Wednesday, July 15, 2009

News That Matters - July 15, 2009

News That Matters
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Good Wednesday Morning,

Yes, I'm still cleaning up from the party last Saturday. It's hard living alone you know.

I still have two large metals bowls, a  white ceramic bowl (with gold trim) and a blue ceramic plate that need be returned to their owners. I also want to thank DM for his information about greasel conversations, AC for the popcorn, and the weather gods for largely cooperating.

The images above were shot yesterday from a private home (or what's left of it) on Mechanic Street in Carmel. The devastation you see used to be farm fields and now is being prepared for the location of 300 condos for "active seniors", 25% of whom will need Medicaid at some point during their residence in Putnam County which we will pay for. You can see more images at full size here.

From the article posted in yesterday's "Special Edition" on Kent Manor and Pulte Home's The Retreat, came a number of responses, most of which used language I cannot print. This one, edited for softer eyes, was one of the least angry:
"I can't &Z@&@ believe this was allowed to happen in Carmel. I never drive that way but yesterday I drove west on Rt 6 from 312. I was appalled at the rape of the mountain. How did they get away with that &Z@&@! - LE
And this one on Kent Manor asks a rather pertinent question, one I've asked a hundred times:
"Lets give a bunch of lawyers alot of money, then a developer a lot of money because of his delusional thinking he could make money in this real state market. My rights are being violated as a tax payer. Why was the property not taken for taxes? If I dont pay my taxes, I'm pretty sure they will take mine." - LG
While most of the posts on another blog were supportive, a few must have come from people with significant personality problems since blaming the victim was the most common of those. Perhaps they didn't realize that the Kemps have been on that property for more than 100 years and not just newcomers who ought to have known 'what they were getting into'.

I've also been asked why I'm pushing this issue and I can sum it up in two words: Patterson Crossing. What's happening at The Retreat (an odd name considering the disruption of two dozen family's lives for so many years) is coming soon to the Lake Carmel community if the economy or common sense doesn't kill off that project.

This evening at the Putnam Valley Town Board meeting the board will discuss the expansion of Peekskill Hollow Road. The meeting starts at 7PM at the Town Hall. Residents have gathered hundreds of signatures on petitions to encourage the town to maintain the road as is with only minor safety improvements. Though the county says they're down with that residents are still awaiting something in writing.

While Kent is taking a beating from residents and the county alike, I've got some more information on the use of composting toilets that could save the town thousands of dollars when constructing the bathroom at Farmer's Mills Park in western Kent.
Rules for composting toilets are set by the State Department of Health and the county is allowed to create stricter regulations if they want. But State Regs allow composting toilets in places like parks and recreation areas on a case-by-case basis and have, many times. These units have been in place for many years and the Blackrock Forest headquarters over in Orange County has been using them - with state approval - for half a decade of flawless operation. Remember, we're not talking about a residential primary use, but one in which there is no current infrastructure at a remote location and one that will be lightly used.

And now, The News:
  1. Illegals Being Nabbed at Court in Brewster
  2. Putnam Highlands Audubon land lease on Poughkeepsie agenda
  3. Portion of Ulster picked as one of nation's best places to retire
  4. Orange County residents seek more information on refinancing, foreclosure prevention
  5. NY investigates river's fish die-off
  6. First New York City Hydrogen Fueling Station Opens
  7. Nuclear Waste

Illegals Being Nabbed at Court in Brewster

Paul Murnane Reporting
WCBS 880 Reporter

BREWSTER, NY (WCBS 880)  -- The presence of immigration agents at a Brewster drunk driving hearing apparently took even local police by surprise.

26-year-old Segundo Ordonez-Tanay pleaded guilty to DWI charges and was ordered to pay a fine. The Journal News says that's when the immigration agent stepped forward, taking the man away in handcuffs. Here in the village, another man from Ecuador says, of the local police, many are increasingly wary.

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Putnam Highlands Audubon land lease on Poughkeepsie agenda

By Michael Valkys
Poughkeepsie Journal

Town of Poughkeepsie leaders tonight are set to discuss a proposal for the town to lease the 100-acre Reese Audubon Sanctuary near the Wappinger Creek.

"We're certainly willing to listen," Supervisor Patricia Myers said of the proposal.

But she cautioned there are concerns about upkeep and other potential costs the property could bring. "There could be some serious expenses involved with this," Myers said.

The town board should discuss the proposal during its 7 p.m. session at town hall.

Supporters of the proposed town takeover believe it would enhance Poughkeepsie's park system by adding a parcel with public trails and views of the Hudson River. Preserving open space in one of the area's most-developed municipalities has long been a goal of local leaders.

