Wednesday, September 2, 2009

News That Matters - September 2, 2009 - The 46° Edition

News That Matters
Brought to you (Almost Daily) by PlanPutnam.Org

Good Wednesday Morning,

46°this morning ~ What's with that? What happened to summer? Huh? Where is it? Did I take a nap one afternoon and missed it? I want to know who is responsible and I want to know now! Hopefully you have your firewood cut, split and stacked since it seems you're going to be needing it sooner, rather than later.

There are 12 days left to local primaries. If you're registered in a party holding a primary (Republican, Independence, Democrat, Working Families) and you don't intend to vote I'd like to know why. Write.

Here's a schedule for demonstrations of the new voting machines which we'll be using in the primary elections this September 15th. They're pretty nifty.
September 2
9:30AM – 11AM          Carmel Senior Center,  110 Old Route 6, Bldg 1, Carmel
9:30AM – 11:30AM     Mahopac Fire House,  741 Rte. 6, Mahopac

September 3
12PM – 2PM               Patterson Recreation Hall, 65 Front St., Patterson

September 8
10:30AM – 11:30AM   Reed Memorial Library, 1733 Rte. 6, Carmel

September 9
10AM – 3PM               Veteran’s Memorial Park,  201 Gipsy Trail Rd., Carmel

September 10
10AM – 12PM             Kent Town Hall,   25 Sybil’s Crossing, Kent Lakes
1PM – 3PM                 Patterson Library, 1167 Rte. 311, Patterson
7:30PM                      Southeast Town Hall,   1360 Rte. 22, Brewster  

September 11
10AM – 11AM             St. James Church, Doherty Hall, 14-20 Gleneida Ave., Carmel
The county will hold a public hearing on the proposed county budget next Tuesday, September 8, 2009. The meeting starts at 8PM at the County Courthouse.

Buried in the visual pollution that has become our roadsides during our exercise in primary democracy, I passed - almost unnoticed - a sign for Kent Community Day which will be held on Sunday, September 13 at Ryan's Field in Lake Carmel. I only note this because next to the fireworks on July 4th, the community day is the largest event in town and for its notice to be hidden among all the campaign signs is, well, a little sad. Bill Heustis and his crew put a great deal of work and effort into this and they should be able to get better notice than this.

The hills outside Los Angeles are engulfed in flames with more than 100,000 acres already burnt. The LA Times is carrying the event almost live at their website which you can view here. But if the news is droll and maps don't do it for you, their photographers are doing a stunning job of capturing the fires and life as it moves around them. You can view some of those images here. They are stunning, to say the least.

Website Watch:
HealthMap brings together disparate data sources to achieve a unified and comprehensive view of the current global state of infectious diseases and their effect on human and animal health. This freely available Web site integrates outbreak data of varying reliability, ranging from news sources (such as Google News) to curated personal accounts (such as ProMED) to validated official alerts (such as World Health Organization). Through an automated text processing system, the data is aggregated by disease and displayed by location for user-friendly access to the original alert. HealthMap provides a jumping-off point for real-time information on emerging infectious diseases and has particular interest for public health officials and international travelers.

And now, the News:
  1. Wireless firm shifts planned cell tower away from Putnam Lake
  2. A tale of two health-care town halls: Information vs. fear
  3. Fiscal Responsibility and Health Care Reform
  4. Telemarketing 'robocalls' will be history on Sept. 1, mostly
  5. Dutchess County releases latest well water testing results
  6. Hitching Rides Up Henry Hudson’s River
  7. Jupiter's Moons to Vanish from View
  8. How Will Global Warming Affect Me? Ask the ClimateWizard

Wireless firm shifts planned cell tower away from Putnam Lake

Michael Risinit

PATTERSON - The company that wanted to build a 130-foot cell tower at the south end of Putnam Lake - a proposal sparking much community opposition - is now considering a site north of the lake and away from most homes.

Wireless Edge of New Rochelle is looking at a wooded parcel north of Garland Road and southeast of Dan[0xad]and Lane and Phillard Road, near the Connecticut border. The latter two streets are part of Quail Ridge, a development of mostly three- and four-bedroom homes built since about 1990. The Quail Ridge Homeowners Association owns the land where Wireless is interested in building a 145-foot-tall communications tower.

The change in location, a Wireless representative said, was driven by residents' opposition to having a tower on the lakeshore. Wireless had initially proposed building it next to the boathouse near Lake Shore and Fairfield drives and signed a lease with the Putnam Lake Community Council to do so.

Read More

A tale of two health-care town halls: Information vs. fear

Margaret Yonco-Haines

Two meetings were held recently in Fishkill that several of us from Philipstown and Putnam Valley attended. They provided a stark and telling contrast even though both dealt with health-care reform.

At one, our congressman, John Hall, D-Dover Plains, met with his constituents to answer questions and listen to our concerns. The other was a campaign event for state Assemblyman Greg Ball, R-Patterson, who is running for Hall's 19th District seat.

At the first meeting, Congressman Hall explained that our new American plan should include an option of government-issued health insurance so that we all would have a safety net of health care and, at the same time, hold down costs. He feels so strongly that this is a good idea that he told those attending that he favors a "public option" that he and other members of Congress would choose as their own insurance.

Read More

Fiscal Responsibility and Health Care Reform

Posted by NEJM • August 26th, 2009
Robert A. Levine, M.D.

It has been clear for some time that the primary hurdle to enacting health care reform is figuring out how to pay for it. Virtually all Republicans and some Democrats have been unwilling to sign on to increasing taxes on high-income Americans as a partial answer. The idea of taxing the most generous health insurance benefits has met with resistance as well. The use of electronic health records and an emphasis on prevention and early treatment of illnesses have been ballyhooed as ways to generate savings to help pay for reform, but there is no solid evidence that these measures will reduce spending anytime soon, although they might improve care. Unfortunately, legislators are ignoring the option of funding reform by harvesting available savings from within the health care system itself. I believe Congress must go back to the drawing board. Given the state of the economy and the continuing rapid growth in health care expenditures, lawmakers need the political will to devise a plan that will control accelerating costs and be budget-neutral — and to disregard the expected backlash from stakeholders (organized medicine, the insurance companies, the pharmaceutical industry, and the trial lawyers) and an uninformed public.

Time and again over the past century, there have been attempts to make the health care system more effective and efficient, the only real success being the passage of Medicare and Medicaid in 1965. Since then, various stakeholders have managed to block any efforts at restructuring that have threatened their profits. When the U.S. economy faced its most severe test during the Great Depression, Social Security was enacted over vigorous opposition. The current crisis presents a similar opportunity to provide high-quality health care coverage to all Americans while bringing spending back in line. Comprehensive reform might also act as a government stimulus package, freeing up cash that consumers would otherwise be spending on medical care and thereby aiding the recovery.

Read More

Telemarketing 'robocalls' will be history on Sept. 1, mostly

Exceptions include charities, surveys, and information about canceled flights. But most telemarketers will need your permission before calling.

By Daniel B. Wood | Staff writer of The Christian Science Monitor

Los Angeles - Just after you pour milk on cereal or pull a roast from the oven, the sound seems to come at the exact same moment every time:

"BRRNNNG ... hello, we have trucks in your area tomorrow so we can give you incredible savings on carpet shampoos in two full-size rooms."


"BRNNNNG ... because you are a preferred customer, your name has been chosen for a free, four-day vacation in Las Vegas."

As of Sept. 1, such prerecorded calls will be history.

Unless telemarketers have received written permission from a customer that he or she wants to receive such calls, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) is slapping serious penalties on violators: up to $16,000 per call.

"I think this ban will be effective because the fines are very stiff," says Scott Tesla, a professor of business at Cabrini College outside Philadelphia. "Many of these companies make thousands of calls and with this kind of penalty, the serious money adds up quickly."

Read More

Dutchess County releases latest well water testing results

POUGHKEEPSIE - Dutchess County Executive William R. Steinhaus and Health Commissioner Dr. Michael Caldwell have announced the results of Phase II of the County’s Comprehensive Well Water Testing Program, a component of Dutchess County’s ongoing groundwater protection strategy.

