Last year's brutal political campaign is now lending the
Town of Shandaken's bicentennial celebration efforts unexpected
benefits- in the form of special banners to be placed
around the town.
After noticing that nothing was being done to publicize the
ongoing 200th anniversary of the founding of the town, set for
a big bash on July 17, former town Planning Board chairman Bob
Kalb came to the town board Monday night, June 14, to ask for
$900 to fund the product of over 100 banners to be placed around
Kalb said that he was keeping the price down by going to the
same entities who printed up all the campaign banners and posters
that littered the town last Autumn. He added that when he approached
the town's ad hoc Bicentennial Committee about doing banners
in recent weeks, he'd been told there wasn't time
or money for what he was seeking. Hence, his plea directly to
the town board.
Within the context of an overtly celebratory and patriotism-flaunting
Flag Day meeting, which started with a song from two local elementary
schools about the flag and included several officials wearing
special patriotic wear for the evening, Kalb's request
was enthusiastically received and okayed. Even the usual complaints,
aimed at the Bicentennial Committee's planning oversights,
were kept quieter than usual amidst the pleasantries of the
The July 17th events, it was announced, would include a parade
and $8,000 worth of fireworks in the evening. Community meetings
to address coordination of events for the big day has been set
for the Phoenicia Parish Hall on Thursday, June 17, at 5 PM.
Other business included notification that the Beautification
Committee fixing up Town Hall has set June 19 and 26, from 10
AM to 2 PM each day, for painting and other chores. All are
invited to participate. Town clerk Laurilyn Frasier was given
an award denoting her newly-elected membership in the Municipal
Clerk's Hall of Fame, via General Code Publishers of Middletown.
Town supervisor Bob Cross Jr. answered concerned questions from
Pine Hill residents about their water system by noting that
recent rains had created a situation where a local creek had
jumped its bank, muddying the system's spring houses,
and hence its water. He said work was being done, and funds
sought, to fix the problems and get larger plans bid out and
initiated by mid-summer. Cross said he would be meeting with
residents of Pine Hill about those plans in the coming weeks.
The town's usual penchant for controversy arose with discussion
of a resolution, ultimately passed unanimously by the board,
to mow soccer fields owned by local developer Dean Gitter-
on behalf of the private SAYS (Shandaken Area Youth Services)
sports season. A number of people spoke against using town services
on behalf of private entities. But news that the town highway
department didn't mind doing the mowing allowed for the
There were also complaints about the manner in which Cross has
been representing the town at an ongoing Issues Conference on
the proposed Belleayre Resort project being developed by Gitter.
Several people noted how Cross has eschewed support for the
town's reports on traffic and community character effects
from the resort to bash New York City instead for its own reports.
-If you think the city has a right to talk about community
character you should move to a place where they CAN talk about
community character,- Cross told one of his critics. At
which point Councilman Paul Van Blarcum said that he was planning
to send a letter of complaint to the state Department of Environmental
Conservation judge who has been administering the hearings,
noting that Cross has not been speaking for the town.
Later, the town's Rescue Squad heads, Jerry Pearlman and
Lisa Benjamin, asked how the town was treating a proposal by
Crossroad Ventures, the development entity behind the Resort
proposal, to fund equipment and facilities during the construction
phase of the project. Cross said discussion with the developers
Later, at the meeting's close, several items of unfinished
business were brought up.
When several people asked what had happened to a draft cell
tower law proposed by the previous administration, Cross agreed
to bring the subject back up at the town's July meeting.
Later, VanBlarcum asked how the town's ethics committee
was doing about setting rules and regulations for its decisions.
When Cross said nothing had been done, VanBlarcum replied that
the committee would need such rules and regulations to render
any future decisions. He then added that its only previous decision,
regarding conflict-of-interest charges against Councilwoman
Jane Todd, might be in legal jeopardy.
Hard to say what effects such latter politics would have one
hundred years from now. Or even next month, when this current
Bicentennial rolls around...
