Tuesday, August 24, 2010


According to MidHudsonNews, Dutchess County Legislator Angela Flesland (R-Poughkeepsie) is continuing her effort to have a local law passed that would prohibit underage people from using sun tanning booths. I would have to agree with Angela. The rate of skin cancer is on a dramatic rise in America and artificial exposure (at such an early age) may play a significant part.

What caused delay in the Dutchess Legislature is the notion that the state may adopt its own prohibition in the not-too-distant future. Rumors about the state acting in such a broad sweeping manor regarding indoor smoking lasted for years before they came to their senses. I say do it on your own.

Flesland said there must be protections for young people. She's right. Parents have the duty to educate their kids on whats safe and harmful, but if you look at the way many of them are dressed on the street, parents either don't care or cant control them, so many preventive measures have to come from the State.

Angela was quoted: “There are thousands of young women being diagnosed with melanoma and dying of skin cancer and it’s something that we have to address.”

I would remind her that it's not limited to just young women, but she has the right idea. This proposal was introduced to me through a Twitter post by Patricia Doxey about the same time we lost our friend Shelly Zimbler in his battle with cancer. So I asked that a similar resolutiuon be brought up to our Legislature. It should be reviewed for a second time in this month's Health Committee.

Flesland hopes to bring in tanning industry officials and physicians to discuss the issue with the Dutchess legislature. The only delay in our action in Ulster was the issue of enforcement and by whom.

Monday, August 23, 2010


Below is the New York Daily News endorsement for our next Attorney General:

Five Democrats are competing in a primary election campaign to become the party's standard-bearer for New York State attorney general. Eric Dinallo is the choice in the field.

Dinallo offers a blend of first-rate legal, executive and regulatory experience that is unique among the contenders and equips him best to lead New York's top law office amid rising challenges.

With substantial accomplishments in the public and private sectors, Dinallo's range extends from the guts of Wall Street to the workings of the health insurance industry - both of which will be high on the agenda.

And he has been nothing if not effective under some very high-pressure circumstances.

During a stint as a bureau chief in the attorney general's office, Dinallo devised the legal strategies that thrust the agency to the forefront of cracking down on financial industry conflicts of interest. In the process, he won a $1.4 billion settlement from 10 big banks.

Later, serving as state insurance superintendent, Dinallo played a critical role in stabilizing AIG when the company's exposure to subprime mortgage securities threatened the economy.

Bottom line: Dinallo has gotten the job done across a career that also included prosecuting violent and white-collar crime for the Manhattan district attorney, advising financial firms on following the rules and, now, serving as a professor of business ethics at New York University.

His track record gives good ground to believe that Dinallo would deliver on an agenda that stacks up favorably against the platforms of his four rivals.

All start with the promise of being an attorney general who would bring reform to Albany, both from a bully pulpit and by winning new powers from the Legislature to investigate corruption. Dinallo goes a next crucial step with creative tactics to pursue wrongdoing under existing laws and also with a grant of gubernatorial authority.

As New York's chief legal officer, the attorney general commands more than 600 lawyers. Responsibilities stretch from defense of the state in thousands of lawsuits to highly sensitive investigations of fellow officials.

Eliot Spitzer and Andrew Cuomo infused the office with activism. In the coming years, that will of necessity entail watchdogging the arrival of health care reform and toughened federal financial regulations. Dinallo offers expertise in both areas, having policed Wall Street and regulated health insurance.

Breadth of experience gives him the edge over a second strong candidate: Nassau County District Attorney Kathleen Rice. Elected twice, first in an upset victory and, four years later, by a wide margin, Rice has performed with distinction as DA. Notably, she well served the public good with a crackdown on drunken driving that set a national standard.

Rice brought professionalism and dynamism to an office that had grown sleepy, showing the drive that had previously won her success as a hard-charging homicide prosecutor in Brooklyn and assistant U.S. attorney in Philadelphia. With excellent reason, voters have been giving Rice close consideration.

The also-rans in the race are trial lawyer Sean Coffey, Manhattan state Sen. Eric Schneiderman and Westchester Assemblyman Richard Brodsky.

Raised on Long Island as the son of immigrants, Coffey graduated from the Naval Academy, served as a commanding flight officer and was a military assistant to then-Vice President George H.W. Bush.

