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Category Archives: NYS Senate

George Amedore, NY State Senator for 46th District, Needs to do Some Homework

George Amedore Jr, is the New York state senator representing New York’s 46th senatorial district. Amedore is backed by the Republican, Conservative, and Independence parties and was first elected to the Senate in 2014 for a 2-year term. Although he was first elected to the State Assembly on July 31, 2007, and held that seat for 5 years, he gave up that seat to run for the Senate in 2012. He lost to Cecilia Tkaczyk by a slim margin but ran again in 2014 and won the seat. Members of the New York State Senate serve two-year terms and are not subject to term limits. Amedore is up for re-election in 2018. The question we have is whether he’s up to the job. (Click here to view the map of the NY State Senate District 46.)

Amedore.
Totally Clueless


If George Amedore is showing such fiscal irresponsibility and indifference as to how he’s shelling out state taxpayer dollars to nitwit incompetents like the Town of New Baltimore (Greene County) Highway Department to  enrich the likes of Callanan Industries, Inc., and to screw up our town streets, voters and oversight agencies need to take a good hard look at Amedore’s performance, possible corruption and abuse of pubic office, malappropriation of public monies, and potentially criminal behavior in the Town of New Baltimore Highway Department. Better do it now before any more money is wasted and any more damage done!


We’ve been reporting on a large number questionable practices in the New Baltimore Highway Department, and how the money’s being spent and where. All we can conclude is that the New Baltimore Highway Superintendent Denis Jordan is totally incompetent and doesn’t have a clue what he’s doing. He’s also been implicated in some shady operations for “friends” of Denis Jordan at taxpayer expense, including the misuse of town equipment and crews. (See our 2015 Election article, “Reasons Why Denis Jordan Must Go!“)

Our investigations have shown that Jordan has plenty of time to reroute creeks and lay expensive culverts on a friend’s property, and repair roads on Schoolhouse Road for some crony of his, but has ignored requests from residents in the Hamlet to fix numerous problems he’s created there by his lack of skills and poor planning — actually, Jordan doesn’t do any planning at all. Residents in the National Historic District can’t even get him to put a grate on a dangerous hole he created on one street in the Hamlet; he won’t even put a traffic cone to protect cyclists, pedestrians or motorists. (See our article, “Denis Jordan Avoids Duties to Serve Special Friends: The Case of the Disappearing Creek“}.

Our most recent investigation has uncovered even bigger problems created by Jordan. Yes, we have reported on his harassment of a local woman to take down a privacy fence for no reason at all. We have reported on his refusal to talk to the New Baltimore Town Board. And YES! we have reported on the rerouting of a creek on Lydon Lane, and the installation of expensive culverts on his buddy’s, R. Bullock’s property. From what we can confirm, residents’ claims that he did that work so Bullock would have a nice flat lawn instead of having a creek with a ditch. You see, you can really make out if Jordan is on your “A’ list. If you’re not, forget anything from the New Baltimore Highway Department…except maybe a flooded basement and ruined foundations. (See our article, “New Baltimore Town Highway Superintendent Harasses Local Woman“).

Well it does get worse, much worse.  Earlier this year (2017) requests for bids went out for repaving of a number of streets in the Hamlet of New Baltimore. Peckham Road Corporation  put in a bid, as did Callanan Industries, Inc., and Precision Roads and Driveways. Callanan, an old “friend” of Jordan’s was awarded the contract; they quoted to put down 2″ (two inches) thick layer of asphalt on the roads to be paved, an estimated 5,520 tons of material.

The concerned roads were Kings Rd, Mathews Pt, Pitcher Ln, Mill St., Washington Ave., Madison Ave., Nodine Mtn Rd, Cedar & White Birch Ln., New Rd., Union St., Liberty Ln., Baldwin Terrace, Gill Rd.  Well, if you reside in the Hamlet and don’t recognize some of the street names, it’s because either Jordan or his illiterate friends at Callanan couldn’t even get the names right. That’s a bad start already.

The paving operations were done in June 2017, and were supposed to have been done under Jordan’s supervision as New Baltimore Highway Superintendent, but he was often nowhere to be seen. One day, he left early while paving operations were going on so he could attend a local wake. He left at around 3 p.m. If it was his own wake we could understand his having to be there early but it wasn’t. It was only an acquaintance but Jordan left the work unsupervised with some very bad results.

Pedestrian Trap Designed by Denis Jordan

The bids for the job explicitly state a “2-inch” thick layer of asphalt (blacktop). Well, our investigations show that at least twice that amount of blacktop was deposited and in some places up to 4x. On some streets the roadbed was raised 4-6 inches, some edges of the street were raised a foot or more, leaving dangerous unmarked drop-offs. The idiots put a 12-14″ wide sloped curb on one side of the street which reduces the width of the street by almost 2 feet, and creates the hazard of falling if you try to get out of a car at roadside.

The drainage on New Street was worsened and more problems created. At one residence, the Highway Department created such a bank of blacktop that the front and side entrances to the residence could not safely be used. Jordan had to pour concrete steps to allow the entrances to be used but even the concrete was defective and was poured without proper foundation, and started crumbling in the first week!

Back to our little friend George Amedore. With all this going on and the Town of New Baltimore being served with Notices of Claim, the first step in a lawsuit, for many of these botched jobs by Jordan, it seems Amedore isn’t talking to anyone in the Town Hall, and his handing out money hand over fist. The paving by Callanan on Jordan’s watch is just one instance of wasted taxpayer monies. We’d like to ask Mr Amedore if he has inquired why if 2″ of asphalt were quoted more than 4 times that much was actually deposited on some of the roads, actually creating hazards!!!???

New Baltimore Math

Furthermore, the Section 248 Agreement required under the New York State Highway Law notes that a total of $284,732.00 was to be spent on the paving of the streets mentioned above. That amount is broken down with $174,732.00 coming from the CHIPS (NYS Consolidated Highway Improvement Program) and $100,000 coming out of the Town’s General Repair budgeted money. That’s the math taken directly form the Agreement for the Expenditure of Highway Moneys made between the Town Board and the Town Highway Department. The agreement also explicitly states 2-inch thick.

So, dear readers, if the Agreement states that the paving is to be 2″ thick and the bids were based on that figure, how did they manage to drop up to 4x times that much blacktop? If they stuck with the 2″ layer, wouldn’t that have reduced the price by 2-4x? So what’s the story here? Do we need an investigation by the State Comptrollers Office, by the State Attorney General? And where’s our good ol’ boy Joe Stanzone, Greene County District Attorney on this one? Can’t the Town Board do math? Isn’t anyone watching or asking any questions in New Baltimore?

Elections are just around the corner. How the New Baltimore Town Board Handles this Scandal will Determine the Outcome of the Elections. We can assure you of that fact. You know we’ll remember when Amedore comes up for relection in 2018. And when Joe Stanzone, the Greene County DA, starts stumping for re-election, we’ll remember him, too. So guys and gals, start doing what the public expected you to do when they voted you in: to clean up the crooks and to govern our town, county and state wisely. So far it doesn’t look good for you.

According to New York State Town Law, the New Baltimore Town Board has the power to investigate Jordan’s and Callanan’s opertations and to ask some very scathing questions. We’ve already asked some of those questions above but the ball’s in the Town Board’s lap now. New Baltimore Town Board: Either investigate or share the guilt. If you don’t launch an investigation you are as guilty as the crooks. After all, the entire board signed the Section 248 Agreement with it’s explicit and specific language, and the County Superintendent of Highways, vanValkenburg, signed off with no questions. Do we call that negligence, indifference, lack of due diligence? Corruption? It’s soon to be election time so you’d probably start burning rubber and get moving on this investigation. Right? 

The Greene County Superintendent of Highways, Robert Van Valkenburg, had to sign off on that Section 248 agreement. Is he math-challenged too?

Well back to our candy-ass Senator George Amedore Jr and his fine representation of the people and taxpayers of New York. Georgie boy, in a letter dated — this guy’s really numerically challenged; even his letter is undated —. No matter, the letter is stamped “RECEIVED April 28, 2017, Town Clerk, Town of New Baltimore.”

Amedore’s first sentence is a clear indication that he knows nothing of what’s going on in New Baltimore. He writes, “Maintaining safe, dependable roads is important to the safety of our communities an the health of our economy.” First of all, he has no clue how unsafe New Baltimore roads are. He has no idea what Denis Jordan is doing in New Baltimore. He has no idea of what he’s talking about when he uses the terms “health of our economy.” What economy? The only economy is real estate sales with the downstaters buying up our land and homes, and everyone else trying to sell to get out of the area!

George Amadore’s Math

Amedore then goes on to cheerfully announce to Mr Jordan that he’s handing him $142,255.00 from the CHIPS (Consolidated Local Street and Highway Improvement Program) as part of the states recent 2017-18 budget. Amadore then goes on to tell Jordan that he’s going to receive 32, 471.00 in funding under the PAVE NY program and $27,682 in funds under the Extreme Winter Recovery program.

Amedore must be on another friggin’ planet. He’s totally off base! He’s clueless how this money is being spent, wasted, criminally! And this is responsible government. This is an elected lawmaker aiding and abetting incompetence, abuse of office, waste of public resources? Why is Amedore handing out hundreds of thousands of taxpayer dollars to the like of Denis Jordan?

Amadore’s, New Baltimore’s Idea of Fiscal Responsibility!

We almost puked when we read Amedore’s closing sentence: “A strong infrastructure is vitally important to strong , healthy communities. If you have any questions….” Do we have questions? Do we have QUESTIONS? Guess What? Mr Amedore, we do have questions. One of them is How in hell did you ever get elected?!?!? But then if Denis Jordan got elected…we withdraw the question.

George Amadore Puts the FAKE in Rubber-stamp Government!!!

