Emerald Ash Borer Discovered in Prospect Park

Terrible news.

Until this announcement, Agrilus planipennis, emerald ash borer, or EAB for short, had been found throughout New York state, but the locations closest to NYC were in Westchester County. This is quite a leap. One of the ways invasive forest pests get spread is through moving firewood. I wonder if that was the case here.

I live 1/2 mile south of Prospect Park. I am going to visit the ash trees in my neighborhood. They may not be here next year.

Press release from Prospect Park Alliance, 2017-10-27:
Today, the New York State Departments of Agriculture and Markets (DAM) and Environmental Conservation (DEC) confirmed the first-ever discovery of Emerald Ash Borer (EAB) in New York City in Prospect Park. Of an initial survey of 10 suspected trees in Prospect Park by Prospect Park Alliance—the non-profit that cares for the Park in partnership with the City, three were confirmed to be infested by this invasive pest by a Cornell University researcher.


Remembering Sandy, Five Years Later

Rockaway Beach Boulevard, between Beach 113th & 114th Streets, Rockaway Park, Queens, November 4, 2012Rockaway Beach Boulevard, between Beach 113th & 114th Streets, Rockaway Park, Queens, November 2012

The storm surge flooded this block to at least five feet. Fire broke out and was quickly spread by 80-mph winds. These buildings burned down to the water line.

This was the site of a heroic rescue by FDNY Swift Water Team 6 and other firefighters attached to this unit for rescues during the storm. Firefighters Edward A. Morrison and Thomas J. Fee received awards for their actions during these rescues.

Investigators later determined this fire was caused by downed electrical wires falling onto 113-18 Rockaway Beach Boulevard. 16 homes were destroyed by the fire.

There was worse destruction than this on Beach 130th Street, between Rockaway Beach Boulevard and Beach Channel Road. That fire started at 239 Beach 129 St. and destroyed 31 buildings.

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Land of the Free: A Civics Lesson

[Transcribed from a 2017-09-16 Twitter thread and back-dated.]
ACLU Handbook - The Rights of Students - Front Cover - 1973

I originally wrote this as a linked group of posts on Twitter in response to an article about a teacher put on leave after "manhandling" (violently snatching from his chair) a student who refused to stand for the Pledge of Allegiance.

A billion yrs ago, I was in high school. I was gay, atheist, and figuring out my personal conscience and integrity against the injustice I saw in the world.

I spent a lot of time in the school library. There I found a copy of an ACLU handbook on students' rights. Among the chapters, there was a section about reciting, or even standing for, the so-called "Pledge of Allegiance." That was the practice in my high scool's "home room": the first "class" of the day, where attendance was taken, and Pledge recited. I had been standing only, not reciting, for weeks.

After reviewing the ACLU handbook, I wanted to exercise my conscience, and my right. One morning, I remained seated. The teacher, calling me by my last name, told me to stand. I refused. He asked why. I explained. I was lying if I recited it. There was no "liberty and justice for all." I was atheist, and did not believe in a nation "under god."

He moved on that 1st day. The 2nd day, he brought in the school's disciplinarian to glare at me from the doorway, to intimidate. I sat. There was the visit to the principal's office. I explained my reasons again. I remained seated.

This gave other students license to attempt intimidation, push my chair while I remained seated, shove me in hallways outside class. One student called me a "godless, commie fag." He didn't know I was gay. It was just the worst insult he could think of.

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"Farmington teacher accused of mistreating student put on leave", Charles E. Ramirez and Mark Hicks, The Detroit News, 2017-09-15


Blooming Now

NYC-Native Species

Asarum canadense, wild ginger

Fragaria virginiana, Virginia strawberry

Geranium maculatum

Geum rivale, purple avens
Geum rivale, water avens, purple avens

Podophyllum peltatum, mayapple

Polygonatum biflorum

Rhododendron periclymenoides
Rhododendron periclymenoides, pinxterbloom azalea

Thalictrum thalictroides

Vaccinium angustifolium, lowbush blueberry

Vaccinium corymbosum, highbush blueberry

Viola lanceolata, bog white violet

Viola sororia, dooryard violet (several different varieties)

Zizia aurea, golden alexanders

Eastern Regional Native Species

Dicentra eximia
Fothergilla major
Phlox stolonifera (in bud)
Polemonium reptans, Jacob's ladder
Sedum ternatum
Stylophorum diphyllum, woodland poppy
Tiarella cordifolia, foamflower
Trillium grandiflorum, great white trillium