At its September 12 meeting, the town board fielded complaints
about alleged illegal activity taking place at the old bat
factory off Fox Hollow Road in Shandaken.
The allegations were harsh: Possible chemical storage in
a flood plain, unpermitted new construction in same floodplain,
sawdust from wood processing flying through the air into
neighbors’ yards and windows, and the possibility
of a leukemia epidemic. There were even allegations that
town code enforcement officer Glenn Miller threatened a
neighbor with some violations if that neighbor didn’t
watch his step and stop complaining.
Lisa Valentini-Dutcher begged the town board to intervene,
saying that Miller has ignored her complaints and refused
to investigate whatever it is that’s happening at
the factory. She added that it looks like workers are actually
sleeping in the factory, since she has seen them dragging
The recent activity at the old bat factory in Shandaken,
which allegedly occurs both day and night, had Valentini-Dutcher
and others complaining that the town should exercise some
control over what goes on at the location not just for their
protection but for the town... including town hall, which
sits just downstream.
“That whole area was underwater in the last flood,”
she said. “That concrete is gonna get washed away
next time and take out town hall.”
Supervisor Robert Cross Jr. promised to inspect the site
with Miller the following day. After the inspection, Miller
said the operation “was wonderful” and that
he, Cross, and “neighborhood representative”
Rick Rebock were all very happy with what they saw.
Miller maintains that no town permits are needed. He did
say he suggested that the operator voluntarily come before
the town planning board for a site plan review, but that
it was not required. Regardless, Miller doesn’t expect
they will do anything until a sticky right of way problem
gets ironed out.
Valentini-Dutcher owns the property the operators must cross
to get to the factory property.
There is also some disagreement about another right of way.
The County of Ulster apparently has some rights, as old
railroad tracks run along the property.
As for threatening anyone, Miller implied that he did, but
only in a “people that live in glass houses shouldn’t
throw stones” type of way. He said he told Valentini-Dutcher’s
husband that he could issue them a violation for using the
county’s right of way if they continued to cause trouble.
Miller added that the right of way issue is being reviewed
The primary for Independence Party candidates on a county
and local level Tuesday night, September 13, yielded a tight
local race between Democrats and Republicans seeking endorsements
in Shandaken, and a much wider spread in favor of the Democratic
candidate for Family Judge on a county level, albeit with
a small turnout.
In the Shandaken race for Independence Party nod for supervisor,
incumbent Republican Bob Cross, Jr. bested former supervisor
Pete DiModica, a Democrat, by 16 votes to 14. For council
seats, the two winners were Republican Rob Stanley, with
16 votes, and Democrat Peter DiSclafani, with 11 votes.
Doris Bartlett, a Democrat, had 11 votes and Joanne Kalb,
who had tried unsuccessfully for the Republican nod for
a council seat this summer, had 4 votes.
On a county level, Democrat Tony McGinty won the Independence
nod for Family Judge over Steve Nussbaum, a Republican with
171 votes to 96.
The Town Board plowed ahead with plans to sign a lease giving
Masterpage Communications permission to build a cell tower
on town land. On Monday they passed a resolution authorizing
the Supervisor to execute said lease, but noted that such
an agreement is subject to the right for a permissive referendum
as provided by the Laws of the State of New York.
Masterpage wishes to lease a portion of the town gravel
bank from Shandaken for the purposes of constructing a telecommunications
Supervisor Robert Cross Jr., who personally negotiated the
lease with Masterpage, said the proposed tower will help
to provide needed emergency communications for police, fire
and ambulance services and for the public.
The lease’s passage was expected, but many in the
audience had questions about the details of the agreement
and complained that no copies of the lease were available
for public review before the vote. In one embarrassing moment
for the Supervisor, his own running mate in this year’s
election, Robert Stanley, asked for an explanation as to
why no information was provided.
Looking at the table in front of him and then at Town Clerk
Laurilyn Frasier, Cross said he thought there was such info
availanle. But failing to find an excuse for why none was
seen by anyone, he nervously held up his own copy and offered
it to the large crowd to pass around.
Councilman Paul VanBlarcum said that although Cross claimed
that many concerns about a previous draft had been rectified,
the final draft still included at least six points of contention.
Cross clarified that they were not changed because he managed
to convince town attorney Paul Kellar, who had called for
the changes, that they were really okay.
Chuck Perez, a member of the committee that drafted the
town’s cell tower ordinance, said that he felt uncomfortable
with just Cross handling the negotiations. Cross answered
that councilwoman Edna Hoyt went to a meeting with him once,
so he had help.
Pine Hill resident Mary Herrmann faulted the Board for dealing
exclusively with Masterpage. When she asked repeatedly if
Masterpage was the only company to have a chance to make
a presentation to the town board for the opportunity to
build the tower, Cross evaded, saying that three other companies
were talked to.
“Just answer the question,” she said.
As it turns out, Masterpage was the only one.
Details of the lease remain unclear. Phoenicia Times will
try to obtain a copy for a report at a later date.
An 18-year-old former Onteora student, Ashley M. Fauci,
was killed late Sunday night, September 4 when the car she
was driving struck a tree off state Route 375 in West Hurley.
Fauci was an honor student, accomplished viola player and
halfback for the Onteora High School field hockey team.
The oldest of four children, she planned to complete her
high school diploma and move in with family on Staten Island
to attend college in New York City. Fauci is survived by
her father, Vincent, mother, Virginia Miller of Shandaken;
and three brothers, Joseph, 15, Victor, 9, and Michael 8.
Onteora Superintendent of Schools Justine Winters said a
note was sent to faculty about Fauci’s death and crisis
counselors were available for students and teachers on the
first day of the new school year September 6.
“It’s a very sad way to launch the school year,”
said the superintendent.
Ulster County has learned that it will be getting a one-time
cash infusion of $11.5 million to $15 million through its
long-promised tobacco settlement funds’ final distribution,
allowed by a recent change in law that makes it possible
for the county to tap the remainder of the payments still
due in one lump. That, the county’s bond counsel said
last week, is largely due to the market having become more
comfortable with purchasing tobacco bonds, based on their
record of earnings in recent years.
The County is currently reviewing two bond proposals to
access the revenue source: one from the New York State Association
of Counties, the other from Merrill Lynch. Once a comparison
is complete, a recommendation will be made to the county
legislature as to which is a better deal.
Because the funds will be secured through bonds, there are
strict limits in how the county will be able to use the
money. Only capital projects and debt service - payments
for past capital projects - can be paid with the funds.
The revenue cannot be tapped to help close the county’s
massive budget gap. In May, lawmakers were told that the
county is looking at a cash shortfall of as much as $1.5
million by the end of 2005, and $23.5 million through the
end of 2006.
The Supervisor and Town Clerk of the town of Shandaken have
refused to honor federal Freedom of Information Law (FOIL)
requests from a local citizens group, claiming that the
documents asked for are not subject to state “Sunshine
Daniel H. Schneider, a Woodstock based attorney and the
president of a non-profit organization called Citizens For
a Responsible Cell Tower Ordinance, says that on August
18th he attempted to obtain a draft contract between Masterpage
Communications Inc. and the town.
“I would like to report that the Town of Shandaken
has denied me access to a copy of the proposed Masterpage
Lease….” he said in a prepared statement. ”It
is only fair that (the public) have some input into siting
decisions, and that the contracts for the construction of
towers be openly bid, to prevent local cronyism and abuse
In July, Supervisor Robert Cross Jr. was criticized for
not waiting two weeks to hear from another telecommunications
firm that wanted to discuss locating towers in Shandaken.
Instead, the town board chose to pass a resolution allowing
Cross to negotiate exclusively with Masterpage, whose owner
assisted in the development of the town’s telecommunications
law. The board the passed a resolution authorizing the preparation
of a lease that would give Masterpage the right to build
a 140 foot tall tower on town-owned land.
