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"We're helping Arabs go against the US. Don't forget 9/11, guys"
- Radio transmission responses during Israeli warnings to the Free Gaza flotilla to not to enter the embargoed area.
Good Monday Morning,
Thanks to those of you who donated to the cause for the first time. If you have never done so, now is a good time to join them. It's as easy as pie: just click here.
PlanPutnam/News That Matters readers Greg Brown and Peter Hansen are both celebrating their birthdays today.
Well! A lot has gone on during the past week, what with the Feds investigating connections to the county, Senator Leibell's people and the Town of Carmel, all of which are leading to wild speculation on the boards. There's the ongoing saga of the $3.7 million corporate welfare handout to Paul Camarda being pushed by Legislative chair Vincent Tamagna and the entry of Mary Ellen O'Dell into the county executive's race, pulling 30% of votes at the Republican convention signaling weakening support for the Senator. And Yorktown Democrat Brendan Tully has entered the race for the 99th District Assembly.
I have noticed over the past couple of months that over the issue of the $3.7 million corporate welfare handout to Paul Camarda to the issue of a mandatory tax that home improvement contractors must pay to the county to so many other local tax and wasteful spending issues like the Tilly Foster Welfare Plan, that the tea baggers have been absolutely silent. What's with that? I suppose if the County Executive was a Black man they'd be all over the place. Okay, maybe I'm wrong. Maybe not. Maybe they like corporate welfare and wasteful spending at the local level? Anyone? Hello?
In the meantime, I've been commuting at odd times back and forth to NYC to stage manage the world premiere of Fox Tales at the Gene Frankel Theater at 24 Bond Street, corner of Lafayette. The show continues this week on Thursday at 7:30PM, then next Monday, the 14th at 8PM, finishing up on Sunday, June 20th at 1PM. More information on all that can be found here. If you're a weekender there's no reason to miss the show. (Yeah, that was a shameless plug.)
If you live in the Mahopac library district, please vote in the affirmative for your library budget.
The Fishkill Creek Watershed Committee meets this evening at 7PM at the East Fishkill Public Library. Remember that Putnam County plays an important role in the Fishkill Creek Watershed.
Members of a local political party are putting a great deal of pressure on me to run for the County Executive's seat and of this writing I'm having nothing to do with it. Some have already paid the price that Unca Vinnie can dole out - and to be honest, my mental health is more important to me than being viciously and personally attacked. Let's not forget the horrendous campaign the Senator ran against Joe D'Ambrosio when he ran back in the day and the estimated $180,000 he spent attacking Greg Ball two years ago, money so misspent that it made the Ballster stronger, not weaker. Unless his modus operandi has changed over the years he wins this election by being the most feared bully on the block.
In case you were interested, the county's portion of the utility bills at Tilly Foster is somewhere around $37,000 and the property tax bill we have to pick up is around $20,000. We also don't know what the management costs are at the farm (Harold Gary does, maybe,) since as the property owner we're responsible, as any landlord would be, for repairs on the buildings and management of the grounds.
Those of you visiting the website will have noticed a bit of a change in layout and menus. I was having some problems with the former template so switched to something else that has a similar look and feel but more stable functionality.
If you're getting News That Matters by email from Google Groups you're probably only getting the text version which means you're missing out on much of what's here. You can switch to the full html version easily enough by going to the website and entering your email address into the "Subscribe by email" box in the right-hand column of the website. (Let me know and I'll pull your name from the old list so you're not getting duplicates). What you'll get is a single post, once a day, of all the articles I've posted to the blog including the full editions of this newsletter.In other News:
And now, The News:
The state-of-the-art environmental monitoring system will now be onboard the sloop Clearwater and will provide scientists and the public with a range of real-time data taken directly from the waters of the Hudson River.
According to State Environmental Conservation Commissioner Pete Grannis, HRECOS is a monitoring network made up of eight stations along the Hudson River estuary, from New York Harbor to just north of Albany, which provides scientists with vital information about the river as well as recreationists with the information they need to know about water conditions.
The new equipment will be available to the public, said Clearwater Executive Director Jeff Rumpf.
“Clearwater, the great river platform, is now a science station. Fifteen thousand kids a year come on Clearwater and these young people will be the next generation of environmental leaders, so now those kids will have world class scientists right there at their fingertips.”
