October 1, 2012

Potentially massive hydrofracking delays

The tone of the hydrofracking regulatory conversation has changed pretty drastically over the last week or so. Solid Shale has a long list of details you absolutely should read, but the two key ones I see (from a Dryden perspective)...

Posted by simon at 7:02 AM

September 10, 2012

Woodstove, Part V, installation

Today was a huge day for the woodstove installation. It's not ready to use - it needs an inspection and the plumbing for the hot water jacket needs to be installed - but it's in the house now and the...

Posted by simon at 9:11 PM

Fracking decision delayed

I'm not really sure what this means for the long term, but the DEC seems to have put the brakes on their prior plans to release a new DSGEIS and regulations in August or September....

Posted by simon at 8:11 PM

September 1, 2012

Freeville Earthship

It has its own amazing blog - you really just need to see it. (It's on Ed Hill Road near the Cornell Organic farm if you want to see it from the road, in the area where Angelika's orchard was....

Posted by simon at 4:34 PM

Woodstove, Part III, water jacket

The last work actually done on the woodstove installation was back in June. What happened? Well, two things. We're still waiting to have the hearth installed, which is behind - but I hadn't been pressing them because we were missing...

Posted by simon at 4:25 PM

Gas leases fading?

It's still mostly rumor, but it sounds like Anschutz and other gas companies aren't putting up resistance to lease expirations any longer. People who signed leases long enough ago for the initial expiration date to have passed can file for...

Posted by simon at 4:06 PM

August 27, 2012

Protesting fracking - in Albany

There were at least a dozen Dryden residents in Albany today, including two families, joining the Don't Frack New York! rally and march. Sungiva settles into the crowd. One of my favorite protest signs was completely simple: the New York...

Posted by simon at 11:13 PM

August 15, 2012

"Shortly Determine"

The DEC seems to be inching toward that late summer SGEIS release they'd suggested earlier. It's climbed to 4000 pages, and the DEC Commissioner still seems convinced he has science on his side. I'll have to see what the geology...

Posted by simon at 10:35 AM

August 8, 2012

Cuomo to use Broome County as fracking laboratory?

We're still in the "here's what might possibly be coming" phase, but Tom Wilber is usually reasonably cautious. Here's what he hears might be Governor Cuomo's plan to start Marcellus Shale fracking in New York State: Timing and location: Permitting...

Posted by simon at 2:28 PM

Gas drilling ban at a year

"My mom always told me one good thing and that's always to use common sense when you're making decisions, and this one was, in my estimation, a common-sense decision. So, it had nothing to do with politics." That's Town Councilman...

Posted by simon at 8:19 AM

August 3, 2012

Homeowners insurance doesn't cover drilling

I think Energy In Depth Marcellus, the gas company PR site, must have posted this article hoping that people would only read the "our policies have not changed and we won't cancel policies because of leasing or drilling." Its conclusion...

Posted by simon at 7:02 AM

July 31, 2012

Gas companies push legal lunacy further

It's bad enough that the gas industry can't seem to accept that two judges have already thrown out their claims about state energy law pre-empting local zoning, but really? Lenape is threatening to sue the state because localities - in...

Posted by simon at 2:39 PM

July 20, 2012

Power plant to be mothballed

The former Milliken Station/AES Cayuga coal-burning power plant in Lansing has had a busy news year, but a very quiet year as far as generating electricity. It sounded like investors were bringing back signs of life, but now those investors...

Posted by simon at 1:43 PM

July 18, 2012

Regulators evaluating science... who and how?

In my review of Under The Surface, I noted that it was hard to sympathize with the regulators - mostly because they don't do their job. After a spate of doubts about the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation's...

Posted by simon at 2:03 AM

July 14, 2012

Dryden SEC meets

...in Spencer. Well, at least it's closer than Binghamton, right? No mention on their own website, either, just on the industry-run Energy In Depth....

Posted by simon at 9:51 PM

July 11, 2012

Come on up... from the Marcellus

I guess I wasn't the only one who studied our local geologic strata and concluded there might be some extended cracks between layers. For me, that was mostly what I got from reading the patron geologist of the Marcellus Shale,...

Posted by simon at 5:27 PM

July 5, 2012

4700 gallons of hydrochloric acid, but it's not about fracking?

Well, except that it is, and this is why I'm glad the Dryden ban covered operations beyond the drilling pad itself: When the anonymous industry report states there were "no drilling or fracking operations taking place" at the spill site...

Posted by simon at 10:33 PM

July 2, 2012

So that's why the cheers for the DEC

I'd been wondering for a long time why local supporters of gas drilling had turned into such great fans of New York's Department of Environmental Conservation. Over the years I'd heard plenty of complaints about how the DEC was another...

Posted by simon at 10:18 PM

Local power plant to keep going

It's not in Dryden, but the AES Cayuga power plant on the lake in Lansing has been Tompkins County's primary source of electricity for a long time. After a long period of wobbling, when it seemed that the plant's value...

Posted by simon at 10:10 PM

June 28, 2012

No rush for drilling

At the bottom of a Corning Leader article about a protest at Talisman Energy's offices in Big Flats, I find this tidbit: Talisman currently has about 300 Marcellus Shale gas wells in Pennsylvania, but regardless of the fracking debate in...

Posted by simon at 9:05 AM

June 22, 2012

"Will be done shortly"

Perhaps not long now until we find out what the Department of Environmental Conservation will do with their flawed SGEIS: "We don't have a hard date, but it will be done shortly," Cuomo said on Albany's 1300-AM (WGDJ).... "I think...

Posted by simon at 2:17 PM

A bit of jealousy for friends with geothermal systems

While I'm upgrading heat sources and tearing up the back yard, I'm also cursing the heat. Friends of mine who tore up their yards and upgraded their heating systems to geothermal, instead of (or in addition to) a woodstove, are...

Posted by simon at 6:28 AM

Woodstove, Part II

The earlier work on my woodstove installation mostly involved creating a path to the chimney from the livingroom. The next round of work was more of an upgrade, adding a stainless steel liner to the chimney and installing a top...

Posted by simon at 5:53 AM

June 20, 2012

Fracking economics not looking so great

If you've been asking why I wonder things like: Why would gas companies even want to invest when gas prices are this low? Why would gas companies want to invest here when 'wetter' (and currently more profitable) gas is more...

Posted by simon at 1:19 PM

Fracking trial balloon not doing so well

Last week, a leak in the New York Times suggested that the Cuomo administration would try out fracking in a part of the state that seems most to want it. As Tom Wilber reports, that trial balloon has mostly attracted...

Posted by simon at 7:05 AM

June 18, 2012

Fracking and earthquakes

The fracking and earthquakes conversation has a lot of dimensions. I had a lot of questions about the DSGEIS fumbling the information on faults that was available. I was less concerned, though, with fracking causing earthquakes that with the other...

Posted by simon at 12:24 PM

June 15, 2012

Is Home Rule a good idea for gas drilling?

My use of the phrase "classic Albany compromise" in my earlier post on the leaks about a proposal to allow hydrofracking in places that seem to want it has created some confusion, online and off. As I wrote elsewhere: I...

Posted by simon at 12:15 PM

June 13, 2012

Dryden and Dryden's attorney comment on possible Cuomo moves

Other places post press releases as news without acknowledging they came from press releases - I prefer just to pass on the press release directly: FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE June 13, 2012 Statement on New York State's Reported Plan to...

Posted by simon at 3:23 PM

Looks like Home Rule may be the answer on drilling

This sounds like a trial balloon to me: Cuomo Plan Would Limit Gas Drilling to a Few Counties in New York The plan, described by a senior official at the State Department of Environmental Conservation and others with knowledge of...

Posted by simon at 10:30 AM

June 5, 2012

Energy infrastructure takes time to shift

I had an exchange this morning on the Sustainable Tompkins mailing list that seems worth reprinting here. On 6/5/12 8:31 AM, George Frantz wrote: More importantly than the question of indigestion, in my opinion, is the question of will this...

Posted by simon at 12:24 PM

May 26, 2012

Wood stove, Part I

When I first looked at this house, there was a woodstove in the livingroom. It belonged to the tenants, and they were willing to sell it - but my ex-wife was allergic to wood smoke and really didn't want a...

Posted by simon at 7:25 AM

May 21, 2012

Under the Surface

I was a bit cautious about Under the Surface: Fracking, Fortunes, and the Fate of the Marcellus Shale. Tom Wilber's Shale Gas Review blog is always written in cautious journalistese, and to be honest a background writing for Gannett (owner...

Posted by simon at 10:41 AM

May 20, 2012

Really? They did? Who knew?

The Dryden Safe Energy Coalition held an informational meeting in Owego, New York, this week. See? Energy in Depth is good for something - helping me keep track of what a supposedly Dryden organization is doing in other counties! (They...

Posted by simon at 4:45 PM

May 4, 2012

Power plant? What power plant?

The AES Cayuga plant hasn't been running since March, so our electricity is no longer coming from Tompkins County. For more on why, see Stuart Staniford's look at the paths of oil and natural gas prices. This storm mostly missed...

Posted by simon at 11:53 AM

April 28, 2012

Wait - why are you quoting the mercenaries?

I'm not the only one who noticed Gannett and the Ithaca Journal re-hashing a story from the Energy In Depth folks. County Legislature Chair Martha Robertson has some hard questions for the Journal. The Ithaca Journal should investigate where the...

Posted by simon at 10:36 PM

April 27, 2012

Key quote on fracking from DEC's Martens

I noted earlier that the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation was leaning toward fracking first in places where it's wanted, but that was all pretty vague. Would the DEC actually recognize local laws banning fracking? Today there's a...

Posted by simon at 1:18 PM

April 21, 2012

"Supportive communities" to get fracked first?

I hadn't realized it was possible for the DEC to do this, but apparently there's discussion of allowing hydrofracking in places "that want it". (You can also see that article in Binghamton, where it doesn't repeat every paragraph.) In particular,...

Posted by simon at 7:39 AM

April 20, 2012

Journal repeats mercenaries, mercenaries ignore it

I was really hoping the folks at Energy in Depth would have something to say about the Ithaca Journal repeating their claims with a slightly calmer take and more context, but they seem content to let Gannett's Albany bureau do...

Posted by simon at 6:22 AM

April 16, 2012

Solar power talk Wednesday

One flip side of not wanting more fossil fuel extraction is promoting use of renewable energy. This Wednesday at the Dryden Fire Hall (on Rt 13 just on the Cortland side of the 4 corners) John Schwartz will talk about...

Posted by simon at 8:53 AM

April 10, 2012

Thoughts on Empowered: The Movie

I mentioned this movie a few weeks ago for its Dryden roots, but only got to actually seeing it last night. Its creators have been organizing group showings around the area, which I think is great for starting conversation, but...

Posted by simon at 10:49 AM

March 30, 2012

Anschutz will appeal

Surprise, surprise - Tom West was apparently joking about how he was just too expensive for Anschutz, his billionaire client. Not only will they appeal their loss to Dryden, "From day one, West said, it was his client's preference to...

Posted by simon at 12:11 AM

March 22, 2012

Will Anschutz appeal?

I keep hearing rumors that Anschutz may not bother appealing their loss in their case against Dryden's gas drilling ban. There was a strange hint of that in Attorney Tom West's immediate response to the loss, in which he suggested...

Posted by simon at 7:00 AM

March 20, 2012

Something I don't understand

I always try to make sure I keep track of the opposing side of any argument I'm making. In the hydrofracking conversation, that means following the Dryden Safe Energy Coalition and Energy in Depth - Northeast Marcellus Initiative. Reading those...

Posted by simon at 12:14 PM

March 10, 2012

Energy evolution of a house

I noted Stuart Staniford's exploration of home energy efficiency a few weeks ago. Now he's really outdone himself with a set of graphs about his house, calculating how much impact past energy efficiency improvement had and how much impact future...

Posted by simon at 1:42 PM

February 29, 2012

The end is near... or not

I love Joe Osmeloski's letter asking what Henry Kramer's 'next "end of the world" scenario for our small town will be.' However it happens, the end of the legal conversation with the gas industry will not be quick. The Dryden...

Posted by simon at 7:50 AM

February 25, 2012

If you want to keep up with the DSEC

You may want to visit industry PR site Energy in Depth Marcellus instead of the Dryden Safe Energy Coalition's own site. I was wondering when the DSEC would post something about the first results of the lawsuit they had so...

Posted by simon at 6:43 AM

About that takings claim

I really didn't think Anschutz would live up to its bluster, and I'm mostly surprised they folded this argument so quickly: Although early reports (NYTimes 2/02/2012) quoted West saying Anschutz could sue Dryden under "takings" law, West said February 22...

Posted by simon at 6:14 AM

February 24, 2012

And Middlefield wins too

It's been a bad week for the gas industry and their lead attorney, Tom West. The Town of Middlefield, New York was battling a lawsuit parallel to Dryden's. In Dryden's case, the gas company, Anschutz Exploration Company, had sued, while...

Posted by simon at 4:57 PM

February 23, 2012

When you only have one speed, no brakes,

and minimal steering, you're bound to hit walls sometimes. When I checked in yesterday at Energy in Depth Marcellus, the PR mouthpiece for the gas companies, to see what their response to the Dryden lawsuit ruling might be, all I...

Posted by simon at 6:34 PM

February 21, 2012

Dryden wins the lawsuit! Dryden wins the lawsuit!

Well, round one of three, anyway, if this takes its expected journey through New York State's court system. Judge Phillip Rumsey ruled in favor of Dryden and against Anschutz. More soon. Update: Here's the decision itself, and the Ithaca Journal...

