Email for March, 2006
Throwing Our Kids In The Dump, March 12
Email For January and February 2006
Feb. 26 Revitalization Out Of
Cavaleri's Is No Longer There Feb 12
More Than Zoning Feb 6
A Long Rumination On The City Of Albany Landfill
The Mystery Of Holland Avenue Jan 22
Shivering For Dr. King Jan 17
Where's The Art? Jan 15
Trying To Cow The Next Governor Jan 12
Michael McNulty And Impeachment Jan, 7
A Great Day For Terrorism Jan. 1, 2006
Email for For March to August, 2006
Throwing Our Kids In The Dump, March 12
I was unaware of the charter school being built on top the old dump before I
read your article. I too, am opposed to charter schools. (my DIA post this morning
explains my feelings)
I presented testimony at the DEC's Brownfields hearing last Wednesday and there
was one person whose family has been affected by toxic vapor intrusion into her
home who also presented testimony.
She is one of the fortunate few who has had a vapor barrier in her home by the
EPA. She claimed the barrier greatly reduced the presence of toxics in her home,
which prior to its installation had been of a very high very concentration
The reason I mention this is that I wondered if such a barrier was installed
prior to the pouring of the concrete slab foundation of the new school. It seems
from you article that one wasn't required.
I think , now remember I detest these schools and the concept promoting them,
that it would be far cheaper for Albany's tax payers to insist one be installed
while the school is being constructed, rather than after facing numerous lawsuits
from outraged parents and losing.
Just my thoughts.
Here's a link to a short article about the woman I mentioned above:
Keep up your good work. I don't know if you read DIA's blog. He's refrenced your
story in his posting yesterday,"Charter Schools" and also provided
a link to it.
As far as I could see, Jim, there was nothing resembling a barrier.
Just the usual foam slabs, which you can see in the picture. It should
be interesting to watch how they cover up the health problems among the
unfortunate kids lured into that facility.
Well, I said I was getting tired of all those positive emails. Here's
a detailed response from Tom Carroll, which arrived March 20:
A few points in response to the charming article slamming the daylights
out of me.
1. The article alleges that "In this position, he [that's me!]
can collect a large portion of the taxpayer's money for himself and
his organizations." This is simply untrue. The Brighter Choice
Foundation, the Foundation for Education Reform and Accountability,
and I receive no money from the taxpayers. I personally do not receive
a dime from any charter school, not even from the two Brighter Choice
Charter Schools, which I chair. The various public charter schools,
under state law, do receive public funding, but I receive absolutely
no compensation from any charter school or any taxpayer-funded source.
2. The references to "corporate" are meant to imply further
that I or the entities I head are for-profit. These entities, however,
are nonprofit organizations. Although the New Covenant Charter School
is managed by the for-profit Edison Schools, I have absolutely nothing
to do with that particular school. All the other charter schools in
Albany are purely nonprofit, just like any public school, and have
no outside management contracts with any one.
3. I never said several of the things that Mr. Van Riper alleges I
said at my presentation before CANA. If he tape recorded the public
presentation, I challenge him to produce the tape unedited and back
up his outrageous claims. For example, I never said of democracy that "it's
very overrated." I did say, which happens to be true, that the
charter school approval process is subject ultimately to elected officials,
just not the local school board. The SUNY trustees are appointed by
the elected governor. The Board of Regents are elected by a joint session
of the state legislature (which means numerically, by the Assembly
Democrats). So, the claim of "taxation without representation" falls
4. I do not detest unions. My own mother was a school union official
-- and no, she hasn't disowned me. I did indicate during my presentation
that the existing Albany teachers union contract prohibits a longer
school day and a longer school year, as well as limiting the ability
of school leaders to get rid of poorly performing teachers. Bill Ritchie,
the head of the Albany teachers union, attended my presentation at
CANA and did not dispute these facts.