Highway Superintendent Richard Merwin and his crew have done
solid job of resurrecting Church Street and a bit of Newton
Avenue in Phoenicia. Earlier this month the old crumbled pavement
was ground up and recycled into a strong roadbed, which is now
being allowed to settle before brand new blacktop coating is
rolled onto the roadway for a finished product. Merwin said
Monday to fear not; Church street will not be a dirt road for
-We're gonna finish it up in a week or two,-
Also, the grade of the road was changed slightly near the Methodist
Church for better drainage, Merwin said.
At a recent informal workshop session the Shandaken Planning
Board got a look at revised subdivision plans for a project
first proposed last fall for the Hamlet of Pine Hill. The number
of homes slated for construction has dropped from 25 to 17.
Project engineer John Lehman gave a brief presentation at the
June 1st workshop, explaining how the project was first proposed
as 28 units on the 38 acre parcel, then later 25 units, and
now only 17. The lots for each unit would be one and a half
acres, Lehman said.
It was previously believed that the project could take advantage
of Pine Hill's municipal water and sewer systems, but
it now appears that, even in the hamlet's water district,
the subdivision will rely on private wells drilled for each
unit. Lehman said the water district's current infrastructure
could not supply the project without adding an expensive pumping
station to get the water up the hillside to where the houses
Planner Charles Frasier agreed, reminding the board that the
infrastructure remains sub-standard even for the current users
and awaits rehabilitation. It was agreed that promising municipal
water for the project seems unrealistic.
Lehman also said there is difficulty working out details over
sewer mains. Pine Hill has a unique relationship with the City
of New York, which in the early 1990's built a sewer plant
for the Hamlet and agreed to run it in perpetuity at no cost
to the users. Lehman said the City refuses to pay to install
the mains through the subdivision, instead requiring Developer
Peter Goertzel to bear that cost.
Another complication for the project is the grade of the proposed
road. Town codes call for a maximum slope of ten percent, Lehman
says it can't be built at less than 12 percent. Planner
Beth Waterman thought that meant the developers would need to
obtain a variance to proceed, but Lehman believes the planning
board, or perhaps town highway department superintendent Richard
Merwin, can just waive the ten percent law. Lehman added that
the road would be built to town specifications, except for it's
grade, because Goertzel hopes the town will take the road over,
making it a public road that would be maintained by the taxpayers.
Other Towns, like nearby Olive, stopped taking over roads in
the 1990's when it was determined that the property taxes
generated by subdivisions didn't always cover the expense
of maintaining new town roads. Lehman understood there was no
guarantee Shandaken would take over the burden either.
-If the town doesn't feel it's appropriate
we'll work something else out,- he said.
Asked if the downsizing of the project makes it less cost effective,
Lehman said, -25 lots, economically, are better than 17
45 junk vehicles and perhaps as many as 270 old tires are headed
out of town thanks to the Shandaken Code Enforcement office.
In April the junk car program was announced by code officer
mike Malloy as a voluntary program. Residents could have junk
cars removed from their property free of charge as long as they
applied for the service before June 15th.Malloy also made it
clear that after June 15th all zoning laws, and associated fines,
will be strictly carried out. Fines can reach up to $250 per
junk vehicle. The program is part of a town wide cleanup campaign
initiated by Malloy to get Shandaken ready for the Bicentennial
celebration next month.
On Tuesday Malloy said many of the 45 vehicles have been removed
already. -They started that right away,- he said.
With the deadline now past owners of junks must remove them
themselves or face fines.
This week Supervisor Robert Cross Jr.and company were unable
to explain why the town will once again drive children to Schoharie
County to swim this summer instead of using the Pine Hill lake.
For at least a decade the town has been struggling with the
problem of having kids on hot busses for an hour each way to
use the swimming pool in Minekill. For the past two years there
has been talk about no longer making the trip and instead using
The board was not sure why it didn't happen this year.
