Archive for the ‘Environment’ Category
One Simple Act Cast Sheet explains what is and what isn’t acceptable.
Reading the cover page tells you no need to bag your recyclables, just use the blue container.
Click on How to recycle correctly and there are the do’s and don’ts.
A few months ago we were told “no plastic bags” and many neighbors including my husband thought that meant not to “bag” the recyclables in plastic. I told them “no” plastic bags are not acceptable. We still need to take them to the grocery store. Now many grocery stores will not accept them. We are trying to shift our thinking to toting organic and reusable bags back and forth to the market. When we shop a the West Side Market, this is not a problem since we having bringing our own bags for 30+ years.
For some reason, we constantly walk out without them when going to Heinen’s. Now, we are being overrun by the many options of “what to buy” when we forget. I am hoping that soon, very soon we can remember them. The other option is to keep them in the car, but then the car will be overrun with “totes.
Again, here it is in black and white. Plastic bags & wrap, plastic toys outdoor furniture and PVC piping a re on the “don’t list.
Here is an interesting sign I first saw on Facebook. There will be much quibbling over the numbers, but one thing remains clear: Mature trees have great value for many reasons.
There is a sign, at the Eden Nature Park & Resort in City of Davao, Philippines, that says this:
Of concern to all! A tree is worth $193,250
According to Professor T.M.Das of the University of Calcutta. A tree living for 50 years will generate $31,250 worth of oxygen, provide $62,000 worth of air pollution control, control soil erosion and increase soil fertility to the tune of $31,250, recycle $37,500 worth of water and provide a home for animals worth $31,250. This figure does not include the value of fruits, lumber or beauty derived from trees. Just another sensible reason to take care of our forests.
From Update Forestry Michigan State University
The figure, sometimes incorrectly quoted as $196,250, is cited at various green blogs, and sold on a bright red poster at Singapore Zoological Gardens, but i haven’t been able to find the study behind it.
So is a tree living for 50 years worth $193,250?
Here is some ancillary material Larry Cornett posted to this coming Saturday’s Facebook event. I present it here so that it will be available on the internet for a long, long time. I think the reasoning here is incredible. Whenever federal money shows up, common sense, individual rights, and intrinsic values fly out the window.
US EPA currently plans to cap Reed Park and remove most of the trees. Reasons given for removing the trees include:
* It would cost money to save them
* Only a few people at public meetings focused on saving the trees.
* The roots of trees only extend 8” below the surface and putting two feet of fill above the roots of the trees to cap the soil would deprive them of oxygen and eventually kill them
* Many of the trees are old…
* Some trees are sick or dead
* Some species of trees are undesirable
* Some of the trees are not structurally sound and could fall on children
* If a tree blows down, exposing the roots, subsurface contamination would also be exposed
We need to have activists, ecologists, arborists, and others accompany the forester and EPA in the park on Saturday.
A previous brownfields study in the park showed concentrations of polynuclear aromatic hydrocarbons (PAH) above those acceptable for direct contact in the fill material sampled to depths of 2’ or 4’ in most of the park. Three to six inches of grassy topsoil has been covering most of the surface of the park and subsurface fill material for about 50 years or more. Portions of the park are also covered with concrete or sand (in the baseball diamond).
The topsoil was never separately analyzed to determine if it presents a significant risk from direct contact. Fungus and other microorganisms in grassy topsoil have been found to destroy PAHs at a rate of 0.2% to 17% per month. Microorganisms associated with tree roots can also destroy PAHs. For details, see
Until the topsoil, etc. are sampled and analyzed, NO SIGNIFICANT RISK FROM DIRECT CONTACT WITH THE SOIL AT THE SURFACE OF THE PARK HAS BEEN ESTABLISHED, although there would be a need to rebury or treat contaminated fill material that would be excavated where and when the City does any construction in most of the park.
For more details, see:
Comparison of Trees and Grasses for Rhizoremediation of Petroleum Hydrocarbons
“Rhizoremediation of petroleum contaminants is a phytoremediation process that depends on interactions among plants, microbes, and soils. Trees and grasses are commonly used for phytoremediation, with trees typically being chosen for remediation
On Facebook, Larry Cornett has publicized an event that deserves the participation of everyone who believes in the preservation of our commonly held assets, such as mature trees.
And while I’m at it, here is an intelligent article for your delectation and delight about the effect of trees on market values in a neighborhood: http://www.naturewithin.info/Policy/Hedonics_Citations.pdf
Please come join the tree dialogue in Brooklyn Centre this weekend. This is an issue that affects not only our neighborhood but all of our urban areas.
