Monday, May 30, 2011


I have to say, even with the early morning storm and the mid-day humidity, it was a terrific day to experience the Memorial Day Ceremony and Parade in Kingston.
It's not every day that we reserve a time to acknowledge and honor those who served or are serving in a military capacity, but we should.
Today marked the ninth time I witnessed the service as an elected official and I never get past the distinction that we are merely temporary place holders who barely manage our governing affairs while brave men and women are out there making it all possible.

Below is a picture of the choir that sang the National Anthem and God Bless America. They were great!

Having said that, I figured I would just post a few pictures that I took as the day went on. Thanks again to those who serve our country and may our government treat you right when you come home.
I followed the Kingston FireFighters after the parade to their memorial park where they had an additional ceremony commemorating the passing of several former members. Also very moving experience as the bell was wrung five times to signify the losses. It was a solemn day, full of heavy thought, but also filled with joy, as we encourage our soldiers to carry on their duties in harms way.  
I have to mention that the AOH bagpipe brigade were on hand to play Amazing Grace. As often as I hear that song, in all of it's renditions, I never fail to choke up during it's performance. Beautifully done.
Below is a picture of that iconic statue at the park. It's an interpretation of four firefighters carrying 911 victim #1; Mychal Judge, the Franciscan Chaplin who was the first to perish during the WTC attack. Also worth stopping by to look at next time you have a spare minute.  

Sunday, May 29, 2011


It seems some people in Russia are taking the War On Drugs into their own hands. 
With so many people dying from overdose or involvement in the drug trade throughout their country, vigilantes have taken up marking the dealers with waterproof Red Dye.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011


Many of you are familiar with he Center on Budget and Policy Priorities. Well they have decided to weigh in on this whole deficit chart issue that's been all over Facebook and twitter and offered their own update.   

As luck would have it, like many charts that have preceded it, it doesn't show a positive future. That is unless we make some drastic changes and soon. The final draft of the "Debt Origin" chart lays out the origins of the country's current fiscal trajectory. And as studies and charts before, most of the problem comes from ongoing Bush/Cheney policies. Policies that could be altered if the President and Congress had a set.

By the end of this current decade, the Center projects that, unless something drastic changes and soon, the Bush tax cuts, combined with the economic meltdown and the cost of the wars will account for most of the National Debt.

Is there still any doubt that returning to the Clinton era tax structure (which yielded quite the surplus as you know) should be the thinking persons logical conclusion? How is it that after a decade of this failed experiment we are still debating this?

Saturday, May 14, 2011



This is quite funny! You cant navigate FaceBook, Twitter or the cable news programs without hearing about this New Jersey high school student who challenged Michele Bachmann to a constitutional duel. Considering popularity of the show "Think You Know More Than A 5th Grader", I suspect the fresh civic teachings in her public school give her the edge, and considering Michele has has decades of distorting the document. 
Always one to proclaim her constitutional conservative roots,  she cherry-picks lines to make her arguments when she's attacking the middleclass. So much so, that Amy Myers has thrown down the challenge to the Congresswoman. 
 In this "open letter", Amy states: "I have found quite a few of your statements regarding The Constitution of the United States, the quality of public school education and general U.S. civics matters to be factually incorrect, inaccurately applied or grossly distorted. I, hereby challenge Representative Michele Bachmann to a Public Forum Debate and/or Fact Test on The Constitution of the United States, United States History and United States Civics."
This may be her blog, when Bachmann responds I'm sure we'll all hear some more of her zany commentary. It's always ripe for the news cycles because the content is always juicy. Frankly I'd pay-per-view any such constitutional match if she decides to accept the challenge. But don't hold your breath. 
Note: When asked, Trump said he didn't know what the 13 stripes on the flag represented.


Robin Yess is done. She has announced her resignation as the Chair of the Ulster County Republican Party. Through a series of heated emails this past Friday evening, she and her predecessor Mario Catalano covered plenty of contentious points and took turns pointing fingers at who are to blame for the recent history of the Republican Party.
Accusing other committee members of working to oust her from the leadership position, she laid out her case against what she called: (GOB) or Good-Ol-Boys club within ranks of the party.
Throwing accusations about back room deals and third party bullying, Robin went on to say as a civilian, she can now focus on her real job 125%. When pressed by Mario for at least one name of someone she knows working to take her out, she offered David O'Halloran. She's not making any friends on her way out.
I hold no ill feelings toward Robin. I think about the condition of the GOP here in Ulster County and have to fight the urge to ask my Republican colleagues to give her another year to prove herself. But then why would they want to hear from me?

Thursday, May 12, 2011


Monday, May 09, 2011


Great news! A new business has opened on Broadway in Kingston. A new Cafe called @BROADWAY, located at 346 Broadway just a few steps east of the Kingston Hospital. 


Everyone should appreciate all the work done to restore this property. The neighborhood between Foxhall and East Chester is seeing a gradual change for the better and this Cafe will help this area thrive again.
The second floor is destined to be a piano lounge and  Lyn (pictured above) expects to offer entertainment through the week. Work is still in progress so stay alert for future announcements. 

And if you're on the run, feel free to hit the sidewalk service window for a to-go order. You may even find Jason on duty in the window seat. Maybe.


The sticky subject of sugary drinks and SNAP benefits has erupted in New York City again. Mike Bloomberg, joining the call to help in the fight against childhood obesity, insists on restricting sugary drinks from the federally funded SNAP program. aka: Food Stamps. 

