Pacem, Libertatem, Justitiam
March 18, 2018 Volume 10 Number 28

Reader Supported:  All Contributions Appreciated and Accepted Here

INSIDE: Raising Money By Not Climbing The Columbia Center’s 1356 Steps; News For Week Ending 11 March 2018; From Olya – Trains As Nation Builders in Ukraine ; Rusty’s Uncle Seamus; For Your Consideration; Our Science Section, Unabridged; Way To Go, You Guys;  Travel; The Green Beat; Health; Community, Home & Lifestyle; Best of the Net; Masha & the Bear; Northstar General Store; All Creatures Great & Small; You Guys Think We Make This Stuff Up; About Us


Hi again, gang, from the shores of the Salish Sea.   One of the tallest buildings in Seattle is the Columbia Center, whose 76 stories have 1356 steps and elevators.  Several times a year, people like first responders, green groups or folks with a point to make voluntarily climb up those stairs to raise money for the fight against cancer and other causes of community concern.

I love watching stories like this on television or social media.  People who do this have my admiration and my respect.  But stylistically, in this regard, I feel like a field anthropologist in a time machine.  I’m Jonathan Swift’s Gulliver In The 21st Century and the flippin’ TM spit me out in another very weird place.

I believe totally in people holding events to raise money and/or bring attention to worthy causes, individuals, etc.  I am, however, a concert and barbecue in the park type person, with a fresh food fair and a neighborhood yard sale thrown in.

That way, I can really mingle with the sponsors and let them know, face to face/sapien to sapien, how much I appreciate what they do for us.  If I had to climb 1356 steps before I could do any of that, it might be some while before I even had the strength for one of Mom’s Organic Green Apple Pies.  (And we all know MOGAPs are the best pies)

Have a great week, gang, and thanks for the ear.  Rusty

Merritt Scott “Rusty” Miller is a journalist, author, editor and photographer who lives in Seattle, Washington.  For comments, please go here.




Hi Rusty:

As you know I have always loved trains. Sometimes they say that the genes have memory.  Maybe they are as one of my ancestors was involved in engineering of railways in 1870s when he moved to live to Yekaterinoslav (now Dnipro city in the Eastern Ukraine, founded in 1776). He was a German, Baron Von Beck if my spelling is corrrect.

I was recently asked to write a little history sketch on the so-called the European period in the development of this region so I’ll share some bits of it I found interesting.  The Germans, the French, the Belgians, the English and other Europeans cooperated with local authorities of Yekaterinoslav Governorate  , by organizing various societies and enterprises, investing and sharing knowledge.

The peculiarity of the industrial development of Yekaterinoslav province was its internationalism.  All this led to a boom in the region in the 1880s.  This region turned into the most important industrial center in the south of the country. In the 1980s, the ferrous metallurgy of the south was formed, represented by the extraction of iron and manganese ores and the production of pig iron, steel, and rolled metal.

As early as 1869, the territory of the province was crossed by the first railway – the Kursk-Kharkov-Azov.  Which, on November 15, 1873, was opened for the passenger and freight traffic section of the Lozovaya-Aleksandrovsk railway, with a branch to Yekaterinoslav stretching for over 208 kilometers/129 miles.  This site, which was part of the Lozovaya-Sevastopol line, laid the foundation for the Catherine (now Pridneprovskaya) Railway, the first line of which, with a total length of over 614 kilometers/381 miles, entered service in 1875.

In 1884, with the construction of a two-tiered metal bridge across the Dnieper near Yekaterinoslav, the railway connected the Krivoy Rog Ore and Donetsk Coal Basins.  Obviously construction of railways was one of the most important components for the development of the region.  The locomotive depot of Yekaterinoslav became the largest in the south of the Empire

The Germans in Yekaterinoslav province were quite a few, 3.83% of the total population.  Our region was one of the first places in the country on number of foreigners, with most of the Europeans coming from the German empire. In total, it was more than 10 thousand or 74.92%  of Germans in Russian Empire.  Therefore it was not surprising to see their names on pages of history, especially related to railways.

