Monday, November 17, 2008

News That matters - November 17, 2008

News That Matters
Brought to you by PlanPutnam.Org

“..never, ever did I talk about, well, gee, is it a country or a continent, I just don’t know about this issue.” - (almost Vice President) Sarah Palin

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Good Monday Morning,

First off this morning: Let's welcome new readers to News That Matters and remind everyone that the blog is active, up and running. Just click here, sign up and feel free to comment on stories posted, articles written and whatever comes to mind. As always, be nice. There are stories, articles and features there which do not appear in the emailed version of NtM. So if you don't check it out, you're losing out.

Those of you who weren't at Troll La La yesterday afternoon, raise your hands... Just so you know, you missed something really wonderful. It was an amazing musical destined to grow and take on a life of its own. Kudos to all the kids who trained at the College Light Opera Company (Falmouth, MA), Tony, Sheldon and Fred and everyone that helped to make the evening a great success.

I attended the Free Trade Fair at Vassar on Saturday afternoon and will post contact information for vendors that matched our holiday pledge: Nothing over $20, Nothing from China. If your shop or cottage business can match these criteria as well, please let us know so we can spread the word.

Also on Saturday I was in the Target store in Poughkeepsie to buy a curtain rod for the bathroom here at the cottage, the old one has finally sprung its spring. The Christmas decorations are up and the season is in full swing in all its consumerist glory!

Deck the halls with crushing debt,
    Fa la la la la, la la la la!
Amex won't let you forget!
    Fa la la la la, la la la la!
Buy it now, pay tomorrow,
    Fa la la, la la la, la la la!
Write those checks with tears of sorrow,
    Fa la la la la, la la la!

More than 200 people met in Poughkeepsie yesterday afternoon for a rally to re-energize the American economy based on a Green New Deal effort. They first rallied at the Holy Light Pentecostal  Church in Poughkeepsie, then marched across the Mid-Hudson bridge, all in an effort to bring awareness about Global Warming to residents of the Mid-Hudson Valley. The idea behind 350.0rg is that we can grow the economy around a renewable energy industry. State Assembly candidate Jonathan Smith made this effort a key to his election campaign and though he did not succeed in unseating Assemblyman Joel Miller, the idea has stuck, proven by the huge outpouring of support for that effort yesterday.

And now, the News:

  1. Steeple repair aids Main Street revival
  2. Fishkill may sue DOT over contaminated well
  3. The H2O Calculator
  4. 2008 State Ballot Measures and Land Use
  5. NY officials hope removing dam will revive fishing
  6. Willingboro: a half-century of suburbia
  7. April Fools’ Comes Early: Read All About It
  8. Priest advises penance for Obama vote

Steeple repair aids Main Street revival

Marcela Rojas
The Journal News

BREWSTER - It's been at least 30 years since the steeple of First United Methodist Church has received attention.

Now a large white "bucket truck" parked in front of the 144-year-old church is helping to restore the weathered steeple to its once pristine condition.

"When driving into Brewster, the first thing you see is the steeple," said Tom Boissonnault, president of the church's board of trustees. "We're just so proud to be a part of the restoration."

The steeple project was made possible by a $50,000 donation from a parishioner who wants to remain anonymous. The work, which includes scraping, painting and renailing the steeple's 3,000 cedar shingles, is costing about $24,000, Boissonnault said.

Read More

Fishkill may sue DOT over contaminated well

By Larry Hertz
Poughkeepsie Journal

FISHKILL - Concerned about chloride levels in one of its wells, the town board has authorized its attorney to prepare to file a lawsuit against the state Department of Transportation, Supervisor Joan Pagones said Saturday.

By a 5-0 vote, the board authorized attorney Ronald Blass to put the DOT on notice the town is considering the suit, Pagones said. Filing the paperwork preserves the town's right to sue in the future, she said.

The board is considering filing the suit because it suspects the well, at the corner of Route 9 and Snook Road, is being contaminated by runoff of salt placed on Interstate 84 during winter, Pagones said.

Read More

The H2O Calculator

The H2O Conserve Water Calculator is an interactive tool designed to help you figure out how much water you use, how you use it and how you can use less.

The Calculator gives you an estimate of the total amount of water you use, what is called your water footprint. The Calculator takes into account not only the water used in your home, but also the water used to produce the food you eat and the products you buy. Your water footprint includes other factors such as water utilized to cool power plants that provide your electricity, and water saved when you recycle. You may not drink, feel or see this water, but it makes up the great majority of your water footprint.

