Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Albany's bungling politicians might learn from state Senate coup chaos

Updated Tuesday, June 16th 2009, 9:23 AM

We go from three men in a room to 62 buffoons in a chamber, from the country's most dysfunctional state Legislature to a Legislature that does not function at all.

"It's gone from dysfunctional to laughable," said Lawrence Norden of the Brennan Center for Justice. "It's embarrassing."

The Brennan Center conducted an authoritative study of the Legislature five years ago and found it the most dysfunctional in the nation.

"Since that time, I think particularly in the last couple weeks, it looks worse that it ever has," Norden said.

He does see one glint of hope in the two freshman senators, Pedro Espada and Hiram Monserrate, having thrown the established order into chaos, however questionable their motives, however influenced their actions were spurred by bumpkin billionaire Tom Golisano.

"These two guys have shown what a couple of rank and file members can do," Norden said.

Monserrate then threw the new order into chaos by deciding to rejoin the Democrats, putting doubly to lie an excuse Norden has long heard from legislators, who whine that the leadership has all the power. The whole senate was upended twice by a newcomer who left the police department after putting in for a psychiatric disability.

"Members can cause a lot of havoc and do have more power than some of these legislators have said," Norden noted.

Maybe legislators who are truly reform-minded should be a little more nutty.

"I'd like to see members start taking some risks," Norden said. "Everybody talks the talk about how much they want reform, but can't do it. Now is an opportunity to push the envelope a little."

The lesson is this:

"They can do it if they want."

Not that Norden or anybody else in their right mind would endorse the present chaos that has the 62 buffoons unable to determine who exactly is the leader. A ray of hope is not necessarily cause for optimism in the New York State Legislature.

"It's hard to be Pollyannaish when you're talking about Albany," Norden said.

There remains a remarkable fact that has people buzzing at the dinner table and on the corner and in the subway - the worst state Legislature in America has actually gotten even worse.

"We're at a complete standstill," Norden said. "It was bad enough when the leadership controlled everything and there wasn't much of a leadership process. Now, we don't even have that."

He added, "I don't think, by the way, we would be happy if we go back to ironfisted control on behalf of one person in the Senate. I'm not pining for that."

What makes this travesty all the more a tragedy is that good government advocates started the year almost optimistic.

"Whoever assumes the Senate leadership has the opportunity, the tools and the public support to enact real reform in 2009," Norden said back in January.

Malcolm Smith had introduced numerous reform resolutions when he was in the minority, but when he became the new Senate majority leader, he did next to nothing to implement them.

A rare sign of progress did materialize in May, when the Cities Committee chaired by Sen. Daniel Squadron (D-Brooklyn) held a "mark up session," actually allowing open discussion and amendment of a bill, just like in a real democracy.

"In every other state legislature in the country that would have been a common, everyday occurrence," Norden said. "As far as I know it's the first time it's been done in Albany. Because of that, they had to figure out the rules for doing it."

The Brennan Center was seeking others to follow Squadron's example when the coup made the worst even worse, a banana peel republic that fell right on its behind. The once dysfunctional legislature was still not functioning at all as of last night.

"I can't say that surprises me all that much," Norden said.

Even so, by the very act of bringing the Senate to a standstill, the odious Espada and the whackadoo Monserrate have proven that legislators cannot just whine that the leaders have all the power. We should bombard each and every one of these buffoons with a simple message:

"No excuses! You can do it!"

mdaly@nydailynews.com



http://www.nydailynews.com/news/2009/06/16/2009-06-16_inept_albany_might_learn_from_chaos.html#ixzz0IbYDTFP1&D

Friday, June 12, 2009

Latest Stimulus Funds Include 23.6M for Capital Region

June 11, 2009 at 4:49 pm by Casey Seiler
Or: “At last, a blog post that isn’t related to the state Senate!”

