Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Two weekends, two messy events

The past couple of weeks have been a whirlwind of activities in New Paltz, and I only got to go to some of them. However, I got a little time with some local politicians as part of the bargain.

New Paltz Clean Sweep
I don't remember what made me miss out on Clean Sweep last year, but I was delightfully surprised by the layout of food at St. Joseph's for the volunteers. I found Toni Hokanson sitting alone at a table designated for the Town Council (she told me about health issues that prevented two of them from showing up, and I later found out family obligations kept the other two away), and joined her along with Kraig Kallmeyer of SealTech Sealcoating.  We three scoured the area around Town Hall and Moriello Pool.  Our supervisor definitely is willing to work her butt off picking up litter, and that area is a real prize.  I pulled a tire out of the wetland north of the pool, and gave up on an moss-covered bumper (I would need two strong adults with waders, poison ivy resistance, and thick clothing to keep the brambles at bay to get that baby out).  Pretty sure I picked up poison ivy that day, because the stuff that runs rampant through my yard definitely couldn't be the culprit . . . 

New Paltz Regatta
I can't tell you a thing about the regatta, because my wife and I awoke that morning stricken by some horrible disease.  We were in bad enough shape to need medical attention, and FirstCare in Highland was the nearest place open on a Sunday.  They had a backlog, but nurse Jeff Logan took good care of us.  Turns out his grandfather built our house, and now that I'm no longer delirious I'm going to give his mother a call to learn more about its history.  No, we don't have swine flu (or any other), but we got tested even though the symptoms didn't match that well.  I wasn't so delirious that I felt that need to remind Jeff how he annoyed me last Election Day, but I give him credit - I don't think he would have done any less of a job caring for us even had I done so.  Looking back, and considering my own encounters with mindless school bureaucracy as I futilely tried to figure out what a member of HAC does, I'm sure district employees follow inane directions like "open the door despite the amount of heat it will waste for our taxpayers" because that's how the bureacracy trains them.  Our conversation showed me that he does think independently; anyone who's being sued by the chairman of his own party really has no choice.  (Corinne Nyquist, chair of the New Paltz Democratic Committee, signed on to Terry Dungan's village citizen lawsuit against the Town).

Village Elections
So today I'm healthy enough to vote in the village elections.  There are two official and the usual explosion of write-in candidates for the two open seats.  Please don't write me in - if you must write someone in, I would think Jason West is a better choice than the college kid.  I've read the petitions, and I know challenges can be used to intimidate, but his were so flawed I think he needs a little aging in order to be ready for an elected position.  I just found out Brittany Turner is being run as well, but apparently it's without her knowledge and I don't agree with that.  You could also vote for the candidates on the ballot, but please remember that these races are won by a handful of votes, so your vote really does count.


Brittany Turner said...

I'm fine with it, but thank you. :)

Terence said...

As I said about Jason's campaign, your agreement makes a difference. This isn't a town that seems to welcome unexpected candidacies, so I wouldn't want it forced upon someone who wasn't willing to take some lumps for it!

Martin McPhillips said...

"if you must write someone in, I would think Jason West is a better choice than the college kid."Oy vey.

Terence said...

I understand where you're coming from, Martin - Jason certainly evokes very strong feelings. If the two official candidates are unacceptable to a voter, though, I stand by my opinion that Jason (or Brittany, for that matter) is more qualified that the other write-in candidate. I've seen very few college students that really understand the scope of the position - granted, it's mostly complex because they make it complex, but you need to at least grasp that truth if you're going to do anything about it.

Steve Greenfield said...

The reason school employees open doors and even windows regardless of how much heat escapes is because some of our facilities do not meet state minimum air circulation standards, which we are legally (and morally) required to meet. Those standards are based on solid health studies. Locked-in air is more energy efficient, but all kinds of what are now called "sick building" ailments are eliminated when outside air gets mixed in and the minimum circulation standards of cubic yards per hour are met. Stagnant air also affects concentration and interferes with education. It's a temporary condition resulting from old heating systems running up against new science. In all cases the "school bureaucracy" is at work replacing antiquated heating systems with modern ones that not only can integrate with, rather than compete with, circulation needs, but will produce each BTU more efficiently.

We could probably move a bit faster on this, but if we did, The Gadflies would be tormenting us about not keeping a firmer grasp on the budget :-), and voters would start voting down the budgets and rejecting the bonds, and we'd be trapped with old, hot buildings with open windows indefinitely.