 

 

 

 
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Posted by on October 3, 2017 in 18 USC § 4 - Misprision of Felony, 19th Congressional District, 19th Congressional District, 20th Congressional District, 20th Congressional District, 2Luck.com, 46th District, 46th Senate District, Abuse of Public Office, Accountability, Alan van Wormer, Amedore Homes, Bob Ross, CHIPS, Coercion, Columbia-Greene Media, Conflict of Interest, Consolidated Highway Improvement Program, Conspiracy, Corruption, County Legislator, Daily Mail, David Louis, DEC, Demand for Removal, Denis Jordan, Denis Jordan, Department of Environmental Conservation, Diane Lewis, Diane Louis, DOT, DOT, Eleanor Luckacovic, Eleanor Oldham, Elected Official, Favoritism, FBI Public Corruption Squad, Financial Agreement, Fraud, George Acker, George Amedore, Government, Greene County, Greene County District Attorney, Greene County News, Harassment, Incompetence, Independence Party, Independence Party, Investigation, Jeff Ruso, Joan Ross, Joe Stanzione, John B. Johnson, John Cashin, John Luckacovic, Johnson Newspaper Group, Joseph Stanzione, Kristin Gillibrand, Lawsuit, Marjorie Loux, Marjorie Loux, Mark Vinciguerra, Melanie Lekocevic, Misconduct, Misdemeanor, Mismanagement, Misuse of Public Office, Money Laundering, New Baltimore, New Baltimore Elections, New Baltimore Elections, New Baltimore Highway Department, New Baltimore Highway Superintendent, New Baltimore Superintendent of Highways, New Baltimore town council, New York, New York Department of Environmental Conservation, New York State, New York State Constitution, New York State Department of Transportation, New York State Highway Law, New York State Town Law, Nick Delisanti, Nick Dellisanti, Notice of Claim, Notice of Claim, NYS Assembly, NYS Comptroller Audit, NYS Senate, Office of the Attorney General, Patty Hildebrandt, Peckham Materials, Peckham Materials Corp., Peckham Road Corporation, Precision Roads and Driveways, Public Corruption, Public Safety, Ravena News Herald, Robert van Valkenburg, Scott Van Wormer, Scott VanWormer, Senate District 46, Shelly van Etten, Susan K. O'Rorke, The Daily Mail, Times Union, Tooher & Barone, Town of New Baltimore, Trident Insurance, VanEtten

 

New Baltimore Town Highway Superintendent Harasses Local Woman; Demands Removal of Fence

For some time now we have been investigating the operations of the Town of New Baltimore Highway Department and New Baltimore Highway Superintendent Denis Jordan. We have requested confirming documents and information from the Town of New Baltimore on several key issues. We are reporting on one of those issues in this article. The second issue, that of Mr Denis Jordan’s use of Town of New Baltimore equipment and employees to do work on private property is also included in the following article (Denis Jordan Avoids Duties to Serve Special Friends: The Case of the Disappearing Creek).

Normally, in a small town you expect cliques to develop around political issues and local interests. At the same time, you’d expect that there’d be a certain neighborliness and concern for the community; after all, we are a community. Right? And we’re all neighbors. Right? 

Fence seen from Corner of County Rt 54 and High Mount Road.

Well, things are a bit different in the Town of New Baltimore. You see, you may be a property owner and taxpayer, but the fascists in the New Baltimore Town Administration don’t give a shite about you or your property. They’re too busy promoting their own interests, pushing outsiders to use our town facilities, doing favors for friends and supporters while the rest of the community watches as their property is damaged and the town purse is plundered. What are we getting for some of the highest taxes in the state? Abuse, Abuse, and more Abuse! And for taking care of your property? More abuse, More Abuse, and More Abuse! You might as well move to Coeymans!

Denis Jordan, the illiterate bully Superintendent of Highways in the Town of New Baltimore, can’t seem to find the time to supervise his contractors or to learn how to maintain town drainage but has plenty of time for private projects and harassing local property owners. His recent harassment of Ms Patty Hildebrandt and his defiance of the Town Board and NYS law is sending a very disturbing message out to all residents and property owners in the Town of New Baltimore.You may be next!

The backstabbing in New Baltimore is not limited to town officials and employees cutting residents’ throats, the blood flows in rivulets in Town Hall and between Town Hall and the New Baltimore Highway Department.

New Baltimore Superintendent of Highways Denis Jordan has lost a lot of political capital and credibility in the past couple of years. During that time we have investigated and reported on a number of unethical and unlawful activities that have been going on in the Jordan Highway Department. Those abuses range from retaliation and punishing of Highway Department personnel to misuse of town employees and equipment, and noncompliance with the laws regarding proper record-keeping and contract operations.

The first item in this report concerns a local property owner, Ms Patricia “Patty” Hidebrandt, who has been selected by Denis Jordan and harassed because of a so-called privacy fence she put up. This is no ordinary property owner but one who is highly visible on Route 51, a county road, and High Mount Road, a roadway owned by the Town of New Baltimore. Ms Hildebrandt has been a New Baltimroe resident for more than 40 years and takes immaculate care of her property; she lives in a cute little house in a highly visible spot on the corner of the two roadways. Her home is picture-perfect and the grounds are always manicured and planted with seasonal flowers. The property is an example of how we’d like to see all property in New Baltimore kept.

But Denis Jordan, a Neanderthal, has some vendetta or an ax to grind with this poor woman. You see, he’s hand-picked Patty Hidebrandt out of the hundreds of other properties in New Baltimore, and has been persecuting her for months because, as Jordan alleges, she put up a fence on town property. Jordan wants her to take the fence down and has been harassing her for months.

But there’s no reason for Jordan to make such a demand. The New Baltimore Town Board even agreed that it was not a problem,and  even if the fence is on Town property it’s not in any way posing a nuisance or obstructing any Highway Department operations or plans. Jordan just wants to throw his weight around and it’s easier to bully a woman rather than go after someone else. Bully!

Denis Jordan Spells BULLY

Jordan got former code enforcement officer S. Mantor to send the property owner a letter informing her of Jordan’s claimsand telling her the fence has to be removed “from the town’s right-of-way.” Mantor never went after Ms Hildebrandt because no one really cared; only Denis Jordan cares.

Ms Hildebrandt appeared before the New Baltimore Town Board and the Board approved a temporary “license” allowing the an exception to keep the fence where it was. Jordan brought in his lacky, former New Baltimore code enforcement officer, John Cashin, live-in partner of former corrupt New Baltimore Town Supervisor Susan O’Rorke (D). Cashin decided to hit the road after his live-in partner, Susan O’Rorke, lost re-election for supervisor to Nick Dellisanti. Our guess is that Cashin couldn’t handle the honesty and integrity Dellisanti brought to New Baltimore, and so Cashin decided to join disgraced ex-judge Phil Crandall’s mob in Coeymans, where hiypocrisy and corruption still have a home and are thriving. Cashin appeared with Jordan at a Town Board meeting and spouted some unsubstantiated garbage about the Town Board not having the authority to allow the property owner to keep the fence. The Town Board responded that the matter was researched by the Town Attorney, Tal Rappelea, who wrote up the resolution. This was not good enough for Jordan, so he got his own attorney to critique Rappelea’s findings and the Board’s action.

At the June 26, 2017, public meeting of the New Baltimore Town Board, a vote was taken after Mr. Jordan brought in his own scheister attorney Meave Tooher of the Albany law firm of Tooher and Barone, who read his opinion to the Board. Jordan also told the Board he’d be having the property surveyed. Nice neighbor our Superintendent of Highways, Mr. Jordan, isn’t he? Nice guy to have to work with, too. Just ask the Town Board.

Well, at the June 26, 2017, Town Board public meeting, the Town Board carried the motion by a unanimous approval by full board, to allow the property owner, Ms Hildebrandt,  to keep the fence, saying:

“the Town Board has determined that the location of such privacy fence, notwithstanding having been constructed on town-owned land does not imperil the motoring or pedestrian traffic nor des it impede or interfere with the maintenance of said High Mount Road and…the Town Board has determined that the cost for Ms [name redacted] to remove such fence would create an unnecessary hardship on her.”

The license is temporary and the resolution states explicitly that if, in future, the town needs to use the area, Ms H. would remove the fence at her own expense. The resolution further states that Ms H. would insure the property and hold the town harmless for any claims involving the fence. Sounds pretty fair to us. But That was not enough for Jordan.

The Fence from Directly Across High Mount Road.

Denis Jordan continued his harassment and is continuing it as we write. The result: The Town Board was forced to withdraw its resolution. When the vote had to be taken but before the vote Town Board Member vanEtten stated, “I feel terrible doing this…” Deputy Supervisor Ruso abstained from the vote saying, “I’d prefer more time to consider this so in the meantime I’m going to abstain.”

Several neighbors and friends of Ms H. appeared before the Town Board at the public meeting to express their support and opposition to Mr. Jordan’s harassment, and Town Board members and town attorney Rappelea even pointed out significant errors in Jordan’s attorney’s letter, but Jordan was out for blood and wasn’t going to stop.

Jordan’s Attorney Meave Tooher of the Albany Law Firm Tooher & Barone LLP Can’t Tell A Drainage District from a Right-of-Way!

Meave Tooher, Jordan’s Attorney. Hey, girl! Who doesn’t your hair?

Nevertheless, Mr Jordan dragged his buddy ex-code officer defector John Cashin to another meeting as “concerned resident.” If Cashin had an ounce of integrity and real concern for the town or even the law, he’d find another low-life to hang out with but that’s Cashin, bald, aging, unwanted, and hooked up with another loser, Sue-Sue. Actually, two losers: Sue-Sue O’Rorke and Sue-sue! Tooher. Bla-bla-bla gibberish Cashin and Duh-duh-duh Neanderthal Jordan, so they bring in Crazy-Hair Meave Tooher, the third member of the New Baltimore Stooges. Now they have three. Put them all together, shake them up, add water and you come up with a little less than half a brain. Not bad for three shit-for-brains.

