Don’t arrest our farmers

THE IMAGES WERE SHOCKING no matter what you thought about the case: dead calves by the side of barn and a well-known farm family being taken from their farm in police cars. What kind of a world do we live in?

Eleven animals died at the Clapp farm in Hillsdale. Nobody disputes that. Law enforcement officials determined the four cows and seven calves, as well as other cattle at Sunny Mead Farm, appeared emaciated or malnourished as the result of the failure of the farm’s owners to provide them with adequate feed. Recent news reports have documented instances of other livestock–racehorses in one notable case–deliberately or negligently starved by their owner. To see how the Clapps were treated, it looked at first as if they had acted with similar indifference to the suffering of animals. Read more…

Stop first, then talk

HOW DID WE EVER live without cell phones? The government first authorized them 30 years ago, so a significant portion of the population quite literally can’t imagine cell-less existence (unless you live in parts of Ancram and other service-deficient communities). But now it turns out we have a problem living with them.

Last week we reported on local two accidents where authorities say the use of mobile devices by drivers contributed to one death and several injuries. In the first case, a 44-year-old Greene County woman seen talking on her cell phone lost control of her car, which left the road–Route 9 in Greenport–and flipped over. She died of her injuries. It happened in the middle of the afternoon. Read more…

Time for FBI in Copake

WHAT’S SO FUNNY? That’s what we wanted to ask Salvatore Cascino after seeing photos of him grinning on the way into the county courthouse last week to face a two-count indictment for illegal dumping.

He gave the impression in his court appearance that these charges of dumping hazardous materials at a site in the Town of Clermont are no big deal. Sad to say, he could be right. Read more…

What’s wrong with the census?

THERE’S NOTHING FUNNY about homelessness. But you had to wonder about the photo on our front page last week of a Census Bureau worker poking around an empty factory in Greenport, looking for people to count.

Maybe nobody told him that this county doesn’t have many forgotten corners where people can seek refuge. Owners, neighbors and police usually know if somebody moves in to a vacant building. Homeless people, many of them children, are more likely to be found bouncing from family to friends until their welcome wears out. Some pass through the motel rooms the county’s emergency housing program rents; some live in their cars. But the census is looking for all of them–for all of us, too. Read more…