News in brief
Tar sand protest arrest tally tops 1,200
WASHINGTON, DC — A civil disobedience demonstration in front of the White House, protesting the construction of the Keystone XL oil pipeline that has been proposed to carry oil from Canada’s tar sands concluded last Friday after its planned two-week run. As of the last day, 1,250 people had been arrested.
Some locals were in attendance at the demonstration, and Shohola, PA resident Virginia Kennedy was among those arrested (see last week’s issue). A petition with 617,428 names opposing the pipeline was delivered to the White House last weekend.
Others arrested included top climate scientists, landowners from Texas and Nebraska, former Obama for America staffers, First Nations leaders from Canada and notable individuals including Bill McKibben, former White House official Gus Speth, NASA scientist Dr. James Hansen, actor Daryl Hannah, filmmaker Josh Fox and author Naomi Klein.
“Back home we are fighting to protect our land and water. This week, we decided to bring that fight to the President’s doorstep,” said Jane Kleeb, Director of BOLD Nebraska, who led a delegation of Nebraskans who were arrested this morning. “We are acting on our values and expect our President to act as well.”
Labor Day crash takes three lives
COCHECTON, NY — A car crash that occurred on Route 17B near Burr Road in the Town of Cochecton took the lives of three people on Labor Day, September 5. The collision, which occurred around 11 a.m., took place between a GMC Jimmy driven by a Hortonville man and a Ford Explorer registered to an address in
Clifton, NJ and containing a man, woman and child.
The two vehicles met head on. The Ford Explorer went off the road and turned over, and the man and woman were ejected from the SUV. A nine-year-old boy was pulled from the wrecked vehicle by a passerby, and was the sole survivor of the accident. He was taken to Catskill Regional Medical Center in Harris.
The exact cause of the accident is still to be determined, but it is known that there was heavy rain in parts of the region at the time. The names of the victims had not been disclosed as of press time, pending notification of the families.
First 2011 case of West Nile Virus
HARRISBURG, PA — The Department of Health recently reported the state’s first probable human virus of 2011.
On July 22, an elderly Lebanon County woman was hospitalized with a high fever and neurological symptoms. She is currently recovering.
The virus is spread to people and animals by infected mosquitoes. Older adults and persons with compromised immune systems are at an increased risk of becoming ill from the virus.
Last year, there were 28 human cases but no deaths. 2009 reported no cases, but in 2008 there were 14 cases and one death.
Athletic fields referendum back again but when?
LAKE HUNTINGTON, NY — The Sullivan West Central School District board has voted once again to put before voters the question of whether to use a reserve capital fund to add facilities to the school grounds for sports including baseball, basketball, football, softball and tennis.
Instead of presenting the proposal as a single project, however, the board has broken it down into several pieces. even though some on the board argued—and Hilton concurred—that going about the work in a piecemeal fashion would raise its cost. The first of the proposed parts will be a $1.735 million project to create softball, baseball and soccer fields at the high school in Lake Huntington, resurface the track that currently exists at the Jeffersonville campus, repair the nature trail there and conduct a district-wide energy audit. Two subsequent portions of the project, to come up for later votes, would include repairing the high school’s stadium turf with more natural turf, preparing the elementary school for new fields and dealing with problems relating to the restrooms, a fuel oil tank and the roof. The third part would complete the Jeffersonville fields as well as accomplish miscellaneous goals like replacing lighting and windows and addressing ventilation issues.
There was some controversy as to the best date of the renewed referendum at last week’s board meeting, with proposed dates ranging from this coming October to October of 2012. The first part of the proposal will most likely be voted on in October or November of this year.