While rising to captain over 18 years in the reserves, Coffey became a federal prosecutor and both a defense and plaintiffs' lawyer. In the latter role, he waged major securities cases, including recovering $6 billion for shareholders in the WorldCom fraud.

Impressive as his resume is, Coffey is a first-time candidate who is asking to be taken on faith for a major public office. He is further hobbled by baggage:

Coffey and his former firm made substantial contributions to pension fund powerbrokers as the firm sought to represent funds in lucrative lawsuits. He says all assignments were made on the merits.

Although a cut above as lawmakers, Brodsky and Schneiderman suffer from having been part of the Albany problem, not the Albany solution, as members of the Legislature.

The primary is Sept. 14. The winner will face Republican Dan Donovan, the Staten Island district attorney, in November. A judgment on that matchup awaits. For now, Democrats would be wise to rally behind Eric Dinallo. He has the solid endorsement of the Daily News.


Well, it looks like the crew of Youth Build have been making their rounds in the neighborhoods. The property I featured on the blog a few weeks ago has since been mowed. You know this one was no easy task.

I may ask for help in the near future when we tackle the old trolley trax behind Rondout Savings. I'll distribute fliers around the city when that date is finally set. Meanwhile, all I can say is good job everyone!

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Cathedral of the Assumption of the Virgin

I sometimes suspect that people forget that our nation has freedom of religion, or of no religion, as one of its core principles. As I watch the confrontational picketing of the Park Place Islamic Community Centre on the news channels, the feeling of disappointment in my fellow Americans deepens.

At a quick glance online, you can find historic accounts of the Great Mosque at Cordoba. Cordoba is what the developers intend to call the centre. The original Spanish structure, dating back to the 600s, had been the site of a Visigoth church.

The Great Mosque was built on that site over the course of two centuries which centered what became the most cultural city in the world, including the world's largest library. After the expulsion of Jews and Moors from Spain in the 16th century, Queen Isabella renamed the structure the Cathedral of the Assumption of the Virgin. Thus provides my shocking title.

But forgive me for I digress.

I began by expressing sadness by the rhetoric coming from those who would deny a religious group from opening a community centre where it is legally protected. Considering the few blocks from the Ground Zero site, I would think more patriots would be jumping at the chance to show the world that we are truly a diverse and tolerant nation. Coming from me, you'd have to believe I support that which is found not only in our Constitution, but in the Bill Of Rights as well.

Park Place is as close to Ground Zero as Kingston's Central Post Offrice is to our Broadway. I'd say they are worlds apart and given the size of the buildings between them, they'd have nothing to do with each other. Ask anyone in midtown.

This is more of a contrived issue for the coming election. Conservative pundit Laura Ingram herself supported the construction of this community centre and thought the better of it only six months ago. Plenty has changed as we head into the midterms. We get the same old "Don't look at issues. Don't look at ideas...look over there!" method of campaigning by the GOP.

Lets just say, if a group wanted to destroy America, they would do it by getting us to turn on each other. Create divisiveness, mob thinking and foster hatred. Are we to allow this to continue?

Case in point: The largest shareholder of FOX News is an Australian. The second largest shareholder is Prince Alwaleed bin Talal al-Saud of Saudi Arabia, through his Kingdom Holding Company. You've seen this here and at other sources before. Does this not concern you? Should it?

Prince Alwaleed is a Muslim. Does it matter? He is from Saudi Arabia. 19 of the 21 hijackers of 9/11 were Saudis. Even those who I know pine for the good old Bush years, express confusion when reminded of this and the close ties the Bush family had with the Bin Ladins. Then they ask why did we go to war with...they stop the question and quickly get back on script.

Alwaleed and the Saudis made their fortunes in oil. They have a vested interest in keeping us dependent on that oil. Those invested in the oil industry here in America, have the ability to ignore the glaring duplicity in whats considered terrorist supporters and good business partners.

Maybe they have a vested interest also in tearing us apart from the inside out.

It seems to be working.

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Saturday, August 14, 2010


President Obama signed a hefty border security bill last week. Allocating $600 million to invest along the southern border with Mexico. Ironically, our own Senator Chuck Schumer supplied the lone voice vote of YES in the US Senate which allowed the bill to reach the president.

According to news reports from the AP: the new law will pay for the hiring of 1,000 more Border Patrol agents to be deployed at critical areas, as well as more Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents. It provides for new communications equipment and greater use of unmanned surveillance drones. The Justice Department gets more money to help catch drug dealers and human traffickers.

