decus, integritas, probitas 

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Now reaching informed readers in America, Canada, Ireland, England, Scotland, France, Germany, Norway, Sweden, Russia & Australia

Volume 4, No. 43

Sunday, October 30, 2011


Merritt Scott Miller, Editor

Dennis William Steussy, Associate Editor

Sadako Sasaki, January 10, 1943 – October 25, 1945. This statue of her is in a small Seattle, Washington park. For some of us, as long as she is not forgotten, she is immortal.

Hi again, from the shores of the Salish Sea.  As we observed last week in our lead editorial about the small community in Alaska going up against a mining operation to save its fishery and way of life, some stories that grab take place in remote outposts of the world.  Others do not.

It appears that the breach at the nuclear plant in Fuskushima released twice as much radiation as previously estimated.  Preliminary studies suggest that it will total about 40 percent of that ofChernobyl.

I sincerely hope no one, including the Japanese themselves, leap to judgment and look for scapegoats.  That may work for an oil spill or other clearly non-naturally precipitated disasters.  We do the best we can with what we have.  If we decide this form of energy is necessary, we do all we can to keep ahead of what appears to be nature’s decision that, “sorry, guys, no it is not.”

Where I live, we have people known as “down winders”.  It refers  ~ in a general sense ~ to people who live in the immediate vicinity of a nuclear reactor site.  In my state, that is theHanford mentioned in this link.

We have our reminders then and that also explains ~ at least in part but a very important part ~ why this state is going green.  The statue above is here inSeattleand in one of our micro-parks which proliferate in such surprising abundance.  This two-year-old Japanese girl survivedHiroshimaand died of radiation poisoning after.  Anyone who has ever been through chemotherapy or witnessed same knows what that child endured before she crossed over.

As a people, as a nation, no one can know better, however, than the Japanese themselves.  They will do what they can to prevent this from happening again.  They do not nee

I pray we agree that we would be better off as a world community to turn to our own Hanfords, our own Chernobyls, our ownThreeMileIslands.  And ask ourselves, as I am certain our Japanese brothers and sisters are asking themselves, is nuclear fission really what we want?

I have a feeling I know what Sadako Sasaki would answer.  I have a feeling you do too.


In America, apparently the rich keep getting more that way while the rest of us struggle to just break even.  According to a recent government report, the top one percent of wage earners in this country doubled their income in the last 30 years.  The findings of this study are expected to figure prominently in the ongoing political dialogue about how to restore theUS economy.

Two Australian inventors claim to have created a new kind of electric generator and if what they say proves true, several fundamental laws of physics will need to be rewritten as well.   This device allegedly, once started from a battery, generates not only enough power to keep itself going but to generate 24 kilowatts of power.  That’s about what it takes to supply the average home.  It is expected to sell for $5,000 Australian/$5300 US.

In an effort to provide better coverage for its European subscribers, Facebook is building a new server farm, its first outside theUS, inSweden near theArctic Circle.  We thank the CBC for this one.  It has an artist’s rendering and more information I found totally fascinating.


Small business in British Columbia account for 98 percent of the commerce in this, Canada’s westernmost province.  A significant share of these are what are called “micro-businesses,” companies which employ four or less.  Rather than depending on majour monolithic industry giants to sustain its economy and the vitality of its people,Ottawa decided several years ago to focus on pushing the creation of a matrix of small businesses stretching fromHalifax toVictoria.  This report suggests they have done exactly that.

The same storm which brought such “delightfully snowy” weather to much of the American coastal northeast slammed into the Maritimes and eastern Canada, bringing snow, high winds and as much as 50 mm/1.9 inches of rain.  The front reached as far east asQuebec City and has cost three American lives so far.

In the wake of the fatal crash of the Northern Thunderbird Air commuter aircraft Thursday, Richmond Mayor Malcolm Brodie is calling for new rules for how smaller aircraft use a majour metropolitan airport.  The pilot was killed and all nine passengers injured when the plane attempted to land on a Richmond street and erupted into flame one kilometre/.6 miles from a runway of the Vancouver airport.


The governments of Australia and Canada are heading an international enforcement network which should really put a chill on telemarketing, regardless of which company it originates from and to which it is destined.  An example of what it is designed to stop is Mexican telemarketers trying to sell vacation packages to Canadians.

All of Canada mourns Northern Thunderbird Air pilot Luc Fortin.  He did not survive the crash of his nine-passenger commuter aircraft last week.  The plane went down near theVancouverAirport,Richmond,BC.  His widow said that her husband, an outstanding mate and parent, will be missed but that the most important thing to them is that all the people on board her husband’s plane survived.  I can think of no finer testament to the Canadian national character than this.

Canada buried another hero last week.  This one plunged into the icy waters of theArctic in an attempted air sea rescue of a father and son not far from theNunavut.  His name was Sgt. Janick Gilbert, 34, of Baie-Comeau, and he was with the air search and rescue wing of the Canadian Forces.  Finest kind, Sgt. Gilbert.  Your sacrifice will not soon be forgotten.


Hearing loops, very common in Northern Europe, have arrived in America, much to the gratification of thousands of the estimated 38-million hearing impaired in this country.  This story describes them as “the equivalent of a wheelchair ramp for people who used to be socially isolated because of their hearing loss,” by David G. Myers, a professor of psychology at Hope College in Holland, Michigan., who is hard of hearing.

Apparently, but not surprisingly, the evolution of technology continues to eliminate jobs performed by human beings.  This is now being cited as an additional cause of global unemployment.  What is disappointing about many stories like this is that they do not look at the new jobs being created and the additional lifestyle choices appropriate progress empowers.  I found this article fascinating, however, despite the fact that it does not do that either.

