Monday, October 11, 2010

News That Matters - October 11, 2010 - The "It's NOT Columbus Day" Edition

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Good Monday Morning,

Columbus Day is tomorrow Tuesday, October 12. "President's Day" is an abomination and Washington and Lincoln need to get their days back. (Can anyone remember which they were?) I don't see why that's so difficult.

Today is also "National Coming Out Day". See the last article below.

I received an early donation from a reader the other day, (the regular fund drive runs from the day after election day through Thanksgiving weekend), and it sat in my inbox unknown and unseen until this morning. Why? Because on average I receive roughly 200 emails each and every day that have to be gone through read, parsed, stored or deleted. Publishing News That Matters is a time consuming business, dontchaknow?  So thanks to JJ for the kindness and I apologize for not noticing sooner.

It's been cold over the past few nights and we even had a little frost out here the other morning. And if you, like I, heat with a woodstove then you know it's time to make sure the firewood is stacked and covered, split and ready to warm you.
They say that firewood warms you three times: Once while cutting down the tree, once by splitting and stacking and a third time through the heat it provides while burning in your stove. We can cut back those three to two, even to one if you give Out On A Limb a call for your firewood needs. The number is over there in the sidebar and there are special rates for News That Matters readers.

On National Holidays

Call me olde fashioned but I'm not really fond of national holidays since they're not really national and they're not really holidays. They are if you're white-collar worker but if you work in the services or the trades you generally don't get the day off. In fact, with the exception of an ever-shrinking number of hours on Christmas day, you don't get any real time off at all.
So here's what I propose:

In order to be called a National Holiday everyone has to have the day off. Malls and shops are closed. Gas stations and beer distributors are closed. Toll takers aren't working and the highways are free. (It's just one day, okay?) Television and radio are on tape and there's no news nor newspapers. Hospitals and police and fire services are on absolute minimum staff. (Which could prove we don't need so many.) State Parks and beaches are open and free for the public. I'm afraid the NASCAR folks are going to have to find something to do since the Wal*Mart will be closed and there won't be any ticket takers at the track because... they'll have the day off, too.

I don't see what's so difficult about that.

Political Sign Free Parks

Campaign signs are up now and we all already know who is running for this or that or some other thing. Some roads are better covered than others and some intersections are so plastered with signs that they actually may be hazards. The newly rejuvenated Putnam Valley Democratic Committee has lined the entirety of Peekskill Hollow Road.  But there's one place we should not have campaign signs: in our parks.
Two years back, State Assembly candidate Robert Gouldman had several signs along Route 301 in Fahnestock state park and I took issue with it as an intrusion. You'd think you could drive along one of the county's most beautiful few miles without that visual pollution. This year that same stretch of highway has, near the intersection with Dennytown road, signs for Vinnie Leibell and Maryellen Odell. About a mile further into the park there's signs for some judge and the ballster. A little beyond them are signs for John Hall, Mike Kaplowitz and Sandy Galef.

Come on guys! If you put those up, for the sake of our sanity, please remove them. They're everywhere else. We *know* you're running for office. Give us just a scant seven miles of freedom from the Taconic Parkway down to Route 9. Okay? Let's see if your candidate(s) has compassion for the rest of us.

Farm Art

The mid-run reception for the Collaborative Concepts annual outdoor sculpture show was last Saturday at Sandy Saunder's farm in Philipstown and you could not have chosen a more spectacular early fall day. The weather was absolutely perfect and the crowd was delightful. Dozens of dogs ran free across the hundred acres while people from downstate, upstate and everywhere in between mingled with the cows and the art under a azure sky and brilliant sun.

The exhibit is free every day during daylight hours at the intersection of Philipse Brook Road and the old Albany Post Road. Open the gate, drive through and close it behind you, then wander up the hill in front of you and follow the art! Links to the pictures I took on Saturday are here.

Sidewalk Needed

Whenever I drive to Put Plaza on Route 6 from Route 52 there are people walking down/up that hill along the shoulder of what has become a very busy road. Over the years the number of pedestrians has increased and I'm seeing high school students walking home from school or to work along the same route as well. Why, I guess should ask, is there not a sidewalk there? If anyplace in this county needs a sidewalk, it's there.
And when you're done with the sidewalk you can fix the traffic mess at the intersection of Routes 52 and 301 with dedicated turn lanes and timed signals. It certainly does not take a rocket scientist to know that if you fix that mess you won't have as much traffic backed up along Route 6 to the Put Plaza. Every. Single. Day.

