The Last Oysterman

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Hemingway wrote of an Old Man and the Sea. Similarly, Oysterman Dan Driscoll today fights a tide of cronyism as he struggles to keep his historic Oysterville Sea Farms afloat and out of the hands of Pacific County government.

Sri Lanka Tsunami

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In horrific proportions, told through first hand accounts and oceans of tears, the Indonesian tsunami ruthlessly reminded the world how fleeting life on earth can be. In only minutes, the world lost unofficially 283,100 lives on Sunday, December 26, 2004. The first wave lashed Sri Lanka's eastern shore at approximately 9:00 a.m., nearly two hours and 2000 miles from a 9.0 earthquake that struck Indonesia at 7:58 a.m. local time. Its epicenter was 255 miles southeast of Banda Aceh, Sumatra, at a depth of 18.6 miles, or 30 kilometers (USGS). Today, over 10,000 are still recorded as missing. From Thailand to Indonesia, Bangladesh to Sri Lanka, the Maldives to Myanmar and Somalia, the quake had tipped the Indian ocean setting forth a ripple characterized as biblical as not just villages, but islands were forever swept from view. --SS

Haiti Quake

The 7.0 magnitude earthquake that struck Haiti Tuesday, January 12, 2010, was the strongest quake to hit the area since 1770 (USGS). The epicenter was located 15 miles WSW of Port-au-Prince in Leogone at a depth of 13 km (8.1 miles) recorded at 21:53 UTC (1:53:10 PST). Considered the poorest country in the Western Hemisphere before the quake, Haiti suffered 316,000 deaths and 300,000 injuries after the quake with 1.3 million being displaced. Relief from around the world poured into Port-au-Prince, but soon became a political and distribution quagmire as governments and NGOs failed to find common ground in a mutual effort. Today, despite a now contained cholera outbreak that killed 580 people and hospitalized over 9,000, Haiti continues to struggle for a social and political foothold. --SS

SUDAN: Upper Nile and Doro

In July new borders were drawn after South Sudan was given independence, though the Blue Nile and Upper Nile regions are proving to be the first of heavily contested zones rich in oil and resources. The Blue Nile villages we were in five years ago along the Ethiopia border (Kurmuk) have in recent months been overrun by the north as the new border puts them in the north. These Blue Nile tribes fought for secession. They now are being “hung out to dry” with the south unable to provide for their protection. Continue reading