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Local Hits

Some reactions from Governor Cuomo’s State of the Sate speech later.

I missed the People’s State of the State yesterday, as did most of the other 2,000 individuals expected on the Empire State Plaza later today. Just saying, a rally today may have garnered more attention for the cause.

Advocates for the poor, union leaders and members of the Occupy Albany movement rallied Tuesday across the street from the Capitol in Academy Park [...]

They called it “The People’s State of the State,” [...]

Previous rallies of this kind had been held at the same time as the annual gubernatorial speech. [...]

[...] this year’s response is more muted — the rally attracted about 75 people

David Soares’ opponent accuses him of corruption – without any evidence.

As District Attorney David Soares mulls whether to prosecute the latest arrests stemming from the Occupy Albany protests, his re-election campaign is capitalizing on the movement.

On Oct. 31, 10 days after the protest began, the Friends of David Soares trumpeted the Democrat’s refusal to prosecute peaceful protesters [...]

On Thursday, a lawyer who has provided legal advice to the local protesters will be among three hosts of a Loudonville fundraiser backing Soares’ bid for a third term. [...]

Soares’ Democratic challenger, defense attorney Lee Kindlon, said it nonetheless “clearly appears as if the DA is soliciting campaign cash in return for his promise not to prosecute.”

This reckless, unsubstantiated accusation by Kindlon hurts the Occupy movement, the aims of which he claims to support. Not a good way to advance the movement, or build support in a Democratic primary.

Crazy weather is hurting apple trees.

If this isn’t climate change, then it’s an ominous preview of what to expect.

There is no going back if an apple tree starts budding off too early. “A tree can decide that it is spring again already and start budding. When it gets cold again, it kills the bud, [...]

It is too early to tell whether this mild, snowless start to winter will damage the state fruit harvest, said Ian Merwin, a professor of horticulture at Cornell University who specializes in apples and other fruit trees.

But when a winter starts out warm — December was 6 degrees warmer than the historical average, according to the Albany office of the National Weather Service — that sets the stage for crop damage when temperatures suddenly plummet and trees have not had time to “harden up” for the cold.

Two Times Union readers sound off on Tea Party Chris Gibson.

After reading the Dec. 21 editorial, “What’s wrong with the GOP?” I feel the Times Union is ready to declare Rep. Chris Gibson of Kinderhook “Champion of the Middle Class” and “deserving of re-election” because he is willing to vote in favor of a two-month extension of the payroll tax cut.

I find this disturbing because it is my perception that, until now, Rep. Gibson has been in lockstep with the tea party members who have no concern for the middle class and who disdain the art of compromise in favor of all-or-nothing politics.

Maybe this is a good first step, but where was Rep. Gibson on all the other votes?


Gibson record shows that he is just as extreme as House Majority Leader Rep. Eric Cantor, R-Va. As the election nears, Gibson will want his constituents to forget that he supports gutting the Post Office, dismantling Social Security, reducing women’s access to health care and protecting millionaires and corporations from tax increases.

Let the DEC know what you think of hydrofracking, says biogeochemist Jonathan Cole.

Whether you believe that hydrofracking is the solution to our nation’s energy woes, or an environmental and economic disaster, Jan. 11 is the last day you can productively weigh in on the DEC’s Draft Environmental Impact Statement ( [...]

As a biogeochemist with more than 30 years of experience with water quality issues, I believe that the environmental impact statement is not ready to be implemented. There is too much at stake and too many gaps in our scientific understanding. The bottom line: We should not proceed until we know that clean water, a resource essential to all of us, is not going to be a casualty of gas extraction.

[...] The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency recently announced its plan to conduct a major study of hydrofracking. Some critical questions being explored by the EPA:

Fracking requires about 4 million gallons of water per well, per day. How would this withdrawal impact water supplies in affected areas, including lakes, streams and groundwater?

Fracking fluid contains toxic and carcinogenic chemicals such as ethylene glycol. Flowback water (a byproduct of drilling) contains methane. If spills occur during or post-drilling, what risk do they pose to drinking water?

Does the drilling process threaten aquifers that support New York’s drinking water? Can fracking fluid or gases migrate underground?

Are current methods of treating fracking wastewater effective at removing target contaminants and do evaporation ponds put groundwater supplies at risk?

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