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column

How to Waste $400 Million

COLUMN

How to Waste

$400 Million

By ADRIAN KUZMINSKI • Special to wwww.AllOTSEGO.com

At the January 2019 Otsego County Energy Summit in Cooperstown, sponsored by the Otsego County Chamber of Commerce, a NYSEG representative surprised many present by announcing that the utility was planning to rebuild and expand the DeRuyter pipeline, which brings natural gas to Oneonta.

In a subsequent report, filed with the Public Service Commission on March 15, NYSEG states, with regard to the DeRuyter pipeline, that it “will replace approximately 50 miles of 8-inch and 10-inch 298 psig-coated steel gas transmission gas mains with 12-inch main in several phases.”

Construction is expected to start in 2022.

Punishing Present For The Past

COLUMN • Money Matters

Punishing Present

For The Past

 By TOM MORGAN • Special to www.AllOTSEGO.com

Join me in a grand political correctness crusade! Together we can punish the present for the past. This crusade has already racked up several victories. Many more lie ahead.

Our most recent victory: We beheaded Kate Smith. The New York Yankees and Philadelphia Flyers destroyed her recordings of “God Bless America” they used to play. The Flyers hauled her statue from its stadium. They did this after the crusade unearthed two of her recordings. From 80 years ago. They had racist lyrics.

By today’s standards they did. Those are the only ones that count. Today’s standards.

Onward!  Let us demand the NY Yankees close down. Kate used to sing racist lyrics. The Yanks practiced racism. Big time. They downright banned African-Americans from their entire organization. This, for many years after the Dodgers hired Jackie Robinson. The Yanks might as well have painted a sign on their stadium: BLACKS NEED NOT APPLY.

Onward!  Let us demand that all of Major League Baseball go out of business. Yes! We pulled down statues of generals who fought for the Confederacy. We chiseled names from buildings. We re-named parks and schools. Those that honored guys who owned slaves.

Well, for 50 years baseball would not let a black man don a Major League uniform. Banned them. For the color of their skin. Down with baseball! Destroy the Hall of Fame with its tributes to all those racists of old.

Down with the bigoted racist U.S. Senate. It was certainly that for a few hundred years.

The Senate honored Sen. Robert Byrd for 51 years. Mourned him as a hero of that esteemed body. Well, for many years Byrd was a Grand Cyclops of the KKK. While a senator. He fought bitterly against civil rights for black Americans.

As did Sen. J. William Fulbright. Yes, these mentors to Bill and Hillary were downright racists. Active racists. Let us take down their portraits and statues.

Let us extinguish the Fulbright Scholar Program. Let us remove Byrd’s name from the countless buildings and parks and highways in West Virginia. Leave it only on the sewage plants named after him.

Kate Smith only sang a few racist songs. These guys labored to deny rights to millions of Americans. They kept segregation and racism alive.

Let us close down the Congress that tolerated these racists. That lauded and honored them. Let us start anew. The whole structure was racist from its founding.

Onward! To more practical goals. Destroy the New Yorker magazine. For decades it ran disgusting cartoons.  Disgusting by today’s standards.

They lampooned women with big chests, blacks, Jewish merchants, fat women, flat-chested women, stupid blondes. They portrayed women as idiots. For their driving, their shopping, their looks, their looseness after a few drinks. One of their top cartoonists was obsessed with women’s breasts. His characters leered down blouses. They cheered when discovering breasts floated in the bath.

The New Yorker cartoons targeted Indians, Native Americans, gypsies, Italians, Arabs, Mexicans, Chinese, black cotton-pickers. They portrayed blacks with huge white lips. They featured Africans as ignorant savages with spears and grass skirts.  One cartoon featured a gentlemen’s outfitter store that displayed a range of KKK robes in its windows.

Down with the New Yorker, I say. It was a racist, sexist rag for 50 years. It deserves more punishment than Kate Smith. She sang. The New Yorker humiliated millions and openly encouraged racial and ethnic prejudice.

Close down NBC and other networks. They kept blacks off the air for decades. They made millions on the Amos ’n’ Andy show.

That program invited millions to laugh at the depiction of laziness and ignorance of blacks. It mocked blacks’ dreams of improving their lot. One critic called it a mean-spirited exploitation of racial stereotypes. Its characters mangled the language. What was most humiliating to blacks was that the characters on radio were whites, impersonating blacks. They wore blackface for publicity shots.

Join the crusade. Along with today’s rap groups.  Yes.

I asked a few rap groups for support for this crusade. I cannot print their responses because they were filled with profanity. Lots of variations of the N word and “ho’s” and “white MFers.” From the translation it looks to me as if they are really opposed to racist stuff, man.

One thing I know for sure. All this virtue-posturing is pretty ridiculous, isn’t it?

From Tom…as in Morgan.

    Tom Morgan, a retired Oneonta investment counselor and author of the nationally syndicated Money Matters column, lives in Franklin.  You can reach him at tomasinmorgan@yahoo.com.

Good Samaritan, There’s No Good Reason Not To Apply Naloxone

COLUMN

Good Samaritan, There’s

No Good Reason Not

To Apply Naloxone

By ALICE CEACAREANU • Hartwick College professor, Translational Biomedical Research Management

Synthesized by the same chemist, Aspirin and heroin were destined to change the world: one for the better and one for the worst.  Since 1897, they each keep counting human lives, one gives them back while the other takes them away.

Heroin, an opioid, binds to the opioid receptors on the brain and remains in the body for extended periods of time. The drug is rather difficult to remove. For that reason, giving an opioid antagonist may be insufficient to eliminate the risk of death in a heroin overdose. The opioid antagonist wears off long before heroin will, leaving room for significant risk of death if the opioid use is continued and appropriate medical care is not sought immediately.

The opioid antagonist, Naloxone, has been on the market for nearly 50 years and is currently available for both intranasal and intramuscular administration. The drug causes no harm and has no potential for abuse. Its use is considered first aid or emergency treatment for a reason: this classification protects the one administering it from liability.

To encourage saving a life, New York State 911 Good Samaritan Law protects from charge and prosecution when calling 911 in an overdose emergency. According to the NY Penal Law §220.78 and NY Practice Criminal Law §26:27.50, the Good Samaritan Law protects both the individual providing assistance and the overdosed individual even if possessing controlled substances (up to 8 ounces), alcohol where underage drinking is involved, marijuana, drug paraphernalia or sharing drugs.

Naloxone is dispensed based on a patient-specific prescription or based on a non-patient specific prescription, a so-called “standing order.”  New York State Public Health Law Title 1 – §3309 allows Naloxone to be dispensed by a licensed pharmacist or registered health professional to a person at risk for an opioid-related overdose or a family member, friend or other person who would assist a person at risk for an opioid-related overdose.

The state Naloxone Co-payment Assistance Program (N-CAP) allows individuals with prescription coverage to obtain Naloxone at no or lower out-of-pocket expenses when getting Naloxone at a participating pharmacy. As of 2018, half of the pharmacies in the Otsego County participate in the NCAP Program. Three quarters of these pharmacies are in Oneonta.

If you have Naloxone at home, share this information with friends and family. Let them know where Naloxone is kept and show them how to use it. If used, near expiration date, lost or damaged, make sure to request a refill and have it available.

Always remember that opioid overdose risk is higher when injecting or mixing opioids with other drugs. Presence of medical problems, such as impaired liver function, may also increase the overdose risk.

When stimulated with high levels of opioid drugs, opioid receptors on the brain induce slow breathing which causes the blood oxygen to decrease. Low oxygen induces sleep and even slower respiration rate, until complete respiratory failure.

Death is unavoidable unless a Good Samaritan takes action at the right moment. Don’t wait! If Naloxone seems faster, give Naloxone first. On the 911 call say, “I think someone may have overdosed,“ then follow the operator directions while help is on the way. You are their only chance, remember that!

Alice Ceacareanu is a New York State licensed pharmacist and founding professor of Hartwick’s Translational Biomedical Research Management Program, the college’s first master’s degree program.

KUZMINSKI: Let’s Take Control Of Our Energy Future

Column by Adrian Kuzminski, August 24, 2018

Let’s Take Control

Of Our Energy Future

Adrian Kuzminski

Recently, nearly 100 people crowded the Oneonta Town Hall to respond to a report by Otsego Now head, Jody Zakrevsky, about the controversial gas decompression station proposed for Oneonta.
The backlash was overwhelming. A long series of speakers unanimously condemned the project and demanded instead a full-scale effort to transition to renewables as soon as possible.
As the speakers pointed out, a myriad of solutions exist to the problem of inadequate natural-gas supply affecting some institutions and businesses in Oneonta. We heard about retrofitting buildings for energy efficiency, replacing gas and oil furnaces with heat exchange systems, and developing local renewable energy sources, including solar and wind.
This isn’t pie in the sky. The Otsego County Conservation Association, for instance, is currently supporting a NYSERDA-funded program, Heat Smart Otsego, to promote the financial and environmental benefits of currently available non-fossil fuel technologies. Check it out.
The speakers also made clear the gravity of this issue.
We’re not just talking about inconvenience, higher costs, or limits to local economic development. We’re talking about a global crisis increasingly affecting us all.
The inability of our local community to do its part in getting us off fossil fuels is symptomatic of a larger political failure which is dangerous to our future. We have mostly relied on someone else to deal with this problem, usually in Albany or Washington.
They haven’t done the job, and it doesn’t look like they’re going to, at least not unless they’re prodded from below.
Yes, our community continues to be divided over energy policy. The editorial in last week’s edition of this paper characterized speakers at the town of Oneonta meeting as “anti-gas true believers.”
There were a couple of strident speakers, as with any large group, but nearly all were thoughtful people pointing out the very real and harmful consequences of using more gas.
Mike Zagata in last week’s paper also misinforms the public by talking about “clean-burning natural gas,” when in fact there’s no such thing. The combustion of natural gas unavoidably produces CO2, a polluting greenhouse gas. Zagata admits as much by worrying if plant growth will absorb the extra CO2.
Even worse, he ignores the seepage of methane from wells, pipes and compressors, which adds another, more potent greenhouse gas to the mix, making natural gas as bad as any other fossil fuel.
By contrast, Zakrevsky, to his credit, bemoaned his fate at the Town of Oneonta meeting, confessing to the crowd his own confusion and lack of expertise. He was hired to promote local economic development, he noted, not to make energy policy. He’s exactly right. He and Otsego Now are not qualified to make energy policy and should not be tasked with that burden.
What was painfully obvious at the meeting was the lack of coordination among capable parties interested in developing a local energy plan. Currently we have groups too often confined to their respective silos – elected officials, economic development people, the local business community, the colleges, the hospitals, the environmentalists, etc.

Ian Austin/HOMETOWN ONEONTA & The Freeman’s Journal – Otsego Now President Jody Zakrevsky details decompressor-station plans to the Oneonta Town Board and 100 audience members Aug. 9.

Each of them is working on their piece of the elephant. What’s lacking is an effective mechanism for combining their resources and talents to develop a plan for all of us.
In my last column I mentioned the Tompkins County Energy Roadmap (Google it!) as a precedent for what should happen here. That initiative began in 2010 as part of a Tompkins County Energy Strategy for 2020. It was first developed as a project by Cornell graduate students.
In 2014, a steering committee was formed composed of individuals “who represent the breadth of experience, interest and perspectives within the community regarding our energy future.” The draft Energy Roadmap was then presented to numerous community groups and has since become the focus of Tompkins county energy policy.
This Energy Roadmap doesn’t rely on hiring expensive outside consultants, who are often ignorant of local circumstances; nor does it narrow options by handing authority to a single, unprepared agency. Instead it utilizes the expertise already found in a variety of existing organizations and individuals.
We may not have Cornell University, but we have SUNY Oneonta and Hartwick College. We have Otsego 2000, OCCA, Citizen Voices, chambers of commerce, the Land Trust, Farm Bureau and Sustainable Otsego, and others. We have individual engineers and scientists and retired executives who’ve worked for multi-national corporations. We have the talent.
Let me suggest, again, that the Otsego County Board of Representatives, in a bi-partisan spirit, is the logical authority to establish an Otsego Energy Task Force. A large, diverse umbrella group is far more likely to develop a comprehensive, viable energy strategy that gets it right, and to do justice to the needs of the community as a whole.
The point is to get key people in the same room and tackle the problem. It’s up to the County Board to make this happen. The time is NOW.

Adrian Kuzminski, a retired Hartwick philosophy professor and Sustainable Otsego moderator, lives in Fly Creek.

Political Cross-Dressers May Enjoy What’s In Store More
TOM MORGAN’S MONEY TALK

Political Cross-Dressers May

Enjoy What's In Store More

  Editor’s Note:  The column, Money Talk, by Tom Morgan of Franklin, the retired Oneonta investment counselor, is syndicated nationally.  Here is this week’s column. 

The national mood has set me thinking.  About bi-sexuality.  You know, AC/DC.  Also about pouting in the back seat of the car.

        First, the sex thing.  I know, you were hoping sex would come first.

        Woody Allen reckoned that bi-sexuality doubles your chances for a date on Saturday night. I reckon that being bi-politic doubles your chances for satisfactions with the Trump administration. Just as being bi-social doubles your chances for solid friendships.

        My suggestion is simple: If you take an extreme stance you will miss a lot. You will be like the kid who does not want to go to his sister’s birthday party. He pouts in the back seat.  Arms pressed against his chest. Lips clamped. “I am not, not, not going to enjoy this party.”

        With that attitude he misses out on all the games. And the delights of ice cream and cake.

 

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