Monitoring Bears In Maine, And Protecting Them Everywhere


There have been a few loves that never have faded in my 40-plus years, bears being one of them.  Whether it is preserving their area for feeding in the west, or preventing the extinction of the polar bears due to global warming, my first reaction is always what is in the best interest of the bears.  They were here first, and need us to be their advocates.

When I read of a study in Maine where collared bears were examined I was curious about the findings.  The pictures of how entry was made to the bear cave is remarkable and worth the time of my readers.  But when I saw the pictures of the mother bear and her cubs I again feel so strongly that we must do right by them as a species.  I suspect my readers will too.   It is imperative that we strive to insure their long-term survival, and control our ever-consuming lust for the habitat area that is rightfully theirs.

I find it galling to read of people in the western states who find it surprising that bears might be foraging for food in the trash bins of humans……on land that once was the feeding grounds for the wild bear.  I find it troubling that too many in Washington, D.C. fail to understand that the environmental policies of our country must factor in when considering if the polar bear should be placed on the extinction list.

These large wonderful creatures, whether they are brown, black, or white, need our attention.   We have to do everything we can to insure that they remain a part of our future, not because they are cute….but because it is the moral and proper thing to do.



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Book Mooch A Great Place For Readers and Book Lovers

If you are a book lover and enjoy searching for and finding that hard to locate gem of a read then Book Mooch might be the place for you.

With Book Mooch you can list the books you want to get rid of for free, and conversely you can also get books for free. The only catch is initially you have to list 10 books to even “mooch” a book, but  once you get going and accumulate points you can get a few books at a time.

  • Give & receive: Every time you give someone a book, you earn a point and can get any book you want from anyone else at BookMooch. Once you’ve read a book, you can keep it forever or put it back into BookMooch for someone else, as you wish.  
  • No cost: there is no cost to join or use this web site: your only cost is mailing your books to others.  
  • Points for entering books: you receive a tenth-of-a-point for every book you type into our system, and one point each time you give a book away. In order to keep receiving books, you need to give away at least one book for every three you receive.
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    John King And CNN Add Visual Spice With Election Night Touch Screen

    Any of my readers, who were watching election nights in the 1960’s, or even in the winning days of Ronald Reagan during the 1980’s, understand there is a vast difference in the way we watch the polling returns on television.  It seems that the old black and white films of Walter Cronkite reporting the news of John Kennedy’s victory in 1960 are almost from a prehistoric age given the advances that have been made with computer technology and media maturity.  Don’t get me wrong, I think those old videos, and the reporters along with the politicians of that age were often incredible individuals.  But the contrasts with Election Nights during this primary season make for such a difference that many are making note of it. 

    Starting with the Iowa caucus and the New Hampshire primary it has been fun to see how the all-news networks that seem to thrive and specialize on election coverage have used technology to enhance their broadcasts.  And none seems to have achieved that goal better than CNN.  If you have watched John King do his ‘thing’ on CNN then you know what I am referring to.  If not, well be glad that this is one very long election year, as you will have plenty of time to see the visual spice.

    If the white memo board Mr. Russert used on election night in 2000 were to get an extreme, high-tech makeover, it would probably emerge looking like the map Mr. King has been piloting on CNN. Measuring nearly seven and a half feet diagonally, the screen, along with its database, seems more suited to a commander moving troops around a battlefield, which is no accident. David Bohrman, who oversees CNN’s political coverage, fell in love with the monitor after seeing it at a military intelligence trade show last year. (Mr. Bohrmanrefused to say how much CNN had paid for the device, which is made by a company called Perceptive Pixel.)

    Asked about his new toy on a recent morning at CNN’s New York City headquarters as his fingers darted from Philadelphia to Pittsburgh to Erie in a dry run of the Pennsylvania primary on Tuesday night, Mr. King said the technology enabled him to turn back the clock as much as move it forward. For more than a decade before joining CNN in 1997, Mr. King was a reporter for The Associated Press, and election nights usually found him systematically telephoning precincts to collect their tallies.

    “I’m in TV 10 years, but in my head and heart, I’m still an old wire guy, a grunt,” Mr. King said. “You can use this new technology to look at politics the old-fashioned way, which is: who’s finding their people and turning them out?”