The latest round of releases certifying projects available for federal stimulus dollars includes a number of projects in the region — including one project of great interests to anyone who has ever tried to ride a bike to the Times Union. Namely:

$5.9 million in ARRA funding to relocate the intersection of Maxwell Road and Albany Shaker Road in the town of Colonie, Albany County, 800 feet East. The existing intersection will remain, but only for right turns to and from Albany Shaker and Maxwell roads. The move will improve safety and reduce traffic congestion on Albany Shaker Road, Wolf Road and ramps accessing Interstate 87, the Adirondack Northway. Construction is expected to be completed by the end of 2010.

Here are the rest of today’s regional certifications:

$1.4 million in ARRA funding to replace the bridge carrying Caretaker Road over the Walloomsac River in the town of Hoosick, Rensselaer County. This bridge, built in 1900, accesses a historic site, the Bennington Battlefield. Without this work, the bridge would be closed, causing inconvenience to motorists who would have to travel a lengthy detour. A bridge closure also would cause an increase in response times for local emergency service providers. Construction is expected to be completed by the end of 2009.
$4.6 million in ARRA funding to replace the bridge carrying Clinton Street, Saunders Street and Division Street over the Delaware and Hudson Railroad in the village of Whitehall, Washington County. The increasingly deteriorating bridge, built in 1932, does not provide enough clearance for tall rail cars. Construction is expected to be completed in winter 2010.
$11 million in ARRA funding to resurface Albany, Rensselaer, Saratoga and Schenectady counties. Locations include:
State Route 9 in Halfmoon, Clifton Park and Malta between State Route 146 and Crescent Avenue.
State Route 20 in Guilderland between State Route 146 and west of Johnston Road
State Route 155 in Colonie between Shaker High School and east of State Route 9; nine miles of State Route 4 in North and East Greenbush between State Routes 43 and 151
State Route 50 in Ballston and Ballston Spa, between the southern and northern intersections with State Route 67
State Route 914D, Broadway, in Schenectady in the vicinity of Interstate 890 Exit 5.
Construction is expected to be completed in the summer of 2010.
$880,000 in ARRA funding for a project to resurface County Route 145, Oakwood Avenue, in the city of Troy, Rensselaer County. Project will address continuing pavement deterioration between the north and south city lines. Construction is expected to be completed by the end of 2009.
Check out the complete press release after the jump.

Governor David A. Paterson today announced the certification of an additional $23.6 million for transportation projects in the Capital Region through the federal American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA). These investments will provide for essential highway and bridge repairs and other long-term improvements that will create an estimated 566 jobs. The area is expected to receive $98.1 million in economic recovery funding for road and bridge projects in Albany, Essex, Greene, Rensselaer, Saratoga, Schenectady, Washington and Warren counties.

“From the bridge over Caretaker Road to the resurfacing of highways in Albany, Rensselaer, Saratoga and Schenectady counties, these projects mean real improvement and real opportunities for the Capital Region,” Governor Paterson said. “We will continue to meet the goals that President Obama and the New York Congressional Delegation set when they allocated these funds to our State. The investments made will create jobs and help get New York back onto the road to recovery.”

The certifications include the following projects in the Capital Region:
$1.4 million in ARRA funding to replace the bridge carrying Caretaker Road over the Walloomsac River in the town of Hoosick, Rensselaer County. This bridge, built in 1900, accesses a historic site, the Bennington Battlefield. Without this work, the bridge would be closed, causing inconvenience to motorists who would have to travel a lengthy detour. A bridge closure also would cause an increase in response times for local emergency service providers. Construction is expected to be completed by the end of 2009.
$5.9 million in ARRA funding to relocate the intersection of Maxwell Road and Albany Shaker Road in the town of Colonie, Albany County, 800 feet East. The existing intersection will remain, but only for right turns to and from Albany Shaker and Maxwell roads. The move will improve safety and reduce traffic congestion on Albany Shaker Road, Wolf Road and ramps accessing Interstate 87, the Adirondack Northway. Construction is expected to be completed by the end of 2010.
$4.6 million in ARRA funding to replace the bridge carrying Clinton Street, Saunders Street and Division Street over the Delaware and Hudson Railroad in the village of Whitehall, Washington County. The increasingly deteriorating bridge, built in 1932, does not provide enough clearance for tall rail cars. Construction is expected to be completed in winter 2010.
$11 million in ARRA funding to resurface Albany, Rensselaer, Saratoga and Schenectady counties. Locations include:
State Route 9 in Halfmoon, Clifton Park and Malta between State Route 146 and Crescent Avenue.
State Route 20 in Guilderland between State Route 146 and west of Johnston Road
State Route 155 in Colonie between Shaker High School and east of State Route 9; nine miles of State Route 4 in North and East Greenbush between State Routes 43 and 151
State Route 50 in Ballston and Ballston Spa, between the southern and northern intersections with State Route 67
State Route 914D, Broadway, in Schenectady in the vicinity of Interstate 890 Exit 5.
Construction is expected to be completed in the summer of 2010.
$880,000 in ARRA funding for a project to resurface County Route 145, Oakwood Avenue, in the city of Troy, Rensselaer County. Project will address continuing pavement deterioration between the north and south city lines. Construction is expected to be completed by the end of 2009.

