Covid-19 Disrupts Transportation: Are You Prepared?

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covid19 disrupts transportation
Getting from Herkimer Home Historic State Park to Herkimer Village by foot and public transportation

by Linda Kaidan

Driving less than 10 miles from home we were stranded!

When we drove out to Herkimer Home Historic State Park, less than 10 miles away, we gave no thought to problems returning.  We soon found out just how difficult getting home would be!

At 8:30 AM we parked in the lot in front of the museum. Just as I turned off the motor, a huge plume of white billowy smoke rose from the hood of my car. After about 10 minutes it dissipated. I was not overly concerned as I have AAA road service and was not too far from home. AAA alerted me to the fact that the tow truck driver would not give me a ride due to Covid-19 restrictions. The tow truck arrived about an hour later. As soon as it departed, I tried to get a taxi. Neither Little Falls nor Herkimer offered any hope of getting one. I did not have Uber on my phone. No one we called was willing to give us a ride.

We decided to walk 3 miles to the center of Little Falls

covid19 disrupts transportation
Erie Canal Lock 17 view from Canalway trail
covid19 disrupts transportation
Walking along Rt 169 Westbound Little Falls

Fortune smiled on us. It was a beautiful day and a splendid walk with wetlands on both sides of Route 169.  Hats, drinking water, comfortable shoes and a backpack would have made the trek far more comfortable. Our portable battery ensured our cellphones would have power throughout the day. As we walked it occurred to us that there might be a bus from Little Falls to Herkimer.

Public transportation saved the day

Covid19 disrupts public and private transportation
Westbound Birnie Bus, Stop Little Falls, Across from Price Chopper (E Main St.)

It took a little over an hour to reach McDonald’s where we sat outside under the trees, snacking on coke and fries. Much refreshed, we identified the location of the Bernie Bus westbound stop. When the bus arrived exactly on time and almost entirely empty, it was a great relief!  Things could have been far more catastrophic.  

Before you drive anywhere ask yourself “how can I get home if my car breaks down?” Covid-19 disrupts transportation both public and private. 

 

NYC’s 2019 Homeless Housing Budget of $3.2 Billion Can Build .35 Million People Affordable Homes

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By Linda Kaidan
The above cabin exclusive of interior finishes was constructed by one person in 6 months for $8,000. As the nation faces a housing and food crisis of major proportion, simple solutions can make a huge difference. We have been governed by customs and rules that work against us in this pandemic. We need to use the resources we have intelligently to hold off the chaos that starvation and homelessness bring.

We can economically provide food, housing and self-sufficiency

Using the labor of those in need, inexpensive materials, and existing education programs to ramp up quickly we can achieve multiple goals at the same time.  In New York state our budget can come from ending the absurd practice of using welfare hotels as housing. Key to our success would be the suspension of building regulations to enable crisis housing and the use of trending off-grid methods of heating, power, housing construction, water collection-purification and waste incinerating toilets.

What has been one year’s budget for New York state’s homeless would fund construction of semi-permanent residences, workplaces and food growing facilities serving thousands of people for years to come. A single modified shipping container can house 8 people, 2 per room, with a private entrance. In the following example, housing for 8 people is created, with potential expansion from 80 ft to 480 feet per unit. A budget of $9,000 per person would pay for a multi-unit structure at a cost of $72,000. The structure would utilize green energy, water collected from rain, black water reduction and home gardens.

Before Covid-19 things were already spectacularly bad for those in New York State seeking housing. Now they are even worse as employers close their doors and shed jobs. Just last year, the budget for New York City’s homeless was $3.2 billion for 133,000 people, 1/3 of whom were children.  Will this be another Great Depression? It need not be, when we to do things differently.

$3.2 billion can build .35 million people affordable homes that will last for many years

Using my onetime $9,000 per person figure for 15+ years of housing and the 2019 NYC homeless housing budget, we can solve our housing crisis by helping individuals and families build their own sustainable homes and gardens for a total of (3.2*(10**9)/9000 = .35 million people). And we can do that for many years, not just one year.

 

How to Maximize Your Likelihood of Surviving Covid-19

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l-arginine C and D - Take these regularly to improve your odds of surviving Covid19

By Linda Kaidan

Corona Virus is out of control in FL because Floridians are not taking measures to keep safe. The  Worldometer  graphs below show the results of risky behavior vs behavior that can maximize your likelihood of surviving Covid-19.

FL carefree behavior leads to accelerated increase in infection.

FL Covid Cases Out of Control

NY results of outstanding governance lead to reduction of infection and stabilization.NYS Covid Under Control

 

You don’t have to be the governor to improve your chances of surviving Covid19: Here are some things you can do to improve your survival odds:

1 Take vitamin supplements

Vitamin D can prevent overactive immune response.  Immune system hyper reactivity is known to increase Covid-19 severity.

