December 1, 2012

Santa Claus is coming tonight to Dryden

I should have posted this sooner, but...

There are all kinds of events in Dryden today. The Historical Society is open from 10:00am to 2:00pm, and the Southworth LIbrary is having an ornament coloring contest.

Around 5:00pm, the focus shifts to the Village Green and the Methodist Church, for crafts and refreshments inside the church and the Christmas Tree lighting outside.

The key moment, of course, is Santa's arrival around 5:30, to light the tree.

Here's a look at a previous event.

Posted by simon at 8:09 AM Comment

December 6, 2012

Sumner edges Romney by 26 votes

Results are still unofficial, but unless a pile of absentee votes turns up, Dryden Town Supervisor Mary Ann Sumner got more votes last year in a local race than Republican candidate for President Mitt Romney received in a national race with much higher turnout.

Description Sumner (11) Romney (12)
West Dryden185266
Freeville area185318
Village of Dryden199286
E and N of Dryden177316
Snyder Hill, Rt 79376165
Ellis Hollow Creek389119
South Central210224
Dryden Lake219271
Total 2323 2297

President Obama still wins the comparison overall, with 3967 votes. Congressman Tom Reed barely outperformed Romney with 2308 votes, still not as many as Sumner's prior total.

I'm normally pretty cautious about comparing election results from different years. Turnouts are very different, populations shift, and so on. Next year we'll even have some different election district boundaries because of shifting county legislative lines.

This comparison, though, suggests that local Republicans have a lot of work to do. Even in a year that brings far more voters out to the polls, their national candidate couldn't do better than a local Democrat in a race with considerably lower turnout.

I still absolutely expect local races will be competitive for a long time, and 2011 may be a highpoint for Dryden Democratic results for a while, but this is not something I dreamed possible when I first started writing this blog.

Posted by simon at 9:25 PM Comment

December 12, 2012

People to People Ambassador fundraiser

The Varna Community Association will be hosting a fundraiser for Aaron Simmons as he works to become a People to People Student Ambassador. This Friday, December 14th, from 5:00pm to 7:00pm, they'll be serving a chicken and biscuits dinner (with spinach lasagna as a vegetarian option). All proceeds will go to his work.

Aaron Simmons fundraiser
Aaron Simmons fundraiser.

Posted by simon at 8:15 PM Comment

December 13, 2012

Varna Holiday party Saturday

Varna party Saturday
Varna holiday party, Saturday December 15th, 1:00pm to 3:00pm.

Posted by simon at 9:14 PM Comment

December 17, 2012

I'd like to buy some guns, but...

I have no interest whatsoever in supporting the NRA or its friends.

There's never a good time to talk about guns, but the worst times seem like the most important times.

We've talked about hunting since we bought the land above our house, which isn't large but is large enough and is often well-stocked with deer. The spread of feral hogs also concerns me, and puts me across the tipping point where I think having a gun would be a good idea.

Visiting deer.
Visiting deer, 2011.

(We already have a BB gun, which lives in a gun cabinet in the attic, where it should stay out of the hands of our kids. Any future guns would live there as well.)

The problem isn't the devices - we pretty much know that we'd like a .22 and a 20-gauge shotgun (with some thoughts about a 12-gauge if the feral pigs become more common).

The problem is with the makers of the guns, and ammunition, and the surrounding culture. I don't want to make a donation to the NRA every time I buy shells, and I don't have the time to take up loading my own.

A Remington shotgun made in Ilion, NY, not far from here, would seem like an obvious answer, but then I read articles like this and remember the company's constant tantrums about ripping the factory out of New York State if we do anything else that might discourage the use of guns on humans. It's hard to support local manufacturing when they're run by jerks who seem to think that protecting human targets from their weapons is a bad idea. (I've heard better things about the employees, but management... not so much.)

Are there any manufacturers who produce quality guns but aren't locked into the broken logic of "the only answer to gun shootings is more guns"? Is this even imaginable in the current gun culture?

Ideally they'd be in the United States, focus exclusively on weapons for hunting, and steer clear of the NRA, the NSSF, and similar forces.

Used is of course another option, though that doesn't work so well for ammunition.

Posted by simon at 3:41 PM Comment

December 19, 2012

My favorite gun store

So far as I know, this place does not exist, but please let me know if it does. If I was any good at running a store, I'd consider starting it.

So you'd like to hunt, but don't know where to start? You'd like to learn to use a gun, but don't want to feel like you're being recruited for a resistance movement?

Come on down to Bob's Hunting Supplies!

The weapons we sell are focused squarely on hunting, not on killing other people. We have extensive classes to help you learn both accuracy and safety, and won't make you join the NRA to enjoy them. While we recognize that most of our suppliers support the NRA and NSSF financially, we compensate for that by donating 5% of every sale to the Brady Campaign, and making it easy for you to make an additional contribution.

