Potential for Ice Buildup Could Cause Problems for Trees and Power Lines
RICHMOND (WRIC) – The potential for ice buildup could cause problems for trees and power lines.
An ice storm is something Central Virginia hasn’t seen in some time – not since January 2000.
There are a lot of trees that may not withstand that build up and local tree removers are getting ready.
Philip Tate and his fellow arborists have to get prepared.
The potential for ice buildup has his team worried about trees coming down this weekend.
“Come Friday evening we’re going to make sure our fuel tanks our full,” he says. “Our dump trucks empty.”
Tate has worked many kinds of storms over his seven years in the business, from snow storms to hurricanes.
But he says ice creates a unique problem that he hasn’t seen in quite some time.
“With an ice storm, we’re worried about the buildup,” he says. “Evergreens in particular can easily accumulate ice. That weight can bring down limbs fairly easily.”
In addition, older trees or leaning trees could be weighed down as well.
Leaves have fallen off which will certainly help, but ice can still create problems.
He recommends removing any dead wood and trim branches to thin out the trees.
Power lines are the other concern – especially if trees hit them.
Power companies say they’re prepared for the worst, just as Tate is.
“We do this day in and day out. It’s our duty to make this safe for everyone.”
Downed power lines and trees can be dangerous, and if you’re not sure how to deal with it, let those trained take care of it.
Stay with ABC 8 News on air and online throughout this and other winter storms that will affect our area this season.
Keep the ABC 8 News StormTracker weather team in your pocket—download the 8News StormTracker app on your Apple or Android device. Features include hour-by-hour forecasts, exclusive extended forecasts, live streaming radar, severe weather alerts and more.
Copyright 2013 by Young Broadcasting of Richmond
2013′s Notable Developments in Landscape Architecture
Charles A. BirnbaumDec 04, 2013
In surveying the year in landscape architecture, “aptness,” a word favored by the great Modernist landscape architect Dan Kiley seems, well, appropriate. For Kiley aptness meant reading a landscape and understanding what existed at a particular site before one intervenes. This raises issues of understanding a designed landscape’s evolution, balancing stewardship objectives, and communicating how we measure success.
With this in mind, let’s start with the people who help evaluate the built environment and shape debate – critics. In a 2011 column, I called for architecture criticism to transcend its fascination with objects and to understand and recognize the interconnectedness of landscapes and buildings, and the holistic planning innate to landscape architecture. Increasingly, this is happening. The Los Angeles Times‘ Christopher Hawthorne, the New York Times’ Michael Kimmelman, the Philadelphia Inquirer’s Inga Saffron, the San Francisco Chronicle’s John King and others regularly provide thoughtful, contextual writing that explains the larger narrative. Consider Saffron’s recent review of the Kimbell Art Museum’s recent addition by Renzo Piano in Fort Worth, TX. The new structure has been billed as having a “dialogue” with Louis Kahn’s original building. In assessing Piano’s design as a “wan companion to Kahn’s stirring museum,” Saffron notes:
[T]he dialogue Kahn intended was with the Texas landscape. In a letter to the Kimbell, the Dutch architect Wiel Arets (now dean at the prestigious Illinois Institute of Technology) complained that Piano’s pavilion is the equivalent of putting “an addition in front of the White House in Washington.” What makes it even worse, said William Whitaker, curator of Penn’s architectural archives, Piano removed a grove of century-old oaks, which “inspired Kahn’s whole design.”
Some other “dialogues” are also causing a stir. The Plaza at Harvard University in Cambridge, MA, a busy pedestrian crossroad, is home to the 1984 Tanner Fountain by landscape architect Peter Walker, the first institutional project in the “Landscape as Art” movement. The minimalist fountain is comprised of 159 granite boulders set within the existing asphalt pathways, lawn and adjacent trees. There’s much sotto voce, off-the-record chatter about a new project by Stoss Landscape Urbanism contiguous with Tanner and Harvard Yard, which occupies a portion of the space that once acted as the fountain’s proscenium.
Tanner Fountain, ca. 1980s. Photo courtesy The Cultural Landscape Foundation. Tanner Fountain, November 2013, showing new addition designed by Stoss Landscape Urbanism. Photo courtesy The Cultural Landscape Foundation.