Earlier this month, Governor Paterson announced that in addition to the ARRA funding, the New York State Department of Transportation (NYSDOT) will award the Capital Region $87 million in highway and bridge contracts this fiscal year. The area also will receive approximately $31 million in Consolidated Highway Improvement Program funding. In total, Capital Region communities will receive more than $216.1 million in highway and bridge funding in State Fiscal Year 2009-10.

The economic recovery funds New York will receive for transportation projects must follow the same process required for distributing all federal transportation funds. The money is allocated to projects that are selected by the 13 regional Metropolitan Planning Organizations (MPOs) across the State, which are comprised of local elected officials, local transit operators and NYSDOT representatives. MPOs vote unanimously on projects for their Transportation Improvement Program, and the projects are then eligible to receive economic recovery funds.

Similarly, regions of New York State without MPOs are served by the NYSDOT, which consults with local elected officials and selects projects for the Statewide Transportation Improvement Program. NYSDOT is working with local officials and the Governor’s Economic Recovery Cabinet to identify priority shovel-ready projects eligible for recovery funds. For more information, please visit: http://recovery.ny.gov/ .
###

The following quotes were provided in support of the Capital Region infrastructure projects:

U.S. Senator Charles E. Schumer said: “This funding from the economic recovery package is much-needed and a wise investment in our transportation infrastructure. These projects will help jumpstart the economy by creating and retaining jobs, and make critical upgrades to our decaying roads and bridges to make travel safer and easier. This is the best way to put federal dollars to work for our local economy because it will modernize infrastructure, create jobs and promote economic development across the region.”

U.S. Senator Kirsten E. Gillibrand said: “Today’s announcement by Governor Paterson that stimulus funds we passed in Congress will be used to upgrade the Capital Region’s roads and bridges is great news for the safety of our residents and for continued economic recovery in the region. More than just making needed upgrades to the Capital Region’s transportation infrastructure, the investment of these critical federal dollars will create hundreds of good paying jobs. I will continue to work with Senator Schumer and our entire Congressional delegation to ensure that New York gets its fair share of federal dollars.”

NYSDOT Acting Commissioner Stanley Gee said: “The jobs retained and created by economic recovery funding are crucial to strengthening New York State’s economy, and it has been Governor Paterson’s dedication to using these essential federal funds that has both produced and secured steady paychecks for many New Yorkers. The lifespan of the Capital Region’s transportation infrastructure will be extended and the safety of many highways and bridges enhanced through these important State and local projects.”

Congressman Scott Murphy said: “This funding will provide critical improvements to our aging roads and bridges, putting shovels in the ground and people back to work while making our roads and bridges safer. I look forward to continuing to work with Governor Paterson to implement the recovery funds to create jobs and turn our economy around.”

Congressman Paul Tonko said: “When we passed the Recovery Act in Congress we promised that the money would be put to work quickly to create jobs and repair our infrastructure – and that’s just what is happening. These newly certified projects will soon get underway, people will be put to work, and dollars will be spent in our local communities. In partnership with Governor Paterson and local officials, we are taking steps towards improving our roads and bridges and strengthening our economy.”

