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Wednesday, April 13, 2016

stand in solidarity with CWA against Verizon-- call HQ at 212-395-1000!

[faxed this letter I drafted to Verizon earlier-- follow up with your own calls!...J] [see CWA-Union.org for more! - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - April 13, 2016 Mr. Lowell McAdam Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Verizon 140 West Street New York, NY 10007 Dear CEO McAdam (Lowell): Earlier today I contacted Dutchess County Legislators Francena Amparo (Wappinger) and Hannah Black (Hyde Park) and they agree with me— we all stand in strong solidarity with almost 40,000 Communications Workers of America Verizon employees on strike today— and ask you to take back these unfair proposals: -- Offshoring and contracting out even more customer service work to Mexico, the Philippines and other locations— and cutting job security for all workers. -- Requiring technicians to work away from home for as long as two months, without seeing their families. For anyone trying to balance work and family life, this is impossible. -- Refusing to negotiate improvements to wages, benefits and working conditions for Verizon Wireless workers, who formed a union with CWA in 2014; freezing pensions at 30 years of service and forcing retirees to pay extremely high health care costs— and slashing benefits for workers injured on the job. Even though Verizon made $39 billion in profits over the last three years — and $1.8 billion a month in profits over the first three months of 2016 — the company wants to gut job security protections, contract out more work, offshore jobs to Mexico, the Philippines and other locations and require technicians to work away from home for as long as two months without seeing their families. Verizon is also refusing to negotiate any improvements in wages, benefits or working conditions for Verizon Wireless retail workers, who formed a union in 2014. The Verizon negotiations began in June 2015, and the workers’ contract expired on August 1. At the same time, Verizon’s CEO is making 200 times more than the average Verizon employee, and the company’s top five executives made $233 million over the last five years. More and more, Americans are outraged by what some of the nation’s wealthiest corporations have done to working people over the last 30 years, and Verizon is becoming the poster child for everything that people in this country are angry about. This very profitable company wants to push people down. And it wants to push communities down by not fully repairing the network and by not building out FIOS. With negotiations at a standstill even as workers have offered hundreds of millions of dollars in healthcare cost savings, support for a fair contract is growing. Last month, 20 U.S. Hannah Black (Hyde Park) indicated to me today that they agree with me— we stand in strong solidarity and Senators sent a letter to you calling on you to “act as a responsible corporate citizen and negotiate a fair contract with the employees who make your company’s success possible.” Verizon’s corporate greed isn’t just harming workers’ families, it’s hurting customers as well. Service quality has deteriorated to the point that New York State’s Public Service Commission has convened a formal hearing to investigate problems across the Empire State. In the last few weeks, regulators in Pennsylvania and New Jersey have launched similar inquiries into Verizon’s operations. ENOUGH IS ENOUGH— bargain fairly!

Monday, April 11, 2016

Democracy Collaborative innovation like Mid-Hudson Manufacturing Renaissance Council needed here now-- thx to Francena Amparo for signing on to my letter here