- Saturday, September 28, 2013
- 1:00pm until 4:00pm
- W.C. Reed Park 1700 Denison Avenue
- Please come! We need your help!
US EPA coordinator James Justice has scheduled a walk through the park with ODNR Urban Forester Alan Siewert.
1. Mr. Justice thinks because we didn’t focus on the trees at the Public Meeting therefore, they are not an issue….
2. Mr. Siewert is a FORESTER not an arborist. He sees trees from a timber perspective not an environmental and ecological perspective.
3. Mr. Siewert has identified 8 trees worthy of saving of the 61 trees in the park.
WE NEED YOUR HELP! We need people there who have an environmental and ecological perspective as well as people who understand the value of urban trees to the beauty of a neighborhood. If you can, please come Saturday. If you can’t please give us arguments and reasons WHY existing trees and soil are good remediators for PAHS toxins and should NOT be removed from the park.
I just received this notice from Nathan Rutz of Ohio Citizen Action informing me that we are again being forced to defend ourselves against this abomination that Cleveland Public Power and the City of Cleveland promote.
Dear Gloria —
In 2012, after facing widespread public opposition to their plans for a new garbage incinerator on Ridge Road, the City of Cleveland fired project developer Peter Tien for incompetence and claimed they were going back to the drawing board.
However, the City has continued to pursue this project behind the scenes, even thoughsome new consultants (Gershman, Brickner and Bratton) just told Cleveland City Council last week that a new “gasification” plant would be far more expensive than other options.
The city has now asked Ohio EPA to issue an air pollution permit for the proposed garbage incinerator on Ridge Road. The draft permit, which was issued on May 10, 2013, is very similar to the one proposed last year, and can be found on the Ohio EPA’s website at:http://wwwapp.epa.ohio.gov/dapc/permits_issued/1010783.pdf
The Ohio EPA and City of Cleveland Division of Air Quality have just announced that they will hold a public hearing on this permit on Wednesday, June 12th, at 6:00 p.m. at the Estabrook Recreation Center, 4125 Fulton Road.
Loud and clear, the citizens of Cleveland told Mayor Frank Jackson and city officials that we want a strong recycling and composting program, not a highly polluting and unnecessary garbage incinerator. Apparently they didn’t get the message.
Please plan to come to this hearing, bring your “No Cleveland Incinerator” signs if you can, and be prepared to testify against this proposal. We will be preparing some additional information for you to use, but wanted to get the word out about the date right away.
Also, please call Mayor Frank Jackson’s office, 216-664-3990, and tell the mayor that the city should withdraw this permit and go back to the drawing board.
Cleveland Campaign Organizer
Ohio Citizen Action · 614 W Superior Ave, 1200, Cleveland, OH 44113, United States
This email was sent to email@example.com. To stop receiving emails, click here.
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may just have something to say about all that.
As more people opt for walkable bikeable communities with boutique commercial districts, South Euclid’s elected officials buy into an outmoded business model with the promise of it “being green”. You tell me how taking 144/54 acres of green space and replacing it with much less is “being green”. Obviously, someone is keeping South Euclid’s government occupied so they don’t see all the studies showing that those communities with parks for walking and biking are the ones where people are now settling. I haven’t seen any studies lately on the hordes of people moving to be close to “big box retail”. I have seen a lot of news articles about the eyesores and blight left behind when “the big box” moves to the next community willing to sell its soul.
I am thankful for my friends Susan and Carla and so many others willing to devote precious free time to combating Mitch Schneider’s latest venture to make his investors and himself rich and to make South Euclid/Cleveland Heights poorer. Here is the link to their face book page:
Here is an email I received from Susan earlier today. I asked her if I could post it on my blog because I want her reasons for standing up against this development known. Please sign her petition asking for sustainable land use and take the time to read what she has to say. It’s good stuff. Oh and those of you talking about “class warfare” shame on you. We are into this together and when we allow what makes us all “rich”- the beauty of our land to be plundered- those “selling out” for the short term are the ones who are waging class warfare. You are taking what made our area prosperous and selling us all into poverty.
