Who needs baggage anyway?

SUNY New Paltz student Steve Deffabia reports that his study abroad program in Cardiff has gotten off to a rocky start:

We get to the baggage claim area where it is just me, Nina, and Christine waiting for our luggage. Christine grabs hers. Nina snatches hers off the conveyer belt. I wait. Approximately 30 seconds later, a gentleman politely comes over and informs me that ‘if my luggage has not yet arrived… it will not be arriving.’ …great. 

But still, I’m in Wales!

He'll be blogging regularly from his program, along with a few other SUNY New Paltz students.

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Are you local? A guide to supporting your neighborhood organic dairy farmer

Sad fact: Even in the world of organic, not all milk is created equal. Dairy farmer Dean Sparks breaks it down.

I live in Upstate NY, and I frequently check the dairy code numbers on products. Many organic products touting the “local” claim are actually made in California, Colorado and Wisconsin. Not exactly local.

You’ll find this especially true if you are buying the store brand “private label” milks from large grocery chains like Target, Safeway, Kroger, and many others. Many of these chains purchase cheap “organic” milk from large CAFO (Concentrated Animal Feeding Operations) out West. Do they know they are doing this? Sure they do, but they think that you, their loyal customer, are seeking value for your dollar in these tough economic times. And sure, we all are.

But not for the cost of our integrity.

Sparks has some tips for finding out what kind of farm your milk comes from, and how far it traveled to get to your fridge.

Stephen Colbert to Eliot Spitzer

From the Colbert Report last night:

Ben Bernanke--who oversaw the collapse of not only the United States, but pretty much the entire world’s financial system, and brought our economy to its knees--has been reappointed as head of the Fed. Does this give you hope for being re-elected governor of New York?

Because, may I remind you: He screwed everybody.

Redlich vs. Lazio

At the Kingston Progressive blog, Ulster County legislator Mike Madsen weighs in on Warren Redlich, a Tea Party/libertarian type who's looking to topple Rick Lazio in the Republican gubernatorial primary.

Question is, what are the chances of the New York Republican machine letting Warren even get his campaign started before they work their magic?

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Well, he said he would

And he did: Gov. Paterson vetoed an ethics reform bill today, claiming it didn't go far enough.

"While there are positive aspects of this legislation, it does not go far enough in addressing the corrosive effects of outside influence and internal decay that have caused the people of New York to lose faith and trust in their government," the governor said in his veto message.

For background on this, check out the NYT's amazing Failed State editorial series.

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Mayor from Texas gas country to speak

Un-Natural Gas reports that Calvin Tillman, mayor of DISH, Texas, is visiting Delaware County later this month to talk about the problems his town has had with natural gas drilling.

DISH  hosts eleven massive natural gas compressors, four metering stations, eleven high-pressure gas lines, and numerous gas wells and gathering lines.  Its busy mayor had been warning other small cities located over the Barnett Shale that the chaotic growth of gas transmission lines and compressor stations could seriously jeopardize their economic future.

But numerous cases of respiratory distress reported recently by DISH residents have pushed public health concerns to the forefront.

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