May 12, 2011

Images: Mississippi River Flooding

Looking N from old river structure

Barges being pushed up the Mississippi River south of Natchez. Old river beds visible with rising water.

    Gates open

Old River Structure, gates open allowing water to escape and taking pressure off the levees in lower Louisiana.
Churning Water near LT

Rising waters churning near the LeTourneau manufacturing plant south of Vicksburg.

South Vix 30 min

South of Vicksburg, MS approximately 30 minutes. Levee is on the Louisiana side of the river.

Posted by Jo Wilson on May 12, 2011 at 03:55 PM in Current Affairs, Inside DOT, Travel | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack

May 10, 2011

Tuscaloosa Tornado Damage

DiscoverOurTown offer prayers for all of those families and small business owners effected by the destructive tornados. Even though the storm is commonly referenced to Tuscaloosa, we recognize that the destructive nature of the storm was much greater and effected people all across Alabama and Georgia.

We would like to update our database with any businesses that are closed or were destroyed. You can help by clicking on the "Is this Accurate?" button on each profile page. The sooner we get our data updated, the sooner that users can feel confident in the information presented on Uneffected businesses will again be able to utilize our online referrals more quickly.

Thank you for your help and comments.

Posted by Jo Wilson on May 10, 2011 at 04:59 PM in Current Affairs, Publications | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

May 02, 2011

Prince William’s Chocolate Crunch Cake

Tea & Sympathy's Easy Recipe

chocolate crunch cake! 
Serves eight


For the cake
1 box graham crackers
¼ c. raisins
¼ c. nuts, chopped
5 oz. dark chocolate
5 oz. milk chocolate
1 stick butter, room temp.
1 14-oz. can condensed milk

For the topping
5 oz. dark chocolate
1 tsp. milk

1. In a large metal bowl, crumble graham crackers into bite-size pieces. Add raisins and nuts.

2. In a saucepan, melt chocolates, butter, and milk. Stir frequently so chocolate doesn’t burn.

3. Add melted mixture to crackers and stir until dispersed.

4. Line an 11-by-7-inch pan with waxed paper. Pour mixture into pan; spread evenly. Refrigerate for 2 hours.

5. For the topping, combine ingredients in a saucepan; stir until melted.

6. Remove cake from fridge and cover with topping. Cut into squares and serve.

To see how it’s done, watch our demo. For more information on Tea & Sympathy, go to Originally posted online @ April 27, 2011

Posted by Jo Wilson on May 2, 2011 at 08:59 PM in Activities & Events, Current Affairs, Food and Drink | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

April 29, 2010

Government's 3-Hour Rule About to Become Reality

In Rob Lovitt's article on MSNBC yesterday, he cites the "pros, cons, and complications" with the Department of Transportation's new "3-hour" rule. The new rule, which is set to take effect on April 29th, will impose regulatory protection against tarmac delays of 3 hours or more.

What does this mean for travelers?

The Department of Transportation (DOT) introduced the new 81-page rule in December 2009, which seeks to improve passenger protection on several issues. The new rule primarily deals with extended tarmac delays and states that passengers on domestic flights should be allowed to disembark after three hours (as long as doing so doesn't create a safety or security issue, or interfere with airport operations). To enforce the rule, a fine is imposed on airlines who don't comply - to the tune of $27,500 per passenger! For a standard 737, that would mean a $3 million fine for the airline. Yikes!

On the flip side, some speculate that the airlines, in an attempt to comply with the new rule, will end up cancelling more flights. If this is the case, there will be more unhappy passengers on the ground - DOT statistics state that 903 flights were stranded on the ground for 3 or more hours last year (approximately 0.014 percent, or 1 in 7,143 flights).

You can read more of the story's details on Be sure to leave us your comments - what do you think of the new rule?


Posted by Dawn Sue-Dare on April 29, 2010 at 11:34 AM in Current Affairs, Travel | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack

April 22, 2010

Eco-Travel for Earth Day 2010

Caño Island National Park - provided by genier@flickr, photo by La Cusinga Eco Lodge, Costa Rica

Am I the only one who finds it odd that we're only celebrating the "40th Anniversary" of Earth Day? I mean, the Earth is older than that, right? :)

In any case, Earth Day is upon us once again, and this year's trend seems to be "eco-travel" or "eco-tourism". What does this mean? According to Wikipedia, "eco-travel" (also known as "eco-tourism", or "ecological tourism") is responsible travel to fragile, pristine and usually protected areas that strives to be low-impact and (often) small scale. This type of travel generally appeals to ecologically and socially conscious individuals; however, the general idea of "eco-travel" is becoming a more popular trend with mainstream destinations. Many times, eco-travel focuses on volunteering, personal growth or environmental responsibility; the "mainstream" definition does not always cover this aspect - focusing more on creating eco-conscious destinations for travelers.

