Friday, February 29, 2008


This is a disgusting set of circumstances. The Ulster County Dept of Social Services dumped taxpayers money on this substandard form of housing for the most vulnerable of our citizens and the owners neglect to pay their share of taxes. Where is the outrage?

The Freeman has the Mayor quoted saying "What amazes me is when you look at the number of times we have to respond to the King's Inn when it's open." "We constantly send police, fire and rescue while the payment of these expenses for the various departments comes out of the tax collection, which the King's Inn has chosen not to pay."

I too am amazed. Amazed we didn’t see this earlier. AnnMarie isn’t the only member of the Council miffed at this situation. But she is the only one the Freeman contacted on this issue.

The revitalization of the midtown business district has been an ongoing effort by several members and several councils, showing only small increments of success. This building has been the black-hole of our efforts for too long. With it’s demise, there is a renewed sense of hope.

You have to ask, where is the oversight on the part of the DSS? There is no excuse for this continuation of the harboring of people in deplorable living conditions. Roberto Rodriguez should be brought in for questioning.


On Thursday, March 6, at 7 p.m., Scenic Hudson and The Palisades Interstate Park Commission (PIPC) will hold a community meeting at the Highland Fire Station to discuss plans for Franny Reese Preserve State Park, a new public park that will be created in the Town of Lloyd.

The 250-acre woodland preserve honors the memory of Frances "Franny" Reese, a Scenic Hudson founder and internationally recognized leader of the modern environmental movement. At the March 6 meeting, Scenic Hudson and PIPC will share preliminary plans for the park along with maps of the property that detail existing trails, views and natural and historic features.

Anyone attending the meeting will be invited to share their ideas for how the park can best serve the community.

WHAT: Community Meeting about Franny Reese Preserve State Park

WHEN: Thursday, March 6, at 7 p.m.

WHERE: Highland Fire Station at 25 Milton Ave./Route 44-55, just off Route 9W.

I hope you can come to this meeting and participate in our plans to transform this beautiful piece of property into a park that will allow the public to enjoy the beauty of the Hudson River for generations to come.


I just thought to point out that we have an addition to the Broadway storefronts in Midtown East.

Located between Burger King and the Kingston Hospital is a pool hall with full sized Brunswick tables.

The owners Mark & Rebecca Lanier live on Staple Street, right in the Ninth Ward.

What struck me, was before I cought them open, I noticed the weekly trash and recyclables were seperated at the curb like text book. I had the best first impression from that point.

The introduction that followed closed the deal. Mark & Rebecca are helpful and intend to make a positive impact in this revived section of Broadway.

Open 2pm to 1am - seven days a week. With tournaments on Tuesday and Sunday evenings.

Whether you have the urge to rack-em-up or want to check out the art show, youll know this is a big plus for Ward Nine. 845 802-0210


During the winter months, our streets get a little narrow and hard to navigate. Levan Street is no exception. For years, since the repeal of the alternate side parking, we have had instances of traffic blockage.

Today, caught without my camera, I found a KOSCO truck backing up Levan St from Brewster St because the driver couldn’t get through from Andrew St. He had some interesting words to say about the situation which only became more poignant when he heard the story about the residents and their wishes to keep it restriction free.

So I went back and took this photo when my battery charged up. The delivery was intended for the Gulnick residence. I don’t know if they got their delivery, but this begs the question, where is the safety issue? Fire trucks are wider than an OIL truck.

After caving in to neighborhood pressure, the council voted to repeal the 3 month Alternate Side Parking on this block a few years ago. I only hope there is never an emergency here in the winter because I wouldn’t want to lose any of the residents on this excellent street.


Afriend sent me this interesting article........

Newly Released FBI Documents Link Saudi Arabia to 9/11

Documents recently obtained from the FBI through the Freedom of Information Act shows that the official report from the 9/11 Commission differs from the FBI's timeline.
Additionally, the nearly 300 pages of documents from the FBI also indicate that there was allegedly more involvement from officials within the Saudi Arabian government than was reported in the 9/11 Report.
According to Robert Baer, a former CIA case officer in the Middle East, "There are enough discrepancies and unanswered questions in the 9/11 Commission report that under a friendly administration, the 9/11 investigation should be re-opened."


Thursday, February 28, 2008


Tonight, Thursday, February 28th, the Cable Committee of the City of Kingston met and had a discussion on the possible funding of the KAPAC studio (channel 23)

Channel 23 serves the seven townships of the City of Kingston, towns of Ulster, Esopus, Hurley, Rosendale, Marbletown and Kingston. Each are responsible for placing representatives on the KAPAC commission and some portion of funding.

Tonights meeting focussed on the demands made by members of the Council as well as the mechanisms availible to change the tone of some of the program producers.

I asked the committee members to consider a revenue line in the City Budget of 2% of the TWC Franchise revenue. This notion cought some by suprise and I got a plea to educate the other members further during the month of March. Council President Jim Noble suggested forming a think tank to hash through the sticking points that still get resistance from four of the Councilmen. I agreed as did many of the KAPAC commissioners present.

The subscribers in the City of Kingston amount to 38% of the total in the franchise district. I felt it was a good starting point to achieve the $8,000/year we expect from the City.

There will be a nu,mber of different proposals come next April. Stay tuned...


Well, I thought it wise to wait a few days before commenting on the LGBTQ Center Tax status. The few calls and personal comments I’ve gotten have been mixed, but nothing too animated.

The Hudson Valley LGBTQ Community Center has secured tax-exempt status for most of its Wall Street building, the two thirds that the organization operates out of. Only the third floor apartment will be taxed because it is a revenue source outside of the center functions.

Ginny Apuzzo, the president of the Board of Directors, and a friend of mine, was quoted in the Freeman stating: " This decision reaffirms two truths which we hold to be self-evident," She went on…"One: that an LGBTQ organization like the center deserves fair and equal treatment under the law, and two: that we will never, ever settle for anything less."

Brava Ginny! As an advocate for the Center and a former Board member, I have to say I am proud of the Board and the City of Kingston for coming to terms. The Center did have to file an Article 78 lawsuit in UC Supreme Court, which took negotiation ability away from city officials, but the court actions paved the way for other gay & lesbian 501(c ) 3 centers to manage this journey with less trouble.

This is an amazing triumph for all of us. You can’t place a dollar amount on all the good work the Center provides for the Hudson Valley. So, the tax exempt status is a non-issue.
Keep up the good work !


Something you won’t see from the Bush family. Brittan’s Prince Harry joined troops serving in Iraq, defense officials confirmed Thursday. Harry, 22, could be kept out of situations that could jeopardize his colleagues amid fears he would be a prize target for insurgents.

CNN has reported on this today as a result of a leak. Now British officials state “The decision to deploy him has been a military one... The royal household has been consulted throughout."

“This is like President Bush sending a son to the frontline. The decision is both dangerous and courageous at the same time," said Evening Standard royal correspondent Robert Jobson.

You can find more on this astounding situation on



Orleans! Robbie Dupree and Joe Bouchard (Blue Oyster Cult) performing two concerts on April 6. 4pm and 8pm at the Bearsville Theater in Woodstock!

Tickets to the April 6 benefit concert are on sale NOW! Please visit www.bearsvilletheatercom to choose your seat!

Our special thanks to WBPM for helping us out with some air time to promote this event.
The Queens Galley is open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week to accept food donations.

The Queens Galley is a 501 (c) 3 not for profit organization that provides awareness, education, relief and prevention of food insecurity in America. The Queens Galley supports, creates and implements programs dedicated to the affordable nutritional education of children, families and seniors. Washington Avenue, Kingston NY 12401

Russian President Medvedev

On December 10, President Putin and the two major political parties put their support behind Dmitry Medvedev for the 2008 Presidential Election. The election is just 2 days away, but it is also over.

His current position is as 1st Deputy Prime Minister.

A youthful 42, Medvedev is seen as a moderate, and has worked with Putin for 17 years. He has been a lawyer, teacher and a bureaucrat. He has never held elective office. He came to Moscow from St. Petersburg in 1999. Trim (having lost a good bit of weight in the last year) and often tense-looking, he has a reputation for delivering dry, read-from-the-sheet speeches.

Our Presidential candidates better brush up on our potential world leaders. It looks as though Putin will still have the control of the Russian government that he has worked so hard to achieve by guiding the new administration.

Stay tuned…


Yes, its finally here. The City wide property Reval!
GAR Associates outlined for Common Council members on Wednesday night in preparation of whats to come in the way of questions and concern.
Some properties will pay less, some more and some will see no change at all. The effort on behalf of the city is to make the burden on the taxpayer fair. Those of us who are paying less than our share of an equalized rate place the burden on those of us on limited income to fill. In the end, the revenue in the way of Taxes remains the same.

The city, with the help of GAR Associates will be providing workshops to help the public understand the process. The workshops are scheduled @ 5 p.m. and 7 p.m. on both March 6th and 11th in the Council chamber at City Hall. The event is for property owners to ask questions about their assessment notices. The city will have grievance hearings in the Millard Building next month.

Bob Senor was quoted in the Freeman saying "At first, the public might not understand and say, 'Oh my God, what's happening here?'" About the workshop sessions...Senor said. "There is so much they are going to get out of this to make them feel semi-comfortable.”
I agree with BOB.

This is a long time in the making and the attention to detail is the most important part of this process. I believe we made the right choice with GAR Associates and the public will surely come to the same conclusion.


You can catch Detroit battle California this Friday night @ 8pm on the Fox Soccer Channel.

LA Galaxy came in third in the Pan Pacific Championship by beating Sydney in their final match-up. Houston Dynamo to take second place and the Japaneese team Gamba Osaka will take the top spot. This amazing event took place at Aloha Stadium in Honolulu.
We all wish we were invited!

