RSS

Category Archives: Business

Dumbass Team: Coeymans Police and Albany DA Soares!

We’ve reported on the May 12 Raccoon incident in several articles, and in each of those articles where we have published new information, the Coeymans Police Department, the Albany County DA David Soares and his corrupt office, and others have confirmed everything we reported. As our readers are aware, we rely on information either from verifiable witnesses, published sources, or information provided by the public offices on our demand under the provisions of the NYS Freedom of Information Law. We frequently have to fight to get the information but we do get it. Here we are reporting on information we forced the Coeymans Police Department to give up, and they don’t look good. Here’s why:

We forced the Coeymans Police Department to cough up the Incident Reports completed by the two Coeymans Police Department personnel who put on the circus act that went international on May 12, 2018, when they used their patrol cars to harass, abuse, run over and kill a wild raccoon in full view of shoppers at Faith Plaza in Ravena, New York. The whole sickening display by the two perverts was recorded on video by a witness and it went viral on YouTube and other social media. The incident was covered by the international press and sent the world to cry outrage. The Coeymans PD and the Coeymans Town Board had very little to say — what could they say, the video told the entire story.

The Faith Plaza Raccoon Iincident Raises Important Questions about the Morality of Our Pubic Servants.

In fact, this embarrassing scandal looms far larger than the simple-minded antics of two small-town police officers and their sikeningly clownish performance while on duty. The incident raises important questions about the morality of our pubic servants, their ethics, their characters, value for taxpayer dollars, the quality of the people and the work done by them in public service, the negligence of our elected officials and their support even of the Constitution per their oaths of office. Yes, the incident even touches upon whether we can trust them and whether they are truthful. It’s ironic that the death of a wild animal should raise such questions in human affairs but it does and we can’t continue to ignore those questions.They’re right in our faces.

The Coeymans Police Totally Ignored their Own Procedures and Instructions

If you’ve been following this incident, you’ll know that the Coeymans PD wouldn’t identify the two officers involved. That was wrong. When we demanded the standard procedures for responding to animal control incidents, we found that they dated back to 1998 and had never been revised. That was wrong. The instructions used by the Coeymans Police when responding to animal control calls instructs them to contact the Coeymans Animal Control Officer, but Coeymans doesn’t have one (they eliminated the position several years ago). But the procedure also instructs officers to contact the Animal Control Officers in neighboring communities if the local ACO is not available. They never did any of that. They even deny any sort of animal control equipment in the Coeymans PD. We don’t believe that for a minute! What happened to the former ACO’s equipment? And Why? don’t they have even a net or a catchpole?

Our investigations show Albany DA Davis Soares’ report to be a load of steaming bullshit.

Albany County DA P. David Soares in Native Albany Costume.

You’ll also know that Albany County DA P. David Soares’ Animal Abuse Division was “investigating” the incident” but that his office found no reason to prosecute the officers because there was “no malice or contempt.” Really?!? Secondly, the DA’s office mentions that the officers performed correctly because there would have been a 2-hour wait for a NYS Department of Environmental Conservation person to respond (There are “only” 300 such state employees in New York). But our investigations show this to be a load of steaming bullshit.

We have the names of the two officers involved: Stephen PROKRYM and Jeff IOVINELLI.

We have obtained the “official” incident reports prepared by one of the two Coeymans Police personnel involved in the incident. We already identified Coeymans Police Department investigator Stephen PROKRYM as one of the pervs operating one of the two Coeymans Police vehicles involved in the scandal. We now have the name of the second officer involved,Jeff IOVINELLI.

IOVINELLI prepared both of the Coeymans Police Department Incident reports Nos. 24647 and 24648. Note the consecutive numbering but note also that the Incident Reports are written the day after the incident, that is, the IRs are written on May 13, a full day after the incident which occurred on May 12. We find these IRs to be suspect for two reasons:

  • They were written fully a day after the incident, after the Coeymans PD had made their “official statement” and after the NYS Department of Health had issued their report on the animal. The IRs, therefore, are written to fit the facts rather than to report the incident. That’s dishonest and should be considered misconduct and disciplined. But then the Coeymans PD and the Coeymans Town Board would look really stupid — the IRs now prove they are realy stupid.
  • The information in the IRs written by IOVINELLI is full of contraditions and mistakes as we describe below. The Coeymans Police Department, acting chief Contento, Iovinelli and Prokrym, in particular, can’t even get their lies straight!

In the first IR No. 24647, Iovinelli states that the incident occurred on “MONDAY 03/12/18” between 8:46 a.m. and 9:00 a.m. and describes the “Incident Type” as “Animal, Animal acting rabid.”  All other details in the general information appear normal.

In the so-called “Narrative” or description of the facts part of IR 24647, however, it appears that there was a first call put in to the Coeymans PD (through the Albany County 911 dispatch) to investigation “a raccoon acting sick,” and IOVINELLI writes that they found a raccoon “curled up in a ball under the area of some metal steps.” At that time IOVINELLI writes that he left the animal where it was and that individuals were advised not to bother the animal and to contact the CPD if there were any further issues. Now we remind you that that was at about 9:00 a.m.

In an UPDATE to IR 24647, IOVINELLI writes that when checking on “routine patrol [the] animal had left the area.” So, three hours had passed, IOVINELLI just left the animal where it was, did not call for any animal control assistance but, as you can read yourself, writes that the animal was behaving sick. In fact, in the general information part of this IR, you will recall, IOVINELLI writes “ANIMAL ACTING RABID.” Furthermore, we read that “individuals” were advised to leave the animal alone, so someone at Faith Plaza was aware of the animal. Our question is Who?

So, between 9:00 a.m. and 1:00 p.m. on May 12, 2018, IOVINELLI (1) responds to an animal control call, (2) determines that the animal is not a threat, (3) advises “individuals” not to bother the animal, (3) leaves the scene and doesnt come back until (3) 1:00 pm, three hours later, to find the raccoon had gone. None of this follows the instructions of the Coeymans Police manual setting forth the procedures for handling an animal control issue.

We have a problem with a law enforcement officer describing in an Incident Report what he states to be an “Animal Acting Rabid,” simply advises “individuals” not to bother the animal, leaves the scene only to find the animal gone, and never takes any other steps!!! He says the “animal is acting rabid” for chrissake!!! He doesn’t follow procedure. He does NOTHING! Leaving the animal for three hours and then only on “routine patrol” returns to find the animal gone.

Furthermore, if we believe Albany District Attorney David Soare’s statement that the two officers had no choice but to dispatch the raccoon the way they did because they would have otherwise had to wait 2 hours for a Department of Environmental Conservation animal control person to arrive, makes no sense, because IOVINELLI, had he followed Coeymans Police Department procedure, could and should have contacted a local Animal Control Officer or the DEC; IOVINELLI had left the scene for a full 3 hours between 9 a.m. and 1:00 pm, plenty of time to get an animal control specialist on the scene. (A witness states that both cars were at the Cumberland Farms just minutes before the incident.)

Excerpt from Coeymans Police Incident Report 24647.

Let’s now move on to Coeymans Police Department Incident Report No. 24658, again written by CPD Officer IOVINELLI on May 23, 2018, a full day after the May 12, 2018 incident.

Something’s jerry-rigged in these reports.

In IR 24648 IOVINELLI states that the incident occurred between 12:54 a.m. and 1:18 pm. But in IR 24647, he states that he returns “on routine patrol” at 1 p.m., 6 minutes after the start of the incident he’s reporting on in IR 24648. How can that be? Something’s jerry-rigged in these reports. It gets better.

It was OK to allow a supposedly “rabid animal” to approach a “large group of citizens” some of whom potentially could contract deadly rabies

IOVINELLI writes that “[O]n the above date and time,” that is on May 12, 2018, at 12:54, he responded to a “second call in the area of the CVS in Faith Plaza.” When he arrived he saw a “large group of citizens in the area of CVS” and he also notices “a raccoon in front of the CVS.” (You can read other details in the extract below.)  IOVINELLI says nothing about controlling the “large group of citizens” and removing them to safety, but he does mention the behavior of the raccoon, even that the animal aproached a “nearby passerby.” Seems to us that if IOVINELLI, as he writes in his report, thought the raccoon was rabid, he was outrageously negligent in not ensuring the safety of the “large group of citizens” by clearing and securing the area!!! Did he think the raccoon was rabid on May 12 or did he write that the raccoon was rabid only on May 13, when he had the test results? And if he thought the raccoon was rabid on May 12, why didn’t he take steps to safeguard the public, which is the reason why he and PROKRYM gave for not using their service weapons and for using their vehicles to dispatch the animal. According to this report it was OK to allow a supposedly “rabid animal” to approach a “large group of citizens” some of whom potentially could contract deadly rabies for sure but they were concerned about something potentially happening if they used their service weapon. That makes sense, doesn’t it?

In his report IOVINELLI doesn’t mention calling in for support but we gather from the report that he did, which is when Stephen Prokrym would have arrived. IOVINELLI writes that the “[R]esponding officers attempted to shout and scare the officer away, throwing snow at it several times.” At the “officer“?  Why did IOVINELLI want to “scare the officer away”? Anyway, moving along. Dr IOVINELLI, a renowned expert in disease of wildlife and raccoon behavior, makes the diagnosis that “the raccoon appeared to be exibiting the signs of rabies” and that the “animal needed to be dispatched.” For those of you who are not familiar with Coeymans police jargon, “dispatched” means to be “harassed, abused, and run over;” in other words, killed.

IOVINELLI again confirms that neither he nor PROKRYM had done any crowd control and that they had not secured the area “in the interest of public safety,”  nor were they concerned for the public’s safety when they observed that the animal was beginning to “approach stores and make entry into several of the buildings,” and they were not concerned about the crowds when they were attempting to “scare away the officer” or “throwing snow” at the animal to “get it to change direction away from members of the general public, even as IOVINELLI writes in the report the animal “appeared to be exhibiting the signs of rabies.

Normally, if the general public is too stupid to avoid danger wouldn’t it be the police who would take charge of the situation and do crowd control, securing the area “in the interest of public safety”? Well, YES, in any other place but Coeymans. In Coeymans they “attempt to scare the officer away,” they “throw snow” and make “loud noises.” But crowd control or secure the area? Nope!

It is PROKRYM who advises IOVINELLI that they shouldn’t discharge a firearm and that the animal had to be dispatched “using the patrol vehicle.” Now that’s a senior law enforcement person telling the patrol officer that somewhere in the Coeymans manuals, the procedure is to use a patrol vehicle to kill an animal when it’s unsafe to use a firearm. We never were able to find that section when we examined the procedures. Maybe Mr PROKRYM can point it out to us sometime.

According to the report, IOVINELLI and PROKRYM attempted to move the area to a more open location in the parking lot.” What area? Why more the area? Doesn’t make sense but that’s what he writes. Sort of when he writes that they “attempted to scare the officer away.”

What is concerning here in this report is that the first mention of contacting any outside animal control assistance was only after the animal was “dispatched”. This is completely contrary to what is in the Coeymans Police Department manual concerning animal control calls.

Now, if Albany County DA P. David Soares, democrappy fool of an attorney that he is, made his statements after his office had concluded their imaginary investigation into the incident, he would have clearly seen that there was gross misconduct and that procedure was not followed at all. Clearly such misconduct by law enforcement is subject to disciplinary action. If Soares were worth anything as an attorney, which he’s not, he would have noted with some suspicion the many contradictions, questionable statements, and errors in these two official police documents, which would be admissible in court as true. But Soares and his teams of overpaid dumbasses probably never even saw these reports, never even asked for them. If they had, even Soares could not have missed the glaring, conspicuous errors.

But it doesn’t say much for the Town of Coeymans or the Coeymans Police Department, either. You’d think that acting police chief F/Sgt Danel Contento, investigator Stephen Prokrym, or patrolman Jeff Iovinelli would have checked the report and caught the stupid errors and maybe have corrected them before finalizing the report. And why isn’t Prokrym’s signature on the report? He’s the senior officer involved. Didn’t anyone in the Town of Coeymans or the Coeymans Police Department check these two reports? Probably NOT because they thought they were immune to attack, above discipline. 

Well, maybe acting police chief Contento, officer Iovinelli, investigator Prokrym, DA Soares and his team don’t read these things but WE DO, and now YOU DO, citizens. Now there should be some questions, some very burning questions asked not only about this incident but about the overall operations and quality of the Coeymans Police Department and its employees. Here’s one for you:

Our reps will be at the next Coeymans Town Board meeting to ask those questions.

Excerpt from Coeymans Police Incident Report 24648.

The Incident Report (IR) is the Police Department’s Official Documentation of the Facts of an Incident for Legal Purposes.

If the Town of Coeymans, the acting police chief, the two officers involved could not do a more professional job of reviewing and quality controlling an important document like the Incident Report, especially this incident report which is the Department’s official documentation of the incident for legal purposes, in this incident which got international attention and widespread national media coverage, then how accurate are the documents they prepare when reporting on an incident in which you are involved. These documents can make or break a case and they are pitifully carelessly prepared, even when they are meant to cover cops’ asses. Go figure!

We are still waiting for responses from the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation, the Albany County Sheriff’s Department, and the Albany County District Attorney regarding our demands for documents, including but not limited to the Investigation Reports prepared by their departments. We expect either that no investigations were done or they were done just as carelessly as the reporting by the Coeymans Police Department’s Jeff IOVINELLI.

We have contacted all local communities who have Animal Control Officers (ACOs) and they confirm that they did not receive a call for assistance from the Coeymans Police Department in this incident.

The Adopted Town of Coeymans Budget allows almost $800,000 for the Coeymans Police Department.

The Adopted Town of Coeymans Budget allows almost $800,000, that’s almost a million dollars of taxpayer money, for the Coeymans Police Department, and yet they don’t even have a net or a catchpole to capture a raccoon, and they can’t write a coherent Incident Report to save their own asses. Coeymans taxpayers pay more than $500,000 a year in employee salaries for the Coeymans PD. Most of the arguments made in favor of keeping the Coeymans PD are being made by the elderly who think the Coeymans PD is in the rescue business!!! Don’t they realize they have a Coeymans Fire and Rescue company and a Ravena Fire and Rescue facility with blocks of each other, and both are funded by taxpayer dollars. Wake up stupids! Do you really think that money is money allocated by the Coeymans Town Board with any notion of fiscal responsibility? We don’t.

ELIMINATE THE COEYMANS POLICE DEPARTMENT AND WITH IT THE IRRESPONSIBLE COEYMANS TOWN BOARD.

WHILE YOU’RE AT IT, GET RID OF THAT DEMOCRAPPY RACIST FOOL OF A DISTRICT ATTORNEY, P. DAVID SOARES.

Click Coeymans Police Incident Reports

to see the complete original Coeymans PD Incident Reports.

Our Previous Articles Covering this Incident

Albany County DA Soares Affirms Double Standard Again: Coeymans Clown Cops OK (April 4, 2018)

Officer Identified!!! Coeymans PD Steve Prokrym Involved in Raccoon Scandal!!! (March 26, 2018)

Truth be Told: On the Heels of the Coeymans Town Board Meeting (March 23, 2018)

More on the Coeymans Police Department. Our Recent Investigations. (March 21, 2018)

Follow-up Report: Coeymans Raccoon Incident. We still have our doubts! (March 19, 2018)

We are speechless! OMG! Coeymans Police Caught on Video Again! (March 12, 2018)

DUMBASS BOARD
(Coeymans Town Board)
(Baker, Yeomans, Crandall, Dolan, Burns)

 
2 Comments

Posted by on April 18, 2018 in 19th Congressional District, 19th Congressional District, 4-H, 46th District, 46th Senate District, Aaron Flach, Abuse of Police Power, Abuse of Power, Acting Police Chief, Albany, Albany County District Attorney, Albany County Sheriff Department, Animal Control Officer, Animal cruelty, ASPCA, Attorney General Eric Schneiderman, Capital District, Catskill-Hudson Newspapers, Coeymans Acting Police Chief, Coeymans Police Department, Coeymans Town Board, Columbia-Greene Media, Corruption, Craig D. Apple Sr., Criminal Mischief, Cruelty to animals, Daily Mail, Daniel Contento, David Soares, Dead Raccoon, DEC, Demand for Termination, Department of Environmental Conservation, Dick Touchette, Eliminate Coeymans Police Department, FaceBook, Faith Plaza, Government, Greene County News, Hannaford, Hannaford Supermarkets, Hudson Valley, Humane Society of the United States, Investigation, James Youmans, Jeff Iovinelli, Jim Youmans, Joe Tanner, John B. Johnson, Joseph Tanner, Ken Burns, Kenneth Burns, Law Enforcement, Mark Vinciguerra, Mayor "Mouse", Mayor "Mouse" Misuraca, Misconduct, Moose Misuraca, Moose Misuraca, Nancy Biscone-Warner, Nancy Warner, Nancy Warner, New Baltimore, New York, New York Department of Environmental Conservation, New York State, New York State Department of Health, News and Information Media, News Channel 10, News Channel 13, News Channel 6, NYS Assembly, NYS Senate, Office of the Attorney General, P. David Soares, People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals, Peter J. McKenna, Peter Mckenna, Peter McKenna, Phil Crandall, Phillip Crandall, Police Incompetence, Police Investigator, Public Safety, Public Safety, Raccoons, Ravena, Ravena Coeymans Selkirk, Ravena News Herald, RegisterStar, Richard Mednick, Rick Touchette, Selkirk, Shop'n Save, Stephen Prokrym, Steve Prokrym, Thomas E. Dolan, Times Union, Tom Dolan, Tom Dolan, Town of Coeymans, Town of New Baltimore, William Misuraca, William Misuraca

 

Officer Identified!!! Coeymans PD Steve Prokrym Involved in Raccoon Scandal!!!

