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Jan 19, 2012

In session next week to hear over a disasterous bill VA SB477 is a bill about "Dangerous Wild Animals". While some of the bill has some applications to Virgina and some beneficiary things inside of it, there is one part of it that has reptile enthusiasts such as mself reeling. One part of the bill  has added anacondas, boa constrictors, burmese pythons, reticulated pythons, and several others to their listing of  "Dangerous Wild Animals". this list is to define animals that are illegal as well as to posses. It states that these animals are to be seized from owners, placed in zoos or wildlife sanctuaries, or humanely euthanized.All of the other species on this list are things like bears, pit vipers, red wolves... etc. actual wild caught animals that people don't often have and in my personal opinion should have in their homes.

 By placing animals that have been captively bred and domesticated for generations, and that have been commonly available in the pet trade for decades on this list, is wreckless and irresponsible. How many zoos will want animals that could be purchased at pet stores? these animals will not have places to go. they will be needlessly killed.

Creating laws that force owners to forfeit common domestic companion animals will open up the road for future breed and species specific legislaton.In the United States less than 0.4 human deaths a year have been reported to be caused by large snakes, that is a total of 3 people per year die from large snake related fatalities. If they can be deemed "dangerous", what will be next? (many more human deaths are caused by dogs, and they have wanted to legislate breed restrictions and bans for years)
please, even if you do not love or even like snakes- understand that many of us do. we love our pets. they do not deserve to be taken away and euthanized. Please help us.

 how you can help. from VA Reptile Rescue:


The Virginia State assembly is known for having one of the largest numbers of pieces of new legislation each year. The effect of this is that they don't have time to read ANY OF THEM. They depend on the short paragraph explaining the bill, and the opinion of their interns who do read them (well, they try). This means they have no idea of the wording of these bills, or the actual possible results of these becoming law. When they go to committee, they are supposed to be read by those on that committee, but again, experience has shown that it still doesn't happen. When it goes to sub-committee (if it does), it supposed to be read - it still sometimes isn't, if it's a long bill. The only way for these folks to know what is in some of these bills is for the public to read them, catch the problems, and complain. I know, that's not how it should be - but it is reality.

 CALL your local representatives, email them, fax them, and send letters. MAKE LOTS OF NOISE. Call or email everyone in VA that you know that has reptiles and get them to DO THE SAME, even if they don't have large constrictors.


Still not on tomorrow's docket, so it will probably be next Thursday. CALL, CALL, CALL the above folks! EMAIL, FAX, ETC. The more they hear us, the less likely they are to ignore us.

When you call, simply say, "I want to register an opinion on SB 477." The intern or womever is answering (it won't be the senator) will respond, and you simply say, "Please tell the senator to vote no. This bill will negatively affect my family (or your job if that applies to you!)" That's all you need to say on the phone. In email/letters/faxes, go into greater details, using the bullet points I mention below.

 When calling or writing, make these points: 

* you agree that the public should be protected from wild and dangerous animals
* the animals in question do not all qualify as wild and dangerous - some of them qualify as domesticated livestock or companions
* you respectfully concede that the representative in question has a difficult job, and that you realize that he/she may not have actually read the bill to know these issues, so you appreciate their time as you explain the problems with the legislation
* the legislation may have the unintended consequence of having more people decide to release their pets rather than have them confiscated or euthanized
* how will this be paid for?
* the statistics across the US do not show any instances of released pet reptiles causing injuries or death to anyone
* the statistics across the US show that horses are the #1 cause of pet animal-related injuries and deaths, but they are not being included in this legislation


from Wm Taylor, on the USARK Facebook page (THANK YOU!): 

