A Weather CSI Team by CRAIG JAMES Yes, there is now a CSI team that has been formed within the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). They do not investigate crime scenes; they investigate what they call climate scenes. The team is comprised of 26 employees from NOAA for the purpose of determining whether extreme weather events can be attributed to human-induced climate change or whether they are simply due to the inherent variability of weather patterns. NOAA states, “By distinguishing natural variability from human-induced climate change, they aim to improve decision-making and inform adaptation strategies.” As you may recall, there have been several record-breaking snowstorms over the past couple of years, especially from the mid-Atlantic region into New England. The CSI team assembled last year to analyze why the snowstorms happened. Many people, of course, specifically blamed these storms on human-induced global warming. In response to these claims, the CSI team “specifically wanted to know if human-induced global warming could have caused the snowstorms due to the fact that a warmer atmosphere holds more water vapor.” Their answer: “not likely.” They went on to state, “They found no evidence—no human ‘fingerprints’—to implicate our involvement in the snowstorms. If global warming was the culprit, the team would have expected to find a gradual increase in heavy snowstorms in the mid-Atlantic region as temperatures rose during the past century. But historical analysis revealed no such increase in snowfall. Nor did the CSI team find any indication of an upward trend in winter precipitation along the eastern seaboard.” There is also another great piece of evidence to suggest storms in the eastern part of the country are no more frequent or worse than in the past. In 2004, two NOAA employees developed what is called the Northeast Snowfall Impact Scale (NESIS). NESIS scores are a function of the area affected by the snowstorm, the amount of snow, and the number of people living in the path of the storm. You can see from the chart how the biggest storms rate on this scale since 1956. In the summary graphic, the chart has been broken up into two separate time periods. If human-induced global warming was having an effect upon these storms, you would expect to see an […]
March 3 2011
Examples in Excellence tenth year of students recognized Dr. Michael Shibler was the first of many speakers during the tenth annual Examples in Excellence, Rockford Students Making a Difference ceremony Monday, February 28 at the district administration building. Shibler called Examples a highlight of the school year. The program is a joint effort by the district, Douglas Photography and The Rockford Squire newspaper to recognize students for the difference they make in the lives of those around them. Each school in the district annually chooses one student for their strength of character and each principal describes that student before a crowd of family members, friends and the entire school board. This year’s Example in Excellence is available at the Squire, Douglas Photography and at the RPS administration building. Student biographies and photos will also be published in the coming editions of the Squire. Congratulations to each of the fine young men and women who were honored.
Space to be reevaluated by BETH ALTENA By April 16 the nine jobs currently held by operators of the Michigan State Police (MSP) dispatch center in the Rockford MSP Post #61 at 345 Northland Drive will be gone. The cuts are part of Governor Snyder’s new budget and will save the state a million dollars annually. According to Rockford MSP Post Commander Chris McIntire, the move makes sense, although is a blow to the people and their families who will lose their jobs. “It will be a seamless transition to the post,” McIntire said. McIntire also stated that the post may be closing during the night as opposed to being open 24 hours a day, which it has been for as long as he can recall. “If anything it will mean increased patrol for the public,” he said of the post closing at night. “It will mean the supervisor who normally would be working in here will be out on the road patrolling.” McIntire said the news was unexpected and came quickly after Governor Snyder announced his new budget for the state on Wednesday, February 22. He described a meeting where he and other supervisors were told of the changes and the dispatch center closing is a certainty. McIntire said the seven dispatchers have been offered transfers to either Detroit or Lansing, but the two supervisors have not been offered an opportunity to keep their jobs. He said the services will be transferred to Gaylord and Lansing and will eventually all be moved to Lansing when facilities are available. Prior to operating dispatch out of the Rockford post, the space was used by the post for its general operations. McIntire said MSP is considering how best to use the area once it is vacated. Currently the dispatch center occupies a large room in the front southern section of the 77-year-old building. “I didn’t see it coming at all,” McIntire said. Formerly the center handled calls made to 911 from cell phones for the MSP fifth and sixth region, from the state line in the south up to Grand Haven, this area and to Hart and Ionia. It made sense for Michigan State Police to handle those calls since nearly all traffic accidents now are reported […]
Two proposals for former court building rejected by BETH ALTENA The Rockford Area Historical Society hired a consultant and had huge plans to relocated their museum, now housed in a 100-plus-year-old building with no running water or fire protection, into the unused portion of the former 63rd District Court building, located across the parking lot from City Hall. A decision by Rockford City Council to reject their proposal stunned the group and has them feeling they were turned down without a proper chance to make their case. Historical Society member Terry Konkle attended the February 14 City Council meeting and talked with Mayor Steve Jazwiec after to ask for the chance to prove to Council the Historical Society could bring in enough money to do a good job setting up and also staffing the museum in the new location. The Historical Society, along with North Kent Community Services, submitted a proposal outlining their intended use of the court and on Friday, Feb. 11 received a letter formally rejecting their proposal. According to Rockford City Manager Michael Young and Mayor Jazwiec, council was unimpressed with the business plan of the proposal and is considering an alternative use for the property. “We have a ton of people who could help us, but we can’t start asking for money when we don’t know if we are going to get the building,” Konkle said. He said he feels council is asking the organization to put the cart before the horse by expecting financial proof before they approve the move. “We’d like a chance to sit down with council and talk about the financials. If we didn’t get a shot at it without talking to council, we’d feel pretty disappointed,” Konkle said to Jazwiec. Jazwiec said council feels they put the offer out, made a decision and are unlikely to want to start over. Young said the council rejected the two proposals and is looking at the cost of upgrading the building to the standards of City Hall. Council plans to reevaluate options to have another public-use building similar to the Community Cabin, which Young said is “booked every day.” Young said as a meeting area, the court building would offer a space twice as big as the Cabin and […]