Saturday, July 22, 2017

Picnic Today! Sat. July 22 - 3:30 - 6:30

As the weather forecast is for a somewhat cloudy but non-rainy afternoon, it does appear that our plans to picnic today are on!  Please see our July 8 post for details regarding this event.  Any last minute issues, contact Andrew at 845 699 3051. Look for our "Hudson Valley Green Party" sign, at the Highland side of the Walkway Over the Hudson.  See ya!

Sunday, July 9, 2017

Cuomo Pushes New Toxic Fuels in Hudson Valley...and Beyond

Despite NYS's official energy policy, which calls for 50% of state energy needs being supplied by renewable sources by 2030, Gov. Cuomo- Democratic, Working Families Party Gov. Cuomo- continues to back the construction of the CPV (Competitive Power Ventures) fracked gas power plant on County Route 6 in the Town of Wawayanda, near Slate Hill, in Orange County.

Photo shows protestors at CPV site after Apr. 21 trial of "Wawyanda 6." Speaking is local resident Maddy Shaw. Fellow Wawayanda 6 members pictured are (right to left) actor and HVGP member James Cromwell, social work professor Naomi Miller (glasses), and Protect Orange County leader Pramilla Malick (orange shirt) - photo (copyright) by Barbara Kidney.

If operative, as planned by CPV and the Democratic and WF Party Governor, this plant would increase greenhouse gas emissions of electricity generators by 10% - for the entire state!  It would necessitate the operation of 150 frack wells PER DAY and emit 130 million cubic feet of greenhouse gasses PER DAY along with carcinogenic and neurotoxic particulate matter to land wherever, including on the valuable Black Dirt farmland in nearby Pine Island and on the gardens and schoolyards of the neighboring residential community.     

CPV would be the largest power plant in NYS.  Toxic fracked materials would travel hundreds of miles by pipelines leaking at a rate of 10% as a conservative estimate, from their source in the fracklands of PA to just outside congested Middletown, NY.  Additionally, enormous tanks of ammonia and diesel fuel are, and would continue to be, placed close to ever-busy highway I-84.  What could possibly go wrong?!

These and other interesting facts were given in sworn testimony by expert witnesses including Dr. Tony Ingraffea, geo-engineering professor emeritus of Cornell University, and Dr. Robert Howarth,  professor of ecology and environmental sciences, also at Cornell, on April 21, at the Town of Wawayanda Court trial of the so-called Wawayanda 6, who were represented by civil rights attorney Michael Sussman.  Back on Dec. 18, 2015, six members of a large group of anti-CPV protestors chained themselves in front of the CPV construction site entrance, and were arrested for trespassing. The defense case rested on the fact the protestors engaged in peaceful civil disobedience in order to prevent significant harm to the community, after having tried in vain to prevent this harm by legal means. (Indeed, sworn testimony included that during Planning Board hearings for the proposed construction of the plant, the Wawayanda Planning Board Chair told residents voicing concerns to "shut up"). 

During this April trial, Assistant Orange County District Attorney Maryellen Albanese made much of the alleged inconvenience to motorists delayed for about half hour on the morning of Dec. 18, 2015 (created not by protestors but by CPV truck-drivers refusing to move onto the highway shoulder), and she totally blew off any and all consequences of the operation of this toxic, already obsolete fracked fuel plant. She even objected to the scientific facts presented by highly credentialled Dr. Ingraffea as "hearsay"!  Once again, taxpayers' money goes to lavishly reimburse ignoramuses and/or pathological liars holding public offices.  Fortunately, presiding Judge Timothy McElduff Jr. overruled Albanese's absurd objections.

On June 7, Judge McElduff issued his decision that the protestors were guilty of a misdemeanor and sentenced each of them to fines and surcharges of $375 and 45 hours of community service. When Attorney Sussman asked the judge to permit the defendants to render the community service by protesting at the CPV site, the packed courtroom erupted into unbridled cheers and applause, and the judge commuted that part of the sentence. Attorney Sussman noted that the judge ruled the protestors were guilty because the extreme harm to the community that they were trying to prevent on Dec. 18, 2015, WAS NOT THEN "IMMINENT" ENOUGH, and, as much time has since passed and construction continues, we can draw our own conclusions.  HEY, JUDGE, IS HARM IMMINENT ENOUGH YET?!

Three of the Wawayanda 6, HVGP member James Cromwell, along with Maddy Shaw, and Pramilla Malick, have refused to pay the fine, and are due to be imprisoned on Friday July 14 in Orange County Jail for a week.  A rally and press conference are scheduled at the CPV site on Route 6 in Wawayanda at 2 pm Friday July 14, followed by a motor caravan to accompany James, Maddy, and Pramilla to the county jail- come join this if you can!

Meanwhile, there is the matter of CPV needing DEC (NYS Dept. of Environmental Conservation) to issue a permit to Millennium Pipeline Company for the construction of a 7.8 mile lateral pipeline to bring toxic fracked gas to the CPV plant. This new pipeline would run through Deerpark, Greenville, and Minisink, in Sullivan and Orange Counties. So...

EXTREMELY URGENT!!  Here's what we must do!  Let us overwhelm DEC with comments against the construction of this inevitably leaky pipeline of toxic fracked substances. Public hearings will be held 6 pm Thurs., July 27 at Monticello High School in Monticello, and 6 pm Wed., August 2 at Paramount Theater, 17 South St., in downtown Middletown. Written comments should be submitted by 5 pm Friday August 4 to the DEC website  IF CPV CANNOT GET THAT PIPELINE,  the CPV monster will be slain!

