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Category Archives: RCS Central School District

Ravena-Coeymans-Selkirk Board of Education Disses 911 Remembrance!!!

All over the United States, in schools, churches, government offices, courtrooms the terror attacks of September 11, 2001, were being remembered by observing a moment of silence.

The Ravena-Coeymans-Selkirk Board of Education Disses 911 Remembrance

It’s all over the place in the RCS school district: The schools of the RCS Central School District refused to remember the victims of the 911 terror attacks with a moment of silence. Even the students are outraged as we receive reports of Facebook posts posted by RCS students and expressing their outrage that there was no moment of silence on Monday, September 11, 2017. We find this disgraceful but are very impressed that kids who weren’t even born yet or were infants at the time of the attacks express such compassion and sensitivity to be outraged by their adult handlers’ lack of compassion and sensitivity to a national tragedy that resulted in multiple wars that are still causing misery and suffering at home and abroad.

What’s next?
Will RCS start flying the Saudi flag?

What’s next parents, residents, taxpayers? Do we start pledging allegiance to the flag of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia? Will we next see the Saudi flag raised at the high school?

Most of us will remember 911 with a certain disbelief even today, years after the attack. We all know that the terrorists who planned and executed the attacks were from Saudi Arabia, a country with a long record of anti-West sentiments and whose human rights crimes are legendary. That’s Osama bin Laden’s home country and his family are affluent citizens of Saudi Arabia. Saudi Arabia where Sharia or Islamic law requires women to be completely covered and still features public beheadings as their preferred capital punishment.

SABIC’s Flag Flies in Selkirk!

Right in our midst we have SABIC is a global leader in diversified chemicals and whose headquarters are in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. The Saudi Arabian government owns 70 percent of SABIC shares, with the remainder held by private investors in Saudi Arabia and other Gulf Cooperation Council countries.Check out their website and tell us it’s not scary! SABIC is located in Selkiirk/Feura Bush and has recently been granted substantial school tax incentives locally. The plot thickens!

According to a 2014 Times Union report by Brian Nearing, “Selkirk plastics plant hit with third environmental fine in three years,” the Saudi company was fined $16,000 for those violations but in 2011 and 2013 paid $241,000.00 in fines for environmental violations. But then that’s mere pocket change to the Saudis. More improtantly, apparently the Saudis are not happy just killing Americans and destroying American property, they aim to destroy American environment, too, starting right in our own backyards. The plot thickens even more!

So why are we so concerned about a Saudi chemicals company in Selkirk who, like so many American companies, is intent on destroying our environment and our health? After all, it’s just a country several thousands of miles away with terrorist ties and human rights violations. Not much unlike so many of America’s “friends”. So what you might be thinking.

So what? Here’s why:

The property owners in the RCS Central School District pay millions in taxes to support the now more than $46 million school budget for the district, while local towns are giving companies like Sabic and Selkirk Cogen tax breaks. The residents of the RCS Central School District vote for the members of the RCS Central School District Board of Education. According to the RCS CD Board of Education website, the board is:

“A local board of education is an agency of New York State that is governed by state law and the regulations of the commissioner of education.”

The BoE website also states the five main responsibilities of the RCS BoE to be:

  • to establish all school district policies;
  • to develop an annual budget for public approval;
  • to approve or disapprove the superintendent’s recommendations regarding personnel matters and the many contracts the district must enter;
  • to review courses of study and textbooks;
  • to act as a two-way communications link between residents and the superintendent

The site also states that: “The decisions of your elected board of education affect your child, your child’s future, your tax rate, and the well-being of your community.

RCS BoE President James Latter is a SABIC Employee; Jason Hyslop, a BoE member is a SABIC Employee!!!