The new project, which could serve as the connective tissue between these two iconic designs instead fills this interstitial space with an abundance of stuff and things — wooden and concrete sculptural benches, (which glow at night), moveable metal tables and chairs, and a paving and planting palette of diverse color, texture and scale. Throw in a few food trucks (Bon Me’s offerings are particularly tasty) and on a nice day it is teeming with students. Was this the only viable solution to the program? Is this a conversation or is one design “talking” over another? How do we measure aptness here? Another hot spot is Sunnyside Gardens, NY, a 1920s Progressive-Era development designed by architects Clarence S. Stein, Henry Wright, and Frederick L. Ackerman with landscape architect Marjorie Sewell Cautley. The site, significant for helping launch the influential planners’ careers, contains a contributing space, integral to the original plan, intended for a playground. Although there is a continuity of use, the playground is in a diminished state and there’s talk of inserting the Aluminaire House and some low-rise construction.
The house, an early 1930s pre-fabricated metal structure, is currently disassembled, in storage and looking for a home. Bold face names in the architecture community strongly support plopping the house into the historic designed open space, which would remove a continuity of use, and sever historic visual and spatial relationships. This suggests one form of design is more important than another.
Harmonious Marriages of Landscape and Building
Among the praiseworthy new developments is the mausoleum complex at Lakewood Cemetery in Minneapolis, MN. Here, Adolph Strauch and C.W. Folsom laid out the Picturesque-style cemetery in the 1870s, and Arthur Nichols of Morell and Nichols designed a 1948 addition.
The new project is by Halvorson Design Partnership and HGA Architects. Halvorson has long been involved with Lakewood – they developed the cemetery’s master plan a decade ago; helped develop the RFP (Request For Proposals) for the mausoleum complex and interviewed all of the architecture firms that applied. Moreover, Lakewood’s very hands-on owners insisted Halvorson be the landscape architect for the project. The resulting Modernist addition is sublime. Important, existing sight lines are maintained and reinforced, structures are subordinate while also contributing to the overall composition, and the environment created is reverential and contemplative.
Another winning proposition is HM White’s three-acre project at New York’s Brooklyn Botanical Garden (BBG), which includes a new 10,000-square-foot visitor center by Weiss/Manfredi. The project, which officially opened in 2012, continues to receive awards and accolades. White’s involvement, like Halvorson, is broader; the firm was retained by BBG in 2006 to develop the site’s master plan, which carefully integrated the visitor center into the broader site narrative.
Elsewhere in Brooklyn, a new 26-acre, $74 million project opens this month at Frederick Law Olmsted, Sr. and Calvert Vaux’s masterwork, Prospect Park. Tod Williams Billie Tsien Architects collaborated with Prospect Park Alliance Vice President and landscape architect Christian Zimmerman on the effort, which includes a 34,000-square-foot multi-use facility.
The result honors the original Olmsted and Vaux design intent, restores formerly compromised visual and spatial relationships to the lake and its associated landscape, while still addressing 21st century recreational and environmental demands.
Credits and Designations
For Modernist designs, 2013 was a banner year for sites added to the National Register of Historic Places and/or designated National Historic Landmarks (NHL) with the Portland Open Space Sequence, OR (designed by Lawrence Halprin); Gas Works Park in Seattle, WA (Richard Haag); Peavey Plaza, Minneapolis, MN (M. Paul Friedberg) and Allegheny Commons, Pittsburgh (Simonds & Simonds) all listed on the National Register.
Portland Open Space Sequence, designed by Lawrence Halprin, is one of the Modernist landscapes added to the National Register of Historic Places in 2013. Photo courtesy The Cultural Landscape Foundation. The Camden Amphitheater, designed by Fletcher Steele, became a National Historic Landmark in 2013. Photo courtesy The Cultural Landscape Foundation.
In addition, Fletcher Steele joined Frederick Law Olmsted, Sr. and Dan Kiley as landscape architects who designed more than one work deemed an NHL. His Camden Library Amphitheater in Maine, arguably the nation’s first Modernist landscape, became an NHL following a similar, 2007 designation for his work at Naumkeag, the Choate family summer home in Stockbridge, MA. Naumkeag is managed by the Trustees for Reservations, which is amidst an ambitious and thus far very successful $3.3 million effort to return the site to its original design intent, including Steele’s iconic Blue Steps, restored this past summer.
The Blue Staircase at Naumkeag, designed by Fletcher Steele, following a recent restoration. Photo courtesy The Cultural Landscape Foundation.
What Next for New York?
Will the impending departure of Michael Bloomberg as New York City’s Mayor affect the design trajectory that led to a bevy of nationally and internationally significant projects? While other cities ponder their own High Lines, Phase Two of the original, from the design team led by James Corner Field Operations, is open and plans for Phase Three have been unveiled.
