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Endangered Atlantic Sturgeon shows up north of Easton

A huge, rare fish showed up on the banks of the Delaware River north of Easton.

A commission biologist confirmed Monday afternoon that the landowner found an Atlantic sturgeon, an endangered species that can grow up to 15 feet long and weigh more than 100 pounds. It’s by far the largest fish navigating the Delaware River and perhaps the most elusive.

This particular sturgeon was a male measuring about 6 feet 3 inches, according to Forks Township resident Marty Crozier, who discovered the carcass while doing maintenance on his dock Saturday. Crozier said he called the commission and led a field biologist to it Monday.

“I’ve been on this river for 50 years and it’s the first time I’ve ever seen something of that nature,” said the semi-retired Crozier, 60. “It was an experience. Let me put it that way.”

Greg Murphy, a fisheries biologist with the commission, said the commission should have more information on the sturgeon later this week. In addition to taking various measurements, the field biologist was expected to check to see if the fish was tagged as part of a research program aimed at tracking Atlantic sturgeon. If that’s the case, a wealth of information could be gleaned, he said.


Original source: Lehigh Valley Live
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Live-streaming Pittsburgh's bald eagles

The Pennsylvania Game Commission is now live streaming an eagles nest in Pittsburgh. 

Only 30 years ago, Pennsylvania had a mere three bald eagle nests left in the entire state. Today, Pennsylvania boasts more than 250 nests including this one near Pittsburgh. Click here to view a 20-minute documentary about bald eagle restoration in Pennsylvania and learn bald eagle fast facts, identification tips, nest viewing etiquette and more.

This camera provides a way for us to view the nest without stressing the birds. Federal mandates prohibit anyone from approaching within 660 feet of any bald eagle nest from January 15 until young eagles fledge. It is important to note that nature includes all creatures not just the eagles and eggs showcased through this camera. The Game Commission's mission is to manage Pennsylvania's wild birds, mammals and their habitats for current and future generations. Although we hope to watch three young eagles fledge from this nest, we advocate for all native wildlife and therefore will not take measures to prevent another animal (such as the raccoon that made an attempt at the eggs) from conducting its natural behavior. Despite predation and other nest failures, the bald eagle population is increasing at a rate of 10 to 15 percent each year.


Check out the livestream here.
Via ABC 27

PA's Trickling Springs Creamery provides vital ingredient in NYC's top Irish coffee

The Irish owners of New York's The Dead Rabbit searched far and wide for the perfect cream to top an Irish Coffee. They found what they were looking for in Pennsylvania.

"I think the cream we were using in Ireland had more oil content," said Jack McGarry, who, with his business partner Sean Muldoon, worked at the Merchant Hotel bar in Belfast before moving to New York and opening the Dead Rabbit last year. "But when we came here it wasn’t the same. We knew it for the first year we were open. It’s a problem we had from Day 1."

The solution to the tavern’s cream quandary presented itself in December at a Brooklyn dinner party where Mr. Muldoon met Patrick Watson, the proprietor of Stinky Bklyn, a cheese and charcuterie shop. Mr. Watson was primed for a cream conversation, as he had recently returned from a very dairy family vacation in Ireland.

"As I was having my Guinness, my two 14-year-old nephews are drinking a glass of milk," he recalled of the trip. "And they were freaking out, like we were freaking out about the Guinness. I figured, if a 14-year-old kid is freaking out, I’d better taste this milk. So the whole trip was about dairy."

Mr. Muldoon asked him if he could find a quality cream for the Irish coffee. So Mr. Watson sent his buyer, Katy McNulty, on a milk hunt. "We took eight or nine creams and whittled it down to five," he said.

Their favorite was from Trickling Springs Creamery in south central Pennsylvania. "It had a deeper color," Mr. Watson said. "It had this flavor and texture to it that was naturally sweet."

The bar owners agreed. "This cream is completely different," Mr. McGarry said. "It’s almost eggy."


Original source: The New York Times
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Quail eggs from PA make it onto state dinner menu

The state dinner menu in honor of President François Hollande of France will feature quail eggs from Pennsylvania alongside other domestic delicacies.

In a nod to French cuisine, the menu will meld all-American food with French flair, set against a backdrop of purple irises and the music of the Bronx-raised, Grammy-winning artist Mary J. Blige.

The meal will include quail eggs from Pennsylvania and American Osetra caviar from the president’s adopted home state of Illinois, as well as 12 kinds of potatoes.

Michelle Obama’s fingerprints are especially evident in the salad course, featuring a “winter garden salad” of what the White House called petite mixed radishes, merlot lettuce and baby carrots inspired by the first lady’s kitchen garden.

The main course will be a dry-aged rib eye of beef, brought in from a family farm in Colorado and topped with blue cheese from Vermont.


Original source: The New York Times
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PA Farm Show descends on Harrisburg

Half a million people -- and 6,000 animals -- are coming together to celebrate local food at the Pennsylvania Farm Show. (The event runs through January 11.)

There are 13,000 competitive exhibits, from nuts to Christmas trees, from chickens to cows, along with 300 commercial exhibitors, including many selling food products and crafts, and tradesmen touting their wares.
 
With the theme "Pennsylvania Farms: Growing for You," the 2014 show highlights agriculture's $67 billion impact on the state's economy.

There may not be as many farmers as once plowed the fields and milked the cows of Pennsylvania, but the number of farms actually grew by 5,000 from 2002 to 2007, according to the state Department of Agriculture. There are now 62,200 farms, and agriculture remains Pennsylvania's number-one industry.


Original source: The Philadelphia Inquirer
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Eagles on top of NFC East, clean energy

BusinessWeek writes about the NFC East-leading Philadelphia Eagles and the team's innovative use of alternative energy and power distribution at its stadium, Lincoln Financial Field.
 
The stadium’s current power capacity pushes up to the limit for “customer-generators,” or small producers, in Pennsylvania. More solar panels would trigger different regulations, Smolenski said. In particular, the stadium could no longer participate in so-called net-metering, which allows small producers to sell power back into the grid. It would instead belong to a category of power producers that must participate in wholesale electricity markets, according to an NRG Energy spokesperson.
 
Original source: Business Week
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How Philadelphia sustainability pioneer Judy Wicks mixes food, fun and social activism

Christian Science Monitor profiles pioneering, sustainability-focused entrepreneur and restaurauter Judy Wicks.
 
In the early days of the White Dog Cafe, located in the downstairs of Wicks’ Victorian brownstone, she couldn’t afford to build a commercial kitchen or hire a chef. She cooked the restaurant’s meals in her own kitchen while she watched her young son and daughter, and customers tromped upstairs to use the family’s bathroom. Eventually the restaurant filled three row houses, a companion retail store filled two more, and her businesses were grossing $5 million annually.
 
Original source: Christian Science Monitor
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Philly's Greensgrow model for CSA's financial success

GreenSource profiles the highly successful Philadelphia-based nonprofit CSA Greensgrow.
 
Mary Seton Corboy didn't expect much help when in 1998 she found an acre of toxic brownfield in Kensington, a dodgy neighborhood in Philadelphia, to start her business. Yet she was able to acquire a $47,000 loan, and Greensgrow Farm was launched. Before the farm even opened, Corboy secured a handful of chef friends at Philadelphia restaurants as clients to buy her hydroponically grown lettuce and tomatoes. First year, the farm grossed $5,000; the next year, $50,000. Today, Greensgrow—a nonprofit organization—brings in receipts totaling over $1 million annually. 
 
Original source: Greensource
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Philadelphia No. 7, Pittsburgh No. 24 on 25 Most Pedestrian Oriented and Walkable Cities list.

List 25 puts Philadelphia at No. 7 and Pittsburgh at No. 24 on its Most Pedestrian Oriented and Walkable Citiest list.
 
With five of its neighborhoods ranking really high on walkability and biking scores, Philadelphia ranks among the top five most walkable large cities in the US. They have really good walk paths and with the number of restaurants, bars and coffee shops in the city, one can walk pass four shops in five minutes on average.
 
Original source: List 25
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Penn State introduces online masters program in renrewable energy

Clean Energy Authority reports on Penn State's announcement that it has introduced an online masters program in renewable energy.

