Local News Is Fast Becoming Scarce If Not Ultra-Commonplace. A Sure Sign that The Times Useless and Its Step-cousin, the Ravena News Herald are Scandal-Starved.
Judging from the front page of the Ravena News Herald and from the items–they’re not stories, actually, nor are they professional journalism, by the way–the local-bulletin-board-wannabe-newspaper is fast becoming advertisements in disguise while continuing as a local propaganda rag. (Example: “Free” kempo karate demos at library for children; parents will pay after the kids get a taste. Can’t a library just be a library anymore?) Just look at the latest edition of the Ravena News Herald to see what we mean.
In a front-page piece on the “Scouts” meeting in the Roman Catholic Church of St Patrick in Ravena, we read that
“…dozens of community members gathered at St. Patrick’s Church in Ravena to witness the Cub and Boy Scouts of Troop 1067 reaffirm their commitment to reverence, “to be reverent toward God, faithful in his [Ed. note: God’s?] religious duties and to respect the beliefs of others” in accordance with the law of the Scout put forth by the Boy Scouts of America.”
That bit of scurrilous reporting which, if you read the news outside of Ravena-Coeymans, is the epitome of misinformation and hypocrisy, given the BSA’s refusal to stop being a pillar of discrimination, exclusion and hate, where even the federal government has long ago legislated against such practices. I think it’s the part about to “respect the beliefs of others,” that got my attention. But more on that some other time.
But the most glaring first-page gaffe is the caption under the large photo on the first page. (Can you find it?) More about this later on.
This was followed by a rather lengthy “prayer” read by Brian Searles, BSA troop master, which runs more than 144 words and takes up 2/3 of the first page text. That “prayer” runs along the lines of the Prayer of St Francis of Assisi that starts, “Lord, make me an instrument of your peace…”
“Dear Lord, bless all those everywhere who contribute to shape the hearts, minds and bodies of young people. Let us remember what they have taught and apply it daily.”
I have some serious questions as to the “what they have been taught,” and if the scout leader is referring to the explicit policy of discrimination and hate espoused, defended, and ipso facto “taught” by the Boy Scouts of America espouse with regard to certain groups. Searles continues:
“When facing deceit and dishonesty, let us be trustworthy. If we see hypocrisy and faithlessness, let us be loyal. Where disregard for others and where materialism prevails, let us be helpful. In an atmosphere of ill manner, let us be courteous. Where some measure manliness in brutality and crudeness, let us be kind. Though law-breaking and rule-scoffing are common, let us be obedient. While others grumble and grouch, let us be cheerful. In an environment blighted by waste and extravagance, let us be thrifty. When confronted with danger and temptation, let us be brave. As we see filth and pollution everywhere, let us be clean. While witnessing impiety and irreligion, let us remember to be reverent. In short, in a world that has for generation after generation lamented the lack of good examples, let us Scouts stand out, grow up and be real adults.”
Clumsy as Mr Searles plagiarized prayer might be, his complaints are quite clear–we all know what he’s talking about, don’t we?
Actually, had Mr Searles simply read the Prayer of St Francis, maybe someone in the group would have more completely appreciated the intended prayerfulness of the moment and would have actually attempted to live the admonitions promoted by the holy example of the saint, and centuries later distilled shortly before the First World War into the now popular and familiar verses. (To read and download a copy of the Franciscan Peace Prayer I’ve prepared, click this link: The Story Behind the Peace Prayer of St Francis )
It’s rather ironic, too, that these lofty confessions of what our society and community have come to represent: “deceit and dishonesty,” hypocrisy and faithlessness,” “disregard for others,” “materialism,” “ill manner” ( must admit, I’m at a loss to really understand what that is supposed to mean), “manliness in brutality and crudeness,” “law-breaking and rule-scoffing,” where our neighbors “grumble and grouch,” and in a culture that confronts us daily with “danger and temptation,” where we find “filth and pollution everywhere,” and in our very churches we witness “impiety and irreligion” (irreligion is an interesting word meaning hostility towards religion. I don’t think that’s the problem though.), “lack of good examples.” In a word, doesn’t this sound like the routine in this community, in the local schools, in the entire Smalbany region? The entire country–with few exceptions? And let’s ask ourselves how long the Scouts have been in the RCS district? And where do they go and what do they do if they graduate from our schools, move on from the scouts?
We also read in that same issue of the Ravena News Herald that–like Ravena-Coeymans–there’s no news in New Baltimore. We say this because on page 4 (it’s interesting to note that in the News Herald, page 2 reports on “Around the Town” news from Albany, Vorheesville, Rotterdam (?!?), under the heading “New Baltimore,” we read that the ailing, lonely, only church left in New Baltimore is hosting a food and fellowship luncheon. We then turn to page 9 of that same issue and read an exact duplicate of the article. Nice editing. But my point is this: Has New Baltimore descended, deteriorated to such an extent that there’s nothing better to report than to repeat an announcement of a church luncheon?!?
