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Public Service: New Skete Monastery Celebrates 50 Years with Open House

Public Service Announcement

New Skete Logo two colors for email

New Skete Open House and Anniversary Concert

in association with the

Cambridge Balloon Festival and the 50th Anniversary of the Monastery’s Foundation

Famous for Breeding German Shepherds and for the Nuns’ Cheesecake!

CAMBRIDGE BALLOON FESTIVAL WEEKEND

SATURDAY, JUNE 04, 2016
10:00 AM – 4:00 PM

http://www.newskete.org
273 New Skete Lane, Cambridge, New York 12816 518-677-3928

The Day’s Schedule

Meditation Gardens, Transfiguration Temple, & Gift Shops Open
Unguided Hikes
10:00a to 4:00p

Chapel Community Bake Sale
Mountaintop Hospitality
Cookbook for Sale
10:00a to 3:00p

Puppy Socialization Demonstration
10:00a to 11:00a

Church Tour – Holy Wisdom Church
11:00a to 11:30a
1:00p to 1:30p

Nuns’ Cheesecake Bakery Tours
11:30am -12:30p
343 Ashgrove Road
518.677.3810

Dog Training Demonstration
1:00p – 1:30p

Anniversary Concert
Holy Wisdom Church
2:00p

Vigil / Vespers
5:00p

***

For more information please visit
NEWSKETE.ORG

email NSCOM@NEWSKETE.ORG

call 518-677-3928 ext. 214 or 215

Editor’s Note: This information is being published as a public service. This blog assumes no responsibility for the information contained in this announcement. The information being provided has been provided by the event organizer, who assumes all responsibility for its completeness and accuracy. Please contact the organizer for details or other information.

Dear Readers

The New Skete Monastery is one of the most peaceful and beautiful settings around, and offers traditional monastic hospitality together with profound spiritual opportunities in the beautiful mountain and forest setting. Whether you are simply looking for a peaceful place to escape the noise of routine, or you are an outdoors enthusiast, or simply a spiritual seeker, a visit to New Skete will satisfy every hunger.

This year 2016 is the 50th anniversary of the monastery’s founding by a handful of Byzantine Franciscans seeking to follow a particular path in their spiritual search. The monastery supports many community events and organizations, welcomes persons and groups seeking a beautiful setting for retreat and revival. The monks raise prize German shepherd dogs and operate an internationally recognized dog training program. The Nuns of New Skete include renowned icon artists and are famous for their cheesecakes.

But the best way to experience New Skete is to visit and there’s no better time than during the Cambridge Balloon Festival.

Please also consider making a tax-deductible donation to the monastery on the occasion of their 50th anniversary and in support of needed repairs and expansions of the existing monastery facilities.

Thank you!

The Editor

 

“You no like our prices. Get out! Go someplace else!”

New Restaurant Sets New Standards for Hospitality:
“You no like our prices. Get out! Go someplace else!”

Marco’s comes to Ravena

marcos diner sign

Ravena. May 19, 2016. I had eaten at Marco’s new location several times prior and thought it would be a good place to have my breakfast meeting. All the other times I had ordered from the regular menu but when I entered I noticed the “Specials” menu on the counter at the entrance. I stopped to read it and was shocked. I called a heavy-set, middle-aged, dark-skinned woman over and pointed out several of the items saying, “I just want you to know that these prices are way higher than your competition. You’re new and won’t attract business like this. Haven’t you seen your competitions’ prices?” Her response was, “You no like our prices. Get out! Go someplace else!” She walked away several times but returned shaking her finger at me and muttering something in broken English. I happened to see Marco looking out of the kitchen area and beckoned him to come out. He came out and said hello. I explained to him that I didn’t really appreciate the woman’s behavior when I was trying to be helpful, and I told him that she is the worst thing that could happen to his business next to high prices. His response: “We give you a lot of food.” I didn’t respond to that one. What would be the use? When I asked who the woman was, Marco responded, “She my wife.” I learned later that the woman, Maria, identified as Marco’s wife, had recently returned from El Salvador, which is the reason I had never seen her before. She apparently has a reputation for being a real bitch, which I can vouch for. I stayed only until my guest arrived and we then left for the Medway Café, where the food is good, service is friendly, and the language is English…well, nearly. If you want normal portions (contrary to what Marco thinks), high prices, and a heaping helping of Hispanic abuse, Marco’s is the place to go; otherwise, try the Medway Café, which has been serving good homestyle food for almost a century; the Silver Spoon for very friendly service, very good food and a clean environment, or the Ravena Diner, for clean modern surroundings, good food, friendly service. I’m not into paying for foreign abuse even if it is served with salsa and taco sauce.” [Name withheld because we did receive permission to use the writer’s name by the time of publication.}

We wanted to be very careful before we published this report because we believe that anyone who is self-employed and trying to make it in a new location should be given a fair chance. But we do have several burning questions about this situation.

Marco’s get’s very low grades on “welcoming attitude and hospitality.

First of all, we would reasonably expect that a new business in an area that is served very well by at least three other establishments —each offering pretty much identical products, diner food — would make every conceivable effort to attract customers, including competitive prices, improved service, and a welcoming attitude at the very least. That doesn’t seem to be Marco’s business plan at all. According to reports and our own investigations, Marco’s fails on all three points: prices are higher, service is marginal, and, well, according to our reader, Marco’s get’s very low grades on welcoming attitude and hospitality.

