Sunday, July 31, 2011

Lack of Emotion Boils Over

The claim of dispassionate, neutral access to information on gas leasing on the new "Dryden" website is surely belied by the 51-and-counting comments on this IJ article. Here's the new "Dryden" site (the quote marks are because only two out of three administrators are from Dryden; the other is a failed politician from Newfield). Judge for yourself its neutrality on the issue.

Wednesday, July 27, 2011


I know we have lots of starlings in the barn, but that doesn't really explain how this guy hatched from a guinea fowl egg.

Post Office Closings

Despite the news that most 2011 post office closings would be small rural sites, the list for New York contains mostly city offices, with the occasional tiny town. Surprisingly, this county is unaffected.

Saturday, July 23, 2011

July Harvest

Paul, Olivia, and Kerry went to their favorite blueberry-pickin' spot, Hall's Hill, and came back with this bounty despite the lack of rain.

Pogo Was Right

After my immersion year in dour Swedish mysteries, I have a better sense of the general Scandinavian depression over its recent openness to the world's ills and the (perhaps overstated by Henning Mankell) fear of immigrants that drives some public policy. It was not surprising, then, that the initial reports out of Oslo blamed Norway's part in the coalition fighting the Taliban in Afghanistan. After all, here, too, our first assumption would be to blame the Unknown Other, especially if that Other wore funny clothing and prayed five times a day. So how earthshaking must it be that Norway's greatest disaster since WWII seems to have been perpetrated by one of its own, a Christian conservative nationalist with apparent anti-Muslim tendencies who quotes John Stuart Mill?

Friday, July 22, 2011

Putzes Stage a Putsch

I've been talking for weeks about this House-Exec stalemate's resembling a slow-motion coup (notwithstanding the fact that the word implies a speedy action), but now I know I'm right. Not only were certain freshman representatives clearly elected with the objective of bringing this government down, but their leadership is also in collusion. Seriously? The Prez has to wait all day for Boehner to return his call? Dude, get out of the damn tanning booth and serve the freakin' people. We get that you don't respect the president, and I'm sure it has nothing to do with race, but at least show a modicum of respect for the office. Your website claims that you ran for office with the intention of "restor[ing] trust between the American people and their government." You should have added "give or take a branch or two."

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Gas Heats Up

Well, tonight's the night of the big Town Board meeting. I suspect it will be rowdy. Living in Dryden has a good analysis of the pro-fracking site's dubious math.

Although it appears that this is a partisan issue in Dryden, and it will certainly be framed that way for November, I suspect that deep down, it really is not. There are people in town on both sides of the aisle who cross over on this one.

I have posted in the past about my view of energy policy as a class issue. Since that posting, we have arranged to retrofit for geothermal, so by autumn we will be off the grid in that one area, although still connected via electric. I still believe that local energy is better than imported energy, even if the energy imported just comes from a state or two away--for all kinds of reasons, including the energy expended and lost when energy travels.

But I don't want big trucks destroying our roads or unknown chemicals polluting our water, so I'm glad to let our town do what it can to protect its citizens. I don't see that as a partisan issue at all, but rather a logical choice. Those kinds of protections cannot be achieved by people on their own; they are the natural role of government.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

DSEC Error

The relatively new Dryden Safe Energy Coalition has a big ad in the Shopper inviting "particularly landowners" to the Town Board meeting tomorrow night. "Don't let $175 million+ of your rights be confiscated," they say. However, they got the date wrong and listed it as July 21 at 7 PM. It's correct on their website.

It's a safe bet that both sides will be well-represented, error or not.

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Election Issue #1

I'll cross-post with the Dryden Dems site:

If there's any one election issue that will resonate countywide this year, it is surely hydrofracking. The Tompkins County Council of Governments Task Force on Gas Drilling just presented a session on "What Gas Drilling Sites Might Look Like in the Town of Dryden"; Living in Dryden has the synopsis and a link to the slides. And this Wednesday, July 20, at 7 PM, the Dryden Town Board is holding a public hearing on banning hydrofracking and all related activities in the Town of Dryden. Get there early to get a seat or to sign up to speak; discussion will likely be lively. Here is a brief take on where the town board is now with the issue. The proposed amendments are here. Get informed; your candidates will certainly be talking about this through the summer and into election season.

Dryden Dems will be posting about additional local issues as time goes on.

Friday, July 15, 2011

Blogger vs. Internet Explorer

For a while now, I've noticed that Blogger has become less and less compatible with Internet Explorer. For example, I can no longer save a post in IE and have to switch over to Google Chrome. Likewise, the new ticker I stuck in with Michele Bachmann quotes works fine in Chrome and looks all wrong in IE. What's up with that?

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Same-Sex Stats in Dryden

Guess which village has the higher percentage of same-sex couples, Trumansburg or Freeville? (It's 3.65% to 5.31%, but to be fair, Freeville is quite a bit tinier. Its 5.31% represents six lesbian couples, three with children.) Guess which town has the higher percentage of same-sex couples, Dryden or Ithaca? It's Dryden by a nose with 2.78% to 2.68%. (The City of Ithaca is about double that.) The IJ has statewide stats on this, in anticipation of next week's marriage law. Sadly, they're not in an easily linkable form.

Wacky Michele B

I wish I were clever enough to post these as an ongoing ticker until Election Day. Maybe I'll figure it out.

LATER: Did it!

Saturday, July 9, 2011

Primary Dates Changing

The NY political calendar we're used to may get a major overhaul. No more petitioning in that crazy week before July 4th? Stay tuned....

Friday, July 8, 2011

Reading List

I'm addicted to dour Swedish mystery writers, and this might be the best yet.

Required Reading

Krugman gives up on Obama, more or less:
Mr. Obama’s people will no doubt argue that their fellow party members should trust him, that whatever deal emerges was the best he could get. But it’s hard to see why a president who has gone out of his way to echo Republican rhetoric and endorse false conservative views deserves that kind of trust.

Saturday, July 2, 2011


She worked with Paul at Baker Institute before embarking on her life's passion--to start a restaurant/winery with her husband. Now she's gone, far too soon. We love the restaurant and the wine and hope both will survive.