Posted by simon at 7:37 PM

Empowered: The Movie

Empowered: The Movie came out a few months ago, but I'm afraid I hadn't realized just how deep its Dryden, mostly West Dryden, roots are. Suzanne McMannis, who built this wonderful strawbale house on Bone Plain Road with her husband,...

Posted by simon at 6:12 AM

February 18, 2012

After the boom

This morning's Ithaca Journal asks Has New York missed the hydrofracking boom? and concludes sort of maybe. Over two years ago, I suggested that there were good economic reasons for drilling to come later if it came at all, and...

Posted by simon at 6:31 AM

February 9, 2012

Another energy audit in Dryden

Stuart Staniford doesn't report whether Jon Harrod cackled madly as he saw how energy-inefficient Stuart's house was, but otherwise it sounds much like the energy audit Jon did for this house almost a decade ago, long before I was blogging...

Posted by simon at 5:09 PM

February 7, 2012

Where's that fairway again?

Now I'm starting to wonder if anything at all in the Geology chapter (4.2MB PDF) of the Revised Draft SGEIS on the Oil, Gas and Solution Mining Regulatory Program can be trusted. I posted a while ago about the 'fairway'...

Posted by simon at 7:08 AM

February 6, 2012

Republicans target Seward for 'folly' and 'tyranny'

Now that's a headline I never thought I'd write. It's Dryden Republicans, too. First came Henry Kramer's blast at One of Nine, Liberty or Tyranny, arguing that "Home Rule is Undemocratic", but not mentioning Senator Seward by name. Then came...

Posted by simon at 7:14 PM

January 25, 2012

Lots happening, and questioning home rule

As always, Dryden Town Talk is a must-read. Volunteer opportunities, jazz concerts, pancakes, chowder, a father-daughter dance... there's lots going on! I guess State Senator Jim Seward's earlier comments about home rule didn't sit well with the Dryden Safe Energy...

Posted by simon at 12:44 PM

January 24, 2012

Gas drilling may not make economic sense right now

Not that it makes the local battle any less important, but I've had a hard time for a while believing that the rush to drill here made much economic sense. It's not that I question there being gas here, but...

Posted by simon at 7:22 PM

Bringing the Dryden ban conversation to Albany

It's good to see that DRAC got up to Albany: A Dryden banner visiting the legislature. (Provided by Judith Pierpont.) The Ithaca Journal has more on the lobbying day....

Posted by simon at 12:49 PM

January 23, 2012

I liked it better when this data stayed in Dryden

at the former NYSEG headquarters, rather than spreading because of: an employee at an independent software development consulting firm who allowed unauthorized access to one of the companies' customer information systems. The customer records contain Social Security numbers, dates of...

Posted by simon at 6:15 PM

January 17, 2012

Polite jousting over legislative Chair

While redistricting seems unlikely to make a drastic difference in Dryden, two Dryden County Legislators are making competing cases about how the Legislature should run and came to a deadlock at the beginning of the year. This morning's Ithaca Journal...

Posted by simon at 5:04 AM

January 16, 2012

Senator Jim Seward on a conservative approach

I was delighted to see State Senator Jim Seward's recent guest column, Home rule laws aren't a radical idea. I agree with him: they're deeply conservative: Home rule is a conservative position that democratically elected local governments, closest to the...

Posted by simon at 10:45 AM

January 13, 2012

Echoes of a previous (nuclear) energy argument

I stumbled on a copy of Nuclear Power and Its Critics: The Cayuga Lake Controversy last week, and grabbed it. I still remember Joyce Gerbasi explaining to a very surprised and younger me that NYSEG had wanted to put a...

Posted by simon at 12:50 PM

January 12, 2012

A lot more NORM

Back in October, I had some questions about the DEC's take on Naturally Occurring Radioactive Materials. Today, reading the Environmental Protection Agency's comments on the dSGEIS, I got a bit of a jolt. I'd wondered: Section reports on tests...

Posted by simon at 6:25 PM

January 6, 2012

New York State energy policy (and home rule)

[repurposing a long email message. Update: this New York Times article tells a similar story with a lot less background.] New York State energy policy is a game that's largely about territory and players and not so much about principles....

Posted by simon at 12:22 PM

January 5, 2012

Lots of questions over different kinds of "development"

One underlying theme I keep finding in the Ithaca Journal this new year is questions about how we want to build in this county. Many of the questions are about energy, but others aren't. There's a roundup of news about...

Posted by simon at 12:10 PM

January 2, 2012

Inadequate geology in the dSGEIS

It took a month, but I've finally finished my comments on the Revised Draft SGEIS on the Oil, Gas and Solution Mining Regulatory Program (September 2011) - Well Permit Issuance for Horizontal Drilling and High-Volume Hydraulic Fracturing in the Marcellus...

Posted by simon at 12:01 AM

December 30, 2011

Tompkins County Community Impact Assessment for drilling

I've written earlier about some Tompkins County Council of Governments projections on what hydrofracking would bring to Dryden, but that was kind of the appetizers for the larger meal that's the larger Community Impact Assessment. The full assessment is 130...

Posted by simon at 8:16 PM

December 20, 2011

RPM bankruptcy limits clawback

I've been slack, and there's a lot to catch up on at the Ithaca Journal. RPM Ecosystems didn't create the jobs promised in exchange for tax reductions, but bankruptcy means the tax money is gone. Dryden resident Audrey Terry will...

Posted by simon at 12:06 PM

December 10, 2011

Freeville passes drilling moratorium

The Journal's regular coverage seems not to have noticed it, but David Fogel, Chair of the Village of Freeville Planning Board, writes the Ithaca Journal to say that passing the moratorium was the right thing to do, and tells a...

Posted by simon at 7:11 AM

December 9, 2011

Last-place region still funds some Dryden projects

The Regional Economic Development Council awards came out yesterday, and the Southern Tier region, of which Tompkins County and Dryden are a part, received the least funds. Per capita, I'm sure our $49.4 million beat New York City's $66 million,...

Posted by simon at 7:43 AM

December 7, 2011

County takes its own stand on gas drilling

Tompkins County has no land use authority, so it can't do much to regulate gas drilling except, I think, manage truck permits and decide whether or not to lease its own land. Despite that, this was encouraging, especially given that...

Posted by simon at 6:18 PM

December 6, 2011

Public hearing tonight on Freeville drilling moratorium

The Town of Dryden passed a ban on gas drilling back in August, but there are two places where that ban doesn't apply: the villages of Dryden and Freeville. The ban works through zoning, and the villages have their own...

Posted by simon at 6:10 AM

December 3, 2011

Video from Ithaca SGEIS event

The amazing folks at Shaleshock just get faster and faster. Here's video of the Thursday night hearing on the Revised Draft SGEIS on the Oil, Gas and Solution Mining Regulatory Program....

Posted by simon at 2:39 PM

December 2, 2011

Bringing an SGEIS hearing here

Or almost here, anyway - to downtown Ithaca, since the DEC seemed too afraid of local feedback to put an event any closer than Binghamton. (Dansville, way outside the fairway for these, no problem! And NYC, well, they had to...

Posted by simon at 12:18 PM

December 1, 2011

DEC extends SGEIS comment period; event tonight

Still reading the enormous Revised Draft SGEIS on the Oil, Gas and Solution Mining Regulatory Program? Running out of time for comments? The State extended the comment period to January 11, 2012. Also, there's a locally-sponsored public hearing tonight: 7-11...

Posted by simon at 12:31 PM

November 29, 2011

Fleased meeting Sunday

Fleased - "providing a voice for fellow landholders who leased mineral rights before we knew that shale gas exploitation threatened our land, air, water, and communities" - will be meeting this Sunday at the Dryden Fire Hall: SIGNED A GAS...

Posted by simon at 12:27 PM

November 28, 2011

Asking the wrong questions about groundwater and gas

Unlike other more plausible sections of the geology chapter of the draft SGEIS on shale gas drilling (4.2MB PDF), I knew that the last section - 4.7, Naturally-Occurring Methane in NYS - was broken from the first time I read...

Posted by simon at 6:10 PM

November 21, 2011

"Fingers were wiggled"

The Ithaca Journal headline promised "high drama" in their story about the Binghamton DEC hearing, but somehow we get a "boisterous" crowd that wiggles their fingers. I guess I won't see that in the audio from WSKG....

Posted by simon at 7:18 AM

November 19, 2011

Video, audio of compulsory integration, fracking meetings

I didn't get to Monday's "Gas Drilling and Compulsory Integration: What Are Your Rights?" event, but there's full video available from Shaleshock. The DEC hearings on the fracking SGEIS in Dansville (11/16) and Binghamton (11/17) are also available from WSKG,...

Posted by simon at 4:41 PM

November 16, 2011

The gas industry and quakes in New York State

I wrote about faults the other day, and it already looks like I may have underestimated their impact in an age where we like to inject things deep underground. There's also a piece on potential legal earthquakes from all of...

Posted by simon at 7:33 AM

November 14, 2011

Dryden likely has several faults

The last time I wrote about, this, I was pointing to what looked like a single small faulted area in Dryden along the Caroline town line. Faults in Tompkins County. That came from Figure 4.13 in the Geology section of...

Posted by simon at 9:13 PM

November 13, 2011

Compulsory integration discussion Monday night

What does compulsory integration mean for you? GAS DRILLING & COMPULSORY INTEGRATION: WHAT ARE YOUR RIGHTS? Energy companies may be able to remove natural gas from your property even if you haven't signed a drilling lease due to the Compulsory...

Posted by simon at 9:16 PM

November 12, 2011

Where the fracking conversation is now

Peter Mantius of the DC Bureau has an overview of where the fracking battles are after Friday's court hearing and Tuesday's elections....

Posted by simon at 8:07 AM

November 11, 2011

Seward blasts DEC at fracking hearing

Now that's a hard headline to improve upon! It comes straight from this article. I've noted Republican State Senator Jim Seward's work on this front before, but this seems like a stronger statement: "I resent the fact that the water...

Posted by simon at 9:27 AM

November 10, 2011

Hydrofracking and the elections

Back at the public hearing in July, I asked Dryden Republican Committee Chair why they were pushing so hard against the ban. "Candidates", he said, before we were shushed. I was actually trying to give him some advice - I...

Posted by simon at 8:08 AM

November 7, 2011

Subtle but effective anti-fracking sign

"All those enviros who think they know better than the rest of us, they should just listen to the market" - or something like that - isn't too unusual a comment in the culture war side of the pro-fracking folks...

Posted by simon at 7:56 AM

November 5, 2011

Piles of election and fracking news

It's definitely been a busy week for Dryden. Here are pointers to some of the latest election pieces: Incumbent Town Supervisor Mary Ann Sumner's Ithaca Journal piece on the biggest issue facing Dryden. Video of the last candidates' forum is...

Posted by simon at 12:55 PM

November 4, 2011

A morning in court

I took today off so I could watch my town get sued. I suspect the best summary of this morning's proceedings came at its end, from Judge Phillip Rumsey: It's wonderful to have such excellent work from everyone. It makes...

Posted by simon at 3:12 PM

My reading of the Anschutz lawsuit

I reviewed the thick stack of filings last night. I am not a lawyer, but basically I hear this from the two sides: Anschutz The DEC has historically interpreted the Environmental Conservation Law to give it lots and lots of...

Posted by simon at 7:44 AM

WBNG on Anschutz suit

WBNG-TV Binghamton has a report on today's upcoming hearing in the Anschutz lawsuit....

Posted by simon at 7:26 AM

November 3, 2011

Lots of election-related news

I'm about 20 stories behind on pieces I wanted to write before the election, with little sign I'll get them done. Still, there's lots popping up, so... There was a piece on Dryden's fracking ban on NPR's Morning Edition this...

Posted by simon at 12:18 PM

November 2, 2011

Seward still pushing for home rule, supporting bans

I was a little worried that State Senator Jim Seward had gone quiet on his earlier support for clarifying that municipalities can zone out gas drilling. Fortunately, WBNG-TV reports that he's still interested in a piece on the Middlefield lawsuit:...

Posted by simon at 10:21 PM

November 1, 2011

Does keeping gas drilling out make sense?

Yes, completely. If you still want more conversation, though... The Ithaca Journal has a pro-ban anti-drilling piece from County Legislator Martha Robertson and a pro-drilling anti-ban piece from Dryden Safe Energy Coalition spokesman Henry Kramer. I'm very happy to see...

Posted by simon at 8:44 AM

October 31, 2011

Drilling views of Supervisor candidates, Planning Board member

The Ithaca Journal ran viewpoint pieces from both candidates for Dryden Town Supervisor, asking them the fairly generic: "What is your assessment of the actions the Town of Dryden has taken or should take to regulate gas exploration within its...

Posted by simon at 12:50 PM

October 29, 2011

A human side effect of gas drilling

When I think about the possible impact of shale gas drilling on my own neighborhood, I certainly worry about the potential environmental impact of a well pad up the hill from my house. For most of Varna, though, that well...

Posted by simon at 10:01 PM

October 27, 2011

Town Board candidates' perspectives on gas drilling

In which the Democrats support the Town's efforts to regulate hydrofracking, and the Republicans can't imagine anyone but the state regulating it. Jim Drew (R) Linda Lavine (D) Deborah Shigley (R) Joseph Solomon (D) Do the Republicans say they won't...

Posted by simon at 7:40 PM

October 26, 2011

First thoughts on tonight's candidates forum

Perhaps the most impressive feature of tonight's candidate forum at the Dryden Fire Station was the turnout. I'm guessing that 200 people were there, far far more than came out to the forum two years ago. Yes, a large group...