As we mentioned, we did our own research, and we visited not only Marco’s but three local competitors in the same business: the Medway Café, Ravena Diner, and Silver Spoon, and did our own price and hospitality comparisons. At each establishment we took identical items from the normal menus used at the time of our visit and compared them to the Specials prices on the Marco’s specials board at the time of our visit. The results are shown in the table below.

You no like our prices?

You no like our prices?

Comparison of Price and Hospitality

A good dining experience is far more than price and has to include the environment, quality of service, employees’ attitude and manners, and food quality, etc. Many times we’re willing to overlook shabby decor or even a bad day in the kitchen if the personnel are friendly and welcoming. Somehow the human element in the hospitality industry far outweighs the other elements. The food could be the best in town and the ambiance and decor beautiful but if the staff are nasty or snooty, the whole experience isn’t worth a nickle. That’s a lesson Marco’s has to learn; otherwise they can plan to go belly up in a very short time.

We didn’t have the shocking experience our reader reports but then we didn’t comment on anything when we visited Marco’s. We did notice a hulk of a woman matching the reader’s description who seemed to think she was very important and eyeing us strangely, but she didn’t approach us. We’re assuming by the reader’s description and her bizarre behavior that the hulk must have been Maria. Our server, a young fair-skinned blonde girl was very pleasant and attentive. But then that’s the minimum we’d have expected. We still have to recall the creepy look of the hulk, though.

Our reader continued in his/her report that the rude woman, shaking her finger in his/her face while the reader was talking to Marco, commented: “You don’t know me! Hundreds of people love me!” Yes, Maria, hundreds of people love you! They’d love to see you go back to El Salvador…No doubt Marco would like that, too!

Marcos?!?

Marcos?!?

 

Crandall Board Puts Spin on Budget Error — Uses Censorship to Suppress Truth!

  • Urgent Correction and Apology: Back in November 2015, we wrote that Coeymans voters, having elected disgraced former town justice Phillip Crandal to be Coeymans Town Supervisor, and after having elected several local recycled politicos back into public office after having rejected them just four years ago, we must make the urgent correction to what we then wrote as well as extending an apology to town of Coeymans voters: We were in error when we wrote that the town of Coeymans deserves what they voted for; that was the error. The correction is: Not even Coeymans deserves what they now have sitting on the town board headed by disgraced ex – judge Phillip Crandal and his partners in crimes Tom Dolan, Jim Youmans, and that backstabbling sneaky arse, Dick [as in dork] Touchette, who you elected to the Albany County legislature. No, not even the ignorant and the corrupt of the town of Coeymans deserves that load of raw sewerage. And so we apologize for the error, and correct it.

Crandall Censors Flach Letter, Covers Crandall-Mob’s Back

Crooks and corruption covering for each other at the expense of honest employees and taxpayers

Phil Crandall's Truth Requires Censorship

Phil Crandall’s Version of Truth Requires Censorship

The most recent flood of misinformation that Phil Crandall and his mob are drowning the community in was discussed at the April 21, 2016, Coeymans town board meeting. The rather lengthy discussion focused on an alleged overpayment to about 8 town employees, allegedly all elected officials, and the majority of those being attacked are the opposition party. But guess What? In order to backstab the Republican elected officials, Crandall had to throw his two democrap town justices Kevin Reilly and George Dardiani and boardmember Tom Dolan under the bus, too. Crandall doesn’t even mention his pet judges in the minutes, and he makes certain to shower croney Dolan with thanks and gratitude to soften the blow. Crooks and corruption covering for each other at the expense of honest employees and taxpayers.


We have acquired papers that will shed some truth and light on the subject, something residents and taxpayers didn’t get at the town board meeting nor will they be likely to get anywhere but here.

Crandall and his co–conspirators wanted to make it pay–back time

First of all, let’s just say that the way Mr Crandall handled the issue was improper and simply not right. This is an internal matter that should have been handled internally, not thrown out into the public arena to be misinterpreted and to promote a scandal. But that’s apparently what Crandall and his co–conspirators wanted to make it pay–back time and to punish anyone not in their pockets or in bed with them.

Here’s why we say that:

pay-period leap year sidebarThe Officially Approved Minutes of the April 21, 2016 Coeymans Town Board Meeting are the only record available to the public to document what occurred at the town board meeting. The minutes were approved by the majority of the board, even if those minutes are nonsense and themselves reveal their own lack of credibility.

We have acquired the officially approved minutes of the Coeymans town board meeting, approved by Crandall, Dolan, Youmans, and Burns — Mr Langdon was excused and absent. In those minutes, Mr Crandall announces that “there was a mistake made in the town’s pay periods…last year [2015] here were 27 pay periods instead of 26, which happens every 11 years.” So far he’s being truthful but it stops there. You see, Coeymans town supervisor Phil Crandall and his cronies Tom Dolan and Jim Youmans are very uncomfortable with the truth—that is, if it’s not their specially cooked version of the truth.