But wait, there's more!  Before he was fired by Donald Trump, federal attorney Preet Bharara was investigating corruption involving top Cuomo aide Joseph Percoco  and CPV lobbyist Peter Galbraith Kelly, Jr.  Percocco's wife, Lisa Toscano-Percoco received more than $287,000 from CPV for a do-nothing job position with CPV, in exchange for Percoco's help in obtaining a state contract worth about $100 million to finance CPV, as well as millions of dollars in energy credits for another new toxic power plant in New Jersey (NYTimes, Weiser, Rashbaum, & Yee, Sept. 22, 2016). 

So,  Gov. Cuomo (Dem/WF) out-Trumps Trump when it comes to actual climate and environmental damage in NYS as well as in northern New Jersey (air pollution, greenhouse gasses) and Pennsylvania (ditto, plus 150 frack wells operating, and pipelines leaking).  Call Cuomo anytime and leave him a voicemail telling him this, at 518 474 8390.  You do not have to leave your name, and it would be an excellent idea to contact him repeatedly about this issue. Remember, CPV and its lateral pipeline violate both the Paris Climate Accord AND the NYS Sustainable Energy Plan.  And besides Cuomo, fellow Dems, Congressperson Sean Patrick Maloney and State Assembyperson James Skoufis, also support CPV and its own new dirty little pipeline.

And to think we could have had Howie Hawkins for NYS Governor.  Get real, people- when you have the choice, eschew both Red and Blue plutocrats and vote Green!

--Verde Claro 

Saturday, July 8, 2017

Picnic with Us! Sat. July 22 - 3:30 to 6:30ish - Walkway Over the Hudson

     HVGP will have a picnic gathering on the Highland ("West Bank") side of Walkway Over the Hudson Park, weather permitting, on Sat. afternoon, July 22, 3:30 - 6:30 pm. 
This will be an informal social event, certainly open to family and friends, regardless of political party registration.  There will probably be political conversation, however- be forewarned : )  Please bring your own food, drink, and picnic accessories; bring food or drink to share if you would like.  Earth and human friendly food and drink are encouraged; what you consume is your choice, of course, but please be kind to your neighbors and avoid GMOs, pesticided, and high-fructose items  for sharing.
     The park has a carry-in, carry-out policy, which means you are responsible for taking your trash out with you and properly disposing off-site.  As we are Greens, let's picnic Green with no or minimalistic plastic, and recycle what cannot be re-used.  It's a simple matter to bring your own plate, cup, silverware, and (ideally) cloth napkin. 
     Rain date is Sunday, July 23, same time, with next rain date being Sat. July 29, same time.
     Activities at this park include walking, jogging, and biking.  Skate-boarding is not allowed.  Leashed pets are permitted.  Restrooms and concession stands are present.  For more particulars, check the Walkway Over the Hudson website.  There are picnic tables but we cannot count on having one, so bring a blanket or chairs.  Feel free to bring your musical instrument; for those who like we can do some singing, and acoustic instrumental music is also welcome.  If you plan to walk on the walkway, prepare for somewhat cooler and breezier conditions.

      On Sat. July 22 at 6:30 pm, the park will be offering an outdoor showing of the movie, "Rogue One: A Star Wars Movie" on the Poughkeepsie ("East Bank") side of the Walkway - something to look forward to after our picnic, if weather allows us our first choice of date.

       If we have to postpone due to weather, we will post that on this site, assuming we have power.  (In these days of 400 plus ppm carbon dioxide in the atmosphere, weather "events" are common, no?)  Feel free to phone or text Andrew at 845 699 3051 for any last-minute issues or questions.


Wednesday, July 5, 2017

Initial Organizational Meeting - June 6, 2017

    Our first formal organizational meeting on June 6 was a success!  Fifteen Green Party members met in Beacon and agreed to seek recognition for our group, Hudson Valley Green Party (HVGP),  from the Green Party of New York State (GPNY).  GP members from three counties- Dutchess, Orange, and Ulster- attended, as well as a GP member from Connecticut.  We adopted bylaws and elected a slate of officers.  Michael O'Neil, administrator for GPNY, attended, helped with administrative issues, and spoke about GPNY's political directions for the coming year, most notably working for a single payer health system in NYS (which obtained some support in the NYS Legislature, by being passed by the NYS Assembly as the NY Health Act, prior to the NYS Legislature recessing for the summer).

    Volunteering as officeholders for two year terms are:  Barbara Kidney and Susy Nowak, Co-Chairs; Joe Calabro and Dave Heller, Co-Secretaries; Andrew Dalton, Treasurer.  All received unanimous support.

    Minutes will be submitted to GPNY's Executive Committee (EC) with a request for state party recognition of HVGP as an official local chapter of GPNY.  Receiving this status would enable HVGP to have official representation and voting rights within GPNY.  The next formal meeting of GPNY occurs in mid-September; we expect a decision from the state EC after that meeting.

    All registered Green Party members in Dutchess, Orange, or Ulster counties would be de facto members of HVGP.  Also welcome to join would be people in those counties who self-identify with Green Party values but who are denied voting rights due to immigration status (including Permanent Residents ("green card" holders)) or legal status.  Green Party members or aficionados from outside Dutchess, Orange, and Ulster are also welcome to attend our meetings and to otherwise be in touch with us.

    HVGP will hold its next formal meeting in late September or in October; check this site for further information later.  Meanwhile, we plan to picnic at the Highland side of Walkway Over the Hudson on Saturday, July 22 from 3:30 to 6:30, weather permitting, with rain date of Sunday, July 23, same time.  More on this on an upcoming posting.


          --Submitted by Barbara Kidney