News Release Artifact

I read a book about the success and failure of civilizations. The book was entitled “How Societies Choose to Fail or Succeed” by Jared Diamond, a famous anthropologist. There was a chapter that has stuck with me for many years. It was about Japan and a shogun(emperor) who took on himself to plant thousands of trees, there by insuring Japan’s environment for future generations.

I then saw this article ByFarzad MashhoodSmall Type

It was a sight more common than usual this past summer: a tree too thirsty to live became another casualty to the drought. City workers would either remove the tree, or, if they were too late, it would fall, possibly on power lines, cars or a house.

On Wednesday, Texas Forest Service researchers said the current drought claimed the lives of about 5.6 million trees in cities, or roughly 10 percent of the state’s urban forests, in the agency’s first attempt at counting urban tree loss.

Those trees will cost at least $560 million to remove and provided about $280 million annually in environmental and economic benefits, a study released Wednesday said.

Austin officials said the impact hasn’t been as bad here, with about 1,200 trees lost on city ground during a year of drought, because of more drought-resistant trees and less development than other urban areas.

The death toll is likely to continue to tick upward as already-dead trees become more obvious when they don’t grow leaves in the spring and more trees die from diseases, said the study’s leader, Pete Smith.

“The damage is widespread, but it varies widely from really heavy amounts of loss to not really heavy amounts of loss,” Smith said.

The state’s urban areas, including large metropolitan areas like Houston or Austin, as well as smaller cities like Killeen, have a total of about 60 million trees, Smith said. One of the most dramatic changes came in Houston’s Memorial Park, where thousands of pine trees were lost.

Smith said he was uncomfortable with drawing regional conclusions of urban tree loss for any of the places where samples were taken, including Austin.

Researchers took satellite images from 3.9 million acres in 15 metropolitan areas from 2010 and compared them with images of the same places in early October 2011 and counted the number of trees that were lost, Smith said.

“Fortunately, Austin hasn’t been hit as hard as other areas,” said Walter Passmore, a urban forester for the city’s Parks and Recreation Department. “However, if we have another drought this summer, we’re likely to see some significant impacts.”

Passmore said that from October 2010 to September 2011, one of the driest periods of the drought, the city removed about 1,200 dead trees from public areas, compared with a typical annual loss of about 800 trees. However, there are about 300,000 trees on city lands, so the loss is less than half a percent, Passmore said.

Some trees found in the Austin area, such as the Texas live oak, are more attuned to droughts and have natural reserves to make it through a hot and dry year like 2011, Passmore said. But with so many trees already having gone through their reserves, another year of drought may kill off at least double the number of trees, he said.

Since the fall, the city has shifted to planting smaller, less-water dependent trees because of the drought, said city arborist Michael Embesi.

“Everyone thinks that the recent rains might let their trees perk back up, but it may be too little, too late,” Smith said, adding that people should be careful planting new trees as they may have an especially tough time making it through another hot and dry summer.

The city is expecting a higher mortality rate for the infant trees being planted, Embesi said, but they are hoping to plant at least some new trees during the drought.

Urban trees are important because they shade buildings to reduce cooling costs, slow down runoff that can cause flooding and create a distinct sense of place, Embesi said.

Those factors are used in determining the $280 million estimated value of losing 5.6 million urban trees, computed by the National Tree Benefit Calculator, a website that researchers used to value trees by their typical species, size and location. The calculator was developed by a nonprofit group that protects urban trees and a tree and lawn company.

If the drought continues, the Forest Service researchers said they may do another survey in October.

The study released Wednesday shows similar tree losses in urban areas as a December study showed for forests. The December preliminary report said the drought killed as much as 10 percent of the state’s forest cover — as many as 500 million trees in outlying areas.; 445-3972

This article was generated from a news release from the Texas Forest Service:

Dec. 19, 2011 — COLLEGE STATION,   Texas — As many as 500 million trees scattered across the Lone Star State   have died this year as a result of the unrelenting drought, according to   preliminary estimates from Texas Forest Service.