Vitamin C strengthens your body’s immune system.  If you don’t take it yet, now’s a great time to start.

L-Arginine helps circulation and may reduce blood clotting. Blood clots have been found in most organs of autopsied Coronavirus bodies. Since I have been taking this amino acid supplement, my varicose veins have decreased significantly, and I no longer have trouble stumbling around when I get up in the morning.

2 Avoid sleeping in hotels

When you choose to travel overnight, camping might be your safest choice of accommodation.  Covid-19 may be airborne within a hotel or guest room for as many as 3 days. Tent camping can help you avoid this risk.

3 Social distancing is worth the effort

Take social distancing seriously or you will end up with the same fate as those in Florida. It may not be fun to wear a mask or to be careful avoiding contagion. But if you do, you are more likely to live another year when there will likely be a vaccine for this horrible virus!

350 Botswana Elephants Dead: Suspect Cyanobacteria

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by Linda Kaidan

350 Dead Elephants - Cyanobacteria?
Will automated Cyanobacteria Assessment prevent animal deaths in future?

Aerial photographs show groups of dead elephants near ponds. The 350 Botswana Elephants dead appear to have suddenly succumbed after showing signs of neurological impairment. One elephant walked in circles before falling dead on the ground.

While no tissues have been examined to determine cause of death, it is clear that foul play is unlikely. Poachers are not among the suspects as no one removed the elephant tusks. Poison is also not indicated, because predators did not become ill after feeding on the dead elephants.

Cyanobacteria are commonly occurring fresh and salt-water bacteria which can produce cyanotoxins and cause sudden death by asphyxiation. Under all too common conditions ponds and water supplies can become dangerously contaminated.

US multi agency project currently working on remote detection of toxic blooms

US Environmental Protection Agency’s Cyan Project uses satellite based remote sensing to identify toxic algae blooms from space.  The EPA has joined forces with NASA, NOAA and USGS to tackle this widespread water quality problem with a comprehensive automated solution. This project has been ongoing in the US since 2015.

Remote images capture water color which can be used to identify phytoplankton blooms and the presence of cyanobacteria. The Cyan Project is currently validating data collected via remote sensing and analysis against field collected data to determine the accuracy of the remote sensing acquisition process. US federal and state participants including government, educational institutions and private research groups together with published peer reviewed papers will provide a basis of comparison. Required data includes cyanobacteria counts, location and date.

If water quality analysis can be automated around the globe, IOT devices at ponds and lakes can generate audible water quality warnings immediately to deter humans and wildlife from drinking contaminated water. In the meantime, we must do our best to monitor water sources to protect all animals across the globe.

View  available data with android app CyAN

You can view currently available toxic bloom data in US water bodies on your android device . Just download CyAN from GooglePlay and try it:)

Marcy’s Nanotechnology Industry Drives Central NY Housing Shortage

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Nanotechnology Industry Drives Central NY Housing Shortage
Marcy magnet for home sales in central NY

by Linda Kaidan

As New York’s population decline continues Marcy’s Cree nanotechnology manufacturer draws real-estate buyers to our neighborhoods. Data from realtor.com shows that on 6/17/20 only 3 homes of any kind were available for sale in Marcy.

Proximity to Marcy is a strong indicator of reduced number of homes for sale.

Using realtor.com’s filter of all housing types including mobile, multi-family and single-family homes while excluding homes under contract, I collected statistics of homes for sale in 10 nearby communities. US census data provides population data.  The distance of each location to Marcy is derived from Google maps. I  also created an availability statistic which is a function of population and available homes for sale.

Distance to Marcy in miles Towns
1-10 Mohawk, Frankfort, Whitesboro, Rome, Utica, New Hartford
11-20 Herkimer
21-30 Little Falls, German Flats

The highest availability of homes for sale was found in Little Falls with one home for every 95 people.

In contrast, the lowest availability was found in Utica with one home available for every 905 people.

Lower availability of homes for sale suggests that we construct new affordable housing.

As internet purchasing outstrips brick and mortar retail establishments, outdated and defunct structures become available for re-purposing as residential communities. An example of  an outstanding makeover target is the abandoned Kmart located at 200 Washington St, Herkimer. This property has over 6.7 acres of sub-dividable land and is assessed at $2 million.  In convenient walking distance to numerous amenities, it also offers  relaxing views of the beautiful Mohawk Valley hills.

A close example of such an affordable housing construction project currently underway is the Snohomish County Washington site, formerly a Kmart.  Four hundred much needed residential units will replace the unused commercial area. Building energy efficient smaller homes with multi use and shared community spaces will positively impact our quality of life.