Sanity Needed

The FOXCourier reports that the Town of Southeast has given Ridgefield, CT developer Paul Camarda a Community Service Award. They must have won the coin-toss with Carmel.

Vinnie Loves Greggie?

Remember back in the summer when Vinnie Leibell gave Anthony Scannapieco such a hard time for backing candidates that were not endorsed by the Republican Party? (Several of whom won their primaries, by the way.) Come on... scratch your heads, it wasn't that long ago. Well, now that the Ballster is the candidate for the Party is Vinnie going to work for and endorse him? Would someone please ask him? Thanks.

Democrats Supporting Odell?

I received an email the other day from a politically progressive friend of mine, an avowed Democrat, in support of MaryEllen Odell for County Executive. Personally I'm stumped. But the movement against the current Senator winning that seat seems to be growing. Even if he should win he'll have to know that half of the Republicans in this county voted for someone else in the primary and so unless he's willing to a) either be so sweet that diabetics go into shock or, b) so harsh that everyone falls in line for fear of their jobs, running the county for him will not be easy.

"I'm an environmentalist, too!"

Remember those famous words from Ed Heelan, a local developer now long gone? We're hearing the same from 40th district Senate candidate Greg Ball. But we know the truth about all that and if you've forgotten just think back to the days of Citizen's United For Ethical Growth (CUEG), that smart growth organization founded by the Ballster that promised a secret development plan for the Route 22 corridor and when no plan actually arrived, CUEG rolled its collected funds into the Ballster's campaign?
According to an article in the Putnam Examiner, the Ballster has taken issue with Mike Kaplowitz' support of the Hudson Valley Community Preservation Act (Supported by Senator Leibell, by the way,) which allows counties here in the valley to institute a funding mechanism for open space purchases on a voluntary basis. Yorktown did just that with a flat $30 per residence which was widely supported by voters in that town.

But the Ballster attacks the act as a "2% tax" which, in reality it could be but that also in reality was self imposed not by bureaucrats in Albany but by the people who are paying it themselves. And, the act was passed with unanimous supporting resolutions from every county Legislature involved.

If the Ballster cannot come up with anything more substantial why would you vote for him? That's a question I've asked before and none of you have responded to so I'll try again:

Dear Readers! Why are you voting for Greg Ball?!

Jack O'Lantern Blaze

I was reserving this space for a report on the event downstate that generates 5000 visitors - per day - and whose organizer is a reader of News That Matters. But I'm still waiting for my comp admission otherwise, what can I say not having seen it?

Ons Antwoord: Het Geweer Ter Hand!

This image was found at a website that celebrates the German side of the Second World War war through re-enactments of, I assume, dying in mass numbers and killing others just as massively, but in an organized way. The German thing, ya know? But what's most interesting about this group is that there's a Republican/Tea Party candidate running for the US House, Rich Iott who is a member and revels in the memory of a judenfrei Ohio... I guess?

The poster says, in Flemish, "England our answer: Hand Over The Gun". But notice the English dude: it's a typical WWII era German anti-semetic caricature. Note the hooked nose and the claws for fingers, making the connection that England is run by or that the English are no better than Jews.

These are the people Republicans and Tea Baggers are running for Congress in Ohio? It makes me wonder about local 'bagger/Republican candidates and unless the party and the 'baggers - including locals right here in Putnam County - roundly and vociferously disavows Mr. Iott's campaign and the others like going on across the nation this year, the entire movement becomes suspect of collusion. Silence, after all, equates to acquiescence.

Carl Paladino

Oy vey! What can one say when a guy running for governor intentionally pisses off one constituency in order to curry favor with another that he hopes has more votes? That's what Carl Paladino has been doing these past few weeks with one of his attempts at buying votes from Hasidic Jews by taking a line from Greg Ball about whether gays and lesbians are equal citizens or not.
So now we've got Leibell, Ball and Paladino all in the same camp.

But as the stomach churns on this we cannot forget how many of the loudest anti-gay voices in this nation are usually found - sooner or later - on the bottom end of a boytoy or two. Here. Here. Here. Here. Here. Here.

Luckily neither Carl nor Vinnie are my type.
See you on Wednesday!
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