    And yet Mr. King said that his touch screen allows him to present data in ways far more dazzling and compelling than in his days tapping out election results in A.P. bureaus in Providence, R.I., and later Washington, or even in his early years at CNN. The technology has also helped him solve a problem with which he has occasionally wrestled in his career at CNN: adapting his just-the-facts-ma’am approach to a visual medium.

    “Nothing against white guys, but I’m a white guy talking in a box,” he said, stripping his broadcast performance to its essence. “If all I’m doing is saying, ‘6 percent, 8 percent, 10 percent, 12 percent,’ there’s that glaze-over factor at home. You’ve lost them.”

    “The wonder of this,” he said a moment later, gesturing toward what is essentially a giant Etch-a-Sketch, “is that you can show it. You can make the math accessible.”

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    The Capital Times Stops Printed Newspaper Today

    I am sad about the state of newspapers in the country right now.  Everywhere I look there is a newspaper that is suffering from fewer readers and lower ad revenues.  Even the venerable New York Times is dealing with the woes that have settled into the newspaper industry.  For years there was talk about the financial condition of The Capital Times, and how much longer it could remain viable in Madison.  Earlier this year the paper decided to stop a printed version and become an online news source.  So while we knew this day was coming for The Capital Times, it still is hard to witness.  And while the ‘paper’ will still be an online version we all know that this is no longer a newspaper.  A real thing to be held in our hands and savored.

    I know I am one of the minority that still loves the smell of the printed newspaper and the ink that it leaves on my fingers after a read.  I still am one of those who love to take it with me to the coffee shop or the yard to read at my leisure.  I am a dwindling number of folks who still clip articles and send them to friends and relatives with a note attached.

    Newspapers have always been a source of news and information for me and to see one succumb to economic pressure is not a great way to start any day.

    So I will now go to the front steps and pick The Capital Times up for the last time.  No, not the way I wish to start my day.

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    Spring Flowers Bloom With Beauty On Madison’s Isthmus

    Fritillaria imperialis are blooming and towering above all other flowers at this time in late April.

    Tulips opened this morning after the rains during the night.

    The yellow-red blend draws the attention of the children who take their parents for a walk in the neighborhood.

    The tangerine colored tulips are perhaps the most unique ones I have ever seen.

    My favorites are still the wonderful and simple yellow tulips that give notice that spring is here, while the workers (lined up below) rest after all the hard work of gardening.

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    Barack Obama….On To Indiana


    Richard Nixon And Elvis Presley Kept In Touch By Phone

    New information is being made available courtesy of Egil Krogh regarding the relationship between Richard Nixon and Elvis Presley.  It was a most remarkable scene, if you can image it, when the King of Rock and Roll walked into the office of the straight-laced President.   In fact, the images from that meeting are now legendary.   To be a fly on the wall……

    Of all the requests made each year to the National Archives for reproductions of photographs and documents, one item has been requested more than any other. That item, more requested than the Bill of Rights or even the Constitution of the United States, is the photograph of Elvis Presley and Richard M. Nixon shaking hands on the occasion of Presley’s visit to the White House.

    And now new information that keeps the story growing more interesting.

    Friendship apparently meant more to Elvis Presley than politics. Egil “Bud” Krogh, the presidential aide who was convicted of running Richard Nixon‘s “plumber” unit and who also guided Elvis around the White House on Dec. 21, 1970, reveals that the King and the former president kept in touch even after Watergate forced Nixon from office. Krogh, who is updating his The Day Elvis Met Nixon with the new revelation, says Elvis phoned Nixon in 1974 when the ex-prez was suffering from life-threatening phlebitis. “Something obviously happened when they met,” says Krogh, whose latest book, Integrity, is a primer on how to ethically serve a president. “They liked each other very much.” And Nixon returned the favor when Elvis fell ill. “Nixon was a defender of Elvis,” Krogh tells us.

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    Helen Thomas Still Seeking Truth In White House

    I have admired and respected Helen Thomas all my life. She has demonstrated what a tenacious and credible White House reporter is all about.   Thomas again proved her mettle when taking on White House Press Secretary Dana Perino yesterday over the issue of torture.

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