Winner of Two Hersh Best Read On The Net Awards

Volume 4, Number 35

Sunday, September 4, 2011

Seattle, Washington

Merritt Scott Miller, Editor

Dennis William Steussy, Associate Editor

Hi again, from the shores of the Salish Sea.  Like millions west of the Mississippi and around the world, we continue to be awed by the devastation of Tropical Storm Irene.  We are, as well, intensely interested in how the affected areas are dealing with it. And we are extremely impressed by the quiet compassion, courage and coming together Americans are displaying, particularly at the community level.  There is no looting, no hysteria and now that Glenn Beck has cooled his jets, nobody trying to turn an act of nature into a theological or political football. 

And as headlines throughout the Northeast tell us, Days After the Storm, Many Are Still in the Dark.  In New England, Vermont Officials Assess the Risks in Towns Lacking Water and Power.  Covered Bridges, Beloved Remnants of Another Era, Were Casualties, TooStorm Leaves Catskill Towns Little but Debris  Irene:  A State By State Look At Its Impact   

Now the recovery commences, and, As Water Recedes, Cleanup Begins Across Northeast  Millions Wait For Power To Come Back on After Irene  

In those nations blessed with a free press and a responsible readership, history can be read in headlines.  And in headlines, as well, a nation’s character is often defined.  This will, I am certain, be archived as one ofAmerica’s finest hours. 


Well, this will not come as real good news to the survivors of Irene.  The main reason so many people were able to get out of that angry lady’s way is because there is a network of weather satellites orbiting the planet and some solid analyzing and putting their photos and other measurements out there for the media.  Thanks to the Obama administration’s decision to dramatically reduce NASA’s budget, those satellites which die of old age up there are not going to be replaced.  Yep, for the full story, go here.  And if this prospect makes you as angry as it does us, tell your elected officials in that Camelot On The Potomac by going here. 

The CEO of Starbucks is hosting a national telephone forum on Tuesday, Sept. 6.  It sounds as though he’s as fed up with the behavior of both political parties as most Americans and he’s using some of his own considerable money and influence to change that.  He’s called upon Corporate America to immediately stop contributing to politicians or campaigns and to create their own economic stimulus packages within their respective industries.  For more, please go hereTo learn more about Tuesday’s national forum, please go here

Well, here’s one that sent some chills through me.  Because they think it might be the same microbe responsible for the bubonic plague, scientists are attempting to retrieve the DNA of microbe which caused the Black Death plagues which decimated Europe and then the British Isles in the mid-1300s.  They are excavating beneath the Royal Mint in London down to where 1,800 English Black Death victims are buried.  Is it just me or do a few others of you also feel that this is a very, very bad idea? 

On Wednesday, September 14, what could possibly be the biggest Internet media ever takes place.  In 24 time zones, in 13 languages and using 24 presenters, it shows how people around the world are experiencing and dealing with climate change.  You can elect to watch all of it or a portion of it, by time zone.  For the trailer on this one and for more information, please go here.  And yep, we’ve already RSVP’d so we’ll be there in birkies, camous and a green t-shirt.  We’ll be the ones sneaking in our own popcorn and Seattle tap water. 


One of the historical shames both Canada and the States share is their treatment of the several nations that were here in North America when Europeans “discovered” this continent.  Canada’s history of making amends in these regards behind an unimpeachable sincerity is perhaps one of the other reasons she is regarded as highly as she is by the International Community.  Assuming that all nations can learn from the good example of one, The Northstar Journal invites you to read this story headlined Report urges 100 fixes to stop native teen suicides.  With thanks to Kira Sovanof and Micheal Sean-Patric McGuire. 


