Astronomy Picture of the Day

Tuesday, April 25, 2017

Waiting


Waiting 
For Swallows 

Started to wonder
Where they were
Fred reminded me
The bugs aren't here yet.

Sunday, April 23, 2017

NASA TV πŸ“Ί




Tune In!

***The Link appears to not function as I thought it would be....
☎️

Friday, April 21, 2017

Friday Night Musik

Happy Friday!


Was looking for the right YouTube for this week,
A Taxing week,
Taxes, taxes 
Music needed.
Thanks Marc Cohn,
For walking us in Memphis...


Wednesday, April 19, 2017

Music 🎢 for Midweek

While Spring is Slowly Emerging,
Music 🎢 is on my mind,
And this band...

From YouTube ❤️

Tuesday, April 18, 2017

Chi

Chi


The weather drew me out into the yard,
The frost was gone.
My body, searching for the sun,
Found special morning weather,
Sun ☀️ 
Low wind πŸ’¨ 
The mud drying enough to get into flower 🌺 beds,
To lightly prune the lilacs, that are just emerging.
Daffodils just coming up,
Rhubarb, chives, bleeding heart and more,
Like a Little light fussing.
I paused to lean on my hoe and breathe the fresh spring air.

It was so hard to get in gear,
To get this far,
To break down a day's work
Into bite size pieces like today,
A gratifying day nevertheless.

The idea I thought of (with Mom's teachings)
was that as I touched the ground directly,
I was Grounding my energies,
My Chi.

That's what I thought of today.

Monday, April 17, 2017

Revenue Blues 2

Revenue Blues 2

Tax and Spending 
That's all those lawmakers do.

Revenue is just another word
For Taxing your sorry 😐 ass.

Lawmakers court and are courted,
By Self Interested bags πŸ’Ό of money πŸ’° 

I write letters,
Like my Mom did,
Sent into the Ethernet,
The virtual circular file.

The tax bills look πŸ‘€ like rent to me,
Spring pay the IRS,
Fall feed the town and state,
For the right to exist on this land,
When they tell us what we can do,
With it.
No, Tax Poetry does Not Rhyme!

Tax, tax, tax
Enough!
I don't care 🀷🏾‍♀️ 
About @Potus taxes,
I care about the Fluff!

Sunday, April 16, 2017

Easter 🐣

Easter 🐣 Greetings 

Hope and Faith
Spring Renewal 
Earth 🌏 Beauty 
Wishes,
Prayers 
For all.


Saturday, April 15, 2017

Baseball ⚾️

Interleague play this weekend
My hometown Cardinals
Are in the Bronx
Where my other team is, the New York Yankees.

For more info click
Yankees vs. Cardinals

Will tune in on 620 WVMT πŸ“» Colchester Vermont
Waiting for Spring...

Thursday, April 13, 2017

#Fracking Fighters Foiled by Foolish Fueliers

The pipeline flows,

Alberta Canada 
to Hinesburg 
Then Monkton 
Then Middlebury
And
Dot
Dot
Dot

Better get used to this new source
Of so called natural gas, or Gaz, north of the border
Where this all came to pass.
The Ratepayers will be billed for this
Travesty.
This Lamd Grab,
Lickety split.

A friend sent these press links 
Titled

Sad Day.

It was.
At the end 
Some photos of life before a high pressure fracked Gaz pipeline bored through our towns,
Taking property,
Butternut trees,
Rare native sunflowers.

Vermont Gas completes 41-mile expansion, begins serving customers in Middlebury
Vermont Business Magazine Vermont Gas announced today that it has completed its 41-mile Addison Natural Gas Project and is now serving ...
Full Coverage

Vermont Gas: Addison Natural Gas Project Complete
Middlebury, Vt. - Vermont Gas announced on Wednesday that it has finished the 41 mile Addison Natural Gas Project and can folks in Middlebury can ...














Wednesday, April 12, 2017

Update **** Breaking #Fracking

For the Detail People 
MegaThanks to Rachel!

