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Thursday, October 31, 2013

House of Horrors!

Scary stories - top 10 used by the right wing to scare their base.

For more, click here

From Politics with Jarred and Dave‘s Facebook page.

Astronomy Picture of the Day

A Spectre in the Eastern Veil 
 See Explanation.  Clicking on the picture will download
 the highest resolution version available.

                    Image Credit & CopyrightAlfonso Carreño (Observatorio Zonalunar)

Continue reading for a description of this beautiful nebula

Forget about pumpkin chucking

A Green Halloween Starts with a Green Pumpkin
From: Robin Blackstone, ENN 

Pumpkins are a huge part of the Halloween experience. We exhume the contents of our pumpkins and carve spirited faces into their walls for delightfully festive jack-o-lanterns. 

But what we do with the insides and the actual jack-o-lantern at the end of the season is often tragically wasteful. More often than not we toss our pumpkin guts, seeds and later on the actual jack-o-lantern into our household trash causing a huge volume increase in our household waste. 

With a little forethought though, a pumpkin can be much more beneficial to our environment and our tummies. Below are some suggestions for what to do with your pumpkin—all of it—both before and after Halloween.

Child Labor Shouldn’t Haunt Halloween

Even if the kids in my neighborhood think my fair trade chocolate is a bit weird, at least I'm not handing out dental floss.
I can’t bring myself to be the Grinch who stole Halloween. I just can’t, even though I write about healthy food. I even eat (mostly) healthy food.

Friends and colleagues expect me to have something to say about Halloween. But how can anyone condemn an innocent day of costumes and candy that brings joy to so many children?

As a kid, I was no health nut. I’ve always had a sweet tooth. My first word was “cookie.” But my parents did their best to restrict the sweets in our house. Halloween represented the one glorious day a year of unfettered access to gobs of candy.

This Truce May Not Bring Peace to Washington

The tea party faithful are already beating their war drums.
Spooky CongressWell, that was certainly worth 24 billion bucks, don’t you think? I mean the entertainment value of Sen. Ted Cruz’s faux filibuster alone was worth a couple billion or so.

And House Speaker John Boehner’s face when he would come out during the 16-day-long government shutdown and accuse President Barack Obama of being uncooperative? Priceless. The Ohio Republican is the greatest deadpan comedian we've had since Buster Keaton.

VIDEO Halloween Special: The Lizard People from Agenda 21 are coming to take your guns and make you gay on orders from Nazi, Muslim Anti-Christ Obama

Scary stories - top 10 used by the right wing to scare their base.
Scary stories aren’t just for Halloween. Here are the top 10 tales –
and videos – the right wing promotes to strike fear in their
base all year long. GOP House of Horrors meme 

from Politics with Jarred and Dave‘s Facebook page.
Scary stories aren't just for Halloween. From lizard people to mind control, FEMA camps to Sharia law, the right wing uses fear tactics on a daily basis, as a way to keep their base in line.

Once people start accepting these ideas as real, Fox, Rush, Hannity, Limbaugh, Beck, Alex Jones and other right wing conspiracy pushers are simply there to update the plot lines, explaining how the daily news fits into the “bigger picture.”

Fear is a great motivator. If you can control a group of people with fear, not only can you motivate them to vote against their own best interests, you can regularly encourage them to do things that would normally be against their better judgment. 

For those of us on the outside of the bubble looking in, we realize that the fact that people get sucked into these conspiracy theories, is the scariest part of these scary stories.

For this piece, I took the liberty of assembling some of what I consider to be the scarier of the right-wing horror flicks. Additionally, I've given each one a “scary stories” rating, based on factors like special effects, plot, dialogue and use of background music. This list is by no means comprehensive.

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Happy Halloween!

Click here for Someecards, "For those who care enough to hit 'send'"

Carve carefully

Carve Your Pumpkin Carefully

From Fake Science, Charlestown's #1 source

Local farming gets a boost

$205,311 awarded in Farm Viability grants

Farm Fresh RIPROVIDENCE - The Department of Environmental Management has announced the award of farm viability grants totaling $205,311 for projects that will enhance the competitiveness of specialty crops grown in Rhode Island. 

The funds are from the US Department of Agriculture's (USDA) Specialty Crop Block Grant program. Specialty crops are defined by this federally-supported program as fruits and vegetables, dried fruit, tree nuts, and nursery crops including floriculture and turf grass production.

"We're pleased to award these grants for projects that will help strengthen markets for specialty crops, sustain the livelihood of Rhode Island farmers, and promote the long-term viability of agriculture in our state," said DEM Director Janet Coit.