If you feel that we have enough big box retail in the Heights Hillcrest area and need not destroy precious green space to build more, you may wish to add your name to the petition linked here:
Here’s the long story of why I’ve directed so much time and attention to this:
You may or may not know that I have been involved with a group called Citizens for Oakwood. We’re trying to save 144/54 acres of green space – the former Oakwood Country Club. We’d like to see it become a public park (and improve it’s ability to be a sponge for stormwater by allowing it to be a passive park). First Interstate/Legacy Capital Partners would like it to be big box retail. Of course, Jane Goodman, city council person in South Euclid where he’s begun the rezoning for big box process, promises that this will be a green infrastructure exemplar. Since South Euclid is in such a fiscally dire situation, it is clear to most that it is not a lack of retail, but rather downward (economic) pressure that is driving this. I think most adults know that we can’t buy our way to prosperity. Some are still fooled I guess. What was that Bush said about fool me once, keep right on foolin’ me – I’m feelin’ foolish?
It has raised three issues for me and for many of us.
1) Golf clubs are dying – Landerhaven was first, Oakwood is now, Acacia is next (now that it’s out of litigation). Then which golf/country club private course will fall to a developer? Seneca just sold to Metroparks. Hmmm… Which golf course will go next? While the focus will undoubtedly be on our poor relation, the City of Cleveland, you are aware, I’m sure, that poverty is creeping outward, just as population has. Now it’s also the inner ring that’s feeling the pressure. Please consider the golf courses and work with the Western Reserve Land Conservancy to help these clubs to stay green space. By the time all the planners have finished their studies and identified the "value" of green swathes to our Lake, big box retail may have ruled the day and the tiny municipal governments in South Euclid and Cleveland Heights despite our efforts. I have tried to make the argument that this is more valuable to South Euclid and Cleveland Heights as open green space from a water quality and quality of life standpoint, but I don’t have the metrics. Tacit knowledge is much harder to convey in a world where everything is a transaction. South Euclid just rewrote their entire comprehensive plan to accommodate this development. They did it in two weeks with two people. For golf courses, the WRLC exemplar is Orchard Hills – admittedly "out there", but still a good example of what could be "in here".
2) The downward pressure might be lessened if these balkanized municipalities had merged years ago. I’m going to keep exploring this for our future. It would be good to fold in the value of water absorbing green space when that muni mapping becomes a part of that discussion. The idea? What if Cleveland Heights, Shaker Heights, University Heights and South Euclid were one suburb? What white collar efficiencies might be gained? And could those efficiencies result in some greater resiliency and redundancy in our shared green space?
3) At a forum sponsored by Future Heights on land use and Oakwood, Terry Schwarz mentioned that the metric for jobs and parkland is 1 job per acre. I realized that agricultural land has no metric. Why is this important? Because, growing food, farming in the city has no value. It may not now, but it will shortly. The day will come (sooner than later in my estimation) when refrigerated trucks from the valleys of California will not arrive in NEO. We will need to be reliant on what can be grown and raised locally. We may tear down buildings just to be able to farm. Impending doom – energy crisis? Yes. It is upon us. We may look back and say, "Boy! We sure wish we’d saved this land for growing food!" 154 acres is a substantial bit-o-farmland. I’ll be meeting with farmland and farming experts to discuss how to discover per-acre metrics for ag land so that local food can enter these planning discussions.
In an article in Ecowatch Journal, it is noted that new project efforts at the Cleveland Botanical Gardens will include this issue: "Based on existing work being done in the region and success stories in other cities, identify barriers to implementation of green infrastructure as targets for future action and develop strategies to overcome them." Funny. I asked NEORSD if there might be a land use aspect to their big stormwater plan. You know like, residents of municipalities that have retained green space would get a tiny automatic credit. They said – no, NEORSD doesn’t get into land use. I guess NEORSD will be in these discussions though. Land use and such best management practices as downspout disconnects where appropriate (most places in NEO) are the low hanging fruit of addressing our water quality issues. Mother earth is a filter. We have abused her mightily, no doubt, but she is still there, still willing like any mother to help her children.
It may be too late for Oakwood unless we all come together to stop this madness. We’re not giving up, but South Euclid’s government seems to have. They’re in a deep hole at Cedar Center – $19 million deep. What could be another piece of Ginny Aveni’s County Greenprint – the Emerald Lace that connects our Emerald Necklace, the Cuyahoga River Valley and Lake Erie, may be paved to put up a parking lot. No pink hotel, no boutique – big box retail. We don’t plan to stop our arguments now and we hope you’ll raise your voice as well and participate in this democratic practice. We need to do everything we can to keep the bulldozers from rolling over Oakwood. At rallies for SB5 I heard the now familiar chant, "This is what democracy looks like!" Letting our elected officials know how we feel is democracy. Democracy isn’t just voting; it’s a state of being, a way of life.