The numbers were derived by Texas   Forest Service foresters, who canvassed local forestry professionals,   gathering information from them on the drought and its effect on trees in   their respective communities.

Each forestry expert estimated the   percentage of trees in their region that have died as a result of the 2011   drought. That percentage was applied to the estimated number of trees in the   region, a figure determined by the agency’s Forest Inventory & Analysis   (FIA) program.

Using this approach, an estimated   100 million to 500 million trees with a diameter of 5 inches or larger on   forestland were estimated to have succumbed to the drought. That range is   equivalent to 2 to 10 percent of the state’s 4.9 billion trees.

“In 2011, Texas experienced an   exceptional drought, prolonged high winds and record-setting temperatures.   Together, those conditions took a severe toll on trees across the state,”   said Burl Carraway, Sustainable Forestry department head. “Large numbers of   trees in both urban communities and rural forests have died or are struggling   to survive. The impacts are numerous and widespread.”

The preliminary estimates indicate   three multi-county areas appear to be the hardest hit. The area including Sutton,   Crockett, western Kimble and eastern Pecos counties saw extensive mortality   among Ashe junipers.

The area including Harris,   Montgomery, Grimes, Madison and Leon counties saw extensive mortality among   loblolly pines. Western Bastrop and eastern Caldwell counties, as well as   surrounding areas, saw extensive mortality among cedars and post oaks.

Additionally, localized pockets of   heavy mortality were reported for many other areas.

Texas Forest Service foresters   plan to use aerial imagery to conduct a more in-depth analysis in the spring,   which is when trees that may have gone into early dormancy — an act of   self-preservation — could begin to make a comeback.

A more scientific, long-term study   will be completed as the agency collects data through its FIA program.   Considered a census for trees, the federally-funded program allows the agency   to keep a close watch on trees — and how they’re growing and changing —   across the state.

As part of the program, foresters   are tasked with surveying certain, designated plots of land each year.   Because the state is so big, it takes a decade to complete a full inventory   cycle.

“Quantifying the impacts of a   statewide drought on tree survival is no small task,” Carraway said, noting   that Texas was home to 63 million acres of forestland, much of which is in   remote areas.

“During this time of year, it’s   difficult to tell in some cases if a tree is truly dead. And keep in mind   that the drought is ongoing. We fully expect mortality percentages to   increase if the drought continues.”



Dr. Chris Edgar, Forest Resource   Analyst

*Available for interviews Dec. 19   to Dec. 21.

Burl Carraway, Sustainable   Forestry Department Head

I think  this is a good example of how a simple news   release can generate news and perhaps inspire people to take a close look at   a situation that has to be rectified and repaired quickly.

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I am a news junkie…reformed

I can’t get over it. I have tried and eventhough it is time consuming…. I must read the morning paper and watch the Today Show most every morning. It seems because of my experience as an editor for the local Buffalo Challenger and distribution guy for the San Diego Viewpoint, I have got to read a newspaper. Now that I am retired from a communication management job, I realize I have to cut this bad habit of reading everything in sight. If I dont read about ‘Who Shot John?’ will it make a differance? No! Now that am retired I need to be more free of the stresses working squids suffer from because they must have all this irrelevant information. I only need to read about how to keep my nest egg. I think there is a conspiracy to separate me and my little money!

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What is this?

GLAAD wants CNN to fire Roland S. Martin over David Beckham tweets



Image Credit: CNN

The New York Giants and New England Patriots weren’t the only ones in a fight on Super Bowl Sunday. GLAAD took offense to tweets by CNN contributor Roland S. Martin and has now started a petition to have him fired from CNN. Martin, however, maintains his tweets were taken out of context. Here’s what happened.

Commenting on David Beckham’s H&M underwear commercial, Martin tweeted “Ain’t no real bruhs going to H&M to buy some damn David Beckham underwear! #superbowl,” “If a dude at your Super Bowl party is hyped about David Beckham’s H&M underwear ad, smack the ish out of him! #superbowl,” and “I bet soccer fan @piersmorgan will be in line at H&M in the morning to get his hands on David Bechman’s  [sic] underwear line! LOL #superbowl.

