November 6, 2012

Everyone votes today!

Well, we hope so, anyway.

Polls will be open today from 6:00am to 9:00pm. Remember, as always, that you can't campaign inside of the polling places, and that this includes things like T-shirts, signs, and buttons in addition to trying to actively convert everyone around you.

Everyone is now on the new machines, paper with an electronic scanner.

Depending on which district you live in - see the district map (597KB PDF) - you can vote at:

  1. Etna Fire Station - 26 Wood Road, Etna (map).
  2. Freeville Fire Station - 21 Union Street, Freeville (map).
  3. Dryden Fire Station - 26 North Street, Dryden (map).
  4. Varna Community Center - 943 Dryden Road, Varna (map).
  5. Etna Fire Station - 26 Wood Road, Etna (map).
  6. Dryden Fire Station - 26 North Street, Dryden (map).
  7. Dryden Fire Station - 26 North Street, Dryden (map).
  8. Bethel Grove Church Activity Center - 1749 Slaterville Road, Bethel Grove (map).
  9. Varna Community Center - 943 Dryden Road, Varna (map).
  10. Reach Out for Christ Church - 318 Johnson Road, Freeville (map).
  11. Dryden Fire Station - 26 North Street, Dryden (map).

If you'd like to see a sample ballot before going in, the Board of Elections has them (PDF).

Posted by simon at 9:01 AM Comment

November 9, 2012

Veterans Day commemoration Sunday

As always, the Dryden Veterans will sponsor the service on Veterans Day, Sunday, November 11, 2012, at 11:00 A.M. on the Dryden Village Green.

(The Village Green is by the fountain between the Dryden Methodist Church and Dryden Presbyterian Church at the "four corners" intersection of Routes 13, 38, and 392.)

Posted by simon at 5:04 PM Comment

November 20, 2012

Hollowing out NYSEG

It's not just the office building at the intersection of Routes 13 and 366 that's empty - Iberdrola, the parent company of NYSEG, seems focused on cost-cutting and only cost-cutting:

Dozens of employees retired or resigned and were not replaced. Key units went from 20 employees to three or four -- because, auditors found, Spanish executives believed utilities in New York state, susceptible to fierce blizzards and powerful hurricanes, could get by with the same workforce as their units in Spain, where weather is somewhat more serene...

  • Auditors repeatedly said RG&E and NYSEG suffered from staff shortages. In 2009 and 2010, Iberdrola's first two full years in charge, 219 workers retired -- and exactly four of them were replaced, the audit said....

  • While auditors asserted Iberdrola executives in Spain were not very attentive to goings-on at their U.S. subsidiaries, the exception was employment. They mandated big reductions at their upstate New York properties and the corporate board monitored reductions almost monthly.

It doesn't sound like this has (yet) had an effect on day to day operations, but it seems likely that it's part of why NYSEG has been a laggard in repairs after weather events. Resilience requires investment.

(This op-ed makes the larger point that NYSEG is far from alone in Americans' lack of investment in infrastructure, though it's extra strange that a Spanish company is leading us toward weaker systems.)

Update: Here's the report from the Ithaca Journal.

Posted by simon at 5:10 PM Comment

Verne Morton: The Photographer Who Made the Commonplace Compelling

I always love looking at Verne Morton's pictures of local life, and really need to get this book one of these days. This should be a great evening, and I'm also delighted to see the Groton / Dryden cooperation.

Verne Morton: The Photographer Who Made the Commonplace Compelling

During the late 1800s and early 1900s almost every community had a photographer documenting the life and history of their town whose work may now be sitting forgotten in someone's barn or attic. Early photographs were produced from fragile glass plate negatives and unstable nitrate negatives which put their continued viability at risk without proper care. Fortunately for us, this was not the case with the work of Verne Morton a photographer from Groton whose photographs captured daily life in another century and will be the featured subject of a Dryden Town Historical Society program.

Guest speakers, Rosemarie Tucker (Groton Town Historian) and April Scheffler (Groton Town Clerk) have made it their mission to not only share the extraordinary photographs of one of Groton's native sons but also to advocate for how important it is to locate these photos, to share and enjoy them, and in doing so, preserve a pictorial history for future generations.

Join us on Wednesday, November 28th, at 7 pm in the Dryden Village Hall (corner of George and South Streets) to learn more about this talented man and his amazing legacy. As always, this program is free and open to all with donations gratefully accepted.

In 2010, a collection of photographs were compiled into a book by the Dryden Mutual Insurance Company in celebration of the company's 150th anniversary (Great Possibilities: 150 Verne Morton Photographs) which will be available for purchase.

Update: Here's a link to a lot of his photos, with options for buying prints.

Posted by simon at 7:02 PM Comment

November 21, 2012

Free Varna Community Thanksgiving meal

Tomorrow, Thursday, November 22nd, the Varna Community Association will be holding a free Thanksgiving meal from noon to 3:00pm.

I saw them setting up in the kitchen today, and it looks like it's going to be delicious!

Posted by simon at 6:35 PM Comment