Friday, October 26, 2012

WISE WOMEN MEDIA FOR 10/26/12--Returning Guest, Journalist and Photographer Julie Dermansky on TAR SANDS DIRECT ACTIONS


After spending some time in East Texas, I have some stories, video clips and photos to share about the battle environmental activists and landowners are waging against the Keystone XL pipeline.

Back home, all is not well on the Gulf, the Coast Guard and BP acknowledged the oil above the site of the Macando well is BP oil. "Drill baby drill" still seems to be the predominate way here. Final approval for the Keystone XL pipeline, though delayed until after the election, seems like a foregone conclusion since construction of the southern portion has been fast-tracked. Too bad no one knows how to clean up a tar sands spill. So much about the keystone XL pipeline doesn't seem right to me yet both political parties are ultimately for it. 

Julie Dermansky

SO MUCH to talk about! Julie returns to talk about what she has seen and documented at the TAR SANDS ACTIONS. Don't miss this show and feel free to call in with questions or join us in the chat room!
CLICK HERE to get to the show! We broadcast at 11PM EST, but this show is archived forever if you miss the live broadcast.

Saturday, October 20, 2012

Meet the Treehouse-Dwelling Protesters of the Keystone Pipeline

OCT 20 2012, 8:49 AM ET
They're not the only ones fighting the new supply line. So are East Texas landowners whose properties the construction cross-cuts.

Earlier this week, 50 environmental activists of the Tar Sands Blockade gathered in Winnsboro, Texas. They crossed an easement owned by TransCanada, the owner and builder of the controversial Keystone pipeline, in an effort to get supplies to a handful of their colleagues. These protesters have been living in the trees above one of the work sites in an attempt to stop construction. Two activists fastened themselves to heavy machinery, halting work at the site closest, while over a dozen others stood along the roadside holding protest signs.

The activists are not alone in their fight against the Keystone pipeline, which will transport tar sands from Canada to the Gulf of Mexico. East Texas landowners are also fighting the pipeline. On October 4, 78-year-old Eleanor Fairchild and actress/environmental activist Daryl Hannah stood in the path of heavy machinery on Fairchild's property. They were arrested. Since then, 21 people, including Ms. Fairchild, have been served papers labeling then eco-terrorists, as part of a civil suit against them for work stoppages. Reporters, too, have been detained covering the tree sitters' protest, though the local police have not pressed charges against any of them. Access to the activists in the trees is now blocked off to all media. 

Go to the following link for the slideshow and the complete story in The Atlantic:
And more here from

Photos and stories by Julie Dermansky. Julie Dermansky is a multimedia reporter and artist based in New Orleans. She is an affiliate scholar at Rutgers University's Center for the Study of Genocide and Human Rights. Visit her website at

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Fear and Loathing in Florida's Water Management Districts a-d by Sonny Vergara

Dear Friend,

There’s a continuing swirl of rumors about the number of layoffs looming at SWFWMD.  The rumor mill has had the number for some time now at 60 to 70 employees, mostly from the area known as administrative services.  Despite claims by administrator, Blake Guillory, that the real number will be closer to “only” 30, the angst and worry by the staff continues and there’s good reason why. They simply aren’t being told anything.

Apparently, the protocol is to let individual managers know who’s going to get the boot in their area only and not what’s happening in the department next door.  Staff members talk about how the only way they know what’s happening is by the grapevine, or by calling someone’s extension only to learn they’ve been “disappeared.”

(Sorry. I should have referred to department as “bureau” which is what all water management districts now are required to label certain sections of their respective staffs.  This is all part of Tallahassee’s reformation of water management districts to insure they walk, talk and look like Tallahassee state agencies.  Our ersatz governor has embarked upon this quest for no apparent reason except perhaps because someone told him at a briefing one time that all government in Florida needs to walk, talk and look like they do in Tallahassee because it’ll somehow create new jobs and make government more efficient.  Don’t know this for a fact but it was likely the chair of his transition team regulatory reform subcommittee.)

Of course there’s also Guillory’s Standard Format Tentative Budget (August 16, 2012, P.10 – Sandspur obtained a PDF copy, apparently a briefing document for the legislative staff, but no link at SWFWMD could be found.) for the district’s 2012-13 fiscal year which indicates clearly that his intention is to reduce the staff from the current targeted 2011-12 level of 764 “FTEs” to 617.  That’s a reduction of 147 employees, not 30 as Guillory claims, and it’s a lot more than the 60-70 swirling around in the district’s breakroom among the staff every day.

I don’t know the reasons for these discrepancies.  I just know they exist, that they shouldn’t, and that the management staff of the district has handled a perhaps justifiably appropriate reduction of staff in a terribly unprofessional, insensitive, and irrational manner.  But it’s not management incompetence at just the district’s executive level. 

