Monday, October 4, 2010

News That Matters - Monday, October 4, 2010

News That Matters

News That Matters
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 “And the Lord sayeth, place thy women into thy kitchen, unshod and with child, that thy menfolk may tend to thine goats and bringest forth their holy milk”. The Book of Ball 15:23

Good Monday Morning,

Neil DiCarlo, who ran in the Republican primary for Congress against Nan Hayworth, today decided he would no longer stay in the race. Neil writes in a press release:
To endorse or vote for Nan Hayworth, however, would require me to place profound moral principles beneath mere party expediency - a price neither I nor any candidate should be required to pay.  Our differences on social issues fall within these bounds.

I believe that forsaking our moral American heritage is to blame for much of our country's downfall. 
To those who feel that neither candidate represents their concerns, I encourage you to still vote on November 2nd and write in a candidate of your choice.

Would someone please tell me what "our moral American heritage" refers to? Slavery? Segregation? The genocide of the people who were here before us? The Salem Witch Trials? "No Irish Need Apply"? Timothy McVeigh? "No Hebrews, Africans or Dogs"? Anyway, it's a guarantee that Nan is not getting his vote.

There's been a few chilly nights and I'm willing to bet a few of you have had the heat on or the woodstove burning. I'm also willing to bet you've been waiting - and forgetting - to get firewood for the season. News That Matters can help you with that and readers who call Joe Greico get special rates. Really. His number is over there in the sidebar.

Ti's the Season! Campaign signs will be sprouting from the earth like mushrooms after an early fall rain, covering every inch of highway from Garrison to Kent and back again.

There's been a good deal of conversation online about recent cuts in DEC staffing and the NYJN has finally picked up the story. It seems they're working their way down to 22% of past staffing levels via attrition and early retirement. Sadly, we're losing some good people like urban forester Lou Sebesta. What I'm trying to find out is what percentage of DEC staffers are leaving. For example, what percentage of enforcement officers vs foresters vs... well, you get the idea. The answer, unless it's a clear random choice, could be telling for the future of that agency and the direction it will be taking over the next few years.

I watched the tape of the CRCM debates last week at the Mahopac Library and I came away most impressed with County Legislature candidates Jerry Fuery and Tony Fusco and State Assembly candidate Branden Tully. Sue Kelly, er, Nan Hayworth is clearly living on another planet and though I'm certainly no (longer a) fan of John Hall, I simply cannot see her in Congress serving anyone but her corporate masters.
Mike Kaplowitz did well as usual, Greg Ball was his normal self. And the battle between Vinnie Leibell and Maryellen Odell was lackluster at best. MeO must have had an off night for she's usually better at these things and the Senator has been dropping in class of late and I'm guessing being in the unusual position of insecurity must be weighing on him.
Michael Natiello is a Continental Village based artist who has become famous for his jack o'lantern art and this being the season and with his notoriety growing you're starting to hear his name and see his face on more places than just Martha Stewart where he's appeared several times in the past. Mike is the dude responsible for Van Cortlandt Manor's annual Jack O'Lantern Blaze which attracts tens of thousands of people each year (if you go, say hi! to Faith Butterfield, another NtM reader). Where else can you find a giant dinosaur made of carver pumpkins?
This year the New York Botanical Gardens has contracted Mike to design exhibits for their Halloween Hoorah! at the Everett Children's Adventure Garden. Carving pumpkins using a theme of botanicals, he uses plant features to represent the various parts of the jack o'lantern's facial features. Silly, not scary, he says. A rather short video about all that is here.
Iranian president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad is heading to Lebanon where he will travel south to the border with Israel and symbolically throw a stone at the Jewish state. After he returns to Iran, and given the chance, I am sure he'll less than symbolically throw a nuclear missile in that direction as well. Watch for a ham-fisted media stunt.

If you're interested in committing a crime with a handgun, head to Georgia, Virginia, West Virginia, Alabama, Mississippi and Alaska where handgun laws are the weakest, so says a new study for Mayors Against Illegal Guns.

And now, The News:

Walkway Over Hudson Invigorates Businesses

Bridge's Runaway Success is Welcome Boost for Poughkeepsie
By Melanie Lefkovitz

When Mary Francese and her husband, Peter, bought a warehouse in Poughkeepsie for their antiques auction house five years ago, their neighbors were a junkyard and a printing shop, and the pedestrian traffic was more like a pedestrian trickle. Now, they share a building with a bicycle rental shop, plans for new shops and cafes are in the works and a surge of walk-in customers has invigorated their business.

The popular Walkway Over the Hudson pedestrian bridge links Poughkeepsie to the town of Lloyd. "It's been very good for us," says Ms. Francese, who recently sold the building to a developer who hopes to add a restaurant, a brewery and office space.

The Franceses are among those profiting from the runaway success of the Walkway Over the Hudson, a 19th-century railway bridge linking Poughkeepsie and the town of Lloyd, N.Y., that underwent a $38.8 million refurbishment before opening last year as a state park.

The hugely popular walkway, which celebrates its first birthday Oct. 2, has so far drawn 720,000 people to an unpolished section of Poughkeepsie, and to Lloyd on the Hudson River's western side.

Read More

Ex-cop Serino's arrest stuns Brewster

BREWSTER — Code enforcement officer and former village police officer Robert Serino was viewed by many throughout this half-square-mile village as an upstanding man, a well-respected stickler for the rules.

So when news surfaced Friday that Serino had been charged with selling legitimate New York state driver's licenses to illegal immigrants in Brewster for a high price, the shock was felt in several quarters. Serino, 49, of Poughkeepsie was charged with six counts of fourth-degree grand larceny, a felony, after undocumented workers tipped off the police.

"I'm really disappointed," said John Degnan, a former Brewster mayor. "If these charges are true, it shakes everything I believe about human nature and doing the right thing."

Read More

Sunday Routine - Pete Seeger - ‘Letters to Answer, and Logs to Split’

Andrew Sullivan for The New York Times

At Pete Seeger’s 90th birthday celebration last year at Madison Square Garden, Bruce Springsteen called him America’s granddad, but with “a steely toughness that belies that grandfatherly facade.” Now 91, he has just written a new song addressing the Gulf oil spill and, in July, released a new album, “Tomorrow’s Children,” on Appleseed Recordings.

Mr. Seeger and his wife of 67 years, Toshi-Aline Ôhta, spend Sundays around the Dutchess County house he built by hand, unless he grabs his banjo and ventures out to the Beacon Sloop Club. He helped build that, too, by tricking people into volunteering. “I called it a pot-luck supper, and 30 people showed up,” he said. “Food is one of the great organizing tools.”

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When Home Has No Place to Park

By Ian Lovett

LOS ANGELES — Every day, Diane Butler and her husband park their two hand-painted R.V.’s in a lot at the edge of Venice Beach here, alongside dozens of other rickety, rusted campers from the 1970s and ’80s. During the day, she sells her artwork on the boardwalk. When the parking lot closes at sunset, she and the other R.V.-dwellers drive a quarter-mile inland to find somewhere on the street to park for the night.

Their nomadic existence might be ending, though. The Venice section of Los Angeles has become the latest California community to enact strict new regulations limiting street parking and banning R.V.’s from beach lots — regulations that could soon force Ms. Butler, 58, to leave the community where she has lived for four decades.

“They’re making it hard for people in vehicles to remain in Venice,” she said.

Southern California, with its forgiving weather, has long been a popular destination for those living in vehicles and other homeless people. And for decades, people living in R.V.’s, vans and cars have settled in Venice, the beachfront Los Angeles community once known as the “Slum by the Sea” and famous for its offbeat, artistic culture.

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The American Debate: Stormy marriage looms for Republicans and tea partyers

By Dick Polman for the Philadelphia Inquirer

It's not too early to offer some predictions about 2011:

1. Snooki will be all atwitter about herself on Twitter.

2. The Republican Party and the Tea Party will effectuate a political marriage that figures to be as volatile as the legendary union of Liz Taylor and Richard Burton.

The long courting phase has been rocky. The GOP establishment has spent 18 months trying to co-opt and channel the Tea Partiers' passions without ceding control of the relationship. Republican politicians have gone to the rallies and bonded with the anger, and they've carefully turned a blind eye and deaf ear to the most ignorant outbursts. But their wooing hasn't worked. In the Senate GOP primaries this year, Tea-Party voters stuck their pitchforks into eight establishment candidates — many of them Senate incumbents — and rendered them dead.

Regardless of whether the GOP wins big in November, its contingent on Capitol Hill will have a more rightward tilt than its current crew. One might reasonably ask whether the party of No could actually become even more intransigent, but the answer is Yes.

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