Monday, November 22, 2010

News That Matters - Monday, November 22, 2010

News That Matters

News That Matters
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"I'll be long gone before some smart person ever figures out what happened inside this Oval Office."
~ George W. Bush

Good Monday Morning,

Back in the day when the county was giving Tilly Foster Farm over to a private individual to run for 40 years as he saw fit, where did you first read about it? That's right - here at News That Matters.

And last spring when Vinnie Tamagna was set to give Paul Camarda $3.7 million taxpayer dollars, where did you first read about it? That's right - here at News That Matters.

A long list of breaking news, organizing battles - and winning as many as we could - all of that happens here at News That Matters.

I just thought I'd remind you all of the value of this news column just in case you became complacent and forgot.
And when you want local news or you're interested in knowing what you can do to effect local change, where do you go? You might pay 75 cents for the FOX Courier or you might do no more than click on a link or open your email box and find that information right here largely at no cost. Again, just a reminder of the value of this newsletter as it comes to your email box three times each week.

If you're looking for work and you've maintained a 3.5GPA in school and you want to work in Albany then I have the job for you! Senator elect Greg Ball is advertising for a new Chief of Staff (which makes me wonder what's happening with the most excellent Dan Branda). The salary is between $70-90,000. This is from the notice:
Required: Bachelor's degree with minimum GPA of 3.25 in political science, public policy, government, communications or a related field, plus 5+ years; experience as a Legislative Assistant, Legislative Director and/or Chief of Staff OR 2+ years; experience as Chief of Staff for a New York state legislator.

Preferred: Master's degree or Ph.D. in political science, public policy, government, communications or a related field; 2+ years; experience as Chief of Staff for a New York State Senator.
So what? you say? Well, who do you send your application to? You sent it to Charlie Miles, Acting Chief of Staff with an email address at (drum roll please....)

And who is Exceed International? Remember that redevelopment plan for downtown Brewster (assuming the taxpayers picked up the tab) and whose office Greg opened up in Pawling (7 Chapin Lane) when Senator Leibell brought him back to the fold and introduced him to the world? You do? Excellent. Then you'll also remember that Exceed International is headquartered at 964 Spafford St., Antioch, IL 60002. And according to LinkdIn, it's officers are Sai G., Chennai, India, Udayashanker, Y., Chennai, India and Chris L., the CEO for Exceed, somewhere near Chicago.

Okay. So, who is Charlie Miles? Is he a political staffer in New York? Has he been working on state Senate staffs or Assembly members? No. He's the Founder, CEO & President at Exceed Corporation | Exceed Properties, Inc., as well as a graduate of the US Air Force Academy.

The Ballster hasn't even taken office and already he's shipping local jobs out of the area.

But there's more... remember CUEG? Here's the write-up from the Exceed International website:

Citizens United for Ethical Growth (Check out their very active website!)
Exceed's respect and concern for preserving a community's historical legacy and the environment is demonstrated through our partnership with Citizens United for Ethical Growth. CUEG, a group of New Yorkers committed to creating a shared future of hope, growth and opportunity, is solidly in favor of creating a Master Plan for Smart Growth in Southern New York. Exceed has stepped up to the plate, and is providing this non-partisan organization with the capability to create such a plan.

We are currently strategically aligning ourselves to collect information from governmental and non-governmental resources in order to build a comprehensive plan for smart growth for this historic region. We have formally extended an open invitation to community leaders, elected officials, planning and school board members, environmental activists, developers, and other interested citizens to join us in creating this plan. Once complete (projected Summer 2005), Exceed Development will work with Citizens United for Ethical Growth to bring this plan to fruition.
I could keep going on an digging ever deeper into this but I think that's enough for now.

But I'll guarantee this: You would not have read this in the Courier or the Putnam Times or the Journal News nor in the Examiner: but here at News That Matters!

Paul Camarda's team says that Union Place would be successful and similar to "Blue Black Square" in West Hartford, CT. BBS, however, was an urban renewal project built on under-utilized commercial land in the middle of an already urbanized area whereas Union Place is proposed for a suburban location where 300 acres worth of trees need to be cleared. Here's an image that shows the scale of Blue Black Square in relation to the proposed Union Place. BBS is the inset, scaled properly to show its few acres as compared to what is being proposed.

And now, The News:
  1. Mahopac school district missed Medicaid reimbursements, state comptroller says
  2. Mountainkeeper calls for national moratorium on natural gas drilling
  3. U.S. must switch to renewable energy faster, expert says at WestConn
  4. New York City to fix leaking aqueduct
  5. Method That Turns Wastelands Green Wins 2010 Buckminster Fuller Challenge
  6. Glenn Beck's Jewish Problem
  7. TSA checkpoints: Real-life horrors

Mahopac school district missed Medicaid reimbursements, state comptroller says

ALBANY – An audit of the Mahopac Central School district’s Medicaid reimbursements found the district was not reimbursed for services for fiscal year 2009-09 because the contractor that provided services for Medicaid-eligible special education students did not file claims with the state Health Department.

The audit also found the district failed to monitor the contractor to ensure that the contractor submitted all claims to the state agency and failed to monitor Medicaid reimbursement claims to ensure that the district received all Medicaid aid to which it is entitled.

Read More - Read the Report

Mountainkeeper calls for national moratorium on natural gas drilling
YOUNGSVILLE – The Catskill Mountainkeeper organization is calling on President Obama’s administration not to approve any more natural gas drilling permits until the EPA’s study of the impacts of hydrofracking has been completed.