My son has graduated from college and moved away to Seattle for work. There he can take public transportation, ride his bike, pay his college loan instead of a car loan and visit the wonderful parks that the city has protected. How I hope that someday he can move back to Cleveland Heights and appreciate similar amenities here – NEO – the region that woke up and got busy turning what seemed like a burden into a blessing! This would be an even better story of how Cleveland beat Wall Street. That’s the story I want to hear when I’m passing into another world.
Currently we’re all feeling the downward pressure. It’s palpable in Cleveland and the region, in the state, in the nation. We just want our fellow citizens to look farther, longer and with an eye to water quality, air quality, quality of life. We want them to see that there is a world water crisis that will not bypass the Great Lakes. We want them to think not so much about the hardship they’re enduring, which will increase in the near term, but to consider the outcomes in the long term, however difficult that may be. We’d like to make a gift to future generations. As Ellie Strong said speaking of the "little old ladies in tennis shoes" who saved the Shaker Lakes, "to each generation there is something to save."
Today is Earth Day. We have been celebrating this day for 41 years now. On first Earth Day I was a student at BGSU. My first memory of that day isn’t much different from many spring days on campus-kite flying, sidewalk chalk art, boys playing guitars and girls with long flowing hair listening to folk songs. There were impromptu debates on how our earth would not survive if we continued our dependence on oil and gas. Chemically altered food would poison us and our children. Our streams and rivers would die with fish and wildlife gasping for breath. Nuclear power was coming to a town near you and would be the death of us all. In fact, the peace sign so familiar to us all, began its career as an anti-nuclear power symbol which soon encompassed “no war” as well. It sounds like those discussions were dark, bleak, and desperate.
Not so, many of my college friends had plans for the solutions to all of the dire situations that could be our future. All they had to do was graduate, have their degree, and change the world. Many changes in our world did come to pass. Two of the biggest was the 1970 Clean Air Act and the 1972 Clean Water Act. An act spurred in part by our own “crooked river, the Cuyahoga catching fire, not once but twice because of chemical sludge from the refineries and industries along its bank. Today, a towpath trail is being designed to wind along that same river. Fish, birds, amphibians, and reptiles have returned to its banks, and when the spring air warms, sculls will again be seen skimming across its surface.
Meanwhile, our state and federal legislators are preparing to gut our laws that insure clean air and water to our citizens. At the same time, they are considering opening our system of state parks to drilling and “fracking” for oil and gas. Fracking, a term so new that I had to add it to my dictionary. Surface mining in Old Brooklyn was recently held off by a group of determined citizens, their councilman, and the City Planning Commission. soon, we will be protesting the largest “trash to energy” incinerator in the nation using unproven techniques with no assurance that the technology is safe for humans within the confines of Cleveland at the Ridge Road transfer station.
There are those who would tell you that we cannot compete if we do not relax the laws put in place 40 years ago or if we do not embrace unproven technology to pay for energy. These same people rely on our memories being short. Now, that we can see across the river and the smokestacks are mostly silent, they believe that they can eliminate the laws that allow us to breathe easier and make us safe from chemical poisoning.
I would say this to all of you. Now, is not the time to relax laws to make it easier to use the same old fossil fuels and chemicals that continue to pollute our air, but rather it is the time for Cleveland to innovate the new technologies that will carry us into the 22nd century just like those who came before us made us an industrial powerhouse in the 20th century. We should be on the cutting edge of the new technologies needed for energy that does not pollute our environment. Yes, this may be expensive in the short term, but will be well worth the benefits overall. Consider the alternative of cheaper in the short term, but more expensive in the long term with more health costs, less quality of life, and cheaper for whom the consumer or for the owners of the corporations getting the breaks. Take a look at your latest utility bill. You are conserving all that you can, and still the bills are rising. Our dependence on gasoline is increasing due to less mass transit and the price just keeps on rising. Taxes, fees continue to rise while corporations continue to say that they cannot afford to do business in Ohio. Really, who says so?
Forty one years later, the phrase :If you are not part of the solution, you are part of the problem is just as true today as it was then. Do not let fear guide you. Stand up and tell your legislature that now is the time for new ideas and new solutions. It is not the time to prop up corporations that are dinosaurs which will only die a slower death if they are allowed to gut the clean air and water laws. Get out, take a walk, drink the fresh air, contemplate the wonders of the earth, and know that you can preserve them for future generations. Use your vote.