A black bear in Colorado Springs steals restaurant Dumpsters specifically to feast on the leftovers. In Cape Town, a baboon breaks into homes, raiding kitchens for human food. A coyote makes itself comfortable in the drink cooler of a downtown Chicago Quizno’s sandwich shop. Shouldn’t these animals be roaming free—in the wild, far away from urban centers? So-called “wild” animals are gravitating toward populated areas—spaces we tend to think of as a realm apart from nature. In reality, cities— possibly the most exciting, most surprising, and least understood ecosystems on the planet—are intertwined with natural environments. And just as shifting from country to city living changed humans, cities may be changing the animals that end up living within their loose confines.
In Feral Cities: Adventures with Animals in the Urban Jungle (Chicago Review Press, April 2015) author Tristan Donovan digs below the urban gloss to uncover the stories of wildlife—from tiny bugs to migratory birds to foreboding cougars—that share our sidewalks, streets, and homes. Donovan’s travels and research with experts in Brooklyn, Chicago, Phoenix, Miami, Mumbai, and elsewhere offer a journalistic look at urban wildlife, introducing curious city dwellers and animal lovers to the wall-eating snails that are invading Miami, the wild boars that roam Berlin and the parrots of Brooklyn. From carpet-hungry bugs in Raleigh to the cockroaches of New York City, the tales in Feral Cities explore streets and homes that are far more alive than we often realize, show how animals are adjusting to urban living, and ask what the wildlife in our metropolises—and our response to it—says about us.
Revealing that urban life isn’t always as bad for animals as you might think, Feral Cities explores how cities are becoming distinct ecological communities and illuminates the mindset of city inhabitants and urban wildlife experts as well as actions of the animals themselves.
DOG BITES with Steve Brooks
The Perfect Book for Foodies & Dog Lovers!
Steve Brooks, Celebrity Dog Trainer and founder of SteveBrooksK9U, shares secrets to modifying canine behavior without the use of threats or force. Discover how to train your dog using gourmet, healthy dog bites as rewards for good behavior!
Steve Brooks (CPDT/KA) is a master of creative, positive, science-based reward training methods with terrific results and has been training dogs for over 20 years using “dog bites” to correctly train thousands of dogs with lasting results.
DOG BITES with Steve Brooks uses food as an effective training tool. In this book, you will discover what is safe and unsafe to feed your dog while learning how to modify your favorite meals to share with your pup! While Steve cooks recipes from Organic Turkey Meatballs, Sweet Pup-Tato Fries to Chicken Pup-Pie, he shares what is safe and delicious for canine consumption. He also demonstrates the health benefits and dangers of many human foods.
Discover how to modify K9 behavior with Steve’s Positive Training Tactics
Learn how to use food (and other rewards) to correctly train your dog
Teach your dog to: walk without pulling on the leash, come, stay, tricks…and more!
Reduce fear, food-guarding and aggression issues
Know which foods are safe and unsafe; foods that can heal or harm your dog
Train your dog to take food gently right out of your hand!
Steve Brooks is a world-renowned Certified Professional Dog Trainer (CPDT/KA), a credential granted by the Certification Council for Professional Dog Trainers (CCPDT). He is a Canine Behavioral Expert and professional member of the APDT, Association of Pet Dog Trainers. He is a licensed presenter of Family Paws Parent Education, Dog & Baby Connection, Dog & Storks, and a proud member of Pet Professional Guild where he promotes force free training
Steve founded SteveBrooksK9U (www.SteveBrooksK9U.com) in Los Angeles in 1999. Since then, he’s been one of LA’s most sought-after dog trainers. Thousands of dogs have graduated from K9U. Steve’s clients include Hollywood celebrities such as: Sheryl Crow, Robert Downey Jr, Chiwetel Ejiofor, Lori Alan, Kristen Bell, Dax Shepard, William Fichtner, Cheryl Tiegs, Dennis Dugan, William Peterson, Rick Rubin, members of the bands Chicago, and Earth Wind and Fire to name a few, as well as, thousands of everyday dog lovers.
DOG BITES with Steve Brooks is available now on Amazon, Barnes and Noble, most online bookstores and at www.SteveBrooksK9U.com
Steve’s talents have garnered him media exposure in both national and international markets. He has appeared regularly as the dog expert on training and safety for Fox News in both San Diego and Los Angeles and NBC news in Palm Springs. In 2009, Steve was featured as the dog training expert in Marley & Me (Blu-Ray DVD). He has appeared in programs such as Animal Planet, National Geographic Channel, as well as, appearing on CBS’ “World’s Funniest Pets”,TBS’ “Ripley’s Believe It Or Not” and the nationally syndicated newsmagazine Inside Edition. Steve was the trainer of Presley, the rescue Boxer and winner of “The Greatest American Dog.” Many international broadcasters in Japan, Canada and Australia have also profiled Steve and his work as a professional trainer. Steve has been featured on a multitude of radio shows such as Pet World Insider and KPCC 89.3 Public Radio. He is a regular contributor to numerous publications and an ongoing writer for Fido Friendly magazine.
