Monday, December 15, 2014

Alison MacAvery and Micki Strawinski demand fairness from County Exec and Co. Leg. Chair-- join us!...

[here below-- letter circulated by yours truly at tonight's full board mtg. of our County Legislature-- that Legislators Alison MacAvery and Micki Strawinski signed on to...share widely!...Joel] - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - December 15, 2014 Mr. Marcus Molinaro, Dutchess County Executive Mr. Robert Rolison, Dutchess County Legislature Chair 22 Market Street Poughkeepsie, NY 12601 Dear County Executive Molinaro (Marc) and Chairman Rolison (Rob): We, the various undersigned members of the Dutchess County Legislature, in cognizance of the fact that over $20,000 from the Dutchess County Department of Community and Family Services (formerly the Department of Social Services) was used to pay for a mailing from the County Executive about his proposed county budget, and in recognition of the fact that only one Democratic member of our County Legislature was allowed to speak at our last full board meeting before all of us voted on the proposed 2015 Dutchess County Budget, and because misinformed robocall attacks were sent out unfairly criticizing County Legislature members, ask you to:  make sure that county funds for needy Dutchess residents are no longer used for political mailings;  make sure that all members of our County Legislature are allowed to speak before a vote on the budget;  make sure that those using robocalls to make erroneous attacks defend them publicly in local debates. We often hear words thrown around in our County Legislature about “fairness”, “openness”, “transparency”, and “democracy”— we ask you to make these more than empty rhetoric and turn them into reality. Now. Thank you for your attention to this— the status quo will not hold; the above is unacceptable, pure and simple.

bipartisan support for my letter to ban toxic toys in Dutchess!...from Horton, Jeter-Jackson, MacAvery, Amparo, Strawinski, Farley, Perkins, Johnson...

[here's the letter I just got the following eight colleagues of mine in our County Legislature to sign-- GOP Co. Leg. Marge Horton-- along with Democratic County Legislators Barbara Jeter-Jackson, Alison MacAvery, Francena Amparo, Micki Strawinski, April Marie Farley, Richard Perkins, and Gwen Johnson!...(onward ho to actually getting local law to ban toxic toys here in Dutchess on to agenda in 2015 in passing-- and press conference/rally this Thurs. on this too)...Joel] - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - December 15, 2014 Mr. Marcus Molinaro, Dutchess County Executive 22 Market Street Poughkeepsie, NY 12601 Dear County Executive Molinaro (Marc) Last Monday five Republican Albany County Legislators joined twenty-nine Democratic Albany County Legislators, with the help of the New York League of Conservation Voters Education Fund and Clean and Healthy New York, “to vote to ban items for children under 12 that contain seven possible cancer-causing chemicals” (antimony, arsenic, benzene, cadmium, cobalt, lead, and mercury— still being found in toys!). As the Poughkeepsie Journal itself reported this past Friday, “parents buying gifts this holiday season might be giving their children something more than the latest hot toy, according to a new report. The New York League of Conservation Voters and Clean and Healthy New York went shopping at Target, Wal-Mart and Party City in White Plains and at Lord & Taylor's, Children's Place, Spencer's and Macy's in Yonkers. They used a hand-held device called an X-ray fluorescence analyzer, which performs a chemical analysis of an item.” More from the same Poughkeepsie Journal article Friday— “Among their findings-- antimony, a semi-metallic chemical, in six products; cadmium, a soft metal, in seven products; cobalt, a chemical, in four products, and lead, long recognized as a danger to children, in three products—including the following items: DM Productions Breast Cancer Awareness charm bracelet; Expressions wooden flower necklace; Lego Legends of Chima LEDLite/key chain; Monster High Draculaura Freaky and Fabulous Doll; Hot Wheels Gift Pack; The Children's Place boy's red fleece; DC Comics Superman penlight; Thomas & Friends Toy Train; The Children's Place, girl's pink hoodie; Guess dress; Wal-Mart jewelry set; Expressions accessory set.” Chillingly, the Poughkeepsie Journal also reported in the same article that, “Dutchess County is home to many of these stores, as well.” Note: specifically, the Albany County Legislature voted overwhelmingly last Friday for “the Commissioner of the Albany County Department of Health to be authorized and empowered to promulgate such rules and regulations as he or she deems necessary to implement this law [banning dangerously toys from being sold in local stores— toys containing , arsenic, benzene, cadmium, cobalt, lead, or mercury]. We, the various undersigned members of the Dutchess County Legislature,ask that you work with Dutchess County Health Commissioner Dr. Kari Reiber to make the same thing happen here to protect local children—we ask that you make sure that toys here in Dutchess County are free from these same seven nasty