Monday, October 18, 2010

News That Matters - Monday, October 18, 2010

News That Matters

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

Good Monday Morning!

Those pesky campaign signs are still littering a 7 mile stretch of Route 301 in Fahnestock State Park.

Tomorrow night, (Tuesday, October 19) at 7:30PM the Kent Fire District is holding its annual budget public hearing at the firehouse on Route 301 in the Free State of Western Kent.

Also on Tuesday evening the League of Women Voters is hosting a candidates forum at the VFW Hall in Carmel at 7PM. Pretty much every candidate running is invited and it could be quite a show.

The political forecasters at FiveThirtyEight predict that Nan Hayworth has a 78.5% chance of unseating John Hall come November and honestly, though I have my issues with Mr. Hall I don't understand why he has such opposition from the mainstream. He's been the best moderate you could have: talks like a progressive - acts like a Republican and his work on veteran's affairs has been laudatory. And unless you care about progressive issues he has served the district rather well.
I asked veterans last week why they would vote for Ms. Hayworth and none have responded. This tells me we either have no veterans that read this column or they are too embarrassed and un-thankful to write.
Here is the 2010 County Tax rate for our towns, just in case you were interested.
Carmel: 4.565489
Kent: 2.464487
Patterson: 2.428592
Philipstown: 5.722762
Putnam Valley: 2.433893
Southeast: 2.432842

I suppose Philipstown gets all the services or do we just charge them more for being far away?

Many of you have often seen me write: I am not a lawyer, though my mother still wishes I would have become one. Well, here I'm going to jump right into the fray and interpret the Town of Kent's new handbill law. If there should be any actual legal questions or if you or any attorney should think my interpretation is in error, please send me an email explaining why. Silence on your part will be confirmation of my guesses. To wit:
A Local Law to Amend Local Law Section 119-10 B and C entitled “Distribution of Handbills” Be it enacted by the Town Board of the Town of Kent, Putnam County as follows: 119-10. Distribution of handbills
A. No person shall throw or deposit any commercial or non-commercial handbill in or upon any sidewalk, street or other public place within the town; nor shall any person hand out or distribute or sell any commercial handbill in any public place; provided, however, that it shall not be unlawful on any sidewalk, street or other public place within the town for any person to hand out or distribute, without charge to the receiver thereof, any noncommercial handbill to any person willing to accept it.

[Interpretation: Don't ball up a handbill and throw it on the ground. Don't even think about laying one neatly there either. You can't hand them out anyway. But you can ball one up and throw it on the ground or place one there quite nicely. In other words, you are prohibited and allowed all at the same time! But it depends. If you're selling your services the town is not interested. If you're selling a political idea they are in love with you and your nicely laid-upon-the-ground handbills. But, it's not clear whether a tag sale is commercial or not.]

B. No person shall throw or deposit any commercial or non-commercial handbill in or upon any vehicle, such as to cause damage to said vehicle; provided, however, that it shall not be unlawful in any public place for a person to hand out or distribute, without charge to the receiver thereof, a noncommercial handbill to any occupant of a vehicle who is willing to accept it.

[Interpretation: If your handbill, once thrown against a car, will damage the car, you can't do that. You can damage the car with your letter sized piece of paper if the owner will let you.]

Ed note: I have spent the last hour throwing paper at my car sometimes as hard as I can and the car refuses to dent, scratch or ding. Perhaps this section of the law goes back to the olden days when handbills were scratched onto rocks?

C. No person shall knowingly throw or deposit any commercial or noncommercial handbill in or upon any private premises which are temporarily or continuously uninhabited or vacant.

[Interpretation: You cannot leave handbills at the homes of weekenders even if you don't know they are weekenders. And, what's the definition of "temporary"? If I'm at work does that count?]

See? who needs law school?! In fact, what we need are lawyers to go to school to learn to write laws in language that we mere mortals can understand.

Last Friday News That Matters was the first regional media outlet to break the story regarding Greg Ball's campaign practices and the misinformation he's been using in his literature. On that day the Westchester County Fair Campaign Practices Committee released their report stating so and giving three clear examples of such. You can read that here.

As well, over the weekend, some readers received an unsigned attack piece targeting County Executive candidate Maryellen Odell. We wonder who could have possibly done that?

And, while we're on the subject of whatever subject it was we were on, we are all still waiting for Senator Leibell to endorse fellow Republican Greg Ball in his bid for the State Senate.

Progressive Hunters
No, not hunters who kill their prey by singing kum-ba-yah at them until they voluntarily give up their lives for the sake of a good meal, but hunters of people deemed to have progressive politics. This is what our second favorite radio host calls some of his fans. But one of Glenn Beck's hunters, 45 year-old Byron Williams, took Beck at his word and fully armed and ready to make the NRA have an apoplectic fit, set out to kill Drummond Pike, the founder and CEO of the Tides Foundation.
Since the rise of the 'bagger movement incidences of violence against our fellow citizens for political, racial and ethnic reasons has steadily increased. Bullies, as we've been reading, are having a field day, set free by the hatred they see on television and thinking it's the norm, and as our society refuses to acknowledge the rise in hatred, will carry on with its blessings.

I was told by an acquaintance the other day that all this trouble started with the election of Barack Obama and that he was the cause. And if you are one of those people for whom when looking in the mirror there is no reflection you would agree. But for those of us who do think thing these through it's clear, and without question, that it's the opposition to having a Black Man in the White House that has seen the birth of some of the most ugly episodes in our collective national history. Don't blame Obama nor his supporters - blame the unruly opposition.