The farm viability grants will be used for a wide range of purposes, such as increasing purchase of specialty crops by local schools, creating African vegetable markets in select stores in African and Latino neighborhoods, and supporting agricultural research at the University of Rhode Island.

DEM's Division of Agriculture and Resources Marketing received 11 applications for the grants. Following is a list of projects awarded funding through the grant round:

Send condolences to Dan Slattery, John Goodman

Two of them in Charlestown - Dan
Slattery and John Goodman - are also
CCA Party stalwarts

Break out the dirges, Ken Block put the nails in his own political coffin with the announcement he would become a Republican and run in that party’s primary for governor.

Block has been saying for months that he would only seek the office of governor if he saw a clear path to victory. That path for victory did not lie in the political party he’d spent the last half-decade building and advocating for. This does two things. 

First, for everyone who ever accused Block of being a Republican in sheep’s clothing, it confirms that their suspicions were reality. 

Second, it makes it appear that Block is less dedicated to his causes and more dedicated to himself. Switching affiliations from Moderate to Republican doesn't further the causes Block has championed. It only furthers his own career.

Republicans should no doubt be both happy and annoyed about this latest shape-shifter in Rhode Island’s political landscape. They should be happy because it removes Block as their personal gadfly; GOP partisans have long suggested Block’s candidacy is what prevented a Gov. John Robitaille from being inaugurated in 2011. Now, come September 2014, Block will either be their standard-bearer or defeated. The smart money is on the latter.

Saturday - everything you've ever wanted to know about worm castings, but were afraid to ask

For more information, or to register, click here.

DEM offers free pesticide disposal for farms and businesses

Agricultural Community Can Dispose of Obsolete Pesticides at Three Collection Events to be held in November

PROVIDENCE - The Department of Environmental Management's Division of Agriculture has initiated a new program that allows businesses to properly dispose of obsolete pesticides. 

Among the products eligible for the take-back are those that are no longer able to be used for their intended purposes because they may have become caked, frozen or dried out, along with unregistered and banned pesticides.

Charlestown short takes

  • Gov notes
  • Mulch from above?
  • Kittens doing well
  • Fight, fight!
  • Energy Note – winter heating prices; green energy; Tina Jackson fail; greasy energy
  • Hats for birds
By Will Collette

Town Gov: The November Town Council meeting will be on Tuesday, November 12, bumped one day because of the Veterans’ Day holiday….The town now offers you a way to get e-mails notifying you of proposed changes to the town’s ordinances that affect zoning and businesses. Click here to sign up for notices. 

This new e-mail message system is in partial atonement for the Council and Planning Commission getting publicly hammered for trying – again – to slip two more ordinances through that will hurt local businesses. One regulates mulch and shrubs. The other regulates parking. Click here and here to read about these two terrible ordinances…Incidentally, these two ordinances have been postponed for consideration until the December Town Council meeting. Planning Commissar Ruth Platner is counting on town residents’ notoriously short attention spans.

Can you apply mulch from a helicopter?

Our CCA Party dominated town government and has spent a lot of time over the past five years figuring out how to regulate almost every tiny detail of life in Charlestown.

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Right-wing Risque

Oversexed Halloween
By Tom Tomorrow

Click here to see some very, very naughty Halloween costumes.

Jack-o-Lanterns Illuminate the Luxury in Our Lives

Did you ever consider yourself lucky because you can carve a pumpkin instead of eating it?

Every time I see a jack-o-lantern, I remember a conversation with my friend Kate Chumo. I met her in her home country of Kenya. We were talking about a favorite Kenyan food called uji, a fermented millet porridge.

“Do you know what we do with millet in the U.S.?” I asked. “We sell it as bird seed and feed it to birds.”

“That reminds me of what you do with pumpkins at Halloween,” she replied.

Women wanted to help build affordable housing

Women Constructing Hope Home Goes Vertical

Women Constructing Hope 197Over 60 strong, women ranging in age from their late teens into their seventies, measured, cut, nailed and hoisted the first floor walls on the Women Constructing Hope home this past weekend.

Women Constructing Hope 156The home, located in Old North Village in Kingston will be built primarily by a crew of women volunteers.

Lt. Gov. Elizabeth Roberts and former president and general manager of WJAR-TV  Lisa Churchville, honorary co-chairs of the event, were on hand Saturday  to  help with our Women Constructing Hope weekend build on October 19 and 20.

One year after Sandy: Naming the Names behind Extreme Weather

How about making scientifically challenged politicians accountable for their inaction on climate change?
Environmental groups tend to be a bit grim-faced. That’s understandable since they’re constantly confronting industrial uglies that range somewhere between awful and apocalyptic.

