Thursday, September 30, 2010


Tony Curtis, dead at the age of 85.

On Twitter -- the equivalent of the world's online funeral guest book -- the topics ACTOR TONY CURTIS and RIP TONY are currently trending, as fans of both the regular and famous variety pay tribute to the actor.


Here's a report from CBS NEWS that requires no comment from me.

Republicans, with help from a handful of Democrats, used a filibuster to block a measure that would have used the tax code to punish big companies that shut U.S. manufacturing plants and move the jobs overseas. 

The Senate voted 53-45 in favor of the procedural motion, but Democratic leaders needed 60 to take the bill up.

Current tax law allows companies to benefit in a variety of ways when they move jobs overseas, including deducting the costs of closing American plants. The proposed bill would have raised taxes on companies that move manufacturing jobs out of the country and provide a tax incentive for companies that decide to bring them back.
Senator Debbie Stabenow, D-MI, said it was an attempt to protect American workers and the bill "sends a simple message: stop shipping our jobs overseas."
But Republicans said they worried the bill could hurt the competitiveness of large American companies that still have a lot of American workers even if they do move some manufacturing plants to nations with cheaper labor.

Senator Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, also slammed the bill as nothing but "gamesmanship" designed to help the Democrats in the upcoming elections.

It was in some ways a final parting shot for Democratic leaders, who have been unable to get much past Republican filibusters and will likely adjourn for the election as soon as they pass a continuing resolution, which is needed to keep the government operating after the fiscal year end on October 1st.

I wont forget this anytime soon. Neither should you.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010


Monday, September 27, 2010


Friday night was the time, Holiday Inn was the scene. The Annual Larry Woerner Dinner was held this past weekend where we honor someone in the Democratic Party that has made tremendous impact in both the election of fellow Democrats and in progressive Legislation.

This year we celebrated the journey of Jeanette Provenzano. This doesn't mean she's done politically, but her stature within the City and County Committee made Jeanette a worthy recipient of the Woerner Award.
A good number of people showed up and made the evening that much more special. Her family, friends & coworkers got to spend an evening together while raising funds for the committee. Not a bad combination. 
You can see the attendance was diverse as was her lifetime of experience and career. We can only guess, if not the Legislature, where we may see Jeanette serving the community in the future. But at this time, she got to bask in the adoration of her friends & family.

No doubt she'll join other committeemen again this election season campaigning for Judge Larry Ball, Comptroller Elliott Auerbach and Sheriff Paul VanBlarcum. Expect to see her at your door in weeks to come.

Sunday, September 26, 2010


Here's a funny exchange with a Buffalo reporter.

Thursday, September 23, 2010


If you were looking for something really intriguing to do this past Saturday, the journey to Hurley, NY would have been worth it. About 400 people visited the Fourth Annual Woodworkers Show at the Hurley Reformed Church. You shoulda been one of 'em.

The MidHudson Chapter of the Northeast Association displayed some of the most profound wood working accomplishments and methods of the craft that I have ever seen.

I live only doors down the street from Joe Benkert, one of the most talented woodworkers in the region and from what Ive seen at expos in the past and in his own garage on Brewster Street, the public was in for some astonishing workmanship.

In previous years Mid-Hudson Woodworkers had participated in the Dutchess County Fair, the Sheep and Wool Festival, the Hunter Mountain Craft Fair and the Hurley Corn Festival.  They have also been active in their support of the NWA Woodworkers’ Showcase held each Spring in Saratoga.

 Admission to the event was a whopping $3 with children free. The fee helps prepare the non-profit arm of the chapter to prepare for the next show.

Oh, I forgot, there was also a raffle for the chance to win some of the delights that were on display. I left before the drawing. Here are some more pictures.


Even in these tough times and with plenty of other candidates running for office, our County executive attracted a good crowd at the Hillside Manor last Tuesday evening.

Lawyers, County appointees, Elected officials and private sector fans of Mike Hein stepped up with the $75 cover and mixed it up with the who's who in Ulster County.