Crandall reports information he had known some 5 weeks earlier but didn’t say anything. The information turned up after Sara Morrison, a CPA working “weekends” and being paid big bucks by voucher by Crandall’s administration, “audited” the 2015 budget, finding that the payroll for that period was divided by 26 rather than by 27; the result was that there was an “extra” pay period (two – week’s pay). Crandall says that Morrison brought this mistake to the former town supervisor’s attention back in April 2015 (Note the date!). But what Crandall is ignorant of is the fact that it’s not an “extra” pay period, and doesn’t represent an actual “overpayment” but is rather a normal calendar phenomenon that occurs every 11 years! It’s as natural as sunshine!

Let me stop here for a minute and tell you that the town of Coeymans uses an automated payroll software from BAS (Business Automation Services; to see what their municipal government package includes, go to Municipal Accounting, a business solutions provider in Clifton Park. The problem, it appears, was in the software being used, and how well it was doing what it was purchased to do. It wasn’t!

Not only was the BSA software to blame but the CPA, Sarah Morrison, and the other accounting/bookkeeping/payroll employees were apparently oblivious to the so-called “payroll leap year”, and failed to notify town employees that it was going to occur; not that that fact should have changed anything. The employees would still be entitled to the additional pay period, truth be told.

But here’s another failure in Crandall’s attempt to blacken Coeymans employees: The 2015 town budget was created and approved in late 2014, on November 19, 2014.That budget went into effect on January 1, 2015. Crandall was elected together with Youmans and Dolan in November 2015, and the Coeymans town budget was finalized in that same month (Tom Dolan actually worked on the 2015 and 2016 budgets) so we’d expect the incoming board, especially the incoming chief fiscal officer of the town, the supervisor, Mr Crandall, to be very well informed on the previous budget and the present budget. The current budget went into effect on January 1, 2016, the day Mr Crandall was sworn in to be Coeymans town supervisor.

You can read more about pay – period leap years at:
The Pay Period Leap Year: Handling an Extra Pay Period in 2015
Pay Period Leap Year: Handling 27 Pay Periods
Unusual Wage Payment Issue in 2015 for Many Employers: 27 Bi-Weekly Pay Periods, Not 26

Mr “Corruption” Crandall and his scheister minion David Wukitsch are using unfair intimidation tactics to scare employees into making good on the town accountants’ mistakes.

So, loyal readers, this whole hullabaloo about being overpaid is a big smoke and mirrors performance, a dog and pony act staged by Phil Crandall and his band of halfwits! According to the sidebar and the links above, 81% of employers just go with the flow every 11 years. So why all the publicity? In fact, if the town employees, whether exempt or non-exempt, hourly or salary, were not notified of the pay-period leap year effects and the possibility of a lower paycheck due to the 27 pay period cycle, and it was not spelled out in their contracts we don’t think that the town of Coeymans has any right to demand a reimbursement! It’s the town of Coeymans error, not the fault of the employees. Mr Corruption Crandall and his Scheister minion David Wukitsch are using unfair intimidation tactics to scare employees into making good on the towns accountants’ mistakes. Furthermore, they’re misusing their pubic office to misinform residents and taxpayers about the situation and trying to shift the blame to the innocent employees, while causing many of the unnecessary stress and anxiety not only by demanding that the employees pay back what 81% of normal employers would just accept as an 11-year rarity but also by tarnishing the employees’ images as public and elected officials. In our opinion, that’s tantamount to actionable defamation! How about a tort suit for defamation among other tort causes! Tuck that in your Depends® Mr Crandall and Mr Wukitsch! We say the affected employees should bring a lawsuit against the Crandall administration and their overpaid CPA, Sarah Morrison, and BAS!

What also irks us is the fact that while Crandall and his lackies are pointing fingers at innocent town employees who are only getting paid normally, Crandall, Youmans and Dolan are bringing back their cronies and hiring them, putting them on the town payroll. What about that cost to the town and taxpayers? Why did Crandall and his cronies increase the town planning board to 7 members, 2 more than Mr Flach felt was needed when he reduced the board to 5 members? Why does the town need to pay a high-priced CPA, Sarah Morrison, PLUS anonther overpaid dingo, Darryl Puritan (at more than $100/hr), plus Nita Chmielewski as town bookkeeper, PLUS Cindy Rowzee as an assistant bookkeeper?!?!?

We also think the affected employees who received Mr Wukitsch’s intimidation letter should file a formal complaint with the bar association because of Mr Wukitsch’s unprofessional conduct to the bar association and professional ethics enforcers. Misusing his position to wrongfully intimidate may result in disciplinary action being taken against him.

Yet another person comes on the stage with one Cathy Hanley, an employee of BAS, who allegedly prepares the W2 forms for Coeymans employees, who, Crandall claims, brought the error to former Coeymans bookkeeper, Matthew Weidman, who was replaced by Nita J. Chmielewski, former Coeymans town supervisor for a very short time before she had to resign because of math mistakes in the town budget that led back to her. She can’t do math but now she’s the town of Coeymans bookkeeper. Go figure! Only in Coeymans!

And so are the Coeymans town board!

And so are the Coeymans town board!

Editor’s note: As far as we have been able to discover, the town of Coeymans has quite a number of people involved in bookkeeping and payroll other than BAS. In addition to Sarah Morrison who bills by voucher and gets paid megabucks, there’s Darrell Puritan who, as a “weekend worker” — whatever that is — gets at least $100/hour, then there’s Nita Chmielewski, who is clerk to the supervisor, and also replaced M. Weidman as town bookkeeper despite her dubious math skills, and then there’s Cindy Rowzee who was hired to be Crandall’s part-time confidential secretary but also works as an assistant bookkeeper. Sounds like financial overkill to us. But after all this financial talent is taken into consideration, we are still dealing with a phony “payroll mistake.” How does that work, anyway? We’d like to ask who’s getting the kickbacks from all of this financial overkill?