RCS residents pay a buck to read that sort of amateurish, poorly written, unnewsworthy stuff
So we finally come to the stuff of our title, “Coeymanazi Building Inspector Conrad: Good fences make good neighbors?” How does that fit in with the Ravena News Herald and its misshapen and moronic reporting? Read on…
In a misinformative and pitifully distorted version of both American literature and reality, idiot reporter Bryan Rowzee, in the front-age item, “Coeymans. Keeping Coeymans on the map,” Rowzee starts off his item with a quote from Robert Frost’s memorable poem, Mending Wall. But in true News Herald Fashion, Rowzee misinterprets and so falsifies to his readers the meaning of the poem, and does so by taking one familiar line out of the context of the whole poem, similar to what’s done business as usual in the RCS community.
For starters, the poem is a lament of fences, how walls and fences are something that are unnatural:
Something there is that doesn’t love a wall,
That sends the frozen-ground-swell under it,
And spills the upper boulders in the sun;
And makes gaps even two can pass abreast.
And throughout the poem Frost questions the necessity for fences and even characterizes the neighbor who builds the fence (in the poem a stone wall) as being
…like an old-stone savage armed.
He moves in darkness…
In fact, Mr Rowzee, Frost’s poem has nothing good to say about walls or fences; in fact, the entire poem is a statement against walls and fences! Mr, Frost, describes his neighbor likening him to a menacing caveman as he puts a rock into the wall, and repeats, “Good fences makes good neighbors.” So, either Mr Rowzee is trying to be cute and is using the Frost quote in total ignorance of what the poem actually says or, Mr Rowzee is being sneaky and using the quote to ridicule Larry Conrad in the article. Difficult to say unless you read the item in the News Herald, and until you reach the paragraph
“Conrad said the town loves growth and wants growth but needs growth that follows the laws created to help the whole community. He said he hopes that this business and others will benefit from clearer zoning maps and believes this may lessen misunderstandings and strained relationships between community members and town officials.”
Mr Conrad has a motley history of contradictions and obstruction; he’s not much different from any other small-minded, small-town, power-drunk petty official. Of course, Mr Conrad loves walls and fences, they’re unnatural and intended to isolate and obstruct. He’s been building unethical walls in the Coeymans community for years and has gotten very good at it.
Moreover, there’s nothing small-minded, small-town, power-drunk petty officials like more than passing laws that make them appear more powerful and make their jobs more secure, while at the same time make everyone else’s lives more complicated, and unpleasant, increase the already insufferable red tape and corruption in the area, and offer more opportunities for the small-minded, small-town, power-drunk petty official to do “favors” for special people.
Like so many in the Ravena-Coeymans élite, Conrad talks out of both sides of his face
Yes, Mr Larry Conrad, Coeymans Building Inspector, does come to us with a long history and a mighty load of dirty laundry in his baggage. The are some very unsavory legends about the connections between Larry Conrad and Bobo-cop Gerald “Jerry Dirty-Hands” Deluca, the NYS Department of Environmental Conservation (Deluca claims to be a consultant with the DEC. Consulting on what?), and a tract of land on Route 9w, a certain family of lawyers in Ravena (did I say “Biscone“? Oops!), and an alleged shady deal made to bamboozle an elderly couple out of their property for a song. Greed was the motivation, of course. And the lawyer (did I say “Biscone” again? Oops!), made it all seem legal. But when the deal collapsed and the property was sold to a local family for a fair price, the retaliation began! And who was at the center of the “legal” harassment and retaliation? Why do you need to ask? Mr Larry Conrad.
Like so many in the Ravena-Coeymans élite, George Dardiani (violates the Code of Judicial Ethics), Ravena mayor John Bruno (plays loosey-goosey with public money), Cathy Deluca (runs a close second to her double-talking husband and has a teflon surface with her supporters), Michael Biscone, (is he village attorney or does he just bill the village? Whatever he is, he’s great at covering some apparent real conflicts of interest. We’ll FOIL his invoices for services and the payment vouchers from the village very soon!) and the list could go on and on, Conrad talks out of both sides of his face, but as a made Coeymanazi, he’s loyal to the godfathers and to his protectors.
So you can really understand, given Conrad’s associations, history, cronies, and the mob he hangs out with, we take a very close look at statements like “the town … wants growth but needs growth that follows the laws created to help the whole community. He said he hopes that this business and others will benefit from clearer zoning maps and believes this may lessen misunderstandings and strained relationships between community members and town officials.”
Conrad apparently believes that more laws controlling what residents and neighbors do and “help the community,” and that more laws “will lessen misunderstandings and strained relationships between community members and town officials.” Which side of his mouth is this coming from, I ask?
Mr Conrad, the only way that misunderstandings and strained relationships between community members and village/town officials can be lessened is not by creating more laws but by streamlining the administration. This may very well entail eliminating the village of Ravena and consolidating it with the hamlet of Coeymans under one single administration, an administration that will first of all put an end to the corruption and coercion that has hallmarked the Ravena-Coeymans system of oppression for decades! It will involve elimination of the money pit and den of thugs we popularly call the Coeymans Police Department and purging the crooks and dumbos calling themselves law enforcement! Replacing the Coeymans Police Department with a professionally trained corps of law enforcement like the Albany County Sheriff’s team would be the wisest move ever for this community.