This inexcusable situation should be laid directly at the feet of a totally insensitive, uninformed and completely ill-equipped board of governors.  Why in the world don’t the executive director and the board chair hold face to face staff briefings district-wide? Simply lay out the plan, offer up why they are doing what they’re doing, and make a good faith effort to be straight up with their staff without platitudes like “getting the water right” and “returning to core mission” that demean their professionalism and their intelligence.  That’s all. 

The real human beings that work at SWFWMD, and at all of the water management districts, are not ill-behaved immature work animals who must be herded and treated as unfeeling dumb beasts. They’re due respect and consideration for the position in which they find themselves.  In many instances, they have dedicated their careers and lives to providing the public of Florida a tremendously important service.  To deny them this respect violates every management principle in the book and reflects a level of cold insensitivity that cannot be justified or rationalized, politically, economically, or otherwise.

Sadly, SWFWMD has not been the only perpetrator of these absurdities. Each of the other four districts has similar stories, as well as DEP.   Fear and intimidation through control of information is the new protocol for Florida government.

Is it because the plan is being dictated by the governor’s Tallahassee minions who are deeply embroiled in remaking state government into a service for special interests? Is it because these farcical leaders of the current rid-us-of-all-things-governmental mantra can’t even articulate a rational defense for issuing a mitigation bank permit that is fraught with special interest focus, like the Highlands Ranch Mitigation permit?  Is it because they are brazenly attempting to cleanse Florida’s environment regulatory agencies of anything smacking of technical talent and science-based resource management capability.  Are they doing this because the new natural resource management protocol is to manage by intimidation, fear and political influence?

Sure looks like it.

Use of the term, “justifiably” is not to say that what this governor is doing to decimate the capabilities of the most strategically needed government agencies of this state is in any way appropriate.  It is simply to recognize that the impact of a global recession upon this country has had a significant effect upon the need for governmental services and a reasonable response is to reduce the presence of government at every point where that need has declined.

The problem is that the appropriate level to which water management district staffs and services should have been reduced has been drastically exceeded, despite the claims by Herschel Vinyard and the nodding heads of the water management district governing boards that all is well.  The party line they spew incessantly is that they are, for the first time in Florida’s history, “getting the water right.”  What a load of propagandistic crap.  The State of Florida is going to be paying the price for such irresponsible nonsense for a very long time in a lot of different ways.

The result of this delirium will hang like the darkest of clouds over the morale and technical capabilities of the state’s five water management districts for years, if not permanently.  The state’s much-needed construct for water resource management, where the objective was always wherever possible to insure decisions were science-based and in the public interest, is already suffering. The game has clearly become a strategy of management by intimidation, fear and political influence.

JD Alexander, the not-so-behind-the-scenes real leader of the senate for the last few years, was the poster child for how to achieve this.  Alexander, along with cowboy-boot-wearing CEO Scott and DEP’s Herschel Vinyard of similar pointy-toed footwear, have already made the incredibly dumb decision over the last two legislative sessions to cut SWFWMD’s budget well into the bone. Tea baggers surely rejoiced, but the reality is that Scott and Alexander shot Alexander’s home county squarely in the gluteus maximusby doing so.

The cuts and revenue limitations they levied upon SWFWMD were so harsh, even Polk County commissioners were begging Alexander not to do it because the county is literally banking upon the property-tax payers of the district’s 16 counties to pay for its much-needed new county-wide water supply system.

Nevertheless, SWFWMD’s ambassadors-of-all-things-hunky-dory are smiling sweetly and saying not to worry because the legislature in 2012 gave the district the option of levying more property taxes should more dollars be needed for the project.

Fat chance, right?

Truth is, it was a tea bagger pandering frenzy led by Scott, Alexander and an army of lobbyists owned by special interests to cut the districts not only in staff and funding but in every other way they can find.  They are not stopping at what’s prudent.  It is a frenzy of destruction and punishment for one of the Florida’s most important functions.  Florida, a state of such tremendous natural diversity and ecological sensitivity, stands to lose the very characteristics that makes it one of the most unique and desirable places in the world to work, live and play.  We are witnessing the release of forces that could affect the future of this state in all respects for a very long time, and it isn’t good.

See this BLOG Post and others by Sandspur at:
(Over 72,400 pageviews as of 10.18.12)

Sonny Vergara


Sunday, October 14, 2012

WISE WOMEN MEDIA for 10/19/12-Darlene Sharples, Food Storage, Canning and Jarring Expert!

