Wednesday, October 27, 2010

News That Matters - Wednesday, October 27, 2010

News That Matters

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

Good Wednesday Morning,

From the Town of Kent:
It is with great sadness to inform everyone of the passing of former Putnam County Legislator and Town of Kent Supervisor Arne H. Nordstrom on Sunday, October 25, 2010.  The arrangements are as follows: BALSAMO/CORDOVANO FUNERAL HOME, Church Street, Carmel, New York. The family will be receiving friends on Thursday, 10/28/2010 at the Funeral Home from 2:00 PM to 4:00 PM and 7:00 PM to 9:00 PM. In lieu of flowers, the family requests that donations be made to the Diabetes Association.
Last week I wrote the Putnam Times inquiring whether it was legal for unsigned political advertisements to be published in a newspaper. Here is the response from Marty Collins:
While I do not handle the advertising arrangements for the newspaper, I do believe the ad was sent to us by Leibell campaign personnel. As for it having to have a campaign signature, I have been told that it is not a legal requirement.
Can anyone shed any more light on that?

Do you play Farmville, Mafia Wars or Texas Hold'em on Facebook? You do? Well your identifying personal data is like - everywhere - and the makers of the game are facing Federal lawsuit over it. And all you needed was just one more cow!

Aurora: Reading of a new play by Patterson's Tony Howarth: This Saturday, October 30 at 8 PM at the Cultural Center on Lake Carmel/Arts on the Lake. Locked in a prison in his mind, a Vietnam Veteran is shaken by his encounter with an Illegal Immigrant trying to avoid a prison that is more literal. The cast for this reading: Lester: Sean Hopkins, Eduardo: Angel Morales, Olivia: Zulie Lozada, Poppy: Lora Lee Ecobelli, Hamilton: Paul Dommermuth, Pierce: Jeff Green, Stage Directions: Bart Cook. Tickets:  $8.00 – $10.00 Visit Arts on the Lake for more information.

Election Edition Roundup:

"Awesome post today - Election Round Up Edition. Thanks for that!!!!" -SS
"Another great Jeff Green column! " - MS
"I enjoyed your commentaries on the upcoming contests.  Thanks for the perspective." -GB

The response from Monday's column has been intense and all-positive. People I don't even like have lauded it as an objective examination of the current political situation in this county. On the other hand, one writer suggested I might now need "protection" and we'll find out if that is true over the next few months.

Mike Santos of Brewster had this to say:
I like George's idea of "None of the Above", and prefer it to skipping the County Executive line altogether. Although "None of the Above" cannot be elected, a large enough percentage of such votes might give pause to the winner, whomever it may be, and endow them with some humility during their term, if they are capable of humility. It might arm the County Legislature with the political courage to stand up to the winner more often on more issues, and ensure that no one becomes a dictator, or anything close to it.

On the other hand, consider writing in "Jeff Green".

Jeff is not a member of either major party, and is more likely to form a non-partisan administration than either GOP candidate...and a few years of non-partisan government is exactly what Putnam County desperately needs.

Jeff probably knows more about the environmental issues facing Putnam than any two other people I know. You don't care about environmental issues? Wait until the bills start arriving for state-mandated stormwater remediation under Phase II of MS-4. The recent memo posted here by Supervisor Rights tells me that the outflow of tens of millions of dollars from each of our eastern Towns has already begun.

You might want to ponder on that.

Do you worry that Jeff might actually win a write-in campaign, as Ball recently did in the Conservative Party primary?

It is possible, I admit.

Jeff has many stances on various issues that some may find to be negatives. Certainly, Jeff and I have crossed swords on this Group more than once in the past. However, should Jeff be elected, let us remember that he'd be held in check by a solidly Republican majority in the County Legislature on policy matters and budget.

Jeff may do better by Putnam than either GOP candidate; he could hardly do worse.