In 2013, we published two articles on this blog with very serious warnings: James Latter: Why He’s A Bad Choice and Latter-Hyslop-Brown: The VERY WRONG Choice! but somehow Latter and Hyslop got elected to the board, and it’s been downhill ever since. You see, both James Latter, RCS BoE president, and Jason Hyslop are employees of SABIC. Where do you think their loyalties lie? In their paychecks or in the interests of the school district?

So now you have two RCS Central School District Board of Education members, its president, James Latter, and a sitting board member, Jason Hyslop, both employees of Saudi-owned SABIC, “establishing school district polices” and to “review courses of study and textbooks“, and keep in mind that, according to the Board’s own statement, “the decisions of your elected board of education affect your child, your child’s future, your tax rate, and the well-being of your community.

So now that we have informed you AGAIN that you have two SABIC lackies on your board of education and you put them there, we hope that at the next meeting you will propose that courses for conversational Arabic be offered the elementary, middle and high school curriculums, because you’re going to need it to pledge allegiance to the Saudi flag. After all, the RCS CD Board of Education does establish all school district policies and their decisions affect your children, your child’s future, and the well-being of your community.

So why do you think there was no moment of silence in RCS schools on September 11, 2017? Do we really have to answer that question?

Here you go, we’ll get you stared. Repeat after Mr Latter:

لَا إِلٰهَ إِلَّا الله مُحَمَّدٌ رَسُولُ الله
lā ʾilāha ʾillā-llāh, muhammadun rasūlu-llāh
“There is no god but God: Muhammad is the Messenger of God.”


Get the Saudi Companies off our Board of Education!!!

The Editor


Let your RCS Central School District Board of Ed members know what you think!
James Latter, President of the RCS-CD BoE and SABIC Employee
Teddy Reville
Bray Engel
Tina Furst-Hotaling
Kristin Hill-Burns
Jason Hyslop, BoE member and SABIC Employee
William McFerran
William McFerran
Peter Ross

Email all board members

 

Is Church Playing the New Lowest Common Denominator; Sending Mixed Messages

Is Church Playing the New Lowest Common Denominator; Sending Mixed Messages? Or no real message at all?

Is the Church missing the bus? Sending the wrong messages?

Passing through some of our local communities, I frequently notice churches, that is, the physical building, the places of worship, and what characterizes them. The structure, the upkeep, the appearances, the messages posted outside; these say a lot about the people these brick and mortar structure, symbolic representatives of the beliefs and communities they claim they serve. I often see the trite clichés like “God is home, come on in!” or “Be yourself; everyone else is taken” and similar trite slogans. Apparently the Roman Catholic Churches in this area, Ravena and Coxsackie, NY, have given up on being taken seriously so now these parish leaders, the pastors, have to play cool cutsie, mimicking their Protestant and Reformist cohorts. Such silliness simply degrades the sacred space and makes idiots of those few who still frequent them.

This is particularly the case when a new pastor tries to become too popular too fast for too many of the wrong reasons. He starts to get sloppy in his role as spiritual leader and too cozy with the local in-crowds. A leader doesn’t have to be a friend and he doesn’t have to entertain. He has to lead. So, as I drive through the aging, geriatric, brown collar community of Ravena, New York, the local Roman Catholic Church, St Patrick’s, catches my attention. How?

Well, some time ago I was surprised to see a folding sign board placed in front of St Patrick’s Roman Catholic Church in Ravena, on Main Street. It was last Fall and said something like “Leaves fall but Christ doesn’t”. My first thought was that it was rather silly, rather odd. Something I’d expect from some failing Protestant denomination, or some storefront church whose pastor has no other training than what he received in jail, where he got his certificate in Bible Studies from Dumbass Bible Institute or wherever. I knew the pastor at St Pats was one of the young bloods recently ordained, Scott Vandermeer, in his thirties, a journalism degree, able to move around without a walker, he was somewhat more promising than his predecessors, all aging or decrepit, failing, burnt out or uninterested, all cut from the Hubbard School of Ultraliberal Hacks. Careerists. Our hope never failing and our realism always on the watch, we even wrote to Vandermeer offering him help and support. It soon proved that he was going to be just another narcissist; he never responded to our letter. Here we go again!