Here are some destinations and others in the US travel industry who have "gone green" in honor of Earth Day:

  • Southwest Airlines: In a Southwest Airlines announcement, the airline reaffirmed their commitment to "Environmental Stewardship" - the efficient use of energy, people and materials - and introduced their new "green" plane. Their green planeintroduces environmentally friendly materials and helps to improve on the plane's fuel efficiency. Keeping up with green initiatives is certainly exhausting!
  • Hotel Palomar Chicago: as part of a city-wide eco-friendly initiative, Hotel Palomar Chicagohas installed a new roof! Their new roof is covered in grass and other vegetation in order to help improve air quality in the city. Now that's a breath of fresh air!
  • Hard Rock Hotel San Diego: the Hard Rock Hotel San Diego (HRHSD), via the American Forests' "Global ReLeaf" program, will plant a tree for every guest that checks in during the month of April. Rock on!
  • Marco Island Marriott Beach Resort:offering fun for families! Through Saturday, April 24th, Marco Island Marriott Beach Resortwill offer complimentary eco-education sessions for kids and families. Each 30-60 minute activity will focus on a unique aspect of Marco Island's eco-system - from dolphins to sea turtles! Eco FUN!

In addition to all these great Earth Day activities, there are quite a few establishments offering to SAVE you some green this Earth Day too!

  • Free lodging at Ithaca, NY B&Bs: the New York Daily News reports that four eco-friendly B&Bs in Ithaca, NY are offering travelers free lodging (free night with a minimum 2 night stay) if they're a hybrid driver! The four B&Bs are: Climbing Vine Cottage, Frog's Way B&B, Wild Goose B&B, and Turtle Dreams. This offer is good through May 10th.
  • Eldorado Hotel & Spa - Santa Fe, NM:rewarding green travelers with their "Go Green, Save Your Green" discount. Travelers who mention the code "PROGG" will receive a 15% room discount, free overnight parking for hybrid vehicles, and a 20% discount on organic products from Nidah Spa. Rates start at $149/night and this offer is valid throughout the month of April.
  • Renaissance Vinoy Resort & Golf Club - St. Petersburg, FL: drivers of hybrid vehicles will receive free self parking at the Renaisssance Vinoy Resort through April 30th. The Vinoy Day Spa also offers organic treatments and uses natural bath products.  

Of course, it doesn't have to be Earth Day to take advantage of good travel deals and to be an eco-conscious traveler...but it certainly helps. :)

Posted by Dawn Sue-Dare on April 22, 2010 at 10:58 PM in Current Affairs, Travel | Permalink | Comments (2) | TrackBack

April 19, 2010

European Air Travel Partially Resumes, Despite Volcano

A plume of ash shoots out of the volcano under the Eyjafjallajokull glacier in Iceland.

Smoke and ash hangs over the volcano under the Eyjafjallajokull glacier in Iceland, which has erupted for the second time in less than a month, melting ice, shooting smoke and steam into the air and forcing hundreds of people to flee rising floodwaters. – Reuters Photo 

Starting Monday, April 19, 2010, Europe began to untangle itself from the hold of the volcanic eruption debris that had planes grounded, both to and from the region, since last week.

Monday evening, three KLM passenger flights were allowed to leave Schiphol airport in Amsterdam during daylight under visual flight rules bound for New York, Dubai and Shanghai. In London, it is reported that the eruption seems to be strengthening and sending more ash and debris towards Britain, making it unlikely that London airports will reopen on Tuesday, April 20.

European transportation ministers have divided the airspace over the European skies into three areas: the "no-fly" zone (airspace immediately over the ash cloud), the "caution" zone (airspace areas with "some contamination" where planes can fly, subject to engine checks for damage), and the "open-skies" zone. The transportation ministers have been quoted as saying that there will be more planes in the skies beginning Tuesday morning.

Read more on this story on Yahoo! News.

Posted by Jo Wilson on April 19, 2010 at 07:12 PM in Current Affairs, Travel | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack

March 25, 2009

The Eye of LA features The Whale & Ale - San Pedro, CA

Whale logo 2


Talking of the media…. Eye on LA will feature downtown San Pedro on Saturday April 4, at 5.30 p.m. The Whale & Ale was last on Eye on LA in September 2007, so look out for us again on Saturday 4 April.
Whale & Ale Muriel Olguin

NEWSFLASH - Muriel Olguin to be honored; Medéa Gallery is pleased to announce that in celebration of Women in History Month, Muriel Olguin will be honored with a Lifetime Achievement Award on March 28, 2009 from 4 PM at Medéa Gallery. The exclusive retrospective of her paintings will continue through June 2009. Organized by San Pedro resident & outsider artist, Dorota, this event recognizes Muriel as one of San Pedro’s master artists & community leaders.

Posted by Marsha Rhodes on March 25, 2009 at 04:33 PM in Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack