Volume 4, Number 29

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Seattle, Washington

Merritt Scott Miller, Editor

Hi again, from the shores of the Salish Sea.  Well, this week, another child was kidnapped and then murdered.  Human children die on this planet by the hundreds of thousands each day and in more creative ways than the offspring of any other species.  I was naïve enough to believe that among my mother’s people, this was done by outsiders.  Apparently, I was wrong.  The fact that so were a lot of others on the scene and much closer brings me no comfort because it will not bring that young boy back. 

I sometimes wonder where our priorities lay.  I was brought up ~ despite history to the contrary ~ to believe in the sanctity of human life and especially to protect and nurture children.  The Bible and every other religious equivalent I’ve read says that children are the most precious life form there is and that the worst thing a person can do is hurt them.  I know better now, having served in a war that like all wars, also killed kids.  I know better after some years as a crime reporter and a 14-week series on child abuse, as well.

You guys are pretty smart and a lot of you have been around some.  So you tell me.  How can a species and/or a society which claims to love its offspring so much find so many creative ways to kill them or be so busy as to allow others to do that? 

I hope the murderer of this one dies for it.  Yes, quite frankly, now, I wish I could do the job myself.  A thousand times. 


 In Seattle/King County, the justice system takes the crime of cyber bullying very serious, as evidenced in a sentence recently handed down to a 12-year-old girl accused of doing it.  The Northstar Journal is very careful when it comes to the protecting children from abusive adults.  The line becomes a little harder draw when it comes to keeping children from hurting one another.  In view of the extreme consequences of such behavior, however, we feel that justice in this case has been very well served. 

Our neighbors Down Under, because of their reliance on coal for electricity, are the planet’s worst greenhouse gas polluters.  Australian prime minister Julia Gillard acknowledged this when she signed into law a carbon tax of $23 AUS per metric ton of carbon on her country’s 500 worst polluters.  The anticipated cost of shifting to other energy sources will increase the average Australian household’s power bill by $9.90 AUS  a month and 90 percent of those will be eligible for a government reimbursement of $10.10.  An Australian dollar is currently worth about $.94 US; $.98 Canadian and about .66 British ₤. 

Like the spreading effluence of a sinking sewage scow, the News of the World criminal abuses of the press continue to lap at the skirts of the United Kingdom’s most venerated institutions, including the Metropolitan Police, more familiarly known as Scotland Yard.  Its commissioner resigned in the face of accusations by the media and British politicians of what amounts to almost incestuous financial relations with several of the English scandal sheet’s executives.  They have also been charged with being much too lax in investigating allegations that News of the World employees tapped into the phones of hundreds of people, including a 13-year old girl who was kidnapped and murdered.


According to a recent study in British Columbia, it is twice as expensive for the government to do nothing about poverty than it is to help people out.  For more on this one, please go here. 

The Vancouver, BC city council last month awarded the Lawns to Loaves program $5,000 to get started.  So now it looks like in addition to chickens and truck gardens, the metroscape will not include miniature wheat fields.  We’re not quite sure whether we’re watching the country-fication of a big city or the gentrification of Old McDonald and his farm.  But we like the idea that urbanites are growing more of their own groceries.  Yep, for more on this one, please go here. 


When a grizzly bear in Yellowstone National Park smelled an apple in the pack of a lady hiker, it forced her down into a small lake.  When it decided to try swimming out to her, three kayakers launched their vessel and rescued her.  CNN was there to get this one down for the record so yep, for more, please go here

Bedside manners are very important in the health care industry but even other doctors and nurses admit not all medical practitioners have the necessary people skills or the temperament for the job.  Now there’s apparently a test than can screen out those emotionally unsuited for this profession.  America’s newest medical school joined eight others in the US and 13 in Canada in adopting this test to screen applicants.  For more on this one, please go here

This probably belongs in CRITTER STUFF except that it’s about oceanographic research that produced outstanding photographic results, a wealth of information and didn’t cost as much as a fleet of Nissan Leafs.  It’s a splendid example teamwork, resource management, resource implementation and the kind of dedication which also makes enterprises like this such an enjoyable experience for all those involved.  Yep, for more on this one, please go here. 


Sometimes surviving hard times is also about knowing when to modify some lifestyle habits so you don’t kill yourself before it’s your time to go.  Yep, for more on this one, please go here. 


