Potential for wells to run dry but Water permit violations not priority for DNR – SFGate

WORTHINGTON, Minn. (AP) — Hundreds of water permit holders in Minnesota are violating the law by using billions of gallons more water than they’re allowed, Department of Natural Resources records show. The violators include individuals, businesses and even state government agencies, Minnesota Public Radio reported Wednesday (http://bit.ly/XhFUiX ). All have state permits that let them take specific amounts of water each year from underground wells, rivers, lakes and wetlands. But many aren’t obeying the terms of their permits, and they face few consequences for using too much water. “There’s no doubt that a lot of them are appropriating more water than they’re currently authorized,” said Dale Homuth, manager of the DNR’s conservation assistance and regulations section. http://www.sfgate.com/news/science/article/Water-permit-violations-not-priority-for-DNR-4312531.php?cmpid=twitter

BP in Hot Water over Deepwater | Government Book Talk

Check out Government Printing Office blog on BP Gulf Oil spill. The National Commission on the BP Deep Water Horizon Oil Spill and Offshore Drilling produced two landmark and controversial reports about the oil spill causes and consequences that are critical in understanding the Government’s case against BP: 1) Macondo: The Gulf Oil Disaster. Chief Counsel’s Report 2011, and 2) Deep Water: The Gulf Oil Disaster and the Future of Offshore Drilling, Report to the President, January 2011. http://govbooktalk.gpo.gov/2013/02/25/bp-in-hot-water-over-deepwater/

Catskill Mountains


Snow fog lifting and sun coming out this March 1st. Burroughs had words for beauty here. John Burroughs grew up with best friend Jay Gould fishing and paddling the local streams- East Branch of Delaware and Dry Brook. John Burroughs house and burial plot are towards the left of this scene. He supposedly watch sheep in this pasture.

For Ship fanatics (you know who you are):Titanic II to set sail in 2016!

Alexandra Petri: No joke, Titanic II will set sail in 2016 : http://wapo.st/15h1hEG Alexandra Petri Tuesday, February 26, 2013 | 4:18PM Yes, the Titanic II’s plans have just been unveiled. And Clive Palmer, the billionaire professor behind this venture and Blue Star Line, is absolutely committed to re-creating the original voyage from Southampton to New York, including period attire for passengers!

Check on # of fish caught according to Seattle Times: State Fish and Wildlife westside river and lake fish checks | Reel Time Fishing Northwest | Seattle Times

Monday, February25, 2013 Winner of a 2012 Pulitzer Prize Mark Yuasa covers fishing and outdoors in the Pacific Northwest. February 25, 2013 at2:55 PM State Fish and Wildlife westside river and lake fish checks IPosted by Mark Yuasa Rivers and lakes Columbia River below Bonneville Dam — Feb. 18-24: 33 bank anglers caught no fish; 27 boats with 48 anglers caught one chinook and one steelhead; two bank anglers caught no sturgeon; three boats with seven anglers caught no sturgeon. Columbia River in The Dalles Pool — Feb. 18-24: 10 bank anglers caught no sturgeon; two bank anglers caught four walleye; one boat with four anglers caught no walleye. Columbia River in John Day Pool — Feb. 18-24: 12 bank anglers caught no sturgeon; 17 boats with 36 anglers caught three sturgeon and released 14; nine bank anglers caught no steelhead; 13 boats with 31 anglers caught six walleye and released one; one boat with one angler caught one bass. Bogachiel/Quillayute River — Feb. 18-21: Three bank anglers and 40 boat anglers caught eight steelhead and released 11 for 301.5 hours fished; Feb. 22-24: 21 bank anglers and 17 boat anglers caught two steelhead and released one for 178.5 hours fished. Calawah River — Feb. 18-21: Two bank anglers and 13 boat anglers caught one steelhead and released 24 for 93.5 hours fished; Feb. 22-24: One bank angler and 39 boat anglers caught 14 steelhead and released 23 for 325.0 hours fished. Lower Hoh River from Oxbow Campground to Barlow’s — Feb. 18-21: 21 bank anglers and 48 boat anglers released 32 steelhead for 366.5 hours fished; Feb. 22-24: 31 bank anglers and 12 boat anglers released three steelhead for 161.5 hours fished. Upper Hoh River from Oxbow Campground to Olympic National Park Boundary — Feb. 18-21: 11 bank anglers and 17 boat anglers released 16 steelhead, one bull trout and three whitefish for 130.5 hours fished; Feb. 22-24: 11 bank anglers and 26 boat anglers released 14 steelhead and one bull trout for 215.0 hours fished. Washougal River – 30 bank anglers released two wild steelhead; 14 boat anglers caught one hatchery steelhead and released six wild steelhead. Klineline Pond — Feb. 22-24: 13 bank anglers caught five rainbow trout. (Checks provided by state Fish and Wildlife are taken randomly and do not reflect all fish caught during that period.) FEBRUARY 25 – 3:08 PM It’s Reel Time trivia so put on your fishing thinking cap FEBRUARY 25 – 2:55 PM State Fish and Wildlife westside river and lake fish checks FEBRUARY 25 – 1:04 PM State Fish and Wildlife saltwater fish checks FEBRUARY 24 – 1:08 PM Women’s one-day waterfowl hunting workshop is March 23 in Monroe FEBRUARY 24 – 10:58 AM Pesky northern pike eating up native fish species prompting fisheries officials to eradicate them http://blogs.seattletimes.com/reeltimenorthwest/2013/02/25/state-fish-and-wildlife-river-fish-checks/