A Mexican farm worker from Jalisco has earned the lifelong gratitude of an Eastern Washington family and the respect and admiration of a small farming community.  Jesus Villanueva, who does not speak English, rescued two dogs who were drowning in the swiftly moving Roza Canal.  He did it by borrowing a rope from a Yakima County deputy sheriff and lassoing both canines.  Yep, this is one of those stand up and cheer stories definitely worth the read

Much more, for perhaps understandable reasons, is publicized about the incredible scientific breakthroughs which not only prolong human life but enhance it as well than is shared about those dedicated ~ and largely unsung ~  individuals who make those breakthroughs possible in the first place.  Our profound gratitude, then, to The New Generation of Microbe Hunters 

Storm drenched New Jersey has passed one of the toughest laws on the books regarding school bullying.  Go, youse guys. 


In a real tribute to the technology, cell phone networks proved largely immune to the ravages of Hurricane Irene.  Yep, for more, go here

Here’s a well intentioned application of technology with incredible abuse potential.  As another wildlife management tool, scientists have developed a collar which can not only measure an animal’s vital signs but also, with a GPS link, tell where a creature ate, slept, etc.  It is also ultimately less expensive than current methods of just going out where wildlife lives and keeping track of them that way.  And getting to know some of these creatures personally.  With all due respect but also speaking from experience, that will provide a lot more information than a collar that might also ~ in the wrong hands ~ be put on human beings.  In other words, how would you, personally, feel about being forced to wear one? 

I’m also proud to be living in a city which is constructing the greenest office building in the world.  


If you’re an avid tea drinker (at least one cup a day), you’re probably healthier than many of those who do not indulge.  And you’re likely to live longer.  Why?  For that answer, yep, go here

And if you can cultivate a taste for it, as we have, green tea is even better because it also improves memory and the ability to focus. And with both black and green tea, you can also add stuff to it like honey and milk.  Yep, flavor to taste.  Here’s the link to this one, as well


Each year, thousands of children in America die of a disease that is equally lethal to adults.  September 2011 is ~ by proclamation of President Barack Obama ~ National Childhood Cancer Awareness Month.  For more, yes, 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 


For those of us who really want to understand this whole issue of job creation, we offer up this perspective by Yamhill County, Oregon native and twice-Pulitzer Prize winner, New York Times Op-Ed columnist Nicholas D. Kristof entitled Did We Drop The Ball On Unemployment? 


NEW has a comprehensive email directory of American federal and state elected officials and government agencies.  You fill in two or three blanks, hit Enter and you’ve got what you need to offer support or air a grievance. 

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. 

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 throughout the American west, Northwest, Western Canada and Alaska. 

Yes magazine is the editorial hammer of the Green Movement and the most deeply rooted, informative, insightful and magazine on the Net. 


Yes, Seattle really does have a summer. Photo by MSM

One of the more interesting aspects of publishing a magazine based in a city with a soggy reputation is the myth busting involved.  I love it, then, when I come across somebody else also doing it, as in this outstanding article by Scott Sistek headlined September, the forgotten fourth month of Seattle’s three month summer. 


Because of the heavy concentration in Seattle of the technology addressed, we thought this opportunity to participate in one of the largest online free courses in artificial intelligence yet offered would especially appeal.  It is being offered by Stanford University and for more information, yep, 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 


Any media professionals interested in relocating to the Greater Seattle area?  Microsoft is looking for a good PR person.  For details, 


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. 

Sponsorship ads are another way The Northstar Journal generates operating capital.  These begin at $5.00 a week for a simple small logo and web page link.  Ads more elaborate than that are negotiated and charged on an individual basis.  For more details, email us at

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


Once it’s been tipped, the balance of nature is pretty tricky to restore.  And how does one determine which is more important, a salmon or a seabird?  That’s the focus of this very informative story by Seattle Times environmental reporter Craig Welch headlined Trouble in Sea Bird Paradise

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


I imagine this is going to crack the lid of a Pandora’s Box or two.  A guy in California got arrested for biting a python.  Have fun with this one gang, and yep, we’ll take publishable comments on this one too at

Well, that’s about it for this week.  If you enjoyed this edition and would like to contribute to the next, please go here.  For a quick way to respond to what you’ve experienced here, yep, go here

Take care, stay well and God Bless.





And in loving memory of Shannon Patricia Goddard Mills aka “Short Stuff," 1962 - 2000, Northstar Journal Canadian editor emeritus


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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