Sunday, April 30, 2006

Greens plan desert future at Mission Creek session

photo by Daniel R. Patterson

PALM SPRINGS -- Desert conservation groups gathered this weekend at the Mission Creek Preserve to strategize.

The Preserve protects lands and streams where the western Sonoran Desert meets the sky islands of the San Bernardino Mountains. Still alot of snow up on top.

Mission Creek is a wonderful place for great ideas.

Thursday, April 27, 2006

Borregos trying to thrive in western Sonoran Desert

photo by Daniel R. Patterson

SANTA ROSA MOUNTAINS CA -- Here are some yearling endangered Peninsular Ranges bighorn (aka Borregos, en espanol) I saw Tuesday near Palm Desert.

These beautiful animals are a symbol of our southwestern deserts, but very threatened by urban sprawl, roads, global warming, recreation, and domestic livestock.

The Peninsular Ranges bighorn are recoverying thanks to conservation efforts, but greedy developers want to remove all critical habitat protection vital to its recovery. We are working to stop that and keep bighorn recovery alive.

Tuesday, April 25, 2006

Ecologists & students enjoy Earth Day dunes trek

Photo by Daniel R. Patterson

ALGODONES DUNES CA -- Photo of an Earth Day weekend hike I lead for the Center.

Many students from Western Arizona College in Yuma participated.

Wednesday, April 19, 2006

Need some trees along barren I10/I19 interchange

TUCSON -- Now that the NAFTA superinterchange is built at the I-10/I-19 junction south of downtown I have one remaining question, where is the landscaping?

The entire area now is barren dirt and weeds. It looks like hell, with blowing dust much of the time.

Trucks can now merge at 70 mph, but didn't ADOT and Fed. Hwy. Admin. include money to plant some native trees and flowers?

These big highway projects are usually boondoggles. But even the major freeway projects in Phoenix have decent landscaping. Why not in Tucson? We deserve no less.

Get on it ADOT and FHWA, plant some native landscaping now along the I-10/I-19 interchange.

Monday, April 17, 2006

Roadtrip across the damaged dirty south

THE SOUTH USA -- I just returned from a long road trip from S. Florida to Tucson. Nice weather, but some disturbing things along the way in the dirty south.

The areas in LA, MS, and TX hit by Hurricanes Katrina and Rita are still hammered.

Hundreds of buildings with blue tarp roofs just along I-10 where I travelled, but huge rich white churches were rebuilt and shining, but will they last the next hurricane season. Only god knows.

A huge traffic jam on Sunday in Baton Rouge, likely related to the many people from New Orleans now living there. At the junction of I-10 and I-12 there were NO vehicles heading toward N.O., zero. Had to get off the freeway and drive through town, some nice neighborhoods and some real slums. Asked a 40 something black guy for directions back to I-10, which he nicely gave as I noticed the hole in his arm from shooting up. I got around the jam.

A re-elect N.O. mayor Ray Nagin billboard, but in Houston?!?

Huge billboards flattened (yes!). Giant highway lights laying trashed in the median. Forests ravaged, but they will come back, only to be ravaged again my man.

Nice fast ride across TX, nice country west of San Antonio. Horrible beef feedlots on the NM side near El Paso, so gross. Finally gets nicer west of Las Cruces NM.

Got my TDI, and family is very stoked. Thanks DeLene and Scott for the rest stops. Glad to be back in Tucson.

Tuesday, April 11, 2006

Eco car for sale to deserving owner

SOLD -- APR 27

TUCSON -- I have a great car for sale.

A low mileage good shape VW Jetta, 2000 sedan. Only 37k miles.

Great MPG. Good power, fun to drive. 2.0, 5 sp. Cold A/C. Blue with tan interior. Sunroof, cruise, full airbags, etc. Dark AZ tint windows. Always garaged and well maintained, oil changes, etc. Big trunk, roomy inside. New tires. Very low emissions.

I am only selling it because my wife wants a different car.

$11,900 OBO. Call if interested, 520.906.2159.

Friday, April 07, 2006

Bush GOP fails on immigration; millions march Mon.

TUCSON -- The Senate and Bush failure on immigration this week is probably a good thing. Any bill that passed right now would have big problems, and Arizonans would feel most of the pain.

Jon Kyl played no positive role in seeking a fair solution. Bush also fumbled. Surprise, surprise.

Take peacefully to the streets Monday AM. Millions all over the US will be marching for border and immigration reform.

No more walls. No more militarization.

Higher living standards, and legal border crossing for jobs.

It isn't that hard, if congress could show some guts.

Thursday, April 06, 2006

Biodiesel a smart clean easy future fuel

TUCSON -- Biodiesel is a smart alternative fuel. We need more clean diesels in the US using biodiesel.

My Center desert work truck, a diesel 88 Chevy Suburban, is running great on B20. Much less pollution and stink, and it runs quieter and gets better mileage.

I am considering buying a 45-55 mpg VW TDI and running it on biodiesel, which is available at several good locations in Tucson and elsewhere.

VW is currently the only automaker selling diesel cars. But VW may have to stop selling TDIs in the US because oil companies won't clean up high-sulfur regular diesel fuel for US markets. That has to change now.

Hybrids are great, but when I drive I want my biodiesel.