DISCUSSION TOPICS WITH STEVE BROOKS
A Feast For Fido - Sharing Holiday Meals With Your Dog - Creative, safe and healthy meals you can share with your dog during the holidays.
Keeping Your Home Safe For Your Dog - Ways you can ensure your home is safe for the new Christmas puppy. How to avoid dangers that may be lurking in your home that could endanger your dog.
Holistic Help For Your Dog - Natural ways to care for your dog to enhance good health.
No Kibble Needed - Throw together a healthy meal for your dog with ingredients right from your refrigerator.
Feeding Fido On the Go - On the road with no kibble, Steve shares surprising healthy fast food options you can feed your dog.
Holiday Manners For Your Pup - Quick tips to keep your pup "party polite."
PUP-tality! – What you can do NOW to help your dog live a longer life with vitality!
Superfoods For Your Dog – Turn your dog’s diet from good to great with superfoods!
First Aid For Your Dog – Learn how to handle emergencies, such as poisonous foods and choking, with techniques that could save your dog’s life.
Fido Fitness – Exercise tips for your dog at every age!
THE PERFECT HOLIDAY READ—
FROM THE AUTHOR OF THE NEW YORK TIMES & USA TODAY BESTSELLERS A DOG’S PURPOSEand A DOG’S JOURNEY!
W. Bruce Cameron, the bestselling author of A Dog’s Purpose, (which hit the USA Today list and spent a year on the New York Times bestseller list with a movie by Dreamworks in the works) and its New York Times and USA Today bestselling sequel, A Dog’s Journey, returns with another inspiring novel, THE DOGS OF CHRISTMAS (Forge Books Hardcover; $15.99; October 15, 2014). A Dog’s Purpose and A Dog’s Journey have been absolute success stories with over 326,000 “Likes” on the A Dog’s Purpose Facebook Fan page and countless readers who have fallen in love with their moving stories. THE DOGS OF CHRISTMAS is just as heartwarming and thought-provoking.
“Cameron’s latest demonstrates how the unconditional love received from dogs can make all the difference in human lives…A book about dog lovers by an author who understands the canine soul.”
—Kirkus Reviews on The Dogs of Christmas
In THE DOGS OF CHRISTMAS, while nursing a broken heart, Josh Michaels is outraged when a neighbor abandons his very pregnant dog, Lucy, at Josh’s Colorado home. But Josh can’t resist Lucy’s soulful brown eyes, and though he’s never had a dog before, he’s determined to do the best he can for Lucy—and her soon-to-arrive, bound-to-be-adorable puppies.
Soon in over his head, Josh calls the local animal shelter for help, and meets Kerri, a vivacious woman with a quick wit and a fierce love for animals. As Kerri teaches Josh how to care for Lucy’s tiny puppies and gets them ready to be adopted through the shelter’s “Dogs of Christmas” program, Josh surprises himself by falling for her.
But he’s fallen even harder for his new furry family, which has brought incredible joy into Josh’s life. He barely has time to sit down, between chasing after adventurous Sophie and brave Oliver, but when he does, his lap is quickly filled by the affectionate Lola. And Rufus and Cody’s strong bond makes Josh wonder about his own relationships with his family.
With Christmas and the adoption date looming, Josh finds himself wondering if he can separate himself from his beloved puppies. At odds with Kerri, Josh isn’t willing to lose her, but doesn’t know how to set things right. Can a surprise litter of Christmas puppies really change one man’s life? THE DOGS OF CHRISTMAS is a charming holiday tale that explores the power of love, trust, and a basket full of puppies.
W. Bruce Cameron is an exceptional and talented writer whose passion and dynamic narrative vividly illuminate what’s most important in our world, and his novels resonate with adults and young adults alike. THE DOGS OF CHRISTMAS will not only entertain, but will enlighten humans everywhere about what’s most important to dogs: Spreading the word that you can adopt a dog of any breed you desire through animal rescue.
THE DOGS OF CHRISTMAS For more information, contact:
By W. Bruce Cameron Karen Lovell / Forge Publicity
ADDITIONAL PRAISE FOR THE DOGS OF CHRISTMAS
“This sweet story is told with humor and a deep understanding of the transformative value of loving a dog. A perfect holiday read!”