Soon the signs started going up and were getting weirder and weirder, perhaps because they were cleverly done so as to appeal to the intellectual depths of darkness of the local community. One that appeared:

The sign above is stupid because St Pats does not have a soup kitchen or a food pantry. So not only is the sign a bit idiotic, to anyone not familiar with the local intelligence level, it’s misleading. [Editor’s note: Vanderveer is “out of the country” at the time of this writing and apparently will not be back for another 2-3 weeks, so we could not reach him for comment.  Nor did we receive a response from his office staff.] That really doesn’t matter because it does get worse. Some local in a feeble attempt to put some meaning in his or her life, and for a minute of local fame, placed the “?” on the sign making it even more ridiculous. No one in the parish, not even the absent pastor, seems to have noticed…or cared.

More recently, that is, several weeks ago we again drove by and saw that the sign had been changed to something quite new:

 Is a feeble-minded, scandal-plagued Church is going to make the nation strong again?

This time Mr VanDerveer is apparently making a statement that the Church has something to do with the characteristics of the nation, presumably the nation known as the United States, since we are not aware of any Scriptural or Doctrinal references that would support such a statement. It used to be that strong men made strong nations, then strong families but with the castration of the American male and the virilization of the American female, together with the decline and demise of the American family, it seems that a feeble-minded, scandal-plagued Church is going to make the nation strong again. If this notion was part of the preaching series offered by Vanderveer, we are really sorry we missed his performance. But by any standard, given the Separation Clause and the hesitance of government generally or any of its branches specifically to enter into any discussion of a collaboration between Church and state, this statement seems to indicate that Mr VanDerveer is either ignorant or has a boundaries problem. While the Church and churches, that is, the Roman Catholic and Christian tradition — by division and internecine conflict —  has been losing ground since the 16th century, it would seem that Mr VanDerveer and his keepers would be better advised to concentrate on good preaching and catechesis, fostering interdenominational dialogue and collaboration,  reaching out to local opinion leaders rather than making an untenable and unsubstantiated statement like “A strong church [=] a strong nation.” No matter how you analyze such a statement, logically, theologically, socially, or politically it fails. The Church would be well advised to steer clear of politics — and fallacious logic —; a mere parish priest has no business making such statements and should be reprimanded for having done so. It’s irresponsible, insupportable, fallacious, and is simply not official Church teaching. Politics should be kept out of the pulpit and away from the front of the church — or it should be left to the bishops who are the sole church officials authorized by Rome to make asses of themselves.. Mr VanDerveer should be spending more time preaching that strong family values and morality make for a strong nation; sharing Sunday family dinner together without smartphones might be a start. Getting rid of fidget spinners and Facebook, replacing them with a print book, perhaps St Augustine’s Confessions,  in the schools would be a great move, too.  But the Church has failed in that teaching, too, and in getting that message across to the community.

An half hour for God and 3 hours for the ball game seems like a fair deal for most Catholics.

Instead, the Church and its agents, VanDerveer’s colleagues, superiors, and minions, have prostituted the Church, mistaught and continue to pervert doctrine, dogma, and promote error, and have reduced preaching to a 5 minute commentary so that the so-called “faithful” can get there and out the door with 30-45 minutes at most. After all, a half hour for God and 3 hours for the ball game seems like a fair deal for most Catholics.

Get the ^%$# out of the way! I’ll be late for worship…and the game!

