While Boy Scouts Set Up Tents...

Sustainable Long Island
Contact: Marilyn Goldstein
At Sustainable Long Island: 516 873-0230
At Marigold Communications: 516 883-3579 Cell; 516 353-4247

Nassau County Girl Scouts Get the Dirt on Brownfields

Sustainable Long Island and the Girl Scouts of Nassau County
Launch New Patch to Promote Redevelopment of Abandoned Properties

What: Press conference with Carle Place-Westbury Troops and other Nassau County
Girl Scouts to introduce The Brownfields Buster Patch, an environmental activity specially
designed for the Girl Scouts of Nassau County by Sustainable Long Island.

When: Tuesday, Aug. 2 10:30 AM

Where: Girl Scouts of Nassau County Service Center, 110 Ring Road West, Roosevelt Field,
Garden City.

Come join local Girl Scouts, the first to learn about earning the new Brownfields Buster Patch, as their eyes are opened to one of the biggest problems and at the same time, one of the best solutions related to Long Island's future growth. Brownfields are abandoned or underutilized sites that have real or potential contamination.

Standing close to a Long Island Brownfield that is being redeveloped, most of the Girl Scouts will hear the word for the first time. But starting this fall, they and sister troops can help redevelop and revitalize sites like this in their own communities as they identify brownfields and dream up better uses for abandoned properties.

This patch was developed by Sustainable Long Island, with grants from the Levitt Foundation; Annie E. Casey Foundation and Henry Philip Kraft Fund in the Long Island Community Foundation, to raise awareness of the issue and stimulate their active participation in helping resolve a problem that will affect their futures.

Participants include:
Nassau County Girl Scout Troops
Sol Marie Alfonso-Jones, Director of Programs, Sustainable Long Island Donna Vizian, EPA Assistant Regional Administrator for Policy and Management Donna Ceravolo, CEO/ Executive Director of the Girl Scouts of Nassau County Sarah Lansdale, Executive Director, Sustainable Long Island Thomas Suozzi Nassau County Executive

I have a new purse and new shoes.

From: Alex Brideau
Sent: Tuesday, July 26, 2005 9:47 AM
To: Ginny-Marie Case
Subject: RE: LAHD Summer Evening Get-Together

But you now possess the power of both the new shoes and purse. All who oppose you shall be vanquished!

Funny Things

I saw this on someone else's blog. I thought it was funny.

Almost forgot

Alex and I went to Hawaii. I was there for work. Alex was there to keep me company. Here's the view from the hotel window.

Bring Me A Train

Alex and I have just returned home from our third visit to Pacific Electric Lofts. We get the keys to unit 615 on 8/15, but it will most likely take us two weeks to move in. Unlike our last move in, we will be moving two blocks, rather than 2 degrees of separation.

Today's Blog topics:
*Light Rail vs the "dedicated bus lane"
*Downtown developments that matter
*"You've Got Mail"

OMG, I'm so tired of people saying that LA needs more buses, that LRT (Light Rail Transit) is a failure in LA, or that the MTA hasn't got it together. First of all, MTA has it together. I've worked with MTA before, and you won't meet a bunch of people who have a more genuine interest in getting people to where they need to go. You won't people who have practical solutions to systemic problems. There are days I wish that I didn't have to go to work, but that I could stand in front of the building and just shake hands all day long.

LA needs more LRT. LA is too far spread out to not do light rail. LA drivers are too self-centered to pay attention to dedicated bus lanes, bus ways. Hell, think about the dumb-asses out there who try to beat the gates on the blue/gold line. And, think about the exponential number of dumb-asses who consider the idea.

Just thinking about all the dumb-assed drivers in Los Angeles causes my heart to race. I see it every day, a near miss between auto and pedestrian, auto and bicycle, auto and auto. Now, I just say - oh... here's an accident, and move on.

Anyway, people need to get out of their cars. Here are the reasons why people should try LRT:
*You can talk on the phone! I have 20 minutes of uninterrupted time to catch up with family. I talk more with my family more now than ever. I must say that I like them better when I'm so far away. When I do see them, I enjoy the visit. When we talk on the phone, we hit the high points, and move on.

*You can listen to relaxation tapes. At the beginning of each mp3, the author says - you shouldn't listen to this while driving. Every other morning, I do deep breathing between Ave 26 and Mission stations.

*You see the Los Angeles River at the beginning and ending of your day. While standing on the Chinatown platform, you get a fantastic view of the Los Angeles skyline. Once on the train, you cross over the concrete riverbed of the Los Angeles river.

*Occasionally, someone will talk to you on the train. I love to talk to people on the train. However, most people don't like to talk back. I've spoken to older Filapinas, young punk rockers, nurses aides, preschoolers who can only yell out - TRAIN....TRAIN...TRAIN.

*FOOD! OMG, the best food is at the Highland Park (Ave 56) and Mission stations. Highland Park, there's a sit-down restaurant with servers who don't/won't speak english. You can order enchiladas, tacos, tamales, and margaritas. Don't even think about bringing in you plastic....cash only. Then, there's the coffee shop at the mission station. Yummy pastries, tables, cheery customers - a real treat.

