|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|
|Bad Joke of the week: |
"...this Court now concludes that independent expenditures, including those made by corporations, do not give rise to corruption or the appearance of corruption. That speakers may have influence over or access to elected officials does not mean that those officials are corrupt. And the appearance of influence or access will not cause the electorate to lose faith in this democracy." -- US Supreme Court: Citizens United vs FEC
Good Friday morning,
Weather reports for the next few days are calling for windy and very cold conditions with sub-zero wind chills especially at night and in the mornings.
The standard neighbor deal applies: Check in on anyone you know who is living alone or is elderly or infirm. Don't think that single 34 year old former high school football player and current NYC fireman will be fine. The loss of household heat over night, a slip in the shower... Anything can go wrong.Tonight's full Moon is the biggest and brightest full Moon of the year. It's a "perigee Moon," as much as 14% wider and 30% brighter than other full Moons you'll see later in 2010. Mars is also having a close encounter with Earth, and tonight it will join the Moon for an all-night-long conjunction. Don't miss it! Sky maps and images can be found at http://spaceweather.com.
There have been three notable deaths over the past few days. For one, author J.D. Salinger. If anyone has been to High School, the intensely private Mr. Salinger was part of your life - whether you wanted him to be or not.
His tale of teenage angst, "The Catcher in the Rye", has been required reading in many school districts across the land and even banned in a quite a few. Between 1960 and 1981 "The Catcher in the Rye" was the most banned book in American schools and the tenth most frequently challenged book between 1990 and 1999 and remained so as late as 2005. Interestingly, in communities where the book was banned from classrooms, libraries saw a marked increase in requests. We are a very strange nation.
Second, we've lost one of our nation's most astute and important historians, Professor and WWII veteran, Howard Zinn.
The Parenthood Award for January 2010 goes to Patterson's Anthony and Gina Edwards, both 25. The Edwards' were caught stealing catalytic converters from cars at the Southeast train station and selling them off for $150-$200 a pop as scrap. While they were out under your car with an electric hacksaw in hand, their young child was sitting patiently in the car awaiting their return.
Hudson Valley State Assemblyman Frank Skartados has submitted legislation that would transfer authority for the Walkway Over The Hudson to the NY Bridge and Tunnel Authority. The legislation gives control, not of the walkway itself which will remain with Parks and Rec, but the superstructure on which it rests. We smell an EZPass lane somewhere in our pedestrian and bicycling future.
In Wednesday's column section on Verizon's billing, reader GB wrote:
"You have pushed some great buttons in this edition. The Verizon bill under the guise of full disclosure has made understanding it impossible; but you have shed bright light on the issue. Thanks."You're most welcome. I hope others were equally entertained and informed. But more than that, I hope this spurs you to some kind of action. Call Verizon's billing support line and tell them what you now know to be true. They will argue with you. They will give you the Company Line. Take it, then tell the operator that when their shift is over to go home and look it up themselves but not at the Verizon website(!) but from any other independent source. Make them promise they will.
On Wednesday's lead-in quote by the former Prime Minister of Malaysia, reader LR wrote:
"Your quote from the Palestinian source is also in my opinion inflammatory and does nothing to bring people together, instead it divides."Well, yes, that was the point. That's exactly what Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad had in mind when he spoke those words last weekend. But it's also important that you know that kind of talk goes on at the highest levels of governments... and not just in Palestine or Malaysia.
On Wednesday's link to the TSA video shot by a guy at the Detroit airport, reader JG wrote:
"That TSA video is scary to watch. It is all for the good of the public but maybe not all good for the public."The good part is that you should know your rights. The bad part is that the TSA has no clue what your rights are and where their place is.
The part-time Assemblyman who wanted to be a Congressman but was instead gifted a NY State Senate seat was, we all remember, embroiled in a bit of a scandal over The Courage Cup, a charity to raise money for disadvantaged children. According to a Washington Post article from June 12, 2007;
"The Reliable Source found that a New York political action committee started by Ball -- which later transferred its entire treasury to his campaign -- netted as much as $10,000 by selling tickets to the 2005 Courage Cup. That's four times the amount the polo match raised that year for its prominently advertised beneficiary, Work to Ride, a Philadelphia charity that teaches poor kids to play polo. "Since he has not sued the Washington Post nor was a retraction posted, we must assume their reporting was accurate. He'll fit in well with the State Senate.
