Monday, January 16, 2012

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Martin Luther King Jr

History will have to record that the greatest tragedy of this period of social transition was not the strident clamor of the bad people, but the appalling silence of the good people.


Veteran of the year

Many people may have forgot about his time in the U.S. Army.  He is the son of an Air Force General, and a accomplished Golden Gloves boxer, and he graduated from Pomona College with a B.S. degree, and then became a Rhodes Scholar from Oxford University.
He joined the U.S. Army at the prompting of his father.  After graduating from Officer Candidate School he attended and graduated from both Army Airborne and Ranger training in the very top of each class.  He was selected for U.S. Army Special Forces Training but refused so that he could attend pilot training where he earned his wings, and became an accomplished U.S. Army helicopter (gun ship) pilot, and achieved the rank of Captain.
He was about to be promoted to the rank of Major, and  appointed to teach at West Point when he resigned his  commission from the Army to go into music and acting.  You  can tell in this video that his time in the military means a lot to him.                      

Thursday, January 12, 2012


Reprinted from Daily Freeman article Jan 11th:

Equal parts eatery to equal parts spirits, at 100 proof kitsch, @346 Broadway brings a casual Left Coast sensibility to Midtown Kingston. 
The two business partners, one from the Pacific Northwest, the other from L.A., were first attracted online to the Hudson Valley, but specifically to Kingston by a visit here in 2008.

 “The realtor drove us by property in Esopus, Woodstock, Phoenicia. Nothing grabbed us,” said Lynn Turner. “Then, we came to Kingston,” chimed in business partner JoAnne Spencer, a recently retired Army lieutenant colonel. 
“It was political season and the ‘for sale’ sign on the lawn was hard to spot.” 
Ultimately, Turner and Spencer bought the large, federal-style Victorian in the Albany Avenue area and began to restore it. “It’s a labor of love,” Spencer admitted, noting the two were able to do quite a bit of the work themselves. “We see ourselves as guardians of an historic building,” she said. 

One of the curious elements the two women found on the property was a small monument with the lettering “1863.” After some research, they determined its significance was the year of the Emancipation Proclamation that freed slaves. “The house has a certain history,” Turner said.
Around the same time, they found the building at 346 Broadway was available, but the partners did not open for business until May 2011. They opened first for coffee and café, then later added the bar area, and later still the Rendezvous Lounge on the second floor.

Spencer and Turner’s most recent addition is the patio area in back that will be available come spring for barbecues and other spring-summer-fall activities. 
Complicating the opening was Spencer’s second deployment as part of Operation Enduring Freedom. She also served as staff officer at NATO headquarters in her 30 years of military service.

When asked, “Why Midtown?” Turner said they thought other areas of the city were just too expensive.

Turner said they looked at elderly buildings with “bad plumbing and worse electric” with prices as high as $600,000. “Owners were asking prices for rundown buildings as if they had been completely restored,” Turner said.

Turner said the section of Broadway they ultimately chose always has lots of foot traffic and the businesses there have stayed and kept the area looking attractive. She said Kingston Hospital, Kingston High School and some small businesses define the block.

“The Kingston police have done a really good job of keeping the ‘sketchy’ element out and the area cleaned up, Turner said. “It’s quiet and peaceful here and after 4 p.m. there’s plenty of parking.”

“It’s a little, professional hub in the Kingston Hospital corridor,” Spencer said.

Turner said the partners discovered there are eight places to eat in the area. “We decided to open later to catch a more adult clientele,” she said.

In terms of food, Turner said they serve “American standards – meatloaf or grilled cheese sandwiches.” There is one dinner special every day, starting at 5 p.m. “Whatever the chef is cooking,” Turner said. “Homemade, delicious and inexpensive.”  

Spencer said the menu features simple fare. “People like eating here because the food is so good; and they won’t go broke,” she said. Breakfast is served all day. 

