I've had a few questions about who I am and why I'm doing this, and it seems like a good idea to explain that a bit.
Until fall 2003, my main political activities since the 1988 Dukakis campaign (when I volunteered on the campaign) had been reading and voting, with an occasional letter to the editor. I started looking at local politics, and saw issues there which deserved a lot more attention than they usually get. I decided to get involved in the 2003 elections, and made a lot of get-out-the-vote phone calls, which apparently didn't get out enough votes.
Rather than disappear into the woodwork when the Town Board elections produced a completely Republican board, I decided that it would be good to have a place to look at what happens in Dryden that was published regularly, and could go into greater detail when necessary than is possible in the Ithaca or Cortland papers. I worry that the general lack of news makes it much harder for anyone to discuss issues at election-time, as too many people haven't followed local news and, well, there's a lot to explain.
I've lived in Dryden since December 1999, at 1259 Dryden Road. I grew up in Corning, forty miles down the road, and my parents still live there.
I'm a registered Democrat who happily volunteered for and donated to the Dryden Democrats last year. I joined the Town of Dryden Democratic Committee in January 2004, and became its Chair in April 2004. I retired in December 2008, was Vice Chair for a while, and then was Chair again until November 2010 As of September 2011, I'm Vice Chair again. I ran for Town Board in 2009. The Committee has its own mind(s), so it's not wise to treat what I write as any kind of voice of the Committee.
I've also been working with TC Local, working toward figuring out what Tompkins County might look like if energy prices increased dramatically, and I'm currently Chair. That mostly means drawing up agendas and running the monthly meeting. Again, what I write does not represent the opinion(s) of that group.
As of December 2011, I'm a member of the Varna Community Association Board, who very likely don't endorse anything I write here.
I'm also a retired Trustee of the Dryden Town Historical Society.
I attend Ithaca Monthly Meeting of the Religious Society of Friends and write a blog on Quakerism as well.
I edit (and occasionally write) computer books for a living, working at home for O'Reilly & Associates, a company whose primary offices are in Sebastopol, CA, and Cambridge, MA. I've spent my last few years focusing on the (now declining) subject of XML, as you can tell from my personal site. My resume is a few years out of date, something I'll get around to fixing.
I'm serving (2010) on an advisory board for a Cornell Lab of Ornithology citizen science project, but otherwise I have no affiliation with Cornell University.
There is no advertising on this site, and I don't plan to accept any. I personally pay for all funding for the site's activity, including the web site itself, things like cameras used to take pictures, and software used to maintain the site. The opinions expressed on this site, unless cited explicitly to someone else, are my own.
The one gift I received related to a story on this site was an orchid from The Orchid Place in October 2006. They also let us use their parking lot sometimes.
(Unlike other entries, which tend to settle within a few hours of being posted, I'll update this entry when necessary and keep it linked from the front page.)
Updated December 1, 2010Posted by simon at February 3, 2004 7:44 AM in why