dead birds

cat silhouette
I have gotten little traction for my proposal to leash the King of suburbia, felis catus.
Had occasion to be reminded of cats’ killing prowess when Gordon hauled in a Cardinalis cardinalis.

cat stays close to dying bird
Gordo growled to be sure I didn’t mess with the bird while she tried to clear her lips of those pesky bird feathers.

what kind of bonehead motorist runs down birds at 25 mph?
Meanwhile, out on Market Street, two members of Turdus migratorius clan are road kill, extinguished by that other King of suburbia, the automobile.

What kills birds? Consultants to the Wind Power Industry on birds and other wildlife issues, Curry and Kerlinger LLC put together some numbers which hold that glass windows are the largest bird slayer, 100-900 million birds per year. (love that range, factor of nine. Doesn’t inspire confidence).
House cats and motor vehicles each dispatch a 100 million.
I feel like a politician, “don’t believe the numbers”. From my experience, domestic cats rule in the realm of shredded tweet. That 100 million dead for cats, way low.
Leash law for the kitties!

temporary infrastructure

Lineman from Davis H Elliot Electrical Contractors works to untangle a 20,000 volt distribution line on Park Street.
We had a thunderstorm in Charlottesville Sunday. Some trees dropped limbs, others snapped.

Invariably, after storm events there are calls for sapletting…

Lets go axe some trees, they made me miss America’s Funniest Home Videos

How do they do it in the big leagues? Like New York City? Where are their wires?
In Charlottesville, I’d be surprised if we spent more than a hundred thousand dollars last year putting this infrastructure underground, less than we’d spend sending a half dozen children to school.
(below- quercus alba v. Buick, Park Street north of its intersection with Cutler Lane.)

tree v car
May 3, 1990, the Charlottesville City Council and the Planning Commission met and discussed undergrounding electric wires, a lengthy excerpt from the minutes follows.

The undergrounding of utilities was discussed.
Ms. Waters stated that Council’s position was to underground utilities where possible but did not support a major undergrounding effort because of the high cost.
Mr. Akin stated that at his request students in the Systems Engineering Department at the University will conduct a complete study on the management of utilities, including undergrounding and the potential for City ownership. Mr. Akin stated that his intent was to determine how the City can more effectively have control over the utilities.
Mr. Sours noted concern with possible bias of the study and recommended that the study be coordinated through the City Manager’s office.
Ms. Waters stated that there had been no collective decision on the part of the Planning Commission or Council to study utilities and expressed concern about devoting staff time to a study commissioned by one individual.
Mr. Toscano stated that he thought it was positive that the University was willing to take the study on.
Rev. Edwards stated that he would be interested in seeing what the study showed.
Ms. Kay Slaughter, Council Member elect, questioned whether the City had a policy about undergrounding for new projects and Mr Gary O’Connell, City Manager replied that undergrounding has been required for new construction.
Ms. Sue Lewis, Planning Commission member, stated that she felt the City should use the students at the University as resources more often.
Mr. O’Connell stated that he and the City Attorney have been working with Virginia Power on the undergrounding issue.

Park Street was closed north and south of the Route 250 bypass Monday morning.

Collateral damage

sign by Max Frazee
This afternoon the RWSA Board of Directors will continue to address the issue of sanitary sewer overflows (SSO’s) occurring in their transmission system secondary to failed infrastructure (leaky pipes) that are part of the collection system.
Fixing the pipes is the expensive option, 400 million to 2 billion dollars.
Building a new sewage pumping plant is the quick fix for SSO’s and comparatively inexpensive (labor and materials cost 25-37 million dollars).
The concern of central Virginians is the collateral damage, the loss of value to our region. Pumping plant plan pricetags discussed to date do not reflect collateral damage costs, damage to the social, economic and cultural fabric at the foot of Monticello Mountain, impacts to a city park, the primary gateway to the Rivanna River, impacts to a national historic district and impacts to a neighborhood.
The overall cost of the project, to date, has not reflected the cost of locating the pumping station in “the wrong place”.
The cost of building a new 53 million gallon per day pumping plant must include the costs to mitigate its calamitous side effects, costs not reflected in the “materials and labor” estimate.