2017 June 24

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West Canada Lake Wilderness

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

Goof afternoon! It’s the first summer weekend of the year and I’m next to the pool. Next Saturday is July 1st. I’ll be at Moose River Plains by then. Yeah! Partly sunny and 79 degrees aside the Mine Kill Pool in North Blenheim. There is a west-northwest breeze at 13 mph. The dew point is 55 degrees. You might say it’s a nice summer afternoon in the Northern Catskills. 

The sun feels amazing, sitting out by the pool. So nice and warm. Water isn’t real cold, it’s actually quite nice. Pool water could be a bit cleaner, still some leaves in a few places left from the winter. Oh, well. I’m sure they’ll get pulled out eventually. Maybe not as nice as the Finger Lakes but in another month I’ll be there. Summers are nice. 

I honestly didn’t get a real early start today because this morning was pretty gray and it was pouring out. I didn’t get things packed until this morning and I had to run to the store to pick up a few things before heading out camping. Sunglasses really are essential for enjoying summer.  But now it’s a very nice summer afternoon, which was followed by a nice drive out here. 

Hopefully now that I upgraded the firmware in my dash camera it will work better in the mountains where GPS hop often caused it to freeze. So far so good. I want it to record the really scenic areas reliably. It looks like the new firmware works good, once I properly  installed the new bootstrap for the firmware per the instructions. 

Bought a 12 volt charger for my laptop. Works good, uses a whole lot less power than the AC version, and it can be used in my truck anywhere there is a 12 volt socket. I think it only cost $23 so it didn’t break the bank. The AC charger hooked up to the inverter in my truck often ran hot and smelled like it was overheating. I don’t think it liked the modified sine wave that my inverter produces. I put it on the same switch as my CB Radio and Dash Camera, so it only charges when those things are switched on keeping my battery from discharging at camp charging my laptop. 

The sun will set at 8:39 pm with dusk around 9:13 pm, which is 5 seconds later than yesterday. At sunset, look for mostly cloudy conditions and 71 degrees. The dew point will be 53 degrees. There will be a west-northwest breeze at 10 mph.

This afternoon will be mostly sunny, with a high of 79 degrees at 2pm. One degree below normal. Maximum dew point of 55 at 2pm. Northwest wind 11 to 13 mph. A year ago, we had mostly sunny skies and a high of 83 degrees. The record high of 96 was set in 1943.

Waxing Crescent Moon tonight with 8% illuminated. The moon will set around 10:32 pm. The First Quarter Moon is next Saturday. The Full “Buck” Moon is on Sunday, July 9th. The sun will rise at 5:21 am with the first light at 4:47 am, which is 20 seconds later than yesterday. Tonight will have 8 hours and 43 minutes of darkness, an increase of 17 seconds over last night.

Tonight will be mostly cloudy, then gradually becoming mostly clear, with a low of 56 degrees at 4am. Four degrees below normal. Maximum dew point of 55 at 6pm. West wind 5 to 10 mph. In 2016, it got down to 54 degrees with mostly cloudy skies. The record low of 45 occurred back in 1982.

In four weeks on July 22 the sun will be setting at 8:27 pm, which is 11 minutes and 49 seconds earlier then today. In 2016 on that day, we had rain, partly cloudy skies and temperatures between 94 and 71 degrees. Typically, you have temperatures between 83 and 62 degrees. The record high of 102 degrees was set back in 1926.

Looking ahead, July 1st is Next Saturday, Cow Apprechiation Day (Moo?) is in 3 weeks, Hottest Time of Year Ends (83 Average)ppin 4 weeks, National Lasagna Day is in 5 weeks, Last Sunset After 8 PM is in 7 weeks, State Fair Opens is in 2 months, National Dog Day is in 9 weeks, Lowville Cream Cheese Festival is in 12 weeks and Beaver Moon is in 19 weeks.

What’s behind fewer African-American voters at the polls

"Like the majority of African-Americans in their 70s, Mr. Mohammad, a retired math professor at Morehouse College in Atlanta, saw the Democrats as liberators for striking a deal on civil rights in the mid-1960s. He’s been a staunch Democratic voter ever since – until, he says, now."

“I’m done voting," he says, because it doesn’t do any good. Then adds: “Maybe you gotta be black to understand.”

"Disillusioned by what he calls unmet promises of the Obama era, evidence of state-sponsored disenfranchisement at the polls, and the rise of a new ethno-nationalist vanguard in Washington, he has joined the ranks of what some have called the vanishing black voter."

I think the City of Minnesota could have handled the negligent shooting death of Philando Castile much better. Rather then criminally charge a hardworking policeman for a rather bad on-duty mistake, the City Attorney should have sought to settle with the family out of court, and provided their estate with prompt justice in the form of a civil settlement payment for the loss of his life.

State Court of Claims are the best agency to remedy a loss of life on behalf of the state. Judges in the court of claims are familiar with the value of a life — both economically and emotionally. They can offer a fair payment that will ensure the estate of person whose life was incorrectly taken on the behalf of state will receive a significant payment. While a large cash payment can not bring back a loved one, it can be used for taking care of the children, providing them housing and food, and pay for their college. It can make sure widow isn’t evicted or goes hungry. Monetary compensation can actually help to remedy the financial harm done.

Now, with any civil suit or out of court settlement, it’s ultimately the taxpayers rather then the incompetent government official that gets socked with the bill. That’s unfortunate, but that’s why any employer in a risky business should have insurance or have a self-insurance reserve, and take steps to minimize future liability. A $5 million payment means that local leaders can no longer afford to repave a road, have as many police officers on the beat, or offer tax relief. This alone should encourage government to improve employee training, and teach their employees not to engage in risky behavior. And certainly, any employee who makes a serious mistake that costs their employers millions of dollars should be fired and forced to reconsider their career options.

That’s my take on the issue. Employee mistakes should be resolved by the employer in civil, not criminal court. 

Map: Pillsbury Lake

Map: Pillsbury Lake

The West Canada Lake Wilderness Area is an Adirondack Park Forest Preserve management unit in the town of Ohio in Herkimer County and the towns of Morehouse, Arietta, Lake Pleasant and Indian Lake in Hamilton County. It is bounded on the north by the Moose River Plains area and private lands in the vicinity of Little Moose Lake, Squaw Brook, Snowy Mountain and Squaw Mountain; on the east by NY 30, lands of International Paper and the Spruce Lake-Piseco Lake trail; on the south by private lands north of NY 8, the South Branch of West Canada Creek and an access road to private lands; on the west by West Canada Creek and private lands east of Honnedaga Lake.

The area contains 168 bodies of water covering 2,400 acres (9.6 km2), 78.3 miles (126 km) of foot trails, and 11 lean-tos. The 133-mile Northville-Placid Trail traverses it.