Japan’s Disaster – A first hand account

There are many things you could call what happened to Japan. A nuclear, earthquake, or tsunami followed by the word disaster. But to me it is a failure of planning disaster. I can imagine a 20 foot wall 10 miles inland with all the areas population living behind it. I can imagine all the land in between there and the ocean as green space. I can imagine the ports and the fishing boats and the sea farms being operated by the inhabitants who must commute 10 miles one way everyday. I can not image what this guy saw. Pretty good writer also. See:


Report from Fukushima
By Suvendrini Kakuchi

FUKUSHIMA, Japan, Apr 7, 2011 (IPS) – My decision to visit Fukushima – the area worst hit by the massive quake, tsunami and nuclear power accident on Mar. 11 – was taken one afternoon last week after a long meeting with scientists.

The invitation to accompany the scientists on a private fact-finding mission to Fukushima was irresistible. The scientists and engineers who gathered that day, had, for decades, harboured misgivings over reactor safety design and policies and were active in the ongoing debate over the future of nuclear energy in Japan.

“There is a dire need for a real time radiation monitoring network to be set up in areas affected by the damaged Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear power plant,” Atsuto Suzuki, head of the high-energy accelerator research organisation at Tsukuba University, explained. “This is where our expertise can begin to play a role.”

We started our journey at 6am, armed with bottles of mineral water, clothing that could be discarded before our return to Tokyo, and special facemasks to protect us from radiation when we approached the 20-kilometre exclusive zone around the damaged reactors.

Around our necks dangled radioactive dosimeters, resembling large thermometers. The machines would show accumulated microsieverts of radiation contamination on our bodies and instructions were given that we carry them all the time to record the rise in the figures while noting the exact locations.

“Our own documentation of radioactive material is key to understanding the Fukushima accident,” explained Yoichi Tao, a physicist specialising in risk management design, who is now retired. He is also a graduate from Tokyo University.

But Tao is not part of the cosy group of experts who have guided Japan’s ambitious post-war nuclear power industry. Instead, having experienced the atomic bombing of Hiroshima when he was just six years old, the scientist, contends the bitter truth that Japan had chosen to ignore till today, was that fool-proof safety in nuclear power is simply a “myth”.

“It is time,” he explained, “to embark on a clearer definition of the complex concept of safety. This calls for research from diverse perspectives – the views of residents, independent opinions, as well as taking in an assessment on the impact of the accident on other countries.”

The three-hour drive to Fukushima was hauntingly poignant. With most of the motorways now open for traffic, we passed the breathtaking scenery that marks Japan’s northern region – mountains dotted with pristine pine forests on one side of the road and the pale blue, now serene, ocean glistening on the other. Sharp gusts of chilly air wrapped our car on a near empty road, a sign of the lost appeal of Fukushima – which had been up till now a tourist destination boasting therapeutic hot springs and fresh seafood.


More next week.


10 – 10 – 10 And CES – We help Starhill Forest Arboretum

Loading up the greenhouse was a lotto work but a lotto fun. The Burgoo was pretty good too.

Though you can’t really tell, this green house is stuffed. It took us 3 hours of steady work to get er done. Then we had a great Burgoo at their picnic table on the south face of the hill.


More Tomorrow


Gail Record And The Clarewood Farm – What a hit




Kathryn Rem: Clarewood Farm & Bakery offers healthful baked goods

Posted Jul 27, 2010 @ 10:09 PM

What you may not know, if you buy baked goods from Gail Record at either of Springfield’s two farmers markets, is that she goes to a lot of trouble to make sure the ingredients she uses are locally sourced and grown either organically or in a sustainable manner.

Although she lives in Springfield, some of her ingredients are grown at Clarewood Farm — her family’s 80-acre farm near Loami. Other ingredients, including eggs, come from area farmers.

“When I started working at the farm, I wanted an apple orchard and nut trees and vegetables and fruit and I wanted to bake. I had big ideas. But you have to have time to do it,” said Record, a grandmother who sells under the name Clarewood Farm & Bakery.

The first-year farmers market vendor and former food writer hasn’t given up on her dream of running a thriving sustainable farm, but she’s starting small.

Take flour, for example.

She wanted to grow an acre of wheat, which she planned to make into flour for her whole-wheat baked goods. But when she realized how labor-intensive and difficult growing wheat would be, she decided to buy wheat berries from an organic farm in Chenoa and grind them herself.

Her stand — Saturdays only at the Old Capitol Farmers Market and Thursdays at the Illinois Products Farmers Market — sells cookies, muffins, zucchini bread, granola, scones, whole-wheat tortillas and other goodies. Fruit pies will be offered in the fall.


Try some:

Hey Springfield Area Locavores,

1)      The Illinois Specialty Growers Association sponsors the Farmers Market Tent at the State Fair.  They are looking for any volunteers to help out with sales. The hours are 11:00-7:00 with breaks as needed to walk around the fair, eat, etc.  Products sold include apple cider slushies, peaches, cantaloupe, watermelon, peaches, ice cream, salads and egg-on-a-stick!    Past volunteers almost always return as they enjoy working this tent.  You will be serving the produce and collecting money.  No rocket science involved, just good ole’ fun!  Thanks for considering.

Please contact Diane Handley by email or phone if you are interested. Diane Handley , Illinois Specialty Growers Association 309-557-2107, handley@ilfb.org

2)       If you have not heard yet, tomorrow night, August 29th, Augie’s Front Burner is hosting a bonus “Local Flavors Dinner” in addition to the regularly scheduled “Local Flavors” lunches and dinners. The menu for the dinner at Augie’s is attached. For reservations call, 217-544-6979.

3)      In celebration of National Farmers’ Market Week Illinois Stewardship Alliance will be distributing free bags of wheat flour at Springfield’s farmers’ markets. Illinois Stewardship Alliance is partnering with the Industrial Harvest project to distribute wheat flour that was purchased through the Chicago Board of Trade as part of a project to learn more about how commodities travel through the system and ultimately give the flour a story. Illinois Stewardship Alliance will distribute the flour at the Old Capitol Farmers Market on Wednesday, August 4 and Saturday, August 7 and at the Illinois Products Farmers Market on Thursday, August 5.  Both white and whole wheat flour will be given away in bags with 3 – 4 cups of flour each.  Stop by and get some free wheat flour!


Wes King

Illinois Stewardship Alliance


More tomorrow.


St. John’s Hospital Is Building Green – But how green is that?


Thursday, April 8,2010

Getting bigger, going green

St. John’s expansion will be environmentally friendly

By Patrick Yeagle

As St. John’s Hospital is preparing to renovate its downtown campus, the 135-year-old Springfield institution is paying special attention to minimizing the project’s environmental footprint and maximizing local economic benefits.

On March 31, hospital officials announced a $162 million proposal to demolish certain old structures on the hospital’s campus and replace them with more modern surgery, pharmacy and patient areas.

Dave Olejniczak, chief operating officer at St. John’s, says the project will incorporate several cost-saving, environmentally friendly designs, such as paints, stains and adhesives with low toxin levels, energy-efficient light fixtures and natural lighting whenever possible.

“A little bit of it is an investment up front, but the majority of it is going to be a cost savings down the road, in particular when we focus on the glass elements around the facility itself,” he says. “With having the natural light, it’s going to reduce the amount of artificial light we have to generate.”

Recycling is a big part of the design as well. From the carpet made of recycled fibers to the reuse of scrap materials such as steel and wood, Olejniczak says the project will uphold the hospital’s “stewardship values.”

“Envitronmental stewardship, from a Fransiscan perspective, is ensuring that we’re using the resources that we’re currently given to the best of our ability, and to take what we have and reuse it or recycle it,” Olejniczak said.


