News That Matters
"The mind of a bigot is like the pupil of the eye. The more light you shine on it, the more it will contract." - Oliver Wendell Holmes Jr.
Good Wednesday Morning,
I was going to head over to the Cultural Center on Lake Carmel this morning to put up a fresh coat of paint in the theater space but looking outside and seeing that the snow is supposed to turn to ice and freezing rain, I think I'll pass on going out today, something you should consider as well. Stay home. Stay warm. And if the power goes out under the weight of the ice this afternoon, standard PlanPutnam neighborly advice becomes the rule: check on your neighbors, even if you don't think they need checking on.
IBM has started laying off employees, with four or five hundred slated for the Hudson Valley. Lee Conrad, a union leader at IBM, points to three factors: low productivity, a general slimming down and the movement of jobs offshore. Read that last one again and remember it next time IBM comes hat-in-hand for more tax breaks. I think their new slogan should be, "Whats Good For IBM is Good For India" or how about instead of Big Blue, we call them Big Curry?
The Open Space Institute announces it's 2009 McHenry Awards for young leaders in environmental stewardship and projects. There's more information here.
After years of complaining that environmentalists were stopping Putnam county from reaping sales tax benefits by their refusal to allow the county to become a regional shopping mecca, County Executive Bondi said, “The high cost of gasoline drove people to reconsider their shopping destinations. While the trend was very helpful, we can all see that this is something we cannot rely on for the future.” He was referring to reports that sales tax revenues in the county declined substantially over the past year. See the article below for more on this one.
Carmel — Putnam County collected more in sales tax last year than ever before yet county lawmakers are worried.
Monday 26 January 2009
Only a couple of years ago, the long-serving chairman of the Fed, a committed free marketeer who had steered the US economy through crises ranging from the 1987 stockmarket collapse through to the aftermath of the 9/11 attacks, was lauded with star status, named the "oracle" and "the maestro." Now he is viewed as one of those most culpable for the crisis. He is blamed for allowing the housing bubble to develop as a result of his low interest rates and lack of regulation in mortgage lending. He backed sub-prime lending and urged homebuyers to swap fixed-rate mortgages for variable rate deals, which left borrowers unable to pay when interest rates rose.
Ongoing water protection efforts continue with purchase of parcel once owned by musician Richie Havens
LEGISLATIVE PACKAGE • New laws would encourage regional cooperation, saving money and land
By RICHARD RICHTMYER | The Associated Press
Release date: 01/26/2009
(New York, NY) The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) today announced that the federal government has reached an agreement with the General Electric Company (GE) to modify a November 2, 2006 consent decree requiring the company to dredge portions of the Hudson River. The modification of the 2006 consent decree requires GE to pay a portion of the costs of protecting the Waterford, Halfmoon, and Stillwater, New York water supplies during dredging, and to improve its program for monitoring water quality and further protect the Waterford and Halfmoon water supplies. Notice of the modification was published in the Federal Register today, beginning a 30-day comment period, which concludes on February 25. Dredging is scheduled to begin in the Hudson River this spring.
By Gale Courey Toensing
Emperor penguins, whose long treks across Antarctic ice to mate have been immortalised by Hollywood, are heading towards extinction, scientists say.
On October 3, 2008, President Bush signed into law the “Emergency Economic Stabilization Act of 2008.” This bill extended tax credits for energy efficient home improvements (windows, doors, roofs, insulation, HVAC, and non-solar water heaters). Tax credits for these residential products, which had expired at the end of 2007, will now be available for improvements made during 2009. However, improvements made during 2008 are not eligible for a tax credit.