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Questions? Need an updated map? Email me andy@andyarthur.org.

Reclaiming Appalachia: A Push to Bring Back Native Forests to Coal Country

It's interesting to watch the progress they've made at the Winslow Hill Elk Area and also the Flight 93 Monument ...

"Such aggressive bulldozing is part of a new and evolving approach to healing forests destroyed by decades of surface coal mining in Appalachia, from Alabama to Pennsylvania. These lands were supposed to have been reclaimed in recent decades under the 1977 federal Surface Mine Control and Reclamation Act. But scientists and conservationists say that many of those reclamation efforts were failed or half-hearted efforts that did little more than throw dirt, mining debris, grass, and non-native trees over scarred lands."

"Now, Green Forests Work and other groups are attempting ecological do-overs with the aim of restoring native forests on large swaths of previously reclaimed public and private lands throughout Appalachia. The deep-ripping technique developed by Barton, with support from a team of other scientists, involves uprooting the non-native trees and grasses planted by coal companies and starting the entire land restoration process from scratch."

"At 2,000 acres, Cheat Mountain is Green Forests Work’s largest undertaking since it began operating as a nonprofit in 2013. Barton has partnered with public and private funders to coordinate the planting of more than 2 million trees on 3,300-plus acres in Appalachia. Other former mining sites that it is tackling include a 130-acre plot within the Flight 93 National Memorial near Shanksville, Pa., the former mine site where one of the four hijacked planes crashed on Sept. 11, 2001; a 110-acre site near Fishtrap Lake in Pike County, Ky.; and a 86-acre area within the Egypt Valley Wildlife Area in eastern Ohio. These and other planned restoration sites are part of an estimated 1 million acres that the federal Office of Surface Mining Reclamation and Enforcement (OSMRE) has designated as legacy coal mine sites."

The Human Cost of the Ghost Economy

"Last year I worked undercover at a temp agency in Los Angeles. While I took the assignment for an article I was working on, I’d also been unemployed for over a year. It seemed I was in that middling space of over-qualified for entry-level jobs, under-qualified for the jobs I most desired, and aged out or irrelevant as a labor union organizer, where I’d gained the bulk of my work experience."

"One altered resume later I joined a temp agency and became the biggest ghost of them all, a member of America’s invisible workforce: people who ship goods for big box stores like Wal-Mart or Marshalls, sort recyclables for Waste Management, fulfill online orders for Nike, bottle rum for Bacardi. I’d found my squad, a cadre of screw-ups, felons, floozies, single moms, the differently abled, students, immigrants, the homeless and hungry, the overqualified and under-qualified, all of us ghosted by the traditional marketplace."

I don’t really celebrate Christmas these days. Sure I will go out to my parents house for Christmas dinner, but I don’t decorate or do much special for the holiday season. I don’t have any decorations in my apartment and I don’t hang up lights. I’m not really all that much into Christmas music or the hustle bustle of the stores. It’s just not a holiday that does much for me, especially not being a particularly religious person.

I think I would rather just spend Christmas in the wilderness, looking at the trees glimmering in the snow, enjoying a long night by the campfire. With the snow I usually can’t camp with the power from my truck to run the colorful Christmas lights, but I can have lots of candlelights, and the lantern works well. The Big Buddy heater will help to keep my chair warm and my tent toasty. Listen to some Christmas music and maybe some podcasts, enjoy the stars and God’s beauty, then retire to the tent for a nice warm night in cozy sleeping bags.

nycmap $id

nycmap $id

nycmap $id

Car Crashes in Albany County, 2014

During the year in Albany County, there were 10,542 property damage crashes, 3,189 property damage and injury crashes, 1,179 injury crashes, and 36 fatal crashes. This only looks at number of vehicles involved in crashes, not the number of passengers in the cars that may have been injured or killed. Note: 2014 is the most recent year that car crash data is available online from the NYSDMV.

Data Source: Motor Vehicle Crashes - Case Information, NYSDMV. https://data.ny.gov/Transportation/Motor-Vehicle-Crashes-Case-Information-Three-Year-/e8ky-4vqe

World Bank to end financial support for oil and gas exploration

Only 20 years too late ....

"The World Bank will end its financial support for oil and gas exploration within the next two years in response to the growing threat posed by climate change. In a statement that delighted campaigners opposed to fossil fuels, the Bank used a conference in Paris to announce that it “will no longer finance upstream oil and gas” after 2019. The Bank ceased lending for coal-fired power stations in 2010 but has been under pressure from lobby groups also to halt the $1bn (£750m) a year it has been lending for oil and gas in developing countries."

The Bank said it saw the need to change the way it was operating in a “rapidly changing world”, adding that it was on course to have 28% of its lending going to climate action by 2020. At present, 1-2% of the Bank’s $280bn portfolio is accounted for by oil and gas projects."

How The U.S. Defines Race And Ethnicity May Change Under Trump

I am inclined to say having accurate categories based on how people self-identify is more important then protecting the census from nefarious purposes. Never has the privacy of the census been broken to reveal individual identities, even during World War II during the interment, Japanese Americans were not targeted by individual households but were targeted by the blocks they lived -- Wartime Security Zones targeted whole Japanese neighborhoods, not just individual persons of Japanese descent.