Before you create new laws or bring in new systems, Mr Conrad, there’s a hell of a lot of healing that has to be done to “lessen misunderstandings and strained relationships between community members and town officials.”
The Ravena-Coeymans community has been hemorrhaging small businesses while being poisoned by the large corporations and oppressed by the special-interests in and around Albany that are feeding and fostering the small-minded, small-town, power-drunk petty officials who all believe they have their positions for life and can hand them over to their designated heirs. And the Conrad-Biscone-Deluca-Bruno-Persico cliques have all but silenced the democratic process in the town of Coeymans. Clean out village and town hall completely and maybe the fresher air in the town of Coeymans will attract business-health conscious entrepreneurs. To date all that the village of Ravena and the town of Coeymans have attracted are corpse flies feeding on the dead and dying local economy. What businesses are left standing after the Conrad Crew and the Coeymanazis have finished are disillutioned, angry, and suspicious of anything that comes out of the village and town halls!
Larry Conrad hasn’t a clue what he’s talking about! Before you create new laws or bring in new systems, Mr Conrad, there’s a hell of a lot of healing that has to be done to “lessen misunderstandings and strained relationships between community members and town officials.” The TRUST and CONFIDENCE in local government has to be re-established after decades of a local corrupt machine of self-interests and special interests have made this entire community into a community of paranoid recluses! Thank the Brunos, the Biscones, the Delucas, the Warners, the Darlingtons, the Teresis, the Neris, the Rotellos, the Persicos, and Yes! the Conrads of the area, and their Coeymanazi minions.
Rather than Building Fences or Proselytizing that “Good Fences Make Good Neighbors” or that Laws Lessen Misunderstanding and Heal Strained Relationships, the News Herald and the Scouts Should be Proactively Tearing Down Fences and Building Community in spite of the Hypocrites, Whether Religious, Social, or Political Hypocrites!
So back to page 1 of the Ravena News Herald. We can start by not asking God to do what we ourselves are very capable of doing ourselves if we simply follow the ethical principles taught by the Gospels and especially the Beatitudes (Sermon on the Mount). If you’ve forgotten what they are, find a Bible and read them again, if you ever have read them. The entire law condenses down to, “Love God totally and love your neighbor as you love yourself!”
Misusing prayer to make a political appeal to empty hearts is a sacrilege and involving God in that conspiracy is blasphemy! In the precincts of a Roman Catholic sacred space used for secular purposes, the prayer should either not have been done or the real experts in screwing up prayer should have been invited to invoke the petition to the divine: either the pastor of the Roman Catholic Church of St Patrick or the bishop’s minion, the deacon at St Patrick’s. At least the screwed up prayer would have been screwed up professionally. But to have such a “prayer” come from the lips of a representative of an organization that conspicuously and publicly discriminates and offends the dignity of members of the community is an affront to fair play and justice.
But certainly, the merit that can be taken from the so-called prayer is the enumeration of the darkness that the speaker finds in the community, society, and the world. But just publicly displaying awareness of those evils, evils that are right outside our doors, is not enough. Solutions are needed but no solutions are offered. That doesn’t work for me at all.
The newspapers at one time played an important educational role–they now churn out chum, crap!
The public media have lost all sense of dignity and continue to fail in their obligations to the people of our communities. Where the public media, the newspapers, played an important role of sharing good information while playing fair, and demanding quality in the information they send out to the public–yes, the newspapers at one time played an important educational role–they now churn out chum, crap! The conspicuous cover photo accompanying the article, “Scouts reaffirm their faith in God in annual service,” regrettably demonstrates this point. In the caption we read: “Weblos of Pack 1067 illustrate the deadline sin of gluttony in a skit at the Scouts Own Service on Sunday.” What is a “deadline sin”? Doesn’t the editor know gluttony (actually intemperance in moral theological terms) is a “deadly sin“? Shame on you!
Poor editing, poor attention to detail, poor reporting: No news in New Baltimore. Church luncheon announced instead and in two places. Shame on you News Herald and New Baltimore!
But giving Rowzee the benefit of doubt, maybe he was doing both tongue-in-cheek.
And again, the glaring ignorance of Mr Bryan Rowzee and his pitiful misrepresentation of a renowned American poet laureate’s poem, Mending Wall, reveals the deplorable level of teaching the humanities, even important American literature. Rowzee’s gaffe reveals two things at least: the carelessness and indifference of the print media in terms of accuracy and reliability of facts, even well-established facts, and the failure of our education system in teaching our American literary heritage to such an abominable degree that an allegedly “qualified” journalist (a term used very loosely, indeed, in this discussion), one whose prose is made public as if it were credible, doesn’t have an inkling of understanding of what he’s writing about. If Mr Rowzee knew anything of what he was writing about he would have used the line from the Robert Frost poem correctly, and Rowzee would certainly have known better than to have printed the Conrad quote. But giving Rowzee the benefit of doubt, maybe he was doing both tongue-in-cheek. We can only guess!
If you’d like to read Robert Frost’s poem, Mending Wall, I’m pleased to attache a copy. Just click this link: Mending Wall by Robert Frost.
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