Monday, June 7, 2010

News That Matters - Monday, May 7, 2010

News That Matters

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

"Shut up and go back to Auschwitz"

"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.

If you're interested in receiving email posts for everything posted to the site then click on one of the RSS feed buttons on that page and your email reader will do the rest for you. Or, just click on the RSS feed link right here.

If you want to post a new article to the website all you need do is to "Register" and then log in. Take a few moments after that to become familiar with the interface and feel free to experiment and poke around as I don't think you can break anything.

If you want to comment on an existing article, no login or registration is required. Just read the article and at the bottom you'll find adequate space for your words of wisdom.
In other News:
  • New data shows that the US ranks 22nd on the list of most taxed industrialized nations. Belgium leads the pack with 55% of personal income going to taxes while the US weighs in at 29.4%. And looking at the list it's clear that quality of life (health care, mass transit, scientific advances, alternative energy, lower crime rates) increases as the tax wedge increases.
  • Sarah Palin blames environmentalists for the BP explosion and subsequent oil leak in the Gulf of Mexico claiming that it's the distance off-shore that made it so difficult to cap. She again offered the option of drilling for oil in ANWR on Alaska's north slope.
  • Sonic Youth, Rage Against the Machine and other national and international acts are boycotting Arizona and the city of Phoenix figures they've lost $100 million in convention bookings since Governor Jan Brewer signed SB1070 into law. In the meantime, the governor has allocated $250,000 to re-brand the state as a Nice, Friendly Place.
  • Most agree that the war on (some) drugs is an expensive and horrible failure which costs us some $100 billion a year and putting hundreds of thousands of Americans behind bars giving the US the worlds highest incarceration rate. So, come November you'll find many communities across the nation voting on the legalization of marijuana.

And now, The News:
  1. Hudson River monitoring system unveiled
  2. Ives Trail [Danbury] earns state greenway designation
  3. Use Jupiter to Find the Elusive Planet Uranus
  4. Woman sues over handicap parking ticket
  5. ‘Peak Oil’ Movement Prepares for the Worst
  6. Ron Paul: Obama facing too much blame on oil spill
  7. Private neighbours and a boy who likes to draw guns among 'suspects' of terror hotline

Hudson River monitoring system unveiled

POUGHKEEPSIE – The newest addition to the Hudson River Environmental Conditions Observing System (HRECOS) was unveiled Saturday afternoon during Poughkeepsie’s River Day Festivities at Waryas Park in Poughkeepsie.

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.”

Read More

Ives Trail [Danbury] earns state greenway designation

The 15-mile Ives Trail, a hiking trail that will link open space in at least three local towns, has earned recognition as a state greenway.

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.

Read More

Use Jupiter to Find the Elusive Planet Uranus

It isn't very often that we get an easy chance at spotting one of the outer members of the solar system more than a billion miles out from the sun, but during the latter half of this year into early 2011 the planet Jupiter will engage the distant planet Uranus in series of three cosmic meet-ups.

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.

Read More

Woman sues over handicap parking ticket

DANVERS, Mass. -- A battle over a handicap parking spot has turned ugly between one woman and the town of Danvers.

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.

Read More

‘Peak Oil’ Movement Prepares for the Worst

Brendan Smialowski for The New York Times

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.

Read More

Ron Paul: Obama facing too much blame on oil spill

President Barack Obama won a defense of his handling of the Gulf of Mexico oil spill from one GOP congressman on Thursday.

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.

Read More

Private neighbours and a boy who likes to draw guns among 'suspects' of terror hotline

By Andrew Chamberlain
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.
Channel project

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.

Read More

FBNews That Matters
on Facebook

Support Our Sponsors

Interior/Exterior House Painting by someone you can trust. (845) 225-2104 House

Brown Ink

Commercial Printing
600 Horsepound Road,
Kent Lakes, NY 10512
(845) 225-0177
Greg Brown

Joe Greico's
Out On A Limb

All types of tree work, all aspects of lawn maintenance, snow plowing and more!

82 Hortontown Rd.
Kent Cliffs, NY 10512
T- (914)224-3049
F- (845)231-0815

Chuckie Goodnight Foundation
To educate children on how to be good stewards of the earth.

Chris Casaburi
(845) 531-2358

One Click ButterCutter
A Putnam County Owned Business Enterprise

Town of Kent Conservation

Mt. Nimham Fire Tower

Explore the outdoors in the Town of Kent, New York

Copyright © 2010 News That Matters