The Progressive Caucus in the House of Representative is caught in a canoe without a paddle and the waterfall is rapidly approaching.
Many of my Democratic Party friends were enthused by the President's speech the other night. But we're still in Afghanistan, gays still cannot serve openly in the military and are being discharged at an alarming rate, and health care "reform" has turned into a trillion dollar handout to insurance companies who are already making millions. They say, "be patient". I say, "Don't blame me. I voted for Nader"
The Putnam Arts Council is pleased to announce that it has re-granted $26,100 to seventeen non-profit organizations to support cultural programs and services that will take place in Putnam County in 2010.
The Artslink fund is a combination of State support through the New York State Council on the Arts Decentralization Program and county support through the Putnam Arts Fund.
Each year, a panel of artists, educators, business and community members reviews the many requests submitted by local arts groups through the Putnam Arts Council. The panel then recommends funding for the projects it feels reach a broad audience, generate the most benefit to the community and support the professional development of artists and arts groups.
The 2010 Artslink recipients are:
Community Flea Market at the PV Grange
10AM - 4PM - Tables $12.50 in advance. $15 at the door. Proceeds to the Grange. Call Mary Mercedes for more information at 845.216.1934. The PV Grange is at Adams' Cors at the corner of Mill Street and Peekskill Hollow Road.
7:30PM to 10:30PM - Michelle will be playing Saturday nights starting January 16th at the Hudson House Inn in Cold Spring on Saturday evenings through February. Featuring jazz guitarist Steve Lamattina. The Inn is at 2 Main Street, Cold Spring NY 10516 Call 845 265 9355 for dinner reservations. The historic Hudson House Inn has world class food and offers elegant lodging overlooking the Hudson River and Storm King Mountain. Cold Spring is a charming getaway destination with wonderful river views, shops and antiques. Cold Spring's Metro North train stop is only minutes away. www.hudsonhouseinn.com
Open Cast Call
The Bare Bones Theatre Company, is preparing an April production of Troll-Loll-La!, an original musical based on Norwegian folktales by Tony Howarth and Sheldon Gartner, at the Cultural Center on Lake Carmel. Open auditions for a cast of 18 will be held at the Center at 640 Route 52, in Kent on Sunday, January 31, starting at 1 p.m.
Into the Future:
Saturday, February 6
6th Annual Regional Celebration. 9:00am-4:00pm at Croton Point Park Major Sponsors: Friends of Westchester County Parks, Westchester County Parks, Club Fit. With additional support from TD Bank, Westchester County, Croton-on-Hudson, and all EagleFest Collaborating Organizations.
Saturday, March 6
From Tim Messerich: So, I am a little bit a head of the game. Just wanted to let you know. Trail work starts on March 6 on the Appalachian Trail in Fahnestock State Park. So those who don't know we have formed a club RPHCV.We are a member club of NY/NJ Trail Conference.We take care of RPHC on the AT plus do all kinds of great trail work projects. Oh, I almost forgot, our annual big trail work and campout is in July. The food Man, The food! Join our club, Our dues are cheap. Hope to see you on the trail, RPHCV. Call 845-297-9573 http://timtrek.mikentim.com
CCE Spring Garden School
Putnam Cornell Cooperative Extension Services. Their annual Spring Garden School will be held March 6 at the Desmond Fish Library in Garrison. Just when you're ready for an end-of-winter break, our four classes will make a great day:
Copyright © 2010 News That Matters
Friday, January 29, 2010
Wednesday, January 27, 2010
|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|
|Quote for the day: |
"[Jews] had always been a problem in European countries. They had to be confined to ghettoes [sic] and periodically massacred. But still they remained, they thrived and they held whole governments to ransom. Even after their massacre by the Nazis of Germany, they survived to continue to be a source of even greater problems for the world."
