Thursday, December 4, 2008

News That Matters - December 4, 2008

News That Matters
Brought to you by PlanPutnam.Org

Good Thursday Morning,

The new Yellow Book crop has grown out of the frozen ground again, the one plant that defies Nature's winter sleep, isn't there one day, but the next, is everywhere one looks.

You'll see it scattered along every roadside and highway, its bright yellow petals enclosing a pistal of paler yellow stamens streaked with even lines of black marks. Most consider this wonder of winter a weed, while a few, an essential herb in their communications garden.

The petals are tough and can lay unopened throughout the worst winter can offer; snow, sleet, automobile tires and the steel teeth of the plow. Sometimes, when it is pierced, and when water enters its interior the stamens swell and explode, using icy winds to carry their pollinated anthers to places unknown where they take root and sprout again in the spring.

While there are some of us who value the beauty of the Yellow Book flower, most consider it useful only as a butt-lifter for the smaller members of our families come the Holidays and would do anything to stop it from spreading, especially along our roadsides. It is particularly fond of mailbox posts.

There's an organization out there that is the birthplace of this wonder of malnature, Yellow Book, Inc. The nearest office to us is at 1 Civic Center Plaza Suite 300 Poughkeepsie, NY and their phone number is 845.452.6779. My advice is to gather up and take your new flowers to their front door, as their contribution to our roadsides grows near ours.

The way I figure it, if the pile is high enough to block the entrance and their gardeners cannot leave the building, they won't be able to spread their virulent seeds upon the ground again next year.

One town, Alexandria, VA, is doing something about this by trying to pass a "Do Not Deliver" list which would include those pesky, free weekly newspapers that show up on the roadsides as well. (See the article below.)

On the other hand, you could call Walt Thompson at "Keep Putnam Beautiful" (845) 528-1632 and ask him to call the company who germinates and spreads this non-native, invasive species and ask them to stop. Yellow Books, while amongst our hardiest plants, are anything but beautiful.
It is Holiday Shopping time again and remember our pledge?
$20 and nothing from China. It's tough, I know, but belts are tight all around and splurging at Christmas is one of those things that's hard to undo once the oil bill comes along. Be sensible with your spending this year.
Over at the blog there's a list of small, local companies who can meet our $20 pledge. If yours can too, drop me a line with the pertinent information for inclusion on that page. But remember, you need to offer quality gifts for $20 or less and they must not be made in China.

Political correctness has reared its rather ugly head again. Several kids at Westchester Community College were talking amongst themselves, 'Yo! Nigga!" When a Black student walked by, overheard this interpersonal conversation and took the language out of context. An argument ensued. A fight ensued. The courts are involved and in the meantime, both Blacks and Whites of a certain age  continue to use the term freely amongst each other in greeting, common speech and well, to be and sound just like their cultural icons. Man, is that ever gay!

Tomorrow is our weekly Things To Do Edition so if your group, organization or club is having some sort of event this weekend or into next week, drop us a line by this afternoon for inclusion. Don't forget!

And now, the News:

  1. Town wants burned liquor store rubble removed
  2. Farm opens cafe, food store
  3. Paperless billing program results in tree planting
  4. Alexandria Councilman Proposes 'Do Not Deliver' List
  5. One Man's Junk Mail Jihad
  6. Water projects make jobs
  7. White House, EPA approve changes to mining buffer zone rule
  8. Raleigh plan picks areas to pack growth
  9. Toward Healthier Bread And Other Whole Grain Foods
  10. N.Y. Democrats May Skip Gay Marriage Vote

Town wants burned liquor store rubble removed

Michael Risinit
The Journal News

KENT - All that remains of the Towne & Country Discount Liquors and Wines store on Towners Road, which burned to the ground about six months ago, is a cinder-block foundation filled with debris.

Efforts by town officials to force owner Frank C. Ricca Jr. to clean up his property have ended up in Town Court. Now the town plans to hire a contractor to remove the charred wood, rusted filing cabinets, an old bicycle and other rubble and to bill Ricca.

"We're at this point because the owners refuse to clean up the property," fire inspector William Walters said this week.

Read More

Farm opens cafe, food store

Wild Hive Farm, of Clinton Corners, celebrated the opening of its new cafe, bakery and local foods store in November.

To mark both the store’s opening and the Thanksgiving holiday, the Wild Hive Farm Store sold roasted squash, stuffing, polenta and a variety of pies.

The store, at 2411 Salt Point Turnpike in Clinton Corners, offers breakfast, lunch, breads and baked goods in the cafe, as well as a wide variety of local foods in the store. Eat-in or take-out service is available.

Read More

Paperless billing program results in tree planting

More than 1,000 trees were planted on behalf of customers of Central Hudson Gas & Electric Corp. who switched to electronic billing, the company said in a news release.

It was part of a 2008 initiative encouraging paperless billing.

Central Hudson made a contribution to the Arbor Day Foundation to plant a tree in the name of each customer who joined the eBills payment program.

Read More

Alexandria Councilman Proposes 'Do Not Deliver' List

Posted 6:42 pm Mon December 01, 2008

Alexandria (web|news), Va. - It's a newspaper nuisance that ABC 7 has been covering for more than a a year: residents fed up with deliveries of unwanted publications. Now one Alexandria councilman is taking action, trying to develop a Do Not Deliver list.

