Saturday, December 17, 2011

Studies on Cell Phones Convincing Enough To Promote Limited Use in Canada

Earlier research links just a half an hour's use a day with up to 40% higher odds of brain cancer. Children's maturing brains are especially susceptible, and will have decades of use before middle age. How to negotiate a reasonable relationship with this dangerous technology? Can you turn off your phone when not in use? Or carry it in a purse or bag away from your body? How about texting or using the speaker phone instead of putting the phone directly to your ear? Use old fashioned land line when not in travel? 
"December 9, 2011
Health Canada Admits Studies on Cell Phones Convincing Enough To Promote Limited Use

Ignorance may or may not be bliss, but one thing is certain -- it is very profitable. At least that's what cell phone companies count on to increase their bottom line. Health Canada may not be the most reputable agency when it comes to protecting the health of Canadians, but a promising initiative from the regulating body is proposing to adopt a precautionary approach and guidelines for limited cellphone use.
Canadians are encouraged to limit cellphone call length and to text message or use a hands-free device whenever possible (to increase the distance between the cellphone and the user's head). Those under 18 should be especially careful to limit all cellphone use. Children are still growing and are therefore much more sensitive to external agents such as radiation". For the complete article follow this link.

Friday, December 16, 2011

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Committee Meetings - New Initiatives Day - Feb 1st and March 7th

Environmental Committee meetings take place on the first Wednesday of the month, 7 pm at Paul Revere Fieldhouse.

January 4 (CANCELED)
February 1st and March 7th  (NEW INITIATIVES DAY) 

Have you been wanting to join NNA's Environmental Committee? Then all that is required it that you become a member. Do you have an idea or want to lead your own initiative? Then February 1st and March 7th is for you! Join NNA's Environmental Committee and present your ideas!

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Are Earthworms Native to the Great Lakes?

Interesting information!
Ask anyone on the street if earthworms are good for ecosystems and you will undoubtedly receive a resounding “YES!”. When asked why, they may say something like “earthworms mix and aerate the soil”. It is a basic ecological concept that we may have learned as early as kindergarten. However, recent research on invasion of these seemingly benevolent creatures into previously earthworm-free hardwood forests of the Great Lakes Region has seriously challenged that belief. Researchers at the University of Minnesota, and elsewhere, have documented dramatic changes in native hardwood forest ecosystems when exotic earthworms invade. These changes including losses of native understory plant species and tree seedlings, changes in soil structure and declines in nutrient availability. There is also fascinating evidence emerging that the changes caused by exotic earthworms may lead to a cascade of other changes in the forest that affect small mammal, bird and amphibian populations, increase the impacts of herbivores like white-tailed deer, and facilitate invasions of other exotic species such as European slugs and exotic plants like buckthorn and garlic mustard. These results suggest that exotic earthworms may pose a grave threaten the biodiversity and long term stability of hardwood forest ecosystems in the region. Much more research is needed.
So, which earthworms are native in the Great Lakes Region? None! 

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Caped Crusaders

Great article, check it out! More reasons to start a bat initiative.

Let's get the myths out of the way.
Bats are not blind rabies-infested vermin that will suck your blood and entangle themselves in your hair.
What they are, obviously, is misunderstood. And, sadly, threatened.
Rob Mies got interested in bats while a student at Eastern Michigan University almost 20 years ago.
Over the years I became fascinated with how important bats are and how much people don't know," he says. "If they learn just a little bit of information about them, people become pro-bat. Or just not hate them."

Read more:

Anne Hunt - People You Should Know

Bruce and Anne Hunt, Mari Monroy, Cesar Espinoza

Congratulations to Anne Hunt, Bruce Hunt, Janice Ryan and all the members of the “St. Ben’s Buds” who work on Saturdays to make our area look so great. The award recognizes that in caring for our landscape, we contribute a significant commitment to our neighborhood and to the whole city. Gardens and other green spaces help improve air quality, utilize rainwater and make Chicago a beautiful place in which to live.

Ingenuity, design, volunteer effort and use earned a First Place Mayor’s Landscape Award for St. Benedict Parish and Schools, 2215 W. Irving Park. On Saturday, December 3, the winners of the 55th year’s competition were honored at a ceremony and received plaques from Karen Weigert, the City’s Chief Sustainability Officer. The 1st place award to St. Benedict is in the schools category, in one of three regions in the city.

The gardens are adjacent to St. Ben’s preschool, elementary and high schools. Students of all ages come to the gardens for hands-on interaction with the green space. Eighth graders raise money for a class trip by selling bulbs, which they plant along Bell Avenue. Scout troops plant lilac trees, nasturtium seeds and the bulbs from Easter lilies used in the church. Students earn service points when they join regular members of the St. Ben’s Buds garden club to weed, trim, rake and spread mulch. Teaching children to love the earth is a part of the curriculum. How fortunate to have classrooms surrounded by green, growing plants and trees!

The “St. Ben’s Buds” take advantage of plant swaps organized by the Northcenter Neighborhood Association Garden Club and Greencorps Chicago, as well as divided plants from parishioners’ gardens. Annuals from the 47th Ward and the Chamber of Commerce also enhanced the beds this season.