Saturday, July 14, 2012

Lobster at the Lowest Price Since the 70's

The current price of lobsters in the Northeast are the cheapest they've been in 40 years thanks to a mild winter that accelerated lobsters' life cycles, according to a WCVB report.

Lobstermen in Maine are reportedly being offered less than $2 a pound for their daily hauls. WCVB reports the price hasn't been that low since the 1970s.

The contributing factor in the near-historic lows, according to experts who spoke with WCVB, is that a mild winter in the Gulf of Maine lead lobsters to molt earlier than usual. Experts say more lobsters than usual are out to feed, leading to sizable hauls, but not profits, for lobstermen.

Friday, July 13, 2012

Massive landslide in Alaska sweeps over glacier

Posted: Jul 12, 2012 7:42 PM EDT
Updated: Jul 12, 2012 8:52 PM EDT

In this image provided by Drake Olson at, a landslide is seen at Glacier Bay National Park in Alaska on July 8, 2012. When a cliff collapsed in Glacier Bay National Park, it sent rock and ice coursing down a valley and over a lovely white glacier in what could be one of the largest landslide recorded in North America. The rumbling was enough so that it showed up as an earthquake in Alaska and Canada.
ANCHORAGE, Alaska (AP) - Even by Alaska standards, the rock slide in Glacier Bay National Park was a huge event.

It was a monumental geophysical event that was almost overlooked until a pilot happened to fly over where the cliff collapsed and snapped some photographs nearly a month later.

When the cliff collapsed in the national park in southeast Alaska on June 11, it sent rock and ice coursing down a valley and over a lovely white glacier in what perhaps was the largest landslide recorded in North America.

The rumbling was enough so that it showed up as a 3.4-magnitude earthquake in Alaska. The seismic event also was recorded in Canada. The massive landslide occurred in a remote valley beneath the 11,750-foot Lituya Mountain in the Fairweather Range about six miles from the border with British Columbia.

"I don't know of any that are bigger," Marten Geertsema, a research geomorphologist for the provincial Forest Service in British Columbia, said Thursday, when comparing the landslide to others in North America.

If someone had been standing in front of the slide, the air blast alone would have flattened that person, said Geertsema, who studies natural hazards resulting from geophysical processes on the earth's surface.

"I think they would be blown over by the air blast," he said.

Despite the extraordinary size of the landslide, which was estimated at a half-mile wide and 5 ½ miles long, it went virtually unnoticed until air taxi pilot Drake Olson flew over it on July 2. The landslide, which rolled over the glacier, is not very noticeable to the thousands of cruise ship passengers that visit Glacier Bay National Park near Juneau each summer. That is because it is about 12 to 15 miles up the glacier from the bay.

While this one was huge by North American standards, bigger ones have occurred, including a September 2002 landslide in Russia that extended for 20 miles, Geertsema said.

Lituya Mountain has been the scene of extraordinary geophysical events before. In 1958, a landslide on the other side of the mountain produced a wave estimated at 1,700 feet.

One fishing vessel was able to ride out the wave.

"They looked below them and they could see the tops of the Sitka spruce trees way below them. The other boat disappeared," Geertsema said.

Another boat with two people aboard disappeared.

One of Olson's photos of the June landslide shows a huge dent in the side of an ice-covered peak. Another shows a river of rock and ice that flowed out of a valley. The landslide triggered numerous avalanches.

Glacier Bay National Park Superintendent Susan Boudreau said visitors to the 3.2-million acre park won't notice anything different in the landscape this summer, but the rock and ice likened to a river of black syrup moving toward the bay is on the move. How fast it is moving is still the question, she said.

"It is going to come down but we don't know the speed of that," Boudreau said.

There are several factors that contribute to the likelihood of mountains collapsing, Geertsema said. Sometimes it is caused by a general weakening of the rock. Other times it could be due to a very large snowpack that melts quickly.

Scientists also are looking at the role of climate change.

