Search This Blog


Blog Archive




Since the Dilly, Dally, Delay & Stall Law Firms are adding their billable hours, the Toyota U.S.A. and Route 44 Toyota posts have been separated here:

Route 44 Toyota Sold Me A Lemon

Saturday, July 17, 2010

In the Midst of a Coal Field War

Coal Ash, Mountaintop Removal and Massey's poor safety record have been obscured by the Dirty Energy Disaster in the Gulf created by the arrogant energy giant BP.

The environmental degradation continues, as does the loss of life.

Maybe it's time for a sensible energy policy and time to adopt energy efficiency solutions.

Jeff Biggers: In the Midst of a Coal Field War (Video)

More GRITtv

Yet another coal miner was killed on the job this week, and journalist and author Jeff Biggers says that the situation has reached crisis level - that it's a war on miners. He also notes that abuse of the land and abuse of the people who work on it has always gone hand in hand, so as pressure for mountaintop removal and new coal mines mounts, so do safety violations - the latest being a story broken by NPR, that a methane gas monitor at the Little Big Branch mine, where 29 workers died in an explosion in April, had been deliberately shut down.

Biggers joins us to fill us in on the latest news from coal country--and from D.C., where Lisa Jackson and the E.P.A. faced a unique protest.

Saturday, July 10, 2010

What is Middleboro IT director planning?

What is Middleboro IT director planning?

According to the Information Technology (IT) Assessment recently done by the Edward J. Collins, Jr. Center for Public Management for Middleboro, the, “IT director stated that he spent 50 percent of his time on planning activities” and that, “In a town of Middleborough’s size, these planning activities should not require more than approximately 15 percent of an IT Director’s time.” In Middleboro, our IT director is spending 35 percent more time planning than most.

It also states that the town does not have a “written plan for business continuity/disaster recovery. This leaves Middleborough at extraordinary risk.”

At the presentation on June 16, the IT director corrected the statement that there is no disaster recovery plan. He said he has a list of names to call in an emergency and he can borrow equipment from a local offsite backup company.

A business continuity plan is used in cases such as the basement of town hall being flooded (that is where the town’s computer room is and it has flooded in the past). It would describe what and how to set up equipment for a short time in order keep the town functioning. A disaster recovery plan is for a major event, for example, a hurricane hit the area, like what happened to New Orleans with Hurricane Katrina. It would describe how to get critical computer services back in operation when the town’s normal infrastructure in damaged.

The IT Assessment also said that the town has no strategic plan for IT.

A strategic plan for IT is the road map for moving forward. It describes the goals for the IT department and how to reach them.

The town of Middleboro has an extremely inadequate business continuity/disaster recovery plan and no strategic plan for IT. What is our town’s IT director spending half of his time planning?



Sunday, July 4, 2010

Bottle Bill

It's time for Beacon Hill to set aside the Special Interests and act for the good of the Commonwealth enacting an updated bottle bill to reduce solid waste.

From MassPirg --

Updating the Bottle Bill is a win for consumers and a win for the Commonwealth -- it decreases litter and makes it easier for cities and towns to recycle. But, with less than four weeks left in the legislative session, we need your help to convince our lawmakers to make the passage of the Updated Bottle Bill a priority.

Join us at next week's press event calling for swift passage of a bill that's been pending for more than a decade.

Since 1990, more than 15 billion containers have been redeemed under the Massachusetts bottle bill, contributing to a healthier environment, cleaner and safer communities, and a stronger economy. But as consumers' tastes change, the bottle bill must be updated to keep up with our times.

Updating the Bottle Bill would more than double the recycling rate for water bottles and most other plastic containers and would give consumers a greater incentive to recycle those containers.

Seems like a no-brainer, right?

But the bill has been held up for years. At the most recent hearing on the bill, there were well over 100 supporters in the room, including the League of Women Voters, the Sierra Club, the Mass Municipal Association and more. The opponents are a who's who of special interests: lobbyists for Pepsi, the bottled water companies, and liquor stores. It looked and sounded to all of us in the hearing room like the public interest versus the powerful special interests. We have to make the public interest voice louder.

And that's why I'm asking you to join us at the State House next Wednesday, July 7th, at 10:30AM. Click below to RSVP.

Consider dropping an email to your State Representative and State Senator.

BP: Access Denied

Coast Guard Restricts Reporters' Access to Oil Spill Sites

Oil Rain in Louisiana?