Learn ALL ABOUT Food Storage, Canning and Jarring from the EXPERT and one who has made this topic a life-long passion. This is a show that you want to hear and definitely LEARN from. Be sure to join us in the chat or call in to the show, let's make this interactive! 

My name is Darlene Sharples, and I basically started what’s become a life-long passion for canning about 40 years ago at the age of 16 – when I was still in high school. We made some jam in Home Economics, and I really enjoyed it. My Grandma, who raised me, did canning – and I always wanted to learn so I bought my first canning guide in 1977 and started teaching myself. 

From there, I bought my first pressure canner. I did more water-bath canning of pickles, jams, jellies and relishes than meals back then, but gradually got more into the pressure canning as my kids grew. I made more meals in jars because it was great to take a jar to work with me for my lunch. I got into dehydrating in the early 80's mainly for dehydrating beef jerky and fruits. I really got more into Prepping due to less income when my marriage ended, and my husband and I divorced about 12 years ago and prices were getting higher and higher in the stores – and more and more additives were being put in commercially-prepared food. 

I wanted good, healthy food in which I knew the ingredients. Buying in bulk, then canning and dehydrating was a  way I could save money, waste less food from things going bad in the refrigerator and almost always have healthy food available. Even if I was out of money, I had that back-up. If there was a power outage, I would not be devastated by losing a freezer full of food, because I would always have shelf-stable foods on hand. 

What began as an interest 40+ years ago, became a hobby, then an avocation – and finally my passion. I am now a member of several On-line Prepping groups and a part-owner of a food preservation group called, “Food Preservation – Drying, Canning And More,” where I and others are there to answer any questions folks may have in order that they may learn to do food preservation properly and safely. 

Currently, I’m also writing a cook-book on Pressure-Canning. Right now there are the guidelines issued by the National Center for Home Food Preservation online website, several canning guides (Ball Blue Book Guide to Preservation or the Canadian version Bernardin Book of  Food Preservation) and these are the rules and regulations that everyone follows and the basic instructions are included with Ball, Certo, Bernardin and various other supplies manufacturers. However, there is no one comprehensive source for Pressure-Canning recipes for actual, full meals – not just soup with meat & veggies, or chicken in broth. After a life-time of canning I am making this my ‘legacy’ project in the hopes that more people will come to realise that there is merit and better food-safety and CERTAINLY better nutrition in preparing your own foods.

CLICK HERE to get to the show!

Friday, October 12, 2012

BP Oil Spill Amnesia: Life and Death After the Spill-Cam

Friday, 12 October 2012 09:46By Mike Ludwig, Truthout | News Analysis

As weathered oil and dead marine life continues to wash up on Gulf shores, environmentalists worry that America has failed to heed the lessons of the summer of 2010, when an ocean of oil gushed from a broken pipe, and mesmerized a nation.

On a hot summer day in June, representatives from some of the world's richest oil companies gathered at the Superdome in New Orleans, where Interior Secretary Ken Salazar declared, "[The] Gulf of Mexico is back in business," as he kicked off a federal auction of 39 million acres of offshore drilling leases.

The auction was the Obama administration's second big sale of Gulf of Mexico leases since the 2010 Deepwater Horizon disaster claimed the lives of 11 workers and released more than 200 million gallons of crude oil into the Gulf. BP bid nearly $240 million that day, just two years after the catastrophic blowout, and gobbled up 43 drilling leases in the same central region of the Gulf where the company struggled for months to stop the oil gushing from the now-infamous Macondo well.

Link to the rest of the story:


Fracking critics make voices heard--PLEASE READ THIS ARTICLE! And then VIRAL IT! Here is the link:

Genetic Mutations of the Seafood in the GULF OF MEXICO...

Such as triple tails and other aberrations.
Please viral this!

Giant eyeball found on beach, posing mystery for marine biologists

Carli Segelson / Fla. FWCC via AP
A photo from the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission shows a giant eyeball from a mysterious sea creature that washed ashore and was found by a man walking the beach in Pompano Beach, Fla., on Wednesday. The eyeball will be sent to the Florida Fish and Wildlife Research Institute in St. Petersburg, Fla.
By Alan Boyle

