Saturday, January 31, 2009


This would be an announcement to all my Rondout Neighborhood readers.

An issue has come t
o our attention that your quality of life may be altered depending on the outcome of a Planning Board meeting next week.

The owner of the Tubby Row Houses on Spring Street has submitted plans for a serious renovation of the building that would increase its occupancy levels substantially.

If the owner, Gordon Taylor of Altodena California, is allowed to proceed, he will renovate the structure to house 17 single bedroom apartments and one three bedroom apartment.

Alderman Senor and I are both concerned that this use would have an impact on the well being of that neighborhood. Although the structure is technically in Ward Eight, it will affect that portion of Ward Nine a great deal.

Basic plans for any dwelling require 1.5 parking spaces per bedroom. This reason alone is cause for concern, since there is limited parking onsight.

The owner made it known to the Planning Board that he had spoken to most of the neighbors around the building and has gotten plenty of support. Robert and I have doubts.

To allow this change in use, the Planning Board and possibly the Zoning Board will have to make changes and a special permit must be issued.

There will be a Public Hearing on this property on February 9th at 6pm at City Hall.

Alderman Senor and I are asking all of the neighbors who have an opinion either way, as to the change in use, to come to this meeting. There is plenty of parking behind City Hall and the side door entrance has an elevator for your convenbience.

To contact Alderman Senor before the hearing, call 339-2955

Friday, January 30, 2009


Late this week, the Iraqis' decided to boot Blackwater out of their country. Those of you who have read my posts over the year remember how wild I was when revelations into abuse of power and allegations of manslaughter were rampant in the news media.

It brought to light how these mercenaries operate and who they work for. Blackwater had guarded the diplomats for five years and compiled a perfect record of never having lost one to the violence there. I have to give them credit where it's due. But they also gained a reputation for being arrogant and quick to shoot. A very dangerous combination.

Iraqi Interior Ministry confirmed: They will not renew the licence of Blackwater Worldwide.I just read in the NY Times online that Blackwater's chances of a renewed contract is Nil, Nada, Zilch. So, of course embassy officials are scrambling to fill the gap in protection for our diplomats. There are other companies to chose from.

Iraqi officials and half the US population have been furious with the firm since a September 2007 shooting in which Blackwater guards opened fire in traffic, killing at least 14 unarmed Iraqi civilians. If you look up reports online, you'll find only one guard has pleaded guilty, while five others are awaiting trial.

Blackwater has always maintained that because they are not Military personnel, they are not beholden to the same international restrictions dictated by the Geneva Convention. However, these trigger-happy former military personnel wear an American flag on their shoulder while cruising the streets and protecting our representatives.

Through connections associated with the Bush Administration, Blackwater secured several multi-million dollar contracts and has such helped to divert funds to continue the efforts in Iraq without calling the funding a "War Expenditure". Also note: when Blackwater employees are killed or executed like the picture to your left, they are not counted as casualties thus keeping the U.S. losses down.

One of my friends always uses the term Republican World Domination when we discuss Blackwater. I just have to laugh as I slip this into the posting. Ironically, the close connection to former administration does lent itself to a certain demise as most favored Mercenaries. Im sure they'll survive, incase someone out there is worried about their employment status.

Here is that YOUtube video that we all remember from a few years ago.


We all got to hear President Obama's comments regarding the CEOs of the companies we are bailing out, getting millions in bonuses. Well here is a new item to piss everyone off even more.

Citigroup is in contract to the naming rights of the new New York Mets ballpark, to the amount of $400 Million. This was one of the first companies to get in line when President Bush wrote the first check.

According to the AP: Reps. Dennis Kucinich and Ted Poe sent a letter to new Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner on Thursday, urging the government to demand that the company drop the agreement. If you think about it logically, you'd have to agree with them.

Kucinich was quoted: "At Citigroup, 50,000 people will lose their jobs. Yet in the boardroom of Citigroup, spending $400 million to put a name on stadium seems like a good idea. The Treasury Department, which forced Citigroup corporate executives to give up their private jet, should also demand that Citigroup cancel its $400 million advertisement at the Mets field and instead begin to repay their debt to the taxpayers.”

Citigroup reached its agreement with the Mets three years ago. It is among several American banks that have received financial assistance from the federal government in recent months.