5. Yes, I have moved out of Albany and my children are educated in
the 'burbs. So what? I don't recall the outcry when Lonnie Palmer,
the former Albany Schools Superintendent, lived in Guilderland. Nor
do I recall the outcry when Scott Wexler, the President of the Albany
School Board moved his kids out of the Albany district and into Bethlehem's
schools. Or when School Board member Paul Webster switched his children
to the Niskayuna district. As an aside, no one at the CANA meeting
at which I spoke sent their children to any district schools in the
South End or Arbor HIll. Many of the smug charter critics had their
children safely in School 19 or ASH, all the while complaining that
we were creating additional options for parents whose children were
not allowed to attend the same schools as their children. The hypocrisy
6. The suggestion that the "corporate media", the Hearst-owned
Times Union, is in bed with us is comical. You even go so far as to
say "they absolutely adore 'charter' schools." Have you been
reading their editorials or Fred LeBrun's columns lately? They are
doing more than their fare share to attack charters, so not sure why
you think they are our toadies.
7. The most offensive line in the entire piece is the following line: "Poor
black people are much easier to exploit than white people of any economic
variety." It would be hard to come up with a more racist line.
I assume the writer fancies himself a progressive or liberal, and I
cannot fathom that he wrote a line that would have made the old George
Wallace or Orville Faubus proud. We are creating more educational options
for families in Albany. We are not forcing anyone to attend. That in
a district that is 70 percent minority, many of the students attending
charter schools are African American or Latino is hardly surprising.
It has nothing to do with exploitation, and everything to do with parents
making individual judgments of what is best for their children.
8. The writer apparently dislikes Mayor Jennings almost as much as
he despises me. This hatred runs amok, however, when he starts to make
stuff up. For example, the writer, after saying that the Mayor appoints
the board of the Albany City IDA, states: "And the IDA has been
giving a lot of loans to Carroll and Brighter Choice, basically for
anything they want." I have never received an IDA loan, nor has
Brighter Choice Charter School, nor has any of the charter schools
authorized after Brighter Choice. Nor do we have any applications pending
at the IDA. Again, the writer just made it up. Unbelievable.
Reasonable men and women can differ over charter schools, how they
are funded, and how they are approved.
The personal attack on me and charter schools, however, was a bit over
the top. I don't mind being slammed, but at least spend some time on
basic fact checking.
Nice to hear from you, Tom! OK folks, let's see what points in the article
that Mr. Carroll DOES NOT dispute:
1) His new "charter" school behind my house is built on unstable
land that is 40 per cent water, and may contain toxic substances for
which there was no adequate testing. The land kills trees. it is inherently
unhealthy and should not be built upon.
2) That same building full of children may collect explosive methane
and explode. It's happened before on other parts of that former dump.
It could happen again.
3) His "charter" schools have lower test scores than even
the poorest performing public schools.
4) "Charter" schools have advantages over public schools,
such as the right to refuse students and the right to locate or dissolve
at will, even though they receive public funding.
5) Tom Carroll believes that corporate decisions done in secret are
more efficient and better than community decision making. The public
has no right to have a say.
6) He believes that the State has a right to impose unfunded mandates
on local communities. (Actually, he confirms that in his email.)
7) He believes that taxpayers should continue to fund advertising for
8) He would NEVER locate a "charter" school in his own municipality
of Clifton Park.
I've noticed that corporate guys like Carroll never take responsibility
for what they say. They always seem to play The Shadow Game, choosing
their words carefully so as to be able to deny everything. Meanwhile,
Carroll shifts the blame to others, never to himself. Whatever happened
to personal responsibility? It must have gone out of style with the election
of Ronald Reagan.
And by the way, I forgot to mention in the article that Carroll and
his people are less than forthcoming about their own finances. If Carroll
is not pocketing our tax dollars, somebody in the "charter school
movement" is getting rich at our expense.
Email For January and February 2006
I am amazed that all of the email has been positive. I assumed that
all kinds of people would be flaming me and threatening to slash the
tires on my truck. I guess all the offended people are keeping quiet.
It's the quiet ones you gotta watch out for...
Feb. 26 Revitalization Out Of Spilled Blood
Looks like you've been coalescing some of the thoughts that have been shared at the CANA Codes Committee meeting. Good for you.
Reading your blog is like a contemporary William Kennedy: replete with the cast of characters.
For your consideration: You state "consider Albany not so much as a place to live but as a place to tear down & abandon". I see it somewhat differently.