The Connecticut Greenways Council made the designation Friday in a ceremony in Putnam. The Ives Trail was one of eight greenways to get the recognition there.
"This is a great thing,'' Danbury Mayor Mark Boughton said Friday. "It provides us with a level of authenticity. This really gives us an official stamp of approval.''
The recognition brings the Ives Trail into a state system of more than 50 greenways -- corridors of open space that protect natural resources and scenic beauty and connect open space parcels to create a larger system.
When completed, the Ives Trail will connect the extensive town trail system in Redding with a hiking trail that will link Tarrywile Park and Wooster Mountain State Park in Danbury, and the Pine Mountain Preserve and Bennett's Pond State Park in Ridgefield.
The planet Uranus is right at the edge of visibility for the unaided human eye. Under perfectly dark skies in rural locations, it can be spotted by people with sharp eyes who know where to look. But few have actually ever seen it without binoculars or a telescope.
This week the first of the three pairings, called conjunctions, will take place and anyone with access to a clear sky and good binoculars should have no problem in getting a glimpse of Uranus, using its close proximity to Jupiter to guide you.
Look for Uranus, along with Jupiter, in the eastern sky after 2 a.m. local daylight time. By late July, it's crossing the meridian at the break of dawn. Opposition comes in late September; thereafter it's conveniently placed in the evening sky for the rest of the year.
Janice Eberle of Lynnfield was ticketed for parking her Mercedes SUV in a BJ’s handicapped spot in Danvers.
“I don’t deny that it was wrong, but under the circumstances, the torrential rains, everything, the ticket I couldn’t even read it was soaked within two seconds,” said Eberle.
According to Eberle, she ran into the store for just a few minutes and when she came out, she had been issued a $300 ticket from Danvers Police.
Jennifer Wilkerson’s preparations for a post-petroleum world include growing her own food and stockpiling supplies against any shortages.
As oil continued to pour into the Gulf of Mexico on a recent Saturday, Jennifer Wilkerson spent three hours on the phone talking about life after petroleum.
For Mrs. Wilkerson, 33, a moderate Democrat from Oakton, Va., who designs computer interfaces, the spill reinforced what she had been obsessing over for more than a year — that oil use was outstripping the world’s supply. She worried about what would come after: maybe food shortages, a collapse of the economy, a breakdown of civil order. Her call was part of a telephone course about how to live through it all.
In bleak times, there is a boom in doom.
Americans have long been fascinated by disaster scenarios, from the population explosion to the cold war to global warming. These days the doomers, as Mrs. Wilkerson jokingly calls herself and likeminded others, have a new focus: peak oil. They argue that oil supplies peaked as early as 2008 and will decline rapidly, taking the economy with them.
Located somewhere between the environmental movement and the bunkered survivalists, the peak oil crowd is small but growing, reaching from health food stores to Congress, where a Democrat and a Republican formed a Congressional Peak Oil Caucus.
Rep. Ron Paul, the libertarian Republican lawmaker from Texas, said that people were expecting too much from the president in his ability to react to the ongoing spill into the Gulf.
"I'm a pretty big critic of the president," Paul said during an appearance on "Imus in the Morning" on the Fox Business Network, "but I just don't see the justification for coming down hard on the president."
"I think it represents the idea that the American people think the president is everything to everybody that he should fix an oil leak," Paul added.
Last updated at 12:24 PM on 1st June 2010
A schoolboy 'obsessed' with drawing pictures of bombs and guns, and a neighbour who liked to keep his curtains drawn, are among dozens of people being reported to a police scheme aimed to unearth potential terrorists.
Critics of the Channel Project say it encourages people to spy on their neighbours, but police claim the scheme's aim is to prevent 'vulnerable people' becoming radicalised.
Dozens of people in East Lancashire, mainly aged between 15 and 24, have been reported to police for having either extremist Islamic views, far-right leanings and or being IRA sympathisers.
Vigilance or spying? The Channel Project encourages people to report any suspicious behaviour to police. Critics say it could infringe on the right to privacy
Police complete background checks on all individuals reported before a panel meets to decide if any action needs to be taken.
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