To which I said:


Illinois Times

1320 S. State Street

PO Box 5256

Springfield, IL  62705

Emailed: 4/12/10


Dear Editor:

I am writing to you regarding your brief article about St. John Hospital’s future building plans. It is laudable that they plan on making that building locally built and green. However I did not hear “state-of-the-art” speak included in that admittedly short article. First and foremost I hope the Hospital will perform a green tear down. We should be wasting as little as possible these days. Putting perfectly good materials in the landfill is no longer acceptable.

Second I hope they also perform a green rebuild so that everything in the new Hospital wing will be recycled. Finally I hope that the new wing will generate its own energy and be super efficient in its energy usage. If they use windows, please use windows that generate electricity. If they have a roof I hope that it has wind turbines on top and plenty of plants to absorb the water that lands there. I hope that they put in geothermal heating and cooling systems. This is after all about people’s health. If St. Johns becomes a beacon of how we can lead our lives without pollutants then they will be contributing to the over all health of our community.

As the article pointed out it is also about health care costs. Industry estimates are that if the medical community used energy efficiently they could cut our medical cost by 10 to 15%. That would be a huge benefit to us all.

Doug Nicodemus

948 E. Adams

Riverton, Il  62561

day) 6297031

email dougnic55@yahoo.com


If you want to read more about healthcare you might look here:



Green Medicine – How to save energy by never using it in the first place

Funny I just saw a report on PBS that relates to this:


The vast majority happen in remote areas, 99 percent of them in developing countries. In Peru, a new national strategy to turn those numbers around is taking shape. And the program is being seen as a model for Latin America and the developing world.

Here, in the remote region of Ayacucho, 12,000 feet above sea level, sits the village of Vilcashuaman. Many hours from the nearest airstrip, it’s a town so remote that even the impressive Inca ruins draw few tourists.

A casa materna, or birthing home, was built for women late in pregnancy to live in as their due date nears. And it’s a centerpiece in the government’s new strategy.

Dr. Oscar Ugarte Ubillus is Peru’s health minister.

DR. OSCAR UGARTE UBILLUS, Peruvian health minister (through translator): We detected that one of the critical problems is the amount of time and distance it takes to get attention when complications arise in childbirth. So, we have created 450 waiting homes throughout the country.

RAY SUAREZ: At the casa materna in Vilcashuaman, pregnant women bring their children. They make their own meals with ingredients from a hospital garden, and live as if at home.

Twenty-nine-year-old Eulalia Centro is here with her 1-year-old daughter. Eulalia had her first child at home without complications, before the birthing home existed. But she lives in an area with no roads. It takes a full day on horseback just to get to Vilcashuaman.

So, Eulalia chose to have her second, then her third child at the birthing home.

EULALIA CENTRO, mother (through translator): Pregnant women are always dying at home, so that is why we decided to come here.

RAY SUAREZ: The birthing home is occupied nearly every day of the year. Pregnancies in the region are tracked with a simple felt map. The circles represent each pregnant woman’s home and the number of hours it takes to reach them.

Red felt represents pregnant teenagers, at greater risk for death in childbirth because their bodies haven’t fully matured. Twenty-four-hour staff are trained to deal with obstetric emergencies, like breech babies, placenta blockage, and hemorrhaging.

Josefina Montes Perez is an OB-GYN at the casa.


They did not try to build an air conditioned hospital, with a helicopter pad filled with 1.5 million $$$ a year doctors. They made it a place where they grow their own food, heat water with the sun, use natural herbs for labor and have an an ambulance, with blood and someone who knows how to control the bleeding if there is a problem. They cut the mortality rate by 50%. You can supply healthcare to people cheap. You can not supply industrial healthcare cheap…what got me to thinking about this?



The mission of Green Medicine™ is to investigate and support research efforts on medicinal substances and medical foods from Peru.