The city has a revenue requirement to function. It's like a Monopoly board. The city put its hotels downtown ( a/k/a Park Place) and in the Pine Bush ( a/k/a Pennsylvania Ave). Places like West Hill ( a/k/a Baltic Ave) and Arbor Hill (a/k/a Oriental Ave) are seen as not generating the funds needed for the city to meet its revenue requirement. And a tidy revenue requirement it is.
Now, I personally understand the motivation for the city to want to achieve and keep a good bond rating. Its necessary. But not sufficient. But good governance is a far cry from a good bond rating. And that would seem to be the unlying issue that has been kindling the activists for decades. And rightly so. After all, it's really all about the neighborhoods. They say that Pittsburgh is a city of neighborhoods. That is something that Albany needs to strive for.
As far as the creation of the landlords of last resort, they are a necessary reality in the post Clinton Administration housing policies, generated in the infinite wisdom by A. Cuomo & R. Lazio and blessed by N. Gingrich. By precluding the public sector to take on an essential responsibility and offload it to the private sector is an abdication which creates a travesty. Most landlords cannot deal with that criminal element. Their housing is held hostage, and often takes a royal beating. This creates an uncertainty in large swaths of cities across the country. Disinvestment follows.
"Urban renewal" will be held hostage until this issue is rectified.
I can't believe all this positive feedback. Now I'm being compared to William Kennedy. Yikes!
The thing about these projects, Andrew, is that they're like unprotected sex. It makes you feel great about yourself for a little while and gives you plenty to brag about, but then the syphilitic baby arrives.
Do we build and maintain a strong urban foundation for the people and the neighborhoods, or do we engage in constant rapid expansion? There's a great temptation by the politicians to rapidly expand because of the sudden payoff, both in the public pot and their own pockets. But politicians are temporary, they need upfront results. Long term projects do nothing for their reputations and egos, not to mention their bank accounts. The next guy in office gets all the credit.
These hotels, the convention center, and lets not forget these idiotic corporate drugstores such as the proposed Walgreens on Holland Avenue, fit the constant expansion scenario. All of them, including the convention center, have a projected life of 15 - 20 years. The assumption is that the landscape is temporary, and when everything expires in 20 years you tear it all down and start over. Who wants to live in a temporary landscape?
And sooner or later the bill comes due. This January, out in the suburb of Colonie, town Supervisor Mary Brizzell, in her annual report, warned that the era of expansion for Colonie is over, and that they would have to start adopting urbanism. (Good luck with that.) Furthermore, the town could no longer maintain its roads, even with the massive state subsidies that are denied to Albany! Therefore, she said, they would begin to adopt a new roadway tax.
So, knowing that the suburban plan of constant expansion is an eventual economic loser, perhaps someone can explain to me why we have let Albany politicians suburbanize OUR landscape.
Be sure to read the Metroland article on how convention centers are proven losers. I was reading it last night online (via DIA.) It reminded me how Albany's politicians have such a cowtown mindset:
You out did yourself in the Feb. 26th Albany webblog article about the Revitalization of the lower Morton Ave, Albany. I find your writings to be so griping and honest. You give a clear version of the subject matter. I like the portrayal of the Mayor of the low-income, AHA Exec. Director Steve Longo.
I shared your article with my friend Brian of the TU I know he will enjoy the read. You just keep Blogging dvr and I will continue to be amused.
Luci McKnight, Albany County Legislator
Thanks again, Luci. Ha ha, maybe the Hearst Rag will print it.
Great article about the South End and Dorothy Royal and neglect and
the completely confused ideas about security that are foisted on us daily.
I know that by far the most dangerous thing most people do every day
is get in their cars and yet that is never questioned. All that promoting
of irrational fear sells ads. You are an excellent writer!
also especially loved the article about Cavaleri’s – but
Charter member of the Dan Van Riper fan club
Wow! I've got a groupie! I wish I'd known back when I was a teenager
that running my mouth attracts women.
But you've got a good point about Fear. We seem to be living in a society
where Fear is harnessed and controlled as a motivating force. It is almost
a commodity, wielded by governments, corporate media and other corporations.
This is a subject that hides in the shadows, one that people... dare
I say it?... are afraid to talk about.
Thanks for the enlightening discussion of issues in your
most recent posting. I do think there are plenty of Albanians who want
to move this city forward but don't quite know how to unify their efforts.
