Monday, November 9, 2015
stop the Algonquin pipeline expansion-- help Slim Russell of Poughkeepsie!...(thx: Barbara Jeter-Jackson, Micki Strawinski, April Farley, Nick Ignaffo-- letter co-signers)...see SAPE2016.org!
[thx tons to four of my Co. Leg. colleagues-- Barbara Jeter-Jackson, Micki Strawinski, April Farley, and Nick Ignaffo-- for agreeing just now at the monthly meeting of our County Legislature to sign the letter here below I circulated-- based on the efforts/research of Stephanie "Slim" Russell (email@example.com) of Poughkeepsie and SAPE2016.org-- call Congress at 866-336-1015 and Cuomo/state legislators at 877-255-9417 to carry this work forward-- STOP THE ALGONQUIN PIPELINE EXPANSION!...see TheSolutionsProject.org-- it IS possible for us here in NYS to be 100-percent fossil-fuel-free by 2030, getting all our energy from wind, water, and sunlight-- according to a 2013 Cornell/Stanford report-- saving $36 billion and 4000 lives annually here in NYS alone-- creating 4.5 million green construction jobs and 58,000 permanent green jobs!...Joel (firstname.lastname@example.org : KeepJoel.org : 845-464-2245/876-2488)] - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - November 9, 2015 Mr. Norman C. Bay Chairman Federal Energy Regulatory Commission 888 First Street, N.E. Washington, D.C. 20426 Dear Chairman Bay: We, the various undersigned members of the Dutchess County Legislature, echoing the demands of thousands of regional residents and several New York Legislature representatives, strongly urge the Federal Energy regulatory Commission (FERC) to immediately halt plans to allow Spectra Energy’s Algonquin Incremental Market (AIM) Pipeline expansion The AIM pipeline comes dangerously near to the Indian Point Energy Center nuclear power plant in Buchanan, NY, a facility that, as recently as June, experienced a transformer explosion that spilled thousands of gallons of oil into the Hudson River. Most critically, the proposed pipeline sits on a fault line. Though a Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) study expressed no concern about additional earthquake risk, an independent study by local officials and gas industry experts found serious errors and false information in the NRC analysis. High pressure gas pipelines have a history of explosions. Building this pipeline on a fault line and within 150 feet of the long-unlicensed Indian Point facility dramatically increases the risk of a nuclear disaster that would immediately impact 20 million citizens in the region. Far reaching environmental impacts could degrade air, water, arable land, parks, and forests throughout the northeast. Resolutions against the AIM Pipeline have been enacted by our neighbors in Putnam, Westchester, and Rockland counties, as well as in Norfolk County, Massachusetts, seeking to halt further implementation of this project. We urge you to demonstrate your deep concern for your constituents rescind the FERC March 2015 approval of the AIM Pipeline because of the profound dangers posed by this plan, which presents an unacceptable risk to the lives, property, and economic structures supporting over 20 million people in the region. Short-sighted thinking might respond with the idea that this pipeline is not a Dutchess County issue, but we beg to differ with that notion: if the pipeline is built, and the great possibility for a disaster does manifest, there will be no county left for which to legislate.
my letter here in support of Citizens for Local Power re: PSC/REV-- signed by Micki Strawinski, April Farley, and Nick Ignaffo-- speak up at public hearing Thursday!
[thx tons to three of my Dutchess County Legislator colleagues-- Micki Strawinski, April Farley, and Nick Ignaffo-- for just now at tonight's Co. Leg. mtg. agreeing to sign on to the letter here below I circulated-- in support of the eight listed recommendations from CitizensforLocalPower.com-- come out and speak up on these eight points at the NYS Public Service Commission's public hearing re: "REV" (Reforming Energy Vision) at Kingston City Hall this Thursday at 7 pm at 403 Broadway!...note-- the PSC will be holding an informational session on all this starting at 6 pm too: DailyFreeman.com/article/DF/20151107/NEWS/151109725 ] - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - November 9, 2015 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, the various undersigned members of the Dutchess County Legislature, urge the New York State Public Service Commission (NYSPSC) to implement the following recommendations of Citizens for Local Power as part of the NYSPSC’s Reforming Energy Vision (REV) process: -- Require that utility “scorecards” be included in customer bills, showing the independently evaluated ratings of a utility’s progress in meeting energy reform goals. -- Do not issue any permits for new fossil fuel pipelines. -- Empower communities to promote local clean energy investments through Community Choice Aggregation, by requiring utilities to give communities timely access to utility data at cost, and access to utility-collected funds for community energy efficiency programs. -- Request that Governor Cuomo create a Consumer Advocate office to raise consumer awareness of our rights and protections with regard to utilities and energy companies. -- Make sure that low-and moderate-income households have affordable access to enough energy to keep lights and heat on. More than 268,000 households here in New York had their utility service shut off last year because they couldn’t pay their bills— including thousands right here in Dutchess County. Basic energy is a right— no one should have to go without power. -- Encourage utilities to support local ownership of renewable generation— by residents, businesses, local governments, and communities. -- Exclude nuclear power from measurements of utility progress in procuring energy supply from clean and renewable sources. -- Remove barriers to the benefits of clean energy faced by renters, low- and moderate-income residents, small businesses, and municipalities. Thank you for your attention to these matters— we here in Dutchess County cannot afford delay in action. - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - From DailyFreeman.com/article/DF/20151107/NEWS/151109725 ... [Daily Freeman front-page article on this in yesterday's paper] Energy rules focus of state Public Service Commission hearing Nov. 12 at Kingston High By William J. Kemble KINGSTON >> A state Public Service Commission public hearing on Nov. 12 is expected to have local environmental advocates asking for electricity generation that breaks from traditional reliance on large utility companies. The session on Revising the Energy Vision is scheduled for 6 p.m. at Kingston High School at 403 Broadway. State officials have been taking comments from residents and groups at several hearings across the state with an emphasis on updating regulations so alternative electric sources can be developed. “New York state is spurring clean-energy innovation and attracting new investment to build a cleaner, more resilient and affordable energy system,” officials wrote in a press release. “REV (revising the Energy) encompasses groundbreaking regulatory reform to integrate clean energy into the core of our power grid, redesigned programs and strategies to unlock private capital, and active leadership in deploying innovative energy solutions across the state’s own public facilities and operations.” State spokesman Jon Sorensen said the intention is to development changes that allow development of sources such as wind and solar with fewer regulatory hurdles. “Distributed energy resources ... (is) their overarching title for things like the windmills, like the solar panels,” he said. “They include the kind of services that companies and, hopefully soon, people in private homes can take advantage of to manage their energy use, so all of these kind of non-traditional energy efficiency and renewable power sources are part of what they’re trying to help create new markets for.” Citizens for Local Power co-founder Jennifer Metzger considers the state outreach for changes to be a good effort. However, she cautions that a main thrust of the effort is aimed at protecting large companies whose profits have deteriorated because alternative energy sources are going online. “The drive of the REV is to really move toward a clean energy system, but it’s also just as much about saving the utilities because changes are already underway,” she said. “We are becoming more energy-efficient where as customers we are using more and more renewable energy. We are generating it ourselves, and this is having a major impact on the utility business models where their revenues are declining because less power is coursing through their wires.” State officials acknowledge that changes in energy sources has had an impact on utilities and a report from the state Public Service Commission notes the business model needs to be changed. It states that efforts have been made toward “decoupling utility revenues from volume of sales” as small electric generating programs go online, but “there remain significant disincentives for utilities to take affirmative actions to increase the development and use of third-party” systems. “Utilities’ earnings are heavily dependent on their capital expenditures and the long-term security of their earnings is based on the assumption of a growing or stable sales base,” state officials wrote. The report added that “there is a financial misalignment between the utilities’s economic interest, the interests of third-party ... providers and other service providers and customers.” Among the issues has been maintaining an electric grid that officials contend needs to be upgraded to address increased demand in the New York City metropolitan area. “Utilities will continue to need to raise large amounts of capital and it is in the interests of customers and shareholders that investors retain high confidence in the manner in which the state oversees the relative risks and rewards of the regulated enterprise,” state officials wrote. Officials noted that, as customers find it less expensive to install private systems, there will be an increase in “grid defection” to avoid paying anything to utilities. “If the only way that a customer can avoid any distribution charges is avoid them all by exiting the system then remaining customers will absorb the cost contribution that the exiting customer would otherwise have made,” they wrote. Metzger said part of the state energy regulations should include making utilities become more accountable for obtaining policy goals to reduce energy use, establishing an independent public advocate to work with customer complaints, give more weight to customers when deciding rate cases and adopt community choice aggregation programs that give municipalities an opportunity to determine what source of electric is brought to local customers. “The devil is in the details,” she said. “We have been really focused on making sure that the specific reforms will indeed support those goals and will benefit our communities.” Metzger said utilities should not be allowed to return to electric generation, because it would be counter to efforts for self-sufficiency. “We don’t want utilities to get back into the generation business. We want the utilities to support our communities and our customers basically owning their own generation, because that’s how you keep value in your community. That’s how you create local jobs and that’s how you really get energy security.”
Friday, November 6, 2015
why did our Co. Leg. Dem leadership go out of its way to praise Molinaro's budget just days before the election?...(wake UP!)
[letter here below I sent this morning to our current Co. Leg. leadership and current/incoming Co. Leg. Dem caucus members] Hi Barbara...(and Francena, April, Micki, Hannah, Kari, Craig)... Nothing personal Barbara-- but there are 300,000 of us here in Dutchess County. There are literally tens of thousands of registered Democrats here in Dutchess County. We need leadership-- real leadership. Sorry-- but could you explain to us why last week, just days before the election in which thousands of Democrats across Dutchess were working hard to support Diane Jablonski's campaign for County Executive-- why you would praise Molinaro's proposed 2016 county budget as "well-rounded" in PoJo? www.poughkeepsiejournal.com/story/news/local/2015/10/28/molinaro-county-spending-plan-would-lower-taxes/74646752/ Just speaking for myself personally-- I wouldn't laud a Republican County Executive's proposed county budget as "well-rounded" (esp. one running for re-election against popular Dem opponent like Diane)... You must admit that Molinaro's proposed county budget doesn't meet the smell test on many levels: It fails to restore county funding for CCEDC Green Teen community gardening for Poughkeepsie. It fails to restore county funding for Big Brothers Big Sisters (recall-- Diane J. pointed this issue out). It fails to restore county funding for our Youth Bureau Project Return program for at-risk youth. It fails to restore county sales tax revenue to City of Poughkeepsie, Rhinebeck, Clinton, municipalities. It fails to restore county funding for our Human Rights Commission. [pls note first 5 issues listed here just above-- how in God's name could any Dem support MJM budget?] It fails to restore a 5-day week to our county Office for the Aging Senior Friendship Centers. It fails to expand our county's Domestic Abuse Response Team to cover more than just 4 municipalities. It fails to restore county funding to bring back our county Office of Consumer Affairs. It fails to sufficiently invest in mental health programs to avoid massive, costly, unneeded jail expansion. It fails to make sure our county Health Dept. tests/bans toxic toys and regulates pesticides, dirty water. It fails to help local municipalities invest in curbside collection of food waste: move towards zero waste. Fact: Molinaro's proposed budget also neglects these six potential ways we could save tens of millions: County Budget Director Val Sommerville pointed out to us last night that county taxpayers now shell out literally $35.3 million annually for "institutional and foster care" for at-risk youth-- imagine how much Dutchess County could save if we actually pro-actively, preventively invested in those kids and those families-- not in budget. It fails to save a million dollars a year with no-money-down solar for county land as in Schenectady Co. It fails to save millions annually expediting processing of DCJail inmates: Diane Jablonski suggestion. It fails to save millions annually by ensuring treatment not incarceration for heroin addicts (Gloucester). It fails to save millions annually with sensible decriminalization of nonviolent misdemeanors like NYC. It fails to save literally tens of millions annually in corporate welfare we pay subsidizing poverty wages. Sorry Barbara-- but like Molinaro's budget, an epic failure of missed opportunities that amounts to a huge slap in the face to long-time core progressive, common-sense Democratic priorities-- your comment/quote in the Poughkeepsie Journal was and does amount to a slap in the face to anyone who supported or supports Diane Jablonski or cares about any of the many common-sense initiatives above. It's bad enough that for literally the last decade running over and over and over and over and over again I seem to be the only member of Co. Leg. Dem caucus 99% of the time researching ideas, bringing forth resolutions, and building support inside and outside the caucus (and yes, sometimes even getting them passed unanimously-- e.g., Solarize discount for local homeowners, Sustainable Energy Loan Fund for local businesses, diverting mentally ill from arrest/jail).......and wrong, frankly, that (unlike previous leadership like Sandy Goldberg and Roger Higgins), you have hardly ever stuck up for me publicly in our Co. Leg. chambers during meetings, when, month after month, year after year, GOP county legislators like Flesland, Miccio, et. al. brutally and rudely interrupt me-- and you stay silent; Sandy and Roger didn't stay silent-- they knew bullying was wrong-- esp. in our Co. Leg. chambers)... So yes-- all that is bad enough....(along with your continued mocking/ridiculing of me in our caucus)... But it is, to me, frankly, unacceptable for you to continue to serve as the leader of our County Legislature's Democratic Caucus after praising Molinaro's county budget proposal as "well-rounded" just days before this Tuesday's election. What's more-- you know it was wrong-- and is wrong. Congratulations on getting elected so many times to represent Poughkeepsie in our County Legislature-- without Republican opposition (no wonder). But some of us do have GOP opponents-- and we need a leader who's not going to sell us out and sell our party out. Period. I've been elected seven times in a row just like you. Fellow caucus members, I ask you to choose me as your caucus leadership-- for true-blue progressive Democratic leadership-- that would never ever even think about capitulating so often for so many years to GOP. Joel
Friday, October 9, 2015
Hi all... [email all 25 of us on this at email@example.com for action!] Many times for years now Robert "Skip" Backus, Omega CEO and Founder of the Omega Center for Sustainable Living, at Omega's annual well-attended sustainability conferences, has proposed that a Genuine Progress Index be initiated here in the Hudson Valley and across New York State and the entire country. "We believe that if policymakers measure what really matters to people-health care, safety, a clean environment, and other indicators of well-being-economic policy would naturally shift towards sustainability." Skip Backus often cites Attorney General Robert F. Kennedy 1968 speech on this: "Even if we act to erase material poverty, there is another greater task, it is to confront the poverty of satisfaction - purpose and dignity - that afflicts us all. Too much and for too long, we seemed to have surrendered personal excellence and community values in the mere accumulation of material things. Our Gross National Product, now, is over $800 billion dollars a year, but that Gross National Product - if we judge the United States of America by that - that Gross National Product counts air pollution and cigarette advertising, and ambulances to clear our highways of carnage. It counts special locks for our doors and the jails for the people who break them. It counts the destruction of the redwood and the loss of our natural wonder in chaotic sprawl. It counts napalm and counts nuclear warheads and armored cars for the police to fight the riots in our cities. It counts Whitman's rifle and Speck's knife, and the television programs which glorify violence in order to sell toys to our children. Yet the gross national product does not allow for the health of our children, the quality of their education or the joy of their play. It does not include the beauty of our poetry or the strength of our marriages, the intelligence of our public debate or the integrity of our public officials. It measures neither our wit nor our courage, neither our wisdom nor our learning, neither our compassion nor our devotion to our country, it measures everything in short, except that which makes life worthwhile. And it can tell us everything about America except why we are proud that we are Americans. If this is true here at home, so it is true elsewhere in world." Joel From Wikipedia: Fact: In 2009, the state of Maryland formed a coalition of representatives from a multitude of state government departments in search of a metric that would factor social well-being into the more traditional gross product indicators of the economy. The metric would help determine the sustainability of growth and economic progress against social and environmental factors typically left out of national indicators. Redefining Progress created the Genuine Progress Indicator (GPI) in 1995 as an alternative to the gross domestic product (GDP). The GPI enables policymakers at the national, state, regional, or local level to measure how well their citizens are doing both economically and socially. Economists, policymakers, reporters, and the public rely on the GDP as a shorthand indicator of progress; but the GDP is merely a sum of national spending with no distinctions between transactions that add to well-being and those that diminish it. The GPI is one of the first alternatives to the GDP to be vetted by the scientific community and used regularly by governmental and non-governmental organizations worldwide. Redefining Progress advocates for the adoption of the GPI as a tool for sustainable development and planning. On a yearly basis, Redefining Progress updates the U.S. Genuine Progress Indicator to document a more truthful picture of economic and social progress. Our latest update, which plots GPI accounts from 1950 to 2004, shows that economic growth has been stagnant since the 1970s. Download report: The Genuine Progress Indicator 2006 How We Measure Progress The GPI starts with the same personal consumption data that the GDP is based on, but then makes some crucial distinctions. It adjusts for factors such as income distribution, adds factors such as the value of household and volunteer work, and subtracts factors such as the costs of crime and pollution. Because the GDP and the GPI are both measured in monetary terms, they can be compared on the same scale. Measurements that make up the GPI include: Income Distribution Both economic theory and common sense tell us that the poor benefit more from a given increase in their income than do the rich. Accordingly, the GPI rises when the poor receive a larger percentage of national income, and falls when their share decreases. Housework, Volunteering, and Higher Education Much of the most important work in society is done in household and community settings: childcare, home repairs, volunteer work, and so on. The GDP ignores these contributions because no money changes hands. The GPI includes the value of this work figured at the approximate cost of hiring someone to do it. The GPI also takes into account the non-market benefits associated with a more educated population. Crime Crime imposes large economic costs on individuals and society in the form of legal fees, medical expenses, damage to property, and the like. The GDP treats such expenses as additions to well-being. By contrast, the GPI subtracts the costs arising from crime. Resource Depletion If today's economic activity depletes the physical resource base available for tomorrow, then it is not creating well-being; rather, it is borrowing it from future generations. The GDP counts such borrowing as current income. The GPI, by contrast, counts the depletion or degradation of wetlands, forests, farmland, and nonrenewable minerals (including oil) as a current cost. Pollution The GDP often counts pollution as a double gain: Once when it is created, and then again when it is cleaned up. By contrast, the GPI subtracts the costs of air and water pollution as measured by actual damage to human health and the environment. Long-Term Environmental Damage Climate change, ozone depletion, and nuclear waste management are long-term costs arising from the use of fossil fuels, chlorofluorocarbons, and atomic energy, respectively. These costs are unaccounted for in ordinary economic indicators. The GPI treats as costs the consumption of certain forms of energy and of ozone-depleting chemicals. It also assigns a cost to carbon emissions to account for the catastrophic economic, environmental, and social effects of global warming. Changes in Leisure Time As a nation becomes wealthier, people should have more latitude to choose between work and free time for family or other activities. In recent years, however, the opposite has occurred. The GDP ignores this loss of free time, but the GPI treats leisure as most Americans do-as something of value. When leisure time increases, the GPI goes up; when Americans have less of it, the GPI goes down. Defensive Expenditures The GDP counts as additions to well-being the money people spend to prevent erosion in their quality of life or to compensate for misfortunes of various kinds. Examples are the medical and repair bills from automobile accidents, commuting costs, and household expenditures on pollution control devices such as water filters. The GPI counts such "defensive" expenditures as most Americans do: as costs rather than as benefits. Lifespan of Consumer Durables & Public Infrastructure The GDP confuses the value provided by major consumer purchases (e.g., home appliances) with the amount Americans spend to buy them. This hides the loss in well-being that results when products wear out quickly. The GPI treats the money spent on capital items as a cost, and the value of the service they provide year after year as a benefit. This applies both to private capital items and to public infrastructure, such as highways. Dependence on Foreign Assets If a nation allows its capital stock to decline, or if it finances consumption out of borrowed capital, it is living beyond its means. The GPI counts net additions to the capital stock as contributions to well-being, and treats money borrowed from abroad as reductions. If the borrowed money is used for investment, the negative effects are canceled out. But if the borrowed money is used to finance consumption, the GPI declines. Genuine progress indicator, or GPI, is a metric that has been suggested to replace, or supplement, gross domestic product (GDP) as a measure of economic growth. GPI is designed to take fuller account of the health of a nation's economy by incorporating environmental and social factors which are not measured by GDP. For instance, some models of GPI decrease in value when the poverty rate increases. The GPI is used in green economics, sustainability and more inclusive types of economics by factoring in environmental and carbon footprints that businesses produce or eliminate. "Among the indicators factored into GPI are resource depletion, pollution, and long-term environmental damage." GDP gains double the amount when pollution is created, since it increases once upon creation (as a side-effect of some valuable process) and again when the pollution is cleaned up, whereas GPI counts the initial pollution as a loss rather than a gain, generally equal to the amount it will cost to clean up later plus the cost of any negative impact the pollution will have in the mean time. While quantifying costs and benefits of these environmental and social externalities is a difficult task, "Earthster-type databases could bring more precision and currency to GPI's metrics." "Another movement in economics that might embrace such data is the attempt to 'internalize externalities' - that is, to make companies bear the costs" of the pollution they create (rather than having the government bear that cost) "by taxing their goods proportionally to their negative eco-impacts." GPI is an attempt to measure whether the environmental impact and social costs of economic production and consumption in a country is a negative or positive factor in overall health and well-being. By accounting for the costs borne by the society as a whole to repair or control pollution, poverty and prosperity GPI balances GDP spending against external costs. GPI advocates claim that it can more reliably measure economic progress, as it distinguishes between the overall "shift in the 'value basis' of a product, adding its ecological impacts into the equation."(Ch. 10.3) Comparatively speaking, the relationship between GDP and GPI is analogous to the relationship between the gross profit of a company and the net profit; the Net Profit is the Gross Profit minus the costs incurred; the GPI is the GDP (value of all goods and services produced) minus the environmental and social costs. Accordingly, the GPI will be zero if the financial costs of poverty and pollution equal the financial gains in production of goods and services, all other factors being constant. The Genuine Progress Indicator is measured by 26 indicators which can be divided into three main categories: Economic, Environmental and Social. Some regions, nations or states may adjust the verbiage slightly to accommodate their particular scenario. Personal Consumption Expenditures Income Inequality Adjusted Personal Consumption Cost of Consumer Durables Value of Consumer Durables Household appliances, cars, etc. are not used up in one year and are considered a part of household capital. Their value is depreciated over a number of years. - Cost of Underemployment Encompasses the chronically unemployed, discouraged workers, involuntary part-time workers and others with work-life restraints (lack of childcare or transportation). +/- Net Capital Investment Capital investment in foreign markets minus incoming investments from other countries. If lending (+) if borrowing (-). Environmental - Cost of Water Pollution Damage to water quality from things such as chemicals or nutrients, and the costs of erosion/sedimentation in waterways. - Cost of Air Pollution Includes damage to vegetation, degradation of materials, cost of clean-up from soot or acid rain, and resulting reduced property values, wage differentials and aesthetics. - Cost of Noise Pollution Noise from traffic and factories can cause hearing loss and sleep deprivation. - Loss of Wetlands Valuates the services given up when wetlands are lost to development i.e. buffering of weather, habitat, water purification. - Loss of Farmland, Soil Quality or Degradation Due to urbanization, soil erosion and compaction. This indicator is measured cumulatively to account for all years of production lost as it compromises self-sufficient food supply. - Loss of Primary Forest and damage from logging roads Loss of biodiversity, soil quality, water purification, carbon sequestration, recreation etc. Cumulative affect year over year. - CO2 Emissions Increases in severe weather is causing billions in damages. A value of $93USD/metric ton of CO2 emitted is used, based on a meta-analysis study by Richard Tol (2005) of 103 separate studies of costs of economic damages. - Cost of Ozone Depletion Our protective layer in the atmosphere. Depletion can lead to increased cases of cancer, cataracts and plant decline. Weighed at $49,669USD/ton - Depletion of Non-Renewables These cannot be renewed in a lifetime. Depletion is measured against cost of implementing and substituting with renewable resources. Social + Value of Housework and Parenting Child care, repairs and maintenance are valued equivalent to the amount a household would have to pay for the service. - Cost of Family Changes Social dysfunction presents itself early in family life. Care is taken to avoid double counting goods and services duplicated due to split-parent households. - Cost of Crime Medical expenses, property damages, psychological care and security measures to prevent crime are all included in this indicator. - Cost of Household Pollution Abatement Cost to residents to clean the air and water in their own household i.e. air and water filters. + Value of Volunteer Work Valued as a contribution to social welfare. Neighborhoods and communities can find an informal safety net through their peers and volunteer work. - Loss of Leisure Time Compared to 1969 hours of leisure. Recognizes that increased output of goods and services can lead to loss of valuable leisure time for family, chores or otherwise. + Value of Higher Education Accounts for the contribution resulting knowledge, productivity, civic engagement, savings, and health; a "social spillover," set to $16,000 per year. + Value of Highways and Streets Annual value of services contributed from the use of streets & highways. Valued at 7.5% of net stock of local, state and federal highways. - Cost of Commuting Money spent to pay for the transportation and time lost in transit as opposed to other more enjoyable activities. - Cost of Auto Accidents Damage and loss as a result of traffic accidents. Increased traffic densities are a direct result of industrialization and wealth accumulation. Development in the United States Non-profit organizations and universities have measured the GPI of Vermont, Maryland, Colorado, Ohio and Utah. These efforts have incited government action in some states. As of 2014,
Thursday, October 1, 2015
it's October now-- Traudt still ducking debates and refusing to answer policy questions (while his too-big-for-town-zoning-code signs continue)...wake up, folks
[sent this to Traudt earlier today-- feel free to follow up with your own (polite) emails to him; seems pretty obvious now that he really does intend to waltz into office without allowing local voters to seriously delve into the issues with the two of us-- and without his taking a position on any issues...J] - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - From: Joel Tyner (firstname.lastname@example.org) To: email@example.com Subject: Tom-- it's October now-- pls don't delay any further in confirming days/times for debates in both Rhinebeck and Clinton... Date: Oct 1, 2015 4:43 PM Hi Tom... Please don't delay any further in working with me to agree on dates/times for us to civilly debate the issues... [preferably three debates in each town well before election day-- one on the jail expansion boondoggle proposal, one on the county budget, and one on tax/jobs/economy/reform/environment/good-government/other issues] Still available at Rhinebeck Town Hall: Thurs. Oct. 22nd, Thurs. Oct. 29th, Sat. Oct. 17th, and Fridays 16th, 23rd, 30th Still available at Clinton Town Hall: Weds. Oct. 21st, Tues. Oct. 27th, Weds. Oct. 28th, and Thurs. Oct. 29th [also-- all Friday/Saturday afternoons/evenings in Oct. open at Clinton Town Hall] As I've written you before, nine years ago then-Assemblyman Joel Miller and I (when I was running against him in 2006) civilly sat down together on the edge of the stage at Roy C. Ketcham High School in Wappingers Falls and fielded questions from attendees in audience for that candidates' forum/"debate"-- without a moderator. I'm convinced that you and I can do the same thing-- sit together and take questions from Rhinebeck and Clinton folks in open, civil dialogues with local taxpayers, citizens, and voters well before Nov. 3. [hopefully with moderator-- but even lack of moderator shouldn't stop us] Finally, as I've asked you for months now, please let us know your positions on these issues: [I honestly think folks in Rhinebeck and Clinton have a right to know your positions on these] issues-- so please let us know your thoughts on these fifteen questions: 1. Do you agree with the current administration's plans to spend at least $125 million on jail expansion? 2. Do you think pay-to-play should be banned in our county government to end conflicts of interest? 3 . Do you think our county government should issue RFP's (Requests for Proposals) for big projects? 4. Do you think LOIS (Locally Owned Import Substitution) should be used in Dutchess to create jobs? 5. Do you think that county taxpayer subsidies should end for profitable firms paying poverty wages? 6. Do you think our county should have Community Choice Aggregation to help homeowners/busineses save money on electric bills? 7. Do you think our county should close its official bank accounts with JPMorgan Chase and Citigroup? 8. Do you think DART (Domestic Abuse Response Team) should be covering all of Dutchess County? 9. Do you think the Human Rights Commission should be restored to our county government? 10. Do you think that Youth Bureau Project Return should be restored to our county government? 11. Do you think 5-day week should be restored to county Office for Aging Senior Friendship Centers? 12. Do you think that the Office of Consumer Affairs should be restored to our county government? 13. Do you think our county incinerator should close asap by our county moving towards zero waste? 14. Do you think toxic toys or children's clothing containing lead, arsenic, mercury, cadmium, benzene, antimony, benzene, or formaldehyde should be banned from being sold here in Dutchess County? 15. Do you think glyphosate should be banned from being sprayed in Dutchess County/NY/U.S.? It's not just me here in Rhinebeck and Clinton that wants to know how you feel about these issues... Many of us here in Northern Dutchess want to know your thoughts on these; pls let us know-- thanks. Joel 464-2245 876-2488
Monday, September 21, 2015
Traudt's priorities-- putting up large illegal signs, not taking positions on issues, ducking debates-- wake up folks...
[sent this earlier today (8 am) to my Conservative/GOP opponent-- it's 3 pm now-- no response yet] - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - From: Joel Tyner (firstname.lastname@example.org) To: TomTraudt4Dutchess@gmail.com Subject: Tom-- can we focus this fall's campaign on issues instead of massive illegal signs? Hi Tom... Can we focus this fall's campaign on issues instead of massive illegal signs? [seriously] Many are telling me your massive lawn sign at the storage facility on Rt. 9G opposite Rhinebeck Ford just north of the Rt. 9 intersection is, plainly and simply, illegal-- due to the Town of Rhinebeck's revised 2009 zoning law and Comprehensive Plan outlawing billboards-- including just-too-plain-big political signs (my recollection is that you helped pass this law-- so why would you ignore it now?). It's ironic that you seem more focused on making sure local folks see large pictures of your face-- than making sure local folks know exactly where you stand on issues; your campaign literature fails to take a position on anything-- and you didn't show up to debate me Sept. 1st at Town Hall-- why? [many are supposing you would be little more than a rubber stamp for County Exec Molinaro's policies should he be re-elected; your actions thus far during this campaign would lead us to agree] As I wrote you Sept. 9th-- nine years ago then-Assemblyman Joel Miller and I (when I was running against him in 2006) civilly sat down together on the edge of the stage at Roy C. Ketcham High School in Wappingers Falls and fielded questions from attendees in audience for that candidates' forum/"debate"-- without a moderator. I'm convinced that you and I can do the same thing-- sit together and take questions from Rhinebeck and Clinton folks in an open, civil dialogue with local taxpayers, citizens, and voters well before Nov. 3. So please-- review these dates below-- let's organize at least a few of these in each town before 11/3: Rhinebeck Town Hall availability: Thurs. Oct. 1st, Mon. Oct. 5th, Weds. Oct. 7th, Thurs. Oct. 22nd, and Thurs. Oct. 29th (and all Fridays in October as well-- 2nd, 9th, 16th, 23rd, and 30th-- and the following Saturday afternoons at noon as well in October-- Oct. 3rd, Oct. 10th, and Oct. 17th) Clinton Town Hall availability: Tues. Sept. 22nd, Weds. Sept. 23rd, Tues. Sept. 29th, Weds. Sept. 30th, Mon. Oct. 5th, Weds. Oct. 7th, Thurs. Oct. 8th, Weds. Oct. 21st, Tues. Oct. 27th, Weds. Oct. 28th, and Thurs. Oct. 29th Frankly, there should be at least three debates between us in each town-- one in each town just solely on the jail expansion issue (an unnecessary $300 million expense when bonds fully paid off), one in each town just solely on the county budget, and one in each town just solely on all other issues (jobs, economy, taxes, environment, reform, etc.). Having just one debate in each town at the end of October is unfair to local voters-- that, in effect, would be a hit-and-run, drive-by, where full discussion and delving into the issues would not be possible. Again, I'm sure (I hope) that local organizations this fall will, as they have in the past, organize true debates (preferably with the League of Women Voters moderating)-- I've participated in many of these in the past and look forward to doing so again over the next seven weeks-- but in the meantime, thus far I have not been invited to participate in any candidates nights or debates this fall. And I really and truly do believe that local voters here in Rhinebeck and Clinton should have as much chance as possible to find out exactly where the two of us stand on the issues-- and ask us questions. So-- if Joel Miller and I can sit down together in an open setting and take questions from voters without a moderator (as we did in 2006). I know you and I can do the same thing at least once or twice or a few times between now and Nov. 3. Note-- I'm not suggesting that you and I debate each other at each one of the dates above... But I do think it'd be a good idea for us to do at least a few of these events in each of the two towns. Please at your earliest convenience let me know your availability so we can plan these together. And again-- as I asked you Aug. 9th-- nothing personal-- but I honestly think folks in Rhinebeck and Clinton have a right to know your positions on these issues-- so please let us know your thoughts on these fifteen questions: 1. Do you agree with the current administration's plans to spend at least $125 million on jail expansion? 2. Do you think pay-to-play should be banned in our county government to end conflicts of interest? 3. Do you think our county government should issue RFP's (Requests for Proposals) for big projects? 4. Do you think LOIS (Locally Owned Import Substitution) should be used in Dutchess to create jobs? 5. Do you think that county taxpayer subsidies should end for profitable firms paying poverty wages? 6. Do you think our county should have Community Choice Aggregation to help homeowners, 7. Do you think our county should close its official bank accounts with JPMorgan Chase and Citigroup? 8. Do you think DART (Domestic Abuse Response Team) should be covering all of Dutchess County? 9. Do you think the Human Rights Commission should be restored to our county government? 10. Do you think that Youth Bureau Project Return should be restored to our county government? 11. Do you think 5-day week should be restored to county Office for Aging Senior Friendship Centers? 12. Do you think that the Office of Consumer Affairs should be restored to our county government? 13. Do you think our county incinerator should close asap by our county moving towards zero waste? 14. Do you think toxic toys or children's clothing containing lead, arsenic, mercury, cadmium, benzene, antimony, benzene, or formaldehyde should be banned from being sold here in Dutchess County? 15. Do you think glyphosate should be banned from being sprayed in Dutchess County/NY/U.S.? It's not just me here in Rhinebeck and Clinton that wants to know how you feel about these issues... Many of us here in Northern Dutchess want to know your thoughts on these; pls let us know-- thanks. Joel 464-2245 876-2488
Wednesday, September 16, 2015
join "A People's Budget for Dutchess County"-- April Farley, Rich Perkins, Nick Ignaffo signed Co. Leg. letter on this tonight-- find on Facebook, pass it on!
[thx tons to three of my County Legislator colleagues-- April Marie Farley, Rich Perkins, and Nick Ignaffo-- for just now at tonight's County Legislature full board meeting agreeing to sign on to this letter just below that I circulated-- calling for "A People's Budget for Dutchess County"-- email all 25 of us to build support for it at email@example.com-- and join 40+ folks who have already "liked" it on Facebook too (including Co. Leg. Francena Amparo, Rhinebeck Town Supervisor Elizabeth Spinzia, and dozens more!)...here: www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=8934386808724120&ref+bookmarks ...pass it on!...(letters to editor needed, too-- to local newspapers)...Joel] - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - September 16, 2015 Mr. Marcus Molinaro Dutchess County Executive Dutchess County Office Building 22 Market Street Poughkeepsie, NY 12601 Dear County Executive Molinaro (Marc): We, the various undersigned members of the Dutchess County Legislature, in solidarity with many across our county who have also endorsed A People's Budget for Dutchess County, urge you make sure the following six crucial things become reality in the 2016 Dutchess County Budget-- paid for by ending corporate welfare for local corporations paying their workers poverty wages and real reform of our county's criminal justice system: It would take less than seven million dollars to make these six crucial things reality in 2016: 1. Restore county sales tax revenue to Rhinebeck, Clinton, Poughkeepsie, and all municipalities ($5,000,000) 2. Restore five-day week to our county Office for the Aging Senior Friendship Centers ($230,000) 3. Expand the Dutchess County Domestic Abuse Response Team beyond just four municipalities ($600,000) 4. Restore county Youth Bureau Project Return program— slash the teen crime rate ($300,000) 5. Restore Office of Consumer Affairs-- Community Choice Aggregation to cut electric bills ($100,000) 6. Restore Human Rights Commission-- for elderly, people of color, & LGBTQ ($100,000) Recall recent reports-- Dutchess County now literally has $39.9 million fund balance-- the largest in a decade(!). Fact: Dutchess taxpayers now waste at least $40 million annually on corporate welfare, subsidizing poverty wages at large profitable firms. This is easily provable from a report out this May from the University of Connecticut's Daniel Kennedy, Ph.D., Stan McMillen, Ph.D., and Louise Simmons, Ph.D., released jointly with Jobs with Justice, found that "Connecticut families are subsidizing highly profitable corporations to the tune of $486 million a year"-- because taxpayers end up footing the bill for the government benefits needed to supplement those poverty wages. Note-- here in New York State, unlike Connecticut, county taxpayers pay for fully half the cost of Medicaid in our county government-- and Dutchess has almost a tenth the population of Connecticut. It's not hard to come to the conclusion then, that Dutchess taxpayers here are shelling out well over $40 million to subsidize poverty wages paid by profitable firms-- de-facto corporate welfare in our county that should no longer continue. Finally, it's also still true that Dutchess taxpayers continue to waste millions annually incarcerating in our county jail those who don't need to be there- many dozens of women and youth, dozens charged for nonviolent drug possession, those accused of nonviolent misdemeanors with ridiculously low bail amounts, state parole violators; 80% of inmates haven't gone to trial yet; 80% are mentally ill or substance abusers-- aside from the current ludicrous plans to waste $200 million on jail expansion. Support continues to grow for the common-sense solutions above in the People's Budget for Dutchess County—please make these reality in the 2016 Dutchess County Budget-- thank you for your attention to this matter. - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - www.ssw.uconn.edu/2015/05/13/ssw-faculty-member-louise-simmons-co-authors-a-new-study-low-wage-employer-fee-to-boost-connecticuts-jobs-revenue-and-gdp/ Dr. Louise Simmons Co-Authors a New Study Low Wage Employer Fee to Boost Connecticut’s Jobs, Revenue and GDP State and local governments are facing steep costs because underpaid employees of highly-profitable corporations are forced to turn to social safety net programs—and many communities are beginning to drive solutions to this problem. As Connecticut lawmakers consider new legislation requiring large companies to increase wages or pay a fee to help cover state-funded services like child care and health care, a new study shows the economic impact of this approach would be beneficial to the state. The study released today by Jobs With Justice Education Fund —and authored by Daniel Kennedy, Ph.D., Stan McMillen, Ph.D., and Louise Simmons, Ph.D., —examines the costs and benefits of the proposed statute, An Act Concerning the Recoupment of State Costs Attributable to Low Wage Employers (SB 1044). This economic impact analysis report finds that the Low Wage Employer Fee would increase jobs, revenue and Gross Domestic Product (GDP) for the state of Connecticut. “Connecticut families are subsidizing highly-profitable corporations at a tune of $486 million a year,” said Jobs With Justice Education Fund Research Director Erin Johansson. “This study offers solid data affirming how the Low Wage Employer Fee is a commonsense solution to reduce the squeeze on state social programs.” The study’s authors find that the fee collected from covered large employers would generate an estimated $188,592,170 in new revenue for the state per year; net state employment would increase by an estimated 538 to 1,388 jobs; and the state’s GDP will increase by an estimated $92.4 million to $130.57 million per year. This Low Wage Employer Fee would only apply to corporations with 500 or more employees and to those employees earning $15 an hour or less. The study’s key findings are based on three models for the most likely approach corporations will take – to either absorb the fee in ways that would reduce sales, pass the full cost along to consumers or to share them equally among these two approaches. The economists’ revenue projection is also lower than what the state’s own economists’ project. The study’s authors assume most corporations now paying the minimum wage or just above it won’t chose to increase wages to more than $15 an hour. However, if corporations do increase wages (as Aetna is doing), that would also have a positive impact on working people and the economy, according to a separate study.