2017 March 07

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Albany, NY
Bennett Hill Preserve
Black Mountain
Five Rivers Environmental Education Center
NYS Census - Employment
Public Transit
Swift Wetland Preserve
Windham High Peak

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

Replacement healthcare plan would cost poor and older people the most

"The proposal introduced by Republicans would allow insurance companies to charge older adults five times what they charge the young. Analysts call this an “age band”. At the same time, the bill would reduce subsidies to all Americans, distributing them by age to everyone who earns less than $75,000 a year individually or $150,000 for a couple."

"That may sound like a philosophical difference, until you get into the arithmetic. Young Americans would be eligible for up to $2,000 in tax credits, and older Americans would get double, topping out at $4,000. But with just twice the tax credit, and up to five times the charges from insurance companies, older adults could be left to foot the bill."

(In other words prime voters. Seems like a turkey of a proposal.)

Good evening! Light rain and 46 degrees in City of Albany. There is a south breeze at 13 mph. Looking at a half inch more of rain by morning.

Tonight will have showers likely. Cloudy, with a low of 42 degrees at 6am. 19 degrees above normal. South wind 10 to 13 mph becoming west after midnight. Chance of precipitation is 70%. New precipitation amounts between a tenth and quarter of an inch possible. In 2016, it got down to 32 degrees under mostly cloudy skies. The record low of -2 occurred back in 1989. We are mostly beyond the extremely cold weather that sometimes happens in winter.

Waxing Gibbous Moon tonight with 70% illuminated. The moon will set around 4:03 am. The Full “Worm” Moon is on Sunday night with partly cloudy skies expected. The sun will rise at 6:18 am with the first light at 5:50 am, which is one minute and 41 seconds earlier than yesterday. Tonight will have 12 hours and 23 minutes of darkness, a decrease of 2 minutes and 54 seconds over last night.

Tomorrow will have a chance of showers before 10am, then a chance of showers after 11am. Cloudy, then gradually becoming mostly sunny, with a high of 57 degrees at 3pm. 16 degrees above normal. West wind 6 to 11 mph increasing to 13 to 18 mph in the afternoon. Winds could gust as high as 39 mph. Chance of precipitation is 50%. New precipitation amounts of less than a tenth of an inch possible. A year ago, we had mostly cloudy skies and a high of 60 degrees. The record high of 68 was set in 2012. 6.5 inches of snow fell back in 2013.

Cool this weekend with temperatures running 15 degrees below normal but otherwise sunny. Saturday, mostly sunny, with a high near 24. Sunday, mostly sunny, with a high near 30.Typical average high for the weekend is 42 degrees.

Set up an appointment with my new dentist to get a cleaning for the day before Good Friday. Worked well with my work schedule, and while it’s an early morning appointment, I will get it done, and get a good evaluation of how much damage I’ve done to my teeth in recent years by not getting regular cleanings. I do brush regularly and I drink lots of milk and stay away from the sweets. I kind of messed up, during college without dental insurance, and because I didn’t like going to the dentist as a kid, I never really followed up with a dentist when I started working at a job with dental insurance a few years back. I’ve not noticed any problems, but there are a few blemishes, I guess some minor cavities and plaque which have built up over the years. Hopefully not too much damage. I guess knowing is good for peace of mind. I don’t want to have cavities drilled out or root canals or anything awful.

Today I also brought some toothpaste and a toothbrush to work, because sometimes after lunch I have bad breath. I had used breath mints before but I think more tooth brushing the better. I do need that good cleaning next month. Really working on improving my dental hygiene. Come Good Friday, I should have sparkly clean teeth, a bit with some pits and wear from a lack of maintance.

I now have the gang switches/voltage panel, low voltage disconnect, and LED lamp dimmer. The control panel looks real nice. So I just need warm weather to hook all the stuff up and run the new wires. I do need to buy some wire and low-amperage quick disconnect terminals, but I can get that Autozone — although I may have enough at home, but I want multiple colors (besides red and black) so I don’t miswire things. I figured out how to run power out to the truck cap from the cab. I will sneak the wire out of the rear pressure vents, which I had previously tried, but had no luck without removing the seat. I don’t think I will have to remove the seat — I will be able to sneak them out — hopefully — using the grabber tool that I bought when I dropped a bolt in the truck’s engine compartment a few years back. They’re just rubber flaps that can be pushed out, and I don’t think a single 6 gauge wire is likely to push them up enough to let much rain in.

Thinking of taking a road trip/vacation April 19th through the 23rd. It will mean I miss the Pine Bush dinner but that’s the latest days that I most likely get off from work in April, which means snow and cold weather will be least likely. I’m thinking trout fishing up in the Deer River State Forest, but that’s still something I’m thinking about. Might be muddy and the black flies might be real bad this time of year up there. But I would like to do another North Country trip this spring as I don’t get up there too often, in part because it is such a long drive.