"We are seeing an increase in rock slides in mountain areas throughout the world because of permafrost degradation," Geertsema said.

Permafrost is ground that stays perpetually frozen.

Geertsema said Swiss scientists are becoming increasingly convinced that climate change is playing a role in the frequency of rock slides after looking at data from instruments measuring temperature and the widening and narrowing of gaps in the rocks in the Alps.

"It plays an important role," Geertsema said, of climate change. "I think we have been underestimating the role it might play."

Park ecologist Lewis Sharman said the landslide is a reminder of why Glacier Bay National Park is special.

"These types of events to me are welcome reminders that this place is one of the coolest on earth," he said.


Wednesday, July 11, 2012

9 dogs found dead at Westfield MA kennel

Large PhotoA Westfield kennel is under investigation by state and local officials after one male and eight female dogs were found dead on July 5.

A spokesman for the MSPCA in Boston confirmed on Wednesday that an investigation is underway to determine whether animal cruelty laws had been violated at Coggin Creek Stables, reports
Brenda Coggin, the owner of the kennel located at 1008 Granville Road, claims the deaths of the nine Australian Shephards were a "tragic accident" caused by a faulty air conditioner.

According to the site, Coggin turned the air conditioning unit on before she left the kennel, but when she returned, the unit was emitting mist and an odor. Coggin buried the dogs, but did not call police.

Injured seal pup rescued from NH island

PORTSMOUTH, N.H. - An injured baby seal was rescued just off New Hampshire's coast from the Isles of Shoals on Tuesday.

Rescuers said a researcher studying birds stumbled upon the young harbor seal in a tide pool on Appledore Island on Sunday morning.
The 23-pound pup had some cuts on his belly and seemed in distress. Rescuers with Marine Mammals of Maine monitored the seal for several tides.
"To see if the animal wanted to come and go on its own, and then it seemed to not want to leave the area, and seemed to be in a bit of distress, the response team that traveled out to Appledore Island discovered. The seal pup needed medical help. He didn't just have superficial cuts on his belly; one of his flippers was infected, preventing him from swimming," Executive Director Lynda Ada Doughty said.
Doughty said the 6-week-old pup was on his own having just been weened from his mother.
"They're on their own and trying to figure it out, and this one got into a little bit of trouble," she said.
The pup went to the University of New England Marine Animal Rehabilitation Center in Biddeford, Maine. His future was still uncertain.
Rescuers said they are getting a lot of calls this summer about similar situations. They said that, in many cases, the seals are not stranded at all.
Wildlife officials said people who spot stranded seals should keep their distance and contact help at 1-800-532-9551.


Tuesday, July 10, 2012

While Cape Wind is debated, land-based development of wind power takes off

While Cape Wind is debated, land-based development of wind power takes off

Despite controversy that has slowed the Cape Wind project in Nantucket Sound, land-based wind farms are expanding rapidly in the region.

One company alone, First Wind Holdings LLC of Boston, has installed enough turbines in the Northeast over the past few years to generate nearly as much power as the long-awaited offshore wind farm. Other companies, too, have developed wind projects in New England states.

Driving this growth are technological advances reducing the cost of wind turbines and increasing their efficiency, making wind power more competitive with traditional power sources — particularly in the Northeast, where electricity costs can run as much as 60 percent above the national average.

Turbine prices have dropped about 30 percent over the past few years, and new turbines are able to generate electricity at lower wind speeds.

Meanwhile, average electricity prices in the Northeast can top 15 cents per kilowatt hour, compared to a US average of 9.52 cents. New wind technology can generate power at an average cost of about 10 cents per kilowatt hour, excluding subsidies, according to the US Energy Department.

“Some of the states in the Northeast have been some of the fastest-growing markets,” said Elizabeth Salerno, director of industry data and analysis at the American Wind Energy Association, a trade group in Washington. “Power prices are relatively high [there], so by delivering wind projects, you can develop a pretty affordable source of generation.”