This boils down to several important facts, which Mr Crandall conveniently fails to observe. First of all, how could Morrison audit a budget that was not yet fully implemented for 2015. You see, the budget for the fiscal year 2015 was proposed and finalized in November 2014, and went into effect on January 1, 2015. That budget was not yet fully implemented by April 2015 and so really couldn’t have been “audited”. Moreover, if Cathy Hanley, an employee of BSA allegedly brought her observations to the attention of the then town bookkeeper, Matthew Weidman, Mr Weidman certainly would have made a note of the “error” then. But what puzzles us is that Mr Crandall says that a contract employee of the town of Coeymans, CPA Sarah Morrison informed former supervisor Stephen Flach of the “error.” Certainly, anyone who knows Flach would have to admit that this is not the sort of thing Mr Flach would have pooh – poohed and swept under the carpet; truth be told, Stephen Flach was honest to a flaw and as ethical as can be, which probably led to his downfall to the scoundrels. But there was no mistake, no error, in reality no overpayment at all! It’s all a fraud cooked up by Crandall and his minions!

No! Our analysis of the facts and the documents tells a completely different story

No! Our analysis of the facts tells a completely different story than what Mr Crandall and his hoodlums would have the public believe. You see, BSA and their software are the real culprits. BSA apparently failed to take into account the gremlin that occurred every 11 years, and as a company providing business solutions they should have known of this occurrence! Think of it this way: When you buy income – tax filing software you expect it to be correct and accurate and your tend to trust it. Right? You don’t expect to have to check their formulas and figures against the tax code do you? Same thing applies to business solutions software like BSA’s. They claim their product does something and does it right; it’s not up to Mr Flach or Mr Weidmann to go back and check their software codes and algorithms to ensure that the BSA software works properly. Wouldn’t that be something Darryl Puritan — Oh! Puritan is another financial braniac who gets paid more than $100/hr as a weekend employee by the town of Coeymans — or Ms Sarah Morrison, another one who’s billing Coeymans megabucks for financial advice, should have caught and fixed? And does Mr Crandall expect that the affected town employees should have gone back to the software to check that it caught the 11 – year gizmo? Hell no! So why would Mr Crandall, in a public meeting, make it all sound like he was a hero and found this horrible misconduct, that is, Mr Flach and the affected employees had attempted to hide the fact that they had been overpaid — the so-called “overpayment” was spread out over 11 years that it amounted to less than 4%! In fact, it wasn’t an overpayment at all but a normal payment in a payroll leap year! Furthermore, it would not have become apparent until the end of the fiscal year, not in April 2015, not even halfway into the budget year! What’s the disgraced judge trying to pull here? Whatever it is he’s trying to feed us he was much better at fixing tickets for Tom Dolan and Dick Touchette. We were safer when he was a crooked judge; it’s hopeless now that he’s a crooked town supervisor.

Crandall's Snow Job

Crandall’s Snow Job

What’s more telling is that if you look at the political affiliations of the employees who allegedly were “overpaid” we find that 2/3 of the affected employees are Republicans! And guess What? The other third are Democrats but it gets even better. Two of the Democrats are sitting Coeymans town justices, Kevin Reilly and George Dardiani (tell you something about our judges? Are they all in bed with Crandall?) and the most scandalous is that the third Democrat is no less than Tom Dolan!!!! Dolan was on the board when the alleged payroll “error” in the 2015 budget was made!!! So say what you like, it seems to us that Crandall is taking pot shots at the opposition and, while thanking Tom Dolan profusely at the public meeting, doesn’t breath a word about the Democrap town justices who were “overpaid” as well!

It’s important to note that Coeymans Police Chief, Peter J. McKenna, was mentioned in the discussion but it must be made absolutely clear that the Chief was not overpaid; he actually took a pay cut!!! But Crandall never clarified that during the discussions and it’s not clear in the minutes either.Was the “oversight” intended to include the chief in the overpayment scandal without doing so directly and falsely? Now that’s pretty underhanded, isn’t it? But it’s Crandall all the way.

Former Coeymans supervisor’s Letter was to be read into the record but was censored by a dishonest and disgraced former judge…Phil Crandall

And what’s this about Phil Crandall refusing to let Mr Stephen Flach’s letter be read by town board member Kenneth Burns?!? The letter was addressed to the people of the town of Coeymans thru their town council! So we’re going to reproduce the text Mr Flach’s letter below. It was written to be read at the meeting into the official record but was censored by a dishonest and disgraced former judge who was forbidden ever to run for judicial office again but was elected to be town supervisor. Phil Crandall may be able to silence a Ken Burns but Crandall can’t silence this blog!!!

In a letter dated May 3, 2016, Mr Flach writes, verbatim:

Dear Town Board.