We sell a mix of new and used equipment, primarily made in the United States, and can tell you how our products were made and by whom as well as how well they work for different uses. We support local gunsmiths and craftsman and offer classes in maintenance and making.

We offer gun cabinets and gun safes, and our delivery service can help install these critical safety devices in corners of your house where they're out of the way.

Even if you don't want to hunt, we offer supplies to help keep you safe - highly visible clothing for people and pets, distance markers for indicating houses and roads, and calendars to help you figure out which hunting seasons it might be where you live.

Could such a place exist? If it could, Tompkins County seems like a possible home for it.

Update: Stories like this make me wonder if the industry would tolerate such a place.

Update: Happy to see a store refocus its inventory, and Dick's Sporting Goods, which has a Lansing store, also dropped many types of guns.

Posted by simon at 9:53 AM Comment


(An annual story...)

People often seem to make their donations at the end of the year, both for holiday and tax reasons. This is a list of organizations in Dryden that could take donations. I believe, though I'm not entirely certain, that these are non-profit organizations, and therefore tax-exempt, but I could be wrong. Check with the organization if you have a question about that.

I've posted a list of churches earlier, and I'm sure they'd all happily accept donations, with the exception of Ellis Hollow Community Church, which closed a few years ago.

Other possible Dryden organizations for donations include:

  • Bethel Grove Community Center
    1825 Slaterville Road
    Ithaca, NY 14850

  • Dryden Community Center Cafe
    P.O. 801
    Dryden, NY 13053

  • Dryden Go-Green Team
    c/o Dryden Elementary School (checks payable to Dryden Elementary School)
    P.O. Box 88
    Dryden, NY 13053

  • Dryden Kitchen Cupboard
    Tompkins County Food Pantry
    800 Enfield Falls Road
    Newfield, NY 14867

  • Dryden Town Historical Society
    36 West Main Street
    P.O. Box 69
    Dryden, NY 13053

  • Dryden Veterans Memorial Home
    2272 Dryden Road
    Dryden, NY 13053

  • Dryden Youth Opportunity Fund
    Make checks out to Community Foundation of Tompkins County/DYOF
    P.O Box 1076
    Dryden, NY 13053

  • Ellis Hollow Community Center
    111 Genung Road
    Ithaca, NY 14850

  • Etna Community Center
    P.O. Box 425
    Etna, NY 13062

  • Freeville Food Pantry
    Freeville United Methodist Church
    PO Box 229
    Freeville, NY 13068

  • Neptune Hose Company & Dryden Ambulance
    26 North Street
    Dryden, NY 13053

  • Saltonstall Foundation for the Arts
    P.O. Box 6607
    Ithaca, NY 14850

  • Southworth Library Association
    P.O. Box 45
    Dryden, NY 13053

  • Tompkins County SPCA
    1640 Hanshaw Road
    Ithaca, NY 14850

  • Varna Community Association
    PO Box 4771
    Ithaca, NY 14852-4771

  • Varna Volunteer Fire Company, Inc.
    14 Turkey Hill Road
    Ithaca, NY 14850

  • W.B. Strong Fire Company
    21 Union Street
    PO Box 129
    Freeville, NY 13068

  • Willow Glen Cemetery Association
    P.O. Box 299
    Dryden, NY 13053-0299

If you have additions or corrections, please let me know in the comments. I'm guessing I missed a few as always. (And thanks to everyone who's helped me add to the list!)

Posted by simon at 7:03 PM Comment

December 31, 2012

Catching up on 2012

As work, travel, and other chaos took over my year, there's a lot I missed. These are some highlights of stories I've covered here in the past but haven't managed to focus on recently:

Zoning, Varna addendum passed.

In July, the Town Board passed the new zoning, and in December, they passed the zoning and other planning for the Varna community development plan.

Anschutz/Norse Lawsuit status

Anschutz dropped out of appealing its loss in its lawsuit contesting the Town's right to ban gas drilling through zoning. They passed it to Norse Energy, who promptly filed for bankruptcy, but the appeal goes on. This press release from Earthjustice, who are representing the Town pro bono, is a good summary of the state of play. (Update: This description of an amicus brief includes convenient links to the filings in the case.)

Gas leases expiring

I haven't seen details, but it sounds like gas companies, especially Anschutz, are letting leases expire much more easily than they were in the past. I suspect this map is now significantly lighter, though it seems to take property owner action to make a lease actually go away.

Critical Environmental Areas didn't happen

Republicans blasted this during the 2011 election, and a core of angry residents seem to have brought the creation of Critical Environmental Areas to a halt.

Poets Landing construction

Conifer's Poet Landing development on Route 38 in Dryden is approaching completion. It will have 72 units when it opens.

Route 13 bridge work

The New York State Department of Transportation has finally begun heavy work on the replacement of the Route 13 bridge over Fall Creek by Lower Creek Road. They will be putting in a temporary bridge to let traffic pass while they build a replacement bridge.

Posted by simon at 7:18 AM Comment