June 6, 2014

Dryden Solar Tour Saturday, June 7th

The first Dryden Solar Tour of 2014 will be held THIS SATURDAY, June 7th, at 1:00pm at 8 Genung Rd.

This is the home of Craig Higgins and Jacque Lopez, who have 4 ground mounted arrays that were installed in March of 2007. Each array consists of 10 Sharp model 170 panels. The total system production is 6800 watts. This event is being held in conjunction with the 2014 program of Solar Tompkins.

Please visit SolarTompkins.org for the full schedule of Solar Tour dates in all the towns in the county. That web site will also show you the dates for our Community education meetings. There will be two in each town. You are welcome to come to one or several meetings to get the information you need to make the switch to solar this year. The dates for Dryden Community meetings are June 18 (Varna Community Center, 7:00) and July 1 (Dryden Fire Hall, 7:00).

Posted by simon at 7:35 AM Comment

June 18, 2014

Why I support the IDC (and not Cuomo)

I've been a vocal supporter of the Independent Democratic Caucus since their initial formation. I don't always agree with them, and I frequently don't love the results of a Republican-controlled State Senate. Nonetheless, I think they're pretty much the only glimmer of hope in Albany. Why?

Because the last thing New York State needs right now is party discipline.

On the one hand, the state is absolutely trending Democratic. On the other hand, party discipline is what has kept the Senate Republicans in power. Both parties took the 2010 redistricting of legislative districts to mean "grab everything we possibly can for our party", and Governor Cuomo let it sail through.

Promises of change? Discarded.

I gag when I hear "The Assembly works by consensus" when the people claiming that it's a good thing leave out "of the majority party, behind closed doors." I regularly despair over systems that are meant to reward loyalty to party and party leaders rather than listening to voters. I try not to pay attention to the wanderings of the party leadership - in any party - because their rhetoric about the will of the people never turns up when it's time to structure the government.

Perhaps worst, lately, are the ever-clearer outlines of "Cuomonian" New York. Jimmy Vielkind listed them brilliantly:

  1. Chaos is NOT Cuomonian

  2. Always take the deal

  3. Cuomo only respects force

Rule 2 is the bright spot, occasionally making it possible for things to happen that Cuomo and his donors don't love. Rule 1 is the catastrophe, and rule 3 is the sign of how difficult change may be.

The IDC violates rule 1 just enough to create possibilities for rule 2. The IDC seems to go out of its way to present itself as orderly if different. However, its very existence has become the friction point that opens new possibilities, perhaps even possibilities that will let us out of the current logjam. I want to see a lot of IDCs, in both parties and in both houses.

I dream - right now I don't dare hope - of a New York where elections are contested, and where no party leader or governor hopes to control the government by fiat or favors. I dream of a legislature where members are free to vote as they want on every vote, not just the ones where their votes don't matter. I dream of a governor who listens rather than tells.

Negotiation will never disappear. I understand politics involves pragmatism. We do, however, need to abolish the structures of control that keep New York bound in the chains of money and institutional intertia.

Posted by simon at 6:52 AM Comment