Thus, on May 5, 1867, the highest conditions were approved with Baron Ungern-Sternberg for the construction of a section of the line from Elisavetgrad to Kremenchug with a length of about 130 kilometers/81 miles. Also it should be mentioned that Karl von Mekk– was one of creators of railway transportation of the Russian Empire.

How exactly and at whose disposal my ancestor arrived with the family to the Empire I do not know.  Perhaps he was associated with these famous personalities.  One can only guess what prompted him to tie bind his fate with Yekaterinoslav, but apparently at that time this city was attractive enough for him to do so.

Near the city, there were a German colony known as Fischerdorf (or Rybalsky) – stretched below the railway bridge to the mouth of Samara River.  The book “On the Catherine Railroad”, published in 1903, reports the following information:

“The Rybalskoe colony is nothing but the settlement of the colony of Josefstal, founded almost simultaneously with the latter; currently in Rybalsky about 60 yards with a population of up to 800 souls; there is a school, a forging shop, a brick factory, quarries and two forest piers. Josefsta  was one of the richest German colonies, founded under the reign of Catherine II, that by 1903 had 1,800 souls.”

Nearby the Becks had a little mention where the Baron enjoyed spending time with his huntsman. Half a century later, after Revolution and Second War World, his house became a music school.

It is interesting to imagine the life of the international society of Yekaterinoslav during its heyday in the 80s of the 19th century. Now they would be called by modern word- “expats, with their balls in the English Club in the center of the city, ladies promenades with obligatory umbrellas along the avenue, or trips on trams, where each passenger was greeted by a conductor.  Certainly on Sundays as respectable believers Becks would go to service in the Lutheran Church of St. Catherine. This  Gothic building  was built in the middle of the 19th Century.

After all, not much time passed, all these historical buildings remained our heritage, and therefore it is quite possible to imagine the life of that period.  And apparently my ancestors were quite happy to live that city if they decided to stay and work.

Perhaps this period in the history of the development of our region is not sufficiently researched and remains little known to the public, but from our oral history, we know that the Dnipro (former Yekaterinoslav) has always been a dynamic city attractive for many nationalities, who invested their labor and capital in its formation.  And no wonder when people from many countries work together nothing then success could be expected. The end of 19 beginning of 20th century was the blooming time for this part of the world.

That’s all for now.  Take care, Mishka.  Olya Бог с тобой, любимой двоюродной моей. Бог со всеми нами.

Northstar columnist and associate editor Olya Bereza was born in the former Soviet Union and now lives in Ukraine.  Fluent in Russian, Ukrainian, and English, she is a degreed psychologist with a background in international marketing and personnel management.  For comments, please go here.


In the wake of St. Patrick’s Day, it is nice to think that on March 17, even Queen Liz herself drinks green tea. 


What It Means To Lead An Inclusive City

A Bold, Divisive Plan To Wean Californians From Cars

What The US Can Learn From China When It Comes To The ‘War On Pollution’



Canadian Amateurs Discovered A New Type Of Aurora. It’s Named Steve.  Oookie Dokie. Steve, huh?  Hi, Steve.

Okay, this weirded me out a little.  Is he still mutating?  Scott Kelly Spent A Year In Space And Now His DNA Is Different From His Identical Twin’s

This little dude is incredible.  Were any of us as reliable.  Stunning Mars Images, From Curiosity


The Cliff That Revealed Earth’s History

Experimenting In The Forest

To The Ends Of The Earth


Where Did Mars Get Its Organic Molecules?

While Launch Awaits, The Science Does Not – Space Station

Pluto Craft’s Next Target Is Ultima Thule

Station Orbiting Higher Ahead Of New Crew And Cargo Missions – Space Station

China’s FAST Identifies 11 Pulsars

Spacewalk And Cargo Preps Punctuated With Media Outreach – Space Station


Will Drones Protect Us In The Next Wildfire Season?