So it’s a treat when one of them turns impishly playful, as a group of climate change activists called 350 Action recently did.

In an act of “serious fun,” this bunch has launched an online petition calling on the World Meteorology Organization to change the way it names hurricanes. 

One year later: what have we learned?

Sandy Continues to Stir Action on Climate Change
By TIM FAULKNER/ News staff

As we arrive at the Oct. 29 anniversary of Hurricane Sandy approaches, so are efforts to get the public to confront the impacts of climate change on Rhode Island and Narragansett Bay.

A slew of efforts from state agencies, universities and environmental groups are drawing attention to threatened natural resources and what can be done to protect them.

Saltwater marshes

Thanks to humans, 53 percent of Rhode Island’s saltwater marshes have disappeared in the past 200 years. Things look even worse for the next hundred. Maps being circulated by the University of Rhode Island's Sea Grant program show that if sea levels increases 3-6 feet by 2100, as predicted, most remaining marshes will be submerged.

Marshes are critical to public health and safety. They clean water, reduce storm damage, store carbon dioxide and are a vital habitat in the overall ecosystem.

What true environmental heroes look like

Louisiana women environmental heroes honored for putting their lives on the line
Two of LEAN's founders: director Mary Lee Orr and Florence Robinson
By Will Collette

A new book called “Women Pioneers,” a twenty-plus year labor of love for author Peggy Frankland, was just published to herald the work of forty-plus life-long environmental activists in Louisiana. Nearly all of those still living were honored at a recent testimonial by the Louisiana Environmental Action Network (LEAN) in Baton Rouge.

All but a tiny handful are women. There were a couple of male ringers included in Peggy’s book (including me), and nearly all of them were first-time activists who were motivated to fight against hazardous waste sites, mega-dumps, chemical plants, oil spills and other horrors that threatened their families and their communities.

In Charlestown, where environmentalism seems to be limited to conservation only, the last time we saw activists like these women was during the fight almost forty years ago against the Narragansett Electric plan to build a nuclear power plant at the site of what is now Ninigret Park and National Wildlife Refuge.

Today, leading Charlestown "environmentalists" seem more concerned about mandating the thickness of mulch local businesses put under their shrubbery or prohibiting local working people from parking their work vehicles in their driveways or preventing our firehouses from being built out of brick.

Monday, October 28, 2013

Things you may have missed

Small print from the shutdown deal
By Brian McFadden

Click here to get those small details that make all the difference.

Astronomy Picture of the Day

A Massive Star in NGC 6357 

For reasons unknown, NGC 6357 is forming some of the most massive stars ever discovered. One such massive star, near the center of NGC 6357, is framed below carving out its own interstellar castle with its energetic light from surrounding gas and dust.

In the greater nebula, the intricate patterns are caused by complex interactions between interstellar windsradiation pressuresmagnetic fields, and gravity.

The overall glow of the nebula results from the emission of light from ionized hydrogen gas.

Near the more obvious Cat's Paw nebula, NGC 6357 houses the open star cluster Pismis 24, home to many of these tremendously bright and blue stars.

The central part of NGC 6357 shown spans about 10 light years and lies about 8,000 light years away toward the constellation of the Scorpion.

Not "just a website"

There is a great deal of gnashing of teeth going on about, the Obamacare portal for people who live in a state that refused to create its own exchange.  I’m sure that some of the well-reported woes of the web site are deserved, but it seems fairly obvious that a large number of the commenters, and the complainers, have little idea what they are talking about.

I have no direct knowledge of the software behind, neither of the team behind it, or the technologies they are using.  But I do have some expertise in web sites, software, and data management, acquired over 28 years consulting in the software industry at many different companies, and there are some things that are being said that are just plain wrong.

To begin with, the health care exchange is not “just” a web site.  

South County Narrow River to Benefit From Hurricane Sandy Resiliency Funding

Rhode Island will receive $6 million, part of which will be used to enhancing the Narrow River in South Kingstown, Narragansett and North Kingstown.
Posted by Lauren Costa (Editor), in the Narragansett South Kingstown Patch

The Narrow River, also known as the Pettaquamscutt River, is a narrow tidal inlet that opens into the Atlantic Ocean at Narragansett Beach. Credit: Narrow River Preservation Association
The Narrow River, also known as the Pettaquamscutt River, is a narrow tidal
inlet that opens into the Atlantic Ocean at Narragansett Beach.
Credit: Narrow River Preservation Association
In advance of the one-year anniversary of Hurricane Sandy, Secretary of the Interior Sally Jewell announced on October 24 that $162 million will be invested in 45 restoration and research projects that will better protect Atlantic Coast communities from future powerful storms. 

