Grocery Prices Keeping Climbing; Up 7 Percent In Last Year

Mary Bouras never expected to get sticker shock from a pound of butter.

But when the grocery staple reached more than $5 a pound at most stores, the 66-year-old Dover resident said it was hard not to.

Last week, she paid $5.79 for butter at Weis, and three other grocery chains in the area had similar prices.

“I know it’s just life and prices go up, but $6 for butter is a lot for me,” Bouras said.

Six months ago, she would have paid $1 less for the same item at the same store. A year ago, it would have been $1.20 cheaper, and five years ago it would have been $1.80 less.

Read more: http://www.yorkdispatch.com/breaking/ci_26672787/grocery-prices-keeping-climbing-up-7-percent-last

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Beef Prices Reach Highest Level Since 1987

English: Australian Brangus steer

English: Australian Brangus steer (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

LUBBOCK, Texas (AP) – The highest beef prices in almost three decades have arrived just before the start of grilling season, causing sticker shock for both consumers and restaurant owners – and relief isn’t likely anytime soon.

A dwindling number of cattle and growing export demand from countries such as China and Japan have caused the average retail cost of fresh beef to climb to $5.28 a pound in February, up almost a quarter from January and the highest price since 1987.

Everything that’s produced is being consumed, said Kevin Good, an analyst at CattleFax, a Colorado-based information group. And prices likely will stay high for a couple of years as cattle producers start to rebuild their herds amid big questions about whether the Southwest and parts of the Midwest will see enough rain to replenish pastures.

Read more at http://www.philly.com/philly/business/20140412_ap_47ea27a0b2244eaea2cabae2a074edb6.html#1ZmJqCrp08y35k34.99

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Highest-Ever CO2 Levels Killing Coral Reefs

This image depicts all of the areas that the M...

This image depicts all of the areas that the Millenium Coral Reef Landsat Archive covers. Red dots indicate coral reef data at the website: http://seawifs.gsfc.nasa.gov/cgi/landsat.pl (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Many people are by now familiar with the Keeling curve, a graph showing the steady increase in carbon dioxide in the atmosphere measured over decades by the Mauna Loa Observatory, the world’s longest-running CO2 monitoring station.

The research, started by renowned climate scientist Dave Keeling in 1958, is considered one of the pillars of the scientific consensus that human activity is the main driver of climate change. This year, the data revealed a troubling milestone: CO2 concentrations had passed 400 parts per million for the first time since the dawn of human civilization.

Less familiar, but every bit as troubling to climate scientists, is a parallel slope on a different track of climate data: the increase of CO2 in the world’s oceans, which has been climbing almost in lockstep with the Keeling curve. The rising carbon level is cranking up ocean acidity with astonishing speed—probably 10 times faster than at any point in about 50 million years, according to scientists.

Among other concerns, scientists are now increasingly worried that the acidification of the oceans is likely to cause one of the first abrupt, severe and probably irreversible consequences of global climate change: the loss of tropical coral reefs.

Read more at http://www.philly.com/philly/news/nation_world/Loss_of_Tropical_Coral_Reefs_May_Be_1st_Irreversible_Climate_Consequence.html#FGL2gFlgtb5lKOZc.99

Lake Erie Algae: Report Says Toxic Mega-Blooms Could Become The ‘New Normal’

English: Aerial view of Presque Isle State Par...

English: Aerial view of Presque Isle State Park on Lake Erie near Erie, Pennsylvania, USA. View is to the east-northeast. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers built 55 off-shore segmented breakwaters to prevent the beach erosion problem at Presque Isle State Park that caused the loss of this important recreational site and environmental habitat for wildlife. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Editor’s note: This is an important issue for Pennsylvania.  The algae is problematic for Erie County as a tourist destination and as a wildlife refuge (Presque Isle State Park).

TRAVERSE CITY, Mich. — It was the largest algae bloom in Lake Erie‘s recorded history — a scummy, toxic blob that oozed across nearly one-fifth of the lake’s surface in the summer and fall of 2011. It sucked oxygen from the water, clogged boat motors and washed ashore in rotting masses that turned beach-goers’ stomachs.

It also was likely an omen of things to come, experts said in a study released earlier this year. The warming climate and modern farming practices are creating ideal conditions for gigantic algae formations on Lake Erie, which could be potentially disastrous to the surrounding area’s multi-billion-dollar tourist economy. The shallowest and southernmost of the Great Lakes, Erie contains just 2 percent of their combined waters but about half their fish.

According to the report, which was compiled by more than two-dozen scientists, the 2011 runaway bloom was fueled by phosphorus-laden fertilizers that were swept from corn and soybean fields during heavy rainstorms. Weak currents and calm winds prevented churning and flushing that could have short-circuited its rampant growth.

Read more: http://www.post-gazette.com/stories/sports/hunting-fishing/erie-algae-report-says-toxic-mega-blooms-could-become-the-new-normal-706852/#ixzz2hHcUmdjs

Rockland Family Finds Gator In Backyard Pond

Map of Berks County, Pennsylvania, United Stat...

Map of Berks County, Pennsylvania, United States with township and municipal boundaries (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Robert J. Hipp was enjoying his backyard fish pond Friday when he noticed something floating on the surface.

“It looked like an alligator and I thought maybe someone was playing a trick on me and put a plastic alligator in the pond,” Hipp said. “When I reached for it, it went underwater and I knew it was real.”

Upon closer inspection, Hipp said, he saw a 3-foot-long American alligator enjoying a swim. But the gator was also feasting on fish and frogs in the pond.

“We have koi in the pond and usually have a net over it because the blue herons will swoop down and take the fish,” Hipp said. “Herons can clean out a pond in no time.”

Read more: http://readingeagle.com/article.aspx?id=406034

Funky New Jazz Restaurant Opens In Center City York

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting York County

Image via Wikipedia

A new seafood and jazz restaurant opened in York on Friday night.  Tanzania opened to sell out crowds.  People came from Baltimore, Harrisburg, Lancaster and York to experience this funky new eatery.  Unfortunately, some had to be turned away.

The restaurant is located at 29 E. Princess Street in downtown York.  The menu selections are named after Jazz legends like Ella Fitzgerald.  Great food, music and some original art can be expected from diners who visit the restaurant.

The Kirklands opened their restaurant because they have a love for seafood and enjoy preparing it for people.  Their renovated downtown building features three dining areas named after port cities in Tanzania: Dar es Salaam, Tanga and Zanzibar.

The restaurant features some non-seafood dishes for landlubbers and don’t forget to save room for dessert. 

Future plans call for adding a deck for al fresco dining and live performances by jazz musicians. 

Hours are Friday, Saturday and Sunday from 5 p.m. – 11 p.m.

For more information call (717) 846-8000,

Animal “Mass Die-Offs” Nothing To Panic Over

A flock of Red-winged Blackbirds (Agelaius pho...

Image via Wikipedia

Evidently, according to AP Writer Seth Borenstein, the recent conspiracy theories about the blackbirds in Arkansas, crabs in the Chesapeake and red tilapia in Vietnam are internet hype and to be taken with a grain of salt.  These “die-offs” happen in nature all the time. 

With the advent of the internet age and instant access to information, people are more aware now of what happens across the globe at any given moment of the day.  This “access” to information leads some people to speculate outrageous things.  According to scientist and the Federal government, these die-offs are nothing to be alarmed over.

To read the entire article  click here:

http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/40961721/ns/us_news-environment/?gt1=43001