News That Matters
"Thanks to TV and for the convenience of TV, you can only be one of two kinds of human beings, either a liberal or a conservative." - Kurt Vonnegut
Good Wednesday Morning,
The road crews have been out since early last evening salting and sanding area roadways. But as of right now (9:15 AM) it's raining with temps at PlanPutnam Central pegged at 30.1 degrees. They've been fluctuating rapidly over the past couple of hours so until they warm up sufficiently, stay off the roads.
There's some weird stuff going on over in Southeast these days. The Town Board has canceled its contract with its wetlands inspector, Don Cuomo, and replaced him with Stephen Coleman who is an Environmental Coordinator with the Town of New Castle. I can't imagine why they would do that... oh, yes I can. I'm looking into that now and will come back with a report in a day or so. Stay tuned for that one. Southeast has never met a wetland it wouldn't pave over so why let a qualified inspector stand in the way?
The computers which run the NY State Unemployment offices crashed twice in the past week when the weight of a surge in new unemployment claims overloaded the system. They're back up now - and fortified.
Governor Paterson gives his first State of the State Address today up in Albany. He hopes he can convince the Assembly and Senate to accept some 137 new
Combined with a reduction in services, another way out of this mess would be a return to a graduated income tax system akin to what we abandoned in 1972 when state tax brackets ran from 2%-15% of personal income. Yes, the comfortable would pay more and might have to put off the purchase of that 60" flat screen TV for the master bath. But this would raise some $5 billion and provide a good start towards a fairer state taxation system and lay the groundwork for a state takeover of education funding, a move which would reduce your property tax bills. But don't expect to find support for that in Albany until after the revolution.
We now have a new Congress in Washington though I fear it will be more of the same.
It's official: Al Franken will represent the people of the state of Minnesota in the US Senate. A real tip 'o the hat goes to the state election commission which handled this with humor, candor and an impressive amount of patience.
Caroline Kennedy is still in the running for the Senate seat being vacated by Hillary Clinton and it's news all over the place. No, the Governor has not yet called to offer me the seat, but I'm guessing he's been busy on his speech today and will call either later on or sometime this week. That would spell the end of News That Matters but it's a small price to pay for decent representation in Washington... and I can get a pony, too!
The war still rages on in Gaza. Nearly 700 Gazans have been killed in the fighting, the UN school was hit (allegedly after Israeli troops were fired on from it) and Israel has agreed to a 3 hour per day cease fire to allow humanitarian aid into the area. Hamas says they will not attack Israeli targets during that three hour period. Well, they kinda said that. Maybe.
In the meantime, Hama's second-in-command in exile, Moussa Abou Marzouk, has called for an end to Israel's war, an end to the blockade, a total withdrawal of Israeli troops from Gaza and fully open, unguarded borders. He rejects the idea of peace-keeping forces to monitor the borders and nixed any talk of a permanent cease-fire with Israel. "Our position is also that Israel is neither legitimate nor credible,” he said.
And now, the News:
A state court in New York dismissed a libel lawsuit last month against a free bi-weekly newspaper that published an anonymous letter alleging that a local developer was bribing officials.
Governor Paterson is proposing to gut New York’s Environmental Protection Fund and undercut the efforts of the agency responsible for making sure our water is safe to drink and our air is safe to breathe.
"I remember that land," said Betsy Schimelpfenig, who with her brothers and sisters grew up on property her parents owned on East Pembroke Road. "We grew up in those woods. It was an interesting place to grow up."
Economic hard times, plus shifting neighborhood and urban values, are key factors.
Sunday 04 January 2009
Some states - including Michigan - already see renewable energy as their future: It's the only sector that appears to be making room for more employees despite the recession.
Hemlock, Michigan - While Detroit's automakers struggle to rebuild their sputtering operations, the key to jump-starting Michigan's economy may lie 80 miles northwest of the Motor City.
By Sam Glover, 12:18 PM on Mon Jan 5 2009, 10,298 views
How can you tell the number of vacant houses on a block? Easy. Just look for the houses with phone books piling up on the porch. The phone book spammers count those property-value killers into their circulation numbers, which is how they sucker businesses into buying listings in the yellow pages. Minnesota blogger Ed Kohler is even angrier about phone book spam than I am, and is on a bit of a mission to never have a phone book on his property again. So he got a little pissed when Verizon, a company he has no business relationship with, tossed one on his steps.