The projects will aim to restore marshes, wetlands and beaches, rebuild shorelines, and research the impacts and modeling mitigation of storm surges.

The investments are consistent with President Obama’s Hurricane Sandy Rebuilding Task Force Strategy Report and the Administration’s commitment laid out in the Climate Action Plan to build resilience by restoring natural features along shorelines to help better protect communities from future storms.

A coup by process

Exeter recall election
By Samuel G. Howard in Rhode Island’s Future - See more at:

Save Exeter by supporting the Exeter Four. Click here to find out how.
If you’re not up to speed on the recall election in Exeter,  Progressive Charlestown‘s Will Collette has a synopsis for you

Essentially, four town councilors (all Democrats) approved resolution that would've allowed the General Assembly to allow the RI State Police to issue concealed carry permits for guns in Exeter; necessary because Exeter lacks a police force that can run background checks. 

The legislation died in committee.

Naturally, this miffed gun owners, so a bunch of out-of-towners organized a recall campaign, and voila! They met the 10% threshold required for signatures and the Democratic town councilors will all face a recall campaign.

Rhode Island Foundation mounts annual hunt for genius innovators

I nominate Mike Chambers
Got that Red Sox fever!
By Will Collette

I keep looking for opportunities befitting the Charlestown Citizens Alliance (CCA) Party’s most prolific blogger, Mike Chambers. Even though he just received a political appointment from the CCA Party majority on the Town Council to the Zoning Board, he still seems to have a lot of time on his hands for his writing and intellectual pursuits.

Just over a year ago, I recommended him for an aspiring writers fellowship, a competition that was sponsored by the Rhode Island Foundation. It seemed perfect for Mike’s terrific talent at writing political fiction. But apparently he didn’t follow through on this golden opportunity.

Maybe the amount of the fellowship, $25,000, was too small to pique Mike’s interest. How about $300,000? That’s the amount being offered to the two people who win this year’s Innovation Fellowship.

Sunday, October 27, 2013

What's in that doggie that you're eating?

Don't Believe the Hot Dog Rumors

From Fake Science, Charlestown's #1 science resource

Incredible Victory!

Seven Veggie delight

Photo and text by LISA KELLY in

It’s time to embrace soup season, and this beautiful, creamy soup does just that. All the vegetables blend together perfectly, and I always feel great when I can get not one, not two, not three but seven major veggies into one dish.

This soup is great with grilled cheese or alongside a creamy mac and cheese dish.

Gun lobby group leaves the state rather than comply with campaign finance disclosure law

That was, he's rolling in his grave
The local political action committee for NRA has gone away, according to the state Board of Elections. And Sam Bell of the Rhode Island Progressive Democrats thinks it might be because his group filed a campaign finance complaint against them.

Off-shore wind is coming

By TIM FAULKNER/ News staff
Secretary of the Interior Sally Jewell said the government shutdown
delayed new permits for offshore wind projects. (Tim Faulkner/
ecoRI News photos)

PROVIDENCE — There may not be many wind turbines in the water — just one, so far, in the United States — but there is certainly an abundance of interest and money going into the idea.

On Oct. 22, the first day of the two-day Offshore Windpower Conference & Exhibition at the Convention Center, some 800 attendees and dozens of energy companies from across the United States and from Scotland, British Columbia, England and China looked for a share of the funds flowing into proposed projects in the Northeast and around the country.

In recent years, the Department of Interior (DOI) has invested $180 million in research and development for offshore wind. During the past six years, the Department of Energy has spent $300 million on offshore wind, including $24 million for an indoor turbine test facility in Charlestown, Mass., and $10 million to the University of Maine for a floating platform wind system.

In addition to the Rhode Island offshore wind projects, federal water off Massachusetts, Virginia, Maryland, New Jersey and Oregon will be auctioned for commercial wind energy development.

The opening of public waters and financial incentives to help build the infrastructure needed for national growth in offshore wind development have sparked renewed interest in the sector, said the event's keynote speaker, DOI director Sally Jewell. 

There’s no need to apologize for subsidies, she said, as the fossil-fuel sector also gets its share. “I will tell you there isn’t an energy industry in this country that doesn’t continue to get incentives. Even some (sectors) that are well established,” Jewell said.

One resident wants to know if roosters have the right to vote

SK Town Council says no to an animal noise ordinance on for informational purposes due to complaints of Roosters in rural residential areas.
SK Town Council says no to an animal
noise ordinance on for informational
purposes due to complaints of
Roosters in rural residential
areas. (photo Tracey C. O’Neill)
South Kingstown -Neighbors should be able to work out their concerns without regulating the cock-a-doodle-do of a rooster was the message sent by the Town Council on October 15.