 Well, thanks to global warming and other climate-altering factors, sport and commercial fishermen on the Northwest Coast may likely be catching more blue fin tuna and marlin, while fish like salmon, which thrive best in colder waters, will be migrating up the Canadian and southwest Alaskan coast.  Yep, for more on this one, please go here. 

Humankind has been studying the planet Mercury since we first turned our eyes heavenward at night.  But until recently, we’ve never really had a good look at it.  For the next several years, that exactly what NASA’s Messenger will be doing.  It entered orbit around the planet closest to the sun this past March and what we’ve already learned is astounding scientists.  For more on this one, please go here


 As a sufferer of migraine headaches myself and, like most of you probably, also a lover of ice cream and other sweet stuff not good for me, I was delighted to run across this dialogue in The Peoples Pharmacy in which several readers cured theirs by eating ice cream.  Apparently why or how this happens has not been studied yet but I liked the Pharmacy’s approach.  If it’s working?  Right?  Yep, for more on this one, please go here.

 Sometimes looking good is not about elective surgery and cosmetic enhancement.  Sometimes it’s as easy as eating the right food.  In this case, it’s anything with a lot of Vitamin C in it.  There are these things called carotenoids which really help not only maintain the skin but can actually, in conjunction with other good health habits like not smoking or bathing too little or too much, almost totally halt the aging process and, according to some, actually reverse it.  Yep, for more on this one, please go here.


Defeating cancer is also knowing what kinds of things in one’s environment cause or contribute to it and then going the extra mile to support legislation banning or regulating these factors.  New York Times medical reporter Siddhartha Mukherjee talk about how the federal government is doing just that and the challenges which stand before all of us in a fight we can win if we care enough to cooperate.  Yep, for more on this one, please go here. 

Cancer:  What You Need to Know
American Cancer Society
Canadian Cancer Society
Cancer Research Journal
National Cancer Institute (American)
Fighting Breast Cancer: Breast Cancer Survivor Stories
Science Daily:  Health & Medicine News


Well, those of you who envy the top dog in the pack, are a leader yourself or whether you’re an alpha male with ambition, you might want to take a page from the Book of Baboons.  The males of the species fight hard to get to the top and stay there.  Their stress level, however, is the same as those at the bottom of the primate hierarchy.  Alpha baboons tend to have better sex more often that their Beta counterparts but the also-rans tend to live longer and happier.  These nice guys might still finish last but they do live to finish. 


Celtic Woman is The Northstar Journal’s favourite musical performance group.  When it is inspiration in a song we seek, they invariably provide it and they look as good as they sound.  The production values of their performances, whether at the Helix in Dublin or on a television stage in Adelaide, are flawless.  Perhaps most endearing for me is that these Irish ladies are totally ingenuous, and totally free of pretense or posturing.  They have a global following and for a sampling of why, please go here. 

(The) Clearwater Marine Aquarium inFlorida is the home of Winter, the rescued dolphin who was fitted with a prosthetic fluke and continues to amaze marine lovers the world over by her recovery.  The CMA is in the marine mammal rescue business for real, both as a public amusement site at which they also take care of a variety of species, and on the web as well.  Their videos and other information also make for a nice “educational” experience to share with others. 

Finding Rootedness is perhaps the most empowering blog we have yet come across for those of us who value positive and empowering alternatives.  This one is for the window pushers among us.  It offers not only solid alternatives to the chaos but news of where these options are being successfully implemented. 

Irish Newsletter is an outstanding pocket source of Irish life, politics and times.  Particularly well written are their news snaps (shorts) which ~ according to friends of mine inErin ~ literally tell it like it is.  While theRepublic ofIreland’s population is only about 4.5-million, there are an estimated 80 million people of Irish descent worldwide and email version of this reached 50,000 of them.

Sightline Daily is the bestPacific Northwest source of environmentally friendly news we’ve encountered yet.  They draw from newspapers and National Public Radio sources in Alaska, Alberta, British Columbia, California, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, Oregon and WashingtonState. 

Words Matter: How Media Can Build Civility or Destroy It is a “Should Read” for any of us involved in the communication of the written word. 

Yes magazine is the online Life and Look of the Internet combined and their present series “What Happy Families Know is both insightful and inspirational.