Posted by simon at 11:03 PM

Town Supervisor Candidates on WHCU

You can hear incumbent Democratic Supervisor Mary Ann Sumner and Republican challenger Bruno Schickel on WHCU podcasts. One minor point - I'm pretty irritated with Dave Vieser for badly summarizing this piece, and making it easy for Schickel to dismiss....

Posted by simon at 12:32 PM

October 24, 2011

Dryden replies to lawsuit

Here are all the pieces of the Town of Dryden's reply to the Anschutz lawsuit, file number 2011-0902 at the Tompkins County Courthouse. There's a lot here, but the key pieces are the Verified Answer, a paragraph-by-paragraph reply to the...

Posted by simon at 12:59 PM

October 22, 2011

Absolutely do what you believe!

Some wisdom from departing Town Board member David Makar about standing up for the Town....

Posted by simon at 10:24 AM

Henry Kramer as a Prophet of Doom

I have a certain sympathy for doom-sayers. I've been called a Cassandra myself, for example. Henry Kramer, though, is a prophet of a different sort. Cassandra was a prophet of doom, yes, but one who was always ignored, always powerless...

Posted by simon at 7:34 AM

October 20, 2011

Fox News visits Dryden

Fox News paid a visit to Dryden a few weeks ago to talk with Marie McRae and a few others about gas leases. They've released their report in at least two forms. The first one, "Landowners Express Concern Over Fracking",...

Posted by simon at 12:28 PM

Mortgages don't like gas leases

The New York Times has an extended article today about conflicts between mortgages and gas drilling agreements - basically stating that by signing a gas lease (with surface rights), you're making the property ineligible for most mortgages, especially the "Uniform"...

Posted by simon at 12:23 PM

October 18, 2011

Who invited Goliath?

There were a lot of strange Republican claims in the recent Innovation Trail piece at WSKG, but I think the one that really hit it out of the park was this: Schickel is critical of town Democrats for putting Dryden...

Posted by simon at 7:48 PM

October 17, 2011

Shale Gas Drilling: A Changed Environment

National Geographic takes a look at the impact of Marcellus Shale drilling in Pennsylvania. As always, they take better pictures than I do....

Posted by simon at 8:27 AM

October 15, 2011

Gas drilling politics, 2009

One of the stranger complaints I heard about the gas drilling ban was that "no one talked about this at the last election." Now, I recognize that not everyone made it to the Dryden Grange's Meet the Candidate event, but...

Posted by simon at 11:25 PM

Another Innovation Trail piece on ban, election

I need to write a piece unpacking the various strange claims Republicans make here, but it'll take a while. I trust you - go read and listen to it yourself. (And if you're catching up, here's the earlier piece they...

Posted by simon at 10:56 AM

October 14, 2011

Dryden lawsuit on WSKG's Innovation Trail

You can read the article and hear the audio at their website. (I've also heard Fox News had a piece on the lawsuit, but haven't seen it turn up.)...

Posted by simon at 6:09 AM

October 11, 2011

Catching up on the news

Once again, I've fallen behind. The main Dryden-centric piece of the past week was Cathy Wakeman's Dryden Town Talk, which included a few events that have already happened and many that haven't. She opens by discussing various projects to help...

Posted by simon at 1:00 AM

October 6, 2011

"This is not a one acre/one vote democracy."

If it was, I'd have 6-point-something votes, but it doesn't work that way and shouldn't work that way. Marie McRae's letter last week really sums up the politics around gas drilling in Dryden for me: According to publicly available statistics,...

Posted by simon at 12:17 PM

October 2, 2011

TC3 renewable energy classes start October 8th

TC3's Green Energy Technology courses are about to start up for the fall with a series of solar photovoltaic design and installation classes. There's also a broad Introduction to Renewable Energy class, and in the spring they'll have solar thermal,...

Posted by simon at 7:16 AM

October 1, 2011

Drilling and natural hazards: meet NORM

I mostly enjoyed the first 35 pages of the hydrofracking SGEIS chapter on geology. Then I hit page 4-35. It rapidly became clear that while there's some information where the oil and gas companies' approach - and apparently that of...

Posted by simon at 10:24 PM

$175 million? Ha!

One of the few fun things about lawsuits is that the accusers have to tell a bit of a story about themselves to prove that they have standing to bring the case. In the Anschutz lawsuit against the Town of...

Posted by simon at 6:09 PM

September 28, 2011

Joe Solomon on fracking ban

Statewide coverage of the lawsuit means I'm finding Dryden coverage in all kinds of places where I don't normally look. Here's Town Board member Joe Solomon in the Binghamton University Pipe Dream: Joseph Solomon, a member of the Dryden Town...

Posted by simon at 2:57 PM

September 24, 2011

Deb Shigley on the ban, gas leasing

Via One of Nine's cranky commentary, I find Republican Town Board candidate Deb Shigley's comments to the New York Times on the gas drilling ban and more: Opposing candidates like Deb Shigley, a Republican, said the town "moved too quickly"...

Posted by simon at 12:43 PM

September 23, 2011

Crazy short lawsuit deadlines

Apparently the Anschutz lawsuit includes an Article 78 proceeding, which seems to be New York's way of saying "you think our courts are slow? We'll make them go so fast no one will know what happened!" At least for that...

Posted by simon at 7:54 AM

New York Times on local hydrofracking controversies

They mention the lawsuit, but Signing Leases for Drilling, and Now Having Regrets spends more time with landowners who were told happy stories of cash and minimal disruption by the landsmen and are stuck now that that it turns out...

Posted by simon at 7:48 AM

September 22, 2011

Fairways (for drilling, not driving)

I mentioned earlier that Dryden is at "an interesting geological location", but hadn't gone into much depth about why. The first half of the geological section of the New York State draft SGEIS (4.2MB PDF) explores the question of where...

Posted by simon at 12:29 PM

September 21, 2011

Finally an article on the lawsuit that

actually discusses the legal issues - both past precedents that set the stage and what this could mean. But whether an outright ban is the same as a regulation is an unresolved question, and one the court will likely be...

Posted by simon at 8:19 AM

September 20, 2011

You can do what you want with your property if and only if...

it's compatible with what the oil and gas companies want to do with it. That seems to be the message of the career of Thomas West, the "Super Lawyer" who announced that his firm would be bringing a lawsuit against...

Posted by simon at 5:02 PM

September 19, 2011

Lawsuit filed; more details

Thanks to the combination of a (wonderful) beekeeping class Saturday, lots of sneezing yesterday, and a huge pile of work today, I haven't been able to give the Anschutz lawsuit the coverage it deserves. Here, to get you started, are...

Posted by simon at 11:40 AM

September 15, 2011

Why sue Dryden? Why now?

While I suspected that the gas companies would eventually sue to try to overturn Dryden's drilling ban through a zoning clarification, I'd also thought such jousting would wait until after the DEC finished the review of the sGEIS, came up...

Posted by simon at 7:41 AM

September 14, 2011

Anschutz announces lawsuit

They haven't actually filed it yet, so I'm guessing they bravely led with a press release, but apparently a gas company is stepping up to sue over Dryden's ban on gas drilling (Update: expanded article): Anschutz Exploration Corp. plans to...

Posted by simon at 7:04 PM

September 13, 2011

Not remotely a "Balanced Middle Way"

It gets harder and harder to report on the Dryden Safe Energy Coalition's continuous claim that they're the middle way, since it's so excruciatingly obvious that they're the local representatives of the industry line. The piece, written by Henry Kramer,...

Posted by simon at 8:02 AM

September 7, 2011

Water transforms Dryden SEC forum on water

Well, that certainly wasn't what I expected. The Dryden Safe Energy Coalition sponsored a public forum on "Water and Energy Development" at the Dryden Fire Hall tonight. It was supposed to include WHCU host Dave Vieser as moderator, Mike Atchie...

Posted by simon at 9:51 PM

DEC releases draft hydrofracking report

This one's for real, though there's a 90-day comment period, ending December 12th. This time the report is at least theoretically complete, including the 251-page socioeconomic report by a firm whose selection raised a few eyebrows....

Posted by simon at 11:37 AM

September 1, 2011

Dryden SEC forum Wednesday, September 7th

It's "the second in their series of public education meetings", though the first was invitation-only and in Binghamton, so I'm not really sure what this series is supposed to be. Anyway: The second forum is on "Water and Energy Development,"...

Posted by simon at 11:32 PM

NYSEG the laggard?

Hurricane Irene disrupted an area served by lots of different power companies, providing a rare chance to compare response. Unfortunately, NYSEG, the power company that serves Dryden, seems to be faring among the worst: NYSEG, which serves parts of northern...

Posted by simon at 11:15 AM

August 29, 2011

Hydrofracking politics, local and state

While they may have tried to present themselves as the middle ground in that strange Ithaca Journal article a month ago, the Dryden Safe Energy Coalition is stepping up its industry affiliations and its rhetoric: about sixty leaders came together...

Posted by simon at 12:22 PM

August 3, 2011

Town Board passes drilling ban 5-0

I couldn't be there, but I'm pleased to report that the Town Board passed the amendments to Town zoning that establish a gas drilling ban, and unanimously. Crowd at August 2nd Town Board meeting. (Photo courtesy Hilary Lambert.) This modifies...

Posted by simon at 9:49 AM

August 1, 2011

Dryden SEC unloads

I have a hard time imagining that this actually came from a group posing as rationalists opposed to emotional conversation. It reminds me of complaints that NIMBYs will use any argument available to stop a project, only it's coming from...

Posted by simon at 8:37 PM

81 comments and counting

and they aren't all me and Henry Kramer. The Journal may have lost its bearings in reporting on the Dryden Safe Energy Coalition, but the comments are lively and maybe even balanced, if rarely neutral....

Posted by simon at 9:47 AM

July 30, 2011

False "fair and balanced" comes to Dryden

The Ithaca Journal fell hook, line, and sinker for bizarre claims of rationality and balance from the Dryden Safe Energy Coalition. Henry Kramer uses words like "unemotional facts", "dispassionately presented", and even "neutral" about the Dryden SEC without seeming to...

Posted by simon at 3:34 PM

July 29, 2011

Gas industry PR notices Dryden ban discussion

Ever wonder what the gas industry thinks of Dryden's discussions of gas drilling? Wonder no more. Via One of Nine, you can see Energy in Depth's assault on the idea of a ban. There's nothing particularly new there, though they...

Posted by simon at 12:53 PM

County exploring redistricting, gas drilling buildout

The Ithaca Independent has two stories about activity at the county level that Dryden residents may want to watch: The first, Tompkins Politicos Debate Size of Future County Legislature, looks at the challenges of redistricting after the 2010 census. The...

Posted by simon at 12:37 PM

July 27, 2011

Public hearing on hydrofracking ban

I don't think I've ever seen a public hearing in Dryden go three hours. I got the audio recording from the town (185.6MB QuickTime .mov file), and here's an index of speakers: Peter Davies - 1:28 Vicki Myers-Wallen - 3:00...

Posted by simon at 1:15 AM

July 22, 2011

Journal reports on fracking ban hearing

The Journal has a piece on Wednesday night's public hearing. There's one bit I'd correct: The town board has 60 days to consider comments before bringing the ban to a vote, but Supervisor Mary Ann Sumner said the board would...

Posted by simon at 6:57 AM

July 21, 2011

Where to send comments

It sounded last night like comments on the proposed hydrofracking ban have been going to a lot of different places beyond the public hearing last night, so I asked this morning what the best place to send comments is. The...

Posted by simon at 12:30 PM

Gas brine spread on region's roads

It's not clear to me that the brine referenced in this article is hazardous or coming from hydrofracking operations, but there is clearly some use of gas wastewater being spread on roads throughout the Southern Tier. I tracked through the...

Posted by simon at 12:09 PM

Now that was a PUBLIC hearing

I'm not sure how many people came. The parking lot was full at 6:45, and the room was overflowing, with lots of people in the hallway. I stood in a corner that didn't make for great pictures, but you can...

Posted by simon at 8:34 AM

"Preserves far more property rights than it takes"

These were my comments at last night's public hearing, though I dropped the italicized sentence for time. There's been a lot of talk lately about "confiscating property rights" with a ban on gas drilling. That discussion seems to focus on...

Posted by simon at 8:15 AM

July 20, 2011


The Dryden Safe Energy Coalition has a page claiming that Dryden would be "confiscating" $175 million if a natural gas drilling ban is passed. How do they calculate that? Did they get ahold of the seismic studies and calculate what...

Posted by simon at 6:50 AM

July 19, 2011

Public hearing Wednesday night on fracking ban

I suspect it'll be busy. You can see the proposed amendment to the current zoning law on the Town's Gas Drilling Information page. 7:00pm, July 20, 2011, at Dryden Town Hall, 93 East Main Street/Route 392 in the Village of...

Posted by simon at 8:32 PM

New pro-drilling site

The Dryden Safe Energy Coalition has put up a site, as well as a slightly broken ad in The Shopper. It doesn't seem to have anyone claiming credit for posting it, but it does have the same domain registration information...

Posted by simon at 8:22 PM

Would you like to live on 13 or 366?

You may, like me, already live on a busy road, with cars, dump trucks, concrete mixers, buses, and tractor trailers going by. Or, you may live on one of Dryden's many peaceful roads, with only the occasional vehicle passing, or...

Posted by simon at 7:25 PM

July 18, 2011

Seismic studies?

I know that the gas companies did seismic studies of the area in 2007. A landman even came to the Dryden Town Board to ask permission at some point and encourage the Town to think about leasing its land. (They...

