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Category Archives: Dick Touchette

A Response to Lorin Marra. re: Office of the Albany County Coroners

We published an article “Politics, Power, Patronage and Conflicts of Interest: The Albany County Coroners Office” on September 13, 2017, about the office of the Albany County Coroners, and how the office is obsolete, tainted, and chock full of local funeral directors. The politics of the coroners’ office is as corrupt as it can get, and is a product of the nepotism and favoritism that has plagued Albany politics from within the mayor’s office to the police department to the office of the county coroner.


In the preparation phase of the article, we did extensive research both on the history of the office of coroner in general, including scholarly articles discussing the office of the coroner, and published professional journal articles comparing and critiquing the office of the coroner and the office of medical director. In addition to our research of public information and education material and the scholarly and professional journals, we also filed demands for the production of documents and information with Albany, Schenectady, Rensselaer and Green Counties for information on their respective coroners or medical examiners.

Seal of the County of Albany, NY

Overall, personal contacts with the Albany County Office of the Coroner were very open and informative. The demands served on the counties of Schenectady (medical examiner), Rensselaer (medical examiner), and Greene (coroners) under the NYS Freedom of Information Law were less than open and honest. Rensselaer is in violation of the law by not having responded at all; Schenectady and Greene county, while responding, were evasive and off base. Why all the defensiveness? They’re not so defensive when asking for funding but then, in our culture of death denial, who really keeps tabs on them anyway? WE DO!

We received an interesting comment from Lorin Marra, who is somehow associated with the Marra Funeral Home and with Paul Marra, the “owner/operator” of Mara Funeral home in Cohoes and an Albany County Coroner. When we received Lorin’s comment we were a bit taken by its defensiveness and it only later occurred to us that it’s an election year and Paul Marra is running for re-election as an Albany County Coroner. Having made that connection, it was not surprising that a Marra family member would come out and defend Paul Marra, the candidate.

But wasn’t it a bit cowardly, a clear lack of integrity for someone running for public office not to personally respond in a comment and have his daughter respond for him. Maybe Paul left his cojones in the autopsy room, at one of the allegedly “1000” autopsies he claims to have attended (but no one in official circles knows about). Did anyone see that pig flying by just now? Wanna buy a bridge?

According to Lorin Marra, pigs really do have wings!

.It should be noted that Ms Lorin Marra doesn’t comment on any of the many facts and figures given in the “Politics, Power, Patronage and Conflicts of Interest” article but hones in only on the name “Marra,” which is mentioned in only the most neutral of terms: strictly factually. But, as we state in our response, “Where there’s smoke (or “defensiveness”) there’s gotta be fire.” What do you think?

Marra’s Campaign Sign
flanking those of opponents Simmons and Lockridge.

For those of you who have read our article “Politics, Power, Patronage and Conflicts of Interest: The Albany County Coroners Office,” you’ll certainly have to ask yourself Why? is Lorin Marra so upset. Have we touched a nerve? The fact is, Paul Marra is barely mentioned in the article, and not negatively in any sense of the word. Maybe one of our readers can help us out with this one. We’re republishing Lorin Marra’s confused comment together with our responses. [In the following text “Ed.”: is a note inserted by the Editor]


In reply to Lorin Marra:

We have approved your rant only to illustrate the fact that where a commenter becomes as defensive as you have, there must be something going on that needs further attention. As the saying goes: Where there’s smoke, there’s fire.

We’d like to make it quite clear from the outset that the article is not about Paul Marra nor about the Marra Funeral Home operation; the article is about the office of the coroner both in Albany County and in general. Mr Marra is mentioned, along with others, in the article because he has voluntarily stepped forward and has received the approval and support of the Albany county Democrats and their political machine to have been elected to be an Albany County Coroner. Mr Marra, his office, his associations, and his keepers, therefore, have made Mr Marra a public figure and that visibility is open to comment. Mr Marra, his interests, his associations, his performance and all other aspects of Mr Marra are subject to comment because of his status as a public figure. Period.

Lorin Marra writes:

This article is completely false…

We Responded:

That having been said, we can respond to your diatribe by saying that the information we provided in the article came either from official sources and based on what those sources, that is, the Office of the Albany County Coroner, provided in response to our demand for documents and information under the NY Public Officers Law. If any of our information were incorrect, it is because it was provided by the custodians of that information as public officers and public employees. So let’s put that part of your comment to rest and redirect your misdirected hissy fit to the proper target: the County of Albany.

You are terribly clouded in your perspective of reality if you represent, as you in fact write in your comment, which, as written is a bit unclear, “[M]ost coroners are in fact funeral directors nor [sic] for a political agenda but…” (the rest of that sentence does not contribute to a better understanding of your rather strained thought process). We do not propose in any way that funeral directors are funeral directors for a political agenda. Where you pulled that one out of is beyond us but if you take the time to actually read the article with your eyes open, you’ll actually see what we’ve written. To deny, particularly in Albany County, that the office of the County Coroner is politically tainted is tantamount to claiming that a 3-dollar bank note is legal currency in the US. How naïve? can you possibly be or How devious? might be a better question.

Lorin Marra writes:

…a coroner does not get paid enough by the state [Ed.: Paul L Marra is an Albany County official but is civil service, and gets his check from NY state. Currently he gets $$20,836 a year.] to actually make a living off of just being a coroner. Most coroners are in fact funeral directors not for a political agenda but because they have the knowledge and experience dealing with the deceased. Marra funeral home is in fact OWNED by Paul Marra.