Cross,who regularly surrenders town documents requested
by citizens, said that he respects the Freedom of Information
Law but does not believe it pertains to documents “in
“When the lease is finalized and signed then people
can see it,” he said.
If the public gets too involved in the process of preparing
crucial documents, like the lease, then the process would
go on forever and make it impossible for his town to get
anything done, he added.
Schneider says the town’s goal should be getting things
“The criteria which cell service providers and tower
construction companies use in determining siting is not
‘the best interests of the locality,’ it is
the best interests of those private companies (eg. completing
their networks and making profits for their shareholders),”
Schnieder wrote in a September 7tth letter.
Complicating the matter was input from town clerk Laurilyn
Frasier. On August 31 Frasier issued a response to Schneider
denying his request.
“These documents are still in negotiations and handing
them out to anyone could damage or impair our ability to
negotiate. This quote is from Robert Freeman from the Committee
on Open Government, “ Frasier wrote.
But last week Freeman said that although negotiations would
be impaired if the document was something that the town
developed and had not revealed to Masterpage, since Masterpage
had already seen it, and even helped prepare it, there was
no confidentiality issue involved. The lease, he said, is
therefore a public document.
A number of the region’s school superintendents and
hiring specialists have started noticing growing shortages
of teachers with special education credentials, according
to recent reports, although the problem hasn’t been
acute at Onteora yet. According to New York State United
Teachers, a federation representing more than 900 local
unions, the supply of specialty teachers is growing statewide,
though less so in rural and inner-city areas.
NYSUT has said the best way to attract teachers is to make
salaries more competitive with those offered in other fields.
They further noted that new accountability standards, such
as those in the federal No Child Left Behind Act, coupled
with the usual demands of being the head of an entire school,
may scare off applicants.
Compounding the problem, education experts agree, is the
coming shift in employment when baby boomer teachers begin
to retire in the coming years.
Disease Control and Prevention say there probably will be
at least enough vaccine to cover those most at risk, especially
with the recent approval of a new flu shot. But a year removed
from an unexpected shortage that forced rationing of doses,
local health officials are being cautious, with some delaying
the announcement of local flu clinic schedules until they
can be certain of their supply.
Officials in Ulster and Greene counties said they will release
clinic information this month.
Last year’s shortage was created by a British government
shutdown of Chiron Corp.’s manufacturing facility
in the United Kingdom. The California-based company was
to supply half of the United States’ influenza vaccine.
Production from three companies this year, Sanofi Pasteur
of France, Medlmmune of Maryland, and GlaxoSmithKline PLC
of Britain, is expected to reach 69 million doses of flu
vaccine, enough to meet the historical demand among high-risk
groups and healthcare workers, according to the Centers
for Disease Control.
The CDC predicts companies could produce up to 100 million
doses for the United States this year, compared to 61 million
Persons age 65 or older, with chronic hearth or lung conditions,
diabetes or a weakened immune systems, are urged to get
a flu shot because it is generally more difficult for their
bodies to fight off the flu and because the virus may complicate
their existing conditions.
For younger and healthier persons, 3 million doses of a
nasal-spray vaccine will be available nationwide, the CDC
said. The spray, which health officials say is just as effective
as a shot, is intended for healthy persons ages 5-49 who
are not pregnant.
The flu season can run as late as May, but flu activity
in the United States generally peaks between late December
and early March, according to the CDC. The best time to
get vaccinated is from October through November.
Onteora school officials are in the process of scheduling
a meeting to determine education provisions of cable franchise
agreements being negotiated in Woodstock and Shandaken,
who are hammering out final contracts with Time Warner cable
contracts, and start talking about setting up a new public
access channel for sole broadcasting of Onteora business,
including sports, plays and concerts, and board meetings
over the coming years. Olive and Hurley already have contracts
in place that preclude inclusion.
Among expected advantages from such a channel would be an
additional source for notification when schools are closed
due to weather.
The main purpose of the meeting is to discuss policy matters
for such a channel.