The latest stupidity to be posted in front of St Patrick’s Roman Catholic Church apparently has to do with the Biblical myth of Noah and the Deluge found in Genesis, or we may be wrong and VanDerveer’s referring more likely to the bizarre interpretation of the myth provided in the movie, Noah (2014) but here’s the official Biblical version:

“The Lord then said to Noah, “Go into the ark, you and your whole family, because I have found you righteous in this generation. Take with you seven pairs of every kind of clean animal, a male and its mate, and one pair of every kind of unclean animal, a male and its mate, and also seven pairs of every kind of bird, male and female, to keep their various kinds alive throughout the earth. Seven days from now I will send rain on the earth for forty days and forty nights, and I will wipe from the face of the earth every living creature I have made.” (Gen 7:2-4)

Actually, someone should have whacked the one who thought these signs were appropriate! Never mind the mosquitoes. We don’t recall any specific reference to mosquitoes in Genesis (nor in any part of the Bible) nor any cameo appearance of mosquitoes in the film Noah. Perhaps Vanderveer can help us with that one. We do tend to have our facts straight on this blog so we’re reasonably certain that there were no mosquitoes involved. The only other possibility we can think of is that one of Vanderveer’s Scriptural Studies instructors at seminary came upon some previously unknown Biblical text that tells the story of Noah and the mosquitoes. Whatever the story behind it, Vanderveer appears to believe the story. Why else would he publicly post something like that in front of his church? It seems the “unclean animals” were  sent either to Roman Catholic seminary or to Ravena-Coeymans after leaving the Ark. We have no record of where the “two mosquitoes” went after having escaped being swatted.


A Pleasant Anecdote

While I photographing one of the signs, a St Patrick’s parishioner was approaching the church to attend a meeting, and stopped to chat when she observed me taking the photographs. She commented how interesting the signs were and how they got your attention. I responded very bluntly that they were not interesting; they were a disgrace and were demeaning to the sacred place they were disgracing. I did agree that they got your attention but for the wrong reasons. I admitted to her that I was taking the photo not because I found them attractive, funny or pithy but because they got my interest, and that was not good.

The parishioner was very interested in what we had to say and very gracious, too. We discussed a number problems with the Church, the parish, and local politics. All in all, it was a positive exchange that started on a negative footing.

Shows you that there are still some good, sensible people in the Ravena-Coeymans-Selkirk community; all too few, though.


Contrary to what you have been told or led to believe, dear readers, churches are not where God lives [Thank God!], that is, churches are not God’s personal primary residence, they are sacred spaces where we can find safe, quiet space to reflect, meditate, be still, or engage in a conversation with the Divine, a practice what we call prayer, but have forgotten – or never knew how to do. Nowadays most conversations with God turn out to be like conversations with those twits exercising their thumbs on an electronic device; a meeting where God’s trying to reveal himself to the twit who’s functioning with half a hemisphere, wondering whose reflection it is in the smartphone screen.

Repurposing Our Churches

When I hear of closure of churches, merging of congregations, sale of church property, conversions of churches to art galleries, restaurants, even private residences, I feel a cold shudder. These churches have become like dinosaurs; they were once living, awesome organisms, and they thrived and nurtured similar life but at some time long ago they became sick, languished and died. Now all we have left of them are lumps of rock we gawk at in museums or use as paperweights in our studies. So, too, many of our former sacred spaces are now secular spaces where the inhabiting materialist-consumerists worship their new idols: mega-flat screens, surround sound, a nymph, and a bottle. Happy worshipping!

We’ve replaced God there too with some idol like money, sex, a car, or a pop star

So where has God gone once evicted? God’s where he’s always been: in the dark silent depths of our hearts, unless we’ve replaced God there too with some idol like money, sex, a car, a political figure or a pop star. Yes, Idolaters of Ubiquitous White Noise and Distractions, the Ultimate Truth still lies hidden in that wet, fertile, darkness deep within a human being (No, not a vagina!) but nowadays who among you Vessels of Clay with your stymied white-cane spirituality would dare explore the silence within, when there’s so much to do in the world? Why would anyone want to become acquainted with their true self when they can invent another, more pleasant, acceptable self and one that you can transform it at any time using a convenient app? Who will know? You will. But you don’t care because you’ve been diving down that slippery slope for so long you wouldn’t know your true self if you tripped over it!

In my meanderings I spend time in churches, at meetings and conferences, on Internet forums, at monasteries, interacting with others in a variety of settings. I note the anxiety and the vulnerability that cripples so many people; I note their white-cane spirituality, blindly pursuing some sort of agenda-seeking-to-become-a-religion, a tool for a virtual life; they have no real life. I listen to and become offended by the ignorance and narcissism of those claiming to be called to a vocation, as clergy, as lay religious, as lay ministers in churches, congregations, parishes; I frequently observe the infantile fascination of the unwashed when, in a strange ecstasy of voyeurism, they rub shoulders with monks, priests, nuns, or spiritual leaders, and they grin idiotically as if caught in an act of masturbation. “Hee, hee! Look at me!” Narcissism, too, is a form of idolatry. I have to wonder whether the gawkers or the gawkees actually realize the pitiable dynamic going on. It’s rather like the voyeurism of social media but worse. Worse because the so-called spiritual leaders are actually enjoying the worship, and the egos soar – and the wound deepens and festers, poisoning the entire mystical body.

Starving?
Tail’s great!

And like starving rats will go for anything that smacks of survival…

If churches and faith communities are hemorrhaging members, the religious vocations are dwindling into membership cachexia. And like starving rats will go for anything that smacks of survival. For several decades now, the materialist consumerism and the dumbing down of society has left the message of higher truths and spirituality to languish in the shadow of anti-human propaganda, corporate greed, political narcissism, social confusion, despair and anxiety. Fear of loss is the underlying message everywhere we look. That fear is nourished by the messages we receive of time running out for something, anything, everything; fear the terror threat, fear the coming rain or snow showers, fear the threat represented by the guy next door, fear the North Koreans, fear the Russians, fear the illegals. What we need to fear is the false teaching in the poor preaching, we need to fear the pulpit politics, we need to fear the bigoted perp patrols.

Stuck somewhere in a learning curve…

The only religion that’s growing these days is Islam and our response is to demonize it

We are stuck somewhere in a learning curve. But where? We need to learn to fear our own demise and ignorance thanks to the conflicting and contradicting messages we receive from the media, the poor performance of our education institutions, and the dishonesty and corruption of our political system. Add to that the failure of our Judeo-Christian religious institutions to teach correct doctrine and dogma, and to provide effective preaching in support of implementing doctrine and dogma into our day-to-day lives in furtherance of “happiness” and a “good end.” And it’s no wonder people are despairing and anxious. The only religion that’s growing these days is Islam and our response is to demonize it as a bunch of whacko terrorists. Doesn’t anyone see where this is leading? Why can’t religious institutions join together to combat the capitalist propaganda drowning us in a sea of lies and hate? But then, when I was a kid it was the Roman Catholics and Protestants killing each other. Only the bigotry and creeds have remained the same; only the faces have changed.

Cultural and political institutions our religious and faith institutions are appealing to the lowest common denominator

Failing religious institutions and religious organizations and institutions are desperately prostituting themselves in a vain attempt simply to survive. And like our cultural and political institutions our religious and faith institutions are appealing to the lowest common denominator in the attempt to get what they can and run with it. It’s not working, people, that’s why you see so many storefront and strip mall micro-churches flooding into the vacuum left by mainstream institutions. Problem is this: the storefront and strip mall micros are just as bad as the movie-theatre or stadium megachurches, because they create their own ideologies, agendas, idolatries and there are plenty of sheeple to participate because they don’t know anything better. Thanks Vatican II and interfaith dialogue, ecumenism. Lights, cameras, action! Worship!

I can speak from personal experience, scholarship, and professional activity with various faith traditions and communities, religious organizations and institutions, and educational institutions. As a writer, editor, researcher, and educator I vet my facts.

