Monday, September 5, 2011

Editor's Notes

Dick Worm

An article in this newsletter describe a near "melt down" during Project AWARE. Since over $100 of White Pine Group funds were at stake, I felt the saga was worth presenting to our membership.

Cabins #9 and #10 have again been reserved at Backbone State Park for the Backbone Cabin Outing, January 27-29, 2012. Two double-bed bedrooms, 2 futons, a single bed and floor space can accommodate a suggested 11 folks in each cabin. Cost/adult is $30, 2 nights; $20, one night, and $4 each for 5 provided meals. Earliest reservations get accommodation priority. More in Winter newsletter, but reservations are welcome now.

Alaine Jamison e-mailed a listing of "Eleven easy ways to BUY AMERICAN in 2011." To be e-mailed a copy, you can contact me.

Sierra Club Calendars are sold at the Turkey Dinner but can be ordered anytime from me for a 10% member discount, given below; but even cheaper at the Dinner because our Treasurer doesn't like to mess with loose change.. "Engagement" with a different scenic photo for each month: $12.55 ($12 at the Dinner.) "Wall" with a monthly photo (November's Daniel Creek in Georgia is ESPECIALLY unique): $11.65 ($11 at the Dinner.)

An August Open House at Backbone State Park showcased a new interpretive plan for public programs, updated trails, and new signs. Maybe we can see the plan during the Cabin Outing.

The Mines of Spain is accepting donations for a 52-acre addition from the Bottoms Farm on the west side south of Catfish Creek. (Mines of Spain, 8991 Bellevue Heights, Dubuque, IA 52003.) $319,000 was the cost. Additions are also possible for Whitewater Canyon upstream and for White Pine Hollow westward into Delaware County. YES!

Re: Letters to the Editor

March 16, 2011

To: Richard Worm - The White Pine Needle Editor
Bellevue, IA

Dear Dick:

This is in response to your editorial comment in the last White Pine Needle. I would appreciate it if you would publish it in the next newsletter.

Dick Worm in his editorial in the 2011 Spring/Summer White Pine Needle stated: "while abortion is not the best way to curb unwanted and unneeded births, responsible family planning and pregnancy preventions ARE." No. It is not a good, let alone the best way to kill unborn children. There is no"good" way. Also what is meant by the word "unneeded"? However it is defined the issue of "need" is not relevant to the issue of preserving or terminating human life.

Yes, I am pro-life and like a lot of pro-life people I am also concerned with children after they are born and also the natural environment. While I have not hiked through a lot of God's beautiful natural environment I have in my own small way tried to help preserve it. However, as important as I believe this is, I believe protecting both the born and pre-born is more important.

I have often observed the hypocrisy of those who weep at the sight of baby seals being slaughtered while human children are literally torn apart, sometimes even up to the time of birth. I submit that if pregnant women were given an ultrasound just prior to an abortion most would not go through with it. Humans are not just the top of the food chain. I believe they have an immortal soul and are more like God than a baby seal. If we are concerned with the condition of the natural environment then we should be consistent and be concerned with the state of all of creation, especially human beings.

David W. Leifker
Hazel Green, WI

Excerpted newspaper articles in response to the above

Parts of Texas abortion law struck down
Des Moines Register 08/31/2011-- Associated Press

Austin, Texas -- A federal judge on Tuesday struck down a key provision of Texas' new law requiring a doctor to perform a sonogram before an abortion, ruling that the measure violates the free speech rights of both doctors and patients.


Sparks rules such disclosure is an attempt by the state to "permanently brand women who choose to get an abortion."

America's Churches can Help Change the World.
With humanity's future at risk, religious leaders need to step up to the pulpit.
USA Today 03/14/2011 -- Oliver Thomas

Consider the issues that most threaten humanity's common future: global terrorism, climate change, overpopulation, and the political and social unrest caused by economic disparity. These problems transcend national boundaries and beg for international solutions. Yet political leaders have generally been unwilling or unable to find solutions.


Despite the biblical command to give 10% of our income back to God (read "to charity"), for example, the average church member gives 3%. We complain about the record heat as our air conditioners run full blast and continue having as many children as we want--sometimes at the encouragement of our religious leaders--despite the impact on the environment. Our elected officials even give us tax breaks for crowding the planet.