The food and cash bar weren't the attraction so much that all of us got the chance to chat it up with our Executive in a less formal atmosphere; skating from small talk to the pending issues at hand. (that pertain to your department of expertise of course)

One thing I noticed was the odd threesome of Steve Arron, Hector Rodriguez and Brian Cafferty always within arms length of each other the whole time Hector and I were there.

So I figured I would do my duty and get a few shot of the attendees before heading off to the Legislative meeting.


I took this right from the AFL-CIO website to let more of us see who's looking out for the rest of us.

A chief executive officer of a Standard & Poor’s (S&P) 500 index company was paid, on average, $9.25 million in total compensation in 2009. At the same time, millions of workers lost their jobs, their homes and their retirement savings in the worst financial crisis since the Great Depression.

Executive pay has taken center stage since the $700 billion government bailout of financial institutions. Americans expressed outrage as big banks helped create the financial crisis, took billions in taxpayer bailouts, paid out billions in pay and bonuses and are now lobbying on financial regulatory reform.
The case studies here focus on executive pay at six of the biggest banks that received government bailout funds and their multimillion-dollar lobbying efforts. Also in Executive PayWatch, you can find CEO compensation data for some of the country’s largest companies; learn how you, as a shareholder, can have your "Say-on-Pay"; and find out what you can do to ensure re-regulation of the financial system.

Monday, September 20, 2010


During my short tenure on the Ulster County Legislature, there have been several instances where the body recognizes great contributions to the betterment of Ulster County and the towns within, both in awareness and economically.

This Tuesday evening will be the next time we engage in such a prize offering. This time it goes to the Producers and Directors responsible for choosing our region to make their film; Peace, Love & Misunderstanding. Staring Jane Fonda, Chace Crawford, Catherine Keener & Rosanna Arquette.

This comes at the same time as my former colleagues have reconsidered the deterring fee toward film crews who use space within the city. For this, I am thankful. I had made inquiries in the past about local merchants in Kingston having sufficient notice of the closing of streets and interrupting their trade, having heard complaints about the disruption. (look for that bus in the film)

However, the shift in attitude both locally and from officials in and around the county, the economic impact is positive in many forms. Not to mention the delight in seeing our area as a backdrop for a major motion picture.

For Mayor James Sottile to have “second thoughts” about adopting of a flat fee on all filmmakers who choose Kingston is good to hear. I know theres hypothetical talk about getting production people to patron the local establishments, but much of what this industry relies on is through contracted services. Anything outside of that, these folks use local sources. (above scene in Fleishers)

For example; while shooting at the farm house in Accord, the catering truck was all there was on sight. While shooting on Wall St in Kingston, the truck handled lunch, but the feast at wrap-up was provided by Riverside Pizza on Abeel Street. I know, because it was my mobile that made the order. (picture of equipment infront of former Woolworth's)

Still, the Mayor was quoted: “If they bring in their catering and they are not going to support (the restaurants) they should have to pay a modest fee ... or they can go someplace else. If they support the local merchants, I would be willing to waive the fee.”

The Freeman article points out the millions in expenses incurred by "Rocksteady" while they did their work here in Kingston. Including the Seven21 studio work. In addition; I also served as a bar patron extra in a film shot at Snappers last year. That crew hit the diners, pizza delivery from Plaza Pizza and got supplies at Herzogs.

My good buddy Bill Reynolds said he is reluctant to support even a flat fee on film companies. He said the Hudson Valley Film Commission “makes a compelling case. I have to agree.

It will be an honor to present the Pride of Ulster Award to Bruce Beresford and the rest of those who chose our home to film in. I would also like to thank Terry Bernardo for inducing this presentation from the Legislature.


This is terrific news! I almost expected this formation to run out of time before the next election cycle. It seems County Executive Michael Hein and the Legislative leadership have finally set out to create the reapportionment committee that is mandated in the charter.
The press conference this morning was intended to alert eligible citizens in Ulster County that they should take part in the non-partisan process of redrawing the election districts within Ulster County.

You can tell by the picture above; the Congressional districts need a little attention as well. This in NYCD22 which exemplifies the point being made but on a larger scale.

Today's press statement says: This effort is being undertaken sooner, rather than later, so that every opportunity is made to provide a diverse pool of eligible Commissioners to the Legislature.

We all know the term "Gerrymandering" when talking about these districts and both major political parties are guilty of this shameless act. With districts that look like snakes and bow-ties, you know there was partisan influence in how they were drawn. The intent is to keep those in power at the time, in power for another 10 years. This commission is designed to nullify such influence.

The Ulster County Charter calls upon the County Executive to establish a diverse pool of interested Ulster County residents from which Legislative leaders from both parties must choose the Reapportionment Commission.

Executive Hein said: “This is an important and historic task. It’s an opportunity for the citizens of Ulster County to create a fair and level playing field. We need dedicated, honest and hard-working volunteers to make this a reality; and I thank all the advocates of good government who are joining me in this effort.”

The political make-up of the City and Towns within Ulster County, as well as the new 23 single member districts for the Legislature will certainly bring in fresh faces to each body. I know of several members who intend to leave the Legislature when the shift happens, so by default, I will be running with a few new friends during the 2011 election cycle. That should be exciting for all political parties next year.

Special Note: Commission members must be Ulster County residents, eligible to register to vote and cannot be public officers or employees. Anyone interested in participating can apply on the County’s website: The deadline for applying is Friday, October 29, 2010.

Saturday, September 18, 2010


Wednesday, September 15, 2010


The Block-by-Block Inspection Program has finally hit the uptown business district. I see in the Freeman that the ratio of violations was dramatically less than previous sweeps in the city. That's a good thing.

Granted they weren't looking at the structure of the canopy while they were up there, but I'm sure that wasn't their focus. But 26 properties out of the 112 they looked at? I'm impressed. Oh, and remember how bad the the old Tea Garden building was before they shut that down? Damn

Salzmann said in the article: “I believe this was the most properties and the least amount of violations.” The fact that most of the violations were in rental residential buildings comes as no surprize. Good thing they werent life threatening too. He added: “We found that the majori
ty of properties were in very good shape." The fact that the owners had gotten letters before the inspection was a factor in the diminished expectations. I don't know about the previous sweeps in the city, but it's a good way to induce compliance with less expense on the owner.

Like any other property violations, owners will have a short period to fix the problems before the return visit. It's not unlike any other time someone calls the Building Department regarding a problem property. It's a process that works.

Now if we could only morph this program into something that goes beyond the structural and more into the health & hygiene of those in stressed neighborhoods, you could really turn the atmosphere of certain streets around very quickly.

To the Building Department, I say thank you for the work you do.

Monday, September 13, 2010


I have to tell everyone that I have had the best experience this summer working on the Dinallo campaign. I have been to places in New York State that I may not have ever seen had I not been involved with Team Dinallo.
The picture above is from the Albany debate. The gentleman on the left is Alan Chartock from WAMC. Below is the park view of the Hu
dson Pride parade marching down Warren Street at the start of the campaign.

We traveled from Niagara & Buffalo, to Saratoga & Gloversville, to Yonkers & White Plains. Delivering literature, planting lawn signs and speaking with people from all ethnic and economic backgrounds. As a supporter, I have had the chance to see our state in an official capacity and witness first hand how our struggling economy and Albany's legislative gridlock have affected the lives of all New Yorkers.

I took some random pictures of places we visited in the weeks we traveled the state. Figured it wouldn't hurt to share them with everyone. Above is the view of the DinalloWagon with Lake Skaneateles in the background. Below is a shot of the Dinallo family at the State Fair with Gov Paterson.

I took a few pictures of other sites as we drove around the state, like this one of the Casino in Niagara Falls and this sign welcoming us to the Town of Sennett.
(I just had to spin around
and get this one)

From the debates in Rochester, Albany and NYC, the County picnics in Binghamton, Hudson and Warsaw, as well as the canvas and GOTV sessions as of late, the whole experience leading up to this primary has been a real joy. Considering I have had the chance to help the Attorney General candidate that I feel best suits the position.

I don't have to tell you that I strongly urge all registered Democrats to come out this Tuesday and vote for Eric Dinallo as our nominee. That would be redundant.
However, I would be missing the opportunity to say just how rare it is to have such a terrific choice for our next AG. His record speaks for itself.

On a final note: I am also proud to call Eric Dinallo my friend.

Sunday, September 12, 2010


I had the pleasure of attending the annual festivities on North Street this past Friday evening. The St Mary's Benevolent Society always offers a fun event to help pass one of the summer weekends.

The late date of this event typically marks the closing of the warmer season as we head into the election season every year. As usual, there were plenty of familiar faces in the crowd. Including Ed Rocks making music through the night. (pictured right)

The Society is showing a bit of membership and financial struggle in that the options that we usually engage in at the festival were missing. No doubt these tough economic times affect everyone and every organization. The reality of the times was evident this year. But we are heading into the Centennial for the St Mary's Bazaar. 100 years is a long time. I'm hearing plans to really do a big event next year for that special occasion.

Under the leadership of John Polacco and the 2011 Feast Staff, Im sure next year's event will be spectacular. I have posted some pictures here of the folks who attended with hopes that there will be even more in attendance in 2011. These are good people doing good things. I'd like to see this event return to the splendor of years past.

Saturday, September 11, 2010


Visit for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy

Friday, September 10, 2010


Congrats to Eric Schneiderman on winning the Democratic Primary this Sept 14.

In a five way race, Eric inched over the finish line with 34% of the vote, leaving 66% voting for someone else.

He will face Dan Donovan this November in the General Election. Good luck Senator Schneiderman.

Thursday, September 09, 2010


For those of you who thought you had seen the weirdest trend in youthful urban fashion, think again.
The look that has taken Japan is likely to hit our city streets very soon. I'm sure the confusing artwork on the "can' will cause quite a stir, but it's the drivers on our streets that I fear will cause the most damage in the form of distraction.

What do you think? Yes...It's painted on the fabric!

Thursday, September 02, 2010



As much fun as the above video was, there is a serious side to the whole campaign and I wish it weren't so. The artist who produced the video has had personal encounters with our good Senator and some of his colleagues as well as Judicial appointees. The commentary attached to the video is displayed below:

August 27, 2010

I am a song writer and musician. When I feel strongly about something I write about it. I wrote a campaign song for President Obama :
and he won!
I wrote this song about Schneiderman so that he may lose his bid for Attorney General of New York State.
Why do I strongly dislike like Senator Schneiderman?
Most New Yorkers know the story about Schneiderman smashing his car into a parked van. He caused over $3000 worth of damage to the van and sped off without even leaving a note. Fortunately, an onlooker took down the plate numbers of Schneidermans car and he was busted.
Schneiderman claimed he had not been aware that he crashed into the van (????) That's AG material.
But I have a very personal and serious problem with him, that is reflective of his utter disregard for the problem of corruption in our state government.
Mr. Schneiderman is the Senator of the district where I live.
On Apri 14th, 2010 Mr. Sunny Sheu and I went to see Senator Schneiderman at his first campaign speech and Q and A session, which was held at Mr. Dennehy's bar in the village. I had testified at the recent Senate Judiciary Committee hearings on judicial corruption
Sunny was scheduled to testify at the next hearing. Schneiderman sits on that committee but has not attended any of the public hearings on judicial corruption.
Before the Q and A session, Schneiderman's PR man, James Freedland approached us and asked us what we were going to ask the Senator.
That seemed inappropriate, but we answered: I wanted to ask the Senator about the fraudulent confirmation of Chief Judge Jonathan Lippman, at which numerous Senate rules were violated.
Sunny wanted to ask the Senator what he could do about death threats that Sunny said he had received from Supreme Court Judge Joseph Golia.
Freedland told us that we should not ask the questions at a public meeting, but that the senator would be happy to have a personal meeting with us. to discuss these concerns.
In the following weeks I called Schneiderman's office many times and was told that he senator was too busy to have a meeting.....ever.
Two months later, Sunny Shue was murdered.