[see CommunityWealthSummit.com re: Apr. 22nd event-- thx to Co. Leg. Francena Amparo for just now at tonight's Co. Leg. meeting agreeing to sign on to letter here below I circulated-- see democracycollaborative.org/cities!...joel] - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - April 11, 2016 Mr. Marcus Molinaro Dutchess County Executive Dutchess County Office Building 22 Market Street Poughkeepsie, NY 12601 Dear County Executive Molinaro (Marcus): Inspired by Justine Porter’s upcoming April 22nd Community Wealth Summit at Vassar College with the Democracy Collaborative, we, the various undersigned members of the Dutchess County Legislature, ask you to work the Dutchess County Economic Development Advisory Council, Dutchess County Department of Planning and Development, and us in our County Legislature to revitalize our local economy with the state-of-the-art best practices promoted by the Democracy Collaborative’s Community Wealth Building reports. For example Dutchess County sorely needs something like the Chicagoland Manufacturing Renaissance Council, a regional strategic collaborative started in 2005 to help rebuild Chicago’s manufacturing base, and connect to those needing jobs; the collaborative engages many partners, including the City of Chicago, community leaders, labor, education, and business and manufacturing groups. Its signature programs include: the Austin Polytechnical Academy, a partnership among Chicago Public Schools, local manufacturers, the Chicago Teachers’ Union, and the Austin community that trains students. Manufacturing Works, an employer-demand-driven workforce center endorsed by the City of Chicago, which has resulted in an estimated additional annual payroll of $25 million and 828 new manufacturing jobs; and the Austin Manufacturing Innovation District, started with a $1.25 million grant in 2012 from the City of Chicago, which connects training, research, development, and hiring activities in Chicago’s Austin neighborhood. This is also in San Francisco and the Bay area, with interest growing in New York City, Newark, Detroit, and Baltimore. Dutchess County also needs something like New Orleans Works (NOW), a workforce initiative led by the Greater New Orleans Foundation and supported by the City; it is also a local site of the National Fund for Workforce Solutions, which has sites in more than 30 cities, each seeking to help low-wage workers advance through employer engagement. NOW seeks to build long-lasting partnerships between employers, trainers, and workers to create a jobs pipeline that helps low-skilled workers advance and helps businesses compete; the initiative focuses on the health care sector. Dutchess County would do well to create an Office of Community Wealth Building; last year Richmond, Virginia, established the nation’s first Office of Community Wealth Building; to show a positive approach building on assets, resources, and potential already present. Newark, New Jersey is emphasizing the need for bottom-up reconstruction of economic opportunity in the city's hardest hit neighborhoods and the strategic role that large nonprofit anchor institutions can and should play in this process; Madison, Wisconsin has committed five million dollars to help start worker-owned cooperatives over the next five years; New York City has committed over a million dollars towards the same purpose. Dutchess County should also follow the example of the City and County of Chicago’s launching of Chicago Anchors for a Strong Economy (CASE) to anchor institutions to local suppliers; the initiative collects data on anchor purchasing needs and then coordinates opportunities to increase local procurement; at the same time, CASE, in partnership with merchant bank Next Street, working with local businesses to help them scale operations to meet these needs; CASE aimed to work with 100 local businesses in its first year. Finally, Dutchess should follow Cleveland’s example-- approaches like the Evergreen Cooperatives, which focus on anchored local wealth have proven quite effective there, built on LOIS (Locally Owned Import Substitution), creating worker-owned cooperatives (solar installation firm, green laundry service, and urban hydroponics greenhouse), after first pulling together Cleveland’s large employers and institutions (colleges, universities, hospitals, and government); Rochester is doing this as well to create worker-owned cooperatives there.

Wednesday, March 16, 2016

JewishVoiceforPeace.org, Stevie Wonder, Alice Walker, Annie Lennox, Archbishop Desmond Tutu, Roger Waters, Stephen Hawking agree...