Poe, a Texas Republican, said: “While average Americans are hunkering down worried about their jobs, food, clothes, and mortgage payments, these irresponsible executives are blowing hundreds of millions of taxpayer dollars.”

The comments Thursday from Obama on the CEOBonus issue, should give the American public some reassurance that the second half of the stimulus package will be watched more closely for continued abuse.

Every dollar Citigroup and the other corporate monsters are forced to return will be that much more availible for infrastructure repairs throughout the country. Lets see if the Congress and President will actually back these strong words of constraint with action.

Should we pester our Reps Maurice Hinchey and John Hall to add thier support for the Citigroup refund?

Thursday, January 29, 2009


Ulster County is OPEN for business once again! As if we were living in a cave, new business starts on a grand scale stopped like a derailed train a few years ago when the Ulster County IDA implemented the "Prevailing Wage" requirement for any business looking for IDA assistance.

The rule is suspended for one year to see what affect, if any, the proverbial "welcome mat" will have as our County's financial crisis worsens. Cross your fingers.

Michael Berardi, chairman of the IDA’s board, said in the Freeman: The six-member body voted unanimously last week to suspend the wage rule for one year and that
members agreed to the suspension for different reasons.

Whatever the other members thought to bring this vote outcome, I don't care. I'm just thrilled to see a change in the approach to how we offer help to struggling business in this county. Large or small, new business needs coddling in these tough times.

The Freeman reports: The prevailing-wage policy was put in place a few years ago and was amended in 2007 to grant exemptions to businesses that employed at last 100 permanent workers, paid at least 75 percent of them $12.50 per hour or more and were at risk of leaving Ulster County.

Although it didnt have any affect on Empire Merchants North, they left for the Greene County anyway because of demographics and a lack of shovel ready sites in the UC region. Their building on Flatbush Ave will be a prime location for a business looking to utilize this window of cognitive thought in the IDA.

My thanks to Board Member, Jen Fuentes for giving this change of rules a chance to end the retrospective arguments that followed the "Prevailing Wage" stipulations. Jen, we need a shot in the arm, and this might be just that.

Economic advocate and friend Shelly Zimbler had railed against the Wage issue when it was first introduced and warned that the applications would stop coming in the day we implimented such a rule. The applications stopped the day it went into affect. From 3 or 4 a month to zilch.

He, like so many others suspect there was prodding from Hein and company, I have no confirmation either way, but it's a good idea. Now how are we to alert the business community that Ulster County has changed the ground rules to induce serious investment? Are we putting up fliers on light poles or are we actually stepping out of the 20th century?


Wednesday, January 28, 2009


Because of the drastic changes to the Ulster County Charter back in 2006, Longtime Ulster County Health Commissioner Dean Palen is out of a job.

County Exec. Mike Hein announced Tuesday that under the charter, the commissioner must be a licensed physician with public health experience.

Dean Palen, a long time resident of Ward Seven here in the City of Kingston, is not a medical doctor.

Hein told the press he was considering a new position of public health engineer for Palen, adding that if the position were created it would be “budget neutral”. I don't know what that means when you consider $100K as an expense for an additional position.

Mike, I hate to pick on you, and I hate to waste the experience Dean has, but I'm sure you can either place Palen in an existing post, or use your ties to send him to Albany. Whipping up a new job position for Dean might not be wise during these economic times.

Perhaps he would like to run for Alderman. People think we are well paid, and hell, without benefits, he'll survive on the Health Care parachute package I'm sure the county will give him.

Monday, January 26, 2009


Team Obama has named someone to serve in a Senate-confirmed post called the "U.S. Coordinator for the Prevention of Weapons of Mass Destruction Proliferation and Terrorism."

If that is too awkward to throw around the water cooler tomorrow, you could use the term "WMD Czar."

The position as it was legislated in 2006, is one that the Bush White House had rejected, thinking the position redundant and way too accountable to Congress. Ironic that WMDs
are the very threat to our nation's security that President sold the American public in order to get us comfortable with the Iraq occupation.

However; Bush thought the position wasn't worth filling.

This was part of the 9/11 Commission's Recommendation's and the Obama-Biden Team is doing just that! According to Senate sources, this was drafted by the Senate Foreign Relations Committee when Vice-President Biden was its chair. Amazing!

The WMD Czar was established so an expert would serve as the chief adviser to the President on all matters relating to the prevention of WMD proliferation and terrorism and responsible for formulating a national strategy for preventing same.

Watching some of the cable news programs tonight, I followed the reasoning behind this and I fail to see a flaw. This Czar would lead interagency [yes thats a word] coordination, conduct oversight, and oversee the development of a budget for these efforts. Even Jim Baker said this was a serious priority.

Who has Obama picked? Gary Samore. After only four days in office! The media is touting that he is a former Clinton-era "weapons proliferation" watch dog, but I don't remember him. The news media will have to do more background on him during the week, but unlike the other positions, this one doesn't require Senate approval.

Samore will have about a dozen people at his disposal to preside over the accumulated DATA from all other agencies that collect such information. The Commission's intent was to eliminate the miscommunication between these agencies.

Welcome aboard Gary Samore, your seat has been waiting for you for three long years.


For those of us who frequent the night-life in New York City, or anywhere in New York State, for that matter, I give you a word of caution regarding your overnight stay.

A recent report on the standard of quality hotel accommodations reveals there is an infestation of Bed Bugs throughout the state. Mostly in Manhattan. It also emphasises that the hotel's star rating doesn't matter. Not the best news you've heard lately, but with today's economy , fewer of us are spending time in the city anyway.

What doesn't help, is the word is out in the tourism industry. What's worse...people know that the hotels and motels around Kingston are also afflicted with Bed Bugs.

The Hudson Valley region became infested about 5 or 6 years ago before gas prices skyrocketed and the disposable money was still being invested by way of New York tourists. Now, the little buggers are here to stay.

One type of business has thrived because of this uninvited guest. The pest control business. Homes and lodging facilities have picked up the pace for some of these services and one such business had to buy a special bug sniffing dog to keep up with the local cases. The dogs name is Sophie.

Pestmaster Services in Kingston purchased this Border Collie Mix back in 2002, and she can tell if a room is infested with bugs after only a few sniffs. I read that before becoming a pest detection dog, Sophie was adopted from a humane society shelter in Florida by Bill Whitstine, owner of the Florida Canine Academy.

You might think this is just a cute gimmick, but it turns out several U.S. pest control companies offer working dogs that are trained for locating bugs and mold. And to be sure, I looked up a professional accreditation association that was formed to make sure scent detection dog standards are upheld for such dogs.

Sophie has been on the job for five years locally.

In a recent article on Bed Bugs in the Poughkeepsie Journal, Andrew Evans, from the Dutchess Co. Dept. of Health, said people do alert him of bed bugs but he said there's no county data available on the scope of the pest problem.

According to the article, bed bugs are hard to spot because they are about the size of an apple seed, and they can flatten themselves completely, enabling them to hide in the smallest cracks and crevices, including electrical outlets. They are wingless blood-feeding parasites and found in both homes and commercial sites such as hotels, bed and breakfasts, college dormitories and hospitals.

The reason why a pest control business would invest in a dog is because of the sensitive sense of smell. Dogs are about 98 percent accurate compared with a human, who would be about 30 percent accurate through conventional means.

So, if you discover any odd welts on your children or acquire a strange rash out of nowhere, think about the possible feeding frenzy that happens while you sleep each night. Another report says you can actually feel the Bed Bugs on you, unlike fleas and ticks. So those freaky phantom tickles on your legs; may not be you imagination after all.

Saturday, January 24, 2009


So, some interesting opinions from Senator Kirsten Gillibrand. To many left wing extremists, the news that she was endorsed by the National Riffle Association will be a big surprise. That alone will send the disarmament community over the edge.

But what is sure to fluster the open borders pro-illegal alien lobby is her stance on illegal immigrant issues. She was endorsed by NumbersUSA which scares people who enter the US without any documentation.

According to her website, Gillibrand opposes a free pass to citizenship for illegal immigrants and co-sponsored the Secure America through Verification and Enforcement (SAVE) Act in 2007.

The SAVE Act aimed at reducing the inflow of undocumented immigrants by increasing border security and internal enforcement and complete the fence along the border. I'm liking her alot more already.

Although the SAVE Act failed to pass last year, I am impressed at her effort. The legislation requires that immigration policy should not undermine the critical contribution that immigrants make to our economy as workers, entrepreneurs, taxpayers and consumers as well as protecting the rights of legal immigrants who are already here. It failed anyway. Not enough holes in the legislation for corporate farms to abuse illegals for profit.