We sent a lot of information to PHMSA and the governor, but you can get a sense of the real “meat and potatoes” by perusing this below - 2 pages only - including bullet pointed list of issues, which i am extracting from attachment 8 (full doc and all attachments are available at: https://drive.google.com/open?id=0Bw0uKc2rfP1fTVJlUnVJX2d0Rnc 

.During 2014 and 2015 construction seasons, VT DPS raised serious concerns regarding deficiencies in comprehensive written plans, specifications, and quality assurance programs to support construction activities. VT DPS issued Vermont Gas a Warning of Probable Violations highlighting, among other things, inadequate documentation, and directed Vermont GA to submit a welding program and quality assurance program, required under Vermont Gas’s CPG. However, Vermont Gas was allowed to commence and continue construction for several months in 2014 and 2015 in the absence of approved plans. The same was true in 2016 albeit regarding different plans and specifications. On December 8, 2016, the PSB approved a settlement agreement (MOU) between Vermont Gas and VT DPS, for serious electrical safety violations and levied a fine of $95,000 and directed Vermont Gas to take several remedial measures. Additional probable violations and construction concerns were found in 2016 in connection with 1) failures to follow project specifications and plans as written; 2) repeated installation of pipe section without proper padding and support; 3) unqualified personnel working on the pipeline, including qualified electrical safety personnel, two individuals responsible for identifying coating damage and holidays and their supervisor; 4) problems with adhesion of corrosion protection sleeves and the eventual determination that one batch of sleeves, from which over 360 had already been installed and 18% were already buried; 5) disagreement with contractors regarding replacement of pipe sections with anomalies; 6) problems with coating damaging on pipe bends and after HDD pull-through.

In addition to the above, evidence suggests that following potential violations of federal, state, and/or CPG requirements may have occurred but appear not have been addressed effectively by VT DPS since October 15, 2017 when safety concerns were originally documented and sent to PHMSA: 