Newsletter Editor Dick Worm's response

While I could take issue with way too many of the comments made in that letter, as a contributing member of Planned Parenthood, Negative Population Growth, The Population Connection (formerly Zero Population Growth), and NARAL Pro-Choice America, I'd not be able to focus on where to begin. So, I will TRY to limit myself here to a few comments related to the one question the new member writer directly asked, "...what was meant by the word 'unneeded'?" in the sentence suggesting population control on a finite planet.

The Sierra Club's Global Population and Environment Program recognizes a need to protect and promote reproductive health and rights and to foster sustainable communities and a healthy planet. "With our planet approaching 7 billions people--a marker we're slated to reach this October--the time is now to bring population, voluntary family planning, education for women and girls, and other environmental and reproductive issues to the forefront." (Quoted from the "One Voice Summit & Population and Environment Fellowship Program: Sierra Club e-mail, Sept. 1, 2011. In includes a Link to the club's "2011 Mid-Year Population Report". I could forward the e-mail to anyone asking to receive it.)

A Sierra Club sticker reads, "Your Family: Plan It for the Planet." HOWEVER, if your PLAN is to pop out 19 children like the Duggar Family (Google "Duggars" for their irresponsible and environmentally immoral story) then your PLAN might not pass muster with the Sierra Club and all the other conservation organizations that recognize the threat of a truly "unneeded" additional billions consumers of natural resources on this planet.

Unemployment of 9% in the USA is small change compared to rates in many other nations. Crowds stand aimlessly along trashy streets in Kenya and Kathmandu, Nepal. NBC-TV reports 29,000 under age of five have died this year due to famine. Convince me those suffering existences were "needed"? Place a luxury tax on the number of children over a family's replacement number of two. ETC.

Program/Meetings (Autumn 2011)

September 27
October 25
November 22
Go ahead--mark your calendar and come on out!
Presenters put together programs to educate and entertain. Explore & Enjoy these unique places (before they all wash away.)

These 4th Tuesday Program/Meetings will now take place at a slightly new location: the former parsonage for St. Peter Lutheran Church, 3200 Asbury Road, Dubuque. The meeting room is on the lower level of the red brick home to the right as you enter the parking lot from Asbury Road. Go on down and around behind the red brick home to park. Contact Jim Fahrion for meeting location details. Meetings begin with the program at 7 PM. Attendees may leave before the usually brief EXCOM business meeting which usually begins by 8:15. No meeting in December.

September 27, 7 PM
Arkansas Ozarks and Blanchard Springs Caverns
Charlie Winterwood explored and enjoyed this part of northern Arkansas near the Buffalo River in late March 2011.

October 25, 7 PM
Vermont's Smuggler's Notch, Mt. Mansfield, Camel's Hump, Lake Champlain, and some covered bridges and waterfalls
In mid-June of 2011, Dick and Jane Worm explored and enjoyed a portion of northern Vermont, before Hurricane Irene. :-/ Two perfect days allowed Dick to hike from east to west over the top of Vermont's highest point, 4,393 foot Mt. Mansfield, and to hike a loop over the top of the 4,083 Camel's Hump. Both required a rocky climb of over 2000 feet and included a section of Vermont's state-length Long Trail. Ever dreamt of President Chester A. Arthur's birthplace?

November 22, 7 PM
Mount Sneffels and The Arrowhead
During a western loop from July 27 to August 17, Dick Worm managed to reach the top of another of Colorado's Fourteeners, the 14,150 foot Mount Sneffels near Ouray, CO. The drive to the trailhead in a little Ford Focus was about as exciting as the hike, going up in the dark and then actually SEEING that Forest Service "C" Road on the way back down.

