WNPR

Environment

Despite Snow, Spring Will Be Early, Says Groundhog

Feb 3, 2011
Nancy Eve Cohen

After days of shoveling and scraping Connecticut residents may be happy to hear there’s been a prediction for an early spring. It came from Connecticut’s official state groundhog.

The Lutz Children’s Museum in Manchester takes in wild animals that have been injured. Including a female groundhog who bears the weighty title, "Connecticut Chuckles the Seventh". Early this morning she went outside, sniffed the air and looked around, but did not see her shadow, according to Bob Eckerd, the executive director of the museum.

Bringing Farmers and Chefs to the Table

Feb 1, 2011
Nancy Eve Cohen

The Connecticut Department of Agriculture convened a meeting today to introduce farmers to chefs looking for local food. As WNPR’s Nancy Cohen reports the agency held a kind of “speed dating” exercise to bring people together.

“30 seconds left! 30 seconds left!”

A clang of a cow-bell moves the participants from table to table. About two thirds are from restaurants, hospitals and food distributors. One third are harvesters and farmers, like Alysson Angelini from Jones Family Farms.

Winter Markets Help Northeast Farmers Survive

Jan 31, 2011
Nancy Eve Cohen

Farmers markets have seen huge growth in the past three decades. They give consumers access to local food, sometimes at a lower price. And farmers can sell without a middleman getting a cut.

Now, some markets now run through the entire winter. As part of a collaboration of Northeast stations WNPR’s Nancy Cohen reports the number of winter-long markets have doubled, tripled... even quadrupled in some states.

Jeff Cohen/WNPR

Hydro Quebec: 'Green' Enough for the Northeast?

Jan 27, 2011
John Dillon

Northeast states are increasingly looking to Canada to meet a growing demand for low cost hydro electricity from renewable sources. But the energy imports are stirring controversy. In northern New Hampshire, local activists are fighting a power line that would send the electricity south. And questions are being raised about whether big hydro is really green.

As part of a collaboration of Northeast stations John Dillon of Vermont Public Radio reports:

On Thin Ice

Jan 27, 2011

Polar bears—fierce and majestic—have captivated us for centuries. Feared by explorers, revered by the Inuit, and beloved by zoo goers everywhere, polar bears are a symbol for the harsh beauty and muscular grace of the Arctic. Today, as global warming threatens the ice caps’ integrity, the polar bear has also come to symbolize the peril that faces all life on earth as a result of harmful human practices. Here, the acclaimed science writer Richard Ellis offers an impassioned and moving statement on behalf of polar bears—and all they stand for.

(photo: Hartford.gov)

The long-vacant hotel at the center of downtown Hartford's Constitution Plaza may soon have a new use. The city says the hotel commonly known as the Sonesta has sat vacant for at least a decade.  Now, a New York-based development groups says it plans to buy the building this week, invest as much as $20 million dollars, and turn the building into high-end apartments.

Joseph Klaynberg runs Wonder Works Construction and Development.  He says this will be his first investment property in Hartford.

Green Metropolis

Jan 24, 2011

In this remarkable challenge to conventional thinking about the environment, David Owen argues that the greenest community in the United States is not Portland, Oregon, or Snowmass, Colorado, but New York City.

DEP Asks Public to Report Odd Bat Behavior

Jan 21, 2011
CT Department of Environmental Protection

Five years ago this winter, a caver in New York photographed bats with a white fungus on their faces -- and found a few dead bats. Since then, more than one million bats have died in at least 12 states, including Connecticut, from a condition now known as “white nose” syndrome. Connecticut’s environmental agency is asking the public to keep an eye out for odd behavior in bats.

A New City Plan

Oct 29, 2010
Chion Wolf

The underlying theme this month (right after the elections, of course) is transportation. It seems much-anticipated changes are slowly happening, on the national and local level.  This week, Connecticut and Massachusetts announced that they will share nearly 121 million in federal funds to help launch high speed passenger rail service.  One step closer to the long awaited Springfield – New Haven rail line. 

When Natural Resources Play A Role In War

Oct 29, 2010
Sommerkom, Wikipedia

The Yale School of Forestry and Environmental Studies is hosting a panel discussion Monday afternoon on the role of forest management in the Afghanistan conflict. It’s not unusual for valuable natural resources, such as timber or diamonds, to play a role in military conflicts. For example, about a decade ago, the regime in  cut down forests and used the money from timber sales to buy weapons.

In the Vietnam War, the United States destroyed trees, using the herbicide Agent Orange, as a way to deny the enemy cover.

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