It's way too easy to get discouraged. Increased violence and the
increase in the number of kids from impoverished families in the public
schools and increased crime in the city overall are pretty good barometers
for the health of this city.
I agree with you about the attitude of the City of Albany as a "rotting
carcass" that people feed off of for their personal gain and give
back little in return. We need police officers and teachers who live
in the city for starters. They will have more at stake in making this
City a decent place to live. We also need a Council that is not beholden
to a politician bent on rewarding big donors from the suburbs. It is
too bad we have to wait four years to make more changes in leadership.
I will pass the word about your blog on to others. People need to hear
repeatedly that there's a movement underway to make Albany a better place
to live especially since the press does everything in its power to make
you think otherwise.
Cathy Fahey, Common Council, 7th Ward
Thanks, Cathy, for promoting the blog. It may be long winded, but I
try to keep it relevant and entertaining.
My goodness, what a radical notion, especially from an elected official!
Cops and teachers ought to be part of the community, not to mention city
employees and appointed officials. There is a direct connection between
the anti-Albany suburban attitude and the decay of our neighborhoods.
If you put people who hate Albany in charge of Albany, is it any wonder
everything has gone to hell?
I guess that most of the easily discouraged have left the City. Some
of us are too stubborn to give up, and we are fed up. I see two avenues
where people work together. One is the Democratic Party, through which
true representatives such as yourself are elected to office. The other
is the Neighborhood Association movement, which has actually begun to
But you are right, we all need to open new channels and bring people
together. So many people are sitting around isolated and sullen, unaware
that they can and must take charge of the fate of the City. And everyone
is fed up with this old boy corruption. It seems that you are not the
only person who took note of the "rotting carcass" analogy.
I guess that struck a chord.
I've been checking your blog nearly every day, anxiously awaiting
your next posting, and today - there it was. Definitely worth the
Your story is excellent. I believe it's your best, so far. I especially
enjoyed the line you chose to describe the mindset of many today: "It
is the attitude that the City of Albany is a rotting carcass, and
the purpose of holding positions of power is to eat as much of
that carcass before it stinks too much to handle." .
I am not ass-kissing here. It's truly how I feel.
I spent most of my time in Albany trying to improve the conditions
of those seemingly destined to attempt survival in it's poorest
neighborhoods. Long ago, in the late seventies or maybe it was
1980, a met a cop named Al Russo (at CANA's first "Love Thy
Neighborhood' conference) who really cared about the kids living
in squalor. He's retired now, and I haven't known another so dedicated
to trying to improve their lot.
I knew Dorothy Royal and I liked her. I sadly shook my head in
disgust when I read of her murder.
I also helped homeowner Grace Pirozzi, now long deceased, get grants
to help her rehab her building on Morton Ave. Her house was, is,
the last on the south side next to the alley behind the now rehabbed
former plumbing supply building on the corner of Elizabeth St.
She would cry to me, why couldn't I do anything about the 'bad'
kids who were using drugs in the alley and even on her porch. That
was nearly twenty years ago.
It's a shame that things haven't improved, and that, in fact they
have indeed have gotten worse.
Maybe a few of the new council's members will carry the day and
actually do something
to clean up lower Morton & Elizabeth St's crime scene. At least
I hope they'll try.
Oh, one last thing, the ghouls at the top of Albany's food chain
survive on carrion, and have for all my memory. Hopefully, the
new council has a large supply of wooden stakes.
Again, my compliments.
-Jim Travers Feb. 27
Thanks Jim, I'm glad the piece struck home for you. I hope it strikes
home for our City officials. A lot of people have suffered because
of what the City has done to the South End, most of them forgotten.
Couldn't all these politicians have collected their tidy nest eggs
without hurting innocent people?
As for posting frequently, you see what kind of stuff I've been
writing. These articles take time to write. Truth to tell, I had
no idea that I would be writing such long articles, but that's how
it turns out. I keep hoping to make some short posts like a normal
blog, and I probably will soon. but keep expecting long stuff. Once
I get going it's hard to stop.
I'll keep my rear end sponged off, just in case.
...And by the way, Jim is the guy who has led the fight
to stop Jerry Jennings' scheme to locate a giant dump down in Coeymans,
which I mentioned in the January 30 posting about the Albany "Landfill."
Your insight is very helpful.
I admit I don't have all the answers but it helps to get the issues
out there to be discussed as a community. I would like to be part
of the discussion if not part of the solution.
I believe strongly that the limited public housing should go to
those individual and families who are ready to accept change in their
lives and willing to meet community living standards. In the 90's
when public housing raised its standards, and those that couldn't
or wouldn't conform were forced to leave and migrate to forgotten
neighborhoods that demanded little in the way of standards, like
lower Morton Avenue or Orange St. This will happen again when we
rehab the lower Morton Ave properties unless we face the issue head
on as a community.
Steve Longo, Albany Housing Authority Feb. 26
Steve, I meant it when I said that you were doing a tremendous job.
But your direct responsibility ends where the housing program ends.
Albany Housing did not create Lower Morton, but the way the City
government handles the people jettisoned from the housing is absolutely
We need to have an open discussion about this issue. Where do "these
people" go? Show them the City line and say don't come back?
Throw 'em all in jail? Round them up and gas them? Harvest their
organs? Build a refugee camp in Coeymans on the site of the proposed
dump? How about we declare Buckingham Pond a dumping ground and turn
that neighborhood into the new lower Morton?
Have you got a better idea? Does anybody?
The only real long term solution is to make the neighborhoods economically
diverse. There will always be people who are not pillars of society.
Such people have role to play in a healthy neighborhood, and a healthy
neighborhood, with some help, can carry such people.
For example, on my street is a guy who is a chronic alcoholic. His
behavior and antics keep us all talking, and he mooches off of everybody.
But he ends up doing odd jobs in the neighborhood, such as mowing
lawns, raking leaves, shoveling snow, and various short labor intensive
jobs. We all put up with him, and in his own way he contributes.
But if we had, say, ten guys like him on my street, then the street
would be unlivable. This is the difference. Lower Morton, Orange
Street and Park South are dominated by a mixture of guys like this
and criminals. It is the deliberate act of concentration that is
The City of Albany can't solve all the social problems. But the
City can build neighborhoods that do not create new problems, and
can handle a small number of problems.
Excellent Excellent piece. I applaud you!
-Linda Maria McGrail
Cavaleri's Is No Longer There Feb 12
ALTHOUGH CAVALERI'S HAS ONLY BEEN CLOSED A MONTH , WE MISS
IT VERY MUCH. THERE IS NO OTHER PLACE LIKE IT IN THE AREA INCLUDING NEW
YORK CITY! THEY HAD THE BEST OF EVERTHING AND NO ONE ELSE COULD MATCH
THE SAUCE!!!! WE ARE SURELY GOING TO MISS IT THROUGHOUT THE YEARS. WE
HAVE A GREAT DEAL OF MEMORIES AND THEY WILL NEVER BE FORGOTTEN!
Theresa Renzi, March 5
Such memories you bring back!
Back in 1972, when Bob Lamar was pastor and Helen Henshaw was the
organist and choir director at First Presbyterian Church at the corner
of State & Willett Streets, I auditioned for the First Pres choir
and was actually accepted as an alto "section leader." I
was new to the area, and Helen alerted me to the fact that there
was a coffeehouse in the church basement and suggested that I try
singing at some of their Open Mike nights. Her suggestion was life-changing.
While initiated as a ministry of the Focus Churches, the Eighth
Step was far more than an alcohol-free drop-in spot. True, it had
its share of - shall we say, Interesting People (Anyone recall Michael
the Archangel?); it also was home to musical learners, bridge players,
and entertainment wannabe's on weeknight Open Stages. Early managers
included Tim White and Denny Mike, and then Jake Bryan, who built
the weekend professional performer list into a veritable Who's Who
of the best, and best-known, folk musicians (Pete Seeger, Michael
Cooney, and Gordon Bok, to name a few) who were touring the Northeast
from the 1970's into the 1980's. In those early days I watched and
listened in dropped-jaw amazement that "Everyone" seemed
to know "All the Words," and actually sang along enthusiastically
with old English ballads and contemporary folk tunes alike. Who were
all these people? They were students, state workers, housewives,
tradesmen (We weren't PC in those days), doctors, lawyers, mechanics,
teachers - - people looking for good music and good companionship.
Among the friends made during those days were volunteers who helped
keep the Clearwater afloat, the Fox Hollow Folk Festival humming,
and the Pickin'n'Singing Gatherin' - well - pickin' & singin'.
And those who were looking for good Italian food found it right
around the block, on the Central Avenue bus line, at Calsolaro's.
Many 'Step regulars were also Calsolaro regulars, One of the most-regular
of those regulars was Eighth Step manager Jake Bryan, who often engaged
Dominick's father Joe in long and spirited conversations about real,
good, Italian Cooking. Jake took me to Calsolaro's on our first date,
and introduced me to Joe, and to Mama, and Calsolaro's was where
we celebrated many family occasions from the earliest days when our
daughter Rebecca munched on the Italian bread crusts while waiting
for her own bowl of pasta. And even though our favorite booth was
the one where we had our first dinner there, we always tried to occupy
booths on alternate aisles of the Back Room so we weren't showing
favoritism to either Nick or George, whose service was as impeccable
as their crisp white shirts and jet black jackets.
Now, some 30+ years later, Fox Hollow is gone, as is the physical
presence of the Eighth Step at First Pres. But many of the Fox Hollow
and Clearwater volunteers continue to gift the Old Songs Festival
and events with their dedicated energies. Jake's passion for cooking
has developed into Chez Jake, the catering service he operates as
a service for Not-for-Profit Fundraisers. "The Pickin'n'Singin'
Gatherin continues to bond together a host of newcomers, as well
as fostering service and leadership in a younger generation of the
still-active early families, Pete and Dotty Spoor, both now deceased,
would have been delighted to witness the election of their son Phil's
wife, Lori, to the Board, as were Jake and I when we realized that
Becca's election to the Board made her the first recorded Second-Generation
Board member, since I was a Board member while I was carrying her
It may be true that the era of the small, family-owned Italian restaurants
is winding down here in Albany. But as long as there are those among
us who cherish memories of the food, and the atmosphere, and the
companionship, and the spirit, of Calsolaro's and Cavaleri's, they
will never be completely gone.
Current PSG Member, Past Board Member
Fox Hollow and Old Songs Volunteer
Former Eighth Step Board Member and
More Than Zoning Feb 6
Loved your post. We are all asking the same thing -- what's in it
for these councilpersons who voted for the zoning change?
I was at the council meeting when the vote went down. Over 20 people
spoke against the project, and the only supporters were the developer
and his lawyer. Not one of the council members who voted to support
the zoning voiced any reason for their vote. It was if we all weren't
there and didn't matter. It was my first close-up view of Albany
politics in action, and I was horrified.
No wonder this city is has problems. We need a change.
Gary Winslow, Feb 6
A Long Rumination On The City Of Albany Landfill Jan. 30
Nobody wrote! Oh well. I know The Mayor read this one.
I could tell by the way he looked at me at the February CANA meeting.
Not to mention the way he specifically ran down several points in the
article during the question period.
The Mystery Of Holland Avenue Jan 22
I'd love to see a copy of that letter if that's possible...
Indeed! After a series of emails re-routed by Metroland's
antiquated email system, and after the Feb 6 posting about the highway
commercial spot rezoning, Miriam picked up the hot documents at my house
and used them in a Metroland article. which doesn't seem to have found
its way online. Oh well. Actually, credit goes to Louise McNeilly
who took the time to FOIL the City for the documents.
I live near Washington park and I’m always up for reading more
about our fair city. Do you have an RSS feed to go with your blog?
Have you considered creating one?
Yes! Yes! I am busy nagging the Tech Valley firm that maintains
this site, Jackson's Computer Services. She is dragging her Tech
Valley feet on this. I even tracked down an RSS feed program that
she can use. Does she install it? Noooo....
Hell, I'm lucky she lets me sleep in the house. It's cold
Shivering For Dr. King Jan 17
OK Dan! Well you put it out there now....I will need you to take
my overflow calls for scheduling all of these new dates since your
website blog on MLK, Jr. Day. OK who is first and a report should
be published on your blog as a follow-up of this historic dateless
Lucille McKnight, Albany County Legislator
Well, Luci, this IS the world wide web. Maybe you'll meet
a nice yak herder from Khazakstan.