toxin. Thank you for your immediate attention to this— Dutchess County’s kids are just as important as Albany kids. - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - So-- pls put this Thurs. (Dec. 18th) 4:30 pm on your calendars as well-- to join yours truly and the Real Majority Project for our press conference/rally to ban toxic toys here in Dutchess County the same way Albany County just voted to do Dec. 8th (and the same way Westchester County is about to)-- our event will be held this Thurs. in front of County Office Building at 22 Market Street in Poughkeepsie! Facebook event link for this Thursday: www.facebook.com/events/357412674430863 . Sign(!): www.change.org/p/dutchess-county-legislators-ban-toxic-toys-in-dutchess-county . [every time a new person signs the petition, emails are sent automatically to the Dutchess County Executive and all 25 members of the Dutchess County Legislature] [recall recent front-page Pok. Journal article on all this-- from this past Friday(!): www.poughkeepsiejournal.com/story/news/local/2014/12/11/toxic-toy-list/20285193/ Fact: Albany County Legislature voted 34-4 to do this 12/8-- thanks to the leadership of legislators like Bryan Clenahan, Chris Higgins, Doug Bullock, Tim Nichols, and Shawn Morse-- and the hard work of Kathleen Curtis and Bobbi Chase Wilding of Clean and Healthy New York and the NY League of Conservation Voters Education Fund: www.cbs6albany.com/news/features/featured/stories/albany-co-passes-toxic-toy-ban-6545.shtml ; www.news10.com/2014/12/08/albany-co-legislature-passes-toxic-toy-act/ . [kudos to at least five Republican members of the Albany County Legislature for voting yes Dec. 8th to this bill; there are ten GOP Albany Co. Leg.'s there out of total of 39] Email all of us in our County Legislature directly on all this-- at countylegislators@dutchessny.gov!... [letters to the editor to local newspapers helpful too, natch] [more: www.wamc.org/post/report-finds-toxic-toys-albany-county ; www.legislativegazette.com/Articles-Top-Stories-c-2014-11-24-89997.113122-Groups-alert-consumers-to-toxic-toysbeing-sold-in-their-communities.html ; www.spotlightnews.com/news/2014/dec/05/advocates-urge-albany-county-pass-toxic-free-toys-/ ] Pass it on... ["Report Finds Toxic Chemicals In Albany County Toys" ] - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - [recall-- from top of front page of Friday's Pok. Journal!] "Toxic Chemicals Lurking in Toys, Group Finds" Jane Lerner, The Journal News 10:53 p.m. EST December 11, 2014 [excerpt here below] www.poughkeepsiejournal.com/story/news/local/2014/12/11/toxic-toy-list/20285193/ A study by an environmental group found traces of dangerous substances in toys, jewelry and clothing sold at national retailers in Westchester. Environmental group finds traces of chemicals in toys, jewelry and clothing in Westchester Parents have been asking questions about toy safety since 2007 lead paint scare Federal laws regulating chemical substances haven't been updated since the 1970s Parents buying gifts this holiday season might be giving their children something more than the latest hot toy, according to a new report. A study by an environmental group found traces of dangerous substances in toys, jewelry and clothing sold at national retailers in Westchester County. "There's the potential for children to be exposed to toxic chemicals," said Dan Hendrick, vice president of the New York League of Conservation Voters, an environmental organization that did the report along with Clean and Healthy New York. "These stores play a role." The environmental group went shopping at Target, Wal-Mart and Party City in White Plains and at Lord & Taylor's, Children's Place, Spencer's and Macy's in Yonkers. Dutchess County is home to many of these stores, as well. They used a hand-held device called an X-ray fluorescence analyzer, which performs a chemical analysis of an item. Among their findings: *Antimony, a semi-metallic chemical, in six products. *Cadmium, a soft metal, in seven products. *Cobalt, a chemical, in four products. *Lead, long recognized as a danger to children, in three products. Federal laws regulating chemical substances haven't been updated since the 1970s, Hendrick said. His organization is encouraging lawmakers to sponsor proposals to limit or ban products with dangerous chemicals. Westchester County Board of Legislators Majority Leader Catherine Borgia, D-Ossining, has introduced legislation that would require retailers to test toys. Legislators in Albany County voted this week to ban items for children under 12 that contain seven possible cancer-causing chemicals. The measure still needs approval of the county executive. Poughkeepsie Journal staff writer John Ferro contributed to this report. Products cited in study *DM Productions Breast Cancer Awareness charm bracelet *Expressions wooden flower necklace *Lego Legends of Chima LEDLite/key chain *Monster High Draculaura Freaky and Fabulous Doll *Hot Wheels Gift Pack *The Children's Place boy's red fleece *DC Comics Superman penlight *Thomas & Friends Toy Train *The Children's Place, girl's pink hoodie *Guess dress *Wal-Mart jewelry set *Expressions accessory set