Rain Or Shine: New Solar Cell Captures Energy From Raindrops

Big Harpoon Is ‘Solution To Space Junk’


Legislators Respond To Women’s Activism

Seattle, Washington’s KIRO 7 Viewers Help Eliminate $5M In Medical Debt

Florida Shooting: Students Vow ‘Never Again’ In US Walkout

These Dreamers Were Deported To Mexico. Now, They’re Helping Others Start Again

When He Saw A Stranger Needed A Kidney, He Thought: ‘Why Not Me?’


A Ghost Island In The Indian Ocean

Places That Changed The World

6 Reasons Sex Is Better On Vacation


On The Potential For Offshore Drilling

Power Companies Need Climate Policy, Even If They Don’t Want It

Tribes Build A Watch House To Stop Trans Mountain

In The Recycling World, Why Are Some Cartons Such A Problem?

Thousands Of Marchers In BC Say No To Trans Mountain Pipeline


There’s No Such Thing As A Single ‘Best’ Diet

4 Of The Biggest Myths About Sugar

To Solve Opioid Epidemic, Governors Say There Need To Be Federal Dollars Behind Pledges

Why You Should Worry If You’re Sleepy During The Day

Why You Should Try To Sleep In Total Darkness

Eat This One Dish Every Week For A Healthy Heart


8 Students With Different Reasons For Stricter Gun Laws

Infographic: The Mean Musical Chairs Of Rising Rent And Home Prices

Student Walkouts Have Changed American History Before. Here’s How

Nikita, Student, Vladimir. GENERATION P

The Seven Places Where Women Earn More Than Men In US

Eureka: A Guide To Keeping Your Gear Waterproof

Video: The Case For Fare-Capping


Colorado Serenade Timelapse

Momma Raccoon Puts Babies To Bed

The Most Inspirational Space Video, Ever

DAILY 10 QUESTION TRIVIA QUIZ:  This one is from Daily Email Trivia and delivered to me in mine.  There is also an opportunity, the site, to take more quizzes on a wide range of subjects and to engage interactively and competitively.

THE NORTHSTAR JOURNAL GENERAL STORE is a page full of mostly free stuff and several unique gifts for under $5.00//4.5 EUROS.  It includes films, television episodes, gadgets and apps to make our work lives easier.  So load up on the good stuff and if you have any spare change, drop it in the jar on your way out.  You can even try it now and use the back browser to return to the rest of the magazine. 






This happens to be one of the “creatures” who lives in the house I do.  His name is Beamer and he’s a Maine coon cat.  He’s so well acclimated to the three acres outside and the mini-castle-sized inside that he pretty much plops down wherever desire, an open door and space conspire.  In this instance, my workspace was the beachhead of the invasion.

Eagle Found Hurt On 520 Bridge Released Into The Wild  And about 700,000 of us breathed a collective sigh of relief.

For their sake and ours, it’s time to move on this one, gang.  Not Too Late To Save Critically Endangered Orcas

A camera filmed a tree in a national park in Italy.  You’ll be amazed at what it saw.

Like I think stuff that could eat me for lunch is cute or beautiful.  Uh huh.  Gorgeous Pictures Of Sharks, Predators Of The Sea


Pesticides Put Wild Bees At Risk, Food Safety Watchdog Confirms

Penguins Find Their Moment In The Spotlight With A Video ‘Selfie’

8 Haunting Pictures Of Wild Animals At Night


The Audubon Society’s March 2018 newsletter is now online and it is amazing.


2 Men Tried To Rob Girl Scouts, Tacoma Police Say

YouTube Prankster Jailed For Shooting Boyfriend Dead

Lawyer: Trump’s Pick For CIA Director Ran The Prison Where My Client Was Tortured. I Have Questions For Her

ABOUT US:  The Northstar Journal reaches an international readership of strong, intelligent, proactively compassionate people like you, who are out there helping make this a better world.  We are proud to serve them as an information resource in that regard.  If you would like to help us help them,  please tap the tip jar lid or go here.  No contribution too large or too small.

If you would like to sponsor an edition or contribute in some other way, please contact us at minstrel312@aol.com  Thank you and see you next week.  RM/OB



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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