Sunday, January 13, 2019

"Peace Is Our Profession:" the aftermath

In the above tweet the smoke is actually from a pit fire several miles behind the building in the image.

In the name of geoengineering or albedo modification the Air Force routinely sprays into the atmosphere over the ocean and above parts of at least four states an aerosol cocktail of silver iodide, lead iodide, aluminum oxide, barium, frozen carbon dioxide, common salt, water and soot from burning hazardous waste in pits concocted at US Air Force bases including those at Ellsworth AFB near Rapid City, South Dakota. In the documents that give Ellsworth guidance in flaring off toxic materials are the words, 'Waters of the United States' or WOTUS.
Surface water resources generally consist of wetlands, lakes, rivers, and streams. Surface water is important for its contribution to the economic, ecological, recreational, and human health of a community or locale. Waters of the United States are defined within the CWA, as amended, and jurisdiction is addressed by the USEPA and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE). In 2006, the Supreme Court addressed the jurisdictional scope of Section 404 of the CWA, specifically the term “the waters of the U.S.,” in Rapanos v. U.S. and in Carabell v. U.S. (referred to as Rapanos). [Final ENVIRONMENTAL ASSESSMENT: Addressing the Privatization of Military Family Housing at Ellsworth Air Force Base, South Dakota]
Now, officials at Ellsworth say nine private drinking water wells in Box Elder tested above the US Environmental Protection Agency health advisory level for two chemicals, PFOS and PFOA, compounds in a foam used to fight petroleum-based fires at a site where pit fires are common.

Some 400 bases mostly in the Air Force suffer from contamination including Kirtland in New Mexico where these chemicals have migrated into Albuquerque's municipal water supplies.
Whether the chemicals — which don’t degrade in groundwater — move quickly or slowly depends on what type of water system they’re in, said William Battaglin, a research hydrologist for the U.S. Geological Survey. [Albuquerque Journal]
Ellsworth AFB is home to a Superfund site so are Malmstrom AFB, Montana; Minot AFB, North Dakota and FE Warren AFB, Wyoming. All participated in the deployments over the PRTC. General aviation, private pilots, climate watchers, even some Republican landowners and ranchers are concerned the elevated atmospheric hijinx could exacerbate drought conditions that persist in a region where dried grasses increase fire danger even now in January.

The Deadwood oldtimers used to say that when the Ellsworth wells were drilled many wells in southern Lawrence County went dry. Nearly a century of residue from the Black Hills Mining District affects millions of cubic yards of riparian habitat all the way to the Gulf of Mexico even after the Oahe Dam was completed in 1962. The soils of the Belle Fourche and Cheyenne Rivers are inculcated with arsenic at levels that have killed cattle. Catfish and most other organisms cope with lethal levels of mercury. Box Elder Creek near Ellsworth is a tributary.

Last year The Dakota Progressive pressed teevee meteorologist Andrew Shipotofsky to investigate Ellsworth's involvement in geoengineering so the Air Force responded by suspending indefinitely the 'Combat Raider' war games over the Powder River Training Complex blaming a near-miss with a general aviation aircraft in 2016. There have been several incidents in the PRTC and at least one took a life.

Monday, January 7, 2019

New Mexico legislators offer bill to legalize cannabis, protect industry from Big Dope

The conservative leaning Albuquerque Journal is producing a series on the complexity of cannabis legalization in New Mexico and the creation of the mechanism to regulate the new industry while expunging the records of past offenders.
After all, supporters predict that legalization of marijuana would create up to 11,000 jobs and generate more than $100 million in tax revenue – claims that opponents say are inflated and don’t take into account the social costs that could come with pot dispensaries on every corner. The bill that was introduced would allow growers to operate in any part of the state and would charge an excise tax per plant. The bill would keep medical marijuana patient registration with the state Department of Health, but all licensing would be moved to the Department of Regulation and Licensing – the agency that oversees liquor licenses. Under the legislation, the state would set aside 2 percent of the net taxes on legal marijuana to create a fund that would give grants to organizations working on drug education programs and workforce training and placement in those communities. [Building and regulating a new industry from scratch]
Speaker of the New Mexico House Brian Egolf not only supports legalization for all adults he serves as legal counsel for the state's therapeutic cannabis leader, Ultra Health. Calling itself "New Mexico's No. 1 cannabis company" Big Dope Ultra Health has broken ground in Clayton near the borders with Texas and Oklahoma. Keeping the industry from the clutches of a monopoly is expected to be contentious.

Alaska law allows up to twelve plants for each household to grow for personal enjoyment.

My preference is craft growers would also be marketers like vineyards and brewers subject to state inspections. The revenue debate needs to be done in committee in concert with tribal officials interested in forging compacts with the state and acknowledgement the future of value-added cannabis is grown outdoors, organic, geothermally heated indoors and powered by off-grid sources of electricity.

