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Category Archives: Chris Hagen

Albany County Legislature: Public Comment on County Clean Air Law

On Tuesday, November 19, 2019, at 7:00 p.m., the Albany County Legislature met to receive Public Comment on the Albany County Proposed Local Law 1 of 2019, a Law to Establish Clean Air Standards for Waste-Burning Facilities in the County of Albany.


So-called Resolution No. 407 of the Albany County Legislature, a proposed local law of the County of Albany, New York, to establish Clean Air Standards for Waste-Burning Facilities in the County of Albany, was introduced by Albany County Legislators R. N. Touchette (37th) and Douglas A. Bullock (7th). The Resolution was passed to the Law and Conservation, Sustainability, and Green Initiatives Committees on September 9, 2019. It received favorable recommendation by the Albany County Legislature Law Committee on October 28, 2019, and was adopted by unanimous vote on November 12, 2019. The Legislature opened the proposed law for public comment on November 19, 2019.

We urge each and every Albany County Legislator to Vote YES! and to PASS the Albany County Clean Air Standards Law LL 1-2019!

A unanimous vote will mean that the Albany County Legislature and its member Legislators  are of one mind and one voice when it comes to the health and well-being of the people and future of Albany County, and neighboring counties.

The Albany County Legislative Chamber was standing-room only, and a number of public interest groups appeared and commented in support of the proposed law. Of approximately 30 speakers, only two spoke against the law: Coeymans Town Councilman, Daniel Baker and Dave Fletcher, manager of the Ravena-Coeymans Lafarge plant. Each of the some 28 speakers in favor of the law received loud applause in support of their comments. The silence was deafening when Baker and Fletcher finished, and had to return to their seats amid silent rejection and stares of rebuff. The public made their point: Overwhelming support for the proposed law and total rejection of the fakes who appeared to misinform the public about their plans to poison the air we breath.

Fletcher and Baker
Barely escaped tarring and feathering!

Nearly all of the comments voiced strong support for the proposed law, which is closely modeled on the Town of Coeymans Clean Air Law passed by the Coeymans Town Board this year (2019) against the fierce opposition by Lafarge and Carver Companies. Many of the comments made by speakers at the hearing praised Coeymans for the Clean Air Act and strongly encouraged the County Legislature to pass the law. Several speakers expressed their concern that the recent elections in Coeymans were a troubling precedent that money from big industry and business interests could influence the election of public officials as happened in Coeymans this November 5th.

The majority of speakers were from Albany County with a small number representing environmental groups, including a past regional executive director of the Department of Environmental Conservation, who strongly supported the law.

We are publishing the text of the comment made by a local resident at the hearing. This text was provided to the County Legislature in its full version (reproduced below); due to the 2-minute time limit imposed for commments, a shortened version was read at the hearing. The full version was, however, provided “for the record.”

The majority of the public comments were completely in line with the comment below; the only exceptions being the references to specific local Coeymans conditions and the examples citing local personalities.


Public Comment

Concerning the Proposed Local Law No. 1-2019
Local Law of the County of Albany, New York
Clean Air Standards for Waste-Burning Facilities

Albany County Legislature
November 19, 2019 at 7:00 p.m.

Mr. Touchette, Mr. Bullock, Honorable Legislators, Ladies and Gentlemen:

Thank you for this opportunity to comment publicly on this important proposed law in the interest of the public’s health and welfare.

Pollutants, contaminants, toxins are no respecters of county lines or municipal boundaries; pollution does not discriminate and is highly democratic; Just as the sun shines, the rain falls, the winds blow equally indiscrimately and democratically. What happens in Albany County will inevitably and irrevocably affect all sourrounding areas and regions, including those across the Hudson, in Rensselaer and Columbia Counties, if not beyond.

At least one recent local political campaign in the Town of Coeymans is evidence pure and absolute that government must step in where corporate responsibility, partisan politics, and business avarice falls short of safeguarding and ensuring the public weal.

In 2019, the Town Board of Coeymans passed Local Law 1-2019, the Clean Air Law, a law made necessary by the indifference of local industry the welfare of the surrounding communities. The intent of the Clean Air Law was regulate burning or related processing of waste. The Clean Air Law met with fierce and intense opposition led by LafargeHolcim, Carver Companies, and others, most notably by Coeymans supervisor-elect Mr. George McHugh and his supporters, who represented the interests of corporations like Lafarge and Carver Companies, the Port of Coeymans, and Coeymans Industrial Park. George McHugh and his supporters had and continue to have financial interests in all of those businesses. All of those businesses have been and continue to be generators or processors of hazardous materials, and have been cited for abuses of state and federal regulations in the subject matter of the environment and contamination.

Simply put: Industry and business interests, and their beneficiaries cannot be trusted to self-regulate. That is made abundantly clear by the opposition against the Coeymans Clean Air. Regrettably, however, McHugh and his minions skipped over facts to promote disinformation, misinformation, malinformation, and outright deception in order to garner voter support. It is no credit to the democratic process of a representative democracy that the majority of voters, rather than inform themselves, allowed themselves to be misinformed.

Two real examples will serve to buttress all of my points:

Upon reliable information, in fact upon the report of a sitting Coeymans Town Board member, Mr. Daniel Baker, LafargeHolcim was notified by DEC in advance of DEC emissions audits, which allowed Lafarge to switch from coal fuel to gas fuel, to ensure that emissions were significantly reduced when DEC performed their testing. That is not what regulation is about.

