One of the subjects I’ve devoted some time to here over the past few years has been the subject of regulations. As I pointed out earlier this year, there are reasons we have regulations. Most often, those reasons are remembered when … they aren’t followed, enforced, or not there to begin with. According to conservatives, regulations are “unnecessary” and the “free market” will behave properly or correct itself if left alone, all evidence from the past and present to the contrary.
One problems I have with conservatives is that they’ve turned the debate into defending the need for them in the first place. I’d rather have a much different conversation.
Filed under Parks, Politics
Recently the state environmental department announced plans to control an introduced species, which is on the verge of becoming seriously invasive. In the areas where it’s currently established itself, it caused serious damage wetland and aquatic plants, has displaced – and often attacks – native species, created public health hazards, and injuries to the public. Once confined to a relatively small area of the state in limited numbers, over the past few years it has spread to new areas, and numbers are increasing. The state plans to reduce this population in the wild to zero over the next ten years. Pretty open and shut, right? Not really, since all such plans have a “public comment period” attached to them, and there’s a good percentage of people against it.
Most of my summer is spent outdoors, and occasionally I remember to bring a camera with me. Here are some of the things I found interesting. This is in early spring, a place called “Buttermilk Falls.”
It’s a popular destination, since it’s only a 100 yard hike in from the parking area.
Filed under Parks, Science
Having worked on campgrounds, as well as having various family members and friends who have, you have a large number of stories to tell. At any gathering, tales are shared of the things that were run into at one point or another. It can start with “You wouldn’t believe this one!” followed by “Oh yeah, I had that, and then there was…” As we sometimes say, you can’t make this up. I’ve taken a selection of them (no, not all happened to me), and made them into the “lessons” I learned from various campers. Helpful hint: Don’t do any of these!
A couple of news stories over at the Albany Times-Union caught my attention. The first ties in with my recent posting on parks, with the suggestion that a dedicated fund be created for state parks. The second one talks about how the State Museum has had to make cut-backs. How are these two linked? The reason the State Museum has problems is because it had a dedicated fund:
But rather than setting aside money in the fat years, state leaders raided the fund.
Starting in 2005, the Cultural Education Account was used to subsidize the New York State Theatre Institute, sending $13.8 million to the Troy-based troupe over the past five years. Gov. David Paterson’s administration took over NYSTI earlier this year after the state Inspector General concluded that Patricia Snyder, the organization’s producing director, engaged in questionable spending and runaway nepotism. NYSTI’s production of “A Christmas Carol” next month is expected to be its last.
The account also sent $2.9 million in subsidies to The Egg, and had $7.2 million redirected to the state’s general fund between 2002 and 2008.
Filed under Parks, Politics