·       Construction-related violations that were documented by VT DPS’s contracted inspector but for which there is no record of compliance actions or adequate corrective measures (VT DPS);
·       Operator Qualification violations (Vermont Gas) that were documented by VT DPS’s contracted inspector but for which there is no record of compliance actions or inspection of potentially affected sections of pipeline (VT DPS);
·       Inadequate company inspections of installed pipeline associated with the above operator qualification violations and with failure to follow written specifications and plans (Vermont Gas) and failure to require remediation of pipe sections inspected by non-qualified inspectors (VT DPS);
·       Failure to follow (Vermont Gas) and enforce (VT DPS) existing electrical safety plans and specifications for construction parallel to electric transmission lines after VT DPS notified Vermont Gas of problems and issued a Notice of Probable Violation (NOPV);
·       Failure (VT DPS) to refer probable worker safety violations to VT OSHA despite VT DPS’s explicit statement in the NOPV that the violations raised worker safety concerns; 
·       Non-compliance (Vermont Gas) and failure to enforce (VT DPS) conditions of a negotiated settlement of the same electrical safety NOPV;
·       Violations of plans and specifications regarding installation, support and padding of pipe sections (Vermont Gas) that were documented by VT DPS contracted inspector but for which there is no record of compliance action or inspection and remediation of pipe segments that may have already been improperly installed and/or were inspected by non-qualified personnel (VT DPS); 
·       Possible failure to follow approved project design, construction plans and specifications, CPG conditions, and easement agreements for pipeline depth and soil cover, and operation of the pipeline without proper inspection, remediation, or warnings to landowners regarding non-compliant soil cover and pipeline depth (Vermont Gas) and failure to inspect soil cover and pipeline depth for compliance with actual project specifications and plans, including CPG conditions and terms of select easement agreements, which far exceed federal minimums (VT DPS); 
·       Construction, installation and operation of an unpermitted temporary venting stack (Vermont Gas) that was not included in any approved construction design presented in Vermont Gas’s petition for a certificate of public good or submitted to the VT Public Service Board for review and approval – and failure to enforce existing design and construction plans and specifications or to require review and approval of new design, plans, and specifications in accordance with Public Service Board rules (VT DPS);
·       Incomplete written plans and specifications for hydrostatic testing and gas up regarding notification of owner of parallel electric transmission lines and incomplete documentation and mapping of pipeline segment in hydrostatic testing plan (Vermont Gas) and failure to enforce requirement for complete plans and specifications (VT DPS);
·       Non-compliance (Vermont Gas) with existing written plans and specifications for hydrostatic testing and gas up and failure to enforce adherence to specifications and plans (VT DPS) regarding notice to the public, municipal authorities, and first responders prior to hydrostatic testing, and to local law enforcement prior to gas up (Vermont Gas) and failure to enforce compliance with plans and specifications (VT DPS);
·       Failure to protect and mainline valves from flooding and other potential environmental corrosion hazards (Vermont Gas) and failure to address flooding in an effective or timely manner (Vermont Gas), and failure enforce minimum federal standards and written plans and specifications (VT DPS);
·       Failure to complete and secure mainline valve facilities and an unpermitted temporary vent stack prior to operation, and failure to secure them from tampering prior to or during operation (Vermont Gas), and failure to enforce minimum federal and CPG standards for protecting mainline valves from tampering (VT DPS);
·       Operation of pipeline segments, mainline valves and an unpermitted temporary valve stack, in contravention of plans, specifications and requirements of the CPG, including inoperable AC corrosion mitigation, cathodic protection, and remote valve control, and unpermitted and non-compliant placement of object on mainline valve vent stack (Vermont Gas), and failure to enforce minimum federal standards and CPG requirements (VT DPS);
·       Failure to update public awareness plans to take into account location of newly constructed and operated transmission pipeline in communities with no prior experience with natural gas transmission and/or distribution prior to operation of new facilities (Vermont Gas) and failure to enforce requirement that plans include measures to reach all communities and all target populations (VT DPS);
·       Failure to carry out Vermont Gas or require (VT DPS) any public education and awareness activities with any target audience in areas where the pipeline was constructed and is in operation and failure to provide accessible emergency guidance to communities and residents along the new pipeline route prior to gas up or since pipeline segments were put into service (Vermont Gas) and failure to enforce public awareness standards (VT DPS);
·       Failure to coordinate (Vermont Gas) and to enforce requirements for (VT DPS) coordination of development of emergency response plans with local first responders in accordance with federal requirements and with regional planning commissions as stipulated in the CPG; 
·       Failure to comply with written plans and specifications regarding emergency response resources and to joint planning with local authorities and emergency responders prior to hydrostatic testing, gas up or operation of newly constructed pipeline facilities in communities unfamiliar with natural gas transmission and/or distribution (Vermont Gas) and failure to enforce federal minimum standards and CPG conditions;
·       Operation of pipeline without full compliance with soil cover and pipeline depth plans and specifications (Vermont Gas) and failure to enforce federal minimum standards and CPG conditions (VT DPS);
·       Dissemination of false information to public regarding odorant release event (Vermont Gas and VT DPS) and failure to require operator to correct already published false information regarding odorant release and migration event (VT DPS);
Dissemination of false information about operator compliance with federal minimum safety standards and CPG construction conditions (Vermont Gas and VT DPS) and failure to require that operator cease to publish false information regarding compliance with federal, state, and permit construction and pipeline safety requirements (VT DPS). 

THAT’s ALL FOLKS!


Music from the Tiny Desk

YouTube listed some NPR Tiny Desk concerts...

Really enjoyed Natalie Merchant et al...


*** #Breaking #Fracking Thanks πŸ’‹ RachelπŸ˜ŽπŸ†’πŸ¦…

links to google drive site. Please share via social media- tweet/Facebook etc!




Press Release: April 11, 2016
            
VERMONT GAS PIPELINE: SAFETY CONCERNS PRESENTED TO GOVERNOR SCOTT AND TO FEDERAL PIPELINE SAFETY ADMINISTRATION

Contact:  Rachel Smolker, rsmolker@gmail.com (802)482-2848 / (802)735-7794

Concerned Vermonters have compiled evidence of serious and chronic safety issues surrounding construction of the Vermont Gas pipeline from Colchester to Middlebury. These were detailed and documented in a letter delivered to Governor Scott and a similar letter also delivered to the federal Pipeline Hazardous Material Safety Administration on Monday, April 10th from eight Vermont organizations (listed below).  Vermont Gas plans to add flammable gas, under pressure, to the pipeline within the next few weeks.  