"The Arrowhead" has been on Dick's bucket list since seeing it during five different backpack trips in Idaho's Sawtooth Mountains. Dick was satisfied to get within about 50 feet of it from the side on its narrow ridge at 10,579 feet via the 6800 foot Hell Roaring Lake Trailhead, Hell Roaring Lake (7407 feet) and Clarice Lake (8200 feet). That Arrowhead ridge provided a spectacular view down to the far side's Cramer Lakes Basin. Rock climbers can somehow get on top of The Arrowhead as well as upon the nearby, more popular, Finger of Fate (on which two climbers unknowingly "posed" for photographs from Clarice Lake.) The three-night layover camp at Clarice Lake gave time for a look down upon still icy Profile Lake from another jagged ridge and a second day-hike climb to a string of four scenic, glacial lakes stair-stepping down from Sevy Peak. The crumbling, jagged ridges of the Sawtooths are yet another of nature's wonders well worth experiencing.

White Pine 2011 Group Outings

Outing participants are expected to sign a liability waiver, a copy of which can be previewed at . RSVP to Outings Chair Jim Fahrion, Editor Dick Worm, or the designated Outing contact person for details and participation plans. Outings often include options. Explore & Enjoy with us as YOU like!

September 11 (Sunday)
Sinapee Trail/Cemetery Overlook, Sunset/Moonrise Hike
This Mississippi River bluff trailhead and hike is a short way north of Dubuque on the Wisconsin side of the river. Meet at the Paddle Wheel Entrance of the Mississippi Center of the National Mississippi River Museum and Aquarium at 4:30 PM. A carpool and/or caravan to the trailhead will be organized with departure around 5 PM. Bring a dinner (sandwich) and beverage. Stay as long as you like to watch the sky change as the sun sets and a near full moon rises. Bring a light source if staying until dark. Dress accordingly for evening cooling. CONTACT: Charlie Winterwood or Dick Worm.

September 24 (Saturday)
"350" Bike Ride and Rally
A goal has been set to hold CO2 global warming emissions to 350 ppm. This event will showcase some of the pros and cons in Dubuque of such efforts. Bicyclers should meet at 10 AM at the free city parking lot on East 5th St. behind McGraw-Hill, a LEED-certified building in the port of Dubuque (501 Bell St.) The bike route will proceed under the railroad tracks by Star Brewery and the Shot Tower; on to The Historic Millwork District; to Kerper and past the City Garage Superfund site; past Alliant Power Plant; past Bee Branch discharge into the Mississippi; to MSC Solar; to the flood wall past Kerper industrial; to the rally at AY McDonald Park (The Council Circle) at what was the Hawthorne Street Boat Ramp. Non-bikers can meet there around 11 AM for the "350" Rally that may include a food vendor and music. Event may wind down by 1 PM. Details may change so CONTACT Charlie Winterwood or the Green Dubuque Facebook page. Creative displays of "350" in lawns and windows are encouraged in the days leading up to the event.

October 16 (Sunday)
Effigy Mounds Fall Color Hike
Meet in Dubuque at 11:30 AM at the south end of the Asbury Hy-Vee Parking lot (off Northwest arterial) across from Culver's. Meet at Effigy Mounds Visitor Center at 1 PM (or whenever the Dubuque folks arrive) just north of McGregor/Marquette on IA Rt 76. Plan on a 3-hour stay. Bring a snack and a beverage; dress accordingly. CONTACT: Jim Fahrion.

October 29 (Saturday)
Turkey Dinner Fundraiser
Daytime activity beginning at 10:30 AM at Dick and Jane Worm's Faraway Farm. The dinner social hour begins at 5:30 PM at 10th & Locust's 1st Congregational Church in Dubuque. This is our ONLY official group fundraiser, and we take no allotments from the Iowa Chapter or National dues. Please plan to attend or contribute. Thanks!

November 19 (Saturday)
White Pine Hollow Hike
Meet at 9 AM in Dubuque at the south end of Asbury Hy-Vee off Northwest Arterial across from Culver's. OR meet at the south entrance to White Pine Hollow at 10 AM via the second turn to the right west of Luxemburg on IA Rt 3. Hike will visit the Yew Ridge Cave (bring a light for even the shortest of entry) and the "waterfall" site. Wear sturdy shoes; bring lunch. Explore and Enjoy our group's namesake. CONTACT: Gary Thompson.

