Monday, February 24, 2014

A Good Day to Die

Monday, 24-Feb-2014 - Veghel - Yes, I did feel as if I were the man standing in front of the tank on Tiananmen Square on June 5, 1989, in Beijing.  No, I was not protesting the government slaughter of innocent human beings, I was protesting the cutting down of 21-year-old healthy living beings, alder trees my town had planted in front of my home 17 years ago, shortly after my family moved to the then new residential area Spoorven.  Unlike the Chinese man, I felt certain the tractor driver would not harm me, but I was certain the trees would be cut down if I did nothing.  Township officials Kees van Os, team leader and Jean-Paul de la Roy, project leader, Beheer Openbare Ruimte (Management of Public Space), temporarily postponed cutting down the trees immediately in front of my home, and came to my home for and hour and a half to listen to my proposal to leave six trees standing.  I couldn't convince them to save the trees; however, Mr van Os did promise us he would officially propose putting stricter controls for trees on city and township grounds.  Current rules in the township tree management policy (bomennota) do not require a felling permit for most trees on public ground (see tree map). Without a felling permit requirement, citizens to not have any legal ground to disagree with planned felling of trees--trees that have established themselves to become part of the surrounding environment.  Further, planned felling then falls under a protocol which specifies timely notification to all community residents. The current slogan "de juiste boom op de juiste plaats" (the right tree in the right place) is a deception--a justification for felling trees, not to maintain them, along with the street and sidewalk pavement around them.  Veghel township said a wrong choice of tree was made.  I say this was a well-thought choice and that wrong economic choices are now being made.  Funds for tree and associated pavement maintenance are used for other projects.  It takes 15-20 years to grow a tree.  This requires patience and restraint during economically-challenging periods.  One cannot replace a tree in the same manner as replacing an automobile or a piece of furniture.  I encourage Veghel and its citizens to understand the importance of trees, and to regain the courage to care of them.

When death is inevitable, some humans may say "It's a good day to die."  On this sunny day, after 17 years of service to the residents of Spoorven, these alder trees, stood tall, felt the wind flow through their branches, and accepted their fate.  It was a privilege  and an honor to share moments of my life with them.  I stood by as they were felled--it took 25 minutes.
pics (75)
tree cutting clip (4:04)
alder tree feeling the wind through its branches (36 sec)
alnus spaethii spaeth (Spaeth's alder, the correct name for these trees)
Diemen alder inspection report (Dutch)
kliknieuws (online news Veghel) Citizen of Veghel Takes Action against tree felling Spoorven, 24-feb-2014
brabants dagblad (regional newspaper) 'Chinese' one-man protest against felling of trees in vain Spoorven Veghel, 25-feb-2014

Saturday, February 22, 2014

Leave Me Standing tall--Let Me Live

Saturday, 22-February-2014 - Veghel - My Dutch name is Els (Alnus incana).   I'm 21 years old. I'm strong and healthy. I've been standing here on this spot, growing up, since 1997, after the homes around me were built and people started to live here, on what used to be a green meadow.  The town of Veghel is planning to cut me down along with 72 other grey alder trees circling, protecting, the Spoorven, the residential area where I live.  Please leave me standing tall--let me live. I can't speak, but you can.  What can you do? 
1) Press "like" here on Facebook to tell Veghel that you want me to live.
2) Stand next to me, or the alder tree nearest you, for an hour from 0600-0700 on Monday, 24-Feb-2014 and hold up this sign. Tape it over the orange dot before you leave.
3) Report your concern to the Town of Veghel using the digital form here.


Thank you.
 
On behalf of Els,
Spoorven residents:
555 Quirin van Aspert
557 Hans and Marie-José van Duinhoven
613 Johan van den Oord
614 Dennis Srigopal
616 Dale Weiss
617 Tineke Beuving


links
pics (32) 
bomennota_veghel_2007-04-19 (99 pages)(tree management statute)
drawing of "repair of root pressure damage" activities Spoorven, 12-Feb-2014
Township Veghel letter, 10-Feb-2014, to nearby residents, "repair of root pressure damage"
Public notice, Stadskrant Veghel, 12-Feb-2014, Start of Work Spoorven
dale weiss protest message to Veghel Township , 22-Feb-2014

Saturday, July 20, 2013

Treaty of Washington (1836)

Saturday, 20-July-2013 - Veghel - Derek Bailey, chairman (retired), Grand Traverse Band of Ottawa and Chippewa Indians (Anishinaabek Original Peoplesis one of the individuals endorsing the campaign to Ban  Fracking in Michigan. In 1836, 13 years before my ancestors Christina Feinauer and Johann Georg Weiss arrived in Frankenlust Townshipchiefs, including those of the Grand Traverse placed their mark on the Treaty of Washington, relinquishing ownership of 37 percent of the current land area of what is now the state of Michigan (photo).
Anishinaabek Turtle song (2:46)
First Speakers: Restoring the Ojibwe language  (56:41)

Hydraulic Fracturing 101

Saturday, 20-July-2013 - Here is a short animated presentation by the El Paso Corporation on how hydraulic fracturing (commonly referred to as fracking) is performed.
Hydraulic Fracturing 101 (4:16)

Friday, July 19, 2013

Michigan Water Gone Fracking

Friday, 19-July-2013 - While Michigan's water supply is in peril, fracking appears to be unstoppable with yesterday's US Senate confirmation of Gina McCarthy as head of the US Environmental Protection Agency.  President Obama is focusing on energy independence, while lowering CO2 emissions--and ignoring  deplenishment and contamination of clean water supplies.
Westerman 1-29 HD1 gas/oil well
President Obama's policy

Photo. Water truck filling at municipal fire hydrant in Kalkaska, MI. courtesy of Respect My Planet.

Thursday, July 18, 2013

UK Government Supports Fracking

Thursday, 18-July-2013 - London - "Producers of shale gas in the U.K. will be offered tax breaks that more than halve the amount they pay on profits, the government said Friday, in a move designed to kick-start the embryonic industry." - Cassie Werber 
Europe Business News
Photo. The drilling rig of Cuadrilla Resources explores the Bowland shale for gas, four miles from Blackpool, northwest England. - Getty Images

Friday, June 7, 2013

Gasland--Poisoned Environment

Friday, 7-June-2013 - Veghel/Milanville -  Last night, I saw Gasland for the first time. "Impressive documentary about the impact of shale gas in the U.S."  The VPRO broadcasting company aired a shortened version (55 min) on Dutch television.  I haven’t felt so moved to act since I viewed An Inconvenient Truth in 2007.  I live 20 km away from Boxtel, NL a planned fracking test-location—halted 5-Mar-2012 by court order. France imposed a moratorium on hydraulic fracturing in 2011 and subsequently revoked several exploration licensesWe need to reverse U.S. legislation which has undermined the Clean Air, Clean Water, and Safe Drinking Water Acts.  The search for alternative energy sources needs to continue.
Gasland (104 min) full-length English version with other language subtitles.
Committee to Ban Fracking in Michigan
Chemicals in Natural Gas Operations