Other notable big vision projects completed in Gotham this year include the second phase of Brooklyn Bridge Park by Michael Van Valkenburgh Associates and the initial phases of Governors Island Park by West8. The bar has been set high for the next administration.
View of the new Governors Island Park looking across Hammock Grove, with play structures in the foreground and the Statue of Liberty beyond. Photo by Timothy Schenck, courtesy of The Trust for Governors Island. In Memoriam
Finally, we mourn the passing of James van Sweden, who with the late Wolfgang Oehme created the New American Garden. His voluptuous designs wed texture, color and light with the same élan and genius that Helen Frankenthaler did with her stained Color Field paintings. His clients became lifelong friends, collaborators and willing co-conspirators, as well as evangelists for Jim’s brilliance and for landscape architecture. His great sweeps of grasses at places as stodgy sounding as the Federal Reserve Board seemed perfectly appropriate – wonderful design conversations worthy of Kiley’s “aptness” designation.
‘Major ice storm’ threatens power supply in South, Midwest; temperatures dip
Millions of Americans are living in regions of the country under a severe cold spell. From whirling snow to icy rain, the freeze is even threatening a billion dollar crop industry in California. NBC’s Miguel Almaguer reports.
By Henry Austin, NBC News contributor
An arctic blast which threatens 32 million people could knock out power by coating parts of the South and Midwest with ice and send temperatures sinking by as much as 50 degrees Thursday, forecasters warned.
“A major ice storm is possible from northeast Texas into west Tennessee where ice accretions of 1/2 inch or more are possible,” said Kevin Roth, lead meteorologist with The Weather Channel. He added that ice would weigh down power lines and tree limbs, potentially causing power outages as they fall.
In some parts of the country wind chills are 30 below zero. And as temperatures continue to nosedive, there will be heavy ice accumulation near Dallas. The Weather Channel’s Mike Seidel reports.
Roth said the region faced a “good 12 to 14 hours of freezing rain and ice” as a winter storm and “surging arctic air mass meet in the southern Plains.”
Although temperatures neared 80 degrees on Wednesday in the Dallas-Fort Worth area, the mercury was expected to dip into the 30s on Thursday. In Lubbock, Texas, the high Tuesday was 77. The low Saturday morning could be below 10.
A winter storm alert will be in effect for the Dallas-Fort Worth area from 6 p.m. Thursday until 6 p.m. Friday, with sleet and freezing rain expected, NBCDFW.com reported.
“The arctic air continues to ooze southward Friday possibly changing rain to ice in northwest Mississippi and central Tennessee,” Roth added.
Temperatures could dip to minus 20 or worse in the northern midsection of the country, forecasters said.
Colorado homeless shelters opened extra beds as temperatures in Denver were expected to drop just below zero through Friday but remain below 20 through the middle of next week. The storm dumped several inches of snow in Denver, and parts of Colorado’s mountains could get up to 3 feet by the end of the day.
Some Rocky Mountain ski resorts surpassed 100 inches of snow for the season on Wednesday.
Snowfall totals could also approach 3 feet in northeastern Minnesota, where the weather has contributed to hundreds of traffic collisions around the state.
Chicago could plunge from the mid-50s on Wednesday to the low teens by Friday night. Roth said that ice was most likely in southern Missouri and southern Illinois.
He added: “A major ice storm is possible in the lower Ohio Valley and western Kentucky with ice accretions of 1/2 inch or greater. Snow accumulations of 4 to 8 inches are possible from southern Missouri to north Ohio through Friday night.”
In North Dakota, the bitter cold predicted ranged from minus 9 degrees in Missoula to minus 27 in Butte and Shelby.
In Montana, the cold spot will be the northern city of Havre, with low temperatures expected to dip as low as minus 30 between Thursday and Saturday. The city isn’t expected to get warmer than minus 6 degrees during that period.
National Weather Service meteorologist Dave Bernhardt told The Associated Press last extended cold period in Montana he could recall was in the winter of 1996.
While the Northeast has escaped the worst of the weather so far, Roth predicted that “the wintry stuff will come Sunday or Monday.”
The Associated Press contributed to this report.
This story was originally published on Thu Dec 5, 2013 6:08 AM EST
Bring back the 40-hour work week
Wednesday, Mar 14, 2012 08:00 AM EDT
150 years of research proves that long hours at work kill profits, productivity and employees
This article originally appeared on AlterNet.
If you’re lucky enough to have a job right now, you’re probably doing everything possible to hold onto it. If the boss asks you to work 50 hours, you work 55. If she asks for 60, you give up weeknights and Saturdays, and work 65.