So just in case I do win, here's my platform:
  • If elected I'll cut the CE's salary in half and either bicycle or scooter to work as often as possible.
  • I will allow commissioners the ability to work free of a pre-set political agenda and if they develop one, I'll fire their asses.
  • I won't hire Insite Engineering for anything.
  • I'll find something meaningful for Ed Barnett to do and give him the authority to do it.
  • I'll turn Putnam County into a vacation "destination" for the 20 million who live within 90 minutes drive of here to generate business income and sales taxes.
  • I will institute the PACE program so that homeowners can get micro-loans to make their homes more energy efficient, thus saving them hundreds of dollars each year.
  • I'll suggest the county Legislature take a 30% reduction in pay and use those funds to support the arts as an economic engine for the region.
  • I will make the IDA actually do what IDA's do and seek out green businesses to settle in Putnam County at under-utilized commercial locations thus creating jobs and generating tax income.
  • I'll start a bio-fuel oil co-op county wide.
  • I will open the county's health insurance pool to any resident who wants in possibly saving the county tens of thousands in annual health care costs.
  • I'll reopen the county recycling center and with the proceeds open a traveling/motorized walk-in health clinic for those earning under $24,000 a year. 
  • You know how the county guarantees delinquent school taxes? Not anymore!
  • I will not build a million dollar home in Patterson.
  • Until the unemployment rate drops to 7.5% the county will not assist in any foreclosure proceedings against county residents.
  • I will require the Department of Consumer Affairs to work *for* contractors rather than against them.
  • I will not have a horse farm in Steuben County.
  • I will still have the Annual Garden Party.
  • I'll see to a completion of the rail trail and sidewalks from the Hamlet to Put Plaza.
  • By the end of my tenure every county building will either be sporting solar panels, geothermal heat pumps or an environmental overhaul to save an equivalent amount of energy - and money.
  • Buildable vacant properties in residential zones that come up for the county tax sale will be held and sold for a nominal amount to various land trusts to keep property taxes down.
  • I will see that the State installs proper signals and turning lanes between the Reed Library and Smalley's to alleviate the traffic congestion there.
  • We'll be farming over at Tilly Foster to generate enough cellulosic ethanol to power a portion of the county car and truck fleet thus saving tens of thousands of dollars a year.
  • I will open a satellite office in Philipstown and encourage the county Legislature to meet there 4 months out of the year.
  • I will discourage the building of new 'senior housing' units to slow the growth of the cost of Medicaid.
  • I will hold office hours on Saturdays for constituents to come in, have a cup of coffee and chat a while.
  • I will suggest to the legislature that the public be allowed to vote - line by line - on the budget in a non-binding referendum.
Consider that a start towards governmental sanity.

And now, The News:

Church unveils massive solar-panel system

By Alman Ali

PLEASANTVILLE — The Rev. Paul Egensteiner joked that the Emanuel Lutheran Church should celebrate the installation of 134 solar panels on the congregation's rooftop.

"Somebody suggested a bottle of champagne but, with electricity, I figure that wouldn't work well," he said with a chuckle.

The church on Sunday dedicated the new panels, which will convert sunlight into electricity for the building. The initiative was led by Gerard Falco, chairman of the church's environmental stewardship committee.

"Like a lot of churches, this is a statement about the environment," he said. "We consider the planet to be God's gift to us and this is our moral obligation to preserve it."

Read More

Incline Railway supporters want line up and running in two years

BEACON – The Mount Beacon Incline Railway, out of commission for some 27 years, was a major tourist attraction for over 70 years.

The incline railroad, which climbed the steep Mount Beacon to its crest from 1902 through 1978, would cost millions to rebuild. But, despite that lofty goal, members of the Mount Beacon Incline Railway Restoration Society have a timetable by which they would like to resume service, said Beacon City Mayor Steven Gold, a member of the effort.

Read More

Cops: Motorists shoot deer from car, crossbow shaft hits house

By Dwight R. Worley

SUFFERN — Two men were arrested Sunday after a crossbow fired from a car killed a deer, Ramapo police said.

One of the men was accused of firing a crossbow into the woods near West Carlton and College roads about 7 p.m., police said.

The shaft went through a deer and struck the front of a nearby home about 18 inches below a picture window, Sgt. Robert Lancia said. The home was occupied, but no one was hurt, he said.

The deer ran about 75 yards before collapsing, Lancia said.

Read More

Ten Questions for Tea Partiers

By Ralph Nader

Here are ten questions for Tea Partiers that they want or do not want to answer. I say it this way because people who call themselves Tea Partiers do not have the same view of politics, government, Big Business or the Constitution. Their opinions range from pure Libertarian to actively furthering the privileges of plutocracy. Their income and occupational background vary as well, though most seem to be middle-income and up.

My guess is that most Tea Partiers come from the conservative wing of the Republican Party who are fed up with both the corporate Republicans like Bush and Cheney, as well as the Democrats like Barack Obama and Nancy Pelosi.

With the above in mind, the following questions can serve to go beyond abstractions and generalizations of indignation and get to some more specific responses.

1. Can you be against Big Government and not press for reductions in the vast military budgets, fraught with bureaucratic and large contractors’ waste, fraud and abuse? Military spending now takes up half of the federal government’s operating budgets. The libertarian Cato Institute believes that to cut deficits, we have to also cut the defense budget.

2. Can you believe in the free market and not condemn hundreds of billions of dollars of corporate welfare-bailouts, subsidies, handouts, and giveaways?

Read More

Eight False Things the Public "Knows" Prior to Election Day

by: Dave Johnson

There are a number of things the public "knows" as we head into the election that are just false. If people elect leaders based on false information, the things those leaders do in office will not be what the public expects or needs.

Here are eight of the biggest myths that are out there:

1) President Obama tripled the deficit.
Reality: Bush's last budget had a $1.416 trillion deficit. Obama's first budget reduced that to $1.29 trillion.

2) President Obama raised taxes, which hurt the economy.
Reality: Obama cut taxes. 40% of the "stimulus" was wasted on tax cuts which only create debt, which is why it was so much less effective than it could have been.

3) President Obama bailed out the banks.
Reality: While many people conflate the "stimulus" with the bank bailouts, the bank bailouts were requested by President Bush and his Treasury Secretary, former Goldman Sachs CEO Henry Paulson. (Paulson also wanted the bailouts to be "non-reviewable by any court or any agency.") The bailouts passed and began before the 2008 election of President Obama.

Read More
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