Opinion | End-Times Tourism in the Land of Glaciers – The New York Times

Mr. Kizzia was a reporter for The Anchorage Daily News for 25 years. He is the author of several books about Alaska, most recently, the ghost-town history “Cold Mountain Path.”

“Glacier Bay National Park and Preserve is one of those Alaska showpieces more often seen by visitors than by the state’s residents. When I finally got there this summer, after more than 40 years living in Alaska, I arrived the way most people do, on board a cruise ship, in the company of a few thousand tourists from around the world.

The remote park’s lofty summits and ice-carved fjords, the humpbacks and orcas and grizzlies lived up to what I’d heard. As passengers spilled onto the upper observation deck, agog, the ship’s theatrical pirouette before a wall of blue glacial ice showed off Romantic nature in all its timeless glory.

Something was amiss, though, at least for me. I was along for the trip as an invited local speaker — Alaska author and freelance wilderness rhapsodist. But during my decades in Alaska, I had seen too many changes, interviewed too many climate scientists, read (well, skimmed) too many studies. I gazed from the railing with a contemporary Alaskan’s gloom, a pilgrim bearing witness to end-times in the temple of the glaciers.

I started asking around to see if anybody else felt this way.

The park rangers told me that glacier tourism was indeed changing. On these cruise ships, the disappearance of coffee to-go cups from the breakfast service is one of the first signs you have sailed into a national park. It’s part of your ship’s concession contract: no latte cups flying into pristine waters. The casino games shut down, and uniformed rangers are brought aboard to mingle and give talks about the environment.”

Why Does the U.S. Have So Many Mass Shootings? Research Is Clear: Guns. – The New York Times

“When the world looks at the United States, it sees a land of exceptions: a time-tested if noisy democracy, a crusader in foreign policy, an exporter of beloved music and film.

But there is one quirk that consistently puzzles America’s fans and critics alike. Why, they ask, does it experience so many mass shootings?

Perhaps, some speculate, it is because American society is unusually violent. Or its racial divisions have frayed the bonds of society. Or its citizens lack proper mental care under a health care system that draws frequent derision abroad.

These explanations share one thing in common: Though seemingly sensible, all have been debunked by research on shootings elsewhere in the world. Instead, an ever-growing body of research consistently reaches the same conclusion.

The only variable that can explain the high rate of mass shootings in America is its astronomical number of guns.”

Howard Wolfson | Why the Democrats Just Lost the House – The New York Times

“. . . . Sadly there is little evidence that Democratic leaders in Albany heard the alarm bells ringing on Long Island or saw the Adams victory in the city as a path forward.

Instead, in the face of crime rates rising some 30 percent in New York City, Democrats mostly denied that there was a crime problem on the scale that Republicans portrayed in frequent campaign ads. To the extent that Democrats acknowledged the growing disorder at all, they argued that there was no data showing that bail reforms affected crime — a claim at odds with the desire of many voters for stronger public safety, including locking up potentially dangerous people and giving judges the ability to consider dangerousness in making bail decisions.

Gov. Kathy Hochul, newly elevated after Andrew Cuomo’s implosion and resignation, was able to persuade the legislature to tinker with the bail laws. But the changes were too little and too late, and voters were unconvinced. New York remains the only state in the nation where in setting bail, judges cannot take into account whether a person arrested for a crime is a danger to the community. Democrats in the legislature failed to offer any other alternative solutions to the problem.” . . . . .

David Lindsay Jr.
Hamden, CT | NYT Comment:
This interesting essay has the smell of truth. It is interesting that so many of the top comments refuse to listen to any of it. Bail is probably almost always bad for poor people, but not if they are dangerous. Taking away the right of judges to use their judgement sounds like left wing crazyness. It appears to a casual observer from the Connecticut countryside, that we all could benefit from more mindfullness, and listening.

In Tim Ryan’s Ohio Senate Race, the D Is Often Silent – The New York Times

COLUMBUS, Ohio — Tim Ryan is the kind of candidate who appears to put some thought into appearing to put no thought into appearances.