We Responded:

We don’t give a whit whether Paul Marra “OWNS” (your caps!) Marra Funeral Home. But that confirmation by you certainly bolsters our statements about conflicts of interest.

Lorin Marra writes:

Coroners are NOT allowed to use their position to gain business in their personal funeral homes [Ed.: “Not allowed…” is true; what you seem to glance over is that they DO abuse their positions! It’s a human weakness.] Do you realize how many calls a coroner must go on during their respective shift? If they actually claimed all those funerals [Ed.: They don’t have to claim “all” the funerals, just some.] they would be a multi-millionaire which is not the case for any coroners [Ed.: But may be true for some funeral directors.]. The funeral home business tends to be a hereditary business, most people do not wake up in the morning and decide HEY I’M GOING TO WORK WITH DEAD PEOPLE FOR THE REST OF MY LIFE, they [Who do?] tend to go into the business because a previous family member has and so on.

We Responded:

We agree, though, that ethically “Coroners are NOT [again your caps!] allowed to use their position to gain business in their personal funeral homes.” What we don’t quite get is your point. Whether they are “allowed” has no practical or real effect on whether they do misuse their positions. One point you seem to have missed [again!] is that they can garner political and professional capital even if they don’s use their own “personal” funeral home. Think about that for a minute and if you don’t get it, please let us know and we’ll walk you through it.

Again, we agree with you that many funeral homes may be what we properly call “family funeral homes,” or funeral homes that stay in a single family’s hands for a couple of generations. That is changing and, if you read our articles with the intent to understand what is actually written rather than what the voices in your head are telling you to see, you will find that we are ardent champions of the family-owned, local funeral home as opposed to the multi-state factory funeral service corporations. But you likely would have missed that point. [Ed.: You may want to see our articles: “Birds of a Feather? Lying down with dogs? The Politics of Funeral Corporations….” and “Bring Out Your Dead! A Monty Python Prophesy“.]

Lorin Marra writes:

The fact that coroners can’t make a living off of just being a coroner (less than $30,000 a year) should prove that this article was a waste of time.

We Responded:

You have failed to disguise your arrogance, though, when you state that “coroners can’t make a living off of just being a coroner” [Oh! Your grammar is painful!] No, I wouldn’t think that they’d be able to do anything by just “being a coronoer,” I’d expect they’d have to actually do something besides just being an anything. But the City of Albany and the County of Albany have literally dozens of “employees” and “appointees” who make good money by just “being” a something and not necessarily doing anything. Besides, many people, perhaps not in your privileged group, have to make a living and even support a family on “less than $30,000 a year”. Get a grip, Lorin, and join the real world. (Your Mercedes is showing!).

Lorin Marra writes:

Also, Paul Marra has been a coroner for 29 years and has been a board cerified medi legal death investigator for over 15 tears. He has take n charge of over 5000 death investigations and attended well over 1000 autopsies. He also has trained for over 600 hours with the State association of County Coroners. [Ed.: Lorin Marra seems to keep better records and statistics than the County of Albany. Wonder where she got her figures?]

We Responded:

Has Paul Marra actually seen what’s behind this door?

The fact that “Paul Marra has been a coroner for 29 years and has been a board-certified medi [sic] legal death investicator for over 15 years” again supports everything we have written in the article you appear to be disputing. While we are struggling to identify what a “board[-]certified medi legal [Ed.: The word Lorin is struggling to get right twice (!) is “medicolegal.” Is she really a Siena graduate?] death investigator” might be, we would like to ask the glaring question that emerges from your statement: If he has been a coroner for 29 years but certified to investigate deaths for only 15 of those 29 years, how many mistakes did he make in the 14 years when he was not “certified?” The fact that he has been a coroner for 29 years, elected every 4 years, simply proves that too little scrutiny goes into the office of coroner and further supports the fact that in Albany County, once you’re in you’re in for life.

You state that Paul Marra has “trained for over 600 with the State [A]ssociation of County Coroners.” We’re not in the least impressed by that statement. Here’s an example: In one summer, a contributor of ours trained in a major hospital for over 500 hours to earn just one unit of Clinical Pastoral Education credit towards his qualifications. I repeat, that was 500 hours in one summer for one credit! We assume that you’re referring to 600 hours for Mr Marra’s training over a number of years. That’s not impressive in the least, especially when you consider the years of training that a real medicolegal death investigator must do to qualify and then the continuing education required just to keep the pathologist’s licence! Please, don’t talk to us about Mr Marra’s paltry training record!

Lorin Marra writes:

Please do your research next time.

We Responded:

The article, dear Lorin, clearly states the facts as provided by official sources, in particular the Albany County Coroner’s Office, and information from public access sources and published articles. Our facts are true, complete and correct, which is more than we can say about your subjective and clearly biased remarks about your relative, Paul Marra.

Furthermore, the professional and scientific literature abounds with one single conspicuous observation: The office of the coroner is obsolete and, since its very beginning in the 12th century, has been political and corrupt. Nothing has changed since then. Furthermore, until very recently, with the deployment of the Electronic Death Registry system in New York State, recordkeeping documenting coroners’ activities and cases was deplorable.

Lorin Marra writes:

Also legislation has just passed that requires coroners to have more training.

We Responded:

The only legislation that we are interested in is legislation to eliminate the office of the coroner and replace it with a competitive system that would employ specially trained medicolegal personnel for death investigations. Those professional death investigators may be assisted by a subordinate assistant with appropriate training. The current coroner system is inadequate, unqualified, ignorant, and obsolete. If that’s not enough reason to eliminate it, please add to that list the fact that it is politically tainted and corrupt.