Remember back when the Flintstones were a real popular on TV and people listened to music on plastic disks that came in three speeds?  Well, if you’ve still got any of those around, you might want to hang onto them.  Three young Dutch inventors have created a bicycle which plays them while cycling.  We have about 28,000 bike commuters in the Seattle area.  Imagine even half of them tooling down the road, each playing a different tune.  Imagine 28,000 people and everything else within earshot coming down with massive migraines..  I appreciate the engineering involved but this is not one of the better contributions the Dutch have made to geo-culture.  And certainly not in league with the microscope, the telescope, bacteria, Saturn’s rings, Australia, the submarine, the artificial kidney and the CD.


Now that winter is coming, with reduced sunshine, the US Health Department is reminding those of African descent to make sure they are getting enough Vitamin D.  For more details on this one, please go here.

According to a recent study, one in three American adults is obese.  Each of one these who works costs their employer $1,000 to $6,000 per year.  I know this doesn’t come as good news to the millions of you who are struggling with this.  But since you also usually die much younger, I think all of us need a better understanding of how this impacts all of us.  Economics is not the only way a nation accrues debt.  And grief is the one we can least afford.  If we continue to lose you folks at the rate we are now, the sadness alone could flood us out.

Center For Disease Control Disease FAQs Index
Tips and Tools For Staying Young
Weight Watchers:  Calculate Your Body Mass Index


The greatest weapon in fighting any disease ~ but particularly cancer ~ is knowledge.  Sometimes it comes in a very rarified and scientific form.  At other times, it’s knowing what to really worry about.  This article debunks 25 myths about breast cancer.

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


What did Thomas Edison and Steve Jobs have in common?  As it turns out, so much that this could well be a Halloween mirror.



America’s Statue of Liberty celebrated her 125th birthday last week.  For a video tour of this venerable and inspirational monument, please go here.


Animal Tracks is’s Critter Stuff.  They feature stories of every facet of the creature kingdom from the domestic to the primordial.  This is a great stress buster for me and a profound pick-me-up if I’m having a “poor me” day.

Baby pandas soak up sun for the first time

FREE VIDEO is for those of us who in whom the Inner Child is still alive and well.  It’s a joyful romp with totally ingenuous music and outstanding video footage, including scenes of trolley cars inSan Francisco.  This one gets fives stars from us. 

NASA Probe To Explore Jupiter is a National Geographic video whose production values I found outstanding.  This is one you might enjoy sharing with the family.

OH AMERICA – Celtic Woman expresses my love forAmerica far better than I have thus far ever been able. 

Winter, A Dolphin’s Tale is the Flipper of this generation and is the true story of a dolphin so snarled in commercial crab trap that her fluke had to be amputated in order to free her.  She was adopted by the Clearwater Marine Aquarium, where she was fitted with a prosthetic.  The film, starring Kris Kristopherson and Morgan Freeman, is out now and I highly recommend it.


Daily Crossword:  This one from Universal has two levels.  It is extremely easy to use and it has some features like music and clues that we thought were pretty cool.

National Geographic Kids Page:  If you enjoy learning about the places, people and things which make life on this planet such a unique experience?

Vocabulary Quiz:  Take this 10-word daily test and see how you rank with people your age, younger and older.

Word Games:  Merriam Webster has a totally creative menu.


Tank Hunter – This puts you behind the controls of a tank on a vast battlefield in which everything from small tanks to big ones to invisible ones is shooting at you.  Definitely the best game play of its type I have personally encountered.


NEW:  Irish Central is absolutely the best commercial source of news, entertainment, politics and all things Irish and hyphenated Irish.

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. is the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (HTSA) website.  It contains a wealth of safety and reliability information on motor vehicles.  You can also, as have we, subscribe to an email newsletter which informs its subscribers of all vehicle recalls and the reason for 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. 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.

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


Modern art is evergreen at the Washington State Visitors & Convention Center in Seattle. Photo by Merritt Scott Miller


The north lane of the Alaskan Way Viaduct opened this weekend and the southbound lane will follow suit Monday, at five a.m. 

Upcoming Seattle Events
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
Seattle/Lake Washington Eagle Camera


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.

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

Sponsorship ads are another way 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

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.


We love it when you guys send us stuff.  This is from an outfit which really likes dogs and it includes an online veterinarian.  The article Mike & Wendy from Ontario(the Canadian Ontario, not the Southern Californiaone) answered a question that’s always been on the periphery of my consciousness.  Why do dogs eat grass?

How we appear to our pets has been an endearing mainstay of the Disney folks ever since I can remember.  So I naturally totally loved this one and I hope you do as well

As one of several regions in which the American national symbol is now holding its own and making a comeback thanks to human beings who care, I am especially pleased to share the news that bald eagle eggs show dioxin regulations working

The wild salmon on the White Salmon River are running free again.  The Conduit Dam was breached this past week and the footage on that event alone is fantastic.  There’s also an excellent historical slide show in an entire presentation which lasts slightly less than three minutes.  This video is from my old outfit, the Portland Oregonian.  See also:  Condit Dam reservoir’s behavior murky after breach

Animal Tracks is’s Critter Stuff.  They feature stories of every facet of the creature kingdom from the domestic to the primordial.
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


Were zombies a concern in Medieval times?  Apparently.  And what did people do back then to make sure that the dead stayed that way?  Yep, 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.  For a quick way to respond to what you’ve experienced here, yep, go here.

Take care, stay well and God Bless.

Merritt Scott (Rusty) Miller



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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