The letters state: “The pipeline has been constructed in haste and without consistent and effective regulatory oversight. Those living near the pipeline are now at risk of harm from a potential pipeline failure, leak or explosion.” 

Evidence gathered from numerous public records requests and observations show a wide range of problems involving electrical safety, problems with welds and coatings, incorrect placement and handling of pipe and more.  Indications are that the company did not even have the essential and required comprehensive written specifications for construction in place.  Contractors were therefore left without proper guidelines.  Workers were not properly qualified for tasks. Inspectors were not provided with protocols for inspection and required onsite technical experts were not present as required. These problems were raised throughout multiple years of construction and in most cases appear never to have been resolved while construction was allowed to continue. The pipeline now lies buried underground. 

A prior communication from the groups to the federal Pipeline and Hazardous Material Safety Administration (PHMSA) in October 2016 led to an announcement in January 2017 that the federal agency would open an investigation. Since then, many additional problems have come to light and are presented in detail in documents delivered along with the letters. 

The letters follow a public forum wherein citizens implored the Department of Public Safety to request the Public Service Board reopen the pipeline’s Certificate of Public Good and prevent gas from flowing through the pipeline pending a thorough review of the safety issues. The Legislature’s Climate Solutions Caucus thereafter delivered a letter to DPS Commissioner Tierney reiterating the request. A petition in support of that letter has gathered close to 1,000 signatures. 

Rachel Smolker, a Hinesburg resident stated: “The more we learn about it, the more it is clear that this project was very poorly constructed without meeting even the most basic minimum federal safety requirements. This casts serious doubt on the safety and integrity of the pipeline. Vermonters are now left not only to pay for the vastly escalated costs of the project which have more than doubled, but also will bear the consequences of the long term safety risks to life and property which now lie buried out of site in our yards and through our communities. It would be unconscionable for the governor, the DPS and PSB to allow gas to flow through this pipeline given what we now know. Just look around and you will see that pipeline leaks and explosions are becoming all too common and can be devastating.  Studies show that these incidents most often stem from avoidable errors during construction of new pipelines, which is precisely what we are witnessing here in Vermont.”


Notes: 
The groups delivering the letters include: Protect Geprags Park, 350 Vermont, Just Power, Vermonters for a Clean Environment, Toxics Action Center, Upper Valley Affinity Group, Rutland Climate Coalition, Central Vermont Climate Action.

The letter to Governor Scott, and to the federal Pipeline Safety Administration, along with an annotated list of attachments and all supporting documents are available here:

Monday, April 10, 2017

Monday Monday

Monday Monday 

Just another day to me,
Than before,
When I was working,
Before I couldn't anymore.

Dad said he retired too soon,
Sat too much,
For too many moons.

Mom was glad to retire,
Listen to Opera,
By her fake gas log fire.

I'm adjusting to life,
Without working out there,
Tracing images from a world,
A place without fear.





Sunday, April 9, 2017

Sunday Music

Surfing YouTube
I stumbled onto this nice one
By Guy Forsyth
Happy Sunday!


Friday, April 7, 2017

Shine your Light ....Gaz Report Courtesy of Rachel πŸ†’

Rachel reported on the Supreme Court Hearing
About
The Trans Vermont Gas Pipeline...

Light a candle for Geprag Park...

The hearings for Geprags Park easement appeal were held yesterday morning. Rob Woolmington represented the Hinesburg intervenors.  
There were probably ten or so police cruisers awaiting the masses of protestors FYI :) why are they are so nervous?

I have spoken with/debriefed with our lawyers, and various folks over the past day - and with almost no exception, people have been in agreement with my assessment which I therefore share with you here, in case you were unable to attend and are curious, or if you still imagine the fight over phase one is “done”. 

The mood in the room yesterday was nothing like the PSB hearings. Our argument was in a nutshell basically that the PSB doesnt have authority without legislative approval to grant easement on public land due to prior public use doctrine, which is “well established” law. This is a very strong argument and is relevant to bigger, more long term issues and concerns about land use decisions, legal precedent and process. Strategically it is a brilliant approach. VGS argued that the easement was “necessary” in order to meet the "public good” of the project, and that their pipeline would have “no impact” on the park since it is installed w HDD, so would not impair or conflict with the current public use of the park. 