His daily uniform exudes well-practiced campaign casual: an Ohio State hoodie on game day; a T-shirt from Dropkick Murphys, the union-minded Celtic punk band, for a recent speech at an A.F.L.-C.I.O. gathering, where he took the stage to Metallica’s “Enter Sandman”; untied white Nikes for a canvass kickoff in the capital, laced tastefully days later for a condolence visit to a Toledo union hall.

His stump speech is a hits reel befitting an eastern Ohio congressman, as if culled from the down-home liner notes of a Springsteen track about the industrial Midwest.

“My grandfather was a steelworker…”

“I’m campaigning for the exhausted majority…”

“Star of the high school football team…”

Inside the Global Effort to Keep Perfectly Perfectly Good Food Out of the Dump – The New York Times

“In Seoul, garbage cans automatically weigh how much food gets tossed in the trash. In London, grocers have stopped putting date labels on fruits and vegetables to reduce confusion about what is still edible. California now requires supermarkets to give away — not throw away — food that is unsold but fine to eat.

Around the world, a broad array of efforts are being launched to tackle two pressing global problems: hunger and climate change.

Food waste, when it rots in a landfill, produces methane gas, which quickly heats up the planet. But it’s a surprisingly tough problem to solve.

Which is where Vue Vang, wrangler of excess, comes in. On a bright Monday morning recently, she pulled up behind a supermarket in Fresno, Calif., hopped off her truck and set out to rescue as much food as she could under the state’s new law — helping store managers comply with rules that many were still unaware of.”

Fat Bear Week Is in Full Swing – The New York Times

“The first time Mike Fitz saw a bear in the wild, in 2007, he did what he was trained to do: He made a lot of noise.

“You can read and listen to all of the advice — it helps prepare you mentally, but at the same time I’m thinking, ‘Oh, that is a bear in front of me, looking at me,’” Mr. Fitz said. “What am I going to do now?”

This particular bear, on top of Dumpling Mountain in Katmai National Park in Alaska, however, was not exactly an imminent threat. The bear was about a quarter-mile away from Mr. Fitz, and his yells across the vast landscape barely made a dent. “I hadn’t figured out that making noise is appropriate in certain situations,” he said. “The bear probably heard me and thought, ‘What is this two-legged creature doing?’”

The encounter proved to be a formative moment for Mr. Fitz, and for millions of bear fans around the world. Mr. Fitz is the founder of Fat Bear Week, now in its ninth year. What began as a way for Mr. Fitz, a former park ranger, to engage with visitors to Katmai has “spiraled.” “

Democrats Worry for Mandela Barnes as GOP Attack Ads Take a Toll – The New York Times

“MADISON, Wis. — Politicians who visit diners know the deal: In exchange for photos establishing their working-class bona fides, they must cheerfully accept heaping portions of unsolicited advice.

But on Tuesday at Monty’s Blue Plate Diner here in Madison, one of the first people to approach Lt. Gov. Mandela Barnes, the Democratic nominee for Senate in Wisconsin, took the tradition to a new level, presenting him with a typed-up list of concerns about his campaign.

The supporter, Jane Kashnig, a retired businesswoman who has spent recent weeks going door to door to speak with voters, told Mr. Barnes his backers were jittery about his inability to repel an unending volley of attack ads from Senator Ron Johnson and his Republican allies.

Show more fire, Ms. Kashnig urged the Democrat and his campaign. “The people on the doors want him to fight,” she said.”

Alone in a New World With Vast Open Space, and Sheep – The New York Times

“ENGINEER PASS, Colo. — The baas, bleats and bells were fading ever so slightly, and the shepherd’s trained ear detected that his flock was veering off the path home, for this was the soundtrack of his life in the Rocky Mountains. “The sheep must be herded,” he said in Spanish, as he quickly ascended a hill overlooking a meadow.