—Greg Kincaid, New York Times bestselling author of A Dog Named Christmas
“W. Bruce Cameron is a champion of the underdog! The Dogs of Christmas is an inspiring, delightful story that deserves a special place under the tree of every canine-lover in your life.”
—Claire Cook, bestselling author of Must Love Dogs
"As warm and bright as Christmas morning. If you don't already have a dog, reading this book will send you right to the shelter to find one to love."
—Iris R. Dart, New York Times bestselling author of Beaches
ADDITIONAL PRAISE FOR A DOG’S PURPOSE & A DOG’S JOURNEY
“An amazing book.”
—Alice Walker, Pulitzer Prize–winning author of The Color Purple, on A Dog's Purpose
“I loved the book and I could not put it down.”
—Temple Grandin, New York Times bestselling author of Animals in Translation
on A Dog's Purpose
“Once again endearing himself to animal lovers, Cameron explores the concept of canine karma with acute sensitivity and exhibits cunning insight into life from a dog’s perspective.”
—Booklist on A Dog's Journey
“Readers will devour this wonderful story and cry from beginning to end. Sweet and heartfelt, Cameron likely has another bestseller on his hands.”
—Publishers Weekly, starred review on A Dog's Journey
If dogs could talk, one phrase they are likely to use is “cheeese.” At least, that’s what you’ll be hearing after pawing through this adorable collection of candid canines called DOGFACE (Viking Studio, October 23rd, 2014, Hardcover & eBook). Like their human counterparts, dogs are expressive, care-free and photogenic. Their smiles, winks, head tilts, ear waves, and even the drooling will brighten even the worst of days.
DOGFACE is a one-of-a-kind collection of photographs that is a must for any dog lover. Author and photographer Barbara O’Brien profiles a wide array of dog breeds in this full-color, one-hundred page collection including a goofy Border Collie, genteel Great Dane, a curious Corgi to name a few. With incredible range of emotion, expression, and of course, cuteness, DOGFACE shows just how human dogs can be, and why they truly are “man’s best friend.”
Barbara O’Brien, a professional photographer and animal trainer, has spent years photographing canine actors, always looking for the perfect shot. She lives on a farm in Stockholm, Wisconsin, with her family, three dogs, eighteen cats, ten rescue Morgan horses, two ponies, seven sheep, thirty-odd chickens, five ducks, and three very naughty goats. To say she is an animal lover is an understatement.
'Catification': New book shows you how to make your feline feel at home without littering a room
In their new book, cat aficionados Jackson Galaxy and Kate Benjamin explain how to please your pet with cat-tastic additions that match the rest of your house.
It’s time to give your house some cat-titude.
And feline superfans Jackson Galaxy, 48, and Kate Benjamin, 43, know just how to transform your pad into a kitty-friendly paradise without wrecking a room’s aesthetic.
Their new book is called “Catification: Designing a Happy and Stylish Home for Your Cat (and You!).”
“We are going to ‘Catify’ the world,” Galaxy told the Daily News of the book, which will be released, claws out, in October. “That is our goal.”
The tattooed rock and roller, who lives in Los Angeles, is the host of Animal Planet’s “My Cat From Hell” program, and he is all about the “cat mojo.”
What makes cats tick, he writes in the book, “is confident ownership of territory and the instinctive feeling of having a job to do in that territory.”
Understanding how your cat sees the world is part one of the “Catification” process.
Meanwhile, Benjamin, the Phoenix-based founder of feline-focused Hauspanther design site, specializes in the other aspect of Catifying your house — pleasing your pet without turning your home into an unsightly array of cat towers and litter boxes.
“The people have to like it. It has to function for the people as well as the cats,” she told The News. “It has to be easy to clean and something you aren't ashamed of.”
As such, the book is filled with do-it-yourself projects, including kitty hammocks, cat patios (“catios”) and catwalks, but each with its own aesthetic. And many of them were submitted by other cat lovers.
As for the felines, Galaxy said they need to “find their mojo based on vertical access.”
This requires you to “set them up for success,” which can be as simple as clearing off your mantle or book case.
You can also rearrange your furniture or think outside the litter box and repurpose something you already own.
The authors say that compromise is key if you don’t want a sour puss on your hands. They compare Catification to being an interior designer with a furry client.
“Anybody can do it, and you can do in a way that doesn't make you look like the crazy cat lady,” Benjamin said.
From “Catification: Designing a Happy and Stylish Home for Your Car (and You!)”