We are all descendent from Immigrant parents in some way and they will tell you of the long arduous process they went through at both shores. And when they succeeded legally, they were proud to be here. Just ask them.

Some people are demanding that Gillibrand must change her position on illegal immigration now that she is representing the whole state, including New York City, where immigrants are the backbone of the economy. Open borders advocates like to mix all immigrants with illegal-immigrants when ever possible. Fascinating use of words.

I say, welcome aboard Kirsten! Your opinion on this, on TARP and other issues provide a refreshing legislative record for us New Yorkers to ponder.


So, I'm reading this breaking news about Joe Bruno. Funny stuff. Imagine Joe abusing his public position to enrich himself. Say it isn't so!

The AP is harping on his inability to hide the $3 Million in consulting fees he received over the last dozen years while playing Majority Leader in the NYS Senate.
The charge comes from the US Attorney for the Northern District of New York and they claim he used his position to steer contracts and grants to businesses that paid him these exaggerated fees.

Since his departure from the Senate, his successor Dean Skelos has presided over the remaining days of majority only to witness Malcolm Smith and company take the leadership.

U.S. Attorney Andrew Baxter stated: “Bruno exploited his office by concealing the nature and source of substantial payments that he received from parties that benefited from his official actions and the resulting conflicts of interest."

I know what you're thinking...All politicians do it while in office. Actually, you have to
want to do it. Granted; public servants at the low end of the food chain , like Aldermen and Town Boardies, aren't in any position to steer contracts and projects, but that doesn't mean we all will succumb to the temptation that some of these cowards do.

Of course Bruno pleaded not guilty. That would be protocol. He then held a press conference to denounce the investigation as a politically motivated “fishing expedition that smells really, really bad.” [and he was supposed to say something different?]

Note to Joe: You've got to work a little harder to make these "gifts" look like you earned them. Come on: $80K for a lame horse?

Needless to say, Joe Bruno will be in the press again as he doggedly tries to fight these charges. It's going to be fun to watch, considering what the Press did to Spitzer for his adultry and hooker scandal.

The charges, if they stand, could land Joe in jail for a few years and may relieve him of some of the assets acumulated as a result of the "magic money". Will this have an affect on how we perceive the ethics of our State Legislature? Forget it. It cant get any lower.

Friday, January 23, 2009


As many of you are aware, the City of Kingston is in a category of continued financial stress and high population of low income population which makes Kingston permanently eligible for Federal help. Not the kind of status you wish for, but it eliminates the competitive nature of the petition process that the Community Development department used to crunch for every year.

The amount has changed as well. Kingston used to get well over a million dollars annually. In recent years that was diminished quite a bit and thus limited our ability to repair infrastructure and upgrade quality of life issues around the city.

That may have changed. I hear the amount may rise to it's former grand total once again and the opportunity to redirect some of the additional funds toward better managing our mid and uptown business districts. This would be an ideal situation.

A smaller newly formed interest group has formed in the Ward Nine area with the hopes of helping the KMBA Kingston Midtown Business Association find quality retail for part of the Broadway corridor.

Having such a position provided through the Entitlement Program funds will enhance the efforts of KMBA and KUBA to promote the city’s Uptown and Midtown business districts, plan events in the two areas and possibly help create a Business Improvement District.

I believe all nine of us Aldermen and the Mayor approve of this fund shift to create the position of "Main Street Manager" this one time. But the business districts, if they feel the position helps in the needed way, will have to decide on future funding, because we don't have the option to fund the position yearly through the same federal grant process.

In the Freeman: Michael Murphy, the Community Development director said "It will be up to the Common Council to [reprogram] the funding as part of this year’s allocation of federal money from the Entitlement Program. Last year, the city’s total award from the program was $802,574."

There has been a continual dialog regarding a liason between City Hall and the three business districts, but funding has always been an issue. To oversee public relations, conduct fund-raisers, coordinate events, supervise storefront renovations and place advertising, among other things would part of the job descripion.

One of the many jobs that were eliminated through this tough budget process for 2009, was a part time position for the promotion of Kingston. The public knows that City Hall is willing to pump up the awareness of the qualities of the city, when funding is available. This time next year, we may have a dynamic individual steaming away at reinventing "Main Street".