-- Malaysia’s former premier, Mahathir Mohamad, at a Palestinian conference last weekend.
Good Wednesday Morning,
Yeah, we're back. If you read to the end of Monday's column you'll know it was just a joke. But not only did I receive a number of responses but it seems there were enough key words/phrases that the column was picked up by right-wing blogs. If that's what it takes to get new readers maybe I'm on to something? Heck, with Limbaugh, Beck, Gannett and Ailes' all in competition for extreme right-wing readers and viewers I might as well get in their game too.
If you live in the southwestern corner of the county the wailing you should be hearing at about 10:30 this morning is just Indian Point testing their sirens.
The NYJN reports this morning that debt collectors have become more aggressive. Tell me about it. Four times a day, every day save Sunday, they call. As early as 8:15 AM and as late as 8:30 PM. I don't answer since they won't say "why" they are calling and they don't leave messages. So a note: if you're a debt collector and you're looking for money from me please leave a message. Then I'll call you back.
One of the things I find interesting about debt collectors is that if you're a major bank you can tap your local Congressman for a huge taxpayer funded donation or you can walk away from your obligations with no pain and no penalty. (See the article below.) But if you're a poor sap stuck in the morass of the recession there's no one you can call for help.For those of you who support the Supreme Court decision handing the electoral process over to the highest bidder as an extension of "free speech", answer me this: Since you're all about supporting free speech are there any forms of political speech you don't support? Write and say which ones.
Average life expectancy vs per capita spending on health care vs visits to the doctor. And you still think the American health care <cough, cough> system is nifty neato? Check this out.
While we're talking about Health Care, Indymedia Boston is claiming that Israel's field hospital in Haiti is there for only one reason: to harvest organs.
The TSA's manual says that people are allowed to film or photograph their operations so long as the filming does not interfere with their work. Fair enough. But then why did the TSA harass a guy in Detroit for doing just that? Watch these videos to find out. Actually, it becomes pretty clear that TSA hasn't a clue what's going on. It's your rights that are being violated but apparently you simply do not care. Maybe you will when the agent behind the screen titters while you stand in the full-body scanner?
There's a Tea Bag rally schedule for April 15th in Carmel hosted by Greg Ball. Do you think they'll invite me to speak? They should. I've been fighting their issues for decades and though they keep missing the mark and hitting everything BUT the target they are generally shooting in the right direction.
Remember, Friday brings the Things To Do Edition of News That Matters and to tell you the truth I don't have anything to list. If your club or organization has got something going on this weekend or early next week please get it in to me by tomorrow (Thursday) noon.
And now, The News:
CARMEL — A Putnam County consultant is estimating the county could sell its former landfill property on Old Route 6 for $1.6 million if it could persuade Southeast to consolidate the county's trash in its soon-to-be-capped landfill.
County Executive Robert Bondi and Southeast Supervisor Michael Rights favor putting the county's garbage in Southeast. But time is running out to get a consolidation agreement in place between the parties, some of whose members remain cautious.
Both sides are under orders from the state Department of Environmental Conservation to clean up their respective dumps, and Southeast has to decide by next month whether to accept Putnam's refuse.
One—Bruce Ratner’s Atlantic Yards arena cum condos plan—verges on groundbreaking while another—Columbia’s proposed Manhattanville campus—has just lost a crucial court case, with others—Willets Point, a casino for Niagra Falls—on the horizon. Now, a clutch of Albany pols are preparing to begin changing what some consider the worst eminent domain laws in the country.
Leading the charge is state Senator Bill Perkins, whose district covers much of Harlem. “I think the forces are coming together for change to take place,” Perkins said. “There is, from my observation, growing interest on a grassroots level.” As chair of the Committee on Corporations, Authorities and Commissions, Perkins oversees the main executor of eminent domain in New York, the Empire State Development Corporation.
“Although significant costs, challenges, and impacts are associated with a 20 percent wind scenario, substantial benefits can be shown to overcome the costs,” the report’s authors wrote. “Such a scenario is unlikely to be realized with a business-as-usual approach, and that a major national commitment to clean, domestic energy sources with desirable environmental attributes would be required.”
Essentially, all we need to do is come up with at least $93 billion for new power lines and infrastructure and get myriad transmission operators and local agencies to cooperate on the design of a new high-voltage grid.
Sounds daunting. But let’s put the numbers in context. The $93 billion is roughly what the U.S. spends in eight months on the Iraq and Afghanistan wars. Or to use another metric, a little more than what Joe Taxpayer forked over to bail out AIG.
Tom Sheehy, acting secretary of the state Consumer Services Agency and chair of the California Building Standards Commission, the group that passed the rules, told The San Francisco Chronicle: “This is (something) no other state in the country has done – integrating green construction practices into the very fabric of the construction code. These are simple, cost-effective green practices. California should be proud.”
The California Building Standards Commission unanimously approved by new rules, which also allows cities with stricter codes to keep their independent standards.
The changing dynamics in the field of land use and sustainable community development law demand that land use law professors rethink the way in which we prepare law students to practice law in this area. This needed paradigm shift converges with the growing momentum of the best practices movement which urges law schools to dramatically revise the curricular approach to legal education, arguing that traditional models are no longer effectively serving the goal of producing competent and fully prepared new lawyers. A perfect storm is present and a unique opportunity exists through the application of many “best practices” concepts for land use law faculty to lead the academy in reinventing curriculum and teaching strategies to better prepare students for the practice of law. A brief history of the best practices movement is described in Part II, as well as an assertion as to why land use should be the “poster child” for best practices. Part III reports on an empirical survey of land use law professors conducted by the authors in 2008 that examines, among other things, the opportunities to apply best practices to the subject of land use law. It also offers additional innovative examples of teaching methods that can be effectively utilized within the confines of the traditional classroom, using the land use law course as a model, as well as an example of how the land use law course can be used across the curriculum as a best practices capstone experience. The article concludes in Part IV with the observation that the shortcomings of the traditional casebook approaches to teaching land use within the four walls of the classroom can be easily converted into exciting opportunities that engage student learners, stretch the limits of student creativity, continue to instill and refine a sense of professionalism in law students and, consistent with the findings and recommendations of the Best Practices report and related literature, prepare students to be more effective lawyers when they graduate.Read More
They're not alone -- Morgan Stanley recently dumped five San Francisco office buildings, stiffing their creditors when the buildings went underwater.
As a business-strategy it makes sense: why repay loans secured by assets that are worth less than the loans? Just turn the assets over and cut your losses.
But individuals are shamed, bullied, and counselled not to do this when it's their private homes that fall underwater. Everyone from former US Treasury Secretary Hank Paulson to credit counsellors to the Mortgage Bankers Association tell you that defaulting on underwater property is low and dishonest (unless you're a Wall Street player -- then it's just "protecting shareholder value").
By John Matson
The Mars rover Spirit, which this month passed its sixth anniversary of landing on the Red Planet, will apparently rove no more. NASA announced in a teleconference Tuesday that Spirit, stuck for months in a patch of soft soil known as Troy, has been designated a "stationary research platform". Spirit has not managed to free itself in a series of extraction maneuvers that began in November, and the rover's controllers say that their focus must now turn to preparing for the onset of winter in the Martian southern hemisphere—a harsh season, lasting nearly half an Earth year, that Spirit may not survive.
Doug McCuistion, director of NASA's Mars Exploration Program, said that Spirit's driving days are likely finished. He called the rover's plight "a golfer's worst nightmare—the sand trap that no matter how many strokes you take, you can't get out of it."
Merriam Webster's 10th edition, which has been used for the past few years in fourth and fifth grade classrooms (for children aged nine to 10) in Menifee Union school district, has been pulled from shelves over fears that the "sexually graphic" entry is "just not age appropriate", according to the area's local paper.
The dictionary's online definition of the term is "oral stimulation of the genitals". "It's hard to sit and read the dictionary, but we'll be looking to find other things of a graphic nature," district spokeswoman Betti Cadmus told the paper.
Copyright © 2009 News That Matters