Tuesday, December 8, 2015

last one

no, not my last post, but today I went to a celebration of the last health director i worked for.
I have worked for 10 of them and of the ten, i liked her as an intelligent, hard working individual, the best.
She was courteous and wanted to do good.
She was not a doctor, rather was an epidemiologist and i never thought she received the respect she deserved.
I saw much of the undeserved disrespect she received from underlings and higher ups.
They did not know her or even bothered trying to get to know her.
It was their loss.
She will move on to the private sector and will not need to deal with the same politics that exist in government.
I wish her well, but i believe she will be appreciated for her many talents in her new endeavor.

Tuesday, September 15, 2015

wasps, flies, ants and Windex

I tend to welcome wasps into my garden, they are the reason i am able to harvest my cabbage family vegetables.
I do not like them in the house, nor do i welcome flies and ants....
reach for the Raid you say?
Try something different.
Do not laugh, everyone who has watched "My Fat Greek Wedding"  knows about the old Greek father who believes Windex fixes every thing and i am half Greek...
Fast forward, where i am staying at a rural home and the wasps and the flies are inside...and there is no Raid.  What to do?  I grab the handiest thing, which was a bottle of windex - the one with ammonia and menthol.  I spray and they die, quickly.
Minimal residue, I like this a lot.
I tried it on ants, they dies also, but not as quickly.
Try it is all i will say, it worked for me

Thursday, September 3, 2015

i guess i will keep complaining RE: the mill river work?

This is supposed to be the city that works,
a few weeks ago I spoke of a halt on the project to put a carousel in the park because they had to knock down the older cherry trees.
The city dutifully put signs on the tress slated for removal, which no one could read because they were behind the construction fence.
The allotted time must of passed because there was a flurry of activity and the two trees were taken down...
there is one left standing.

After that activity, all work has stopped again...it had been a week since the trees were removed and all associated debris removed and all is quite...i took these pictures in the middle of the day and they were not on lunch.
Today i go by and there is still NO activity.

Ah the city that works or NOT?

I will continue my complaint, for every place needs to leave some space for pedestrians, but not these people and it will remain like this for another year or more the way they are working.

Now, i need to quickly point out the really, really good work that they have done...this stream used to be a stagnant pool...i tested those waters and they were awful and what they did with the Mill River is wonderful...so they need to take the bad, with the good.

Thursday, July 2, 2015

Complaining again

I actually was unsure of which blog to put this in, so i will link it to my main blog as well and Visa versa...
Since i wrote about tall grass and ticks (the grass was cut the next day) in the Mill River Park, I figured this was appropriate.
A few days ago, after the ground breaking ceremony and a check was given to the city from the Mill River Collaborative (the city does love money coming in), a fence was put up blocking the sidewalk, with no notice and no signage saying the sidewalk was closed.  Well a few days after somewhat appropriate signage appeared (cause someone complained?) then I discovered this closure will continue for over a year.  This closure forces people, who would walk on the South side, to cross the very busy West Broad Street, which has had a number of pedestrian accidents for various reasons.
To say it makes my life difficult is an understatement and so here I go posting a complain.

Monday, June 15, 2015

Lyme Disease...where is it?

I have left this blog mostly vacant for the last few years, since leaving the health department,
but lately I have had some stirrings and this one happened at the ground breaking for the new carousel at the Mill River Park.
I was not aware of this event, but saw a steam shovel for a few days and today a crowd of people...
I walked over to find out what was happening.  I believe i only saw one person i knew, but he was engaged with a number of other people.
I sent over to a table with a bunch of goodies on it and notice the grass was tall...
I could only think of ticks.
I asked what was going on and was told it was the ground breaking for the Carousel and i replied that it was a good place
and then i did what i always do, spoke what was on my mind...."except that the grass is tall and invites ticks and i should know cause this was what i worked with at the health department for 33 years.:
The first person i spoke to, walked away with an annoyed look on her face.
The others looked questioningly at me and i repeated myself and another said; "certainly not here".
I realized i was dealing with ignorance with the unwillingness to learn anything, i walked away.
I learned much about these awful insects for many years while i worked and shared my knowledge daily.
I learned from people who knew about predators and their impact on the population of small mammals, like the white footed mouse and chipmunks, who are the primary host of Lyme disease.
I learned that as suburbia moved the predators away, those small mammals increased.
The animal most people think of when they think of mammals and Lyme disease is the deer, yet the deer does not carry, nor transmit Lyme, but it does help the tick over winter.
So do those other small mammals, which will carry and transmit Lyme.
Deer have been seen near down town on summer street, mice are every where.
I would simply say there is no grassy area that is immune from this scourge and precautions must be kept in mind.

Friday, May 2, 2014

Here i go again

I have challenged in a non-scientific manner Save the Sound's presentation on Nitrogen. My apologies, because for 33 years i researched this and even spent some time setting up your lab for chlorophyll analysis in Stamford. So what can i say - levels of usable nitrogen remained low for all of the warm water season (above 50 F). This was Nitrogen as Nitrate and nitrite. The early spring "bloom" of algae was NOT repeated except in special cases in harbors and did not go out to the sound. The levels of plankton also remained low even when Oxygen levels were low. Studying the sediment, i found very interesting issues. The "muck" was extremely high in anaerobic bacteria and Iron and sulfides/sulfate. Very determined chemical oxygen scavengers. They are there because of years of untreated discharges from treatment plants.
The next issue is that all Nitrogen is food and the lack of the nitrogen in the water is creating a very clean, but lifeless Long Island Sound. The initial die-off (in large quantities) occurred after tropical storm Floyd, after which high quantities of Hydrogen Sulfide were detected in the Long Island Sound water as much as half a mile off the coast line.
The lack of recovery is possibly multi-faceted, but a lack of a healthy plankton population can not be ruled out. Plankton need nitrogen to grow and they provide food as a first step in the food chain.
While i have officially retired, the data was presented and not researched by anyone further, yet many other papers have been written talking of other causes, including phosphates, which is a distinct possibility since long Island Sound is neither fresh, nor completely Ocean salty . Facts and figures i can not provide, but if you want to really look at the causes, look everywhere not just what you are told.

Monday, March 10, 2014

long time - no post

I have lost a few followers,
but i retired from doing this work so my fingers are not so much in the "pie", so to speak.
However, i do get to crow about things i have said in the past and one has come up.
Uranium, i worried about it and radon.
I spoke about testing both.
I talked about getting a scintillation counter to at least do radon in the water.
It was all for naught.
When people talked about cancers, i worried, we were not testing or even telling people to test for things that might be a cause.
The big push for pesticides was not wrong, the minuscule scale of testing in other towns (10 per district) has shown nothing, but we had tested over 40 before and found nothing.
Radon was found in very high amounts in the 1990s in a particular area of Stamford.
The lab suggested testing for the base radioactive materials that cause radon, but nothing happened.
I worried and then a well came back at very high levels and i brought it up.
it took some years, but the state started recommending this testing and a revision in the pesticide testing ordinance has it being tested.
Very few people have signed up, but of those that have 70% have found uranium in their well water, 25% of these were over the US EPA's maximum contaminant level.
This is a real problem and people need to be aware and test and treat their well water if it is needed.
THIS IS all natural, this is not good.
The only way to protect yourself  is to test,  it is not expensive.
Do it!