Read More

2008 State Ballot Measures and Land Use

Last week, Phyllis Myers from State Resource Strategies released the following:

On November 4th, voters around the country considered 153 statewide ballot measures in 36 states, including 84 measures referred by state legislatures and 59 citizen-driven initiatives.   In the flurry of media analysis, most ballot pundits focused on the measures involving social or “progressive” issues, such as gay marriage and abortion.    While acknowledging their importance, this report filters the measures somewhat differently through a planner’s lens to select 46 measures whose outcome arguably will more directly influence the pace, direction, and shape of growth in in America’s communities and regions across the country.       

As a planner who has tracked state and local development-related measures for almost 15 years, I have often found fresh, important insights bubbling up from these recurring referendums.  A 1998 survey for the Brookings Institution Metropolitan Policy Center caught the nascent wave of discontent that fueled the Smart Growth movement, while scattered grass roots transit measures identified in 2000 helped spark a new era of ballot box fundraising and longer range conversations aimed at revamping  transportation finance.  In 2006 an unpopular Supreme Court decision on eminent domain quickly resonated in a series of state referendums that influenced public opinion far more than actions in state legislatures.

Read More

NY officials hope removing dam will revive fishing

By WILLIAM KATES | Associated Press Writer
November 11, 2008

SYRACUSE, N.Y. - Old-time fishermen tell stories about runs of muskie, pike, walleye and smallmouth bass on the Salmon River where the fish were so thick they'd be stacked on top of one another like cords of firewood.

Present-day anglers are hoping those times will soon return after the decaying dam at Fort Covington is removed, allowing the Salmon River to flow freely into the St. Lawrence River for the first time in more than a century.

"Sportsmen around here are pretty excited about this," said Rich Preall, a senior aquatics biologist with the state Department of Environmental Conservation in Ray Brook.

The dam is the first barrier on the Salmon River, located five miles from the confluence with the St. Lawrence River in Franklin County along the U.S.-Canadian border, said Stephanie Lindloff, a project co-manager and senior director for river restoration at American Rivers, a national nonprofit conservation organization dedicated to protecting and restoring healthy natural rivers.

Read More

Willingboro: a half-century of suburbia

by Tom Hester/The Star-Ledger
Sunday October 12, 2008, 12:15 PM

In 1958, builder William J. Levitt began construction on what would become an 11,000-home community in Burlington County. When construction began in 1958, there were 4,900 acres of hill and dale -- orchards and farms with roots that could be traced back as far as 1688, when Quaker settlers established the Constabulary of Wellingborrow.

When the last nail was hammered in 1972, the land was covered with 11,000 houses and rural Willingboro had morphed into a suburb of 47,000 people. With the houses came schools, churches, community pools, shops and, as old-timers recall, thousands of children on bicycles.

This year, Willingboro, now the largest town in Burlington County, is recognizing the 50th anniversary of its transformation as the nation's third "Levittown," a Baby Boom-era housing development that helped change forever the face of American suburbia.

Read More

April Fools’ Comes Early: Read All About It


Thousands of New York commuters on Wednesday morning were handed copies of a newspaper that looked a lot like The New York Times, with a main headline blaring “IRAQ WAR ENDS.” Articles described a nation turned hard left: nationalized oil companies, a “maximum wage” law, the enactment of national health insurance, President Bush indicted for treason and evangelical churches providing sanctuary for Iraqi refugees.

Even a skeptical reader might take a minute to notice that the date on the paper was July 4, 2009. The 14-page spoof is richly detailed, with layouts and typefaces similar to the genuine article, and ads that look realistic at first glance.

Read the Genuine Paper here

Priest advises penance for Obama vote

Parishioners shouldn't take Communion until they do because of president-elect's abortion view, he says

By Ben Szobody

The priest at St. Mary's Catholic Church in downtown Greenville has told parishioners that those who voted for Barack Obama placed themselves under divine judgment because of his stance on abortion and shouldn't receive Holy Communion until they've done penance.

The Rev. Jay Scott Newman told The Greenville News on Wednesday that church teaching doesn't allow him to refuse Holy Communion to anyone based on political choices, but that he'll continue to deliver the church's strong teaching on the "intrinsic and grave evil of abortion" as a hidden form of murder.

Both Obama and Joe Biden, the vice president-elect, support legal abortions. Obama has called it a "divisive issue" with a "moral dimension," and has pledged to make women's rights under Roe v. Wade a "priority" as president. He opposes a constitutional amendment overturning the Supreme Court decision.

Read More
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