Where's The Art? Jan 15
i love it. especially your openness & honesty about yourself.
thanks for being you
there is Pierre's blog address:
Folks, if you ever get a chance to hear Nicole sing, I guarantee
that you will not forget her. The address is for her husband (sorry
guys!) Pierre Joris, who has a wide ranging eclectic blog, including
Nicole's singing engagements.
Trying To Cow The Next Governor Jan 12
Nah, no letters. But, I have noticed that corporate aparatchik
Liz Benjamin hasn't written any more of this sort of nonsense about Elliot
Michael McNulty And Impeachment Jan, 7
Recently got a forward of your blog about McNulty. I don't usually
read them, but yours was good. Intelligent, funny and sound politics
in my mind, as I have mixed feelings about McNulty's stands on
various issues. Thanks for the information.
Well, Kathy, I hope you keep reading mine! I promise not to blog
about what I had for breakfast.
i really think th e blog is great because of the archival quality
of it, we can go on and search or read later on something...
anyhow, i like the mc (sans) nutty story, he is a true wimp. i noticed
that all along.
it was great to see guys last night, hope to see you more often and
get to hang out a bit!
much love and happy new year
thank you both for your enlightenment.
OK, Dan. Thanks for including me and thanks for the "reality
I went to McNulty's press conference and, in retrospect, a lot of
what he had to say was watered down pablum which didn't at all address
the atrocities of the Bush administration. At the time I don't think
I knew quite what to expect from him. Your blog entry was a good
reminder of what we should expect our Democratic representative in
Washington to be saying.
Keep beating the drum. I will pass your thoughts on..........
--Cathy Fahey Albany Common Council, 7th Ward
Wow. I've provided a reality check! That is a real compliment.
Wow. I don't have the time to check it all out right now. Those
are some long bits. But I like what I read so far and hope you plan
to keep it up. If you do I may not have to come out of retirement.
I'll post about your blog.
welcome to the fray.
-Democracy In Albany
Who is DIA? Who? Who? I can tell you several people he/she
is not. If you want to see his/her big site about the political currents
of Albany, check the sidebar of this page. I just DIA would put MY
link on his/her title page. *snort*
A Great Day For Terrorism Jan. 1, 2006
Roger Green, Librarian
Roger has been badgering me to start a blog for at least the last
year. I can highly recommend his blog Ramblin' With Roger which is
linked to on the sidebar to this page. Don't forget to check out
the 200 million pictures of Lydia.
Read yr blog with interest.
Happy New year to you and Lynne.
Joe is my neighbor, and an extraordinary piano player and
Will your blog have an rss feed so I can subscribe to it with my
newsreader? Maybe I can link your side to albanytripod.com which
is mainly about people writing in what they like about Albany.
Hope you are well and let me know about both the feed and joining
Aaargh. The wife must put up an RSS feed. And it is high
time I added a link to albanytripod.com to the sidebar.
I cannot be totally certain but as far as I know, Cory Ellis is
a registered Democrat--he did not change his registration to Working
I too have paid dues to the WFP but am not a registered WFP member.
They along with Citizen Action and many progressive Dems, helped
him get elected on that line but that does not make him a WFP--he
is still a Democrat and we should be talking more about the progressive
Democrats and the power we hold against the status quo Dems who have
sold out to the conservatives or to themselves.
This same "mistake" was made re Lucy McKnight and her
win in the Co Leg race--maybe she has changed her registration since
then, I don't know--we will find out when she runs again (or we bother
to go to the B of Elec and look it up)--Just thought I would let
you know this.
The question, Judith, is under what party Cory Ellis was seated.
So I asked Luci McKnight:
Hi Dan, I have been a registered Democrat (D) all of my life. I
have been lucky in my life to get the attention of a "Fusion
Third Party" called the Working Families Party (WFP) to bring
to Victory in the Special Federal Legislative Election in 2004.
Many members of my Democratic Party did not want me to be the Second
Legislative Representative but as we all know the people spoke and
I won. I have also served as a member of the Democratic Committee
structure since 1983 working as a Poll Watcher/Clerk in the 2nd Ward.
