The Big Progressive Wins on Election Night, Midterms 2018

Democrats were looking forward to a Blue Wave. Progressives were hoping for progressive candidates. Right-of-center? A redder political map.

Well, we can delve into that later on, but here’s what we got for the most part last night.

The Big Progressive Wins

First, a list. Next what we can expect policy-wise from the new Democratic U.S. House of Representatives.

  1. Candidates outside the status quo:
    1. Jared Polis (D-CO) – the country’s first openly gay Governor
    2. Sharice Davids (D-KS) – the country’s first Native American, openly gay Congresswoman
    3. Deb Haaland (D-NM) – the country’s second Native American Congresswoman
    4. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) – the country’s first Somali-American, Muslim Congresswoman, a Somali refugee
    5. Rashida Tlaib (D-MI) – the country’s second Muslim Congresswoman
    6. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) – the country’s youngest Congresswoman, at 29 years old
    7. Abby Finkenauer (D-IA) – the country’s second youngest Congresswoman, also 29
    8. Young Kim (R-CA) – the countries first Korean-American Congresswoman
    9. Ayanna Pressley (D-MA) – Massachusetts’ first black Congresswoman
    10. Janet Mills (D-ME) – Maine’s first woman Governor
    11. Letitia James (D-NY) – New York’s first black woman Attorney General
  2. Progressive ballot measures that passed*:
    1. San Francisco, CA – raised taxes on big corporations to fund homeless services
    2. Florida – returns voting rights to over a million people that served time for felony charges
    3. Louisiana – requiring felony convictions to have a unanimous jury conviction ruling
    4. Massachusetts – an affirming transgender bathroom anti-discrimination protection
    5. New Hampshire – affirms freedom from governmental intrusion in private or personal information
    6. Missouri – legalizing medical marijuana.
    7. Michigan
      1. confirming automatic & Election Day registration
      2. confirming an independent redistricting commission
      3. And last but pot least — had to. legalizes recreational marijuana. Making Michigan the tenth state to do so. The others? Alaska, Washington, Oregon, California, Nevada, Colorado, Maine, Vermont, and Massachusetts.

*Not a complete list


Although there were a lot of wins, there are some big losses to note before we move on. Before we touch on the bad though, let’s do a quick “good wrap.”

Kim Davis (R-KY), lost her election. She was the county clerk who refused to sign marriage licenses for same-sex couples. The Neo-Nazi GOP candidate renounced by his party lost to Illinois Democrats.

This is where the positives end here. In races across the country, Republicans made wins, losses for progressives. Electing racists wasn’t their only win on election night. In Alabama, voters stripped rights from pregnant people. They gave those full legal rights to fertilized eggs, instead. Republicans went so far as electing to Congress Steve King (R-IA), denounced by his party as a Nazi.

Moving forward, nonetheless.


What to Expect from the new Democratic U.S. House of Representatives

Eight (8) years since the last time Democrats controlled the House, there’s a new image for Congress. A woman’s image. Over 100 women**, are new and returning to the House of Representatives. About one quarter (1/4) of the 435 seats. These are the Policy Positions shared by those women listed above, as per Vote Smart:

  1. Healthcare to cover pre-existing conditions and protecting the ACA
  2. Pro-choice rights
  3. To balance the budget, income taxes rising, particularly for the wealthy and top 1%
  4. Campaign finance reform
  5. Increasing federal spending to spur economic growth, not cutting corporate taxes
  6. Ensuring education has proper federal standards
  7. Government funding for renewable energy
  8. The federal regulation of greenhouse gas emissions
  9. Gun control legislation
  10. Pushing back against “The Wall.” Protecting immigrants and ensuring asylum and an easier path to citizenship
  11. legalizing recreational marijuana use

**A similar look at the Top Priorities of these women at a later date.

***Rashida Tlaib offered the most to Vote Smart. She made very clear her political stances and postions.

**** Notable mention. Kate Brown (D-OR) – the countries first openly bisexual governor is re-elected in Oregon.

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The Stars over the Hudson Valley

If you’ve known me for a few years, especially in person, you may be familiar with a monthly habit that I have. And no, I don’t mean my time of the month habits… I mean the habit that I have had since 2015, on the first of every month.

Monthly Horoscope Readings!

I live in the Hudson Valley. It’s New York, USA’s most reputable river valley and has been home to many of the country’s greats: Jimmy Fallon, Billy Joel, FDR, Willem DeFoe, Liam Neeson, Emma Roberts, and maybe even Snooki in addition to so many more. I don’t know about them, but living here makes me a little more interested in reading local publications. One such publication, which I’ve been reading since 2015 is Chronogram.

Chronogram is a culture, news, art, etc. magazine that comes out once a month. In the summer of 2015, I was introduced to it through it’s groundbreaking horoscopes section. My good friend Elizabeth and I, at the time, travelled the Hudson Valley working as canvassers for the New York Public Interest Research Group (NYPIRG), trying to save the environment, we enjoyed stopping at local, organic, and vegan cafes around the region for our lunches.

We weren’t alone, as our team at any time consisted of two or three other people about our age, so we would sit at a table together and read our horoscopes aloud.

They were ALWAYS on point and breathtaking.

Up until recently, June, the horoscopes were written by Planet Waves’ Eric Francis Coppolino. (Planet Waves, not to be confused with the album by Bob Dylan, another prominent figure of the Hudson Valley.)

Coppolino wrote brilliantly about the stars, moons, and planets, and how they interacted with each constellation of the zodiac. Every. Single. Time. We would read those horoscopes aloud, each one had it’s own weight in each of our chests. They spoke directly to our own experiences and feelings either at the time that we were reading them, or sometime down the road during the month.

They became a ritual for reflection, not only for myself, yet, very likely, many others. And while it was possible to reflect over the words being viewed on a screen, there really is nothing like feeling the large pages of a magazine, and reading them, and keeping them chronologically on a shelf for later annual reflection.

What happened in June?