Lorin Marra writes:

Please do your research next time.

We Responded:

We did extensive research for the article and stand by our facts as written and represented. We do suggest, however, that you be tested for dyslexia as soon as possible by a qualified professional. Your reading comprehension or your cognitive processing appears to be severely impaired.


Coroner’s Office Just as Dead

If you’ve made it this far, you deserve a bit of humor and entertainment. Here’s one of our favorite scenes from Monty Python’s In Search of the Holy Grail. Enjoy!

Obviously, Ms Marra was not interested in the facts and figures we very conscientiously researched and published in our article; instead, she was more interested in demonstrating her inability to read the English language. If her dyslexia is shared by Paul Marra, Albany County Coroner, it’s no wonder that their records and available information is so scanty and incomplete. The fact that Ms Marra came up with figures that the Albany County Coroner’s Office couldn’t produce does shed some light on the fact that either Ms Marra’s figures are phoney or the Albany County Coroner’s Office doesn’t want to share some embarrassing information with the public, or the information is simply unavailable because of the Albany County coroners’ poor record keeping practices. Maybe the answer is “all of the above.”

The fact is, our information is good as 24 karat gold. All of it comes from reliable sources. The fact that Albany County has poor record keeping practices and the County doesn’t consider it important enough to update their software is a problem voters might want to address. The fact that Schenectady County (medical examiner’s office) and Greene County (coroners) dragged their feet for months and only produced a fistful of information or no information at all, or just excuses made by the county attorney, is at the very least a black eye for those counties. The Rensselaer county attorney should be brought up on charges for refusing to provide any information on the Rensselaer County Medical Examiner’s office. If that’s democracy at work and freedom of information…

Make Your Vote Count!
Big Choice! They’re All Dems!!!
Be Informed!

Demand Accountability

P.s. If you’re interested in the current candidates for coroner this time around, don’t be surprised that they’re all Democrats, you can go to the Vote411 site. Click here.

Here’s some additional information on medicolegal death investigators. According to the ABMDI, The American Board of Medicolegal Death Investigators, FAQs page, the medicolegal death investigator doesn’t need any special training or education.

  1. What is a Medicolegal Death Investigator?
    The role of the medicolegal death investigator is to investigate any death that falls under the jurisdiction of the medical examiner or coroner, including all suspicious, violent, unexplained and unexpected deaths. The medicolegal death investigator is responsible for the dead person, whereas the local law enforcement jurisdiction is responsible for the scene. The medicolegal death investigator performs scene investigations emphasizing information developed from the decedent and determines the extent to which further investigation is necessary. Medicolegal death investigators should have a combination of education and skills encompassing areas of medicine and law.
  2. Who can become a Medicolegal Death Investigator?
    There are no formal requirements to become a medicolegal death investigator. Each coroner and medical examiner office has different hiring practices. A medicolegal death investigator must be knowledgeable of local, state and federal laws. In addition, a medicolegal death investigator must be the most medically knowledgeable person at the scene of the crime to determine if further investigation is necessary.
  3. Do I have to have a degree?
    There are no formal educational requirements specifically for medicolegal death investigation. Any degree program dealing with Forensic Science, Natural science, Anthropology, Nursing, or any other medically related field would be useful. There are several established training courses available throughout the country that teach the basic information needed in order to perform a thorough, competent medicolegal death investigation.
  4. How much money will I make as a Medicolegal Death Investigator?
    An investigator’s salary will be determined by the jurisdiction and amount of experience the medicolegal death investigator has. Salaries and benefits vary throughout the United States.

[Source ABMDI FAQ page, http://www.abmdi.org/faq, last accessed on October 9, 2017]

Bottom Line: There are no special education requirements or degree requirements to be a so-called “medicolegal death investigator.” But the fact that “a medicolegal death investigator must be the most medically knowledgeable person at the scene of the crime” is very disturbing because most funeral directors have only a two-year degree in mortuary science, and that degree has very little to do with any “medical knowledge.” Furthermore, a degree in mortuary science or, more accurately, in funeral home operations, is not generally considered a medically related field.

Now doesn’t that information make you feel more comfortable about who is making decisions about a human being’s death at a possible crime scene?

 

Hello. County Coroner? We’ve got a body here.
[Ha, ha, ha!]

 
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Posted by on October 8, 2017 in Abuse of Public Office, Albany, Albany County Coroner, Albany County Coroners Office, Albany County District Attorney, Albany County Executive, Albany County Supervisor, Albany Mayor, Arthur Fitch, Babcock Funeral Home, Benjamin Sturges, Bill Loetterle, Bob Freeman, Bring out your dead, Bureau of Funeral Directing, Capital District, Charles Smoot, Conflict of Interest, County & Municipal Employees, County Legislator, Dan McCoy, Daniel McCoy, Death, Death Awareness, Death care, Death Certificate, Death Education, Death Investigation, Deathcare, Democrap, Democrats, Dick Touchette, Dignity Memorial, Elected Official, Elections and Voting, F.O.I.L., Favoritism, Francis Simmons, Frank Commisso, Frank Simmons, Freedom of Information Law, Funeral, Funeral Home, Greene County, Greene County Attorney, Greene County Coroner, Greene County District Attorney, Greene County Sheriff, Hudson Valley, Human Service, Hypocrisy, Investigation, Jack Flynn, James Cavanaugh, Joe Stanzione, Joseph Stanzione, Kristin Gillibrand, Lorin Marra, Magin & Keegan Funeral Home, Marra Funeral Home, McLoughlin & Mason Funeral Home, Monitoring, Nepotism, New York State Funeral Directors Association, Newcomer Funeral Home, Newcomer Funeral Services Group, Newcomer Funerals and Cremations, Nicholas J. Facci, Nick Facci, Nick Facci Facebook, NYSDOH, NYSFDA, Office of the Professions, Paul Marra, Professional Ethics, Public Office, Rahmar Lockeridge, Ren Newcomer, Rennselaer County Attorney, Rensselaer County, Rensselaer County Medical Examiner, Richard Touchette, Rick Touchette, Robert J. Freeman, Schenectady County, Schenectady County Medical Examiner, Service Corporation International, Shame On You, Transparency, William Loetterle