Stephen Prokrym Update

We’ve uncovered some interesting information on Coeymans PD investigator Stephen Prokrym, one of the individuals involved in the now famous Faith Plaza Raccoon Scandal:

According to NYS Department of State Corporation Registrations., Prokrym owns and operates a security service business out of Schenectady, New York.  The business address is STEPHEN S PROKRYM, 1019 DIBELLA DR, SCHENECTADY, NEW YORK, 12303, and the NYS Corporation registration looks like this:

Selected Entity Name: KEEPLOCK SECURITY SERVICES, INC
Selected Entity Status Information
Current Entity Name: KEEPLOCK SECURITY SERVICES, INC
DOS ID #: 3214945
Initial DOS Filing Date: JUNE 07, 2005
County: ALBANY
Jurisdiction: NEW YORK
Entity Type: DOMESTIC BUSINESS CORPORATION
Current Entity Status: ACTIVE

According to the business’ website (https://www.keeplock.com/),

“Turn to Keeplock Security Services and TechAlbany in Schenectady, New York, for effective security solutions. Our company has two related businesses, namely Keeplock Security Services offering all aspects of NYS Security Guard Training and with TechAlbany providing first-rate CCTV camera sales and services, adding IT and computer related services from sales and service. With more than 30 years of industry experience, we take pride in providing you with prompt and top-quality security training, computer related services along with CCTV sales and services.”

Maybe Prokrym should add “animal abuse” and “specializing in letting investigations go cold,” as his real specialties.

How Prokrym manages to work at the Coeymans PD and operate a business in Schenectady is a big question, we’d like to have answers for. No wonder he can’t invetigate cases up to arrest and prosecution of suspects! He’s too busy elsewhere!!! Don’t you think that if Coeymans taxpayers are paying him to investigate he should be investigating in Coeymans?

Special thanks to contributor M.C.


We’ve received information from a reliable source that one of the Coeymans Police personnel operating one of the vehicles involved in the scandalous incident at Faith Plaza on March 12, 2018, when a defenseless raccoon was harassed, abused, and finally run over by two Coeymans Police cars. That information informs us that one of the officers involved was Coeymans Police investigator

Stephen Prokrym.

Prokrym is employed by the Town of Coeymans, Coeymans Police Department as a police investigator, a mid-to-senior level law enforcement employee.

We demand that Prokrym and the other officer, whose identity is still pending but we’re expecting his name shortly, be suspended while under investigation. Any law enforcement officer known to have been involved in such irresponsible, unprofessional conduct should be terminated immediately and prosecuted.

We have asked the Coeymans Police Department and Coeymans town supervisor Crandall to explicitly deny that Prokrym was involved in the incident. We gave the Coeymans PD and Crandall until 5 p.m. on Monday, March 26, 2018, to explicitly deny Prokrym’s involvement, after which deadline we advised that we would presume the Department’s and Crandall’s silence to be an admission of the truth of the information. Obviously, we did not hear from them so we must consider the report to be true.

We are working on identifying the operator of the second vehicle involved in the incident and will report that information as soon as we have it.

Click here to continue reading our article on Nancy Warner.

 
4 Comments

Posted by on March 26, 2018 in Abuse of Police Power, Acting Police Chief, Albany County District Attorney, Albany County Sheriff Department, Animal Abuse, Animal Cruelty, Animal cruelty, Animal Rights, ASPCA, Attorney General Eric Schneiderman, Bill Bailey, Bryana Catucci, Capital District, Carmen Warner, Catherine Deluca, Cathy Deluca, Coeymans, Coeymans Acting Police Chief, Coeymans Police Department, Coeymans Town Board, Craig D. Apple Sr., D. W. Contento, Daniel Contento, Daniel Contento, David Soares, Dead Raccoon, DEC, Department of Environmental Conservation, Eliminate Coeymans Police Department, Government, Hannaford, Hannaford Supermarkets, Hudson Valley, Humane Society of the United States, Jason Albert, Jim Youmans, Joel Coye, Joseph Tanner, Keeplock Security Services, Keith Mahler, Law Enforcement, Leah Darlington, Mayor "Mouse", Mayor "Mouse" Misuraca, Misconduct, Moose Misuraca, Moose Misuraca, Nancy Biscone-Warner, Nancy Warner, Nancy Warner, New York State, New York State Department of Health, NYS Assembly, NYS Comptroller Audit, NYS Senate, Office of the Comptroller, P. David Soares, Peter J. McKenna, Peter Mckenna, Peter McKenna, Phil Crandall, Phillip Crandall, Police Investigator, Public Safety, Raccoons, Ravena, Ravena Choices, Ravena Coeymans Selkirk, Ravena CVS, Ravena Shop'n Save, Richard Touchette, Shop'n Save, Stephen Prokrym, Steve Prokrym, Steve Prokrym, TechAlbany, Thomas E. Dolan, Tom Dolan, Town of Coeymans, William Misuraca, William Misuraca

 

Changing the Subject for a Moment…Let’s talk about Nancy Warner.

We figure you must be a bit tired of reading about rogue cop s and animal abuse, so we’re going to change the subject for a moment.

Let’s Talk About Nancy Warner and Irresponsibility and Corruption.

Nancy Warner: Lean and Mean behind the Ravena Dem Machine.
(The hill-town version of angry-old-woman Nancy Pelosi)

When we talk about the failure of local government, we cannot avoid thinking of the Village of Ravena, New York, a nest of political incest if there ever was one.

The recent raccoon incident calls to mind Nancy Warner, a trustee, that is, a member of the Ravena Village council, and her history of idiotic pet programs and wasteful agendas. Warner is a relic from the past, from the “Mummy Mayor” era, and has a reputation for being a veritable Witch-on-a-Stick (we all know where the stick is, too). She likes her little coven of idiots; We all know the saying “In the village of the blind the one-eyed man is mayor.” Well in a village of halfwits, the idiot is wannabe mayor.


The Raccoon PETITION got 1.6 million likes on Facebook! As of this writing (March 26, 2018), the “Justice for raccoon killed by officers from Coeymans Police Department in New York Statepetition on Care2 now has 88,060 signatures of which 10,589 are from New York. The goal was 85,000 but the response was so great we’re looking for 90,000 signatures! Express your outrage and add your signature here. Please help get us to the goal of 90,000 protest voices!!!

One of the Coeymans Police officers driving one of the vehicles involved in the scandalous incident has been identified. Click here.


Ravena Village Trustee Nancy Warner in conference with Ravena Mayor “Mouse” Misuraca.

But let’s get back to the point. The recent raccoon scandal that was perpetrated by two Coeymans police personnel at Ravena’s trashy Faith Plaza, brought to light a number of problems. Of course, the first problem is making sense of how two alleged qualified law enforcement personnel could harass, terrorize and kill (by running it over after some 15 minutes of torturing it) a wild raccoon, and do this in a crowded parking lot to the absolute disgust and horror of dozens of people. The Coeymans police response: ‘They had to use their vehicles to ensure the public’s safety.’ This situation becomes even more bizarre when you think that the scandalous scene was perped not by one idiot in one vehicle, who we then could say was just stupid and have done with it, it was two idiots in two separate vehicles. We’d love to hear the radio exchange between the two morons as they got their perverse rocks off killing the raccoon. That chapter has not yet ended and we’re following it closely.

The trashy Faith Plaza in Ravena. Home of Shop’n Save, CVS, and Dolan’s Choices program. Owned by the “Christian” Aaron Flach family of Ravena.

This all happened because a caller from the Ravena CVS at Faith Plaza noted the raccoon “trying to get into the building.” The conclusion was not that the animal was hungry, curious, but that it had to be “rabid.” A call goes into the Albany County 911 Center, which routes it then to the Coeymans Police and, well, the whole world knows the rest of the story. (For details on how owner of Faith Plaza, Aaron Flach responded, please see the Hudson Valley 360 article, “Petition calls for disciplinary action for raccoon killing,” of March 18, 2018, the updated petition has 83,777 (9,620 in New York) as of March 23, 2018.)

Crandall has been cutting the police budget since day 1 of his taking office

When cornered, Coeymans Town Supervisor, Phil Crandal states that “the call should never have been given to the Coeymans police,” but Mr Crandall doesn’t say to whom the call should have gone. The Coeymans Police Law Enforcement Manual states clearly that animal control calls should go to the Animal Control Officer. The problem is that the Town of Coeymans doesn’t have an Animal Control Officer, and the Manual hasn’t been updated since 1998 (neither have the other chapters in the “Town of Coeymans Police and Village of Ravena Police” Administrative Manual, such as Traffic Operations or Recruitment/Promotion, etc.).Problem is, Crandall has been cutting the police budget since day 1 of his taking office.

The Village of Ravena Abolished its Police Department in 2006

But Ravena does not have a police department, it was abolished in 2006! Here’s the official act abolishing it on January 17, 2006:

Article II:
Abolishment of Police Department
[Adopted 1-17-2006 by L.L. No. 1-2006[1]]
Editor’s Note: This local law also stated that it shall take effect 30 days after its enactment and is subject to permissive referendum. This local law was approved by the majority of the electors voting in the general election held 3-21-2006.
§ 22-6
Department abolished.
The Police Department of the Village of Ravena is hereby abolished.

The reason: to reduce costs involved with the operation of the Ravena Police Department. The result: The Coeymans Police Department took over law enforcement jurisdiction in the territory of the Village of Ravena.

Neither the Village of Ravena nor the Town of Coeymans has an Animal Control Officer

In the meantime, neither the Village of Ravena nor the Town of Coeymans have animal control officers, full-time or part-time. Again, the positions were eliminated for fiscal reasons. Eliminated to save money, that is. But while the Ravena Village Council and the Town of Coeymans are cutting public safety positions to save bucks, the Village of Ravena has no scruples wasting taxpayer dollars to pad the pockets of village “friends.” We’re referring to Nancy Warner’s pet project, the Ravena Fitness Center, for which the village of Ravena shelled out more than $40,000 to village “friend” and insider, Robert “Bob” Fisk — Fisk at the time wasn’t even living in Ravena, he was in Florida! —, for used fitness equipment from his defunct fitness center, previously mismanaged and failed under Guess who? Jerry “Dirty-Hands” Deluca’s partner, Cathy Deluca. Warner promptly handed over the Ravena Fitness Center to none other than fitness-club-failure-expert, Cathy Deluca. In the two years that Deluca ran the Ravena Fitness Center, the Center lost at least $115,000 a year!!! All Ravena taxpayer dollars. Ultimately, the Center failed after a short period of Deluca’s mismanagement. Deluca got paid and Carver Laraway did the village a favor by buying the equipment for pennies on the taxpayer dollar.

Nancy Warner’s Response to Ravena and Coeymans Residents.

We mention the history of the Ravena Fitness Center for two reasons: Nancy Warner’s stupidity and fiscal irresponsibility, and Nancy Warner’s corrupt practices in doing favors for the Ravena Incest Club, friends of the administration. Nancy Warner was also behind the harassment of local youth by the Coeymans Police for hanging around the village gazebo (which has since been removed), and for her involvement with then Coeymans police chief Gregory Darlington and Coeymans cop Jerry “Dirty-Hands” Deluca for a number of violations of civil and constitutional protected rights.

And a bit THANK YOU! to Mr LP of Ravena for reminding us that it was at Nancy Warner’s urging that the RCS Community Library was thrown out of the space to make it available for Cathy Deluca’s most recent failure, the Ravena Fitness Center. Not only did Warner urge the Village Board to evict the Community Library, while insiders Persicos were “renovating” the Library’s new digs, Warner actually punished the Community Library for not moving out by raising the Library’s monthly rent!!! Warner raises the Library’s rent and the money comes out of community and children’s programs but that doesn’t matter to someone like Nancy Warner and her pack of flying monkeys! She was sending Darlington, Deluca, and Johnson  of the Coeymans Police Department out to harass the kids on the street, and you think she’d want them to be in a library? That’s not the way she works. Nancy Warner works by screwing the community and taking care of her friends in the Ravena-Coeymans Incest Club! Typical of any fascist regime — and fascist is the most accurate description of Warner’s little nest in Village Hall with it’s figure-head mayor, Mouse Misuraca — Nancy Warner has no use for intelligence or education; after all, a stupid population is easier to control than an intelligent one. How quickly we forget, people!

Nancy Warner sending out her Monkey-Pets in the Darlington-Deluca Coeymans PD to harass local youth. One scandal after the other! Does it ever end?

Nancy Warner’s husband Harold “Hal” Warner, a sitting Village justice, is the man behind the backstabbing of then part-time village justice and full-time Coeymans town justice, Phil Crandall, resulting in Crandall’s forced resignation in disgrace from the elected judgeships. Nancy Warner, at the time, “supervised” her own husband’s court operations.

Ravena Village Justice Hal Warner disgracing the American Flag (Warner is in the foreground).

 

No story about Nancy Warner would be complete without mentioning her pet rodent, Mayor Bill “Mouse” Misuraca.

The Nancy and Hal Warner are democrats as is Phil Crandall, but given their history, do you wonder that there’s no dialogue and only animosity between The Village of Ravena and the Town of Coeymans? We tend to think that the two communities,separated only by an immaginary line — they were once a single municipality, Ravena-Coeymans, until divided into the Village of Ravena and the Hamlet of Coeymans — but even so, the Town of Coeymans offices are actually still located in the Village of Ravena, on Russell Avenue! Go figure!!!

Since March 20, 2018, the entire Ravena village board has been packed with Democrats, all under the heavy hand of Nancy Warner; the only Republican on the Ravena village board is Mayor Bill “Mouse” Misuraca, elected by his loyal barroom customers and perhaps a couple of dyed-in-the-wool die-hard Republicans still allowed to live in the Village of Ravena. That probably makes no difference anyway, since Misuraca is totally ineffectual — unless it’s tapping a beer keg or pouring a shot– and Warner ran things anyway, witch that she is.

So, people, what does this mean for the perennial problems plaguing the neighbors Ravena and Coeymans, such as water, sewerage, law enforcement, animal control? Well, the picture ain’t pretty, as you can well imagine. But ask Town Supervisor Phil Crandall and he’ll tell you, “Put that in an email or a letter and get it to me.” That’s where it will die.

With Democraps commandeering both Ravena and Coeymans boards but with the seething and roiling hatred between top elected officials, Warner and Crandall, the residents and taxpayers will continue to be victimized by the self-serving, corrupt and incompetent Village and Town Halls.

The recent raccoon scandal brought the historical scandal to light but this time it came to light on a never-before-experienced scale; this time it’s international.

So Ravena abolishes its police department to save money. Both Ravena and Coeymans abolish animal control to save money. Both law enforcement and animal control are public safety services.But that doesn’t stop Ravena (Warner) or Coeymans (Crandall) from spending on their pet projects!

Ravena, under Warner’s dictatorship, finds the money to fund a Ravena Fitness Center, and to take a load of used fitness equipment off a friend’s — that is, Bob Fisk’s — hands to the tune of more than $40,000. She then hands over a large portion of Ravena Village Hall to her friend Cathy Deluca, and approves a handsome salary for Deluca to manage the facility. Deluca manages the facility over a period of two years right into oblivion, as she had done with two previous fitness clubs she had “managed.” A fine example of local government’s idea of fiscal responsibility, right?

After Nancy Warner’s husband, Hal Warner, forced his fellow justice, Phil Crandall, into disgraced resignation, Crandall, banned forever from running again for judicial office because of his corruption — in which Coeymans board member Tom Dolan and Albnay County legislator, Richard Touchette were recipients — and ethical violations while a judge, now runs for public office, for the office of Coeymans Town Supervisor.

Nancy Warner was/is breast-to-breast, vag-to-vag with Cathy Deluca and Jerry “Dirty-Hands” Deluca

Cathy Deluca
Who does your hair, sistuh?

