Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Election Day

Dear New Jersey,

Saw you this morning on your way to work, across the river, as I was getting into the bus myself, but too rushed to say "Hi." Don't forget to vote! I know it's unlikely, but as Slate's David Weigel told Barbara Buono this morning,
DW: I do remember when McGreevey almost beat Whitman, so that's always in my mind; the last poll was 20 points.
BB: Was it really?
DW: Polling wasn't as frequent or good back then. But the last poll was a Reuters poll, that had it at around 20, and it ended up being —
BB: When was that?
DW: Oct. 20 or so.
BB: Wow, interesting.   
DW: ...That's why I'm wondering how else has [the Senate race] affected it?
BB: I don't think—I think they've underestimated the strength of the anger at this governor from some that feel he's really just made them scapegoats. Like teachers. Like yesterday, teachers came up to him.
She wasn't going to vote for him anyway.
Here in New York, Proposition 1 is about casinos. We will make it legal to build seven casinos in upstate New York locations. Chateaugay? Horseheads? North Tonawanda? I just wanted to write that.

The idea is to make jobs, and money for education. The bad side is that money for education could be obtained by a progressivization of the tax system, i.e., by making the wealthy pay more, which our "liberal" governor Cuomo refuses to contemplate, and that by comparison this is a sneaky way of regressivizing it, since it is the poor that gamble to excess. On the other hand I think that must be still truer of the state lottery, which nobody is talking about abolishing, though it does not particularly create jobs. Especially in places like Skaneateles or Hoosick Falls.

They would also be in competition with the five casinos that are already being run by Indian tribes in New York State. But not in direct competition, because none of them are going to be near each other. Oh, I don't know, I went and voted for it, as also for the other controversial one, Prop 5, which
looks to amend the State Constitution to convey a piece of the Jay Mountain Wilderness to NYCO Minerals for not less than $1 million.
The Willsboro-based company has proposed exchanging that state land, called Lot 8, for 1,500 acres it owns of forestland around Jay Mountain.
A thick vein of wollastonite runs from NYCO’s Lewis mine pit directly onto Lot 8. And NYCO geologists expect some 50 acres of the uncommon, fibrous ore is hidden beneath the forest there, gauging its marketable value at $1 million.
“If (wollastonite is) present in the expected quantities, NYCO would provide New York state with forest lands worth $1 million or more, adding at least 1,500 acres to the Adirondack Forest Preserve,” the company said in its proposal. “Moreover NYCO would eventually return the original 200 acres, fully reclaimed, to New York state’s ownership.”
One of the big objections of those who object seems to be that the 200 acres of Lot 8 have some old-growth forest, but the growth is honestly not all that old—the whole state was completely deforested in the 18th century and the forests grew back only because the land as agricultural land was so crappy. Selling wilderness land to a private company for exploitation is not a normal thing in New York State and could be a bad precedent, but it's a very good deal and 100 jobs. Also wollastonite is pretty cool.
Hipster inuksuk from Canadian Wollastonite near Seeley's Bay. Photo by Jayden Paige Perry.
Oh, also, DE BLASIO!!! (And in Boston teacher-endorsed Marty Walsh.)

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