Posted by simon at 6:25 PM

Land use by hydrofracking operations

When I was in high school, a friend of mine's family had a natural gas well across the road from their farmhouse. I drove by yesterday, and it's still there, a probably 30' by 20' space of pipes surrounded by...

Posted by simon at 6:03 PM

Information security issues at Dryden schools

This morning's Ithaca Journal report on an audit that found security issues in the Dryden Central School District, though it doesn't disclose what they are and the district is working to address them. There will be a forum exploring the...

Posted by simon at 12:23 PM

July 16, 2011

Where might drilling happen?

I didn't manage to get to it, but the the Tompkins County Council of Governments Task Force on Gas Drilling presented "Looking Down From Above: What Gas Drilling Sites Might Look Like in the Town of Dryden" on Tuesday. Fortunately,...

Posted by simon at 8:43 PM

Lamenting a lease

I've heard lots of people regret leases they signed, though usually in a landlord-tenant situation. This morning's Ithaca Journal looks at a harder (and likely longer-lasting) regret: people who signed gas leases before realizing how hydrofracking might drastically increase the...

Posted by simon at 6:11 PM

July 12, 2011

Tonight: what drilling might look like in Dryden

Repeating an older announcement: Tuesday, July 12th 7:00-8:45 Dryden VFW 2272 Dryden Road (Rt. 13) Presenters from the Tompkins County Council of Governments Task Force on Gas Drilling: Darby Kiley - Tompkins County Planner Art Peace - Task Force Member...

Posted by simon at 6:54 AM

July 8, 2011

Might Auburn decision reduce Dryden truck traffic?

For now, anyway? I was doing some editing Wednesday morning in the Dryden Community Center Cafe, sitting at the table that pretty much points into the four corners intersection. At one point I looked up and saw a convoy of...

Posted by simon at 7:46 AM

July 7, 2011

Still no answers in Etna arson

It's been almost a year since a fire destroyed Ithaca Police Sergeant Bryan Bangs' Etna home, but there's no news yet on who might have done it: "We are still actively investigating the Bangs arson case. It is still open....

Posted by simon at 5:10 PM

July 5, 2011

A few more notes on hydrofracking

The Ithaca Independent takes a look at revisions to the county's proposed road-protection law, which has been made easier on haulers, and now includes options for companies to pay for road damage instead of going through the permit process. The...

Posted by simon at 8:52 AM

July 2, 2011

Hydrofracking SGEIS released

The DEC released a draft SGEIS to the press last night, holding the actual public release until July 8th, but that seems to be have been kind of a silly idea. The Journal's posted the 736-page Preliminary Revised Draft Supplemental...

Posted by simon at 10:26 AM

July 1, 2011

So what changed?

At first glance, the DEC press release on the state's decision to allow hydrofracking didn't look very encouraging. A lot of it requires trusting the DEC to be an effective regulator - "DEC enforcement and oversight of high-volume fracturing will...

Posted by simon at 9:50 AM

What Dryden will look like...

if hydrofracking comes. I'm guessing interest in this will be strong, as it already came up in comments this morning! Tuesday, July 12th 7:00-8:45 Dryden VFW 2272 Dryden Road (Rt. 13) Presenters from the Tompkins County Council of Governments Task...

Posted by simon at 9:42 AM

Gas lease map revisited

If your first response to the news that the state will be allowing hydrofracking around here is "what does this mean for me?", you're not at all alone. Between the patchwork parcel-by-parcel of gas leasing and the state's compulsory integration...

Posted by simon at 7:43 AM

June 30, 2011

Fracking soon

Update: Confirmed: "...From "baseless speculation and premature" to complete truth in under four hours. Amazing." And here's the Ithaca Journal. Now on the DEC press release site too, and this Capitol Confidential post has the full text. It sounds like...

Posted by simon at 3:23 PM

June 28, 2011

Raw milk coming to Dryden; fireworks Friday

Or from Dryden, and to Freeville. This morning's Ithaca Journal reports that Jerry Dell Farm has started offering raw milk to customers, after receiving a state license last month. The article is largely about the controversies around raw milk, but...

Posted by simon at 7:21 AM

June 27, 2011

How much gas is there, anyway?

I wrote a bit about the economic uncertainties of shale gas drilling a while ago, but dueling articles in the New York Times and Ithaca Journal have me thinking that these questions are a long way from solved. This morning's...

Posted by simon at 5:12 PM

June 23, 2011

What a hydrofracking build-out would look like

If you can stand to read another long document about hydrofracking, I strongly recommend this analysis of what a hydrofracking build out would be like (17.4MB PDF) around Cooperstown, an area not too different from here. (There's also a shorter...

Posted by simon at 12:17 PM

June 21, 2011

Last-minute legislative hydrofracking maneuvers?

I noted earlier that New York State Senator Jim Seward had co-sponsored a Senate bill clarifying town's rights to regulate drilling through zoning, but Solid Shale reports that he's introduced his own bill. Yesterday, the Assembly passed a "same as"...

Posted by simon at 4:06 PM

Video of Wednesday Town Board hydrofracking ban discussion

I was still getting around to posting audio, but now there's video available from Shaleshock. It looks like the video is in several parts, capturing the discussion specific to the ban. If you put your mouse cursor over the video...

Posted by simon at 8:03 AM

June 17, 2011

Keep those old windows

Dryden is blessed with a lot of older houses. Many of them still have a feature that advertisement after advertisement demands we replace: double-hung windows with storm windows. When I did some major energy renovations a few years ago, I...

Posted by simon at 7:47 AM

More on drilling ban, library expansion

This morning's Ithaca Journal reports on local moves to ban gas drilling, with a focus on comments from Dryden's meeting Wednesday night. There's also a piece on the Southworth Library's Lincoln Center expansion, which sounds great. There's also a photo...

Posted by simon at 7:00 AM

June 15, 2011

Drilling ban introduced; new zoning not introduced

A lot happened at tonight's Town Board meeting, and I'll need to report much more, but here's a too-quick summary. The Board introduced an ordinance that would ban natural gas drilling by amending the existing zoning, and scheduled a public...

Posted by simon at 11:02 PM

A belt and suspenders

Here's a guest viewpoint from Joe Wilson and a number of other folks from DRAC explaining - more clearly, I think, than I did - why the "high-impact industrial uses" approach is a critical component of defending Dryden from the...

Posted by simon at 12:06 PM

June 14, 2011

Considering a hydrofracking ban Wednesday night

The Ithaca Journal has a piece on the Dryden Town Board's progress toward a ban on gas drilling, noting tomorrow night's meeting where a ban will be introduced. Introduction doesn't mean it passes - it means that there will be...

Posted by simon at 9:45 PM

June 11, 2011

Solid Shale - info on hydrofracking legislation

If you want to keep up with the Albany side of the hydrofracking story, I strongly recommend Solid Shale. It's "Solid info for NYS citizens who want their grandkids to be able to walk on unpolluted ground", which I like,...

Posted by simon at 9:27 AM

Hydrofracking and zoning conversations

Wednesday's agenda meeting was a dense series of conversations around zoning laws of various kinds. They started with a draft hydrofracking ban, which had by the most discussion, and then heard from Town Attorney Mahlon Perkins about the status of...

Posted by simon at 7:50 AM

June 8, 2011

Town Board agenda meeting tonight

Come join the fun at tonight's 7:30pm Dryden Town Board meeting at the (air-conditioned) Dryden Town Hall - 93 East Main Street (Route 392) in the Village of Dryden. I'll be there to get a sense of what's coming in...

Posted by simon at 5:01 PM

May 31, 2011

Speculating on a hydrofracking compromise

[I do not have any insider knowledge of conversations in Albany and Washington.] Over the last few months, I've concluded that our federal and state governments don't seem especially inclined to regulate fracking (hydraulic fracturing) in drilling for oil and...

Posted by simon at 6:43 AM

May 25, 2011

Seward signs on for local zoning of gas drilling

Posted by simon at 12:12 PM

May 21, 2011

Dacha project rising on Bone Plain road

It's a house, not necessarily a Russian vacation house, but the impressive educational homestead these folks are building reminds me that Bone Plain Road seems to be the place to be over the last few years for strawbale homes and...

Posted by simon at 8:18 AM

May 5, 2011

Dryden awards and more

Once again, I've fallen far, far behind on keeping up with the Ithaca Journal. If you have more time than I do right now, here's some good reading: Dryden schools get award for composting TC3 students recognized for excellence Dryden...

Posted by simon at 6:56 AM

April 26, 2011

Hydrofracking ban discussion

Yesterday, I posted a 74MB (and 1 hour, 13 minutes) long audio recording of the part of Wednesday's Town Board meeting dealing with hydrofracking (QuickTime audio). It's probably more fun with an index, so here goes: DRAC presents - 00:00...

Posted by simon at 12:20 PM

April 25, 2011

Hydrofracking discussion audio from last Wednesday

I still need to write up an index to this, but I've posted the audio recording of last week's Town Board meeting from the presentation of the DRAC petition through the citizen's privilege discussion and the passage of the resolution...

Posted by simon at 7:04 AM

April 23, 2011

WENY TV on Dryden hydrofracking ban petition

WENY TV, one of the stations I watched a lot of growing up in Corning, leads with a report on the Dryden Resource Awareness Coalition's presentation of a petition to the Town Board. It's a 2-minute spot, well worth watching....

Posted by simon at 8:33 AM

April 22, 2011

More on Dryden, hydrofracking

Today's Ithaca Journal reports on Wednesday night's presentation of 1594 signatures on a petition to ban hydrofracking. There's also a piece on Dryden events discussing details of leasing and termination to be held April 28th and May 12th. Several of...

Posted by simon at 12:12 PM

April 21, 2011

DRAC press release

I've posted the Dryden Resource Awareness Coalition (DRAC)'s press release (33KB Word document) and accompanying photo, but here's the core of the release: DRAC announces the results of a petition drive to ban fracking, calls on the Dryden Town Board...

Posted by simon at 6:54 AM

Fracking-related actions the Town Board took last night

The Dryden Town Board passed two things last night: a sound performance standards amendment to zoning, and a resolution about drafting an amendment that "addresses land uses that would impose or threaten to impose significant adverse impacts upon the Dryden...

Posted by simon at 6:39 AM

April 20, 2011

Dryden is worth defending

Tonight was an amazing meeting - over a hundred people showed up, and over twenty spoke. The Dryden Resource Awareness Coalition presented 1594 signatures on their petition to ban hydrofracking in the Town. The Town passed a resolution calling for...

Posted by simon at 11:36 PM

April 19, 2011

State takes the edge off school budget pain

It still doesn't sound delightful, but the school budget story seems slightly less dire than before as the state restored some funding to districts. Dryden has four candidates up for three school board seats, while Ithaca schools are still accepting...

Posted by simon at 9:59 PM

April 18, 2011

Hog heaven?

Lately, I've mostly worried about threats to Dryden that come with large wallets and bad ideas, but some problems have humbler origins. This morning's Ithaca Journal reports that feral hogs are moving into the area, and "breeding in three New...

Posted by simon at 12:04 PM

April 11, 2011

Dryden by the (CO2) numbers Tuesday

Dryden Solutions will be meeting tomorrow, April 12th, at 6:30pm at the Dryden Community Center Cafe to talk about Dryden and climate change. Here's this morning's announcement: Hello Drydenistas, If you are not yet actively helping to spread the word...

Posted by simon at 7:06 AM

April 5, 2011

Gas drilling and mortgages

I'd missed this letter from Marie McRae of Dryden about gas drilling and mortgages: [Mortgage resale] standards now require a minimum 200-foot distance (setback) between your house/garage/barn/water well and any surface or subsurface development by a gas company. This includes...

Posted by simon at 7:21 AM

March 23, 2011

Spring activities blossoming; American "in-fracktion"

Yes, there's plenty of snow coming today, but Cathy Wakeman is also right that the pulse of Dryden activities is picking up. She notes not only flowers, but a craft fair, lasagna dinner, roast beef dinner, jazz desert night, youth...

Posted by simon at 6:36 AM

March 18, 2011

"June" might mean "this summer"

Delays on government reports, especially complex and controversial ones, aren't entirely surprising. The Albany Times-Union reports that the New York State study on hydrofracking may not come out precisely on time: "We're going to do a very thorough job...I'm confident...

Posted by simon at 2:55 PM

March 17, 2011

Energy price scenarios for evaluating zoning

I wrote earlier about different ways people evaluate zoning proposals: at the personal level and at the community level, and using forcecasts ranging from a shrinking population to a growing population. I'd like to combine those personal and community levels...

Posted by simon at 12:13 PM

March 7, 2011

"Do a little. Save a lot." Tuesday night.

Dryden Solutions will be meeting Tuesday, March 8th, at 6:30pm at the Dryden Cafe. I suspect most of us will have dug out of the snow by then. Dear Dryden Solutions Friends, We are steadily moving ahead toward our goal...

Posted by simon at 6:38 AM

March 3, 2011

How long for our local power plant?

When NYSEG upgraded the power lines between Cortland County and the Etna substation, I heard rumors that it was to strengthen Tompkins County's connections to the grid so that AES Cayuga (formerly NYSEG's Milliken Station) could shut down without major...

Posted by simon at 8:44 AM

March 1, 2011

Water issues and gas drilling

A friend questioned the plausibility of my zoning fiction about dense development on Route 13, largely because the issues with water supplies and hydrofracking seemed tenuous. I'd based that on the failed plan to run water to Dimock, PA residents...