We can only hope.


Congratulations to Kirsten Gillibrand! She has been chosen by our Governor, David Paterson to succeed Hillary Clinton as the Junior Senator for New York State.

I have no doubt that New York is in good hands, as both of Paterson's final two choices were tremendously qualified. Kisten is already in the nation's Capitol and quite familiar with the key players and the mechanisms that make the Senate function. So, the transition will be a non issue.

Andrew Cuomo is still our Attorney General and performs an impressive job in that capacity. Yes, I was leaning toward Andy, but for no other reason than having met him and knowing his political opinions better.

Now, Paterson will have to appoint a successor to Kirsten's seat in Congress. This will also become a more localised state wide concern rather than national since the seat represents a smaller portion on New York.

There will be no fewer candidates petitioning the Gov for this Congressional spot than the Senate seat, just a different lot to chose from. If I head upstate and get an apartment in that district, should I throw my hat in the ring and ask the Governor for an interview?

All joking aside, I have to offer my sincere congratulations to Kirsten Gillibrand on the Paterson choice, and the job well done for New York State so far.
May the task at hand fixing the state and national economy be your number one priority. Continue the great causes that Hillary left unfinished and help muster public support for Schumer's long term plan for rail service on the west side of the Hudson.

Thursday, January 22, 2009


It's confirmed: Caroline Kennedy is out of the running for the open NY State Senate seat. She notified the Governor a few days ago, that she no longerseeks the job because of family issues. Does this open the race? Will Paterson rethink the options before him?

Lets consider who's left? The two most prominenet names out there are Andrew Cuomo and Kirsten Gillibrand. Both have been subjects on past Blog posts and both have had more experience than the others and both havbe been duely elected by all or some New Yorkers.

I can't lend support to someone who comes into this seat as a complete unknown. I have to apologise for the initial gushing over Kennedy though. Like so many others, the first thought of Caro
line, with her name, fundraising skills and connection to our new President did cause temporary blindness.

Now that her glow has faded and the thin resume' reviewed, I have to concede, she didnt have the tenacity or "junkyard dog" stubborness that I think New York needs in DC.

For those of you hoping for Kirsten to get the seat, her chances just got better. First, there are simple demographics: she's a woman from upstate New York and would balance the Democratic ticket in 2010.

Second, given that she's already in Washington, she would have a smoother transition than, say...Cuomo. Those who know her, think she has a close relationship with Hillary and could easily absorb much of her staff on Day One.

But, David Paterson said last week, that he is still considering AG Andrew Cuomo.

Paterson told Katie Couric on CBS that "He's a person that is the only current elected statewide official in New York, the rest of us came to our positions one way or the other. We won't rehash that. He has outstanding qualities and is someone I'm considering."

So, at this time of posting, I am in no better place to judge what Paterson is going to do than anyone else. Now that I am over the Camelot Intoxification, I think I would pick Andrew Cuomo.

What do you think?

Tuesday, January 20, 2009


That's right, you aren't dreaming. Tony Levin, our own local legend will be performing this Friday night at Keegan Ales Brewery on St James Street.

Tony, with his decades of session, live and studio work, brings it all home this weekend. For those who don't know his work, you can find his influence and performances with Peter Gabriel, David Bowie, King Crimson and dozens more, as well as his own delicious releases.

Do yourself a favor, alter your plans this for this Friday night and witness greatness in our own back yard. The intimate performance of Pat Metheny at the Coach House this past weekend will be tough to surpass, but since Pat and Tony know and admire each other, I'll say get to Keegan for your share of the local talent.

Tony Levin with Pat Mastelotto and Mike Bernier
Show starts at 8pm, get there earlier and sample the Mother's Milk.
$10 cover! Thats all!

Here is a cute video I found on YOUtube to prime you for the fun.


After a full day of televised Inaugural Ceremonies and local viewing parties, I discovered this Press Release regarding the all inclusive speech Obama made at the DC Mall today.

I will happily forward this in its original form...


January 20, 2009

nter for Inquiry Leaders Applaud Obama's Progressive and Inclusive Vision for America!

President Barack Obama in his history-making Inaugural Address today sounded the clarion call for a more inclusive and progressive America.