GREEN MEDICINE is the website for information on Dr. Williams’ research in the upper Amazon under the Institute for Amazonian Studies (IAS), which he founded in 1996, and the Pino Center for Traditional Healing in 2004. His intention is to advance the mission of Green Medicine by working closely with Peruvian research organizations, individual investigators, universities, socially and environmentally responsible businesses, and traditional tribes of the upper Amazon and Andes for the purpose of exploring the following areas of study:

Evolutionary Biology in Tropical Rainforests:

  • Fragmentation of natural ecosystems
  • Robustness of plant and animal evolution and behavior
  • Complexity theory in natural ecosystems

Basic Research in the Therapeutic Value of Natural Compounds from Plants and Other Biological Substances

  • Development of rainforest botanical and biological medicines and extracts from natural products including antiviral, anticancer, immunomodulatory, and health promoting adaptogenic substances

Healing Methods and Medicines of Traditional Tribal Peoples

  • Ethnobotanical investigation for new plant medicines
  • Ethnomedical investigation of indigenous healing practices in addition to plant medicines
  • Consciousness exploration among indigenous people involving natural entheogenic compounds and medicinal plants

Dr. Williams has been working in Latin American since 1969 and in Peru since 1996.
For information on his books and integrative medicine practice, visit www.drjewilliams.com.
To view his site on shamanic healing, go to www.andeancodex.com.


Merry Christmas Everyone – Good luck with work on Monday

Yes Yes I know….if you look to the left you will see that it is the 27th and fully 2 days after Christmas. I have all kinds of excuses…My brother from Florida came in on Thursday and wanted to spend the day with me.


Then on Friday after wrapping presents all the night before, we got up and drove through a bad snow storm to the hills outside of Mason City to have our first Christmas with Cate’s family.


Then we went into Mason City and dropped off our presents at my parents house. We had decided with great regret that we could not stay much passed dark because of the weather. Dinner was not until 6, we left at 5:30 :-{


We battled back through the wind, the snow and slick roads and settled in for our Christmas night alone…You would say – well that was perfect time to post BUT we watched Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince which I had gotten for Cate for Christmas…after that we went to bed.


The next day I thought “shoot” I failed to post but quickly things like calling people I know to wish them a merry Christmas and to find out if anyone had already read the books that I gave as gifts. I was 28 to 1 in that one. I helped set up Cate’s puzzle folding table and she puzzled all day while I did laundry and such. Posting completely slipped my mind.


So today I woke up (we had to watch the Harry Potter Movie again because it was so confusing) and said “Damn it, I am going to post. So after a hearty breakfast I did. Merry Christmas to all and to all a….well end of the weekend.



Yes I know…It IS Jam Band Friday:



The Population Of Britain Falls To 2 Milllion After Spectacular And Bloody Die Off

That is that there will be a massive die off when the cheap oil runs out. He also believes in euthanasia for the less fortunate.


November 04, 2009

Peak oil and population control


Last week I had the miserable experience of interviewing a man who had accidentally survived a suicide pact with his wife.

Dr William Stanton, 79, has bone cancer and is plainly very ill: doctors give him three to eight months. His wife Angela was 74, and in good health, but didn’t want to survive him.

Dr Stanton happens to be one of the foremost proponents of population control in Britain, possibly anywhere, and has written articles and letters for anybody who will publish them, including his local paper and the New Scientist. But the latter stopped publishing him more than 20 years ago because – he believes – his views are regarded as being beyond the pale.

A geologist by profession, Dr Stanton has made a massive study of global population growth since the start of the industrial revolution, and suggests persuasively that the growth can be accounted for precisely by the advent of cheap oil. He contends that global oil production is at peak now, however, and that diminishing supplies will require the population of Britain to fall from around 60m today to just 2m in 2150.

Two million!

This will either happen inadvertently, he argues, as people kill each other for precious resources, or in a controlled way, as laws restrict women to just one child each, humane euthanasia becomes widespread to deal with people who represent a “net drain” on society, and immigration is made illegal – arrivals would be put to work in chain gangs, with other criminals.

In its own terms, Dr Stanton’s analysis makes some sense, but his prescriptions are utterly repellent. But when I said that, he told me I was being sentimental. Was he right?

You can read my Sunday Times interview here. If you wish to find out more about Dr Stanton’s views – and his struggle to get them into the mainstream – you should Google him.


