Priscilla, queen of Poughkeepsie

[img_assist|nid=16147|title=Drag Directory|desc=Let your stilettos do the walking|link=none|align=left|width=231|height=210]Hazy about where you saw that fantastic Joan Rivers impersonator? Want to know who does the best Lady Gaga routine in the Tri-State area? The answers will lie in the brand-new Drag Directory, which is based in … Poughkeepsie. Really.

Big Gay Hudson Valley reports that Jimmy Prada, the enterprising Poughkeepsie resident who launched the site, came up with the idea in a bar. Of course.

The concept for the website started when the Poughkeepsie-based Prada and Hilton discovered Shequida Hall – a drag performer and opera singer with a 5-octave range – in a New York City bar. “We realized that there’s some major talent waiting to be discovered,” said Prada. “Hopefully, our website can bring queens to places they’ve never been before.”

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Open-government wonks, rejoice: Feds release gobs of data

I'm ridiculously excited about today's big news in the (admittedly geeky) world of open government and sunshine law: Federal agencies had to release at least three large data sets online today, in compliance with the Obama administration's recently issued Open Government Directive. The data can be found at Data.gov, a new federal website designed to improve public access to government data.

There are hundreds of datasets here. A small taste of what's available:

From the SEC: Public Company Bankruptcy Cases Opened and Monitored for Fiscal Year 2009

From Veterans Affairs: 2009 VHA Facility Quality and Safety Report - Population Quality of Care

From the Department of the Interior: Lightning Caused Fires and Acres from 2001 to 2008

Columbia County dairy farmer commits suicide

Albany's CBS6 has the story.

LIVINGSTON -- State Police are investigating the suicide death of a dairy farmer who killed 51 head of his cattle before he shot himself.

Police responded to a 911 call Thursday afternoon and arrived at the Copake farm to find 59-year-old Dean Pierson dead of an apparent self-inflicted gunshot wound inside a cow barn on his property.

It has been a brutal year for dairy, with plunging milk prices and rising costs creating a perfect storm for farmers. A possible bright spot on the horizon: the Justice Department is beginning to crack down on Dean Foods, the country's most powerful milk processor, under anti-monopoly laws.

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State still buying land despite Paterson's proposed freeze

Gov. David Paterson's recent budget proposal includes a moratorium on land acquisition, but several major deals already in the works are progressing as planned. The Rochester Democrat and Chronicle reports:

The state also will close on the Big Indian parcel by Belleayre Ski Center in the Catskills and an easement on former Finch Pruyn timberlands mainly in the central Adirondacks.

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Sullivan County flood alert Sunday through Monday

The Catskill Chronicle reports. County manager David Fanslau:

I strongly urge any resident who lives near a stream, creek or river to be prepared and alert as this storm progresses, and to take preventative measures to protect their property through sandbags, etc. Outdoor, moveable property should be secured, and indoor property should be put up in case of flooding in the home. Furthermore, in case of emergency, all residents in these areas should make preparations to vacate their home if conditions warrant, and are strongly urged to comply with any and all reasonable requests from law enforcement or emergency responders during an emergency.

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Madsen: Mad man

Over at the Kingston Progressive blog, Ulster County legislator Mike Madsen is full of ire about the Supreme Court's stunning 5-4 decision yesterday striking down limits on corporate political campaigning.

Do you realize what WalMart is about to do to any local politician that tries to restrict one of their mega-stores? Or if you say anything negative about Natural Gas Well Fracking? Count your days baby!

I think we are in a heap of crap on this one. Welcome to the United Corporate States of America.

Who knew toast was so exciting?

Market Market Cafe in Rosendale goes the extra mile for Sari Botton, who can't eat regular bread.

Today, I had a toasted, buttered slice with my soup and salad. I felt like standing up and showing everybody, “Look! I have toast!” (You’d probably have to have celiac or some other condition that requires you to eat gluten-free in order to appreciate that feeling.)

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Ready Made asks The Roxbury owner: How did you get that f#*$ing awesome job?

Seriously. They have a whole section called "HDYGTFAJ?"

Hotelier (er, motelier?) Greg Henderson breaks it down for Ready Made editor Katherine Sharpe:

I guess you could say that we’re re-creating the fantasies of our childhood. I always wanted to live in the bottle from I Dream of Jeannie, so I grew up and built my own bottle.

The pictures of The Roxbury are pretty shagadelic, too. Can't wait to see what the new extension they're currently building is going to look like.

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