Okay, this isn’t exactly a Seattle scene unless they start including the house I live in on a walking tour. But it’s common enough around here. Her name is Silky. She’s totally black and if you look closely at her right paw, you can see why she would be considered magic. Yep, six toes on both paws. Photo by MSM



Those of us with four or more unpaid parking tickets better get them paid off quickly, otherwise our vehicles could get the boot.  That’s a device that fixes to the tire of a parked car and prevents it from going anywhere.  Parking enforcement officers in two vans will be cruising the city’s streets with a camera which scans the license plates of parked cars and trucks into a 20,000 vehicle database.  Those with four or more parking tickets will, literally, get the boot.  Yep, for more on this one, please go here

Population:                   612.000
GreaterSeattleArea      3,707,400
Area:                            84 sq mi/217 sq km
Density:                        7,286 people per sq mi/2,821 per sq km
Annual Rainfall:             36.2 inches/92 cm, ranking it 41st in rainy US cities
More Seattle Facts & Figures
Upcoming Events
Seattle/Lake Washington Eagle Camera 


Rusty Miller – Writer/Editor For Hire for everything from business letters to data entry to editing and proofing, to speech writing and special projects, you’ll find it here at negotiable rates.  I don’t consider any request too small and I don’t take on any that are too large.  For a full list of services and more information, please go here

The Northstar Gallery features photography ofSeattle available as postcards, computer wallpaper and workspace art. 

The Northstar General Store is a truly unique online shopping experience and reflects what you, the readers, have said interests you the most.  Whether it’s a specialty food item for that proverbial someone who has everything else or just to browse with some discretionary capital to spend on a whim, you’ll find everything from quality camping gear to interesting CDs, DVDs and books to totally fun and otherwise useless toys, women and men’s apparel and a wide variety of other items and wares you simply will not find under a single roof anywhere else on the Net.  And by shopping here, you help us pay our bills.  To enter and check it out, please click the picture of the store above. 

Wrath of the Testament, an exciting seagoing saga of war and rebellion, is now available for $3.99 at 

SPONSORSHIPS  The Northstar Journal is now accepting sponsorships from individuals, organizations, causes, etc. in which we believe.  Sponsorships begin at $5.00 a week for a simple small logo and link to the source.  Ads more elaborate than that are negotiated and charged on an individual basis.  For more details, email us at or click on the graphic above. 


Employment in the Seattle Area:  AppleOne is looking to fill the following positions.

Site Spvr- Redmond, $12.50, 1 month, facilities, reception backup, shipping receiving, deliver mail
On Site Specialist- Bellevue, $10, 1 month, Mail delivery, shipping/ receiving
Field Support Rep- Bellevue, $13, 1 month, switchboard, mail room, shipping clerk, facilities services (room set up, light bulbs… etc) general office support Support Rep– Seattle, $10, 1 month, Copy room, Mail Room, Reception

Mobility Specialist- $18, 3 months, relocation/mobility, immigration, HR
Recruiter- $35, 5 months, 3+ years full desk corp recruiting
Market Coordinator- $15, 1 year, Hotel experience, Marketing experience, quick learner, admin experience
Reporting Analyst- $25, 6 months, business requirements and documentation, SQL, road mapping, inventory of reports, process improvement.

Project Manager- $30, 5 months, very general Project Manager, 5+ years, Bachelors degree

Email Karen Ford at


The greater Puget Sound/Salish Sea has depths which have never really been mapped or photographed before.  An expedition recently organized has been doing exactly that, using remote sleds with ski helmet video cameras attached.  They’re operating well below usual SCUBA depth and what they’re finding is an incredible diversity of marine life more usually associated with the teeming coral reefs of much warmer waters to the south.  For more on this one and to see some incredible photos, please go here

The Obama Administration has agreed to decide by 2018 which among 757 species proposed for the Endangered Species List will actually make it.  For more and that list, please go here

Recommended Related Links:
Oceana:  The National Geographic of the World’s Oceans
How to Behave Around Bears
Seattle/Lake Washington Eagle Camera
National Wildlife Magazine
Go Northwest:  Northwest Wildlife Websites
BBC’s wildlife finder
National Geographic Daily News – Animals
Retrieverman’s Weblog: — Engaging articles on domestic & wildlife in the American South – More than most of us ever wanted to know about these critters
The National Park Service’s endangered species database
Center for Biological Diversity — profiles for a wide range of rare flora and fauna
The International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Red List – a comprehensive database for rarities around the planet 


If anyone wants to adopt an anaconda, now’s the time to speak up.  Humane society officials are looking for new owners for it because it is considered too dangerous a pet to have in ~ get this ~ rural Washington State.  Yep, for more on this one, please go here.

Well, that’s about it for this week.  If you enjoyed this edition and would like to contribute to the next, please go here

Take care, stay well and God Bless


About minstrel312

MERRITT SCOTT MILLER Bio Wrath of the Testament Author and Northstar Journal editor Merritt Scott (Rusty) Miller is a former newspaper reporter who has published extensively in the Pacific Northwest and several times nationally. A U.S. Navy veteran of the Vietnam War, he began his career in the alternative media of the mid-Seventies. His own Sacramento-based monthly ~ Rapline ~ drew praise from Sacramento BEE metro columnist Herb Michelson in a column published that that newspaper; and from Berkeley Film Quarterly editor and author of the bestsellers Ecotopia and Ecotopia Emerging, Ernest Callenbach. A Northern California native with roots in British Columbia, Mr. Miller has written for several Northwest community newspapers, United Press International, the daily Portland Oregonian and for such Seattle publications as the Post-Intelligencer, The Seattle Press and the University Herald. As an investigative reporter for the McMinnville, Oregon News-Register ~ and in conjunction with CBS News in New York, Washington, DC and Flagstaff, Arizona ~ Mr. Miller localized a story of alleged Contra gun-running by an international air freight company headquartered in that Willamette Valley community. During the 1987 Angel Complex Fire in southern Oregon, Mr. Miller worked as the lead dispatcher for the U.S. Forest Service and covered the disaster for National Public Radio and as a special writer for the Portland, Oregonian. His 1988 series on child abuse for a rural weekly earned him praise from the Oregon Newspaper Publishers Association. In his career as a journalist, Mr. Miller has interviewed a Nobel peace laureate; an internationally renowned abstract artist; a popular folksinger and various Pacific Northwest elected officials, include a state treasurer and governor. An accomplished travel book writer, Mr. Miller has penned demographic and feature copy for the “Best Choices” series on Eastern Washington, British Columbia, Virginia, South Carolina and Atlanta. As either a contract or staff publicist, he has served a host of clients including the Olympia Music Festival, Umpqua Valley Community Hospital, the City of Canyonville, the Tiller Ranger District, The English School, the Yamhill County Board of Commissioners, Yamhill County Assessor Kim Worrell and Workers of Oregon Development. His freelance publications include: United Press International, the Seattle Post-Intelligencer, the Portland Oregonian, Forest World, American Trucking, Trucks, Oregon Adventures, Oregon Education, Old Oregon, The Entertainer, the Seattle Press, the San Juan Island Sounder, Northwest Passage, Northwest Connection, Seattle Source, Seattle Forum, the University of Colorado’s Writers Forum, Clouds, The long Beach Literary Journal and the Pacific Media Group. He has worked since the age of 13 and has been a hop harvester, professional musician, civil servant, forester, convenience market clerk, lumber mill worker, temporary word processor, technical writer and editor. He has also led a social services research and development team and has six years of radio and telephone communications experience. His interests include astronomy, aviation, camping, Canada, communications, conversation, cooking, dancing, economic development, education, environmentalism, exploration, film/DVDs, fine dining, government, green technology, health. History, human rights, International community, Internet media, law, literature, marine engineering & design, medicine, music, nature, networking, outdoors, pets, photography, romance, science, sexuality, technology, travel, water, wildlife His honors and awards include: Letter of Appreciation - Amnesty International; US Senator Patti Murray Letter of Appreciation for The Northstar Journal Blog; Editors Choice, International Library of Poetry; Congressman Edward Murray Letter of Appreciation; Congressman Frank Chopp Letter of Appreciation; Hersch Best Read on the Net Award for The Northstar Journal; President Bill Clinton Letter of Appreciation; Workers Of Oregon Development Certificate of Appreciation; City of Canyonville Police Department Certificate of Appreciation; City of Canyonville Mayor’s Office Certificate of Appreciation; California Supreme Court Justice Rose Bird Letter of Appreciation; Northwest Magazine Editorial Board Letter of Appreciation for Rain; Editorial Award, Society of Professional Journalists; Sacramento Bee Metro Column; Honor Roll: California State University Long Beach; Deans List: Long Beach City; Mr. Miller currently resides in Seattle, Washington, where he continues to edit and publish The Northstar Journal. He is working on two novels concurrently and a sequel to Wrath of the Testament.
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