First Wind has built wind farms in eight locations in Maine, Vermont, and upstate New York. With the 34 megawatts that will be added when the company completes its wind farm near Eastbrook, Maine, First Wind’s projects will have the capacity to generate nearly 420 megawatts of electricity, compared to Cape Wind’s 468 megawatts.... continued

Injured hiker saves rescuer hit by copter blades

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) - When he broke his leg and needed to be evacuated from a national forest in Northern California, U.S. Air Force doctor Jeremy Kilburn never thought he would be called on to save the life of his rescuer.

But that's just what happened when a California Highway Patrol officer sent to help Kilburn last week in the Shasta-Trinity National Forest was hit by the rotor blades of a helicopter. The injured Kilburn and the officer, Tony Stanley, switched roles.

Kilburn told The Associated Press on Tuesday that Stanley suffered a fractured skull.
When he learned of the injury, Kilburn hobbled, fell and crawled about 50 yards on his broken leg to Stanley.

"Yes, you're in pain, but this guy is dead or dying or something," he said. "All my military training told me I had to get to this guy now. The adrenaline just kicks in."

Stanley, who was unconscious, had lost blood, but that wasn't Kilburn's main concern. He was worried about his breathing.

He inserted a tube in the back of Stanley's throat to help keep his airway open and directed another person to keep pressure on his skull.

Kilburn, a critical care pulmonologist with the Air Force assigned to Nellis Air Force Base outside of Las Vegas, Nev., has experience treating brain injuries and had just given a talk about managing a patient's airway in such cases.

He wanted to do a more elaborate procedure to secure Stanley's airway, but decided against it.

"I just had this thought that doing something fancy is going to get me in trouble here," he said. "Let's do simple things."

When Stanley started to come to, Kilburn decided that was the time to try to get him out of there.

Stanley was put on a stretcher, loaded onto the helicopter and taken to a hospital.

The CHP has declined to reveal his condition, but Kilburn said on the flight over, Stanley gave him a thumbs up. He is hopeful Stanley will make a full recovery.

Stanley, 40, was one of two officers called out to pick up Kilburn, who said he suffered his broken leg when his dog nudged him after a long hike and he landed awkwardly. He was able to contact the CHP with the help of a camp group from Santa Cruz that had access to a satellite radio, he said.

The helicopter landed on a granite rock next to a steep embankment. As Stanley started to climb up the embankment to reach Kilburn, he was hit by the aircraft's rotor blades,........

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Teen Boy Loses Arm After 11-Foot Alligator Attacked Him in Florida River

“He’s been around alligators all his life,” the friend continued. “He’s smart enough – he knows if he offered him his arm he wouldn’t take his torso, so he was smart. He took the risk.”

Paramedics arrived and took the teen to the hospital, and before long trappers arrived on scene to try to find the gator responsible in hopes of recovering Langdale’s arm. Several hours and gators later, they indeed found both and sent the arm to the hospital. Unfortunately, it couldn’t be reattached.

Apparently Fred is in good spirits, however, saying he’s glad the gator got his right arm, because he uses his left to steer his airboat. He also said that he wants “the head” of the gator, to rest his prosthetic on once he has it.



Monday, July 9, 2012

Stranded baby beluga dies in Alaska

Alaska -
A baby beluga whale that was believed to be just 2 days old when it was found stranded after a storm in Alaska's Bristol Bay has died at a research aquarium where it received round-the-clock care by a team of marine mammal experts.
Read more:

Great bike ride on the Eastern Trail in Maine Sunday 21.4 miles!

View 7/8/2012 11:26 AM E TRAIL in a larger map  (No Image? Click this link:

7/8/2012 11:26 AM Eastern Trail in Maine
Recorded: 7/8/2012 11:26 AM

Start/Finish: 43.506092,-70.442935 Thornton Academy Parking Lot (Saco, ME)

Mid-point (turn around): 43.58790, -70.31004 Pleasant Hill Disc Golf (Scarborough, ME)

Summary: This was a great ride and there were lots of great people along the ride.  The most ground can be covered on bike.  I recommend using mountain bikes on this trail as it can be sandy in spots and the wider tires help a bit.  Overall the trail has been well maintained.