Posted by simon at 7:03 AM

February 27, 2011

"Burning the furniture to heat the house"

That's a quote from John H. Quigley, "who left last month as secretary of Pennsylvania's Department of Conservation and Natural Resources", in what's apparently the first of a series of articles in the New York Times on shale gas drilling....

Posted by simon at 7:17 AM

February 26, 2011

"Tompkins County is the last place gas companies want to drill"

I've heard this said by people inside and outside of Tompkins County, by people who support and oppose hydrofracking. While I do think it's true, I also think it doesn't mean much. Yes, if I was running a natural gas...

Posted by simon at 10:46 AM

February 11, 2011

Events, sustainability, and health

I can't say that I love the Ithaca Journal web site redesign, which seems mostly to make me scroll more and wonder where if anywhere the commented stories are. Performance hasn't improved, either - it's the only site I visit...

Posted by simon at 5:38 PM

February 3, 2011

Dryden Solutions focuses on widening the energy conversation

If you have ideas for getting Dryden residents interested in energy efficiency, please join the conversation! February Dryden Solutions - Tuesday February 8th 6:30pm at the Café Continuing our push for more energy efficiency, we will focus on more creative...

Posted by simon at 5:11 PM

February 1, 2011

Return to Nineteenth-Century Patterns

Again, a very different fictional scenario to consider in the light of planning land use for the next few decades. (fiction) The economy was just about to turn the corner, and then... oil prices climbed to new records, bringing $10...

Posted by simon at 7:42 AM

January 24, 2011

Kidnapped to Mineah Road

A 21-year-old Mineah Road resident was charged with kidnapping Saturday for allegedly abducting an 18-year-old at gunpoint. The State Department of Environmental Conservation seems to be moving closer to allowing gas drilling on state forest land. (There's an earlier release...

Posted by simon at 8:28 AM

January 19, 2011

One plausible scenario for excessive development along 13

I've not had much luck, apparently, convincing the Town Board that the proposed "let's allow 10 units/acre in any commercial zone in Dryden with water and sewer and string those zones along 13" is a bad idea. My guess is...

Posted by simon at 5:02 PM

January 12, 2011

Dryden school budget; gas drilling conversations

I think most folks figured that this would be an even worse year than last for school budgets, and sure enough, Dryden is looking at a difficult year: "The district will have to cut more than $1.8 million [from $32.9...

Posted by simon at 12:23 PM

January 5, 2011

Dryden Solutions to talk energy efficiency and service clubs

Dryden has many excellent organizations that do a lot of different things. Might they add energy efficiency to their list? Energy Efficiency! Energy Efficiency! Energy Efficiency! Following up on the very successful Lighten Up Dryden campaign in October, we are...

Posted by simon at 12:04 PM

December 15, 2010

Obama adminstration on hydrofracking

As I just tweeted, Suddenly Obama's odds of winning Tompkins County, NY in 2012 appear to be less than 100%. http://nyti.ms/euUYx7 Why? The Obama administration supports a full study of the effects of gas drilling in the watershed that provides...

Posted by simon at 8:49 AM

December 10, 2010

SEQR main cause of delay on Lucente appeal

This morning's Ithaca Journal reports on Tuesday's super-brief Zoning Board of Appeals meeting, looking more closely at why the ZBA delayed consideration of Varna II. The State Environmental Quality Review appears to be the main reason: [ZBA Chair] Quinn said...

Posted by simon at 12:30 PM

December 4, 2010

Pellet gun, pornography, Varna, more

There are lots of Dryden pieces in the Ithaca Journal over the last few days. On the dark side, there's a Dryden student in trouble for bringing a pellet gun to school. A Dryden man was arrested on child pornography...

Posted by simon at 12:00 PM

November 30, 2010

Hard questions on hydrofracking

Dryden Daily KAZ has posted some hard questions about banning hydrofracking after reading a Dryden Resource Awareness Coalition petition. It's well worth reading - go read it before reading more of this. Breaking down the issue using the same categories:...

Posted by simon at 12:43 PM

October 28, 2010

Lighten Up Dryden this Saturday

Want to help Dryden reduce its energy consumption? Come to Town Hall (93 East Main Street / Route 392) this Saturday at 11:00am, and help out! "There will be a short training and people will go out in pairs with...

Posted by simon at 6:50 AM

September 29, 2010

Does the state actually review these?

I'd noted back in January that the Town Board discussed some strange flaws in a gas-drilling approval on Irish Settlement Road. The state Department of Environmental Conservation didn't seem to have looked at the site very carefully. Now residents are...

Posted by simon at 6:45 AM

September 21, 2010

Catching up with the Journal

Travel and work have put me behind, so here's a quick catching up with the last few days of the Ithaca Journal. Little of it is specific to Dryden, but it's all relevant. Dryden schools got dinged by the state,...

Posted by simon at 12:23 PM

September 14, 2010

EPA hydrofracking event, day one

There's another day of public comment tomorrow, but the Journal reports on the first day of the EPA comment session, with breakout pieces on hydrofracking supporters, opponents, and a general notebook of short pieces....

Posted by simon at 9:08 PM

August 31, 2010

New high school principal, hydrofracking forum rescheduled

Today's Journal has a report on Karen Rachetta, Dryden High School's new principal. The EPA forum on hydrofracking that was cancelled in August is now rescheduled for September 13th and 15th in Binghamton. There are more speaker slots available to...

Posted by simon at 4:53 PM

August 27, 2010

Wind farms and radar

I'd heard that the primary reason that Cornell abandoned its 2005 plans for a wind farm on Mount Pleasant was the Federal Aviation Administration. This had come up in Dryden meetings, and there was a poster at the East Hill...

Posted by simon at 2:16 PM

August 20, 2010

Lots of small Ithaca Journal pieces

The Ithaca Journal's news coverage keeps shrinking, and the paper is looking more and more like a general Upstate paper with stories of local interest. There are still lots of interesting bits, but overall I find it less compelling every...

Posted by simon at 7:26 AM

August 11, 2010

EPA hydrofracking forum postponed

I'm surprised this has been so incredibly difficult (it wasn't at previous meetings), but Thursday's EPA public meeting on hydrofracking is cancelled, the event postponed until likely September....

Posted by simon at 5:18 AM

August 9, 2010

Thursday EPA hydrofracking forum moves to Syracuse

Scheduling this has been a trainwreck - apparently they've now left Binghamton altogether and moved to Syracuse. It starts at 8:00am, and runs all day through 10:00pm, with noon and 5:00pm breaks for meals....

Posted by simon at 5:38 PM

August 6, 2010

Ellis Hollow westbound closed from Turkey Hill

This morning's Ithaca Journal reports on the closure of Ellis Hollow Road westbound from Turkey Hill Road to Thomas Road as construction begins. In other road-related news, though just outside of Dryden, Forest Home is getting ready for some major...

Posted by simon at 7:49 AM

July 23, 2010

Arson, ash borers, building

Today's Ithaca Journal editorial reflects on the recent arson at the Etna home of Ithaca Police officer Bryan Bangs: This is not the Ithaca we have come to know and respect. A community where differences and frayed feelings, even over...

Posted by simon at 12:45 PM

July 16, 2010

NYSEG backs down (again)

I'm happy to see that NYSEG is now seeking yet smaller rate increases for service, 1.3% this year and 2.3% the next two years for gas, and 2.1% in 2010 and 2.2% the next two years for electricity. In county...

Posted by simon at 5:07 PM

July 9, 2010

Arcuri discusses gas regulation work in Dryden

Congressman Michael Arcuri came to Dryden Town Hall Tuesday to discuss oil and gas drilling stormwater regulations he'd seen through the House. Mike Arcuri discusses drilling regulation. My favorite point Arcuri made was that this isn't singling out oil and...

Posted by simon at 12:08 PM

June 22, 2010

Dryden Town Board encourages Marcellus drilling moratorium

At last Wednesday's meeting, the Town Board approved a resolution supporting a state bill to establish a moratorium on gas drilling until 120 days after the EPA completes its study. All four board members (Solomon, Sumner, Makar, Leifer) present voted...

Posted by simon at 11:56 AM

June 21, 2010

Dryden Lake Festival, gas drilling, TC3 tuition, county redistricting

That's a very messy headline, but there are lots of Ithaca Journal updates in and around Dryden: The Dryden Lake Festival is starting to recruit for races. Assemblywoman Barbara Lifton wants gas drilling regulated everywhere as tightly as it is...

Posted by simon at 6:15 PM

March 29, 2010

Mineral rights and industrial noise petitions now available online

These have already circulated for a while in paper, but you can now read (and sign) A Petition to the Dryden Town Board to Restore Home Rule and Petition for a Town of Dryden Industrial Noise Ordinance online. The first...

Posted by simon at 12:11 PM

March 23, 2010

Spring fun, farming, and power

Looking for things to do this spring? Cathy Wakeman has a list, from community gardening through tractors, a capella singing, and kids' sports. There's also note about a meeting on an Agricultural Resource Focus Area Plan, and the study itself...

Posted by simon at 8:48 PM

February 23, 2010

Hydrofracking chemicals discussion Tuesday night at TC3

If you can get to TC3 tomorrow night for a 6:30pm-8:30pm hydrofracking chemicals discussion, please do, or consider watching the live stream or replays the Ithaca Journal website will be hosting. Also in the Journal, sentencings for Dryden burglaries and...

Posted by simon at 12:32 AM

February 6, 2010

Stormwater sorted, well delayed, SPCA overloaded

I'm not sure why the state didn't notice a stream at the location of a gas well for which it issued a permit, but Dryden seems to have presented a case in how local officials can find genuine issues the...

Posted by simon at 4:57 AM

January 16, 2010

Town Board meeting notes - drilling, speed

I finally got back to a Town Board meeting Wednesday night. Most of it was reasonably routine, but there were a few pieces that stood out: A number of people were there about gas drilling. Some of it was about...

Posted by simon at 1:53 PM

January 8, 2010

Natural gas fire in water-well drilling

No, this has nothing to do with Marcellus Shale gas exploration - it's just an unfortunate problem that's been a risk of water drilling here for a while. Etna, Freeville, and Dryden firefighters responded to a fire at a water-well...

Posted by simon at 8:14 AM

December 31, 2009

My comment on the gas drilling dSGEIS

It's the last minute, yes, but you can still submit comments today on the Draft Supplemental Generic Environmental Impact Statement On The Oil, Gas and Solution Mining Regulatory Program, also known as the Hydrofracking dSGEIS. Here's what I sent. Reading...

Posted by simon at 4:07 PM

December 24, 2009

Broadband coming to area slowly

The Ithaca Journal has an article on hopes for a major step up in broadband delivery to the area. It notes that (Dryden resident) Chuck Bartosch, of Clarity Connect, has requested a stimulus grant for much larger-scale work than the...

Posted by simon at 9:56 AM

December 14, 2009

Gas drilling permit, letter

I wrote last week about a propspective gas well drilling into the Trenton-Black River formation in Dryden. As I'd noted then, Town Board member Jason Leifer wrote the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation, and here's the letter he...

Posted by simon at 12:27 PM

December 9, 2009

Gas drilling coming to Dryden, soon?

It's not drilling into the Marcellus Shale, which has been the subject of lots of recent controversy as the state has published a draft Supplemental Generic Impact Statement. This is apparently drilling into the Trenton-Black River formation, which is much...

Posted by simon at 12:38 PM

November 30, 2009

Preserving food in Dryden

This morning's Ithaca Journal has a great article on canning and preserving food, including photos of cider-making at a home in the Town of Dryden. Katie Quinn-Jacobs has been working hard on this for years, and it's great to see...

Posted by simon at 7:42 AM

November 23, 2009

Economic Reasons to Delay Marcellus Shale Drilling

Most of the discussion about gas drilling in the Marcellus Shale has turned on environmental questions - will it poison our water, irradiate the area, destroy our roads, and generally prove difficult to fix? All of these are important questions,...

Posted by simon at 8:25 AM

October 29, 2009

Gas drilling news from further south

I've been annoyed that the Ithaca Journal web site seems to have descended into a chaotic and sometimes repetitive mix of news from the Ithaca, Elmira, and Binghamton papers. Every once in a while, though, it's helpful for finding news...

Posted by simon at 12:03 PM

October 24, 2009

Upcoming Marcellus Shale gas drilling events

Cornell Cooperative Extension reports a number of events about Marcellus Shale gas drilling coming up, two of them next week: Introduction to Marcellus Shale Issues Tuesday, October 27, 7:00-9:00 p.m. Unitarian Church of Ithaca, 306 N. Aurora Street, Ithaca, NY...

Posted by simon at 8:58 AM

October 12, 2009

Paying for natural gas regulation

While I suspect that the gas drillers would ultimately prefer that no one regulate them, thereby avoiding all regulatory costs, the exemption the Bush administration gave them from the Clean Water Act doesn't end the conversation. New York State is...

Posted by simon at 8:40 PM

October 7, 2009

Gas drilling: legal issues for landowners

There's been a lot of discussion around natural gas drilling in the area lately, and a lot of confusion around the basics of the leases that let it happen. Whether you're hoping to lease your land, wondering if it's a...

Posted by simon at 8:06 PM

September 30, 2009

Light reading on gas drilling

It's here - the 809 page thriller everyone's been waiting for: the New York State DEC's Draft Supplemental Generic Environmental Impact Statement On The Oil, Gas and Solution Mining Regulatory Program: Well Permit Issuance for Horizontal Drilling And High-Volume Hydraulic...

Posted by simon at 8:08 PM

Scam avoidance, weekend activities

This morning's Ithaca Journal has an article on Freeville resident Don Decker's escape from a swindle, and tells the story of a variety of ripoffs. The cashier's check scam, in which someone sends a much-larger than necessary check as payment...