Senator Emmett W. Hanger, Jr. (R) - Senate District 24 (804) 698-7524 

Senator John C. Watkins (R) - Senate District 10 (804) 698-7510 

Phillip P. Puckett (D) - Senate District 38 (804) 698-7538

Senator Frank M. Ruff, Jr. (R) - Senate District 15 (804) 698-7515

Senator Harry B. Blevins (R) - Senate District 14 (804) 698-7514

Senator Mark D. Obenshain (R) - Senate District 26 (804) 698-7526

Senator A. Donald McEachin (D) - Senate District 9 (804) 698-7509

Senator J. Chapman Petersen (D) - Senate District 34 (804) 698-7534

Senator Ralph S. Northam (D) - Senate District 6 (804) 698-7506

Senator Richard H. Stuart (R) - Senate District 28 (804) 698-7528

Senator David W. Marsden (D) - Senate District 37 (804) 698-7537

Senator William M. Stanley, Jr. (R) - Senate District 20 (804) 698-7520

Senator Richard H. Black (R) - Senate District 13 (804) 698-7513

Senator John C. Miller (D) - Senate District 1 (804) 698-7501

Senator Adam P. Ebbin (D) - Senate District 30 (804) 698-7530

 I am calling on all of you. PLEASE help us stop this state from passing a law that will place many pets in danger, destroy livelihoods, and place law abiding citizens in the wrong for doing nothing more than having the same pets we have had for years.


the bill so you can read it yourself.

(cross posted from online facebook user and friend, please distribute and pass this on.)

A link to a response from a small business located in Virginia
Picture is (c) Tribal Spider Arts 2011

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Posted: Jan 19, 2012 2:27pm
Jun 7, 2010
In an effort to assist the economy as well as the ecosystem of the Gulf of Mexico surrounding Louisiana, Sarah Sertic of Tribal Spider Arts is hosting a fund raiser. She has offered 50% of the profits from the sale of her fine arts photographic prints in both Nature and Industrial galleries. She is supporting various charities that are in direct aid to the rehabilitation of the wildlife and the economy of southern Louisiana. Please visit or the Tribal Spider Arts Facebook Fans Page to find out more information or to help support the Gulf with the purchase of a print.
Sarah can be contacted directly at for more information on the charities that she is supporting and for any questions on the materials used in the printing process. Tribal Spider Arts is dedicated to an environmentally friendly printing process and only uses materials that have a high post consumer waste content or sustainable practices in terms of paper processing, framing and matting materials used. Here at Tribal Spider Arts we believe we can change the world one photo at a time.
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Posted: Jun 7, 2010 6:44am
Apr 22, 2010

There is this constant search on the part of the photographic artist to make that perfect print. Behind the scenes there is a whole life to creating a print that most laymen still as of yet are unaware. For the photographer there are so many variables into making that perfect print. There is the camera, lenses, lighting, editing software, printer, ink, paper and so much more. All of these factors meld to help the photographic print maker create that perfect print. At the heart of this creation is the complexity inherent in producing just one image. 

So many different variables go into printing. Ink needs replacing. Nozzle heads need cleaning and alignment. Followed by ICC profiles creation. Paper curves need to be made. Followed shortly by sharpening for print needs to be done, curves need to be put in, color corrections need adjusting, the right DPI needs to be set. The size of the print needs to be made. This all just before sending to the printer, setting the correct color management, selecting the right ICC profile, making sure you have it on the right printing mode then only finally can a print be sent to printer in hopes nothing goes wrong.

Yet, with so much effort going into just one print why is it remiss to see that much discipline go into the greening up of the printing process? What is so hard about trying to create a single part of a business into something that is both brilliantly beautiful and also sustainable at the same time? The bottom line is exactly that the bottom line. Money is the hinderances against a revitalization of the print making process.

At this time of high technology there is a great call to the individual to green up and strive for a more sustainable practice in daily life.  Then why hasn’t this revitalization not visited the photographic community as widespread? There has been a burst in the technology used for digital cameras, a leap in the processes used to edit prints. Yet, all these things have also risen in price. Sustainability is at a premium, yet there is a surprise to going green, it is not as pricey as some people think it is.

What are the advantages to going green in business practice. First are the tax benefits. In 2009 there were various different tax benefits to going green or starting green for a business. Places such as the Green Business Bureau have stated that “[t]he 2009 stimulus plan has underscored the government’s commitment to going green with hefty tax incentives.The use of electric vehicles, renewable energy and many other green programs are rewarded with healthy tax credits. “ Second, In many areas there is increased revenue just from customer support for going green.  Many individuals support a company more for their green initiatives.

Yet more specifically what are the benefits for photographers going green? As mentioned above the tax benefits for going green are quite extensive. In creating a green studio there are tax benefits to retrofitting already existing buildings in a green manner. Another benefit is buying local means less in shipping costs and then therefore means spending less in the long run. Sustainability is exactly that buying things, materials in a sustainable manner both environmentally and economically.

Art revolves around change and adaptability both monetarily and physically. The complexity in the system is inherent and yet to be able to work with these sinuous entanglements makes a company even more malleable. Technology changes and advances, and as time progresses a company grows even more complex. The greening of a business, even a photography business, does not need to be a daunting task but one that can be seen as a boon for the business owner, the community and the Earth as a whole. Grasping at the problems instead of focusing on these difficulties should be the photographers task. Through better, greener and more efficient means a perfect picture for a better tomorrow can be created.

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Posted: Apr 22, 2010 6:57pm
Mar 6, 2010

I could barely believe what I was reading today when I saw that the Virginia Attorney General issued a letter to Virginia Public Colleges that their gay faculty and students should not be protected from discrimination. In a letter issued by the Virginia Attorney General’s office, that because the state legislature "has on numerous occasions considered and rejected creating a protected class defined by 'sexual orientation,' 'gender identity' or 'gender expression” that state institutions of higher education should rescind their antidiscriminatory policies towards gay and lesbian students and faculty. The Attorney General  has also stated “take appropriate actions to bring their policies in conformance with the law and public policy of Virginia.”

As a gay student in the commonwealth of Virginia, this has me extremely frightened. What am I to expect next? First the governor of Virginia rescinds protection for gay, lesbian and transgendered state employees. Next the Attorney General is starting to go more hardline on public higher education institutions. I am thankful for at least one thing, federal law trumps that of state law in terms of discriminatory policy. I know for one thing I am going to be drafting a petition. I know that I will not stand such a policy to be in place in Virginia public colleges. This not only effects me but a plethora of people inside of the state public education sphere. I hope people will begin to wake up and see what this new administration here in Virginia is actually about not about creating jobs or protecting people but being as bigoted as it was in the past. I know I will be sending the Attorney General as well as the Governor a very angry letter stating that I will not stand idly by as they take away my rights. Please urge others to send letters to the editor, letters to the governor and sign my petition as well.

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Posted: Mar 6, 2010 1:11pm
Mar 4, 2010

      In recent years there has been a resurgence of topics that surround animals and their benefits to people with mental illness. From cats and dogs, to snakes and even horses there is a belief  in the importance of having animals in people’s lives. In such cases, it is especially important for those individuals with mental illness, because animals can help with their physical and mental wellbeing.  

      The importance of animals in people's lives has been abundantly documented by psychologists, researchers and veterinarians. It has been proven that pets are great for a individual’s mental health. Most experts agree that pets can alleviate mild to moderate depression, improve sleep and overall health.(Doheny) 

     In pet assisted therapy, psychological and therapy professionals bring in trained animals to assist in different aspects of therapy with patients. One such case was with animals that were paired with people in group pet assisted therapy sessions, in a study done by the American Psychiatric Association.  The patients being treated for mood disorders and other psychological illnesses, had a measure of relief after the animals were brought in to play and interact with them. With in a few minutes their anxiety palpably decreased after contact with the animals.(Becker) In other cases it has been shown to increase socialization and decrease symptoms of depression.  Even children with severe ADHD and conduct disorder had aggressive behavior lessened and improvement in attention their span. (Lipton)

      Yet, there is a caveat. For those individuals who do not like animals it has been found that it is neither a bane nor a boon for their mental or physical health. It is understood that some people do not enjoy the company of animals. (Doheny)

    For those that do enjoy the company of animals and who suffer from mental illness there are as stated above various benefits to having animals in the home. Yet, one thing is paramount and  comes to mind when thinking of this type of treatment. Animals will always offer unconditional love to those who feel they are isolated or are shut off from the rest of society. 

    So please help in your local shelter, help train dogs for service to these individuals. For it is in helping animals that we too can help these individuals. For information on how you can help in your community please ask your local shelter. There are various organizations and individuals that are trying to help pair with service animals  with people that suffer from mental illness.

Becker, Marty. "Pets and Mental Wellness." Mood Letter. American ,   2002. Web. 4 Mar. 2010. <>.

Doheny, Kathleen. "Pets for Depression and Health." WebMD. Lily USA, 2008. Web. 4 Mar.2010. < depression-symptoms/pets-

Lipton, Liz. "Some Patients Petting Their Way to Improved Mental Health." Psychiactric News.     American Psychiactric Association, 2001. Web. 4 Mar. 2010. <>

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Posted: Mar 4, 2010 10:43am
Feb 22, 2010

So this is my first time submitting a blog here. I am a Sophmore over at the Art Institute of Washington with a major in photography going for a specialization in Environmental Photojournalism. What my work means to me is something very personal. I photograph several different types of subjects American City Ruins, Animal and Wildlife Rehabilitation, Industrial Landscapes and Alternative Models. For me I believe it is the job of the photographer to illuminate a subject that is held dear to him or her. For me it is my work with animals and the presentation of American City Ruins. It is my belief that through my photography that I can bright to light important subjects, but it is up to the viewer to come to a conclusion on what it means to him or her.

A bit of an explanation of American City Ruins for me is defined thus; a building or set of buildings that has been abandoned either through urban spral or urban decay. It is because of America's mind set of consumerism and a culture of the temporary that we have such places. I believe that how we treat our cities directly reflects how we are as a society. We have over the past 20 years been in my eyes deemed the society of the temporary, or the society of the easily discarded. It is in direct correlation to how we also treat our animals and then by default ourselves as a whole. We have made a society where it is fine to neglect, abuse, and discard animals. We have made a whole new caste of living garbage.

As a society we have had a drastic shift in terms of how we treat the environment, though we have improved in the past 15 to 20 years I believe that there is still room for improvement.

One of the topics that I am broaching is the subject of Nurse Mare Foals. For those of you who do not know what they are this is a short blurb on what these horses actually are. With the breeding of Thuroughbreds the mare has to be kept open for more breeding so their foal is taken away so that the mare can be bred again fairly soon after the birth. So they are given over to a draft horse female to nurse them, a Nurse Mare. Yet, these nurse mares are kept constantly bred so that they can produce milk for the foals they are nursing. Many of the stables see these foals as discards and in many cases euthanize these foals. This is where one place that I support comes into play. Eagle Hill Equine rescue is a wonderful place dedicated to the saving of these horses. They, atleast in my eyes, do not believe in this culture or society of the temporary. They provide these horses and many others who are not nurse mare foals with a place to live until they either pass away or are adopted out to a new family.

This is an oppertunity for me to spread the word on such an important place. Please take the time to go and support your local animal shelter, equine rescue or local no kill shelter. The work they do is invaluable. I cannot stress enough how much I respect places such as these. They do the work for the forgotten, the abandoned and the discarded. It is my hope that one day places like these will not be needed. That every animal is placed inside of a happy loving forever home, but until then I, and I hope in extention, we can help support such important places as these.

For more information on how to support Eagle Hill Equine Rescue there are two links placed below. I have offered for the sale of my nature photography 25% of the profits from the sale of my prints. The secondary link is for direct donation to the Rescue organization. They have lists of things that are needed for this coming year as well as wish lists for supplies and other things that are wanted for the facility. Please take your time and look over these links, this is a great cause I am very happy to help support.

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Posted: Feb 22, 2010 6:19pm


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