The views were limited in this stretch of trail but it was very quiet and peaceful with the occasional open  stretch of marsh with an occasional egret to view.  The green heads were limited but present.  The trail system is funded and payed for by the surrounding eight communities, but is maintained by Granite State Gas Company who's pipeline runs the length of the trail system.

This particular trail system runs from Canada to Florida and more information can be found at:   

Updated 15 hours ago

Created by My Tracks on Android.
Total distance: 34.37 km (21.4 mi)
Total time: 3:50:45
Moving time: 2:32:00
Average speed: 8.94 km/h (5.6 mi/h)
Average moving speed: 13.57 km/h (8.4 mi/h)
Max speed: 38.70 km/h (24.0 mi/h)
Average pace: 6.71 min/km (10.8 min/mi)
Average moving pace: 4.42 min/km (7.1 min/mi)
Min pace: 1.55 min/km (2.5 min/mi)
Max elevation: 22 m (74 ft)
Min elevation: -33 m (-107 ft)
Elevation gain: 867 m (2844 ft)
Max grade: 11 %
Min grade: -16 %
Recorded: 7/8/2012 11:26 AM
Activity type: bike

Shark at Rye beach: Lifeguards called swimmers out of the water at a Rye beach on Monday after a shark was spotted...

Sunday, July 8, 2012

Child injured while hiking at Middle Sugarloaf Mountain

Rescue called off after child found to be OK

TWIN MOUNTAIN, N.H. - A 5-year-old boy is recovering after injuring himself while hiking at the Middle Sugarloaf Mountain.

State police said they got a call about the incident about 2 p.m. Sunday.

Troopers said the caller said the boy had slipped on a rock and hit his head before the call was disconnected.

Several agencies responded to the call and a New Hampshire Fish and Game officer eventually met the caller and was told the boy was not as badly thought as was initially feared.

The officer said he hiked up the trail to confirm the boy's well being and was able to find the boy's family.

Officials said the officer determined the boy only suffered a small wound on the back of his head and was not bleeding anymore. The officer said the child was in high spirits.

The boy's mother told officers her son didn't need any treatment but she thanked everyone for their quick response.

The caller told authorities he did try to call 911 to tell them that help wasn't needed anymore.

Officers said that as soon as they canceled that investigation, they got a call about a hiker who was possibly injured in Huntington Ravine.


16 year old Teen rescued after suffering injury while hiking in Maine

GREENVILLE, Maine - The Maine Warden Service said a 16-year-old girl from Wisconsin was injured Friday while hiking the Appalachian Trail.

Officials said the teen was part of a group of 11 girls that was hiking the 100-Mile Wilderness from Monson to Mt. Katahdin. The group was part of an organization from New Hampshire called the American Youth Foundation, officials said.

The Maine Warden Service said the girl injured her ankle at about 7 p.m. and was no longer able to hike the rugged portion of the Appalachian Trail. The group camped out for the night and met a rescue team Saturday morning.

Maine game wardens, along with members of the Maine Forest Service, the Greenville Fire Department, and Appalachian Mountain Club, helped carry the injured hiker about two miles over very treacherous terrain, officials said. The rescue took about four hours.

The hiker was taken to Dean Hospital in Greenville for treatment.


Rescue team aids dehydrated hiker on Little Haystack

12:54 PM EDT Jul 08, 2012

LINCOLN, N.H. - New Hampshire Fish and Game Department aided a dehydrated hiker in Franconia on Saturday.

Officials said the hiker fell ill on Franconia Ridge between Little Haystack and Mount Lincoln about 4 p.m. Saturday.

A rescue team met with the hiker a short time later. After rest and rehydration she was able to hike back out of the area on her own.

New Hampshire Fish and Game officials recommend that hikers bring at least 2 liters of water to hydrate with.