Assemblyman Ron Canestrari said: “Resurfacing roads throughout Albany County and the Capital District will be a great benefit for the people of this area. Not only is the work much needed in many areas but will hopefully provide employment during this economic recession. Governor Paterson and the New York Congressional delegation deserve our gratitude for their commitment to investing in our communities.”

Assemblyman John McEneny said: “Sections of Route 20 have been in long need of resurfacing that would enhance safety and improve the overall quality of the roadway. Thankfully, these federal stimulus funds will help to accomplish these improvements. It is my hope that this project, as well as others to improve Capital Region roadways will also be a source of much-needed employment during this period of heavy job losses.”

Assemblyman Bob Reilly said: “The Governor should be applauded for his judicious and expedient use of federal stimulus funding to improve our transportation infrastructure throughout the state. I live within one-half mile of the proposed Maxwell Road project and can attest that this improvement will be a major enhancement for one of the busiest intersections in the town of Colonie.”


http://blog.timesunion.com/capitol/latest-stimulus-funds-include-23-million-for-cap-region/39/

Shen student has the swine flu virus

Middle school pupil is second in Saratoga County with the illness

By HUMBERTO MART├ŹNEZ, Staff writer
First published in print: Friday, June 12, 2009

CLIFTON PARK -- A Shenendehowa middle school student has the swine flu, the New York Health Department confirmed Thursday.


Shenendehowa school officials announced that a student at Acadia Middle School had contracted the illness, also known as the H1N1 virus. They did not specify how long the student has been out sick or when the student would return to school. The school will not be closed.

The symptoms exhibited by the student were mild and typical of seasonal influenza, including fever, sore throat, cough and a stuffy or runny nose. School administrators are asking parents if they are showing the same symptoms to keep their children at home.

As of Thursday, there have been two cases of H1N1 in Saratoga County, five in Schenectady County, one in Albany County and four in Rensselaer County, the state Health Department said. Of those, Schenectady and Rensselaer counties both reported single cases who were students.

H1N1 caused a scare two months ago when health officials nationwide worried it could spread to pandemic levels after healthy adults who contracted it in Mexico died. Since then, there have been 1,291 cases in New York.

-- Humberto Martinez

11M in Stimulus for NYs County Roads

Highway projects to get $95 million in stimulus funds
Local News More>>Appeals judge temporarily blocks Senate takeoverEconomist: Recession Likely to Get WorsePolice Foundation Recognizes Community LeadersFed govt proposes fines against NH firearms makerLearning That's a BlastShelburne Teacher Shoots for the StarsMorrisville Mammal ExpertsN.Y. Senate Control Up for Grabs, Courts to DecideFree Outdoor Fun in Vt. This WeekendBikers Bear Down on Laconia
Associated Press - June 12, 2009 3:15 AM ET

ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) - An additional $95 million in federal stimulus money is coming to New York to allow 43 new projects to move forward.

Gov. David Paterson says the projects will create about 2,277 jobs across the state.

The stimulus funding announced on Thursday brings the number of projects funded by the program to 217. The federal stimulus package will provide $618 million of the total $777 million in project costs.

The $95 million announced Thursday includes $11 million for roads in Albany, Rensselaer, Saratoga and Schenectady counties; $7 million for bridges in the New York City area; and $6.5 million for Route 17 in Chemung County.

There's also $4 million for the Route 39 bridge in St. Lawrence County, and $3.6 million to replace two bridges on state Route 90 in Cayuga County.

Computer Viruses Knock Out Systems at Rensselaer County

Computers are being scanned at the office of Rensselaer County (New York, USA) to remove two viruses, which invaded the systems and collapsed 200 of the total 700 PCs along with 20 servers.

Vince Ruggiero, Information Services Director, stated that it had been rather strenuous as they had been spending long hours to clean the infection, as reported by News Channel 13 on June 5, 2009.

Ruggiero further stated that although they knew when the viruses came in, they were not aware of their source. Meanwhile, computer engineers are trying to locate the infected systems, cleaning them along with the servers.