The police are covering the murder by claiming that it was a natural death with no head trauma,
in direct contradiction to the New York State Medical Examiner who says he died from massive trauma and a cracked skull that led to his brain bleeding out.

...In light of the fact that Sunny was scheduled to testify at the senator's hearings on judicial corruption, and that he had been apparently murdered by a judge whose threats he had tried to report to the senator, I felt that the senator might meet with me to discuss the circumstances.
However, over the past two months, Senator Schneiderman's staff have never returned one of my twelve requests for a meeting.
Schneiderman has ignored my respectful letters regarding judicial
.corruption and Sunny Sheu's murder.
This man wants to be the highest crime fighter in New York State, the guardian and enforcer of integrity of all three branches of Government, but he cannot find the time to have an aide meet with a witness to the death of a whistleblower.
Senator Schneideman has good reason to ignore judicial corruption. His father, Irwin Schneiderman is a powerful lawyer with one of the huge law firms that benefit from the thoroughly corrupt judiciary in New York State.
Notice that Schneiderman's "Ethics Bill" leaves out the Judiciary entirely!!!!!
When asked what he would do about Judicial Corruption if he became S=AG, Schneiderman replied that "The judiciary can police itself".
Despite the fact that Schneiderman did not attend the hearings of his own committee, he should have at least looked at the testimony and documentation of dozens of witnesses who demonstrated that the Judiciary has become a criminal enterprise.
To say that the Judiciary can police itself shows either utter ignorance of the state of the judiciary or a complicity in its criminality.
In either case, this man should not be allowed within a mile of the office of Attorney General.
Please spread the word, and VOTE in the September 14th primary AGAINST Schneiderman.


Will Galison


By now, everyone is well aware of the recent explosion on an off-shore oil platform in the Gulf Coast. Tell me you didn't cringe at the thought of yet another oil disaster killing everything that was left in the Bayou.

This rig wa
s dormant and the Vermilion 380 as it's called, is NOT in 2500 feet of water like previously reported. It is a production platform that is in 350 feet of water.Hurricane Ike had caused significant damage and has not been in production since then. When such a rig sits idle like this one has, the space in the tieback pipes become full of Methane hydrates and paraffins.
From one Houston paper, the likely cause of the explosion was the result of attempts to “roto-rooter” the paraffins and methane hydrates out of the pipeline
s in order to bring the platform back into production.

The Mariner Energy brand platform had recently been purchased by Apache Corporation. Like all the other operating and dormant platforms in shallow and deep waters off American coast, they are held only to the lax safety guidelines that were watered down during the last administration. The reason I even make mention of this is the ironic timing of the explosion.

I'm r
eading the Think Progress website and discover that less than 24 hours earlier, employees from Apache and Mariner, along with thousands of oil industry workers, rallied in Houston to protest the Obama administration’s offshore drilling moratorium that was designed as a safety precaution after the last disastrous Gulf oil spill.

The site included a quote from Mariner employee Barbara Hagood saying: “I have been in the oil and gas industry for 40 years, and this administration is trying to break us. The moratorium they imposed is going to be a financial disaster for the gulf coast, gulf coast employees and gul
f coast residents.”

So is there any connection to BP? Maybe...Apache Corporation recently agreed to buy BP assets in order to help the British oil giant meet its financial obligations as a result of its Gulf of Mexico oil spill. In no articles can I find if this is one of those helpful purchases.

Unlike the previous disaster, no lives were lost and only one injury noted. For that, we can all be thankful. But this (and who knows how many more to come) are the result of massive deregulation of the oil industry in spite of the cost in human life, sea life, ecological and economical loss.

Some officials and news organizations are calling this an accident; Slack safety enforcement, greed & pressure from execs to get the damn oil flowing is likely much more accurate. Many of us, who react to disasters when they occur do so for only the short time that everyone is paying attention to the issue, then we go right back to filling our SUV and living our lives.

On a final note: I think the examples we have endured in the last six months should serve as a wake up call for those concerned with New Yorks watershed. The same corporate drive to achieve the highest profit for the least expense is going to happen if Hydro-Fraking is permitted in the region. Food for thought...