After months of mulling over some very tricky legal language
and hearing several opinions from lawyers, judges and residents,
the Zoning Board of Appeals reached a verdict this month on
whether water harvesting is an activity covered in the town’s
In short, according to a majority of the board, the answer is
On Wednesday, February 18, zoners voted 3-2 that water harvesting
is not a similar use to water bottling.
While the interpretation was not related to any one particular
project, the one most affected by the decision is that of Andrew
Poncic, a Woodland Valley resident, has tried unsuccessfully
for almost a decade to get permission to develop a water harvesting
system in Phoenicia.
In October, 2006 the town’s planning board gave Poncic
a permit to draw two truckloads of water a day from a spring
at the head of the dead end Woodland Valley Road in Phoenicia.
Neighborhood opponents of the project then sued planners in
the belief that the board exceeded their authority when the
permit was granted. In July, 2007 State Supreme Court Justice
John C. Egan Jr. determined that the board was on solid ground.
“The court finds that the collection and hauling of non-potable
water falls within the category of permitted uses under “water
bottling and related uses” and it was within the planning
board’s jurisdiction to grant Good Water a special permit,”
Egan wrote in his 16-page decision.
That decision was appealed, and last June the Appellate Division
of the State of New York Supreme Court decided that the Town
of Shandaken Planning Board overstepped their jurisdiction by
attempting to interpret zoning law, something that only the
Zoning Board of Appeals is authorized to do. Without a ruling
from the zoning board, it was found, the planning board had
no authority to grant Poncic’s Good Water Corporation
a special use permit.
The permit was voided and the case sent back to the Planning
Board. The Planning Board then referred the matter to the Zoning
Board for consideration on whether harvesting water for entirely
non-potable uses is sufficiently similar to water bottling and
Ultimately zoning board members Thomas Hickey, Joe Michaels
and Board Chair Rolf Reiss voted that it is not similar. Board
members Keith Johnson and Gary Guglielmetti disagreed.
On Tuesday, Planning Board Chair Beth Waterman said that, at
this point, the planning board would do nothing as a result
of the zoning board’s decision except to wait and see
what Poncic does. Waterman believes he has the option of submitting
a new application to the Planning Board, but that application
would have to be for the harvesting of potable water, which
would ultimately be bottled.
Poncic could not be reached for comment.
There is no word yet from the New York City Department of Environmental
Protection about the latest plan for a Phoenicia sewer system.
Last month DEP was given an amended proposal to a plan that
they had rejected earlier this winter.
Phoenicians packed Shandaken Town Hall on Saturday, January
31st to hear more about the alternative sewer for the hamlet.
While some remain cautious about building any system at all,
many at the two and half hour session showed support for the
latest version of a project that uses artificial wetlands and
reed beds instead of the conventional concrete facility that
a little more than half of Phoenicia voters voted down two years
Town Supervisor Peter DiSclafani said this week that he would
contact DEP and report on the matter at the next Town Board
meeting, scheduled for Monday, March 2.
DEC Region 3 Director William Janeway told officials in Sullivan
County recently that prospecting activity for natural gas, all
the rage a few months ago, seems to be dimming. He noted that
one of the companies originally interested in possibly signing
wells in the region now is not sure the Marcellus Shale reserves
under an area stretching from Pennsylvania north into the Delaware
County area, Sullivan County, and possibly under the Catskills,
are sufficient to make it worthwhile. Most of the viable reserves
may lie to the west, in central New York and neighboring Pennsylvania.
“The department, looking at it statewide, does recognize
the potential if we can safely and responsibly tape into that
natural gas, but we fundamentally are committed to our responsibility
of safeguarding the environment and clean water,” he said.