Posted by simon at 7:14 AM

August 31, 2009

Gas lease map

Talk about gas drilling is often pretty abstract. Signing a lease doesn't put a sign on the land saying "this land leased for gas drilling", and figuring out what has been leased can mean a long trip through stacks of...

Posted by simon at 10:05 AM

September 30, 2008

County Planning Energy Meeting October 1st

The Tompkins County Planning Department will be holding a meeting about the "Energy and Greenhouse Gas Emissions Element" of their County Comprehensive Plan tomorrow night. The meeting will be tomorrow, October 1st, at 6:30pm at the Dryden Town Hall, 93...

Posted by simon at 1:01 PM

September 15, 2008

Reviewing Town of Dryden NYSEG bills

You pay the heat and lights for your own home, but do you ever wonder about the share of your tax dollars that go to pay for your share of government bills? Are they closing the windows, turning off the...

Posted by simon at 6:43 PM

June 23, 2008

Dryden Renewable Energy Workgroup meeting tonight

It's late to post this, but if you're free at 7:00pm tonight, there's a meeting at the Dryden Community Center Cafe....

Posted by simon at 5:01 PM

June 16, 2008

Things I've missed

Here's a quick listing of things in the Journal I normally would have written about in more detail, but didn't get to. Some of them are still on my list of things to write about. One of my neighbors,...

Posted by simon at 12:45 PM

June 3, 2008

County Energy Plan meeting Thursday

I meant to post this earlier - I don't yet know if I can make it. Given my lack of trust for county planning, I probably should... JUNE 5TH PUBLIC MEETING ABOUT ENERGY AND GREENHOUSE GAS EMISSIONS COMPREHENSIVE PLAN ELEMENT...

Posted by simon at 7:27 PM

May 17, 2008

Getting to Nodal Development in Dryden

[Update: I no longer think this is a good idea. See the category listing for more information on why. This piece in particular is a concise summary.] [This is long - it's a complex subject and a couple of years...

Posted by simon at 4:32 PM

May 15, 2008

Dryden Dems to discuss local response to energy prices May 21

Dryden Democrats will be discussing "Local Responses to Rising Energy Costs." We've all seen energy prices climb and keep climbing, and that has a direct effect on Dryden residents' wallets. What can we do at the local level to reduce...

Posted by simon at 8:22 AM

April 29, 2008

My long-term bet on rising energy costs

I've had a couple of conversations lately with people I like that led to strange places. One was about the seemingly crazy investment I'm making in ducks, chickens, and all the infrastructure they need, and the other was what I...

Posted by simon at 12:29 PM

April 28, 2008

NYSEG and Borg-Warner

I missed an interesting article in this morning's Ithaca Journal - thanks to David Makar for pointing it out. Borg-Warner will be moving 174 jobs from Oklahoma to their Lansing plant thanks in part to a $400,000 incentive from NYSEG....

Posted by simon at 9:51 PM

New York State and energy

A few quick notes while everyone is asleep and all the animals are fed - This morning's Ithaca Journal has an editorial on state laws and energy, citing bills that might make some small dent in the cost of a...

Posted by simon at 7:33 AM

April 24, 2008

Youth opportunity and volunteer firefighter taxes

Most of today's Dryden news is on the opinion page in today's Ithaca Journal. The Dryden Youth Opportunity Fund has a letter from Paul Streeter and Michael Dick of Dryden encouraging readers to remember the DYOF and: consider providing your...

Posted by simon at 7:37 AM

April 23, 2008

Red Cross coming to Dryden tonight

There's an article in today's Ithaca Journal on the Tompkins County Red Cross's new director, Jennifer Yarbrough. The first few paragraphs have some interesting bits about the organization's reaching out geographically: This vision and past vistas will be on display...

Posted by simon at 8:04 AM

April 19, 2008

Food prices climbing

Today's Journal notices what the Cortland Standard noticed a few months ago: increasing grain prices are making it harder for local bakers and others who use lots of flour. There's also a more general piece on wheat prices and another...

Posted by simon at 7:38 AM

February 26, 2008

Lots of wind

Every now and then, people are surprised that I'm not a huge advocate of wind farms. I wasn't too certain at the outset of the Cornell proposal for towers on Mount Pleasant, but by the time the project suddenly halted,...

Posted by simon at 8:36 PM

February 21, 2008

West Dryden boy doing better

The Journal has an update on Robbie Busby, reporting that his cancer is in remission. He'll be heading back to Freeville Elementary School after fighting off Burkitt's lymphoma and getting support from the community through a benefit concert earlier this...

Posted by simon at 12:26 PM

February 16, 2008

Dryden seeks superintendent, green energy

Once again, the Dryden Courier sparkles as the one place in town to find in-depth news on the Town of Dryden. One issue of the Courier is easily worth two weeks of the Ithaca Journal or Cortland Standard. Of course,...

Posted by simon at 4:32 PM

February 5, 2008

Primary polls

It's presidential primary day, and polling places will be open from noon to 9:00pm. Please remember that in New York State, only voters registered to a party can vote in that party's primary, so only Democrats can vote in the...

Posted by simon at 8:09 AM

January 17, 2008

Deploying from Dryden

This morning's Ithaca Journal has a report on the send-off ceremony for the 108th Infantry's Company D held yesterday at the National Guard Armory on Hanshaw Road. 80 local residents are off to Fort Bragg, NC for two months of...

Posted by simon at 8:51 PM

January 15, 2008

Closer to that ideal vehicle

GM's showing a pluggable hybrid with a 3-cylinder diesel engine, probably for release in 2010 and 2011. Now if only it could be used as a generator, and have a pickup bed, it'd be about exactly what I was looking...

Posted by simon at 10:07 AM

January 14, 2008

Warmer winters, Spanish energy

I was out of the house on Saturday from 8:30am to 10:30pm, and didn't get to catch up with much. Saturday's Journal had some stories that aren't specifically Dryden, but still worth exploring. There's an AP piece on our changing...

Posted by simon at 12:42 PM

January 11, 2008

Examining municipal power

I probably shouldn't admit this on a Dryden blog, but there are lots of times I'm jealous of Groton. Their downtown seems to be doing better than Dryden's at this point, the state highways that connect the Village to the...

Posted by simon at 8:39 AM

January 5, 2008

Dryden students visit 'Nutcracker'

This morning's Ithaca Journal has a piece on Dryden fourth and fifth graders visit to see "The Nutcracker" in Syracuse at the end of November. They also have two articles on the state of the environment here - one on...

Posted by simon at 9:33 AM

December 26, 2007

A calm view of increasing energy prices

I've written a lot here about my expectation that energy prices have nowhere to go but up, though talking about even $5 gasoline seems to be difficult for a lot of people's imagination. (My guesses for twenty years from now...

Posted by simon at 10:56 AM

December 19, 2007

Preserving Six Mile Creek

Between some travel and connectivity problems, I'm a little behind. To catch up... Yesterday's paper reports that the Finger Lake Land Trust will be establishing a 138-acre nature preserve near the headwaters of Six Mile Creek. Looking at the map,...

Posted by simon at 11:29 AM

December 8, 2007

Lawn replacement

Dryden resident - and my wife - Angelika St.Laurent went over to Oneonta on Wednesday night to join a panel discussion on peak oil and climate change. The local paper picked up most strongly on her call for people to...

Posted by simon at 2:26 PM

December 7, 2007

Dryden police officer honored for work against DWI

Dryden police officer Kurt Soderholm was honored at the STOP DWI Awards Luncheon for his work fighting DWI at a small police agency: Soderholm said he made 14 DWI arrests from November 2006 to this November. He believes people who...

Posted by simon at 12:30 PM

November 27, 2007

Cornell gas line changes

This morning's Journal includes Gary Stewart's report on Cornell's modifications to the gas line it will be building to connect its power plant to the pipeline that runs through Ellis Hollow. It sounds like it will be narrower and generally...

Posted by simon at 8:53 AM

November 15, 2007

Licenses, unions, turbines

County Legislator Mike Hattery leaped on Governor Spitzer's pulling back on his drivers' license plan to send a press release complaining about "actions that undermine citizenship". On the opinion page, Louise Edelman of Dryden writes to support the International Association...

Posted by simon at 12:24 PM

November 14, 2007

Seatbelt season

It's always seatbelt season, really, but State Police are busy enforcing seat belt laws, starting from a checkpoint in front of their barracks on Route 13 in Freeville. The opinion page has two Dryden letters: Cheryl Wagner of Freeville writes...

Posted by simon at 7:16 AM

November 13, 2007

Some final thoughts on the 13/366 Corridor Study

While sorting through the piles of paper that accumulated during election season, I found my printouts of the Route 13/366 Corridor Study, and remembered that I'd promised long ago to write up my concluding thoughts at the end of a...

Posted by simon at 12:19 PM

October 8, 2007

Energy efficiency in West Dryden

I didn't manage to get out to the Green Buildings Tour this weekend, but fortunately the Journal has some coverage of one of the houses in Dryden, complete with photos of the straw-bale house under construction. (I reported on the...

Posted by simon at 12:52 PM

September 17, 2007

Why I think energy prices will climb

I've had a few people question one of my underlying assumptions, one that makes a huge difference to what I see happening in Dryden in the future. In general, I see energy prices going up, especially gas prices. Ethanol won't...

Posted by simon at 8:29 AM

August 25, 2007

Contemplating smart meters

This morning's Ithaca Journal reports on last night's storms, which dumped more than three inches of rain in the northern part of the county, including Lansing, Groton, and Dryden. We didn't seem to get anything here but thunder and lightning...

Posted by simon at 10:11 AM

June 30, 2007

Energy nominee withdraws

I don't know if anyone else was interested in Angela Sparks-Beddoe's nomination to chair the Public Service Commission. I didn't think it was a great idea to appoint a lobbyist for Energy East to that position, but she never got...

Posted by simon at 2:30 PM

April 30, 2007

State energy issues

Dryden news is quiet for the weekend, but there's an update on New York energy issues, including tangled questions about the nomination of Angela Sparks-Beddoe to lead the Public Service Commission. And while none of these hospitals are in Dryden,...

Posted by simon at 8:29 AM

April 23, 2007

Sparks-Beddoe nomination to move forward

I may be the only person (apart from State Senator Thomas Libous) who's still interested in this, but the State Senate seems ready to hold confirmation hearings for Angela Sparks-Beddoe, Governor Spitzer's choice to lead the Public Service Commission. If...

Posted by simon at 6:22 PM

April 6, 2007

Budget and band-aids

This morning's Ithaca Journal is quiet about Dryden, but has some broader news that affects us. There's a rundown of the $810K of member items coming to Tompkins County, and the print edition's editorial runs down - maybe runs over...

Posted by simon at 12:04 PM

March 9, 2007

Heroism in a fire

This morning's Journal leads with an article on heroism during a fire on Hickory Circle Sunday morning. Anondo "Binji" Mukherjee helped his family get out of their burning house, and returned to find a friend. An article on a new...

Posted by simon at 12:52 PM

February 19, 2007

Congressman Arcuri in the neighborhood

This morning's Ithaca Journal has a brief piece on Congressman Michael Arcuri's visit to Lansing to lead a panel discussion on energy issues. (Unfortunately, I didn't get to go, having scheduled time as a docent at the History House a...

Posted by simon at 8:07 AM

February 17, 2007

Arcuri speaking in Lansing this morning

This morning's Ithaca Journal notes that Congressman Michael Arcuri will be speaking on energy issues in Lansing this morning. (I can't make it, unfortunately - I'd agreed to be at the History House as a docent this morning.) There's more...

Posted by simon at 9:15 AM

February 15, 2007

"Fervent consumer advocate"

I hadn't heard much lately about Angela Sparks-Beddoe, Governor Spitzer's controversial appointee to chair the Public Service Commission, but this turned up in the Elmira Star-Gazette: Angela Sparks-Beddoe, his controversial pick to head the state Public Service Commission, will be...

Posted by simon at 3:16 PM

February 10, 2007

Snyder Hill fire

A vehicle and garage on Snyder Hill Road burned Friday morning, according to the print edition of the Ithaca Journal. There was also a disturbance at Caroline Elementary School, where most young Dryden children in the Ithaca schools attend. I'm...

Posted by simon at 3:29 PM

February 3, 2007

Lotteries, drugs, power

The front page of this morning's Journal has three articles that strike me as important to Dryden, if not focused on it. There's a set of articles on the New York State Lottery, with one on lottery scholarships and one...

Posted by simon at 11:07 AM

January 30, 2007

PSC appointment chips Spitzer's paint

I was starting to wonder if I was the only one surprised by Governor Spitzer's appointment of NYSEG/Energy East lobbyist Angela Sparks-Beddoe to lead the Public Service Commission, the regulatory agency NYSEG fought pitched battles against. (See here and here.)...

Posted by simon at 8:15 AM

January 23, 2007

Council of Governments

This morning's Ithaca Journal reports on the creation of the Tompkins County Council of Governments, a new organization including all of the municipalities in Tompkins County - villages, towns, city, county. They "will meet on a monthly basis to discuss...

Posted by simon at 8:01 AM

January 9, 2007

Different sizes of windmills

When Dryden passed a renewable energy law in October, it expressly aimed at small-scale windmills providing power that is mostly consumed on site, rather than large-scale windmills designed to produce power that is fed into the electrical grid. (An earlier...

Posted by simon at 8:49 AM

December 22, 2006

Accused Dryden teacher resigns

This morning's Ithaca Journal reports that the Dryden Physical Education teacher accused of public lewdness resigned. TC3 grads have new opportunities at Niagara University, including study in Italy. Meanwhile, the fitness center at Dryden High offers fitness opportunities. Sadly, it...

