News That Matters
"I'd always imagined that growing grains requires acres and acres of prairie just to make it worth your while," says McLeod. "But Logsdon shows that just 1/40th of an acre -- the amount of space taken up by a single-car garage, is enough space to grow the wheat you need to enjoy a loaf of bread every week for a year." (see article below)
Good Monday Morning,
Today is President's Day, another one of those national holidays that isn't.
It was all over Kent this weekend - at the Library, at a musical performance, people were talking and they were all saying the same thing: "Did you see that meeting the other night?"
Also in Kent this past weekend, local singer/songwriter Kati Mac brought three of her friends together; Carmel's Mike Coffey and Steve Kirkman and Peter Calo drove up from Westchester to perform in, "My Furry Valentine", a fund raiser for the Putnam Humane Society. The house was full and from my vantage point behind the tech table, everyone was having a really great time.
Greenburgh town supervisor Joel Feiner, in an effort to lower some property taxes has posited that the four lower-Hudson counties of Westchester, Rockland, Orange and Putnam merge into a super county to alleviate duplication of services. While merging smaller governments into larger ones would save money (think School Districts!) I'm not sure that Putnam fits in, philosophically, with those others.
According to a report in the NYJN this morning, Putnam County is moving forward with its sex-offender residency laws in the face of a court challenge to the same in Rockland. The law would prohibit level two or level three sex offenders from living within 1000 feet of most places young children congregate. However, under some laws, urinating in public can land you a sex offense as well as being 19 and having consensual relations with a 17 year old. There are some bad people out there and we need to keep an eye on them, but there are also many who have been swept up in the hysteria and studies are showing that tougher laws actually have a negative effect. There's a balance and a benefit to the community when cooler, logical heads prevail and we should urge the county to pursue that path.
“Beer and Fun at Every Hole”
The Assemblyman who shall not be named isn't forming any kind of exploratory committee for a run for Congress, if you read his blogs he's waist deep in the Big Muddy already. The puff pieces, the semantic gymnastics... all of it.
Here's a take from one recent post on of his many blogs:
"Just a year ago at this time, we had a President who spent every hour of the day protecting the Homeland, a year ago, we had a President who was feared and respected by terrorists, Akmadinajad and the rest of our enemies, our GDP was growing at a red hot rate of 1.4%, unemployment was at 4.7%, our national debt was a mere $8.5 Trillion, we had a Treasury and a Health and Human Services Secretary who paid their income taxes, we had a CIA Director who came to the job with experience in Intelligence and Security, and we had a Justice Department committed to protecting the lives and rights of Americans instead of the lives and rights of terrorists jailed at Gittmo; THOSE WERE THE GOOD OLE DAYS!!"The writer has an interesting problem with history and reality but we can only deal with one of those two in this short space.
While peace talks go on in Cairo, Gazans lobbed two more rockets into a kibbutz in Israel this morning at a time when school children were making their way to schools. This follows a pattern set during the past several weeks. On the other hand, the Israeli government gave approvals for the use of 1700 dunams (about 425 acres) of land in the West Bank for the expansion of illegal settlements. One has to wonder what it will take to knock some sense into these people?
And lastly this President's Day, the company who made peanut butter a life or death adventure has filed for Chapter 7 bankruptcy.
And now, the News:
A NYJN Editorial
The future of the Putnam Arts Council is uncertain, and that's a shame. Putnam residents of all ages benefit from the nonprofit arts council's programs, gallery exhibitions, studio classes and summer camps. Thousands more benefit from the council's work as an umbrella organization for nearly all the arts organizations in the county. At least 40 diverse groups, from the Brewster Theater Company to the Garrison Art Center to the Putnam Chorale, receive guidance or support from the council. Local artists know it is the place to go for funding to bring art projects to life in Putnam. Indeed, as the only arts council in the county, it alone is charged with disseminating state arts grants to local artists.
By Dawn Powell
February – short month, but lots of meetings. I’ll get caught up, but I’ll start with the Oregon Corners meeting, since it dovetails nicely with the North County News article about Peekskill Hollow Road.
I’ll bet you didn’t know there was an Oregon Corners meeting. Hardly anyone did. I looked at the website calendar yesterday, and saw a 5:30 meeting listed – pres/RBA – Oregon Corners. Now I could guess what this meant, but if in the somewhat unlikely event that anyone else did happen to see it, it is somewhat less likely that they would understand it.
I know people who care about Oregon Corners. I know people who would like their voices to be heard, who deserve that their voices be heard. And if they had known about this meeting, they would have been there.
Raise wheat in your yard, turn it into two loafs a week. Locavore, or just loco?
After ABC News Report, PepsiCo Offers Support to Dentist Working in Appalachia
“It’d be a trillion-dollar war if it stopped today.” - Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi, Oct 14, 2007, “This Week with George Stephanopoulos”
This article appeared in the March 2, 2009 edition of The Nation.
I am a great believer in freedom of expression and am proud of those times when I have been one of a few members of Congress to oppose censorship. I still hold close to an absolutist position, but I have been tempted recently to make an exception, not by banning speech but by requiring it. I would be very happy if there was some way to make it a misdemeanor for people to talk about reducing the budget deficit without including a recommendation that we substantially cut military spending.Sadly, self-described centrist and even liberal organizations often talk about the need to curtail deficits by cutting Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid and other programs that have a benign social purpose, but they fail to talk about one area where substantial budget reductions would have the doubly beneficial effect of cutting the deficit and diminishing expenditures that often do more harm than good. Obviously people should be concerned about the $700 billion Congress voted for this past fall to deal with the credit crisis. But even if none of that money were to be paid back--and most of it will be--it would involve a smaller drain on taxpayer dollars than the Iraq War will have cost us by the time it is concluded, and it is roughly equivalent to the $651 billion we will spend on all defense in this fiscal year.
When I am challenged by people--not all of them conservative--who tell me that they agree, for example, that we should enact comprehensive universal healthcare but wonder how to pay for it, my answer is that I do not know immediately where to get the funding but I know whom I should ask. I was in Congress on September 10, 2001, and I know there was no money in the budget at that time for a war in Iraq. So my answer is that I will go to the people who found the money for that war and ask them if they could find some for healthcare.