Remarks at “The SEC Speaks in 2013”, by Commissioner Daniel M. Gallagher, on February 22, 2013

Another non water reference nonetheless this brings us closer to understanding the struggles facing the Securities and Exchange Commission, Dodd-Frank, Congress and POTUS roles in regulating financial institutions. Here is Excerpt from Commissioner Daniel Gallaghers address: “….Although the Commission continues to stare down an overflowing plate of Dodd-Frank mandates in addition to its other responsibilities, as an expert, independent agency, the Commission must not allow itself to assume a secondary role in the regulation of matters squarely within its jurisdiction and core competencies. This, I’m afraid, is exactly the role that the Commission has taken thus far with respect to critical initiatives, including the Volcker Rule. Pursuant to Section 619 of Dodd-Frank, the three Federal banking agencies, the SEC, and the CFTC must together adopt regulations to implement the Volcker Rule’s two prohibitions on banking entities and their affiliates: its prohibition on engaging in proprietary trading and its prohibition on sponsoring or investing in “covered funds” such as hedge funds or private equity funds. Unfortunately, there is little doubt that notwithstanding the valiant efforts of the SEC staff, the Commission for too long has taken a back seat to the banking regulators in this rulemaking process. As I have said in the past, despite the Rule’s ostensible application to banking entities, the Rule is actually focused on the conduct to be regulated, not the entities that engage in this activity. There is no question that the specific trading, hedging, and investing activities to be regulated under the Rule fall firmly within the Commission’s core competencies, as they deal directly with SEC registrants and registration requirements. It makes little sense, therefore, for the Commission to defer to the banking regulators in this area when for decades it has regulated securities market-making in order to facilitate liquidity and promote the efficient allocation of capital. The implementing rulemaking for the Volcker Rule was proposed in October 2011. Almost a year and a half — and over 18,000 comment letters — later, the Volcker Rule remains at the proposal stage. Indeed, it appears that the proposal’s broad definitions of statutory terms have taken a bad situation and made it worse. Commission staff continue to engage in discussions with the bank regulators and the CFTC regarding the many concerns raised in those 18,000-plus comment letters. For this rule to get done and get done properly, the SEC must take a leadership role. In fact, I believe it is our duty as the independent financial regulator with primary authority over, and expertise in, the activities to be regulated to ensure that the final Rule meets the aims of Congress without destroying critically important market activity that the Rule explicitly intends not to eliminate. Moreover, in accordance with its core mission, it is the Commission’s responsibility to balance the bank regulators’ focus on safety and soundness and Dodd-Frank’s overarching focus on managing systemic risk with legitimate considerations of investor protection and the maintenance of vibrant markets. This brings me to the elephant in the room: FSOC. FSOC was created, in part, to respond to the realization during the financial crisis that regulatory balkanization had resulted in a lack of communication and information-sharing among financial services regulators, which undoubtedly led to poor policy decisions during the crisis. None of us who lived through the crisis on the ground floor would argue against improvements to the regulatory structure that would facilitate coordination and information-sharing among regulators. However, with FSOC the threats to the Commission’s independence move from the theoretical to the immediate, for already in its short existence, this new body has directly challenged the Commission’s regulatory independence. It is also where just one member of the Commission, the Chairman, can defend that independence. Pursuant to the provisions of Dodd-Frank establishing FSOC, the group is composed not of agencies, but the individual heads of agencies, acting ex officio.” See link for entire address. http://www.sec.gov/news/speech/2013/spch022213dmg.htm