I received a letter from the attorney to the Town about an overpayment to me from December 2015. There was a pay periods that ended on 12 / 23 / 2015 [December 23,2015]. I paid that out on 12 / 30 / 2015 [December 30, 2015] I I thought that the last week of December and going into January was the 27th pay period, thus Peter Masti and I did not get paid for the last week of December, not realizing that it was already the 27th pay period the week before. I have enclosed a check back to the Town for the amount that was overpaid to me on December 30th. I made a mistake and I apologize to the board, the taxpayers, and those who were overpaid. I have encouraged those who were overpaid to reimburse the Town as soon as possible. I would hope that the town officials would give [redacted], [redacted], and anyone else affected, the time they need to pay this back.

I have not been involved with the Town since I left on December 31st and continue to hope that the current board does a great job as the elected officials in running the Town and doing what is best for the residents. Working for the Town is about serving the people with character and integrity, and I thank you for your service. It is unfortunate that some of the employees that are working for you are only interested in vengeance and not just doing their job. I pray that you five men continue to do your best for our town, and move our town forward.

Sincerely,
/  / signature/ /
Stephen Flach

Mr Flach enclosed his check in reimbursement of the alleged overpayment.

David Wukitsch, Coeymans town attorney, who, by the way was fired by the town of New Baltimore because he was allegedly a jerk

Several town employees addressed a joint letter to Phil Crandall as town supervisor and chief fiscal officer protesting how ineptly the matter was being handled and how it cast innocent employees in a false light. We think the letter is much too weak, but then we don’t have to work with Crandall and his mob on a day – to – day basis. The employees object to the ultimatum letter sent by David Wukitsch, town attorney, who, by the way was fired by the town of New Baltimore because he was a jerk. The employees complain that they were not properly notified of the overpayment and were never met with to discuss the amount allegedly owed. It must be said, though, that even Wukitsch’s letter states that it was a “payroll error”, that is, not the fault of the employees if the payroll people did not make the adjustment. It is unconscionable that Wukitsch tells the employees that they should reimburse the town “within the next 30 days.” How would you feel if in 30 days you would have to cough up more than $1,000.00 for something not your fault, even beyond your control?

Mr Burns really needs to get a pair of balls…He doesn’t need Phil Crandall’s blessing.

Now, we ask you, Why? wouldn’t Mr Crandall want this to be read into the record by Mr Kenneth Burns? What right does Mr Crandall have to censor this letter? Well, knowing Mr Crandall, Mr Dolan, and Mr Youmans, it’s clear that if this letter were read into the record, it would certainly have taken the edge off of their underhanded attack! But Mr Burns really needs to get a pair of balls; he doesn’t need Phil Crandall’s blessing to read a letter into the record if he so wishes.

Here’s another fact for our readers to ponder when thinking about Mr Crandall’s unscrupulous and dishonest tactics: Mr Crandall and Mr Youmans were campaigning for public office well in advance of November 2015. In fact, Jim “Bully” Youmans is a former town supervisor and should have been familiar with the 11–year issue, so why didn’t he catch it. He had an awful lot to say while he was campaigning! He should have at least acknowledged that it could easily be missed. But Tom “Dithering” Dolan has been on the board through several, at least 5 town budget proceedings, and he’s been blundering around town hall for even longer. In fact, he was involved in drafting, presenting and finalizing the 2015 town budget. Why didn’t he catch it back then? You see, it would be terribly inconvenient for Mr Crandall to have to admit that he and his cronies are just as much at fault as anyone else for not catching the so-called “mistake”. But they should have.

Mr Flach’s letter emphasizes Mr Flach’s integrity and honesty, and casts a very dark shadow on the Crandall administration

As to why he wouldn’t want Mr Flach’s letter read publically we can only say that Mr Flach’s letter emphasizes Mr Flach’s integrity and honesty and casts a very dark shadow on the Crandall administration. Yes, as Mr Flach writes, “it is unfortunate that some of the employees that are working for you are only interested in vengeance and not [in] just doing their job.” It’s non Crandall’s watch and under his questionable leadership that this is all happening, and it’s Mr Crandall and his cronies Youmans and Dolan who are dropping the ball and true to form, they’re trying to paint someone black for it. You can’t change them but you’re stuck with them for at least another 3 years or until someone sends them to jail. We do wonder, however, that Mr Flach was so quick to reimburse an overpayment that never was. We think he should have consulted an accountant before having done that.

Crandall is trying to scapegoat innocent, hard-working civil servants to bolster his own sick ego and to cover up his administration’s total lack of credibility and focus. Don’t take his bait; don’t fall into his trap!

There’s more and we’ll report on it in an upcoming article. Stay tuned we’ve got some dirt on Nita J. Chmielewski, the town planning board padding by Phil Crandall, and some really good stuff on the Coeymans – Carver Companies asbestos battle. It seems that it’s going to go to court…and you’re going to pay the tab for Crandall’s vendettas. But we now have names and we’re going to go public with them. Enjoy your town board, Coeymans. You asked for it.

Editor’s Note: Residents and taxpayers in other surrounding towns should be asking these same questions. Has New Baltimore missed the 11-year gremlin? Can New Baltimore residents and taxpayers be expecting their elected officials and public servants to be writing reimbursement checks to the town? More on this later.

Phil Crandall Crooked Judge = Crooked Politician = Bad for Coeymans

Phil Crandall

Crooked Judge = Crooked Politician = Bad for Coeymans
What does that schmuck puss tell you about the guy wearing it?