According to the Huffington Post: Napolitano said later: "This bill is clearly another step forward on border security, on top of the significant progress that the administration has already made. It is one of the many tools in the toolbox we have constructed along the border."

Of course you know that wasn't good enough for the open borders advocates who see any adherence to federal immigration laws as an obstruction to living the American dream. Well, for non-Americans anyway.

There were other references to "anti-immigrant" in some of the rants from the amnesty folks. I never see them use the term "anti-illegal immigrant" when they try to make their case. I guess denouncing anti-illegal anything kinda sounds silly even when it comes to smuggling drugs, guns and humans into the country in the dark of night or through tunnels.

The cry for "comprehensive immigration reform" usually has two versions depending one who you talk to. One side is asking for a path to citizenship for those who have broken federal law by paying a fine and pass a health and criminal background check, and those who feel people should follow the same rigorous path that everyone else is taking by going home and applying for entry from scratch.
Either way, this low-key event on a Friday evening has anyone concerned with border security feeling like someone is listening. Thank you Mr President!

Friday, August 13, 2010


Saturday, August 14th, NY Attorney General candidate Eric Dinallo made a few stops in Kingston. A few dozen people came out to meet him and ask questions of the man who served as the "undersheriff" of Wall Street while Eliot Spitzer was making significant strides to clean up the corruption in our financial industry.

Eric put violent criminals behind bars as a prosecutor in Robert Morgenthau’s office, held Wall Street accountable as Assistant Attorney General under Eliot Spitzer, stood up to health insurance companies and won health care for 400,000 kids as our state’s top insurance regulator, and protected average investors as an internal watchdog in private financial firms.

I have to add, that regardless of your political affiliation, you know New York needs an AG with experience, who demonstrates creative thinking, and has the determination to continue Andrew Cuomo’s fight against injustice and wrongdoing; whether it be on city streets, in corporate suites, or in the halls of government itself.
So here is a link to Eric's Rural Agenda to get you started.

For more information about Dinallo, go to EricDinallo.com.

Thursday, August 12, 2010


I see an article in the Freeman regarding the uptown sidewalk canopy and the bid proposals going out. I anxiously await to see how many contractors in the area are willing to tackle the repair of the "Pike Plan" for the 1.6 million that's offered.

September 13th is the deadline. What happens if the bids that come in, if any, are higher than what has been allotted? If you consider the repair work to the historic buildings that is hidden behind decades of neglect and tar patch, the cost is going to increase dramatically.
As I have said before, there is a non-historic structure attached to historic buildings that is causing harm to those buildings with more than half of the building owners asking for the structure to be removed.

Sue Cah
ill from the City Planners Office, said “Hopefully, with these improvements and the upgrade it will entice more business to locate in the Uptown business district and rejuvenate the economy of Uptown.” No disrespect, but I would have to disagree, but she has to follow the talking points of those who are pushing the repair project.

Alderman Hoffay, on the other hand, is not beholden to anyone or any entity, so his advocacy for the canopy repair is strictly his own initiative. It's still wrong!
He thinks: “The investment of over $1.6 million for the restoration of the Pike Plan and accompanying streetscape work will attract additional tourism and interest for our shops, restaurants and historic attractions.” I think the property and business owners have to make their own changes at the street level to alter the steady decline of walking business.

The bids are available at city hall. Does that mean only those who happen to read the local papers will know where to find the package or have we sent out additional copies to companies across the state? I don't think the bid should be limited to just those in the area because I suspect most couldn't do the job for the amount offered. I'm just sayin.

Some history noted in the Freeman... The Pike Plan was named after Woodstock artist John Pike, who designed the canopies and oversaw their construction in the 1970s.

When this push to upgrade the canopy began back in 2004, the original consultant offered the most honest proposal to date. They said tear down the structure, repair the historic buildings, return the original streetscape and get the trees back in the curb line.
With 28 parking spaces consumed by tree boxes and tempting double parking all day, the busted up boxes create more mayhem than good. So I would have to agree with that original assumption.

I dont hear other uptown property & business owners clamoring for a new canopy over their storefronts. Ask in any direction from the ends of the existing one and you'll hear a profound "NO". This money could have been redirected to a larger project, like a parking garage on North Front Street.

Monday, August 09, 2010


Senator Kirsten Gillibrand just tweeted this video link to me and the rest of her followers. Feel free to have a look.

