The Northstar Journal:  The Magazine With Heart

The Northstar Journal: The Magazine With Heart

News & Commentary; From Olya ~Little Queen Harmony ;  Meade Fischer Travels ~ Italy Is A Magic Place ~ Adventure Photography & Other Travel News; Good Examples; Bad Examples; Our Science Section Abridged; The Green Agenda; Health; Lifestyle; Best Of The Net; Amy Goldstein:  Thoughts of the Week; From Northstar; All Creatures Great & Small; Northstar Endorses; You Guys Think We Make This Stuff Up; About Us

Pacem, Libertatem, Justitiam

100% Reader Supported.  Contributions Accepted Here.

April 24, 2016 Vol. 9 No. 22 447th Consecutive

Rusty Miller – Editor

Olya Bereza – European Editor

Dennis Steussy – Associate Editor

Meade Fischer – Contributing Editor

Amy Goldstein – Contributing Editor

Leaping cougar  Photo courtesy of True Wild Life

Leaping cougar Photo courtesy of True Wild Life


Hi again, gang, from the shores of the Salish Sea.  I’d like once again to wish our Jewish readers Good Pesach.  Amy Goldstein’s Thoughts of the Week pretty well sums it up from a woman’s perspective we can all appreciate.  So there is that to look forward to further on down.

I love this move to higher ground that I made back in January.  I’ve been here three months now and it’s like the Oregon Cascades in the 21st Century.  Twelve miles from the big city where I lived the previous 25 years or so.

As an adult, I have made homes in communities the length of the Pacific Coast from Southern California to Surrey, British Columbia.  While each has certainly had its own personality, the greater Puget Sound aka shores of the Salish Sea is remarkable to me in several regards.

Since it is in the shadow of a northern rain forest, it has eight micro-climates within an area roughly the size of the three smallest American states combined.  Seattle itself is in the middle of two mountain ranges and looks west across a bay and a sound to a long peninsula with the Olympics and east to the Cascades, which extend south to Oregon, where I lived in them.

So being back in the foothills of these particular peaks again and out of the urban density that even Seattle ~ as green growth conscious as it is ~ has become, I’m noticing nuances here in East Renton Highlands, elev. 525 ft/160 m.

We have an online community association ~ Nextdoor Neighbors ~ out here and people are friendly on streets, the supermarkets and in parks and preserved wetlands they share with an assortment of wildlife typical of our region.  Right in our backyard, we have a mountain and a county wildlife park named after a puma, just to give you an idea of the consciousness involved.

I notice it when I go out for my pipe and coffee in the wee hours of the morning and sit in a rocking chair on the roofed front porch, gazing out across the lawn at snowshoes hares cavorting under street lamps and in the front yards of their human neighbors.  I also notice it when I read on the Nextdoor Maplewood Heights bulletin board that a couple of blocks over, a resident and his wife spotted three coyotes out for an evening stroll on the street where they live.

In lots of places I’ve been, that would have been real cause for alarm and animal control issues that would not have worked out very well for the other species involved.  Not here and by a lot of standards, considering the density involved, this is perhaps most remarkable at all.

Where we live is also the home of black bear (smaller than the infamous grizzly), the cougar and the bobcat, the white tailed deer, the mule deer and a wide variety of flora and fauna in our skyways and byways, including eagles, snowshoe hair and gray squirrels.  Most of the interaction with our non-human neighbors seldom makes the news.

Orcas get better press because most people around here don’t wake up to first coffee looking out the kitchen window at a killer whale pod watering at the goldfish pond and then taking back off over an eight-foot wood post and plank fence, like our raccoons tend to do on occasion.

When I see human beings living in such relative harmony with species which were, in fact, here first, I realize that some of us have ~ perhaps ~ evolved beyond the xenophobia ~ this obsessive fear of things different than ourselves that has made us the most destructive killers primordial soup ever spawned ~ into creatures who realize the filial ties which bind all life on this planet.  It’s a nice thought, a real nice thought.  I hope it’s also true.

Have a good week, all, and thanks for the ear.


To comment, email us at  To contribute to the next edition, please go here.


This is certainly not good news.  U.S. Suicide Rate Surges To A 30-Year High

This person is in a class all by himself.  A Compassionate Judge Sentences A Veteran To 24 Hours In Jail, Then Joins Him Behind Bars

This is getting more interesting all the time.  Panama Papers Player Mossack Fonseca Blitzed By Raids In Panama




Kabul Hit By Large Suicide Attack

The End Of The Famous Bamboo Train?