Arana’s Inside Playground
Submitted by: Nico and Katu of Bogota, Colombia
Materials and Budget
“This was not an expensive project; overall we spent around a hundred dollars. We bought wood from a local store, and the accessories — like screws, wood sealant, shelf brackets, flat braces, rivets and a PVC tube — from a warehouse store.”
“The trick for successful construction is having a clear idea of the design before you start.”
“At first Arana didn’t pay much attention to the playground. It was a strange thing for her, and she wouldn’t go near it, but with a little bit of patience and some food to encourage her, Arana quickly figured out that it was her own special place. Now she uses her playground every single day.”
Galaxy and Benjamin are taking "Catification" on the road and will stop at the Union Square Barnes & Noble on Oct. 22.
From #1 New York Times bestselling author Teresa J. Rhyne comes the next chapter in discovering how dogs come into our lives for a reason, show us how to live, and teach us how to love.
The Dogs Were Rescued (And So Was I) is the sequel to the New York Times, USA Today, Wall Street Journal and international bestselling memoir, The Dog Lived (And So Will I).
It begins with another devastating diagnosis for Rhyne’s beloved beagle, Seamus, who successfully fought a malignant tumor just one year before Rhyne herself faced breast cancer.
Rhyne vows to fight again and embarks on some experiments to create a healthier lifestyle for her family. She finds better food for Seamus, and trades cheese and meat for a plant-based diet for herself.
She soon realizes that’s not enough for her…or the animals.
As Rhyne struggles to find her place—somewhere between a hippie in a hemp skirt and a hypocrite in leather high heels—she also has to cope with the threat of Seamus slowly slipping away and whether her own health will follow the same fate.
Enter Daphne and Percival—two dogs from dire circumstances who need help. As Rhyne and her boyfriend Chris say good-bye to Seamus, they soon find themselves rescuing a new generation of beagles (and welcoming not one, but two) into their home.
And this turns out to be the best medicine for everyone.
The Dogs Were Rescued (And So Was I) Teresa J. Rhyne October 7, 2014 ISBN: 9781492603382; $14.99; Trade Paper; Memoir
Teresa J. Rhyne is a work in progress (she knows that now more than ever). For the moment, she is a lawyer, writer, speaker, animal advocate, wine aficionado, and, for always, a breast cancer survivor. She lives in Southern California with Chris—her boyfriend, soul mate, and partner in all things—and their two mischievous beagles. And, yes, she’s still vegan. For more information, visit http://teresarhyne.com/1-2/
Daphne (a.k.a. Doodlebutt) was rescued from a kill shelter in Los Angeles. She was used by a backyard breeder, shot, and left on the streets. She also was diagnosed with cancer and had a mast cell tumor removed shortly after she was adopted.
Daphne is now cancer-free, slim, trim, and bossy as ever (just ask the neighbor dogs or beagle friends Maizy and Chloe). She channels Seamus with her devotion to food and is equally fond of toast.
Percival spent the first 18 months of his life confined to a steel cage—the victim of animal testing in a pharmaceutical lab. He never walked on grass, saw sunshine, or had a treat or a toy, until he was rescued by Beagle Freedom Project.
Percival is a happy, playful, little imp who loves life with a zeal that surprises everyone, given all he’s been through. He loves his squeaks, all people, other dogs, and the occasional treat, but all of that pales in comparison to his obsessive love of Chris.
A portion of the proceeds from the sale of print copies of The Dogs Were Rescued (And So Was I) in October 2014 will benefit Beagle Freedom Project.
The very beloved (and diabolically cute) Seamus passed away on March 19, 2013. His story has traveled the world as The Dog Lived (And So Will I) has been translated into six languages. His legacy lives on in helping and humoring others. He touched so many lives and was truly one of a kind. He will never, ever be forgotten.
Four-legged philosophers that show us every day is a gift.
REALLY IMPORTANT STUFF MY DOG HAS TAUGHT ME by Cynthia L. Copeland
Inspiring and heartwarming, REALLY IMPORTANT STUFF MY DOG HAS TAUGHT ME (Workman, September 2014, $12.95) is a collection of the timeless lessons we can learn from man’s best friend. It includes reminders to greet every morning with enthusiasm, to love completely and forgive easily, and to enjoy the ride—even if the destination is the dump, not the dog park. Whether it’s a therapy dog exemplifying a life of service to others, a senior dog celebrating her inner puppy, or a mutt reveling in his uniqueness, every dog has wisdom to impart. Remarkable photos capture dogs at ©Blickwinkel/Alamy work and at play, eating with gusto, protecting young charges, mourning lost friends, and celebrating ordinary moments.
Every page delivers a lesson that appeals as much to our hearts as to our minds:
Love is an action word.
