2017 January 28

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Albany County
Alfred E. Smith Building
Bethlehem, New York
Jakes Rocks
John Boyd Thacher State Park
New York State
Northern Catskills
Second Amendment

January 2017
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Questions? Need an updated map? Email me andy@andyarthur.org.

Map: Albany County 2015 Population Cartogram

Map: Albany County 2015 Population Cartogram

Albany County (/ˈɔːlbəniː/ awl-bə-nee) is a county located in the U.S. state of New York, and is part of the Albany-Schenectady-Troy Metropolitan Statistical Area. The name is from the title of the Duke of York and Albany, who became James II of England (James VII of Scotland). As of the 2010 census, the population was 304,204.[1] As originally established, Albany County had an indefinite amount of land, but has only 530 square miles (1,400 km2) as of March 3, 1888. The county seat is Albany, the state capital.


Map: NYS Metropolitian Region

Map: NYS Metropolitian Region

Somebody was asking about a map of the Quarter Pounders, along with Long Island, Westchester, and New York City -- versus Upstate map. This map shows this regions, along with the respective population in each region. The Quarter Pounders -- Dutchess, Orange, Putnam and Rockland Counties have this name, as they each have a quarter weighted vote on the MTA Board.

Good afternoon! Mostly cloudy and 39 degrees in Delmar. There is a west breeze at 10 mph. The skies will clear around 6 pm. It’s been a pretty gray, but I spent sometime playing with some code for the blog, got a haircut and some time cleaning and painting. Made some new maps and content for the blog, and finished fixing some minor bugs I discovered with the roll out of the ChartJS plugin I wrote for the blog. I would go out hiking, but it’s kind of cool and gray, and with the crusty nasty snow, it’s not good for hiking or even skiing. Tomorrow, I do plan get out hiking somewhere tough. Been saving a lot of miles on my truck, not going that much this winter.

The sun will set at 5:04 pm with dusk around 5:34 pm, which is 1 minutes and 18 seconds later than yesterday. Days are getting longer for sure, especially in the evening — although some sun would be nice for sunset. At sunset, look for mostly cloudy conditions and 36 degrees. There will be a west-southwest breeze at 7 mph.

Tonight will be mostly cloudy, with a low of 26 degrees at 6am. 10 degrees above normal. South wind 6 to 8 mph. In 2016, it got down to 25 degrees with periods of snow. The record low of -10 occurred back in 1925.

Waxing Crescent Moon tonight with 9% illuminated. The moon will set around 8:01 pm. The First Quarter Moon is next Saturday with partly cloudy skies expected. The Full “Snow” Moon is in 2 weeks. The sun will rise at 7:11 am with the first light at 6:41 am, which is 57 seconds earlier then yesterday. Tonight will have 14 hours and 6 minutes of darkness, a decrease of 2 minutes and 17 seconds over last night.

Tomorrow will have a slight chance of snow showers between 11am and 4pm. Partly sunny, with a high of 37 degrees at 2pm. Six degrees above normal. South wind 7 to 9 mph becoming west in the afternoon. Chance of precipitation is 20%. A year ago, we had snow and a high of 38 degrees. The record high of 54 was set in 2002. 8.3 inches of snow fell back in 1990.

Finally decided to take action on the rust on my refrigerator in my apartment. I bought some primer and paint, and it seems like it is going to match close enough that my landlord will never know the refrigerator was painted. It’s coming out well and I only gotten primer on, it’s already looking very nice, almost restored to original conditions. Trying to do a very professional job, so even if it’s not perfect, it looks good without further inspection. The paint does stink though. The mildew problem I used to have in the kitchen — which is mostly gone after much concentrated bleach and lots of scrubbing — kind of did some damage to the finish. Figure it’s better painted then rusted.

Been working hard lately — a half hour a few times a week — to clean my apartment. I think I’m going to stay there for a few more years, and it’s better not to have it look so dirty and run down. The new vacuum cleaner and with some help from brush-in carpet cleaner, really is getting the stains out of the carpets and just reducing the dust load a lot. Little things, like dusting shelves make sure a big difference. No more cob webs either.. I occasionally have company over and it’s nice to have things looking nice.

Been wanting to move the USB port that powers my dash board camera and cellphone to a different place in my truck, hooked up to the same switch as the CB radio, but that has yet to happen. I did find the wire endings the other day, so I know where to splice in. I want to make sure I have better power source for the dash board camera, as sometimes I find I’ve been losing my dash camera recordings on backroads — and that’s where they are mos

In four weeks on February 25 the sun will be setting at 5:40 pm, which is 36 minutes later then today. In 2016 on that day, we had fog, rain, snow and temperatures between 58 and 33 degrees. Typically, you have temperatures between 37 and 20 degrees. The record high of 67 degrees was set back in 1976.

Looking ahead, Average High is 40 is in 5 weeks, Average High is 50 is in 2 months, April Fools Day is in 9 weeks and Arbor Day is in 3 months.

Bethlehem Energy Center, Monthly Output

The Bethlehem Energy Center is operating closer to name plate capacity in recent years. Data prior to March 2005 reflects the output of the Albany Steam Station, which was the power plant previously located on this site.

Location: Bethlehem, NY
MW: 757
Fuel: Natural Gas (Low Sulfur Distillate Oil As Secondary)
Technology: Combined-Cycle
Commercial Operation: 2005
Market: Load following

Data Source: http://www.eia.gov/electricity/data/browser/#/topic/1?agg=2,0,1&fuel=vvg&geo=0002&sec=g&freq=M&datecode=201611&rtype=s&pin=&rse=0&maptype=0&ltype=pin&ctype=linechart&end=201611&start=200101

Applachian Region Commission

The Appalachian Region includes all of West Virginia and parts of Alabama, Georgia, Kentucky, Maryland, Mississippi, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Tennessee, and Virginia. The Region is home to more than 25 million people and covers 420 counties and almost 205,000 square miles.

What Went Wrong In Flint

Many of the problems that Flint, MI faces are similar to the Town of Bethlehem with their Clapper Road water plant that draws water from the river (and to a lesser extent the Vly Creek Reservior). Sewage pollution and farm pollution put bacteria in water that has to be killed to keep people from getting sick.

Trihalomethanes are formed when water is dosed with chlorine gas to kill off bacteria in the water. Organic matter reacts with chlorine to produce trihalomethanes, a carcinogenic chemical that happens to also be mildly acidic -- which causes pipes to rust, just like when you apply bleach to metal. Rusting pipes releases lead and copper into the water, which makes the water an ugly brown color.

By adding caustic soda aka lye to water you can neutralize the acidity of water. The problem is that lye is relatively expensive to administer in water, so places like Flint decided to skip out on it, with awful consequences. Additionally, filtering water with sand and other materials can reduce the amount of biological material in the water, cutting the amount of chlorine gas needed to make the water biologically safe for drinking.

New York State’s population, per 2010 census:

Metropolitan (MTA) Region – 67.29%

  • NY City – 42.19%
  • Long Island – 14.92%
  • Quarter Pounders – 5.58%
  • Westchester – 4.90%

Upstate New York – 32.71%

  • Erie County (Buffalo)  – 4.71%
  • Monroe County (Rochester)  – 3.84%
  • Onondaga County (Syracuse) – 2.41%
  • Albany County (Albany) – 1.57%
  • 45 remaining Upstate Counties – 20.15%
I was reading about McDowell County, WV — which has dubious distinction as the populated county (greater then 500 persons) — with the lowest percentage of college graduates — only 5.1% of population has a bachelors degree or high.

Increasing rates of poverty in McDowell County led U.S. President John F. Kennedy to remark in a speech in May 1963:

I don’t think any American can be satisfied to find in McDowell County, in West Virginia, 20 or 25 percent of the people of that county out of work, not for 6 weeks or 12 weeks, but for a year, 2, 3, or 4 years.[7]

While some hope for the McDowell mining economy had flourished during the energy crisis of the 1970s, in the next decade the county went from swift decline to collapse. Wildcat strikes in the Appalachian coal fields hindered producers’ ability to deliver to buyers. Non-unionized coal production in the western States provided tough competition. The county’s coal industry suffered yet again when a major source of demand, the United States steel industry, began its own decline due to competition with foreign steel makers, who employed newer and more efficient steel plants to produce high grade steel at lower prices.

Presidential election results
Year Republican Democrat
2016 74.16% 4,614 22.97% 1,429
2012 63.98% 3,959 34.08% 2,109
2008 44.82% 2,882 53.34% 3,430
2004 37.84% 2,762 61.67% 4,501
2000 32.15% 2,348 66.34% 4,845
1996 18.90% 1,550 73.00% 5,989
1992 19.80% 1,942 71.80% 7,019
1988 25.40% 2,463 74.20% 7,204
1984 33.30% 4,284 66.30% 8,546
McDowell County, the southernmost county in West Virginia, is located at 37.37°N 81.65°W. It is bordered by Tazewell County, Virginia, to the south; Buchanan County, Virginia, to the west; Mingo County to the northwest; Wyoming County to the north; and Mercer County to the east. The Appalachian Mountains determine most of the borders of the county.

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the county has a total area of 535 square miles (1,390 km2), of which 533 square miles (1,380 km2) is land and 1.4 square miles (3.6 km2) (0.3%) is water.[8] The county is roughly in the shape of a semi circle, with the border following the mountains around the county.

Historical population
Census Pop.
1860 1,535
1870 1,952 27.2%
1880 3,074 57.5%
1890 7,300 137.5%
1900 18,747 156.8%
1910 47,856 155.3%
1920 68,571 43.3%
1930 90,479 31.9%
1940 94,354 4.3%
1950 98,887 4.8%
1960 71,359 −27.8%
1970 50,666 −29.0%
1980 49,899 −1.5%
1990 35,233 −29.4%
2000 27,329 −22.4%
2010 22,113 −19.1%
Est. 2015 19,835 [9] −10.3%

Read more about McDowell County on Wikipedia: https://www.wikiwand.com/en/McDowell_County,_West_Virginia

In the New York Times 50 Years Into the War on Poverty, Hardship Hits Back: