How much roadkill does upstate New York have?

45,000 mammals a year in St. Lawrence County alone. That works out to about a kill every other year for every person 18 and over in the county.

The number, an estimate based on a year's worth of weekly surveys of typical roads in the area, comes from a study in the journal Biodiversity and Conservation by a prof and a student at St. Lawrence University. Conservation Magazine has more:

The average observed roadkill rate was 3.8 mammals per 100 kilometers each week. But the actual number is probably five times higher, the team says, because the weekly surveys did not account for carcasses that were removed by scavengers between observations. For example, another experiment showed that squirrel carcasses usually disappeared after about two days.

According to a university profile, study coauthor Margot Brooks '08 likes to do other things besides drive around looking for dead raccoons.

Photo by Flickr user Clearly Ambiguous. Credit:


Day of reckoning for New Paltz middle school

The polls opened at noon today at the New Paltz High School for a vote on whether or not to approve a $50 million bond bill to renovate the Middle School. Temperatures have been rising steadily as the vote has approached, according to the New Paltz Times:

As the vote on the proposed $49.78 million bond to renovate the New Paltz Middle School looms on Tuesday, Feb. 9, letters to the editor are becoming more vitriolic, attacks more personal and lawn signs are multiplying.

Some of those letters to the editor are being reprinted on the websites of the groups that are both stumping for and rallying against the bond bill. New Paltz Middle School Yes!, a group with both a website and 409 fans on Facebook, featured a letter from Larry Braun: 


Tinker Street Cinema gets new management

Changes are afoot at Woodstock's independent movie theater, according to the Woodstock Times. 

New managers Dede and Steve Leiber, who own a nonprofit movie theater in Rhinebeck called Upstate Films, began leasing the Tinker Street Cinema this month. Their first move? Doing something about the "toaster oven" electric heat: 

Dede Leiber said the heating was something Upstate would like to eventually change, although she pointed out that they were just leasing, so any major renovations such as heating might need more time to come about.

"We plan to spruce things up a little bit, maybe start turning the heat on a little earlier in the day," she said. "We think that we can give the place an overall warmer feel, a more friendly atmosphere.



The Greene scene

Seeing Greene blogger Dick May has the latest. Highlights: an upcoming county judge election is looking spicy, a local bank is raking it in, and the town of Catskill is gearing up for another big fiberglass cat festival this summer.

Among the catidates for adoption this time, as named and pictured by prospective makers, will be Ronald CatDonald, LepraCat (very Irish), lemony Sourpuss, Davey CrockCat, Cat-cher (masked and mitted) and Catman & Robin.


Meta-gossip in Albany

A rumor is flying around Capitol news types that the New York Times is working on a potentially devastating story about the Governor. The Times-Union has more:

Someday, a sociologist might be able to use an analysis of the rumors currently flying around the Capitol as their dissertation topic. Information from credible sources slowly becomes wilder as it spreads out. Sometimes, the chain of information is circular: A calls B, who calls C; then C calls A, who discovers that the story has changed markedly on its journey.


But what if people flush it down the toilet?

Capitol Tonight reports that a poll shows over 70 percent of New Yorkers in support of legalizing medical marijuana. (Click the link for a video report.)

Assemblyman Richard Gottefried, who introduced the bill, argues marijuana shouldn't be treated differently than any other drug used for pain management.

"New York and other states always have legalized the medical use of morphine and codeine and a host of drugs that are highly addictive and have a high potential for abuse. We understand that using drugs like that under a doctor's care is one thing, recreational use is another. It is just political correctness gone crazy that we don't apply that political correctness to medical marijuana," Gottefried said.



Subscribe to Watershed Post RSS