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According to rumors backed by a JN article this morning, The Stateline Retail Center, Paul Camarda's latest project on Route 6 at the titular location, has almost all its approvals in place and should start construction as early as spring.
It's going to cost a little more to provide for your traditional Christmas this year than it has in the past. In fact, it's going to set you back some $21,465.56, a 1.8% increase over last year. There are some bright spots however: The 6 geese a laying cost $240 last year but only $150 this year. On the other hand, your three french hens increased by 50% from $30 last year to $45 this year. But those twelve lords a' leaping? Wow! They don't come cheap, at $4413 for the ten. The nine ladies dancing however, will set you back $5473, the most expensive item the list. You can see the full results here.
While we're talking about Holidays(Hanukkah starts Friday night) if there's anyone out there who runs a cottage business that produces gifts for the holidays and you'd like a little notice, send me an email and we'll talk. As usual, we'll make room in the column through the holidays for you to hawk your wares offering small discount to those who buy from you via this newsletter and blogsite or for a small gratuity based on those sales. Write today!
While we're still talking about holidays, Walkway Over The Hudson will host a menorah for Hanukkah about midway across the bridge. A symbolic lighting ceremony will be held next Monday, December 14 at 3PM.Friday brings the weekly Things To Do Edition of this newsletter so if your organization is hosting an event this weekend or next week, get it to me - in plain text - by this evening, tomorrow morning the latest.
So, you're off celebrating a surprise birthday party at a movie theater and everyone is singing that song and you're taping it for posterity when you find yourself arrested and charged with a felony and spend two nights in jail. What did you do? You happened to be filming in a movie theater and that, according to the lawyers that run our lives, is a criminal copyright offense.
The city fathers in Bettendorf, Iowa (a suburb of Davenport) decided to strengthen another law that cannot be enforced as political leaders are wont to do to show they're "tough on" something or "care about" some other thing. In general however, laws made like that are usually pretty stupid and the town fathers topped themselves this time.
This time it was about 'huffing', the intentional inhalation of substances in order to get high. Included on the list of banned substances is a drug called Jenkem. Jenkem is a brew made of sewage left to ferment and then the gas is inhaled. The problem is, technically, a fart in a car would qualify as Jenkem as it produces the same gasses. So, how were these folk taken?
Back in 2007 a 'net hoax went viral and police departments across the nation were warning of the dangers of this new and potent drug which got its start in the slums of Africa. PTA groups and municipalities came to the rescue and mainstream news outlets, always looking for a shocking story, rushed to cover it. The hoax finally came to a close, being proved false, by the end of 2007. But the question remains: how did the town board and police department in Bettendorf get this so wrong in October 2009? Perhaps they should stop driving long distances with the windows rolled up after the board meets at the Taco Bell?
Republicans are upset about the "Permanent Estate Tax Relief Act" [HR4154], a bill on the estate tax which keeps the current tax exemption at $3.5 million dollars. They're saying that it's part of an all-out assault against working families and the middle classes. I don't know about you, but I'm willing to bet there are very few "working families" in the United States whose total salable assets are worth $3.5 million. Any of you?
A 59 year old hunter in Columbia county was climbing a tree-stand the other day and hung his shotgun on a hook in the tree to free up his hands. As he climbed, the shotgun, whose safety was not on, went off putting a slug into his chest and fatally wounding him.
Tiger Woods had seven mistresses. Raise your hands if you care. Okay, seeing no one... raise your hands if you're jealous. Okay, that's better!
And now, The News:
More than 20 percent of the nation’s water treatment systems have violated key provisions of the Safe Drinking Water Act over the last five years, according to a New York Times analysis of federal data.
That law requires communities to deliver safe tap water to local residents. But since 2004, the water provided to more than 49 million people has contained illegal concentrations of chemicals like arsenic or radioactive substances like uranium, as well as dangerous bacteria often found in sewage.
Regulators were informed of each of those violations as they occurred. But regulatory records show that fewer than 6 percent of the water systems that broke the law were ever fined or punished by state or federal officials, including those at the Environmental Protection Agency, which has ultimate responsibility for enforcing standards.
Studies indicate that drinking water contaminants are linked to millions of instances of illness within the United States each year.
They claim the document is inadequate.
The study, which would apply to the mining of Marcellus Shale, needs to be redrafted, said Ramsay Adams, executive director of Catskill Mountainkeeper.
“We’ve had our experts look at the document and it is fundamentally fatally flawed; most obviously no cumulous impacts,” he said. “We are saying loud and clear, a unified message from all across the environmental community in the great State of New York, ‘stop, do this right, this is not an adequate draft, so go back to the drawing board’.”