December 2-3 (Friday - Saturday)
Minnesota's Forestville/Mystery Cave and Lake Louise State Parks camping and hikes
Camping is in Loop B at Forestville/Mystery Cave Park on MN Rt 12 west-southwest of US Hwy 52 from Preston, MN or west of US 63 north from New Hampton and Chester, IA, then east from the south edge of Spring Valley, MN. Hikes Friday will begin from the campground about 1 PM. Campers can arrive anytime Friday. Vault toilets. Bring your own camping gear, food, and water. Saturday hikes and exploration of the confluence of the Little Iowa and Upper Iowa Rivers will begin at 10 AM at Lake Louise State Park, about 1.5 miles north of LeRoy, MN, via County Rd 14. (LeRoy is beyond the north end of Howard County Road V10 north from IA Rt 9 about 2 miles east of Riceville.) Meet at the Shelter on the north side of Lake Louise near the dam at the south east end of the lake. CONTACT: Dick Worm. (Check )

Project AWARE and Saga of the Ice Cream's Near Tragedy

DNR's River Clean-up: Little Turkey, Turkey, and Volga Rivers
July 9-16, 2011

At our February White Pine EXCOM meeting, the idea of providing ice cream at one dinner during this year's Project AWARE was brought up due to enjoyment of ice cream at last year's AWARE on the Nishnabotna River. One evening it was provided and hand-dipped by a long-time AWARE participant from that area and another evening by a sponsoring company that had a Schwan's truck come and open up a lot of boxes of ice cream treats. Those were some pretty hot evenings, so the unexpected ice cream extras really hit the spot.

Brian Soenen, Project AWARE director, was contacted about providing ice cream as a White Pine Group in-kind contribution and he thought that sounded great. So, since this year's Project AWARE was located within our Sierra Group's northeast Iowa membership region, our EXCOM agreed to dedicate $100 to the cause: $75 toward an AWARE sponsorship contribution and $25 toward ice cream.

Since this was to be my 6th year of enjoying a full week of AWARE, I easily justified adding to the Group contribution so that a $125 contribution could be recognized as a River Rescue level "sponsorship", getting our Sierra Group name onto this year's AWARE t-shirt. :-) In addition, two other Sierra members added to the contribution to help cover the eventual total of $119.48 worth of ice cream and dry ice.

Jackie Gautsch, AWARE staff organizer, was consulted closer to the AWARE date to determine a "best" location for the ice cream provision related to menu compatibility. Motor Mill on Thursday was selected due to being more "remote" and to add some zest to that night's dessert of Rice Krispie bars. Elkader was Googled and Wilke's grocery store was contacted as a potential source of ice cream and dry ice; but Wilke's directed us to the R&R Dairy, a home operation in Elkader, that has BULK ice cream, dippers, and coolers!!! What a find!

Since Motor Mill was to have the largest dinner attendance during the week due to over 80 Upward Bound youth arriving from the University of Iowa that evening, we settled on providing five 3-gallon tubs of ice cream. R&R suggested there would be 70-80 scoops per 3-gallon tub and Jackie's reference suggested there would be 48 servings per 3-gallon tub. I, being an ice cream glutton, wanted a "serving" to be two scoops, so we figured that 80 scoops per tub would equal about 40 servings per tub which was pretty close to 48 servings per tub each! Whew!!! For flavors, besides the regular vanilla, chocolate and strawberry, Jackie suggested cookies & cream and mint chocolate chip. Cookies & cream went fastest!

R&R later phoned with the news that the owners would be away all day Thursday due to a medical appointment, but that a friend would be at their home and have the ice cream packed in coolers ready to be picked up anytime between 3 and 5 PM. An AWARE van driver would pick up the ice cream and the location of the R&R was passed along. These logistics were working out far easier than we ever expected! All that Jim Fahrion and I would have to do was dip ice cream! Ha-Ha.

Thursday evening's AWARE dinner began being served at 5:45 PM rather than 6 PM due to the large number to be served; and, due to an unexpected shuttle run for folks with cars at the Osbourne Nature Center, the shuttle driver did not even PICK UP the ice cream at R&R Dairy in Elkader until well after 6:15 PM. The R&R helper waiting patiently had even phoned my home wondering if the ice cream was to ever be picked up... a call reported and discovered later via a message left by my wife on my cell phone.