Friday, December 12, 2014

Ulster County is fighting animal abuse/neglect-- why not Dutchess?...email all 25 of us at countylegislators@dutchessny.gov for action on this here in 2015!...

[email all 25 of us at countylegislators@dutchessny.gov for action here on this in 2015 on this side of the river in Dutchess County similar to what Ulster County just did-- let's make sure animals/pets on both sides of the Hudson are as protected as possible!...(scroll down a bit to see actual text of legislation I submitted earlier today to our County Legislature's offices)...Joel] - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - www.ulstercountyny.gov/news/executive-press-releases/ulster-county-executive-mike-hein-signs-anti-tethering-law Ulster County Executive Mike Hein Signs Anti-Tethering Law Posted: December 3, 2014 The New Law Will Help Prevent Animal Abuse And Neglect As Well As Provide An Additional Tool For Law Enforcement To Act Kingston, NY — Today, Ulster County Executive Mike Hein signed a new law that is designed to help curtail neglect and animal abuse in Ulster County. The anti-tethering law places limits on the length of time a domestic animal may be tied outside and the manner in which they are tied. The County Executive first proposed the concept of the legislation at an announcement to construct a dog park at the County fairgrounds in New Paltz. The dog park was officially opened in September. “Animal abuse and neglect is unconscionable and with this law we have an opportunity to make a real difference,” said County Executive Hein. “This law is a tremendous step forward for animal rights and signals very clearly that Ulster County is committed to being a true ‘pet safe’ county. Law enforcement will now have better tools to address abuse and neglect. Simply put, the goal of this legislation is to promote responsible pet ownership, and I want to thank Legislators Ken Wishnick and Hector Rodriguez for their role in sponsoring this law in the Ulster County Legislature.” “This law is a collaborative effort between the County Legislature and the County Executive, and I want to thank Mike Hein for his support,” said Ulster County Legislator Ken Wishnick. “By working together we have assured that we have a strong, effective law for our residents that will protect the health and safety of our pets. I also want to thank Adam Saunders, Brian Shapiro, fellow legislative sponsor Hector Rodriguez, and everyone else who has contributed to this law.” “Legislator Wishnick and I have partnered with County Executive Hein to implement this important local law which provides law enforcement and agencies with the tools and guidelines to protect companion animals,” said Ulster County Legislator Hector Rodriguez. “Tethering is a cruel practice and dogs chained for long periods of time can become neurotic, unhappy, anxious and often aggressive. We applaud the work of County Executive Mike Hein and other county leaders who are supporting a safer, more humane community through this legislation,” stated Brian Shapiro, New York state director for The Humane Society of the United States. “County Executive Hein not only made the Ulster County Dog Park in New Paltz a reality, he is helping to protect dogs in the community by drawing attention to and helping prevent animal neglect with the new Local Law,´” said Christie DeBoer, President of For Paws of Ulster, Inc. The law requires a minimum ten foot tether; access to food, water and appropriate shelter; the use of a buckle type collar instead of a choke collar; the dog to be at least 6 months old and in good health; a maximum tethered time of 12 hours in a 24 hour period; and, no tethering during a weather alert event. Penalties provided for under the law range from a $100 fine and up to a $2,000 fine, 150 hours of community service and surrender of the animal for a third offense. - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - [text here below of law on this I submitted earlier today to Dutchess Co. Leg. offices-- for action on this issue here in our county similar to Ulster Co. in 2015!] A Local Law Respecting the Outdoor Restraint of Companion Animals BE IT ENACTED, by the Legislature of the County of Dutchess as follows: SECTION 1. LEGISLATIVE INTENT AND FINDINGS. The Dutchess County Legislature has determined that the practice of fastening a dog outdoors for a prolonged period to a stationary object, such as a structure, a pole, or a tree can be inhumane and may present a threat to the safety of the dog, other animals and human beings. The Legislature has further determined that it is in the best interest of the residents of Dutchess County, as well as their pets, to ensure the safety of all by regulating the amount of time, as well as the manner in which, a dog may be restrained outdoors. SECTION 2. DEFINITIONS. As used in this section: a) “Tether” means to restrain a dog by attaching the dog to any object or structure, including without limitation a house, tree, fence, post, garage, or shed, by any means, including without limitation a chain, rope, cord, leash, or running line. Tethering does NOT include the use of a leash to walk a dog. b) “Weather Alert” shall mean a National Weather Service warning for heat advisory, frigid weather, snow or ice storm, tornados, tropical storm, high winds or thunderstorms. SECTION 3. TETHERING REQUIREMENTS. It shall be unlawful to tether a dog outdoors, except when all of the following conditions are met: a) The tether must be attached to the dog with a buckle type collar or a body harness made of nylon or leather that is at least one inch thick. Choke or pinch type collar, attached weights and chains over one-quarter inch thick cannot be utilized for tethering. b) (i) The length of a stationary tether shall not be less than ten feet or five times the length of the dog’s body as measured from the tip of the nose to the base of the tail, whichever length is greater; shall connect at both ends with a swivel; shall weigh less than 1/10th of the dog’s weight; shall be free of tangles; and shall restrain the dog to the owner’s property. (ii) If the dog is tethered to a pulley, running line, or trolley or cable system, it must be a minimum of fifteen (15) feet long and less than seven (7) feet above the ground. c) The dog must be tethered in a reasonable manner that prevents entanglement around trees, poles or other obstacles. The dog must have access to shade, food, water and, shelter and dry ground. d) The dog must not be tethered outdoors during a weather alert. e) The tethered dog is at least 6 months old. f) The tethered dog is apparently free of any health condition that would be exacerbated by tethering. g) If there are multiple dogs, each must be tethered separately in a manner that prevents entanglement with each other. h) A tethered dog shall have access to appropriate shelter that will allow the dog to remain dry and to be protected from the elements. In addition to complying with the requirements of Section 353-b of New York State Agriculture and Markets Law, the shelter shall: be fully enclosed on all sides except one, which side shall have an opening that will allow the dog easy entry to and exit from the shelter; have a slanted, waterproof roof; have a solid floor. The shelter shall contain clean bedding and shall be small enough to retain the dog’s body heat, and large enough to allow the dog to stand, lie down with limbs outstretched, and turn around comfortably. The area around the shelter shall be kept free of standing water, ice and waste. i) A dog may be tethered outside for a maximum of 12 hours in any 24 hour period. j) In addition to the above requirements, tethered dogs must be free of cruel conditions or inhumane tethering at any time. For purposes of this section, “cruel conditions or inhumane tethering” shall include, but not be limited to, the following: (i) Exposure to excessive animal waste, garbage, dirty water, noxious odors or dangerous objects that could injure or kill a dog upon contact. (ii) Exposure to taunting, prodding, provoking, hitting, harassing, threatening or otherwise harming a tethered or confined dog. (iii) Exposing a dog to dangerous conditions, including potential attacks by other animals. SECTION 4. ENFORCEMENT. This Local Law shall be enforced by the office of the Dutchess County Sheriff and may also be enforced by any police officer, local Dog Control or Animal Control officer, or humane law officer or investigator with jurisdiction within Dutchess County. A violation of any of the provisions of this section shall, for a first offense, be punishable by a fine of up to $100. For a second offense, the fine shall be up to five hundred dollars and/or 50 hours of community service plus reimbursement of investigation costs. For a third or subsequent violation, the fine shall be one thousand dollars and/or 150 hours of community service plus surrender of dog, if ordered by court, plus costs of investigation and prosecution. In addition, all third time offenders, subsequent to the enactment of this law, are required to register as an animal abuser at such time that an animal abuse registry is lawfully established. Fines collected pursuant to this Section shall be deposited with the Dutchess County Commissioner of Finance, identified with a separate General Ledger account number in the Sheriff’s budget, and shall be used for animal protection education in the County of Dutchess or the maintenance of an animal abuse registry as may be lawfully established. SECTION 5. EXCEPTIONS. A dog tethered in compliance with the requirements of a campground area holding an Dutchess County Health Department Permit shall be exempt from these regulations. SECTION 6. EFFECT OF OTHER LAWS, REGULATIONS. This Local Law will have no effect in a city, town or village located within the County of Dutchess that has enacted an ordinance, resolution, or law regulating the tethering of dogs within its Jurisdiction. SECTION 7. SEVERABILITY. In the event that any portion of this local law is found to be invalid, such finding will not have any effect on the remaining portions of this local law, the application thereof, or on any provisions of the Dutchess County Charter, all of which shall remain in full force and effect. SECTION 8. EFFECTIVE DATE. This Local Law shall take effect immediately upon filing with the Office of the Secretary of State of the State of New York.