A second example is again reported by a reliable source, another sitting member of the Coeymans Town Board, Mr. Kenneth Burns, who reported that on the day after the elections, supervisor-elect McHugh, together with councilmen-elect Collins and Lefevre met with Lafarge hierarchy allegedly to discuss changes to the Coeymans Clean Air Law, changes that will apparently benefit industry not residents.

Why the opposition and why the meetings? Because in 1992, Coeymans passed the Solid Waste Law, which prohibited the transport of solid waste generated in the state of New York into the Town of Coeymans. In the meantime, Lafarge had attempted to circumvent that prohibition by secretly negotiating with entities in the state of Connecticut to transport waste from Connecticut facilities, including tires, for processing at the Coeymans Lafarge plant. Furthermore, between 1992-2018, Coeymans successfully prevented the creation of a landfills in Coeymans, and the current Crandall administration was instrumental in working with the City of Albany and the DEC to create from the wetlands which were earmarked by Mr. McHugh’s client, Carver Companies, for a landfill, a wildlife preserve.

The Coeymans Clean Air Law, which is substantively and substantially similar to the bill presently under consideration by your body, prohibited processing of more than 25 tons of waste in any 24-hour period, and further imposed continuous monitoring, real-time reporting, and adequately safe emissions limits. Mr. McHugh’s clients are not overly enamored with processing limits, monitoring, especially continuous and real time, much less with making that information available online to the public. Perish the thought of such impertinence and such an invasion of corporate autonomy and greed!

Please note for the record that according to reliable information, LafargeHolcim, for example, would have to process at 100-150 tons of tires, for example, for the process to be “economically feasible,” for them, but they would not be able to meet the emissions standards.

Hence the opposition by Mr. McHugh and his clients to the Clean Air Law; hence their opposition to any clean air law.

The conflicts and contradictions of our real-life example of Coeymans, McHugh, Lafarge, Carver Companies are real, current, and very relevant.

The Albany Times Union has run a number of articles on McHugh, his relationships, and on Carver Companies and their frequent conflicts with the DEC. Time does not permit me to go into detail but I would like to refer you to one particular article by Ms Laruen Stanforth, which appeared in the May 13, 2019 issue of the Times Union, and was entitled, “Is Coeymans Candidate too Close to Port Owner?[1] The answer is YES! And the reasons pointed out by Ms Stanforth are nothing less than shocking.[2]

In conclusion, ladies and gentlemen, I feel my point is made that corporations, industry, businesses, and their puppets cannot be trusted with self-regulation, and that their interests conflict with those of the public and with the public’s health and well-being. Unless our elected representatives bite the bullet and recall that they are public servants, not the servants of the captains of industry, and unless our elected officials and public servants take a non-partisan, uninterested stand on issues that affect the health and welfare not only of their own constituencies but also of communities far beyond our own county lines, unscrupulous greedy business will poison our air, our water, our soil, and most egregiously harm us and our children for generations to come.

This body must recognize this real and imminent threat to us all and pass this county-wide law to establish clean air standards for waste-burning facilities, and make Albany county the poster-child for progressive efforts aimed at the public’s continuing health. To do anything less would be to join the rank and file of the indifferent corporate mindset, and fly in the face of your duties and obligations to the public.

Thank you for your attention.

Notes:

[1] The Stanforth article is available at https://www.timesunion.com/news/article/Is-Coeymans-candidate-too-close-to-port-owner-13828887.php.

[2] See the extensive reporting on this subject and the McHugh Comeback Team’s disinformation campaign on the Smalbany blog at https:// https://smalbanynewyork.wordpress.com/


It bears repeating that the vast majority of the comments made by the speakers reflected the thoughts shared in the comment above. It also bears repeating that the attendees at the hearing showed their rejection and disapproval of Daniel Baker and Dave Fletcher’s pitiful presentations against the proposed law.

Our impression is that Albany County will soon have a Clean Air Standards law regulating waste-burning facilities in Albany County. That law is almost word-for-word the Coeymans Clean Air Law passed by Town Supervisor Phil Crandall and the Coeymans Town Board under Crandall’s leadership.

The entire County of Albany has come forward in support of the Clean Air Law!

We can only say that Coeymans voters made fools of themselves and singled the Town out as being a complete loss to the corruption of the Comeback Team and their prostitution of themselves and the Town of Coeymans to the money and interests of Lafarge, Carver, and McHugh. The entire County of Albany has come forward in support of the very law so fiercely and deceptively opposed by George McHugh, Zachary Collins, Brendan Lefevre, Kenneth Burns, and to his devastating embarrassment, Daniel Baker, Dave Fletcher (Lafarge). McHugh and his masters would have to either accept or kill the Coeymans Clean Air Law; at the very least, they’d have to try to dilute it to the point of uselessness. But now Albany County has come forth and rejected McHugh and his masters; Albany County want’s clean air; Coeymans wants to be controlled by Lafarge and Carver Companies. When Albany County passes the Clean Air Law, McHugh and his masters are dead in the water; floaters like the turds they are! That may explain the interesting natural symbolism that Coeymans is at the very bottom of the County, and Ravena is almost off the map! Even on a map Coeymans seems to be a bottom-feeder, thanks to scoundrels like McHugh, his puppets, Daniel Baker, Kenneth Burns, LafargeHolcim, Carver Laraway, Billy Biers, and their mob.

Albany County will be a Clean Air County!
Isn’t it interesting that the Town of Coeymans is at the very bottom of the County? Good place for it!


