Early starts for local 2020 elections; a county budget mix-up; Robin Schimminger

Wishing everyone a happy and peaceful thanksgiving! Try not to bring up politics at the dinner table.  Talk about other stuff.

With the United States now in a pattern where presidential politics start early and go on for what seems like forever, you would think that it would be easy to adapt to the same level of activity on the state and local level. But it still takes some getting used to.

The year 2019 saw the reinstitution of June primaries for state and local offices, something the state has not had for nearly five decades. June primaries mean petitioning starts in February, when there may be snow and ice on driveways and sidewalks and it gets dark in early evening – not ideal conditions for circulating petitions. Continue reading

The Godfather — Part IV

This month we can see the well-promoted film, The Irishman, on the big screen for a very limited run. That will be followed by the film’s availability on Netflix. Netflix’s teaser explains the movie like this: “Welcomed into a crime family, he followed orders, kept secrets — and swayed history. Martin Scorsese’s epic tale of power and loyalty.”

Movies like The Godfather and its sequels and GoodFellas have always drawn tremendous interest, and are often considered some of the great classics of Hollywood. The Irishman could also be a big hit. But why settle for something loosely “based on a true story,” when you have at your fingertips a real, compelling true story? Continue reading

An Inconvenient Ignorance

By Paul Fisk, Editor

This summer I had the privilege of spending a three-day weekend with Al Gore (and 1,200 of his closest friends) learning about climate change science, effects and solutions.  Mr. Gore’s organization, The Climate Reality Project, has trained over 20,000 “Volunteer Climate Reality Leaders” from 149 countries and territories in spreading the scientific truth about climate change and what we can and must do about it.  As an aging, retired public servant I have become increasingly troubled by the political and environmental legacy my generation is leaving our children and grandchildren.  So I have been increasingly active in organizations devoted to combating the twin existential threats to our democracy and our planet’s habitability posed by Trumpism and the climate crisis.  Paul Fisk

The steady news stream of ever-more mind boggling outrages and audacity by our President has largely displaced necessary discussion of what has been happening to the world’s climate. Only recently has increasing public concern been regularly featured in the mainstream media. Continue reading

Election results mostly as expected; turnout better than four years ago

Yesterday’s elections offered a handful of unexpected results, but incumbents mostly won.  Turnout ticked up compared with 2015.

As projected here on August 13th, County Executive Mark Poloncarz was victorious, but his margin was smaller both in terms total votes and in percentages than in 2015.  Lynne Dixon worked hard, but she offered no compelling reason for a change in leadership in County Hall. Poloncarz’s taking-care-of-business style worked just fine. Continue reading