Sunday, September 26, 2010

EnerTrac rides the dirt

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Nassau County created road Destruction

By Mark Gelbien

Often I feel as if we runners and cyclist who use the roads are warriors in a constant battle to survive. The list of obstacles we face is long and sometimes life threatening. One would hope our local government would help minimize our risk and not make it more dangerous for us to do the sports we love. Unfortunately Nassau County, in complete disregard for us runner and cyclist and has created and is continuing to create road conditions that make using the roads more dangerous than usual.

The simple act of coming home from work and walking out my front door and going for a run has become a hazardous event because of a new method (new to me) of painting lines on the roads. This method involves grinding a groove or gully in the road, the width of the groove is wider than the line by several inches and maybe one eight of an inch deep when, (I think?) done correctly. This creates at best a trip hazard for us runners. What often happens because of poor road surface is a county made pothole, potentiality causing cyclist to crash and runners to fall. The grinding process used to make the groove; some of the time destroys the road surface along the right side of the road near the curb, creating a gully often several inches deep.

For example; the white line just painted along Loring road in Levittown is riddled with potholes created by the grinding process used to cut the groove. There are many examples (To many to list) through out Nassau County of this method used to paint the lines. This method of grinding a groove, then painting the lines in that groove is a danger to all of the citizens of Nassau County who use the roads for recreational purposes. As the county created potholes are not a nature made hazard but one the county created I feel Nassau County incurs a great liability. Nassau County will be responsibility for the injuries incurred by the users of the roadway.

For more pictures go to

I wrote Mr. Suozzi and got a form letter back stating that, and I quote, "I am requesting Raymond Ribeiro, Commissioner of the Department of Public Works, or the appropriate staff member, to look into this matter on your behalf and respond directly to you." No one has responded in any way to date.

Time and time again the leaders of Nassau County degrade the quality of life of its citizens with their poor decisions. We who use the roads for recreational purposes must stand up and tell our politicians that we will not tolerate road planning that doesn’t take us into consideration runners and cyclist. I encourage everyone to take an active role in helping get the County to repair the roads and especially the three feet or so from the curb that us runners and cyclist use. If you see the destruction to the roads created by Nassau County in there process of line painting or other work, please notify the County. If enough of us complain maybe they will fix some of there damage. Any help and ideas are welcome in the pursuit of safer road for us all.

Saturday, November 04, 2006

What are we doing to the planet?

I was having a discussion with someone over the different kinds of cars that are now available or will be in the future, then the real problem came to me, and boils down to this.

I say anytime you wrap a 200 LB person with 2000 plus pounds of metal the environment is going to pay a steep price. As creatures we were each meant to release a few hundred watts into the environment per hour at most. Now, using cars we are releasing 10 of thousands of watts per hour, any way you slice it up (regardless of the power source) the planet can't tolerate absorbing that kind of heat from billions of people. We are doomed folks, have a good ride while it lasts.

Monday, October 02, 2006

Why we wear clothes

It’s difficult if not impossible to truly understand the relationship between the human race and the planet earth. Many of my observations have led me to believe that we are foreign to this planet. This believe came about because of my studying the interactions we have with our world. How is it that we are the only creatures on this planet that is not in harmony with the environment it occupies? From the time of recorded history to the present day it seems humans have been at odds with the planet. Our obvious need to survive has led us to drain it of oil and burn it to the point where the planet is covered in a cloud of waste gas. It’s no doubt we need to use energy to survive as a race. My bewilderment is how our native format is so ill suited for the conditions the planet confronts us with. So without any answers to the question; do we belong on this planet, earth. I though I would explore examples through out history that support the need for this question. Much of what is learned in history books makes us believe it’s natural for any civilized culture to control the surroundings about them. But when you look to nature, it’s only true for man. All the other creatures on earth are symbiotic with the planet and don’t attempt to control it in a destructive manner.

The one place to start is the bible, because it begins with the concept that we started out in the Garden of Eden, a place designed for humans to exist in what I call, “our native form”. As the story is told, because of an evil deed; a deed in direct disregard to our maker’s wishes, we were thrown out of an environment designed for humans into the world we now known as earth. So the bible supports my theory that we are not intended for the planet and all its harshness. The bible doesn’t answer the question as to what exactly was Eden or where Eden is. The bible is quick to end the story of Eden and start the toils of mankind on earth. Human evolution is another concept that I have trouble with. If we look to nature it appears all of the creatures on this planet evolved so as to better survive the conditions that confront them. Yet man’s evolutionary path (if such a path even exists) seems to divert from adaptation to the planets environment. There are some genetic traits we share with all the creatures of the planet, such as our survival instinct and fight or flight instinct. Yet we have no basic instinct to live in harmony or any kind of synergy with the planet. There are many other clues which has led me to believe we don’t belong on (or at least not suited for) the planet earth as it is.