Unfortunately, in the long article of maybe a gazillion words, he mentions Bill Stanton’s beliefs on population in two or three paragraphs focusing most of the rest of the article on Stanton and his wife’s botched double suicide. The irony of his healthy wife dying and he being terminal with cancer and living is over exploited. Also the author spills a lot of ink on Britain’s law against assisted suicide and how 132 Britains went to Switzerland to do the deed.


November 1, 2009

William Stanton: I botched our suicide pact

William Stanton and his wife tried to end their lives together – but they only half succeeded. He says He’d do it again

Terminally ill Dr William Stanton from Westbury-sub-Mendip, Somerset who entered into a suicide pact with his wife Angela which he survived but left the otherwise healthy Mrs Stanton dead

Early one morning in September, William Stanton heard footsteps coming up the stairs of his cottage in Somerset. He knew who it was and panicked. “I shouted out: ‘Go away, Nigel, leave me to it, leave me to it!’”

Nigel, a neighbour and family friend, did not go away. He came into the bedroom and found Stanton in distress and his wife Angela lying dead with a plastic bag over her head.

The Stantons had made a pact to end their lives together and put it into effect just days after the director of public prosecutions revealed how he would apply the law prohibiting assisted suicide. It did not work out as they planned and stands as a terrible cautionary example for anybody thinking that self-inflicted death is easily arranged.

I met Stanton last week in the neat and pretty bedroom where Angela’s body was found. I noted a commode in the corner and a trolley-load of pills beside Stanton, who was sitting up in bed. He is 79 and obviously unwell — his doctors say bone cancer will kill him in three to eight months — but he complained only that the pills make him lethargic.


For a better exposition you might look here:


Association for the Study of Peak Oil & Gas, Ireland

ASPO Newsletters, Article Number 573 (July 2005)

The population of the World expanded six-fold in parallel with oil production during the First Half of the Age of Oil. William Stanton, author of The Rapid Growth of Human Population 1750-2000 (Multi-Science Publishing, 2003) contributes the following analysis of how population will have to return to pre-Oil Age levels. Let us hope that it does not come to this, but the options explained do have a certain chilling logic.

Reducing Population in Step with Oil Depletion

by William Stanton

Recent articles in the ASPO Newsletter have agreed that the explosion of world population from about 0.6 billion in 1750 to 6.4 billion today was initiated and sustained by the shift from renewable energy to fossil fuel energy in the Industrial Revolution. There is agreement that the progressive exhaustion of fossil fuel reserves will reverse the process, though there is uncertainty as to what a sustainable global population would be.

In this time of energy abundance, and the complacency it engenders, the vast majority of the general public assumes that what the future holds is “more of the same”. They argue, if pushed, that the expertise inherited by post-fossil-fuel scientists and engineers will allow a smooth transition into a new kind of energy-rich world in which renewable generators will produce as much energy as fossil fuels do now. Such a view is untenable because it ignores the fact that almost all materials essential to modern civilization will be orders of magnitude more costly, and scarce, when they have to be produced using renewable energy instead of fossil fuels.


Or more to the point read the original:


By the By, if he is right there would only be 12 million people left in America. Best estimates for Native American populations the were 21 million..


Happy Birthday To Oil, Happy Birthday To Oil, Happy Birthday To OOOOOOil

Happy birthday to you…You belooooong in a zoo. Actually you made Zoos absolutely necessary as ARKS for the species that our use of oil has driven either to extinction or near extinction.


Wired Science News for Your Neurons

Happy 150th, Oil! So Long, and Thanks for Modern Civilization


  • 2:39 pm  |
  • Categories: Energy


One hundred and fifty years ago on Aug. 27, Colonel Edwin L. Drake sunk the very first commercial well that produced flowing petroleum.

The discovery that large amounts of oil could be found underground marked the beginning of a time during which this convenient fossil fuel became America’s dominant energy source.

But what began 150 years ago won’t last another 150 years — or even another 50. The era of cheap oil is ending, and with another energy transition upon us, we’ve got to scavenge all the lessons we can from its remarkable history.

“I would see this as less of an anniversary to note for celebration and more of an anniversary to note how far we’ve come and the serious moment that we’re at right now,” said Brian Black, an energy historian at Pennsylvania State University and and author of the book Petrolia. “Energy transitions happen and I argue that we’re in one right now and that we need to aggressively look to the future to what’s going to happen after petroleum.”

When Drake and others sunk their wells, there were no cars, no plastics, no chemical industry. Water power was the dominant industrial energy source. Steam engines burning coal were on the rise, but the nation’s energy system — unlike Great Britain’s — still used fossil fuels sparingly. The original role for oil was as an illuminant, not a motor fuel, which would come decades later.

Before the 1860s, petroleum was a well-known curiosity. People collected it with blankets or skimmed it off naturally occurring oil seeps. Occasionally they drank some of it as a medicine or rubbed it on aching joints.

Some people had the bright idea of distilling it to make fuel for lamps, but it was easier to get lamp fuel from pig fat or whale oil or converted coal. Without a steady supply, there was no point in developing a whole system and infrastructure dedicated to petroleum.

Nonetheless, some Yankee capitalists from Connecticut were convinced that oil could be found in the ground and exploited. They recruited “Colonel” Edwin Drake, who was not a Colonel at all, mostly because he was charming and unemployed. He, in turn, found someone skilled in the art of drilling, or what passed for it in those days.

Drake and his sidekick “Uncle Billy” Smith started looking underground for oil in the spring of ‘59. They used a heavy metal tip attached to a rope, sending it plummeting down the borehole like a ram to break up the rock. It was slow going.

On Aug. 27, 1859, at 69 feet of depth, Drake and Smith hit oil. It was a big deal, but the Civil War stalled the immediate development of the rock oil industry.

“When the discovery happened, the few people who were there and not involved in the war, went around and bought all the property they could and had outside investors come in,” Black said. “But the real heyday of the development happened from 1864-1870. It’s that 11-year period when the little river valley was the world’s leading supplier of oil.”


The “little river valley” in western Pennsylvania earned the nickname Petrolia. Centered in the Oil Creek valley about one hundred miles north of Pittsburgh, the wells of Pithole, Titusville and Oil City pumped 56 million barrels of oil out of the ground from 1859 to 1873.

Though there is some question about whether it was the first well in the world or even in the US:


And let's get the record straight. The Drake well was not
the first oil well in the U.S. Historical geologic research data
my father paid for circa 1979 pegged a well outside Oneida Tenn.
as the first producing oil well in the U.S. It preceeded the
Drake Well by a couple of decades or more (I believe the well
was struck around 1819 but I am going from memory as I read the survey
a long time ago). Unfortunately it was deep in mountainous terrain
making it nearly impossible to commercialize. Plus there wasn't
much of a use for oil yet. The well was accidental - they were actually
after water. The survey mentioned the Drake well as being considered
the first viable commerical well. But the Drake well definitely was
not the first oil well in the U.S. Dad commissioned the survey because
of a good oil producing lease on the mountain that over looks
Huntsville Tenn. In fact, the land was leased from Bobby York - one of
the grandsons of Alvin York. Yes, that Alvin York, a.k.a. "Seargent York"
 of WWI fame.


Even then there were people who thought that the mass consumption of oil would cause big problems:


Arrhenius, Svante August (1859-1927)

Swedish chemist

Svante August Arrhenius was awarded the 1903 Nobel Prize in chemistry for his research on the theory of electrolytic dissociation, a theory that had won the lowest possible passing grade for his Ph.D. two decades earlier. Arrhenius’s work with chemistry was often closely tied to the science of physics, so much so that the Nobel committee was not sure in which of the two fields to make the 1903 award. In fact, Arrhenius is regarded as one of the founders of physical chemistry—the field of science in which physical laws are used to explain chemical phenomena. In the last decades of his life Arrhenius became interested in theories of the origin of life on Earth, arguing that life had arrived on our planet by means of spores blown through space from other inhabited worlds. He was also one of the first scientists to study the heat-trapping ability of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere in a phenomenon now known as the greenhouse effect.

