News That Matters
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Good Wednesday Morning,
A bit of Putnam County's history has been slowly uncovering itself over the past few weeks as the Boyd's Reservoir in Kent Cliffs is drawn down. I don't know if it's been an intentional act or if the lack of rain over time has caused water levels to decrease, but the cause does not come into play in this article. What does, are the remnants of a life drowned under the waters since 1873.
Back at a time when the Horsepound Road was known as Telegraph Road and Route 52 was known as Mud Road. At a time when Boyd's Corners was important enough to have its own Post Office and Lake Carmel was naught but a swamp and nearby Milltown (now Farmer's Mills) was the largest place around.
Hannity and Colmes have split up. Just in time for the
This just in from Arts on the Lake:
Puppet Revival Workshop
Saturday, November 29, 1 – 3 p.m.
Open boxes, discover the puppet within and become part of the production team of:
“The Young Wizard and the Sugar Plum.”
No charge. Ongoing fun.
Open to Young People (12+) and Adults.
Email email@example.com for info or to say: sign me up, I’ll be there.
Rehearsal schedule for the December 13 & 14 performances will be set at workshop.
Many of you are used to posting items to the PlanPutnam Google Groups list and for a while that was fine. But in an effort to lighten your email box, to better focus on News That Matters and to respond to requests for something more interactive, I've set up a blog for all that.
How to Join the News That Matters Blog:
So, what's there that's not here? In just the past couple of days there's our annual, "How to Choose an ESCO" column, The Goldman Sackers, a poem by Mahopac's Pat Byron and an opinion piece on the Oscawana Lake Plan over there in Putnam Valley. Check it out.
And finally this morning, while the Town of Carmel is spending untold millions of dollars on leveling hills and clear-cutting a forest to make room for baseball fields on Seminary Hill Road, they don't have any funds to rehabilitate the park at Tea Kettle Spout Lake and its buildings will be torn down by the county for about $11,000. I'm willing to bet that if there was a plan to drain the lake, level it, and build soccer fields the money would be there.
A Reminder: For those of you not visiting with family on Thanksgiving Day, won't visit them, can't, or don't have any, I'm holding an open house and bonfire here at the Asylum that afternoon.
For those of you who will be visiting with family and long-standing friends, be safe, resist that yearly argument with your uncle Charlie, and we'll see you on Friday!
And now, the News:
Less than two years after the bald eagle was removed from the federal government’s endangered species list, an environmental organization in Maine has found an alarming accumulation of mercury in the blood and feathers of bald eagle chicks in the Catskill Park region of New York.
The levels are close to those associated with reproductive problems in common loons and bald eagles elsewhere in the Northeast, although the New York and national populations of bald eagles have been growing strongly in recent years.
The study is being released Tuesday by the BioDiversity Research Institute, a nonprofit ecological organization in Gorham, Me. The average mercury blood level in chicks within the parks’ boundaries was 0.64 parts per million.
The same study showed that about one-quarter of the feathers of adult birds also had elevated levels of mercury, suggesting that the toxin builds up in the raptors faster than they can get rid of it.
All tunnels leak, but this one is a sieve. For most of the last two decades, the Rondout-West Branch tunnel — 45 miles long, 13.5 feet wide, up to 1,200 feet below ground and responsible for ferrying half of New York City’s water supply from reservoirs in the Catskill Mountains — has been leaking some 20 million gallons a day. Except recently, when on some days it has lost up to 36 million gallons.
After tiptoeing around the problem for many years, and amid mounting complaints of flooded homes in the Ulster County hamlet of Wawarsing, the city’s Department of Environmental Protection has embarked on a five-year, $240 million project to prepare to fix the tunnel — which includes figuring out how to keep water flowing through New Yorkers’ faucets during the repairs. The most immediate tasks are to fix a valve at the bottom of a 700-foot shaft in Dutchess County so pumps will eventually be able to drain the tunnel, and to ensure that the tunnel does not crack or collapse while it is empty.
For this, the city has enlisted six deep-sea divers who are living for more than a month in a sealed 24-foot tubular pressurized tank complete with showers, a television and a Nerf basketball hoop, breathing air that is 97.5 percent helium and 2.5 percent oxygen, so their high-pitched squeals are all but unintelligible to visitors. They leave the tank only to transfer to a diving bell that is lowered 70 stories into the earth, where they work 12-hour shifts, with each man taking a four-hour turn hacking away at concrete to expose the valve.
The financial crisis has put the brakes on a wind farm under construction in northern New York and another developer has aborted possible projects in eastern and central New York after trouble securing land.
And wind energy companies are under scrutiny by state Attorney General Andrew Cuomo as he looks into allegations of corrupt practices by developers.
Dean Kamen, inventor of the Segway and numerous medical devices, jokingly refers to his North Dumpling Island as an independent nation and himself as Lord Dumpling. Kamen claims to have his own currency and offers visas to visitors to the tiny island a few miles from Mystic, where he is the only resident.
"The rest of the world will eventually catch up if the Dumplonians can get their message out," Kamen said.
"That can typically ruin your day," said Kamen.
Kamen, a prolific inventor who has hundreds of patents, already had been working on energy conservation projects that he has introduced in poor countries.
Kamen granted "visas" to representatives of a select group of corporate sponsors such as Wal-Mart and other companies, inviting them to North Dumpling Island to brainstorm about his plans for the island and how it could be used to raise awareness and money for his robotics competition.
Kamen has been installing LED lights all over the island.
LIBERTYVILLE, Illinois (Reuters) - Many U.S. retailers, large and small, have good reason to envy Sue Opeka -- sales at her store have been up 15 percent for the past four months and she's up 5 percent for the year so far.
Opeka's store, The Present Moment, sells "affirmational and motivational" gifts such as placards lauding family and friends. The shop sits on the picturesque main street of the wealthy northern Chicago suburb Libertyville.
Opeka opened her store after a corporate career that included a long stint at auto parts maker Tenneco Inc. She attributes part of her success while retailers around the country suffer from a slowing economy to being "non-cyclical."
by: Shannon Brownlee and Ezekiel Emanuel, The Washington Post
With Congress ready to spend $700 billion to prop up the U.S. economy, enacting health-care reform may seem about as likely as the Dow hitting 10,000 again before the end of the year. But it may be more doable than you think, provided we dispel a few myths about how health care works and how much reform Americans are willing to stomach.
1. America has the best health care in the world.
Let's bury this one once and for all. The United States is No. 1 in only one sense: the amount we shell out for health care.
| Peter Klein |
The proposed bailout of GM, Ford, and Chrysler overlooks an important fact. The US has one of the most vibrant, dynamic, and efficient automobile industries in the world. It produces several million cars, trucks, and SUVs per year, employing (in 2006) 402,800 Americans at an average salary of $63,358. That’s vehicle assembly alone; the rest of the supply chain employs even more people and generates more income. It’s an industry to be proud of. Its products are among the best in the world. Their names are Toyota, Honda, Nissan, BMW, Mercedes, Hyundai, Mazda, Mitsubishi, and Subaru.
Oh, yes, there’s also a legacy industry, based in Detroit, but it’s rapidly, and thankfully, going the way of the horse-and-buggy business.
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