Wednesday, October 6, 2010

News That Matters - Wednesday, October 6, 2010

News That Matters

News That Matters
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Good Wednesday Morning,

If you're not yet registered to vote or you know someone who is not, you have until Friday to do so. If you're not registered, what are you doing reading News That Matters in the first place?

Imagine if all the rain we've had in the past ten days fell evenly during the summer? The unofficial measure here at News That Matters in the Free State of Western Kent is just shy of 10 inches since it started raining last week.

Future of the Hudson River Watershed - 6:30-9pm tonight in Newburgh. Sandy Galef will be joining NYS Assemblyman Frank Skartados at the Newburgh Free Library, 124 Grand Street, Newburgh, for a community forum on the Future of the Hudson River and its Watershed.  The Hudson River Estuary Action Agenda provides crucial planning to protect one of our greatest local and state resources. Fran Dunwell, New York State Department of Environmental Conservation’s Hudson River Estuary Coordinator will be on hand to discuss and answer questions about the Action Agenda. It is critical that we are all aware of the issues that threaten our environment and the plans to protect it so we can work together to ensure a successful future.

It's a rather political Wednesday:

Considering that Jean Noel is not running for office next year and her son, Billy insists that he isn't running either, both seem to be positioning themselves for a race they've said they're not interested in. Billy recently joined the Kent Fire Department's police unit and Jean continues to appear at town board meetings, of late, criticizing the town's website for not getting data she wants posted as quickly as she'd like. She may have a point. Maybe not. It's hard to say.
But the real question in Kent is this: why does the board vote on the Town's budget the week *after* the election and not before? There's plenty of time to move the vote before the election so we have a better idea of who is voting for tax hikes and who is not. But the board won't even talk about it.

If you live in Kent write the board and ask them to move their budget vote. If the county Legislature can vote on their budget before the election there's no reason the town cannot do the same.
If you are a Southeast resident, move. I mean, really now... that's about the only way you're going to escape the nightmare that pervades meetings of that town's government.

If the battle for County Executive was being played out on social networking sites, Maryellen Odell would be the hands-down winner. According to their Facebook pages, MEO has 1,355 friends while the Senator has 470. Mike Kaplowitz has a mere 819 compared to Greg Ball's 4,111.

In a recent Iona College poll commissioned by the right-leaning Westchester County Association, 78% of Republicans (vs 50% of Democrats) said that Albany was so dysfunctional that all incumbents should be voted out of office. Yet, nearly half of the same voters said they were favoring Greg Ball in the upcoming election. Of course, none of that makes sense so I'm asking my Republican readers, if you're so dead-set against Albany incumbents, why are you supporting one? Write and tell us why. We really need to figure this out.

Many of us received a robo call from the Ball campaign yesterday that was scandalous at best. It came from an unknown private number and never identified the caller nor the organization it was from. In other words, it didn't say, "I'm Greg Ball and I approve this message," or whatever thing that's supposed to be there. We don't know if the call came from the Ball campaign or from some Saudi sheik or from the ghost of Dick Cheney. And though it may not be illegal to place unidentified campaign calls to your home it should be.
If you get one of these calls, pick up your phone and dial (845) 582-0548 and tell the Ball campaign to take your number off their list. You have a right to do that especially if the caller refuses to tell you who they are or who they are calling for.
A group chaired by Garrison resident George Pataki, Revere America, has spent just shy of $50,000 opposing congressman John Hall's re-election bid. As a 501(c)(4), it is free to accept corporate donations and is not required to disclose donors. But Hall should be pleased that the group has spent more than $700,000 opposing New Hampshire's Carol Shea-Porter.
The organization's primary concern is repeal of the health care bill and replacing it with provisions to make the rich richer and the insurance companies fatter. I'm guessing we can figure out who is funding this organization and Nan Hayworth's campaign.
A few weeks ago the Pew Forum released a poll that showed most Americans know nothing much about religion in general nor about their own in particular. Jews and atheists scored the highest while Black Protestants and Hispanic Catholics scored the lowest. Evangelicals scored 30% less than the top.
How much do you know about religion in general? Take the test here and let us know how you faired. It'll take you less than 5 minutes.
The Hudson Valley Patriots, the bagger group who has given Greg Ball, Steven Katz and Maryellen Odell so much of their attention, is reporting the latest government scandal at their website. No, it's not graft and corruption. No, it's not the FBI raiding anti-war and environmental organizations. No, it's not warrant-less wiretaps nor home searches. And no, it's not being stopped by border patrol agents 100 miles away from the border. None of those issues have made their radar.
But what has is that the EPA wants the shower head industry to build flow restrictors into their product so that they cannot be taken out with a pair of needle-nosed pliers. Some of the newer models, they report, use as much as 12 gallons per minute and Americans, especially those using public water supplies, should have the right to pour hundreds of gallons of water on their bodies whenever they want regardless of the impact of using so much water on their neighbors. Patriots? I question that.

There's a real, actual civil war going on in Mexico these days between the government and local drug cartels. Hundreds have been killed and hundreds more kidnapped. Both the police and the cartels have violated pretty much every human rights law on their books as well as some that haven't even been invented yet and since 2006 when Mexican President Calderone began this whole thing 28,000 Mexicans have died.
What are they fighting over? Mostly the supply of marijuana destined for the United States. How can we end that war, save near $100 billion a year in US tax dollars, restore constitutional integrity and free up prison space for actual criminals? Legalize marijuana. It's really that simple.
So, the great state of Texas murdered a guy for allegedly setting fire to his house and killing three people but the evidence is now under serious question as that collected by investigators has been found to be, well, not that all that expert and it is now generally agreed that their testimony is suspect.
If you want to be killed by the government then Texas is the place to go. It leads the nation in summary executions based on faulty evidence so you can imagine the noise being generated by local police and DA's who are now being threatened with losing their #1 status (463) to second ranked Virginia (108).