Monday, December 8, 2014

re: GOP robocall attack on me today-- I've challenged them to debate me next Tues. (12/16)-- put pressure on 'em to show their faces!...

[recall-- GOP never owned up to last year's nasty robocall attack on me-- refused to defend it and debate me: www.dutchessdemocracy.blogspot.com/2013/06/dem-co-leg-caucus-finds-backbone-votes.html ] [share this post/link with all you know folks-- and email these 19 GOP folks below-- demand that they show their faces and discuss/debate locally in Rhinebeck county budget-- not just robocall!] - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - [I just laid down the gauntlet with all 19 of 'em-- follow up, folks; just sent this email to 'em] From: Joel Tyner To: countyexec@dutchessny.gov, countylegislators@dutchessny.gov, mjm@marcmolinaro.com, mmccormack@lmvarchitects.com, roli213@aol.com, angelaflesland@yahoo.com, dborchertdc03@gmail.com, djbolner@optonline.net, donsagliano@gmail.com, sueserino@optonline.net, DCLKenRoman@yahoo.com, robweiss24@yahoo.com, jincoronato@verizon.net, jjjmiccio@verizon.net, mfoland@fairpoint.net, margehortondcleg@aol.com, ellennesbitt94@gmail.com, hutchi3@verizon.net, JohnMThomes@aol.com, alansurman@optimum.net Subject: County Executive Molinaro (Marc), Dutchess GOP Chair McCormack (Mike), Chairman Rolison (Rob), Anglela, Donna, Dale, all-- local taxpayers deserve local debate/discussion-- not just robocalls... Date: Dec 8, 2014 4:33 PM County Executive Molinaro (Marc), Dutchess GOP Chair McCormack (Mike); County Legislature Chair Rolison (Rob), and Legislators Flesland, Bolner, Borchert, Horton, Hutchings, Incoronato, Kelsey, Miccio, Nesbitt, Pulver, Roman, Sagliano, Serino, Surman, Thomes, Weiss: I humbly submit to you that the voters, taxpayers, and citizens of Rhinebeck and Clinton deserve more than mere hit-and-run robocalls when it comes to the important issue of how a $441 million county budget is developed-- how those hundreds of millions are allocated-- along with revenue sources... Therefore, I ask that at least one of you make time in your calendars to join me at Rhinebeck Town Hall for an open forum/debate on the county budget-- next Tuesday, December 16th at 5:30 at Rhinebeck Town Hall at 80 East Market Street there. Note-- there will be empty chair(s) for you should you choose to find excuse(s) to not even send a representative from the Dutchess County Republican Committee to defend your robocall attack today. Note as well-- if, for some reason, all 19 of you somehow just can't make it to Rhinebeck next Tuesday to openly and civilly discuss and debate county budget issues-- I also invite you to join me at Rhinebeck Town Hall Tuesday January 13th and/or Wednesday January 14th (even Jan. 23rd would be fine). In short, there is no excuse-- none-- whatsoever-- for the nineteen of you to all somehow "by coincidence" all be completely and totally busy for all four of those dates (12/16, 1/13, 1/14, 1/23)-- we need local debate on this! I mentioned during our County Legislature meeting last week that I continue to be not exactly thrilled about the fact that the Dutchess County Republican Committee last June sent out a nasty robocall filled with misinformation attacking me because I voted against jail expansion-- and not one of you answered my invitation to debate me last summer on this in Rhinebeck. It would behoove you to not ignore my invitation this time. The people of Dutchess County are tired of hit-and-run attacks. They want the truth. They want and deserve open, honest dialogue on the county budget-- right in Rhinebeck. If you choose to continue not defending your nasty robocall attacks in person, rest assured, I will make sure local voters do not forget your ongoing cowardice. So-- let me know at your earliest convenience who will be joining me next Tues. in Rhinebeck (and/or 1/13, 1/14, 1/23 there)-- or will you all be conveniently "too busy". Right. Happy holidays. Joel Tyner County Legislator Rhinebeck/Clinton 464-2245/876-2488/453-2105 - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - [I remind you of my letter here below to our County Executive that three other members of our County Legislature signed at this past Thursday's full board meeting-- Alison MacAvery, Micki Strawinski, and April Marie Farley] "We, the various undersigned members of the Dutchess County Legislature, know the difficulties you face in developing a budget for our county every year and appreciate the hard work and effort you put into this task. However, on a regular basis we go to local town board, village board, and city council meetings in the municipalites we represent in our county legislative districts, and all too often we have heard justified complaints being made openly by local municipal officials about the tremendous cut in county sales tax revenue-sharing with Dutchess County’s towns, cities, and villages over the past few years. The truth is that there are many ways to find the millions of dollars in alternative revenue sources to make sure Dutchess County’s towns, cities, and villages suffer no longer from this massive cut in revenue sharing. The truth is that many of us for many years now have advocated for different cost-saving, innovative, win-win solutions to our county’s criminal justice system woes, as called for by Newt Gingrich, Jeb Bush, and Grover Norquist in the RightonCrime.com movement now battling prison expansion nationally-- for cost-saving, no-money-down solar power-purchase-agreements for county property and buildings-- to save even more tax dollars by finally moving meaningfully away from incineration towards zero waste-- to stop forcing county taxpayers to pay for government benefits for hard-working employees of immensely profitable large retail chain stores and restaurants-- and finally, to pro-actively keep local at-risk youth out of our criminal justice system by restoring county funding eliminated for proven, cost-saving youth programs (the fact is that each at-risk youth kept out of our county’s criminal justice system $1.2 million, according to the U.S. Department of Justice). Sadly, strangely, our proposals for these cost-savers have been met with indifference, if not hostility at times. For this reason, we strongly urge you to publicly commit to, as soon as possible, revisiting and renegotiating Dutchess County’s sales tax revenue-sharing agreement with local municipalities. We thank you for your attention to this matter— as local municipalities will not abide the status quo continuing." [....and let's not forget your failure to restore the five-day week to our county Office for the Aging Senior Friendship Centers, your failure to restore county funding you eliminated for our cost-saving county Youth Bureau's Project Return program for at-risk youth, the county funding you eliminated for our CCEDC's Green Teen Community Gardening Program, county funding you eliminated for our county's Human Rights Commission, county funding you eliminated for our county's Office of Consumer Affairs-- and the destructive privatization of our county's mental health system while county funding for our county's Department of Mental Hygiene is frozen for next year-- as the ongoing heroin/opiate epidemic continues locally and crisis conditions continue at the formerly county-run mental health building at 47 West Market Street in Rhinebeck-- at the same time you chose to inexplicably nearly double county funding for the Department of Tourism in our county budget to over a million dollars a year-- and plan to allocate two and a half million dollars for a water pipeline to our county airport (not to mention a new five-year exemption on county sales tax for corporate jets at our county airport)]

