Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Music - One of My Ways to Stay Strong for the River

People often ask me:  “how do you keep going in face of all of the opposition and challenges you face every day?”

There are a lot of ways I keep my passion and strength up to face the daily challenges and attacks I face in my job.  One of them is music, good music about protecting the environment. 

Before itunes and the like I had a cassette of songs I put together.  I’d listen to it all the time when in the car on the way to a hearing or a meeting or just to and from work.  Eventually it wore out.  And so for a long time I was without my environmental protection/social justice music.  But once I learned how to use today’s modern technology to amass this kind of music again I got to work. I haven’t found all of the songs I had in my original collection, but I found a lot and recently have found much more.

I’m always looking for good songs to add to my play list so if you have ideas please share them as a comment to this blog.  I need to expand my repertoire.

And for those who are interested, here are some of the songs that really help keep my mind and heart focused on taking on and winning the daily challenges for the River:

  • Of course: “Maya van Rossum’s Blues” by the Donuts (a song about the Athos I oil spill on the Delaware River)
  •  “Clear Blue Skies” by Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young
  •  “The Rape of the World” by Tracy Chapman – listen for the part where she urges you to “stand up and testify”
  • “Nature’s Way” by Spirit
  •  “We Bought it” by Brother Tree
  • “Help Your Mother” by Brother Tree
  • “All Over” by Brother Tree
  • “Earth Song” by Michael Jackson
  •   “Not Ready to Make Nice” by the Dixie Chicks as I see this as a song about speaking for what you believe is right despite the opposition you face
  •  “If a Tree Falls” by Bruce Cockburn
  • “Way of the World” by Chante Pierce
  •  “Good bye to a River” by Don Henley
  • “Simple Living” by Fred Small
  • “Treehugger” by J.P. Taylor
  • “Rise to the Challenge” by J.P. Taylor
  • “Down along the River” by J.P. Taylor
  • “Hug the Earth” by J.P. Taylor
  • “Rocky Mountain High” by John Denver
  •  “Don’t Cut Me Down” by Olivia Newton John
  • “Silent Ruin” by Olivia Newton John

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Boaters Beware -- Robbing the River From the Public, From Boaters, Is Plan of Some in Wake of Duck Boat Tragedy

River Belongs to the Public -- Including the Day to Day Boaters

Speakers on the radio, in the news, authors of letters to the editor and others are starting to assert that by virtue of the fact that they were operating on the Delaware River, including in and around the main navigation channel, the Duck Boat operators are somehow primarily responsible for the accident that took place on July 7, 2010. These characterizations are not only wrong -- blame cannot be placed simply because the Ducks Boats were operating on the Delaware River -- but they are now being used by some like the Maritime Exchange, to try to kick boaters off the water in Philadelphia leaving it open only to barge, tug, tanker and container traffic.  

The Duck Boat tragedy should not be used as a messaging tool to attempt to deprive the public, boaters, fishers and small business operations from free and appropriate access to the Delaware River.  This issue of boat access is a bit like the defense of the first amendment, we need to protect it for all; sometimes that means protecting it for the one in order to protect it for the all.  And so boaters and fishers of all kinds need to stand together to protect access to the Delaware River, no matter what kind of boat we are talking about.

The Delaware is a shared resource – it is a resource that belongs to the public and which we choose to share with industry.   The Delaware River does not belong to the ports or industry.  It is wholly inappropriate for any individual or entity to suggest that port operators or big business have a higher right to travel upon the Delaware River than the public.   It is wholly inappropriate for any individual or entity to attempt to use this tragedy to urge the ejection of the public, boaters, fishers or small business from travelling in any portion of the Delaware River if they are behaving responsibly, operating with the correct safety equipment, and operating in accordance with safe boating operations and measures.