Councilman Paul VanBlarcum carted out an old explanation about
Minekill being free to the town, but it appeared that no one
really knew why Pine Hill Lake was not investigated further.
Cross said something about a concern over Geese droppings, but
was told at the town board meeting that was no longer an issue.
When it was mentioned that it seemed
difficult to reach an agreement with the State of New York,
which operates the lake, an audience member noted that the Margaretville
Community had no such problem. That community apparently sends
children to the lake three days a week in the summer.
This summer, Shandaken kids will spend
two days a week at Minekill for swimming and one day a week
at Glenbrook Park in Shandaken. Robert Stanley Jr. asked why
the kids would go to Glenbrook, which has no swimming facilities,
on that third day instead of having at least one day at Pine
Hill lake, which offers swimming, as was proposed last year
in the event that a full deal was not struck with the State.
Cross said that the people running
the recreation program preferred Glenbrook. The Park has a baseball
field, a small playground, and a basketball hoop.
In the early 1990's complaints
began to come to the town board about Minekill. The long distance
took kids out of town, the bus ride is long, hot and costly,
and the lack of shade at the facility, as the late Supervisor
Neil Grant said, -allows the sun to rip the hide right
Cross said the town -would look
into- using the Pine Hill lake next year.
Within a few weeks the court system plans to begin a six month
trial period, no pun intended, for credit card payments of court
fines and bail postings. If the system, arranged through the
New York State Office of Court Administration, solves more fine
collection problems than it creates during that period, it would,
presumably, remain in place afterwards.
The OCA program, however, has contracts with only the Visa and
MasterCard companies and other charge plates, like American
Express, will not be
If an army of black ants has invaded your home, chomping your
trash, plundering your pantry, covering your countertop and
generally running amuck under foot and overhead, you are not
alone. The Ants have come out of the woodwork,(literally) this
season and are finding their way into the domiciles of Shandakenites
and Olivians in search of food.
You can call an exterminator if need be, but others have found
ways to combat the creatures that are worth a shot before you
call out the big pesticide laden guns.
Carpenter ants are destructive pests of wood. The most common
variety is black, a quarter-inch to more than a half-inch long.
The winged ants are the reproductive males and females. Carpenter
ants attack wherever excessive moisture accumulates in buildings,
power poles and fence posts. Porches, roofing and areas near
kitchens and bathrooms where water leakage or condensation occur
are vulnerable. Untreated poles and building foundation timbers
that are in contact with the ground absorb large amounts of
moisture from the soil and are susceptible. Ants enter through
cracks, under siding or between flooring and sub-flooring. Unexplained
coarse sawdust indicates carpenter ants at work. Do not take
this lightly. Wood can become structurally unsafe as the ants
continue to enlarge the nest and the wood rots.
While nest may be in your framework, it is more likely that
the nest is outside somewhere nearby and the ants are coming
and going from your home for food.To locate the nest, follow
the ants to see where they and come and go.
Some say cinnamon works very well for getting ants to move somewhere
else. It doesn't kill them, but they don't like it. It has been
used successfully around patios, sidewalks, etc. and can clear
out an entire colony if used correctly. If you buy cinnamon
in bulk it's economical, too. Just sprinkle it liberally around
areas you don't want the ants. Boric Acid is said to have success,
though it's tough on your soil, and orange oil poured
onto an ant colony can work as well.
A less humane way to remove ants involves a shovel and some
hard work. Like most folks, you probably have several anthills
nearby. Take a shovel full of ants and dirt from one hill, and
put on another anthill, swapping ants from one hill to another.
The ants have a huge ant fight, and kill each other out.
For many, the best method is plain cornmeal. Sprinkle it around
the nest area and place some in the spots where you see the
most any activity inside your home. The ants take it back to
their nest, they eat it and drink water and the cornmeal enlarges
in their stomach and they die. It works great indoors too. Because
it is safe around your pets as it is natural. If you use it
outside, of course, it must not rain.