You can catch LA Galaxy take on Seoul this Saturday @ 2:30pm

Racist Drug Law Losing Steam

I found this in this week’ s edition of THE NATION

Bipartisan support for reforming the two-decade-old federal sentencing structure that treats crack cocaine offenses one hundred times more severely than crimes involving powder cocaine is growing in Congress. (Click here for why this disparity is both absurd and racist.)

The Senate Crime and Drugs Subcommittee held historic hearings on the issue two weeks ago. Today, almost a dozen advocacy groups are co-sponsoring a national lobby day, bringing in voters from Alabama, California, Maryland, Texas, Virginia and others states to pressure key members of Congress to eliminate the disparity. You can help by joining the Drug Policy Alliance's campaign by calling your two US Senators and urging them to eliminate the crack/powder disparity by supporting S. 1711, The Drug Sentencing Reform and Cocaine Kingpin Trafficking Act.

If you can't call today, call as soon as you can this week. Just click here for phone numbers and talking points.

The Drug Policy Alliance is the nation's leading organization working to end the war on drugs. Among many other activities, the group hosts an annual International Drug Policy Reform Conference. Check out an online archive of last year's conference in New Orleans, where you can see photos, watch videos, hear panel audio and read media stories and blog posts about the conference and the ideas expressed for new drug policies based on science, compassion, health and human rights.

Wednesday, February 27, 2008



The City of Kingston website has a new interactive function for us to opine on economic affairs. This is good.

Many residents have expressed concern that their needs aren’t attended through the lack of communication with our elected leaders. I have been on the receiving end of these accusations myself, but the people have a point. To harp on the federal, state and local failures over the last decade you begin to understand why the citizens have a distrust in their leaders.
This source of public input will be a valuable asset to ease the unrest and may even guide the bunch of us lawmakers in the spirit of our constituency.

Planning Director Suzanne Cahill was stated in the Freeman "The intent of the survey was to provide an opportunity to the general public to identify areas and issues that they feel are important and critical to the redevelopment of this particular property," Cahill said.

She also said the survey will remain on the Web site,, through March 14. Copies of the survey also are available in the Planning Office at City Hall, 420 Broadway.

I have to agree with AnnMarie DiBella on this one, I think the City of Kingston has done more than its share of the Affordable Housing burden. I would like to see condos sold at the market rate without government subsidies and sale restraints. Go to the city site and make your voices heard.

Department of the Environment

Amanda LaValle will be the new coordinator of the newly created Department of the Environment for Ulster County.

Having a department that can focus all the environmental impacts that the multitude of other departments contribute throughout this county is an ideal function.

You realize this couldn’t have happened under the republican controlled Legislature. We still see a resistance to the idea of human impact on our global environment on the national level. Why would it be any different here?

Michael Hein was quoted in the Freeman saying "It's being done in perfect balance, the kind of balance that brings good government forward for less money," said Hein. "Government tends to get larger and larger. This will control that. The department will never get bigger than three people."

I am happy to hear this. The image of more government employment gluttony would be a sticking point for any future campaign against our sitting legislators. So, with this new department, we will see the continued progress that Brian Shapiro and other concerned leaders had hoped for, carry out the progressive mission of shepherding in a greener Ulster County.

That Damn Stimulous Package

Our President and both house leaders just whipped up an economic stimulus package. I really don’t have much faith in the prospect of these three “leaders” planning further than next years elections. There is no question that Bush, Pelosi and Reid came up with something because they can’t ignore our economic crisis any longer. This stimulus plan will amount to an estimated $150 billion and will be inadequate to drive sustainable growth in our $13 trillion economy.
The presidential candidates of both parties have an obligation to adjust the public policy mistakes of the past quarter-century that have led to this crisis. Only through hard decisions will we be able to steer our economy away from the brink of disaster.
The fiscal policies of the past decade have led to a national debt that amounts to $9 trillion. The free trade policies of Democratic and Republican administrations over the past 30 years have produced a trade debt that now amounts to more than $6 trillion. All of which is contributing to the plunge in the value of the U.S. dollar.
We have become ever more dependent on foreign producers for everything from clothing to technology to energy and our weakened dollar is making the price of an ever-increasing number of imported goods even more expensive. Consumers spend most of their money on foreign imports, and any stimulus package probably would be stimulating foreign economies rather than our own. Why? As I wrote last summer, you cant find quality merchandise that’s Made in USA, actually you cant find much at all.
NAFTA, and now CAFTA, have done serious damage to the US economy because of the short sightedness in their attempt to stimulate economic growth. Each could be eliminated or at least modified. Problem is, corporations have leapfrogged right over this continent and have taken advantage of the cheaper labor and unregulated pollution concerns in the East Asia countries including China.
Our jobs have left Kingston, New York State, and finally our national borders. The remaining corporations have headquarters based in the Caymans to avoid taxes. Our local leaders are expected to bring jobs and prosperity to the community, but mind my words, this stipend coming from the government in the form of a stimulus package will merely lessen the pain temporarily for those of us who know the recession is coming. Tighten your belts, put your money away and don’t get sick.