Wednesday, June 30, 2010

News That Matters - Wednesday, June 30, 2010

News That Matters

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

Donate Today!Good Wednesday Morning,

Just a few announcements today but each one worth reading.

Exchange students—an endangered species?

! Two-Week Hosting Opportunities Available Now !

[Ed note: World Exchange is based right here in Putnam County]

They can been seen on Facebook and talked to on Skype, but whether or not any will actually be seen in the greater Putnam County area this July 12th to 31st is up in the air.  It is fascinating that high school students from all over the planet can meet, make friends, and exchange ideas—one avatar to another—in a digital living room in Second Life and yet not have the opportunity to meet each other face-to-face while sharing pizza and soda on the porch. 

The opportunity is there, but the hosts are not.  Nineteen French students, ten boys and four girls ages 15 to 17, and two leaders, are due to arrive here on July 12th for a 20 day homestay, with their sole objective being getting to know America and Americans. 

After months of outreach, World Exchange program directors in New Jersey have only been able to find enough families to welcome 10 students, and have turned to national directors Vera and Michael Sklaar in Putnam Valley for help.  “It puzzles me,” Vera says, “because hosting is such a unique, enriching, and educational way for families to engage meaningfully with the world.  Now more than ever we are all part of the same international community, so why not try to get to know our neighbors?  Perhaps because I am from London and Michael has lived abroad for a number of years we understand this a little more clearly.”

If you agree with Vera and Michael and want to take part in this wonderful adventure, they may be reached at: 845 526-2505 or 845 526-2299 or  They will be able to show you the students’ applications, photos and “Dear Host Family” letters.  Signing up to host is quick and easy and soon you, too, can be exchanging emails, Skyping and friending each other on Facebook.

The students come with insurance and pocket money. They look forward to being in host families with children of all ages. Their visit is sponsored by World Exchange (, a non-profit organization, which has organized short-term homestays in the Hudson Valley since its founding in 1985. 

Walking For A Cause

Democratic Party candidate for Governor and Dutchess County Legislator, Joel Tyner, will be passing through Putnam County tonight (Wednesday) as part of his walk from Wall Street to Albany to bring awareness to voters as part of his challenge to Andrew Cuomo's candidacy.

Featured in a NYJN article this morning, Tyner wonders why we've given $16 billion in tax cuts to Wall Street and why the super-rich in New York pay state income taxes at about the same rate as you and I.

From the article:
"I know I'm the underdog. I'm not walking 150 miles for my health," Tyner said Tuesday during a brief streetside stop on Route 9. "The fact of the matter is, I'm not running on a fringe position. I'm running on what most people want.

"If we're going to do something about taxes, rich people have to pay their fair share,"
What 'people want' is a tax on stock transfers (by a 4-1 ratio) and

If you'd like to meet Joel this evening he'll be staying at a private home in western Kent. Call, 845-554-5119 for more information and directions.

Boom! Boom! Boom!

For those of us living on the west side of the county we're back into that season where mysterious noises are heard through the early mornings and sometimes the afternoons. Don't fret! It's not the earth splitting apart nor remnants of the earthquake in Ontario nor Indian Point blowing it's top: it's just the cadets over at West Point firing mortars into a hillside. It'll stop soon.

Thanks Are Due

Sometimes we don't properly thank those in our life who go the extra mile and I'm as guilty of that as the next guy.

Over the past decade about 35 of you have been constant and reliable supporters of what we've been doing here and though I do what I can to say "thanks!" it never seems to be enough.

I wish there was a way I could genuinely let you know just how appreciated your support has been. It has gotten me through some rough times but more importantly, has provided the other 965 people, those who do not support us but who read every issue, with a reliable source of free information regarding Putnam County, New York. All they have to do is open their email reader or web browser and the information is there three times each week like clockwork. So, not only must I thank you but they should, too. I suppose if they're reading - and acting on what they read - they appreciate your efforts.

Whether it be something that the county is proposing (such as corporate welfare to a favored developer) or a local town is allowing (blasting the hell out of what used to be Mount Gilead) or that the state has proposed (logging off Mount Nimham for fun and profit) what a local arts center is doing or where to purchase fresh, locally grown produce, it's always there at a mouse-click. And it's the ~35 of you who have kept that coming and the information flowing. And, no matter how much I try I can't seem to thank you enough.

The future is always uncertain, now more than ever, but at least for this morning your copy of News That Matters is right here on your screen.

What's at News That Matters?

Here is a list of just some of the stories that have been posted to the News That Matters website over the past few days:

269 stories were posted in June, 351 in May. It's a happening place!

June 2010
If you'd like to see all that continue, please click here. Now more than ever before your support is needed.

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