How have we dealt with our fate on this fragile planet? From the second we stepped onto the ground, with every means possible mankind has attempted to destroy the earth for its own survival. One may say, “It’s natural for one to change ones environment to survive.” Yet again I have to ask, “Why aren’t we suited for the planet as it is?” The other creatures on the planet have a natural harmony with the planet. It amazes me to see how the creatures on earth; no matter how brutal the conditions may seem, fit so well into the cycle of life and the environment of the planet. We were quick to recognize that other creature’s skins were intended for the harshness of the planet and so we tour the skin off creatures and wrapped ourselves in there skin. So one of the first things we did to survive was to wrap ourselves in the skin of other animals. Then instead of modern humans seeking out natural shelters as other creatures of the planet do. We started cutting down trees and build shelters that depended on the destruction and deforestation of the planet. I’m not claiming that all the modern comforts are wrong, in fact they are necessary for our survival, they are just wrong for this planet.

The modern human race has no genetic ties to the planet. A genetic link to the planet is an inborn synergy or harmony repeated from generation to generation. This lack of connection forces us to rationalize and balance the survival of the human race against the survival of the planet. Our modern society and in particular the thinking of individuals has an almost total disregard for that balance. Today there seems to be a aloft attitude combined with a self rightist belief that we have a God given right to use and abuse the planet at will. We have turned the planet into our personal garbage dump. It’s not possible to take a walk in the woods without seeing trash on the ground. The people who throw there garbage on the ground feel no sense of belonging to the planet. There’s no feeling that they are hurting something alive, something dear to them, no connection between themselves and the earth. This attitude of not feeling connected to the planet will result in the destruction of the planet as we know it and that destruction is now taking place and may not be stoppable. We have put into motion a cycle of global warming that seems to have become self perpetrating, supported by the melting of the permafrost which is out gassing methane (a green house gas) at an alarming rate.

The question that needs to be answered is;
Can a creature that is apparently not intended for a planet but has the intelligence to understand what is needed to adapt to that planet make the necessary changes to maintain a balance between the need to survive and thrive with the need for the planet’s survival?

It has now become apparent that the planets survival and our survival are completely interrelated. Our society has come to this belief by studying the effects of our actions on the environment in some cold scientific way. Not by the obvious sense of lost and sadness we should feel as we watch the effect of our actions kill a vast amount of the planets creatures and plant life. That sense of loss, should be the same loss we feel when a love one dies and should be the driving force that changes our ways, so we can make the survival of the earth and hence our survival, a priority.

Thursday, March 16, 2006

Dale passed away

Dale died this past Sunday. I knew Dale, but not on a personal level, yet her death has touched and saddened me. Dale was the mother of a friend I trained with. I haven’t trained with Susan in quite some while. Yet Dale death has really saddened my soul.

I went to the funeral heard the eulogy’s but before I ever got to the funeral I was grieving yet I didn’t know why. The next day I went with a friend of mine to visit Susan and her family (shiver call) and got to meet Susan’s sister, farther and other friends, all beautiful people.

As I sat there, I though to myself, “It wasn’t my lose.” Yet I was hurting, hurting badly. It was easy to be saddened when you looked into the eyes of Dale’s loved ones. There was such a sense of lose and I found an emotional connection that almost brought me to tears.

Yet my grieving was personal, I was grieving and yet I didn’t know why.

Dale died in a terribly violent way. She was jogging on one of the most peaceful jogging paths there is. This path travels north south across long Island. Along the way one must cross streets that go east west. Dale didn’t look up, she runs sort of looking down and she just didn’t look up, she got to an intersection and ran right into an oncoming car, she died almost instantly.

The morning Dale was struck I was at a race out east, if I wasn’t at that race I would have been on the same jogging path as Dale, I surely would have said hello, I say hello to almost everyone. Dale would have looked up, god all she needed to do was look up and she would still be with us today. I know I probably couldn’t have saved Dale; there were others on that path who knew Dale.

But I keep wondering god why didn’t she look up why couldn’t a stick fall a bird chirp, anything to make her look up.

I feel Dale died on my jogging path, I love that trail, I run on it every chance I get. When I’m not running I’m taking pictures of the lakes and birds in Bethpage Park.

I lost someone who shared a placed I love to go. If two people share the same space even if they didn’t really know each other, they are connected by that space; her presence is part of that place.

I lost a fellow runner who shared a place we both loved to travel on. The trail I run will have one less person to share a hello with and I will feel a loss forever.