Affordable owner-occupied homes and improved public transportation will create a stronger community and a healthy local economy.

It’s clear that Marcy’s new nanotechnology industry drives Central NY housing shortage. But we can use this to our advantage by creatively creating affordable and accessible  housing alternatives. 

 

Corona Virus is a Global Pandemic: Protect yourself!

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global pandemic Corona Virus:Protect yourself
Corona Virus is on every inhabited continent.

The Corona Virus has spread worldwide. The World Health Organization (WHO) reports today, February 26, 2020 that 81,000 people have contracted Corona virus worldwide and 2,762 have died from it.  Based on these numbers we can see that 2762/81000 or 0.03409 – about 1 in every 29.4 people infected have died.

Although it’s tough to get a protective mask now as they are generally out of stock, you can make your own n95 mask.

New York Times says keep 2-week supply of necessities on hand

Prepare for shortages of basic goods such as food, medicine and cleaning supplies. Keep at least 2 weeks of food on hand at all times. This afternoon I purchased a large bag of rice, dried beans, corn tortillas, canned tomatoes, fruit, peanut butter, jam, dried pasta and sauce.  This food can keep fresh without refrigeration for a year or more and is fairly nutritious.

More safety measures

NYT also recommends avoiding crowds, washing frequently and getting a flu vaccination. Keep yourself as healthy as possible by eating healthy food and exercising. Your immune system is your best protection.

People in China have called the Corona outbreak a zombie apocalypse and it has wreaked havoc on the country that is a major supplier of manufactured goods and foods we take for granted. Corona has had major adverse effects on China’s economy. We need to take this under advisement to protect our own well being as this airborne virus which can be asymptomatic for more than 18 days continues to spread.

Improve community welfare – Act Now

In our own community we should make certain to work towards community welfare. This includes creating the resources we require to function locally in times of supply chain uncertainty.  Let’s start now by creating a hotline for volunteer services and action groups including a community garden and kitchen. When we are as self-sufficient and proactive, we can achieve outstanding community wide results. If someone has an idea how to create an online interactive forum that would be super. Please send your suggestions to herkimerpost@gmail.com .

by Linda Kaidan

 

Jay Smith Continues Housing Criminals As Climate Change Escalates Homeless count

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by Linda Kaidan

2018 leaves us with a legacy of climate change disasters on a planetary scale unparalleled in human history. Herkimer, NY is safer from climate disaster than most any place in our country and is thus a valuable resource in maintaining civilization. Rather than housing criminals as climate change escalates, it’s  time for us to learn how to enable ourselves to be as constructive and self sustaining as possible while providing a haven to those fleeing disasters. 

Sobering statics that should motivate us to change:

Landlord Jay Smith continues supporting criminal tenants

17% of the 22 homes on Pleasant Ave in Herkimer, NY are owned by Jay Smith who is the recorded owner of 27 Herkimer, NY properties. We have observed that 5 of these homes have been sheltering gang harassers, drug dealers and drug addicts. Mr. Smith’s tenants have destroyed our property, harassed and assaulted us during the nearly 5 years we have lived here. His tenants, our neighbors at 332 Pleasant Ave who are law abiding, just moved out replaced by known associates of his criminal tenants. Stanley Sykes, former Jay Smith tenant, admitted that some of these residents were members of the famous US gang, the Crips.

Housing criminals as climate change escalates destabilizes our community

It’s interesting that at a time of excessive housing shortages, climate change migrations and massive economic losses, Mr. Smith considerately continues to rent to active criminals. There are no houses listed for sale on Pleasant Avenue in Herkimer, NY where we have recently seen an influx of skilled Amish tradesmen and out of town construction contractors working on home renovations.

Home owners and landlords everywhere can reduce homelessness and make money

Affordable housing with smaller units can help people live better adding to neighborhood stability while providing a decent income for landlords. Mr. Smith can easily rethink his position as a landlord and make a positive contribution to climate change survival for our community.

Climate change devastation, Republican social service cuts – You bet these will affect you!

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You can thwart irresponsible Republican government

Now that Republicans have control of the congress, senate, presidency and supreme court look forward to cuts in Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security. The number of homeless people in the US is rapidly increasing with loss of housing caused by climate change catastrophes. Less money for essentials like food shelter and healthcare means increased poverty, sickness and death. 

1. Share your living space to increase your available income.

If you have a house or apartment consider renting out a room to guests. By sharing your home, you can create affordable housing for someone as well as an additional income for yourself. When you share your space, you’ll be cutting down on energy expenses too.