DIMOCK, Pa. — Victoria Switzer dreamed of a peaceful retirement in these Appalachian hills. Instead, she is coping with a big problem after a nearby natural gas well contaminated her family’s drinking water with high levels of methane.
Through no design of hers, Ms. Switzer has joined a rising chorus of voices skeptical of the nation’s latest energy push. “It’s been ‘drill, baby, drill’ out here,” Ms. Switzer said bitterly. “There is no stopping this train.”
Across vast regions of the country, gas companies are using a technology called hydraulic fracturing to produce natural gas from previously untapped beds of shale. The push has been so successful that the country’s potential gas reserves jumped by 35 percent in two years. The new supplies have driven down natural gas prices for consumers and might help the global environment by allowing more production of electricity from natural gas, which emits fewer global warming emissions than coal.
What the drilling push will do to local environments is another matter.
The drilling boom is raising concern in many parts of the country, and the reaction is creating political obstacles for the gas industry. Hazards like methane contamination of drinking water wells, long known in regions where gas production was common, are spreading to populous areas that have little history of coping with such risks, but happen to sit atop shale beds.
Read More [Image Source: Panoramio]
Last month, the governor and leaders of the state legislature announced an agreement to do that, but when the latest deficit closing measures were approved this past week, there was no mention of getting rid of the license plates component.
Assemblywoman Annie Rabbitt (R-Greenwood Lake) said assuming that verbal deal is still on the table, license plate production is in progress.
By Dave Copeland, Globe Correspondent | December 3, 2009
Wal-Mart Stores Inc., the world’s largest retailer, has agreed to pay $40 million to as many as 87,500 current and former employees in Massachusetts, the largest wage-and-hour class-action settlement in the state’s history.
The class-action lawsuit, filed in 2001, accused the retailer of denying workers rest and meal breaks, refusing to pay overtime, and manipulating time cards to lower employees’ pay. Under terms of the agreement, which was filed in Middlesex Superior Court yesterday by the employees’ attorneys, any person who worked for Wal-Mart between August 1995 and the settlement date will receive a payment of between $400 and $2,500, depending on the number of years worked, with the average worker receiving a check for $734.
“The magnitude is large - it’s bigger than most settlements paid in wage-and-hour cases,’’ said Justin M. Swartz of New York-based law firm Outten & Golden LLP, who has handled similar cases, including a pending case against Wal-Mart. “But you would expect it to be bigger since Wal-Mart is the biggest retailer.’’
Under the terms of the settlement, neither side is allowed to comment. But in an affidavit filed with the settlement, the lead counsel for the employees, Philip Gordon of Boston’s Gordon Law Group, said the accord “dwarfs settlements of similar class actions against Wal-Mart across the country.’’
"Santa is using technologies that we are not yet able to recreate in our own labs," explains North Carolina State University's Dr. Larry Silverberg, a professor of mechanical and aerospace engineering who just completed a six month visiting-scholar program at Santa's Workshop-North Pole Labs (SW-NPL). "As the first scholar to participate in the SW-NPL program, I learned that we have a long way to go to catch up with Santa in fields ranging from aerodynamics and thermodynamics to materials science."
For example, Silverberg says that Santa's sleigh is far more advanced than any modern form of air transportation. "The truss of the sleigh, including the runners, are made of a honeycombed titanium alloy that is very lightweight and 10 to 20 times stronger than anything we can make today," Silverberg says. The truss can also morph, Silverberg adds, altering its shape slightly to improve its aerodynamics and "allowing it to cut through the air more efficiently. The runners on the sleigh, for example, have some flexure. This allows them to tuck in to be more aerodynamic during flight, and then spread out to provide stability for landing on various surfaces -- such as steeply pitched roofs."
According to a poll of Pennsylvania adults, about 17 percent of Pennsylvanians experienced an injury or knows someone who was injured while opening gifts during past seasons.
The Patient Poll, a survey of Pennsylvania adults (21 y.o. and older) conducted by the Institute for Good Medicine at the Pennsylvania Medical Society in July 2009, asked participants "Have you or someone you know ever been injured (such as receiving a cut that required medical attention) while opening the packaging (not gift wrap) of a holiday or birthday gift?"
Its findings …
Yes, one time = 6.3% Yes, more than once = 11.0% No = 82.7%
According to the American Dialect Society, wrap rage is defined as anger brought on by the frustration of trying to open a factory-sealed purchase. The organization recognized the term in 2007 as one of the "most useful."
Copyright © 2009 News That Matters