Sunday, December 22, 2013

Temple: goodbye student athletes

If its name ain't football or basketball, forget it. Whatever happened to mens sana in corpore sano?- gwc
Temple University is severing ties with that rich tradition. In a decision announced this month, less than 72 hours before final exams, university officials decided to cut the men’s and women’s crews and five other varsity sports, a move that affects more than 200 student-athletes. The savings for the university will be $3 million to $3.5 million a year, a small slice of the university’s $44 million athletics budget.Gone, starting July 1, will be the men’s gymnastics team, which has the highest grade point average of all teams on campus and the 2013 senior male athlete of the year. The program started in 1926. Gone also will be baseball and men’s track and field (indoor and outdoor), along with women’s softball.

Druid ruins in the Bronx at the winter solstice

click to enlarge

Bound is boatless man

This I know: she deserved better. She was created for better. She was repeatedly promised better. Boats are alive. They have souls. I know this—like a saint knows Jesus. She was supposed to be the star in my life’s journey, not a footnote.A man remembers the boat he built, sailed around the world with his wife, raised his daughter aboard, returns to where it lies in ruins.  All at sea

Mt. Rainier from Crystal Mountain

Jesse took this picture of Mt. Rainier yesterday from the top of Crystal Mountain in the Cascades.

100 Years Ago Congress Flooded Hetch Hetchy - the other Yosemite Valley

Painting of Hetch Hetchy Valley by Albert BierstadtOur "three gorges" were two - Yosemite and Hetch Hetchy.  100 years ago Congress passed and Woodrow Wilson signed the Raker Act.  It permitted the flooding of Hetch Hetchy to supply water for San Francisco.  That act of environmental destruction made possible today's San Francisco.  Should we have done it? Can we "undo" it?
Prof. Richard Frank (UC Davis Law) discusses the issues at Legal Planet:

"Contemporary accounts–including those of John Muir–attest to the stunning beauty of the Hetch Hetchy Valley. (Muir wrote: “Hetch Hetchy Valley is a grand landscape garden, one of Nature’s rarest and most precious mountain temples.”) In its natural state, Hetch Hetchy was considered an ecological twin of the world-renown Yosemite Valley that lies, relatively undisturbed, a few miles to the south.

San Francisco’s construction of the O’Shaughnessy Dam on the Tuolumne River flooded the Hetch Hetchy Valley under 300 feet of water, turning it into a municipal reservoir. Public access to this portion of Yosemite National Park has been limited for decades and, compared to its natural state, there’s not a lot see or enjoy there in any event. John Muir considered the destruction of the Hetch Hetchy Valley to be his biggest political failure, and a national tragedy. "

Frank goes on to discuss current debates about whether the dam should be dismantled and Hetch Hetchy restored.