Back to being serious…. A number of residents and neighbors have appeared on Ms Hildebrandt ‘s behalf and addressed the Town Board. One resident, Ms D. Davis, who spoke from experience with Denis Jordan. Ms Davis tells the Board, “I think he’s a bully. If he doesn’t like you, he’ll make your life hell. I personally witnessed him doing favors for private residents using Town equipment…I also witnessed him…” At this point Mr Dellisanti interrupted Ms Davis with, “Dot, we’re not going to listen to this.” Normally, persons making comments during the public comment period have three (3) minutes for commenting. Ms Davis — regardless of what they’re commenting on as long as they’re orderly and civil; it’s part of the democratic process, Mr Dellisanti —  had not used her three minutes before being interrupted by Mr Dellisanti, in fact abusing her rights of free speech in public session. That was wrong. It was wrong because Ms Davis was commenting on personal experience as a witness of Mr Jordan’s unlawful conduct; her comment was not hearsay. (Editor’s Note: In fact, we are reporting on Denis Jordan’s misuse of Town equipment to make improvements on private property in our article, Denis Jordan Avoids Duties to Serve Special Friends.)

Interrupting and muzzling Ms Davis was doubly wrong because Mr Bla-bla Cashin was allowed multiple opportunities to comment, and was speculating, inaccurate, repetitive, and obviously had an agenda. We would question Mr Dellisanti on this unfair conduct in public session.

When asked directly by the Board why Mr Jordan wanted the privacy fence down, Jordan waffled. Apparently he was unable to come up with a good lie right away. First it was because he claimed it caused a problem with plowing but soon realized that that wasn’t going to hold any water; it was a bare faced lie, in fact. Just looking at the fence in the photos proves that. Jordan then decided again to lie to the Board by saying he has received complaints. When asked what kind of complaints and from whom, Jordan answered, “I’m not going to speak. I’ll have my attorney. Councilmember vanEtten persisted, “So you’re not going to tell us anything about the complaints?” and Jordan answers, “No.”


Jordan to Board

Editor’s Note: New York State Consolidated Laws, Town Law does give the Town Board certain investigational powers including subpoena power, examination of witnesses, etc. We expect that if the Town Board were to have the Town Attorney research this, Mr Jordan could be forced to keep the Town Board properly informed. Letting Jordan get away with his criminality only aggravates an already unbearable situation, undermines the Town Board’s ability to govern, and erodes trust in local government. We would recommend subpoenaing Mr Jordan to provide the information demanded by the Town Board.

Besides, since when does a Highway Superintendent defy the Town Board and bring in his own attorney to mislead the Town Board. Who’s paying for this scheister from Albany? Are we taxpayers and residents paying for Jordan’s fun and games. We’re pretty certain he’s taking the money from the public purse. Attorneys don’t work for nothing unless there’s something in it for them.


As we reported above, Jordan has been the subject of a number of investigations that adversely affect his credibility and his fitness for office. In fact, the public has shown that they don’t trust him as evidenced by the fact that he was re-elected in 2015 by a margin of only one (1) vote! There is reason to believe that his opponent would have won if there weren’t some irregularities in not counting absentee ballots. We’re also investigating that possibility.

Jordan Has a History of Abuse of Public Office…and a Shithouse Lawyer…

Nothing to worry about! Meave Tooher’s on the case…hmmm…Yup, she is. I heard a flush.

Commenting on Meave Tooher’s, Jordan’s hired-gun attorney’s, letter, Town Attorney Rappelea noted in the minutes:

“I took a look at the letter that was provided [by Jordan] and it was off baseThe case law that was cited didn’t have anything to do with fences or right-of-ways or anything of that nature. And the section of law, Section 198 of the [New York State] Town Law has to do with the creation of a special drainage district. That’s nothing to do with fencing or right-of-way licenses. But the point is that we have have this one line, one sentence in our zoning law, and we have to abide by it.”

One sentence in the 119-pages of town zoning law. Get a grip people! Rappelea caved and admitted he made a mistake. The Town Board repealed its decision granting Ms Hildebrandt the temporary “license” to keep the fence. The Board with No Balls!

So dear readers and neighbors, we have Mr. Jordan harassing a local property owner for no reason at all. But this doesn’t affect just one property owner, it affects anyone with a fence, a stone wall, anything that Mr. Jordan thinks is in his definition of right-of-way. You’re all at his mercy now!

Even if Mr. Jordan’s attorney’s are better at bullshit than law, and even if Mr Jordan’s engineering consultants hired with your tax dollars report that in New Baltimore water runs uphill! And even if Mr. Jordan’s attorney Meave Tooher of the Albany law firm of Tooher and Barone, can’t tell the difference between a fence or right-of-way and a special drainage district, Mr. Jordan does have a special talent for avoiding his duties and obligations in favor of, well, doing favors for friends. That’s the subject of the following article. Click here to read about it.


Editor’s Notes: The source of the information above is from the official minutes of the New Baltimore Town Board in public session. Other information includes documents produced by the Town of New Baltimore in response to our demand for the production of documents under the provisions of the New York Freedom of Information Law.

Denis Jordan’s wife, Diane Jordan, is currently working in the New Baltimore Town Administration as Town Tax Collector, and is running for re-election this November. Diane Jordan is also a deputy town clerk in the Town of New Baltimore town hall.

We are currently investigating Denis Jordan’s relationship with Callanan Industries,  Inc., the company who provided the paving materials for the recent paving of Hamlet streets. The were supposed to lay two (2) inches of blacktop but raised the road surface 4-8 inches, in some spots up to 12-18 inches, creating safety hazards and nuisances, reducing the road width by about 18-24 inches, and causing problems with snow removal operations, according to a New Baltimore Highway Department plow driver. That’s really magic: quote to provide 2 inches of surface and raise the road bed by 8 inches! Wow! That’s fine, though, Denis Jordan has a close relationship with his suppliers. This time to the tune of more than $180,000. And George Amadore, our NYS Senator for the 46th Senate District hands over more than $142,000 from the NYS Consolidated Local Street and Highway Improvement Program (CHIPS) to waste on truckloads of unnecessary blacktop!!! Somebody’s making money on this deal and it isn’t the taxpayer or property owner!


 

A Toothless Town Board? New Baltimore Board Works for Hwy Super!

The list of misconduct and abuses grows and grows and grows for Town of New Baltimore Highway Superintendent Denis Jordan (D). The New Baltimore Town Board just sit and stare into space, wide-eyed, clueless while Jordan makes threats, harasses residents, creates dangerous hazards, damages private property, causes lawsuits against the Town, and even threatens the Board itself. Why does this craziness continue? why hasn’t the Town Board taken action against Jordan as provided under New York State Law? Politics? Cowardice? Ignorance? Indifference? Maybe a little of each but the incompetence and stupidity is damaging the entire community!

Why doesn’t the New Baltimore Town Board read the writing on the wall?


The entire New Baltimore Town Board met in public session on September 11, 2017. Supervisor Nick Dellisanti, Deputy supervisor Jeff Ruso, board members Shellie vanEtten, Chuck Irving, and Scott Brody were all present. Mr Denis Jordan, the under-fire New Baltimore Highway Superintendent, was sprawled in the last row. Four residents, three of them women, all with complaints against Jordan, were also present.

All four residents have significant claims against the Town of New Baltimore and all the claims are based on Jordan’s abuses, incompetence, and unethical practices. The four appeared at the meeting as a show of solidarity. One of them was to read a public statement into the record demanding answers to explain how Jordan has managed to keep his job while perpetrating all sorts of incompetent and crazy schemes.

We have the text of the resident’s public statement, and we’d like to share it with our readers now:


September 11, 2017

The Town Board of New Baltimore
New Baltimore Town Hall
3809 County Route 51
Hannacroix, New York 12087

Ladies, Gentlemen, Neighbors:

Subject:        Remarks addressed to the Board in Public Session.

I am here this evening to address the New Baltimore Town Board directly and to get answers to the many questions I have placed before the Town over the past year and a half regarding the lamentable performance of the Town of New Baltimore Highway Department under the authority and supervision of Mr Denis Jordan, Town of New Baltimore Highway Superintendent.

The Town of New Baltimore, in addition to the numerous email notifications and photographic documentation I have provided, has made at least one on site inspection visit of New Street, a roadway owned by the Town of New Baltimore, in response to the ongoing problems of runoff water drainage and the failure of the New Baltimore Highway Department to maintain gutters and storm drains. There is an at least six-year record of the incompetent installation of culverts, drains, and ditches and the resulting damage to private property in and around New Street.

In 2016, the town supervisor and deputy supervisor, as well as board member vanEtten personally visited the site of damage to private property. Mr Ruso himself discovered a culvert that was so poorly maintained that one end could not be identified. Two days after that inspection, Mr Dellisanti, Mr Ruso, Mr Jordan and Mr vanWormer were provided with a tour of the New Street and Madison Avenue East problem areas.  Shortly, thereafter, NBHD crews arrived to clear drainage ditches that had not been cleared of debris and vegetation for at least 2-3 years. They proceeded to identify the blind culvert and uncovered a drainage grate from under 2-3 inches of soil. Mr vanWormer remarked that he had no idea the drain was there, and he’d been with the department for at least 17 years. The department dug up the road, replaced the mystery culvert, installed culverts under two residential driveways, and left a so-called catchment hole and several bizarrely crafted storm drains. The runoff drainage problem was not cured.

The drainage problems were not cured and the department managed to create new hazards and aggravate the drainage situation.

In 2017, the town of New Baltimore Highway Department and its contractor Callanan, appeared unannounced and commenced paving operations in the Hamlet of New Baltimore. I personally sought out and questioned Mr vanWormer about what was planned, since residents were not provided with information, and the Town website merely stated that details would be announced; that notice still appeared even after the paving had been started and even after it had been completed.

The most recent operations of the NBHW department can be characterized best by saying it is half-assed done by halfwits! The epitome of jerry rigging.

Not only were the operations on New Street largely unsupervised by the Highway Department, upon arrival on the day New Street was done, I was practically speechless when I returned home at about 3:00 p.m. to find that the roadbed had been raised an average of 8-15 inches, a huge drop prevented one from using the front entrance to my home, another 10”curb made use of the second entrance a significant hazard. There was a raised sloped edge along the street on the East side measuring some 12-15 inches. You could not exit a car at the roadside and safely get out because of the slope and the drop-off.  The road has been substantially narrowed such that when unloading my car another car cannot safely pass by.

The highway department attempted to cure the drop-off to the residential parking areas by dropping crushed stone. That jerry rigged solution has failed because the stone is either compressing or washing away, leaving the dangerous curb exposed again. It’s incredible but the Department on the West side of New Street, right across the street and opposite the No 18 New St. parking area, deposited a blacktop ramp from the roadway onto the lawn of the Arndt property, apparently so that Ms Arndt can drive her car up onto her lawn. Even more bizarrely that ramp actually fills the drainage ditch along the West side of New Street, preventing runoff from draining along the ditch into the drains.

In another incompetent attempt to remedy the hazards caused by the deposition of untold truckloads of blacktop on New Street, the Department had to pour concrete steps supposedly to allow our entrances to be used. The concrete steps were not provided with a foundation and now vegetation is growing from under the steps. No doubt water can seep under the steps and frost will heave them. The concrete or cement mix used is obviously not the correct mix because the edges are already disintegrating, crumbling. At the top of the steps there continues to be a raised hump of approximately 6-8 inches in height, causing a significant hazard of tripping, and which will pose a particular problem in winter with ice and snow buildup. This needs to be corrected.

The Deputy [Highway] superintendent has already commented that the raised, sloped edge of the road will cause a problem when plowing in winter and will complicate snow removal.

In an apparent attempt to cure the raised edge of the roadway at the garage of No. 10, the Department dropped blacktop to form a sloped grade into the driveway. This sloped grade now forms a conspicuous channel along which runoff from the roadway is conducted into the foundations of No. 10 New Street. We continue to use sandbags there.

In short, ladies and gentlemen, not only has the Department created hazard after hazard, they have each time created a new problem.

There is no explanation why truckload upon truckload of blacktop had to be deposited on New Street to the extent of raising the road surface at least 8-10 inches above the pre-paving level! How much has that cost the taxpayers of this Town?


Editor’s Note: By any standard we consulted, the blacktop deposited by Mr Jordan’s contractors, Callanan Industries, should not have exceeded 2-2½ inches maximum. We can only speculate that the reason between 6 and 10 inches of blacktop was dumped on New Street was because Callanan Industries sells blacktop. What was in this excessive use for Mr Jordan, we might well ask?


And where was Mr Jordan when all of this was going on? Well, at 3 p.m. on the day New Street was being literally dumped on, Mr Jordan left early to attend a wake…regrettably not his own.

In the meantime, request after request after request has been brought to the Town to cure the hazards and remove the dangerous situations. The town has shown only indifference, and the incompetence and waste continues.

Rather than respond to residents’ concerns Mr Jordan prefers to harass a local woman property owner because of a privacy fence. Rather than cure the problems and remove the hazards created on New Street and elsewhere, Mr Jordan is off installing culverts on friends’ properties. I have heard of at least two such preferred operations going on in the Town over the past couple of months.

The glaring questions persist: Where is Mr Jordan getting the money to hire his own attorneys when the town has an attorney? Where is Mr Jordan getting the money to hire surveyors to continue his harassment of local property owners. Where is Mr Jordan getting the money to hire Delaware Engineering as consultants to establish that New Baltimore is the only place on Earth were water runs uphill? Where is the accountability? Where is the leadership? Where is the responsibility? Where is Mr Jordan getting the wherewithal to confront this board with his own threats of litigation? What has the board done in response to Mr Jordans now infamous refrain, “Let them sue us!”

Mr Jordan must be made accountable for the untold damage he has done as Superintendent of Highways not only in terms of incompetent roadwork, corrupt contract practices, but also to the trust and confidence of residents in this local government, a town board whose responsibility is to steward the public treasure and to act in good faith and fair play in performing their fiduciary duties to the residents of this town.

Ladies and Gentlemen, Mr Jordan must be held accountable. Mr Jordan must GO! And he must go NOW!

Need I remind you that this is an election year, and some of you are seeking re-election.  It doesn’t look good.

I am providing a copy of these remarks for the record and ask that the Clerk conform them as part of the record of this September 11, 2017, public regular session of the New Baltimore Town Board.


 


Mr Jordan was re-elected two years ago and won by ONE vote. With the public outcries and public knowledge of Denis Jordan’s years of misconduct and incompetence, waste of taxpayer money, abuse of residents, and his alleged favors being done for “friends” of Denis Jordan by Denis Jordan using Town of New Baltimore resources. Jordan’s neglect of his duties and obligations, his ignorance and incompetence, his questionable contracting procedures, and his refusal to respond to good faith questions posed by residents has been brought to the attention of the New Baltimore Town Board for almost 10 years now, multiple notifications, hundreds of photographs and yet Jordan is still there. Granted, two of the town boards were dominated by Democraps (under supervisors David Louis and Susan O’Rorke) and they wouldn’t lift a finger against their fellow Democrap, Denis Jordan. But now we have a Republican-dominated board and still nothing!!!


Editor’s Note: We have reliable and credible information that Jordan won the last elections by one vote because the Republican and Independent election leaders did not count the absentee votes for that election!!! If that is factually true, someone’s head has to roll. So much for the democratic process and we wonder why people don’t vote.

We have personally inspected the damage and situations described in the resident’s public statement, and we can verify those facts as being true. We have F.O.I.L.ed supporting documents from the Town of New Baltimore and those documents do not paint a pretty picture of the operations of the Highway Department much less of Mr Jordan’s management skills…they’re zilch! We have also spoken to the woman being harassed by Jordan. That woman keeps her property immaculate and takes great pains to keep it beautiful; Mr Jordan made the claims, stating that he had received several complaints about her property but would not say who made the complaints. In fact, he first made the complaints and only afterwards collected any facts. Sounds like harassment, putting the cart before the horse again, Mr Jordan.


We agree with the resident’s public statement and call on the New Baltimore Town Board to commence legal proceedings to remove Denis Jordan from office, to audit his performance and his recent dealings with Callanan and their paving operations in the Hamlet of New Baltimore, and to prosecute Jordan and his accomplices if illegal activity is revealed!

We want justice and compensation for those New Baltimore residents who have been injured by Jordan and his incompetent operations!

This book should be required reading for the Town Board!

The Editor

 

Perv Patrol Report: Judge needs to get a ticket or two.

Perv Patrol Report

Judge Violates Multiple Traffic Laws in One Trip

This Just in from Our Perv Patrol Reporter 

On Thursday, August 24, 2017, at about 3:30 p.m. I was leaving Price Chopper plaza in Glenmont, and was following another vehicle, a Ford F-150 ARE SUV, dark blue, and approaching Glenmont Road. There is a STOP sign there but the vehicle ahead of me ran the STOP signe as if it were invisible. No turn signals. I beeped a warning but it was too late. I pulled out and traveled towards Rt 144 and observed the vehicle to take a right turn onto Anders Lane, a short cut to Rt 144 I usually use, and he barreled down Anders Lane as if it was the Thruway (the recommended speed on that narrow tiny road is 10 mph). He attempted to run the stop sign but apparently reconsidered, seeing oncoming traffic. No signals, he made a right hand turn onto Rt 144. Going my way I followed the vehicle and watched as it weaved back and forth across the yellow line, wheels in the oncoming lane, then moving back across the road onto the shoulder, crossing the while shoulder line. I beeped again because he was obviously having a stroke, drunk or using his phone. Totally oblivious to my warnings the vehicle continue its erratic search for a lane, dangerously on the yellow line until the very last second even when several large trucks were approaching in the oncoming lane. At one point the vehicle crossed the shoulder line and I was almost certain I was going to witness an accident but he then returned to the center line. At this point I noted the license plate and attempted to take a picture of it. I was amazed! The license plate displayed the New York State seal and was an SMA plate, State Magistrates Association, the association whose members are New York State Judges!!!!  999 SMA. Gotcha!!! By now I was curious so I continued behind the vehicle all along 144 into Coeymans, and the vehicle turned right onto Church Street, again no signals. I had to go to Shop’n Save anyway so I continued following him until he turned onto Orchard Avenue and crossed Cary into Woodlawn. I didn’t follow, figuring the driver lived nearby, and so I continued on to Shop’n Save, planning to drive down Cary Street to see if I could find the parked vehicle and get an address. When I arrived at Shop’n Save Guess Who? was pulling in ahead of me! My old friend 999 SMA, the Hazardous Judge!!! I parked a short distance away hoping to get an ID on him but a woman passenger exited, and went into SnS. I tried to ID the driver but he was glaring at me so I avoided a confrontation. Driver: Male, late 50’s early 60’s.

Well, dear readers, there you are. One of our fine judiciary driving like a drunk and violating every rule in the book that he’d throw at you if you had to appear before him with a ticket or two. Of course with the SMA plates, it’s unlikely he’d have been stopped because the cops would ID him as a judge due to his SMA plates. Now is that fair? Why should someone drive like an idiot, endangering other peoples’ lives, breaking the law, and not be answerable.

