Thursday, March 12, 2009

NtM - March 12, 2009

News That Matters
Brought to you by PlanPutnam.Org

"Suspicious that the measures put in place after the attacks of September 11 to prevent further such attacks are almost entirely for show—security theater is the term of art—I have for some time now been testing, in modest ways, their effectiveness."

Good Thursday Morning,

While Putnam County isn't about to dye Lake Gleneida green for St. Patrick's Day, (though that would be pretty cool) plenty of other opportunities for celebration have come around - and will - over the next few days. Parades, parties, shows, church services and a lot of busy bars will top out the weekend. One such will be at the Cultural Center on Lake Carmel who will be hosting their second annual Irish Open Mouth. This year promises to focus on Irish immigration to the United States. Over there on the right is a picture taken by AotL media rep Marty Collins of world famous actor/director Lora Lee Ecobelli working with Bart Cook and Steve Schreiber in an adaptation of Samuel Becket's "Act Without Words II" which will be part of Friday's performance at the arts center.

Last weekend someone asked me who held 'the purse-strings' here at PlanPutnam Central. I was a momentarily taken aback by the question and so told them that I did, but that was a lie.

If the truth be told, PlanPutnam is funded by a local branch of the Illuminati based in Nelsonville. If you read the posts carefully, you'll notice they are selectively chosen so that the 4th, 7th, and 19th words of each article, when combined, pass secret messages onto the Swiss government as part of an international banking scam. I apologize for any previous confusion.
The House voted 371-19 Monday night to shell out $1 million to fund "establish the Ronald Reagan Centennial Commission," to set up events to celebrate the 100th anniversary of the Great Communicator's 1911 birth. Budget hawk Jeff Flake (R-Ariz.) was one of only two GOP "no" votes (Ron Paul was the other).

Seen in the Market:
The carton said, "All Natural Eggs". What other kind could there be?
The wrapper said, "Quality Italian Bread". Do some companies label, "Crappy Italian Bread"?

And now, the News:

  1. Putnam is financially strong, despite weak economy, Bondi says
  2. NYJN recommendations for Cold Spring elections
  3. Sullivan County makes offer to state to run Beaverkill
  4. Fall of Communism Renewed Europe's Forests
  5. Homeless N.Y. kids in thousands
  6. The Things He Carried
  7. Tibetan people 'put through hell'

Putnam is financially strong, despite weak economy, Bondi says

(Ed Note: You can download a PDF copy of the address from

CARMEL - Putnam County is controlling its own destiny.

That was the message delivered Wednesday evening by County Executive Robert Bondi during his annual State-of-the-County address before members of the Putnam Legislature and an audience of more than 100 at the historic Putnam County Courthouse.

Bondi said despite the “abysmal performance” of the national economy in 2008, county government continued to “strengthen its financial position with revenues exceeding expenditures by nearly $4 million.”

Bondi touted Putnam’s excellent bond rating by boasting a “superior Aa3 rating from Moody’s” enabling Putnam to borrow at low interest rates saving taxpayers hundreds of thousands of dollars.

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NYJN recommendations for Cold Spring elections

"This is not about age or personality," Mayor Anthony Phillips, 68, said recently of the race for Cold Spring mayor. "It is about knowledge and experience." He's right, but the election March 18 is also about results and vision.

Phillips, seeking a ninth term for mayor in the lovely Putnam village that fronts the Hudson, has served it through some difficult times. A concern in this race is whether he has acted with too much independence, failing to inform even village trustees of all his actions. A case in point was his recent and independent effort to secure federal economic stimulus money for village projects. He told the Editorial Board he "makes no apologies for'' his unilateral efforts in this regard; he said he was compelled by time constraints.

His challenger in the mayoral election, Trustee Seth Gallagher, said he only learned of Phillips' effort, and too many others by the mayor, through local publications or word of mouth. That is unfair inasmuch as the mayor serves the residents and the trustees; they need to know what their mayor is up to.

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Sullivan County makes offer to state to run Beaverkill

MONTICELLO – Sullivan County officials Tuesday suggested to the State Department of Environmental Conservation that the county take over the operation and management of the Beaverkill Campground, which the state has announced will close this spring.

The county proposed to operate the facility in much the same way as the current arrangement with the Palisades Parks Commission to operate and manage Lake Superior Park.