A newly formed coalition of supervisors and mayors in Ulster,
Dutchess and Orange counties is hoping to draw on their
broad base of knowledge and experience to solve problems,
tackle long-range planning, and better govern their constituencies.
Called the Hudson Valley Alliance of Supervisors and Mayors,
the group was formed through a collaboration with Mid-Hudson
Pattern for Progress, a Newburgh-based planning and research
organization and grew out of meetings and conversations
with supervisors associations in the three counties over
the past few months.
The Alliance’s first collaboration, in conjunction
with Pattern for Progress and the state Comptroller’s
Office, is hosting a program on multiyear financial planning
for municipalities on Sept. 23. The program will include
a presentation by state Comptroller Alan Hevesi. For more
information, call Pattern for Progress at (845) 565-4900.
When a few people admired the sewing that library director
Regina Johnson had done on a project, she decided to offer
beginning sewing classes at the library, for anyone ages
11 and up. Participants will be able to make a pillow in
the classes, which will occur on Saturday, September 17th
and 24th, at 3 pm right after normal library hours. Space
is limited, so please sign up at the library beforehand.
Sewing machines will be provided, along with fabric, stuffing
The Library will present "Wordz, Poetry in the Mountains",
on September 29 and October 27, from 7 to 8:30. The events
will be hosted by Melissa Thongs and will feature known
poets and an open mic for community members, in a coffee-house
atmosphere. A $5.00 admission includes refreshments.
Now that summer is over, the regular times for story hour
resume, every Tuesday and Saturday at 11 a.m. Bring your
pre-schooler in to enjoy some good stories, and then pick
out some books to read to your child at home. Studies have
shown that children who are read to are more likely to become
good readers themselves.
Patients suffering from bipolar disorder who underwent therapy
to help them maintain a regular daily routine and cope with
stress were able to avoid relapses over a two-year period,
a study has found. Using what researchers dubbed interpersonal
and social rhythm therapy, patients were taught how to keep
to normal sleeping, eating and other daily routines. They
also were shown how to anticipate and cope with stress just
as a diabetic who would be taught, for example, how to cook
and eat differently.
“This is really a disorder characterized by massive
disturbances in the body’s clock and in all the things
the body’s clock controls,” said Dr. Ellen Frank,
lead author of the study. “Their clocks need to be
very carefully protected and we need to do everything we
can to shore up and protect that fragile clock.”
Bipolar disorder, also commonly referred to as manic depression,
is a brain disorder in which sufferers experience cycles
of mania, depression or mixed states. Treatment for the
disorder varies by patient, but often involves some type
of medication combined with therapy.
Dr. Gail Edelsohn, an associate professor of psychiatry
at Thomas Jefferson University Hospital in Philadelphia,
said sleep, especially, has a huge effect on those with
Dr. Suzanne Vogel-Scibilia, president of the National Alliance
on Mental Illness, said it’s most important that bipolar
sufferers have access to care, something that doesn’t
always happen because of the high costs of health care.
As Americans face growing health care expenses, Congress
and state lawmakers say they’re working to close the
gap between prices and pocketbooks. Despite the activity,
skeptics say government’s impact will be limited.
Unlike the efforts of the 1970s and 1990s that included
broad government mandates, most of today’s prescriptions
are intended to influence the private health marketplace
by encouraging quality and giving consumers more choices.
“The health system in the country is fundamentally
broken,” says former U.S. senator John Breaux, a moderate
Democrat who has organized “Ceasefire on Health Care”
forums that bring Republicans and Democrats together to
work on solutions. For now, he says, only incremental steps
are possible: “I don’t think the Congress or
the country is ready for wholesale change.”
Recent polling shows that 28% of Americans had trouble paying
a medical bill in the past year. Of those, 62% had insurance.
More than one in three of those polled said the top reason
for rising health care costs is the profits of insurers
and drug companies. Nearly one in five cited medical malpractice
awards, and 15% blamed greed and waste in the health care
The Bush administration favors a series of incremental changes
that include tax credits as well as “pay-for- performance”
and disease-management incentives.