I tend to be a very loyal public servant for my constituency and
my Albany County Government and look forward to serving them well.
Luci McKnight, Albany County Legislator
Okay, but that didn't answer the question. So...
Furthermore Dan, the Majority Leader and the Democratic Caucus unanimously
voted me in ad a full Democratic Member after my 2004 Victory.
I still represent the Causas on the New York State Assoc. of Counties
as the Second Vice President, the Capital Dist. Regional Planning
Commission as the immediate Past President and a member of the Youth
Detention Center Board of Directors. Moreover County Executive recently
appointed me to serve as president of the Albany County Youth Board
The Albany County Democrats who are in charge of "governing" have
no problem with me and my status as a D/WFP affiliation. Just a clarification.
OK Luci, what I understand from what you are saying, you had to
be voted in by the Democratic Caucus in order to take your seat as
a Democrat. Now presumably, if they had all hated you (like if you
got caught eating babies, or something) they could have chosen NOT
to seat you as a Democrat. Correct?
So, this probably means that the Democratic Caucus of the City of
Albany Common Council will have to vote on whether or not Corey Ellis
takes his seat as a Democrat. Presumably they will vote him in unanimously
like your peers did with you, but you never know with that bunch.
This is all new territory. I expect we're going to see a lot more
of this in the future.
That is correct. Once a person is elected, now a new set of rules
and processes must occur.
The Albany County government has its set of chartered rules as does
the Albany City government. The county is a by-partisan body but
the city has always been solid Democratic. When you win on a Third
Party line, a "Fusion" in this county/city, the powers
to be have never sit down and developed a long term plan on how the
victor with serve as an elected political entity.
In my case, I have been in office since 1992 but for a first timer
things could be different. I have name recognition, a strong community
base and involved on all local and state levels. Often people speak
about being politically progressive but we all must be mindful of
where do you go to serve and be effective after your victory on election
day. How do you incorporate your progressive ideology in the larger
discussion especially if one is out numbered in their governmental
body. I hope I was helpful in bringing some clarity to this complex
discussion. Let's keep talking.....
Mr. Van Riper:
I was the third party candidate - er, the Republican nominee -
in the 7th Ward race with Ms. Fahey and Mr. Scavo. We (McLain for
the 7th) ran a very clean campaign, and Brian was more of an annoyance,
so I do not know how you qualify the race as "hard and nasty."
Unless there was stuff going on of which I was not aware, I would
be interested in where you get this perception.
Good luck with your blog.
Thanks, glad to have you checking in.
Well, I was referring mostly to the primary. I base my perception
of "hard and nasty" on stories that residents and business
people have been telling me. Mr. Scavo made his presence known to
a lot of people up and down Delaware Avenue during his campaign,
and he was clearly trying to play hardball. His tactics definitely
raised Ms. Fahey's ire. As a campaign strategy, that may or may not
have been good. He certainly was running an underdog race, and had
to do something out of the ordinary. Personally, I think it is going
to hurt him in the long run if he plans to run again.
So no, for the record I was not trying to implicate the third party
candidates, although I did note Mr. Scavo associating with some Republicans
outside my local polling place on Primary Day. I will duly note your
correction as soon as I get the letters section up and running.
Fair enough. I was just curious. I had fun in that campaign. I
was being sarcastic, of course, referring to myself as a third
party candidate (Row A is not third party).
On polling day, Brian was talking to whoever was around.
As I have said numerous times, the numbers was got belied our impact
in the race. It was the first time that folk had a real choice.
I think that the Brian factor clearly hurt me a lot more than it
did Cathy (actually, it helped Cathy in the end: without Brian,
and based on the feedback I received and the endorsement of Cathy
written by Metroland, it could have been a classic Republican-Democrat
race, which would have been good for the Ward).
I for one was proud of the race and had a lot of fun.
Dear Mr Van Riper,
I found your web site through DIA's site. I enjoy your commentary
and I wish you well with it. Now I understand why my order at Andy's
is usually screwed up!
Jimmy Scalzo works at Andy's on Delaware Ave. these days. They're
the best subs... even if Jimmy is making them.
This site maintained by Lynne
Jackson of Jackson's