2. Reduce food costs by buying best value food in terms of both nutrition and price.

We are taking our own advice by limiting our budget to $400 a month for 2 adults. This goal is easy to achieve when you buy primary foods like milk, eggs, chicken, rice, cornmeal, fruits and vegetables rather than processed foods like TV dinners, fast food and soft drinks. Cooking meals for everyone in your household, rather than foraging independently can lower costs and increase a sense of friendship in your home.

3. Create your own financial independence.

If you share a room with someone and budget your food wisely, total living expense can be little as low $450 a month per person. Even if you work half time, you should be able to save at least $5000 in a single year. If you were to get together with some other people, you would be able to  jointly purchase an inexpensive home or some camping land to create your own mortgage and rent-free housing, thus achieving a degree of financial independence that will continue to reward you.

4. Grow your own food.

When you share a home with others you can grow your own food too. I have noticed that many fruits and vegetables cost as much as chicken breast per pound. It’s easy to grow tomatoes, lettuce, beans, squash and much more in your own yard.

5. Teach yourself new skills and profit from them.

You can learn some basic skills that are useful to many people. Skills like carpentry, simple plumbing, fence construction and deck building are often in demand. When you have these and other skills you can find work or trade your services for things you need. It doesn’t take much to turn your economic constraints into economic advantages when you make the most of resources you have been taking for granted!

6. Vote for someone who cares about your well-being!

Make sure that you vote Democrat in the upcoming elections Tuesday November 6, 2018 if you want to have health care and to collect the social security benefits you pay for when you work! Our current national elected officials feel that it’s fine for wealthy people to pay no taxes and to let others go without healthcare and retirement benefits they have paid for their entire working lives.  

In our harsh political and environmental climate, life can rapidly become more difficult. You can make your life head in a better direction by taking measures that are easily within your ability to achieve.

by Linda Kaidan

Herkimer Community College Builds New Flood Controlled Picnic Area

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by Linda Kaidan

Enjoy Herkimer Community College’s new picnic area!

About 2 years ago the bridge near the farm pond at HCC washed away.  Re-engineering of the flood site is now complete. The dirt road has been replaced by a sturdy concrete foot bridge. Freshly landscaped,  3 pond-side picnic tables invite visitors to linger and appreciate sounds, scents and views. There is also a semi-circle of large rocks at the water’s edge offering somewhat comfortable seating to those who enjoy nature’s beauty. Herkimer Community College’s new flood controlled picnic area inspires us to optimize our resources.

Potential music barn next year?

How to get to Herkimer Community College's new flood controlled picnic areaIf you are walking towards the pond from HCC, you’ll see an open barn on the right. Inside there is a large flatbed trailer doing absolutely nothing. I imagine that this might be a fun project for some students. It would be fairly easy to re-purpose the trailer as a concession on wheels offering healthy snacks to visitors. Plenty of space remains in the barn for some benches once the trailer is outside.  This underutilized yet picturesque space might become an impromptu meeting and music spot which all could enjoy. The proceeds from food sales could help fund new entrepreneurial projects on campus. Students can learn how to create and operate a business and acquire practical skills like carpentry and cooking.

A food trailer like this could be a new enhancement for Herkimer Community College's new flood controlled picnic area

Making the most of time and place

If you see a resource sitting idle imagine what you can do with it. In many cases it can become an amazing way to learn, earn and enjoy a creative experience.

Micro Home Affordable Survival

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Our planet has become very challenging to live on and yet it is still the best place to live. It’s upon us to provide food and shelter in these times of climate instability. Intelligent social and geoengineering will help us steer out of the dangerous waters we now live in.

For the past 70 years we have participated in a climate of consumerism and wastefulness. We have incurred ridiculous debts and become job slaves to feed mortgages and the cost of higher education. Many have already found healthy ways to avoid this horror – building their own inexpensive homes and growing their own food. Food and shelter for all are the key building blocks that will stabilize the economy and diminish the spread of disease. When we all work towards the goal of food and shelter success is well within our reach.

Thinking different

Millions of people are participating in the micro homes movement. Learning to build your own sustainable microhome is well within your reach. You can learn how to do this on youtube.com. When you build your own home, it means no rent and no mortgage.

Building is a joy for musician, cartoonist and micro home artist Derek Deek Diedricksen. Even stating with a simple set of skills, you can use your imagination and create wondrous living spaces.

Using salvaged and reclaimed materials including pallet wood you can build your own shelter on camping land or in someone’s back yard for as little as $300.

Using techniques such as companion planting and permaculture you can grow much of your own food including fish farming.

https://youtu.be/uiCIDaapAGQ

When you rent a home or have a mortgage – you are living precariously.

Think smart 😊! You can build a shelter and grow food this spring. Plan and scavenge now.  Learn to build, grow and share. Make room for a friend.

Linda Kaidan