Reportedly, a power supply disruption during the end week of May 2009 resulted in the infection of a server, allowing the virus to enter the network that disrupted back-office operations such as Budget and Finance, and Central Services. However, no urgent services like Motor Vehicles, Social Services, 911 operations and the Jail were compromised because of the worms.

County spokesman Chris Meyer stated the disruption in the computers started on June 2, 2009, as reported by timesunion on June 5, 2009. The county was expecting that all the PCs would be running by June 5, 2009.

Meyer further stated that they would be restoring the offices methodically to ensure that there wouldn't be any repetition of the infection.

Meanwhile, the problem with the power supply might not be the only reason for the infection, said a team of security researchers belonging to an Internet strategy firm that had been tied to the Rensselaer County under a contract. Moreover, although the specialists made no condemnation, they questioned the extent of protection on the County's network.

The security researchers said that although they couldn't figure out everything that actually happened, one thing that was evident was the existence of a connection between the deactivation of one provider in preference for another and a few security flaws that had been exposed from their previous status of protection.

Nevertheless, the County office stated that had there been any indication of security flaws or any failure, it wouldn't have switched to a different provider.

» SPAMfighter News - 11-06-2009

Capital Affairs: Whats Goin on in Albany?



Albany sure is amazing. It's a place where, within several weeks, State Sen. Pedro Espada Jr. (D-Bronx) can rocket from a position of censure - as a serial campaign-rules scofflaw and the target of a fraud investigation - to standing a heartbeat away from becoming governor.

It's a place where billionaire businessman Tom Golisano, having lost three legitimate elections for governor, can interfere with the State Senate to pursue his agenda instead. His backing - assuming this week's new leadership deal holds - turned the Senate into a different, unfamiliar animal overnight.

And it's a place where Senate Republicans, led by Sen. Dean Skelos (R- Rockville Centre), can grab power under the cloak of reform, which didn't much interest them in recent regimes when they held the majority. And in doing so, they can ally themselves with the likes of Espada and Sen. Hiram Monserrate (D- Jackson Heights), who faces domestic violence charges this month for slashing his girlfriend's face.

At the moment, New York is a place where hypocrisy thrives.



Related links
Chaos in Albany Photos
New GOP majority may be locked out of chamber
Billionaire businessman helped GOP take back Senate
Dan Janison: Bronx senator has led tumultuous career
New Senate leaders vow to work with Paterson
Stunning 'coup' throws state Senate back to GOP
LI would benefit from State Senate GOP takeover
Dan Janison: Lightning strikes in Albany parliamentary coup
New state Senate worker faces change on job's first day
GOP, 2 Dems flip power balance in NY senate
Albany coup confuses some Espada constituents in the Bronx
Vote: Change?
Do you expect things to improve in Albany if the Republicans can keep control of the Senate?

Yes, it was time for a change

Maybe, but it will definitely be better for Long Island

No, Albany's a circus and this is just one more example

View current results
This page said in January that if Senate leaders gave in to demands by rogue Democrats selling their votes for power and money, the rogues would rule the Senate indefinitely. We were right - and if he's not careful, Skelos will be judged by the company he keeps.

And what about the governing?

But let's assume for a moment that the new Espada-Skelos majority coalition means what it says about reform. The coalition wants term limits for committee chairs and equal resources - for Democrats and Republicans alike - in staff and member items. The coalition is pledging more power for individual members to bring bills to a floor vote. These reforms would be welcome, and carry on where the recently deposed Democratic majority led by Sen. Malcolm Smith (D- St. Albans) stopped short.

The coalition is also promising a new ideology that emphasizes jobs for New Yorkers, lower property taxes, restoration of STAR rebate checks, and an end to overspending and overtaxing. Well, that's great. But we'll believe it when we see it. In recent years at the helm, the Republican majority stood for big-spending budgets and end-of-session pension sweeteners for public employees. A return to GOP leadership should not also signal a relapse to the cheap posturing, one-house bills and favors for special interests that characterized the years of former Senate Majority Leader Joseph Bruno.