The President’s speech outlined a largely humanistic agenda, promising to “restore science to its rightful place,” as we collectively face the massive challenges facing us as a country in the twenty-first century. Significantly, in affirming the pluralistic character of American society, President Obama expressly included “non-believers” among Christians, Muslims, Jews and Hindus, as part of the body politic.

“It truly is a historic and remarkable achievement of significance that the President of the United States referred to non-believers in recognition of the growing number of Americans—now numbering tens of millions—who hold no religious affiliation. As far as we are aware, this is the first time this has happened,” said Paul Kurtz, chairman and founder of the Center for Inquiry. “It is also noteworthy that he called for the restoration of science to its rightful place and the application of technology to the improvement of human life. We applaud his courageous optimism in outlining an audacious program for the future,” said Kurtz.

Ronald A. Lindsay, president and CEO of the Center for Inquiry, emphasized the importance of President Obama’s acknowledgement. “For much of American history, agnostics and atheists were denied important civil rights, and in some states, until the early 1960’s, were explicitly forbidden from holding public office. Even after these legal constraints had been removed, non-believers were stigmatized or ignored by most politicians.

We are encouraged that President Obama has unambiguously indicated he will be the president of all Americans.”
The Center for Inquiry/Transnational is a non-profit, educational, advocacy, and scientific-research think tank based in Amherst, New York It is home to the Council for Secular Humanism, founded in 1980, the Committee for Skeptical Inquiry (formerly CSICOP), founded in 1976, and the Commission for Scientific Medicine and Mental Health. Their research and educational projects focus on three broad areas: religion, ethics, and society; paranormal and fringe-science claims; and medicine and health.

The Center’s Web site is .


I think everyone in the thinking world is thrilled that American voters reached a milestone last November and chose a person most qualified for the Presidency regardless of family history and skin color.

Barack Obama represents a portion of America that is often forgotten in our country. Those among us who are born of mixed couples. Brought up in loving homes next door, going to the same churches, schools and Laundromats.

What matters is the qualification, the vision and our trust that he or she can steer our country to better times.

Taking Joe Biden, Hillary Clinton and so many other equally qualified people with him to do the work of the people, is a very good first impression. I am expecting a long hard road ahead of us, but a road with a sense of hope. I know, sounds like Obama's campaign theme, but after the many years of deception, unfettered spending, and arrogance in th White House, I am willing to be gentle with the first year of this administration. We all know, much has to be done before we see evidence of a renewed prosperity here and abroad.

There will be a big screen showing of the mid day event at the BridgeWater on Abeel Street in Kingston. There are thousands of private house parties across the country.
There will also be celebrations later tonight. The Muddy Cup on Broadway, and Keegan Ales Brewry [both in midtown]

All the other Innaugural events for just about all the other local, state and federal positions have been well attended. From the looks of the Washington Mall on my TV, this one is a record breaker. Even with limited view, people have travelled across the country to experience this historic moment with a large crowd in DC. Good for them.

Me? I'll be with friends at Amee's house.

Friday, January 16, 2009


Sometime in 2009, the City of Kingston will take ownership of the property at 136 Prospect St, not far from the Kingston Library. This will happen due to tax issues pertaining to the property.

I write about this because it gives me the opportunity to highlight a special program called YouthBuild. This is one of the great programs that does focus on idle out-of-school youth that are typically the most likely to get into mischief.

YouthBuild helps these youngsters avoid that path by providing them with educational opportunities and leadership development. Once enrolled in the YouthBuild program, they work on their GED, attain skills and job training through the construction rehabilitation project they are assigned to. With the leadership of skilled home artisans, these kids learn a trade with a hands-on approach while staying out of trouble during their most vulnerable age.

RUPCO plays a partner role in theis program as they secure the property. Once finished, the home is offered to a selected low income family looking for their first home. The contracts with that family stipulated a long term occupation, and once sold, the property goes back on the city tax roles.

This is a program that provides three outcomes: Teaching youth a trade while building self esteem, Revitalizing a neighborhood by fixing a property, and offering a stable invested family to provide a sense of pride.

At the last Council meeting, we offered YouthBuild the option of salvaging 136 Prospect St, which we felt will positively impact the Quality of Life inb that neighborhood. This actionat this time, provides a short cut for the planning and community development departments to enact the transfer when the city finally takes ownership.

Congrats to the Director of YouthBuild Bonnie Landi on a terrific track record and the acquisition of the next house!