Wow. That was a lot of bad news!

Let's try something different and lighten your mood a bit. Everyone loves cats, right? Okay, mostly everyone. Personally, I think that cats were left here by alien civilizations to keep an eye on us and report back their findings. What do you think your cat is doing when it sits there staring off into space for hours on end? Yes, it's telepathically communicating back to the home planet and boy, are they ever laughing out there in the Andromeda galaxy!
But we also know how hard it is sometimes to corral your alien cat or to get it to do what you want and there's a game online that underscores that complexity. Circle the cat. It's office safe, assuming you have nothing more important to do.

And now, The News:

Officials: Moose remains elusive


BEACON — The moose that was spotted in southern Dutchess County this weekend is still on the loose, officials said.

Wendy Rosenbach, a spokeswoman for the state Department of Environmental Conservation said as of Tuesday morning there were no reports that the young bull moose had been captured.

Rosenbach said while moose are quite large, "they can be very elusive."

"We’re not sure where it is right now," she said.

The moose may have migrated northeast from the City of Beacon toward the Town of East Fishkill, officials said Monday.

"He was last seen at the Fairview Cemetery, near the Beacon-Fishkill line at about 10 p.m. last night," said Detective Sgt. Louis Lucato.

Read More

Those who sprawled may be in trouble


They fanned out to the suburbs a half century ago -- young families drawn by open land and new neighborhoods that were separated from the congestion of the city.

They built stretches of homes, erected schools and separated their living spaces from the factories and office buildings and retail centers.

That suburban layout has been popular for decades, but aging Michiganders might find that the same sprawl will make them homebound once they can no longer drive, experts say.

"Southeast Michigan is auto-dependent. It's in our DNA," said Robin Boyle, chairman of Wayne State University's Department of Urban Studies and Planning. "People are aging in place in this model of the suburban home that's dependent on the Buick leaving the house every morning."

But older adults may face "a whole list of reasons why you won't be able to move that Buick," Boyle said.

And that means reshaping the way cities and villages and counties think about their communities.

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SUNY New Paltz benefits from federal grant for solar research

NEW PALTZ – SUNY New Paltz will $5 million for solar energy research.  The funding comes after Rep. Maurice Hinchey was able to amend a defense bill earlier this year in which the Department of Defense must purchase solar panels with at least 50 percent of American made materials.  Hinchey is a member of the House Defense Appropriations Subcommittee.

“The provision of this funding is going to generate a greater stimulation, a greater insight, and more creativity in this critically important issue, which is designed to make this nation energy independent; make us able to generate more and more energy directly from the sun and use it in very solid and secure ways and ways that are going to be less and less expensive and more and more effective”, said Congressman Maurice Hinchey, who announced the funding Tuesday

 SUNY New Paltz will work with The Solar Energy Consortium to develop solar technology, and the facilities to be used to conduct the research are expected in place within the next 18 months.

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Portable Wind Turbines Can Follow the Wind

Before a wind farm is built, a long time - often years - goes into figuring out exactly where to place the turbines so that they harness an optimal amount of wind energy.  But what if you had the ability to move a wind turbine to a different spot whenever the wind changes?

That's the idea behind the Mobile Wind Turbine concept designed by Pope Design.  The turbine is mounted to hybrid truck that runs off energy supplied by the turbine or a diesel generator when the batteries completely drain.  When the truck is parked, the turbine can be erected and start producing electricity.

It's unlikely that an entire wind farm would be made up of these, but for places like military bases, schools or businesses where only one or a few would be used, they might be ideal for maximizing the amount of clean energy that's generated.  Also, a mobile wind energy generator would be a perfect solution for emergency disaster relief operations.

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11 Patriotic Lessons from the Tea Party Guide to American History

History is too important to be left to people who've actually read history books.

Hi Patriots:

Tired of textbooks written by liberals who wipe their muddy feet on the American flag and won't be happy until all of our children are vegetarian, atheist, and gay? Then order the new 'Tea Party Guide to American History," and save your child from the siren call of socialist homosexuality.

This book will teach your children no more or less than what they need to know to be able to have a defiant, admirably unreflective perspective on their country's history. Things like this:

1. American Prehistory:

In 6,000 BC, the land containing the present-day United States was created, by God. Large masses of land surrounding the current Unites States were also created, for purposes known only in heaven.

The land containing the United States was designated for a special purpose by God – a future safe haven for the teachings of Jesus, and a place where women shouldn’t be able to get abortions and men should never use condoms. However, God’s plan is marred when pockets of original sin develop in parts of the northeastern and Midwestern states and in present-day California – these will later become “blue” states.

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GOP pledges to continue being the 'party of no'

A NYJN Editorial

The House Republicans' recently unveiled "Pledge to America" must count on Americans having uncommonly short, even failing memories.

The pledge is a collection of campaign promises from the GOP — their road map on where they would take the nation if entrusted by voters once again with control of the House of Representatives.

The 21-page pledge does not address, at least not in a serious way, the problems plaguing Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, under-funded retirements, borrowed-for wars, the federal budget deficit, the widening income gap between rich and poor, or tax fairness. It does, however, give Republicans some familiar campaign talking points. Their operating manifesto these past 21 months — "the party of no" — does not engender much confidence or read well on a bumper sticker. But it is, the thinking must be, better than nothing.

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