Editor’s Comment: It is important for us all to recognize the fact that it was the voters of the Town of Coeymans, not the People of the Town of Coeymans who made the decisions on November 5, 2019. It is important to note that it was the supporters of the scandalous Comeback Team led by George McHugh and the neonazis of the Friends of Coeymans, Jeff Laquire, Nate Boomer, and Chris Hagen, and the intimidation and bullying and thuggery that they used at Coeymans town meetings that kept most voters at home on Election Day. It was the thuggery, bullying, and intimidation by the Comeback Team under George McHugh’s direction and with the money and support of destroyers-of-communities like Lafarge and Carver Laraway, and traitors, Judases like McHugh, Collins, Lefevre, Baker, and Burns, and those who support them, who have made Coeymans the subject of derision and mockery AGAIN. Shame AGAIN on Coeymans!

Bought and Paid For like Common Prostitutes!

The Coeymans Supervisor, George McHugh, and the Coeymans Town Board, Daniel Baker, Kenneth Burns, Zachary Collins, and Brendan Lefevre were not elected, they were bought and paid for like common prostitutes, by LafargeHolcim, Carver Companies (Carver Laraway, Port of Coeymans, Coeymans Industrial Park), and supported by neonazi-like groups like the Friends of Coeymans. Bought and Paid For like Common Prostitutes!

 

Coeymans: Poster-Child of the “Sick Community Syndrome.” Part V

Part V: Sick Community Syndrome Conclusion

Don’t let them do it!
Bite back!!!

Why do Abuse Victims Stay in a Sick Community?

We often find it too easy to put ourselves in the place of the victims and imagine caving in at the first signs of abuse, rather than examining the situation and how it came about, that is, what we have done to enable the situation and to empower the abusers.

A Sick Community Must First Confront The Problem Before You Can Expect Healing To Occur.

But breaking the vicious cycle of abuse is not simply a matter of crying victim, pointing fingers, and complaining. Restoring health to the community and eliminating abusers and their abuse is a process, just like any healing program. As in any disease situation, you must first confront the problem before you can expect healing to occur.

For most people who may never have been in the situation, it may be very difficult to understand how a community becomes a sick-community, how abusers become abusers, how victims of the abuse became victims, and why the entire situation of sick-community, abusers and abuse, and victims seem to coexist and to continue. But there are many complex reasons for such regrettably common situations. Not the least are the powerful cultural, societal, emotional and psychological forces, and the economic and financial factors that keep the victim tied to the abusers and to the sick community. The specific reasons for these situations vary from one community, from one abuser, from one victim to the next, and they usually involve a number of unique factors.

Knowing these factors does not justify the situation nor does it exonerate the community as a whole, the abusers, or the victims from their responsibilities to correct the situation and to restore health to the community.

Some psychological/emotional reasons for staying in a sick community:

  • The victim’s belief that the abuser will change because of their remorse and promises to stop abusing
  • The victim’s fear of the abuser who threatens expressly or implicitly to retaliate if the victim reports the abuse anyone
  • The lack of community support for the victim
  • The lack of community opposition to the abuse
  • The communal guilt and shame over the failure of the community
  • The victim’s attachment to the sick-community
  • the victim’s fear of making major life changes
  • The victim’s feeling of responsibility for the abuse
  • The victim’s feeling of helplessness, hopelessness and isolation
  • The victim’s belief that they may be the only one who can help the community with its problems

All Abuse is Violence.
With just a few minor changes, all of these fit abuse in the sick community.

Some situational reasons for staying in a sick community:

  • The victim’s financial and economic dependence on the abuser or the sick community
  • The victim’s fear of physical or psychological harm to themselves or their children
  • The victim’s concern that their children may suffer psychological, emotional, or social damage due to the loss of established relationships, even if the community is abusive
  • The victim’s lack of social or job skills
  • The victim’s fear of social isolation because the abusive community is the victim’s only support system
  • A lack of information regarding human and civil rights
  • The victim’s belief that law enforcement is indifferent to or complicit in the abuse
  • Distrust of the courts and administration of justice
  • Distrust of the political environment and government
  • Misinformation, disinformation, misinformation received through print and other media
  • Family and historical ties to an area or community
  • Local corruption obstructs and intimidates basic freedoms

Our Final Point:
NONE OF THE ABOVE ARE GOOD REASONS or EXCUSES WHY YOU SHOULD ACCEPT SICK-COMMUNITY ABUSE. WAKE UP AND RECLAIM YOUR LIFE!

The feeling when you’ve taken back control of your life!

Return to Part IV of the Series
Go to Part I of this Series

 

Coeymans: Poster-Child of the “Sick Community Syndrome.” Part III

Societal Obstacles that Impair Movement Away from Sick-Community Violence and Abuse.

Individual obstacles may be complicated by societal hurdles, further impairing the victim’s ability to confront, distance themselves, or even leaving the sick-community abuse. Some societal barriers include:

  1. The victim’s concern about being called a coward or not defending his or her rights, or avoiding responsibilities.
  2. Concern about a decline in quality of life for themselves and their children.
  3. Reinforcement of counselors of “saving” the community relationships at all costs, rather than pursuing the goal of stopping the violence and abuse.
  4. Indifference of law enforcement who may treat violence and abuse as a “personal dispute,” instead of a crime where one person is harassing or another person. All too often, it is the victim of abuse who is reprimanded, even arrested and charged by law enforcement, even if they are only defending themselves against the abuser.
  5. Frequently law enforcement personnel discourage or make it unnecessarily difficult for the victim to make a complaint or file charges against the abuser. Some law enforcement personnel may dismiss or downplay the abuse, side with the abuser, or may not take the victims report of the violence or abuse seriously.
  6. Reluctance or outright refusal by prosecutors to prosecute cases. Some may advise the abuser to plead guilty to a lesser charge, depriving the victim of the full protection of the law, and possibly placing the victim at increased risk of retaliation.
  7. The situation may be even worse in small communities, where local non-professional judges have personal, political, or financial reasons not to impose appropriate sentences on convicted abusers. Probation or a fine, even outright dismissal is much more common in local justice courts.
  8. Even despite prosecution and judgment, there is very little to prevent an abuser from retaliation or changing the abuse strategy.
  9. Despite public awareness of the sick-community situation and the increased availability of information identifying abuse and abusers in a sick-community, victims rarely confront the situation to improve their lot.
  10. In many sick-communities, over time, residents begin to adopt the mindset that  they themselves are responsible for making their situation what it is. Their sense of failure to maintain their dignity and improve their relationships equals failure as a person.
  11. Isolation from neighbors, friends and families, either through the actual abuser’s conduct, or because the victim feels guilty or ashamed for putting up with the abuse. The victim then may attempt to conceal signs of the effects of the abuse from others; the social or self-imposed isolation contributes to a sense that there is nowhere to turn.
  12. The feeling of impotence causes the victim to try to find reasons to justify the abuser’s violence; the victim rationalizes that the abuser’s behavior is caused by genuine ideology, conviction, desire for change, promotion of economic interests, or other factors.
  13. Societal and cultural factors condition persons to believe their identities and feelings of self-worth are contingent upon acceptance by the community majority, even if it is a sick-community majority.
  14. One of the most scandalous and insidious of obstacles that the sick community faces is disinformation, bullying, intimidation, and discouragement by the powers to be and their supporters, who can seize and maintain control only by ongoing and constant suppression of the natural rights of the community members. Locally, we can point to the Friends of Coeymans —a local Coeymans group organized and run by Jeff LaQuire, Nate Boomer, and Chris Hagen, and supported by the George McHugh group and his business interests —and their followers, who deploy what can be characterized as neonazi tactics to intimidate and isolate residents.

Friends of the Friends of Coeymans

Inconsistency of violence and abuse; during non-abuse phases, the abuser may fulfill the victim’s vision of harmony and community. The victim may also rationalize the abuser is basically good until the situation changes and the abuser reveals their true agenda.

Key Components of Social Justice in Our Communities

But the good news and hope is that victims retain their power of self-determination and independence, regardless of what the abusers in the sick community think, say, or do. This is because the victims, although persuaded by the abusers to accept the role of victims, are not in fact victims at all! As already stated, they are playing the role of victim, and they can leave any role at any time, because roles are fictitious and good only temporarily. But you can’t cure what you refuse to confront!

Return to Part II of the Series

Go to Part IV of the Series (To be published on November 18, 2019)

 

Coeymans: Poster-Child of the “Sick Community Syndrome.” Part II

Escape from the abusers and their abuse is not the case in all communities. As was conspicuous and obvious, the abusers repeatedly go to extremes to prevent the victim from taking action or garnering support. In fact, confronting an abuser is the most dangerous time for victims of community violence.

There’s a great many similarities shared by victims of sick communities and victims of domestic violence, as we’ll show in this multi-part article. In fact, one study found in interviews with persons who were involved in violence against their partners that either threats of action by their partner or actual action were most often the precipitating events that lead to the violence.

Violence is any Human Action that Causes Harm to the Life or Dignity of Another Person.

Think about this: Most Christian denominations teach doctrines of Social Justice, which includes concepts of fair and just relations between the individual and society, and moral custodianship of the environment.. Social Justice is measured by the explicit and tacit terms for the distribution of wealth, opportunities for personal activity, and social privileges, and relationship with the rest of creation. Social justice covers a wide range of definitions, so I’ll refer you to What is “Social Justice”? – A collection of definitions.

We all work hard and strive for what we understand to be social justice, at least we want to appear to be doing that. Right? So what must we think when we have elected officials who stand up before the public, at Town Board meetings, and invoke the name of God and Jesus Christ, praying for guidance and inspiration during the meeting — while praying to an inanimate object, the flag, in a pledge of allegiance, a form of idolatry —. Isn’t that hypocrisy in its most visible, most toxic form? (Am I thinking of Kenneth Burns, the Coeymans town councilman who publicly stands up an offers public prayer before the Coeymans Town Board proceeds to Town business? And isn’t Mr Burn’s a supporter of the Coeymans Comeback Team, recently elected to Town Supervisor and now dominating the Coeymans Town Board? Mr Burns, along with his Republican colleagues, represents the worst blasphemy and hypocrisy locally available!)

Social Justice is also a Victim in the Sick Community.

Understand what Violence and Abuse is!

It’s important to understand that violence does not have to be physical to be violence, but all violence is traumatic and abusive. For our purposes we define violence as as any human action that causes harm to the life or dignity, or the rights and pursuit of happiness of another person. For example, while violence may take physical forms, it may be inflicted through verbal abuse, psychological tactics including intimidation, bullying, violation of social boundaries, and degrading a person or a group, or harassment in its many forms. Violence can also take the form of manipulation, either through word or deed.

Violence and abuse are frequently used interchangeably, and for general purposes that’s perfectly OK. But to be clear, we’d like to suggest that abuse includes not only physical abuse, but verbal abuse, emotional and psychological abuse, social abuse, and even sexual abuse. While some violence is morally sanctioned, such as in so-called just war or even self-defense, abuse is never justified in the moral or ethical senses.

Violence may also include gender abuse. Violence and abuse represent the most obvious — and effective — ways a person or a group can establish power and control over others. The violence and abuse is intended to seize and maintain control over the victim, and limits or removes the victims ability to make personal choices, their access to resources or services, or deprives them of their dignity, autonomy, or self-determination.’

When we use the term “victim” we mean any person or group of persons who are subjected to any form of violence or abuse. In other words, a victim may be an individual person, a group of persons, a part of an entire community, or an entire community, even a nation.

How did one small town, Coeymans, manage to get so many schizoids, liars, blasphemers, and hypocrites?

It is not uncommon to find media, especially local or regional media such as radio, television, Internet information sources, and law enforcement aiding and abetting the abusers, further depriving the victims of access to reliable information and to equal protections under the law. But information abuse is a particularly insidious and loathsome form of abuse, because it deprives the victims of reliable and factual information upon which to base their important personal and community decisions. Misinformation, disinformation, malinformation, and lies are all forms of abuse, and they are also a form of violence because they harm people and their dignitay as human beings.

Why, then, do victims accept such oppression, deprivation, and why do they stay in such a situation?

A victim’s reasons for allowing a violent and abusive situation to continue, for remaining in that situation, and allowing their abusers to continue their violence and abuse are extremely complex and, in most cases, are based on the reality that their abuser will follow through with the real of perceived threats or actions they have used to keep their victims trapped: the victim fears that abuser has the power to cause harm to them or those close to them. The harm doesn’t have to be physical harm, although it can lead to that, but may take the form of labeling, isolation, bullying of the victims’ children, harm to pets, financial or economic harm, deprivation of services normally provided to residents such as police protection, injustice in the courts, etc. The list of violence and abuse can go on and on, but you get the point.

As in domestic violence situations, the victims of sick community abuse know their abuser, they’re neighbors or former friends, and the victim fully knows the extent to which they will go to make sure they have and can maintain control over the victim. The victim literally may not be able to safely escape or protect themselves, their loved ones, their friends, or their jobs and property. Again, referring to a domestic violence study of intimate partner homicides found 20% of homicide victims were not the domestic violence victims themselves, but family members, friends, neighbors, persons who intervened, law enforcement or first responders, or even innocent bystanders!

Obstacles to Escaping Sick-Community Violence and Abuse

Some obstacles to escaping sick-community violence and abuse that you might want to give some thought to include:

  • The fear and anxiety that the abuser’s behavior and actions will become more violent and abusive the victim opposes them or fights back.
  • Unsupportive neighbors, friends and public servants; neighbors and friends may avoid supporting the victim, especially if law enforcement and public servants are part of the problem or are indifferent to the situation.
  • Knowledge of the difficulties of living apart from the majority and possible reduced financial opportunities, even loss of livelihood.
  • The victim feeling that the situation in the sick community is a mix of good times, support and hope, even though there is the looming threat of manipulation, intimidation and fear.
  • The victim’s lack of information about or access to safety and support services, a situation that is frequently caused by and aided by the abusers.
  • The victim’s ignorance of his civil and guaranteed rights under the Constitution and laws.
  • Fear that the abuser, the members of the abusing group, or even the children of the abusers will physically abuse, bully, or otherwise harm the victims’ children
  • Lack of means to defend themselves and/or their children or lack of access to support services.
  • Nowhere else to go, no local friends or family to help, insufficient financial resources to leave the violence or abuse situation.
  • Fear that hardship may be their only option for themselves and their loved ones if they leave
  • Belief in community relationships, and that stability, friends, schools, organizations, neighborhoods, etc. are better for children, despite abuse

Return to Part I

Go to Part III of this Series (To be published on November 17, 2019)

 

Coeymans: Poster-Child of the “Sick Community Syndrome.” Part I

The recent elections in Albany County (NY) and in Greene County (NY), particularly in the Town of Coeymans (Albany County, NY), and the towns of New Baltimore (Greene County, NY), for example, have exhibited a troubling pattern forming in what was once a multi-party, participative democracy, free and courageous nation: Amid finger-pointing, immorality, self-service, and failures in our public servants, the main political parties, the Democratic and the Republican parties, have become irrelevant, frequently unable to muster up candidates to provide voters with a choice. Moreover, the third parties have become ballot brokers, political prostitutes, selling their support for future favors, and backing some of the worst scoundrels the polls have ever been sullied with.

The 2019 Local Elections:
Examples of the “Sick Community Syndrome”©

This analysis and commentary is based on the model of domestic violence and abuse, and shows how domestic violence and abuse plays out on a community scale in the framework of what I call the “sick community syndrome.” [anonymous]

Voting Normally Works….
Unless you live in a sick community. Coeymans Town Hall will experience an acute bout of parasitic infestation in January 2020, when the McHugh mob is sworn in.

The Sick Community Syndrome.

The sick-community syndrome is alive and well. It has become a permanent resident, it appears, in our communities, in the shady and corrupt characters running for office, misinforming the public and defaming incumbents, opposing candidates, or anyone,  who had clear who availed themselves of their guaranteed constitutional rights of free expression and freedom of assembly. Ignoring clear and conspicuous exemplary performance and records of accomplishment, the shadow figures intimidated residents and brainwashed the willing; this would have sent up red flags to most observers but not in a sick community. What’s worse, and with the Town of Coeymans as our poster-child, the fact that the least qualified candidates — and the most corrupt candidates — were elected to replace incumbents with records of accomplishment. This situation raised many questions and led us to coin the phrase “sick community syndrome” to describe the municipalities which, like the Town of Coeymans and towns like it dotting Albany and Greene Counties in New York, have a history of such self-destructive, self-abusive behaviors, marked by widespread abuse and psychological violence perpetrated on an apathetic and depressed — morally and economically — community of what can be called most accurately: sheeple.

Background Facts

The Town of Coeymans as the Poster-Child for “Sick Community Syndrome”

What about us?!?
You elected them and abandoned us!!!

The 2019 midterm election campaign scene in the Town of Coeymans, for example, included:

Two incumbents: 2-term Town Supervisor, Phillip Crandall (Dem), multiple-term Town Councilman, Tom Dolan (Dem), and a young man new to the political scene but not to town government, Michael McGuire (Dem), who is the Town of New Scotland Assessor.

Coeymans Opted to Oust Incumbents with Proven Track Records of Fiscal Responsibility, Economic Growth, and Vast Improvements in Infrastructure and Environmental Concerns. Why?

The Smalbany blog (nonpartisan) reported extensively on the candidates and the campaigning but in synopsis:

  1. George D. McHugh, an attorney closely associated with local big business interests, a long history of ethics violations, a pattern of misinformation, disinformation, malinformation, and outright lies. A womanizer, married 4 times so far. McHugh was a one-term Coeymans Town Supervisor in 2000-2001, but did not run for a second term. His reasons for not having run for a second term change with the weather. He’s a skilled liar.
  2. McHugh’s running mates included the son of a local family business (fuel oil and other products), Zacchary Collins (30), and a local man Brendan Lefevre (34), both with no life or political experience or any experience to speak of at all., In fact, Lefevre didn’t live in the Coeymans area until recently, and then returned only to take up residence in his father’s basement. Neither Collins nor Lefevre own any property in the Town of Coeymans but will be calling the shots for residents who do own property and pay property taxes. 
  3. Upon reliable information, George D. McHugh never attended a Coeymans Town Board meeting save for one appearance at which he made a presentation on behalf of one of his business interests. Collins and Lefevre may have been seen at one Coeymans Town Board meeting shortly before the elections, but that is an unconfirmed report. They couldn’t be bothered to attend town board meetings but now are going to be running things as the Coeymans Town Council.
  4. The McHugh campaign was extraordinarily expensive in terms of money spent in a local political campaign. Initial estimates indicate that the campaign spent in excess of $20,000. Final campaign finance reports are still pending, and we will obtain them and verify the exact amount spent. Will McHugh disclose every source of campaign money he and his group received? Support includes promises of future benefits to be received from LaFarge-Holcim, Carver Companies, Port of Coeymans, Coeymans Industrial Park, organized business groups in the town, and private interests. It’s all about money!
  5. George McHugh is former owner of the local newspaper, the Ravena News Herald, and close friends with the current owner/publisher, Mark Vinciguerra. While the Ravena News Herald tried but failed to make a convincing appearance of fair and balanced campaign reporting, and the News Herald was monumentally unsuccessful in masking their flagrantly biased support of the McHugh group.
  6. The far more disturbing aspect of the McHugh campaign was the clear close involvement of a group calling itself, Friends of Coeymans, which was in fact a trio of local thugs, Jeffrey “Jeff” LaQuire, Nathan “Nate” Boomer, and Christopher “Chris” Hagen. The so-called Friends of Coeymans made it a point of appearing at most public meetings of the Town of Coeymans boards, harassing the board members, intimidating pubic attendees, staging pubic comment together with collaborators, and generally making any meeting into a three-ring-circus affair. The bullying and thuggery reached such a point that the Town Board found it necessary to have police presence at meeting to ensure order. According to their Facebook page, they assure followers that their work has just begun! What does that mean to Coeymans residents? To residents who want to participate in local government? Who want to exercise their guaranteed rights? We’ve already seen the neonazi tactics used by the Friends of Coeymans and now we read that their work has just begun!

    Neonazi-like Clown Characters:
    LaQuire – Hagen – Boomer

  7. The LaQuire-Boomer-Hagen trio did not limit their activity to public comment but frequently followed public attendees around videoing and recording their conversations, photographing attendees, and making comments about or to attendees during meetings. The trio not only have become despised and ridiculous public figures, they also host an abusive Facebook page that provided commentary, disinformation, personal attacks, and other obnoxious publications. It was purest neonazism in action and it was, regrettably effective.
  8. The McHugh group received Republican (R), Conservative (C), and Independence (I) party lines on the ballot. Those endorsements will become something those parties will learn to regret. Lie down with dogs and wake up with fleas!
  9. The majority of Coeymans voters opted to choose the greed and narcissism of a small group of corrupt clowns and to abandon their children’s and grandchildren’s best interests! The majority of Coeymans voters chose shame and guilt over and above responsibility to their community and to their children. Why?

A Majority of Voters — Not Necessarily the People of Coeymans — Elected Three Men of Questionable Character to Replace Incumbents with Proven Positive Performance. Why?

It’s difficult for a reasonably thinking mind to grasp Why? given the facts and the available options, the majority of Coeymans residents who bothered to go to the polls, actually voted for one of the most scandalous groups in modern Coeymans history!

On November 5, 2019, voters went to the polls, to elect Coeymans Town Supervisor, two Coeymans Town Councilmen, and one County Legislator. When the polls closed it was announced that the McHugh group had succeeded in receiving the majority of votes. The Coeymans Town Board was now 100% Republican, packed with McHugh and big-business puppets, and two incumbent Republicans, Daniel Baker and Kenneth Burns had already been exposed as moles on the Town Council, and both Baker and Burns proved their dubious characters according to past activities on and off the board.

Comeback Team (McHugh) Supporters Make their Way to the Polls
The Result of the Comeback Team’s Brainwashing!

The Smalbany blog reported extensively on the campaigning, including an extensive interview of Mr. Phillip Crandall, former Town Supervisor, and published in both excerpts and in full transcript. George McHugh refused to be interviewed and refused to debate Mr. Crandall on at least 3 occasions.Voters seemed to ignore McHugh’s cowardice.

This 2019 local campaign behavior was on the one hand, characterized by considerable publication of the challengers’ background and conduct, principally that of George McHugh, who had a past rich in questionable conduct and more recently, bare-faced lies that were easily exposed. His running mates were as unimpressive as McHugh was impressive (negatively). In contrast, the incumbents. Phil Crandall and Tom Dolan, and candidate Michael McGuire, were experienced, civil, productive, and forthcoming. Mr. Crandall, for example, was able to run down a long laundry list of accomplishments and programs, including remarkable fiscal recovery during his two terms.

So why does a whole community, that is, those who actually go to the polls, ignore the available factual information in favor of being fed disinformation and malinformation, to elect clearly morally, ethically, and clearly substandard and undesirable candidates like McHugh, Collins and Lefevre, while abandoning incumbents, like Crandall and Dolan, and a professional administrator like McGuire, who provided proof of their the high-quality performance and productivity. We are not pointing out pie in the sky accomplishments but accomplishments, which were clearly obvious day-to-day to anyone on the street, anyone enjoying clean air, soil, water, parks, and new sidewalks and newly paved streets!

This Behavior of Residents Raises Many Troubling Questions

Such community behavior raises many troubling questions about how the so-called voting public process facts, the value they place on truth and integrity, and why they would abandon incumbents with undeniably excellent performance records only to elect a man of highly questionable ethics, George McHugh, whose campaign was based largely on contradictions, lies, and the neonazi tactics of the Friends of Coeymans — Jeff LaQuire, Nate Boomer, and Chris Hagen —, and two inexperienced young puppets — Zachary Collins and Brendan Lefevre —, who would function conspicuously as McHugh’s tools on the Coeymans Town Board.

These are some of the questions we hope to clarify, if not help to answer, including:

  • Why do people stay in sick communities while denying that they are being abused?
  • Why do residents in sick communities refuse to confront the reality of the abuse and avoid changing?
  • Why do residents in sick communities deny facts and truth about abuse, and call the messenger a liar?
  • When offered a choice, why do residents in a sick community choose bad judgement over common sense?
  • Do voters elect bad candidates out of shame and guilt, and is that behavior a way of punishing themselves?
  • In other words, How do the abused, the victims then become self-abusers?

The abuse becomes the norm; anything else is not normal for them. Common sense would seem to indicate that a community should be able to choose how they want to live and, since it is a viable option, for the victims to do what they can to escape their abusers. But they don’t choose to escape their abusers! Instead, they hand them the keys to the community, and the vicious cycle of abuse continues and worsens.

The New Normal.
Abuse becomes the Norm.

Editor’s Note: If anyone already has the answers to these questions, please share them with us. You’ll save us a lot of research and writing time, and we can move on to other equally scary topics. But if you don’t have the answers, read the continuing installments of this series, Coeymans: Poster-Child of the “Sick Community Syndrome.”

Part II of this series is due to be published on
Saturday, November 16, 2019.
Stay tuned!

 

Get Used to Smelling Burning Garbage!

We said this would happen but we had no idea they’d start so soon. The so-called Comeback Team has already met, according to reliable sources, with LaFarge-Holcim to discuss what changes LaFarge wants them to make to the Clean Air Law. The favors have only just begun! Thanks to Coeymans voters!

McHugh, Collins, LeFevre met with LaFarge-Holcim to discuss Clean Air Law Changes.

We’d like to adapt a quote a bit from Wm. Shakespeare’s tragedy, MacBeth, the Three-Witches scene:

Adapted from Shakespeare’s Macbeth

The Players
First Villain — George McHugh
Second Villain — Brendan Lefevre
Third Villain — Zacchary Collins

ACT I  SCENE I

A deserted place in Coeymans, at the LaFarge-Holcim offices.

[Thunder and lightning. Enter three villains]

First Villain:     When shall we three meet again?

Second Villain: When the hurly-burly, the chaos’s done,
When the battle’s lost and won.
The day after we’re sworn in.

Third Villain:    That will be ere the set of sun.
Dirty air will kill the fun.

First Villain:     Where the place?

Second Villain: At Coeymans town.

Third Villain:    There to meet with the Masters.

First Villain:     I come, graymalkin, my evil guardian!

Second Villain: The toad calls.

Third Villain:    Anon!

ALL THREE:   The air is foul, and foul is the air:
We hover through fog and filthy air.

[They Exit]

 

Saint Aaron Flach? NOT!

At a Recent Coeymans Town Board Meeting, We Heard Mary Driscoll Defend a Certain “Religious” Family, Who She Claims Has Done So Much for Coeymans. We Guess She’s Referring to the Flachs.

Aaron Flach (2016).
He’s since lost about 30 lbs.

Let’s not forget that Steven Flach, a Republican, while Coeymans Town Supervisor, was accused of ethics violations when he facilitated Carver Laraway’s acquisition of building(s) in Coeymans. “Pastor” Flach is Aaron Flach’s first cousin.

The Flach boys are not self-made men; they received their seed money for their businesses from John Flach, who made his own fortune on his own by hard work. Credit where credit’s due, boys.


Aaron Flach and his brother Steve are heavily invested in Coxsackie, where they transferred much of their wealth out of Coeymans, and establshed a real estate and development company, contributing substantially to Coxsackie’s revitalization.

In the meantime, the Flachs have managed the Faith Plaza wasteland as well as other properties in Ravena, including the Ravena Universal Laundry on Rte 9W. They also manage the Hope Plaza in Coxsackie, where the Coxsackie Universal Laundromat is located.

Flach also operates a Universal Laundromat in Coxsackie. Flach and his brother recently were reported in a local newspaper as having invested some $1.5 million in remodeling a former school in Coxsackie to accommodate downstaters who want to have a little hideaway in quaint Coxsackie. (NYC transplants find Greene County land and home prices appealing) Flach was named to the National Bank of Cosackie board of directors in 2016 (https://www.hudsonvalley360.com/article/flach-joins-bank%E2%80%99s-board-directors)

What is ironic is Flach, after his family abandoned Ravena-Coeymans for Coxsackie (Greene County), is now acting chairman of the RCS Community Business Association (Albany County), and has appeared at least 4 times to address the Coeymans Town Board, asking that the Board appropriate money for grant writers and economic developers to assist businesses in the area. You may also want to know that under his cousin’s administration, that is, under Steven Flach (R), Aaron Flach received a $450,000 tax reduction on his Faith Plaza property. That’s your saintly Christian family Ms Driscoll is so ardently defending. We believe they were called hypocrites and Pharisees in the Gospels, weren’t they? And didn’t Christ preach you cannot serve two masters, God and Mamon (money)? OK.

Aaron Flach is deeply committed to his bankers, real estate agents, developers, and his own real estate empire, just like any good Christian community leader would be. Right? He’s appeared at least four times before the Coeymans Town Board asking that money be appropriated in the upcoming budget to support business and economic development. He’s all for making money but not very big on shaing the wealth, just like his cronies. What’s worse, he caters for the rich and exploits the poor!

But just to illustrate how Flach treats Ravena differently from Coxsackie, we took a close look at the Universal Laundromats, both owned by Aaron Flach.

We are using the Universal Laundromats as examples because they are literally symbols of the area. First of all, the people who use these laundromats are either poor and can’t afford to have home laundry equipment, or don’t have the space for the equipment, or live in an area where water is not available for laundry. In other words, the people using the laundromats experience one or several hardships. Let’s face it, you don’t haul baskets and bags of laundry to Flach’s laundromats if you have the wherewithal to do it at home.

So, Saint Aaron Flach is capitalizing on local families’ hardship. That’s a good Christian community leader for ya! You GO! Boy!

Here are some images for comparison:

On the left is the Ravena Bathroom, on the right the Coxsackie Bathroom.

You’ll note how clean the Coxsacki bathroom is, and how spacious. Note also that you’ll have to use a grimy unsanitary towel in Ravena, but in Coxasckie Flach provides two rolls of paper towels. The Coxsackie amenity is brighter and cleaner by far.

The Ravena Door is Falling apart, the Coxsackie door is new and top-shelf.

The doors for the bathrooms are worlds apart. The Ravena door is a cheap piece of junk and is falling apart. Note the message on the door. Classy. Right? Compare with the Coxsackie door on the right. What does that tell you?

Hera are the change machines. Ravena (l), Coxsackie (r).

Might seem silly, but these machines are important, especially when they don’t operate correctly. We found the Coxsackie machines to be newer and much cleaner.

The courtesy area. Ravena (l), Coxsackie (r).

It’s just the impression that these crass difference make. It betokens how Flach sees the residents of Ravena-Coeymans and how he sees his customers in Coxsackie. It’s like Third World vs. First World.

The service areas. Shabby Ravena (l), shiny Coxsackie (r).

There’s a big difference in the general service areas between Ravena and Coxsackie. Mr Flach appears to maintain the Third World decor for Ravena, while providing Coxsackie with an upscale facility.

And finally, we’d like to mention that in Ravena, you’ll probably never see an attendant at the Universal Laundromat but in Coxsackie there appeared to be at least one on duty. Furthermore, there’s a quite nice dry cleaning service at the Coxsackie Universal Laudromat. Flach removed that convenience from the Ravena Universal Laudromat several years ago.

The Coxsackie drycleaning service (l), the Ravena drycleaning service (r) (there is none).

So, if you’ve missed our point, let us clarify it for you. Mr Flach has invested millions, at least, in Coxsackie, while pinching pennies in Ravena-Coeymans. The comparison of the Laundromats is a good illustration of how he treats Ravena-Coeymans in contrast with how he favors Coxsackie. The photos don’t really show the real difference between the facilities; you should visit both to get a real idea of how different they are.

That’s why it’s a slap in the face to see him pandering to the Friends of Coeymans and their lot, when he, Flach, saunters in with his entourage of bank managers and real estate agents, crying poverty, and asking the Coeymans Town Board to allocate taxpayer money to support local businesses.

Please don’t misunderstand, we are pointing out a discrepancy here, one that is Mr Flach’s own making.

We do admit that there are opportunities that the Town of Coeymans can cooperate with the Village of Ravena on, but the Village has to stop playing their stupid game of dodge-ball, and Nancy Warner and Mayor “Mouse” Misuraca can finally start thinking of the community instead of themselves and their power games.

Supervisor Crandall and his Board are more than business friendly, they are doing everything they can to improve infrastructure, while being fiscally prudent. Instead of pointing the finger and harassing the Coeymans Town Board, Mr Flach might want to come with a solid plan. Flach might also want to show some fair play and start treating Ravena-Coeymans with some respect.