Archive

Archive for June, 2009

Sourland Mountain Loop

June 9th, 2009 7 comments

Farm Valley Roads, Mountain Climbs, Silent Woods, and Historic Landscapes

view of Sourlands from Werstville Road

I live in the Sourland Mountain region and love to ride my bike in the area. Although it’s a lot easier cruising along Delaware River routes, here are photo’s of a great loop over the Mountain. The loop starts in downtown Ringoes, out Wertsville Road and over the Mountain into Hopewell Borough. Check a map before you go, it gets tricky in the Mountains!
If you’d like to learn of the Sourland Mountains history, beautiful landscapes, and natural resources, please click on and read these links
Sourland Mountain Planning Council
http://www.sourland.org/mp.html
Stonybrook-Millstone Watershed Sourlands page:
http://www.thewatershed.org/sourlands/
(Lots more photos and route info on the flip!)

Read more…

Categories: Family & kids, personal Tags:

Two Hundredth Anniversary of Thomas Paine’s Death

June 8th, 2009 4 comments

‘WE HAVE IT IN OUR POWER TO BEGIN THE WORLD OVER AGAIN’

Thomas Paine – Bordentown, NJ

In 1776, Thomas Paine wrote a famous pamphlet called “Common Sense”. He was the father of the American Revolution. Few realize that Paine was the leader, Thomas Jefferson the follower. And political change came – as always – from the bottom up, not the top down – pretty embarrassing when the BBC has to educate us about our own history:
“In January 1776, only one third of the delegates to the Continental Congress [the political body of the American Revolution] were in favour of declaring independence from Britain,” says Cheryl Hudson, associate fellow at the Rothermere American Institute at Oxford University.
Then, Paine published Common Sense which argued for immediate and complete separation of the colonies from the ‘mother country’. His visionary and uncompromising words captured the public imagination, and under pressure from the people, individual colonies began to instruct their delegates to vote for independence.”
Thomas Jefferson’s Declaration of Independence followed soon after”.
Check out the BBC’s article: Who was Thomas Paine?
http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/uk_news/magazine/8089115.stm
(more pictures on the flip)

Read more…

Categories: Policy watch, Politics Tags:

Philadelphia Bike Race

June 8th, 2009 No comments

With strong competition, attendance, Philadelphia International Championship bike race in its prime
http://tinyurl.com/lyrcjc

Read more…

Categories: Family & kids, personal Tags:

Final Nail in Nukes’ Coffin?

June 6th, 2009 6 comments

Huge cost overruns, construction delays, and subsidies doom nuke renaissance – “Things have not gone as planned”

Salem NJ Nuclear Power Plant

[Update: 11/15/09 - more nails - The reactor relapse takes 3 hits to the head ]

In a devastating story, the New York Times Business page lands what could be a knockout blow to the nuclear industry’s attempt to revive nuclear power. Nuke industry PR has argued that new “safe” and “cost effective” engineering designs have solved the safety and economic issues, while the global warming crisis warrants a huge expansion. But the Times story destroys those myths, on purely economic grounds:

In Finland, Nuclear Renaissance Runs Into Trouble
By JAMES KANTER
Published: May 28, 2009
OLKILUOTO, Finland — As the Obama administration tries to steer America toward cleaner sources of energy, it would do well to consider the cautionary tale of this new-generation nuclear reactor site.
The massive power plant under construction on muddy terrain on this Finnish island was supposed to be the showpiece of a nuclear renaissance. The most powerful reactor ever built, its modular design was supposed to make it faster and cheaper to build. And it was supposed to be safer, too.
But things have not gone as planned.”
http://www.nytimes.com/2009/05/29/business/energy-environment/29nuke.html?em
(more)

At the same time construction costs are escalating, the industry is seeking even more subsidies by taxpayers and electric rate-payers.
The Times story is a huge warning to the Obama energy planners and to State level public utility regulators and policy makers.
Would NJ Legislators and/or the BPU allow electric consumers to get stuck with footing the bill for a failed technology?

According to the Times story:

In the United States, Florida and Georgia have changed state laws to raise electricity rates so that consumers will foot some of the bill for new nuclear plants in advance, before construction even begins.”
[...]
The industry has had more success in getting states to help raise money. This year, authorities permitted Florida Power & Light to start charging millions of customers several dollars a month to finance four new reactors. Customers of Georgia Power, a subsidiary of the Southern Co., will pay on average $1.30 a month more in 2011, rising to $9.10 by 2017, to help pay for two reactors expected to go online in 2016 or later”.
But resistance is mounting. In April, Missouri legislators balked at a preconstruction rate increase, prompting the state’s largest electric utility, Ameren UE, to suspend plans for a $6 billion copy of Areva’s Finnish reactor.”

Any move by NJ BPU to allow rate increases to subsidize nuclear construction risks would be a political nightmare.
Finally, would private investors ignore “warning lights” and take on investment risks under current (and projected) market and regulatory conditions?

“On top of such problems come the recession, weaker energy demand, tight credit and uncertainty over future policies, said Caren Byrd, an executive director of the global utility and power group at Morgan Stanley in New York.
The warning lights now are flashing more brightly than just a year ago about the cost of new nuclear,” she said.”

All this is something to watch for as the Corzine Energy Master Plan – which embraces new nuclear power capacity – moves towards implementation.

Categories: Hot topics, Policy watch, Politics Tags:

Governors shine media spotlight on Ocean Conservation

June 4th, 2009 No comments

Ocean Summit long on symbolism, short on substance
In an apparent attempt to shore up the environmental platform of his 2009 Gubernatorial re-election campaign, today NJ Governor Jon Corzine spoke at a well attended NY City press conference with New York Governor David A. Paterson to announce an “historic” “Mid Atlantic Governor’s Agreement on Ocean Conservation” among the 5 mid-Atlantic states: NY, NJ, Delaware, Maryland, and Virginia (see: http://www.midatlanticocean.org/

NJ Governor Jon Corzine (right) and NY Governor David Paterson

(more)

Read more…