“So, we have essentially called a ‘time-out’
on any of the deep hydrofracking of the Marcellus Shale, and
started a process of updating the environmental impact review,
which leads to the guidelines that would apply to any permanent
Meanwhile, the Environmental Working Group (EWG) recently uncovered
the fact that the DEC has not yet conducted a single test to
determine if the new gas drilling technique is a threat to New
York City's drinking water even though a 2004 report by the
U.S. EPA identified diesel fuel as a common fracturing fluid
and concluded that 30 percent of four toxic components of diesel
fuel --benzene, toluene, ethylbenzene, and xylene -- remained
underground after injection and were "likely to be transported
by groundwater supplies."
New York's Department of Environmental Conservation has since
announced it is conducting a formal environmental review of
"horizontal drilling and high volume hydraulic fracturing"
that companies are expected to use for natural gas extraction
in shale formations such as those near New York City's drinking
EWG recommends that New York state authorities decline all applications
for hydrofracing permits until natural gas companies have publicly
disclosed the chemicals they plan to use and until the state
has conducted tests on whether past instances of hydraulic fracturing
have contaminated New York water supplies.
Highway Superintendent Eric Hofmeister said this week that there
is still enough sand and salt in storage to make it through
until spring. He added that more has been used than anticipated,
though, and he’s heard talk that other towns in the county
have found themselves short. As for impact the extra snow has
had on the highway budget, Hofmeister said it is too soon to
tell. He will review the books in the next couple of weeks to
get a full assessment, he said, adding that people must remember
that the town’s winter budget doesn’t end in April.
“We have November and December of this year to deal with,”
At its regular monthly meeting earlier this month, the Catskill
Watershed Corporation Board approved a low-interest loan to
Brian Battista and Sara Loughlin, owners of the Phoenicia Motor
Village, to acquire an adjoining property, the former Woodland
Valley Inn. The couple plans to renovate the building to provide
additional lodging quarters. They will also improve the landscaping
to create a unified outdoor seating area for the two properties.
Battista and Loughlin acquired the six-unit Phoenicia Motor
Village in 2005 with assistance from the CWC and Ulster Savings
The CWC Board also okayed funding to the Town of Walton for
three stormwater improvement projects for a total of $290,742
from the CWC’s Stormwater Retrofit Program, designed to
assist the Town in stabilizing roadbanks and ditches, installing
culverts, and improving drainage infrastructure. The town will
contribute more than $51,000 in in-kind labor and materials
towards the projects, which will be designed by C&S Engineers
of Syracuse. The improvements will reduce erosion and sediment
transport to the tributaries of the West Branch of the Delaware
River which feeds the Cannonsville Reservoir.
The next meeting of the CWC Board of Directors will be held
Tuesday, March 3 at 1 p.m. The public is invited.
For more information on CWC’s environmental protection,
economic development and education programs, visit www.cwconline.org,
or call 845-586-1400.
The Shandaken Police report an incident involving six lost hikers.
Sam Carpenter of State College, PA reported his six friends
missing from a hiking party to Slide Mountain. The six missing
hikers were known to be on the top of Slide Mountain at 3PM
on Feb. 21. At 9PM they were reported missing. At 10:15 PM the
six hikers exited the woods of their own power, all in good
health. The Shandaken Police Department was assisted at the
scene by the Ulster County Sheriff’s Office, the New York
State Police, the New York State Police Air Unit, the Shandaken
Ambulance Paramedics, and the New York State Forest Rangers.
It’s hard enough to lose a job. But for a growing proportion
of U.S. workers, the troubles really set in when they apply
for unemployment benefits. More than a quarter of people applying
for such claims have their rights to the benefit challenged
as employers increasingly act to block payouts to former workers.
The proportion of claims disputed by former employers and state
agencies has reached record levels in recent years, according
to the Labor Department and Urban Institute.
Under state and federal laws, employees who are fired for misbehavior
or quit voluntarily are ineligible for unemployment compensation.
When jobless claims are blocked, employers save money because
their unemployment insurance rates are based on the amount of
the benefits their workers collect.
