2017 July 18

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Climate Change
Dairy Farming
Gee Brook State Forest
Henry Hudson Park
Job Creators
North Lake Reservoir
Second Amendment
Truck Camping
Whitehouse, NY

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

Lead no more threat to birds than cats or windows

"The moment I read the headline I knew where the story was going."

"Bald Eagle Threat: Lead ammo left behind by hunters."

"The inference was clear: Hunters are the bad guys when it comes to Bald eagle mortality. They make it sound like we’re using lead as bait to wipe out the eagle population. It also seems to suggest that if lead bullets were banned there would be no further need to address eagle mortality."

"There was another headline that spoke to the remarkable recovery the big birds are making, right here in New York and across the country. But far too many writers shy away from that side of the story."

Gun ownership emerges as a divide, can shape political behavior, study finds

"While this 'gun divide' mimics growing partisan division in the country, it is more than that," said Mark Joslyn, professor of political science and the study's lead author. "Gun ownership may include an identity, a long-standing culture that shares identifiable traits and behaviors. The identity appears to have strengthened in recent years, and opposition to it has grown as well."

Joslyn said typically researchers looked at "what guns do," and therefore, past research has examined the association between crime and violence and the prevalence or availability of guns. However, Joslyn and his co-authors, as part of their recent study published in Social Science Quarterly, examined what guns mean to individuals and how this can shape political behavior.

"In addition, it appears non-gun owners are especially sensitive to recent polarization trends, favoring Democratic candidates in a substantially greater degree than in the past decades," Joslyn said. "So while we believe the electoral choices of gun owners is important, much of the increase in differences between gun and non-gun owners occurred because of the choices of non-gun owners."

Recently, I’ve come convinced that Governor Andrew Cuomo would be a very good president.

Why? He gets things done. He’s not afraid to cross party lines to get his agenda done, and to move the people of our state forward. He can ram things through the process. You might not agree with every policy proposal he’s gotten through the legislature – indeed we are a very liberal state – but he has a proven track record, and he’s more then just tough talk.

President Donald Trump ran on being a deal maker, one who could bring change to our country. Despite having a Republican-controlled House and Senate, it’s really hard to point to what he’s gotten done in his first six months of president. He talks tough, but has no shit to show for his tough talk. He’s all hat and no cattle. Healthcare Reform? Nope. Climate Change Action? Hah, Nope. He doesn’t even believe in the science. Heck, even a Republican priority like 50-state concealed carry of firearms, doesn’t seem to be able to be moved forward by his administration. Probably his only victory so far is getting Neil Gorsuch put on the Supreme Court.

In contrast, Governor Andrew Cuomo legalized gay marriage long before the US Supreme Court ruled it was a fundamental right of Americans. He implemented a property tax cap that forced schools and local governments to limit their spending and find efficiency in their operations. He cut middle class taxes to the lowest rate in 50 years. His Regional Economic Development Councils have turned boring government grants into the engines of economic growth of our state. Or at least made them fun and interesting. He got the long stalled Tappan Zee Bridge re-construction completed. He got the Sewage Right to Know Law, which after decades of long stalled sewage treatment efforts, has gotten them moving. He made state budget pass on time or within days of on time. And he passed the most comprehensive gun control law in the nation – the SAFE Act. The guy has been effective, rammed a lot of things through the process – both good and bad. Even if you don’t always agree with methods or policies, he’s moved a broken state government forward.

Nobody thinks the Governor is a particularly nice person to those who get in his way. But who cares – he gets stuff done. Sometimes you have crack a few eggs to make an omelet. Sometimes you have to take the make an elderly widow homeless to build an expressway. Governing at times can be incredibly cruel, but necessary. Public participation and respecting people’s rights is important – but special interests can’t block moving our society forward. Governor Cuomo knows how to make things happen, to play the game, even if he runs over a few elderly people in his way.

I will admit I have never voted for Governor Cuomo. But the more I’ve seen him in action, the more I’ve really warmed up on him becoming the Democratic nominee for President, for being the man who can take on and beat Donald Trump. We can’t have someone timid, afraid to take one of the wealthiest and most powerful men in America. We need somebody who can be more then bluster, somebody who can point to his successful record as New York Governor as our next president. We don’t need for the Democrats to nominate a weak, inexperienced candidate, who will lose, and we will be stuck with Trump. We need president that gets shit done.