Arrhenius was born on February 19, 1859, in Vik (also known as Wik or Wijk), in the district of Kalmar, Sweden. His mother was the former Carolina Thunberg, and his father was Svante Gustaf Arrhenius, a land surveyor and overseer at the castle of Vik on Lake Mälaren, near Uppsala. Young Svante gave evidence of his intellectual brilliance at an early age. He taught himself to read by the age of three and learned to do arithmetic by watching his father keep books for the estate of which he was in charge. Arrhenius began school at the age of eight, when he entered the fifth-grade class at the Cathedral School in Uppsala. After graduating in 1876, Arrhenius enrolled at the University of Uppsala.


Al Casella – What other people had to say

Disclaimer – I got these comments off of the “guest books” both at the SJ-R and the funeral home. They are online. Thus I suppose public. If anyone objects to their comment being displayed here I will immediately take it down.

Claimer – This is not an all inclusive list. I picked people I know or Know OF, and people’s comments that seemed typical. If you wish to add your own please do.



Butler Funeral Home:


I am so sorry to hear about the loss of such an influential person in my life. I only wish I would have known before the funeral so I could have attended. He will absolutely be missed.

Layla Paulus-Slater Mar 18, 2009 Dunlap, IL


 Al was a scientist with a social conscience.What a warm,positive,loving human being!He was always there to lend support when supporters were few and far between.He saw the whole university as his home,not just his program or school.Great mind,great fun-loving personality,great colleague and friend.If SSU was truly a “different” kind of university,and I believe it was,it’s because of people like Al.As he would say,Solidarity Forever! My sincerest condolences to his family. How fortunate they were to have him as their own. Mike Townsend.

mike townsend Mar 16, 2009 springfield, IL


I was very sorry to hear about Al’s death. He was one of my favorite professors. He had the ability to actually help me understand nuclear physics! I will always remember his big smile and friendly personality. Please accept my condolences.dorene gillman campbell Mar 16, 2009 sherman, IL

Thank you, Alex, for your collegiality and friendship.


Jack Van Der Slik Mar 16, 2009 Port Saint Lucie, FL


Al was a good friend…we will miss him very much.

 John and Diane Munkirs Mar 14, 2009 Rochester, IL


If I were not leaving town in a few hours I would certainly be present to offer my heartfelt condolences in person. Al and I worked together on many committtees and projects during the thirty some years we were both on the faculty at UIS and I always treasured his intelligence, generosity,and good humor. I especially remember the good times we had together back in the mid-1980s when we were both on sabbatical leave at the same time and both happened to be in the San Francisco area. He was a fine person who leaves fond memories behind.

Larry Shiner Mar 13, 2009 Springfield, IL



March 17, 2009 I was a student of Dr. Casella’s and am sad to hear of his passing. I had worked with him on “Peace Talks” and through the Heartland Peace Center also. I am also a staff member of the Central Illinois Foodbank and recognized that he has also been a great supporter of our organization. He was a great man and will be missed by many.
Sincerely, Lynne Slightom    Lynne Slightom (Springfield, IL)


Dear Family of Alex,
I wish I could join all of you and all of Alex’s friends for his memorial service. Alex was a dear friend to all and especially to my late sister, Beckie, and late husband, Luther Skelton. I have fond memories of parties on Lowell Avenue–especially the one with Winona LaDuke! My thoughts and prayers are with all of you during this sad time of losing Alex.
Peace and Love,
Bonnie Benard Mar 13, 2009 BERKELEY, CA


Alex was a special man and a dear friend to me and my family. We will so miss him. As I wrote to Chris, Lara, and Niny, I’m certain Dr. Casella is up there right this minute kibitzing with Dr. Einstein. And Albert is loving every minute of it.

Lynn Lyons Mar 13, 2009 Laguna Beach, CA

I  had the pleasure of officiating the wedding of Alex and Niny at Washington Park in 2001. It was a beautiful ceremony. Alex will be greatly missed by all those who knew him. I will never forget “Casella’s Theory of ESP”.

