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|Good Wednesday Morning, |
Putnam Valley resident Judy Allen reminds us that you have until October 8th to register to vote if you have not yet done so. You can download a PDF form from the Board of Elections here and request an absentee ballot here.
Fall is coming and winter is close behind so it's time for those end-of-summer chores like getting your house sealed up and your firewood split and stacked. And it just so happens that two of our supporters (over there in the sidebar) can help you with both. TaconicArts is a painting company, (licensed and insured with Putnam County,) with special rates for "News That Matters" readers and "Out on a Limb" can provide you with seasoned firewood. Give them both a call.
Op Hike Mike
Greg Ball has resorted to hiding behind the skirts of women who belong to an organization called "Women 4 Ball" and the bad pun is not, I am sure, unintended. It's like shouting that you're single and lonely and can't get a date and so hang around the debonair Ballster who also can't seem to get a date. Though, he does seem to surround himself with fine young men and that just zippers open another can of worms. (They shouldn't let me write write about Greg this early in the morning.) I swear, being a "Women 4 Ball" is like being a Log Cabin Republican except that the Loggers get dates once in a while.
Anyway, the point is that another affinity group, Women for Kaplowitz, (which does not hold the pizazz of being Balled,) held a rally at the courthouse calling for equal pay for women and about 15 of Ball's gals showed up with their hot-pink signs and their voices hoarse with indignation against equal pay for women.News Briefs:
And now, The news:
Mark Twain was so struck when he first saw that “long, slim, sick and sorry-looking skeleton, with a gray wolfskin stretched over it” that he called it “a living, breathing allegory of Want.” And Twain’s description itself was so vivid, it inspired the animator Chuck Jones to create that perennial failure known to cartoon-loving children everywhere, Wile E. Coyote of Road Runner-hating fame.
Yet as familiar as the coyote seems, these animals remain remarkably poorly understood. They have remained elusive despite fantastic ecological success that has been described as “a story of unparalleled range expansion,” as they have moved over the last century from the constrictions of their prairie haunts to colonize every habitat from wild to urban, from coast to coast. And they have retained their mystery even as interest has intensified with increasing coyote-human interactions — including incidents of coyotes dragging off small dogs and cats, and even (extremely rarely) attacks on people, from Los Angeles to the northern suburbs of New York City, where four children were attacked in separate incidents this summer.
SANTA CLARITA, Calif. — A private company in Maryland has taken over public libraries in ailing cities in California, Oregon, Tennessee and Texas, growing into the country’s fifth-largest library system.
The basic pitch that the company Library Systems & Services makes to cities is that it fixes broken libraries — often by cleaning house.
Now the company, Library Systems & Services, has been hired for the first time to run a system in a relatively healthy city, setting off an intense and often acrimonious debate about the role of outsourcing in a ravaged economy.
A $4 million deal to run the three libraries here is a chance for the company to demonstrate that a dose of private management can be good for communities, whatever their financial situation. But in an era when outsourcing is most often an act of budget desperation — with janitors, police forces and even entire city halls farmed out in one town or another — the contract in Santa Clarita has touched a deep nerve and begun a round of second-guessing.
Can a municipal service like a library hold so central a place that it should be entrusted to a profit-driven contractor only as a last resort — and maybe not even then?
"What we would not want is an unauthorized cemetery," says Bob McCarthy, town supervisor of the Delaware County town of Sidney, population 5,993. "We're taking care of a bunch of cemeteries, and they just came in and buried the bodies, and didn't go through...there's no funding there, it's not a standard kind of deal, and it's going to become a liability to the town."
So what steps have the Muslims skipped? "I don't know what the exact law is," he says.
Which is the problem; because whether or not the town government likes it, there are no laws in Sidney -- or New York state, for that matter -- covering cemeteries on private land -- religious cemeteries included. Plus, the town approved the cemetery in 2005.
In an interview with Rolling Stone magazine, Obama made a point to argue — “with intensity and passion, repeatedly stabbing the air with his finger” according to the magazine — that his followers in 2008 must not stay home this year.
“It is inexcusable for any Democrat or progressive right now to stand on the sidelines in this midterm election,” Obama said.
Whatever complaints they might have about climate change or other issues, Obama said, it is “just irresponsible” that some Democrats and progressives were lacking enthusiasm for the election.
“If people now want to take their ball and go home that tells me folks weren't serious in the first place,” he said. “If you're serious, now's exactly the time that people have to step up.”
“I think it is a remarkably condescending message,” said Darcy Burner, the executive director of ProgressCongress.org and the Progressive Congress Action Fund.
Petroleum is 77% of Military Energy Supply
Report authors Christine Parthemore and Dr. John Nagl say, "Reducing dependency on petroleum will help ensure the long-term ability of the military to carry out its assigned missions. Moving beyond petroleum will allow DoD to lead in the development of innovative technologies that can benefit the nation more broadly, while signaling to the world that the United States has an innovative and adaptable force."
How big is that dependency? Currently US forces rely on petroleum for 77.2% of all energy needs, with "other electric" sources coming in second at 11.4% and natural gas coming at 8.4%.
A new survey of Americans' knowledge of religion found that atheists, agnostics, Jews and Mormons outperformed Protestants and Roman Catholics in answering questions about major religions, while many respondents could not correctly give the most basic tenets of their own faiths.
Forty-five percent of Roman Catholics who participated in the study didn't know that, according to church teaching, the bread and wine used in Holy Communion is not just a symbol, but becomes the body and blood of Christ.
More than half of Protestants could not identify Martin Luther as the person who inspired the Protestant Reformation. And about four in 10 Jews did not know that Maimonides, one of the greatest rabbis and intellectuals in history, was Jewish.
The survey released Tuesday by the Pew Forum on Religion & Public Life aimed to test a broad range of religious knowledge, including understanding of the Bible, core teachings of different faiths and major figures in religious history. The U.S. is one of the most religious countries in the developed world, especially compared to largely secular Western Europe, but faith leaders and educators have long lamented that Americans still know relatively little about religion.
A combination of the recession and growing awareness in the shipping industry about climate change emissions encouraged many ship owners to adopt "slow steaming" to save fuel two years ago. This lowered speeds from the standard 25 knots to 20 knots, but many major companies have now taken this a stage further by adopting "super-slow steaming" at speeds of 12 knots (about 14mph).
Travel times between the US and China, or between Australia and Europe, are now comparable to those of the great age of sail in the 19th century. American clippers reached 14 to 17 knots in the 1850s, with the fastest recording speeds of 22 knots or more.
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