Once a rolling grassland, northeastern Wyoming is now pockmarked with big holes. The Powder River Basin, as the region is known, is home to several of the country’s largest coal mines—giant terraced expanses of exposed earth and rock, much of it dug on federal land. The blasting and scraping altered more than the surface of the landscape: It’s also cut into aquifers, letting water leach away. Still, coal companies have promised they’ll leave the land better than they found it. But as Big Coal collapses, landowners and environmental groups are questioning whether they have enough money to keep that promise, which is also a matter of law, as federal regulation requires companies to restore the land they’ve mined. Alpha Natural Resources and Arch Coal, which operates the basin’s second-largest surface mine, have filed for bankruptcy. Together the two producers have about $900 million of clean up work to do in Wyoming. Peabody, the … [Read more...] about Big Coal Is Bankrupt. Who Will Pay to Clean Up Its Mess?
Big hole river
A flurry of construction filled the Big Thompson Canyon closure Tuesday, with the hours dwindling before Thursday's re-opening. Workers painted new stripes on the road, drilled holes that will be filled with concrete to brace new bridges, and piloted a helicopter to place mesh to protect the road from rock slides.U.S. Highway 34 through the Big Thompson Canyon will reopen at 4 p.m. Thursday. A three-mile section of the road — which connects Loveland and Estes Park — has been largely closed to the public since October, though it reopened for brief periods around Thanksgiving, Christmas and Easter.The bulk of the work during the closure involved rock blasting. Crews used more than 300,000 pounds of explosives to remove more than 380,000 cubic yards of rocks from the walls of the canyon, according to data collected by the contractor, Kiewit Corporation. Sections of the road will be moved away from the Big Thompson River and onto the newly exposed bedrock, with the idea … [Read more...] about Big Thompson Canyon reopens today
When Toms River resident Alan Sciacca got home from a recent trip to the Freehold Raceway Mall, his yard looked different.It was dug up and a sprinkler pipe was broken. "There was a big hole," Sciacca said.How did it get there? Well, there was a clue: a dug up dirt trail snaked from the Verizon box at the edge of the yard to a small box on his house. Sciacca pointed the finger at Verizon, but the telephone company told him they never came to his house. Press on Your Side helped Sciacca find out what happened and get his yard and sprinkler system repaired.Sciacca and his wife spent the day at the mall last month when he came back to his house at Greenbriar Woodlands and discovered a mess. VERIZON WORKERS: Unions OK "incredible victory" in deal to end strike"You could see the sprinkler line was cut, but there was a whole bunch of trash that the people left here," he said. "No one told us they were coming to do this work." SWITCHING: Verizon "Can you … [Read more...] about What happened to Toms River man’s yard?
Macy's decision to close 100 stores nationwide could have an impact on New Jersey, where the department store retailer is a large employer.The company said it will release a list of stores once a decision is made. It has 21 Macy's stores in the Garden State, located from Mays Landing to Paramus. It employs 7,300 workers at Macy's and its sister brands, including Bloomingdale's, Macy's Furniture Gallery and Bluemercury.Macy's said the move, while painful, will help make the retailer more nimble and give it an opportunity to better adapt to changing shopper habits. WHAT'S GOING THERE: Work finally starts on Jackson shopping center"We operate in a fast-changing world and our company is moving forward decisively to build further on Macy's heritage as a preferred shopping destination for fashion, quality, value and convenience," said Terry J. Lundgren, Macy's Inc. chairman and chief executive officer in a statement Thursday. "This involves doing things differently … [Read more...] about Macy’s store closings: Big impact in NJ?
