2017 February 25

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Automobile Industry
First Amendment
Five Rivers Environmental Education Center
Historic New York Catskill Mountain House
Kaaterskill Falls

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

State legislators take steps to criminalize protests

I am bothered by protesters who engage in criminal acts to get their message across -- and jeopardize the public safety. There are plenty of public sidewalks and common areas where people can protest during ordinary business hours and during the daytime without trashing the land, causing car crashes, burning and looting buildings.

I have no problem with ordinary rallies and protests. And if people want to camp in the back country or a developed campground, that's fine too -- they just need to follow the rules, get the necessary permits, and so forth. Just because you are protesting, doesn't mean your exempt from all the other ordinary rules.

Good afternoon! Heavy rain and 61 degrees in Delmar. Breezy, 18 mph breeze from the south-southeast. The dew point is 51 degrees. I’m heading inside shortly from my truck cap as the wind is blowing the rain in and it smells a bit like garbage.  The skies will clear tomorrow around 7 am.

Got up to 68 degrees today. Another day with record breaking warm. And a quite beautiful day to boot. Since then, temperatures have dropped back a few degrees but it still is incredibly nice for February. Sitting in the bed of my pickup, having a beer that was sitting in the remaining snow on the ground. 

A few sprinkles right now, waiting for the thunderstorms to roll in. It supposed to be driving rain with heavy thunderstorms later, but I plan to be home before it comes — I keep watching the radar. Going to cold with the front, and I’m going to have to drop the screens back in and lock up the windows again, until at least a few more weeks — although next week will be pretty mild.

This morning was Dad’s birthday breakfast. It’s his big 70. Retirement seems fun, but gosh does it go by quickly. It seems like he retired only a few weeks ago. His breakfast at Jake Moon Cafe was a lot of fun, got to see my sister and niece. She has gotten big, too — almost a year old. I got dad a Personal Weather Station that he connect into Wunderground and get detailed local weather information at his house. I figured him being retired, he will have a lot of time to play with such things, and it will help him with the gardening. Plus I’m very interested in these personal weather stations, and I could see getting one eventually when I have my own land.

Finally finished cleaning out the back of my truck. Still need to put things away in the attic, but at least the bed is empty and ready to be pressure washed  out next week. The weather was finally nice enough to do this. I put all the recyclable bottles and cans in the back of my truck, but skipped the transfer station for this week, in favor of going hiking. I still need to clean out my refrigerator, and honestly, I only have two and half bags of recyclables to take right now, as i’m pretty careful with how much packaging I get at the store, and recycle all the non-confidential paper at the recycling dumpsters at the Park and Ride. Now that the cans and bottles are in my truck though, I will have to get to the transfer station before I can go camping — maybe next weekend — and then I can do my wiring projects with the low voltage disconnect, etc. I left the actual garbage in the cans, because I don’t want my truck bed to get too nasty or attract verman. The recyclables in contrast are quite clean — and were the reason I was out of space in the trash cans.

Bought a new series of gang switches for the truck cap. I have this set of Walmart switches which always come lose on the rough roads or when I accidentally pull loose the wires. The new gang plate has six large switches using blade clips, a built-in voltmeter, and USB and cigarette lighter ports. Should be great once it is installed and much better than those crappy switch box. The blade clips should be a lot more secure and if they pull loose should be really easy to reinstall. I bought a dimmer earlier in the week for the truck cap overhead lights and also will be installing the low voltage protection once the weather is decent and I get another cable. 

Went out hiking for about two hours at Five Rivers Environmental Education Center. I thought about going down to Hannacroix Preserve, but I couldn’t believe how nice the weather was, or that it was likely to last. If I thought clouds and cold weather with rain showers weren’t immediate, I would have probably gone down there. 

The sun will set at 5:41 pm with dusk around 6:09 pm, which is 1 minutes and 15 seconds later than yesterday. At sunset, look for thunderstorms  and 56 degrees. The dew point will be 47 degrees. Breezy, 17 mph breeze from the south. The New Moon will be tomorrow with partly cloudy skies expected. The Full “Worm” Moon is on Sunday, March 12th. The sun will rise at 6:35 am with the first light at 6:07 am, which is 1 minutes and 34 seconds earlier then yesterday. Tonight will have 12 hours and 52 minutes of darkness, a decrease of 2 minutes and 51 seconds over last night.
Tonight will rain showers before 11pm, then a chance of rain and snow showers between 11pm and 1am, then a chance of snow showers after 1am. Some thunder is also possible. Low of 35 degrees at 2am. 15 degrees above normal. West wind 14 to 17 mph. Chance of precipitation is 90%. New snow accumulation of less than a half inch possible. In 2016, it got down to 21 degrees with periods of snow. The record low of -11 occurred back in 1950.

Tomorrow will be partly sunny, with a high near 42. Breezy, with a west wind 18 to 23 mph, with gusts as high as 37 mph.

In four weeks on March 25 the sun will be setting at 7:14 pm (Daylight Savings Time), which is 1 hour and 33 minutes later then today. In 2016 on that day, we had rain and temperatures between 61 and 35 degrees. Typically, you have temperatures between 48 and 29 degrees. The record high of 74 degrees was set back in 1910.
I finished my taxes today. It wasn’t a big deal, I just wanted to double check my numbers before I submitted. Done now, getting a $425 federal refund and I owe the state $275. Coming out ahead but not much so the government ain’t getting rich on my interest. 

Looking ahead, Average High is 40 is Next Saturday and April Fools Day is in 5 weeks.

Monthly Output of Remaining Coal Generating Plants in New York State

There are three remaining coal generating plants -- the Eastman Kodak (RED) co-generation plant plus two utility scale plants, Kintigh Generating Station (fomerly AES Somerset) and Cayuga Generating Station. This graph shows the combined output of these plants, and how it has declined in recent years. There were more coal plants in the past in New York State, but they are retired or converted over to natural gas, and are not shown on this graph.

Data Source: EIA Electricity Data Browser. http://www.eia.gov/electricity/data/browser

Obamacare Rollback Bill Would Replace Subsidies With Tax Credits

"The Feb. 10 document follows the broad policy outline released by Republicans last week just before they went home for a Congressional recess. It proposes cuts to federal payments to states that have expanded Medicaid and offers tax credits for people to buy health insurance."

"This would mean fewer people could afford health insurance and that the health insurance would likely cover less," says Larry Levitt, senior vice president at the Kaiser Family Foundation.