Upcoming Stories

  • Comparing Local Restaurants’ Hospitality vs. Prices: Marco’s Higher Prices, Poorer Hospitality?
  • Is the Crandall Administration Padding Personnel with Cronies? Using the public domain for paybacks à la Tom Dolan?
  • Has the Touchette-Ross-Crandall Vendetta become the Coeymans-Carver Vendetta? Abuse of public office and conspiracy?

 

 

Community Service Announcement

The Next Session of Thanatology Café will be on

Saturday, May 7, 2016, from 2:00 —4:00 p.m.
in the Community Room
RCS Community Library
95 Main Street
Ravena, New York

We ask that you sign up at the RCS Community Library or at thanatology.cafe@gmail.com so that the organizers have some idea of how many participants will join us and so that we can plan for refreshments.

The topic of the session and the accompanying video for discussion will be:

May 7, 2016, Video 2. The Dying Person
When we are told that we are terminally ill, we are defined, more than ever, by the limits of our bodies. In this program, we meet three women — each diagnosed with a different form of cancer — who handle their limitations in different ways. The role of palliative care is viewed in depth, as well as how family relationships change under the pressure of the diagnosis.

The recent National Geographic articles on death and Victorian mortuary photography will be part of the discussion on the topic of how we view death and dying.

One-on-one discussion will follow with Ch. Harold for those who want to discuss personal issues.

 

Let's talk about it.

Let’s talk about it.

We are working on offering the Thanatology Café program at the Albany Public Libraries, the Guilderland Public Library, Troy Public Library and the Bethlehem (Delmar) Public Library. If you live in those areas and are interested in joining the conversation, please let us know. We’ll be happy to start a local program near you. Just let us know at thanatology.café@gmail.com.
You can also follow this blog and receive automatic notification whenever a new post appears or a comment is posted.

 
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Posted by on April 19, 2016 in Uncategorized

 

High Marks for the RCS Community Library

The RCS Community Library under the direction of Judith Wines is doing a pretty fantastic job of getting some really interesting programs out to the community. In fact, when requested, we published the public information on an unusual but apparently very interesting and needed program that’s found a home at the RCS Community Library, Thanatology Café, a program that offers the opportunity to talk about death, dying, grief, mourning and death-related subjects.

We’ve read a pretty nice post on the Thanatology Café blog that is complimentary of the RCS Community Library and it’s staff, and we really think RCS should take note of the fine work the RCS Community Library is doing for the community.

Our more than 300,000 readers know well that we have no qualms about being outspoken when it comes to our community and the Ravena News Herald, but truth be told the Ravena News Herald and editor Melanie Lekocevic apparently have been generously supportive of the library and the Thanatology Café program, if our observations are correct. Fair is fair and when the News Herald is on the up and up, we want to be the first to say Nice job! Thank you!

BUT…

 

Churches, Funeral Homes, First Responders

Churches, Funeral Homes, First Responders

We do have some disturbing information though and we have verified it factually. Here we have an innovative program, Thanatology Café, sponsored by a reputable and highly-respected community organization, the RCS Community Library, and even getting the support of the Ravena News Herald but WTF!!!!! We have information that about 100 information packets were sent out to local churches and public service organizations, including fire departments, EMS, first responders, and police departments, including the Coeymans fire and rescue squad, the Ravena Hose Company, and the Coeymans Police Department, just to name a few, and it appears none of those organizations responded.

Local churches have their hands out for stipends whenever a local dies but almost every church in the area does not offer a bereavement education, a death awareness, or death education program…

no handoutsWhat’s even worse is that the organizers (for the record the RCS Community Library hosts the program but does not organize it) invited local churches and pastors to announce the program and to post the attractive flyers to inform their congregations of the availability of the thanatology program, yet, according to the spokesperson for Thanatology Café, not a single one responded and there is no evidence that anyone from any of the local RCS churches bothered to attend the inaugural event. That does seem a bit strange to us and we’d like to hear from members of the congregations of local churches whether they even heard about the program from their so-called pastors. We find that strange because local churches have their hands out for stipends whenever a local dies but almost every church in the area does not offer a bereavement education, a death awareness, or death education program. We would think they’d jump at the opportunity to learn more about the program from the get go!

Why didn’t the local death businesses — Babcock Funeral Home, A.J. Cunningham Funeral Homes, W.C. Brady’s Sons Funeral Home respond?

death-its-a-livingAnd you’d think that the local businesses that make a bundle of money from local deaths, Babcock Funeral Home and A.J. Cunningham Funeral Homes, both right down the street from the library, would seize the unique opportunity to join in the death education opportunities offered by a program like Thanatology Café but apparently Sharon Babcock and the A.J. Cunningham staff had better things to do than join in a community educational program. We’ll be keeping an eye on our local death industry, you can be assured of that. Both Babcock Funeral Home and A.J. Cunningham Funeral Homes were provided with special packets along with W.C. Brady’s Sons Funeral Home (Coxsackie) and several other regional funeral homes were provided with special packets and invitations. We have the documents and we have the questions, too, Why didn’t the local death businesses respond?

People are more aware, more interested and willing to discuss the subject, the options and the choices…death and dying, living wills, advance directives, and funeral and memorial options

We’ve done the online research and find that Death Cafes, Death Salons, discussion groups about death and dying, hospice and palliative care organizations, healthcare organizations, special interest groups dealing with infant death, suicide, traumatic death, etc. are thriving and growing because people are more aware, more interested and willing to discuss the subject, the options and the choices, and are not waiting til the last minute to learn as much as they can about death and dying, living wills, advance directives, and funeral and memorial options.

