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5/25/09 07:16 am - pikake - Seventeen Arrested Saturday; Six Remain in Jail for Opposition to Mountaintop Removal Coal Mining

MAY 24, 2009
CONTACT: Sludge Watch Collective 304-854-7372

Rep. Hechler: Keep Hellraising!

Seventeen Arrested Saturday; Six Remain in Jail for Opposition to Mountaintop Removal Coal Mining and Coal Sludge Impoundments; $2000 Cash Bail ‘Unprecedented”

COAL RIVER VALLEY, W.Va.— Seventeen volunteers were arrested Saturday in a three-part civil disobedience action in the continuing movement to end mountaintop removal. Six are still in the Southern Regional Jail as their supporters try to raise the $2,000 cash-only bail a Raleigh County magistrate says is needed for their release.

“This is an unprecedented and extremely punitive bail situation,” Mountain Justice volunteer Ivan Stiefel said. “We can’t even use a bondsman. We need $18,000 cash, on a holiday weekend, to get everyone out of jail. We are asking everyone to go to mountainjustice.org and respond to this outrage by donating to our legal fund.”

Allies of those arrested plan to hold vigils outside the magistrate’s office until they are all released.

The civil disobedience actions were carried out by community members, Mountain Justice and Climate Ground Zero volunteers, and others. Former Congressman Ken Hechler, 94, was among those protesting at noon yesterday at the gate to the Massey Energy’s Marfork Coal facility, where the massive Brushy Fork coal sludge dam is built. He tried to cross onto Massey Energy property in solidarity, but the West Virginia State Police refused to arrest him. They did, however, arrest seven others who crossed onto Massey property. Four remain in the Southern Regional Jail.

In the week leading up to these actions, many of the same volunteers helped people in Mingo County clear their homes of debris from the recent floods. In one of the first actions Saturday, before dawn, eight people walked onto the Patriot Coal-owned section of the 12,000-acre-plus Kayford Mountain mountaintop removal site. After hanging a banner reading “Never Again!” on the grill of a giant dump truck, they locked themselves to guardrails and the driveshaft of the truck. State Police took the eight to the Madison County Courthouse, where they were charged with trespass and conspiracy and released for future court appearances.

“We locked down at the Kayford mountaintop removal site with mud from the Mingo County floods on our boots, and now, with the dusty remains of Kayford Mountain on our boots, we stand in solidarity with our sisters and brothers still jailed for their actions to oppose mountaintop removal” the Kayford Eight Mountain Justice volunteers said.

Also before dawn Saturday, two women donned hazmat suits and respirators and boated onto the 8-billion-gallon Brushy Fork toxic coal slurry lake to unfurl a 60-foot floating banner reading, “No more toxic sludge!” They were charged with trespass and littering, and both remain in the Southern Regional Jail, with $2000 cash needed for their release.

“This is absurd. How can you litter on a giant toxic waste dump?” asked volunteer Cente Rosa. “Massey Energy has a permit to blast within 100 feet of this impoundment, which sits atop a honeycomb of abandoned deep mines. That’s the criminal activity!”

For more information, photos, or to find out how you can help, please visit the following sites:



Please forward this information widely if you care about these issues.
List serves, mspace, facebook, LJ, and twitter, oh my... :D

12/26/08 05:15 pm - pikake - There is no such thing as clean coal.

TVA triples spill estimate - 5.4M cubic yards of coal ash flowed into neighborhood
By Anne Paine

The masses of coal ash sludge that flowed out of a 40-acre TVA waste pond beside the Kingston Fossil Plant this week is triple what officials estimated, a TVA document shows.

The powerful ash slide that knocked down trees and utility poles in Harriman, Tenn., pushed one home off its foundation and ran into the Emory River has now been calculated at 5.4 million cubic yards, according to information the Tennessee Valley Authority provided Thursday.

That compares to the 1.8 million cubic yards estimated Wednesday, when TVA President and CEO Tom Kilgore told reporters the pond held 2.6 million cubic yards, and 70 percent of that had escaped.

TVA's figures on the amount of sludge have shifted three times in the early stages of a disaster that has put a spotlight on TVA and how coal-burning power plants handle ash.

"The first was an estimate," TVA spokesman John Moulton said. The agency then did a precision look with radar, he said.

When asked why TVA didn't know better how much was in the pond, Moulton said: "That was the number we had at the time."

Mercury, lead and arsenic that are generally found in coal are among the potentially toxic substances that can concentrate in the ash. Environmental activists have pushed for years for the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to label it as a hazardous waste requiring close regulation.
read more of the latest Tennesean article.. here!Collapse )

Video image from some mountain justice folks... it's really quite heartbreaking.

December 25, 2008
Coal Ash Spill Revives Issue of Its Hazards

KINGSTON, Tenn. — What may be the nation’s largest spill of coal ash lay thick and largely untouched over hundreds of acres of land and waterways Wednesday after a dam broke this week, as officials and environmentalists argued over its potential toxicity.