You’ll need a little background to understand Crandall’s hatred for the Coeymans Police Department and why Crandall did everything possible to drive any competent leadership from the Coeymans Police Department. Crandall’s vendetta has its roots deep in the Warner-Deluca conspiracies. You see, Nancy Warner was/is breast-to-breast, vag-to-vag with Cathy Deluca and Jerry “Dirty-Hands” Deluca, who, in turn were in a love-fest with Gregory “Dumplin” Darlington. When Hal Warner disposed of Crandall, this Warner-Deluca-Darlington love triangle was going full-throttle, until their activities were getting too hot to handle and Darlington and Deluca had to go — either just go, or go to jail. Now that the Delucas and the Darlingtons were sufficiently disgraced and out of the public picture, the scene was set for the Warner-Crandall wars.(It’s also interesting that Carmen Warner was fired from the Albany DA’s office and Leah Darlington left the DA’s office shortly thereafter to take a position as a secretary with Tom Dolan’s Choices program. Was it getting too risky for Albany County DA David Soares to have these liabilities in his office?) Just one more objective was left for Crandall — and he’s very near successful — that is, getting rid of the Coeymans Police Department.

Jerry “Dirty-Hands” Deluca.
Now with the New York State Fire Chiefs Association.

Phil Crandal is a retired prison guard and brings all the charm and refinement of a prison guard personality to Coeymans Town Hall.

But Crandall is no prize when it comes to human relations and fiscal responsibility. First of all, he’s a retired prison guard and brings all the charm and refinement of a prison guard personality to Coeymans Town Hall. Secondly, he’s surrounded himself either with a harem of paid women or a coterie of recycled political losers like Jim Youmans (used car salesman, lost a previous election then ran again under Crandall) and Tom Dolan (director of the Ravena CHOICES program, another political loser). Dolan and Rick Touchette (director of the notorious Roman Catholic Diocese of Albany Cemeteries, and recently “elected” to the Albany County Legislature) were both involved in the corruption and unethical activities that led to Crandall’s disgrace, Touchette and Dolan having received favors from Crandall while he was a judge. Touchette was part of the gang, too.

Crandall likes to hire consultants, clerks and secretaries for the Supervisor’s office

As we noted above, Crandall also likes to cut budgets to pad his office staff. He likes to hire consultants, clerks and secretaries for the Supervisor’s office, but likes to cut police and other budgets to save money (for his projects and friends). When cornered for answers, Crandall’s stock response is “send me an email” or “put that in a letter.”

A Lot of Finger-pointing going on right now in Ravena and Coeymans.

So we now have a scandal built up around the unfortunate fate of a wild raccoon who happened to be in the same space as two rogue Coeymans police idiots. The actors in this comedy of errors happen to be two Coeymans police personnel, admittedly morons, and a raccoon, at the time “presumed” to be a little too curious, a little too friendly, and thus “rabid.” Crandall has his moment pointing the finger at the bad cops and promising an investigation and accountability. Bravo, you stinker! Acting Coeymans Chief of Police, Daniel Contento, asking himself how’d I get into this position and what’s going to happen with my pension? Mayor “Mouse” Misuraca stands back and claims to be an animal lover and not to have any power or authority over the Coeymans Police, uses that simplistic mantra to get his useless ass re-elected. Nancy and Hal Warner are delighting that arch-enemy Phil Crandall has a scandal on his hands — again — and the public’s eye is on him, not on them.

Our burning question is this: Where is the Office of the New York State Comptroller, the Office of the Albany County District Attorney, the Office of the New York State Attorney General, and the FBI while all of this public corruption and abuse of public office is going on in broad daylight and has been going on for decades?

We think it’s high time for a lot of audits, investigations, indictments, prosecutions, and convictions. What do you think?

We’ll be asking similar questions about the New Baltimore town government, the New Baltimore Highway Department, and their ineffective and corrupt operations in an upcoming article. The situation, therefore, doesn’t appear to be isolated only to Ravena and Coeymans; it appears to be contagious, a sort of rabies that infects neighboring local governments like Ravena/Coeymans and New Baltimore. Maybe we can find two morons to run them over, too?

WE REALLY HOPE THE TWO IDIOT COPS HAVE BEEN SUSPENDED AND ARE NOT STILL OUT THERE ON OUR STREETS!!!

NEXT STEPS:

RECALL PHIL CRANDALL; REMOVE HIM FROM OFFICE
ABOLISH THE COEYMANS POLICE DEPARTMENT
INVESTIGATE NANCY WARNER AND THE RAVENA VILLAGE BOARD
PROSECUTE THE ROGUE COPS
CLEAN UP THE COMMUNITY — CREATE A LOCAL WATCHDOG GROUP
MAKE THE ALBANY COUNTY DA P. DAVID SOARES ACCOUNTABLE

On Friday, March 23, 2018, three RCS high school  students were reported to be “joking” about coming into the high school and shooting it up. Click here.

 
Leave a comment

Posted by on March 26, 2018 in 19th Congressional District, 19th Congressional District, 20th Congressional District, 20th Congressional District, 4-H, 46th District, 46th Senate District, Aaron Flach, Abuse of Police Power, Abuse of Power, Acting Police Chief, Albany, Albany County Civil Service, Albany County District Attorney, Albany County Sheriff Department, Amanda L. Mueller, Amanda Mueller, Animal Control Officer, Animal cruelty, Animal Rights, ASPCA, Attorney General Eric Schneiderman, Bill Bailey, Bryana Catucci, Capital District, Care2, Carmen Warner, Carver Companies, Catherine Deluca, Catherine M. Deluca, Cathy Deluca, Cindy Rowzee, Civil Rights, Claude A. Wheeles, Coeymans, Coeymans Acting Police Chief, Coeymans Elections, Coeymans Industrial Park, Coeymans Police Department, Coeymans Town Attorney, Coeymans Town Board, Coeymans Town Budget, Conflict, Cooperative Extension, Cornell Cooperative Extension, Corrupt Judge, Craig D. Apple Sr., Cruelty to animals, D. Darlington, D. W. Contento, Daily Mail, Daniel Contento, Daniel Contento, Danielle Crosier, David Soares, David Wukitsch, Dawn Dolan, Dead Raccoon, DEC, DeLuca Public Affairs, Democrats, Department of Environmental Conservation, Dick Touchette, Drive-by Shooting, Eliminate Coeymans Police Department, Eric T. Schneiderman, Faith Plaza, George Amadore, Gerald Deluca, Greene County, Gregory Darlington, Hal Warner, Harold Warner, Henry Traver, Humane Society of the United States, Illegal Search and Seizure, James Youmans, Jason Albert, Jerry "Dirty-Hands" Deluca, Jerry Deluca, Jim Youmans, Joe Stanzione, Joe Tanner, John B. Johnson, Johnson Newspaper Group, Joseph Stanzione, Joseph Tanner, Josephine O'Connor, Kerry Thompson, Lazlo Polyak, Leah Darlington, Mark Vinciguerra, Mayor "Mouse", Mayor "Mouse" Misuraca, Michael Biscone, Michael J. Biscone, Misconduct, Misuse of Public Office, Moose Misuraca, Moose Misuraca, Mueller Automotive, Mueller's Automotive, Nancy Biscone-Warner, Nancy Warner, Nancy Warner, New Baltimore, New York, New York State, New York State Association of Fire Chiefs, New York State Association of Fire Chiefs, New York State Department of Health, New York State Town Law, News Channel 10, News Channel 13, News Channel 6, Nita Chmielewski, NYS Assembly, NYS Comptroller Audit, NYS Senate, NYSAFC, NYSDOH, Obstruction of Justice, Office of the Attorney General, Office of the Comptroller, P. David Soares, Perjury, Peter J. McKenna, Peter Mckenna, Peter McKenna, Petition, Phil Crandall, Phillip Crandall, Police State, Public Safety, Raccoons, Ravena, Ravena Choices, Ravena Coeymans Selkirk, Ravena Elections, Ravena Fitness Center, Ravena Village Board, Richard Touchette, Rick Touchette, Robert Fisk, Roman Catholic Diocese of Albany Cemeteries, Ryan Johnson, Smalbany, Stephen Flach, Steve Prokrym, The Daily Mail, Times Union, Todd Polverelli, Tom Dolan, Tom Dolan, Town Justice, Town of Coeymans, Town of New Baltimore, Town Supervisor, Village Justice, Wadsworth Center, William Bailey, William Misuraca, William Misuraca

 

More on the Coeymans Police Department. Our Recent Investigations.

Ravena Village Elections

A note from the Editor:
Ravena is irrelevant, meaningless, predictable

No. We didn’t publish a word on the Ravena village elections. Why? Because Ravena is irrelevant, meaningless, predictable. We are wasting these few words on a corrupt and dying village, which, if it sunk into the Hudson River this afternoon, would hardly be missed, unless it were because the environment suddenly improved. We felt we had an obligation to those readers who asked Why? we were not following the election campaigns and the elections. Our answer: Ravena simply wasn’t worth our time. But Thank you! for asking. (Besides, the Ravena elections were tainted by the Coeymans police incident. See the Times Union article, Ravena’s rabid raccoon haunts village election” (TU, Tuesday, March 20, 2018).)


The Coeymans Police Department is a Disgrace and Must be Eliminated

Our recent investigations into the operations of the Coeymans Police Department under Phillip Crandall and his cronies on the Coeymans Town Board, as well as the operations of the Town of Coeymans, leave no other conclusion than that both are so incompetently run and the total lack of leadership in both has led once again to a widely published scandal involving the Town of Coeymans, the Coeymans Police Department, and the Village of Ravena. 

ex-Chief (disgraced)
G. “Dumplin” Darlington

Before Chief Patrick McKenna took over the Coeymans Police Department under then Coeymans Town Supervisor Steven Flach, we campaigned to eliminate the Coeymans Police Department. Our reasons were conspicuously clear: The Coeymans Police Deparment under then chief Gregory “Dumpy-Duplin” Darlington and Gerry “Dirty Hands” Deluca and their lackeys was a boys club. There were so many violations of protected constitutional rights and civil rights that we had to pick and choose what we published. Darlington, but especially Deluca and his partner Cathy Deluca, padded their pockets generously, while taking advantage of taxpayers and shady activities for years. Cathy Deluca was incompetent and inept but the Ravena inner circle (led by Ravena village trustee Nancy Warner) handed her the now defunct Ravena Fitness Center, which she promptly ran down the sewers with a record 2 years. Cathy Deluca got her money and the taxpayers of Ravena got their screwing. Darlington’s wife, Leah Darlington, was deeply entrenched in the Democratic machine in Albany, in Albany County District Attorney P. David Soares’ office, as was Ravena village justice Hal Warner’s daughter, Carmen,M. Warner (see our article, “The Warners: A Family Tradition of Misconduct“) until she was fired for unprofessional behavior (posting indecent pictures of herself on Facebook). Leah Darlington found a new home with Tom “Dudley Dumbass” Mumbles Dolan at the Ravena Choices office, and local schyster Michael Biscone hired Carmen, another plastic vulva in his collection of plastic females.

Gerry “Dirty Hands” Deluca, former Coeymans cop.

Ultimately, as the word on the street goes, Darlington and Deluca had to retire or face prosecution. Darlington ended up as a part-time bus driver for the RCS Central School District and part-timed as a doorman at Babcock Funeral Home in Ravena. Deluca weaseled his way into an office at the New York State Association of Fire Chiefs. Seems like the RCS Central School District and Babcock Funeral Home don’t care much who they expose the district’s children or our dead to. The New York State Association of Fire Chiefs is nothing more than a lobby organization, more crooked and corrupt than community oriented, so Deluca found a nice nest of like birds. Cathy Deluca has pretty much disappeared from the public eye, and so the scenery is that much better in the Ravena-Coeymans area.

When Patrick McKenna was brought on board as Coeymans’ chief of police we pointed out his baggage and let him know that we were watching. McKenna proved to be a great leader and made numerous improvements both in the operation of the Coeymans Police Department and in the human resources situation. Coeymans is no place to show leadership; you have to be a rodent to succeed in Coeymans or Ravena. Now that Darlington and Deluca were out of the picture, a real professional was going to make a difference, and McKenna did. He was a professional. He was intelligent. He really cared for the community and showed it.

Disgraced Judge…
Town Supervisor Phil Crandall

When disgraced village justice Phillip Crandall crawled back out of the gutter into the public’s eye and ran for Coeymans Town Supervisor — after he was forbidden to run for judicial office as part of his plea bargain — the scene changed. Crandall wanted control of the Coeymans Police Department and, when he couldn’t get it, he tried every dirty trick in the book to get rid of McKenna.

You will recall that about four years ago, when the question of elimination of the Coeymans PD was hot, the people of Coeymans came out in force and loudly proclaimed that they wanted to keep their police department. Supervisor Flach got rid of Darlington and Deluca, and hired McKenna, a veteran Albany police detective. The people of Coeymans got to keep their police department and got a law enforcement professional to run it. Things started to look real good and the whole scene improved.

To give you an idea of how things improved, during the Darlington-Deluca reign of terror, we were publishing several articles a week on abuses, corruption, violations of rights of local Ravena and Coeymans residents. In the 4 years of McKenna, we published perhaps 2 or 3 articles reporting problems, but we published several applauding McKenna’s performance as chief.

With disgraced former justice Phil Crandall’s election along with several other bullies, like used car salesman Jim Youmans, to the Coeymans town board, things deteriorated. Crandall redirected police department funding, literally stole budgetary savings made by McKenna and reused them elsewhere in Crandall’s little group of cronies and pets. McKenna sometimes had to resort to using his own money to purchase needed supplies. Enough was enough.

Once McKenna resigned, the Coeymans Police Department started to spiral out of control. Here’s how.

In December 2017, we were contacted by a local resident, who had been stopped by Amanda L. Mueller, daughter of the Mueller who owns Mueller Automotive, in Ravena. Mueller Automotive does all of the automotive work for the Coeymans Police Department and much of the automotive work for the Town of Coeymans. That raised red flags immediately. Conflict of interest.

But that wasn’t all. You see, Amanda Mueller was a trainee in the Coeymans Police Department. She had stopped a resident for a non-working headlight, and accused him of having his high beams on. Well the resident, a professional, attempted to explain to Mueller that he did not have his high beams on; they were his fog lights. Mueller told him that she was going to let him off with a warning but because he had an “attitude”, she was going to give him a ticket. We reported on the incident in detail in our article, “”. (Please click the link to read the article “Coeymans Police Turning Into Coeymans Gestapo Again?“.)

We asked the resident to provide the documents he received from Mueller. We examined the documents, a Simplified Traffic Ticket and a Supporting Deposition, and found numerous errors in both. Mueller couldn’t even get the man’s date of birth right, and that’s a crucial identifier on a ticket. Furthermore, she got the Vehicle and Traffic Law section wrong. Mueller entered a non-working brakes section, a misdemeanor, instead of a non-working headlight, a minor violation!!! And there were several other mistakes in this relatively simple document. (We advised the resident and the Ravena court dismissed ticket rather than try the case.)

Sandy_poseable sex_doll

Hi! My name’s Sandy. Welcome to Biscone Law Firm.I’m plastic and latex.

At the Coeymans Town Board meeting of June 22, 2017, that approved sponsoring Mueller to attend the Zone 5 Regional Law Enforcement Training Academy, Supervisor Crandall noted, “Supervisor Crandall stated that this is a fine move as far as he was concerned. Ms. Mueller is a member of this community and her parents are upstanding members of this community.” Mueller accepted the training approved by the Coeymans town board and started the academy on July 16, 2017. By January 2018, Amanda Mueller had left the Coeymans PD — after having finished her training — deserting the Town and the Coeymans PD to go to the Albany County Sheriff”s Department. “A member of the community” and “upstanding members”, so much so that her thanks to Coeymans was to leave. Good riddance to local rubbish.

We didn’t waste time and we immediately initiated an investigation and demanded that the Town of Coeymans Police Department and the Town of Coeymans produce certain documents relating to the incident, the operations of the Coeymans PD, and the purchasing practices of the Town of Coeymans, expecting to find numerous violations of policy, procedure and law.

Coeymans never disappoints us. Or maybe the real question is whether the Democrats in Albany County should all be convicted and jailed. All of the perps in this horror story are Democraps!!! Just a coïncidence? Yeah! And maybe 60 years of Democrat Machine Control in Albany is just a coïncidence, too? Do you want to buy a bridge? We’ve got one for sale in Brooklyn.

Big Time Dem Machine Man. Too cozy?
P. David Soares, Albany Co. DA

As soon as we launched the investigation, Amanda L. Mueller disappears from sight. In response to a demand for disclosure, it appears that after we launched the investigation, someone thought it best not to hire her to the Coeymans PD, and she left to take a position with the Albany County Sheriff’s Department. That figures; we weren’t surprised in the least. After all, the Albany County Sheriff’s Department is part of the Albany County Democrat Machine, including the Albany County District Attorney’s Office (P. David Soares), all of whom, historically, have been in the same bed as the local Dems and their little nest of scoundrels, including the Gregory and Leah Darlington, Gerry and Cathy Deluca, Tom Dolan (Coeymans town board member and director of Ravena Choices program), and the Phil Crandall (disgraced former Ravena village justice, now Coeymans Town Supervisor), and the Warners of Ravena Village Hall (Nancy Warner and hubby Hal Warner). Let’s not forget that Hal Warner was an Albany cop who got taken off the street and given a desk job for civil rights abuses; he was later elected as a village justice in Ravena. It was Hal Warner who stabbed his colleague, then part-time village justice while also Coeymans town justice, Phil Crandall in the back when Crandall was doing favors for local Dems like Tom Dolan, Richard Touchette (Director of the Albany County Roman Catholic Diocese Cemeteries and elected two years ago to be on the Albany County Legislature. Surprised? Shouldn’t be; Albany County Dems in action!) and others, leading to the investigation by the State Commission on Judicial Conduct that forced Crandall to resign as village justice and, as a condition, to never run for judicial office again. Instead, Crandall ran for Coeymans Town Supervisor under the Dems, and is now Town Supervisor. Go figure!