Hi all... This past Sunday night (7:46 pm to be exact lol) I received this email from The Hudson Valley News' Jim Langan (editorial@thehudsonvalleynews.com)-- "We are doing a piece on the Vassar student gov't anti-Israel resolution vote. Since we have a photo of you holding a banner with students, we'd like your comment on your apparent support of this controversial issue. Thanks." FYI-- Scroll down just a bit below for the response I emailed back to THVN Sunday night... Interesting, right?...what THVN chose to leave in as quote from me in over-the-top full-page article just out this morning on p. 3 of THVN-- and what he chose to leave out-- he purposely chose to leave out the info I gave him about how http://www.JewishVoiceforPeace.org and many other Jewish organizations for years now have recognized that the best, safest, and most peaceful path forward for Israel going into the future is to recognize that the 1967 war is over and get out of the illegally occupied West Bank and Gaza Strip; he also chose to leave out how even Presbyterian Chuch USA (locally Rev. Gail Burger is member) recently divested $21 million from Israel for human rights reasons, he chose to leave out how Vassar College Student Association resolution (which frankly, honestly, I had nothing to do with drafting or passing) references Dutchess County's own Eleanor Roosevelt's Universal Declaration of Human Rights, and leaves out how notable folks like Stevie Wonder, Archbishop Desmond Tutu, Alice Walker, Stephen Hawking, Annie Lennox, Roger Waters, Brian Eno, Lauren Hill, and Noam Chomsky (and the American Studies Association) all have decided to endorse the BDS (boycott/divestment/sanctions) movement re: illegally occupied territories and apartheid Israel, mindful of the history of the success of BDS re: apartheid South Africa......and again ignores crucial censored truths re: GOP $274 million jail expansion efforts... Wake. Up. folks.... 'Tis another lamebrained hatchet attack/effort from THVN... Email your rebuttal letters to the editor to editorial@thehudsonvalleynews.com... [prove to them and the world it's not just Fred Nagel and I who care about this issue lol] Pass it on... [locally get involved with http://www.MidEastCrisis.org -- Fred's great group on this] Joel joeltyner@earthlink.net 845-464-2245/876-2488 [also see mbtselem.org ] - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - From: Joel Tyner Date: March 13, 2016 at 9:36:02 PM EDT To: Editorial Subject: Re: Question Hi Jim, Caroline-- My girlfriend Sawsan Adeep is Palestinian (from the West Bank; she's right next to me in that picture) so, tho this issue doesn't the top of my list of priorities as a county legislator for Rhinebeck and Clinton, I've learned a great deal over the past several years from her and her family (still there) about what life is actually like on the ground in the illegally Occupied Territories (West Bank and Gaza Strip)-- daily inhumane degradation beyond belief, frankly, as I've come to understand. (see http://www.JewishVoiceforPeace.org -- incredibly informative, rational, and reasonable organization leading BDS movement against a partheid now in Israel as in South Africa) (lol--believe it or not, my brother actually converted to Judaism and his raising three Jewish girls with his Jewish wife in Connecticut-- yes we do all get along on the holidays) Back to the actual matter at hand her tho-- Dr. King's quote seems particularly apt here-- "Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice anywhere." It's also a fiscal issue-- American taxpayers annually spend over three billion on military aid to Israel (nothing to Palestinians)....(imagine that money being used to beef up federal support for our schools and communities thru CDBG grants, for example). Please if you haven't yet-- read the actual resolution-- tho frankly I didn't have anything to do with getting it drafted or passed, it really does seem pretty common-sense to me (and yes, it was drafted by a Jew-- Ethan Cohen): https://docs.google.com/document/d/1KcjHvl8YSHLqSoeJa9L_v3COXXFWkT3hj-XFz_42LDU/mobilebasic?pli=1 Notably, the very first "whereas" if the resolution quotes Article II of the 1948 Universal Declaration of Human Rights (drafted by Dutchess' own Eleanor Roosevelt) stating that all people "without distinction of any kind, such as race, color, sex, language, religion, political or other o pinion, national or social origin, property, birth or other status" are entitled to rights enumerated therein. Fact: GE, Caterpillar, Motorola, Sabra, Tribe, Ben & Jerry's, Hewlett-Packard, Ahava, Eden Springs, G4S, and Elbit Systems don't deserve our personal spending dollars or our tax dollars due to their complicity in Israel's illegal (according to international law) occupation of the West Bank and Gaza Strip). Perhaps Stevie Wonder put it best four years ago when he issued this statement about why he was canceling his participation in a fundraising concert for the Israeli Defense Forces-- "I am, and always have been, against war, any war, anywhere." It's not just Stevie tho-- even Presbyterian Church USA recently divested $21 million in investments from Israel because, as spokesman Heath Rada put it, the Israeli government's actions "harm the Palestinian people." The American Studies Association just passed a similar resolution; Archbishop Desmond Tutu, Noam Chomsky, Arundhati Roy, Stephen Hawking, Annie Lennox, Elvis Costello, Alice Walker, Brian Eno, and Roger Waters all support the BDS movement until Israel's flagrant violations of human rights of Palestinians end-- again-- see http://www.JewishVoiceforPeace.org -- there are many Jews locally and across the planet who have long recognized that the best path to a peaceful and safe Israel is to, quite simply, fully respect the rights and dignity of Palestinians. Joel 464-2245/876-2488 p.s. If you're going to devote ink/space to that issue you should devote at least as much if not more to this amazing report from last Feb. from the Vera Institute: http://www.vera.org/sites/default/files/resources/downloads/incarcerations-front-door-report.pdf (it proves in spades, together with all my emails/research/advocacy this year and for over a decade on the jail issue-- that Dutchess County continues to lag far behind many other counties across the U.S. who r eally are implementing the cutting-edge, state-of-the-art initiatives to expedite case processing to court (Bronx, Albuquerque, New Orleans)-- while 70 percent of DC Jail inmates haven't gone to court yet-- and the six key decision points from arrest (or not) to re-entry....$274 million of our county tax dollars about to be poured down drain over next thirty years starting with next Monday's vote-- pls re-read my other emails on this and this Vera report and help get those truths out to your readers)

Monday, March 14, 2016

Vera Institute cut jail wait time for trials in New Orleans from 64 days to 11 days-- thx to Micki Strawinski, Kari Rieser, Craig Brendli for signing my letter