So, the ice cream did not arrive at Motor Mill until 6:45 PM, an hour and 15 minutes later than the 5:30 PM expected arrival time and well after most of the over 210 people there that evening for dinner had eaten their Rice Krispie bar, washed their dishes, and were on their way to the 7 PM evening programs. BIG UGH! Except for the half-consumed cookies & cream, due to many Upward Bound youth stopping by rather than rushing to programs, we were left with the barely scratched surfaces of 5 tubs of ice cream in coolers, now barren of any remaining ice.

What to do??! I happened to have Wilke's grocery store's phone number with me. So, due to the miracle of being able to make phone contact with Wilke's from Motor Mill via my aged cell phone, a very weak signal, and a failing cell phone battery, a cooperative and patient Wilke's employee answered four of the "lost" phone calls and we made headway in my request for freezer space, which WAS available, for storage of the ice cream for use at Friday night's dinner at Osborne. But, how would the ice cream get there?

Tours of the Mill were being given as part of the evening programming. I scurried there to see if our Sierra member, writer and photographer Larry Stone, might be there to let me borrow his car. However, a Motor Mill Restoration Tour fellow, noting my wild-eyed desperation as I searched for Larry or ANY vehicle to commandeer, loaned to me his truck! So, I sped off with the ice cream to the upstairs freezer in Wilke's grocery store, with the help of a nice young man there, by 8:15 PM just before the ice cream melted and well before the store's 9 PM closing time.

I had my own car available Friday evening at Osborne Nature Center so was easily able to get the refrozen, but still perfect, ice cream from Elkader ready to go BEFORE the serving of dinner began and in line just past the caterer's very appropriate strawberry shortcake dessert! Whew!

We were able to serve everyone desiring ice cream and got down to the very last dip of the final (chocolate) tub to be emptied. Jackie and another AWARE staff member even dipped ice cream for a while toward the end so that Jim and I could get our own dinner and have ice cream scooped for us onto our strawberry shortcake! I was then also able to return the two coolers and ice cream dippers to R&R soon after dinner--during a heavy rainstorm that had cooperatively waited for the outdoor dinner hour to end.

We love these little adventures! By the way, I found out later from Larry Stone that the Motor Mill's, Roger, I think, who loaned me his truck, s the mayor of Elkader! Lucky I didn't get stopped for driving the mayor's "stolen" truck!!! Oh, boy!

Some of the repeat folks who DID get ice cream Thursday evening were quite surprised and pleased to see the ice cream available again on Friday evening after an even hotter day on the river than was Thursday! Great planning, they figured! :-) Yup! A perfect "plan" that went awry then had a Plan B develop that worked out so very well! THAT sort of "it" also happens!

Lynette of the AWARE staff may have taken a photo of the ice cream serving operation Friday evening. I was busy dipping and failed to think about such. ME!!! Forget to take a photo!!! Give me a break! I later did take a photo of the empty serving table and the empty cart next to it over which had been draped our Sierra Club banner.

See Ginger's e-mail below. She is a Sierra Club member from the Des Moines area.

Sent: Monday, July 18, 2011 11:06 AM
Subject: Ice cream

Dick: Thanks for the wonderful ice cream at Project AWARE. I really enjoyed it and heard many good comments.

I didn't stop to ask about the details. Was it just White Pine Group who provided it? I saw Jim helping you but don't know his last name. I'm glad you had the big Sierra Club sign there; great PR for the club.

Thanks again.

The 2011 Project AWARE will be the subject of the program at a Spring White Pine Group meeting preceding the 2012 Project AWARE. Mark April 24 and May 22 as options. See the 2011 t-shirt!!! :-)

Bag It

Saturdays, September 17 and October 15, 10 AM: The Bag It movie returns to Mindframe Theater in Dubuque (555 JFK Road behind Kennedy Mall.)  Free admission thanks to the co-sponsors, including our Sierra White Pine Group that contributed $100 toward the $300 screening fee. To receive and share a movie poster by e-mail contact or .

"Is your life too plastic?"