What's important is that the coalition - or the Democrats, if they return to power - move a reform agenda forward more effectively. Burdened by the national economy, New York is in a crisis of too-high costs for residents and businesses, and nobody is leading the way out. The Senate is too immersed in internecine squabbles. Assemb. Speaker Sheldon Silver (D- Manhattan) plays defense instead of raising big ideas. And Gov. David Paterson, who launched a high-tech spending initiative on Monday that was largely ignored, is so weak that no one is listening.

Long Island may well be better off if the coalition stands. The cost-control issue is at a crescendo here, and most of our state senators are Republicans. But a change in control does not necessarily mean a change in performance. This group still has a lot to prove. hN


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NY State Assembly: No to Vested Rights

Tell the NYS Assembly to Vote "NO" on Vested Rights

Dear Christine Jubic,



Don’t let the State Assembly pass a law that would put developers’ rights ahead of those of ordinary New Yorkers.



With just two weeks left in this year’s Legislative Session, the New York State Assembly is considering a bill that would undercut the ability of cities, towns and villages to stop or even limit environmentally damaging development.



Bad idea, right? Tell your Assembly member to protect New York communities by voting “NO” on vested rights.

This bill, known as “vested rights,” would permit developers to freeze (or “vest”)—for six years—the municipal zoning, planning and environmental regulations that are in place in your community only six months after filing an application to develop land. Not after receiving a permit. Not after receiving local approval. After filing an application.


Because in most cases people don't know when development applications are filed, six months could easily pass without residents even knowing about it. And if those same residents want to re-zone to prevent a big box strip mall from going up next to a school, they'd only have six months to update their land use plans. That's not enough time.



Tell your representative in the Assembly to vote “NO” on vested rights for developers.







Send a letter to the following decision maker(s):
Your Assemblyperson (if you live in New York)


Below is the sample letter:

Subject: Protect New York Communities. Vote "NO" on Vested Rights (A.3353/S.1988)

Dear [decision maker name automatically inserted here],

As a member of Environmental Advocates of New York, I urge you to oppose A.3353/S.1988, Vested Rights for Land Developers. This bill will hamstring the ability of communities across the state to prevent environmentally harmful development in their own backyards.

Under this bill, municipal zoning and land use laws and rights that are on the books six months after the day that a project's application is filed would be frozen in time for six years--even if the city, town, or village adopts more protective measures.

Please vote "NO" on A.3353/S.1988 and protect New Yorkers from harmful development. Let local people decide what's best for their communities.



Sincerely,

Christine Jubic

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

A Private Encroachment Upon Public Lands Or The Matter of the Old Town Road: A Need to Settle Right-of-Ways

What does it mean for a town to abandon a road? First of all it helps to understand that, pursuant to New York States Highway Laws, there are TWO kinds of abandonment; complete and constructive. Complete abandonment occurs when a town abandons the road that is no longer in use by anyone, and files a paper with the State Dept of Highways indicating that in fact, the town has totally abandoned the road. The right of ways then revert to the orginal plot from which they were taken from. This creates a reversionary Interest to rights to right-of-way (by property owners entitled to same.

Constructive abandonment;

(to be continued)

No Help from Authorities to Eradicate Communitys' Mosquito Breeding Ground

F.R.R.C. Project 2616 at the Johnsville (NY) Dam


Directly across from our house, just down from the public boat launch the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) had installed for us by the Power Co who rents the dam, there is a stillwater inlet that is a breeding ground for insects, specifically mosquito's

Yesterday I reported this to Tom Uncher of Brookfield Power Co., who, in so many words, informed me that it was not his concern....he reasoned that since it was a "water quality" issue, he advised me to report it to the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (EnCon) which I did.

The EnCon Representative I spoke with told me (I didnt get her name) that it was not their concern, reasoning that it was a "public health issue" and advising me to call the Rensselaer Co Health Dept. which I did.

Talk about the run-around. So I called the Rensselaer Co health Dept and spoke with Jennifer DeLorenzo who told me that there isnt anything they can do. She claimed a lack of funding. That is where we stand today. No help on this very important pubic health issue effecting our small little rural community. The bugs are so bad already, what with the bats being gone and all.....