Posted by simon at 9:22 AM

December 19, 2006

Storefronts stay empty

This week's issue of Tompkins Weekly takes a look at the empty storefronts in the Village of Dryden. It's been almost a year since the stores at the four corners all seemed to empty out, and Anthony Hall reports that...

Posted by simon at 6:37 PM

December 18, 2006

Electrical choices

Saturday's Journal was quiet on Dryden, but did address the mysterious, complicated, and generally useless results of one of the dumber ideas the state has had in a long time: letting customers choose their own power supplier. This isn't a...

Posted by simon at 7:05 AM

December 11, 2006

Off grid, off gas

I wrote about my dream vehicle about a year ago, and I'd still really like to see a three-cylinder diesel hybrid. I don't plan, however, to hold my breath. I do, however, have a new reason for wanting one. There's...

Posted by simon at 6:14 PM

Sim Redmond teaches Dryden Middle School

This week's Dryden Courier watches the Sim Redmond Band perform a workshop with middle school students, exploring music and song writing. Also on the front page is a picture from the dress rehearsal of "The Nutcracker" at Dryden Elementary, which...

Posted by simon at 12:40 PM

October 30, 2006

Still friends

This morning's Ithaca Journal reports that congressional opponents can stay friends, as Democrat Mike Arcuri and Republican Ray Meier call each other Sam and Ralph, after a classic Warner Brothers cartoon. Now that's deep news analysis. There's an update on...

Posted by simon at 6:40 PM

October 16, 2006

Renewable energy law passed

This morning's Ithaca Journal catches up on the passage of the renewable energy law on October 5th. It features many of the same voices that spoke at the public hearing, and most of the same concerns. This clearly isn't the...

Posted by simon at 8:16 AM

October 13, 2006

Powerlines keep growing

NYSEG posted this message in yesterday's Ithaca Journal, page 5A: PUBLIC NOTICE Ithaca Transmission Project - New York State Electric and Gas Corporation Pursuant to Article VII of the Public Service Law of the State of New York and implementing...

Posted by simon at 12:25 PM

October 12, 2006

Renewable energy law hearing - details

It's been a week since the renewable energy law passed, and I haven't found time to do the detailed story on the hearing that I wanted to do last Friday. Since I'm not likely to get to that, here's a...

Posted by simon at 12:52 PM

October 10, 2006

Living in Georgia, maybe Virginia

No, I'm not moving south. The south, however - or at least its weather - seems to be coming here. This morning's Ithaca Journal takes a look at what global warming might mean for upstate New York. Some gardeners might...

Posted by simon at 8:26 AM

October 9, 2006

Higher gas prices here than elsewhere

This morning's Ithaca Journal asks some hard questions about gas prices in Tompkins County: As gas prices drop throughout the country, area residents are beginning to notice that gas prices in Tompkins and nearby counties remain high.... Every metropolitan area...

Posted by simon at 12:09 PM

October 6, 2006

Town Board passes renewable energy law

I'll expand this article later today, but the Town Board passed the Renewable Energy Facilities Law of the Town of Dryden, New York last night by a 5-0 vote....

Posted by simon at 7:44 AM

October 3, 2006

Renewable energy law hearing Thursday night

The Town of Dryden Public Notices page lists a hearing on the Renewable Energy Facilities Law of the Town of Dryden, New York for Thursday night at 7:00pm. I'd heard earlier that it might be at Neptune Hose Company, but...

Posted by simon at 8:11 AM

September 19, 2006

Alternative Energy Ordinance available

If you'd like to know what the new rules for windmills and other alternative energy conversion systems in the Town might look like eventually, you can read the proposed Renewable Energy Facilities Law of the Town of Dryden, New York....

Posted by simon at 5:52 PM

September 15, 2006

Alternative energy law introduced

This morning's Journal sort of suggests that the Town Board passed an alternative energy law last night, though it was only introduced: Residents of the Town of Dryden moved one step closer to generating their own sustainable energy Thursday night,...

Posted by simon at 8:27 AM

September 13, 2006

Alternative energy ordinance; hiking trails

This morning's Ithaca Journal reports that the alternative energy ordinance will be introduced at tomorrow's Town Board meeting, hopefully eventually freeing Dryden residents to take further steps to generate power for their own homes. I'm happy to see that the...

Posted by simon at 7:55 AM

September 6, 2006

212 new homes in Dryden

In an aside in an article about the possible impact of a new sewer system in the Town of Lansing, the Journal notes that Dryden led the county in new home construction last year, with 212 to Lansing's 211. I'm...

Posted by simon at 8:38 AM

August 31, 2006

Alternative energy law coming...

While the groundbreaking for the new Town Hall, which will use geothermal heating and cooling, proceeded, a law meant to allow town residents to install alternative energy systems is still in the works. Town Board member Mary Ann Sumner reports...

Posted by simon at 12:51 PM

August 29, 2006

Gas: $3 to $4 for rest of decade

This morning's New York Times (registration required) reports that American automakers seem to have concluded that high gas prices will require them to shift their product lines: The Chrysler Group, which depends more heavily on sales of pickup trucks and...

Posted by simon at 7:57 AM

August 24, 2006

Electric delivery rates to fall; rebate

This morning's Ithaca Journal reports that the New York Public Service Commission rejected NYSEG's proposals for electric delivery rates hikes and instead ordered a reduction and a rebate: The state Public Service Commission ruled unanimously that the Binghamton-based utility has...

Posted by simon at 10:05 AM

July 10, 2006

Green New York?

This morning's Ithaca Journal reports a quiet weekend for Dryden. (Actually, it doesn't report anything on Dryden at all, which I hope means a quiet weekend.) It does, however, include a piece by Jay Gallagher on New York State and...

Posted by simon at 8:42 AM

June 30, 2006

Helping flooded areas

This morning's Ithaca Journal includes a report on ways Tompkins County is helping out flooded areas to our east, as firefighters, the Red Cross, stores, and others helped out. Dryden sent a fire truck and ambulances. It looks like there...

Posted by simon at 8:49 AM

June 14, 2006

Brooktondale men arrested for Dryden robbery

Two Brooktondale men were arrested for a robbery and burglary committed in Dryden on May 31st, during which shots were fired. Briefly in Dryden reports: The Dryden Swim Team will be raising funds for a new scoring and timing system...

Posted by simon at 8:36 AM

June 13, 2006

Motorcycle efficiency - gasoline and fun

This morning's Ithaca Journal has a letter from Greg Kimbell of Dryden, extolling the virtues of motorcycles both for miles per gallon (78mpg available!) and fun per gallon. There's also an article on the state legislature's latest attempt to buy...

Posted by simon at 8:58 AM

June 10, 2006

Trail progress, NYSEG break

This morning's Ithaca Journal visits Thursday's Town Board meeting, reporting on the improved prospects for the Dryden-Freeville trail. They also note the delays on the final Town Hall plans, the proposal for a Dollar General near TC3, and a Varna...

Posted by simon at 2:42 PM

June 9, 2006

Freeville PTA treasurer arrested

I didn't know PTA finances could get this exciting, but the Treasurer of the Freeville PTA was arrested for forging an audit, creating a one-page audit on an auditor's stationery. A picture of students cleaning Ithaca's Stewart Park includes Dryden's...

Posted by simon at 8:17 AM

June 6, 2006

Home windmill challenge

This morning's Ithaca Journal reports on the challenge of building a residential-scale windmill in the Town of Dryden, visiting Ken Jupiter and Carol Schmook and looking at their efforts to move through "bureaucratic limbo". (I visited them last month as...

Posted by simon at 8:11 AM

May 26, 2006

Sheriff's race opens

There isn't much Dryden news in today's Journal, but there is a fair amount of county news worth exploring. Former Ithaca investigator Brian Robison announced his run for sheriff yesterday, running as a Republican against two-term incumbent Democrat Peter Meskill....

Posted by simon at 8:11 AM

May 24, 2006

Asphalt prices to determine road paving

This morning's Ithaca Journal looks at the challenge of paving roads on a fixed budget when asphalt prices keep climbing: As major consumers of oil, which is used to create asphalt, highway departments have been heavily hit by increasing prices...

Posted by simon at 7:35 AM

May 20, 2006

Windmill tour

I didn't manage to get to it, but Town Board member Mary Ann Sumner reports on a tour of Caroline windmills the Planning Board and Town Board took on Thursday....

Posted by simon at 10:37 PM

May 15, 2006

Area development, NYSEG fight

This morning's Ithaca Journal is quiet about Dryden, but has two stories that definitely affect Dryden residents. There's an article on Tompkins County Area Development, which reviewed its work at its annual meeting. TC3 was among a number of area...

Posted by simon at 8:42 AM

May 13, 2006

Ellis Hollow water, continued; alternative energy

Town Board member Mary Ann Sumner has written a brief description of Thursday's four-hour Town Board meeting. The only thing I'd add to it is that it looks like the proposal for a water district on Ellis Hollow Road will...

Posted by simon at 9:18 AM

May 6, 2006

A legal perspective on windmills

Last week, I published Town Attorney Mahlon Perkins' opinion on windmills. It turns out that the attorney for the Zoning Board of Appeals, Randy Marcus, also wrote a letter to the Town Board on the subject (110KB PDF, 156KB selectable)....

Posted by simon at 4:07 PM

May 5, 2006

Waiting for wind

Last week I stopped in to talk with Carol Schmook and Ken Jupiter, whose plans to put a 10 kW windmill on their property at the corner of Baker Hill Road and Mount Pleasant Road came to a sudden halt...

Posted by simon at 7:12 AM

May 3, 2006

Boehlert on energy policy

Posted by simon at 8:37 AM

May 1, 2006

Oil prices and Dryden

I've written a few times about what impact rising gas prices might have on Dryden, but it looks like we're now going to be getting used to $3.00 gas that was just speculation two years ago. Energy Secretary Sam Bodman...

Posted by simon at 9:58 PM

April 20, 2006

Town Attorney Perkins tilts at residential windmill 'fad'

I published Environmental Planner Dan Kwasnowski's proposed alternative energy ordinance and accompanying explanation last week, but I wasn't aware that the Town Attorney, Mahlon Perkins, had also weighed in with his opinion. It's not a particularly legal opinion - it's...

Posted by simon at 5:40 PM

April 19, 2006

No Child Left Behind reporting leaves behind

This morning's Ithaca Journal reports on some strange aspects of the No Child Left Behind law that let school districts exclude test scores for some groups to avoid penalties. Usually those groups are non-white students, though white students' scores were...

Posted by simon at 8:14 AM

April 15, 2006

Cayuga Press departing for Cortland

This morning's Ithaca Journal leads with the news that Cayuga Press is leaving its Hanshaw Road facilities for an Empire Zone in Cortland. The Town Board passed a resolution Thursday night that their departure was for reasons that couldn't readily...

Posted by simon at 6:38 PM

April 13, 2006

Wind ordinance for discussion

I stopped by Town Hall today and picked up a draft copy of the proposed wind energy ordinance that board members will be discussing tonight, as well as Environmental Planner Dan Kwasnowski's summary of it. I recommend reading the summary...

Posted by simon at 5:15 PM

April 10, 2006

Alternative energy discussion at Town Board Thursday

Apparently last week's Zoning Board of Appeals meeting went much longer than usual, with one of the issues a request for a variance to put a residential windmill at a house on Mount Pleasant. They couldn't grant it, because the...

Posted by simon at 8:06 AM

April 6, 2006

Local gas prices climb

This morning's Ithaca Journal explores the impact of higher gas prices on the Ithaca area. It even includes a handy list of current gas prices, though it's kind of hard to tell what they mean when a station is listed...

Posted by simon at 12:36 PM

March 31, 2006

Dryden senior in state speaking contest

Dryden High School senior Simon Horrocks will be speaking at an FFA state competition in May, having placed first in the regional Extemporaneous Public Speaking competition, second while delivering a prepared speech, and second in a Job Interview contest. Dryden...

Posted by simon at 12:20 PM

March 25, 2006

Reduced electricity use

I must be doing something right, as my NYSEG bill claims that my daily power consumption has declined from 21 kWh in February-March of last year to 8 kWh this past month. I traded in my basement dehumidifier for one...

Posted by simon at 11:14 AM

TC3 growing honors program with scholarships

This morning's Ithaca Journal reports on a new effort to expand the TC3 honors program by giving 15 full scholarships to Tompkins and Cortland County students who enroll in at least 30% honors classes, and are either in the top...

Posted by simon at 8:47 AM

March 7, 2006

Energy-efficient water heating

Yesterday I made what I hope will be the last necessary major energy-efficiency improvement to my house for a while. A few years ago, I had the furnace replaced and the house insulated, but since the water heater still worked,...

Posted by simon at 7:58 AM

January 19, 2006

Cornell energy, traffic

There's a lot happening just past Dryden's western edge. Cornell is planning to add two natural gas turbines generating electricity to its heating plant, improving its efficiency to 75% (from 49%) and reducing their amount of coal burned by 30-50%....

Posted by simon at 8:29 AM

January 17, 2006

Diesel hybrids: maybe

I wrote back in November about how I'd really like a small diesel hybrid pickup truck. It seemed unlikely then, as no one was talking about diesel hybrids, but that hurdle has been cleared: several automakers, including Ford, Mercedes, and...

Posted by simon at 6:16 PM

December 17, 2005

Getting ready for cold

This morning's Ithaca Journal looks at ways to reduce energy costs, and visits a Cooperative Extension class on fixing up older windows that I attended earlier this week. Mark Pierce explained that the best ways to save energy are to...

