December 21, 2008

Today's news

Two articles in today's Courier-Journal especially interested me. The first was a recounting by C-J columnist James R. Carroll of his Christmas visit to the White House. The enormous tree in the Blue Room is decorated with ornaments from each of the states. Pictured here are two of the Kentucky state ornaments. The one above was painted by Linda Pierce and the one below by Thomas L. Gaither.

A little research revealed that the ornaments begin as silver plastic orbs somewhere between grapefruit and soccer ball size. I hunted down a few more photos on, but you can see the entire series (including the other four from Kentucky) at the White House website.

The C-J also carried an AP story by Greg Bluestein about the economic wreck of Lake Hartwell in South Carolina. The story included a photo of Big Water Marina, where I took sailing lessons in 2002. Where there was water, there is now dry land. "The number of occupied boat slips has dropped by about 80 percent, and Davis [the owner] is warning the rest of her customers to get out while they can." She expects the lake to end up at 35 feet below normal levels. The cause? Drought, for sure, and some residents think it's also their water being toted off to supply the needs of Savannah and Augusta, Georgia. The 56,000-acre manmade lake, created in the 1950s, is down about 18 feet.

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