Good evening! Partly sunny and 85 degrees in Albany. There is a southwest breeze at 6 mph. The dew point is 70 degrees. The heat index is 88. The muggy weather ends Monday around 11 pm.

Not a terrible day, bus is running about on time and traffic is moving well. A bit humid this evening but I’ve seen much worse days. Going to have a quick dinner then I will go to the store and wash the truck. I also want to clean some of my camping gear and maybe vacuum the inside of the truck. 

The sun will set at 8:28 pm with dusk around 9:01 pm, which is 46 seconds earlier than yesterday. At sunset, look for partly clear conditions and 78 degrees. The dew point will be 69 degrees. There will be a calm wind.

This afternoon will have isolated showers and thunderstorms. Mostly sunny, with a high of 84 degrees at 5pm. One degree above normal. Maximum dew point of 70 at 5pm. Southwest wind around 6 mph. Chance of precipitation is 20%. A year ago, we had cloudy skies. The high last year was 79 degrees. The record high of 97 was set in 1904.

Tonight will have a Waning Crescent Moon. The New Moon is on Saturday night with partly cloudy skies. The Strugeon Moon is on Monday, August 7th. The sun will rise at 5:34 am with the first light at 5:01 am, which is 53 seconds later than yesterday. Tonight will have 9 hours and 7 minutes of darkness, an increase of one minute and 41 seconds over last night. 

Saturday looks nice but Sunday may be a bit more cloudy. Saturday, a chance of showers, with thunderstorms also possible after 2pm. Partly sunny, with a high near 84. Chance of precipitation is 30%. Maximum dew point of 67 at 7am. Sunday, a chance of showers and thunderstorms. Mostly cloudy, with a high near 82. Chance of precipitation is 50%. Maximum dew point of 67 at 2pm. Typical average high for the weekend is 83 degrees.

In four weeks on August 15 the sun will be setting at 7:56 pm, which is 32 minutes and 39 seconds earlier then today. In 2016 on that day, we had mostly cloudy skies and temperatures between 83 and 66 degrees. Typically, you have temperatures between 81 and 60 degrees. The record high of 96 degrees was set back in 1959.

Looking ahead, August 1st is in 2 weeks, Altamont Fair Opens is in 4 weeks, Friday the 13th (October) is in 11 weeks, Election Day 2017 is in 16 weeks, Average High is 40 is in 17 weeks, Election Day 2018 is in 68 weeks and Election Day 2020 is in 172 weeks.

Neoliberalism has conned us into fighting climate change as individuals

"The email in my inbox last week offered thirty suggestions to green my office space: use reusable pens, redecorate with light colours, stop using the elevator."

"Back at home, done huffing stairs, I could get on with other options: change my lightbulbs, buy local veggies, purchase eco-appliances, put a solar panel on my roof."

"And a study released on Thursday claimed it had figured out the single best way to fight climate change: I could swear off ever having a child."

"These pervasive exhortations to individual action — in corporate ads, school textbooks, and the campaigns of mainstream environmental groups, especially in the west — seem as natural as the air we breath. But we could hardly be worse-served."

"While we busy ourselves greening our personal lives, fossil fuel corporations are rendering these efforts irrelevant. The breakdown of carbon emissions since 1988? A hundred companies alone are responsible for an astonishing 71 percent. You tinker with those pens or that panel; they go on torching the planet."

"The freedom of these corporations to pollute – and the fixation on a feeble lifestyle response – is no accident. It is the result of an ideological war, waged over the last forty years, against the possibility of collective action. Devastatingly successful, it is not too late to reverse it."

Manufacturing Employees in New York

While the manufacturing index remains relatively strong in our state, manufacturing employment over the past year has seen a significant drop in total employment -- after about five years post-recession with relatively steady employment. Between 2012 and summer 2016, manufacturing employeed between 45,000 and 46,500 people in New York. In the past year, manufacturing employment has dropped to 43,500 New Yorkers.

Data Source: Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis and U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, All Employees: Manufacturing in New York [SMU36000003000000001A], retrieved from FRED, Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis; https://fred.stlouisfed.org/series/SMU36000003000000001A, July 18, 2017.