Video: Return To A Town Buried In Nepal Quake

North Korea Fires Ballistic Missile From Submarine, South Says

U.N. Rights Chief Warns Against Thai Military’s Quest For More Authority

6 Pakistani Army Officers, Linked To Corruption, Are Dismissed

Bangladesh:  Breaking Free From The Grips Of Coal


From China, A Shot Across Tesla’s Bow

Fraud Suspects From Taiwan Have Confessed, Chinese State Media Reports

China To Develop Floating Nuclear Power Plants

China’s ‘Dangerous Love’ Campaign, Warning Of Spies, Is Met With Shrugs

China’s President, Xi Jinping, Gains A New Title: Commander In Chief

Xi Calls For Improved Religious Work

China Marks First-Ever “Space Day”


Indian Celebrities Take To Twitter To Combat Child Labor

India Says Queen Elizabeth Should Keep Famed Jewel

14 Times Will And Kate Made Us Say ‘Awwwwww’ In India And Bhutan


Vehicle In Convoy Of U.S. Ambassador To U.N. Kills Boy In Cameroon

Burundi Is Torturing Prisoners In Crackdown On Dissent, United Nations Says

Deadly Attacks In Ethiopia Leave Victims Wondering Why

Gunmen Kill Scores Of Civilians In Western Ethiopia, Official Says

Lives: A Sudden Breach In Uganda


U.N. Urges U.S. And Russia To Act Quickly To Save Syria Peace Talks

Iran Accuses U.S. Of Theft In $2 Billion Court Ruling For Terror Victims

Europe Says U.S. Regulations Keeping It From Trade With Iran
Supreme Court Rules Iran Bank Must Pay For Terrorist Attacks
Leader Of Syria Rescue Group, Arriving In U.S. For Award, Is Refused Entry
Obama And King Salman Of Saudi Arabia Meet, But Deep Rifts Remain


Russian Photographer Ponomarev Wins 2016 Pulitzer Prize

Russia Bolsters Its Submarine Fleet; Tensions With U.S. Rise

Russia To Open Its First Whiskey Distillery

Russia Wins $50bln Yukos Battle, But War’s Not Over

Same Level Of Corruption Recorded In Russian, U.S. Businesses – Survey

Retired Police General Elected As New Russian Human Rights Ombudswoman

Reports Of Russia Firing At Israeli Planes ‘Far From Reality’ – Kremlin

U.S. Condemns Russia’s ‘Extremist’ Label For Crimean Tatar Mejlis

Bill Proposing Forced Prison Labor On Construction Sites Submitted To Russian Duma

Tolls For Foreign Trucks In Russia To Double


Europe’s Best Work-And-Play City

Chernobyl’s Silent Exclusion Zone (Except For The Logging)

Ireland Seeks Peaceful Path To Marking 1916 Easter Rising

German Court Rules Antiterrorism Laws Partly Unconstitutional
Ukraine Leader Says Russia Appears To Agree To Prisoner Swap
Latvia Wants To Ban Face Veils, For All 3 Women Who Wear Them
Germany Cracks Down On Far Right With Arrests And A Trial


Police Probe After ‘Drone’ Hits Plane

Queen Elizabeth II, No Stranger To Full Agenda, Pencils In A 90th Birthday

Spies’ ‘Staggering’ Data Requests


Family Devastated By Ecuador Earthquake As A Mother & Son Among Those Killed

Duffy Cleared Of All Charges As Judge Slams Harper’s Office

Cameco Suspends Rabbit Lake Operations; Cuts More Than 500 Jobs


Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder Pledges To Drink Filtered Flint Water For 30 Days

Why Mass Incarceration Doesn’t Pay

New Orleans Police Officers Plead Guilty In Shooting Of Civilians

Flint Water Crisis Yields First Criminal Charges

VW ‘Strikes US Deal To Buy Back Cars’


Dilma Rousseff Is Impeached By Brazil’s Lower House Of Congress

Argentina Back From Bond Market Exile

Huge US-Mexico Drugs Tunnel Found

Ecuadorians To Pay For Quake Damage

Saving Belize’s Barrier Reef

Toll In Blast At Pemex Plant In Mexico Rises To 13; Workers Missing

Bike Path, Heralded As Olympic Legacy, Collapses In Brazil

Venezuela Officially Adopts Electricity Blackouts

Virgin Mary Statue, Intact Among Ecuador’s Quake Ruins, Becomes A Beacon Of Hope


A Truly Australian Spectacle

Where Marrying A Local Is Forbidden



El Niño Is Earth’s Rechargeable Heat Battery

How Earth Itself Has Dramatically Upped The Stakes For The Paris Climate Accord

Why Half A Degree Matters: Higher Seas, Longer Heat Waves

Climate Change Threatens West Coast’s Fisheries

Forest Managers Kick Wildfire Prevention Into Early Gear

The Key Players In Climate Change


How Four Men Survived As Hostages Of IS

Boko Haram And ISIS Are Collaborating More, U.S. Military Says


Immigrants, The Poor And Minorities Gain Sharply Under Health Act

On Immigration, Law Is on Obama’s Side

500 Migrants May Have Died In Sinking Of Boat In Mediterranean, U.N. Says


Photo Courtesy of

Photo Courtesy of


Hi Mishka:

Thank you for sharing our lead a few hours earlier.  I totally agree that we all need to find harmony with nature, being just a part of it no matter how high we think of ourselves as an apex of creation. This just means more responsibility to take if we claim to be gifted with consciousness.

Earth Day this Friday inspired me to start writing a story for children called “Little Queen Harmony.” It is about a girl from Green Planet, whose world is a mix of scientific magic that is living in a balance with nature. She meets a boy from Blue Earth.

“Spring came earlier than usual in Green Land this year. It flashed the sun, which melted the snow. Whilst admiring nature as it started to bloom the birds twittered. The joy reigned in the air as the winter with all its blizzards and frost has finally gone. Only warmth’s ahead…” to read more

As for recent articles, I found Guardian’s “Boaty Mcboatface: Tyrants Have Crushed The People’s Will” both quite amusing and a bit disappointing. I do not understand why it is such a big problem to give a name to the Natural Environment Research Council’s new polar-research vessel as the public poll voted.  It is quite a cute name (Who said that science should be seriously boring?) and attention drawn to the project was worth it. This article presents the essence of bureaucracy in an ironical way.

Happy Pesach and congratulations to all Orthodox with the beginning of Holy week and Palm Sunday.

That’s it for this week.  Stay safe, my cousin Mishka.

Olya Bereza, European Editor  To comment for publication, email her c/o 


Where has one of North America’s foremost kayaking photojournalists and writers been lately and who or what has he been shooting.  Yep, go here.


Ultimate Belize Nature Safari

Ways To Be A Greener Traveler, Even If You Love To Fly

The Forts And Temples Of Jaipur India


Princess Di would be proud of both her sons.  I certainly am.  I Take Duty Seriously – Prince William

Good for these folks!  A Juice Firm That Won’t Squeeze Growers

If you admire what this store did as much as I do, you might show your appreciation by shopping there once in awhile.  You can do that online even if there’s not one where you live.  Target: Customers Welcome In Fitting Rooms, Bathrooms Corresponding With ‘Gender Identity’


Groundbreaking Solution To Stop Poaching

Defenders Of The Forest

Latinos Fight Oil Trains In Vancouver, Washington

To comment, email us at 


This is absolutely outrageous.  UC Berkeley Student Removed From Southwest Flight After Speaking Arabic On Plane

I’ve been to the Philippines and they deserve better than this chauvinist Donald Trump wannabe.  Leading Philippine Presidential Contender: Gang Rape Victim ‘So Beautiful’ He Wishes He Had ‘Been First’  Also please see:  Trump ‘Promises To Change Image’

I honestly thought these people had more honor than this.  Mitsubishi Says It Manipulated Fuel Economy Tests, Shares Tumble

To comment, email us at 


This is cool.  How Robots Make Us More Honest

This is informative and a little scary.  What An Asteroid Strike Really Does

I found this strangely unnerving.  The Water In Your Glass Might Be Older Than The Sun


What You Didn’t Know About Tyrannosaurs

The Mines Older Than The Roman Empire

New Tree Of Life Doesn’t Look As You’d Imagine


Here Comes Your Own Little Place In Space. It’s Not A Room With A View.

10 Surprises About Our Solar System

What’s The Cheapest Way To Go To Space?


This Self-Healing, Muscle-Like Material Could Revolutionize Prosthetics

In The Future, ‘Brainprints’ Could Replace Fingerprints

Scientists Have Created A Fuel Cell That Runs On Urine — Yep, Urine


Old Houses From Canada Find A Home In Washington State

These Striking Numbers Show Just How Fast We’re Switching Off Coal

Our National Parks Need A Big Shake-Up

Surprise: Protecting Bike Lanes Can Cut The Cost Of Brand-New Roads

Can You Tell If A Street Is Safe Just By Looking At It?

What Are Trees Worth To Cities?

46 Environmental Victories Since The First Earth Day


Iceland’s Water Cure:   Can The Secret To The Country’s Happiness Be Found In Its Communal Pools?

Life Expectancy For White Americans Drops Slightly; Analysts Cite Drug Overdoses

Researchers Have Launched The World’s Largest Study On Autism And Genes. You Can Participate, Too.

‘Manhattan Project’ For Cancer Aims To Turn It Into A Chronic Illness, Not A Death Sentence

$250 Million, 300 Scientists And 40 Labs: Sean Parker’s Revolutionary Project To ‘Solve’ Cancer

Breakthrough Brain Chip Gives Paralyzed Man Ability To Hold Cup, Play Guitar Hero Again


Elite Harvard Club’s Official Resigns After Sexual Assault Comments

The Thin Line Between Self-Esteem And Self-Obsession

What We Eat Has Bigger Consequences For The Planet Than We Ever Thought

The Disturbing Racial Bias In Who We Help In Emergencies


Crossing Siberia On Foot, Raft And Skis

Only 15 Percent Passed This Basic Geography Test:  Can You?

Encouragement:  The Curious Child and the Classic Pianist Share A Bench









We had bunnies in our room for 6 weeks!  They came to us when they were barely a week old with closed eyes . . . what a miracle to watch them grow and develop.  When the guy from the farm came to fetch them today our kids were so sad.  We will miss them, but what joy to behold and so much to learn!

We had bunnies in our room for 6 weeks! They came to us when they were barely a week old with closed eyes . . . what a miracle to watch them grow and develop. When the guy from the farm came to fetch them today our kids were so sad. We will miss them, but what joy to behold and so much to learn!


To subscribe and experience Thoughts in their original, please contact Amy at


A super power no longer, a resource hungry and repressive America faces a Latin American armada rampaging its west coast and a strong, silent and powerful Canada manning the North Wall.  The fires of rebellion burn in the Pacific Northwest and it is into this crucible and forge that the cybernetic patrol boat Testament and her crew of three men and three women are thrust.  Individuals of duty and conscience both, when they join the other side, all Hell breaks loose.  A rollicking adventure for anyone who loves the sea, a good yarn and characters which spring to life even as Testament herself leaps the waves.  Now available in both paperback and Kindle at

A super power no longer, a resource hungry and repressive America faces a Latin American armada rampaging its west coast and a strong, silent and powerful Canada manning the North Wall. The fires of rebellion burn in the Pacific Northwest and it is into this crucible and forge that the cybernetic patrol boat Testament and her crew of three men and three women are thrust. Individuals of duty and conscience both, when they join the other side, all Hell breaks loose. A rollicking adventure for anyone who loves the sea, a good yarn and characters which spring to life even as Testament herself leaps the waves. Now available in both paperback and Kindle at


Advertising Copy ~ Classified and Display

Comedy ~ jokes, monologues

Ghost writing


Editing ~ General and International

“Americanization” of International Websites

Online English Tutoring

Special Projects

Northstar Media Services



I think we all know the answer to this question.  Are Super Smart Octopuses Conscious? Lots Of Non-Humans – Octopuses, Crows, Monkeys, Machines – Are Intelligent. Could Some Also Be Conscious?

Do not read this too close to bedtime.   Meet The Longest Animal Alive

This is amazing.  Strange Fate Of Chernobyl’s Wildlife


Spiders With Super-Fast Mousetrap Mouths

A Lifeline For Tigers

Irrawaddy Dolphin Spotted In The Mekong

Endangered Whales Threatened


Amnesty International



GritTV With Laura Flaunders

Help End World Hunger & Poverty | Heifer International® | Heifer.Org

Mother Nature Network

Nature Conservancy in Washington

National Wildlife Federation

No Camels – Weekly Israeli Innovation News

Ocean Conservancy

Outside Magazine

The Rainforest Site

SeaDoc Society: People & Science Healing The Sea

Showcase Magazine:  Today’s Media For Artful Living

Sierra Club

Sightline Institute

The Sun Magazine

Wildlife Conservation Society

Wildlife Extra Magazine

World Wildlife Fund

Writing For Peace

YES magazine


The Men Who Nearly Floated Into Space

Indonesia’s Macabre Meat Market

An Insane Adventure Deep Underground

Outstanding closeup 061115ABOUT US

We are a reader-supported international news, commentary and general interest Internet weekly magazine reaching readers in 22 countries.  They range in age from 12 – 93 and cross all demographics.  We’ve been publishing for over eight years and we have not missed a deadline. If you like what you read and would like to contribute to the next edition, please go here. For more information and to receive us in your email, contact us at



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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