Posted by simon at 1:57 PM

November 15, 2005

Dream vehicle

As gas prices have lurched around and my loyal 1996 Saturn's odometer has clicked past 162,000 miles, I've been thinking a lot about what I'd like my next vehicle to be. Unfortunately, it doesn't exist, though I'm pretty certain all...

Posted by simon at 8:44 PM

November 13, 2005

Model wind ordinance

A few months ago Cornell withdrew their plans for massive wind power generation on Mount Pleasant, rumor has it because of FAA opposition. At last Thursday's Town Board meeting, the subject of wind power was back on the agenda, thanks...

Posted by simon at 9:13 PM

Oh well - no solar

My water heater's been less and less happy over the past few years, and I'd been thinking about solar energy anyway, so I called Performance Systems Contracting to take a look at possible solar water or power here. (They'd done...

Posted by simon at 3:21 PM

October 25, 2005

Buttoning up for winter

This morning's Ithaca Journal looks at energy-efficiency improvements in houses, visiting Freeville resident Derek Osborne, who sounds like he's doing about the same work to his 1920s house as I had done to mine a couple of years ago, and...

Posted by simon at 5:12 PM

October 16, 2005

Energy conservation workshops

One of my earlier pieces about the importance of energy drew a comment about things we can do now. Cornell Cooperative Extension will be hosting energy conservation workshops on Wednesday, October 26th from 6:30pm to 8:30pm and again on Thursday,...

Posted by simon at 2:13 PM

October 9, 2005

Looking forward to the economy of the 2010s

Unlike Dryden's 1968 General Plan or the currently proposed Comprehensive Plan, both of which looked at the recent past and projected change (and responses to change) based on more of the same, another plan for Tompkins County considers a future...

Posted by simon at 3:53 PM

October 6, 2005

50 years of power

It's not quite in Dryden, but 50 years of Milliken Station, now AES Cayuga, seems worth noting. Despite the magic of the grid, it's reasonable to suspect that electricity generated there in Lansing may have been used in Dryden. In...

Posted by simon at 5:21 PM

September 29, 2005

TC3 starts first fund-raising campaign

I always thought that state colleges and universities were supposed to be paid for by the state, but it's become clearer and clearer lately that the state, or at least the people currently running it, doesn't like that idea much....

Posted by simon at 4:34 PM

September 3, 2005

More on gas prices

This morning's Journal is fairly quiet about Dryden, but has lots of coverage about how higher gas prices might affect municipalities and school districts in Tompkins County, adding further to budget challenges. If you'd like to work on ways to...

Posted by simon at 8:18 AM

September 1, 2005

Pull out your 3s

I speculated last year about the possible impact of $3.00 a gallon gas on Dryden. This morning, thanks to Hurricana Katrina, it's here. Gas prices with improvised 3s. (I also have an aunt and a cousin with family in Gulfport,...

Posted by simon at 12:28 PM

August 7, 2005

Dryden soldier in Iraq

This week's Dryden Courier leads with a profile of Rob Bailey, a US Army Reserve Lieutenant Colonel serving in Iraq. The article is largely an interview with his brother, John Bailey, also of Dryden, and echoes Bailey's Memorial Day address....

Posted by simon at 10:00 AM

June 20, 2005

Lifton replies on NYSERDA

Back in April, I sent a letter to Assemblywoman Barbara Lifton, a letter to Senator Jim Seward, and a letter to Governor George Pataki about the State Legislature's apparent grab for the NYSERDA piggybank. While the legislature enjoyed talking about...

Posted by simon at 9:13 PM

June 12, 2005

Power out for five hours

I woke up uncomfortably warm at 1:20am to find my ceiling fan had stopped and the battery backup for the computers downstairs was beeping. All the lights in nearby houses were dark, as were the streetlights at the Route 13/366...

Posted by simon at 7:20 AM

April 30, 2005

Wind turbines stopped

This morning's Ithaca Journal reports that Cornell has decided to stop its study of putting wind turbines on Mount Pleasant, publishing a brief press release to that effect after notifying residents at a meeting Thursday night. According to Simeon Moss,...

Posted by simon at 8:28 AM

April 26, 2005

Wind farm discussion at April Town Board meeting

Now that I've finally finished what happened at the EMC meeting on the Cornell wind farm, I'd like to report what happened at the April Dryden Town Board meeting the next night. During citizen's privilege, Bill Openshaw read a prepared...

Posted by simon at 4:40 PM

April 25, 2005

Questioning Cornell about wind, Part 2

Continuing with the comments at the EMC meeting about Cornell's Mount Pleasant wind farm proposal, Mount Pleasant resident John Semmler asked Lanny Joyce, Manager of Engineering, Planning, and Energy Management in Cornell's Utilities Department about infrasonic noise, noise below the...

Posted by simon at 7:09 PM

April 23, 2005

Questioning Cornell about wind, Part 1

After Lanny Joyce, Manager of Engineering, Planning, and Energy Management in Cornell's Utilities Department, gave a presentation at the April 13th Tompkins County Environmental Management Council, it opened up to questions from the council and the public. Steve Nicholson, the...

Posted by simon at 12:47 PM

April 21, 2005

Cornell perspective on Mount Pleasant wind farm

Lanny Joyce, Manager of Engineering, Planning, and Energy Management in Cornell's Utilities Department and a member of the Kyoto Task Team, presented at the Tompkins County Environmental Management Council meeting last Wednesday after residents spoke at the beginning of the...

Posted by simon at 10:45 PM

April 19, 2005

Windmills generate controversy

Cornell's proposed windmills on Mount Pleasant, near the WHCU radio tower, encountered a lot of opposition last week. I missed the informational meeting at the Varna Community Center, so I went to the Environmental Management Council meeting last Wednesday instead....

Posted by simon at 7:06 PM

April 18, 2005

Green Town Hall?

In this past week's Dryden Courier, Tony Hall asks "how green will the new building be?" He reports on NYSERDA's possible financial support for an energy-efficient Town Hall, and related green-building projects at the SPCA and the Town of Lansing...

Posted by simon at 12:18 PM

April 7, 2005

Birds return to Dryden; ICSD middle school redistricting

The Ithaca Journal's editorial starts as "the raspy gee-gaw call of a male redwing blackbird echoed in a Dryden marsh," writing about the studies of local bird populations done by the Birdhouse Network, a project of the Cornell Lab of...

Posted by simon at 8:00 AM

April 6, 2005

State legislators reach for NYSERDA piggybank?

I've been fond of the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority for a while now. I first heard about them when I had work done on my house and received a rebate, but they also audited that work...

Posted by simon at 4:24 PM

March 25, 2005

Grass as biofuel

On Monday afternoon, I went to see a presentation up on Mount Pleasant that may hold some promise for both agriculture and open space in Dryden. Cornell scientists have been working with various kinds of grass, working to find ways...

Posted by simon at 6:51 PM

March 22, 2005

More to come on windmills; ICSD redistricting tonight

Cornell University will be giving an overview of a wind power generation study to the Tompkins County Environmental Management Council meeting on April 13th, which starts at 7:00pm with the Cornell presentation around 8:00pm. The meeting will be held at...

Posted by simon at 7:18 AM

March 21, 2005


This morning's Ithaca Journal spends its editorial on the difficulties of sustainable power including hydropower and wind. It doesn't mention Dryden, but in some ways it echoes recent resistance to windmills here. Planner George Frantz, who has been the consultant...

Posted by simon at 2:52 PM

March 19, 2005

Windmills? Maybe not

This week's Dryden Courier leads with an article on the windmills Cornell has proposed building on Mount Pleasant, which could provide 10-15% of the university's electricity. Neighbors are less than happy, and the Courier reports that 15 of them signed...

Posted by simon at 8:46 AM

March 5, 2005

Absentee ballots for Village of Dryden elections

This morning's Ithaca Journal is pretty quiet about Dryden-specific news, but absentee ballots for village elections are now available from the Tompkins County Board of Elections. Requests for mailed applications must be received by March 8th, though applications may be...

Posted by simon at 8:18 AM

January 24, 2005

Windmills, weather, and wish lists

This morning's Journal mentions a project I've heard rumored but not seen in print, the possibility of Cornell setting up windmills in Dryden and elsewhere in Tompkins County. The University is doing tests now in Dryden, "though Joyce declined to...

Posted by simon at 7:43 AM

December 29, 2004

Pay raises, energy choices

In this morning's Ithaca Journal, Dryden County Legislator Mike Lane argues for lower pay raises than those supported in a competing plan: "Legislators work hard," Lane said. "You can't expect them to work for nothing. On the other hand, we...

Posted by simon at 8:47 AM

November 27, 2004

State budget and TC3

Today's Journal reports on Governor Pataki's apparently sustained veto of $325,000 in aid to TC3. The article left me wondering if the college aid was included in a list of vetoes the Senate couldn't override because the Assembly hadn't overridden...

Posted by simon at 8:28 AM

November 25, 2004

Indictment, outage

Today's Ithaca Journal reports on the indictment of a Lower Creek Road man for DWI and vehicular manslaughter in an accident last June on Fall Creek Road. A power line break along the Town of Dryden/Town of Ithaca line blacked...

Posted by simon at 7:40 AM

October 29, 2004

Heating aid, county budget, opinions

There's not much Dryden news in today's Journal, but there's a fair amount that applies to Dryden in some way. The Home Energy Assistance Program (HEAP) is starting up again for the winter, and the Tompkins County Office for the...

Posted by simon at 8:58 AM

October 11, 2004

Energy costs, environmental committees

This morning's Journal has very little specific to Dryden, but does include an article on a subject that affects us and a letter from the town on that subject: energy. Last week, the Journal published an article on a 15%...

Posted by simon at 8:05 AM

October 3, 2004

Visiting a strawbale house

Several houses in Tompkins County were part of the Northeast Sustainable Energy Association's 2004 Green Buildings Open House. I didn't make it to the Tompkins County SPCA, which is usually more accessible than private houses, but I did get to...

Posted by simon at 12:07 AM

September 27, 2004

Vietnam politics

It's another quiet day for Dryden news. The only Dryden-specific item in today's Ithaca Journal is a letter from Dryden resident Steve Scott defending President Bush on both his recent statements about John Kerry's service in Vietnam and Bush's service...

Posted by simon at 8:27 AM

August 7, 2004

School funding uncertainty

Thanks to New York's protracted budget delay, local schools are still wondering what aid they'll be getting as they prepare to set their tax rates. Dryden School Board President Rachel Dickinson and Business Administrator Teresa Carnrike are both quoted in...

Posted by simon at 7:52 AM

May 29, 2004

Solar school

I saw this poster at the McDonalds/Mobil station in the Village of Dryden on Thursday: Poster advertising Tompkins County's first solar-powered school Following the web link in the poster took me to a description of how this works. Like other...

Posted by simon at 10:32 AM

May 26, 2004

Gas prices and Dryden

When I was at Town Hall a couple of weeks ago, there was talk that local gas stations had been told to order '3' signs to be ready just in case gas went over $3.00 a gallon. That thought has...

Posted by simon at 12:43 PM

May 17, 2004

Lane on Empire Zones

County Legislator Mike Lane is quoted in today's Ithaca Journal on the state's Empire Zone program, which has left Tompkins County as one of 11 counties without one. Lane says that "it would be different if only really economically depressed...

Posted by simon at 7:57 AM

May 6, 2004

Lane on energy and costs

Today's Ithaca Journal reports that the county legislature's Planning, Development and Environmental Quality Committee tabled a motion calling for the county to get 5% of its energy from renewable sources by 2008. The reason: unknown costs. Though Senior Planner Heather...

Posted by simon at 8:07 AM

April 21, 2004

This week's Courier

This week's Dryden Courier includes an article on Dryden Middle School's production of Fiddler on the Roof, which will be performed April 22nd through 24th at 7pm each night. On a similar note, the "Mind over Matters" column looks at...

Posted by simon at 9:41 PM

April 4, 2004

More on the hydrogen car

I mentioned Dryden High School seniors Sam Glidden and Jared Delahanty's hydrogen car project back in January, when the Ithaca Journal covered it. Now I've stumbled on their site covering the project, which has much more detail on the car...

Posted by simon at 12:22 PM

March 30, 2004

Sustainable Tompkins salon meets

Thirteen people, including four Dryden residents, met last night at Rogues Harbor in Lansing as part of the Sustainable Tompkins project. This was the first meeting of the "salon", which will gather every Monday there through May 3. (There are...

Posted by simon at 8:20 AM

January 28, 2004

Auditing the results of my energy audit

I wrote earlier about how we'd had an energy audit followed by major energy improvements to our house last year. Monday night, I got a call from the Energy Star folks saying that they wanted to take a look at...

Posted by simon at 3:21 PM

January 25, 2004

Energy efficiency saves lots of cash

I reported a few weeks ago on the energy efficiency improvements we made to the house last summer, and that our gas meter at that point looked very promising. A new bill has arrived, and the results are in: we...

Posted by simon at 7:01 PM

January 18, 2004

Home Energy Assistance Program

As the weather doesn't show much sign of warming up, it's a good time to note that the Home Energy Assistance Program (HEAP) is available. The criteria for HEAP funding are on their web site, noting: New York's benefit program...

Posted by simon at 10:46 AM

January 4, 2004

Energy efficiency in our old house

Thanks in part to New York State, my 74-year-old house finally has substantial insulation and a new furnace. When we bought the house, it had been a rental property for years. The owners had lived in it briefly at some...

Posted by simon at 10:37 AM