Unemployment compensation programs are administered by the states
and funded by payroll taxes that employers pay. In 2007, employers
put up about $31.5 billion in such taxes, and those taxes typically
rise during and after recessions, as states seek to replenish
the funds. With each successful claim raising a company’s
costs, many firms resist letting employees collect the benefit
if they consider it undeserved… or can get away with countering
“In some of these cases, employers feel like there’s
some matter of principle involved,” said Coleman Walsh,
chief administrative law judge in Virginia, who has handled
many such disputes. But, he said, “nowadays it appears
their motivation has more to do with the impact on their unemployment
insurance tax rate. Employers by and large are more aware of
unemployment as a cost of business.”
The cost of unemployment insurance has created an industry of
“third-party agents” - companies that specialize
in helping employers deal with the unemployment insurance administration.
These firms represent employers in disputes with former employees
over jobless benefits.
Many in the industry have speculated that deregulating changes
in labo rlaw have made it easier for employers to block unemployment
Rick McHugh, a staff attorney for the National Employment Law
Project who began handling such cases in the 1970s, said court
rulings have slowly enlarged the definition of employee misconduct,
making it easier for employers to say they rightfully fired
“The courts are just not showing as much sympathy for
employees who get fired,” he said. “There’s
a higher standard of behavior that is expected of employees.”
“It’s almost like a daily soap opera - but it’s
real life,” veteran unemployment hearing examiner Scott
Karp said. “In this economic climate, the threshold for
what employers consider minimum acceptable behavior has changed.
They decide they’re not going to put up with it anymore,
so they start documenting the employee’s behavior and
often enough, the issue winds up here.”
Free breast, cervical, and colorectal cancer screenings are
now available to area residents who are either uninsured, or
whose insurance may not fully cover their costs. Under a state-funded
program run by the American Cancer Society, free Mammograms
are available to women 40 and older or to those at risk, Pap
Tests are available for women 18 and older, and Colorectal Cancer
tests are available to men and women 50 and up, or with increased
"They'll do it for you for nothing," says Dr. Brian
Callahan of Maverick West Health Center in Phoenicia. "These
are tests that can keep you from dying. It's relatively easy
to fix these things if you catch them early. If you wait until
you have symptoms, they're more serious and harder to treat."
For full information, contact the program's Outreach Coordinator
Bonnie Benjamin at 339-7896, ext.20.
Acting on the recommendation of the county attorney, Ulster
County Legislature Chairman David Donaldson recently pulled
the plug on an effort to restrict where in the county registered
sex offenders may live. He did so by ruling out of order a resolution
to schedule a public hearing on a proposed local law to prohibit
registered sex offenders from living within 1,000 feet of a
school, church or day-care center. He said a ruling in Rockland
County that an almost identical law there is unconstitutional
calls into question the legitimacy of Ulster’s proposed
Donaldson added that county law-enforcement and mental health
officials have said such a law would be impossible to enforce
and could be counterproductive because it could force sex offenders
to choose not to register, making it impossible to monitor their
Legislature Minority Leader Glenn Noonan, who for the past several
years has been pushing for such residency rules, blasted the
Democrat’s decision, saying it was done to avoid voting
against a measure that probably would have great community support.
He likened the majority party’s attititude to what he
called a “‘hug-a-thug’ theory of the state
In a court decision dated Jan. 22, state Supreme Court Justice
William Kelly struck down a similar Rockland County law, saying
it “impermissibly conflicts with the state enactments.”
The lawsuit was brought by a sex offender who is an orthodox
Jew and said he must live within walking distance of a synagogue.
Similar laws have been adopted elsewhere in the state, but many
of those — including laws in Albany, Washington and Rensselaer
counties — now are facing court challenges.
Currently, New York state law prohibits Level 3 (high-risk)
sex offenders and offenders whose victims were under 18 and
who are on parole or probation from living or going near “any
school grounds … or any other facility or institution
primarily used for the care or treatment of persons under the
age of 18 while one or more … are present.”