And of course, there's always Raid, Combat, and an arsenal
of other over the counter chemical weapons in the fight against
The Kingston Regional Health Care System, which owns Kingston
and Margaretville hospitals, is currently considering a potential
merger with Benedictine Hospital, a plan that failed in 1998
in the face of substantial community opposition because the
merged facility would be bound by the religious strictures of
the Roman Catholic Church. KRHCS has also been in discussions
for three months with Health Quest, the parent corporation of
Vassar Brothers Medical Center, Northern Dutchess Hospital and
Putnam Medical Center. Sources close to Kingston Hospital say
that affiliation with Health Quest is the most popular option,
at least with Kingston's physicians. Benedictine spokespeople
say that KRHCS initially approached Benedictine, noting that
Benedictine is not actively seeking a merger opportunity. Benedictine
is a member of the Catholic Health Care East system but continues
to be owned by the Benedictine Sisters of Elizabeth, New Jersey
and remains an independent hospital.
Community opposition to the past merger was based on the fact
that the unified hospital would have been forced to abide by
six religious directives of the Catholic Church: including bans
on elective abortions, sterilizations, in-vitro fertilization,
and euthanasia. Contraceptive counseling (including the distribution
of condoms and AIDS education other than abstinence), and emergency
contraception for victims of rape would also have been prohibited.
Kingston Hospital has made it clear that Margaretville Hospital
is part of the equation, but it is still uncertain how Ellenville
Hospital will factor into the merger negotiations. The Ellenville
Hospital building is owned by a corporation of Westchester Medical
Center but Westchester has pulled out of the ailing hospital
that currently has a management contract with Kingston Hospital
to operate it. On June 10, the Ulster County Legislature voted
to advance $200,000 to Ellenville Hospital for an eight-week
period during which Kingston Hospital will undertake a study
that will determine whether or not Ellenville is eligible for
a rural hospital designation that would mean additional Medicare
funding. If that designation is received and Kingston continues
to operate Ellenville, the legislature would appropriate an
additional $400,000 and assume ownership of the building and
the equipment, which Kingston would lease and purchase back
from the county over a period of time.
The mother of Kevin O'Connor, the Onteora High School
freshman struck and killed two years ago by a school district
vehicle, has recently confirmed that information gathered in
the Olivebridge family's $6.5 million lawsuit against
the district was given to the Ulster County District Attorney's
Office and presented in recent weeks to the grand jury. Michael
Catalinotto Jr., the school district's attorney, said
presentations to the grand jury were expected to be completed
last week, but he did not expect charges to be filed.
Kevin O'Connor, 15, was working outside his parents'
business, Sheldon Hill Forestry Supplies on state Route 28 in
Shokan on June 18, 2002, when a 1990 Chevrolet station wagon,
owned by the school district and driven by district employee
Paul Bresciani of West Shokan, veered off the road and struck
the teenager. The Onteora ninth-grader, who was on the high
school football team and had played Babe Ruth baseball, was
pronounced dead at the scene. Police at the time said Bresciani,
who was working as a substitute bus driver, apparently passed
out at the wheel. A student riding with him was not injured.
The O'Connors' lawsuit, filed in state Supreme Court
a few months after the accident, alleges the district -knew
or had notice of the dangerous (medical) condition ... for a
sufficient length of time prior to the accident.- The
suit argued that -the defendant (the school district)
could and should have had knowledge- that Bresciani's
condition was a liability. Cindy O'Connor has further
said there was a lack of cooperation from school administrators
during private meetings following the accident.
From the looks of the recently-held Ulster County Democratic
Convention at Hillside Manor Monday night, the nation's
Republicans, let alone those in the immediate vicinity, are
in for a ride come November 2. The June 7 gathering, featuring
fiery anti-Bush speeches from Congressman Maurice Hinchey and
Assemblyman Kevin Cahill, was noteworthy as much for its surprisingly
sober talk about odds as much as its unbridled, maybe even cockeyed
Party boss John Parete introduced and closed the event by recounting
how county Democrats saw their side of the aisle come within
one vote of gaining the county legislative majority for the
first time in decades last November. Later, Democratic Commissioner
of Elections Harry Castiglione reinforced the crowded room's
enthusiasm by noting that, as of last week, county Democratic
enrollment is currently only 27 shy of county Republicans-
something the assembled promised to change, -accentuating
the positive,- by election day.
Amongst those speaking was Sullivan County's Sandra Oxford,
a former New Paltz resident taking on three-term incumbent state
Senator John Bonacic in the 42nd Senate District.
-I am an ex-urban person who intentionally lives in this
area,- said Oxford, who owns a private mediation and consulting
firm and had a very loyal contingent of supporters roting for
her Monday night.. -I'm not a sacrificial lamb in
this race. I've been described as a pit bull in a skirt.
I'm comfortable with that.-
Ulster County Republicans endorsed a slate of mostly incumbent
candidates for the state Assembly and Senate at their meeting
earlier in June, with no one set to chal;lenge either Cahill
or Hinchey. William Brenner, a Sullivan County attorney who
wants to run against Hinchey, addressed Ulster County Republicans
at their convention June 1 but did not immediately receive the
party's endorsement. Brenner has won the GOP endorsement
in Delaware, Orange and Sullivan counties.
Ulster County Public Defender Paul Gruner was nominated to run
for the Surrogate's Court against Ulster County Family
Court Judge Mary Work, a Democrat.
Why The Brown?
Have you wondered why the trees on the sides of the mountains
around Phoenicia are turning brown? According to State Department
of Environmental Conservation foresters in New Paltz,
it is caused not by gypsy moths or several species of tent caterpillars,
both of whom are active this year, but by canker worms which
are small inch worms. They defoliate leaves, but the trees will
survive. Recently, the DEC did an aerial survey of the extent
of the infestation, for later dissemination. The worms create
a brownout every 20 - 30 years and they will be gone in 2-3
Twenty-one economic development grants totaling $310,136 were
approved by the Catskill Watershed Corporation (CWC) Board of
Directors May 25. Most of the grants will help fund projects
planned by cultural and non-profit organizations.
Local grants include $12,183 to improve the façade of
the Lanesville General Store building, a project to be administered
by the Hunter Foundation, $17,550 to the Belleayre Conservatory
to purchase 300 chairs and to conduct a feasibility study on
establishing year-round programming, $10,000 to theCenter for
Creative Education/Stone Ridge Center for the Arts to purchase
and install sound and lighting equipment in the performance
center, which is being expanded and renovated, $4,888 to the
Village of Ellenville to conduct a 3-year strategic plan to
analyze programming needs, physical plant improvements, partnerships
and funding for the African American Men's Association,
which offers cultural, education and mentoring programs for
youth, $1,471 to the Town of Shandaken to purchase display cases
for the Town of Shandaken Museum in Pine Hill, $9,400 to the
Pine Hill Community Center to help establish and run a Farm
and Artisan's Market, $47,703 to purchase curtains, stage
equipment, an intercom system, stair carpeting and safety rails
at Shadowland Theatre in Ellenville, $21,250 to the Byrdcliffe
Theatre Company to help build a new stage for its outdoor Shakespeare
festival, and $22,000 to the Woodstock Arts Board to purchase
a dance floor and audio equipment for the Woodstock Playhouse
Following approval of the 2004 grants, the CWC Board of Directors
passed a resolution suspending the economic development grant
program for 2005. Low interest rates have reduced interest income
generated by the larger Catskill Fund for the Future, and such
income is utilized for the grant program. CWC Economic Development
and Finance Committees recommended that the 2005 grant program
be halted so as not to further reduce the grant fund, and to
allow time for previous grant projects to be completed and final
To learn more about the CWC and its economic development programs,
go to www.cwconline.org, or call toll-free, 1-877-WAT-SHED.
Go, Go, Daido!
Art in Nature: The Photographs of John Daido Loori, an
exhibition that explores the link between Buddhism and artistic
inspiration through more than 25 striking abstract photographs
taken by scientist, photographer, and Zen master John Daido
Loori, opens June 15, at the American Museum of Natural History
in New York City. On view through January 2005, the exhibition
features evocative, meditative photographs of Point Lobos State
Reserve, a rugged promontory on California's Monterey
Peninsula where state and federal authorities have set aside
some 1,280 acres as an ecological preserve. Loori says he entered
the spiritual life through the -back door of the arts.-
In 1980, Loori founded the Zen Mountain Monastery in Mt. Tremper,
considered one of the leading Zen training centers in the United
Art in Nature coincides with the publication of Loori's
two latest books, The Zen of Creativity: Cultivating Your
Artistic Life (Ballantine Books) and Hearing with the Eye:
Point Lobos Photographs (Dharma Communications Press).
Both books will be available this summer in the Museum Shop.
In addition, Loori's Zen Mountain Monastery will host
-The Many Faces of Zen Master Dogen- international
conference from July 8-11. The symposium will examine
the life of the renowned 13th century Zen Master Eihei Dogen
and explore how his teachings have influenced the evolution
of Zen Buddhism in the West.
The Catskill Business Roundtable will meet Thursday, June 24
at 10:30 a.m. at Catskill Watershed Corporation offices, 905
Main Street, Margaretville. The Roundtable consists of area
business people and economic development representatives who
have been working to improve the business climate in the five-county
Catskills region. Those interested in learning more about the
Roundtable's work, or in joining the effort to assist
area businesses, are most welcome to attend the June 24 meeting.
The agenda includes a report on web site development for the
First-Stop Shop, a referral service for businesses seeking help
with funding, marketing, planning and regulatory matters. The
Business Education Alliance committee will report on the business
and technology training courses offered this spring to more
than 400 people at SUNY Delhi and SUNY Cobleskill and coordinated
by the Roundtable and CWC. The Catalyst Catskills plan for regional
marketing will also be discussed.
Roundtable Chairman is Sam Kandel, a Certified Business Advisor
with the Small Business Development Center/Mid-Hudson Region
(SBDC). The SBDC maintains an office in Margaretville. To arrange
a free one-to-one counseling session, call 845-339-0025. To
learn more about the Roundtable, as well as the CWC and its
economic development programs, go to www.cwconline.org, or call
The Bush campaign is looking to gain the support of thousands
congregations around the country. The administration is urging
churches to distribute campaign information and register voters,
according to an e-mail sent out to clergy members in Pennsylvania.
Liberals criticize this effort, charging that it invites
violations of the separation of church and state, and could
endanger the tax-exempt status of churches that become involved.
Socially conservative church officials also warned that they
would advise against becoming involved in such a partisan project.
A Bush administration spokesman stated that -people of
faith have as much right to participate in the political process
as any other community.- This effort by the Bush
campaign is the latest sign that Bush plans to rely heavily
on churchgoers in his reelection bid. Washington lawyer
Trevor Potter, who was former chairman of the Federal Election
Commission, said that the campaign solicitations could be problematic
for churches if they distribute campaign material. -If
the church is doing it, it is a legal problem for the church,-
said Potter. -In the past, the I.R.S. has sought to
revoke and has succeeded in revoking tax-exempt status of churches
for political activity.-
No More Chimps
Chimpanzees may soon face extinction because of hunting, deforestation,
and disease, according to recent research. There are only 8,000
of the most
endangered chimpanzee subspecies, called Pan troglodytes vellerosus.
The study, coordinated by anthropologist Norm Rosen at the California
State University-Fullerton, found that this particular kind
of chimp could be extinct in two decades. The other three chimpanzee
subspecies groups face slightly better odds, but could still
be extinct in the next 41-53 years. A group called the Pan African
Sanctuaries Alliance has established sanctuaries throughout
Africa to protect chimps. The chimpanzee species is the closest
relative to the human species.
A new Harvard study finds that drinking more than one sugar-sweetened
soft drink a day significantly increase's a woman's
chances of developing diabetes. The results found that women
who drank at least one sugar-sweetened soft drink every day
were 85 percent more likely to get type 2 diabetes than
those who did not. The study conducted by the Harvard
School of Public Health was presented at the American Diabetes
Association's 64th scientific sessions. Aside from the
calories, their large amounts of rapidly absorbable sugars contribute
to both obesity and the heightened risk of diabetes. There were
18.2 million Americans with diabetes in 2002. This makes it
the nations fifth deadliest disease, afflicting 6.3
percent of the population. The study followed 91,000 women over
an eight year period.
German researchers have found a border collie named Rico who
is able to
understand more than 200 words and can learn new ones at a rate
comparable to a
human child. The researchers found that Rico knows the names
of dozens of toys and can find the one spoken by his owner.
His vocabulary is comparable to those of apes, dolphins
and parrots. The researchers say the dog can even figure out
new words mean. The researchers put several toys Rico
was familiar with in a room with a new toy. They then spoke
a new word. The dog was able to pick out the new toy,
seemingly picking the toy by process of elimination. The scientists
compared Rico's rate of learning to that of a three year
old human. Other scientists caution against such comparisons,
because the dog's comprehension is based solely on fetching
A new study finds that obese children are more likely than previously
believed to develop several health conditions which lead
to heightened risk of diabetes
and cardiovascular disease. The researchers report that
overweight children are more likely to develop what is called
metabolic syndrome. Metabolic syndrome is the name for
a group of symptoms including abdominal obesity, high levels
of blood fats, low levels of -good cholesterol-
or HDL, and high blood sugar and blood pressure. These problems
lead to diabetes and cardiovascular disease. The study looked
at 439 obese children and teens, 20 of their non-obese siblings,
and 31 of their obese siblings. The researchers say that the
key to preventing metabolic syndrome lies in first preventing
Researchers claim they have found a -genetic signature-
related to the
aging of the human brain. These changes in important genes
could be linked to failing mental function related to
increasing age. The findings suggest that some genes start to
become less active soon after the age of 40. The results from
the study do not prove that the changing genes cause mental
decline, but scientists believe they give important insight
into changes the brain undergoes with age. The study was
conducted by researchers from The Children's Hospital
and Harvard Medical School. In the study, researchers
examined and analyzed brain tissue from 30 deceased subjects
ranging in age from 26 to 106, and looked at approximately 11,000
genes. Above age 40, around 400 genes showed significant differences
in how hard they worked to instruct protein production
while the person was living. However, under half of the
genes were working at a lower level. These genes were mainly
related to learning and memory. The remainder of the genes
actually had increased productivity. These genes, related
to DNA repair, antioxidant defense and inflammatory response,
were found to actually be working harder. The scientists
suggested that this is perhaps in compensation for the decline
of the first set of genes. No Retirement
Army officials have announced that thousands of soldiers expecting
retire or leave the military will need to stay if their
units are deployed to Iraq or
Afghanistan. The decision is part of a program called
-stop-loss-, and impacts units that are 90 days
or less from deploying. Soldiers affected by the decision
will not be able to depart the service until they return
to their home bases. The army is having trouble finding fresh
units to maintain the occupation of Iraq. Nearly every combat
unit has faced or will face duty in either Iraq or Afghanistan.
Matters have been made more difficult following the additional
deployment of 20,000 troops to Iraq in response to escalating
violence. Critics have called the policy contrary to the idea
of America's military as an
An art professor has been subpoenaed to appear before a federal
grand jury because of laboratory equipment at his home. Agents
from the Joint Terrorism Task Force searched the
home and questioned the University of Buffalo art teacher.
The subpoena naming him says the FBI is seeking charges under
section 175 of the US Biological Weapons Anti-Terrorism
Act of 1989, which was expanded by the Patriot Act.