Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Photo of the Day

Mountain Lines by Nelson Haas


Exploring the "Rocky Lick" in PA
Sinnemahoning is one of Pennsylvania's secret little gems-a quiet, sparsely populated, nature lover's getaway where the rest of the world seems to disappear, taking the tension from your shoulders with it while you explore this scenic area.Situated on the Bucktail Trail Highway (Route 120, a very scenic drive!) between to other small towns (Driftwood and Renovo), Sinnemahoning itself is rather tiny-in fact, blink when you see the sign and you may miss seeing the town, lol!Yes, the entire area may be lacking in some creature comforts-there is not a Wal-Mart or shopping plaza to be found; no Days Inn (though there are plenty of campgrounds and lodges)........MORE

Help Us Save PA's Wild Forests

By David Masur, PennEnvironment Director

April 26, 2010
From Pennsylvania's Sproul State Forest to Tioga State Forest (home to the Pennsylvania Grand Canyon), our state forests are well-known destinations for hiking, fishing, camping and other outdoor activities.
Most Pennsylvanians would be shocked to hear that they're often sold off to the highest bidder for destructive practices that will do irreparable harm to our forests. It's sad but true -- dangerous gas drilling is placing hundreds of thousands of acres of Pennsylvania forestland at risk.
This week the Legislature is deciding whether to protect our remaining state forestlands from gas drilling. Click here to help make sure our state representatives make the right choice for our state forests today.
Already, state officials have opened up 700,000 acres of our state forests for gas drilling in the Marcellus Shale region -- that's more than 40 percent of our forests over the Marcellus Shale.
More drilling means more roads, pipelines, wells and trucks in our state forests, destroying habitat and polluting our streams.
Luckily, there is a proposal to halt further gas drilling leases in our state forests. If passed, House Bill 2235 will implement a 5-year moratorium on further drilling leases in our state forests.
HB 2235 is expected to be voted on this week. Without your support for this bill, the trend of selling off our state forests to the highest bidder may continue. Let's make sure that we keep our forests protected now and for future generations of Pennsylvanians. Click the link below to e-mail your state representative today -- and help protect Pennsylvania's state forests. http://www.pennenvironment.org/action/our-natural-heritage/moratorium?id4=ES

Monday, April 26, 2010

Pennsylvania Marcellus Shale economics

Must have been last year that the gas industry paid Watson & peers of Penn State to do their now famous economic projections for Marcellus Shale. Jobs, money and glowing economics, with incredible numbers in every category. Those dazzling numbers don't seem to be showing up. Two recent reports create some interesting indicators of this purported Pennsylvania boon. The first report involves jobs, or conversely, the lack of jobs. Pennsylvania now has the highest unemployment rate it has seen in 25 years, and we are already 5 years into the Marcellus Gas Rush. The second recent report indicates that for the first time in nearly 20 years, the population around Pittsburgh has increased. This leads us to the quick take that while Marcellus Shale drilling may be creating a few jobs, the bulk of them are being filled by gas industry workers from out of state. The glossy economic reports say that jobs are going to be created, but it didn't finish by saying the jobs would be filled by workers coming from Texas, Oklahoma, Wyoming and Colorado. (Oh, and those illegal aliens found recently on a West Virginia drilling site) It's also safe to guess by all the license plates that haven't been changed-over to Pennsylvania plates that most of those payroll taxes are going back to those states, not into Pennsylvania coffers. Drilling isn't a labor intensive business to begin with, especially once you get past the trucking end of things. It will be interesting to see these commissioned study groups try to validate their glowing results someday. A great salesman once said, "Sell the sizzle, not the steak." That part has been done, but the numbers won't lie.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

PA Politician Calls for Moratorium on Gas Drilling Permits

As the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection prepares to issue 5,000 Marcellus Shale gas drilling permits this year, only one Democratic gubernatorial candidate in the May 18, 2010 Pennsylvania primary is calling for a moratorium on issuing new permits in a state that strongly supports gas drilling. Former Congressman Joe Hoeffel says the natural gas industry should deal with concerns about wastewater contamination before DEP issues additional permits. Gas drilling is a “pretty serious challenge” to the drinking water supply in communities, he says......MORE

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

State's forests could pay high price for drilling of Marcellus Shale gas reserves, official warns

If citizens don’t take an active interest in the impacts of natural gas drilling, Pennsylvania forests could pay the price, said John Quigley, the Secretary of the state Department of Conservation and Natural Resources. “We will see a degradation of Penn’s Woods the likes of which is unprecedented in the history of the state,” Quigley said. Quigley spoke to a crowd of about 75 people at a Bucknell University symposium on the Marcellus Shale over the weekend. A wave of natural gas drilling is about to wash over the state that “no agency of state government is prepared for,” Quigley said. “We have not seen the tip of the iceberg,” he said. ...MORE

Photo of the Day

Girls softball action against Otto Eldred. More photos at http://camconative.dotphoto.com

Monday, April 19, 2010

Gas explosion deepens opposition to hydraulic fracturing

By Betsey Piette Philadelphia
Published Apr 18, 2010 9:40 PM
Faced with organized public opposition from Ohio to Pennsylvania, companies that profit from the expansion of natural gas wells using hydraulic fracturing in the Marcellus Shale region are engaged in a campaign to sell the idea that the practice is entirely safe, despite mounting evidence to the contrary. Fracturing involves the pumping of millions of gallons of water containing sand and chemicals deep into underground fissures to release natural gas.
In a commentary entitled “Shale Concerns Overblown,” Lou D’Amico, president of the Pennsylvania Independent Oil and Gas Association, stated that hydraulic fracturing “has not impacted local wells” and “is not a threat to water supplies.” (Philadelphia Inquirer, April 9)
Nothing could be further from the truth. ........MORE

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Photo of the Day

VERY large cat spotted in Bobby's Run area. Read more about it HERE

Anglers to cast lines on native fish

Agency weaning fishermen away from hatchery-raised trout
Saturday, April 17, 2010
By John Hayes, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
Nearly 1 million Pennsylvania trout anglers are expected to converge today on streams, rivers and lakes in an opening-day fishing tradition that goes back decades.
But as anglers cast their lines for some of the 3.2 million hatchery-raised trout stocked this season by the Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission, the agency has begun to wean some anglers away from the stocked fish and toward native trout, which are rebounding in most Pennsylvania counties. The best way to protect them and their habitat, says the agency's executive director, is to make fishing for them a part of angling culture.
"I think it's more than a coming thing. I think it's already here," said John Arway, a 30-year veteran of the agency, who was promoted to executive director last month.Read more: http://www.post-gazette.com/pg/10107/1051146-358.stm#ixzz0lUAKvmgk

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

EPA to study impact of fracking on human health, groundwater

The EPA announced in March that it will conduct a comprehensive study of hydraulic fracturing, a practice used to extract natural gas from deep within the ground.
Specifically, the agency will be studying the impact of the process, known as fracking, on drinking water, groundwater and human health. The EPA is allocating $1.9 million from the fiscal year 2010 budget and will be requesting additional funds in 2011.
"The study will be conducted through a transparent, peer-reviewed process, with significant stakeholder output," said Paul Anastas, EPA assistant administrator, in a statement.
Fracking is the process of drilling horizontally into deep layers of rock to create fissures, then pouring millions of gallons of chemical-laced water into the rock formations to soften them.
Gas companies can then suck out the gas, compress it, and transport it around the nation. But when the gas comes up, so does a large part of the water-called flowback. It is not only laden with the lubricating chemicals that the gas company added but also elements like radium, which naturally occur in the rock.
Drilling activity has exploded in the Chesapeake Bay watershed because of the Marcellus Shale, a rock formation stretching across New York, Pennsylvania and West Virginia.
Several residents in Dimock, PA, have discovered contaminated water wells. As drilling spreads across Pennsylvania, which has the bulk of the shale, residents are becoming increasingly worried about all the unknowns associated with the process.
This attempt is not the EPA's first to study fracking. In 1997, the U.S. Court of Appeals ordered the agency to regulate fracking chemicals after some families in Alabama sued, alleging drilling had contaminated their drinking water. By the time EPA began studying the issue, Dick Cheney had been elected vice president.
Cheney had been CEO of Halliburton, the energy giant largely credited with inventing the fracking process. By 2004, the EPA declared fracking fluids were not of sufficient concern to regulate, although several agency scientists protested that the study was incomplete.

Something a little wild in the water

Wild Trout Streams are a secret treasure for many fly fisherman in Pennsylvania. Many anglers hold a certain reverence for the quiet and often secluded opportunity they provide. With over 500 wild trout streams and well over 1,000 miles of water these hidden gems are a different kind of stream for fly-fishing. Some of these streams are unnamed or are tributaries of lesser waters. Rarely mentioned by name or found on many maps, this intimate experience also comes with greater stewardship and responsibility for those that take on these waters.The fly fishing experience in these backwoods areas are often regarded as one of self reliance and stealth. These small streams can provide a surprising opportunity to explore and uncover trout in a more wilderness environment.....MORE

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Sunday, April 11, 2010

In Pennsylvania, higher taxes equals fewer jobs

Abhilash Samuel For The Tribune-Democrat
— Pennsylvania’s latest budget shortfall is the result of a pattern in which state legislators abandon fiscal prudence in “good years” and face spending cuts or tax hikes in down times. Indeed, Gov. Ed Rendell has proposed massive spending increases with each of his budgets, usually requiring new or higher taxes. This year he is pushing for combined reporting to close “tax loopholes” for businesses, taxing cigars and smokeless tobacco, a new tax on natural gas, and expanding the Sales and Use Tax.Combined reporting is not a new idea in the commonwealth, having been discussed in one form or another since 2003. It treats companies and their subsidiaries as a single entity for the purpose of determining taxable income, regardless if they have operations in Pennsylvania.....MORE

Friday, April 9, 2010

Pa. Highways Ranked Among U.S. Worst

Some of Pennsylvania's busiest highways have been singled out for a dubious distinction.
They are among the worst in the whole country, according to Reader's Digest. And the ones that drivers and traffic reporters know well.
A Reader's Digest survey ranked several Pennsylvania roads among the seven worst in the country.
Truck drivers were not surprised. ..........MORE

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Photo of the Day

Saw this in a pond in Sinnemahoning State Park...and I never knew that turtles could read!:)

Drug arrests in Wellsville NY, Emporium connection

Four people each face a felony drug charge after they were allegedly caught with suspected marijuana and heroin.At 2:19 a.m. Tuesday, police, with assistance from state troopers, arrested Justin C. Grovanz 20, Michael J. Hallowell, 17, and Karissa R. Dowell, 17, all of Emporium, Pa., and Karal J. Ginnery, 25, of Hinsdale. They were each charged with felony third-degree criminal possession of a controlled substance. Grovanz was also charged with misdemeanor criminal mischief to property. All four were arraigned by village Justice Christopher O’Connor and remanded to the county jail. Bail was set at $5,000 for Dowell and $10,000 for the other three. All four are due to appear May 18 in Wellsville Village Justice Court.Police were reportedly called to a North Main Street residence on a complaint. While responding, they stopped the vehicle, driven by Grovanz, which was leaving the area. The drugs were allegedly found either in the people’s possession or in the vehicle. The criminal mischief charge stemmed from Grovanz allegedly damaging the door of the residence.“They found a bag of suspected marijuana and some suspected heroin,” said Police Chief Steven Mattison. “Of course, they both have to be tested by the state police lab before we can confirm one way or the other.”Mattison said the lab will have to confirm how much of each drug was allegedly found. The police investigation continues, he said.“Any time it concerns drugs or suspected drug activity we’re going to continue investigating, so it’s still open,” Mattison said.

Mountain Lines by Nelson Haas

Sunday, April 4, 2010

Photo of the Day

Easter sunset from Ridge Road

Canoe Race a huge success

The 2010 CC Canoe and Kayak Classic was a huge success. A record 200+ boats participated in the event, enjoying the unseasonably warm and sunny weather. Water conditions were a bit low, but it didn't seem to affect the enthusiasm of the racers.
Lots more pics posted at http://camconative.dotphoto.com/