News That Matters
"I regret saying some things I shouldn't have said. Like 'dead or alive' and 'bring 'em on.' "
The following came in from JA last afternoon in regards to the polling machine problems you've read about in this column:
"The machines you were referring to [above] are Ballot Marking Devices intended for use by disabled voters. These machines print out and read/verify a voter's ballot but do not count votes."Thanks JA! Consider us told, corrected and set straight.
If you live in the Town of Patterson there's a quasi-coup currently underway. The sides aren't all that clear-cut though patterns emerge.
On one side is Supervisor Mike Griffin and Councilman Ed O'Connor. On the other side are the rest of their town board. (Ms. Nacerino, Mr. Kassay and Mr. Capasso.) One argument is over the new town budget (in provisional form passed by the three insurgent board members) which removes funding for the town planner, the wetlands inspector and somewhere along the line adds a new contract for some workers that would make Joe Hill proud.
Remember Sewage Diversion? That was the plan a few years back to hook all of Putnam County's sewage plants together and dump their effluent into the Hudson River at Peekskill.
The "Hempstead 15", 10 of whom are Iraq war veterans, were arraigned in Nassau County court the other day. Here's a video of the demonstration held outside the courthouse in their support. One of these veterans, Adam Kokesh, will be tried this morning at 9AM. If you're a veteran please call Nassau County DA Kathleen Rice at 516-571-2994 as early as possible this morning to show your support for veterans to peaceably assemble in the United States. If you're one of those vocal "support the troops" types, here's your opportunity to do something real.
And now, the News:
The Journal News
PATTERSON - Cutting the town planner and environmental conservation inspector from next year's budget will bring inappropriate development to Patterson, Supervisor Michael Griffin and some residents said yesterday.
The preliminary 2009 budget by the Town Board eliminates those positions. Griffin maintains the cuts would not be cost-effective and could lead to unchecked growth.
More than 200 residents showed up last week for a public hearing on the Town Board's version of the budget, forcing its postponement to tomorrow.
The preliminary budget also includes a change to the town's highway contract, paying employees who are called in early or who stay late to plow snow overtime for the entire shift - not just the extra hours.
The Town Board's preliminary budget and its cut positions will cost the town more because any savings will be offset by consultants' fees, one resident said.
The Journal News
TARRYTOWN -- When a team of Hudson River researchers heard that Westchester County planned to dump 2.4 million gallons of partially treated sewage, it was too good a scientific opportunity to pass up.
So the crew of three water-quality testers - two Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory marine biologists and a veteran Riverkeeper boat captain - journeyed into the night before the Oct. 20 release to get base line readings, and three more times to get readings after the sewage was discharged.
Just hours after the predawn release, the three testers found levels of the sewage-indicating enterococcus bacteria that were four times higher than usual.
The highest levels recorded exceeded recommended federal guidelines for primary exposure, such as swimming.
The Board of Legislators passed the calorie labeling law by a 15-1 vote Monday.
The law requires restaurant chains with at least 15 locations worldwide to display calorie counts on menus and menu boards. About 600 chain restaurants will be affected.
MOUNTAIN HOUSE, Calif. — This town, 59 feet above sea level, is the most underwater community in America.
Because of plunging home values, almost 90 percent of homeowners here owe more on their mortgages than their houses are worth, according to figures released Monday. That is the highest percentage in the country. The average homeowner in Mountain House is “underwater,” as it is known, by $122,000.
A visit to the area over the last couple of days shows how the nationwide housing crisis is contributing to a broad slowdown of the American economy, as families who feel burdened by high mortgages are pulling back on their spending.
Jerry Martinez, a general contractor, and his wife, Marcie, an accounts clerk, are among the struggling owners in Mountain House. Burdened with credit card debt and a house losing value by the day, they are learning the necessity of self-denial for themselves and their three children.
No more family bowling night. No more dinners at Chili’s or Applebee’s. No more going to the movies.
“We make decent money, but it takes a tremendous amount to pay the mortgage,” Mr. Martinez, 33, said.
It’s a stretch to compare a mugger with the type of able-bodied motorist who thinks nothing of pulling into a parking space clearly designated only for drivers with disabled parking permits. Or is it?
Muggers and disabled-permit violators share some obvious traits: 1) desperate; 2) morally bankrupt; 3) crazy lazy; 4) weak in thought and deed; 5) insensitive; 6) self-absorbed; 7) disregard the law; need counseling; 9) need to perform community service; 10) need to gratify themselves through illegitimate actions.
It’s somehow satisfying that I keep encountering more people who, like me, are repelled by parking space muggers and some even will mouthe off to the violators. It would be a better world in this particular way if more people called out the non-diasbled who selfishly plant their vehicles — even if for a minute — in a spot they don’t need.
I’m not advocating that anybody put themselves in harm’s way by poking a finger in the chest of a lineman-size driver who emerges from a car misparked in a handicap spot. But those of us who don’t let people like that get away with their shenaningns find various ways to duly shame the culprits into at least perhaps thinking twice about making the same move next time:
Nov. 11 (Bloomberg) -- U.S. taxpayers, who feel they own a stake in Wall Street after funding a $700 billion bailout for the industry, don't want executives' bonuses reduced. They want them eliminated.
``I may not understand everything, but I do understand common sense, and when you lend money to someone, you don't want to see them at a new-car dealer the next day,'' said Ken Karlson, a 61-year-old Vietnam veteran and freelance marketer in Wheaton, Illinois. ``The bailout money shouldn't have been given to them in the first place.''
Compensation at Goldman Sachs Group Inc., Morgan Stanley, Citigroup Inc. and the six other banks that received the first $125 billion of the federal funds is under scrutiny by lawmakers, including Rep. Henry Waxman, a California Democrat, and New York Attorney General Andrew Cuomo, also a Democrat. President-elect Barack Obama cited the program at his first news conference on Nov. 7, saying it will be reviewed to make sure it's ``not unduly rewarding the management of financial firms receiving government assistance.''
While year-end rewards are likely to decline with a drop in revenue this year, industry veterans say that eliminating them risks driving away the firms' most productive workers.
``There are instances where bonuses are justified, deserved, and in the best interests of the investment bank involved,'' said Dan Lufkin, a co-founder of Donaldson Lufkin & Jenrette Inc., the investment bank acquired by Credit Suisse Group AG in 2000. ``Your very best people are people you want to hold, and your very best people will have opportunities even in this environment to transfer allegiance.''
A Philadelphia court ruled against the local news media Friday in a fight over the mayor and city council's alleged violation of the state's Sunshine Act in a closed-door meeting last week.
By Greg Marano