That’s the question now, isn’t it? In June, Eric Francis Coppolino fell off the Chronogram map. Not on pages, as far as I could tell online, I had to turn to other methods of monthly horoscope such as Horoscope.com or Astrosofa. While these were wonderful, they certainly didn’t have the power in their words that Coppolino had in his.

This month, August 2018, a new writer has taken up the mantle left by Coppolino in Chronogram: Lorelai Kude. With her, less artistic representations of the twelve signs have also been installed. Read your horoscope in Chronogram here.

We’ll have to investigate further for next month’s post, what happened to Coppolino and why the post was left vacant by the writer.

Criticisms


Planet Waves

While you can sign up for Planet Waves’ newsletter, read the weekly and monthlies online, and maybe even still read some of Coppolino’s work in other publications such as the Daily News, Marie Claire, Harper’s BAZAAR, and others, there’s still something missing when it no longer appears in local print. The feeling simply isn’t the same.

Chronogram

Although it’s a really great thing to have someone back in the horo-sattle, I’m not impressed with the work of Kude. In comparison there’s a lot to be desired — call me spoiled by Coppolino.

For instance, my horoscope begins cute: “Fun fact: Virgo is the largest constellation of the zodiac, and the second-largest (next to Hydra) constellation in the Milky Way galaxy!” By the end however, it feels as if you’ve been listed at. It’s not so much cold and calculating as it is a drag in comparison to the almost personal style of Coppolino, that felt as if he knew more about you than sometimes you did. It’s scientific to the point of boring. There’s no story that goes with it suggesting more of a scientific approach and less of a writer’s touch out drawing out a reader’s interest.

After looking at other horoscopes, it’s possible that, after this or next month’s, readers may start losing intrigue and yearning for their Chronogram horoscopes. Readers want the story of their lives, not recommendations or matter-of-fact advice from their horoscopes. At least, that’s what I’ve noticed in groups, with friends, and in myself.

Let me know what you think about your monthly horoscope from Chronogram in the comments!

Port: The City Still Wearing the Derby

PORT JERVIS, N.Y. — On a chilly Monday evening, as cold wind found scarce passage through the council chamber’s windows, the meeting began.

The building’s heating, whether being either not up-to-date or simply with a thermostat in the wrong person’s office, did little to make it any better.

Kristin Trovei, one of the Third Ward’s councilpeople, pulled a coat over her arms, “a Maria [Mann].”

This, the public was informed, is the room now slated to be the polling location for the Second Ward. The, perhaps only, upside to this is that because Port Jervis will not be able to recycle sooner than hoped,  continued global warming could make November, hopefully a small fraction closer to melting people all over the ballot.

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Since the last Common Council meeting Mayor Kelly Decker received a single piece of correspondence from the office of the governor of the state of New York, Andrew Cuomo.

The subject  was presumptive release.

The high school teacher and former police officer, following Regis Foster’s report on last month’s Police Department statistics, spoke very grimly of the policy’s effect on the drug war at home, combating Representative Sean Patrick Maloney’s opioid epidemic.

“228 tickets….16 simple assaults.”

Regis Foster

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For Mayor Decker, the focus is  where I left off last:
the Soap Box Derby.

Well, of course, the wooden cars used to go “thirty miles an hour” down Sussex Street!

The grade of the hill at Church Street with other changes They’re down to 24-5 miles an our with a hill which has a gradient of only

Port

Home of the World’s Largest Soap Box Derby.

Jervis

Coincidentally, the separate entity presented plans.

The vision for the future of the Derby was read to the council and public by mother and Derby-er, Tanya Addy, whose proposal included a summary of a new schedule and the expectations of a welcoming community on Church Street rather than its home, for the past eighteen years, on Sussex Street’s hill.

The new hill is designed to cut costs, make the event easier for everyone and help busy families in a fun way.

Stanley Siegel, Fourth Ward’s Councilperson commented that the adjacent hill, Seward Street, was a mid-50’s “sleigh riding” joy created by community.

Councilperson for the Third Ward and Recreation Committee liaison to the Common Council, Gina Fitzpatrick, stated that the presentation was not initially made to the Recreation Committee for any sort of city assistance although the Derby will be aided by DPW, the Department of Public Works. Vehicles included to be made clear.

Police Chief William Warden

 

TIME: Schumer, McConnell: Immigration Deal Looks Unlikely

WASHINGTON — The Senate’s two top leaders put on a show of camaraderie as their chamber launched its immigration debate, but also laid down markers underscoring how hard it will be to reach a deal that can move through Congress. “We really do get along, despite what you read in the press,” Senate Minority Leader…

via Chuck Schumer and Mitch McConnell Predict a Tough Road Ahead for an Immigration Deal — TIME

Mirrors for Mayors: The Press, Opinion, and Freelance Writers

PORT JERVIS, N.Y. — Less than a week after his hopeful State of the City Address for a Port Jervis “that still needs nurturing to succeed,” Mayor Kelly Decker has, as many in the city would characterize, came out of his face.

Monday, in a letter-made-public-rebuttal on his Facebook Page, to a Sunday piece by the Times Herald-Record under the editorial tagline “Our Opinion,” entitled “A methadone clinic is not a crime scene,” Decker not only calls out the Record’s editor, Barry Lewis but also calls the newspaper in.

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While plausible arguments are made by the Port Jervis Mayor, he goes on to completely flout arguments such as this one:

“Numbers, percentages, and statistics can be skewed in many different ways depending on the presenter’s angle.”

Mayor Kelly Decker

By leading with this aside before what should be the meat and potatoes staple of his argument, Decker builds up a strawman, an easy target to set ablaze. A simple reframing to make the dominoes fall easier, per se.

Nonetheless, those dominoes fall in both directions.

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As Decker goes on to “assert that [Lewis’s] math is wrong” he has already given readers contrary to his viewpoint an out. Whatever math he cited, became all methed up, when he cast doubt upon mathematics as a whole prior to playing the Texas sharpshooter. He lost those that he needed on his side as he attacked the publication.