The prior week, Easter Weekend, I might go truck cap camping in the Southern Adirondacks or maybe Burnt-Rossman State Forest. This would give me a chance to test out my gear and all the wiring before I do longer trip to the Adirondacks. Of course, that all depends on the weather. Knowing how random the weather can be, there might be a foot of snow on the ground in April. Or it could be cold, driving rain, like we had today. I can hope I’ll have Good Friday off form work, but I guess there is no guarantee that will happen.

My new wallet continues to work well for slapping the bus card on the reader. This way I don’t have to ever pull my card out and risk losing it. I’m glad i replaced my very worn out wallet. Plus it’s a lot easier to find the various cards.

In four weeks on April 4 the sun will be setting at 7:25 pm (Daylight Savings Time), which is one hour, 32 minutes and 27 seconds later then tonight. In 2016 on that day, we had fog, snow and temperatures between 26 and 18 degrees. Typically, you have temperatures between 53 and 33 degrees. The record high of 79 degrees was set back in 1950.

Looking ahead, Spring is in 2 weeks, Average High is 50 is in 3 weeks, Tax Day is in 6 weeks, Average High is 70 is in 10 weeks, Independence Day is in 17 weeks, Election Day 2018 is in 87 weeks and Election Day 2020 is in 191 weeks.

Change in Median Healthcare Worker in New York’s Wages, compared to a Year Ago

While Healthcare and Social Services Workers in New York enjoy regular increases in their median wage every year, the yearly increases in median wages in New York have decreased somewhat since the passage of the Affordable Healthcare Act, along with a lower inflation rate, causing somewhat stagnating wages. Simply said, it's not as lucrative to work in the Healthcare industry as it once was in New York -- despite a growing number of jobs. This is calculated by the total wages of Healthcare and Social Services Industry, divided by the median wage, then looking at difference compared to the previous year. One upside of the Healthcare and Social Service Industry was it does not see the dip in wages that other industries during recessions -- it's a largely recession-proof industry.

Data Sources:
U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis, Health Care and Social Assistance Wages and Salaries in New York [NYWHEA], retrieved from FRED, Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis; https://fred.stlouisfed.org/series/NYWHEA, March 6, 2017.

U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis, Health Care and Social Assistance Wages and Salaries in New York [NYWHEA], retrieved from FRED, Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis; https://fred.stlouisfed.org/series/NYWHEA, March 6, 2017.

The Divide: The future of public transportation

"The recent passing of Lucile Brewer, the founder and chair of the local advocacy group Citizens for Public Transportation, got me thinking about the future of public transportation, both here in the Capital Region and in the rest of the country. Before getting into what I see as current and future challenges facing public transportation services, I just want to say a few words about Lucile."

"I first met Lucile while working at my family’s restaurant, Calsolaro’s, in the early 1970s. Lucile was a regular patron, and sometimes I would have time to sit with her and talk about current events. Then, in the early 2000s, after being elected to the Albany Common Council, I re-connected with Lucile as she led the fight for a more effective and responsive public transportation system. Lucile recruited me to be a member of Citizens for Public Transportation and I experienced first-hand Lucile’s tireless efforts to advocate for people with disabilities, even as her own physical condition deteriorated. Lucile was an inspiration for me and her legacy will continue as we work to support and improve public transportation services. Lucile was, as headlined by the Times Union (Feb. 24, 2017), a “champion” for public transit."

Google Maps: Rate Of Preventable Hospital Admissions By County

The Dartmouth Atlas of Healthcare calculates preventable hospital admissions by considering the discharges for ambulatory care sensitive conditions per 1,000 medicare enrollees.

See http://www.dartmouthatlas.org/downloads/reports/Primary_care_report_090910.pdf for more information.

Data Source: Dartmouth Atlas of Healthcare, Rate of Preventable Hospital Admissions in by County, retrieved from FRED, Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis; https://geofred.stlouisfed.org, March 7, 2017.

UPDATE: Freight train derails along Newburgh waterfront

"A CSX freight train whose cargo includes sulfuric acid derailed Tuesday afternoon on the West Shore line tracks along the Hudson River near the New Windsor-Newburgh border."

"First responders, ambulances and CSX personnel have responded to the scene. No information about possible injuries is available at this time."

"According to CSX, an undetermined quantity of fuel may have leaked from one of the train's locomotives, but no leaks of sulfuric acid have been reported."

"The train is believed to have struck a vehicle or front-end loader and derailed, according to State Trooper Steven Nevel. A locomotive came to rest sitting across nearby River Road."

"The train derailed at about 3:30 p.m. while traveling from Selkirk, N.Y., to Waycross, Georgia, according to the railroad. It consists of three locomotives and 77 freight cars total, including 38 loads of freight and 39 empty cars. The freight includes cardboard, corn oil and glass products as well as sulfuric acid and sodium hydroxide, also known as lye."