Sunday, December 7, 2014

in case you think race isn't an issue here in Dutchess County...

Hi all-- wake up folks... Nine questions here for you based on the Poughkeepsie Journal November 19th report by Craig Wolf: 1. Did you know that the Dutchess County Sheriff's Office arrests blacks 40 percent more than whites? 2. Did you know that the City of Poughkeepsie Police Department arrests blacks 270 percent more than whites? 3. Did you know that the Hyde Park Police Department arrests blacks 410 percent more than whites? 4. Did you know that the Town of Poughkeepsie Police Department arrests blacks 370 percent more than whites? 5. Did you know that the East Fishkill Police Department arrests blacks 220 percent more than whites? 6. Did you know that the Beacon Police Department arrests blacks twice as much (200 percent more than) whites? 7. Did you know that the Fishkill Police Department arrests blacks 160 percent more than whites? 8. Did you know that the Town of Lloyd Police Department arrests blacks 440 percent more than whites? 9. Did you know that the Ulster County Sheriff's Office arrests blacks 260 percent more than whites? What's more according to Wolf/PoJo-- "All were higher than the comparable ratio found in Ferguson"(!). [Poughkeepsie Journal/Craig Wolf 11/19/14: "Study: Arrests by Race Show Disparity; See Stats" www.poughkeepsiejournal.com/story/news/local/2014/11/18/study-arrests-race/19250691/?post_id=638275743_10153366451240744#_=_ ] ...just one more reason to join 270+ signed on to come out tomorrow(!): www.m.facebook.com/events/619121021527765 . From: Community Voices Heard (cvh@CVHaction.org) "Monday, December 8th-- please join us for: Black Lives Matter in Poughkeepsie! from noon to two in from of the U.S. Bankrupcy Courthouse 347 Main Street Poughkeepsie. (Corner of Catherine Street) Come and be heard. U.S.Attorney General Eric Holder must bring federal civil rights charges against Darren Wilson for the murder of Michael Brown. Don't miss this chance to add your voice. Bring signs and be prepared to sing and chant. This will be big. Help make it bigger by joining, posting and inviting friends and family. Talk about why you are going at work and at church. Ask your friends and family to join us Monday because #ThisStopsToday #shutitdown #mikaelbrown #ericgarner #blacklivesmatter-- CVH Dutchess Chapter Organizer Blair Goodman" [I'll be there myself again with y'all if I can take off time from work] More here re: front-page article in today's PoJo on race (that contains some idiot cover-up info re: Dutchess, sadly): www.poughkeepsiejournal.com/story/news/local/2014/12/06/vassar-professor-draws-attention-race-relations-campus-community/19963819/ [article in today's paper follows up on excellent recent piece on Gawker by prof Kiese Laymon there: www.gawker.com/my-vassar-college-faculty-id-makes-everything-ok-1664133077 ] [PoJo earlier this year-- blacks far more likely to be tased than whites: www.bikersofamerica.blogspot.com/2012/02/poughkeepsie-ny-blacks-hit-with-tasers.html?spref=fb&m=1 ] [PoJo/ACLU last year-- young blacks 4 times more likely to be arrested for marijuana than young whites www.aclu.org/billions-dollars-wasted-racially-biased-arrests ] Pass it on... Joel 845-453-2105/876-2488 joeltyner@earthlink.net p.s. Again-- email all 26 of us-- at countyexec@dutchessny.gov, countylegislators@dutchessny.gov-- to restore county Human Rights Commission to budget for 2015!... - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - [MUST-read PoJo here below from Nov. 18 (thx, Francena Amparo, Tracy Givens-Hunter: racial profiling real locally ...even co. deputy sheriffs arrest blacks here in Dutchess County 40% more often than whites!] Study: Arrests by race shows disparity; see stats Craig Wolf, Poughkeepsie Journal 9:24 a.m. EST November 19, 2014 Black people do get arrested more often than other races, data from the Federal Bureau of Investigation shows. And that's here in Dutchess County and the mid-Hudson Valley, not just Ferguson, Missouri. The statistics are clear, though the underlying reasons as to why are not. Is it bias? Is it poverty? Is it both? The data isn't specific enough to answer, but it does raise the question. Arrests and race have grabbed the national spotlight again as the Ferguson incident in which an unarmed African-American youth, Michael Brown, was killed by a white officer. His case is before a grand jury. Data gathered by USA Today and reviewed by the Poughkeepsie Journal shows that most local police departments arrest blacks at a higher ratio than other ethnicities. The analysis used arrests reported by local departments to the FBI in 2011 and 2012, and USA Today compared arrests against race population data from the 2010 Census. The number of arrests per thousand of black residents was then compared to the number of arrests per thousand of all non-black residents. Those results were then compared against each other to reveal any disparity in the relative risk of arrest. Hyde Park's disparity ratio was 4.1. The Town of Poughkeepsie came in at 3.7. In Ulster, the Town of Lloyd was 4.4. All were higher than the comparable ratio found in Ferguson. Most were lower, but still above the level of 1.0 that would indicate no greater risk of arrest for a black person than any other. The City of Poughkeepsie was at 2.7; East Fishkill at 2.2; Ulster County Sheriff's Office at 2.6; Beacon at 2.0; Fishkill at 1.6; and the Dutchess County Sheriff's Office at 1.4. - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - From www.commondreams.org/views/2014/12/05/hands-dont-choke ... Published on Friday, December 05, 2014 by Democracy Now! Hands Up, Don't Choke by Amy Goodman Another police killing of an unarmed man of color. Another grand jury deciding not to indict: Not for murder. Not for manslaughter. Not for assault. Not even for reckless endangerment. We live in a land of impunity. At least, for those in power. This past summer, after covering the protests in Ferguson, Mo., I flew back to New York City and went straight to Staten Island to cover the march protesting the police killing of Eric Garner, a 43-year-old African-American father of six. This story was strikingly similar to the police killing in Ferguson, where Officer Darren Wilson gunned down unarmed African-American teenager Michael Brown. Both cases involved white police officers using deadly force. Both of the victims were unarmed African-Americans. In both cases, local prosecutors, with close ties to their local police departments, were allowed to control the grand jury. There were some differences between the cases. Most notably, Eric Garner’s killing was captured on video. If you look at the video closely, just as NYPD Officer Daniel Pantaleo puts him in an illegal chokehold, you see Eric Garner put his hands up, the international signal of surrender. He is then taken down by a gang of police officers. You hear him repeatedly say, “I can’t breathe!” He says it a total of 11 times before he goes limp and dies. Where did this video come from? A young man named Ramsey Orta was standing near Garner on that July 17 afternoon when the police moved in. Orta flipped open his cellphone and videoed the whole thing. Pantaleo was caught red-handed. The evidence was there for everyone to see. Well, the grand jury decided not to indict Pantaleo. Only two people were arrested in the wake of Garner’s death: Ramsey Orta, who shot the video, and his wife, Chrissie Ortiz. Chrissie told a local television station that since Ramsey was identified as the videographer, they had been subjected to police harassment. Ramsey was arrested the day after the city medical examiner declared Garner’s death a homicide. Chrissie was later arrested as well. I saw them at the Staten Island march that Saturday, standing near where Garner died. I asked them for comment, but they were afraid. They huddled on the same stoop that Ramsey was on when he filmed Garner’s death. At that march on Staten Island on Aug. 23, while Ramsey and Chrissie chose not to speak, many did. “The Staten Island [district attorney] should not be prosecuting this case,” Constance Malcolm told me. “We need the feds to come in and take this case right now. We need accountability.” And then there was Imani Morrias. She said, “We need to show the community that these police officers need to be disciplined and they need to be sentenced, for all that they caused.” Imani is 12 years old. She added, “They caused so much pain.” Nearby, another young African-American girl, who only gave her first name, Aniya, was solemnly marching. She was 13. I asked her what she hoped to accomplish with the protest: “To live until I’m 18 and not get shot.” She added: “You want to get older. You want to experience life. You don’t want to die in a matter of seconds because of cops.” The news of the Garner grand jury was released on Staten Island as, hundreds of miles away in Cleveland, a funeral of yet another African-American killed by police was wrapping up. Twelve-year-old Tamir Rice had been waving a toy gun in a public park on Nov. 22, when Cleveland police in a cruiser drove in, jumped out of the car and shot him dead. Aniya’s dream from months earlier is haunting in the shadow of Tamir’s funeral: “To live until I’m 18 and not get shot.” As news spread that Officer Daniel Pantaleo was cleared in the killing of Eric Garner, New York Mayor Bill de Blasio stood with African-American leaders on Staten Island. “Our history requires that we say, ‘Black lives matter,’” he said. Centuries of history, he stressed. Across the city, people gathered in Staten Island at the scene of Garner’s death, and in Harlem, in Times Square, in Union Square. Among the signs: “Ferguson is everywhere.” The protests against impunity are just beginning.