Yes, the letter was “a response” to the editor of the Times Herald-Record, Lewis, regardless, here a few factors that make this more of a political attack:
  1. It was an opinion piece, and as such, didn’t necessarily merit such an official response as taking to the Elected Official Page that his Facebook is. Perhaps simply a letter-made-public-rebuttal on his personal page would have sufficed.
  2. Decker’s political, elected official position put him at a disadvantage for a fair fight against the editor of a counterbalance of government.
  3. Decker’s logical argumentation in his letter is riddled with fallacies.

Lewis, the editor of the Times Herald-Record deals in a world of changing opinions and changing headlines. It’ll be perceived as a political attack from the Mayor’s office not only because of these three factorss but most of all because of public opinion.

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One: Opinion

In the end, shouldn’t matter to the Mayor, as many who read opinion pieces have already made up their minds, they’ve already voiced their own opinions and they have already signed their positions’ petitions.

“Once formed,” the researchers observed dryly, “impressions are remarkably perseverant.”

The New Yorker, Feb. 27, 2017

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Two: Authority

Now the inseparable quality of their positions immediately puts Decker at a disadvantage: Mayor of Port Jervis versus Editor of the Times Herald-Record. Not a pretty fight. Nor a fair fight.

Though it didn’t have to be a bout.

The majority of Port Jervis constituents would likely agree, that Donald J. Trump as President could teach mayoral successors a thing or two about responding to the media:

  • When put into a defensive position, don’t show it:
    Deny, deny, deny.
  • When refuting statements, as there’s no option for denial: use keywords that fire up your base and monosyllabic words and arguments that are guaranteed to win public opinion.

 

Don’t do as Decker did. But don’t do any of the above either. The media is wise to it all. Readers, listeners, and viewers, too.

Not responding at all, would have been the denial. Yet, Decker chose to tear off his suit, snap his Port Pride singlet and dive headstrong into the muddied ring for a political King-of-the-Hill match.

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Three: Logic

Although the location has already been ruled out, there were, and still are, three positions available in the methadone clinic debate. As a reporter, here not discussing either of the former, being of the latter position: for the clinic, against the clinic, and neither for nor against the clinic.

This writer puts aside the journalist hat now and dons the hat that she studied in college: philosophy and linguistics. Mostly philosophy as logic is delved into here past the Texas Sharpshooter data cherrypicker argument. This is the writer’s playground, and those in politics could learn from this and avoid unnecessary future debate and compunction.

Editor of the Times Herald-Record, Barry Lewis: making positions for the cure of addiction, for the clinic.

Mayor of Port Jervis, Kelly Decker, coming from a position of the war on drugs: on record, against the clinic.

While most readers opposite to Decker’s view may stop at his first paragraph, they’re surprisingly not alone. Even those that agree that a methadone clinic is unnecessary in the city stop at the argument that he presents. It’s a no true Scotsman argument that precedes a genetic argument.

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Paragraph-by-paragraph

A genetic argument is one that means most of the following logic relies upon the first clause. That first clause here is an argument similar to an ad hominem, or an attack on one’s character rather than their argument: it’s a no true Scotsman argument. It’s an argument that focuses on the purity of one’s position, which sounds a lot like Nikki Minaj.

That’s not even including the child-human shield appeal to emotion argument ending the tu quoque “Let’s begin with this question” paragraph where the critique is turned 180 from Decker to Lewis.

“What do you know about Port Jervis? Clearly, you hardly know nothing about us at all! Except for one public forum about the opioid epidemic in our community, you have been non-existent in this community for at least the last 4 years. You didn’t even have the decency to respond to an email that I sent to you back on June 12, 2017 that said how dismayed I was with your paper and their lack of coverage for our Soap Box Derby. This is a kid-friendly event that brings thousands of people to our city each year and there was not one mention of it in your paper. However, now you feel compelled to write about a free or reduced pay clinic that wants come to our city? Your priorities are clearly miscued.”

Mayor Kelly Decker

To the point within the no true Scotsman argumentation by Decker, I have to insert my agreement. Indeed, the newspaper requires more coverage of the “city that is on the move.” If it’s of any solace to either party in this regard, I offer my services as a freelance writer and reporter.

Paragraph Two

Again, Nikki Minaj. Since she’s so relevant here, enjoy a video:

The following paragraph is the foremost example of the Texas Sharpshooter logical fallacy. The one referenced above is a muddled example to heat up the conversation about logic. Decker would have been better off simplifying this letter down to, or at least, leading with this second sentence in his fifth paragraph:

“I have never said ‘No.’ I said put it in a medical facility, especially one with detox and mental health.”

Mayor Kelly Decker

Decker may have also done very well leading with the knowledge that he personally has. Rather than trying to chop up the data that was served against him. For instance, without condescension:

“… your [claim] that I am making the situation more dangerous. […] it’s called Mens Rea, or the guilty mind of criminal intent, and then acting on that criminal intent is Actus Reus. The majority of Cornerstone’s clientele are heroin attacks. Heroin is illegal. [….] Therefore, these patients not only have Mens Rea but also Actus Reus and those are the people I don’t want invited to our city […]”

Mayor Kelly Decker

The next few paragraphs are called a bandwagon argument. It’s not that critical and really only acts as a public support rallying cry. Trump is great at using this, however, Decker should steer clear of it, and stick to the simplest of facts. He doesn’t need to reassert his position as an elected official in this way, especially not so deep into an already messy argument, but perhaps could have opened with some of his own facts rather than refuting those offered by Lewis.

Before his closing paragraph, he sets up a nice strawman argument against the Editor. The alcohol and criminality strawman. If the Mayor had used alcohol and criminality statistics, along with his own facts, in a second paragraph, he would have solidified a solid logical argument.

In closing, Decker uses another purity, or, no true Scotsman argument. He follows it with my favorite logical fallacy: the loaded question. This writer is going to do him a service, free of charge: reorganize and rescue what can be in a whole new letter:

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Letter to the Editor:
re: “A methadone clinic is not a crime scene.”

For starters, “I have never said ‘No.’ I said put [the methadone clinic] in a medical facility, especially one with detox and mental health.”