Traditional Tukey Dinner

The public is welcome (reservations required--due Thursday October 27, 2011.)

5:30 PM
Social Time: crackers/cider, Sierra Club Calendar sales, photo displays of outing events

6:15 PM
Buffet-style traditional turkey dinner

7:00 PM
Welcome, introductions, door prize drawings (Donations of door prizes are welcome.)

7:30 PM
Program: "Our Iowa Home" introduced by Bob Dunn, captures the mosaic of Iowa.

This visual and musical exploration of the state of Iowa focuses on Iowa's rolling prairie landscape, river valleys, fertile farmland, wildlife, and prairie flowers. It features the nature photography of renowned Iowa photographer, Carl Kurtz of St. Anthony, Iowa, and original music by Dubuque's own Bob Dunn and Lou Fautsch of "Unstrung Heroes" fame. Some songs included in this "geography lesson" of Iowa are "Prairie Sky", "Bend in the River", "Winterwood", "Back to the Hollow", and "Loess Hills Trail". Can you name all 99 counties of Iowa? (Lou Fautsch has also produced "Ticket to Dubuque" with Songs of Dubuque and the Heartland.) Come, relax, and enjoy sights and sounds that describe "Our Iowa Home".

8:30 PM
Clean-up, dish washing.drying (VOLUNTEERS WELCOME), calendar sales, displays.

Saturday Daytime activities at Dick and Jane Worm's Echo Hills/Echo Valley Pond/Faraway Farm south of Dubuque are offered in conjunction with the dinner. Activities beginning at 10:30 AM in this 150-acre conservation area "wilderness" may include Mississippi River bluff, woodland, and prairie hikes; pond fishing and canoeing; campfire; a nature scavenger hunt; and pumpkin carving. RSVP to Dick Worm for more specific details and directions.

Your attendance, donations, and VOLUNTEER contributions increase the level of fund-raising success.

White Pine Group EXCOM 2011

Charlie Winterwood, Chair
Jim Fahrion, Outings
Dick Worm, Newsletter/Membership
Barb Cooey
Gary Thompson

Appointed officers:
Secretary/Turkey Dinner Fundraiser: Jane Worm
Treasurer: Mike Muir
Conservation: Gretel Winterwood
Publicity: Carol Thompson
Webmaster: Todd Michaels (Local help wanted!)

2012 EXCOM Election

The EXCOM 2-year terms for Jim Fahrion and Barb Cooey will expire prior to our January 2012 meeting. Barb is spending much of 2011 and 2012 in Alaska, so will not be seeking re-election.

Consider serving our local Sierra Club group by offering to have your name on the ballot to be included in the winter 2011-12 newsletter. Help us as we Explore, Enjoy, and Protect our planet's increasingly vulnerable life-supporting systems.

Spring/Summer Outing Reports

To "Explore and Enjoy" are significant aspects of an active Sierra Club membership. Our group offers outings to foster aesthetic explorations that serve as motivators urging us to also "Protect".

The March 13 Keough Indian Mounds Hike took participants back to the days when the Earth's human inhabitants lived much closer to their natural surroundings.

The natural, vivid beauty of slopes of wildflowers in Mississippi Palisades State Park were admired on April 30 by the 14 folks on that early springtime hike. To try to protect that environment, participants also pulled lots of invading garlic mustard along the trail.

30 folks signed in to help with our group's hosting of the American Rivers Catfish Creek Clean-Up in the Mimes of Spain on May 14. Trails and roadsides were included due to the turnout enhanced by college youth and Dubuque's Sustainability Challenge Game. 160 nickel deposit containers were cleaned and redeemed. 181 no-deposit containers were cleaned and recycled. 32 bags of trash, 10 tires, half of a TV set, a kitchen sink, and a huge wooden power line spool were other "collectibles". Appreciation goes to Wayne Buchholtz of the Mines of Spain for providing canoes and Dean Mattoon of city engineering for provision of a lunch delivered by Hy-Vee.

One report about the early June Volga River float trip said all went well with only gnats and one, name withheld, spill at the end causing minor consternation! Water level was good and Volga River SRA ranger was great help.