So, there. When I drive to work, I see the 110 packed with stopped cars heading towards downtown. I bet cash-money a lot of those folks are also heading to Culver City, Santa Monica, and other westside destinations. Unfortunately, mass transit takes too long to get from foothill to beach. LRT is the only answer. Not dedicated busways. LRT needs to get out of the ocean, and the network of catenary poles needs to be developed.

ITEM #2: Downtown Developments
Just heard that Temple Bar and Anastasia's Asylum will be opening up a location on the first floor of the PE lofts.

Item #3: You've Got Mail
Reminders of sharkb88. Funny.

Greens going to (be hot as) Hell

The national GPUS meeting is right around the corner. For a few days in Tulsa, a couple hundred people will be worshipping false idols. On top of false idols, more than half the people won't bath or use deodorant the entire time. And, for a few days, there will be NO meat consumption. How in the hell do you go to Tulsa, OK and not eat meat.

Every stereotype of the liberal will be there. Your teenaged, idealist, hasn't seen it, but they've read tons about it. Your college-aged, exhausted because they've been at school, their internship, their job, and the 4 million meetings to save the rare native plant species. Your middle-aged, fully employed, used their vacation time to spend four days raising their hands in points of process.

After middle-aged, things start to go downhill - fast. You know when you think you should take away your parent's or grandparent's car keys because they've gotten to uncontrollable, and you are concerned they might hurt someone, or even themselves. All of you out there with parents, grandparents heading to Tulsa...tell them to stay home.

The GDI proposal will hit the floor of delegates. The missing minutes from the Sylmar plenary will show the proposal that was approved didn't offer direction, just said the GPUS should consider this. Peter's going to have the run of the Tulsan floor. People will get pissy in the room, and the aura of non-violence turns to a dark false front.

Happy not to be there. Good Luck to the delegates.

Weekend's Shopping Find

@ Nordstrom's these are $28
@8th and Los Angeles they are $4.99

Done! Been There!

At the ripe age of 28 years, 11 months, two weeks, and four days, I can finally say that I have seen Star Wars. I started with Episode One: Phantom Menace and had to admit that it was the first time I ever saw Star Wars. Then, I saw Attack of the Clones. Then came Revenge of the Sith. For 99% of the people that was it, the series was complete.

But not for me!

Thanks to Nate - I watched episodes 4, 5 and 6 this week. Now I get it.

Cop Talk

From www.copseek.com

The top 20 things not to say to a cop when he pulls you over.

20. I can't reach my license unless you hold my beer.

19. Sorry officer, I didn't realize my radar detector wasn't plugged in.

18. Aren't you the guy from the villiage people?

17. Hey, you must have been doing 125 to keep up with me, good job.

16. I thought you had to be in relatively good physical shape to be a police officer.

15. I was going to be a cop, but I decided to finish high school instead.

14. Bad cop. No donut.

13. You're not going to check the trunk, are you?

12. Gee, that gut sure doesn't inspire confidence.

11. Didn't I see you get your butt kicked on cops?

10. Is it true that people become cops because they are too dumb to work at McDonalds?

9. I pay your salary

8. So uh, you on the take or what?

7. Gee officer, that's terrific. The last officer only gave me a warning.

6. Do you know why you pulled me over? Okay, just so one of us does.

5. I was trying to keep up with traffic. Yes, I know there is no other cars around, that's how far they are ahead of me.

4. What do you mean have I been drinking? You are the trained specialist.

3. Well, when I reached down to pick up my bag of crack, my gun fell off of my lap and got lodged between the brake and the gas pedal, forcing me to speed out of control.

2. Hey, is that a 9mm? That's nothing compared to this 44 magnum.

1. Hey, can you give me another one of those full cavity searches?
I finally connected with friends Jeff and Lynne last night. I met them back in 2000 while working for the Medea Benjamin campaign for U.S. Senate. Jeff lives in town, Highland Park. I pass his house almost every night on my way home on the train. Lynne, lives everywhere. When she comes into town, its difficult to coordinate schedules, but eventually - a connection is made.

When I got out of work, they were at Fig and Ave 57, eating at a restaurant that they visited during Medea's campaign, but that I found when working on Peter Camejo's first run for governor. Jimbaugh would meet Alex and I there and we would strategize for our next steps in the exhaling campaign.

So, maybe this particular blog entry is about how I love Highland Park. But, I don't have much to write about it.

Actually, the bigger news is that I have finally seen Star Wars: Episode IV - The New Hope! I don't know why, but I never got around to seeing the "earlier" episodes of Star Wars. Lack of time, lack of interest? Dunno, and this point I don't care. The cool thing is that I've seen the death star, I watched Luke and Lea kiss (Which is so gross on many levels), and I watched Darth Vader aka Annekin let Luke know that he was his father.