©Rita Kochmarjova/fotolia It’s not about catching your tail; it’s about the fun of chasing it. Nap. Play. Eat. Repeat. There’s no such thing as bad weather. Greet loved ones with enthusiasm whether they’ve been gone ten minutes, or ten months. ©Jay Fleck/Moment Open/Getty Images Scratch where it itches, when it itches.
Bask in a sliver of sunshine. Anything can be a toy. Every meal is the best meal ever! ©JumpStart Studios/Iconica/Getty Images
We may teach our dogs to sit, stay, and roll over, but the “stuff” they teach us every day about love, loyalty, self-confidence, persistence, and optimism is of far greater value. # # # _______________________________________________________________________________________ _______________ About the Author—Cynthia Copeland is the author of more than 25 books, including The Diaper Diaries and Really Important Stuff My Kids Have Taught Me. Her work has been featured on Good Morning America, selected for Oprah’s “O List,” and recommended by Ann Landers. She currently volunteers as a dog foster parent, taking pups from overcrowded shelters until permanent homes can be found. She lives in Keene, New Hampshire. REALLY IMPORTANT STUFF MY DOG HAS TAUGHT ME By Cynthia Copeland • Workman Publishing ISBN: 9780761181798 / $12.95 / September 2014 / Paperback / 176 pages
ORLANDO, Fla. (September 9, 2014) – Prepare for a dose of shock and “awwww” as Ripley Publishing’s new book Reality Shock! is now on sale. With all new content Reality Shock! is a mix of “can’t bear to look, but can’t look away” stories, people, facts and photos. It’s just the ticket for teens and tweens, whether they’re reluctant readers or constant page-turners. Reality Shock! delivers strange stories, bizarre bits and twisted tales like only Ripley’s Believe It or Not! can. The content ranges from cute to creepy; what’s “great!” to one reader is just plain “gross!” to another – that’s part of the fun of Reality Shock! Sections in Reality Shock! include: • ANIMALS – meet real-life wolf-man Werner Freund, who lives with a pack of wolves and feeds them directly from his mouth • SPORTS – ﬁ nd out why the new British sport of bubble soccer is such a kick • BODY – you won’t believe how a 56-year-old grandma can function with 18-inch long ﬁ ngernails; she hasn’t cut them in 20 years! • FEATS – Canadian Lonnie Bissonnette is like no other BASE jumper – he hurls himself off bridges in his wheelchair • ART – learn about one photographer’s “Snot Shots” – they certainly are something to sneeze at • FOOD – people at one festival dine on octopus – while it’s still alive! Reality Shock! makes the perfect holiday or birthday gift for any kid. They’ll love pouring over the weird, bizarre and fun stories from around the world – and relish the opportunity to gross out parents and friends. Mom and dad will be happy to see their child with a book that they can’t put down, and will likely be unable to resist the urge to ﬂ ip through a few pages themselves.
RIPLEY’S BELIEVE IT OR NOT! REALITY SHOCK! IMPRINT: Ripley Publishing
PUBLICATION DATE: Sep 9, 2014
PRICE: $28.95 US / $32.95 Canada
TRIM SIZE: 9 x11¾ inches
Reality Shock! is available through all major booksellers. please visit: www.ripleybooks.com
LET THE TORNADO COME
By Rita Zoey Chin
Simon & Schuster | Hardcover | June 24, 2014 | $25.00
“[A] lyrical debut … Chin deftly creates the palimpsest of [her] stories, past and present, in this candid, graceful testimony to remarkable resilience.” —Kirkus Reviews
“At the heart of this brave, beautiful memoir is an extraordinary tale of hard-earned compassion and love. Despite all odds, some of the most broken down souls, human and animal alike, can not only heal but can take wing and soar. Rita Zoey Chin offers us her unforgettable story with richly textured, luminous prose—I fell in love with her book from the very first line.”
—Mira Bartók, bestselling author of The Memory Palace
"Unbearably beautiful and unflinching, Rita Zoey Chin’s Let the Tornado Come is a brilliant portrait of a life skirting the precipice. She has captured masterfully the maelstrom of her years as a runaway, a wife, a sister, a rider, a searcher. But what shines, page after page, is her resilience, in how every day is built. This is a story full of lightning—sudden, intimate, radiant."
—Paul Yoon, bestselling author of Snow Hunters
“Let the Tornado Come is as riveting as it sounds. In lyrical yet clear-eyed prose, with a gentleness and humility that belie a fierce inner strength, Rita Zoey Chin illuminates the debilitating consequences of childhood abuse and her search for its antidote. At once heartbreaking and heartening, compassionate and wise, Let the Tornado Come is a story about love—its unmatched enormity, its curative power, its reverberating force that, though not dissimilar to the tremors of fear in our heart, can carry us to a place where we are cherished, and in turn, learn to cherish the life in our care.”
—Vaddey Ratner, bestselling author of In the Shadow of the Banyan
Rita Zoey Chin was born into a world that roared: a Queens apartment near JFK Airport where the power of the planes that rattled the walls was matched only by the power of her neglectful parents whose violence and out-of-control nature left her with no choice but to run away. Today, Rita is no longer a girl without a home but instead a successful writer and the wife of a promising surgeon. How did she go from hitting rock-bottom to creating a meaningful life for herself? In LET THE TORNADO COME: A Memoir (Simon & Schuster; Hardcover; June 24, 2014; $25.00), Rita candidly shares how she found happiness after her tumultuous upbringing, the debilitating panic attacks that threatened to take it all away in her thirties, and the beacon of light that reassured her that she’d survive once more: her horse, Claret.
Rita first ran at age eleven. In the years that followed, where she was headed wasn’t something she knew until she was already on the move: sometimes a friend’s house, sometimes a hidden stairwell off an alleyway, sometimes strangers’ beds. By thirteen, she was out of the house for good and soon found herself a ward of the court, being sent from one institution to another and running away from most, back to the streets and an adult world of drugs and sex that threatened to consume her. At nineteen, after a three-month-long cocaine addiction, she finally hit rock bottom. Realizing she had to turn her life around or else, she called upon one of her few cherished childhood memories: a herd of horses galloping across a field, beautiful and free. The sound of their hooves hitting the ground never left her and came to represent hope as she began piecing her life back together; the horses comforted her the same way they did whenever her mother kicked her out of the house or her father raised his hand, even during those long, crazy nights spend on the run. Little did she know then just how important her connection with horses would be in the years to come.
Fast-forward just over a decade, and Chin is no longer a girl without a home but instead a prize-winning poet and happily married; she loves her life and is proud of what she’s accomplished since her years as a runaway. Without any warning, however, her life is turned upside-down when she is besieged by terrifying panic attacks that worsen with every passing moment. Within weeks, she is incapacitated with fear—literally afraid of her own shadow. Realizing her hard-won happiness is in jeopardy if she doesn’t seek help, she turns to a variety of treatments to help ease her anxiety. Eventually, she finds an emotional pillar in Norm, the first therapist to reassure her that the events of her childhood were not her fault.As he helps her through her panic attacks in a way no conventional therapy or doctor (including her husband) had prior, Rita simultaneously finds solace in an unexpected friendship with another troubled soul: a spirited, endearing horse named Claret. “The first time I saw Claret, I fell in love,” she fondly remembers. Taking into account her past experiences and calling upon all she had learned about anxiety from Norm, Rita formed a bond with the rebellious, agitated Claret that those around her thought impossible. “In the end, we saved each other,” she says.
A riveting memoir that reads like a novel, in LET THE TORNADO COME Rita shares how she applied the hard lessons learned during her tumultuous childhood and adolescence to save the beautiful life she created for herself in adulthood with prose so vivid and raw they could only be written by a true survivor.
About the Author
Rita Zoey Chin’s writing has appeared in Tin House, Guernica, The Rumpus, Freerange Nonfiction, and elsewhere. She received her MFA from the University of Maryland and now lives in Boston with her husband, where she teaches at Grub Street, mentors teenage girls, and rides her mischievous horse, Claret.
About the Book
LET THE TORNADO COME: A Memoir
By Rita Zoey Chin
Published by Simon & Schuster
Publication Date: June 24, 2014
ISBN: 9781476734866 | E-Book ISBN: 9781476734880
War of the Whales
A True Story
The paths of the world’s most powerful navy and the ocean’s deepest-diving whales collided on March 15, 2000, when veteran whale researcher Ken Balcomb witnessed a mass whale stranding that left its victims dying helplessly from a mysterious unknown cause on the shores of the Bahamas. That heartrending event led to an epic legal battle—with Balcomb and environmental lawyer Joel Reynolds on one side and the U.S. Navy on the other—that went all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court. Along the way, the Navy conceded for the first time that its sonar war games had driven whales onto beaches, and agreed to comply with federal environmental laws intended to protect whales and other marine animals.
The product of seven years of research and writing, WAR OF THE WHALES: A True Story (Simon & Schuster; July 1, 2014; $28.00 U.S./$32.00 CAN) is a riveting, wide-ranging, and masterly account of this landmark showdown in courtrooms and the court of public opinion. Author Joshua Horwitz takes readers onto the beaches and the research vessels, into the labs and the courtrooms, behind closed doors at Pentagon strategy sessions, and into the thick of the debate over how to balance the requirements of national security with safeguarding the ocean environment. At the center of his vivid tale are two courageous and sometimes conflicted agents of social change —one a maverick, one an consummate insider —who put their personal and professional lives on the line in order to hold the Navy accountable for the survival of the sea’s most majestic and beloved creatures.
A reluctant whistle-blower and a lone gunslinger
Ken Balcomb was an unlikely and reluctant whistle-blower. As a young man, he had done two tours of duty in the Navy, working with sonar in submarine detection, and had taken an oath of secrecy. Fascinated by marine mammals, he later became a leading authority on the relatively unknown beaked whales, species that inhabit the world’s deep underwater canyons, as well as orcas, or killer whales. Balcomb was loyal to the Navy and recognized the need for a robust national defense, but believed that it could be achieved without flooding the oceans with whale-killing sonar. As Horwitz explains, whales and their smaller dolphin relatives depend on their own extraordinarily sophisticated forms of bio sonar for navigation, hunting, and courtship. An ocean flooded with manmade noise – from shipping, oil exploration, and military sonar – can make it difficult for whales to forage, communicate, and even survive. As the saying among marine scientists goes, a deaf whale is a dead whale.
Joel Reynolds, a superb litigator with a passion for environmental justice, had already made a name for himself as an attorney for the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC). Staffed with legal gunslingers like Reynolds, NRDC was one of the groups that had made environmental law sexy in the 1980s by suing corporate polluters on behalf of its members. In 1994, Reynolds had won a lawsuit against the Navy for its use of underwater explosions in marine sanctuaries, which violated marine mammal protection laws. When he uncovered evidence of a secret Navy sonar system, he suspected that it was linked to a rash of mass whale strandings around the world but lacked a trail of physical evidence to support a lawsuit. Perhaps, he hoped, that trail might begin in the Bahamas.
The war begins
Horwitz follows the dramatic unfolding of this tale from Day 1 of the Bahamas stranding, where Balcomb, his fellow whale researcher and then-wife, Diane Claridge, and their volunteer helpers tried to rescue the stranded whales. The next day, in search of forensic evidence, they had to wrestle the whales’ remains away from sharks, sever their heads, and stow them in a friend’s restaurant freezer. Weeks later, only the last-minute intervention of a friendly Redcap at the Miami airport (whose daughter was a marine biology student) enabled Balcomb and Claridge to fly the frozen heads safely to Boston. There, Darlene Ketten, the world’s foremost whale forensic pathologist and expert on whale hearing, examined the heads in her lab at Harvard. The CT scans revealed pools of blood from brain hemorrhages, though Ketten was reluctant to speculate on the cause.
But Ken Balcomb needed no further convincing. He had photographed Navy destroyers in Bahamian waters during the days following the strandings, and knew from personal experience that these warships were equipped with high-powered sonar transmitters. Soon—much to the displeasure of Ketten and others in the scientific establishment and their Navy patrons —Balcomb was standing in front of the cameras on 60 Minutes and at a press conference in Washington, D.C. Backed up by dramatic and disturbing video footage he had recorded during the Bahamas strandings, he stated, “I believe the Navy did it.” Balcomb’s claim was soon bolstered by a groundbreaking study published by Jim Mead, the eminent curator of marine mammals at the Smithsonian, which documented the historical connection between naval exercises around the world and beaked whale strandings.
Meanwhile, Joel Reynolds pursued a relentless pressure campaign, backed up by the threat of litigation, with lawyers from the Navy, the National Marine Fisheries Service, and the Justice Department. Top naval officers like Rear Admiral Dick Pittenger were charged with protecting America and its ships and sailors from attack by undetected enemy submarines. Understandably, they had a different point of view than the Navy’s civilian leadership, who grasped the political necessity of trying to find some accommodation with Reynolds and the wider Save the Whales movement, which had grown into a mass coalition of whale and dolphin lovers, ocean conservationists, and animal rights activists.
Horwitz writes of this culture war over whales: “It defied the admirals’ comprehension that they had to kowtow to a roomful of lawyers and regulators. They had built and trained the most powerful Navy in the history of maritime warfare, had outlasted the fearsome Soviet armada during a four-decade Cold War, and now they were being called to account because a dozen whales had stranded during a training exercise?”
But in order to retain its hard-earned Cold War sonar assets the peacetime Navy had to promote itself as a good steward of the environment – in part, by ingeniously retrofitting its sound surveillance systems to measure climate change in the ocean. However, two years after 9-11, in the most patriotic, pro-military political climate since WWII, NRDC and Balcomb won a major courtroom victory, forcing the Navy to drastically curtail the planned deployment of its LFA (Low Frequency Active) sonar system that would have flooded most of the world’s oceans with high-decibel sound.