Are they scared that Thanatolgy Café might rock their comfy little boats…get people to ask the important questions?

Can our churches, first responders, funeral homes be so petty as to get involved in small-minded turf wars at your expense?

Petty, stupid turf wars?

Petty, stupid turf wars?

So we’re getting interested now, too, but especially why local churches, who are constantly preaching about death and whatnot, and local first responders and rescue squads, who frequently have to deal with death, and in particular, why the three main death businesses, Babcock Funeral Home, A.J. Cunningham Funeral Homes, and W.C. Brady’s Sons Funeral Home are so silent when an important program comes to the area. Are they scared that Thanatolgy Café might rock their comfy little boats, stir up some good and reliable information in the community, get people to ask the important questions? Maybe. We have learned that the Thanatology Café program will be providing a lot of information on pre-arrangements, available options and choices, how to go about creating your living will or Advance directive, funeral and memorial choices and recommendations, and much, much more. Stuff you need to know no matter what your age and information you’re not likely to get anywhere else.

we know where your head isDon’t you think you’d be getting a better deal from church, rescue squad, senior center and funeral home if they were better informed about death, dying, surviving, and the choices and options you should have? Can our churches and so-called pastors, our community funded first responders, local funeral homes, who cash in on the community’s ignorance and lack of information, be so petty as to get involved in small-minded turf wars at your expense? Looks like it. But keeping their heads tucked up a dark, wet spot won’t do them any good. Let’s hear from them. Let’s hear from our readers.

Town of Coeymans and Town of New Baltimore

Town of Coeymans and
Town of New Baltimore


Town of Coeymans

No, we haven’t gone AWOL on our watch. We’re working on a story about how the Phil Crandall/Youmans/Dolan mob are screwing town of Coeymans taxpayers. Didn’t we hear Phil Crandall say something about cutting the costs of local government, blah, blah, blah?

Well, apparently disgraced former village justice Phil Crandall, Psycho-bully Youmans and Dithering-Tom Dolan don’t think that cost containment applies to their cronies they imported when they took office. We’re talking specifically about the alleged overtime Crandall’s administrative clerk Nita Chmielewski is collecting hand-over-fist. It seems that old Nita is incompetent and doesn’t know what she’s doing — as if she ever did; nothing seems to change in the in-crowd in Coeymans — and she’s collecting a bundle for her incompetence and ignorance. Wonder if Mr Crandall, Mr Youmans or Mr Dolan can explain why their cronies get the overtime, while the Coeymans Police Department is consistently saving on costs, economizing, and coming in under budget under the professional supervision of a competent chief?

A contributor has demanded the production of certain documents that will prove the corruption in Coeymans town hall and the hypocrisy of Mr Crandall and his cronies

Stay tuned for the fireworks!


Town of New Baltimore

There’s word out that something’s cooking in New Baltimore about the New Baltimore Supervisor of Highways and the Highways Department and indifference, negligence and dereliction of duty and responsibility.

Thanks to the double-dealing of the Greene County Independence Party Committee chairman George Ackerman and co-chairperson, Irene Beede, and their mismanagement of a very worthy candidate, Mr Alan vanWormer in the elections last November, Denis Jordan was re-elected by a single — Yes! 1 vote! — and despite the known corruption, crookedness, incompetence and ignorance that is the hallmark of his department, he didn’t go to jail but kept his office. But that’s New Baltimore and screwy-Louie politics run by incompetent political committees.

Do you actually think YOU elect these bozos?

We have information that a pretty big law suit is in the brewing that will be brought against the town of New Baltimore, the New Baltimore Highway Department and Denis Jordan for incompetence, negligence, and indifference by dereliction of duty and violation of applicable state laws. Seems Jordan’s friends get all the highway department services while others get the finger, and can watch their property collapse because of poor road and drainage maintenance.

A collaborator is getting the information together and talking to the aggrieved parties and we’ll be the first to release the information.

One crook is going to cost an entire town a bundle. Go figure!