Have the Coeymans Police turned red-bra ho’s?

Well, once the connections were made between Coeymans, Amanda Mueller, and Mueller Automotive, the cat hit the fan and Amanda Mueller disappears from Coeymans. Chief McKenna also has had enough and he resigns. Now we’re left with an underfunded Police Department and no professional chief to lead it. Somehow Daniel Contento, a Coeymans police sergeant, is appointed acting chief. This is where the Coeymans PD goes into a dead-man’s spiral into oblivion.

On March 12, 2018, an international scandal haunts the Town of Coeymans and the Village of Ravena, when two Coeymans police vehicles are videoed in the act of harassing, terrorizing and finally running over a defenseless raccoon in the public parking lot of Faith Plaza in Ravena. The video goes viral and causes an international uproar, national and international media carry the story, the video gets millions of hits on social media, petitions in protest get tens of thousands of signatures almost overnight. (For details, please see our article at “We are speechless! OMG! Coeymans Police Caught on Video Again!”.)

Again, we launch an investigation. And again, we find that the Town of Coeymans has egg on their faces.

Town of Coeymans Police Department’s Law Enforcement Manual has never been updated since 1998

As in the case of the Amanda Mueller investigation, we found that the Town of Coeymans Police Department’s Law Enforcement Manual has never been updated since 1998; the procedures are 20 years old!!!

The procedures also contain outdated or incorrect information. Even if Coeymans police complied with the procedures and policies, they would be 20 years behind the times. For example, the Law Enforcement Manual title actually reads “Town of Coeymans and Village of Ravena Police.” The Village police department has been out of existence for a number of years, at least ten years.

The procedures also require that in an animal control action, the local Animal Control Officer be called to the scene to manage the situation. Coeymans doesn’t have an animal control officer and hasn’t had one for years!

Our investigation turned up a large number of errors, inconsistencies, even lies in the documents provided by the Coeymans Police Department and the Town of Coeymans. Regrettably, we have to say that this wasn’t unexpected.

Is the Department of Health Report jerry rigged?

Even the New York State Department of Health testing report read like a scripted response to provide the inept Coeymans police with at least a dumbass alibi or excuse for their scandalous behavior. (Please see our article, “Follow-up Report: Coeymans Raccoon Incident. We still have our doubts!” for details.)

The People of the Town of Coeymans wanted, insisted that they keep their Coeymans Police Department, and a responsive Supervisor Steven Flach let them have their police department, got rid of the criminals running it, and hired a professional law enforcement expert, Peter J. McKenna, who did great things for the Department and for the community.

Phil Crandall was booted from the courts and got himself elected as a Democrat to be Coeymans Town Supervisor and things started downhill to hell in a handbasket. He diverted (stole) money that was generated by McKenna, and Crandall used it elsewhere. Crandall and his board cut funding for the Police Department, and took other steps to make life unpleasant for Chief McKenna. Finally, McKenna, not needing the job, had enough and resigned. Crandall and his cronies got their way, and the Coeymans Police Department, now without leadership, spun out of control first with Amanda Mueller’s antics and then with the killer cops at Faith Plaza.

We now have to resume our campaign for elimination of the Coeymans Police Department, thanks to Mr. Crandall and his dumbass clowns on the Coeymans Town Board. Coeymans wanted their police department and also wanted Crandall; one had to go. The wrong one went. It’s obvious that if the People of Coeymans want a Coeymans Police Department, their elected officials like Phil Crandall have to provide the funding for it. Crandall did his best to unfund the Coeymans Police Department into the ground!!!

If Ravena has lapsed into irrelevance, Coeymans is running close behind. The events of 4 or five years ago are starting to pale in comparison to the devastation we are seeing in the village of Ravena and the Town of Coeymans. Corruption, incompetence, loss of businesses, deteriorating infrastructure, plummeting quality of life in all respects, and the crooks seem to stay in office. Is this American democracy at work? Maybe. But local residents are to blame; local residents are the only ones who can change the situation.

Finally, we would like to share this from a resident in New Baltimore:

For several weeks now, around noontime or early afternoon, I’ve been driving on Route 144 in the Town of New Baltimore and noticed a Town of Coeymans Police cruiser heading South on 144, in the Town of New Baltimore (Greene County). I found that a bit unusual, since Coeymans is in Albany County, and the Coeymans police would have no business patrolling in New Baltimore, in Greene County. The first couple of sightings made me just curious but then I became suspicious. The Coeymans Police have no business in New Baltimore, at least not that much that frequently. The other day I decided to follow the Coeymans police cruiser and find out where it was heading. Perhaps the NB Town Hall for a court case? But it was not a court day. Anyway, I followed the cruiser and it turned into a residential driveway and stopped, the driver exiting and moving towards the double-wide trailer. I went a bit farther and turned around. When I got to the location, I stopped took down the car number and got a good look at the woman and the patrolman standing on the porch chatting. The car was 926. Can you find out what it’s doing in the Town of New Baltimore? It’s not official business, that’s obvious. Is it misuse of a police vehicle for private visits?” [Name withheld on request.]

We have in the past asked for Coeymans Police vehicle assignment sheets and were told that there were no such documents. Does that mean that no one knows who is driving the vehicles? That’s pure rubbish from a number of standpoints. But it wouldn’t surprise us in the least; after all it’s the Town of Coeymans.

But we do have some questions and we do want an answer: Who is driving the Coeymans Police Department cruiser No. 926 into the Town of New Baltimore in Greene County? What is the official busness being taken care of at the trailer on Route 144 in the Town of New Baltimore?

 

 

 
Leave a comment

Posted by on March 21, 2018 in 19th Congressional District, 19th Congressional District, 2018 Elections, 20th Congressional District, 20th Congressional District, 46th District, 46th Senate District, A.L. Mueller Badge 149, Abuse of Police Power, Abuse of Power, Acting Police Chief, Albany, Albany County Civil Service, Albany County Civil Service Department, Albany County District Attorney, Albany County Sheriff Department, Albany Police, Amanda L. Mueller, Amanda Mueller, American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, Animal Abuse, Animal Control Officer, Animal Cruelty, Animal cruelty, ASPCA, Attorney General Eric Schneiderman, Babcock Funeral Home, Bryana Catucci, Catherine Deluca, Catherine M. Deluca, Cathy Deluca, Civil Right Violation, Civil Rights, Coeymans, Coeymans Acting Police Chief, Coeymans Police Department, Coeymans Town Board, Coeymans Town Clerk, Conflict of Interest, Cooperative Extension, Corruption, Craig D. Apple Sr., Cruelty to animals, Daniel Contento, David Soares, Dawn Dolan, Dawn LaMountain, Dawn LaMountain, Dead Raccoon, DEC, DeLuca Public Affairs, Denis Jordan, Department of Environmental Conservation, Dumbocrap, Eliminate Coeymans Police Department, Facebook, Faith Plaza, Friendship Animal Protective League, George Amadore, Gerald Deluca, Greene County, Gregory Darlington, Hal Warner, Harold Warner, Hudson Valley, Humane Society of the United States, Investigation, James Youmans, Jason Albert, Jerry "Dirty-Hands" Deluca, Jerry Deluca, Jim Youmans, Joe Tanner, John Faso, Joseph Stanzione, Joseph Tanner, Kerry Thompson, Law Enforcement, Mayor "Mouse", Mayor "Mouse" Misuraca, Misconduct, Misuse of Public Office, Moose Misuraca, Moose Misuraca, Nancy Biscone-Warner, Nancy Warner, Nancy Warner, New York, New York State, New York State Department of Health, Nick LaMountain, North Shore Animal League America, NYS Assembly, NYS Comptroller Audit, NYS Senate, NYSDOH, NYSFDA, Obstruction of Justice, Office of the Attorney General, P. David Soares, People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals, Pete Lopez, Peter J. McKenna, Peter Mckenna, Phillip Crandall, Public Corruption, Public Safety, Raccoons, Ravena, Ravena Choices, Ravena Coeymans Selkirk, Ravena Coeymans Selkirk Central School District, Ravena Health and Fitness Center, Ravena Shop'n Save, Richard Touchette, Rick Touchette, Ryan Johnson, Selkirk, Shop'n Save, Stephen Flach, Thomas E. Dolan, Times Union, Todd Polverelli, Tom Dolan, Tom Dolan, Town of Coeymans, Town of New Baltimore, William Misuraca, William Misuraca

 

Who are the Thought Police in Your Community? Do you know?

“As members of a community, even as citizens of a nation, we are frequently exposed to and have to cope with what is known as groupthink, a phenomenon that may seriously compromise our image of ourselves, our relationships with family, friends, neighbors, community leaders, and may also compromise our moral rights of personal dignity and autonomy. And yet, groupthink is precisely what underlies much of our “training” in how to be good citizens and in the so-called education programs and our social organizations, and is pandemic in most of the institutions in which we work. Groupthink,  shamefully, has been a part of our religious institutions since time immemorial. Agendizing, brainwashing, programming.”

Anonymous Contributor.

We, as citizens, as members of our community, parents and educators, as human beings we are told that we have an inherent and guaranteed right to speak freely and openly about most subjects without the stigma that might apply to a person living and working in a different country. We would like to think that people, especially our elected leaders and our educators, tend to listen to us and give some weight and importance to what we have to say; consequently, we can and should play an important and proactive role in deciding how we live, work and are governed, and in order to do this, we must make our leaders aware that we are aware of the groupthink phenomenon, its dangers and risks, and implement ways of avoiding this insidious, infectious, and fatal phenomenon in our communities and in our lives. Once people are made aware of the groupthink phenomenon and ways to identify it and prevent it, we are on the path to reclaiming the efficacy and authenticity we once enjoyed but lost in the wake of the development of corporate control of our institutions and the chilling of interpersonal relations by online social media.

Groupthink.[1] It’s everywhere and it’s toxic! It’s dehumanizing. It perpetuates lies and factoids. Yet you love it! It makes things so much easier when you don’t have to use your own brain and you allow yourself to be programmed to think, speak, act, perform according to the in-group’s agenda.

Irving Janus mainstreamed the term in 1982. [2] According to Janis, groupthink

“[h]appens when in-group pressures lead to deterioration in mental efficiency, poor testing of reality, and lax moral judgment. It tends to occur in highly cohesive groups in which the group members’ desire for consensus becomes more important than evaluating problems and solutions realistically. An example would be the top executive cabinet (the president and vice presidents) of a firm, who have worked together for many years. They know each other well and think as a cohesive unit rather than as a collection of individuals.” [my italics]

We can find groupthink in our workplaces, churches, schools, social media, government, and Yes! even in our homes.

Janis identified eight symptoms of groupthink, which are noteworthy and which I will briefly describe below.[3] Persons affected by groupthink may exhibit any of these symptoms:

  1. An experience of the illusion of invulnerability. This illusion produces an unreal sense of optimism and the sense of empowerment to take risks, sometimes extreme, which the individual would not otherwise take.
  2. Acceptance of a collective rationalization. The individual ignores the red flags and warnings and refuse to reassess their biases, prejudices and assumptions regarding reality.
  3. Belief in the inherent morality of the group. The individual and members of the group are convinced of the righteousness of their beliefs and become indifferent to the ethical or moral effects and consequences of the group’s decisions and actions.
  4. Establishment and adoption of stereotypes of out-groups. Stereotypes are a facile way of dealing with the “others” and do not require thinking or decision-making. De rigueur negative presumptions and characterizations of the “enemy” render rational and effective responses to conflict unnecessary. Cookie-cutter responses are the result.
  5. The imposition of direct pressure on dissenters. Any deviation from the presumptions and dictates of the group results in sanctions. Individuals, group members are discouraged from expressing alternative views, or representing positions conflicting any of the group’s views.
  6. Requirement of self-censorship. The individual and members of the group are required to ensure that any questions, doubts and deviations from the group’s “consensus,” program, or agenda are not expressed. The individual must “watch his/her mouth” or be sanctioned.
  7. The illusion of unanimity. The views and judgments, decisions and actions of the “group” or of the group’s statutory and declared leader(s) and majority are assumed to be unanimous, justified and reliable.
  8. The presence of self-appointed ‘mindguards’. Certain members isolate and “protect” the group and its leader(s) from information that is problematic or contradictory to the group’s cohesiveness, view, and/or decisions. These are the “thought police” who ensure that any information that can potentially threaten the group or its leaders is filtered out and neutralized.

In other words, the phenomenon of groupthink seems to have grown out of and fits perfectly into the framework of George Orwell’s dystopian novel, “Nineteen-Eighty-Four,” with its implications of superpower invulnerability, collective processing of carefully cooked data and information, a sense of moral superiority of the group’s decisions and actions, the facile handling of non-members by the application of stereotypes, direct suppression and sanctioning of any opposing thought or expression — the individual “watches his mouth” to avoid attracting attention to himself and possible sanctioning —, all communications and indicators seem to indicate that “everyone is on the same page” and “stands united.”  Finally, the self-appointed “mindguards,” the Orwellian “thought police,” ensure that everyone toes the mark, knows his place, and follows the “party line.” Sounds awfully much like PC, political correctness, doesn’t it?

The Thought Police or Mindguards ensure that you don’t think out of the box.

As I mentioned above, groupthink is easily observed in our schools, churches, public servants, social groups, the workplace, etc.

Here’s an example that comes from my college days when I worked as an encyclopedia salesperson. We were trained to ask potential purchasers questions that they could not disagree with, such as, for example: “You do care about your children’s education, don’t you?” or “You want your children to have the best available information for school, don’t you?” Once they answered in the affirmative, they were cooked. It was sort of like asking a veteran the question, “You do love your country, don’t you?” Or a clergyperson asking a dissenter, “You do believe in God, don’t you?” Ask those sorts of questions and you get a commitment to groupthink; the rest follows once the individual is on the slippery slope to group membership, willingly or not.

It’s certainly easy enough to self-test yourself by asking yourself if any of the above symptoms could possibly apply to you…but be aware of the sneaky symptom of “self-censorship” because you might actually be unaware that you are self-censoring; you may actually believe that what you say you believe is in fact what you believe. (Please go back and reread that last part. It’s important and you really didn’t understand it, did you?!)

Everyone connected to the same “brain”, the core-group’s!

Here’s a real example: I was at my fitness center and struck up a conversation with a guy who was working on a neighboring piece of equipment. The conversation started out on muscle groups and doping, use of anabolic steroids, doping scandals, and how natural fitness was desirable over and against taking performance enhancers. The conversation drifted to the inquiry, “What do you do?” The guy was intelligent, apparently well-read in the subject of performance enhancers in athletes, and was no dummy. He responded by telling me he was a “personal income tax auditor” for the state of New York. What followed was a textbook example of groupthink. He commenced by telling me how interesting his job was because he was making sure everyone stayed honest. Everyone should pay taxes. Not everyone was honest, some people were honest but ignorant. The tax department and auditors were there to protect the public. He was happy doing what he was doing, and he liked his work. He was protecting honest citizens from the crooks and the parasites. New York state took care of its people unlike those states with no personal income tax, states that provided sanctuary to people who want to keep their fortunes but not share by paying personal income taxes. Basically, you can’t argue with this guy because what he is saying is superficially true, ethical and moral. But, and there’s the clincher, his thinking from one subject to the other was schizoid! He was very individualized, independent, even liberal when discussing the social and personal impact of performance enhancers on non-professional vs. professional athletes, and the use of performance enhancers in the guy-next-door who works out to stay healthy or attractive. His lock-step “tax department” jargon and speech, almost soapbox preaching, was groupspeak, the product of groupthink. Can you identify the symptoms?

Here are two more examples I found on a professional networking site, LinkedIn, which is slowly morphing into a Facebook-type social media space. Whereas LinkedIn was originally intended to be a forum facilitating networking among professionals, the parasites slowly infiltrated and started their social justice preaching and religious proselytizing.

One characteristic of social justice and religion is that both are fertile ground for a bumper crop of groupthinkers. Example 1: Social Justice. This example is remarkable because it is so homogeneous in the majority responses and because of the sheer number of responses: 5,013 Likes, 321 comments! Synopsis: A young woman with Down’s syndrome appears in what is obviously a staged video, in which she receives a call from a fast-food chain, Chik-Fil-A, in which she is offered a job paying $11.50/h. It is her first real job and she is elated at the offer and accepts.

