Alternatives Development and Evaluation West Branch of the Grand Calumet River Indiana, February 2002); Phase II was initiated to collect samples necessary to fill data gaps identified during Phase I – Roxana Marsh and West Branch Characterization studies were initiated (documents related to each of these studies can be accessed below); and Phase III will be the Development and Evaluation of Alternatives.

Read more…

Categories: Misc

{ Principles } Pre >&< Post { cautionary }

June 2nd, 2010 4 comments
  • Pre-cautionary:

if an action or policy has a suspected risk of causing harm to the public or to the environment, in the absence of scientific consensus that the action or policy is harmful, the burden of proof that it is not harmful falls on those taking the action.

  • Post-cautionary:

Where there are threats of serious or irreversible damage, the lack of full scientific certainty shall be used as a reason for not implementing cost-effective measures until after the environmental degradation has actually occurred

Categories: Environment

Israel / Palestine’s Flotilla

June 1st, 2010 No comments


via Paul Kane from comments [ The Messenger ]

This was a bloody slaughter, a bloody slaughter with global implications for the relationship between each of us and our goverment, for the utter bloody impunity of government.

via [ Matthew Yglesias ]

Gaza doesn’t contain nearly enough arable land to support the Strip’s population as subsistence farmers. Which of course is true of many other places on earth. But the effect of the embargo is to make meaningful commercial activity in Gaza nearly impossible, pushing living standards down to what would be a below-subsistence level were it not for the trickle of aid that flows in. The Hamas authorities exercise some fairly rough justice over the area, extremist groups burn down summer camps and Israel launches airstrikes periodically sometimes injuring dozens sometimes hurting no one. The overall situation is incredibly bleak. Construction supplies aren’t allowed into the area, so it’s been impossible to rebuild since the war there from a couple of years back, and all the physical infrastructure is just degrading over time.

via Steve Clemons of [ The Washington Note ]

From a distance, what seems to be happening is that Israel is ratcheting up its test of what it can do in the confines of the US-Israel relationship. It is testing to see whether there exist any limits or conditionality on Israeli behavior at all. Israel believes that the Obama team is weak — and is pushing aggressively to compel the US to tolerate anything the State of Israel does as a signal to the rest of the Middle East that is itself clamoring for any sign that the Obama administration is willing to put some muscle and substantive action behind the President’s Cairo speech and other comments to the governments and people in the Arab world.

The flotilla may have been populated by peace activists who really did want to get humanitarian supplies to Gaza — but the leadership of this flotilla was trying to expose the “false choice” contradiction that the US and other powers were making between Israel’s interests and the interests of the rest of the Middle East.

This was a strategic flotilla — designed to elicit exactly the response that Israel gave. This flotilla knew which button to push to animate Israel’s military response. It is not dissimilar from what al Qaeda did by attacking New York and Washington and drawing the US military to intervene in the Middle East.

Israel, like the United States, showed itself incapable of nuance and of outmaneuvering this flotilla by resorting to means that would not have helped the activists succeed in their objectives. At the Doha Forum, I am speaking to Arabs, Jews and Christians who represent senior governmental and non-governmental organizations in their home countries — and no one here that I have found thinks that the Israeli government responded to the flotilla sensibly — even if one buys the argument that the blockade of Gaza is justified.

The U.S. really can’t afford to make the choice of Israel over the Arab world. There will be enormous geopolitical and geoeconomic consequences if it does

Categories: International, Misc