Here are several items that may be of current interest to our readers:
- I've been tracking the House of Representatives' GIVE Act, which passed last week. The Senate has now overwhelmingly passed its version of the bill, the Edward M. Kennedy Serve America Act. The two bills will now go to a conference committee for reconciliation. Given how strongly both bills passed, the final bill will likely end up at the White House soon for the President's signature.
- The March edition of the Olympic National Park Newsletter is now online at http://www.nps.gov/olym/parknews/park-newsletter-march-2009.htm. Check it out for news and photos, including updates on Elwha construction projects, park visitation and more; recent honor awards for two Olympic NP rangers; and upcoming events, including National Park Week celebrations and more.
- A month ago, I mentioned an article in the recent issue of Family Fun magazine, talking about volunteer opportunities with family. Author Melissa Gaskill has now posted a copy of the article on her blog, which you can read here.
- And finally, a "volunteer" opportunity you can carry out at home, sent to me by Acting Deputy Superintendent Roger Andrascik, who says:
Earth Hour: Join an effort that recognizes the importance of one of Mount Rainier’s special resources—the dark night sky. Flick off your light switches during a worldwide event, Earth Hour, from 8:30 to 9:30 p.m. March 28. More than 500 cities in approximately 75 countries have pledged to participate in the World Wildlife Fund’s one hour of solidarity to combat global warming. Earth Hour, which began in Sydney, Australia, in 2007, is being presented as an election in which you can "Vote Earth" by switching off non-essential power; election results will be presented at the Global Climate Change Conference in Copenhagen later this year. Mount Rainier National Park votes every day for dark night skies—undisturbed by light and air pollution—because those skies have natural, cultural, and scenic importance. If current light pollution trends continue, there will be almost no dark skies left in the contiguous United States by 2025. So, register for Earth Hour at www.earthhour.org. For more on night skies and the NPS Natural Lightscape program, see the http://www.nature.nps.gov/air/lightscapes/index.cfm.