Quickly, Twitter users started accusing him of homophobia. Martin seemed shocked that people would make that leap, responding “no, fool! Look at the underwear! You would be the only fool on my TL to come to that conclusion…. and if your ignorant self followed by tweets, you would see I’m ALWAYS rippin’ on soccer. Such a fool,” as well as various versions of “are you that dumb? I rag on soccer all of the time. David Beckham. Soccer player. Pay the hell attention!”

Martin pointed out that he frequently cracks on Morgan for tweeting about soccer on “real football” Sundays, and that his tweet about smacking the “ish” out of a man excited for Beckham’s underwear ad was not meant to be taken literally. “[A]nd I said if your bad kid runs in front of the TV during the #superbowl, next time u see them will be on a milk carton,” he explained to one person, “so in your world, was my kids tweet advocating kidnapping? See how silly you can try to make this?”

About an hour after Martin’s initial tweet, GLAAD got into the argument tweeting, “.@rolandsmartin Advocates of gay bashing have no place at @CNN #SuperBowl #LGBT.” Martin’s response: “@glaad @CNN well you’re clearly out of touch and clueless with what I tweeted. Way to assume, but you’re way off base.” As of this morning, GLAAD continued to tweet a link to an online petition asking for CNN to oust Martin and claiming they were part of a pattern. Over a series of tweets around 10:30 a.m. ET, Martin explained himself again:

“Fam, let me address the issue that some in the LGBT community have raised regarding some of my Super Bowl tweets yesterday. I made several cracks about soccer as I do all the time. I was not referring to sexuality directly or indirectly regarding the David Beckham ad, and I’m sorry folks took it otherwise. It was meant to be a deliberately over the top and sarcastic crack about soccer; I do not advocate violence of any kind against anyone gay, or not. As anyone who follows me on Twitter knows, anytime soccer comes up during football season it’s another chance for me to take a playful shot at soccer, nothing more.”

A spokesman for GLAAD tells the petition still stands: “This isn’t a mistake made on Twitter. It’s part of a pattern of anti-LGBT rhetoric that culminated in two tweets yesterday promoting violence towards gay people. The time has come when CNN and Time Warner have to decide whether they want to continue to use their platforms to elevate those who use such language.” GLAAD cites this earlier tweet from Martin on Super Bowl Sunday: “Who the hell was that New England Patriot they just showed in a head to toe pink suit? Oh, he needs a visit from #teamwhipdatass.”

I dont know what to call this. I am a little confused as to the seriouness  of  Roland Martins Tweet yet I fail to see GLAD’s position. I saw the Beckham commercial. I couldn’t understand how the commercial was going to sell underwear to guys. It was not like any underwear ad for men that I have ever saw. Michael Jordon has sold many pairs of underwear but never that racy. I figured it was for women.

In the world that I live,if a man said at a party… did you see the Beckham underwear commercial? It would raise eyebrows. This commericial generates sneers, descrimination, uses sterotypes, and bias. Bias because no one is sure who the audience is that this ad is directed  so jokes take the place of let’s watch the game.

Roland on the other hand, didnt help himself. As a Public Relations crisis management event, the best thing he could have done was to keep thoughts to himself. Don’t joke and be flippant in the mass media field. Everybody is not your friend, just because they follow you on Tweet.    


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Bad Writing: Our own Text Book

” Media Today” by Joseph Turow tries much to hard. A lot of unnecessary words, too cumbersome, politically biased because of ownership of media outlets, and a lack of brevity. It makes me think communications industry is more complicated than it is. They even have a defination of a loan?

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good writing

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Buffalo Influences the World,%20ny&st=cse

Sitting a watching football one day I realized that half of defense players of both teams were began their careers with the Buffalo Bills. It gave the idea to try to hightlight what Buffalo has contributed to the national culture. This blog will highlight the best and maybe the worst of Buffalo. The first is about Ishmael Reed, Buffalo born poet and novelist that only the intellengensia know about.


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