Take a look at some of the pics of our Neighborhood Mosquito Breeding Grounds that I guess we are stuck living with;

Hard to tell in these pics, but the algae close to shore is sitting on muck, not floating in the water...there IS no water til you get half way out across the riverbed.





















Guess my next call will be to FERC




and about the sandbags, ( a seperate issue with flood-control) these bags Brookfield Power Co put down last year cause of the flooding the "hole in the bank" they call a "launch" caused....they were supposed to come back and cover them with gravel or dirt;
now the fiberglass-weaved bags are disintegrating, breaking up and blowing all over the neighborhood. Isnt this nice?







Sunday, June 7, 2009

"To the Bat Cave," Robin! or "How U can Help our Bats"

NJ - Annual bat count takes on added significance
Posted by: "Maureen Koplow" mkoplow@comcast.net share112943
Fri Jun 5, 2009 9:48 am (PDT)


Forwarded message - for info, please visit
http://www.nj.com/news/ledger/jersey/index.ssf?/base/news-14/1244174777241290.xml&coll=1

NJ - Annual bat count takes on added significance

Friday, June 05, 2009
BY BRIAN T. MURRAY
Star-Ledger Staff

Volunteers were called on yesterday to join an annual summer bat count
in New Jersey that could further determine how many have fallen to the
enigmatic "white-nose syndrome" responsible for devastating their
Northeastern populations.

As the Congressional Natural Resource Committee in Washington, D.C.,
began yesterday to review federal responses to the dilemma, the Conserve
Wildlife Foundation of New Jersey launched an effort to monitor roosting
spots where bats spend their summers in the state. From old buildings
and barns to dead trees, checking roosts may help state biologists confirm
their worst fears -- that as many as 95 percent of the state's bats died
over the winter.

"We ask our volunteers each year to go to a known bat roost at least twice
between now and early August and count them as the bats fly out in the
evening," said Maria Grace of Conserve Wildlife. "This year, we're telling
people that not seeing bats in those roosts is just as important to note.
We'll know then how significant the die-off is due to white-nose syndrome."

After mass die-offs of bats in 2006 and 2007 in New York, the phenomenon
was named after a strange white fungus found on their snouts and wings.
Since then, it has spread to nine states from Vermont to Virginia. Bats began
dying in New Jersey in January and a pre-spring inspection of the state's
largest hibernating spot, or hibernaculum, the Hibernia mine in Rockaway
Township, revealed a 95 percent population drop.

The syndrome prompts bats to wake from hibernation in the dead of
winter, even fly from their hibernaculum, and use up crucial fat reserves.

"The exact cause of mortality of affected bats is not yet fully understood,
but the newly identified fungus is considered a likely contributor," Marvin
Moriarty, northeast regional director of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service,
told the natural resource committee yesterday.

The fungus invades the skin and underlying tissue, particularly at the bat's
wings, that help balance complex physiological processes such as body
temperature. All six bat species that hibernate in the Northeast have been
affected, and scientists fear the syndrome will spread to large bat
populations in the South and Southwest -- and that some species may
never recover even if a solution is found.

"Bats differ from most other small mammals in that they have long lives
and reproduce slowly," Moriarty said.

Bats are insect eaters and help human agriculture. The 1 million killed
would have consumed 8,000 pounds of insects in a single summer night,
scientists said.

Conserve Wildlife will assign a bat roost to volunteers who contact the
foundation at (609) 984-0621 or at maria.grace@conservewildlifenj.org

Brian T. Murray may be reached at (973) 392-4153 or
bmurray@starledger.com

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

More On the Hoosic Falls Animal Control Officer from Hell, or Should I say, "Moron"



Animal remains found at dog warden's farm
Updated: 05/30/2009 07:41 AM
By: Web Staff

HOOSICK, N.Y. -- An investigation into an animal control officer in Rensselaer County has led to the discovery of the remains of several animals at a farm in Hoosick.



Matthew Beck, 46, was arrested on March 22 in connection with an incident in which two dogs went missing from a home in Hoosick Falls.



