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GOOD SOLSTICE TO ALL FROM VERMONT


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CORONA NUMBERS UPDATED
WORLD: OVER 179.3 MILLION.
DEATHS - OVER 3,883,171.
U.S.: 34.40 MILLION.
DEATHS - 617,166.
CANADA: CASES - OVER 1.4 MILLION.
DEATHS - OVER 26,076.

HCR LATEST REPORT
Posted 6.21.21

GOOD SOLSTICE TO ALL

In honor of Sunday, the summer solstice, and Father’s Day, we took the day off and did a ten-mile kayak trip along the coast.

I did not look at the news, or my email, or my messages, or Twitter, or anything. I don’t remember the last time I did that. Maybe 2014?

I did, though, think of my father while we were on the water, not because of Father’s Day, but because of the ospreys.

Dad was profoundly affected by Rachel Carson’s Silent Spring/i>, published in 1962, showing the devastating effects of people on nature by documenting the effect of pesticides on the natural world. A marine biologist, Carson explained how the popular pesticide DDT, developed in 1939, used to clear islands in the South Pacific of malaria-carrying mosquitoes during World War II, and deployed as an insect killer in the U.S. after the war, was poisoning the natural food chain in American waters.

DDT sprayed on vegetation washed into the oceans. It concentrated in fish, which were then eaten by birds of prey: in Maine, that meant ospreys. The DDT caused the birds to lay eggs with abnormally thin eggshells, so thin the eggs cracked in the nest when the parent birds tried to incubate them. And so the osprey began to die off.

When The New Yorker began to serialize Carson’s book in June 1962 --- likely where Dad first read it -- officers of chemical companies were scathing. “If man were to faithfully follow the teachings of Miss Carson," an executive of the American Cyanamid Company said, "we would return to the Dark Ages, and the insects and diseases and vermin would once again inherit the earth." Officers of Monsanto questioned Carson's sanity.

But other Americans were willing to listen. Silent Spring inspired the fledgling environmental movement. In 1967, the Environmental Defense Fund organized to protect the environment; in 1970, President Richard M. Nixon created the Environmental Protection Agency. In 1972, the U.S. banned the use of DDT.

And the ospreys began to come back.

In 1981, Dad’s last summer, if he spent the entire day in the boat, he knew where to find 13 nests.

Today, forty years later, the osprey were over us all day long. And, unthinkable in Dad’s day, there were plenty of bald eagles, too. Happy solstice, everyone, and happy Father’s Day to dads and to those who fill the role.

©Heather Cox Richardson
Letter from an American


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SINGLE-PARENTING, EARLY EDUCATION
Posted 6.17.21
FRED RYAN

SHAWVILLE, QC | We are learning more than expected from the pandemic -- from scientific insights to generalizations about well-being and good mental health. As we slog through levels of lockdown, mental health problems seem only to grow. Our kids, for example, feel isolated and stressed, struggling to focus on their on-line lessons.

FRED'S COMPLETE ARCHIVES
Click Here

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THE TROUBLE WITH DEMOCRA$Y
Posted 6.9.21
FRED RYAN

SHAWVILLE, QC | Lend me your attention for a moment. This is not about local -- only issues, not about Covid, hockey, nor low moisture in our crops. This is about money, and money is the Trouble with Democracy.

FRED'S COMPLETE ARCHIVES
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PSST! LOOKING FOR A QUICKIE?
5.6.21
THOUGHT FOR TODAY
Posted 5.3.21

THIS SUCKS
Posted 5.3.21
I WISH I'D SAIDTHAT
Posted 5.3.21

I WISH I'D SAID THIS TOO
Posted 5.3.21

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LOOSE TONGUES ENDANGER LIVES
Posted 5.30.21
FRED RYAN

SHAWVILLE, QC | The two world wars past gave us plenty of public messaging about "idle talk" which might reveal secrets to under-cover enemy agents. Every subject, from call-up notices to departure times -- anything which might give our enemies an edge -- was included. "Loose tongues endanger lives" was a common public message.
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Posted 5.25.21
Just Outside Washington

FRANK BERNHEISEL

THE FRENCH HAVE FIGURED OUT A BETTER MED WAY

As one gets older, it seems like we spend more time at the doctor's offices. Even when there is nothing specifically wrong, there are visits, periodic general practitioner checkups, lab visits for blood extraction, dental cleanings, dermatologist examinations, and more.

FRANK'S COMPLETE ARCHIVES
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MEMORIAL FOR THE VICTIMS OF . . . WHAT?
Posted 4.30.21
FRED RYAN

SHAWVILLE, QC | Among the surprises of this month's federal budget was a doubling of funds for Harper's "victims of communism" 2010 memorial in Ottawa. With a total of near $7 million, this should be one heck of a memorial.

FRED'S COMPLETE ARCHIVES
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LCC WRITER: HI-5! TO COVID VAX TEAM IN VIRGINIA
Posted 2.18.21
FRANK BERNHEISEL

This morning Kathy and I received our second dose of the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine. Hooray!

PROTEST ... WHERE IT COUNTS!
Posted 2.1.21
FRED RYAN

SHAWVILLE, QC | Two street protests against pandemic restrictions in Quebec, in Fort Coulonge and Shawville, have stimulated public comment. And criticism -- many participants, generally, were not following the health rules (masks and a two-metre distance). The SQ were careful to warn protestors of the rules, without aggravating emotions and stimulating further disturbance.
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STOPPING COVID-19 ~ WITH VALIUM?
Posted 1.12.21
FRED RYAN

SHAWVILLE, QC | One of the lesser-noted effects of Covid-19 and its lockdown is the sudden and widespread proliferation of scientific expertise. There's a touch of sarcasm here.

FRED'S COMPLETE ARCHIVES
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10 POST-PANDEMIC LESSONS
Posted 1.1.21
FRANK BERNHEISEL

Zakaria celebrates America's resilience, which he says gains strength through chaos and crises. He also downplays the idea that despots like China's Xi Jinping do better than democratic leaders pointing out covid-19's leap around the world was due to China's suppression of lifesaving data. Also, that authoritarian regimes including Khamenei's Iran, Erdogan's Turkey, and Bolsonaro's Brazil, ruled did badly.

FRANK'S COMPLETE ARCHIVES
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OUR 30TH ANNIVERSARY
Posted 12.28.20
ROSS MURRAY

I'm writing this on the day of our 30th wedding anniversary. Deb and I were married on December 15, 1990 in Sherbrooke. That wasn't the original plan.
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ON KEEPING WITS ABOUT US
Posted 12.23.20
FRED RYAN

SHAWVILLE, QC | Lesson number one: The pandemic's lockdown may be teaching us a thing or two, despite it's costs. One lesson is obvious: how deeply we all depend upon contact and communication with others. The opposite side of that coin may be that we also are learning to live with our own selves, without the contact we took for granted in the past.
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WHY ENVIRONMENTAL REGS ARE NEEDED
Posted 12.17.20
FRANK BERNHEISEL

As many as 12,000 children were exposed to drinking water with high levels of lead, which cause long-term health problems. The water supply change also caused an outbreak of Legionnaires' disease that killed 12 people.

FRANK'S COMPLETE ARCHIVES
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WHAT'S WRONG WITH "SOCIALISM"?
Posted 11.15.20
FRED RYAN

SHAWVILLE, QC | American friends are certainly now on the road to a healing presidential term. The Republicans may rant about individual counts, but we can also be certain that they are busy studying their playbook, "How to Sabotage a Democrat President."
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This is one of 30 short poems in the chapbook Placing No Markers by Jason Krpan. You can download the book for free at Bookfellows.