Federal studies have long shown coal ash to contain significant quantities of heavy metals like arsenic, lead and selenium, which can cause cancer and neurological problems. But with no official word on the dangers of the sludge in Tennessee, displaced residents spent Christmas Eve worried about their health and their property, and wondering what to do.

The spill took place at the Kingston Fossil Plant, a Tennessee Valley Authority generating plant about 40 miles west of Knoxville on the banks of the Emory River, which feeds into the Clinch River, and then the Tennessee River just downstream.

Holly Schean, a waitress whose home, which she shared with her parents, was swept off its foundation when millions of cubic yards of ash breached a retaining wall early Monday morning, said, “They’re giving their apologies, which don’t mean very much.”

The T.V.A., Ms. Schean said, has not yet declared the house uninhabitable. But, she said: “I don’t need your apologies. I need information.”
click to read more of the NYT article.Collapse )


Follow the previous link for an ongoing link roundup of all of the relevant news coverage.
Please pass this information along to any and all interested (and not yet interested) groups.. the media coverage is still not nearly enough considering the scope and scale of the ecological devastation...

9/17/08 01:00 pm - pikake - call in day TODAY, 9/17

Hey everyone - I am just passing this message along for some friends.   Sorry if we're in several of the same groups and you see this a couple of times because I cross-posted it all over the place.  This is pretty important though. . .
If even 1/3 of the members of this group convinced 2 other people to call in, that would be a significant enough number of phone calls to stall this horrible bill in its tracks.  Please please please pass it on - post it in your journal, other communities, and email it to all of your list serves.

The nuclear industry in the U.S is proposing more than 30 new reactors - with an estimated cost of 6.2-12 BILLION USD per reactor. (SOURCE: nirs.org/neconomics/nuclearsubsidies2008.pdf )
Not only is Nuclear power is a FALSE solution to the issue of global climate change, but it's intrinsically tied to the nuclear arms industry. 
For inspiration on viable solutions, check out www.kilowattours.org/

As a resident of a gulf state, I also hope that folks will oppose off-shore drilling.  BUT... the mainstream media is devoting NO attention to the nuclear aspect of this bill, which is quite frankly frightening.  Not too much of a surprise, though - considering that many of the more common outlets are owned by General Electric, which is the most profitable nuclear arms manufacturer in the world. 
(SOURCES: www.commondreams.org/views05/0403-25.htm , www.corpwatch.org/article.php , and www.freepress.net/ownership/chart/main )

Thanks! <3
 ** From the Nuclear Information and Resource Service... **

This is it. In the mainstream media, the Gang of 10 (actually, now it's the Gang of 20) energy bill is all about offshore oil drilling. And, to be sure, there's lots of that in the bill, which is expected to come up in the Senate late next week. But the bill would also be the biggest giveaway to the nuclear power industry ever.

Unlimited loan guarantees for construction of new atomic reactors. That's right, unlimited. As much money—hundreds of billions of dollars--as everyone in the nuclear industry wants, when it wants, for as long as it wants.

I'm sure I don't need to tell you how that would absolutely destroy our ability to effectively address the climate crisis and what a disaster that would be for our economy, for our nation, for our planet.

How do these Senators think they can get away with this? Because they're not hearing from enough of us, often enough. They think this is a popular stand. We all need to stand up now and be counted.  That's why NIRS, Physicians for Social Responsibility and other national groups are putting out the word for a National Call-In Day to the Senate on Wednesday, September 17. We need at least 10,000 phone calls to the Senate on Wednesday. We need the phones there to be ringing non-stop from dawn to dusk. Will you help?

Capitol Switchboard: 202-224-3121

*Please call both of your Senators that day with a very simple message: Take taxpayer loan guarantees for nuclear power out of the Gang of 20 energy bill. (note: the bill does not yet have a number. It's called the New Energy Reform Act of 2008, but everyone will know what you are talking about if you just say 'Gang of 20 energy bill.')
*Please forward this Alert to any and all of your mailing lists.
*Please print this Alert and take it to any public meetings and gather places you go to between now and Wednesday. Post it at food co-ops and other central locations.
*Please talk to your friends and colleagues, congregations this Sunday, PTAs next week. Spread the word.
*If you want to e-mail your Senators, please do (you can do so from this link; NIRS' new e-mail-from- our-Alerts set-up still has some bugs,so we can't quite offer that yet). But also call! It is important to keep those phones ringing all day long!
*Call even if you think your Senator(s) are hopeless. Everyone walking in the halls of the Senate should hear phones ringing everywhere,all day long.

We can't let the nuclear industry get away with this. All that can stop it now are your actions. If we all just sit back and wait for someone else to take action, we will lose. If we all make those two calls—one to each Senator, and ask each of our friends and colleagues to make those two calls, we can show the Senate what the American people really think. And we can win.