The groupthink: Actual comments: “Awesome!” “Wonderful!””Isn’t Chik-Fil-A a great company!””The story brought tears to my eyes!” “It made my day! We need more stories like this!” But many of the comments were condescending: They mentioned “learning disability” and how remarkable it was that this young woman had “won,” how employment “is a right,” and other misguided slogans associated with what we know as PC but was described by Janis as groupthink. The censorship/sanction/thought police action: A commenter posted some reasonable, dissenting, conflicting thoughts about the reality of the situation in terms of stereotyping highly functional Down’s syndrome  persons as having “learning disabilities,” a bucket term that stereotyped them unfairly. That she was hired on her merits and if she didn’t have what Chick-Fil-A needed and wanted, she would not have gotten the call. That Down’s syndrome persons are highly desirable in service jobs with customer contact because of their personality characteristics, as was pioneered by McDonald’s some time ago, and that these corporations are exploiting vulnerable persons with Down’s syndrome because they are perfect for these low-paying jobs, and it creates a very positive social image for the corporation, so-called “organizational health.” (See the McKinsey report below.)

Needless to say, the “mindguards” were quick to respond, and butchered the commentor for being “a Grinch,” for not “caring” and for his “dripping sarcasm.” Not a single comment out of more than 300 comments and replies accepted the truth of what the commenter wrote; almost all condemned him for not sharing the majority’s groupthink. (Click here to read the actual comments made by the commenter and some of the replies.)[4]

The value of hiring persons with Down syndrome is not lost on the corporations![5]

The economic benefits of hiring persons with intellectual challenges is not lost on the corporations, as is demonstrated by the McKinsey report[6], but we’re not supposed to talk about the dark side of Julia’s hiring because the group think won’t allow anyone to pop their bubble of denial or distract them from their happy, be nice, love fest by suggesting reality. That’s groupthink.

Here’s another from the same site, LinkedIn. This time it was a religious fanatic known popularly as a “Jesus-freak,” someone who posts an inflammatory statement about how Jesus is the truth and everything else is a lie. First of all, such posts are more Facebook quality and have nothing to do with professional networking, so it shouldn’t have been on LinkedIn in the first place. So the original post by one David Wood, who describes himself as the “Executive Producer Resurrection of Jesus Christ, Resurrection of Jesus Christ LLC, School Of Hard Knocks,” and his project as:

“The Resurrection Project unites the Body of Christ, to launch a global love movement, a feature length movie, and a video game, and tell the story of Jesus’ Christ resurrection and the 40 days that followed. “The Resurrection of Jesus Christ” is the greatest love story ever told.” www.theresurrectionofjesuschrist.com [Author’s note: My italics; I have not undertaken any editing of Mr. Wood’s English.]

His post was simply:

That was it. My first reaction was that Islam never claimed that Muhammad was God. Nor does Buddhism teach that Buddha was a god. The name applied to God in Arabic, and hence in Islam is Allah, which is merely an equivalent of the English, God, so that point is really moot. And the fact that Wood claims that his Jesus is the “only one God” reveals a bit of tunnel vision, even religious and theological ignorance. This is groupthink at one of its worst moments!

My point is this: Approach that post as I did, with the above reasoning, and you will obtain a clear lesson in groupthink.  The post received 51 Likes and 15 Comments but was seen be hundreds, perhaps thousands who didn’t want to “offend” by responding. (Or perhaps because religion is not as popular as Down’s syndrome? Or because the message was so bizarre? Who can say for sure?)

Those three examples should suffice to convince even the hardcore groupthinkers of their affliction.

The kinds of groups that are particularly at risk for the groupthink phenomenon are, of course, groups that we could characterize as cliques, whether consisting of 3 or 3000 persons. Cliques don’t need to be small and a whole company or department may become a clique. The group or clique should be cohesive for groupthink to develop; cohesive factors may include ethnicity, similar interest, and physical appearance. Members of a clique often isolate themselves as a group and tend to view the clique as superior to anyone outside the clique.

Cliques can form in any age group but they are most associated with groups whose members have gotten stuck in an adolescent or late childhood developmental stage, the stage when individuals normally form and become members of such groups. Accordingly, groupthink is characteristic of individuals who may have gotten stuck in a pre-adult developmental stage.

Facebook is a well known huge groupthink-collective in which groupthink can be diagnosed at various levels in the interactions from the very top, where the Facebook Standards and the thought police are active censoring deviant thinkers, that is, anyone who may not agree with Facebook or its policies, to the smaller yet equally repulsive “groups,” which may be “open,” “closed” or “secret”. The problem and real danger associated with Facebook and other social media that functions by exploiting the groupthink phenomenon is the sheer numbers of people who can be and actually are affected by the clique(s).

The proven disorder of Facebook Addiction or Internet Addiction Disorder make the problem even worse because once subscribers are addicted, they are captivated by the groupthink phenomenon and cannot escape.(See our article on Facebook Addiction Disorder on this blog.)

It’s the beginning of the end of open communication, autonomy, and due process.

Another problem is what I would call the “Room 101” factor[7]:  the fact that in terms of groupthink, when Facebook decides to deactivate an account for one reason or another, whether for a period of time certain (days, weeks, etc.) or permanently, this “punishment” practice has a psychospiritual effect on the affected individual, similar to being shunned or banned froma group or a clique. It is a powerful motivator to keep people under their thumb, a control strategy, that works extremely well once Facebook has hooked a person, and the person is sufficiently invested in Facebook in terms of time spent online and digital friends collected, such that the now addicted subscriber will feel the psychosocial pain of being “deactivated.,” in a sense placed in isolation by Facebook without the benefit of due process. Yes, it’s the beginning of the end of open communication, autonomy, and due process. Similar, in fact, to “vaporizing” a dissenter in Orwell’s “1984” where the dissenter is simply made to disappear, as if he never existed. [8]

The recent reports of Facebook’s cooperation with the US and Israeli governments to deactivate certain Facebook pages because their messages are “inconvenient” is a very disturbing step taken in the direction of thought control, Thought Police and Mindguards. That’s why we’ve been trying to get through to our readers to campaign against social media like Facebook! (See our articles on Facebook and Mark Zuckerberg‘s ambitious agenda to become God. Once he’s got a fifth of the world’s population addicted to Facebook and can control what they read, hear, see, and say, he’s well on his way to become the next Dictator in Heaven.)


The same “vaporizing” occurs when someone “unfriends” or “blocks” another subscriber who may have violated the group-leader’s or the group’s groupthink policies. Have you been Facebook vaporized recently? You wouldn’t know if you had been because Facebook strategically keeps it a secret; only the vaporizer and Facebook know it. Same applies when someone has a grudge against you on Facebook: they simply report you for such-and-such, and you find yourself deactivated. Groupthink à la Facebook!

The groupthink phenomenon can be avoided but only if the clique or the group is willing to acknowledge the phenomenon, to recognize it in their group, and sees the benefits of avoiding the phenomenon.

Fred Lunenburg (2012) proposes a number of possible ways to avoid groupthink in a group, including[9]:

  • Encouraging group members to state and air objections, doubts, and questions,
  • Promoting impartiality rather than stating preferences and expectations of the group at the outset,
  • The group leaders should periodically discuss the group’s policies and practices and report their transactions back to the group, inviting feedback,
  • Members should be invited to challenge the views of core members (and leaders),
  • At least one member should play the role of devil’s advocate, expressing objections or critiquing group policies and practices, and beliefs,
  • Where there is devil’s advocacy, members should spend time and effort evaluating the warning signals of developing groupthink inherent in adverse responses,
  • Alternative scenarios should be constructed by group leaders in evaluating any rivaling intentions,
  • In the case of a member who appears to consistently rival the group’s polices or practices (Red flag! Think groupthink!), the member should be asked to express as vividly as he can all his residual doubts,
  • Group leaders or core members should present the entire issue to the group to elicit feedback and insights before making any definitive choices or decisions.

Group coherence and decision making has clear benefits over individual decision making. This is especially true when a decision must be made under conditions of uncertainty.[10] Some of the benefits described by Bonito (2011) include[11]:

  • Improved decision quality
  • Higher level of creativity and creative thinking
  • Improved decision acceptance and organizational learning
  • Increased decision understanding
  • Enhanced effectiveness in establishing objectives, identifying alternatives
  • Greater decision accuracy and avoidance of errors and glitches

Admittedly, these benefits may be less related to the actual outcomes of decisions than they are to group morale and satisfaction; we can agree that groups should and probably do perform better when

  • Group members present a variety of relevant skills that differ sufficiently but do not create constraints or conflicts;
  • There is a division of labor or effort, input;
  • Individual inputs can be “averaged” in such a way as to arrive at a group “position.”

Are you controlled by the Thought Police, the Mindguards from the cradle to the grave?

By now you might be asking yourself the question: “That having been said, and while applicable to business decisions or to Facebook and other moderated social media, how does that apply to spiritual care or to our lives in our communities and the nation at large?” Well, in order to answer that question, I have to ask you to step out of your stall in the sheeple box, and think about the environment in which you live. Ask yourselves if you can identify groupthink in these situations:

  • In your church or faith community. (Hint: How do you talk about other faith or belief groups)?
  • In the Sports Association or Social Club. Do you have to toe the mark in what you talk about?
  • In your political or social club (Hint: When at a Republican Club or Democratic Club or American Legion occasion, are you careful what you say?)
  • In your children’s schools (Hint: Do you speak your mind at a Board of Education meeting or just sit simmering? At a PTA meeting what do you feel you can discuss? Do you even attend any of these?)
  • At town board or village board meetings (Hint: Do you speak your mind at a board meetings or just sit simmering? Do you even attend any of these?)
  • Have you ever avoided going somewhere or doing something because you were concerned what “they” would say?
  • Are there subjects or topics or language that you avoid specifically to avoid being stereotyped or labeled? Do you choose political correctness over truth and honesty? Do you do that out of fear of the Mindguards?

Are you being stalked by the community or social media Thought Police, the Mindguards?

At home do you have open discussions with family members or are some subjects simply avoided or off-topic? Are the Thought Police at work in your home? Or are you letting the Facebook and social media thought police do their work for you? Have you seen your kids today?

When is the last time you looked at what your schools are teaching to your children? Have you ever openly questioned what they are being taught? Or are you letting the Mindguards manage your kids’ minds?

At work do you challenge social injustice or do you simply turn your back hoping it won’t hit you next? Are you open in discussing what you feel needs to be considered for change? Do you suggest improvements? Or are you living in constant fear of being “vaporized,” “unfriended,” “blocked” by your employer or even your workmates and coworkers?

Have you been castrated by the Thought Police, the Mindguards?

Most of us will find ourselves interacting throughout our entire lives with employers, educators, community members, governing bodies, committees, or just with our families. We take these interactions for granted; that’s a big mistake..Each of these environments is at high risk of the groupthink phenomenon, and we need to start thinking about the nature and quality of those interactions. Can you identify the symptoms of groupthink in any of your relationships or interations?

We frequently say that “emotions are contagious,” but we don’t frequently admit that not only emotions but the environment created by the attitudes and thinking of leaders and core members in a group are just as contagious in the form of groupthink.

Organizations like schools, religious institutions, government, social organizations are hotbeds for the groupthink

Those of us who are aware of our lives will admit that each group or community has its own culture, and if we are to work effectively with the members and effetively serve the ourselves and our community, we have to be aware of the groupthink phenomenon as it most certainly exists in that group or community. Ask yourself if you feel your teachers, your administrators, your elected officials, local law enforcement are listening to you and your concerns and their attitude towards the “necessary evil” of your opinion must be tolerated rather than facilitated. That attitude extends to all the members of the community, including educators, elected officials, law enforcement, etc.,  and the symptoms of groupthink can be quickly and easily identified if you care to look. How do we deal with that situation armed with the awareness of the probable existence of groupthink?

Organizations like schools, religious institutions, government, social organizations are hotbeds for the groupthink phenomenon because they are founded on very clear principles of operation and program; they have their” agendas.” The objectives and goals of the group are clearly defined and the members are controlled by the assignment of specific tasks and imposing protocols. The agenda is clearly defined. You simply don’t dissent or rock the hospice boat. Groupthink.

Institutional Agendas Define the Group.

 

As “tradition” the groupthink may have developed as a response to the local culture, whether it be socioeconomic, ethnic, religious, etc. In this case, it is a response to the exigencies of doing living and functioning with that demographic mix, and is almost a requirement for survival. Is this “positive” groupthink? Perhaps, but it goes without saying that unless the establishment leaves the door open to open discussion, sharing of insights, correct interpretations of warning signs and red flags, it can quickly transmute into “negative” groupthink.

As the organization leaves the traditional, local, “family” orientation or organization and moves towards the group or the corporate systems, groupthink becomes more of a high risk than a positive stabilizing factor. This is where the culture of the group or corporation overshadows the individuals that move it as well as those who consume its products and services. Rather than being an evolving, “living” organism, it is a monolith. Again,I can’t help but cite Facebook or the federal government as outstanding examples of such a negative development.

A number of large multinational corporations like IBM, 3M, Anheuser-Busch have recognized the threat posed by groupthink and have implemented and developed processes to prevent or at least to mitigate its deleterious and prejudicial effects within the components of the organization and on the organization as a whole. Lunenburg (2012) discusses some of the ways they have approached prevention of groupthink by way of methods like devil’s advocacy and dialectical inquiry. McDougel and Baum (1997) discuss the application of devil’s advocacy to stimulate discussion and avoid groupthink in focus groups.[12] McAvoy et al. discuss how devil’s advocacy and the principles of sensemaking can be used in a method they call the “agitation workshop” as a method of challenging the false consensus created by the groupthink phenomenon.[13]

Do frequent meetings and evaluations work to avoid groupthink? More likely than not, they may actually promote groupthink when leadership reiterate at each meeting the same expectations at the outset, setting the stage for a more limited and controlled conversation that does not allow for alternative discussion. But such meetings and evaluations and be highly productive if, at the outset, the leaders or facilitators are aware of the symptoms of groupthink and some of the methods to directly avoid it, as well as the quasi-paedagogical methods of enhancing creative thinking, even improving performance by institutionalizing dissent!

We can and should play an important and proactive role in making the organizations and leaders with whom we work aware of the groupthink phenomenon, its dangers and risks, and ways of avoiding the phenomenon in our environments. Once people are made aware of the phenomenon and ways to identify it and prevent it, we are on the path to reclaiming the efficacy and authenticity we once enjoyed but lost in the wake of the development of corporate control of our institutions and the chilling of interpersonal relations by online social media.

By using your brain you can avoid the dangers of groupthink!
The Editor


Notes

[1] Irving Janis originally coined the term groupthink in 1972. (Janis, Irving L.  (1972).  Victims of Groupthink.  New York: Houghton Mifflin.)

[2] Janis, I. L. (1982). Groupthink: Psychological studies of policy decisions and fiascos (2nd ed.). Boston, MA: Houghton-Mifflin.

[3] For a more comprehensive discussion of the eight symptoms please refer to Janis’ Groupthink, Psychological Studies, above. A brief and very helpful overview of groupthink is provided in What is Groupthink? (http://www.psysr.org/about/pubs_resources/groupthink%20overview.htm, last accessed on January 8, 2018, 2018).

[4] The “Julia got a job!” obviously scripted video is synopsized on YouTube in the following words: “A heartwarming video shows the moment a teenage girl with Down syndrome receives her first job offer. A girl named Julia gets a phone call from a Chick-fil-A employee in Rancho Murieta, California. ‘I was just calling to offer you a position here,’ the woman says on speaker phone. ‘Your pay rate would be 11.50 per hour, would you like to accept?’ ‘I do,’ Julia says, her face overcome with emotion. As the woman tells her that she will start in December, Julia breaks down in tears of happiness. ‘Oh my gosh,’ she can be heard saying as she thanks the woman profusely. Julia’s family then encircles her and gives her a massive hug while chanting ‘Chick-Fil-A’. “ (AutoNews- Source:

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-5101331/Teen-girl-syndrome-cries-s-given-job.html?ITO=1490&ns_mchannel=rss&ns_campaign=1490)

[5] According to McKinsey & Company, a global management consulting firm that serves private, public and social sector institutions, in a report entitled, “The value that employees with Down syndrome can add to organizations,” we read “[H]owever, some companies have chosen to tackle the far more complex challenge of hiring people with intellectual disabilities. Those that have done so have found that these people can add value to organizational health (an organization’s ability to align, execute, and renew itself faster than competitors so that it can sustain exceptional performance over time). Employees with Down syndrome are a particularly interesting topic of research, as they have a number of characteristics that both increase the challenges associated with inclusion and bring added benefits.” [my italics] (McKinsey & Company (2014) “The value that employees with Down Syndrome can add to organizations” (Vicente Assis, Marcus Frank, Guilherme Bcheche, and Bruno Kuboiama), last accessed on January 9, 2018.)