 

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)

 

Jim Youmans Needs to Apologize or Resign: Bully, Coward, and Abuser of Women

Bullies are Cowards: What more can we say about Jim Youmans?

crandall-head

Disgraced Judge Crandall Coeymans Town Supervisor

jim-youmans

Bully Youmans Town Councilman

Actually, quite a bit. But what we have to say about Jim Youmans probably reflects just as poorly on the voters in the Town of Coeymans. Why? Because you rid yourselves of Youmans several years ago but put the failed former supervisor back on the Coeymans Town Board. How’s that for stupidity?  What’s even worse is that along with Youmans, you put a disgraced village justice, who was disciplined by the State Commission on Judicial Conduct and was banned for life from running for any judgeship again, but you took that disgraced politician and made him Coeymans Town Supervisor. Yeah! Phil Crandall! (Click here to read a recent article on the Crandallites and Youmans.)

And now we’re in a presidential election year and we’re faced with two lunatics who want to be POTUS (President of the United States).

As one local resident, Laszlo Polyak, puts it:
Both Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump are pilots.
Hillary is piloting the Titanic and Trump is piloting the Hindeburg.
Our choice in November is:
Do we want to sink and drown or do we want to crash and burn?
Those are our choices?

hindenburgtitanic
It seems that the saying is true that local politics forewarns national politics. Why? Because we have two presidential candidates: neither of them is presidential: one is reputed to be a liar and the other a brute. Now compare that to Coeymans and we have a liar, Phil Crandall, and a brute, Jim Youmans. Unfortunately, Crandall and Youmans are both on the Coeymans town board and the damage they can do is further compounded by the fact that they have Coeymans’ own version of a dotty Bernie Sanders in the person of Dithering Tom Dolan. Our concern here, though, is the bully coward Jim Youmans, a disgrace to the Town of Coeymans.

Youmans is a used car salesman — Really!!! — and if that doesn’t scare the living bejezuz out of you, his reputation should. It seems Youmans hasn’t learned a thing since he was tossed out of the Coeymans town supervisor’s office in 2012. Back then he was known to bully fellow board members and he was especially brutal to female employees. In fact, when he was elected to the town board in 2014, one of the female town employees broke out in tears in anticipation of what the future held for them in Town Hall. Now is that right? Is that what Coeymans is all about? If it is you certainly have something to be ashamed of…starting with Jim Youmans.

Coeymans should be kissing any business owner’s ass just for being in Coeymans!!!

All history? Not at all. Just as a leopard can’t change his spots, Youmans can’t change his character; he’s still a bully and a coward. Here’s a recent incident we’ve received a report on:

This should have been Jim Youmans political career!

This should have been Jim Youmans political career!

A local business woman who, together with her family owns quite a lot of property in Coeymans, and who is doing a lot to clean up some of the eyesores that Crandall, Youmans and their cronies seem to be creating in Coeymans (just check out Coeymans Hamlet if you haven’t done so recently). The woman and her family recently made several requests to the Coeymans Building Department Officer, John Cashin. One of those requests was regarding verification of the number of occupancy units in one property and the other was relating to water and sewer bills. Occupancy and water and sewer seem to be the perennial open sores in Coeymans but so is incompetence in Town Hall, too.

Well, Mr Cashin didn’t seem to be able to manage the simple English that was involved in the requests, and managed to confuse the two in his response. Seems he’s having some difficulty with the word “temporary.” The word “temporary” means ‘of short or limited duration; not permanent,” if that helps, Mr Cashin. But at least Mr Cashin is reasonably courteous, even if he’s not a rocket scientist and a bit thick.

But Hey! Coeymans, you guys put those dumbasses where they are.

Estrogen-Man: Abusive men usually are hiding their inner woman.

Estrogen-Man:
Abusive men usually are hiding their inner woman.

We’ve read the resident’s correspondence to the Town of Coeymans in which the resident is asking for clarification of what the Town is doing with the request since April of this year. We gather from the correspondence that no one, elected or employee, has much of a clue what is going on. The resident’s request has been bounced from the Town of Coeymans Board to the Village of Ravena, back to the Town of Coeymans. In the meantime, the resident is attempting to pay a tax bill! Of course, as many of you property owners in the Town of Coeymans and the Village of Ravena know, neither the Town of Coeymans nor the Village of Ravena have ever been able to sort out anything with regard to water and sewer bills! It’s just a vicious circle and many residents are infuriated by the incompetence and indifference in Town and Village Hall! Unfortunately, Mr Cashin, too, is afflicted with dyslexia and overall confusion. Listening and understanding don’t seem to be nor have they ever been a strong point in Ravena and Coeymans. But Hey! Coeymans, you guys put those dumbasses where they are.

But back to Bully Jim Youmans. John Cashin is the town employee responsible for building issues, and he’s the town officer who should be responding and cooperating with the resident business owner to resolve this issue in a fair and just manner.

Youmans: “Pay up[,] crazy lady.”

If you said that to a man, Youmans, you’d be brushing your teeth in your butthole!

Coeymans Town Board Member

Coeymans Town Board Member

After all, Coeymans should be kissing any business owner’s ass just for being in Coeymans!!! Crandall, to his credit — probably because he hasn’t a clue how to answer otherwise — correctly passed the resident’s correspondence to Cashin, who responded, albeit a bit confusedly, he did respond incorrectly but respectfully. But here’s were bully-coward Jim Youmans has to get his fat ass involved, and adds his abusive two cents: Youmans somehow manages to absurdly respond to Cashin’s email to the resident and in a two-sentence regurgitation of stupidity and abuse writes: “Pay up crazy lady” and signs his stupidity with James C. Youmans, Councilman, Town of Coeymans. That says it all for Coeymans and its town board. What’s worse is that Youman’s cc’ed practically the entire town hall with his stupid abuse!

We’ve reminded Coeymans voters again and again of the kind of people they’ve been putting in office, while asking “How can you be so stupid?” Perhaps we have the answer when we just consider the simple fact that perhaps these jackasses in Town and Village Hall are, in fact, representative of the people of Ravena and Coeymans, with very few exceptions. Maybe WE are missing the forest because of the trees. People like Youmans, Crandall, Dolan, Warner, Misuraca are in office because they truly represent the people of Ravena and Coeymans. Hear the banjos yet?

What Youmans seems to forget is that he is a public servant. What he seems to have forgotten or never knew in the first place is that we expect him to respect residents and to do everything possible to be helpful to residents and businesses. Youmans, however, continues to be the ignorant brute he has always been. He’s a bully, a coward, an abuser of women, and a boil on Coeymans’ ass. He needs to go!

Youmans on Coeymans

Youmans on Coeymans

We demand that he make a public formal apology to the woman he refers to as “crazy lady.” We don’t need a disrespectful, ungrateful bully on our town board. Either the Supervisor or the entire board must demand he apologize, or they must distance themselves from him. He should be shunned by the community for his disrespect of women and his disgrace of the office of Town Councilman.

We demand that Jim Youmans make a written public apology for his disrespect of a woman business owner!

It’s like we took two steps forward when we rid Coeymans and Ravena of the likes of Dumplin’ Gregory Darlington and his darlings Dirty Hands Jerry and Cathy Deluca, and dumped Tom Boehm. But now it looks like we took three steps backward, and we have three replacement clowns: Crandall, Youmans, and Dolan (again!). Will it ever get better? At least Coeymans knows how to recycle its trash.

clowns

Recycled Coeymans Trash:
Youmans, Crandall, Dolan

 
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Posted by on October 29, 2016 in 19th Congressional District, 20th Congressional District, Abuse of Public Office, Accountability, Albany, Albany County District Attorney, Apologies, Bitter Bob (Ross), Bob Ross, Bully, Bullying, Capital District, Carmen Warner, Carver Companies, Carver Laraway, Catherine Deluca, Catherine M. Deluca, Cathy Deluca, Civil Rights, Coeymanazis, Coeymans, Coeymans Building Inspector, Coeymans Industrial Park, Coeymans Town Board, David Soares, David Wukitsch, Demand for Removal, Demand for Resignation, Denis Jordan, Dick Touchette, Eleanor Luckacovic, Eleanor Oldham, Eric T. Schneiderman, Estrogen Man, Estrogenman, George Amedore, George McHugh, Gerald Deluca, Government, Greene County News, Gregory Darlington, Harold Warner, Hudson Valley, Ignorance, Incompetence, Inner Woman, Jena Misuraca, Jerry "Dirty-Hands" Deluca, Jerry Deluca, Jim Youmans, Joan Ross, Joel Coye, John Cashin, John Luckacovic, Johnson Newspaper Group, Joseph Farrell, Keith Mahler, Ken Burns, Kenneth Burns, Larry Conrad, Laverne Conrad, Lazlo Polyak, Lee Davis, Mark Vinciguerra, Mayor "Mouse", Melanie Lekocevic, Michael Biscone, Michael J. Biscone, Misconduct, Misuse of Public Office, Moose Misuraca, Moose Misuraca, Nancy Biscone-Warner, Nancy Warner, Nancy Warner, Nita Chmielewski, NYS Assembly, NYS Senate, Office of the Attorney General, Official Misconduct, Pete Lopez, Phil Crandall, Phillip Crandall, Port of Coeymans, Property Taxes, Ravena, Ravena Coeymans Selkirk, Ravena News Herald, Richard Touchette, Rick Touchette, Sexism, Sexual Harrassment, Shame On You, Smalbany, The Daily Mail, Thomas A. Boehm, Thomas E. Dolan, Times Union, Tits on a Bull, Tom Boehm, Tom Dolan, Tom Meacham, Town of Coeymans, William Bailey, William Misuraca

 

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

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

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

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

Phil Crandall's Truth Requires Censorship

Phil Crandall’s Version of Truth Requires Censorship

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


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

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

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

Here’s why we say that:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

And so are the Coeymans town board!

And so are the Coeymans town board!

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

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

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

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

Crandall's Snow Job

Crandall’s Snow Job

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

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

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

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

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

Dear Town Board.

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

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

Sincerely,
/  / signature/ /
Stephen Flach

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Phil Crandall Crooked Judge = Crooked Politician = Bad for Coeymans

Phil Crandall

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

Upcoming Stories

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

 

 

High Marks for the RCS Community Library

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

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

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

BUT…

Churches, Funeral Homes, First Responders

Churches, Funeral Homes, First Responders

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Petty, stupid turf wars?

Petty, stupid turf wars?

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

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

Town of Coeymans and Town of New Baltimore

Town of Coeymans and
Town of New Baltimore


Town of Coeymans

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

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

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

Stay tuned for the fireworks!


Town of New Baltimore

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

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

Do you actually think YOU elect these bozos?

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

AMBUSH! New Information on Coeymans vs Laraway!

We recently published an article about the town of Coeymans and another AMBUSH, this time on Carver Laraway, Give them enough rope and the Coeymans Board expose themselves, and later provided an UPDATE in our article, News Shorts to Keep You Updated…Briefly. In both articles, we exposed the town of Coeymans’ Code Enforcement Office’s pattern of AMBUSH on private citizens and businesses, and how the Coeymans Code Enforcement officers’ pattern of AMBUSH is an abuse of public office and an abuse of power. We suggested that there is a more sinister aspect to this pattern of AMBUSH, and it’s about time someone with Carver Laraway’s resources stepped forward to expose the Coeymanazi criminals for what they are: RATS.

After learning about the screw-job Carver Laraway received at the hands of the Coeymans Code Enforcement Office then they ambushed him by going behind his back to the Department Labor on a cooked up violation of sorts, we investigated the facts and found some interesting information, information that every resident of the town of Coeymans must be interested in. Here’s what we found:

unite against corruption
The Albany Times Union published a very inaccurate report on the incident involving the demolition of a derelict property at 84 Main Street in the hamlet of Coeymans. But what can you expect from the Albany Times Useless? We smelled a rat and so we started asking questions.

Initially, we had to put two-and-two together: the Crandallite board with its recycled rejects Dolan and Youmans. The firing of Laverne “Larry” Conrad from the position he held and abused for years as Coeymans Code Enforcement officer. The suspicious hiring of Larry Conrad by Carver Laraway as a consultant, after Conrad was fired by the new Coeymans board. Carver Laraway’s attempts to purchase derelict properties in the hamlet of Coeymans and the suspicious scandals that seem to arise, usually involving the Coeymans town hall. The conditions imposed on the purchase of 84 Main Street. The completed demolition of the building and THEN the suspicious involvement of the New York State Department of Labor and the stoppage of the work and issuance of a violation for some trumped up pretense.

[Editor’s Note: This is not a first-time occurrence of the town of Coeymans Code Enforcement office issuing permits, allowing a resident to complete the work covered by the permit, and then going behind the resident’s back and reporting a violation to a state agency with the issue of a violation against the resident! More on this later.]

Since the Times Union article raised the question of Who owns 84 Main Street? Well, we thought that would be a no-brainer. Why would there be any question of Who owns 84 Main Street? Certainly the town of Coeymans should know who owns the property! But the Times Union reported that the town of Coeymans was uncertain who owned the property! In fact, at a discussion at a recent public meeting of the town of Coeymans town board: it was a ping-pong match between the board members asking Who owns 84 Main Street? Well, wouldn’t the town Assessor know who owns the property? Would’t the Code Enforcement Office have to know who owns the property, in order to issue a Demolition Permit? Why would Carver Laraway be demolishing a building he didn’t hold title to? Or, if Carver Laraway was demolishing a building he didn’t own, he’d have to be doing that for the owner, Right? Well, nothing added up in this situation, so we decided to find out who owns the building.

To make a long story short, we visited the Coeymans town hall and asked to see the tax rolls. At first the property identification number couldn’t be found in the normal tax rolls, Mr Santee DeBacco, the Code Enforcement Officer on duty at the time of our visit, couldn’t provide any information, but one on-the-ball employee in the Town Clerk’s office found the property in the tax exempt properties, where it was shown to be owned by the town of Coeymans! Now WHY? wouldn’t the Code Enforcement Office or the Coeymans town board know this? Answer: Because they had something to hide. That’s why.

So we FOILed the relevant documents under the New York State Freedom of Informtation Law. We asked for: (1) All demolition permits issued for the past year, (2) All information regarding special conditions imposed on the sale of derelict or foreclosure properties in the town of Coeymans, and (3) All town of Coeymans laws, regulations and guidelines relating to asbestos containment.

First of all, the town of Coeymans produced NO documents relating to Coeymans laws, regulations and guidelines on asbestos containment. The hazards associated with asbestos in buildings and the connection between asbestos and life-threatening diseases like mesothelioma, a cancer of the lungs, have been known for decades. Literally dozens of buildings have been taken down in the town of Coeymans, most of them old and almost all of them containing asbestos in one form or another. But Coeymans has no laws, regulations or guidelines for asbestos containment. Your town government working for you. Bullshit!

So, since the town of Coeymans has no basis to screw with Carver Laraway while his crews are removing an eyesore from Coeymans Hamlet, the next best thing is to go to the State of New York —those whores will do anything to get a fine, and they’re corrupt as hell— which is exactly what the rats in Coeymans town hall did. They couldn’t cook up something so they let the state of New York do their dirty work for them, which the New York State Department of Labor, like the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation is very willing to do, regardless of the facts and with no real interest in them either. State steps in and stops the work, which was pretty much done already, and issues a violation. And here is where it gets sticky.

