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Thursday Watercooler


Hi, y’all.

A cat leaning on a shoulder

Hi, I'm a gratuitous picture of a cute cat.

Some good news — Mother Jones has the uplifting story of a small town that took on fracking and won:

There was a time not so long ago when the most contentious issue in Dryden, New York, was hiring a new dog catcher. Situated in New York’s Finger Lakes region, Dryden is a rural town with a population of just 14,500 spread over 94 square miles. It’s “a little more progressive than your average upstate town,” explains town supervisor Mary Ann Sumner, because it gets some spillover residents from nearby Ithaca, a college town. “But we’re still just an upstate town,” best known for dairy farms and cornfields.

But everything changed in August 2011, when Dryden became one of the first towns in New York to ban fracking. Natural gas interests swiftly sued, putting the once sleepy spot in the middle of a nationwide debate over gas drilling. Last week, after a spending a year and a half in court fighting to protect its ban, Dryden became the first town in the state to prevail over the gas industry—in a case that could set a precedent for other towns that are trying to keep frackers out.

If you’re a geek like me, you really want to see the photo in this tweet. Make it so!

Tonight’s musical selection is Brown Bird performing “Thunder and Lightning.” If you’re near Austin, Texas, you can see them perform Saturday.


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Photo by Eva Prokop released under a Creative Commons license.

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Who Am I?

Kit OConnell

Kit OConnell

Kit O’Connell is a gonzo journalist and radical troublemaker from Austin, Texas. He is the Associate Editor and Community Manager of Shadowproof. Kit's investigative journalism has appeared in Truthout, MintPress News and