General news and features
As the summer heats up, we often run to our favorite swimming hole for some relief. But experts say when we swim in lakes, rivers and streams we need to be aware that no matter how clean the water may appear, "Recreational Water Illnesses" like E. coli are always a threat.
After the family of a 10-month-old Pickens boy told us he contracted the E. coli bacteria at a Gordon County lake, we spoke with local health and environmental professionals to get some insight into ways we can keep our families safe this swimming season. See complete story in this week's print edition. Now on sale at convenience stores throughout the area.
Above, The Nelson Depot (no longer standing).
By Jeff Warren, staff writer
Wander into the Bethesda Church cemetery at Nelson, and you will find it: a statue of a winged angel standing in benediction over a single grave. Not of local stone, the angel (it is said) was carved in Italy from Carrara marble and imported.
It stands atop a pedestal of native Georgia marble inscribed with an Italian name. Other than the angel and some other Italian graves close by, there is little to clue modern Nelson visitors that the town's population once included many Italian families.
Jasper resident Todd Smith, of Citizens Climate Lobby, with Rep. Tom Graves at his DC office.
Submitted by Citizens
Concerned that climate change is making the world unlivable, members of the Atlanta chapter of Citizens Climate Lobby traveled to Washington this week to ask members of Congress to put a price on carbon that would begin the transition away from fossil fuels.
Participants at the 2011 Citizens Climate Lobby International Conference in Washington say the flooding along the Mississippi and the increasing number of severe storms in recent months are an indication that we’re running out of time.
For decades, climate scientist have warned us that the warming of our atmosphere will increase the likelihood of severe weather events. “A warmer atmosphere holds more moisture, dries things out faster and holds more energy,” says Jasper resident Todd Smith a member of the Citizens Climate Lobby chapter of Atlanta.
The increased rate of severe weather events over the last few years simply validates what the scientists have been saying. What most people don’t realize is that along with changing our climate, the release of CO2 from the burning of fossil fuels is absorbed into our oceans making them more acidic. This increase acidity is threatening the coral reefs and small creatures that make up the base of the oceans food chain. The great news, Mr. Smith says, is that with the right legislation, we can protect both citizens and business from the price increases as we transition to a sustainable economy. “At the same time we are addressing climate change, we can reduce our dependence on foreign oil, create jobs here in our communities, clean our air and water, and pass on a better world to our children.”
Paul Peterson shows his niece some of the edible plants Kleinberger incorporated into her landscape around the “Green Building Adventure” office. From heirloom tomatoes, blueberry bushes, and fruit trees to blackberries, salad greens, and snap peas, the garden features a variety of hearty vegetables and fruits.
The idea behind making sure we leave minimal “carbon footprints” on our environment is not new but Vered Kleinberger may be the only person you know who has taken the idea to a completely new level locally with her Green Building Adventure.
“I believe it’s important to reduce our impact on the planet as much as possible and, although it is extremely difficult to have zero impact on the environment, the GBA portrays methods of building and living that can minimize effects on the planet,” Kleinberger said.
The “adventure” started over a year ago when Kleinberger’s not-for-profit Education Excursions organization needed larger office space and storage. Instead of renting Kleinberger decided to build beside her Twin Mountain Lakes home. With the help of around 40 people who pitched in their time, talents and lots of dedication, she constructed a completely new building from deconstructed barns, old homes, leftover building supplies and natural elements. Kleinberger also incorporated edible landscaping and rain barrels for daily watering needs.
Last Saturday, Kleinberger held an open house to showcase the now “almost” completed building and thank all those who helped along the way. In thanking them, she began crying before she could even get the words out.
“I didn’t know I was going to do that,” she said. “I’m not a crier either. This has been an incredible year. I wanted to do this to show people that there are other ways to build. You can use recycled materials and not have to cut down trees, so spread the word. And there’s still more work to be done.”