Historically, lawmakers have been reluctant to embrace large-scale
changes. Presidents from Nixon to Clinton have tried to
create some kind of national health care program, but all
efforts have fallen victim to lobbying by labor groups,
doctors or insurers.
“National health insurance is no longer the best solution,
it’s the only solution: All other alternatives have
been proven disastrous failures,” says Quentin Young,
national coordinator at Physicians for a National Health
Program, a Chicago-based non-profit.
Health insurers answer that educating Americans to be better
consumers of health care will help control costs. Such efforts
focus largely on allowing tax-free health savings accounts
to be coupled with high-deductible policies. By paying more,
the theory goes, workers will use health care more judiciously.
Such plans come with at least a $1,000 annual deductible
for individuals and $2,000 for families, meaning patients
must themselves pay for care until reaching those limits.
Preschoolers pretending to shop for a Barbie doll’s
social evening were more likely to choose cigarettes if
their parents smoked, and wine or beer if their parents
drank, a study found. Researchers observing the children’s
play found that the ones who watched PG-13 or R-rated movies
also were more likely to choose alcohol for Barbie.
The study suggests that prevention efforts should target
younger children, and found that the children whose parents
smoked were almost four times more likely to buy cigarettes
for their dolls while the children whose parents drank at
least monthly were three times more likely to buy alcohol.
Also, children who watched adult-content movies were five
times more likely to buy alcohol, but the researchers did
not find a statistically significant link between movie-watching
and choosing cigarettes.
The study suggests that parents should be careful about
the movies their children watch, said Craig Anderson, who
studies media violence at Iowa State University. “Kids
are basically little learning machines. Whatever the content
is in front of them, they’re going to pick it up,”
At a meeting in Chicago late in August, representatives
from 900 unions worldwide coalesced around a common idea:
Turn up the pressure on Wal-Mart globally to boost pay and
benefits. The move, by the federation known as Union Network
International, encapsulates an anxiety shared by millions
of workers, especially in advanced and middle-income nations.
As corporations mine an expanding global labor market for
the maximum efficiencies, will many workers be left behind?
Questions were raised about a growing inequality between
the nation’s developed and undeveloped nations, exacerbated
by growing globalization.
“Unquestionably the average Chinese is incomparably
better off,” says economist James Galbraith at the
University of Texas. “India is also vastly different.
But in other major parts of the world, particularly Africa,
the situation is extremely bleak and has been getting worse.”
A recent UN study finds much of the world trapped in deepening
inequality and will convene next week to focus on ways to
radically reduce poverty. Also in September, in its world
development report for 2006, the World Bank will focus on
“equity and development.”
On average, per capita incomes have been rising globally
over the past couple of decades, according to UN statistics.
Yet about half the world’s population is still living
on less than $2 a day, defined by many as a key poverty
line, according to the Population Reference Bureau.
Making the situation worse is that new markets tend to increase
the gaps between per capita incomes of rich and poor nations,
which are today on the order of 15 or 20 to 1.
Among recommendations, for rich nations and poor alike,
is a sharp focus on training and education, which would
allow people to climb the skill ladder and avoid the race
to the bottom.
Just under 8 percent of U.S. children aged 4 to 17 had ever
been diagnosed with attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder
in 2003, and more than half of them are being treated with
drugs, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
Boys are more than twice as likely to be diagnosed with
ADHD than girls, especially boys from poorer families, the
In 2003, approximately 7.8 percent (4.4 million) of U.S.
children aged 4 to 17 years had ADHD diagnosed. Estimates
had ranged from anywhere between 2 percent and 18 percent.
ADHD diagnosis was reported approximately 2.5 times more
frequently among males than females. Prevalence of reported
ADHD increased with age and was significantly lower among
children aged 4 to 8 years compared with children aged more
than 9 years.
The highest rates of medication treatment for ADHD by sex
and age were reported among males aged 12 years (9.3 percent)
and among females aged 11 years (3.7 percent).
To be diagnosed with ADHD a child must have six or more
symptoms for six months including frequent failure to pay
attention in schoolwork or play, frequent mistakes due to
inattention to schoolwork, frequent failure to listen when
spoken to directly, failure to follow up on chores and forgetfulness.
Tri County Trade
E-Marketing, networking, financing and grant writing will
be just some of the topics covered in workshops offered
free to all attendees at the Tri-County Trade show when
it gets underway on Friday, September 23 at Belleayre Mt.
Ski Center. Hosted by the M-ARK Project as a new economic
development initiative in the area, the trade show will
feature 40 vendors and 6 workshop sessions between 11 am
and 6 pm.
“Taking Catskill Business To New Peaks” is the
theme of the trade show, which is expected to attract exhibitors
and attendees from Ulster, Greene and Delaware counties.
More than 40 exhibitors are expected to participate in the
event, which will also feature door prizes for both exhibitors
and attendees. A 24-page trade show journal listing all
exhibitors and sponsors and filled with ads from local businesses
will be available at the show and
8,000 copies will also be distributed prior to the event.
The show has been designed to enable business people who
aren’t on a Main Street, or aren’t even in town
at all, to meet other business owners and managers from
the tri-county area.
Detailed information on all aspects of the Tri-County Trade
Show is available with a call to the M-ARK Project office
at 845-586-3500 or email email@example.com.
Kids & Guns…
About 1.7 million U.S. children live in homes with loaded,
unlocked firearms, according to the largest survey ever
done on home weapons storage. One-third of adults have handguns,
rifles or shotguns at home, says the CDC report. But states
vary greatly in the percentage of adults who keep weapons,
and in how many with children at home store their guns loaded
and unlocked. The states with the highest percentage of
adults who have children at home and leave guns unlocked
and loaded are Alabama, Alaska, Arkansas, Idaho, Montana
and Wyoming. Eighteen states have laws dealing with proper
storage of guns to limit access by children, but the laws
vary in strictness - 7 states make it a felony under some
circumstances to give minors access to weapons - and they
vary in the ages of kids covered. Two studies show accidental
gun deaths and teen suicides decline in states with these
The report says that of 1,400 children and teens shot to
death in 2002, about 90% were home when it happened.
The gun storage survey may underestimate kids with access
to firearms, says the CDC, because women tend to underreport
the presence of weapons at home, past studies show. About
60% of survey participants were women.
Andrew Arulanandam, spokesman for the National Rifle Association
of America, declined to comment on specific laws but says,
“The sad reality is, you cannot legislate responsibility.”
The rate of ice melting in the Arctic is increasing and
a panel of researchers says it sees no natural process that
is likely to change that trend. Within a century the melting
could lead to summertime ice-free ocean conditions not seen
in the area in a million years, the group said recently.
Melting of land-based glaciers could take much longer but
could raise the sea levels, potentially affecting coastal
regions worldwide. And changes to the permafrost could undermine
buildings, drain water into bogs and release additional
carbon into the atmosphere.
The report comes just days after environmental ministers
and officials from 23 countries met in Greenland to call
on governments to stop arguing over global warming and start
acting. That session was held in the town of Ilulissat,
near the edge of the Sermeq Kujalleq glacier that has retreated
nearly seven miles since 1960 and has become a symbol of
fears that the planet is approaching a dangerous warming.
After studying how various parts of the climate system interact,
the researchers said there are two major feedback systems
influencing the region - ocean circulation in the North
Atlantic and the amount of precipitation and evaporation
that takes place. Feedback can accelerate changes in the
system, they said. For example, the white sea ice reflects
solar radiation back into space, but as the ice melts the
dark water will absorb some of the light, warming and melting
Anyone doubting the effects of human activity on global
climate change should talk to the people it affects in Alaska
and the Yukon, U.S. Sen. John McCain said the week after
the report was released, fresh from a trip to Barrow, America’s
“We are convinced that the overwhelming scientific
evidence indicated that climate change is taking place and
human activities play a very large role,” McCain said.
McCain, accompanied by Sens. Hillary Rodham Clinton, D-N.Y.,
Susan Collins, R-Maine, and Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., spoke
to villagers in Canada whose spruce trees are being attacked
by the northward spread of spruce beetles. On Alaska’s
northern coast, they met Native Alaskans dealing with melting
permafrost and coastal erosion.
Opponents who ignore evidence of humans contributing to
climate change, Clinton said, are participating in a trend
of turning Washington, D.C. into what she calls an “evidence-free
“You just keep saying something no matter how untrue
and unfactual it might be, over and over and over again,
and try to drive the politics to meet your ideological or
commercial agenda,” she said. “That is a grave
disservice to our country.”
The United States will come under pressure to use energy
more efficiently at international financial meetings in
Washington this month, what with Luxembourg Prime Minister
Jean-Claude Juncker having told reporters at a meeting of
finance ministers i that the United States had to improve
its energy efficiency.
Asked whether European ministers had agreed on a document
on oil efficiency for the G7 meetings in Washington, he
said: “We will use our G7 meetings in Washington in
two weeks to have a frank word with our American colleagues
on the issue.”
Juncker had chaired a meeting of eurozone finance ministers
which had focused on the impact of high oil prices on the
global economy. A broader meeting of all 25 European Union
finance ministers is expected to issue a paper on oil, which
will include a call on the U.S. reduce oil consumption.
Finance ministers from the Group of Seven, the U.S., Japan,
Germany, France, Italy, Britain and Canada, meet in Washington
in late September.
Suing The Feds
California, New Mexico and Oregon sued the Bush administration
recently over the government’s decision to allow road
building, logging and other commercial ventures on more
than 90,000 square miles of untouched forests. In the lawsuit,
attorneys general for the three states challenged the U.S.
Forest Service’s repeal of the Clinton administration’s
“roadless rule” that banned development on 58.5
million acres of national forest, mostly in western states.
The administration’s move puts at risk “some
of the last, most pristine portions of America’s national
forests,” California Attorney General Bill Lockyer
said. “Road building simply paves the way for logging,
mining and other kinds of resource extraction.”
The lawsuit, filed in federal court in San Francisco, alleges
that the Bush administration’s repeal of the roadless
rule violated federal law because the government did not
conduct a complete analysis of the new regulation’s
Mark Rey, the Agriculture Department’s undersecretary
for natural resources and environment, called the lawsuit
“unfortunate and unnecessary.”
Manhattan has the highest percentage of single-person households
of any county in the nation, according to the U.S. Census
Bureau. Solos accounted for 48 percent of all households
on the island, putting Manhattan ahead of other singles
magnets like Washington D.C., St. Louis, Denver and San
Francisco. Overall, the report said, the number of Americans
living alone has exceeded the number of households comprised
of the classic nuclear family: a married couple and their
By the Numbers, 9.3 percent of U.S. households consisted
of one person in 1950 versus 26 percent in 2000, for a total
of 27.2 million people. 22 percent U.S. households made
up of married couples and natural children in 2000. About
21 percent were married couples living alone. Eight percent
were single parents living with at least one child. Other
combinations - including multigenerational households, unmarried
partners, people living with their extended families, grandparents
raising grandchildren, and 24,722 other recorded types of
arrangement - were less common
The analysis found that the number of single-person households
in the U.S. grew 21 percent in the 1990s, eclipsing the
growth rates for all other types of living arrangement.
Ford Motor Co. recently recalled 3.8 million pickup trucks
and sport utility vehicles for a cruise control switch suspected
of causing engine fires, saying the recall of 1994-2002
model-year vehicles includes the company’s hot-selling
F-150 pickup truck, Ford Expedition, Lincoln Navigator and
Ford Bronco. The company said it would start sending out
recall notices to vehicle owners immediately. Toyota Motor
Co., meanwhile, recalled 978,000 sport utility vehicles
and pickup trucks amid concerns over the power steering
system. The affected vehicles include the 1990-1995 4Runner
SUV, 1989-1995 truck 4WD and 1993-1998 T-100 pickup. The
company said a rod linking the steering wheel and the wheels
may fracture under conditions where the steering wheel is
turned while the vehicle is stopped. Owners will be notified
beginning in mid-September, the company said.
FBI agents nationwide have been ordered to conduct “threat
assessments” of inmates who may have become radicalized
in prison and could commit extremist violence upon their
release. The agency has been concerned since the Sept. 11,
2001, terrorist attacks that groups with extremist ideologies
may be targeting felons as prime candidates for conversion
during their time in prison. The agency has worked with
prison officials to identify potentially disruptive groups
for “some time,” according to a recent letter
outlining the new program. Spokeswomen for the FBI’s
Los Angeles office and for the FBI in Washington, D.C.,
declined to comment.
“The FBI will be going into each institution and assessing
each population,” said Todd Slosek, spokesman for
the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation.
He expects the FBI to examine the department’s information
on all “disruptive groups,” including prison
gangs and Islamic organizations.
Salam Al-Marayati, executive director of the Muslim Public
Affairs Council in Los Angeles, said he worries that some
inmates are forming radical groups and “putting a
veneer on it and calling it Islam.”
A review of medical evidence has found that fetuses likely
don’t feel pain until the final months of pregnancy,
a powerful challenge to abortion opponents who hope that
discussions about fetal pain will make women think twice
about ending pregnancies.
Critics angrily disputed the findings and claimed the report
The review by researchers at the University of California,
San Francisco comes as advocates are pushing for fetal pain
laws aimed at curtailing abortion. Proposed federal legislation
would require doctors to provide fetal pain information
to women seeking abortions when fetuses are at least 20
weeks old, and to offer women fetal anesthesia at that stage
of the pregnancy. A handful of states have enacted similar
But the report, appearing in last month’s Journal
of the American Medical Association, says that offering
fetal pain relief during abortions in the fifth or sixth
months of pregnancy is misguided and might result in unacceptable
health risks to women. The researchers reviewed dozens of
studies and medical reports and said the data indicate that
fetuses likely are incapable of feeling pain until around
the seventh month of pregnancy, when they are about 28 weeks
While brain structures involved in feeling pain begin forming
much earlier, research indicates they likely do not function
until the pregnancy’s final stages, said the report’s
senior author, UCSF obstetric anesthesiologist Dr. Mark
Persons with celiac disease - an incur able affliction that
makes the body unable to take anything containing gluten,
a protein found in wheat, barley and rye – are being
reached out to by a growing number of major U.S. restaurant
chains in what many are saying is the first sign of a growing
epidemic awareness. Outback Steakhouse, P.F. Chang’s
and other restaurant companies offer menus of gluten-free
dishes, and more are joining them.
Until recently, celiac disease was mistakenly thought to
be a rare affliction and had been severely underdiagnosed.
Symptoms, including gastric pain and diarrhea, are similar
to other ailments including irritable bowel syndrome and
Crohn’s disease. But awareness of the disease has
been growing rapidly in recent years. In 2003, a major study
found that one in 133 people in the United States may have
the disease, far more than had been previously believed.
For people with the disease, dining out can become a source
of anxiety because of the risk of unintentionally eating
something that contains gluten.
Many consult pocket-sized Clan Thompson food guides published
by a Maine family which has six members living with the
The catastrophe inflicted by hurricane Katrina unfortunately
obscured some bombshell news about Iraq last week. The US
Air Force’s senior officer, Gen. John Jumper, stated
US warplanes would remain in Iraq to fight resistance forces
and protect the
American-installed regime “more or less indefinitely.”
Mobile US ground intervention forces will remain at the
four major ‘Ft. Apache’ bases guarding Iraq’s
major oil fields. These bases will be ‘ceded’
to the US by a compliant Iraqi regime.