Prairie Eigenmann Mar 13, 2009 Sherman, IL


Thanks, Alex, for being my friend for all these years

Tom Immel Mar 12, 2009 Springfield, IL



March 15, 2009 Susan and I are saddened to learn of Alex’s departure. I valued his leadership as dean and his advice as a colleague. He was a highly active and creative member of our campus community. He was forever launching new initiatives toward the betterment of our campus, our community, and the world. His initiatives strengthened the Environmental Studies Program and contributed to the vitality of the campus. His sense of humor also lightened the tone of sometimes difficult operational discussions. His creativity even extended to the genius of his costumes at our vaunted Halloween parties. He once appeared as the most authentic witch we had ever seen! We want to offer our deepest sympathy to his family.    Wayne and Susan Penn (Walnut Creek, CA)


March 15, 2009 Commiserations from the Lennon family–Michael, Donna, Stephen, Joseph and James. I worked with Alex for many years at SSU/UIS in public affairs activities–he was dean of public affairs for several years–and relish the memories of his energy, humor and commitment to the environment. He was one of the prime movers in establishing Earth Day nationwide and gave of himself generously to many worthy causes. Endlessy curious and open to new experience, he was always fun to be with. I saw him last when he came to Pennsylvania for the funeral of our friend, Ashim Basu. I’m glad he lived long enough to see President Obama elected and the nation begin to mobilize against global warming, but sorry that his laughter will not be heard again–except in memory.    michael lennon (westport, MA)



March 14, 2009 This is terrible news! Al was one of a kind. I remember asking my friends in Carbondale, as I was moving to Springfield after graduate school, who to look up in the capitol city. Al was a name that was highly recommended. We became friends and shared an ethnic background and were both scientists and involved in energy and public affairs. I knew of his work on the Springfield Energy Project as I was active with the Carbondale City Energy Division and Shawnee Solar Project. He made a tremendous contribution to not only Sangamon State University (U of IL), but also the city of Springfield. He led by example in his own home energy improvements and was a huge inspiration to not only students but also the community. He was an expert in energy and environmental affairs long before it was fashionable. I could always count on him to conduct a television interview with political speakers I had brought to Springfield. He was a great comrade and I will always remember his funny laugh. My husband was a student at SSU and remembers well Alex’s messy and very interesting and stimulating office, full of posters, quotes and books. Even his office was an education. My husband’s and my heart go out to his children, grandchildren and wife. We know the Force is with him now and he is marveling at the wonders of God’s universe, now revealed in full without human or laboratory constraints. He is now a student in the ultimate Physics class. May God Bless Him and Keep Him. The world has lost a very good man that enriched all who knew him. Godspeed Alex!    Valeri DeCastris (Rockford, IL)


March 14, 2009

Alex was a great colleague. We felt a strong kinship because of our shared Phildaelphia roots. My condolences to Alex’s family    Harry Berman (Springfield, IL)


Happy Martin Luther King Day – And what a day it is

Environmental Justice is predicated on the idea that pollution is purposely sited to poor communities, many of which are not of European descent:





Honor Martin Luther King

by Fighting Environmental Racism, Promoting Environmental Justice

Monday January 21, 2008

On Martin Luther King Day, Americans celebrate the life and vision of the late civil rights leader who has inspired generations of people to work toward a society characterized by equal opportunity and free of racial discrimination.

In 1968, Dr. King’s life was cut short by an assassin’s bullet, a violent act of racism that stunned and saddened people worldwide. Today, racism still threatens the lives of millions of African-Americans and other people of color.

That threat includes environmental racism, in which the residents of poor minority communities are subject to much higher health and safety risks than people in more affluent communities because of the proximity of their homes and schools to landfills, hazardous waste sites and factories that pollute the air and water.

Environmental racism was first documented nearly 30 years ago by Dr. Robert Bullard…


For more please read the article or this wiki article: