|News That Matters |
Brought to you (Almost Daily) by PlanPutnam.Org
|Contact Us | Shop Putnam | Putnam Outdoors | RSS Feed | Visit the Blog | Visit our Sponsor | Donate | Blogsite | Events|
|Good Friday Morning, |
Rumor has it that today is going to be our first real summer day and I can't wait. Once the skies clear in a couple of hours, the temps should top out at about 75º with low humidity. Tomorrow, not as nice and Sunday cool and cloudy. So take the day off or quit early and enjoy the weather.
I attended a star-studded event last evening in Beacon honoring Fishkill's Historical Focus and long-tine activist Connie Hogarth. Many Putnam County residents were in attendance and it was nice to meet them in this setting. Historical Focus has been leading the fight to preserve what's not been paved over of the Fishkill Army Depot, the largest such facility used by revolutionaries fighting the British from 1776 to 1783. Most of that land is now covered by a failed shopping mall and as far back as the 1970's historical groups have been trying to save it but profits and development have trumped history. Even to this day, with the recent discovery of 100 colonial graves on the property, the Town of Fishkill is forging ahead with development plans that would pave over the remainder of that land. Connie Hogarth has been a social activist for most of her 80 years and runs a program at Manhattenville College to teach students how to effectively mount social justice campaigns.
Reporters Needed: If you give a damn about what's happening in your town
Remember the PCB's in the upper Hudson River and how General Electric has been avoiding responsibility in cleaning up their mess? According to the Albany Times-Union, after millions of dollars were spent on lawyers and specialists, the first phase of the cleanup begins today and will remove some 265,000 yards of river bottom. At that point the EPA will study the process to see how things are going before embarking on a second, much larger, project. But GE hasn't agreed to the second phase so expect the lawyers to continue raking in the bucks.
While the global economy is faltering and the US economy shrinks, Norway is doing quite well. Their mix of socialism and capitalism is a broad success as their personal GDP has reached $52,000 and the nation of 4.6 million people carries no debt and a government surplus. For the record, Norway is what right-wingers in the US would call a welfare state. If you're homeless it's because you want to be. If you're sick there's government clinics to take care of you. If you need to travel from here to there, there's mass transit to take you. And while the income tax rate is near 50% no one seems to be complaining. Here, the average American pays about 35% in Federal income taxes but add state income taxes, property, sales and use taxes to the bill and we're well above Norway and yet have few services to call our own. Go figure. There's more of those "tea parties" schedule for the July 4th weekend. Someone ought to let those folk know they're barking up the wrong tree.
While the Obama administration caves on a national health care proposal, the latest industrialized nation to go that route is Taiwan. And, what did Taiwan base their model on? Canada? No. France? No. Medicare. Taiwan found that based on the American Medicare model they can bring affordable preventative health care to every resident of that island nation of 23 million people. Medicare covers 43 million Americans and runs at a 3% overhead while private insurance companies run at 25-35% overhead, and in some cases, more. This is one of myriad of cases where "privatization" simply does not work. If you have (or had) medical insurance through your employer and you've lost your job, head to Norway or Taiwan where caring for their citizens is more important than profits.
Featured Hike this Weekend:
The Harlem Valley Rail Trail has now opened two sections totaling 15 paved miles through stunning rural Dutchess County landscapes. Since the mid-1980's, the Harlem Valley Rail Trail Association has dreamed of a 46-mile rail trail in the Harlem Valley and Taconic Hills of eastern New York. The first segment of the trail opened in 1996. Since then, the trail has grown in 1997, 2000 and 2005. Another eight miles of abandoned rail bed are in the development stages, and most of another 23 miles have been acquired in Columbia County that will lead the trail north into the Village of Chatham. Get more information here.So, what's up this weekend? Here's the run-down. By the way, if your organization's event is not here it's because you didn't tell us about it.
www.ecostudies.org/events.html or call (845) 677-5343
1PM - The Putnam County Land Trust will officially open its latest trail at the Laurel Ledges Natural Area on Saturday, May 16th at 1 pm. The trail skirts the northern edge of Turtle Pond (formerly Mendel Pond). Acquired through a NAWCA grant from Bill and Sheila Hamilton, the pond serves vital wildlife needs for resting, nesting and food sources. Stephen Maddock of Mahopac Scout Troop 1 earned his Eagle Scout Badge through the planning, fund raising and construction of this trail. The Turtle Pond Trail as it will be called features over 1500 feet of trail including a 30 foot floating boardwalk. The Opening Program will feature brief remarks and a walk on the trail led by PCLT board member and eminent naturalist, Beth Herr. The public is invited to attend. There is no fee. The ceremony be held at the Trail Head located on Cornwall Hill Road between Rte 164 and Couch Road and the walk will leave from there as well.
2PM - Building Peace Through Dialogue. Speaker: Mike Daly, Program Director, Interfaith Peacebuilders. Reports from Interfaith Peacebuilder Trips To Israel / Palestine Interfaith Peace-Builders fosters a network of informed and active individuals who seek to understand the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and the United States’ political, military, and economic role in it. Desmond Fish Library, Garrison. 917-273-0808
3PM - Beacon Institute for Rivers & Estuaries- 199 Main Street, Beacon, NY. Author, activist, journalist who coined “No Nukes”. "Stopping Nuclear Power" and "Winning Solartopia". Music : Dar Williams & David Bernz. Sponsors: Mid Hudson Progressive Alliance, Philipstown for Democracy, Beacon Sloop Club, Hudson River Clearwater, Riverpool at Beacon - IPSEC (Indian Pt Safe Energy Coalition) This program is free. http://harveywasserman.com Contact firstname.lastname@example.org | 845-228-8894
7:30 PM - Kent Fiscal Watch is hosting an open forum featuring special guest Sandy Galef, State Assemblywoman for the 90th district, on Thursday, May 21st, 7:30PM at the Lake Carmel Community Center, 10 Hugenot Road, Lake Carmel NY. The main topics of discussion will be: How to make the Open Meeting and Freedom of Information Act more effective in opening up government documents, Consolidation of Administrative and other Services in schools and other agencies, School Taxes: The Circuit Breaker Bill, The Cahill Bill...different approaches to the same problem, How to take part in your town budget development, Other Tax Reform Topics, The importance of citizen activism.
Copyright © 2009 News That Matters