[6] Ibid.

[7] I’m referring to the notorious Room 101 described in Orwell’s novel “Nineteen-Eighty-Four,” the room in the Ministry of Truth (MiniTru in Newspeak), where dissenters were taken for “processing,” most never to be heard from again. “You asked me once,” said O’Brien, “what was in Room 101. I told you that you knew the answer already. Everyone knows it. The thing that is in Room 101 is the worst thing in the world.”  (“1984” Part 3, Ch. 5)  In “1984” the Inner Party persecutes individualism and independent thinking known as “thoughtcrimes” and is enforced by the “Thought Police.” The Ministry of Love (Miniluv), the ministry in charge of torturing dissidents.  The protagonist Smith is subjected to many forms of torture and is forced into the horror chamber known only as Room 101.

[8] Mind Control – George Orwell BBC 101 Documentary last accessed on January 9, 2018.

[9] Lunenburg, F. (2012).” Devil’s Advocacy and Dialectical Inquiry: Antidote to Groupthink”. International Journal of

Scholarly and Academic Intellectual Diversity, Vol 14, No. 1, pp 1-9.

[10] Nikolaidis (2012) defines uncertainty as “the condition under which an individual [or group] does not have the necessary information to assign probabilities to the outcomes of alternative solutions. (Nikolaidis, E. (2012).  Design decisions under uncertainty with limited information. New York, NY: Taylor & Francis.)

[11] Bonito, J. (2011). Interaction and influence in small group decision making. New York, NY: Routledge.

[12] McDougal, C., F. Baum, (1997) “The Devil’s Advocate: A Strategy to Avoid Groupthink and Stimulate Discussion in Focus Groups,” Qualitative Health Research, Volume 7, Number 4, pp 532-541.

[13] John McAvoy, Tadhg Nagle and David Sammon, (2013) “A novel approach to challenging consensus in evaluations: The Agitation Workshop,” The Electronic Journal Information Systems Evaluation, Volume 16 Issue 1,  pp 45-55.

 
Leave a comment

Posted by on January 13, 2018 in 1984, 19th Congressional District, 2017 Elections, 2018 Elections, 20th Congressional District, 46th District, 46th Senate District, Abuse of Public Office, Accountability, Addiction, AFL-CIO, Albany, Amanda L. Mueller, Amanda Mueller, Amedore Homes, American Legion, Anheuser-Busch, Antichrist, Attorney General Eric Schneiderman, Block, Blocked, Catholic, Censorship, Chaplain Services, Church, Church and State, Civil Right Violation, Civil Rights, Coeymans, Coeymans Town Board, Columbia-Greene Media, Community, Conspiracy, Constitution, Corporation, Daily Mail, Death care, Deathcare, Elected Official, Ethics and Morality, Evil, FaceBook, Facebook, Facebook unfriend, First Amendment, Freedom, Freedom of Speech, Funeral Home, George Amadore, God, Government, Greene County, Greene County News, Groupspeak, Groupthink, Hearst Corporation, Hudson Valley, Immorality, Immorality, Internet Speech, Johnson Newspaper Group, Justice and Courts, Law Enforcement, Mark Vinciguerra, Mark Zuckerberg, Mind guards, Mindguards, Misconduct, Misuse of Public Office, Morality, New Baltimore, New York, New York State, New York State Education Department, New York State Funeral Directors Association, New York State United Teachers, News and Information Media, News Channel 10, News Channel 13, News Channel 6, News Herald, NFDA, Nineteen Eighty Four, NYSED, NYSUT, Obstruction of Justice, Official Misconduct, Orwell, Paranoia, Parent Negligence, People of Faith, Peter J. McKenna, Peter Mckenna, Political Expression, Politics, Public Office, Ravena, Ravena News Herald, RCA, Reformed Church of America, RegisterStar, Retaliation, Roman Catholic Diocese of Albany, Room 101, Service Corporation International, Small Town, Stereotype, Suffering, Teachers, Teachers Union, The Daily Mail, Thought Police, Times Union, Town Board Meeting, Town Council, Town of Bethlehem, Town of Coeymans, Town of New Baltimore, Transparency, Vaporization, Vaporize, Village Council

 

Bring Out Your Dead! A Monty Python Prophesy

A Message from the Editor

We’ve been sharing some posts on the funeral business and deathcare from several other sites. While this is not the focus of this blog, we don’t mind because the posts have attracted substantial interest. This post will be the last deathcare post we will be re-publishing on this blog. If you want to continue reading about deathcare in the US, please go to the following sites and follow them. Glad you are enjoying the posts so much but we have to get back to local political and social issues.

You can visit the following blogs for posts on death, dying, funeral services, and other death-related topics:

Thanatology Café
Spirituality, Bereavement & Grief Care
Pastoral CareHomiletics & Spiritual Care
The Church, Ministry, and Pastoral Care

Happy Holidays!
The Editor


Republished with Permission from Thanatology Café.

There is a great deal to be said about our healthcare and deathcare industries in the US, they are similar in many respects and exhibit similar functional flaws in a general sense. In the humanectomized materialist consumerism driven culture in which we live, the corporations have reduced most of us to human means to a corporate end. Most of US humanity has been dehumanized to the level of mere consumers. This is not a new development, however, and can be read in many quasi-prophetic sources.

In a recent conversation with a licensed funeral director and funeral home operator, who read our article on Nicholas Facci and Newcomer Funerals and Cremations (March 26, 2017), we discussed among other things the funeral chains’ exploitation of the demise of our traditions. We continue that discussion here together with some and some interesting anecdotes about the Albany County Coroner’s office.

After that discussion, I couldn’t help but think about one of the many hysterical scenes in the Monty Python film, “Monty Python and the Holy Grail” or of the grim portrayal by Dr John B. Huber of the Manchurian Plague (20th c.) and the Black Plague (14th c.).

Monty Python’s “Holy Grail”

The scene takes place during the Black Plague in medieval somewhere, and opens with the sounds of strange medieval music. Discordant and sparse images. Wailings and groanings. Close up of contorted face upside down. A leg falls across it. Creaking noise. The bodies lurch away from and scene pans out to reveal they are amongst a huge pile of bodies on a swaying cart that is lumbering away from the viewer. It is pulled by a couple of ragged, dirty emaciated wretches, the cart drivers. Behind the cart walks another large man, a slightly more prosperous Porter, wearing a black hood and looking rather sinister. The Porter is carrying an emaciated old man over his shoulder who is still moving, and protests “I’m not dead!” The dialogue goes something like this:

The scene: (The Porter carrying an old man slung over his shoulder, approaches the cart and the cart driver…)
Cart Driver: Bring out your dead!
Porter: Here’s one!
Cart Driver: Ninepence.
Old man: I’m not dead!
Card Driver: What?
Porter: Nothing…Here’s your ninepence.
Cart Driver: Er…He says he’s not dead!
Porter: Yes he is.
Old Man: I’m not.
Cart Driver: He isn’t.
Porter: Well he will be soon. He’s very ill.
Old Man: I’m getting better!
Porter: No you’re not. You’ll be stone-dead in a moment.
Cart Driver: I can’t take him like that; it’s against regulations!
Old Man: I don’t want to go on the cart!
Porter: Oh don’t be such a baby.
Cart Driver: I can’t take him like that!
Old Man: I feel fine!
Porter: Oh, do us a favor…
Cart Driver: I can’t.
Porter: Well, can you hang around a couple of minutes? He won’t be long…
Cart Driver: I promised I’d be at the Robinson’s. They’ve lost nine today.
Porter: Well, when’s your next round?
Cart Driver: Thursday.
Old Man: I think I’ll go for a walk.
Porter: (To the Old Man) You’re not fooling anyone, you know! (to the Cart Driver) Look. Isn’t there something you can do?
Old Man: (Singing) I feel happy, I feel happy!
The Cart Driver looks at the Porter for a moment. Then they both do a quick furtive look up and down the street. The Cart Driver very swiftly brings up a club and hits the Old Man on the head. (Out of shot but the singing stops after a loud bonk noise.)
Porter: Ah! Thanks very much! (Handing over the ninepence) See you on Thursday!
(Tossing old man onto the bodies on the cart)
Cart Driver: That’s all right! See you on Thursday.

(View the clip on YouTube)

While transcribing the dialogue I thought to myself how prophetic this 1975 spoof was.  More than 40 years later we can watch this clip and it sends cold shivers down your spine. Back then what was morbidly hilarious has become stark reality for us today.

“Bring out your dead!” Newcomer Funerals and Cremations TV Ads.

Cryptkeeper Newcomer Ad

There you are, sitting enjoying a snack thinking “Life is good!” And Warren “Ren” Newcomer, the cadaver-like founder of the Newcomer Funeral Services Group based in Wichita, Kansas, appears on your television screen. He’s the 21st century version of the Cryptkeeper and plays the part really well. He looks like an embalming gone awry and oozes a false compassion and insincere expression that makes you want to choke on your chips. Here’s a guy who has made millions exploiting the deaths of loved ones and doing his part to destroy our death traditions while grinning like a corpse on the way to the bank.  Newcomer Funeral Services Group has two locations in the Albany, New York, area, and has a presence in some 10 states. There are other similar funeral chains, Walmart-type factory funeral companies that have bought up private funeral businesses, cemeteries and crematoriums across the country. They operate under names like Service Corporation International (SCI), Dignity Memorial™, StoneMor Partners, Precoa, and of course, Newcomer Funerals and Corpse Disposal. What their advertising and marketing messages say to us, despite the actors and the phony compassion, is what Monty Python is teaching: “Bring out your dead!” Toss them on the cart and we’ll see you on Thursday (and don’t forget your checkbook or credit card).

“I’m Not Dead!” The Office of the Albany County Coroner declares a woman dead but she revives in the morgue

In New York Times article “They Said She Was D.O.A., But Then the Body Bag Moved” (Robert D. McFadden, 11/18/94) The author reports that Albany County Coroner Philip Furie and  Paramedics allegedly “found no heartbeat, no pulse, no breath or other signs of life, and the coroner declared her officially dead.”  So they “ zipped Mildred C. Clarke,  into a body bag, took her to the morgue at the Albany Medical Center Hospital and left her in a room where corpses are kept at 40 degrees, pending autopsies or funerals. About 90 minutes later, the chief morgue attendant went in to transfer her to a funeral home. “ The attendant noticed some movement in the body bag, unzipped it and found that Mildred was still breathing. She was moved to intensive care and treated but the case has never been explained. The L.A. Times reports later that “Mildred Clark, the 86-year-old woman who spent 90 minutes in a morgue cooler last week after mistakenly being declared dead, died Wednesday of undisclosed ailments, a hospital spokesman said…. Albany Medical Center Hospital spokesman Richard Puff said Clark’s family had requested that the cause of death be withheld.” Any guesses as to the cause of death?

According to the article, “Albany is the only major city in New York State that does not have a medical examiner, an official who is trained in forensic pathology, and this would be a real advantage,”  The office of the coroner is  a relic still found  in many American cities. Albany elects four coroners to declare deaths and investigate their  causes. They have no medical training but are required to attend a “death investigation course.”  The coroners are expected to evaluate crime scenes and suspicious deaths, but they have no medical training.

We’re investigating some leads relating to the performance of the Albany County Coroners, and will report on our findings in a future article. We suspect that the Albany County Coroner isn’t very popular among local funeral directors. But Hey! this is Smalbany, isn’t it? There’s a job for every misfit in the Albany Democratic Machine, isn’t there?

“Look. Isn’t there something you can do? Ah! Thanks very much! See you on Thursday.” Inconvenience of the Dying Process.

We’re so very busy and so much in a rush. Why? Because our handlers tell us we are. We’ve lost our sense for distinguishing what is nice and what is necessary. We no longer have to think. Advertisers tell us what we need. Marketers tell us what to ask for. Government tells us how to live. Churches tell us how to die. Emails tell us we need to Hurry! and to Rush! because time is running out to buy a certain something. Hell! We don’t even die in peace. Hospitals transform us into cyborgs with tubes and electrodes at every available spot, and when all else fails, they still want to provide “billable services.” Only when you have had enough watching the technology fail do you scream STOP! Even when the so-called healthcare team has the good sense to admit that they can’t do anything more, they recommend shipping what’s left of mom or dad to hospice. And so at hospice the saga continues. When death finally occurs, whether it’s helped along or drags out to the end, we are still in a hurry, still have other things to do. But yet again, the materialist consumerism we are addicted to has the solution for immediate relief of any inconvenience, even death. There are customized death packages for every budget ranging from direct burial or direct cremation to the “traditional funeral.” Just ask for the Detailed Price List required by the FTC’s Funeral Rule and prepare to be nickel-and-dimed. You have abandoned the traditional funeral home with the family funeral director and have opted for the Walmart funeral chain, the factory funeral service provider. And you deserve everything you get. Sorry but it’s true.

We’ve all read about states like Oregon and Washington that have legislated physician-assisted suicide (PAS), euthanasia in Belgium, the Netherlands, and Switzerland. We all know about the hospice movement that has degenerated into another instance of corporate exploitation of death and the demise of the family. So it shouldn’t come as a big surprise that Monty Python prophesied the hastening of death movement. True, we no longer use a club to help the dying along; we’ve become much more refined in the 21st century. We now use chemicals and drugs. Or, if we’ve made mom or dad into an ICU cyborg, we simply remove the respirator, inject some morphine and “Ah! Thanks very much. See you on Thursday” at the viewing. We’ve come a long way into our degeneration!

Get the shocking truth about Service Corporation International (SCI) here.

We really have to chuckle when we read such crapola like “Service Corporation International is dedicated to compassionately supporting families at difficult times, celebrating the significance of lives that have been lived, and preserving memories that transcend generations, with dignity and honor. (SCI site at , last accessed on April 6, 2017). If you’re ready to believe that operations like SCI or Newcomer, corporations with their eyes on the bottom line, with their programmed funeral directors and staff operating on a corporate agenda, are there to do what the family funeral home once did, you’re already brain dead. SCI is constantly being sued, settling, or paying out huge judgments resulting from their mistakes. But when you’re making billions, who cares. The living keep dying; sky’s the limit! Get on the cart.


A bit of history: In 1962, Robert L. Waltrip, a licensed funeral director who grew up in his family’s funeral business, founded Service Corpration International. SCI started out as a small network of funeral homes and cemeteries in the Houston, Texas, area.

SCI gradually increased its offshore presence, and it continued to acquire business interests in North America. Since the late 1990s the US and Canadian marketplaces a  saturated battleground of competing companies intent on buying up and exploiting the deathcare business sector. SCI, In the course of the melee, Alderwoods Group and Stewart Enterprises emerged as the three principal companies in the resulting funeral corporation industry. As of December 31, 1999, SCI owned and operated 3,823 funeral service locations, 525 cemeteries, 198 crematoria and two insurance operations located in 20 countries on five continents. In 1999, SCI introduced Dignity Memorial, the first transcontinental brand offering deathcare goods and services in North America. By consolidating its network of funeral homes and cemeteries under a single brand, SCI expected that they could create a recognizable and marketable brand image. In 2000, poor market conditions forced SCI to reevaluate operations. While foreign operations had once shown promise, nearly 70 percent of SCI’s revenue was generated by operations in the United States and Canada. The company decided to divest many of its offshore businesses, in addition to many North American funeral homes and cemeteries. The UK arm now operates as Dignity PLC.


“I don’t want to go on the cart!” How we treat our dying; how we treat ourselves.

Monty Python presents an interesting scenario at a time when Jessica Mitford was enjoying the fruits of her muckraking book, “American Way of Death,” (1963), and the funeral home chains and funeral service factory corporations were reaching their peak of exploitation when Mitford’s “American Way of Death Revisited” was poshumously published (1998). Monty Python had it right. But we all laughed our way straight to hell.

 

J.B. Huber MD: “Psychology of Grave Epidemics”
(Med. Times, 1911)

Moving from a 1975 comedy spoof we can cite a remarkable article that appeared in the December 1911 journal, Medical Times, by John B. Huber MD. Dr Huber writes about the great Manchurian Plague (1910-1900), and compares it to the Black Plague (1347-1351). I’d like to quote some passages from that 1911 medical journal article. See if you can draw any parallels with our 21st century society.

Yet business was conducted as ordinarily—by those still alive; and the stroller “viewing the manners of the town,” would hardly realize from the superficial aspect of things, that a dreadful scourge was gradually but surely destroying its people. Yet the plague had, from November last up to this New Year’s Day, done for one-fourth of the twenty thousand inhabitants of that community; and it was then expected that more than half the remainder would be doomed before the plague would expend its energies.

On this festive New Year’s Day in that Manchurian town, the mounted policeman’s horse had its tail brightly decorated with green and red streamers; a shop keeper burst merrily out upon a group in the street, scaring them with a bunch of firecrackers which he flung up into the air. A green house was decorated with bright red, gilt lettered posters, festive banners and green paper flags, all by way of celebration. Next door the yellow poster of the Sanitary Bureau was in evidence, sealing up that house, and marking it unclean; “eight dead, two dying,” are the tally with which it began the New Year. (Huber p. 353)

Sounds like our modern lifestyle: death looms around us but we just continue partying, ignoring it, until we have to go down that dark alley and have no choice but to confront the darkness, the gloom. Manchuria in the early 20th century doesn’t seem much different from Troy or Albany in the early 21st century.

