Already suffering from increased attendance, insufficient funding, and low-paid staff and teachers, Adirondack Community College (ACC) now has to deal with Washington and Warren county governments acting like children. Washington County behavior in particular is frankly disgusting. While pushing a tax break that in some towns reduces taxes by nearly 30 percent, they are refusing to adequately support their only local college… it’s no wonder Whitehall, Fort Edward, and Fort Anne look the way they do.
New York’s Community College system has been the neglected workhorse of the state’s higher education system, which is, as always, under great strain from inattention and being terrorized by political hacks.
For your scary enjoyment:
Some folks over at the BlueMoo.net Adirondack community board are worried about their kids holding their breath… yeah… big danger there.
And why we’re on Adirondack community boards, the amazingly dull Adirondacks Live Journal is looking for a new moderator.
Oh yeah… got junk mail problems? Think of the fun you can have with this.
There has been quite a turnover of bloggers recently. Gen X at 40 reports “Ray quit blogging yesterday and is released from the burden.” And sadly Democracy in Albany is reporting their “imminent retirement. At the very least I’m taking a sabbatical (at least 3 months).” This following their being voted Metroland’s Best Blog (News) this past year:
Despite all of the you-scratch-my-back attention heaped on certain blogs by local media (i.e., the Times Union’s oft-requited love for the schizophrenic Albany Eye blog), the author of DIA has managed to make his Internet soapbox into the most consistent and insightful forum on the Web for discussing the issues affecting the Capital Region. DIA and its legion of regular commenters succeed where their counterparts fail: welcoming debate on entries, encouraging the spread of information, casting a wide-reaching, critical eye on local media (including Metroland, of course) and generally providing a great online clearinghouse for all things regional and political.
They come and they go. New regional blog additions include:
A deadly strain of influenza could mutate and begin to spread aggressively among humans. There have already been dozens of cases where the disease made the leap from birds to people and in extremely rare instances the avian flu appears to have passed between humans. More than a hundred and twenty people have been infected so far, most of them in Asia. Nearly half died.
NCPR has also provided some links we’re copy here along with a discussion of the possibility from American Scientific:
- The CDC’s Bird Flu Page
- NY Department of Health Flu Info
- NCPR’s Report on last years flu vaccine shortage
Next, consider the shortage of Tamiflu, the drug considered most effective in combating H5N1 the avian influenza (a.k.a. Asian bird flu).
And from the CDC a short history:
Outbreaks of influenza H5N1 occurred among poultry in eight countries in Asia (Cambodia, China, Indonesia, Japan, Laos, South Korea, Thailand, and Vietnam) during late 2003 and early 2004. At that time, more than 100 million birds in the affected countries either died from the disease or were killed in order to try to control the outbreak. By March 2004, the outbreak was reported to be under control. Beginning in late June 2004, however, new outbreaks of influenza H5N1 among poultry were reported by several countries in Asia (Cambodia, China [Tibet], Indonesia, Kazakhastan, Malaysia, Mongolia, Russia [Siberia], Thailand, and Vietnam). It is believed that these outbreaks are ongoing. Most recently, influenza H5N1 has been reported among poultry in Turkey and Romania [and today Russia and Croatia, ed]. Human infections of influenza A (H5N1) have been reported in Cambodia, Indonesia, Thailand, and Vietnam.
Luckily, and this may be our saving grace if the axe ever does fall – we don’t live in overcrowded suburban hell.
ADK Almanack has been following the campaign of Albany mayoral candidate and progressive ADK native Alice Green – yesterday Ralph Nader was in town to support her candidacy, demand the current mayor Gerald Jennings, a.k.a. sun-tan man, debate her and to oppose the Abany Convention Center debacle.
Democracy in Albany has mixed feelings about the Nader-Green appearance, but did like one thing that Nader said:
“The mayor is a back-door escape artist who doesn’t want any exchange with organized citizenry,” said Nader, who said the city’s one-party domination means “that you don’t have an election, you have a coronation.”
That sounds like another fine institution about 45 minutes north.
Two soldiers from Lowville have been killed while serving in Iraq. Seamus Davey, 25, and Kelly Cannan, 21. Two more lives lost, two more families damaged. The son’s and daughters of the rich and powerful are avoiding the military like the plague and Iraqi veterans are suffering from plagues of their own.
Some facts from the last Gulf War according to the Department of Veterans Affairs (as of March 1, 2001):
696,661 U.S. troops served in the Gulf War between August 2, 1990 and July 31, 1991 — these are considered “Gulf War Conflict” veterans by the VA
Of the 696,628, 504,047 are separated from service and eligible for benefits through the VA
As of December 1999, more than 263,000 sought medical care at the VA
Of the 504,047 eligible veterans, 185,780 (36%) filed claims against the VA for service-related medical disabilities
Of the 171,878 VA claims actually processed, 149,094 (80%) were approved in part (note — most claims are made up of multiple issues, if any one issue is granted, VA considers it approved)
Of the 504,047 eligible for VA benefits, 149,094 (29%) are now considered disabled by the VA eleven since the start of the Gulf War; and
Another 13,902 claims against the VA still pending.
More than 9,600 Gulf War veterans have died.
Conflict veterans are 51% more likely to have their claims denied than “theater” veterans (those who served in the Gulf since August 1, 1991)
When the first soldier from the North Country to die in Iraq was buried two years ago there was a lot of talk in the Adirondacks about whether or not his life was wasted on a immoral and illegal war waged for the rich with the lives of the working class. Now the widow of Kevin Kimmerly is finally speaking out against the war that took her husband and son’s father. Some excerpts:
“Why did we start a war with Iraq? President Bush had no proof of weapons of mass destruction, although he said he did. It was so obvious to other countries the weapons didn’t exist.”
She said the U.S. government should have allowed NATO more time to inspect for the weapons.
“It makes me so mad … not just for the loss of my own husband. No good is coming from the war, and it’s not getting any better,” she said. “Every day it goes on, and there’s just more pain and suffering. Every time they report that another soldier has died, I know what the soldier’s family is going through.”
Kevin Kimmerly had been deployed to Iraq in April 2003, soon after President Bush announced confidently that the war was “over,” she said… Kimmerly was mortally wounded just two weeks before he was due to return to the United States to be stationed in Kansas.
…as a self-described “news junkie,” [Mrs. Kimmerly] dreams of a career in law or politics. Through the latter, she said, perhaps make changes in the world. “I’d like to change so many things in government and politics that don’t make any sense,” she said.
The day Kevin Kimmerly was buried a local pub was filled with people defending the war and swearing he didn’t die in vain… that somehow, we’d see it was all worth his life… how easy it was for them then, how quickly they’ve forgotten Kevin Kimmerly and the nearly 2,000 others… now, the war is never mentioned, unless someone argues that it’s a waste – then the big mouths, moving to the edge of their seats, start in with their ignorance.
C&S Wholesale Grocers of Keene, N.H., has agreed to buy the two Tops Markets stores in Saranac Lake and the stores in Elizabethtown, Bolton Landing, AuSable Forks, Schroon Lake, Peru, North Creek, Corinth, Warrensburg and Chestertown.
Now we can only hope they actually do something worthwhile with these stores instead of just using them to exploit locals without other supermarket options.
Environmental Advocates have released their annual voters guide and once again the representatives in the Adirondack region have some of the worst scores in the state. Our representatives Betty Little and Teresa Sayward definately need to go. Little is currently working to get all of the RV campgrounds in the Adirondacks put under the control of the Health Department after successfully spreading a large volume of mis-information regarding proposed APA rules for newly built campgrounds that would require them to undergo strict review of their often seriously underdesigned sewage systems. These campgrounds, which provide little by way of tourism dollars, are toxic wastelands waiting to be “discovered.” Full time residents of the park can only hope they are not the ones to discover them after its too late and their drinking water, swimming hole, or favorite fishing spot is contaminated.
The number of homes being built in the Adirondacks is getting out of control. The Adirondack Park Agency (APA) is understaffed and the local economy is increasingly dependent on new construction. The Glens Falls Post Star recently reported that home sales in Warren County are up 38 percent from 2004. More alarming is the fact that the median selling price of those homes, jumped nearly 20 percent in just one month — from $165,500 in July 2005 to $197,900 in August 2005.
This month’s issue of Adirondack Life has a large feature piece devoted to housing prices and related issues. Unfortunately, their webpage has taken a turn for the worst and they have exactly no content.
It’s clear that in our parts of the park the only real opportunity for young people is to become a part of the housing boom and work as laborers building houses. Local companies have continuous ads for workers and we see more and more workers from out of state. This summer we saw home construction workers from Montana and Alabama among others.
A recent post over at Friends of Rural New York is just the ticket to replace the we are losing throughout the region. The Community, Food, and Agriculture Program (CFAP) at Cornell University will be submitting a proposal to the Northeast Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education Program (NE SARE) to start community cooperative farm stores. In short:
Europeans have been successfully proliferating the concept of farmer-owned cooperative grocery stores for the last 15 years. The Rhône-Alpes region of Southwest France, with a population similar to the state of Indiana, has a network of 20 stores that are owned, supplied, and operated by farmers. Typically, 10 to 12 farm families own the store, each providing one or two specialties: meats, poultry, eggs, cheeses and other dairy products, wine, juices, canned goods, baked goods, fruits, and vegetables. The hallmark of the stores is real food that is sustainably produced, and one of the farmer-owners must be in the store at all times to answer customers’ questions about production and processing methods.
They need up to 5 farm organizations, businesses, or cooperatives in the Northeast if you know someone contact project coordinator Duncan Hilchey at firstname.lastname@example.org or (607) 255-4413.
NYCO offers the latest on this winter’s chances for a big, big, big, snow and Baloghblog is taking steps toward that end. And now “AccuWeather.com meteorologist Ken Reeves is predicts “a very cold winter” for New York – after average winter temperatures last year – contributing to an estimated 50% increase in winter heating oil charges.” Storm Digest has some not so friendly things to say about our coming weather situation. The Post Star, as usual, waffles.
We ordered a new exterior door, are closing up our drafts, and buying some extra socks.
It looks like it’s a good time to buy more Zone 4 Hardy Perennials.