The venue also features specialty cocktails, Spencer said. “They’re reminiscent of vintage cocktails from the Golden Age of Hollywood,” she said.  
The vintage cocktails are named after some glamorous stars: Jane Mansfield, Carmen Miranda, and Eartha Kitt. In development are specialty cocktails named for Betty Davis and Joan Crawford. Former Kingston City Alderman and Ulster County Legislator Mike Madsen serves as bartender and discjockey. 

Chatting upstairs in the Rendezvous Lounge with its comfortable seating, the trendy black walls seemed blank and in need of attention.

“We are looking for local talent,” Turner said. Artists and musicians, as well as stand-up comics, are invited to come by, she said.   

Spencer observed that since its opening, @346 Broadway, which she described as an alternative, but welcoming environment, has attracted a diverse clientèle. “I never knew there were so many different kinds of people in the world,” she said. 
“Rendezvous@346 Broadway is the most fun place in Kingston for adults,” Turner said. “We’re attracting a creative, artistic clientèle who like to relax in the company of like-minded folks,” she said.

Wednesday, January 11, 2012


Congrats to Mitt Romney on his win in New Hampshire. Now Mitt, Ron Paul and the others head down to South Carolina and Florida to push their vision on unsuspecting folks down there until those primaries. 

Best of luck to who ever ends up facing Obama this November. Oh, a word of advise? Don't put your current place on the market just yet.


Tuesday, January 10, 2012


It's official. Racism is now dead.
You may now go about your business in a post-racial Amerika. That is all.

All sarcasm aside, this was actually posted in all state buildings in Arkansas. Makes you realize that we are truly sheltered here in the North East.

Monday, January 09, 2012


This would be the public toilet at Staples in Ulster, N.Y.  I actually had to tighten the seat bolts to navigate this device without risking injury. 
Is this the level of health concern we should expect in the commercial stores across America? Is this where we've come?
Here's your homework assignment... Go out and get pictures of the worst public bathrooms you can find. Send them to my email address with the locations and I'll post the vile discoveries here. This should be interesting.

Wednesday, January 04, 2012


Ulster County is making serious changes again. Where the Charter Reform of 2005 provided separate branches of government and last year's election gave us 23 districts, we now have our first female Chairperson.
With a near unanimous vote, Terry Bernardo leads the 23rd Legislature with an agenda: to get the policy making branch of county government back to business. "We are here to provide excellent service to the public." she said. 
Her inaugural address was anything but boring. There were so many serious points to be made as she set the agenda for the Legislature during this first year. Many issues that went unresolved or ignored during our time together on this body may actually be addressed in 2012. I'm excited.

As an indicator, Chairwoman Bernardo said “I’d like to say a few words about our body’s partners in government and the Charter.  The Charter set up a balance of power between this body, the executive and the comptroller, the vast overhaul proposed by some to make this legislature less effective is not welcomed from this chair today.” 
Terry and I worked together in the Government Efficiency Committee where we began an aggressive mission to better distinguish the blurred policy and operations rolls in the new Charter. We suspect we were getting too close to issues that others thought should remain in darkness. That committee was dissolved in 2011. Terry now has the ability to give strength to that same cause heading into the new year.
As with all governing bodies with new leadership, Ulster County will be watched by neighboring counties, state officials and all the residents within her borders. The press will do their best to keep officials honest and us bloggers will have our fun as well. Best of luck to everyone on this historic journey.

Monday, January 02, 2012


A momentous day for the City of Kingston. The ceremonial swearing in of our elected and appointed proved to be a crowd pleaser. All who attended shared the sense of optimism that comes with a new year coupled with a new administration.
With a new Mayor comes a new Common Council and several new department appointments in City Hall. The theme in Shayne's address continued the urgency and possibility of renewal. Renewal in not just the economic and social aspect of our struggling city but also the way government runs. 
Love him or not, we all join in writing this next chapter in Kingston's history. We must shed the negativity, contribute our energy and look for ways to better our city where we can. I hope to continue just as many of you will. 
For those who couldn't attend, here are some pictures of Sunday's event.