“Eight dead, two dying.” Sound’s like Monty Python’s Cart Driver, “They’ve lost nine today.” Or like the handoff report in an ICU. Whether you’re tallying plague victims or scheduling body collections, or handing off your charges to the next shift, the language used tells it all: We’ve all become mere garbage bags laying about until we get collected, transported, disposed of. Don’t you think there should be more to the final chapter of a life lived, and the received legacy?

Plague: carting the dead, by Moynet
A cart with the dead.

“The carters that loaded the dead on the wagons and took them away would not walk, but sat companionably beside the corpses.”  (Huber p. 353)

And so do we in the 21st century. The 21st century carters load up the dead and take them away; the bereft sit complacently beside the corpses. One would hope that we have advanced a bit farther along than our ancestors, that we would observe the traditions handed down to us, perform the grief and mourning rituals so important to psychospiritual healing. Some of us do. Most haven’t a clue, and rely on the bean counters to guide them.

Direct Burial: Coffinless in Pits

“Nine hundred were buried coffinless in pits; above two thousand frozen corpses, in a most desolate stillness, awaited burial near the town, in a heap a quarter-mile long. Some coffins were in evidence, standing upright, without covers, the bodies erect in them; here an arm stuck upright out of its receptacle; there a naked leg protruded. Near the pile of which he was soon to become a member, was seen an outcast kneeling, worshipping, half falling in his weakness, as he bowed his head and rose again, before the grave of an ancestor.´ (Huber p. 353)

On the one hand we get a glimpse of the behind-the-scenes at one of the funeral home chains or factory-funeral homes as described by a young licensed funeral director now employed by Newcomer Funerals and Cremations. On the other hand, we are presented with a feeble suffering wretch who, despite his own suffering, has not forgotten his obligations in continuing his bonds with the dead, one of whom he shall soon be. It’s a rich, telling image; in a sense very real but very metaphorical. Once you create that image in your mind, you’ll not soon forget it.

“[T]he plague was coming to its most dreadful stage, for it was now destroying the family affections…Thus, most gruesomely, does the twentieth century repeat the fourteenth.”  (Huber p. 354)

While Dr Huber is describing a real epidemic, the Manchurian Plague of 1910-11, and describes the Black Death of the 14th century that swept away a substantial part of medieval Europe’s population, we are faced with a more insidious plague that is robbing us of our core values to family and kin, both living and dead. Huber, a medical man, calls this the “most dreadful stage” because it was destroying the core of the culture, the bonds of family. I’d guess he’d probably go further to say that the 21st century repeats both the 14th and the 20th, but that our plague is materialist consumerism promoted by greed and the catastrophe of so-called individual choice.

“Next to the fear of death was the fear of desertion.” (Huber p. 354)

Early 20th century China had very strong family ties, ties of responsibility, filial piety. This sense of duty was the basis of the veneration of ancestors, a form of continuing bond with the dead, similar to the West’s veneration of its sacred dead, the saints. Huber is describing a fear of abandonment, of “desertion” to be on a par with the fear of death. In clinical practice, whether in the nursing home or the hospital setting, or hospice, we find persons who are ready to confront death but fear doing it alone; they have a fear of desertion. We might extend that fear of desertion to the bereaved, as well, but their desertion is far more subtle than committing the dying to some remote corner of the medical ICU or to a hospice facility. The bereaved are not only saddled with their loss but also with the daunting confrontation with the corporate funeral director with his endless list of goods and services with their respective prices. All is done with the sensitivity of an embalming trocar. What ever happened to the compassionate family funeral home and its director, frequently assisted by his family.

Black-Death-Plague-Doctor-Clothing

“Who, then, would be so foolhardy as to throw good life after bad, by nursing a dying friend, when the Black Death lay per chance in his last sign, in the farewell pressure of his hand. So the nearest and dearest ties were dissolved, the calls of kindred and humanity neglected; the sick left to die and to be carted to the grave by hirelings…” (Huber p. 354)

Indeed, who today would be so traditional as to give up his or her self-time to care for a dying relative or friend, especially one who is in the disturbing phases of life’s end. Most persons are ambivalent about the whole process: On the one hand they look to the death as something unbearable in its finality; on the other hand they just want to get it over with. The death occurs and the bereaved are fed the 20th century psychological pablum that their connection with the dead person has ended, that they have to get on with a productive life. That was Freud’s teaching: You had to cut your ties with the dead. Quite the opposite of that in the East or in traditional societies, and quite a contrast to what we now teach in the 21st century. We now teach continuing bonds with the dead, a transcendence phenomenon, meaning-making, that the living’s relationship with the deceased is not only normal and healthy, it’s encouraged! We do it in the rituals of the support group or in ways like the AIDS quilt. We may do it differently than the poor wretch venerating his ancestors described by Huber but we nonetheless do it. We do it because it’s the human thing we do. But it’s also so very inconvenient for the chains and the corporations; they don’t encourage humanity, they encourage production and consumerism. Take three days and get over your grief. Back to work with you. See you on Thursday.

“Boccaccio attests vividly how the human organism in all its phases—physical, spiritual, moral, intellectual—deteriorated in stamina and in co-ordination. Compassion, courage and the nobler feelings were found in but few; whilst cowardice, selfishness and ill-will, with the baser passions in their train asserted their supremacy. In place of virtue, which had been driven from the earth, wickedness everywhere reared its rebellious standard and succeeding generations were consigned to her baneful tyranny.”  (Huber p. 354)

Boccaccio here is describing the pitiful demise of humanity in the Middle Ages. We could describe the present state of affairs without changing a word, couldn’t we? Take a moment and go to the Newcomer Funeral Service Group or their Albany/Latham websites for Newcomer Funerals and Cremations and read their ridiculous claims of what they offer the bereaved. Go to the Service Corporation International site and read about their “compassion”, their caring, their sensitivity to the needs of the bereaved. That’s worse than General Motors telling you they care about your lower back pain. Yet how many consumers actually swallow that sordid brew. These factory-funeral corporations aren’t making billions because no one’s falling for the marketing hype, the sales pitches pressuring the bereaved in their most difficult moments to sign and buy. We say look at the lawsuits and how much they’re paying out for failing the bereaved, for causing the bereaved more suffering than they had ever bargained for.

“[t]he Black Death “seemed to arise the worst passions of the human heart, and to dull the spiritual sense of the soul.” Who would think, declared Papon, “that in the midst of horrors so suitable (it would seem) for extinguishing the passions, there were two—libertinism and greed—which should be carried to so high a degree!” (Huber p. 354)

Indeed! Who ever thought that liberties, individualism, choice could lead to the present situation we find ourselves in. How is it that human beings in their worst possible moments should be exposed to the worst possible motivations and motives of modern mankind: libertarianism and greed. Those very libertarians preaching choice and liberty are deeply rooted in the horrible hypocrisy that such choice and liberty give life to. The plague that is upon us now in the 21st century is not a plague that is carried by fleas, and it’s not a plague that kills in five days. Our 21st century plague is called materialist consumerism, market economy, capitalism and it’s carried by fellow human beings, and it kills insidiously but totally in mind, body and spirit. There’s no way to discern with any certainty the extent of the infection but one thing is certain, there’s no effective vaccine, and most people would not want to undergo the cure.

One woman was married five times in one day—four of the bridegrooms having been buriers of the dead, dressed in the clothes they had stripped from the bodies of the deceased.” (Huber p. 354)

Huber describes the total depravity of the people who now have lost all sense of morality and values, and who now in a devil-may-care attitude of let’s be merry because we’re dead anyway. He describes a woman who marries five men in succession who are carried away just as quickly. She describes those who profit from the belongings and property of the dead, whom they have stripped. For all of Jessica Mitford’s muckraking, she would have had a picnic with this line, somehow drawing a connection between these “buriers of the dead” and those “dressed in clothes they had stripped from the bodies of the deceased.”

Like horrors disgraced many other communities. He: is furnished another example—such as are so deplorably frequent in history of how fanatical frenzy, associated with hatred and the play of the baser passions, will work powerfully upon nations and peoples to the utter exclusion of the restraints of reason, of law, or of any other wholesome factor. And the greater part of those who, by their education and rank, might have been assumed to raise the deterrent voice of reason, themselves led on the savage mob to murder and to plunder the Jews. (Huber p. 355)

Throughout history, Satan has always been the “other”; humankind has never really been able to see its true self, it’s never been able to accept its shadow side. Huber is describing the desperate search for a cause of the plague and, then as now, hatred and baser passions take control, and the necessary scapegoat is found. Whatever doesn’t support the new agenda has to be demonized and sent packing. The dead are not producers, the bereaved are not efficient workers. The dead are distracting the living from their production or consumption. Make the dead and dying disappear, marginalize the traditions, deny grief, exploit the bereaved, then send them back to work. The voice of reason is muted. Our institutions teaching and training the healthcare and deathcare professionals teach technology and business law, not ethics and humanities. The mortuary science programs wouldn’t want to whisper a word against the multinational funeral chains and factory funeral homes, after all they pay the bills and hire the graduates. Why cut your own throat? Why bite the hands that pad your pockets? Of course they won’t hire anyone teaching real deathcare, psychospiritual support, tradition, ritual, healing. The bereaved are, after all, consumers. And you wouldn’t want to keep them from their producing activity for any longer than necessary. Besides, there’s always another body and we have to keep turning over the visitation rooms and chapel. Headquarters wants to see numbers, you know.

That the emotions played a part regarding the plague was observed by many. Those who were terrified were more prone to contract the disease. Those who feared not and were of a cheerful, equable mind were, to the extent at least of that benign influence upon the organism, the more likely to escape. Boccaccio, in writing the Decameron, recognized that pleasant thoughts were the best preventive….Those who despaired threw away their one chance of life; those of sanguine temperament resisted well. (Huber p. 355)

It’s really ironic that I should close with this passage from Huber’s article. Not really. What Huber is saying here is that if you despair you’re lost already. If you become complacent, you’re dead in the water. Those who step up, ask the questions like: Are you part of a funeral home chain? Are you owned by a funeral service corporation? Are you still family owned? will likely come out on top. It’s not necessarily the pleasant thoughts that get you through any plague, it’s the positive, affirmative thoughts that will prevent you from being taken for a ride. It’s really very true what Huber and Boccaccio are preaching here: You have to have the courage to ask the questions, to look beyond the bells and whistles, to see through the smoke screens, and to assert what you feel you need in your bereavement, not what’s on the corporate menu. The more you do your own thinking and planning the more likely you’ll escape the snares set by the corporate funeral directors. The article may have been written in 1911, over a hundred years ago, but it still has substantial relevance today. I hope to have shown that in my analysis.

Thus are all phases of individual existence mutually and inextricably interrelated: extensive and prolonged deterioration in any one aspect is bound in time to affect perniciously the others in time; such hideous psychic phenomena as are here stated do not obtain in the beginning of any such calamity as the Black Death. But it is the circumstance (and a most pathetic one) that the exercise of the heroic virtues for any lengthy period is contingent upon the maintenance of normal living conditions in general; otherwise the psychic stamina deteriorates, manners become dissolute, morals depraved and consciences debased. (Huber p. 355)

What Dr Huber is saying in this paragraph is that life events are intimately interrelated — I understand these life events to be the basis of our traditions and rituals — and that if we allow any of those events to be exploited or to lapse into irrelevance, all others will suffer as the result. Huber’s phrase “heroic virtues” equates with human values and ethical conduct, which logically rely on “normal” living in our society. When “psychic stamina deteriorates” we have a disturbance in coping and resilience, we forget the ritual and become lost, we forget our obligations, and our whole mindset, our worldview, deteriorates. This, in the 21st century, is what happens when we fall victim to the materialist consumerism of our age and become slave consumers of the corporations and their perverse messages.

And so you have it: From none other than Monty Python’s 1975 depiction of the Black Death, and from a physician writing in 1911 about the pneumonic plague in Manchuria, China, do we have the evidence that really nothing has changed; we have learned nothing. What more can one say?

Support Your Local Funeral Home

(And don’t forget to ask for some time with
the interfaith bereavement chaplain!
(518) 479-0525 or compassionate.care.associates@gmail.com)

 

What the Local Media Have Missed: Peter J. McKenna, A Shining Star in a Dark Basement

As our many thousands of readers are aware, we have regularly reported on the Town of Coeymans Police Department, and the majority of those reports were utterly grim, reports of abuse, corruption, misuse of power, bullying, and generally the worst of the worst. Then, we were pleased to report on the terminations of Gregory “Dumpy Dumplin’” Darlington and his darling Gerald “Dirty–Hands–Jerry” Deluca, which we surmised was their choice to either go or be prosecuted. Since Darlington and Deluca have disappeared so, too, have the reports and complaints we regularly received. Once the new Chief, Peter J. McKenna, occupied the Chief’s office and cleaned up the garbage dump it had become, a real professional was in the driver’s seat. Things changed for the better almost overnight. Truth be told, we had our reservations about McKenna and we pulled no punches. But we do claim to publish the true facts and we have to own up to our misjudgment of the man and his capabilities. Much to our surprise, even the guy we used to refer to as “PsychoCop”,  Ryan Johnson, has been brought back to Coeymans and has proved to be a 180° reversal of his former image. All of this and much more as we report below is due to the professional management and mentoring by Coeymans Police Chief Peter J. McKenna. That having been said, we also have to ask Why? Phil Crandall and his den of bullies are so intent on making life difficult for the Chief and his Department.  Could it be they realize they don’t have crooks and cowards in the Department any more? Can’t they cope with dealing with real professional and ethical law enforcement, and a Chief who has management and communications skills that surpass those of Crandall and his bullies together? Read our article below and you decide.

That having been said, it’s truly beyond comprehension that the local media, especially the Ravena News Herald, can use more than a page of newsprint to report on a lost and recovered dog, and can miss a story like this. Where do they have their heads? Do you know, Mr John Johnson or Vince Vinciguerra of the Johnson Newspaper Group?


New, Improved, Community Sensitive

New, Improved, Community Sensitive

Peter J. McKenna, A Shining Star in a Dark Basement

and a Bright New Concept of Law Enforcement in the Town of Coeymans

In 2016, Chief Peter J. McKenna had a real opportunity strut his stuff and to use his experience in managing a department rounded out by personal hirings.  Starting in 2015, McKenna has been selecting experienced Police Officers who wanted to continue working part time in an industry they had dedicated their lives to, and paired them with young men and women just beginning their careers in Law Enforcement.  The new hires attended both full and part-time law enforcement academies without being paid for that time.  By combining new with experienced, two objectives were accomplished; the newer Officers were trained by seasoned law enforcement professionals, with experience in police supervision, criminal investigations, narcotics investigations, traffic safety, and community policing.  The grouping of part-time police officers provided a steady work schedule, minimizing the need to fill shifts with overtime (which comes from filling shifts with or for full time police officers).  In previous years, the schedule was completely monthly, but by agreement with the union, McKenna and the Department moved to a quarterly schedule.  Providing consistency afforded the rank and file a sense of continuity, and the need to fill shifts “at the last minute” dropped significantly. Now, that’s just background. The real meat – and – potatoes facts follow:

A facelift for Coeymans Police! No more harassing our kids!

A facelift for Coeymans Police!
No more harassing our kids!
Now they’re mentoring and protecting them.

Chief Peter J. McKenna

Chief Peter J. McKenna

When Coeymans Police Chief Peter J. McKenna was hired to be Chief in late 2014, the department had two full – time sergeant positions.  One of those positions was an evening supervisor, and the other, Sgt Ryan Johnson, was detailed to another agency (the DEA).  Prior to Chief McKenna’s , the sergeants were the primary on-call supervisors when there were only patrol officers working the shift.  When Chief McKenna assumed leadership of the department, he became the “first call” for any circumstances that required a supervisor; in other words, Chief McKenna was always on–call to supervise the department and its officers. By being on–call, Chief McKenna reduced the amount of overtime by the highest-paid officers in the department.

In 2015, Sergeant Dan Contento moved from a Supervisory Patrol position to the School Resource Officer (SRO) position (when school is in session).  Although this did not reflect in a the direct reduction in costs in the departmental budget, what it did mean is an indirect savings: Here’s how:  By placing a sergeant-grade officer in the SRO spot Chief McKenna made possible a salary reimbursement to the town for the time Contento is dedicated to the school district as the school SRO.  The great news is that because of Chief McKenna’s excellent management and planning , the Town of Coeymans was reimbursed more than $41,000 of the Sergeant Contento’s salary by the RCS school district in FY 2016.  Anyone with half of a brain would expect, and we believe this reimbursement should have been returned or at least returned to the Coeymans Police Department’s budget allocations, but this is not Coeymans Town Supervisor Philip Crandall’s reasoning. Crandall says it should be viewed as town revenue and placed in the Town’s general fund (obviously in order to hire a Crandall crony during a hiring and spending freeze).  That makes no sense to us at all and it appears that Crandall is abusing superior management by withholding well earned incentive from the Coeymans Police Department, incentive that was earned by virtue of Chief McKenna’s wise judgment and management experience. This reasoning is further supported by the fact that, by assigning the sergeant–grade officer to the school, the reimbursement to the Coeymans Police Department is about 10,000 dollars more than it would be if a patrol officer were to have filled the position.