Mountainkeeper said that while the United States, especially in the Marcellus Shale region, have reserves of natural gas and there is interest in developing them, they are “enormously concerned about the idea of fast tracking natural gas exploration and the risks such actions will bring.”

Mountainkeeper volunteer Bruce Janklow, who is the group’s spokesman on this subject, said it is important for no more permits be granted for now.

Read More

U.S. must switch to renewable energy faster, expert says at WestConn

Vinti Singh, Staff Writer - Danbury News-Times

DANBURY -- The United States will run out of all its domestic oil reserves in three years if oil use continues at current rates, while the world has about 40 years left until all of the oil is gone, environment expert Drury Bacon said Thursday.

It's time to seriously begin looking at alternate energy sources, Bacon said. He spoke to community members at the "Science-at-Night" lecture series at Western Connecticut State University.

Bacon is an alternative energy consultant and chemical engineer for Allwest Energy, an Arizona-based company founded in the 1990s to design and install solar and wind electric systems.

"The good news is, we have plenty of alternative energy," he said. "Is there enough time to make a difference? I think so."

Alternative energy, including wind and solar power, is abundant and the technology already exists to begin producing alternative energy for mass consumption, said Bacon, who founded the organization Friends of the Environment.

Read More

New York City to fix leaking aqueduct

ELLENVILLE - After completing over a decade’s worth of research into the structural integrity of the Delaware Aqueduct, New York City Environmental Protection Commissioner Cas Holloway presented damage findings and preliminary concepts and plan designs for repairs. But, the repairs won’t be fixed for eight years as plans are put in place to perform the work.

They will cover over 5,000 linear feet of cracks responsible for leaking upwards of 35 million gallons of water daily into the ground below communities along its path, specifically in the towns of Wawarsing and Roseton.

A major component of the project is a 3.5-mile bypass tunnel, under the Hudson, north of Newburgh, linking the Roseton area in the Town of Newburgh, to Wappinger in Dutchess County. 

Read More

Method That Turns Wastelands Green Wins 2010 Buckminster Fuller Challenge

Livestock might not be just the cause of desertification--they might also be the solution.

Today, the Buckminster Fuller Institute announced the winner of its 2010 Challenge: Allan Savory, who has spent the last 50 years refining and evangelizing for a method of reversing desertification that he calls "holistic management." The African Center for Holistic Management International, an NGO he helped found, will take home a $100,000 grant.

The Buckminster Fuller Challenge is meant to award big, sweeping solutions to seemingly intractable problems. As the Institute's executive director, Elizabeth Thompson, tells, "The approach was pioneered by Fuller. We're looking for strategies that solve multiple problems at once, not just surgical implementations that don't address the root problem."

Savory's work fits the bill. By combating desertification in Africa, he argues that families are able to once again earn a living from the land; that in turn reduces poverty and violence. "Allan is an absolute pioneer in ecological design," says Thompson.

Read More

Glenn Beck's Jewish Problem

by Steve Rendall for FAIR
Last Wednesday (Glenn Beck Program, 11/10/10), we got a glimpse of how low Glenn Beck will go to smear a political opponent.  Beck's lie that philanthropist George Soros helped "send the Jews to the death camps" during World War II, was, in essence, an attack on a Jewish child for the heartbreaking things he was put through in the course of surviving the Holocaust.

But the smear was just part of the anti-Soros crusade Beck is carrying out on his national radio program and his Fox News show, portraying Soros as an "puppet master" who operates behind the scenes to destroy America as we know it and bring on a new international order. The language and imagery Beck employs in his attacks on Soros has provoked charges of  anti-Semitism from the Daily Beast's Michelle Goldberg, among others. According to Goldberg:
Soros, a billionaire financier and patron of liberal causes, has long been an object of hatred on the right. But Beck went beyond demonizing him; he cast him as the protagonist in an updated Protocols of the Elders of Zion. He described Soros as the most powerful man on earth, the creator of a "shadow government" that manipulates regimes and currencies for its own enrichment. Obama is his "puppet," Beck says. Soros has even "infiltrated the churches." He foments social unrest and economic distress so he can bring down governments, all for his own financial gain.
Goldberg leaves little doubt about whether she thinks Beck’s broadcasts are anti-Semitic--she calls them "a symphony of anti-Semitic dog whistles"-- but she allows that Beck may not fully understand the historical the terms and images he is dealing in:
It's entirely possible that Beck has waded into anti-Semitic waters inadvertently, that he picked up toxic ideas from his right-wing demimonde without realizing their anti-Jewish provenance.
Whatever the case, it's not the first time Beck has been linked to anti-Semitism, or at least to anti-Semites. As Media Matters has observed, Beck's reading list, the roster of books he recommends to his viewers and listeners, includes titles by notorious anti-Semites:

Read More

TSA checkpoints: Real-life horrors

'Security is one thing, license to molest people is another'

By Bob Unruh

Dozens of real-life horror stories have poured into WND in the 24 hours since a special hotline e-mail was set up to allow people to report their close encounters of the TSA kind, including a 70-year-old whose fudge "contraband" was discovered, a Los Angeles passenger who was "groped" four times and a man who was the target of a TSA screaming fit when he chose to opt-out of the "porno scan."

Just a day earlier, WND reported on the growing movement by activists and citizens to push back against Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano's plans for "enhanced" screening at airport checkpoints.

Read More
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