Friday, December 5, 2014

Co. Leg. GOP kill Dem initiatives for forums on race and law enforcement, jail suicides, human rights-- and postpone construction on youth center until 2017!...

Hi all... In case you didn't know, here's some of the censored story about what really happened during last night's full board meeting of our County Legislature... First, with all due respect to Hank Gross' reporting on his website this morning, the fact is that Co. Leg. Majority Leader Angela Flesland and the rest of the ruling Republicans went into meltdown mode during last night's meeting after only thirteen proposed county budget amendments from yours truly (not exactly "a long list", with all due respect, as Hank reported)-- and Flesland "called the question"-- meaning shut off any more discussion/amendments to the proposed 2015 Dutchess County Budget... From MidHudsonNews.com (Hank G.)-- "The vote came after a long list of amendments, proposed by Democrat Joel Tyner, all of which were rejected. Included was $100 for a forum on race and law enforcement in Dutchess County. Tyner noted a recent rally of about 800 people outside the county jail, in support of Michael Brown, shot in a confrontation with police in Ferguson, Missouri." www.midhudsonnews.com/News/2014/December/05/DC_budget-05Dec14.html Second, Hank reported above correctly-- that yes, incredibly, in a county budget well over $441 million, Dutchess Republicans refused last night to add even my $100 request for a budget amendment for Sheriff Butch Anderson to convene a public forum on race and law enforcement in Dutchess County... Third-- that's not the only amendment the GOP Co. Leg. majority shot down; they also shot down these twelve as well (grotesque, really, that Republicans rejected these minor but valuable and pro-active ideas): [view webcast here for yourself of last night's full board meeting of our County Legislature (laff-riot-plus-- GOP attacks losing it, claiming fair, open, honest, transparent government-- when there are a TON of resolutions submitted by yours truly for years now with support of Democratic caucus that haven't even been allowed on to the agenda for Committee Day, let alone passed): www.co.dutchess.ny.us/CLStreamingVideoLink.htm ] -- for million-dollar youth center construction in 2015 (not 2017, as GOP want) -- to restore two social worker positions cut from County Jail ($150,000) -- for public forum to be held on alarming number of suicides at county jail ($100) -- for our county's Human Rights Officer to hold a forum on human rights locally ($100) -- to bring back our county Youth Bureau's Project Return program ($300,000) -- to bring back CCEDC Green Teen Community Gardening Program for Poughkeepsie ($50,000) -- to double the number of youth served by Full Functional Family Therapy ($135,145) -- for YesWeCode hackathon to come to Poughkeepsie/Dutchess for inner-city kids ($10,000) -- to bring back our county's Human Rights Commission ($100,000) -- for Solid Waste Division to issue RFP for zero-waste expert, e.g., ILSR.org ($5000) -- to invest in microenterprise through Gatways to Entrepreneurial Tomorrows ($50,000) -- for Hudson Valley Mental Health/DCDMH to hold forum in Rhinebeck on services ($100) Letters to the editor needed on all this to local newspapers, folks-- hold 'em accountable!...(unfortunately, too many in local media not picking up on this stuff)... Pass it on... Joel 845-453-2105/876-2488 joeltyner@earthlink.net - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - [recall below (excerpted here)-- from back in late 2010 re: cost-saving aspect of restoring our county Youth Bureau's Project Return program back into county budget-- still pertinent now!] From Dutchess CSEA Pres. Liz Piraino (Lizbeth.Piraino@dfa.state.ny.us)... M E M O R A N D U M To: Robert Rolison, Chairman, Dutchess County Legislature From: Lizabeth Piraino, CSEA President Date: November 23, 2010 I am asking for amendments to restore positions back into the 2011 budget for the following positions: • Youth Worker, Youth, (47692 & 50, 940) • Supervising Youth Worker, Youth, (74699) To alleviate costs: • Please restore youth positions to DSS to continue programs (reimbursements 62%) • Delete $47300 (county cost) for a labor attorney to resolve issues with the union including negotiations. There is a staff of County Attorneys that can perform these tasks. They need to tighten their belts... *The justification given on November 17th for decimating the Youth Services Unit, including the elimination of a Youth Worker as well as the complete elimination of Project Return was because, "In the last ten years, other evidence-based practices have been incorporated in other departments that also serve these high risk youth." (Director of HHSC speaking before the Dutchess County Legislature's Budget and Finance Committee) Less than ten minutes later, the same Cabinet Director attributed the decrease in DSS placement numbers to "…the good work of Youth Bureau staff and the good work of Probation and a lot of contractors." "Evidence based practices" and "Evidence based programs" are two recent buzz words used in government for those programs that have received millions of dollars in order to study their effectiveness. In the past twenty-five years, YSU has not been permitted to apply for any grants other than those available from OCFS or DSS, so millions have not been spent to see if our programming works. We do, however, have thousands of case records in our files that provide evidence of what kind of "success" our young clients have attained while in our programs. The cost for CSE Placements (room & board) in the Tentative 2011 DSS budget is $7,200,000, up $384,000. The cost for Institutional Care Placements in the same budget is $17,400,000, up $1,457,000 from 2010. the