Penn State opted to offer the masters degree as part of its growing World Campus, a collection of 90 online degrees provided through the school and aimed at attracting working students and students who live far from the physical campus in Pennsylvania. The online catalogue of courses gives students flexibility.

Original source: Clean Energy Authority
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Dickinson ranked No. 2 coolest school for sustainability

Dickinson College in Carlisle is no stranger to lists recognizing green initiatives among the nation's campuses, and the Sierra Club's most recent magazine ranked the school No. 2 on its top ten cool schools for sustainability.

Since 2008, Dickinson has bought enough wind power to offset all of its electrical needs. And since 2006, students have been collecting grease from local restaurants and turning it into biodiesel for the Carlisle, Pennsylvania, campus's vehicle fleet. If all goes according to plan, the school will achieve zero net emissions by 2020. Meanwhile, cafeterias serve student-grown produce, construction crews build to LEED Gold standards, and paper use has dropped by 60% over the past four years. Above, students install solar panels to power an irrigation pump at Dickinson's certified-organic College Farm.

Original source: Sierra Magazine
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Schuylkill River Trail among country's best for urban bike paths

USA Today's list of 12 best urban bike paths includes Philadelphia's Schuylkill River Trail.
 
Called the best bike path in Philly by Philadelphia Weekly, the 23-mile Schuylkill River Trail is a boon to commuters entering the city from Montgomery County, residents looking for a scenic shortcut through parts of downtown, and recreational cyclists making a weekend escape. The path winds unbroken, except for two short segments, all the way to Valley Forge National Historical Park.
 
Original source: USA Today
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Pittsburgh's charming inclines give provide character as well as function

Metropolis writes about the unique features that define our cities' character, including the many inclines in and around Pittsburgh.
 
Across from downtown Pittsburgh, Mount Washington rises sharply to a plateau. It’s a formidable redoubt, this escarpment separating the riverbank below, once site of the waterfront factories and warehouses that helped make Pittsburgh prosperous, and the casual boulevard above, with its thriving bars and restaurants offering spectacular views back to the city.
 
Look carefully and notice two sets of cable cars negotiating this dramatic hillside. They service residents of the suburbs above going about their daily lives and are today among Pittsburgh’s most celebrated attractions. The Inclines miraculously survived from the industrial era, when the city could boast of more than a dozen such machines. Known as the Monongahela and the Duquesne, and dating from the 1870s, each consists of a double run of track and a contiguous cable, with one car ascending as its twin descends.
 
Original source: Metropolis
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Cleantech investment in Pennsylvania surpasses $45M for 2013

Thanks to a $35 million investment from Bill Gates and others in Pittsburgh's Aquion Energy, Pennsylvania cleantech companies raised more than $44 million in the second quarter, according to a press release posted to CNBC.
 
According to data in i3, Pennsylvania’s top deals and their investors were:
 
Aquion Energy, an Energy Storage company, raised $35,000,000 from Bill Gates (private investor), Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers (KPCB), Bright Capital, Gentry Venture Partners, Foundation Capital, and Advanced Technology Ventures

Zonoff, an Energy Efficiency company, raised $3,784,319 from Grotech Ventures, and Valhalla Partners

RedZone Robotics, a Water & Wastewater company, raised $3,249,345 from ABS Capital Partners, and FourWinds Capital Management

Liquid X Printed Materials, an Advanced Materials company, raised $1,370,000

Momentum Dynamics, a Transportation company, raised $1,005,000
 
Original source: CNBC (press release)
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Taking a look under Pittsburgh's green and clean hood

While maintaining its small-city charm, Pittsburgh has achieved large-city greatness via many sustainability initiatives, reports Organic Gardening.
 
The civic move to sustainability is best seen at the Phipps Conservatory and Botanical Gardens, which is centered on a Victorian glasshouse built in 1893 on 21⁄2 acres. The welcome center, completed in 2005, includes a café that sources organic and local whenever possible. The production greenhouses became the first greenhouses to achieve LEED certification and were certified at the platinum level in 2012. (LEED, or Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design, is a certification process for green construction.)
 
Original source: Organic Gardening
Read the full story here.
 
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