Wednesday, December 10, 2008

News That Matters - December 10, 2008

News That Matters
Brought to you by PlanPutnam.Org

"A lot of teenagers identify with Grigoropoulos. There's a whole generation out there who see their parents in debt and feel they have nothing to look forward to in the future. Fear and despair are what these riots are about." - Christos Mazanitis, journalist.

What's In The News:

  1. Two Putnam judges recuse selves from shooting case involving process server
  2. Chimney blazes plague firefighters
  3. Dutchess hunters help feed hungry
  4. Pennsylvania County earmarks $1.1 million for five open-space properties
  5. De-Cluttering Your Mailbox
  6. American Values Blamed For U.S Health-care Crisis
  7. Wait A Second! No political demonstrations at West Point

Good Wednesday Morning,

It's 55º and raining with more showers coming later morning and the temps will drop into the 30's later this evening. At that point the roads should be a mess, wet, icy and dangerous so plan accordingly. Tomorrow, if the reports hold true, is going to be one of those days: wet, raining, snowing and icing, all before the weather dries out in time for the weekend. You've got to love December! But what I'm missing is that first, giant snowstorm. If there's no leaves on the trees their ought to be snow on the ground, that's my motto.

The Putnam Valley Farmer's Market is still going on at the Grange Hall at Adams Corners. You'll find them there today and next Wednesday, December 17th as well. After that they're taking the winter off until the middle of March.

The Carmel Fitness & Racquet Club Received the 2008 Best of Carmel Award last week from the US Local Business Association. The press release says; The USLBA "Best of Local Business" Award Program recognizes outstanding local businesses throughout the country. Each year, the USLBA identifies companies that they believe have achieved exceptional marketing success in their local community and business category. These are local companies that enhance the positive image of small business through service to their customers and community.

Two Putnam County Judges have recused themselves from trying the Illuminate/Greenwich case. Remember, this is the case where a grand jury decided that if I should come after you with a stick, it's okay to shoot me. Twice. They weren't clear if two was the limit or if you could empty and entire clip into my body or whether the first shot had to be in my front - or back. (I could be running away to get a bigger stick you know.) In Greece, you can apparently shoot someone if they throw rocks at you. This is going to be one of those trials that tries mens souls. (See the article below.)

Lastly this morning, I'm hoping that all of you who were so vocal in support of CAP last week put your money where your mouths were. Writing, posting and pontificating is one thing, but it's cold, hard cash which buys meals.

And now, the News:

  1. Two Putnam judges recuse selves from shooting case involving process server
  2. Chimney blazes plague firefighters
  3. Dutchess hunters help feed hungry
  4. Pennsylvania County earmarks $1.1 million for five open-space properties
  5. De-Cluttering Your Mailbox
  6. American Values Blamed For U.S Health-care Crisis
  7. Wait A Second! No political demonstrations at West Point

Two Putnam judges recuse selves from shooting case involving process server

Terence Corcoran
The Journal News

Two Putnam County judges recused themselves yesterday from presiding over a case involving a man who was shot twice last year in his Putnam Valley driveway by a process server.

Douglas Greenwich, 53, was indicted last week by a Putnam County grand jury on a felony charge of attempted second-degree assault, two counts of fourth-degree criminal possession of a weapon and one count of second-degree menacing, all misdemeanors, in the June 20, 2007, confrontation with process server Dennis Illuminate.

The grand jury declined to indict Illuminate, 67, a former Kent police officer and town councilman who maintains that he shot Greenwich in self-defense after serving him with divorce papers.

Due to Illuminate's involvement in Putnam County Republican politics, Judges James Reitz and James Rooney, both Republicans, recused themselves from the case to avoid an appearance of impropriety.

Read More

Chimney blazes plague firefighters

PUTNAM COUNTY - It’s been quite a week for firefighters across Putnam County with emergency responders answering two dozen chimney fires.

Blazes were reported in Brewster, Carmel, Lake Carmel, Kent, Patterson, Putnam Lake, Mahopac, Mahopac Falls, Putnam Valley, Cold Spring, North Highlands, Garrison and Continental Village.

Putnam Commissioner of Emergency Services Robert McMahon has reminded all residents of the county that with the arrival of cold weather, “chimneys, oil burners, wood burning stoves and other heating appliances should be checked out by a licensed and reputable serviceman. Preventive maintenance will go a long way towards averting a calamity this holiday season.”

Read More

Dutchess hunters help feed hungry

By Larry Hertz
Poughkeepsie Journal

In 1993, a few Dutchess County hunting enthusiasts hatched an idea to help the hungry in their communities.

They asked hunters during deer season to save some of their excess venison, then arranged to distribute it to local food pantries.

That fall, Pleasant Valley resident Penny Hickman recalled, she and other members of the Conservation Awareness Foundation of the Federation of Dutchess County Fish and Game Clubs collected a little more than 100 pounds of deer meat for the project.

The operation has grown considerably since then.

Read More

Pennsylvania County earmarks $1.1 million for five open-space properties

December 06, 2008 6:00 AM

Nearly $1.1 million in Monroe County open space money will be used to help municipalities complete the purchase and preservation of five properties.

Monroe County commissioners approved the grants Wednesday. Funds will come from the $25 million county open space bond approved by voters nearly a decade ago.

Read More

De-Cluttering Your Mailbox

By Jeremy Caplan

Remember when going through the mail was a thrill? These days Americans get an average of 18 pieces of junk mail for every personal letter. From catalogs to credit-card solicitations, our mailboxes are increasingly clogged with clutter. Dealing with unwanted mail not only wastes our time (eight months over the average lifespan) but also bears environmental costs. Paper spam eats up an estimated 100 million trees each year, with 44% of junk mail ending up--unopened--in landfills.

To address the problem, Forest Ethics, a San Francisco--based environmental group, has launched a national Do Not Mail campaign, modeled on the successful Do Not Call Registry. So far, 19 states have debated Do Not Mail proposals. But none has passed--and who knows if any ever will. Will Craven, a spokesman for Forest Ethics, says that's partly because marketers pour millions of dollars--and lobbying savvy--into manipulating our mail: "We now have a runaway supply of junk in the face of shrinking and even resentful demand." (See TIME's special report on the environment.)

Read More

American Values Blamed For U.S Health-care Crisis

ScienceDaily (Dec. 8, 2008) — To heal our ailing health care system, we need to stop thinking like Americans. That's the message of two articles by UCLA's Dr. Marc Nuwer, a leading expert on national health care reform, published this week in Neurology, the journal of the American Academy of Neurology.

"Americans prize individual choice and resist limiting care," says Nuwer, a professor of clinical neurology at the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA. "We believe that if doctors can treat very ill patients aggressively and keep every moment of people in the last stages of life under medical care, then they should. We choose to hold these values. Consequently, we choose to have a more expensive system than Europe or Canada."

Read More

Wait A Second! No political demonstrations at West Point

In spring 2007, an activist group sought to hold an anti-war demonstration at the United States Military Academy at West Point, located in Orange County, New York. The occasion was the annual graduation ceremony featuring Vice President Cheney, who would address the cadets when public opinion was souring on the Iraq war. West Point denied the permit application, and the trial court denied the plaintiff's request for a preliminary injunction. This week, the Second Circuit affirmed that denial.

The case is Sussman v. Crawford, decided on December 2. I represented the plaintiffs in this case. It's not everyday that people sue under the First Amendment to protest at a military installation. The case law in this area is sparse in the Second Circuit. The Court of Appeals took the opportunity to confirm that nonpublic forums like West Point are no place for political demonstrations even though this is government property has enough space for any demonstration.

Read More

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