For some, the free Examiner newspapers that land on their front steps are a convenient read. Others find them an unwanted nuisance. ABC's 7 on Your Side first covered the story in February.

"We ought to have the right to say 'No thank you' for something showing up on our doorstep that we have to deal with," said Amy Bayer.

The Alexandria resident says she has asked The Examiner more than once to stop delivery. Bayer says the extra papers create a recycling burden.

Read More

One Man's Junk Mail Jihad

Plus, Learn to Cut Your Own Mail Waste

You may have read that junk mail produces as much carbon dioxide as seven states combined, or as much as 9 million cars. Well apparently one postal worker got that memo.

Postal employee Steve Padgett of Apex, North Carolina decided to take matters into his own hands, according to the Christian Science Monitor. The Vietnam Vet, known as "Mailman Steve," has spent years hording the junk mail he was supposed to be delivering to customers on his route. Recently, Mailman Steve was sentenced to three years of probation, a $3,000 fine, and 500 hours of community service for delaying and destroying mail -- a tractor-trailer's worth.

However, as the Monitor points out, the community congratulated Mailman Steve as much as punished him. While no one apparently complained about not getting their junk mail for years (hmm, interesting!), many commended him for making their lives simpler.

Read More

Water projects make jobs

By Paul Rodriguez, Columnist
Updated: 11/29/2008 09:21:52 PM PST

ON Nov. 21, the U.S. Department of Labor released its unemployment figures for October, which put the nation's unemployment rate at 6.5 percent - the highest in 14 years. In California, the unemployment rate is 7.7 percent and in Los Angeles County, it is 8.4 percent.

In Southern California and Los Angeles in particular, the effects of the economy are already apparent in an increasing number of people filing for unemployment benefits, combined with the surging number of foreclosures and personal bankruptcies.

However, in this still-forming storm of economic difficulty and joblessness, there is a silver lining.

When Congress convenes early next year, high on the Democrats' agenda will be to write and pass an economic stimulus package that will create jobs though a wide range of public works projects. The projected budget for such a package is as high as $500 billion, with $300 billion the most-often-mentioned figure. Already, states, counties and cities are lining up with their wish lists to lobby for their share.

Read More

White House, EPA approve changes to mining buffer zone rule

By Ken Ward Jr.
Staff writer

(Image source:

CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- The White House and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency signed off Tuesday on plans to revoke parts of a key water quality rule that could have been used to limit the burial of streams by mountaintop removal coal mining operations.

Approval by EPA and the White House Office of Management and Budget paved the way for Interior Department officials to finalize industry-backed changes in the 25-year-old stream "buffer zone" rule.

Environmental groups had fought the change, because they hoped that either court actions or moves by the incoming Obama administration might use the buffer zone as a tool to more strictly regulate mountaintop removal.

Read More

Raleigh plan picks areas to pack growth

By David Bracken, Staff Writer Comment on this story

Twenty years from now, the era of unchecked urban sprawl in Raleigh could be a distant memory.

New homes would be smaller and built close together in urban centers and along major roads. Getting around on foot, bike or mass transit would be not only possible, but preferable to going by car.

That is the bold new vision for Raleigh that city planners will introduce this week. The vision is part of an updated version of the city's comprehensive plan, a document whose bland title belies how dramatically it could affect Raleigh residents and businesses.

If approved by the City Council, the plan would be the vision against which future development in the city would be judged.

Read More

Toward Healthier Bread And Other Whole Grain Foods

ScienceDaily (Nov. 29, 2008) — Bread, pasta, and other foods made from whole grains — known to help protect against heart disease, cancer and diabetes — may get even healthier in the future.

Scientists in Europe collaborating in the European Union HEALTHGRAIN project are reporting the largest study to date comparing nutrient levels in the world's different grain varieties, which could lead to the development of healthier varieties of grain and grain-based foods, they say.

Their findings will be described in a group of papers scheduled for the November 26 issue of the ACS' Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry, a bi-weekly publication.

In the new study, Peter R. Shewry and colleagues point out that whole grain foods, including wheat, rye and oats, have been widely touted in recent years for having greater health benefits than refined grains. Health-promoting ingredients in whole grains include fiber, antioxidants, folate, and other plant chemicals.

Read More

N.Y. Democrats May Skip Gay Marriage Vote

ALBANY — After a pledge from New York Democratic leaders that their party would legalize same-sex marriage if they won control of the State Senate this year, money from gay rights supporters poured in from across the country, helping cinch a Democratic victory.

But now, party leaders have sent strong signals that they may not take up the issue during the 2009 legislative session. Some of them suggest it may be wise to wait until 2011 before considering it, in hopes that Democrats can pick up more Senate seats and Gov. David A. Paterson, a strong backer of gay rights, would then be safely into a second term.

The question of how aggressively to proceed has touched off an intense debate among legislators and gay rights supporters about how ready the broader electorate is to embrace same-sex marriage, both in New York and across the country.

Read More

Contact Us
Shop Putnam!
Highlands Open Space Guide
House Painting!
Rss Feed