Unidentifiable Killer Trucks on Rt 144 and 9W. Why aren’t the traffic laws being enforced? Why are we put in harm’s way by our elected officials?
School buses stopping at ever damned driveway during rush hour traffic!
Utility trucks stopped on the shoulder with no flagmen!
Dump trucks and heavy trucks, oversized loads going at a snail’s pace!
Illegible licence plates and no lights!
Now it seems the drivers of the nuisance heavy trucks are playing life and death games with other road users!
We’ve been hearing the usual mantra of “We need this business because it will create jobs!” And we’ve also witnessed the stupidity and lack of common sense, the lack of vision that is behind these idiotic mantras. Big business will feed any small town idiot official any bullshit it likes to get its way and we’ve seen that with the town of Coeymans and its kissing Carver Laraway’s and TCI‘s butts nontop. Everything from caving to the lies of new jobs and benefits to the community to enacting illegal zoning and local laws. We have it all.
And speaking of jobs, Ravena and Coeymans: Word on the street is that Aaron Flach is planning to close the front office/dry cleaning part of the local laundromat. Seems an employee has complained that it’s too cold and Flach can’t actually fire the employee for claiming that working conditions in Flach’s salt mines is substandard so Flach, instead of investing in heat, decides to close that part of the business. This poses a number of problems: (1) if Flach closes the front office, no one will be there to take care of problems and problems there are in the laundromat when they occur, (2) if Flach closes the front office/dry cleaning area where do residents bring their dry cleaning? Answer: Elsewhere, out of Ravena; after all, Ravena is no place for a business, is it?. And most importantly, (3) Jobs. How many people will be put out of a job in Ravena when Flach makes the move to save money rather than be a decent employer? Yes! There you have the Ravena “have’s”, the in-crowd mentality versus the rest of us. What? You want heat? Flach would rather close the business than spend the money on heat!
And where ya gonna go when you have a problem with Flach’s carwash — which happens more often than not — when there’s no one in the dry cleaning/laundromat office? Ravena-style customer service — a very pleasant “Screw you!”
Carver Companies and the others like it in Coeymans are playing this community for the fools we are if you look at our local elected officials. We’re getting empty promises, environmental pollution never seen before in this area, we’re hemorrhaging tax base and residents, but we’re giving our land, our homes, our heritage away like a bunch of retarded prostitutes. Why? Ask yourselves why? Ask Mr Flach and his Coeymans town board, Why? Ask Mr Misuraca and his village council, Why?
It seems everyone in town and village hall are out to stack the deck in their favor. Take Ravena. A new mayor, Bill Misuraca, moves into the Ravena mayor’s office and does nothing. His highway department (the Ravena Public Works Department) spreads tens of thousands of dollars in loose stone on several major streets only to have it pushed aside by traffic, washed away by rain, and now plowed up by the snow plows. Misuraca’s wisdom: Why put something permanent down if we’re only going to dig it up again when we repair the infrastructure. Meanwhile, Ravena is hemorraging to the tune of $6,000 a month with the Cathy Deluca fitness center, and it’s losing tax base faster than we can write about it. Record numbers of homes for sale in Ravena and Main Street is still the capital of distressed and empty property. A quarter century of financial incompetence and finally, after screwing the bottoms off of most property owners in Ravena, Ravena is forced to keep separate accounts for sewer and water! DUHHHHH!
The situation in the town of New Baltimore isn’t much different. A bunch of dildos in the highway department have no clue how to keep records or how to repair roads or drive snow plows. For example, in the summer they “patch” the potholes so loosely that after 3 or 5 cars and the hole’s back. The surfacing that does survive is torn up by the plows in winter, and then replaced in the summer. That’s called job security, we guess. Earlier this month (December 2014) after the 4 or so inches of snow fell, the New Baltimore Highway Department plows moved through the Hamlet and the National Historic District and tore up big slabs of road surface — Were the plow blades too low or was the surface that shoddy? — We believe both were true. Or they tear up the shoulder so it has to be replaced in Spring or Summer. Job security. But can they install storm drains or gutters properly to avoid damage to private property? Hell NO! Or can they keep records of where the trucks and crews are at any given time? Or what work was done when? Or the cost of a particular job? Hell NO! Yet New Baltimore residents sit on their hands and play nice-nice. Wake the hell up!
Coeymans is no better. Budget shortfalls while everyone like Dirty-hands Jerry” Deluca and his partner Gregory Darlington cash in their severance pays and desert (rumor is they had a choice, leave or get prosecuted). But they leave, the Coeymans board, hypcrites that they are, praise them for their fine service (to themselves), hand them retirement badges and hefty cash-out checks, and we’re stuck with the ghosttown! Nice going, Flach and company. Nice to know you’re on our side!
Same for New Baltimore. Amid promises of reform and renewal, a return to good government, New Baltimore has fallen flat on its face and the newly elected mob’s egos have taken over. The Ravena News Herald reports that one of their biggest accomplishments is an employee handbook that took the 8 months to create — 8 months on taxpayer dollars and time when they could have obtained the same result by simply calling another municipality, getting permission to use theirs, while making a couple of changes here and there. 8 days versus 8 months. Makes sense to us but not to the New Baltimore town board.
The town of New Baltimore can spend 8 months “creating” an employee handbook but can’t provide any records for road maintenance over the past 5-10 years. They have an employee handbook but that’s about the extent of the recordkeeping. Go ahead ask them for something. It’s as bad as Ravena: either they use some stupid excuse why they can’t give it to you or they tell you no records exist, that they’ve been shredded. We think their brains have been shredded.
There’s nothing in New Baltimore so New Baltimore doesn’t have to worry about stuff like Ravena and Coeymans. There are no more kids in New Baltimore. There are no more businesses in New Baltimore. The original families are either moving or dying out. The number of empty properties is unusually high, in fact on New Street more than half the homes are empty, either vacant or up for sale. The indifference of the town of New Baltimore to improvements in the infrastructure is appalling. Local lunatics like Joan Ross (the Cut-and-Paste Queen) and Bob Ross (the Cryptkeeper a.k.a. Bitter Bob) spread hate and venom wherever they leave their slime tracks, and stand poised to activate what they lovingly call their “Newbaltimorons” should anyone propose community improvements like public water etc. Vicious Joan keeps herself very busy sending toxic e-mails vilifying her neighbors or engaging in misdemeanor harassment (at a deposition Joan Ross had to take the 5th on her attorney’s advice to avoid a possible misdemeanor harassment prosecution when she was confronted with a tape recording of a threatening and obscene voicemail she left on a neighbor’s machine), while old Bitter Bob courts a jail sentence or at least a misdemeanor aggravated harassment charge — as has happened in the past, he was in Catskill court on a charge of aggravated harassment — by using his motor vehicle to harass pedestrians. But that’s what New Baltimore has become, a haven for dried up harridans and crypt-keepers. Incompetence in town departments and mega-egos in town hall. A far cry from the booming progress being made just a couple of miles down the road in Coxsackie.
But back to our topic on “Killer Trucks,” As many of our local commuters know already, you aren’t likely to be getting anywhere on time these days. And you’re not very likely to be doing your usual 50-55 miles per hour along Rt 144 or 9W either. It used to be you could finagle your schedule around the school buses that stop at every damned driveway along 144 or 9W and if you could manage to avoid those times, you’d be able to make it to where you were going. Now, forget about it! If the school buses don’t getcha, Lafarges or Carver Company’s trucks will. You just won’t win, people!
Then you have the cable and utility trucks and crews that park in the traffic lane and put up traffic cones but don’t bother with any flagmen. There’s something to the expression, “line of sight” we see in straight lines, not around corners or over crests. But that doesn’t matter. You’re responsible, remember that. So you cross the double line to get around the cones and the trucks while the cable or utility employees are huddled together in bullshit session and you meet head on with one of Lafarge’s or Carver’s trucks. No problem, your accident gets a spot in the Ravena News Herald and in the Times Union obituaries and Babcock Funeral Home, one of the only businesses left in Ravena only because those who can’t afford to move out stay and die, gets some business. Besides, hiring flagmen creates jobs and jobs cost companies money; bad idea.
We recently received a letter from a local resident who makes our point for us. We initially weren’t going to publish it because it seemed someone was just bitching but then IT HAPPENED TO US! That made all the difference in the world so here’s the letter [in part redacted to make it at least PG material]:
I’ve been reading your blog and thought you might be interested in this.
I was driving on 144 out of Albany to Ravena and by the old Elks lodge ended up behind a large truck, like a tractor trailer but open like a dump truck. The speed limit in the area is 55 mph but the truck was doing like 35-40 — like 35 then 40 then 45 then back to 30 — I usually do about 50 on that stretch and because it was kinda wintery and overcast I was doing about 50 before catching up with the truck. I couldn’t pass right away because it was in a double line strech but at about Mocker Bros. farm I decided to pass. I had my lights on and signaled to pass got about halfway past the truck and he speeds up! So I try to pass him and he’s going even faster. Then I notice another large truck coming (but no headlights on) towards me and I just have enough time to flash my lights and pull over to the left shoulder. The oncoming truck didn’t have any running lights or headlights on and if the cab wasn’t white, I may not have seen it until it was too late. If I did not do that I would not have been able to drop back and avoid a head-on with the other truck. I was fit to be tied; I wanted blood…not mine. So I was again behind this a…. m— f— [redacted] and was thinking I needed to follow him until he stopped. But then I thought about it and we were already in Coeymans and if I f—ed him up I’d probably be the one arrested and in jail for kicking the s— [redacted] out of the a— [redacted] who thought it was funny trying to get me to be one of your statistics. You would have loved it if I was one of your first fatalities but then I’d be dead. Ha-ha!
Anyway, I thought you would like to know about this. I got a couple of pix of the truck and saw it was Troy Sand and Gravel…can you guess where it turned in Coeymans?
P.s. I couldn’t read the license plate even if I wanted to complain. Isn’t there a law that says the plate has to be readable. These trucks are so dirty you can never read the plates. Well, if I have a dirty plate or a light out the cops would have me in a minute. Must be something going on that these guys don’t get stopped and ticketed like we do.
This all happened on Friday [Editor’s note: That would be December 5, 2014] between 2:45 and 3:15. Maybe that will help.
The writer of the above letter provided the picture of the truck that appears in the title. It’s much bigger than a common dump truck, and you can’t make out the license plate number at all. It’s too filthy. Here’s another picture of the same truck from a different angle, taken by “Survivor”.
Yup! Not a week after receiving that e-letter we had a similar experience. Not quite as hair-raising as “Survivor’s” but close enough. We’ve come to the conclusion that these Lafarge and Carver truck drivers are recruited from the local looney bin or drunk tank. Wouldn’t you think that “professional” trained truck drivers would have more sense? That they would be trained in road safety and road etiquette? They apparently have the brains of an RCS school bus driver, that is, about the same IQ as a chicken!
With everything else going to hell in a hand basket in Ravena, Coeymans, New Baltimore, and in the bigger picture, do we have to expect that in these communities, thanks to the town of Coeymans board, the village council of Ravena, and the New Baltimore town board sellouts to the Lafarges and Carver Laraways of the world that we in these communities are about to become irrelevant, even extinct? Our town and village officials sell us out at Walmart sale prices, carpetbagger businesses like TCI and Carver Companies come in and take over the town and region, our elected officials have the brains of a decapitated turkey when it comes to managing our affairs, and even parents have betrayed their own children by handing them over to surrogates like the RCS schools and bus drivers, and what do they get delivered to their driveways? Kids that have less character than frozen vegetable medley — quick, easy, tasteless.
And so, for example, we find the teenage girl working as a cashier in the Ravena Shop’n Save who had to ask What’s this? when presented with a bunch of beets. She actually didn’t know what beets looked like and had to ask. Here we had a 16 or 17 year old girl, almost an adult, presumably in the middle of high-school and almost out in the real world, who is working in a supermarket but doesn’t know what a bunch of beets is! The product of great parenting, superior schooling, unparalleled experience (just being sarcastic because none of that is even remotely true). But you can bet your life she knows how to get lost in her smartphone on Facebook or some other asocial media! That’s what we have to deal with people! Are you proud of that?
Why is it that Ravena, Coeymans and New Baltimore have the amazing capacity to get saddled with elected officials, whose only talent seems to be their insane egos, their amazing capacity to outdo the incompetence, the ignorance, the stupidity and hypocrisy of their predecessors (for example, in Ravena, Misuraca‘s moving in with the Bruno mob, the sewer and water comedy act, the wholesale migration out of the village, the record number of empty and distressed properties, etc.; in Coeymans the incompetence in managing finances, the Coeymans board’s idolatry and cowing to the false prophets of business and jobs, the creation of environmental hazards and pollution, illegal local legislation, general corruption; New Baltimore with it’s psycho egos, its backward vision, its misplaced priorities, its abysmal record-keeping and cronyism, plus many of the problems of Ravena and Coeymans!)
The Christmas season used to be a time of joyful expectation and the hope of a New Year with promise of bounty and plenty. That’s all a thing of the past and we’re all largely to blame. So, during this holiday season, rather than be Pollyanna about the reality that we have to live with each and every day of our lives, we’d rather be prophetic about this whole situation and say that we need to pull our heads out of the sand or out of any other dark holes in which we may have stuck them and realize that…
… we have to look forward to a slower, more expensive, and more dangerous, higher-anxiety 2015 than we could have ever imagined a year ago. Why? Because we have allowed it to happen. We have not held our elected officials accountable and we have allowed them to have their way with us. If your butts hurt really bad, just read the past issues of this blog and then ask yourself why you never woke up and never took control.
All having been said,
Have a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year — if you can.