A giant eyeball that washed ashore and was found by a beachcomber in Pompano Beach, Fla., is mystifying wildlife officials — but probably not for long.
The softball-sized eyeball was reported to the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission on Wednesday, and wildlife officers put the specimen on ice. It will be preserved and sent to the Fish and Wildlife Research Institute in St. Petersburg, Fla., for analysis.
Marine biologists couldn't immediately identify which species of sea creature would be associated with the eye, but researchers will use genetic testing if necessary to solve the mystery, said Carli Segelson, a spokeswoman for the commission. "I shouldn't say this, but they may be able to eyeball it," she told me today.
Segelson said she's been fielding tons of inquiries about the case, especially since a picture of "THE MYSTERY EYEBALL" was posted to the commission's Facebook page. "It's just gone viral," she said. There are more pictures in the commission's Flickr photo gallery.
Some have suggested that the eye came from a monster fish, a giant squid or even a whale. It does look a bit like this picture of an eye from a giant squid, but Segelson said wildlife officers are leaning toward a different scenario.
"The primary suspect right now is that it would be a large fish," she said. Among the possibilities are a swordfish, or a tuna, or some sort of deep-water fish species.
What do you think it is? Feel free to give it your best shot a comment below, and keep your eyes peeled for the answer.
More sea marvels:
Alan Boyle is's science editor. Connect with the Cosmic Log community by "liking" the log's Facebook page, following @b0yle on Twitter and adding the Cosmic Log page to your Google+ presence. To keep up with Cosmic Log as well as's other stories about science and space, sign up for the Tech & Science newsletter, delivered to your email in-box every weekday. You can also check out "The Case for Pluto," my book about the controversial dwarf planet and the search for new worlds.

BAYOU CORNE: Gov’t experts now admitting “crude oil” is what’s in giant sinkhole, not diesel — Oil likely coming up side of salt dome

[... Gary Hecox, a geologist with Shaw Environmental] said that hydrocarbons pulled from inside the cavern and on top of the sinkhole are virtually identical as far as their chemical makeup.
When asked if that means it is confirmed the failure of the cavern caused the sinkhole, he said “All the data we’ve looked at so far would lead you to that conclusion, yes.” [...]
Hecox said later that, in contrast to early reports, the hydrocarbons in the sinkhole and the cavern are crude oil, not diesel, and may have come from natural oil bearing formations along the side of the salt dome. [...]
Hecox said the most likely option is that the crude oil went up the side of the salt dome into the sinkhole.
But he also said that many of the occurrences around Bayou Corne appear to be tied together.
“It is very likely the release of oil and the gas we’re seeing, the cavern collapse, and the sinkhole are all related,” he said.
The first reports noting the possibility of crude oil in the sinkhole and cavern can be found here:
Read more and check out the comments as well:


Meryl Ann Butler is an artist, author, educator and OpEeNews Senior Editor who has been actively engaged in utilizing the arts as stepping-stones toward joy-filled wellbeing for over 25 years. She studied art with Harold Ransom Stevenson in Sea Cliff, NY for seven years before opening her own art school. Stevenson had been a student of Norman Rockwell. 
Her art in a wide variety of media can be seen on her YouTube video, "Visionary Artist Meryl Ann Butler on Creativity and Joy" at  
A NYC native, her response to 9-11 was to pen an invitation to healing through creativity, entitled, "90-Minute Quilts: 15+ Projects You Can Stitch in an Afternoon" (Krause 2006), which is a bestseller in the craft field. The sequel, MORE 90-Minute Quilts: 20+ Quick and Easy Projects With Triangles and Squares was released in April, 2011. Her popular video, How to Stitch a Quilt in 90 Minutes with Meryl Ann Butler can be seen at  
She has been active in a number of international, arts-related projects as a citizen diplomat, and was arts advisor to Baltimore's CIUSSR (Center for Improving US-Soviet Relations), 1987-89. She made two trips to the former USSR in 1987 and 1988 to speak to artists, craftpersons and fashion designers on the topic of utilizing the arts as a tool for global wellbeing. She created the historical "First US-Soviet Children's Peace Quilt Exchange Project" in 1987-88, which was the first time a reciprocal quilt was given to the US from the former USSR. 
Her artwork is in collections across the globe. 
Meryl Ann is a founding member of The Labyrinth Society and has been building labyrinths since 1992. 
She has written over 130 articles for OpEdNews since 2004. 


Thursday, October 11, 2012


Some 30 months after BP’s Deepwater Horizon rig exploded off the coast of Louisiana, killing 11 workers and triggering the worst oil spill in United States history, fresh oil continues to leak from the disaster site and pollute the Gulf of Mexico.
This stunning development in the BP saga — backing up suspicions that were first reported on this blog earlier this month and from an earlier episode in 2011 — has now been confirmed by the U.S. Coast Guard, which collected oil from a fresh sheen that appeared near the disaster site and tested it to confirm that the oil was coming from the Macondo field where the rig exploded. Here’s what they found...
Read more of the story here:

Friday, October 5, 2012

Wise Women Media for 10/5/12-MIC CHECK!

CALL IN and we can discuss ANY TOPIC you like!

This has been a big news day...

You just might hear some Halloween songs too! Getting into the spirit of the season!

CLICK HERE to get to the show!