I'm trying to watch the last episode, in fact I've got it in the laptop right now. I want to watch it very badly. I'm not sure how all this ends, or does it end with a "..."? Probably many of you in BlogLand know how Star Wars ends. That doesn't help that fact that while I sit here wishing that I could just put my headphones on and spend the rest of the trip hearing the Empire's Death March....which continues to play over and over and over in my head.

I would like to point out that I'm watching them in numerical order. I saw episode 1, 2, and 3 first. I saw them in the theater, and enjoyed them. Maybe because I say them in order, I was more willing to watch the later episodes? Maybe just like growing up, Star Wars is just one of those things you have to do. Oh...can't I just double click on the icon?

Finally, as I begin to close down this blog entry of many topics, I will add this...I love the fact that while I'm sitting on the train, on my way to work, I can type out my blog entry. Once I get to work, I'll post it for you all to see. I can't wait until the trains get Wi-Fi, then I can do email, surf the web, and visit www.perezhilton.com a gazillion times before I sit down and start dealing grants.

I wish that Wi-Fi was everywhere. It's not that it would make life easier, because it would...you know...you could sit at the train station waiting for ...um the train... remember to pay your phone bill. Open up your laptop and use your bank's billpay. Or, check movie times. Or, order groceries. Or email your brother who's playing chef on a submarine. Or, buy iTunes. Or, spend you money on useless crap at www.thinkgeek.com.

Either way, I want more Wi-Fi and I'm willing to sell out to get it. Okay, not willing...but open to it!

Happy Friday...now go get some coffee.

Don't F with Brooke!

War of Words


I WAS hoping it wouldn't come to this, but after Tom Cruise's interview with Matt Lauer on the NBC show "Today" last week, I feel compelled to speak not just for myself but also for the hundreds of thousands of women who have suffered from postpartum depression. While Mr. Cruise says that Mr. Lauer and I do not "understand the history of psychiatry," I'm going to take a wild guess and say that Mr. Cruise has never suffered from postpartum depression.

Postpartum depression is caused by the hormonal shifts that occur after childbirth. During pregnancy, a woman's level of estrogen and progesterone greatly increases; then, in the first 24 hours after childbirth, the amount of these hormones rapidly drops to normal, nonpregnant levels. This change in hormone levels can lead to reactions that range from restlessness and irritability to feelings of sadness and hopelessness.

I never thought I would have postpartum depression. After two years of trying to conceive and several attempts at in vitro fertilization, I thought I would be overjoyed when my daughter, Rowan Francis, was born in the spring of 2003. But instead I felt completely overwhelmed. This baby was a stranger to me. I didn't know what to do with her. I didn't feel at all joyful. I attributed feelings of doom to simple fatigue and figured that they would eventually go away. But they didn't; in fact, they got worse.

I couldn't bear the sound of Rowan crying, and I dreaded the moments my husband would bring her to me. I wanted her to disappear. I wanted to disappear. At my lowest points, I thought of swallowing a bottle of pills or jumping out the window of my apartment.

I couldn't believe it when my doctor told me that I was suffering from postpartum depression and gave me a prescription for the antidepressant Paxil. I wasn't thrilled to be taking drugs. In fact, I prematurely stopped taking them and had a relapse that almost led me to drive my car into a wall with Rowan in the backseat. But the drugs, along with weekly therapy sessions, are what saved me - and my family.

Since writing about my experiences with the disease, I have been approached by many women who have told me their stories and thanked me for opening up about a topic that is often not discussed because of fear, shame or lack of support and information. Experts estimate that one in 10 women suffer, usually in silence, with this treatable disease. We are living in an era of so-called family values, yet because almost all of the postnatal focus is on the baby, mothers are overlooked and left behind to endure what can be very dark times.

And comments like those made by Tom Cruise are a disservice to mothers everywhere. To suggest that I was wrong to take drugs to deal with my depression, and that instead I should have taken vitamins and exercised shows an utter lack of understanding about postpartum depression and childbirth in general.

If any good can come of Mr. Cruise's ridiculous rant, let's hope that it gives much-needed attention to a serious disease. Perhaps now is the time to call on doctors, particularly obstetricians and pediatricians, to screen for postpartum depression. After all, during the first three months after childbirth, you see a pediatrician at least three times. While pediatricians are trained to take care of children, it would make sense for them to talk with new mothers, ask questions and inform them of the symptoms and treatment should they show signs of postpartum depression.

In a strange way, it was comforting to me when my obstetrician told me that my feelings of extreme despair and my suicidal thoughts were directly tied to a biochemical shift in my body. Once we admit that postpartum is a serious medical condition, then the treatment becomes more available and socially acceptable. With a doctor's care, I have since tapered off the medication, but without it, I wouldn't have become the loving parent I am today.

So, there you have it. It's not the history of psychiatry, but it is my history, personal and real.

Brooke Shields, the author of "Down Came the Rain: My Journey Through Postpartum Depression," isstarring in the musical "Chicago" in London.