We have to laugh because the New York State Commission on Judicial Conduct posts on its website that judges are to be held to a higher standard of conduct than the average person. We agree but have yet to see any of these arrogant bastards behaving any better than a local hooligan. In fact, most of our local judges are local hooligans, especially our town and village justices, most of whom don’t know their asses from their elbows!

But this enema bag who was observed by our Perv Patrol really needs to be ID-ed and shamed. We have his vehicle make, a Ford F-150, ARE sticker on the rear window, dark blue. His license plate is NY 999 SMA, not going to be hard to spot.

Help us ID this vehicle and it’s owner, the Jerky Judge who can’t pick a lane and stay in it.

If you see this vehicle parked at a residence or at a local town or village office or at a city or county building, please leave a comment. We’ll be working to ID this character but would like community help in putting a finger on him. He’s answerable just like the rest of us are.

You, sir, are an idiot!
The Editor

 

Campaign to Remove Denis Jordan from Public Office

PUBLIC SERVICE ANNOUNCEMENT

Campaign to Remove from Public Office
Town of New Baltimore Highway Superintendent
Denis Jordan
and to prevent his running for public office in future

We have been informed that there is a campaign being organized by residents and taxpayers of the Town of New Baltimore, County of Greene, New York, to collect and organize information and evidence to be used in support of an action to remove New Baltimore Superintendent of Highways, Denis Jordan.

For some time now Jordan has been the subject of numerous complaints and claims by residents of New Baltimore submitted to the Town Board of the Town of New Baltimore, but to date those complaints and claims have not been organized. This has all changed with some recent developments in the town, where Denis Jordan has finally crossed the line.

 

Taxpayers and Residents of the Town of New Baltimore are up in arms and claiming that Jordan:

  • Has abused and abuses his office and authority

  • Is unqualified and incompetent to hold the office of Town Highway Superintendent

  • Has abused his discretionary authorities as Town Highway Superintendent

  • Has shown special favoritism to select residents while abusing other residents in the context of his public office

  • As the result of the above has wasted public resources and obstructed the operation of good stewardship in New Baltimore Town government

  • Has abused employees of the New Baltimore Highways Department

  • Has exposed the Town of New Baltimore and its residents and taxpayers to unnecessary and burdensome legal actions and lawsuits

  • Causing damage to private property with a wanton indifference, and failure to respond to notifications of dangerous situations

  • Jordan has an established pattern of intimidation and bullying among Highway Department employees

  • Because of all of the above, Mr Jordan has placed the Town of New Baltimore at risk of losing its insurance coverage or being placed in a higher risk classification, which will result in additional expense and even reduced coverage of the Town of New Baltimore.

This list is not complete or exhaustive, since we are now on the track of investigating Mr Jordan and his dealings with local contracting companies, including Callanan Industries, Peckham Materials Corp. companies that have already been associated with Jordan’s questionable practices,  and others, in the public bidding processes, the planning and execution of roadwork, and the estimation of materials used in those projects. The picture is very grim from what we have been able to glean even at short notice. (Editor’s Note:  We’ve requested the bids and the background facts as well as the estimates of materials and the actual materials used by Callanan. We expect to prove serious criminal activity.)

According to informed and reliable sources,  Mr Jordan’s recent escapades and incompetence in conjunction with Callanan Industries’  “successful” but totally botched bid to execute repaving of streets in the Hamlet of New Baltimore, the Highway Department has been deluged with complaints from irate and angry residents complaining of the poor quality or disastrous effects of the work done by Callanan under Mr Jordan’s supervision.

In fact, on Monday, June 26, 2017, when Callanan crews were paving New Street and Madison Avenue, while New Baltimore crews were standing around counting farts on the corner of Madison Avenue and Rt 144, Mr Jordan left early, at around 3:00 p.m., to attend a wake. The wake was for a local but not a relative or close friend of Jordan, which raises the important question of: Couldn’t Jordan have stayed to supervise his contractors work on an important repaving project and stil paid his respects to the family of the deceased? After all, he could have left when the crews left at around 4:30, and had plenty of time to prepare for the wake, which certainly ran until at least 7 p.m. Shows where his priorities are. 

Suspicion was cast on Jordan’s re-election and his win over his former deputy highway superintendent Alan vanWormer; vanWormer lost the election by 1 (ONE!) vote. The election was not contested, which raised suspicions in the New Baltimore community.

We support the residents and taxpayers of New Baltimore in their efforts to clean up local government and to remove corruption, incompetence and crookedness. We urge all of our readers to support those courageous residents and taxpayers seeking to remove Jordan from office and to better local government and quality of life.

I you have any information or a complaint or know of anyone who has information about Jordan or wishes to file a complaint, we are here to assist you. Please contact us directly at rcs.confidential@gmail.com or write to us c/o P.O. Box 422, New Baltimore, New York 12124. All contacts will be strictly confidential and no information identifying you will be shared or published without your express written permission. We also encourage you to leave a comment telling all of our readers about any of your experiences with the New Baltimore Highway Department or Mr Jordan.

Recent roadwork done by Callanan Industries done under t he direct authority and supervision by Mr Jordan has generated a deluge of complaints and general dissatisfaction. According to a well informed and reliable source, the New Baltimore Highway Department has received numerous telephone complaints about the shoddy work done. Rather than call the Highway Department, where it is almost certain that your complaint will be lost in the dust, we recommend you make your complaint known via this blog, and then to write directly to the New Baltimore Town Board. That way you’ll be heard.

Please share this information with your family, friends and neighbors. It’s our duty and obligation to ensure that our New Baltimore community is a model of good government, honest and competent elected officials and public employees, and that our sense of community stands as an example for our surrounding communities. Your contribution to this effort will put all questionable and corrupt elected officials and public employees on notice that we will not tolerate ignorance, indifference, incompetence or dishonesty being paid for with our tax dollars.

Do your part and share what you know!

The Editor

 

 

Politics, Power, Patronage and Conflicts of Interest: The Albany County Coroners Office

From its Very Beginnings, the Office of the Coroner was Tainted by Politics, Greed and Corruption.

The office of the coroner has existed for about 800 years and began in England, in the 12th century (1194) when the office of the “crowner” was created to investigate suspected felony deaths. Then, as now, there was government interest in such deaths and it wasn’t justice or public health. You see, the coroner, if he found that the death was due to a felony, would then investigate and confiscate the felon’s property, which went to the crown. Of course the coroner would get a cut of the goods, too. So, from its very beginnings, the office of the coroner was tainted by politics, greed and corruption. Add to this toxic mix the Democrat political machine in Albany, and it can’t get much worse.


Three out of the four incumbent coroners are Guess what? funeral directors actively practicing in the Albany County region. Charles Smoot, the de rigueur token African American at the Albany County Coroner’s office, and one coroner the others would like to get rid of for a number of reasons, John Keegan, and Paul Marra are funeral directors and work as coroners. There’s a conflict of interest here because the coroner has to call a funeral director or funeral home to take custody of the body after the investigation. If you were in the business, who would you call?

Timothy Cavenaugh owes his claim to the coroner’s office to his political connections and to the fact that his father, James Cavenaugh, was Albany County Coroner before him. It appears that the Albany County coroner is not only political, it’s hereditary.

You’ve all seen the Newcomer Cryptkeeper ads on TV.

It does get worse, though, and here’s how: One of the contenders for the elected position is Frank Simmons, another funeral director, who — according to the recent Albany Times Union report —  works for Guess who? Newcomer Funerals and Cremations in Albany. Yes, that’s the same nickel-and-diming, factory funeral provider that’s part of the Newcomer Funeral Services Group, the funeral home chain that operates in some 10 states. Newcomer just opened a new location in Latham and it seems they need more bodies so why not run for coroner? Does anyone see the plan, the agenda, the potential for corruption and conflicts of interest in this coroner system as it operates in Albany County? (The Holubs dumpster-diving moghuls of the Ghettochopper, that is, Pricechopper fame have bought a share of Albany government; now it’s Newcomer Funerals and Cremations who what their share of the local action?)


Editor’s Note:

If you haven’t had the opportunity to read our articles on Newcomer Funerals and Cremations, Service Corporation International (a.k.a. Dignity Memorial), and StoneMor, please see our articles at:


In a 2010 article published in the Times Union  (Coroner saw much in his decades on job, Times Union, November 24, 2010) reported on an Albany County Coroner, Bill Loetterle (now deceased, see his obituary), in which Loetterle describes some of his experiences, and provides some insights into the operations of the coroner’s position in Albany County. He describes how in one case he was ready to call a murder, the police stepped in and overruled him calling it a suicide. Sends up red flags already. He describes serious mistakes being made in the coroner’s office like getting names wrong for the bodies in their custody. In that article, Dr Jeffrey Hubbard, a pathologist working with the Albany County Coroners Office is quoted as saying “the coroners office doesn’t have the answers and doesn’t know when they are going to come about. They are waiting for the pathologist, or pathology lab or for the police.” Makes you wonder why there’s a coroners office in the first place.

Then why have the extra level, the coroners, if they don’t have the answers and have to rely on the pathologist or the police? The County of Albany is already paying the pathologists and the police are already on the payroll. Sounds political and corrupt to us.

You might go back to Loetterle’s tale about the homicide called suicide by the police, overruling the opinion of the coroner. Do you really think that isn’t possible given the fact that the politics in Albany County run law enforcement and the coroners office? Better think again!

Former Albany County Coroner William Loetterle was a Purchasing Agent at GE

So, Loetterle (A Democrat, of course!) came on board as an appointed part-time coroner in 1979 and stayed on the job until 2010, 30 years! Loetterle worked for GE as a purchasing agent. That’s the qualification of the guy who’s going to determine the circumstances of a suspicious or unattended death, whether on the street or in the hospital, and sign the death certificate. It’s no wonder that death statistics are so screwed up!