Odds are that you’ve been doing this for months, if not years, probably at the expense of your family life, your exercise routine, your diet, your stress levels and your sanity. You’re burned out, tired, achy and utterly forgotten by your spouse, kids and dog. But you push on anyway, because everybody knows that working crazy hours is what it takes to prove that you’re “passionate” and “productive” and “a team player” — the kind of person who might just have a chance to survive the next round of layoffs.
This is what work looks like now. It’s been this way for so long that most American workers don’t realize that for most of the 20th century, the broad consensus among American business leaders was that working people more than 40 hours a week was stupid, wasteful, dangerous and expensive — and the most telling sign of dangerously incompetent management to boot.
It’s a heresy now (good luck convincing your boss of what I’m about to say), but every hour you work over 40 hours a week is making you less effective and productive over both the short and the long haul. And it may sound weird, but it’s true: the single easiest, fastest thing your company can do to boost its output and profits — starting right now, today — is to get everybody off the 55-hour-a-week treadmill, and back onto a 40-hour footing.
Yes, this flies in the face of everything modern management thinks it knows about work. So we need to understand more. How did we get to the 40-hour week in the first place? How did we lose it? And are there compelling bottom-line business reasons that we should bring it back?
The Making of the 40-Hour Week
The most essential thing to know about the 40-hour work-week is that, while it was the unions that pushed it, business leaders ultimately went along with it because their own data convinced them this was a solid, hard-nosed business decision.
Group’s goal: Chase ivy out of town
P. Kevin Morley
Suzette Lyon, master naturalist Laura Greenleaf, master gardener Robin Ruth and master naturalist Kitty Hardt cut away invasive English ivy on trees at Forest Hill Park in South Richmond.
BY REX SPRINGSTON
Richmond Times-Dispatch | Updated 11 hours ago
Laura Greenleaf took a break from the hard work of sawing through a garden-hose-size ivy vine that clung to an elm in Richmond’s Forest Hill Park.
She looked straight up the ivy-engulfed trunk and said: “I hope you appreciate this, tree.”
The elm, apparently in a weakened state, had no immediate response. But Greenleaf and three other Richmond women were undeterred as they sawed, snipped and pulled up the fast-growing vines in the South Side park in mid-November.
The women are part of a loose anti-ivy league of local volunteers who spread the word about ivy’s evils and fight a never-ending battle to remove it from their yards and, with permission, from parks.
“I probably pulled 100 ivy seedlings out of my yard this summer,” said Suzette Lyon, who worked in the park with Greenleaf. “It’s like an epidemic.”
Often called English ivy or common ivy, the well-known vine is frequently associated with attractive gardens and august halls of academe. Indeed, many people love ivy’s shiny, evergreen leaves.
But the non-native vine has a nasty habit of escaping its garden confines, covering forest floors so completely that it crowds out native flowers and shrubs that birds, butterflies and other animals need.
Conservationists call these one-species expanses “ivy deserts.”
Lyon and a fellow ivy fighter, Robin Ruth, created the website IvyOutOfRichmond.org. Its tone blends despair with humor.
“Left unchecked, English ivy could be the vine that ate Richmond. … Practice deVINE intervention now,” the site advises.
Scientists have long sounded the alarm over invasive species, typically plants and animals that made their way to new lands and spread so quickly that they overpowered native species. Some famous examples in the U.S. include kudzu (“the vine that ate the South”) and pushy birds called European starlings.
Colonial settlers brought English ivy to North America as an ornamental plant. Like so many cases involving the transport of trouble-making plants and animals, it seemed like a good idea at the time.
Today, many experts consider invasive species the No. 2 threat to natural areas, behind the outright destruction of habitats.
Its opponents say ivy may be the most widespread invasive plant in the city of Richmond, where it has had a lot of time to infest old parks and neighborhoods.
“It’s the most irritating to me, because it comes out of people’s yards,” said naturalist Kitty Hardt. “They’re still planting it, and the nurseries are still selling it.”
Jeff Miller, executive director of the Virginia Nursery & Landscape Association, said via email that a lot of places troubled by ivy stem from plantings that were abandoned.
“English ivy makes an excellent ground cover if used in the appropriate location” and maintained, Miller said. Homeowners should get advice from a certified horticulturist on the best ground cover for them, he added.
Ivy “is not as popular as it once was, because growers, landscape designers/contractors and garden centers are more cognizant of improper siting of ivy and recommend alternative choices,” he said.
Other states are also dealing with ivy. In Oregon, for example, it’s illegal to sell it.