A woman eventually found the dogs and turned them over to Beck, the dog warden for the Town of Hoosick, who told police he returned them to their "rightful owner." But a few weeks later, the woman who found the dogs saw posters up in the area saying the dogs were missing so she called the dog's owner, April Stevens, and told her she had turned them over to the dog warden.




Animal remains found at dog warden's farm
An investigation into an animal control officer in Rensselaer County has led to the discovery of the remains of several animals at a farm in Hoosick.

Beck told State Police he had returned the two dogs to a person who stated they were the owner.



Beck was arrested and charged with second-degree forgery of a public record, official misconduct of public servant, petit larceny and false written statement.



Then on May 27, State Police executed a search warrant at Beck's farm where they found remains of several animals, including dogs. The remains are being tested by the Department of Environmental Conservation.



Beck is on an unpaid leave of absence.




http://www.capitalnews9.com/content/headlines/473279/animal-remains-found-at-dog-warden-s-farm

Monday, June 1, 2009

Another Blight on the Capital District : Local Man Robs Indian School

SCCC Graduate Bilks American Indian School of $1.38 M!

Click on title above for article;
http://greedybastardsclub.blogspot.com/2009/06/ex-minneapolis-charter-school-director.html

Mid-West States Warned, "Clean up Your Stagnet Water, Junkyards, etc...Deadly Mosquitos in Around

..and it aint just a "MidWest" concern. Mosquitos carrying deadly virus' are everywhere. Particularly hard-hit this summer will be the areas (like ours) where the bats have all died off (due to white nose syndrome) It is the bats that keep the bugs down!
Read more about that by clicking onto the title above; http://www.dailyfreeman.com/articles/2009/02/04/news/doc49891eb38ce2c915130498.txt

-----------------------meanwhile, back to...
The Mosquitos

Virus-spreading mosquito expands its reach

State health officials said today that they have confirmed that the invasive species has now established itself in five counties -- two of them in the Twin Cities area --and could spread two virus types to humans.

By PAUL WALSH, Star Tribune

Last update: June 1, 2009 - 1:04 PM
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for Pete's sake, people, just dump out the standing water
this is not rocket science. put bug pellets in the rain barrels, get rid of water catchers like old tires and junk, turn watering cans … read more upside down or use and dump the rest out every couple days. get on city hall to dose the storm drains.

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Minnesota State health officials said today that they have confirmed that an invasive mosquito species has now established itself in five counties -- two of them in the Twin Cities area -- and is well positioned to expand its turf farther and carry with it the potential to spread two virus types to humans.

The Japanese rock pool mosquito has been detected in the counties of Dakota, Goodhue, Houston, Scott and Wabasha, the state Health Department said.

With the concern that the mosquito "could potentially" transmit the LaCrosse encephalitis and West Nile viruses, health officials are urging Minnesotans to rid their property of water-holding containers that become breeding grounds for all types of mosquitoes.

"Spring is the perfect time to take simple steps to prevent mosquito-transmitted disease later this summer," said David Neitzel, a department epidemiologist who specializes in mosquito-borne diseases. "Several types of disease-carrying mosquitoes use water-holding containers, such as old tires, buckets, or cans, as breeding sites. If everyone dumps the water out of these containers and removes them during their spring yard work, we can reduce the number of mosquitoes that could transmit disease later this summer."

The Japanese rock pool mosquito, an Asian mosquito that was accidentally imported into this country, has been steadily moving across the United States since it was first found in New Jersey in 1998. It was first identified in Minnesota in Scott County in 2007 and then detected in the other four counties over the following year.

This spring, it was determined that these mosquitoes' eggs had survived the Minnesota winter. "We suspect that we will soon find this mosquito in other counties as well," Neitzel said.

LaCrosse encephalitis affects the brain and central nervous system. Severe cases occur primarily in children under 16 and are characterized by high fever, headache, confusion and seizures. Since 1985, 124 LaCrosse encephalitis cases have been reported to the state. One was fatal.

Most West Nile virus victims experience fever, headache, fatigue and sometimes a rash. Severe cases tend to occur in older people. Since 2002, 451 West Nile cases have been reported to the state. Fourteen have been fatal.

Paul Walsh • 612-673-4482