Then the herder, Ricardo Mendoza, whistled loudly, commanding his two dogs to coax his 1,700 sheep closer to his campito, a tiny shed with a single sun-bleached word — “HOME” — over the door. His employer had hauled it up a winding, unpaved road used by 19th-century miners to this 13,000-foot pass shortly before Mr. Mendoza arrived with his horse, pack mule, dogs and sheep, ready to settle into the last outpost of his seasonal nomadic journey, about 65 miles north of Durango in western Colorado.

Mr. Mendoza, 46, has spent most of the past decade living in these rugged, remote mountains, herding sheep raised for wool and meat from spring to fall. “You live in complete solitude, just you, your animals and your thoughts,” he said, gazing at the windswept tundra below the soaring Uncompahgre and Wetterhorn peaks.”

David Lindsay: Good article, and comments. Here is one I liked:

Kevin Ott
Crested Butte, COSept. 23

This is a nice article romanticizing the grazing of domestic sheep high in the subalpine tundras of the American West. Just weeks ago, we backpacked across this exact area of the Uncompahgre Wilderness NE of Engineer Pass. Wilderness is no place for commercial animal grazing for any number of reasons. What the article did not mention are the demonstrable negative impacts of overgrazing and erosion caused by the grazing of large herds (hundreds to thousands) of domestic sheep in this delicate high elevation (12,000’ ) environment. This is Wilderness, or was. Also not mentioned is the very real impact on native Rocky Mountain Bighorns who populate these craggy locales. Domestic sheep transmit an ovine pneumonia (mycoplasma ovipneumonia) to the Bighorn population which is decimating Bighorn herds in the Rocky Mountain West. Keeping domestic sheep long distances away from the Bighorn herds is the only way to protect these dwindling, ever more isolated, majestic wild animal herds.

2 Replies75 Recommended

Michelle Goldberg | In Washington State, the Midterm Race Between Joe Kent and Marie Gluesenkamp Perez Has It All – The New York Times

Opinion Columnist

Photographs by Amanda Lucier

“VANCOUVER, Wash. — In March, five months before he became the Republican nominee in a Washington State congressional race, Joe Kent appeared on a webcast hosted by a Gen-Z white nationalist group called the American Populist Union. Kent, who would soon be endorsed by Donald Trump, was there to explain his disavowal of Nick Fuentes, a smirking 24-year-old far-right influencer whom The New York Times has described as “a prominent white supremacist.”

On one side of the split screen was David Carlson, the American Populist Union’s baby-faced chief content officer. On the other was Kent, a movie-star-handsome former Green Beret in a plaid flannel shirt, with an American flag hanging behind him. What followed was a 45-minute conversation in which Kent attempted a dance that’s become common in today’s G.O.P.: remaining in the good graces of the far right while putting some distance between himself and its most abhorrent avatars.”

Anti-abortion leader says Bob Stefanowski ‘has heartened pro-life voters’

“Republican Bob Stefanowski’s carefully worded position on abortion won plaudits Thursday from an anti-abortion leader who sees common ground with a Connecticut gubernatorial nominee for the first time in decades.

Peter Wolfgang, the president of the Family Institute of Connecticut, was responding to a statement from Stefanowski indicating support for adding a parental notification provision to a Connecticut abortion rights law that he otherwise would not attempt to change.

“It has heartened pro-life voters. We know that Bob is not 100% with us. We’ve always suspected it. And now we know it for sure,” Wolfgang said. “But what we also know is where he does have common ground with us.”

Stefanowski, who was nominated by Republicans over the weekend for a rematch with Gov. Ned Lamont, has positioned himself to the right of the Democratic governor on abortion while not opposing Connecticut’s 32-year-old law codifying the tenets of Roe v. Wade.

His approach will test whether a candidate can appeal to social conservatives, who Wolfgang has long complained have been marginalized by the Connecticut Republican establishment, without losing more voters who support abortion rights.”

Source: Anti-abortion leader says Bob Stefanowski ‘has heartened pro-life voters’