OAKLAND, Calif. — Philip Rivers and the San Diego Chargers opened the season doing what they do best: beating the Oakland Raiders. Rivers answered a pair of go-ahead scored by Oakland by leading two touchdown drives, capped by Darren Sproles 5-yard run with 18 seconds left that gave the Chargers their 12th straight in this one-sided rivalry, 24-20 Monday night. This might have been the toughest one of the bunch. JaMarcus Russell had given Oakland a 20-17 lead with a 57-yard touchdown pass to rookie Louis Murphy with 2:34 left. But despite having two backup linemen in the game, Rivers calmly led the Chargers down the field for the winning score. Rivers was six for seven for 79 yards on the winning drive before Sproles silenced the crowd with his run up the middle. This marked the Raiders’ 11th straight loss in prime time and perhaps the most painful, considering how close they came. They took a 13-10 lead early in the fourth quarter on a 35-yard field goal by … [Read more...] about Philip Rivers leads Chargers past Raiders, 24-20, with late comeback
The city may seem like a concrete jungle, but it's also one giant playground with all its fields, courts and trails just waiting to be explored. So instead of sitting at home watching the big games on TV, give your couch springs a break, join a club and pursue your own glory. If you're looking to take part in a league, your annual best bets can be found among the following Web sites: www.nycssc.com; www.zogsports.com; www.chelseapiers.com; www.nyurban.com. Don't worry if you've missed the cut, there's still plenty else to do. Here's a sampling ... Inline Skating and Roller Hockey: Why walk around the concrete jungle when you can glide? There's a comprehensive guide at skatecity.com/nyc, which also includes information about roller hockey. For additional information about roller hockey, visit www.nyrhl.com and www.manhattanrollerhockeyleague.com. Cycling: It's the quintessential summer sport. Check out www.nycbikemaps.com to find out where bike lanes are built into the … [Read more...] about What concrete jungle? For summer, NYC is one big playground
The East River has its share of local lore - and not all of it is appealing. But these waters are about to show off a $15 million makeover in the form of four gigantic man-made waterfalls. When the spectacle roars to life on Thursday, Niagara might feel just a little bit jealous. "The New York City Waterfalls" is a temporary installation from the mind of Danish artist Olafur Eliasson. Those familiar with Eliasson's work know that he aims to dazzle and that he works big. In 2003, he re-created the sunset inside London's famed Tate Modern museum using mist, a huge mirror and a disk covered with hundreds of lights. New Yorkers may remember his "Eye See You," a display in the Louis Vuitton flagship store on Fifth Ave. in which mirrored lamps imitated enormous, golden-hued eyes. Eliasson's Berlin-based studio employs a team of 30 architects, engineers and builders who produce his massive projects. For "The New York City Waterfalls," he needed even more hands. "Waterfalls" was … [Read more...] about ‘Waterfalls’ art installation to shower East River
Earle Hagen is gone, but his whistle lives on. Hagen, who died Monday night in California at the age of 88, wrote "The Fishin' Hole," the theme song of the "Andy Griffith Show." He also whistled it for the recording, and with the possible exception of "Bridge Over the River Kwai," it is probably the most-whistled song of modern-day America. Nor was Hagen a one-whistle bird. Back in the days when every self-respecting TV show had its own theme song, he wrote music for "The Dick Van Dyke Show," "Mod Squad," "I Spy," "That Girl," "The Bill Dana Show" and others. Hagen grew up in Los Angeles, and by the time he was in his 20s he had played trombone with both Benny Goodman and Tommy Dorsey. In 1939, while he was with Ray Noble's band, he and Dick Rogers wrote "Harlem Nocturne," which became a jazz and popular standard. In addition to making the national charts through a popular recording by the Viscounts, it became the theme for "Mickey Spillane's Mike Hammer" in 1984. … [Read more...] about ‘Andy Griffith’ theme song writer hooked a big one
When New York's football teams square off, loyal fans need somewhere to cheer, drink and chow down on fried food. The worst thing you can do is wander into the wrong bar. Come 1 p.m. today, the city's bitter divide will run along bar lines. Where you head depends on your goal: Cheering with like-minded fans or scowling at your rivals. IF YOU WANT TO SCOWL Southern Hospitality, 1460 Second Ave. Justin Timberlake's upper East Side BBQ joint is welcoming fans from both teams at its Jets/Giants game-time party today. Sean Landeta, the longtime punter who spent most of his career with the Giants, will host along with former Jets wide receiver Wesley Walker. Both former players will sign autographs while fans down $3 drafts and half-priced appetizers all afternoon. IF YOU'RE A GIANTS FAN Mudville, 126 Chambers St. is throwing a Giants/Jets viewing party with 12 types of wings and slow-cooked ribs for $9.50. All Giants fans will be treated to specialty $3 Radeberger beers … [Read more...] about Where to watch Jets & Giants: The big-game pub lineup
It took seven more innings of Mets hitting futility, in a suspended game that got suspended far longer than most everyone’s tolerance level could bear, before Steven Matz was finally able to make his much-anticipated major-league debut Sunday – and see firsthand for himself what an exasperating challenge it is to pitch for his hometown team. How fortunate it is that the most lethal weapon in the kid’s impressive arsenal may just be his bat. RELATED: MATZ LOOKS GREAT IN DEBUT - BUT WHO DOES HE LOOK LIKE? Those 29,635 fans who came to Citi Field expecting to see the breakneck curve, the 95-plus fastball and the plus changeup that had accounted for a Pacific Coast League-leading 2.19 ERA and 94 strikeouts got the full quota as Matz, after being welcomed to the bigs with a homer by Brandon Phillips, the first batter he faced, settled in and limited the Reds to five hits and two runs until Terry Collins finally came to get him with two outs in the eighth inning. … [Read more...] about Steven Matz already a big hit with Mets in debut