BraveNewFilms Drill Baby Drill

Friday, July 2, 2010

BP: Finally agrees to stop burning turtles alive

As if BP's public relations hadn't suffered enough, they continued to burn endangered turtles alive, until being forced to stop.

Photo from NOAA

Agreement Reached in Gulf to Prevent Sea Turtle Burning Deaths
Settlement Forces BP to Rescue Sea Turtles Before Oil Slicks Set on Fire

NEW ORLEANS— An agreement reached today among conservation groups, BP and the Coast Guard will ensure measures to rescue sea turtles from the surface before setting fire to oil slicks in the Gulf of Mexico. The agreement came as a result of a lawsuit filed on behalf of the Center for Biological Diversity, Turtle Island Restoration Network, Animal Welfare Institute and Animal Legal Defense Fund.

“Endangered sea turtles need all hands on deck to work toward saving them from this terrible oil spill,” said Miyoko Sakashita, oceans director at the Center for Biological Diversity. “It’s great news that BP and the Coast Guard have agreed to take steps to rescue turtles and prevent them from burning.”

The agreement came moments before the start of a legal hearing sought by conservation groups to resolve the threats to turtles posed by intentionally set fires intended to burn off spilled oil in the Gulf. BP and the Coast Guard agreed to develop a protocol ensuring no endangered sea turtles will be killed during burn containment practices. Conservation groups also want more assurances that qualified scientists and observers will be present at every burn to ensure that all turtles will be identified and removed before burns take place. The lawsuit, filed earlier this week, sought a temporary restraining order against BP to prevent the killing and harming of sea turtles.

In an effort to contain the massive oil spill, BP is conducting “controlled burns,” that involve using shrimp boats to corral the oil by dragging together fire-resistant booms and then lighting the enclosed “burn box” on fire. The “burn boxes” are approximately 60 to 100 feet in diameter. Endangered sea turtles, including Kemp’s ridleys, that inhabit the Gulf of Mexico are also being caught in the corrals being created by BP. This fact has been confirmed by Obama administration wildlife officials at the National Marine Fisheries Service. The turtle burning was exposed by shrimp boat captain Michael Ellis, whose comments were videotaped.

As of July 1, 594 stranded sea turtles had been collected dead in the Gulf area since the oil spill. Of those, 441 were dead when they were found and 153 were alive. Many more have likely been injured or killed but not found.

The lawsuit was filed in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Louisiana in New Orleans by the law firm Meyer Gliztenstein & Crystal of Washington DC on behalf of Center for Biological Diversity, Turtle Island Restoration Network, Animal Welfare Institute and Animal Legal Defense Fund.

P.S. Here's more on this breaking news from The Washington Post.

Settlement Reached on Guarding Against Burning Deaths of Sea Turtles in Gulf
The Washington Post // July 2, 2010
by Juliet Eilperin

The Coast Guard and BP reached a settlement Friday with environmental groups over the issue of how best to guard against accidentally killing endangered sea turtles during controlled burns in the Gulf of Mexico aimed at curbing the oil spill's spread.

Three environmental groups -- the Center for Biological Diversity, the Turtle Island Restoration Network and the Animal Defense League -- had sued in federal court in New Orleans on Wednesday, charging that oil spill responders had taken inadequate precautions while conducting the controlled burns. While activists have not found charred remains of endangered Kemp's Ridley or other sea turtles in the region, they argued the animals are at risk because they tend to congregate in sargassum, seagrasses that burn crews frequently target.

Under the settlement, the two sides have agreed the Coast Guard will soon convene a group of scientists to determine how best to ensure that no endangered sea turtles die during controlled burns. The environmental groups will have input into assembling the group of experts, and the protocol scientists devise will be put on a fast track for public comment so it can be finalized quickly.

"Sea turtles are already suffering catastrophically from the oil spill and it would be outrageous to add insult to injury by burning them alive in the spill cleanup effort," said the Center for Biological Diversity's executive director Kieran Suckling in an interview. "It's a no-brainer to put sea turtle observers on the cleanup boasts and whisk the turtles out of the oil pools before they're set on fire."

No burning will take place in the gulf before Tuesday, because of poor weather conditions, and by then BP and the Coast Guard must inform the environmental groups whether they are prepared to put scientific observers on every burn boat to identify and remove all turtles before any burns resume.

If they can not make that assurance, Suckling said, the plaintiffs "will be back" in court challenging the controlled burns.

Neither the Coast Guard nor BP could be immediately reached for comment.