Taking the fight to the Supreme Court
In response, the Navy turned to Congress and the executive branch for sweeping national security exemptions from a host of federal environmental laws, including the Marine Mammal Protection Act. In the meantime, evidence of the damage to whales from military sonar continued to mount. In 2003, Balcomb witnessed another mass stranding, this time of pilot whales on San Juan Island in Washington State, where he regularly spent his summers monitoring the endangered killer whales of Puget Sound. Balcomb videotaped a pod of orcas in extreme distress in close proximity of a U.S. Navy destroyer, which only ceased transmitting high-decibel sonar after the Coast Guard intervened at Balcomb’s request. In another major victory for Reynolds and the NRDC, a federal judge ordered the Navy to negotiate a settlement over the use of sonar in training exercises that drastically restricted its zones of operation off the West Coast.
After losing again in the Court of Appeals, the Navy asked the White House to intervene, turning the fight over the use of military sonar into a constitutional confrontation over the separation of powers. When an executive order signed by President Bush was struck down by the courts, the Navy asked the Supreme Court to grant the case a hearing, which the Court agreed to do. In November of 2008, just weeks after Barack Obama’s election, the Roberts Court ruled, by a closely divided vote, that the national security concerns of the Navy admirals should trump the requirements of federal laws protecting whales. However, the Court did uphold many of the specific restrictions sonar trainings that the lower court had placed on the Navy.
A new level of national discussion and accountability
While Reynolds and his allies had suffered a legal setback, litigating the sonar case in front of the Supreme Court had elevated the topic to a level of national discussion that would have been unimaginable even a few years earlier. Reynolds felt confident that they were slowly but surely reining in the Navy’s use of whale-killing sonar in training exercises. They needed to keep pushing for better safeguards, but the Navy’s obligation to comply with federal environmental laws was no longer in dispute.
Furthermore, in the years since the Supreme Court decision, consensus has built inside the research community—including among many of the Navy’s own researchers—about the threat that noise pollution, including military and commercial sonar, poses to whales. In particular, research has revealed that much lower sound levels than previously believed cause changes to migration patterns as well as foraging and communications habits. Most importantly to endangered cetacean species, research has also shown that chronic noise pollution depresses their rates of reproduction.
The mass strandings—and the war—continue
Meanwhile, whales continue to mass-strand around the world in the presence of military and commercial sonar. In 2008, sixty dolphins stranded in Cornwall, England, during sonar exercises being conducted by the Royal Navy and the U.S. Navy. That same year, more than one hundred melon-headed whales were driven ashore in Madagascar by sonar being used to explore for oil and gas by the ExxonMobil Corporation. In 2011, at least ten and possibly dozens of beaked whales stranded or washed ashore dead on the Greek island of Corfu following a major Italian military exercise nearby. And in April of 2014, during joint exercise among U.S., Israeli, and Greek navies offshore from Crete, five beaked whales stranded and died.
In 2012, the U.S. Navy filed for permits to expand its sonar training ranges up and down the East and West coasts – including new testing ranges for mines, torpedoes, and other underwater explosive devices. The Navy’s own Environmental Impact Statements predicted millions of marine mammal “takes,” or exposures to these tests, including nearly a thousand deaths and 13,000 serious injuries. In December, 2013, Fisheries granted the Navy its requested permits. Within a month, in separate lawsuits, NRDC and Earthjustice, along with half a dozen co-plaintiffs, sued the Navy and Fisheries for violations of the Marine Mammal Protection Act, the Endangered Species Act, and the Coastal Zone Management Act.
A major new work of narrative non-fiction, WAR OF THE WHALES is at once an enthralling piece of natural history, a gripping David-and-Goliath legal battle, an eye-opening chronicle of secret Cold War military activity, an environmental call to arms, and a probing examination of the conflicting demands of the environment, the law, and national defense.
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ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Joshua Horwitz is the co-founder and publisher of Living Planet Books in Washington, D.C., which specializes in books by thought leaders in science, medicine, and psychology. The co-author of two previous books of nonfiction, he lives with his wife and three daughters in Washington, DC.
ABOUT THE BOOK:
WAR OF THE WHALES: A True Story
By Joshua Horwitz
Published by Simon & Schuster
Publication Date: July 1, 2014
E-Book ISBN: 9781451645033
Learn More about Joshua Horwitz at www.WaroftheWhales.com
Visit Simon & Schuster on the web at www.simonandschuster.com