No surprize, the large soda companies are mobilizing against the measure. Selling large quantities of crap soft drinks to our most vulnerable is a significant source of profit.  
The American Beverage Association is the heavy hitter for the opposition, but not the only one. They are determined to kill this profit killing plan of his. They have a good reason too. The folks who are on SNAP are more likely to buy these products compared to other economic groups, providing yet another example of class warfare in the marketplace.

You may ask; why would those who represent us in Washington, hesitate to act on our behalf when it comes to citizen's health and the better use of taxpayer dollars. Think about it... These are dollars coming from federally funded programs to help those of us struggling. I understand that. But Pepsi & Coke dont rank up quite as far on the nutrition scale as milk and juice do. 
Truth is, the major beverage companies dropped allot of money on the congressional members in the New York City area, so they're putting pressure on the Mayor, City Council and even President Obama to block this measure.

These members are actually claiming such a restriction places an additional stigma to the clients who are already on the SNAP program. Im guessing people on the check out line may witness a client being called out on her Ginger Ale bottle when paying the cashier. There are already restrictions to prevent the sale of alcohol and other non-foods throughout the store, where would A&W Root Beer be any different?

One last thing; Bloomberg's proposal doesn't prohibit SNAP clients from buying soda with their own cash, just not with ours.

Sunday, May 08, 2011


Der Tzitung [The Time] used photoshop to cut Hillary Clinton and Audrey Thomason out of that iconic Situation Room picture. Forgive me for asking this, but here we are in 2011 with Clinton being only one of many women in places of power all over the world, and a Hasidic newspaper feels it's ok to cut them out? Does anyone else find this absurd? 

I cant help but think they discussed removing Obama from the same picture. Why print it at all if it was so offensive? Doesn't the White House specify no altering of issued photos when releasing them?

Saturday, May 07, 2011


The debate over the Federal Budget shouldn't be relegated to the center-right proposal of the President and the far-right proposal of the GOP. The People's Budget brings the voices of the middle class back to the conversation.

Thursday, May 05, 2011


Ever wonder what would happen if one of those "Lowrider Losers" ever had to run with their pants hanging so low? Have a look...


Filling both of the main restaurant areas of Mariner's Harbor, the Shayne Gallo for Mayor fundraiser event Wednesday was the place to be.
As reported elsewhere, 200+ attended the event, half got to hear the speech because the mob couldn't occupy the main dining area at once. Those who did hear the speech were pleased at how short & to the point it was. That alone distinguishes Shayne from so many other candidates running for all other positions.

Dozens of other pictures are already posted on Shayne's website and FaceBook page and other Blogs, so I just published a few here. Expect to hear about his next "Meet & Greet" in just a few short weeks. 

Well done my friend, well done.
Go to: or just click on the link to the upper left on this Blog.

Wednesday, May 04, 2011


In the last few years, there has been an uptick of concern regarding the primary process. Not about the format or petitions, but about the late date each year. Mid-September leaves little time for those who win such primaries to engage the other opponents before the general election. The concern is bi-partisan.
In a recent report by YNN, this debate was brought to the voter's attention once again. The renewed sense of urgency comes at the issue of Military ballots. The federal law pertaining to this issue requires a 45 day window before any election. More times than not, that window proves impossible to achieve for the BOE. 
As reported by YNN: Last month, the New York City Board of Elections submitted a proposal to the Governor and legislature, to move Primary day from September to the last Tuesday in June, solving one growing concern in the education community.
Party conventions occur during the first week of June so the petition process would have to be addressed, but it would also put New York in a heightened sense of influence in the National elections. I'm not advocating for a specific date during a specific month, but earlier than September appeals to me. Having worked on, and been a candidate for a primary race, I can attest how having the winner established early, for all party affiliates, settles the landscape and better educates the voters heading into the general.
Remember back in 2009 when the NYS BOE failed to ship absentee ballots to troops serving overseas in time? What a mess!
You may remember the quote from Senator Schumer at the time: "Our troops sacrifice their lives to protect our freedoms. They should never be denied the right to vote."
It was he who pushed a 2009 law establishing deadlines for mailing absentee ballots. The 45 day minimum still doesn't assure prompt delivery to and from our troops because the primary is so close to the general.
On a local note, with the next Ulster County Legislature races dealing with new single member districts, the primaries and general election will need extra attention. The public hearing, Legislative approval and petition process are just the beginning as we head into the 2011 Elections.
The Governor's office is currently reviewing the matter.
Both the Senate and Assembly hope to resolve the issue before the end of session next month. I sincerely doubt this will have any immediate effect even if it passes.

Monday, May 02, 2011


So the Re-apportionment Commission has had their final meeting this Monday night. The 23 possible Legislative districts have been hashed out over the course of multiple meetings. 
For those interested in the results of the City of Kingston, the city was chopped into three districts using Ward boundaries as guides.

Wards 1,2 & 4 will be District 5; Wards 3,5 & 9 will be District 6 and Wards 6,7 & 8 will be District 7. 
In case you are wondering how it affects the incumbents; Peter is in Ward 4; Dave is in Ward 5; Jeanette is in Ward 8 and I am in Ward 9. This puts Dave and I in the same LD.
I would like to thank the Commission on all their hard work during the last few months. Not everyone is happy, but that was expected. Now, Map #8 goes to the Legislature for a vote. Watch the fireworks begin!