We say that Crandall’s mismanagement of the money saved by Chief McKenna’s management of his law enforcement staff is wrong! Crandall has no right to take that money reimbursed by the RCS school district and padding his cronies’ pockets while abusing Chief McKenna’s professional management, and at the same time refusing to allocate funds to the Coeymans Police Department for needed equipment and activities.

[Editor’s Note: We will be publishing in an upcoming article some information that supports this evaluation of Phil Crandall’s physical and financial bullying of Town of Coeymans professional staff. Phil Crandall has an inferiority complex that is aggravated by stupidity. But more on that later with proof how he has no money in the budget for workers but plenty for his cronies!]

Crandal, Youmans, Dolan Miss the Good Ol' Days...

Crandal, Youmans, Dolan Miss the Good Ol’ Days…

The second sergeant-grade position, that of Sgt Ryan Johnson, was detailed by Chief McKenna’s predecessor, Gregory “Dumpy Dumplin” Darlington to another agency, the DEA..  That redeployment of a Coeymans police sergeant did not have the positive effect of returning funds back to the Department, since the sergeant’s salary was not reimbursed but only the overtime incurred (up to a predetermined amount) was reimbursable. The fact that the sergeant’s salary was not reimbursed was the result of poor negotiation and even worse management by Chief McKenna’s predecessor “Dumpy Dumplin'” Darlington. Chief McKenna brought Sergeant Ryan Johnson back to the Department in October 2016,  with the result that the Department was able to reduce 1 patrol position, and fill it with returned sergeant. The bottom line is that Coeymans now was paying the sergeant for services rendered to Coeymans and not to an outside agency and a patrol position was eliminated, further increasing the net savings!

Chief McKenna has succeeded in slimming down a bloated deparment created by his predecessors

Under previous Department management, there were two “part-time” Investigator positions, 1 detailed Senior Investigator position,  several so – called “B line positions”, an SRO position (school security), two “C line positions”, 1 supervisory C line position and an A line spot. [Editor’s Note: A, B, and C positions might be confusing so here is the key:  B is days, C is 4-midnight and A is midnight to 8 am. Hope that helps!]  The SRO, a 1 day position, the Sr. Investigator position, the C line position, the A line position, and C line supervisor position were all full time.  Before Chief McKenna, these positions provided full benefits such as vacation, sick and personal days off, which meant when a full time officer took the day off, his position, was filled with a part time officer, effectively paying two people for 1 working spot.  The part time Investigator spots routinely logged far more hours than the budget allocation [Editor’s Note: at best this was an indication of lousy management, ignorance of budgeting and a lack of familiarity with the department’s operation; in reality it was more likely Darlington’s padding his darlings’ pockets with town money.] Furthermore, before Chief McKenna took over the Department the “time management” for patrol shifts was uneven.  With McKenna’s hiring practices in place, he was able to alter the hours of some patrol shifts to provide two – person coverage twenty to twenty-two hours a day, and reduce unnecessary redundancies in patrol shifts;  Instead of the consistent A-B-C lines, McKenna put some officers on noon to 8 p.m. shifts, some (on Saturdays and Sundays on 12 hour shifts from 8a.m. to 8 p.m.), and the return of Sergeant Ryan Johnson to full dedication to Coeymans allowed the Department to employ Sgt Ryan Johnson in a dual capacity as a supervisor and as a patrol officer. According to Chief McKenna, his logic is that Coeymans is not so large a department that the positions need to be compartmentalized.

Chief McKenna has been able to reduce the excess hours, non-essential shifts, redundancy of tasks, and trim the budget by more than $60,000 dollars from the scheduled amount in the budget

Having a supervisor on during this shift also eliminates the need to contact an off-duty supervisor at home if circumstances would require.  The Department before McKenna had previously provided only one officer working the midnight shift; McKenna’s scheduling now allows for two-officer coverage from midnight until 4 a.m.  Monday through Friday while RCS schools are in session, the SRO (Sgt. Dan Contento) reports for duty before the school buses drop off students; on this scheduling he is available to back up the patrol officer from 6:30 a.m. until 8 a.m., if needed. In order days off, monitoring hours worked, details filled, and shifts filled or vacated, Chief McKenna has been able to reduce the excess hours, non-essential shifts, redundancy of tasks, and trim the budget by more than $60,000 dollars from the scheduled amount in the budget. In addition, to this McKenna has succeeded in adding salary reimbursements to the positive bottom line, which has enhanced the Town of Coeymans budget by more than $10,000 at least. Compare those savings to Crandall’s ongoing spending sprees!

Chief McKenna has made his Department’s priority that of having patrol officers capable and available to meet the needs of the Coeymans community.  McKenna’s guiding principle is: “If we can do that, and reduce the burden on the taxpayers by even a little bit, everybody wins.”

fiscal-responsibility

Chief McKenna’s Plan

According to McKenna when asked about his feelings regarding Crandall’s grabbing the salary reimbursements engineered by McKenna and his deployment of Department personnel, McKenna thoughtfully responded:

 “If I had any regrets about the windfall returned to the town coffers, it would be that I believe I am trying to maintain a professional department, without creating an undue financial burden on the people, yet still providing a safe and secure town and village.  The previous chief had his own printer, which died shortly after I took over.  I did not ask to replace it, as we have additional printers in the department I can utilize.  I have not dipped into petty cash.  Three of the patrol vehicles were purchased with seizure funds.  My only regret is that I believe I am fiscally conservative.  When I asked to outfit two vehicles purchased at the end of 2015 with lights and sirens, so as to reduce the stress on our fleet of cars, and allow for an extended life of the vehicles we have, it was denied, citing “financial stress”.”

crandall-head

Supervisor Phil Crandall

[Editor’s Note: I am hard pressed to understand How? denying a department head access to funds saved through his management of his department during a fiscal year, can be justified on the basis of “financial stress”. Our question is this: Where is the budgeted money and the reimbursed money going, Mr Crandall? You’re the CFO (chief financial officer) of the town! And besides, how many assistants does a small town supervisor need? And an accountant at $100/hour. Come on, Crandall, do you think we’re as stupid as you look? I am even more hard pressed to understand Mr Crandall’s refusal to extend the life of Department equipment by minor investment in equipment for those vehicles. It is outrageous that Crandall and his bully cronies on the Coeymans Town Board take those savings realized by the Chief without the Chief’s input, and offset bloated payroll issues created by Crandall’s extravagance in hiring for his own office.  Case in point: When the supervisor’s office went almost 9% over budget on payroll for 2 people — we’ll be reporting on this in the next article giving names and money amounts —, and one of them is salaried.  The Town of Coeymans under Crandall and his cronies on the Coeymans Town Board has created a Human Resources department that has cost an additional $12,000 dollars — we’ll be reporting on this, too, giving names and money amounts—, and we have a Finance Officer working full time, earning nearly 50,000 dollars, while the accountant hired to check the work earns over 100 dollars per hour. We don’t understand how this can go unnoticed by the public and by the local media, especially when NYS law makes the town supervisor the chief financial officer (CFO) of the town! We believe that Chief McKenna has a firm grip and a professional understanding about budgeting the funds necessary to run his Department but it doesn’t appear that Supervisor Crandall or the town board has half the savvy of the Police Chief. Not when Mr Crandall goes on a hiring spree and then has to steal from the Coeymans Police Department to cover his abuses. But as will become clear in our next article, Crandall does not limit his abuse of public office to the Coeymans Police Department, his bully tactics extend to another professional employee’s department, too.

We’ll be asking to see the books to verify the time and payments to Linda Ziegler (part-time in Crandall’s office), Darryl Purinton @ $105/hr in Crandall’s office. Yes! You read that right, $105/hr. Nita Chmielewski (full-time in Crandall’s office) @ $24.54/hr. Cindy Rowzee (full-time in Crandall’s office) @ $16/hr. And to report to our readers about the overtime abuses by Crandall’s minions — he seems to have collected his own little henhouse, a veritable harem for himself. Does Mrs Crandall know?]

Both the young professionals and their veteran trainers are committed to performing to the highest standards of ethics, professionalism, and integrity.

Coeymans has seen four of the officers McKenna hired move on to full – time employment elsewhere.  After having received their training and mentoring from veteran professional law enforcement like McKenna and Contento, even from a matured Ryan Johnson, we would have liked to have seen these up–and–coming men and women stay and grow in the Law Enforcement field right here in Coeymans. The problem is really simple: Coeymans cannot compete with the salaries elsewhere, and with a town administration like Phil Crandall’s that slaps community – minded management and service in the face and that insists on shooting itself in the foot, those salaries and the benefits packages, as well as career advancement opportunities offered by larger departments will attract talented professionals away from Coeymans.  It’s not a total loss, though, because from the time these young recruits come to serve on the Coeymans Police Department, the people of the Town of Coeymans receives the dedicated service of a group of young professionals, who are committed to a career in Police Work and law enforcement, who receive training and mentoring by highly qualified veteran law enforcement officers while they are here.  Both the young professionals and their veteran trainers are committed to performing to the highest standards of ethics, professionalism, and integrity.  As an officer – in – training, these recruits need to give their utmost in order to become certified as law enforcement professionals.  Chief Mckenna doesn’t take the vetting process for these candidates lightly, and believes the obvious fact that these officers trained in Coeymans are now coveted by larger departments; this should be interpreted as a reflection of how vigilant McKenna and his veterans are in their efforts to find the best people for the job.

One of the hallmarks of our Coeymans Police Department is the too-often misused term “community-policing”.  For McKenna, that term means men and women, who interact with the public and don’t just drive past them, pull them over, or act as if a service call is an inconvenience.  McKenna and his personnel acknowledge and appreciate who pays their salaries.  They know that they are here because the people of this town want them here.  Property checks, bicycle patrol, walking beats, ATV details, crossing guard details; all these things get us out into the public, among our friends, neighbors, employers, interacting, and having an opportunity to listen and tohear what the community wants and expects from their own law enforcement professionals.  McKenna has vision and hope for the revitalization in the Town and Hamlet of Coeymans and Village of Ravena, and for the surrounding areas; nothing would give him greater joy than seeing storefronts filled with goods and service opportunities, instead of vacancy signs and deteriorating real estate everywhere you look.

McKenna Redefines Community Law Enforcement

McKenna Redefines Community Law Enforcement

McKenna, in keeping with his community contact policy, makes the effort to at least try to visit every business, with whom he and his Department interact, and McKenna looks to introduce himself to people in the community, so they know that they can actually call or stop in his office for any reason.  McKenna’s present and available and he makes that fact known to the community. Of course, there are times and places that he misses the chance to follow-up with people in the community, but he does express the sincere hope that those who feel he didn’t respond or do enough will call him, or stop in again.  [Editor’s Note: If anyone feels this is not the case, we at Smalbany would like your inputs and we’ll follow up, of course. Either leave a comment at the end of this article or send us an email at rcs.confidential@gmail.com] McKenna is one man literally fighting Town Hall so it’s not that he’s dissing anyone or that he doesn’t want to reach out to local businesses and business owners, the understandable fact is that he sometimes gets overrun, and misses the chance to finish what may have been started. Our suggestion to any business or business owner who would like to discuss any particular issue or who has the interest and time to foster a collaborative relationship with Chief McKenna and the Coeymans Police Department to call him, pay him a visit. You’ll find him the most generous and cordial man you’ll probably ever meet in Coeymans Town Hall. And we’d love to know about your impressions and experiences if you do that.

In conclusion, despite the abuses and the obstacles set by Crandall and his bullies, the Chief appears not to have any issues with the disrespect he receives from the mob upstairs, the ignorance he has to live with and lack of appreciation from Crandall, or the budget he has to work with. Judging from our observations, our conversations, and the facts we have gathered, we are confident — and we believe that Chief McKenna is as well — that if he and his Department is given the opportunity to provide input into hiring and purchasing, and the town government wakes up and stops hamstringing him in his efforts, he will continue provide a full measure of service to the Town of Coeymans and the Village of Ravena.  If Crandall and his cronies continue to obstruct the Chief’s efforts by placing obstacles and roadblocks, and the Chief is stymied in efforts to professionally and conscientiously, and responsibly manage his Department and to move the Department forward in service of the community, the task of keeping the community safe and protected will become increasingly difficult, if not impossible.

At this point in time, the Chief foresees at least two young officers leaving the Coeymans Department in the coming months in order to accept full – time employment in larger departments. If the Chief is not given the latitude and resources necessary to adjust for these losses, the future may become a very difficult challenge for this community in terms of safety, response, and service.

We feel that Mr Crandall and the Coeymans town board should take a very critical look at their own egregious misconduct and their lack of concern for the integrity of Coeymans government. We, and we hope we are joined by our friends and neighbors in Coeymans, especially the business community in the Town of Coeymans, to demand that Chief McKenna be given a voice and an regular opportunity to share his vision, his plans, his challenges, and his solutions with the Coeymans community, and at every opportunity in town administration activities. We encourage Chief McKenna to insist on being on the agenda at Town of Coeymans working meetings and regular Town Board meetings, to present his regular reports, and that those reports be “on the record” and in the minutes for the public’s information. We further encourage the local and regional media to establish and nurture liaison with Chief McKenna and his Department, and that the media provide opportunity and space for the Chief’s regular reports.

In the meantime, we’d like to thank Coeymans Police Chief Peter McKenna for his fine service and dedication to this community in 2016, and to extend our sincerest best wishes to the Chief and his law enforcement professionals, and his officers – in – training for a safe and happy new year in the service of our community!!!

We'd like to remind you what's at stake for our law enforcement men and women, and their families. They're not desk jockeys, Mr Crandall! The Editor

We’d like to remind you what’s at stake for our law enforcement men and women, and their families. They’re not desk jockeys, Mr Crandall!
The Editor 


Editor’s Heads – Up! Stay tuned for another block – buster report on the Crandall mob’s misuse of office and their abuse of town employees. We mentioned some of the double – standard hiring practices and financial irresponsibility exhibited by Crandall in this article but be prepared for an even more shocking exposé in our follow – up article, which will expose Crandall, Youmans, and Dolan as bullies and harassers, and the rest of the town board as cowards with no balls. When Crandall and Youmans were elected, we published an article with the title  “Return of the Scumbuckets! Coeymans Does It Again!” in Coeymans Town Hall. Our reports confirm that observation.

 
2 Comments

Posted by on January 7, 2017 in 2Luck.com, Abuse of Public Office, Albany County Civil Service Department, Bitter Bob (Ross), Bob Ross, Carver Companies, Carver Companies, Carver Construction, Carver Laraway, Catherine Deluca, Cathy Deluca, Catskill-Hudson Newspapers, Cindy Rowzee, Coeymans, Coeymans Elections, Coeymans Industrial Park, Coeymans Police Department, Coeymans Town Board, Coeymans Town Budget, Columbia-Greene Media, Daily Mail, Daniel Contento, Darryl L. Purinton, David Wukitsch, Eleanor Luckacovic, Eleanor Oldham, George Amadore, George Langdon, Gerald Deluca, Greater Coeymans Ravena Area Community Business Group, Gregory Darlington, Hal Warner, Hudson Valley, Jerry "Dirty-Hands" Deluca, Jerry Deluca, Jim Youmans, Joan Ross, John B. Johnson, John Luckacovic, Johnson Newspaper Group, Ken Burns, Kenneth Burns, Linda Ziegler, Mark Vinciguerra, Mayor "Mouse", Mayor "Mouse" Misuraca, Melanie Lekocevic, Mismanagement, Moose Misuraca, Moose Misuraca, Nancy Biscone-Warner, Nancy Warner, Nepotism, New York State Association of Fire Chiefs, New York State Association of Fire Chiefs, News Channel 10, News Channel 13, News Channel 6, News Herald, Nita Chmielewski, NYS Assembly, NYS Comptroller Audit, NYS Senate, Office of the Attorney General, Official Misconduct, Pete Lopez, Peter J. McKenna, Peter Mckenna, Peter McKenna, Phil Crandall, Phillip Crandall, Port of Coeymans, Public Safety, Ravena Coeymans Selkirk, Ravena Coeymans Selkirk Central School District, Ravena News Herald, RCS Central School District, RegisterStar, Richard Touchette, Rick Touchette, Ryan Johnson, The Daily Mail, Thomas E. Dolan, Times Union, Tom Dolan, Town of Coeymans, Wild Spending, William Misuraca