The 'baggers are a direct product of the national Republican party's resistance to the Obama Administration and they've created one heck of a monster. But when will they either publicly shun the 'baggers or at the very least, say they don't represent the mainstream core of the party? Their silence on the national - and the local level - is truly troubling. It says they either support the hatred and violence or that for purposes of politics they're willing to allow it go on. Either way, it must be stopped.

So, for as much influence as this column may have (and it's not much if we can't even free up a state park from the visual pollution of campaign signs), I'm calling on my Republican readers to publicly disavow the 'bagger arm of their party, renounce the violence and hatred and distance themselves from the homophobia, xenophobia and all the other mindless phobias inherent in their self-created movement. If you think it's okay, that it achieves a political goal that, when once achieved can be put back into the bottle and safely corked, you are sadly mistaken. If American politics has come to this our system has truly and dismally failed.

From a friend on the 'net in response to the question of why corn is subsidized and sugar imports have extra tariffs:
To maintain our strategic stockpile and deter a worldwide foodfight from breaking out.

Expanding further on this, the cornerstone of US foodfight defense is based on
the Triad consisting of the 3 major food groups. These are strategically stockpiled in
the USDA Food Pyramid at a secret location somewhere in Iowa.

In place since the Eisenhower Era, the Doctrine of Mutually Assured InDigestion (MAID)
has prevented international foodfights for over 60 years. A hot pepper tossed on any ally
will trigger a massive foodfight response.

Widespread proliferation may signal the end of the MAID Doctrine. For instance, the
CIA reports that even tiny Israel has secretly stockpiled enough gifilite fish and chopped
liver to turn the stomach of every man, woman, and child in the world, 3 times over.

And now The News:

  1. Man shot with pellets while hunting
  2. Danbury announces largest open space purchase in decades
  3. Hudson River Valley Greenway trails expanded
  4. E.P.A. Report Opposes W. Virginia Mountaintop Mine

Man shot with pellets while hunting

BREWSTER – State Police are calling the shooting of a man with pellets Saturday afternoon an accident.

Troopers said a 65-year-old man was shot with pellets while walking in the woods in the Ninham Multiple Use Area in the vicinity of Nichols Road at about 12:30 p.m.

He was treated at Putnam Hospital Center for non-life threatening injuries.

Anyone who was in the area or who may have information about the incident is asked to call State Police at Brewster at 845-279-8646.

Read More

Danbury announces largest open space purchase in decades

Dirk Perrefort, Staff Writer

DANBURY -- City officials announced Thursday the largest purchase of open space land in more than two decades.

The Farrington property, which lies on the city's west side along the New York border, is criss-crossed with large stone walls, sweeping trees and low-lying, dark green ferns.

The property also includes Sanford's Pond, and is the headwaters of the Still River.

The city purchased the 192 acre property for $1.6 million. A portion of that, about $650,000, was paid for with a state grant announced Thursday.

"This is a very important acquisition," Danbury Mayor Mark Boughton said Thursday during a news conference at the property. "It's the gateway to the city and a large green buffer that will provide areas of recreation that residents can enjoy in perpetuity."

Boughton noted that it's the largest open space purchase since the city bought 535 acres near downtown in 1985 that became Tarrywile Park.

Read More

Hudson River Valley Greenway trails expanded

TOWN OF ULSTER – The Hudson River Valley Greenway Trail system in Ulster County has become a little more accessible.

A ribbon cutting ceremony at Sojourner Truth Ulster County Landing Park in the Town of Ulster marked the official opening of that part of the Riverfront Greenway Trail.

The trail that leads away from the Landing, which sits just south of Saugerties on the Hudson River waterfront, and joins the Greenway Trail system was, until recently, largely inaccessible to people with physical disabilities. The work, done through a partnership with the Greenway and the DEC, linked the Landing with the accessible trail and added the park to an already extensive 240 miles of riverfront Greenway in the Hudson Valley.

Ulster County Executive Michael Hein expressed his pride in the project, calling it "an exciting day” for the county.

Read More

E.P.A. Report Opposes W. Virginia Mountaintop Mine

By John Broder

WASHINGTON — A top federal regulator has recommended revoking the permit for one of the nation’s largest planned mountaintop removal mining projects, saying it would be devastating to miles of West Virginia streams and the plant and animal life they support.

In a report submitted last month and made public on Friday, Shawn M. Garvin, the Environmental Protection Agency’s regional administrator for the Mid-Atlantic, said that Arch Coal’s proposed Spruce No. 1 Mine in Logan County should be stopped because it “would likely have unacceptable adverse effects on wildlife.”

In 2007, the Bush administration approved the project, which would involve dynamiting the tops off mountains over 2,278 acres to get at the coal beneath while dumping the resulting rubble, known as spoil, into nearby valleys and streams. The Obama administration announced last year that it would review the decision, prompting the mine owner, Arch Coal, based in St. Louis, to sue.

In its review, the E.P.A. found that the project would bury more than seven miles of the Pigeonroost Branch and Oldhouse Branch streams under 110 million cubic yards of spoil, killing everything in them and sending downstream a flood of contaminants, toxic substances and life-choking algae.

Kim Link, a spokeswoman for Arch Coal, said in a statement that the company intended to “vigorously” challenge the recommendation.

Read More
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