“We continue to enhance and improve our countywide data on ground water quantity and quality with the results of Phase II of our Comprehensive Well Water Testing Program.   These results  mirror the existing data we have collected from more than 700 public water systems (including over 1800 wells serving over 60 percent of the county’s population) and 11,000 private well logs,” said County Executive Steinhaus.

According to Steve Capowski, Director of Environmental Health, “The County has a voluminous amount of data about groundwater sources, which indicate the aquifers supplying our groundwater sources remain in good shape.    Phase II data results are in line with state drinking water standards and our county guidelines for public water supplies.”

“Safe drinking water is everyone’s responsibility,” said Commissioner of Health Michael Caldwell, MD, MPH.   “It is important that residents understand what is in the water they drink and how it affects their families’ health.   The Dutchess County Health Department can help you  learn all of the facts about drinking water and show you why ongoing well water testing is a key responsibility for homeowners.”

Read More

Hitching Rides Up Henry Hudson’s River

I NEVER thought much about the Hudson River. It was merely that watery western terminus of Manhattan streets; a place where bodies sometimes floated up and jetliners crashed safely; that thing you had to cross to get to New Jersey.

But one recent Saturday, something happened to make me rethink the river: I tasted it.

A rogue ferry wake slapped off the side of my kayak, sending salty splash in my face. There was no gagging nor immediate sign of hepatitis, so I kept paddling, marveling at the swimmers and Jet Skiers frolicking on the clean, choppy water.

The incoming tide rushed me north. That and my briny mouthful reminded me that I was not on some afterthought of a river, but a majestic arm of the Atlantic Ocean, an epic salt-water estuary whose discovery by Henry Hudson in 1609 opened up the entire region — what we now call the metropolitan area — to settlement and commerce.

To mark this year’s 400th anniversary of Hudson’s historic exploration, the fall calendar is filled with a flotilla of festivals and food fairs, exhibitions and expositions, panel discussions and plays, tours, readings and concerts. I probably won’t make it to any of them.

Read More

Jupiter's Moons to Vanish from View

 By Joe Rao Skywatching Columnist

An unusual celestial vanishing act will take place the night of Sept. 2 when all four of Jupiter's largest moons will be hidden from our view.

The event will occur on a night when Jupiter happens to be positioned very close to Earth's moon in the southeastern sky. The two objects, though very far apart in space, will be about 5 degrees from each other in our sky (your fist on an outstretched arm covers about 10 degrees of sky). This pairing makes Jupiter, which outshines all stars and so is easy to spot, even easier for anyone to locate.

Anyone who points a small telescope at Jupiter will nearly always see some or all of the four well-known Galilean satellites. Usually at least two or three of these moons, and sometimes all four, are immediately evident as small star-like points of light.

Read More

How Will Global Warming Affect Me? Ask the ClimateWizard

A new Website lets you quickly look up future temperature and precipitation estimates for your area.

On the heels of a National Wildlife Federation report that showed how we can expect more extreme heat waves, thanks to global warming, and in the midst of damaging California wildfires that are among the best indicators of climate change, The Nature Conservancy has published a first-of-its-kind calculator that lets you see just how global warming will affect you in your state: The ClimateWizard.
new york temperature 2100

This is among the first Web-based tools that gives people access to information that has been widely available publicly, but largely locked up in dense pdf documents.

One conclusion: The American Heartland -- Kansas, Nebraska and Iowa -- is in for some serious changes, on the order of a 10-degree jump in average temperature by the end of this century. (Since the last Ice Age, the Earth's temperature has increased about 15 degrees, so that's nothing to sneeze at.)

Read More

Sign up to have
News That Matters
Delivered to your email inbox!


Our Sponsors!

Joe Greico's
Out On A Limb

All types of tree work, all aspects of lawn maintenance, snow plowing, lot clearing, excavation, retaining walls, stump grinding.

82 Hortontown Rd.
Kent Cliffs, NY 10512
T- (914)224-3049
F- (845)231-0815
Interior/Exterior House Painting by someone
you can trust.
(845) 225-2104
Copyright © 2009 News That Matters