In the TU 2010 article, though, Mr Loetterle, if you don’t believe he was part of the machine, totally unqualified and just outright ignorant, we read that in his “educated” opinion, “having coroners is better than having medical examiners because it’s much less costly for the taxpayers.” We’ve done a thorough study of the coroner and ME system and we know that that statement is categorically untrue and incorrect, as we’ll point out below.

Albany County Coroners are so good that they actually sent a woman who was still alive to the morgue!

The coroner is poorly trained and doesn’t have the necessary education to do the job

Furthermore, the office of coroner is for all practical purposes antiquated and obsolete. Moreover, it’s more costly to taxpayers because it actually duplicates effort and costs, and is actually detrimental to the public health efforts and programs at state and federal level because the coroner is poorly trained and doesn’t have the necessary education to do the job. That and the fact that it’s an elected position and only those candidates that get local political party approval get on the ballot.


Incompetence goes viral….

In a New York Times article, the writer refers to the coroners office as a “relic.” The article goes on to describe how an elderly woman was found in her apartment in an Albany complex for the elderly:

The old woman was sprawled on her living room floor, cold and motionless, and the apartment manager who found her on Wednesday was sure she was gone. Paramedics and the Albany County Coroner… found no heartbeat, no pulse, no breath or other signs of life, and the [Albany] coroner declared her officially dead.

They zipped Mildred C. Clarke, 86, 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.  (NYTimes

Albany paramedics and an Albany County coroner declare the woman dead, transfer her to Albany Medical Center, and no one there has any interest in confirming she’s dead or alive, and she gets put into a refrigerator where she stays until a morgue attendant notices the body bag moving. Something out of a horror flick? Hell, NO! It’s Albany County and Albany Medical Center at work!

Lucky she wasn’t an organ donor! But according to a NYT follow-up report Mrs Clark later died a week later at Albany Medical Center of ‘undisclosed causes,’ according to an Albany Medical Center spokesperson. (NYTimes)

William X Kienzle even includes the incident in his book, Requiem for Moses  (Kienzle, William X. Requiem for Moses. Kansas City: Andrews McMeel Pub, 2013). That’s how Albany County gets on the map, we suppose.


So that brings us to another Times Union article published just recently, on May 23, 2017, entitled “Albany coroners race could have Democratic Primary. Democratic nominees face 4 others in Albany County” The reporter writes, “following a long, often contentious and disorganized Albany County Democratic Committee meeting…two incumbent coroners secured the Democratic nomination” for the coroner posts up for re-election. Four others were also endorsed by the Democrats. Can it get any more political?

Of course, the Albany County Democratic Committee chairman, Jack Flynn, would not comment on the strong interest in the coroner post but we will.

Albany County: No politics. No power. No patronage. No way!

A couple of years ago, Albany County considered changing over to the medical examiner system where a licensed and specially trained physician would do the death investigations (“Charter panel weighs coroner’s role,” Times Union, April 29, 2013). That article describes the Albany County Charter Committee as “11-member panel will tread lightly around the perception that it’s bent on curtailing anyone’s power.” Power. Not the public’s interests or welfare but power. The article is otherwise uninformative beyond confirming the corruption of the Albany Democratic machine and the infighting.

Somehow Albany has managed to misinform and keep the electorate ignorant and County Executive McCoy, Democratic Committee chairman Flynn, Majority Leader Frank Commisso (majority leader since 1993!), and certainly not the coroners or their highly-paid local pathologists or Albany Medical Center, whose facilities the Albany County Coroners Office uses for storing bodies and for forensic examinations. They all have an interest in keeping the obsolete and antiquated Albany County Coroners Office in place despite good evidence that it should be dumped and replaced by a medical examiner system. But no politics, no power, no patronage? No way!

This wouldn’t be a political position and would be governed by the professional ethics and oversight agencies that watchdog physician’s activities. But that wouldn’t be something the Albany Democrats would be interested in, would it? No politics. No power. No patrons. No way!

We should mention here that both Schenectady and Rensselaer Counties, as well as the majority of the rest of the country, especially those more advanced locales, have opted for the medical examiner system over and against the coroner system. There are many good reasons for this and we’ll be discussing them in future parts of this series of articles. The unfounded opinion of some supporters of the Albany County Coroners Office that the coroner system is less expensive to tax payers are misinformed and make no sense. The coroner system is in most studies of the system found to be incompetent, inefficient, expensive, and detrimental to the public’s health. Too many unqualified or politically ambitious people tend to seek these offices and should take their egos on a vacation. Coroners, at least the Albany County Coroners, have another agenda, as we’ll point out below.

But in the old days, local docs could be found who would sell their signature for a Tootsie Roll., and we have evidence of one physician, now deceased, who assisted the Office of the Albany County Coroner by signing death certificates for a fee-per-signature; he was actually selling his signature for a fee, and didn’t give a damn what was on the DC. His cause of death was always ASD, heart disease! If you examine the death certificates he signed you’ll find he certified almost every single death inappropriately using an abbreviation (more on this later), ASD, “arteriosclerotic disease”, making the false impression that almost every death investigated by the Office of the Coroner was due to heart disease. Think of what that could mean to national statistics on death due to heart disease if such corruption is widespread! It is. And published studies prove that fact. Scientific, peer-reviewed studies show that heart disease as a cause of death was a highly reported fake cause of death. It was over-reported by ignorant people completing death certificates with no qualifications, or who didn’t really care what the cause of death was, so cardiac death was an easy way out.  Frequently still is.

Investigating Deaths with Almost No Qualifications!

Studies also show that coroners and many physicians do not know how to properly complete a death certificate. And many physicians don’t know when they are legally authorized to sign a death certificate, frequently giving an incorrect cause of death. If physicians can make those blunders think of the damage an untrained, poorly educated coroner like Bill Loetterle, Charles Smoot and others like them can do!

The On-call coroner Frequently Doesn’t Even Go to the Scene but Completes and Signs a Death Certificate

If it works for one, it’ll work for many. This scandalous practice continues to be the case. We have received information from the Albany County Coroner’s office that when a call reporting a death is made to the Office of the Albany County Coroner, the coroner goes directly to the scene of the death, investigates, makes his report, and, depending on his findings, completes the death certificate and signs it. That’s what the coroner’s office tells us.  What we have learned from some professionals who work with the Albany County Coroner’s Office is that the on-call coroner frequently doesn’t even go to the scene but completes and signs a death certificate. Incredible? Maybe, but really quite likely knowing how Albany County operates.

Now let’s have a closer look at Albany County before we proceed with a more detailed discussion of what MEs and coroners are required to do and how it affects us as individuals, and as a state and nation. Albany has been a Democrat party stronghold literally for generations, and the Party has a stranglehold on public office. Most of the institutions in the City of Albany and Albany County are controlled by the local Democrats who have established a powerful system of patronage: If you’re not a Democrat and a log-roller, or you don’t know someone in City Hall, you simply don’t get a job or you don’t get elected. It’s a simple but corrupt system to say the least. Qualifications or credentials may play a role but it’s really who you know, not what you know. So it’s no big surprise to note that all of the Albany County Coroners, all elected officials, are all Democrats.

You may also find it interesting to know that two of the four coroners are licensed funeral directors running local funeral homes, Paul Marra of Marra Funeral Home (Cohoes), and John Keegan of Magin & Keegan Funeral Home (Albany). One of the coroners, Charles Smoot, claims to be a licensed funeral director, and if he is he must be doing behind the scenes work – so-called “trade” work — for other funeral homes; no one seems to know where he works but the Albany County Coroner’s office confirms that he is a licensed funeral director. Informants in the funeral services business in Albany tell us they never see him at any continuing education events, a requirement for funeral directors and for coroners. So Smoot, as we have mentioned, may be just a fixture in the Coroners Office, the token, but even so, he’s not popular in the Albany County Coroners Office. They’ve been trying to get rid of him for some time now, we hear. We also have information that alleged funeral director-coroner Charles Smoot has close connections with Anthony Perniciaro of the McLoughlin & Mason Funeral Home (Troy) so guess who’s likely to get Smoot’s bodies.

How Public Office is Inherited in Albany County

The fourth Albany County coroner is Timothy Cavanaugh is a good example of how positions in the Albany Democrat machine get handed out, or in Cavanaugh’s case, handed down. Timothy is the son of a former, now dead, Albany County coroner, James Cavanaugh. The Cavanaugh dynasty is an example of how public office is inherited in Albany County. The same is true of one other coroner, Paul Marra, son of former coroner John Marra, also of Marra funeral Home in Cohoes. See the patterns? We’d also like to note that Paul Marra and John Keegan are not listed as owners on their respective funeral home web pages. We find that rather questionable, since we feel that those web pages should list the owners’ names or at least let the visitor know who is running the show. Or is does this have more sinister implications related to the owner’s holding a public elected office and possible conflicts of interest. You know, of course, that the coroners have to contact a licensed funeral home to transfer and take custody of the body once the investigation is completed.

Magin & Keegan Funeral Home, Cohoes

So we found it a bit suspicious when we asked about funeral homes used by the coroners, the Albany County Coroner’s Office could provide no information on which funeral homes the coroner’s tend to use for transferring the deceased. Three coroners who are funeral directors, two of whom own funeral homes, and one of which claims to be a licensed funeral director with close connections with a Troy funeral home. Now there couldn’t be any conflict or interest or abuse of public office here, could there? Not in Albany County?

And it does get even worse…

John Keegan not only co-owns and operates Capital District Affordable Cremations LLC in Albany, New York, Anthony Pernicaro of McLoughlan and Mason Funeral Home, Troy, is also one of the co-owners. That’s the same Anthony Pernicaro and the same McLoughlan and Mason Funeral Home we connected with Albany County Coroner Charles Smoot! Insider information received from local funeral home operators indicates that the three Albany County Coroner/Funeral Directors are abusing their positions to steer business to their own funeral homes and their other businesses.