amount proposed to spend is up $2,300,000 over the total amount expended in 2009, and up $2,6000,000 over the total amount expended in 2008. Together, between school-placed youth and DSS placed youth, the tentative budget is recommending a whopping $21,600,000 to send kids out the community in 2011! Over the past five years, Project Return has worked with 194 high risk teenagers. Only eight (8) young people were closed due to out of home placements and five (5) of those placements were terms in non-secure detention or rehab ordered by the Youth Treatment Court as sanctions for failing to comply with judicial orders. Over the same time period, YSU provided counseling, advocacy and skills building for 1376 young people. Only three (3) were closed due to out of home placements. [Please note that these figures do not include nearly three thousand young county residents who received workshop trainings on anti-bullying, bias awareness, anger management and conflict resolution skills.] During the same November 17th budget hearing, the figure of $240,000 was quoted as the amount it cost to house a youth in jail for one year. This amounts to $657.53 per youth per day. Project Return costs under $24 per youth per day to keep them in their homes and in the community! The counseling services provided to Youth Services Unit clients not involved in Project Return cost less than $8 per youth per day. - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - [finally: here below-- case you missed it first time-- my op-ed from Tuesday's Poughkeepsie Journal-- fwd!] Dutchess County budget can be improved Joel Tyner 2:35 p.m. EST December 1, 2014 www.poughkeepsiejournal.com/story/opinion/valley-views/2014/12/01/tyner-dutchess-budget/19743753/ Speak up at 7 p.m. Tuesday at the Dutchess County budget hearing on the sixth floor of our County Office Building at 22 Market St. in Poughkeepsie ­ and again at 7 p.m. on Thursday just before all 25 legislators vote ­ to save $10 million county tax dollars annually these six proven ways: ­ fully funding pro-active, cost-saving youth and drug treatment programs (e.g., our county Youth Bureau's Project Return program should be restored, along with full funding for Nubian Directions). ­ real reform of our county's criminal justice system (Newt Gingrich and Van Jones are right: www.JobsNotJails.weebly.com ). ­ no-money-down solar power for county property (as in Schenectady County, Clarkstown, and Esopus). ­ a living-wage law for large retail chain stores/restaurants like Wal-Mart and McDonald's (May 2013 report from the House Committee on Education and the Workforce). www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/05/31/walmart-taxpayers-house-report_n_3365814.html ­ stopping GOP's proposed welfare for corporate jets at our county airport (stop $2.6 million water pipeline and tax exemption for jets). ­ stopping the inexplicable near-doubling of our county's Tourism budget (to over a million dollars!). Instead, half of that $10 million should be immediately given back to our county's towns, cities, and villages ­ the $5 million annually our county government has been taking from them the past two years (ever since County Executive Marc Molinaro changed the county sales tax revenue-sharing formula in late 2012 with local municipalities; recall: The other $5 million should, again, be reinvested in our youth, restoring the five-day week to our county Office for the Aging Senior Friendship Centers, bringing back both our county's Human Rights Commission and Office of Consumer Affairs ­ and revitalizing our local economy with innovative New Economy Coalition/Democracy Collaborative/LOIS (Locally Owned Import Substitution) recommendations from the Omega Institute's Rebuilding the Collaborative Commons conference in October. Moreover, incredibly, Dutchess GOP legislative members have proposed no increase whatsoever in any chemical dependency services, case management, emergency treatment, or any mental health services to anyone in the county, according to pages 257 through 260 of the Tentative Executive Summary for the County Budget. This, in spite of what Robert Allers, the Dutchess County Commissioner of Community and Family Services, stated Nov. 19 openly and publicly in our County Legislature's Chambers during a county Legislature Budget, Finance, and Personnel Committee meeting ­ that "there's been an increase of 19 percent in kids coming into care because of cuts in mental healthcare." [view webcast here for yourself: ] Finally, there is no excuse for the Republicans on our County Legislature's Budget, Finance, and Personnel Committee to have summarily shot down these 5 proposed budget amendments of mine (that, if enacted, would save more than funds invested): ­ $264,000 to double the current number of youth served by Full Functional Family Therapy [to avoid the county's having to spend literally tens of millions of our tax dollars on placing Dutchess County youth in institutions through our county's Department of Community and Family Services!]; ­ $50,000 to bring back the Green Teen Community Gardening Program in the City of Poughkeepsie through CCEDC; ­ $43,000 for Food Access and Financial Fitness for Emerging Adults also through Cornell Cooperative Extension; ­ $36,000 for Hudson Valley Boy Scouts for Inner-City Camp program for Poughkeepsie/Dutchess; ­ $17,000 to Mental Health America of Dutchess County for their Kids on the Block program. Fact: Each at-risk youth prevented from life of crime saves $1.2 million, according to the U.S. Department of Justice. That FRAM filter guy from the 1970s is still right ­ we pay now ­ or we pay later. Joel Tyner is a Dutchess County Legislator representing Clinton and Rhinebeck. You can email Dutchess County legislators at countylegislators@dutchessny.gov.