“English ivy was the ground cover of choice for many, many years,” said Linda McMahan, a horticulturist at Oregon State University. “Now there are a lot of people all over the country trying to get rid of it.”
Efforts in the Virginia General Assembly to limit the use of ivy have failed.
Tom Smith, director of Virginia’s Natural Heritage Program, which protects important natural areas, has fought ivy at his Henrico County home near the Huguenot Bridge.
Smith knocked back a big patch by cutting it with a weed trimmer, then treating the scarred vines with an herbicide.
But hard-to-reach ivy remains, so once or twice a year Smith continues to pull and cut the vines.
“I would say once you get it on your property, it’s the gift that will keep on giving until no one lives there and it will have its way,” Smith said. “I think English ivy is definitely a plant that is here to stay. We are not getting rid of it.”
As a plant pathologist, Smith admires ivy’s ability to persist. “You’ve got to love a successful plant, even if it’s one you hate.”
Ivy can quickly spread along the ground, and tiny roots that exude a glue-like substance enable it to climb trees and buildings. When it gets off the ground, it produces purplish berries. Birds eat the berries and spread ivy seeds in their droppings.
That means ivy spreads in three ways — through its crawling vines, its seeds and from new plants that people put in their gardens.
There is debate over whether ivy can kill trees, because some trees persist with thick coats of ivy from vines as thick as your fist.
Some experts say those trees are weakened and susceptible to disease. Also, those extra ivy leaves can catch the wind like sails, increasing the chance of the tree blowing down in a storm.
Rick Myers, a plant expert with the Natural Heritage Program, compared planting ivy to smoking a cigar — you can legally do it, but what if your actions affect someone nearby?
“I know there’s no (Virginia) law saying you can’t plant ivy that will spread into your neighbor’s yard, but it’s still a valid ethical question: Should you do that?”
There are many people who remove ivy and other invasive plants locally, but there is no official count.
As the four Forest Hill Park ivy fighters prepared to leave, numerous trees remained covered in vines.
Talking to trees again, Greenleaf assured the victims, “We’re coming back.”
Going to work in the world of gardening
Every year, more people find a garden-related career, some as landscapers, others as arborists and many in nurseries, helping to grow plants for market. In the third of a four-part series on gardening and professional horticulture, Steve Whysall looks at some of the young people who are working in the field.
Jeff Case: Passion for trees
Jeff Case, graduate of the arborists technician level 1 program at Kwantlen School of Horticulture, is now working full time with the tree crew for North Vancouver’s parks department.
Originally from Ottawa, Case, 37, came to Vancouver four years ago after working with the Canadian Forest Service in Ontario on reforestation projects, as well as working with a research scientist on various tree studies.
He already had a forest technician diploma and a degree in forestry before enrolling at Kwantlen to get some technical skills suitable for a career in urban arboriculture.
While he is still working with trees, the switch to working arborist has been a career change for Case, and one that has given him much more individual responsibility, as well as a far more active working day.
“There is a difference in terms of practical application in dealing with trees in an urban environment compared to traditional forestry.
“The Kwantlen courses focused a lot more on practical techniques of arboriculture and taught me basic skills, such as how to use rigging, proper cutting techniques, operate chippers and stump grinders properly, and so on.”
For two years, he was one of the key arborists with Davey Tree in Burnaby, where he was classified as a “ground arborist,” primarily responsible for site cleanup, operating the chipper and working with a certified arborist, whether felling a tree or pruning or hedging.
He is an expert at deep root fertilization, a technique that pumps organic nutrients into the ground around a tree that is failing to thrive or declining because of being planted in impoverished soil.
Case has quickly progressed into the role of a climbing arborist.
“I have a real passion for trees, particularly trees in the urban environment,” Case says.
“And I particularly enjoy educating people about the benefits of trees and the right way to look after them.”
He says even during his years working in forestry, he always had an interest in the “dynamics and synergies” of tress in an urban environment and he also found he was happiest working with his hands doing practical arboriculture work.
“It is important to do cuts properly in order to maximize the benefit to the tree. Any time you do cut a tree, it negatively impacts it, but there is a way of making cuts to minimize that.
“It is exciting, as well as challenging work with a variety of challenges that you need to overcome each day.”
Case plans to continue his education at Kwantlen and will take the next two levels in the arborist program, which will focus on consultation and assessment work as well as advance skills as a climbing arborist.
“I know that in discussions with a client it is often necessary to say what would work best for the tree because we are always looking to satisfy the client while at the same time protect the esthetic integrity of the tree.”