Given the importance of ethics and integrity in public office and the adverse effect on health statistics information collected by death investigators like coroners, you’d think recordkeeping would be a high-priority item on the list of coroner administrative requirements; after all, it’s the office that is required to collect information and report it on such a serious occurrence such as a death. Well, recordkeeping is not really a very high priority in the Albany County Office of Coroners.

Here are just a couple of deficiencies we found in our investigation:

First of all, we place great value on documentation and fact-finding. This requires a system and it also requires a knowledge of how information and data collection affect other departments, programs and even government agencies. Apparently, the Albany County Coroners Office got left in the 1300s, while other locales changed over to the medical examiner system or at least developed data collection forms that reflect the importance of the death investigation data collected during the coroner call.

If anything clearly demonstrates the substandard workings of the Albany County Coroners Office, it’s the form used for documenting the death investigation. Here’s an Albany County Coroners Call Sheet used to document the facts of the scene investigation. Compare it to this one from Indiana (+coroners general death investigation protocol_indiana)or even this simplified one from Cleveland (+Coroner-Call Sheet (Cleveland Ohio)). But our investigation found even more substandard practices in the Albany County Coroners Office. Here are just a few:

  • No up-to-date or upgraded software for entering and administering information collected by coroners (A key employee of the Albany coroners’ office tells us that the software they are using dates back to the 1980’s and has not been updated; the office can’t do queries or generate reports from the software. What’s up with this, Albany County?) (Per information received from the Coroners Office, “The computer system used by The Albany County Coroner’s Office is an internal spread sheet that has been created for our use. All records are also kept as paper copy within the Albany County Hall of Records.”)
  • No way to determine which coroner had which case and when (Wouldn’t that be of interest when you consider almost 1000 coroner calls in 2015 and more than 900 coroner calls in 2016?)
  • No way to report cases that were closed without autopsy and those that went to autopsy
  • No way to determine which coroner used which funeral home to transfer the body Now that’s convenient, isn’t it, considering that three of the coroners are funeral directors, two of whom own funeral homes, and one of whom allegedly has a close connection with a Troy funeral home?)
  • An unacceptable delay in getting autopsy reports: up to 90 days! When cases go to autopsy, there is a significant delay in getting the autopsy reports from the medicolegal/forensic pathologist (the Albany coroners office has four pathologists on call Drs Hubbard, Sikirica, Balasubramaniam (“Dr Bala”), and a Dr Ing, and one physician assisting the coroners, a Dr John Len). So why the delay in the autopsy reports and the consequent delay in closing the case?
  • Apparently there is no way for the coroners office to report which cases are pending closure and which are closed.
  • Cases are not tabulated by coroner; they are tabulated only as a total The Albany County Office of Coroners is unable to list dates of coroner’s calls with a corresponding coroner’s name, location, funeral home, or case closing date. We find this to be gross dereliction of responsibilities!
  • The Albany County Office of Coroners does not keep a list of funeral homes used by the coroners. We don’t wonder Why? Do you?
  • Contrary to personal informal reports we have received, and which resulted in our interest in this topic, the Albany County Office of Coroners tells us that they have received no complaints regarding the performance of their coroners. (Per the Coroner’s Office, “As stated above any complaints against The Albany County Coroners would go through The Albany County Board of Legislators. In checking with them on this matter, no complaints have been filed against this office.” Do you wonder?)

Although the coroners have no medical training, and can be elected from any status in the general public, as long as they can get on the ballot. According to statute coroners must participate in a minimal death investigation course. The Albany County Office of Coroners reports that “all” county coroners receive annual training through the

  • New York State Association of Coroners and Medical Examiners (NYSACME)
  • The American Board of Medicolegal Death Investigation
  • The American Academy of Family Physicians (AAFP), and
  • Funeral Director CEU (continuing education units).

We note that the Albany County Office of Coroners response clearly reads “[a]ll of our coroners receive yearly training through those organizations. Does “all” mean all as in every, each? If it does we have some questions. One of those questions arise because we have personal communications from funeral professionals who state that they don’t see Charles Smoot at any of the funeral director continuing education events (CEU). Where is he getting his continuing training? Who’s paying for it? The answer to the first question is: Nobody knows. The answer to the second question is: We are.

Given the inadequate documentation, and without some documentation of a coroner’s whereabouts at a particular time a coroner’s case is called in and a death investigation is supposedly being done it will be very difficult if not impossible, to defend against any claims that the coroners are not attending at the death scene but are signing death certificates without due and diligent investigation. This is a serious issue and must be responded to and dealt with. We now publicly submit this question to the Albany County Office of Coroners and demand a response.

Here’s what the Albany County Budget for 2017 lists for the Albany County Coroners Office:

 Albany County Coroners Office Personnel Count

2015 2016 2017
A 1185 Personnel Count 6 6 6
A1185 Coroner $725,824 $733,039 $733,239
2014 2015 2016
A 1185 Personnel Count 6 6 6
A1185 Coroner $693,504 $727,294 $728,729

So the budget figures don’t lie but they also don’t tell the whole story. So we filed several demands for production of documents and information under the New York State Public Officers Law or the Freedom of Information Law. All criticisms aside, we have to give credit where credit is due: The clerk / administrator and confidential secretary at the Albany County Coroners Office have been very helpful and forthcoming, and we hope honest — in providing information in response to our demands. Unfortunately, much of what they provided does not speak in favor of the coroners office:

Albany Medical Center Propaganda

In 2015, Albany Medical Center performed all of 222 autopsies for the Albany County coroners. In 2016 , Albany Medical Center again performed a majority of our 230 autopsies for Albany County. Ellis Hospital began a contract with Albany County at this time but, according to the Coroners Office “a breakdown of these numbers is not possible with out going through each case by hand.” This is the 21st century, people! Everyone has computer software for keeping these sorts of records! Why doesn’t Albany County?

Albany County does not bill for out-of-county residence. If a person dies within Albany County, Albany County picks up the cost of Coroner involvement, pursuant to New York State Law. According to a Times Union report these costs totaled nearly $113,000 from January 2012 to August 2013 (“The dead’s tab: $61,426. When a patient flown to Albany Med dies, Albany County pays for the autopsy.” Times Union, November 25, 2014). During that same period the $61,426 for 56 outside cases in 2012 accounted for about 10 percent of the coroner’s overall $603,000 2013 budget. .But they can and should bill the cost back to the county of residence.

As mentioned above, the Albany County Coroners Office uses outside pathologists: Jeffrey Hubbard MD, Michael Sikirica MD, and Nadarajah Balasubramaniam MD a.k.a. Dr Bala. We demanded information regarding the costs of pathologist services and the Coroners Office provided these figures:

Pathology rates per patient:
Autopsy 770.00
Certification of Death 75.00
Review of records/exam/Certification 360.00

 

Amounts Paid to Pathologists
Per year
2015
Dr. Hubbard $46,980.00
Forensic Medical Services
Drs Sikirica and Balasubramaniam
$138,075.00
2016
Dr. Hubbard $68,125.00
Forensic Medical Services
Drs Sikirica and Balasubramaniam
$146,725.00

Albany Medical Center Autopsy Room

In addition to the three pathologists, John Len MD is a so-called physician assisting the coroners. Len was paid $3,350.00 in 2015, and $11,285.00 in 2016 for “assisting” Albany County coroners. Len, in other words, sells his signature to certify deaths when there is no personal physician.

Albany Medical Center has been the Albany County Coroners Office’s primary autopsy and lab and facility for the years 2015 and 2016. Ellis Hospital (Schenectady) began a contract with Albany County at the end of 2016, it is on a trial basis continuing through 2017.

Amount Paid to Albany Medical Center (Autopsy Services)
2015
Albany Medical Center $198,890.94
2016
Albany Medical Center $189,532.98
Ellis Hospital $6,550.00

Additional Laboratory Testing Services: In 2015 and 2016 National Medical and Bender Laboratories were used for additional toxicology services.

2016
National Medical $7,242.00
Bender Laboratories $27,500.00
2015
National Medical $13,881.66
Bender Laboratories $1770.00

We have demanded this same information from the Schenectady and Rensselaer Medical Examiner Offices and from the Greene County Office of the Coroner. As of this writing, their responses are still outstanding. Once we receive that information, we will publish a comparison of the systems.

Literally thousands, perhaps tens of thousands of deaths in Albany County are in a limbo land thanks to the decrepit and irresponsible administration of coroner records in the Albany County Coroners Office

Whereas the New York State Department of Health (NYDOH) has implemented an Electronic Death Registration System (EDRS) in a number of counties in New York State,  implementation of the system in 2017 does not alter the fact that substandard recordkeeping in the Albany County Coroners Office has prevented any attempt at quality control or even retrieval of important data for administrative, study or research purposes. This means that information on literally thousands, perhaps tens of thousands of deaths in Albany County are in a limbo land thanks to the decrepit and irresponsible administration of coroner records in the Albany County Coroners Office.

It’s too little too late for many and we really have to ask the burning question, “Who dropped the ball for so many years?”

It’s the 21st century and it was a long time in finally coming but is still not fully implemented throughout the state, New York State’s Electronic Death Registration System (EDRS) in a secure web-based system for electronically registering deaths. EDRS simplifies the data collection process and enhances communication between health care providers and medical certifiers, medical examiners/coroners, funeral directors, and local registrars as they work together to register deaths. That having been said, it’s too little too late for many and we really have to ask the burning question, “Who dropped the ball for so many years?”

For now, though, Albany County Residents and our readers far and wide can draw their own conclusions about Albany County and it’s questionable rationale in keeping the obsolete, inefficient, and antiquated Albany County Coroners Office, apart from the obvious corrupt and self-serving political, power, patronage and economic interests involved.