The Fickle Finger is Pointing to YOU, Dumbass! The Editor

The Fickle Finger is Pointing to YOU, Dumbass!
The Editor

 
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Posted by on April 10, 2016 in 19th Congressional District, 20th Congressional District, A.J. Cunningham Funeral Homes, Abuse of Public Office, Accountability, Alan van Wormer, Alan VanWormer, Albany County Board of Elections, Albany County District Attorney, Arlene McKeon, Babcock Funeral Home, Barbara Finke, Bill Bailey, Bill Bailey, Bitter Bob (Ross), Bob Ross, Bryan Rowzee, Capital District, Carmen Warner, Carver Laraway, Catherine Deluca, Catherine M. Deluca, Cathy Deluca, Chris Gibson, Chris Gibson, Chris Norris, Coeymanazis, Coeymans, Coeymans Elections, Coeymans Police Department, Coeymans Town Board, Coeymans Town Budget, Conflict of Interest, Conspiracy, Cornell Hook and Ladder, Cornell Hook and Ladder Auxiliary, Corruption, Craig Youmans, David Soares, David Wukitsch, Death Awareness, Death Education, DEC, Denis Jordan, Denis Jordan, Department of Environmental Conservation, Diane Jordan, Dick Touchette, Eleanor Luckacovic, Eleanor Oldham, Elected Official, EMR, Eric T. Schneiderman, FOIL, Fraud, Freedom of Information Law, George Acker, George Langdon, Government, Greene County Independence Party, Hal Warner, Harold Warner, Henry Traver, Hudson Valley, Hypocrisy, Independence Party, Irene Beede, Irregularities, Voting, Jean Horne, Jeff Ruso, Jenna Crandall, Jim Youmans, Joan Ross, Joel Coye, Joel Coye, John Cashin, John Luckacovic, Joseph Tanner, Josephine Bruno, Judicial Misconduct, Kathy Rundberg, Keith Mahler, Ken Burns, Kenneth Burns, Kevin Reilly, Kurt Froehlich, Larry Conrad, Laverne Conrad, Law Enforcement, Marjorie Loux, Mark S. Jordan, Marvin Gertzberg, Mayor "Mouse", Mayor "Mouse" Misuraca, Melanie Lekocevic, Michael Biscone, Michael J. Biscone, Misconduct, Mismanagement, Misuse of Public Office, Moose Misuraca, Moose Misuraca, Nancy Biscone-Warner, Nancy Warner, Nancy Warner, New Baltimore, New Baltimore Elections, New Baltimore Family Dentistry, New Baltimore Highway Department, New Baltimore Town Budget, New York, New York Department of Environmental Conservation, New York State, New York State Association of Fire Chiefs, News Herald, Nick Delisanti, Nick Dellisanti, Nita Chmielewski, NYS Assembly, NYS Comptroller Audit, NYS Senate, NYSAFC, Obstruction of Justice, Office of the Attorney General, Official Misconduct, Paul Tonko, Pete Lopez, Peter J. McKenna, Peter Mckenna, Peter McKenna, Phil Crandall, Phillip Crandall, Poll Misconduct, Ravena, Ravena Coeymans Selkirk, Ravena Fire Department, Ravena News Herald, Ravena Rescue Squad, RCS Community Library, Richard Touchette, Rick Touchette, Robert Fisk, Robert J. Freeman, Robert Krug, Sandy Debacco, Selkirk, Smalbany, Thanatology Café, Thomas E. Dolan, Tom Dolan, Tom Dolan, Town of Bethlehem, Town of Coeymans, Town of New Baltimore, William Bailey, William Bailey, William Misuraca

 

RCS Public Library Thanatology Café Program Preview

The April Thanatology Café Gathering is on
Saturday, April 9th, 2016, at the

The RCS Community Library

95 Main Street

Ravena, NY

Program starts at 2:00 p.m. and runs until about 4:00 p.m.

Visit and follow the Thanatology Café blog. Follow @thanatologycafe and on Facebook’s  Thanatology Café group.


death a personal understandingThanatology Café. Where the conversation is about death, dying and life. Will launch at the RCS Community Library on April 9, 2016.

The program will launch with a series of 10 short videos — one each month for 10 months — on various aspects of death, dying and grieving, “Death: A personal Understanding,” and the April 9 session will also include a short award-winning animated video clip, “The Life of Death.” Discussion of the videos will follow. Refreshments will be available. The program is free and the public is welcome.

A Hauntingly Beautiful Short Film About Life and Death -The Life of Death is a touching hand drawn animation about the day Death fell in love with Life.

A Hauntingly Beautiful Short Film About Life and Death -The Life of Death is a touching hand drawn animation about the day Death fell in love with Life.

 

Thanatology Café at the RCS Community Library: Registration Form

Please Note: We have just been informed by the RCS Community library that the Thanatology Café sign-up sheets at the RCS Community Library are kept in a binder behind the check-out desk. You must ask a staff member for the book to sign up. 

register-nowWe recently announced an exciting new program coming to the RCS Community Library. The program, which plans to meet regularly monthly and will be supplemented by extraordinary meetings for smaller groups to discuss special topics focusing on death, dying, coping, grief, and death-related topics, has published its Initial Registration Form that can be completed before the Saturday, April 9, 2016, session at the RCS Community Library, from 2:00 – 4:00 p.m.

The organizers encourage interested participants to download and printout the form and to bring it the the April 9 session; that will save time and will leave more time for the conversations.

Sign-up sheets are also available at the RCS Community library, but interested persons can also R.S.V.P. their intention to attend by sending an e-mail to thanatology.cafe@gmail.com.

We are informed that local churches, fire and rescue departments, police departments, EMS, schools and local funeral directors have been contacted and urged to send representatives.

It’s an important program and will deal with a subject that really needs to be talked about more. It promises to be an outstanding opportunity for sharing, learning and information. Don’t miss it.

register now_red

Initial Registration Form

Of course, if you have any questions, please e-mail the organizers at thanatology.cafe@gmail.com. They will get right back to you with an answer.

Please click the Register Now image to display and download or print out the Initial Registration from, fill it out as completely as possible, and bring it with you to the Thanatology Cafe session on April 9, 2016, at the RCS Community Library, 95 Main Street, Ravena, New York. The session starts promptly at 2 p.m. so please be on time.

And in the meantime, visit the Thanatolgy Café blog.

Well be there and we hope you will be too; we are looking forward to meeting and chatting with you on April 9th!

The Editor

The Editor

 

 
 
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