Sunday, August 08, 2010


Ted Olson — the conservative lawyer who represented President Bush in Bush v. Gore — appeared on Fox News Sunday to discuss his recent victory in overturning Proposition 8, which banned same-gender marriages in California. Throughout the interview, host Chris Wallace attempted to trip up his guest with a series of familiar Conservative talking points, all of which Olson repudiated.

Below is a compilation of that interview on Fox News.

Saturday, August 07, 2010


The AP just posted on the web and has since been tweeted a million times. So I thought to pass it along on the Blog...

California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger and Attorney General Jerry Brown have filed legal motions telling a federal judge that allowing same-gender marriages is the right thing to do.

The governor and attorney general almost always defend state laws when they are challenged. But in this case, both refused to participate in fighting the lawsuit aimed at overturning the ban.

Brown is the Democratic nominee for governor on the November ballot and he previously called the ban unconstitutional.

Schwarzenegger has been more circumspect on his Proposition 8 position and his motion to immediately resume gay marriage was his boldest pronouncement on the issue.

“The administration believes the public interest is best served by permitting the court’s judgment to go into effect, thereby restoring the right of same-gender couples to marry in California,” lawyers for Schwarzenegger said in the legal filing. “Doing so is consistent with California’s long history of treating all people and their relationships with equal dignity and respect.”

Friday, August 06, 2010



Is there anything the city can do about 19 Maple Street in Ward Eight? Just asking...

Thursday, August 05, 2010


I have said all too many times that the residents of the City of Kingston should stop resisting the notion that we are indeed a city. If we are to start building our tax base while adding quality office and residential space, we have to build UP.

If you click on the Kings Inn above, you'll get an idea of what I think should be a goal for this site. Whether the public or governing body agree with me is outside of my knowledge at this time. But if we are to put out an RFP to any developers who may be interested, show them this option and see who steps up to the plate.

Feel free to imagine different styles and building materials, but the general idea is to think and act like a city. Thoughts?

Wednesday, August 04, 2010


I know everyone is aware that New York's budget finally passed by now.
The knuckleheads in Albany finalized one of the latest budgets in our state's history Tuesday night. So what did we get after about four months of negotiation overtime?

The approved legislation will raise roughly $1 billion, primarily by incre
asing taxes on clothing and businesses. Isn't that just what we need? I suppose it's nothing compared to whats been pulled out of our schools, hospitals and infrastructure.
For those of you making hundreds of thousands in the stock market; great news! They
resisted adding a new tax that had been proposed for hedge fund employees. Although the hedgefund tax would only seem right, the fear that the 30% of these folks who still live in New York State would flee to Connecticut was to scary.

Why Connecticut? That state is encouraging firms to leave New York, promising a more favorable tax regime, a strategy often seen when local governments race to the bottom to attract business.

In a quote in The Wall Street Journal Tim Selby, president of the 'NY Hedge Fund Roundtable' said it was: “More painful than necessary for the legislature…to come around on this issue. Nevertheless they got to the right result.” He added that he did not think Connecticut was done in its pursuit, and that New York “should be more proactive in developing a better relationship with the hedge-fund community.”

A portion of the very people who helped bring on the financial collapse to Wall St, got their way. How will the state close the gap? By increasing its revenue share from video gambling machines, and allow New York’s casinos to stay open longer.

Kinda funny to contrast the blue collar gambling in casinos and the white collar gambling on Wall St in the same budget. Having visited Turning Stone a few weeks ago, I'll tell ya...not too many high rollers from Manhattan gambling in those smoke filled Poker Rooms.

Tuesday, August 03, 2010


Yes, there is a new eatery in Kingston. Down on Delaware Avenue in an area still considered "downtown" you'll find the old Pappa Cecelia's Pizzeria has reopened as Poppy's Pizza.
No relation to the former business owner.

The new owner, Craig seems to be doing a decent business. Since they provide much more than pizza so I decided to try the Chicken Parm dinner. It comes with a hefty salad too. For about $10 I left satisfied. Anyone who knows how I eat, knows what a challenge it is to make me happy.

In an economy as tough as this, I say you have to offer a good product to survive. Craig and his staff have an opportunity to stake out a good business at this famous corner. Maintain the quality food, continue service with a smile and keep the family prices and you'll do a good business. I'll be stopping in again.