The meeting had members and residents up late crowing about rural Roosters in an information gathering session regarding a proposed “Rooster ordinance.”

Roosters make noise

On the agenda, due to concerns of residents living in Kingston, the subject of roosters and chickens filled council chambers and prompted more than a dozen peopleincluding Sen. Susan Sosnowski (D-Dist. 37) and Rep. Teresa Tanzi (D-Dist. 34) to take a turn at the podium to speak on the “fowl” subject of animal noise nuisance. Sosnowski, a South County farmer, spoke in support of the rural nature of the Town and thanked residents and council for supporting local agriculture. Sosnowski and Tanzi, whose family has a small coop, spoke against further regulation of domestic fowl.

“I’m not clear what we’re even talking about,” said Stephanie Marisca asking for clarification from the council. “I think all of us here need to be educated on what we really are talking about tonight. So when you say a rooster ordinance, that means legislation for roosters. Does that mean that roosters can vote in town?”

Saturday, October 26, 2013

VIDEO: Scarier than Sharknado!!!

Learn more: click here

"You can't wait for someone to ask you"

By ELISHA K. ALDRICH, special to TraceyC_Online the Blog

“I still don’t do my hair or wear makeup,” said Rep. Teresa Tanzi. Above, Tanzi shares a Memorial Day moment with her daughter, Delia. (Photo credit Tracey C. O’Neill 2013)
“I still don’t do my hair or wear
makeup,” said Rep. Teresa
Tanzi. Above, Tanzi shares a
Memorial Day moment with
her daughter, Delia. (Photo
credit Tracey C. O’Neill 2013)
Providence - Due to the government shutdown and debt ceiling debate, Americans have paid particularly close attention to Congress and its members. This new attentiveness to the legislative branch has raised a valid observation – most members of Congress are white, Christian men.

On October 16th,  Rhode Island College (RIC) took an alternate path and hosted a discussion panel featuring local women politicians as part of its Congress to Campus program.

The panel members were State Senate President M. Teresa Paiva Weed (D-13),General Treasurer Gina Raimondo, State Representative Teresa Tanzi (D-34), and Catherine Taylor who is the Director of the Rhode Island Division of Elderly Affairs. They were joined by guest Ann Marie Buerkle, a former United States Representative (R-NY).

“Winter is coming”

DEM wants prep to start now

PROVIDENCE - The Department of Environmental Management is reminding government agencies, municipalities and private businesses to take some time this fall – before the ground is frozen and the first snowflakes appear – to select and prepare potential snow disposal sites.

Finding a place to dispose of collected snow poses a challenge to government agencies and businesses as they clear roads, parking lots, bridges and sidewalks. 

However, collected snow that is contaminated with road salt, sand, litter and automotive pollutants can pose threats to the environment and public health. 

DEM's Office of Water Resources has developed guidelines to assist state and municipal government agencies and private businesses select, prepare and maintain appropriate disposal sites for snow and ice which is not visibly contaminated with material other than salt and sand from road clearance.

End of Season Mega Sale Tomorrow

Posted By: Laine D in the Narragansett-South Kingstown Patch

The General Stanton InnWhat happens when some eager-to-sell vendors at an area outdoor fleamarket just don't want to "fold their tents" and part ways with their customers at season's end? MEGA TAG SALE happens, that's what!

Though Charlestown's General Stanton Inn Fleamarket's 6-month season came to its official end Columbus Day weekend, a number of vendors just aren't ready to let all the bargaining fun come to an end yet!

Three Out-of-the-Box Ways To Go Green In 2013 & Beyond

by Elizabeth Lambert

Did you know that recycling only one aluminum can is equivalent to running a television for six hours? From recycling at home to making use of public transportation options, many socially responsible Americans have adopted strategies to reduce their overall carbon footprint.

Going green benefits more than just the environment too — you'll save money, help other members of your community, and adopt behaviors to positively influence others. But what else could you be doing to improve the environment around you?

Is New England's dirtiest power plant REALLY going to close?

By TIM FAULKNER/ News staff
Photo by Alexey Sergeev
SOMERSET — The reaction to the announced closure of the Brayton Point Power Station has been overwhelmingly positive — even New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg praised the news. Yet, some question if New England’s largest coal power plant will stick to its plan.

“First, we must ensure that the plant does in fact close by 2017,” said Craig Altemose, executive director of Better Future Project. The Better Future Project was a prominent organizer in protests this summer.