Now remember that Larry Conrad, former Coeymans Code Enfocement officer, was fired by the newly elected Coeymans town board. Keep in mind that Larry Conrad was pretty cozy with Carver Laraway, while Conrad was Coeymans CEO, so cozy in fact that when Conrad was fired, Laraway hired him on as an “advisor.” That was Carver Laraway’s way of saying Thank you, Larry! for all the favors and support. Well, it wasn’t enough for Phil Crandall, Coeymans town supervisor, and his henchmen to just fire stupid old Larry, they followed him to Carver Laraway, and decided to kill a couple of turkeys with one shot.

The documents we received from the town of Coeymans show without a doubt that the town of Coeymans owns 84 Main Street in the hamlet of Coeymans, and owned the property while Laraway was demolishing it, and Coeymans still owns the property.

The town produced 11 demolition permits for the period of January 1, 2015 to February 1, 2016. Of those permits 5 were signed by Larry Conrad (for the period of February to December 2015) and 6 were signed by John Cashin, who was hired after Conrad was fired; Cashin signed the 6 permits issued in 2016 (5 in January 2016 and 1 in February 2016).

One of the permits issued on October 21, 2015, for the “Demolition of a Three-Family Dwelling. This dwelling has been deemed unsafe for occupancy.”, shows it to be property No. 168.12-2-3, located at 84 Main Street, Coeymans, and owned by the town of Coeymans. The permit is signed by none other than Larry Conrad. Carver Laraway is not mentioned anywhere on that Demolition Permit. Case closed! Coeymans owns the building!

We then examined the document provided by the clerk’s office regarding special conditions on the sale of derelict or seized properties in the town of Coeymans and Guess what we found there? The document is entitled: “NOTICE SEEKING OFFERS TO PURCHASE REAL PROPERTY” and is asking for “bids to purchase real property presently owned by the Town [of Coeymans].” The Notice states “the Town [of Coeymans] will provide the successful bidder with a Quit Claim Deed to the properties.” The Notice also sets forth the “terms” of the request for bids. The Notice has this to say about 84 Main Street:

84 Main Street, Coeymans, New York — Parcel #168.12-2-3. This is a three-family residence which is presently vacant, located on approximately .06 acres of land. the structure is unsafe. Therefore, the Town will require the successful bidder to tear down the building within 90 days of contract. Title will not be transferred until this condition is met. Proof of financial ability to perform the demolition must be established to the satisfaction of the Town

 So, there you have it. If the town of Coeymans provided all of the information required under the Freedom of Information Law, and did not hide anything, it is very clear that the town of Coeymans owns the property at 84 Main Street, Coeymans. What the documents do not answer is Why? town of Coeymans officials and the Coeymans town board would not admit that the town of Coeymans owns the property and Why? the Times Union published the false facts relating to the incident.

Well, it really shouldn’t come as a surprise because the Albany Times Union has always been a tool, a prostitute, serving special interests in the town of Coeymans and elsewhere, publishing anything that serves the liberal democrap agenda. This is no exception.

The same applies to the state of New York departments of Labor and Environmental Conservation. The record and history shows that at least those two New York state departments dance to the Coeymanazi tune. Larry Conrad, when he was Coeymans Code Enforcement officer was part of the machine but when he was fired by his enemies, he became the enemy.

We will be reporting on Larry Conrad’s involvement with a disgraceful AMBUSH on a local business and property owner. Again, Conrad was issuing permits, misleading the permit holder, and then going behind the permit holder’s back to the State Department of Environmental Conservation, to screw the permit holder. Conrad was good at doing favors for his Coeymanazi handlers. But now, it seems the shoe is on the other foot.

shoe on other foot

The conclusion that has to be drawn from the very documents provided by the town of Coeymans is that the town of Coeymans is the owner of the property at 84 Main Street in Coeymans. The fact is the rats in the Coeymans Code Enforcement office blew it when they reported Carver Laraway to their cronies at the state Department of Labor, who conveniently issued a violation and stopped the demolition work; the violation is or should be against the town of Coeymans, the real owners of the building and the ones responsible for the demolition or any violations. You asked for it Coeymans residents! We told you so! But you just had to put Phil Crandall, Tom Dolan, Jim Youmans back in public office so they could continue abusing you. You just love it, don’t you, Coeymans?

The town of Coeymans is still playing its stupid corrupt games. Again, they’ve been found out! Question is: When will anyone do anything about it…that is, other than us at Smalbany?

Fight the Ambush Mob Stop Corruption in Coeymans The Editor

Fight the Ambush Mob
Stop Corruption in Coeymans
The Editor

 

Coeymans: Hopeless, Disgusting, Corrupt! Shame on you!

The final tally of the November 3, 2015, voting in the town of Coeymans, New York, is in, and the results are disturbing, but characteristic of the backwoods, backwater, backward everything town of Coeymans.

Shame on You, Coeymans Voters!
Shame on YOU, especially, Coeymans Scoff-Voters!

Despite intensive coverage. Despite exposing the facts. Despite recent history and widespread reporting of the scandals surrounding the illegal and unethical conduct and cronyism of Tom Dolan (D), Richard Touchette (D), Jim Youmans (D), and worst criminal of them all, disgraced corrupt town of Coeymans judge, Phil Crandall (D), Coeymans voters put them all in public office on November 3, 2015. Coeymans is hopeless, disgusting, corrupt. Coeymans is too stupid to even be ashamed of itself.

