Forests across much of the Northeast are still home to bobcats, and Canada Lynx can still be found in Maine. But the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service recently declared the region’s biggest wild cat – the eastern mountain lion -- is officially extinct. That might sound like the end of the story, but a growing number of biologists think mountain lions could return to reclaim their territory in the Northeast. As part of a collaboration with Northeastern Public Radio stations, Brian Mann has our story.
After a full week of pictures and words and statistics, it’s still hard to get a grip on the scope of the tragedy. Thousands killed, with many thousands more missing. Hundreds of thousands without water or shelter. And, the specter of a nuclear meltdown that has taken the world’s attention away from the devastation of the original event.
Today, a week after the earthquake – we’ll look at Japan. How it’s coping, and how people in Connecticut are helping.
Computer and T.V. manufacturers are constantly improving technology. Which means consumers regularly buy new stuff and throw out the old. The problem is computers and televisions contain toxic materials that are dangerous and end up in landfills or are shipped to developing countries. The state of Connecticut is now being very careful about where this waste ends up.
A Yale University ecologist has turned to college basketball to explain patterns of biodiversity. WNPR’s Nancy Cohen takes us down the court.
Ecologist Robert Warren is a post-doc at Yale’s environmental school. He says in any natural system you’ll find “a remarkably consistent” pattern:
"No matter what system you're in... jungle, woodland, you get a few very common species and lots of uncommon. And this is really intriguing for ecologists because there are very few patterns that we see repeatedly that are kind of universal.”
The Environment Committee is considering legislation that would ban the use of cash register receipts that contain the chemical, BPA. The bill would also require a research institute at UConn to develop a list of toxic chemicals.
Connecticut farms that make and bottle their own wine are looking for more venues to showcase their products. Some package stores oppose two proposals that would give farmers more places to sell bottled wine.
Environmentalists want to protect the states’ rivers from running dry. The state and federal government want to keep public water supplies safe from terrorists. These competing interests have led to a battle over information, which is going before the state’s Freedom of Information Commission tomorrow.
Connecticut’s Transportation Committee is considering a proposal to take funds designated for a New Britain to Hartford bus project and spend it on reinvigorating train service from Waterbury to Hartford. WNPR’s Nancy Cohen reports.
The “busway” project, as it’s known, is designed to reduce the congestion on Interstate 84 by building a separate 9.4 mile road just for busses. There would be elevated platforms, similar to a train station with service every three to six minutes during peak commuter hours.
Connecticut transportation is in crisis on the ground and in the skies.
The Northeast corridor has the nation’s busiest airspace and Metro-North’s New Haven Line the most commuter traffic in the U.S. But thanks to relentless winter weather and continued delay of the MTA’s new M8 train cars, more than half of Metro North’s New Haven line trains are out of service. The result is a decrease in service and plenty of livid commuters.
A pilot landing at Bradley International Airport in Windsor Locks hears a roaring noise just above his plane, but checks his traffic alert system and sees nothing in the area.
“Do you have traffic on top of us?” he asks an airport controller. The response is matter-of-fact but chilling: The plane has entered an area of “heavy military operations,” with a pair of F-15 fighter jets that departed nearby Barnes Municipal Airport coming close enough to deem the incident an “NMAC,” or near midair collision, a January 2010 report says.
There has been an historic amount of snowfall around the Northeast. So far in Hartford, at least 80 inches have fallen.
The extreme snowfall has pitted disposing snow against protecting the water. Many cities in the Northeast have run out of space to put the snow and are asking for permission to dump it in waterways. As part of a collaboration with northeast stations, Monica Brady-Myerov of WBUR reports.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.