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Portion of Ulster picked as one of nation's best places to retire

The Web site has ranked a chunk of the Town of Ulster, including the small neighborhood of Lincoln Park, as the 11th-best, affordable place to retire in the United States. The noted area is roughly bounded to the east by the Hudson River, to the north by Route 209, to the west by the New York State Thruway and to the south by Flatbush Avenue.

It fell just short of cracking the Top 10, behind Paradise, Calif.

The site aggregates a bevy of statistics — including crime, census and education data — to come up with lists such as the most crime-ridden neighborhoods and the best communities for family living. Analysts update the database of statistics six times a year to keep their rankings fresh.

For the retirement list, NeighborhoodScout founder Andrew Schiller said he concentrated on indexes that measured peace and quiet, diverse and affordable housing, low crime and a high concentration of college-educated adults. He plugged the numbers into a computer and Ulster popped out at No. 11.

"It was just packed with quality indicators," Schiller said of the Ulster region, which included a sliver of Kingston.

But the outcome is proof that numbers paint an incomplete picture, locals said. For one, the data used for the list did not include taxes, a factor that generally puts all of New York behind other locales.

"I just can't believe it," Ulster Town Clerk Jason Cosenza said of the list. "From collecting taxes, I know that a lot of people on fixed incomes are leaving."

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Orange County residents seek more information on refinancing, foreclosure prevention

GOSHEN – About 100 people from across Orange County Tuesday night came to Goshen to learn how to avoid housing foreclosure, refinancing and securing mortgages. As the recession lingers, more and more people are in need of those services and the Orange County Rural Development Advisory Corporation is providing them.

Executive Director Alice Dickenson said their intent is to offer services as a preventative measure. “The idea of doing a lot of this outreach is to let people know what’s out there, what’s available, what services are available to let folks know there is hope,” she said. “If there is something going on, contact your service your service or contact your housing counseling agency and there are things you can do to prevent things from getting worse.”

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NY investigates river's fish die-off

WEST NYACK, N.Y. (AP) -- New York state is running tests to determine the cause of a fish die-off in a river that flows into New Jersey.

The Department of Environmental Conservation has sent investigators to the Hackensack River in Rockland County, N.Y. Just one species, the common carp, has been affected. Experts think a virus may be to blame.

Tests indicate drinking water drawn from the river is normal.

The Hackensack flows through Lake DeForest reservoir in Clarkstown and into Lake Tappan reservoir, on the New York-New Jersey border. It continues into the Oradell Reservoir before emptying into Newark Bay.

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First New York City Hydrogen Fueling Station Opens

NEW YORK (WCBS 880)  -- The ball has begun rolling towards creating a convenient way for hydrogen vehical drivers to fill up, as well as taking positive steps towards a more enviromentally friendly world.

The first hydrogen-filling station in New York City has opened today at John F. Kennedy International Airport.  This station, will be the second station in the greater New York City area, with a third due to open later this month.  Shell was able to make this possible with a partnership between the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, the US Department of Energy and General Motors.       

WCBS 880's Ginny Kosola was at JFK airport today to see the station first hand.  "We are going to have the opportunity to use the vehical on the airport and find the best uses of this type of technology,"  said Port Authority's Susan Baer.  The Port Authority already has a couple hundred hybrid and alternative fueled vehicals, but are now testing the hydrogen vehicals at JFK.  The hopes are that airlines and the general public will one day use this fueling station.

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Nuclear Waste

Some lawmakers want 100 new nuclear power plants for America. Here’s why that’s a bad use of your tax dollars.

“It is not too much to expect that our children will enjoy in their homes electrical energy too cheap to meter.” So said Lewis Strauss, the head of the Atomic Energy Commission. Back in 1954. Needless to say, that vision of a nuclear-powered future hasn’t come to pass. Turned off by exorbitant capital costs and paralyzed by the Three Mile Island scare, utilities cooled to nuclear pretty quickly.

But there’s been something of a “nuclear renaissance” of late (at least in debate—the last plant to come online did so over a generation ago). With all the calls for greater supplies of carbon-free electricity, and as Americans demand energy independence, many are again holding up nuclear power as the way forward: clean, safe, too cheap to meter.

Republicans across the board have turned into unlikely Francophiles, pointing to that nation’s use of atomic fusion fission. Senator Lamar Alexander (R-TN) has lately held the bullhorn for his party’s call to build 100 new nuclear power plants over the next 20 years, calling it “the cheap clean energy solution.” And it now seems that if the Senate stands any chance of passing a climate and energy bill in line with that which just emerged from the House, nuclear will be a big part of it.

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