New Mexico's flag has been named the coolest in America. The above image was captured at Mount Rushmore National Monument in the occupied Black Hills.

Friday, January 4, 2019

Snowbound community makes the paper

We were under a red flag warning the day before the first round of back to back winter storms so if it's not snow it's a wildland fire. Note the Sangre de Cristo Mountains above Santa Fe in the background of this image. There is an aspen community below the ski basin holding the snowpack even as the conifers are absorbing heat sending snowmelt into the Rio Grande.

Thankful that we have been able to reach our snowbound neighbors, the Red Rock Road/Baja Waldo community is still digging out on its own. Thanks to Speaker of the New Mexico House Brian Egolf for getting help to those most in need. Precipitation in any form is always welcome here.
Matthew Smith latched on a pair of snowshoes Thursday and headed west from his home on rural Baja Waldo Road to his neighbor’s home up a steep hill across some cross-country terrain. “We’re trying to be self-reliant; we just got drilled,” said resident Larry Kurtz, who hired the plow driver. “This was a completely unexpected event.” [Snow strands residents for week in area west of Madrid]
Neighbor Luca walked three miles to NM 14 for his heart meds.

We had the casita booked for the entire week but asked our guests to cancel and rebook at later dates not just because of the snow and shitty road but because the water system is at risk of freezing.

Emergencies like ours happen all the time on the pueblos and reservations without reportage but when it happens to white people the shit really hits the fan.

Tuesday, January 1, 2019

Herb walks on

"If your eyes are on the front of your head you eat meat. If your eyes are on the side of your head you are meat." -- Herb Haist
Herbert Paul Haist, 69, of Rochester, Indiana and formerly of Mentone passed at 9:10 pm, Wednesday, Dec. 26, 2018 at Lutheran Hospital of Ft. Wayne, Indiana. [Hartzler Funeral Services]

Photo was taken at Herb's folks' place in Indiana in 2015.

I met Herb in the alley behind Spies SuperValu in Brookings in 1976 and we have been close friends since. He was driving a '67 Buick Wildcat convertible, just one of the hundred or so rigs he owned during his life. Randy Stuefen was in the passenger seat.

I stayed with Herb on Terry Peak for awhile in 1981 after moving back to South Dakota from Missoula. He married Christine Grindberg in 1979 and in the mid-80s he was the General Commissioner for the city of Sundance, Wyoming and as Deadwood's first full-time city planner he oversaw the town's utilities upgrade after gambling came to the Gulch. Back in 2010 Herb and ip were pondering the future of the Democratic Party after the TEA movement blew itself up taking the GOP with it.

Moments afterwards, this image appeared for just long enough to get a photo as the cackling echoes died in the canyon. His ranch was about nine miles south as the raven flies from Devil's Tower. The house on the sandstone rimrock overlooking the Belle Fourche River with the deck view of the Bear Lodge Mountains looms in my memory as this is being typed.

Herb was a public radio devotee, had an extensive collection of vintage radios and actually coined the phrase, "Bill Janklow's idea of public radio."

We built, renovated and restored numerous properties together. He was my youngest daughter's godfather and will be missed.

Thursday, December 27, 2018

New Mexico Legislature will drive progressive session

My elected officials here in the Land of Enchantment are preparing a session that is the virtual inverse of the extremist and xenophobic dreck being concocted by the earth haters in the capital of my home state of South Dakota.

Just for instance, New Mexico's Democratic governor and unpaid legislators will not just legalize cannabis they are expected to pass legislation making a death with dignity legal for people with terminal illnesses.
Medical Aid In Dying (MAID) is currently legal in seven states and Washington, D.C., covering about 18 percent of the U.S. population. Oregon has 20 years of data that clearly show MAID is safe, effective, used infrequently, and has never led to a case of abuse or misuse. Perhaps most importantly, MAID seems to contribute to more people having their advance directives in place, greater access to palliative care and earlier use of hospice. [Know the facts before opposing an end-of-life options law]
New Mexico's flag has been named the coolest in America. The above image was captured at Mount Rushmore National Monument in the occupied Black Hills.

Voted the best dispensary in town Fruit of the Earth Organics, "the only cannabis dispensary in Santa Fe that grows all its plants for patients outdoors under the big hot sun, using butterflies and ladybugs as helpers," also offers a CBD store despite a Federal Drug Administration ruling calling it illegal. Big Dope, Ultra Health has announced its intention to grow hemp at two of their New Mexico locations.

In a related story the University of New Mexico will offer a Spring course in cannabis communication.

The South Dakota Republican Party isn't about growth; it's about keeping Social Security recipients alive long enough to pay the property taxes that sustain red state failure. My advice to the people forced to cover predator-plagued Pierre? Everybody with business in Hughes and Stanley Counties should wear a body cam for their own protection.