The judges asked very pointed and telling questions indicating they had really done their homework and understood the issues at hand and were not just in the pocket of VGS. They asked a few questions indicating that they were not at ease with VGS claim that a high transmission gas pipeline would have “no material impact” on the park. And asked how “necessity” can be assessed as “the shortest distance between two points” (north and south end of Geprags) - when the routing decisions should have been considered and evaluated earlier and prior to such constraint. One asked whether there was a consideration of cumulative impact from colocating utilities. Some questions brought out specifics of the easement agreement that spell out the various ways that the park could or would in fact be “materially impacted” by the easement, including emergency access in event of incident, and constraints on uses of the park in future, among other.  

We are told that there is no telling when a ruling on the appeal will be made, but because this is such a high profile case, it may be that they do not take too long. There is also of course no telling what the outcome will be - how the judges will rule. To protect our tender bruised souls we need to prepare for the worst. 

But it seems like we also need to prepare for the possibility that we will in fact win.

Keep those embers glowing. 

Friday Night Musik

Have a Magical Weekend !


Wednesday, April 5, 2017

Music Link ....memories

Yesterday while listening to my radio πŸ“» 
lifeline on my iPhone πŸ“± 
Live from NYC πŸ—½
@Wabc Bernie and Sid and Flirty Flipper 🐬
Invited Don McLean...
Reminding me of those days....
Music 🎢 does that, you know 
It Transports you.
I remembered this tune and found a link on YouTube 

Enjoy.






Starry, Starry Night 🌌 




Tuesday, April 4, 2017

Travelogue for the Universe: Neurological Healing

Rerun of an old favorite thought,
Neurological Healing.
I saw precious little of this, 
Working as a Neuro nurse in the 1980's.
How things have changed,
While others have not.
Meg

Travelogue for the Universe: Neurological Healing: Neurological Healing Is possible, Or at least a beginning, A human adaptation, Thanks to spinal cord, neurological research, We ...

Monday, April 3, 2017

Trans Addison County, Vermont #fracking Gas Pipeline ⛽️ Update

F omnLisa:


I just checked with Vt Supreme Court Clerk’s office. The oral argument WILL BE LIVESTREAMED tomorrow morning, April 4, to the PAVILION AUDITORIUM at 9 AM.. The oral argument will take place starting promptly at 9:00 a.m. It is scheduled to last 30 minutes.  There might be a few seats available in the courtroom, first come,first-served.

Lisa

TOMORROW

1) On Tues, April 4th, the Supreme Court appeal regarding the easement through Geprags Park in Hinesburg will be heard.  The hearings will start at 9 a.m., at the court (109 State Street).   There is only very limited seating inside - apparently only for parties/attorneys.  But there will apparently be a closed circuit TV display in an adjacent space, most likely the Pavilion.  In any case, we need to make SURE that it is obvious to the media and to everyone involved, that there is very strong public opposition to this pipeline, with strong showing even if  it is outside the courtroom.  

WEDNESDAY

2) Then on Wed., April 5th at 6 pm, at Holly Hall (1 South Street) in Bristol:  The Public Service Board will hold a public information and hearing about the “incident” in Monkton wherein VGS contractors “accidentally” mowed down a patch of endangered Harsh Sunflowers.  VGS was fined a pittance for violation of the Agency of Natural Resources permit.  Now the board is to decide if there should be additional fines due to violation also of the CPG requirements which had specifics about treatment of Harsh Sunflowers. We asked for this public hearing, so let’s definitely be there!


STOP THE PIPELINE!

Another Year


Another Year

On Lake Champlain






Sunday, April 2, 2017

Wires



Wires
Most days I never see
The Wires all around me,
That go this way and that way,
Carrying messages and power,
To receivers here and there,
Each paying money πŸ’° 
To the utility corporation 
To tap into these power streams,
Supported by poles, hardware, 
and human maintenance.



Only by sitting very still and 
pointing my camera
To the less obvious,
The less aesthetic,
The wires of modern life,
Am I able to see what I normally Block out,
You know,
The Wires

Meg