It is up to each of us. It's that simple, and that stark.  Please take five minutes to make two phone calls Wednesday. And please drop us an e-mail and let us know you called (we'll be looking for 10,000e-mails in our inbox by Thursday morning!).

Thank you for all that you do.

Michael Mariotte
Executive Director
Nuclear Information and Resource Service (NIRS)

September 12, 2008

P.S. For those who want more information: You can read a Physicians for Social Responsibility analysis of the nuclear provisions in the Gang of 20 energy bill here. The bill includes not just loan guarantees, but also more 'risk insurance' for new nukes, construction of a reprocessing plant, and much more.  You can read a longer article on the issue I wrote for DailyKos here.

7/25/08 09:29 am - jaguarpaddler - Only a few days left...

Friends of the Cheat wants to purchase an outstanding piece of riverfront along West Virginia’s Big Sandy, one of the state's most oustanding whitewater rivers. The Redwood Creek Wines “Greater Outdoors Project” is offering a $50,000 competitive grant. Friends of Cheat applied and finished in the top 5 out of 100. We need your help! On June 15th a description of the project and a photo will be posted on RedwoodCreek.com. You can vote every day through July 31st. Bookmark the site and go there daily when you check weather and river levels. Vote early and often for the Big Sandy Project. The direct link for voting is:


Registration is free and just takes a few minutes.

4/16/07 10:17 am - rosepurr - Appalachian Studies by Anne Shelby

I just finished reading a great collection of poems- Appalachian Studies by Anne Shelby. I recommend it for lovers of mountain culture and history.

10/3/06 10:14 pm - jaguarpaddler - Ah, summer....

I remember it like it was yesterday. Ripe blueberries. A high August sun. Long afternoons. My appendix. All are gone now, except for fading memories and these pictures.

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Canaan Valley State Park chairlift.

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8/28/06 07:15 pm - jaguarpaddler - PA Roadtrip. August 12, 2006.

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Boulder field at Hickory Run State Park.

So after the concert we drove off in search of scenic wonder. Armed with an iPod mini and a pound of black licorice, we aimed our Rocinante north and then east to a world of Latino sunbathers and man-sized boy scouts. Much to our surprise we found that northeastern PA isn't all that much different than southwestern PA. Just takes longer to get to.

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8/14/06 10:11 pm - jaguarpaddler - Cooper's Rock, August 6, 2006

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I always knew they were there, just never saw one so close. It must've just eaten, because it was a little sluggish. But it still rattled its annoyance at our intrusion.

All images from Cooper's Rock State Park, near Morgantown, West Virginia.

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7/28/06 07:32 pm - jaguarpaddler - Canaan Valley National Wildlife Refuge.

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Yesterday Heidi ambasadora headed south to bask in the golden glow of a midsummer sun. Made the obligatory trip to MountainMade.com and Sirianni's for hiking fuel. Headed north along Beall Trail to the Blackwater. Saw two deer- a fawn and a small buck with nice horns.

We always bybass the NWR in favor of Dolly Sods or Spruce Knob. But the area we hiked in was quite beautiful, and merits consideration for a winter trip when the Sods are snowed in.

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X-posted to: jaguarpaddler, appalachians, mountain, outdoors, backpacking, wva

7/27/06 10:39 am - jaguarpaddler - Spruce Knob, The Mountain Institute

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Back in 2003 Heidi ambasadora and I had the pleasure of being able to attend a series of workshops at The Mountain Institute's Spruce Knob Mountain Learning Center. http://mountain.org/work/skmc/index.cfm We participated in a combined Biodiversity and Watersheds Weekend and a Mountain Geography weekend, created by former program director, Alton Byers.

Spruce Knob is one of those magic places at a cosmic intersection where no bad can happen. There were campfires, great food prepared by the MOuntain Institute's awesome staff, and best of all, live music into the wee hours of the night, usually accompanied by big jugs of wine.

This is where I met Gerry Milnes, coordinator of Davis and Elkins' Augusta Heritage Program, a world-famous instructional series focused on traditional arts and music. http://www.augustaheritage.com/about.html As part of the Mountain Geography weekend Gerry talked about the Irish and English music that made it into West Virginia's mountain plateaus nearly unaltered. He brought a variety of instruments (he was a virtuoso in all of them) and went on to say that music wasn't the only thing the settlers brought over. From there he told the story of Celtic/Pagan ideals that manifest themselves even today as an Old Religion practiced by many women. He talked about hair magic and Sator squares and milking ax handles. It may not sound so creepy here, but I was freaked out that night when I went to bed.

And this is where the idea for my thesis was born. I don't know if I ever formally acknowledged it or not, so here it is.

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X-posted to: jaguarpaddler, appalachians, mountain, wva
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