[thx to three of my Dem Co. Leg. colleagues-- Micki Strawinski, Kari Rieser, and Craig Brendli-- for just now agreeing at tonight's Co. Leg. mtg. to sign on to my new resolution here below for Dutchess County to follow the example of New Orleans, Oklahoma City, and countless other communities across the U.S. (part of SafetyandJusticeChallenge.org) who have safely cut jail populations to save tax dollars and heal their communities-- email countylegislators@dutchessny.gov to build support; check out amazing Vera Institute report from last year on all this-- “Incarceration’s Front Door: The Misuse of Jails in America” here: Vera.org/sites/default/files/resources/downloads/incarcerations-front-door-report.pdf ] - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - Mar. 14, 2016 Mr. Marcus Molinaro Dutchess County Executive Dutchess County Office Building 22 Market Street Poughkeepsie, NY 12601 Dear County Executive Molinaro (Marcus): We, the various undersigned members of the Dutchess County Legislature, ask you to work with us to allocate $100,000 to the Vera Institute so they can do a top-to-bottom analysis of the Dutchess County Jail and our local criminal justice system. Recently the Oklahoma Chamber of Commerce convinced the Vera Institute to come there to find alternatives to jail expansion proposed costing hundreds of millions of dollars like ours. Last February the Vera Institute released an amazing report, “Incarceration’s Front Door: The Misuse of Jails in America”, filled with cutting-edge, state-of-the-art, common-sense ways to safely lower jail population locally, analyzing six key decision points that influence the use and size of jails— arrest, charge, pretrial release/bond, case processing, disposition/sentencing, and re-entry/community supervision; recently the Vera Institute launched the Safety and Justice Challenge with twenty communities across the U.S. safely lowering jail population. For example, the Vera Institute recently successfully and safely lowered the jail population wait time in New Orleans from 64 days to 10.5 days from 2007 to 2011. The Vera Institute created more options for pretrial defendants and those sentenced, with two top recommendations— addressing the long wait time from arrest and booking to arraignment and a comprehensive pretrial screening process, based on an objective assessment of individual risk, on which judges would base their release or detention decisions. Bernalillo County (Albuquerque/NM) similarly safely cut its jail population by 40 percent in three years by expediting court cases there; Bronx too. Vera established an office in New Orleans to work with city officials (the Mayor’s Office, the district attorney, the Orleans Public Defender, the courts, the city council, the New Orleans Police Department, civic institutions, and organizations with deep roots in the communities most affected by the criminal justice system to develop and implement these and other changes. A working group set up by Vera helped the court implement a system of vertical case allotment that makes much more efficient use of resources for the public defender and prosecutor offices. It’s also true that in New Orleans the police now issue a far higher percentage of summons in lieu of arrest than ever before. Recent research supported by the Laura and John Arnold Foundation found that even a relatively short period in jail pretrial— as few as two days— correlates with negative outcomes for defendants and for public safety when compared with those defendants released within 24 hours. Compared to low-risk defendants held for no more than 24 hours, those held for 8-14 days were 56 percent more likely to be rearrested before trial and 51 percent more likely to recidivate after sentence completion. Compared to low-risk defendants released prior to trial, those detained before trial were 400 percent more likely to receive a sentence of imprisonment and much more likely to be given a prison sentence 300 percent longer.

Tuesday, March 8, 2016

power lines update-- email stakeholder_services@nyiso.com if you live here in Hudson Valley-- stop yet another Central Hudson price-gouge push!...(Boundless Energy plan much less costly/intrusive-- IF any AC transmission line "upgrade" to occur)

[just sent this in today folks-- pls follow thru with your own emails to NYISO-- it ain't over til it's over!] - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - From: Joel Tyner (joeltyner@earthlink.net) To: stakeholder_services@nyiso.com, media_inquiries@nyiso.com Subject: NYISO Board Chair Bemis (Michael)-- if AC transmission upgrade is to occur, Boundless Energy's plan is the best, hands down...Joel Date: Mar 8, 2016 5:43 PM Mr. Michael Bemis, Board Chair New York Independent System Operator 10 Krey Blvd Rensselaer, NY 12144 Dear Mr. Bemis: Please read this letter below I just sent now to the NYS Public Service Commission-- it is just as pertinent to NYISO. I eagerly await your response-- on behalf of the ratepayers of the two towns I represent and the Hudson Valley-- and our local viewsheds. Joel Tyner Dutchess County Legislator Clinton/Rhinebeck 845-464-2245 - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - From: Joel Tyner (joeltyner@earthlink.net) To: secretary@dps.ny.gov Subject: Secretary Burgess-- thanks to the NYS Public Service Commission for standing up for Boundless Energy to the NYISO...Joel Date: Mar 8, 2016 5:30 PM 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: Thank goodness the New York State Public Service Commission recently issued an order responding to a petition submitted by Boundless Energy NE, LLC for a rehearing on its proposal to upgrade New York’s energy highway in the Hudson Valley. The PSC denied Boundless’ petition for a rehearing, based in part on its finding that the Boundless proposal should still be considered by the NYISO. The PSC Order of February 23, 2016 read in part: "The December 17, 2015 Order did not dictate to the NYISO specific projects that meet the requirement identified by the Commission. To the contrary, the Order recognizes that transmission, generation and demand-side solutions can be proposed by any entity to the NYISO in response to the solicitation." I echo Boundless Energy President Rod Lenfest here, however-- “We are disappointed that today’s order by the PSC failed to address the substantive arguments made in our petition, and we continue to consider all options at our disposal to appeal this arbitrary and flawed process. We are encouraged, however, by the PSC’s very strong stand that the process remains open and that all proposals should be given full consideration by the NYISO. Based on these findings, we anticipate that the NYISO will accept the Boundless Leeds Path West solution and fairly evaluate our proposal along with competing projects. The Boundless Leeds Path West project is the most efficient and cost effective solution for delivering needed energy capacity while limiting impact on Hudson Valley residents and the environment. We remain confident that an unbiased review of all proposals by any objective standard will demonstrate that the Leeds Path West project is the best option for Hudson Valley residents, the environment, and New York energy consumers.” Recall-- "The proposed Boundless Leeds Path West Solution will increase electrical transmission capability from Upper New York to Southeast New York ("UPNY-SENY") area by more than 1,000 megawatts, adding enough capacity to power approximately 50,000 homes by: •Improving 59 miles of existing overhead transmission by replacing 29 miles of conductors with state-of-the-art graphite-composite conductors and Smart Grid components •Adding an environmentally-friendly underground transmission line which will be as much as 40 feet below the deepest part of the Hudson River at the Roseton crossing location, buried in bedrock safely below the beautiful Hudson River The proposed Boundless Leeds Path West Solution will satisfy these needs with: •NO changes to the existing rights of way of the transmission corridors. •NO new transmission towers. •NO visually discernible changes to the existing transmission lines." That being said, I personally still find quite convincing the arguments/evidence presented by Dr. Gidon Eshel of Bard College, Ned Sullivan of Scenic Hudson, and others to the effect that no AC transmission line "upgrade" is needed locally-- I also think that IF any "upgrade" is to be done, that hands-down, Boundless Energy's proposal is the best-- most efficient (by far), half to a third the cost of NYTO/Central Hudson/National Grid, and of course far less intrusive (no "need" for taller monopole towers through my town of Clinton, Milan, Pleasant Valley, or Columbia county. Also, frankly, as I have for the last three years, can't help but reference the groundbreaking 2013 Cornell/Stanford report-- as Blaine Friedlander wrote for the Cornell Chronicle then-- "converting all of the state's energy sources from natural gas, coal and fossil fuel to wind, water and sunlight by 2030 will stabilize electricity prices, reduce power demand by about 37 percent and create thousands of permanent jobs. The report, "Examining the Feasibility of Converting New York State's All-Purpose Energy Infrastructure to One Using Wind, Water and Sunlight," is the first-ever, comprehensive plan for an individual state - New York - that provides 100 percent of its all-purpose energy from wind, water and sunlight. Further, it calculates the number of energy devices, land and ocean areas, jobs and policies needed for such an infrastructure. Mark Z. Jacobson of Stanford University is the lead author, and Ingraffea and Robert W. Howarth, Cornell professor of ecology and evolutionary biology, are co-authors. During the construction phases, this energy plan could generate 4.5 million jobs for New York. After construction, the plan suggests 58,000 permanent jobs would be created. An additional land footprint needed for wind, water and sunlight devices is less than 1 percent of New York's land area. But, what will New York state's landscape look like? If the conversion occurs, the state's 2030 power demand will be met by: •4,020 onshore 5-megawatt wind turbines; •12,770 off-shore 5-megawatt wind turbines; •387 100-megawatt concentrated solar plants; •828 50-megawatt photo-voltaic power plants; •5 million 5-kilowatt residential rooftop, photo-voltaic systems; •500,000 100-kilowatt commercial/government rooftop systems; •36 100-megawatt geothermal plants; •1,910 0.75-megawatt wave devices; •2,600 1-megawatt tidal wind-turbines; and •seven 1,300-megawatt hydroelectric power plants, of which most exist. In terms of health, air pollution-related illness would fall substantially, resulting in about 4,000 fewer deaths annually. The plan effectively pays for the new energy generation infrastructure over 15 years solely by the reduction in air pollution costs to the state and global warming costs to the U.S. from state emissions. Annual electricity sales reduce the payback time to about 10 years. The current fossil-fuel infrastructure does not provide the air quality benefits to New York, say the authors." Moreover, again I echo the words of Boundless Energy President Rod Lenfest here below re: NYS Public Service Commission "Renewing the Energy Vision" (REV) proposal: "The Public Services Commission has tried to eliminate the Boundless Leeds Path West project – which proposed a small tunnel to be drilled far below the Hudson River, without environmental impact – and tie the hands of the New York Independent System Operator. The commission’s overly detailed public policy statements assert that projects “must not cross the Hudson River.” There is rationale for prohibiting additional overhead crossings: they are unsightly and could have an environmental impact and additional cables laid on the floor of the Hudson River could lead to contamination. But the blanket ban on river crossing only serves to limit the Boundless Leeds Path West project. In reality, connecting the transmission systems on the western and eastern sides of the Hudson River would have substantial beneficial system impacts, a fact that the Public Services Commission conveniently overlooked by instituting its ban and refusing the Boundless petition for rehearing. Under pressure, the commission has conceded that the process remains open. The ultimate decision rests with the state Independent System Operator, the entity responsible for managing the flow of electricity across New York. The fact that this process remains open is good news for the environment and residents of the Hudson Valley. There is still time to choose the one option that balances the need to deliver energy capacity with real concerns about the impact of massive construction in sensitive areas. The Boundless Energy Leeds Path West project would allow New York to have its energy cake and eat it, too. The project uses innovative technology, including stronger and more efficient composite conductors and less intrusive installation techniques, to build the entire project within the existing right-of-way envelope – the only project that does so. This approach solves the issue of modernizing and decongesting the state’s transmission system while providing a strong foundation for the future and maintaining a secure sense of values for the environment and for society. The proposals favored by the Public Services Commission would cost twice as much without resolving critical long-term challenges such as storm resiliency. These plans would require the construction of a new substation on grassland where none now exists, as well as increasing the average height of existing towers – avoidable negative impacts on the environment. The commission has also chosen to ignore the potentially costly system impact these projects may have on New England, for which New York ratepayers would be financially responsible. Given the important role that energy infrastructure plays in the economy and our everyday lives, it is critical that this decision be made with accurate information and a full understanding of how each project would impact the region. While late in the process, there is still time to make the best choice for consumers and the environment." Recall this January 19th press release below from Boundless Energy-- again on point: "Hudson Valley, NY –Boundless Energy NE, LLC has officially petitioned the New York State Public Service Commission (PSC) for a rehearing on its proposal to upgrade New York’s energy highway in the Hudson Valley. Last month, the PSC disregarded state guidelines and arbitrarily dismissed the Boundless project even though it was the only one of four remaining proposals that delivered the needed capacity while limiting disruption to Hudson Valley residents and the environment. “The PSC’s arbitrary decision to eliminate the only proposal with no impact on the environment is completely unsupported by the applicable law, and it came at the end of a flawed process in which Department of Public Service staff repeatedly shifted the goal posts to favor their preferred developers. The PSC overstepped its bounds and we request a rehearing so each proposal can be judged fairly on the merits. “In July 2015, after years of analysis, the DPS staff issued an interim report that focused on the environmental compatibility and beneficial Electric System impacts of reconductoring options in the Hudson Valley, and eliminated case P-11.Two months later, without explanation, the staff reversed itself on these key points and resurrected P-11 – enabling them to give preferential treatment to the large utilities over competing developers while ignoring the Boundless proposal for an expanded reconductoring project that would improve both Central East and UPNY-SENY. “The Boundless Leeds Path West project is the most efficient and cost effective solution for delivering needed energy capacity while limiting impact on Hudson Valley residents and the environment. We remain confident that an unbiased review of all proposals by any objective standard will demonstrate that the Leeds Path West project is the best option for Hudson Valley residents, the environment, and New York energy consumers.” – Rod Lenfest, President, Boundless Energy Executive Summary of Petition Key Points (1) The New York Public Service Commission (“Commission”) erred as a matter of law and in violation of the State Administrative Procedure Act (“SAPA”) by adopting a portfolio of project proposals as public policy requirements. (2) The Commission erred as a matter of law and in violation of Attachment Y of the New York Independent System Operator “(NYISO”) Open Access Transmission Tariff (“OATT”) by adopting a specific portfolio of project proposals to meet the identified public policy requirements. (3) The Commission erred as a matter of law and fact by using proposed projects’ impact on the Central East interface as its basis for deciding which proposed projects to adopt to meet the public policy requirement. (4) The Commission erred as a matter of fact in its assessment of the environmental impacts of the Boundless projects. (5) The Commission erred as a matter of fact by adopting three new project fragments. (6) The Commission erred as a matter of law and fact in its evaluation and selection processes as set forth herein. (7) The Commission erred as a matter of fact in calculating refurbishment credits. (8) The Commission erred as a matter of fact by failing to account for the capability increase at the UPNY-SENY interface contributed by the TOTS Projects. (9) The Commission erred as a matter of fact by failing to address the reduced line losses that result from the use of the ACCC conductor proposed by Boundless." Thank you for your attention to this matter. Joel Tyner County Legislator Clinton/Rhinebeck 845-464-2245

Monday, March 7, 2016

environmentalists-- wake up-- TCE, DCE, PERC still at dangerous levels at site where jail is to be constructed-- yet Chazen Engineering rep and GOP won't allow full SEQRA process with EIS-- WAKE UP!

[come out, speak up this Thurs. at 6 pm sharp to not allow "neg dec" resolution re: environmental permit/fast-track re: $274 million GOP jail expansion boondoggle proposal-- again resolution 2016060-- on agenda for Co. Leg. Environmental Committee mtg. on sixth floor of COB at 22 Market St. in Poughkeepsie...incredibly, Chazen rep Chris Rounds told us all last month he sees no need for a full Environmental Impact Statement to be prepared-- in spite of the nasty, toxic, poisonous chemicals still being detected at site where jail is to be constructed-- see below!...and email all 25 of us-- at countylegislators@dutchessny.gov...see: www.dutchessny.gov/ConCalAtt/2/2016060.pdf ; www.dutchessny.gov/concalendar/EventDetail.aspx?EventID=4044 ...joel] [I posed this question below publicly at last mtg. in Millbrook of our county EMC (Environmental Management Council)...now more than ever there needs to be a real environmental watchdog on county government out of control and DCDOH, DEC, et. al. who have covered up groundwater contamination locally, assiduously for decades] - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - [here below-- plea for help I made to a bunch of environmental experts across NYS] From: Joel Tyner (joeltyner@earthlink.net) Subject: help needed re: toxins on property for jail expansion.... Date: Mar 7, 2016 3:10 PM [I'm a Dutchess County Legislator 90 minutes north of NYC-- need your help/advice/info re: vapor intrusion threat from PERC and DCE re: proposed jail expansion project locally] Hi... On March 21st the Dutchess County Legislature will be voting (most likely yes unfortunately) on a proposal to spend $192 million on jail expansion in Poughkeepsie ($274 million over the next 30 years after bonds fully paid off)... Recently there was some discussion about the Full Environmental Assessment Form and Lead Agency Status on the project: www.poughkeepsiejournal.com/story/news/local/central-dutchess/2016/02/29/dutchess-legislators-scrutinize-environmental-impact-jail-plan/81116536/ . Though it's been just about completely ignored by the media, for months and years now I've publicly brought forward concerns I have about vapor intrusion threat from dangerously high levels of TCE, DCE, and PERC still being found on the former Hamilton Reproduction site (the spot where they want to build their new Taj Mahal jail project)... The rep (Chris Rounds) from Chazen Environmental/Engineering, hired by the current administration in Dutchess County to handle FEAF/Lead Agency concerns, recently blithely publicly stated that he didn't think a full EIS would be necessary for this project... [everything's being rushed rushed rushed really quickly; Chazen has also donated over $2500 over last 5 years to County Exec and ruling party locally] Even the current county administration and Chazen has admitted that the remediation that's been done so far at that site has only allowed the site to be formally/legally considered by DEC for "commercial/industrial"-- not "residential", or even "restricted residential"... [they know no bounds-- they're betting that DEC and all other permitting agencies will agree with them that jail would be "commercial/industrial" ugh; tho they have stated that perhaps DEC would have to agree to allow this] I'm about to email you pix of the reports on this... ...but just so you know-- on Feb. 9th this year (less than a month ago), measurements were taken at that former Hamilton Reproduction site in Poughkeepsie (where they want to build jail expansion)... ....and this is what they found: -- 20 parts per billion PERC (tetrachloroethylene) -- 11 parts per billion TCE (trichloroethylene) -- 8.3 parts per billion DCE (1,1 dichloroethane) -- 7.1 parts per billion 1,2-DCE (1,2-dichloroethylene) I know that vapor intrusion has been found to be a real issue here in Dutchess County and in Endicott, among other places... Can you possibly help guide/inform me/us as to whether this site can, in fact, be remediated sufficiently to build a jail on top of it? The Chazen rep a few weeks ago was bragging openly during a meeting about all the soil that had been removed years ago when site was originally "cleaned up/remediated".....just wondering....how much soil might have to be removed now for new jail? Or would no amount of soil removal allow safe construction of jail there? And-- I believe they are proposing to cap the site.....and then build jail on top......do you know what type of a cap (how thick, what materials) would be necessary to safely accomplish this? Also-- do you know if other states like California have higher clean-up standards on such matters? Finally-- frankly-- I'd love to know about any horror stories where the public was assured that clean-up from VOC's like the four listed above was complete....construction took place on top of them....and then all heck broke loose... Eight years ago when I was the Environmental Committee Chair for the Dutchess County Legislature I used a bunch of information from Earthjustice and NYPIRG to push for full/real clean-up of toxic brownfield sites: www.midhudsonnews.com/News/June08/21/brwnfld_Tyner-21Jun08.html [I'm no longer Envir. Committee Chair but still serve Rhinebeck and Clinton in our County Legislature] Hope you might be able to help! ################################################## Here below-- info from the intrepid Doreen Tignanelli.... From: Doreentig@aol.com Subject: Senate Bill S2282 Provides for trichloroethylene (TCE) exposure prevention Date: Mar 7, 2016 6:07 PM www.nysenate.gov/legislation/bills/2015/s2282 - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - IBM workers in endicott exposed to TCE www.pressconnects.com/story/news/local/2015/04/05/ibm-tce-issues/25302109/ In addition to the former IBM site, notorious TCE legacy sites in the Southern Tier include the CAE Electronics site in Hillcrest, and the Morse Industrial site in Tompkins County, both linked to contamination of nearby residential neighborhoods. The TCE problem is as stubborn as it is complex. TCE is one of a class of chemicals that tend to be heavier than water, so they sink through the water table and adhere stubbornly to soil particles. They also give off toxic fumes that rise from the ground, ending up in basements, crawl spaces and — ultimately — circulating into living spaces through a process known as vapor intrusion. - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - www.sierraclub.org/atlantic/susquehanna/local-issues It was mainly through the outcry of a couple of citizens groups, Residents Advocacy Group of Endicott (RAGE) and Citizens Acting to Restore Endicott's Environment (CARE) that pushed the state to fully address the pollution and potential health risks to the community. The state and county DOH, the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR), the DEC and the EPA have stepped up their efforts to address the situation. - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - From: Doreentig@aol.com Subject: Watertown man accuses DEC of misleading the public on Air Brake contaminants Date: Mar 7, 2016 6:06 PM www.watertowndailytimes.com/article/20150131/NEWS03/150139845 - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - Adverse birth outcomes and maternal exposure to trichloroethylene and tetrachloroethylene through soil vapor intrusion in New York State. www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22142966

Monday, February 8, 2016

re: Molinaro pay-to-play-- Preet Bharara needs to investigate/prosecute-- Francena Amparo agrees...

[thx to Co. Leg. Francena Amparo for just now signing on to this letter below circulated by yours truly at tonight's Co. Leg. full board mtg. (last July Co. Leg.'s Micki Strawinski and April Farley signed on to my original/similar letter on this)...J] - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - Feb. 8, 2016 Mr. Preet Bharara, U.S. Attorney Southern District Court of New York Mr. Eric Schneiderman NYS Attorney General Dutchess County Board of Ethics Members Albert M. Rosenblatt, Yvonne Flowers, Kathleen Martin Nancy Sheehan, and Tara Sullivan Dear County, State, and National Leaders: U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara, speaking earlier today before the New York State Conference of Mayors, quoted former President Teddy Roosevelt, who said, “No man who is corrupt, no man who condones corruption in others, can possibly do his duty by the community.” Bharara spoke about how too many elected officials across our state seem to feel a “sense of entitlement to money and power” in a “business as usual” state. He also told WAMC’s Alan Chartock that “we have a lot of prosecutors in our public corruption unit.” We, the undersigned various members of the Dutchess County Legislature strongly urge U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara to immediately and fully investigate (and prosecute if necessary) all conflicts of interest in our county government regarding de-facto pay-to-play amounting in millions of Dutchess County tax dollars annually in county contracts and campaign contributions. Note-- Rockland County passed a law to ban pay-to-play there in 1997; three years ago even the GOP-led Orange County Legislature passed a similar law (even the Greenburgh Town Board also passed a law banning pay-to-play there eight years ago)— and the Poughkeepsie Journal twice editorialized strongly for same to happen here, as former Dutchess County Executive Lucille Pattison often pointed out during her last decade. Fact: 22 different firms receiving $4.3 million in county contracts gave Dutchess County Executive Marc Molinaro $76,000 in campaign contributions over the last four years, according to public records at the Dutchess County Comptroller's office and NYS Board of Elections— this is a clear conflict of interest, plain and simple. Yes it’s true— literally six firms from outside Dutchess County (Syracuse, NYC, Albany, New Windsor, and San Francisco) that have donated $16,900 to County Executive Molinaro's campaigns over the last four years received over $1,487,000 in county contracts (our tax dollars) over just the last two years alone— this is wrong. Question: Why would these six firms from outside Dutchess would be bestowing such largesse on our county's top official-- other than their receving almost $1.5 million of our county tax dollars in government contracts? 1. C & S Engineers/Syracuse: $235,000 county contract in 2014; $361,000 county contract in 2013; $3300 in donations to Molinaro 2011 through 2014 2. Compass Company Consultants LLC/Compass Group USA Inc./NYC: $499,000 county contract in 2014; $477,000 county contract in 2013; $8500 in donations to Molinaro 11/9/12 (one day!) 3. Clough Harbour & Associates/Albany: $53,000 county contract in 2014; $27,000 county contract in 2013; $1000 in donations to Molinaro 2011-2013 4. Creighton Manning Engineering LLP/Albany: $68,000 county contract in 2014; $1200 to Molinaro in 2014 5. O'Connor Davies Munns & Dobbins LLP/New Windsor: $32,000 in country contracts in 2014 and 2013; $300 in donations to Molinaro 10/2/13 6. Orrick, Herrington, & Sutcliffe/San Francisco: $35,000 county contract in 2014; $2600 to Molinaro 2011-2013