India rocket launches asteroid-spotting satellite

Not about water but cool being protected from asteroids with suitcase sized Canadian satellite! Excerpt from article: India’s PSLV-C20 satellite launch vehicle, carrying the SARAL Indo-French satellite as one of its payloads, lifts off from the launchpad at Sriharikora on February 25, 2013, in a photo released by the Indian presidential palace. India launched a rocket Monday carrying seven satellites into orbit, including a Canadian orbiter that will scan for asteroids that could be hurtling toward Earth. India launched a rocket Monday carrying seven satellites into orbit, including a Canadian orbiter that will scan for asteroids that could be hurtling toward Earth. The Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle blasted off from the Sriharikota rocket launch centre located on an island off the coast of the southern Indian state of Andhra Pradesh. The launch, witnessed by Indian President President Pranab Mukherjee at the space mission control centre, “was perfect”, Devi Prasad Karnik, an official of the state-run Indian Space Research Organisation, told AFP. The suitcase-sized Canadian satellite, which the Canadian Space Agency calls a “sentinel in the sky”, will circle the globe every 100 minutes, scanning space to pinpoint asteroids that may come close to Earth. http://m.phys.org/_news281012158.html

White out conditions on Antarctic adventure as Sir Ranulph Fiennes is forced to quit – Telegraph

Sir Ranulph Fiennes has pulled out of an expedition to cross Antarctica during the region’s winter after developing a severe case of frostbite. The 68-year-old and his five-member team had hoped to conquer what has been called one of the last great polar challenges – traversing nearly 2,500 miles in a place where temperatures often dip as low as minus 70 Celsius. The expedition, dubbed The Coldest Journey, said in a statement on Monday that the team is working toward evacuating Sir Ranulph from Antarctica, but that the evacuation is being hampered by a blizzard. The rest of the team plans to continue on. Expedition organizers are trying to raise $10 million for the charity, Seeing is Believing” which seeks to prevent blindness. An idea of the difficult conditions faced by Ranulph Fiennes and his team can be seen in this video post from last week by expedition member Ian Prickett. http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/antarctica/9892757/White-out-conditions-on-Antarctic-adventure-as-Sir-Ranulph-Fiennes-is-forced-to-quit.html

A. Michael Spence and Mark Zandi: Prospects for U.S. Economy in 2013 | Ideas Lab

Excerpts from Michael Spence economic outlook for 2013: In posts for the Council on Foreign Relations Moody’s Chief Economist argues that next year will be bright for the U.S. economy. CFR’s A. Michael Spence agrees, but cites concerns that could stymie growth. A. Michael Spence, Distinguished Visiting Fellow, Council on Foreign Relations The economic outlook for the United States in 2013 is marginally brighter. The economy is adapting structurally, albeit slowly, to an altered and more sustainable growth pattern. The deleveraging process is further along, which, in turn, has spurred domestic demand. A divided Congress appears to be serious about reducing debt and long-term non-debt liabilities, and may come together around a credible stabilization path that will reassure business, reduce uncertainty, and boost investment. However, disruptive technology, global market forces, the education gap, and skills deficit mean that long-term unemployment will remain a problem. Looser monetary policy, designed to buy time for politicians to enact needed policy changes, may push the economy back toward the defective leveraged-growth model and delay long-overdue structural adjustments. http://www.ideaslaboratory.com/2013/01/01/a-michael-spence-and-mark-zandi-prospects-for-u-s-economy-in-2013/?utm_source=outbrain&utm_medium=relatedcontent&utm_campaign=ilomobile