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Opinion/Viewpoint

Today is another hot and humid day in a summer that has seen many of them. Despite recent rains, the rivers remain low and the sun is bright and my garden still thirsts for rain. Some folks like it hot and muggy but I am not one of them. Today is the kind of day I wish I were at the beach, rather than in a room without air conditioning.

Actually, my garden is doing well this summer because I have carefully weeded and watered it and all that warm sunshine is making my vegetables grow with vigor. The dry weather also means there is less powdery mildew on the leaves of the wild...

The Millerton News Opinion/Viewpoint

The plastic chef

The Country Curmudgeon

I don’t cook fancy. I do cook. More accurately, I microwave. I really need two of these. Three would be better.
I never had a lesson. Mostly I just read the boxes. At times this slowed me down as I muddled my way through my on-the-job-training, much to the merriment of my mother-in-law, who asked me one day why I had potatoes arranged two-by-two on the counter. Well, the recipe said to used pared potatoes. Now I know why “pared” was misspelled.

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Environment facts are not so simple

A View From The Edge

On Feb. 23, a NASA satellite was launched, called Glory, to study the subtle ways solar radiance influences the planet’s climate. Why?
“We are trying to achieve better measurements of both aerosols and total solar irradiance in order to calculate the energy budget — the amount of energy entering and exiting earth’s atmosphere — as accurately as possible,” said Michael Mishchenko of NASA’s Goddard Institute of Space Studies (GISS) in New York.

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Wilderness a cool resource

EarthTalk

Dear EarthTalk: I understand that Congress passed legislation not too long ago that protected a few million acres of wilderness areas, parks and wild rivers, in part to help offset climate change. How does conserving land prevent global warming?
M. Oakes
Charlottesville, N.C.
The legislation in question is called the Omnibus Public Land Management Act. It was passed by both houses of Congress and signed into law by President Obama in the spring of 2009.

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Zoning regulations must be enforced

The Millerton News Editorial

A town or village planning board has no easy task when processinging an application. It has to review site plans, architectural renderings, maps, septic and water specifications, environmental forms, endless reports — the list could go on and on. Its members, mind you, volunteer to do such work. So when they are faced with applications that sluggishly follow along, it can, understandably, be frustrating.

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An actor’s life for me

The Country Curmudgeon

Honest John, the fox, and Gideon, the half-witted cat, sing “An Actor’s Life For Me’” in the Disney cartoon, “Pinocchio,” while tricking the little wooden head into servitude to the evil showman, Stromboli.
Many of us believe that we could do that — act, that is, not trick people into servitude. (Not that tricking people into servitude is not a valuable skill. Ships’ captains and Big Business need this ability).

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Collapsed: The fate of Human Services may mirror that of the infirmary’s wing

The County Account

The recent demolition of the east wing of the county infirmary in Millbrook has renewed interest in its history, wherein it once served as the county’s poor house and later an infirmary. A snow-collapsed roof and asbestos infestation caused the east wing to be torn down in late February. That building is now gone, but the societal needs it once served remain.

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State budget shortfalls — not the worker’s problem

A View From The Edge

There is an old saying: If you borrow a couple of hundred thousand, it is your problem; if you borrow a couple of million, it is the loaner’s problem.
I called the New York State Dormitory Authority (NYDA) and the Office of Mental Health (NYOMH) and asked them a simple question: How much of their budget goes to paying the bonds raised to build the various NYOMH buildings across the state? The responses I got ranged from “we don’t have that information” to “why are you asking” all the way to “that is confidential information available through the governor’s office only.”

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Why do we buy water when it’s free out of the tap?

EarthTalk

Dear EarthTalk: Isn’t it a waste that we buy water in plastic bottles when it is basically free out of our taps? Even health food stores, which should know better, sell it like crazy. When did Earth’s most abundant and free natural resource become a commercial beverage?
A. Jacobs
via e-mail
Bottled water has been a big-selling commercial beverage around the world since the late 1980s. According to the Worldwatch Institute, global bottled water consumption has more than quadrupled since 1990.

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The highs (and lows)

The Millerton News Editorial

It’s good to know that our schools are doing their best to stay on the cutting edge, even if it means that sometimes we, as parents, relatives, employers — the community at large — may feel left out of the loop. Let’s hope that only serves as an impetus for us to take the time and energy to learn more about the ever-growing field of technology that surrounds us.

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Hi-yo, Silver! Away!

The Country Curmudgeon

I have been enjoying my new Lone Ranger DVDs and am pleased to see that the Internet has recognized that the number-one sidekick of all time is Tonto, coming in ahead of Garth of “Wayne’s World.” In spite of being constantly beat up, defamed, forced to wear bad clothes and treated as a stereotype, Tonto performs his duties faithfully. Many of us have had similar work experiences.

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