NewsShed, Monday, Feb. 13: Don't flush those wipes

With almost a foot of new snow for the Catskills since Sunday, we're off to a precipitous start to the week -- and we may get another dusting before the week is through. [Hudson Valley Weather]

The political data wonks at FiveThirtyEight are crunching vote numbers to track how closely members of Congress are working with the Trump administration, giving each one a "Trump score" that shows how often they act in support for the president's positions. So far, our own Congressman, Republican John Faso, has a score of 91.7 percent, while New York State's two Democratic senators weigh in at 38.5 percent (Chuck Schumer) and 7.7 percent (Kirsten Gillibrand, with the lowest score in the Senate). [FiveThirtyEight]

That YouTube video of Faso at a protest, hugging a frightened constituent with a brain tumor, is getting around. The New Republic showcased the clip in a recent article about the dilemma faced by Republicans seeking to repeal the Affordable Care Act. [YouTube, New Republic]

Working the camera in that clip was Woodstock resident Eve Fox, a consultant turned political organizer in the wake of Trump's election. She's currently rallying local doctors and healthcare workers to sign a letter urging Faso to preserve key pieces of the ACA, and so far, she has at least 75 signers on board. [Woodstock Times]

Speaking of healthcare. Hot scoop from the Times Union: Crystal Run, a private for-profit healthcare company with several Sullivan County locations, got $25.4 million in state funding last year to support projects they were going to build anyway. The Cuomo administration denies any wrongdoing, but it doesn't look too good: Very few of the 162 healthcare grants made last year went to private businesses, and Crystal Run's owners have given at least $400,000 to Cuomo's campaign committee since 2011. [Times Union]

Immigration raids have stepped up across the country in the past few weeks. At least four people were jailed by immigrations agents last week in upstate New York, the Daily News reports. [Washington Post, New York Daily News]

In response to the Trump crackdown on immigration, the New York State Assembly recently passed "sanctuary state" legislation that would prevent state and local police from enforcing federal immigration law, and open tuition assistance programs to undocumented students. But the bills aren't likely to get very far in the state Senate, which is controlled by a coalition of GOP members and breakaway Democrats in the Independent Democratic Conference. [Politico]

Tennessee man (and former Congressional candidate) Robert Doggart is in federal court this week, on charges stemming from his planned attack on the local Muslim community of Islamberg in 2015. But despite allegedly planning to slaughter Islamberg's residents and burn down a mosque and a school, Doggart isn't being charged as a terrorist; Islamberg's attorneys are arguing that current law lets homegrown radicals like Doggart off the hook for terrorism charges. [Times Free Press]

In only slightly less gross news, last week's Walton Reporter had a front-page story about the toll that "flushable" baby wipes are taking on local sewer plants, where they clog pumps and collect in clarifiers. (There's a photo. Ewwww.) Walton isn't alone; as wipes have exploded in popularity over the past few years, sewer plants across the country have been subject to an accelerating onslaught of icky and expensive engineering problems. [Walton Reporter, New York Times]

A concrete and asphalt plant near the town of Monticello was destroyed in a fire last week. [Times Herald-Record]

Uh-oh: Shandaken town board meetings are getting interesting again. Quote of the week goes to former Belleayre superintendent Tony Lanza, blasting the Catskill Heritage Alliance's Kathy Nolan for her long opposition to the building of the Belleayre Resort: 

This is not a Chinese restaurant!

(That totally makes sense, in the context of 17 years of Catskills local history.) [Daily Freeman]

The Onteora school board, having voted last year to change the school's mascot from an Indian to an eagle, is now dragging its feet on adopting a new design for the mascot because of ongoing controversy. [Daily Freeman]

Hunters killed fewer black bears in 2016 than they did the previous year, the DEC reports. The second-heaviest bear recorded, weighing in at 540 pounds dressed, was shot in Walton. [NYS DEC]

Deva, an 18-year-old Sullivan County horse who lives in a geodesic dome barn, can play the piano. He likes Debussy, Chopin, and Bach, but does not care for Bob Dylan. [Times Herald-Record]

Good news on the state front for local farmers and producers: Sales of locally-made products through the Taste NY program tripled in 2016. [Gov. Cuomo's office]

A former water bottling plant on Route 23 is getting a new lease on life as a brewery; owners 212 Brewing Co. hope to open this fall. [Catskill Eats]

Escape Brooklyn has a cute post about Buck Brook Alpacas in Roscoe, run by a couple of new farmers on the block. [Escape Brooklyn]