We’d like to invite you to share your experiences of the coroner and medical examiner system with us. We’ll share them with our readers to enable them to be better informed and to improve their public health systems.

It’s time to do a forensic autopsy on Albany County and the Albany County Coroners Office!

Time to Autopsy the
Albany County Coroners Office
The Editor


Editor’s Note

The Albany Times Union reported that Mr Frank Simmons, one of the controversial candidates for Albany County Coroner, is an employee of Newcomer Funerals and Cremations: “Simmons, a funeral home director at New Comer Funerals and Cremations, intend[s] to petition to be on the ballot for the Democratic primary in September.” We have received information from a reliable source and in the funeral service business that Simmons is not employed by Newcomer but by the John J. Sandvidge Funeral Home, Troy. We are looking into this information and have notified Ms Amanda Fries, author of the Times Union article.


 

 
3 Comments

Posted by on May 25, 2017 in Abuse of Public Office, Albany, Albany County Coroner, Albany County Coroners Office, Albany County District Attorney, Albany County Elections, Albany County Executive, Albany County Executive, Albany County Legislature, Albany County Sheriff Department, Albany County Supervisor, Albany Police, Anthony Perniciaro, Arthur Fitch, Bill Loetterle, Bring out your dead, Bureau of Funeral Directing, Capital District, Charles Smoot, Conflict of Interest, Corruption, County Legislator, Craig D. Apple Sr., Dan McCoy, Daniel McCoy, David Soares, Death, Death Certificate, Death Investigation, Democratic Party Committee, Dignity Memorial, EDRS, Elected Official, Electronic Death Registration System, Favoritism, Frank Commisso, Frank Simmons, Freedom of Information Law, Greene County, Greene County Coroner, Greene County District Attorney, Greene County Sheriff, Hudson Valley, Jack Flynn, James Cavanaugh, Jeffrey Hubbard, John Keegan, John Len, Law Enforcement, Licensed Funeral Director, Magin & Keegan Funeral Home, Marra Funeral Home, McLoughlin & Mason Funeral Home, Michael Sikirica, Nadarajah Balasubramaniam, National Funeral Directors Association, New York State, New York State Funeral Directors Association, Newcomer Funeral Home, Newcomer Funeral Services Group, Newcomer Funerals and Cremations, Nick Facci, NYS Assembly, NYS Senate, P. David Soares, Paul Marra, Public Corruption, Rensselaer County Medical Examiner, Richard Touchette, Rick Touchette, Schenectady County Medical Examiner, SCI, Service Corporation International, StoneMor, Timmothy Cavanaugh, Uncategorized, William Loetterle

 

Tragedy or Failure? Watch what you do; take personal responsibility for things like this!

A truly sad event occurred in the morning hours of April 25, 2017, when a young man died as the result of an unfortunate vehicular traffic accident. The event has been called “tragic” but we’d like to call it instructive and meaningful. Logan Penzabene’s death on April 25 was not just the loss of a son, a friend, a young man whose life would have been full of promise; it was a wake-up call to every single politician, law enforcement person, and every member of this bereft community and beyond. The roadside memorials will disintegrate, the tears will dry up, the body will be buried but will the problems and failures persist?

Watch what you do; take personal responsibility for things like this!

The media reports that “The tragic crash took place in the midst of Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s teen safe driving campaign, and law enforcement babbles, and as Bethlehem Police Commander Adam Hornick babbles, “It’s even more unfortunate that we had this crash urging a campaign like this where we have such a concentrated effort by law enforcement to cut down on incidents like this.” Hornick hopes others will take the crash as a reminder to drive safe on the roads. Don’t we all?

Regardless of what Gov. Mario Cuomo puts out there politically or what Hornick makes as a public statement on behalf of law enforcement, the fact remains, that many reports and complaints have been made to local law enforcement and to the New York State Police regarding the safety of vehicular traffic on Route 144, where this accident occurred, claiming the life of another young person and severely injuring another.

We made a direct complaint to New York State Police at the toll plaza 22 of the New York State Thruway…

In fact, several weeks ago, we made a direct complaint to New York State Police at the toll plaza 22 of the New York State Thruway regarding the very real and present problem of operators, including passenger vehicles and heavy commercial vehicles, running the stop signs at Rt 144. Details were provided to responding State Troopers but to date we have not been able to observe any police presence at the times we reported such activity nor at any other time.

The New York State Police seem to have plenty of money, personnel and time to escort oversized vehicles down Rt 144, even when commericial escort should be available and doing that service, but the NYS Police don’t seem to have time to enforce the vehicular laws of this state. People are endangered, injured and killed as a result. Why is that?

Know what this means?

We have repeatedly reported on the careless and dangerous operation of vehicles entering and exiting the Port of Coeymans and adjacent Coeymans Industrial Park properties but we have seen no enforcement action taken at that location. Illegal and dangerous passing by motorists when a slow-moving truck pulls out in front of them. Decoy cars parked unlawfully and dangerously on the roadside but no visible control of the heavy truck traffic. Why is that?

On Aprll 25, 2017, Logan Penzabene was killed when he crossed into the on coming lane of traffic. Why was that? What caused him to migrate into that other lane and strike the oncoming vehicle? Texting, using a phone, horsing around in the car? Didn’t take more than a second and it happened! Where are we, people? In LA-LA Land?

The Penzabene Accident Scene

On the one hand we can speak of our unrealistic notion that we are in control of events and that such things are preventable. That’s part of our LA-LA Land arrogance and is somehow believing in magic. Something that is preventable reasonbably leads to the conclusion that if it happened and was not prevented that some mistake was made, and if a mistake was made, someone obviously made it, barring any notion or proof of mechanical failure. In Logan’s case, complete failure of his steering wheel. So if the accident was due to human error, what was it?

Signs pointing in the direction of failure of programs…

While we, as human beings, are blasted into reality when such an event occurs, that reality regrettably lasts only until the memorial shrine disintegrates or a couple of days after the funeral. Then it’s back to business as usual. Here’s the stupid-rule: the more stupidity, more so-called tragedies. But the real tragedy is still the stupidity. The stupidity of educators, parents, law enforcement and policy makers. These events are not just deaths, they are evidence of failures but no one seems to think of these events as signs pointing in the direction of failure of programs. So the so-called tragedies continue.

It’s half-arsed damage control…

Quite frankly, it’s half-arsed damage control when the RCS school district plays the caring and compassionate student-centered educators by announcing that “grief counselors are being made available to students and staff in the Ravena-Coeymans-Selkirk school district. This follows the death of RCS grad, Logan Penzabene. He was killed in a car crash Tuesday in Selkirk.” Too little, too late  And if RCS Superintendent of Schools Robert Libby sent a letter home with each student in the district informing families about the fatal accident Wednesday, he’s going to have to do a hell of a lot more than just sending students home with letters. But does he have any clue what to do?

Cuomo’ s public announcement of a so-called “teen safe driving campaign” isn’t going to do it. Hornick’s wishful thinking and so-called efforts to cut down on inicidents” like the Penzabene incident isn’t going to come to any fruition. Why? Because they are smoke and mirror shows, empty!

If efforts and programs worked, why is it, as Hornick reports, that “[T]he community has already been through this; the town has,” Hornick said. “This is the second fatal in town in six months.” Second “fatal” but what about the others, the non-fatal ones. If Hornick’s efforts were as colorful as his title,  Bethlehem Police Commander, maybe we’d see some change.

In our May 3 article “Enuf already! Freaks and Scofflaws” we  reported on a local business vehicle apparently operated by an employee of Eagle Tools in West Coxsackie. That report was provided on the very day of Penzabene’s funeral, on May 3! That truck ran a stop sign, was traveling at a low speed, was crossing over into the oncoming lane numerous times, never used a turn signal. And that’s someone allegedly with a commercial driver’s license!

And what about the rest of you? You’re all just as guilty! Just open your eyes while you’re driving and observe what’s happening around you, and the hazards and dangers being created randomly by your fellow vehicle operators. Better still, just count the hazardous and dangerous habits you have behind the wheel. Precious cargo on board signs merely obstruct visibility even if you were using your rear view mirrors; programs and efforts don’t work unless the community actively commits to the program and actively participates in the efforts.

What are you doing to ensure you don’t get that knock at the door or that telephone call starting,
“I’m afraid I have some bad news…”

This is not the time to start thinking…

It would also help if law enforcement did less talking and responded more proactively to real complaints and reports of vehicular misconduct and careless operation.

Cuomo is a politician and spends most of his time in a very secure environment, most of the time in New York City. We have to live in the community. We have to use the roads. We have to try to stay alive despite the stupidity of those around us. What to we do about stupidity? Well, you could start by being less stupid yourselves.

So forget all the empty “You’re in our prayers” crapola. Forget the roadside memorials. Forget the sentimental expressions of superficial sympathy. Forget Cuomo and his idiotic empty programs. And forget law enforcement efforts that are practically non-existent if we can judge by their response to real complaints and ongoing problems. Do something that is really effective: Mind your manners!

While human compassion blots out reason in the acute moments of such loss, and loss it is in myriad ways, and our heartfelt sympathy goes out to Logan’s devastated family and friends, we have to look at this event as having an incredible meaning for everyone: Logan’s death has become an icon, an icon that demands that we take responsibility for our own actions and accept accountability. If Logan’s death is to have any meaning at all, it’s up to his young friends, his community, and all of us to be responsible and obey our laws, take our time, be mindful of the moment, and to realize our duties and obligations not only to ourselves but to those around us as well. Period.

Read a Related Article at No Empty Chair at the Dinner Table.

Download the final article from Spirituality & GriefcareNo Empty Chair

Thank you, Logan!
The Editor