Thursday, January 15, 2009


Tell me that there is nothing wrong with this picture...
A police officer offers a sexual favor to a young woman in return for not issuing a trespassing ticket and the DA thinks this guy will serve no time in jail?

This is precisely the circumstance the DA looks for in order to put someone away for years. They work tirelessly case after case to paint an incriminating picture for the jury even when there is significant doubt, and now this?

This former Sheriffs Deputy, is expected to uphold the law and exemplify all that's honorable in law enforcement. I cant help but echo the sentiments I've heard since this story broke, in that if this were someone else, the DA would have a very different approach in handling the prosecution.

Jeffrey P. Geskie should be held to the same, if not a higher standard than everyone else. What he did was a felony. Lets pretend he is just one of many prior cases where the defendant wasn't a good buddy of half the Sheriffs Department.

All that keeps the public from completely losing their control, is that the age of sexual consent for both males and females is 17. She is not considered a minor, but to use your position of authority to coerce anyone into a lewd act for reward is disturbing none the less. What parent wouldn't want to string him up for this?

Geskie is to be sentenced on April 2. Lets hope Ulster County DA Holley Carnright can get Geskie some jail time as well as probation. I realise it is the job of Tommy Petro to argue against incarceration, but this is one time I'd like to see Tommy fail.

Sorry Tom.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009


So, by now everyone is familiar with the Head-To-Toe head shop on Broadway.
I hadn't been in there since the Bike Shop moved out and the new owners created this urban clothing store. Certainly no interest of mine.

However, with a series of events that took place in the Ward Nine commercial district over the last week, Head-To-Toe got caught in the sweep.

A few neighbors and our ever watchful Rebecca Martin, noticed some threatening merchandise in the Citgo station on Broadway. Both Rebecca and I had conversations with the owner, and thus, the inappropriate merchandise was removed.

This is when the news of the head shop came to light, and with tips from students and several neighbors, KPD swept in and took Tahir Chatta, who was working behind the counter, arrested him and charged him with misdemeanor weapons possession and violating a city ordinance prohibiting the sale of drug paraphernalia.

Imagine swords, knives, and drug paraphernalia sold this close to a school.

Tahir is just an employee and lives on Blue Mountain Road in Saugerties. The local paper says the police haven't caught up with the business owner yet, but that will happen soon enough. Possibly by the time I post this.

How are we supposed to keep track of who is selling those glass crack pipes from under a counter anywhere in the City of Kingston? I will have to question Tim Matthews on possible restrictions at some of these stores.

I guess I'm just pissed because Head-To-Toe is so close to me in my neighborhood and I didn't see it happening.

Thank you Rebecca and those students who spoke up about the head shop. Our police department can only act against crime that they know about. Having active and perceptive citizens bringing situations to light, helps a great deal.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009


Monday, January 12, 2009


In response to the flack that Obama has gotten from equal rights advocates for his Rick Warren Inaugural Invocation, he has asked Bishop Gene Robinson, the openly gay Episcopal bishop to deliver the invocation at a kickoff inaugural event on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial, two days before the inauguration itself.

Robinson is the first openly gay bishop in the Episcopal Church. His consecration in 2003 set off a firestorm in that church’s parent body, the Anglican Communion.

Will his inclusion in the inaugural events heal some of the pain that Mr. Warren’s selection has caused?

Robinson told the AP: “They called up and said this has actually been in the works for a long time and that they understand that people in the LGBT community have been somewhat wounded by the Warren selection. It’s their hope that my selection will go a long way to heal those divides.”

I only saw this in the news links yesterday, while the transition team had this in the works for several weeks.

The event is on Sunday, January 18th. This is the first day of formal inaugural festivities in DC. It will be broadcast live by HBO free so the masses who don’t have HBO can also watch it. Which of their many channels, I don't know.

Obama and Joe Biden are scheduled to be there and the event will have hours of entertainment to celebrate the day's significance.

Those of us who have heard of Bishop Robinson already know he is a world historical figure at this point. He is at the center of the Episcopal Church’s embrace of human equality and inclusion. Obama has made a very powerful statement by inviting him to open the three day procession.

I, for one, have already forgiven Obama for the Warren stumble. So this is a pleasant surprise for an already terrific maturation of America. [now if only I could talk to him about illegal immigration]

Enjoy the show everyone!