County Legislator Elwin Wood, in whose district the campground lies, said he is pleased that “through creative thinking and some initiative from the county legislature, the DEC is willing to consider a lease with the county to keep the facility open.

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Fall of Communism Renewed Europe's Forests

Michael Reilly, Discovery News
March 10, 2009 -- The ashes of communism have proven fertile indeed. It's been almost 20 years since the Berlin Wall fell, and all across Eastern Europe, the forests are growing back in force.

It's no coincidence, according to a new analysis of land use patterns in the region. The economies of the Soviet Union and its satellite states relied heavily on large-scale communal farming and a Moscow-sponsored logging industry, which devastated the region's wilderness for almost 50 years.

When the great communist experiment collapsed, private citizens got their lands back and governments began stepping in to protect what woodlands remained. It had a huge impact -- European forests reclaimed 8,139 square miles of land between 1990 and 2005, an area twice the size of Rhode Island.

"People talk a lot about deforestation, but this is reforestation, and it's happening on a grand scale," said Gregory Taff of the University of Memphis.

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Homeless N.Y. kids in thousands

Shelter space is scarce, affordable rentals hard for families to find 
By PAUL GRONDAHL, Staff writer
Click byline for more stories by writer.
First published: Tuesday, March 10, 2009
ALBANY—There are more than 45,000 homeless children in New York state and the number is likely to increase because of the deepening economic recession, according to a new study from the National Center on Family Homelessness released Tuesday.
At the same time, the state has only about 15,000 emergency shelter units available for homeless families. New York ranked 22nd out of 50 states in the number of homeless children.

An estimated 1.5 million children were homeless across the United States in 2008. This was the first time such a snapshot was taken since a 1999 report by the same group. The study found that 1 in 32 children in New York do not know where they will get their next meal. Health problems were much more pronounced for homeless children, compared to middle-income children in the state, particularly asthma, traumatic stress and emotional disturbance.

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The Things He Carried

If I were a terrorist, and I’m not, but if I were a terrorist—a frosty, tough-like-Chuck-Norris terrorist, say a C-title jihadist with Hezbollah or, more likely, a donkey-work operative with the Judean People’s Front—I would not do what I did in the bathroom of the Minneapolis–St. Paul International Airport, which was to place myself in front of a sink in open view of the male American flying public and ostentatiously rip up a sheaf of counterfeit boarding passes that had been created for me by a frenetic and acerbic security expert named Bruce Schnei­er. He had made these boarding passes in his sophisticated underground forgery works, which consists of a Sony Vaio laptop and an HP LaserJet printer, in order to prove that the Transportation Security Administration, which is meant to protect American aviation from al-Qaeda, represents an egregious waste of tax dollars, dollars that could otherwise be used to catch terrorists before they arrive at the Minneapolis–St. Paul International Airport, by which time it is, generally speaking, too late.

I could have ripped up these counterfeit boarding passes in the privacy of a toilet stall, but I chose not to, partly because this was the renowned Senator Larry Craig Memorial Wide-Stance Bathroom, and since the commencement of the Global War on Terror this particular bathroom has been patrolled by security officials trying to protect it from gay sex, and partly because I wanted to see whether my fellow passengers would report me to the TSA for acting suspiciously in a public bathroom. No one did, thus thwarting, yet again, my plans to get arrested, or at least be the recipient of a thorough sweating by the FBI, for dubious behavior in a large American airport.

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Tibetan people 'put through hell'

The Dalai Lama has launched a fierce attack on Chinese rule in his Tibetan homeland, saying his people have experienced "hell on Earth".

Five decades of Chinese rule have caused "untold suffering", Tibet's exiled spiritual leader said, accusing Beijing of creating a climate of fear.

He also repeated his demand for Tibet's "legitimate and meaningful autonomy".

China dismissed the Dalai Lama's attack as a lie and insisted its rule had benefited Tibetans.

The Dalai Lama's speech, in Dharmsala, India, came on the 50th anniversary of a failed Tibetan uprising against Beijing.

The BBC's James Reynolds says that the Dalai Lama's words were different from his usual peaceful comments.

This is perhaps a sign of the exasperation and frustration he must feel over China's stance, our correspondent says.

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