About 3 years ago Coeymans voters gave Touchette and Youmans the boot, only to elect that human, political garbage back into public office: Youmans back to the Coeymans town council and Touchette to the Albany county legislature. Tom Dolan, a.k.a. Dithering-Tom Dolan, despite allegations of absentee ballot tampering about 3 years ago, appears to have misused his position as director of the Ravena Choices program, a give-it-all-away benefits program for local ghetto denizens, recently misused his position to misinform the public (with the enthusiastic circus act provided by Jim Youmans) and disclose a confidential draft report from the Office of the New York State Comptroller. Wrongful abuse of his office. Despite the current attention given to bullies of all ages, Coeymans voted known bully Jim Youmans, also allegedly having an arrest record for harassing his neighbors, back into office where he can continue his harassment of town of Coeymans employees and residents, just as he is known to have done when he last deposited his bloated stench in the corridors of Coeymans town hall.

Phil Crandall was forced by the New York State Commission on Judicial Conduct for violations of NYS Judicial Law and discrediting the judiciary. In the agreement with the Commission, Crandall had to agree never again to run for judicial office. But that didn’t stop him from running for Coeymans town supervisor! And it didn’t stop the idiots voting in Coeymans from putting the disgraced former town justice, Crandall, who was forbidden from running for judge again, into the supervisor’s office. Now that’s a real deal! Have a corrupt, disgraced judge run the town! Does it get any better, Coeymans? Sure does! Put Tom Dolan, a local loser with a known record of corruption, and Rick Touchette, the other criminal, who got the crooked judge dumped in the first place into office, together with a known used-car salesman bully Jim Youmans. And you wonder why you’re dying, Coeymans?

What’s worse even than Dithering-Tom Dolan’s corrupt practices in the Ravena Choices program and his ballot tampering scandal, is that Dolan, an historical loser, is also chairman of the Coeymans Democrap committee and couldn’t find anything better in the manure pile known as the town of Coeymans to put on the Democrap line. So he had to recycle the available garbage, Crandall, Youmans, Touchette and, of course, Dolan himself. Are the pickings that slim in the town of Coeymans?

Coeymans goes beyond “Shame” !
You’ve really outdone yourselves in stupidity this time!

Coeymans Voters Pumped Raw Sewerage into Town Hall! Dolan, Youmans, Touchette

Coeymans Voters Pump Raw Sewerage into Town Hall!
Dolan, Youmans, Touchette and Crandall
The Editor


Coming up next: How many dead people and non-residents were included in New Baltimore’s absentee ballots? Will an illiterate, town employee’s ballot be counted (it’s signed in the “witness” space but not signed where the “voter” should have signed)? Will a Democrap judge rule in favor of the idiot? The town employee was apparently not absent but will have to prove that she was absent on November 3rd. And Why?, Mr George Acker, did only about half of Independence party voters show up at the polls on November 3rd?


 

 

 

 

 
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Posted by on November 15, 2015 in 19th Congressional District, 20th Congressional District, Abuse of Public Office, AFL-CIO, Albany, Albany County Board of Elections, Albany County Legislature, Arlene McKeon, Bill Bailey, Bitter Bob (Ross), Bob Krug, Bob Ross, Bonnie Krug, Burning the Constitution, Capital District, Carver Companies, Carver Construction, Carver Laraway, Catherine Deluca, Catherine M. Deluca, Cathy Deluca, Chris Norris, Christopher Norris, Coeymans, Coeymans Losers Club, Coeymans Town Board, Coeymans Town Justice, Conflict of Interest, Corrupt Judge, Corruption, Cut-and-Paste Joan, Dan McCoy, Daniel McCoy, David Louis, Democrap, Denis Jordan, Diane Jordan, Diane Louis, Dick Touchette, Eleanor Luckacovic, Eleanor Oldham, Elected Official, George Acker, George Amedore, Gerald Deluca, Gregory Darlington, Harold Warner, Hudson Valley, Incompetence, Independence Party, Indifference, Irregularities, Voting, Irresponsibility, Jerry "Dirty-Hands" Deluca, Jerry Deluca, Jim Youmans, Joan Ross, John B. Johnson, John Luckacovic, Johnson Newspaper Group, Mark Vinciguerra, Matt "the Mutt", Matt Miller, Matt Miller, Matthew J. Miller, Michael Biscone, Michael J. Biscone, Misconduct, Misuse of Public Office, Moose Misuraca, Nancy Biscone-Warner, Nancy Warner, New York, New York State, New York State Association of Fire Chiefs, New York State Election Law, New York State United Teachers, News Herald, Nita Chmielewski, NYS Assembly, NYS Comptroller Audit, NYS Senate, NYSUT, Official Misconduct, Pete Lopez, Peter Masti, Peter Masti, Phil Crandall, Phillip Crandall, Port of Coeymans, Public Office, Ravena, Ravena Coeymans Selkirk, Ravena News Herald, RCS Central School District, Richard Touchette, Rick Touchette, Robert Krug, Scofflaw, Selkirk, Smalbany, Small Town, Stephen Flach, Stifling Freedom, Stupidity, TCI, Teachers Union, Thomas E. Dolan, Tom Dolan, Tom Dolan, Tony Walsh, Town Council, Town of Coeymans, Town Supervisor, United Federation of Teachers, Voting Irregularities, William Bailey, William Misuraca