Kevin Wortman of Onteora Babe Ruth is reminding everyone that
baseball season’s getting ready to start with a series
of special pre-season clinics. Things kick off on Saturday,
February 28 with a 9 to 11 AM clinic at the Onteora Middle school
gym that’s free for all current Onteora Babe Ruth players.
On March 7 there will be a 2 to 4 PM clinic at the MAC/Parisi
training area in Kingston at a cost of $10/player. On March
14, at a time as yet to be determined, a third clinic will take
place at the Onteora Middle school gym that is mandated for
all new players to Onteora Babe Ruth this season, for skills
evaluation. Finally, On March 21. there will be a second clinic
at the MAC/Parisi training area from 5 to 7 PM, again with a
cost of $10/player for the clinic.
Registration is on-going for Onteora Babe Ruth through March
28th. Find details and regular updates at www.eteamz.com/onteorababeruth.
The Village of Margaretville and the Catskill Watershed Corporation
will be hosting the next meeting of the Central Catskills Collaborative
this Thursday, February 26, when the Collaborative will welcome
Margaret Bryant, Assistant Professor of Landscape Architecture
at SUNY School of Environmental Science and Forestry, to give
an overview of this semester’s Regional Planning and Design
Studio titled, Envisioning the Future Landscape of the Central
Catskills Region: A Case Study of the Route 28 Corridor. The
project has been designed to assist corridor communities in
their collective effort to provide better access to waterways
and public lands and to pursue a scenic byway nomination for
The public is invited to attend the meeting, which will be held
at the Catskill Watershed Corporation offices in Margaretville
on Thursday, February 26 at 6PM. Refreshments will be provided.
For more information, please contact Peter Manning, Catskill
Center Regional Planner, at (845) 586-2611 or visit the CCC
webpage at www.margaretville.org/ccc.
The Sharp Committee is pleased to announce the 2009 RESTORE
award for the towns of Shandaken, Woodstock and Olive. Named
for the acronym for Residential Emergency Services To Offer
Repairs to the Elderly, this program will offer services to
income eligible homeowners aged 60 years and older for emergency
repairs needed for issues such as, but not limited to: heating,
electrical and water system failures, roofing repairs, and other
situations that require immediate attention. Assistance of up
to $5,000 per home will be available beginning in March of 2009.
The program is expected to run for one year. For income requirements
and other program information, please contact Buffy Kibe at
845-688-5777 or e-mail SHARP at: firstname.lastname@example.org
Sheriff Paul J. VanBlarcum of the Ulster County Sheriff’s
Office has announced an ongoing investigation being conducted
by detectives. Recently, several persons including an Ulster
County elected official had received an e-mail for “working
at home” by a company giving the name of Miller Creativity
Shop. When a name, address and telephone number are provided
in response to this type of inquiry, a Counterfeit check in
the name Santa Barbara Bank and Trust was mailed to the person.
Then a person will telephone the individual telling them to
deposit the check into their checking account. Detectives warn
residents not to cash these checks as these checks are counterfeit.
The person then receives a phone advising where to send an amount
of the deposited check. By the time the checks clears your bank
you have already be scammed for amounts up to 75% of the checks
value. Also the scammer will ask you to confirm your check via
the internet. When you go to the site provided by the scammer
you will be asked to confirm your name and bank account number
and location. From this information an illegal wire transfer
from your account can occur.
If you do receive any questionable checks, you should contact
your banking institution to verify if a check is counterfeit.
Notify the Ulster County Sheriff’s Office, the New York
State Police or your local police department in the event you
feel you have been the victim of an internet scam. Sheriff VanBlarcum
states that there are several internet scams in addition to
the “work at home” scam including sweepstakes winnings
and items offered for sale through Craig’s list.
For more information regarding these scams or any other scams
you check log on to the Federal Trade Commission Website at
www.FTC.gov or www.SNOPES.com.
The One Laptop Per Child (OLPC) organization is planning to
sell the devices via online store Amazon’s European outlets
from 17 November. The machines will be sold under the Give One,
Get One scheme that OLPC has already run in the US. Under that
scheme, buyers get one machine for themselves and the other
is donated to a school child in a developing nation.
When it goes on sale the XO laptop is expected to cost about
$400 and should be available in 27 EU nations as well as Switzerland,
Russia and Turkey. The Give One, Get One program was first run
in the US in November and December 2007. The OLPC organization
claims it sold almost 190,000 machines via the scheme.
Despite the success of the scheme, though, it drew criticism
because the OLPC group had trouble delivering machines to those
who had ordered one. In a bid to resolve these issues, it signed
up with Amazon in September 2008.
The original idea for the OLPC was to create a small, powerful
laptop for school children that would sell in the millions yet
cost less than $100. The final version of the machine ended
up costing about $188 and the OLPC group has only sold about
600,000 of the machines.
Many nations have expressed an interest in using the XO but
few have signed up to buy them in the numbers expected by the
OLPC organization. Most recently the Caldas region of Colombia
signed up to buy 65,000 XO machines.
Two local initiatives are continuing to raise awareness and
work towards prevention of teen problems related to alcohol
Armed with federal funds through a Drug-Free Communities grant,
the Prevention Connections effort is continuing its fight to
keep young people away from drugs and alcohol. The organization’s
new chairwoman, Ulster County Legislator Susan Zimet, has launched
a “Pennies for Prevention” campaign using “Penny
the Pig” to collect money to enhance youth activities
conducted around the county by providing incentives like activity
curriculums, art supplies, localized youth based media, t-shirts,
stickers, snacks and anything else to enhance and celebrate
prevention and education efforts of local youth, said Prevention
Connections’ Associate Director Heather Ohlson.
Meanwhile, our own paper’s Marie Shultis has continued
organizing the Onteora-based (but not officially affiliated)
Awareness Mentoring and Awareness Alcohol programs, run mostly
through teen participants. The program’s student leaders
were honored last year with a Congressional Award from Congressman
Maurice Hinchey and NYS Assemblyman Kevin Cahill for outstanding
community service for their part in creating the programs.
Program participants have been meeting with local government,
court and law enforcement officials to educate them about means
of working towards preventative means of keeping teens away
from drugs and drinks instead of simply punishing them. The
three-year old mentoring program seeks to utilize older students
to mentor younger teens as near peers. The idea is to eventually
utilize sentencing to aid in prevention.
Just four days before he left office, President Bush instructed
former White House aide Karl Rove to refuse to cooperate with
future congressional inquiries into alleged misconduct during
On Jan. 16, 2009, then White House Counsel Fred Fieldingsent
a letter to Rove’s lawyer, Robert Luskin. The message:
should his client receive any future subpoenas, Rove “should
not appear before Congress” or turn over any documents
relating to his time in the White House. The letter told Rove
that President Bush was continuing to assert executive privilege
over any testimony by Rove - even after he leaves office.
A nearly identical letter was also sent by Fielding the day
before to a lawyer for former White House counsel Harriet Miers,
instructing her not to appear for a scheduled deposition with
the House Judiciary Committee. That letter reasserted the White
House position that Miers has “absolute immunity”
from testifying before Congress about anything she did while
she worked at the White House - a far-reaching claim that is
being vigorously disputed by lawyers for the House of Representatives
The letters set the stage for what is likely to be a highly
contentious legal and political battle over an unresolved issue:
whether a former president can assert “executive privilege”
- and therefore prevent his aides from testifying before Congress
- even after his term has expired.
“To my knowledge, these [letters] are unprecedented,”
said Peter Shane, an Ohio State University law professor who
specializes in executive-privilege issues. “I’m
aware of no sitting president that has tried to give an insurance
policy to a former employee in regard to post-administration
Shane likened the letter to Rove as an attempt to give his former
aide a ‘get-out-of-contempt-free card’.”
The ex-President himself has been making jokes, lately, about
being unemployed and looking for work.
Socks, the highly photogenic White House cat during the Clinton
Administration, has died. He was around 18 and had lived with
President Clinton’s former secretary Betty Curry since
2001. A statement released Feb. 20 by the Clinton Foundation
indicated he had brought much happiness to Chelsea and the family
over the years, and enjoyment to kids and cat lovers everywhere.
Congressman Maurice Hinchey will be holding a forum on Iraq,
the economic crisis and public education on the SUNY New Paltz
campus to discuss the underlying causes of the drastic budget
cuts to both K-12 schools and institutions of higher education
at 7 p.m. on Friday, Feb. 27, in Lecture Center 100. Hinchey
will focus on the economic crisis, including U.S. foreign policy,
as well as the bailout/recovery packages and the relationship
of both to this challenge to education. In addition to addressing
what has led into this situation, Hinchey will discuss what
needs to be done to get us out.
The event is sponsored by The Progressive Academic Network,
the Student Association, the Departments of Educational Studies,
English, Political Science and International Relations, Sociology,
the Women’s Studies Program, Ulster County Young Democrats
For more information contact Nancy Schniedewind (845) 257-2827.
The Phoenicia Rotary is willing to sponsor two students entering
11th grade in September 2009 with full scholarships for the
Rotary Youth Leadership Award conference. Qualified candidates
are those high school students finishing their sophomore year
who demonstrate the potential to benefit from a program designed
to nurture and instill confidence in their leadership skills
and abilities. The conference dates are Sunday June 28th - Thursday
July 2nd, 2009 at the Mount St. Mary’s College in Newburgh.
The conference is designed to introduce participants to thoughts
and ideas which, if utilized, will strengthen and develop their
leadership skills. To qualify for this scholarship, you must
complete an application with requested attachments, and complete
an interview with the Rotary RYLA Selection Committee. Applications
are available at the Onteora High Guidance Office, the Ulster
Savings Bank on Main St. Phoenicia, and from Mark Wilsey at
To learn more, please visit www.rotary.org and click on the
Students & Youth tab for RYLA information and application
downloads. Completed applications should be submitted by March
Local camps are sending out materials and lining up info sessions
trying to get your kids in their line-ups for the coming summer.
Frost Valley YMCA in Claryville, NY has two more Summer Camp
Open House days for new camper parents and their children interested
in learning about the camp firsthand on Sundays, March 29 and
April 19 that will include a guided tour, presentation and lunch
with the camp directors and staff. To RSVP, please call 845
985-2291, ext. 301 or e-mail: email@example.com.
At the core of Frost Valley’s year-round program offerings
is a Resident Summer Camp for children ages 7-15 and an Adventure
Camp for ages 11-17.
Frost Valley traces its roots to 1901, when it was established
one of the nation’s first summer camps for children.
Meanwhile, Cara Cruickshank’s been busy setting schedules
and taking applications for the second year of Camp Woodland’s
revival in and around Phoenicia, as well as an upcoming theatrical
experience for 10 to 18 year olds redoing sketches from Monty
Pythoin. Camp runs from mid-July through August in six one week
installations at the Parish Hall on Main Street. For further
information visit www.catskillwoodlandcamp.com, which goes up
in soon, call 688-2068, or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
Area teams claimed a dozen individual champions recently at
the Section 9, Division 2 wrestling tournament in Boiceville.
Host Onteora had four champions who clinched berths in last
weekend’s New York State Public High School Athletic Association
championships at the Times Union Center in Albany. Red Hook
and Highland each had three titlists, while Ellenville came
away with two.
Onteora’s champs were Chet Cochrane (125), CJ Goldizen
(130), Donny Van Buren (145) and Dean Hottum (152). The Indians
were anticipating a fifth victor, but George Loizou lost 4-3
in overtime of the 285-pound final to Ellenville’s Frank
Van Buren defeated top-seeded Justin Smith of Eldred 5-1 for
the 145 crown, while Cochrane downed Fallsburg’s Nick
McLean 9-1 at 125 and Goldizen handled Red Hook’s Richard
Treu 13-2 in the 130 final.
Think On This
As technology has played a bigger role in our lives, our skills
in critical thinking and analysis have declined, while our visual
skills have improved, according to research by Patricia Greenfield,
UCLA distinguished professor of psychology and director of the
Children’s Digital Media Center, Los Angeles. Learners
have changed as a result of their exposure to technology, says
Greenfield, who analyzed more than 50 studies on learning and
technology, including research on multi-tasking and the use
of computers, the Internet and video games. Her research was
published this month in the journal Science.
Reading for pleasure, which has declined among young people
in recent decades, enhances thinking and engages the imagination
in a way that visual media such as video games and television
do not, Greenfield said.
Among the studies Greenfield analyzed was a classroom study
showing that students who were given access to the Internet
during class and were encouraged to use it during lectures did
not process what the speaker said as well as students who did
not have Internet access. When students were tested after class
lectures, those who did not have Internet access performed better
than those who did.
“Wiring classrooms for Internet access does not enhance
learning,” Greenfield said.
Another study Greenfield analyzed found that college students
who watched “CNN Headline News” with just the news
anchor on screen and without the “news crawl” across
the bottom of the screen remembered significantly more facts
from the televised broadcast than those who watched it with
the distraction of the crawling text and with additional stock
market and weather information on the screen.
These and other studies show that multi-tasking “prevents
people from getting a deeper understanding of information,”
The Shandaken Women’s Network will host a special dinner
program for women entitled “Creating Well-Being Through
Laughter” with “Ganga” Jodi Peister, M.D.
a.k.a. Dr. Wellbeing www.drwellbeing.com on Tuesday March 10th
from 6 to 9 p.m. at the Skytop Steakhouse in Kingston. The meeting
is open to women of all ages and starts with a business networking
social hour from 6 to 7 p.m. followed by dinner, dessert and
the special laughter program. ‘Ganga’ Jodi Peister
- Dr. Wellbeing will lead a Laughter Yoga session which will
be a unique combination of laughter, simple movement, and play
followed by a discussion on how to bring more laughter into
our lives. Please wear comfortable clothes to move around in,
bring your business cards for networking.
For more information and to register please call Shandaken Women’s
Network President Melody Newcombe at 845-688-5472 or email email@example.com.
Dire warnings about the rate of global warming released by the
United Nations in 2007 were, it turns out, far too optimistic.
“We are basically looking now at a future climate that’s
beyond anything we’ve considered seriously in climate
change simulations,” said Christopher Field, Director
of the Carnegie Institutions’s Department of Global Ecology
at Stanford University.
Field, who helped assemble that data, told a recent gathering
of the American Academy for the Advancement of Science that
two factors, an unanticipated rise in greenhouse gas emissions
from the burning of coal, and a resulting melting of the arctic
permafrost are both causing the release of previously unanticipated
levels of greenhouse gases. The permafrost which holds about
a trillion tons of carbon, contains both carbon dioxide and
methane, which is 25 times more potent as a greenhouse gas.
Fields described the relation between rising global temperatures
and melting permafrost as “a vicious cycle of feedback.”
Other factors according to Fields, are also better understood
today. Increased wildfires exacerbated by higher global temperatures
are now releasing about 1/3 the carbon into the atmosphere that
fossil fuels do.
And both terrestrial and aquatic ecosystems aren’t able
to absorb as much carbon as we expected just a few ago, for
a variety of reasons all negatively impacted by rising global