Thursday, December 4, 2014

stop newly proposed Central Hudson rate hike!...(thx to Co. Leg.'s Barbara Jeter-Jackson, Alison MacAvery, Micki Strawinski, Francena Amparo, April Marie Farley, Rich Perkins, and Mike Kelsey for signing my letter on this!)

[stop newly proposed Central Hudson rate hike!...(thx to Co. Leg.'s Barbara Jeter-Jackson, Alison MacAvery, Micki Strawinski, Francena Amparo, April Marie Farley, Rich Perkins, and yes, even GOP Co. Leg. Mike Kelsey-- for signing my letter on this at this evening's full board meeting of our County Legislature-- contact the NYS "Public" Service Commission on this at (800) 335-2120 and secretary@dps.ny.gov if you agree!...Joel] [for much more on all this see: www.CitizensforLocalPower.com ; www.UtilityProject.org www.poughkeepsiejournal.com/story/money/companies/2014/07/25/central-hudson-seeks-increase/13161085/ ; www.dailyfreeman.com/general-news/20140618/increase-in-utility-shutoff-warnings-worries-aarp-group-calls-for-ny-public-advocate ] - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - [text here below of letter I convinced eight of my Co. Leg. colleagues to sign tonight] Hon. Kathleen H. Burgess Secretary to the Commission New York State Public Service Commission Empire State Plaza Agency Building 3 Albany, NY 12223-1350 Dear Secretary Burgess: We, various undersigned members of the Dutchess County Legislature, strongly urge you to reject Central Hudson/Fortis’ new proposal for a hike in their delivery rate-- Citizens for Local Power has already accurately described the proposed seven-percent Central Hudson delivery rate hike as “very significant”, especially coming on the heels of the “new capacity zone” FERC rate hike and the recent Dutchess County fuel tax. To be specific, as the Poughkeepsie Journal recently reported, “Central Hudson Gas & Electric Corp. has asked for an increase in delivery rates for electricity and natural gas that would show up in customer bills beginning in July 2015. In the filing, Central Hudson asks to increase its revenues from electricity by $40.1 million and from natural gas delivery by $5.9 million. Its documents show that the proposed electric revenue increase overall for all classes of customers combined would be a 14.8 percent gain and gas would show a rise of 7.4 percent. Central Hudson proposes for its allowed profit, known as a return on equity, to be 9 percent. The proposal calls for a delivery rate increase of just under 7 percent for residential electric accounts; for home natural gas, the jump would be 1.29 percent-- that's just for the delivery portion of the bill.” In October of 2013, the rate of electricity per kilowatt hour was $.07; it nearly doubled to $.14 this past March. More from the Poughkeepsie Journal— “A total bill also includes the separately stated supply charge— which is not part of the rate case. Central Hudson said that if you combine both parts, the bottom-line increase of the electric bill for an average home consumer would come to about $4.78 a month, a 4.4 percent increase. That's based on an average usage of 620 kilowatt-hours per month and July market supply costs for electricity. The average residential electric bill in 2013 was $107.87 per month, based on a 12-month average, Central Hudson said. For gas, the bill increase will be $1.04 per month, or less than a 1 percent increase, based on an average of 68 hundred cubic feet of usage per month and July market costs. The average residential gas bill for customers who heat with it in 2013 was $133.23 per month, based on a 12-month average, the company said. Delivery rates are typically 30 to 50 percent of total bills, the company said. However, for smaller volume accounts, delivery can be larger than 50 percent.” As the Daily Freeman stated June 18th, “a recent report by the Public Utility Law Project found that Central Hudson, which serves about 300,000 customers in eight mid-Hudson counties, issued 104,688 ‘final termination’ notices during the first four months of 2014. That about 2.8 percent more than in the same period of 2013 and 35 percent more than the same period nine years ago. When new bills jump due to the volatile prices favored by the utility-regulating New York State Public Service Commission, customers fall behind again and miss the due date for their current bill, plus the installment payment on old arrears. The utility is then allowed to demand all past-due amounts, demand late fees and shut service off as a collection measure. This creates impossible situations, hardships and often hazardous conditions when less-safe forms of energy are used.” Thank you for your attention to this matter— Dutchess homeowners and businesses can’t afford this rate hike!