“Your [claim] that I am making the situation more dangerous [is unfounded…] It’s called Mens Rea, or the guilty mind of criminal intent, and [to then act] on that criminal intent is Actus Reus. The majority of Cornerstone’s clientele are heroin [addicts]. Heroin is illegal. [….] Therefore, these patients not only have Mens Rea but also Actus Reus[,] and those are the people I don’t want [to be] invited to our city[.]”

“[I invite you to hire more reporters for our growing city to see that there’s more than only an] opioid epidemic in our community[. For instance, there could be more coverage of city revenue-driving events, such as] our Soap Box Derby. This is a kid-friendly event that brings thousands of people to our city each year[.]”

Short and sweet.

Former Cuomo Aide Indicted for CPV Bribery

NEW YORK — Monday morning at 8:30 a.m. a court proceeding began that has many Orange County residents and some from Sullivan Co. protesting, as well as citizens across the state concerned.

A former aide to Governor Andrew Cuomo, Joseph Percoco, is finally seeing trial over a year after a subpoena calling for his indictment on the charges of accepting bribes for official favors.

Organizations such as Food and Water Watch – New York, Concerned Citizens for the Hudson Valley, and Protect Orange County organized to further call attention to these charges, the corruption of Albany and the Competitive Power Ventures (CPV) plant transporting fracked gas into the Hudson Valley.

The bribes, from 2012 to 2014, as well as in 2015, recurringly came bank accounts set up by a shell company of Todd Howe, a lobbyist who first met Percoco and Cuomo while he was working Cuomo’s father, Mario Cuomo. Howe is now cooperating with prosecutors after having pleaded guilty to multiple felonies of a similar nature in September 2016.

Activists in the region are pointing to a particular instance when CPV paid over $287,000 to Percoco. Former CPV executive, Peter Galbraith Kelly Jr. was charged with arranging the payments. Now, Protect Orange County, wants to see the CPV fracked gas-fired plant removed from the Hudson Valley, and they aren’t alone.

The trial is expected to be ongoing for the next four to six weeks. Syracuse developers, COR Development executives Steven Aiello and Joseph Gerardi, were also charged in the Percoco trial, as well as another, for their arrangement of nearly $35,000 in payments to help with economic development.

Susan Lerner, Common Cause Executive Director, believes that the evidence in the trial will “be eye-opening for the public” in terms of the “pay-to-play aspects” of government economic decision-making.

The trial is being held at the Thurgood Marshall United States Courthouse in Foley Square in New York City. Many have already gathered in protest. Footage from Protect Orange County’s Facebook Live feed is below.

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The Buffalo News reporter Tom Precious said Saturday that the “Percoco corruption trial is as much about Cuomo as it is the defendants.” In the article, Executive Director of the New York Public Interest Research Group (NYPIRG), Blair Horner, agrees with Lerner that prosecutors are “going to illustrate Albany’s pay-to-play culture, and it’s not going to be pretty for New Yorkers to see.”

Assemblyman Ray Walter, an Amherst Republican, takes it a step further.

“I think we’re going to see the inner workings of the Cuomo administration and how the economic development model he’s developed as governor leads to this type of corruption,” he said.

Tom Precious, The Buffalo News. Jan. 20, 2018

Chair of Protect Orange County, Pramilla Malick, has not yet responded to calls for comment. To be Updated as the trial continues.

2018’s Port Jervis Women’s March

PORT JERVIS, N.Y.  — Yesterday, Saturday, Jan. 20, over 200 individuals came in respects to sister marches happening across the state, and around the nation, in solidarity with disempowered women and especially those most at-risk with the current Presidential Administration.


“Ignite people into action.”

Patty Baughman

St_PetersAt the St Peter’s Lutheran Church in Port Jervis an estimated 250 individuals gathered for the first anniversary of the March. Last year, in sheer protest of President Trump’s inauguration, 800 demonstrators, according to organizer Patty Baughsman, packed the streets for the 1.5-mile march through Port Jervis. This year, in respect to those less able to make the hike, the March route was cut short to a tenth of a mile, with handfuls staying behind at the Church.

Get another idea of what it was like here.

Here you’ll find the top five greatest signs at Port’s Women’s March.

First organized, last year, as the brain-baby of her friend, Gaye Hartwig, the March was pulled together by Baughman a week before the event.

In addition to suggesting the work of Sojourners, a faith and political organization in Washington, D.C., when asked what Hartwig would hope people took away from what she had to say Saturday, she answered that it could be summed up by verse:

“The King will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.”

Matthew 25:40, New International Version

A half-dozen women spoke across several topics all including the importance of getting involved, supporting those that are marginalized, and of course, getting out the vote. Pastor Aaron Baughman closed the preceding speeches before the event-goers moved to the street to demonstrate and protest.

The women who spoke ranged from members of the Church and the community to local activists and politicians. After Patty Baughman opened the floor this was the lineup:

  • Gaye Hartwig
  • Aileen Gunther — New York Assemblywoman  D-Forestburgh (keynote speaker)
  • Melissa Martin — full-time mother and community activist
  • Pramilla Malick — Protect Orange County Chair, and a recent candidate for office
  • Julika von Stackelberg — Cornell Cooperative Extension Orange County, Parenting and Family Life Educator
  • Michele McKeon — RECAP, Chief Operating Officer

Audio samples, so that you can be there without being there, and transcriptions, for continued discussion, forthcoming.

An Ending Note here:

It was interesting to see many women, children, and men (sadly no doggos tho) wearing pink, eared hats. The Pussyhat (like “pussycat”) as a number of ralliers had relayed, including member of the local activist group DemBones, Linda Louise, that the hat was a response to “grab them by the pussy,” a statement made by Donald Trump as “locker room talk” prior to the 2016 Presidential race.  However, this topic was avoided in the recent Times Herald-Record article about the event, avoiding the controversy of the word. Louise commented that the hat is to fight back against the misogyny of Trump, and not to perpetuate transmisogyny as someone she follows on Twitter, Tamela J Gordon, believes.


This post is in addition to Silence and Strategy, the Weekly Photo Challenge by the Daily Post, as well as their Daily Prompt, respectively.

 

 

 

Amazing NYPD Rescue Out of Staten Island

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — An elderly man was airlifted to the hospital Friday as part of a daring rescue aboard a cruise ship near Staten Island. An NYPD aviation unit was dispatched just before 6 p.m. after reports of a passenger who suffered a heart attack while aboard a ship in the Ambrose Channel. #HappeningNow…

via NYPD Special Ops Team Rescues Elderly Passenger Aboard Cruise Ship Near Staten Island — CBS New York

Happy National Popcorn Day!

Not long ago, a friend, OT,  had suggested to me a particular diet plan. He wasn’t suggesting it to me because I had asked him for advice or that I had needed the advice, but it came with a story. OT told me about how he stayed sexy-skinny — my words, not his — when he was in that crowd, where he needed to be “sexy-skinny.”

The trick? The Two P’s: Popcorn and Pickles. I want to add, if it were my diet suggestion, it would’ve been the Three P’s; I. Love. Peanut Butter. (Three P’s and a B?)

Today is National Popcorn Day, so of course, I was reminded of this story, and I simply had to share it. It seemed like pretty great advice from someone who isn’t a nutritionist but could hang with the twinks. Also, OT is chock-full of sage advice, so this is your one warning: there are more tidbits of wisdom coming soon.

But let’s get into the why…

When he was on tour, OT was around slender, almost sickeningly skinny, young gay men. As an artist, selling his work, he was the advertisement for that work. So he had blend in with his audience. This meant also being worryingly skinny.

Leading up to being on tour, he ate only the two ingredients: popcorn and pickles. While popcorn is usually delicious — theatre butter, oil, vinegar, cheddar, etc. — he ate it dry. Just. Popped. Corn.

Think that’s bad? He didn’t do it for the taste. Like celery, chewing popcorn takes a negative effect on calories. Unlike most things you eat, chewing on these two crunchy choices will burn more calories than their worth.

That doesn’t leave you with a lot to burn…

You’re not actually getting the calories you need for the day, with eating only popcorn. Your stomach by about midday is crying out for more. So what can you do?

Pop open your pickle jar!

Apparently, pickles, like their cucumber companions, are fantastic at easing your stomach. Similar to ginger! Not only all that, but that pickle or two… or three (if you’re me), is the only thing bringing home the calories!

Got the grumblies? Eat a pickle! Feeling ill in the tum-tum? Pick a pickle! Feeling a lil worn out? Take a load off, and take a pickle with ya!

So as I sit back and watch some documentaries with a notebook and pen in hand, you can be sure, I’m eating popcorn, and I’m thinking of OT. Happy National Popcorn Day!


Wanna know more about popcorn?

I did! So I found a little history here. You should too!


Love popcorn as much as me?

Maybe even more? Comment with your best popcorn photo!

Weathered in Port

The title and contents are a nod to the weekly photo challenge from the Daily Post: Weathered.

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For this short photo series, I walked around my centenarian city. There are tons of beautiful architectural subjects here. Old, beautiful architecture. IMG_1489-ANIMATION.gif

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My favorite feature of the city is a favorite feature of mine everywhere I go, tunnel-systems. This one is not so much a system as it is a passage from one side of the tracks to the other. The underpass was built in 1936 and I love it.

It’s one of the many reasons you should visit Port Jervis in October! Halloween is the best time to watch the seasons change. Also, look at the above Welcome sign, doesn’t that say: “perfect creepy”?

Since I put my favorite architectural feature (not to be confused with my favorite natural feature) first, the following will be my runners-up, in reverse order: the editor’s pick last.

A foreword here, I appreciate my home city and everything it has to offer. Are the buildings old and in need of TLC? Sure. Do people suck sometimes? Well, what is life without the occasional a******?

Alors!
The rustic romance of
weathered commercial structures
in the city of Port Jervis.
D’accord:

Woogie's Weathered Wonderful Wunch-spot

Once you see it you can't unsee it....

Front Street Gallery

Great curves!
My Fave

 P. S.

Enjoy posts like these? Good! I’ll be trying my best to do a weekend photo post recurringly.

Port: 2018’s First Common Council Meeting

 PORT JERVIS, N.Y.— Monday evening at 7:30 p.m. in the Council Chambers of City Hall at 20 Hammond St, regular Common Council meeting hours began again for the new year.

A familiar face returned: Dominick Santini IV. The Port Jervis Republican who ran in 2017 for the First Ward replaced the city’s resigned predecessor, Sarah Hendry whose comments on leaving can be found here.


“I too would like to welcome my new partner in crime.” 

Regis Foster

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Save-a-Lot and nail salon are both coming
to the strip mall by Burger King and Rite Aid,
by Mar. 31 of this year.

Kelly Decker

After the youth report, a short discussion about dog parks in the city, the “Great American” building’s progress report and the Christkindlmarket discourse between Mayor Kelly Decker and a resident, public comment concluded with a reading of a seven-minute open letter to the city, elected officials, and most of all, the Fourth Ward.

2017 Fourth Ward candidate for Common Council and local activist Jill Lindner read the letter during her time at the podium for public comment. In her piece, she outlined the benefits and importance of a community-owned garden that not only revitalizes the aesthetic of a neighborhood but would educate and feed neighbors, making an area taken off the tax rolls worthwhile in doing so. You can read the full letter here, courtesy of Ms. Lindner and BriennaParsons.com.

What can’t be read in Lindner’s letter, yet she spoke of at the meeting, was that residents of the Fourth Ward who she had spoken to about the idea, were in support of not allowing the Salvation Army to simply purchase the plot and remove it from the tax rolls. Lindner also said that the North Street community garden in the Fourth Ward, that Siegel had suggested later in the meeting was slated for clearing, to make room for the Waterpark Project, and that the garden idea had been receiving a negative spin from the representative since her meeting with Decker and Lisa Randazzo, urging her to consider the Front and Seward cross street corner property which is planned to be demolished.


“Not sure that site would be in the best interest of anybody.”

Stanley Siegel

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Following the outset of the meeting with public comment, minutes were approved and the council jumped right into committee reports. Beginning with Siegel and following to pay the bills ($296,913.29) with the Third Ward’s very own Finance and Insurance Liaison, Kristin Trovei concluding with numerous. resolutions of gov housekeeping.

  1. Designating Officers
  2. Newspapers, Radio & Television — The Times Herald-Record is where official documents will be publicly published.
  3. Banking and Depositories
  4. Standard Workday and Reporting for Retirement Benefits
  5. Dual Signature Requirement for Disbursements
  6. Community Development Agency Shared Service

Full resolution documents or details
should be made available through the city website.

Of notable news, Christmas tree pickup is continuing, parking is still blocked from streets until Apr. 1, as well as the Department of Public Works pickup calendar — should similarly be made available through the city website. Additionally approved during the report by George Belcher, councilman for the Second Ward, were the project resolutions for the bridge over the Neversink River and roadway to the city line. A multi-million-dollar cross-funded project to re-engineer the highly trafficked street.

Regis Foster, a councilman for the First Ward, reported for the Police Committee and rattled off several impressive policing statistics.

Mayor Decker moreover updated the council on an upcoming Deerpark-Port Jervis Annexation meeting. “The old Dick’s Concrete” location is to be annexed by the city. This meeting will certainly be covered by this journalist. 

The State of the City Address
is set to be held
in the Council Chambers,
January 24

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Afterword a section called old business was held, in it, many condolences were expressed to Councilman-at-Large, David Bavoso. His family is in a period of bereavement. Many “well wishes” came from roughly everyone.


Port Jervis is “a community
and there’s always something to rally around.”

David Bavoso

Besides in old business, Fourth Ward Common Council representative Stanley Siegel, regarding the award ceremony for the Patriot Pen, Voice of Democracy contest at the VFW Naval Ship said that it was “really great,” with youth speaking about democracy, “to listen to their vision of America.” Port Jervis not only has been hosting the event since 1970 but the venue is the only one like it in the country confirmed by Decker and Siegel.

Siegel ended his OB segment with a note on local activism. On Saturday, “two dozen” people met to protest for an accessible train station, with Siegel calling on Senator Chuck Schumer directly to no avail. He also had a note an upcoming taxpayer’s group with details coming in the following days, and an update on the warming station which needs volunteers and supplies.


This journalist is also a recognized Voice of Democracy, receiving commemoration for her Patriot Pen January 17, 2010.

Fun Fact About the Author

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Document Request or Tip?

The Breez – Jan. 4, 2018 – #10: Happy New Year!

Quote of the Day

“I will be announcing THE MOST DISHONEST & CORRUPT MEDIA AWARDS OF THE YEAR on Monday at 5:00 o’clock.” — President Donald Trump on Twitter, Tuesday. “Stay Tuned!”


Happy New Year!


Preface

We’ve been gone a while, for the holidays, we missed you, and we’re glad to be back! Now that we’ve gotten all the celebration out of us, let’s get down to business: a lot is slipping by us. We really did miss our readers, so please enjoy: a triple threat!

The Story

ICYMI: Net Neutrality was repealed Dec. 14, last year, forcing states to clamor for their own version of the protection, which in New York, is of little importance to anyone but Ars Technica. What matters is the utter vitriol that causes the man-behind-the-plan to recoil from such events as the Consumer Electronics Show  in five days, where he was slated to speak and entertain open discussion “SuperSession”. Republican Federal Communications Commission chairman Ajit Pai practiced the party-politic and aimed to remove the overreach of federal government, returning the question to the states.

Andrew Cuomo,

The governor of New York State isn’t focusing on Internet freedom though, he’s with New Yorkers and digging his soles into the mud on this one. Cuomo misheard, but rather well. While we were calling his attention to taxation malfeasance, we had two completely different notions.

Pigs at the trough…

“The first federal double taxation in history, violative of states’ rights and the principle of equal protection.” – Cuomo

The new tax law as Cuomo put it would be like welfare to the Republican states where the cuts will likely be heaviest effectively treating “New York and California as piggy banks.” While it may only be pandering, it has a lot of truth to it. Especially in Port Jervis, taxpayers are treated as piggy banks yearafteryear.

Silent Night

As a $15.7 million budget passed six to three, five councilmembers who were in support of their constituents, turned into only three that wouldn’t use them as piggy banks. Regarding the vote, and previous meetings, two councilpeople spoke about a feeling that they shared: rendered silent, as if being railroaded. Where are you Cuomo?

theBreez

Taxpayers look and see that working in public service earns you a raise every fiscal year and wish that their wages didn’t stagnate, and their quality of life didn’t teeter on imbalance. With double taxation, fees, and more double taxes, Port Jervians certainly pay more than only the $1.14 tax hike that City Clerk-Treasurer Robin Waizenegger based on an assessed home market value of just under an eighth of $1 million and certainly nowhere near the average for a city that has greater than an eighth of its population in poverty. Happy New Year.

(also I wonder which eighth of Port Jervis that could be….)


Bombogenesis


The Story

The word sounds pretty crazy. As it should! The term is meteorological, and it evokes a particular image: a bomb.

In detail…

We’re all familiar with the explosive, in at least a cartoon-sense, so when put in front of the root of this term, -genesis, we can figure a bomb that starts somewhere. To meteorologists, this image is more readily available.

Those studying weather look at pressure in lows and highs. Every pressure “system” they watch and gauge are seen in cyclonic parts. A bombogenesis is no different.

The bomb- part of the word refers to the “explosive development,” or radical change of a particular pressure system. Low-pressure systems that are outside of the tropical climate, or “extratropical.”

What’s happening?

The “explosive cyclogenesis,” or bombogenesis, is moving as a cyclone, a particular weather pattern. In the United States, we’re most concerned because it’s rank with climate change evidence. Snow is falling as far into the tropics as Florida.

theBreez

Florida has snow?! Not only that, but the entire Deep South is in deep trouble as records are made in the below-freezing temperatures.  Luckily for them, I’ll be posting a broke-girl dunkaccino recipe in the coming days — stay warm!


The Peanut Gallery


The Story

Essence, not for you? “Bright” wasn’t too great? And don’t scare easy? Well, here’s something interesting to talk about as you get stoned with the guys building Mike Tyson’s new weed ranch (HnY Calif.): who’s better hung?

Bad Blood

After having broken up with boyfriend, Steve Bannon, President Donald Trump is moving on. That’s correct bih, he’s redirecting harder than Paul Manafort right now. Trump is throwing out everything that reminds him of their time together.  

The Long Game

Ever since he heard the news, President Trump has incorporated McDonald’s every where possible, even brunch, claiming that he eats so much out of fear of being poisoned. He’s stocking up, having planned ahead for this very moment: the Long Game. This event is characterized, and depicted, by the words Trump chooses to share with North Korean despot Kim Jong-un, pushing buttons of all kinds, even the fries.

 

No Excuses: The Election Rundown: Now Go Vote!

Colorado, there’s a lot on the ballot, and as is the case for all elections: there’s a lot at stake.

You have the civil right to vote. Regardless of who or what gets in your way, voting was a hard-fought right. It harks back to the European Enlightenment (e.g. Rousseau) and is still a valuable process. Powerful interests (i.e. the Koch Brothers lobbyists, international) would change this. As has been the case ever since the franchise first left the exclusivity of the rich and powerful.

In Colorado, you can vote in-person long in advance of an election.

This article is not for you, Early Voters.

This is for those of you that still are on the fence. Hopefully, this won’t be a push in any specific direction sans a single one: toward the polls.

There are No Excuses, not to vote as theSkimm points out. If not knowing the issues is one of your reasons, well, we got your back. Here’s almost everything you need to know  before the polls close at 7 P.M. today. 

Google it: “How to Vote”

There are a lot of sites and organizations that want to help you vote. Those that do their darndest to give you an idea of your ballot and polling place, follow:

Google, Vote SmartVote.orgBallotpedia, theSkimm, Rock the Vote, Head Count, and Vote 411.

Others, strengthen your right to vote, by offering protection and support. For instance, the Election Protection of Vote.org866 Our Vote, and Common CauseStill more offer support for info. These include Democracy Works, and support for getting to the polls (i.e. Lime, Uber and Lyft, and even Carpool Vote).

In some places, you can vote by text, online, and even in an app. The point is clear: we have the technology, we can vote better, faster, stronger!


No one likes getting stumped. Few enjoy voting per a candidate or party’s stump speech. So, here’s the rundown that you likely opened this article for Coloradans:

The Down ‘n’ Dirty

Follow the elections in Colorado at The Denver Post, and nationally, at Democracy Now! and The Intercept, here. Watch the latter, here.

About the Ballot

Before you get into what is on the ballot be sure to Vote Smart on your representatives. Then, learn the ABC’s and 123’s of why those measures aren’t simply 1-12 or something. 9News breaks the info, which you can find from the Secretary of State’s website, down nicely as follows:

Constitutional amendments that are referred to us by lawmakers require two-thirds vote of the legislature to make the ballot in the first place. If they do, they are given a letter, such as “Amendment Y.” Propositions that are referred to us by lawmakers require a majority vote of the legislature and are given a double letter, such as “Proposition AA,” but we don’t have any of those in 2018.

In 2018, the statewide issues are:

  • Amendments V, U, W, X, Y, Z and A
  • Amendments 73, 74 and 75
  • Propositions 109, 110, 111 and 112

City and county issues on your ballot are numbered and lettered differently.

Ballot issues initiated by the public:

  • 200-299 County issues
  • 300-399 Municipal issues
  • 400-499 School district issues
  • 500-599 Political subdivision greater than a county
  • 600-699 Political subdivision within a county

Ballot issues referred by a governmental body:

  • 1A-1Z County issues
  • 2A-2Z Municipal issues
  • 3A-3Z School district issues
  • 4A-4Z Political subdivision greater than a county
  • 5A-5Z Political subdivision within a county

Now that you read the above, check out these statewide Amendments. Has your judgment on them changed?

Amendment 73

Amendment 112

Now check out the rest of those ballot measure, and go vote!

Find your ballots! Ballotpedia has those measures for you. The Colorado Independent also gives a good breakdown of the ballot.


Just Vote Colorado!

Here’s your Vote.org link, and your protections.


If you need a ride to the polls today or in the future, visit CarpoolVote.com. You can also call the interactive voice response service at 1-804-424-5335

If you have any issues or concerns today or in the future with voting, visit www.866ourvote.org. You can also call 1-866-OUR-VOTE (1-866-687-8683).

I Decided To Channel My Liberal Feminist Rage Into Karate — Thought Catalog

I signed up for karate class for the fourth time in my life the other night. The first time, which I’ve written about before, followed my very short-lived dance career at the age of four. To recap briefly, after a painful bout of chicken pox I caught at my first recital, and faced with the…

via I Decided To Channel My Liberal Feminist Rage Into Karate — Thought Catalog

TheBreez – Vote and stuff!

Quote of the Day

I dissent.” — The cutest, most lawful, most feminist, and most notorious Halloween costumes, you may have missed this Halloween. (Also, hard not to vote tomorrow with the mental image of these adorable RBG’s shaking their heads in disappointment.)

Take me, Spanish Caravan

The Story

Thousands of migrants make their way through Central America and are nearing the United States.

New? Or used Caravan?

Although some of us haven’t heard of a migrant caravan before late this summer, every year migrants make the trek to the United States seeking asylum. And though you may have heard of the caravan only recently, it has been in the news since April, as part of an ongoing wave of migrants, although it hasn’t hit the same pages in the papers as politics until the past couple months.

Caravan response…

Back in April, Trump vowed to meet the migrants with a militaristic response. That has only grown, since then. Now Trump plans to deploy troops in numbers that out-proportion that of the troops in Afghanistan. The number grew from just under one thousand, to over 5,000, and now about 15,000 to assist Border Patrol and other U.S. agents. The President clarified Friday that the military “won’t have to fire” on travelers. (The fact that citizens even had to be concerned about that tho…)

USMCA, Caravan, and afta NAFTA…

Back in October, Trump renegotiated NAFTA, the North American Free Trade Agreement, and announced the successful re-agreement between the United States, Mexico, and Canada, the USMCA. Last week, Sen. Lindsey Graham (R -SC) warned Mexico: turn the caravan around or the US will pull this agreement over. This was another economic threat, to follow up those from the President.

Reception of the caravan…

While some smaller groups have made it to the border, the immigration debate has flared up (just in time for midterm elections, what a surprise!), and the ignorance has flared up as well: starting with, well, a caravan of alternative facts. The worst may be when journalists get it wrong, and let’s say, call the caravan a “ragtag army of the poor” (shame on you AP). Trump fanned the flames, claiming that most of the migrants were “hardened criminals” but really they’re mostly women and girls, and children and babies, traveling in such a large group for their own protection. For Democrats, the question of the caravan is pretty straight-forward and a lot simpler to answer than subjects such as ICE, to shrink or to abolish? Or the White House-led debate on crime. Or how exactly to win in the healthcare department.

thebreez

Shepard Smith (on Fox, no less!) said that the caravan wasn’t a big deal, and was only being blown out of proportion to fire up the Republican base for the midterms. (Basically!) For more info, here’s a link to PolitiFact. Now go out there and vote tomorrow if you haven’t already!

Caught in TheBreez

And in local news…

In a recent poll conducted on Nextdoor, the top issues affecting the local community include the following topics that may lead to future investigations:

  1. Rising housing costs (residents say: thanks pot)

  2. Municipal broadband

  3. Crime rates and justice:

  1. Car Break-ins

  2. Porch pirating (when people steal your fresh swag from Amazon right off your stoop)

  3. Front-yard Thievery and Destruction

  4. Neighborhood Watch program revitalization

Colorado tho…

Colorado has a referendum that’s catching eyes on the ballot for tomorrow: slavery. Yeah, you read that right. Two years ago, Coloradans failed to repeal the Constitutional amendment allowing for slavery in the prison system. Tomorrow, Coloradans may actually vindicate themselves. Fingers crossed and all, but this isn’t solely a CO issue; this is a national problem inherent in the interpretation, by some, of the 13th Amendment of the United States’ Bill of Rights.

Speaking of voting…

Get all the deets on the midterms from PBS, RealClearPolitics, and FiveThirtyEight. Whether you’re from New York, Pennsylvania, Colorado, Arkansas, Florida, or one of the other 31 states engaged in gubernatorial elections, you can find a fun interactive map of all the action here, but don’t forget to Vote Smart no matter what the race is. There’s a lot at stake and 435 House seats to fill. Have fuUun!

Back to prison…

VICE released a new docu-series following the criminal justice system’s biggest issue. One which has over 100,000 individuals wrongly convicted. The series is called “Innocence Ignored.” (Another thought on the justice system: could the legal/judicial system be overhauled by artificial intelligence?)

#MeToo

Since late last year, the #MeToo Movement has been on fire. From actors to Supreme Court Justices, the movement now has a new target in its sights: unfair practices from large corporations regarding sexual harassment. Looking at you Google!

What’s transpired…

Here’s the wrap in recent transgender news: after Trump came for the community, attempting to define it out of the UN’s Human Rights protections, universities, over 1600 scientists, about 60 corporations, and activists, all had something to say: no you don’t. The struggle continues in states across the U.S. this midterm, however, such as Massachusetts. If you find yourself on Netflix looking for a documentary to educate yourself further about the community, give Katie Couric’s Gender Revolution a gander.

Okay, the obligatory Trump wrap up…

  1. Some may not believe that Trump has always been so hard on trans people as he has been lately. Well, here’s some reading on that, because he has.

  2. Speaking of his actions… here are his Presidential Actions and bills signed into law in the first 500 days. Or even better, a timeline of everything he’s done thus far. And a look at how much effect he really has had on the economy (Obama would disagree)

  3. Since taking office 28 staff members of the White House have left or plan to leave by the end of the year. Here’s more about what Trump has done to fill vacancies.

And in news, that won’t make you want to tear your hair out… unless you’re a fan of anyone but.

The Red Sox. They won the World Series, for the fourth time this century! Boston was abuzz with excitement, celebrating with a parade, after totaling nine wins overall since 1903. Not a baseball fan? Well, how about them trades in football, eh?

Don’t forget, your weekly dose of science…

Science isn’t sexy? Tell that to these photos! Ow ow! Still no? You actually like politics more? (Really!?) Well, you’re in luck.

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If you’re good at something, never do it for free.” — The Joker (Heath Ledger). The Dark Knight (2008).

Think I’m good at this? Tip me!

Review: Surpassing Certainty

Surpassing Certainty: What My Twenties Taught MeSurpassing Certainty: What My Twenties Taught Me by Janet Mock

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This book was an insightful look into the magazine writer’s world from the fresh young perspective of a black, Hawaiian, trans woman. The majority of the books includes her trials and tribulations as a twenty-something looking for love and romance, while navigating the pitfalls of racism, sexism, and when exactly to disclose your complete gender portrait.

In this memoir, there are several references to all the early-2000s hits in television, film, and music, from the perspective of a girl infatuated with celebrities and media. This piece takes a very different page from Janet’s book than her previous memoir, Redefining Realness, which was much more heavily focused on trans-ness, real-ness, and self-definition, preferring more to focus on her experience as a young adult to that latter degree: finding herself in her work, in her friendships, and in her love life.

It’s a pretty fun read, and if you have the time, you could probably easily go cover-to-cover in a single day. It’s a really riveting love story (kind of). As an aspiring magazine editor, it has a lot of good nuggets in there for the intellectual in me. Maybe there’s something in there for you too, only one way to find out!


P.S.
I may do these reviews more often because it’s an easy way to add more content for myself in between creating content for other people and my other blogs. (Yes, there are more.)

View all my reviews