So where does an institution in decline turn in the desperate attempt to survive a couple of more years? St Patricks is prepping, even in the absence of its pastor for several weeks, for the celebration of the church’s centennial. 100 years is not a very long time in Church terms but it’s a start. The nagging question is how long does it still have before it’s converted into another empty building on Ravena-Coeymans’ growing list of vacancies. [Editor’s note: St Patricks have already sold off a number of real estate parcels, some of which were sold to RCS school board president, James Latter, the same James Latter who works for the Saudi Arabian-owned Sabic corporation, the same corporation who got recommendations for tax breaks from the RCS school district.] Maybe Mr VanDerveer’s off attending job interviews, since the parishioners in the Roman Catholic Diocese of Albany are usually the last to know when their church is closing.

When you can’t attract young men to the priesthood you have to attract old men to the diaconate

Like the consumer society they operate in, churches like St Patrick’s are compelled to sacrifice quality for quantity. For example, the Roman Catholic Diocese of Albany reports in a recent issue of Sheaf, the official gazette of St Bernard’s School of Ministry and Theology, the Albany Roman Catholic Diocese reports “200 deacons and growing.” When you can’t attract young men to the priesthood you have to attract old men to the diaconate. Numbers not quality count; that’s why the permanent diaconate was revived by the Roman Catholic Church in the 60s to stem the decline in seminary admissions; in many dioceses the diaconate has become a boy’s club, a church country club, an organization of narcisistic logrollers. “My dad the deacon.” “My son the deacon.” “My wife, Mrs Deacon!”

Deacon Chic Coming Soon to Your Parish!
You have your church band, liturgical dancing, now you can have liturgical strippers!
Don’t miss the Trinitarian Trio of Trollops!

The Episcopal church has been ordaining “women” for decades; many (mostly gender ambiguous specimens) in the RC church are advocating ordaining women deacons and the reasonable expected consequence of this slippery slope is women priests! When does this comedy of errors, this farce stop? [Editor’s note: For those of our readers with limited vocabularies, a “slippery slope” is a comedy of errors is a related series of amusing or farcical events involving a series of awkward missteps or other mistakes.]

Clergy or Special Ed Class or LGBT Rejects?

There is a big problem with erroneous teaching and that leads to gross stupidity and poor public image. Take for instance the Church’s stand on abortion and other issues. The corrupt and long discredited practice of prayer and what the faithful could expect from prayer as espoused by a greedy medieval Church led not only to Martin Luther’s confrontation and the ultimate schism but also to the Counter-Reformation, and later to many, many scandals. They still haven’t learned.

Erroneous teaching and that leads to gross stupidity and poor public image

OK. But can someone tell me how this works? How about you, Father?

Let’s face the facts: The Church may be facing annihilation over the longer term if it doesn’t (1) come up with some sort of recruitment scheme for the long-term future of the priesthood, and (2) come up with some sort of outside “support for its mission,” which translates into people who are able and willing to give in support of the Church in general and of their local faith community before it has to selling off more acreage. The old priests and nuns committed their lives and fortunes to the faith community; they’re gone now and so are their legacies. A liberal, liberation theology (= socialist)  tainted Jesuit pope is not going to solve the problem; in fact, he stands to worsen it. Jesuits don’t have a very good record in Rome; Jesuit popes have an even worse record..

And this is how it’s gonna be!

One of the real problems being faced by the Church and by the faithful is that they are learning impaired. Change is not measured in years in the Church but in centuries. While the men in the Vatican are swilling good wine and dining in gardens al fresco, the American Church is making its own rules. Everyone seems to be caught up in a dead man spiral, stuck somewhere in an ecclesiological learning curve. But no one seems to be certain where they’re stuck.

Still in the learning curve. But where?

So that’s where we stand locally, and regionally. Ravena is just an example, a stereotype, and not the main culprit; Ravena is a symptom, we have to look for the ecclesiological pathology elsewhere. Meanwhile, the stupid signs aren’t helping.

The Church at Work.
Did you find the problem yet?

 

$46 Million Dollar School Budget Passed – One Backwoods School District

Voters a.k.a. “residents” approved a local RCS Central School District school budget of almost $46 million dollars. That’s more than the total budgets of several surrounding townships combined! Voters a.k.a. “residents” who passed the budget are largely non-property owners but the property owners foot the bill. What’s more, local government has caved to demands that local corporations get their tax breaks and reduced assessments. Again, local tax burden falls on the shoulders of local property owners. The local area is falling apart and so is the quality of education because we’re educating those who don’t have an appreciation for education and who likely don’t even use it later; they just don’t come from a background that encourages working or learning. So why do we keep spending and spending and spending? We don’t make the necessary adjustments, we just tax more and spend more. Why is that?

You’re still doing it! So we’re here to tell you how…

$45,829,423 budget for the 2017-18 school year!?! That’s more than local town budgets combined! And you wonder why your roads suck? You wonder why your drinking water is toxic and brown? You wonder why crime is rampant and the police do little or nothing to bring in the criminals? You wonder why you can’t make ends meet? But don’t you wonder why your kids act like brain dead morons? Why they can’t read? Why they can’t spell? Why they can’t hold a discussion?

Has anyone ever asked the students — the one’s with the lights on and someone home in their heads — what they think of their education, of their teachers? Times Union, News Herald, Daily News, W10, W13? Has any of the media given a thought to ask students about what they think of their education? Well, it would have to be cleverly done — and that rules out Times Union, News Herald, Johnson Newspaper Group, Daily News, W10 and W13, practically all Capital District media — and it would ideally include past graduates, who would be more likely to be truthful and say where RCS education got them. Current students would be fearful of teacher or student retaliation if they were to be interviewed and identified. That’s the way it has been and continues to be in the RCS Central School District, and is very likely the same situation throughout this third-world, backwoods hole in the earth. (Great place for woodchucks, though.)

We did an informal survey and found that several past graduates agreed that “one in fifteen teachers was any good and cared for students.” Others simply hated RCS and refused to participate even in 10 year class reunions. One RCS teacher with 23 years teaching said that he couldn’t wait to retire, “They have millions for astroturf but no money for books for my AP students! I’m history as soon as I can retire.” A history of pitiful graduation rates, low student and teacher morale, and spending seem to characterize local schools, especially spendthrift RCS.

Why don’t we ask the one’s who know?

If past history is anything to judge by, we have a pattern of fewer property owners (those who pay) and a growing number of social service recipients, senior citizens (those who can’t afford to leave), and transients (those who don’t pay), as well as a decline in taxable businesses, and an increase in pandering to local large corporations (who get “corporate welfare”) who want and get tax breaks but don’t create jobs and don’t contribute to tax revenues. So the misinformation provided by propaganda machines like the Times Union, News Herald, and other local media, flash such titles as “School budgets sail to approval”(Times Union, May 19, 2016) reporting also that “districts were mostly able to avoid huge tax hikes in their 2016-17 budgets thanks to a large increase in state aid.” Really? If that’s last year’s situation, why the increase this year?

The previous year, the Times Union article, “Voters Happy With Budgets” (May 19, 2015) reports that “Voter turnout was typically slim with many school board candidates running unopposed. Albany saw 72 percent of voters who showed up to vote offer support for the school budget. In 2015 Albany passed a $234 million budget that carried no tax increase. Schenectady passed a $177 million budget that will actually decrease the tax levy 0.21 percent. The report goes on to say that “on average, Capital Region schools are prepared to spend and tax more than other districts around the state. Spending is poised to rise 2.87 percent at schools across the region next year (compared to 2.1 percent statewide), while tax levies will increase an average of 0.95 percent (compared to 0.7 percent statewide). That was 2015.

The pattern continues in RCS. 2017-18 budget passed by voters Residents of Ravena-Coeymans-Selkirk took to the polls Tuesday, May 16, approving a $45.8 million budget for the 2017-18 school year, as well as the bus purchase proposition and community library vote. Voter turnout was typically slim (less than 1000 voters, down from previous years) with school board candidates running unopposed.

The local school district got approval to purchase school buses for the year ahead and create additional teaching positions. New technology purchases, like Chromebooks and iPads, were also high on the budgets, as well as a bigger investment in professional development for teachers. More technology, less learning, more cyberkids and sheeple. What a plan for Big Brother!

Local politicians, including the RCS School Board, are like maggots eating us alive.

Corporate Welfare. Lowered assessment for Selkirk Cogen to affect RCS homeowners (May 5, 2017). The RCS Central School District website reports: “One noticeable difference for taxpayers will be increased tax rates for the 2017-18 year, due to a lowered tax assessment for local business Selkirk Cogen. The district does not control home or business assessments, however, taxes collected from those [private] assessments act as revenue for the district.” This is purest propaganda. These businesses come to this area, destroy our historically beautiful landscapes, poison our air and our water, demand tax breaks at the expense of property owners and small business, drive out local residents and businesses, shift the tax burden to local property owners. They promise prosperity and jobs, which our local hillbilly elected officials gobble up like hungry hogs, and don’t deliver. In fact, the trend is to automate operations, leaving the really dirty jobs to low-paid black-collar workers. Now that’s a real vision for the future. Our economic geniuses hard at work for the corporations, while burying us!

According to a RCS school board member : “As a district, we have no control over assessments,” school board member James Latter said. “it’s unfortunate the reduced assessment has an effect on our resident taxpayers, we are thankful for businesses like Selkirk Cogen. It’s businesses like these that often pay large sums of school taxes, taking some of the burden off our residents.” Contradiction here, Mr Latter? Read that quote again! He’s double-talking. And that’s the kind of dumbass RCS voters put on the school board! 

That kind of pass-the-buck double talk is characteristic of weasel Jim Latter, who is an employee of a Saudi-owned corporation in Feura Bush, so we know where his loyalties lie. He’s not going to be honest and tell it like it is: He’s going to spend, spend, spend and then blame the tax hikes on the local town administrations! Of course he’s thankful to Cogen and to his Saudi keepers, they sign his checks.  But it’s his talking out of both sides of his mouth that irks us most. You see, they preach austerity and fiscal responsibility but they don’t practice what they preach.

We’d like to know where the money came from for the sports field refreshment stand that is not used for 6-8 months of the year? The RCS Sports Association was to have paid for it but they couldn’t raise the money. Anybody hear where the rest of the money came from? Anyone care to guess? We all know. But the question is still: If we have so many youth sports associations and groups in the area, why does the school district have to have million dollar playing fields. Is the RCS community that rich? We know it’s falling apart and dirty. We know that our elected swine are handing our community to killer trucks, heavy truck traffic, dust devils, and our roads are tuning into mini-Grand Canyons. We know our students are coming out of RCS schools stupid. We know that there’s money for jocks but no money for books and brain programs. We know the teachers are getting paid very well, get incredible benefits and get paid professional enhancements. We know that 75-80% of the budget goes to salaries and benefits. What else do you know but won’t admit?


Heres a contribution from one of our readers that should get you thinking:

I was working out at the Glenmont Planet Fitness when a group of about 4-6 boys gathered around one of the equipment. One was on the phone and talking to “his brother”. When he had finished he asked the others whether they knew anyone who would “buy” for them. As the conversation went on it became clear that they needed alcohol for a group or a party that was going to happen in connection with the prom. They brainstormed for a little and made some calls, and then, apparently the problem was solved. Someone, one of the boys brothers, would make the purchase. These guys were obviously still in school at RCS and planning a party after the senior prom. They needed booze and found it. I wanted to give them a good talking to but the way they were acting, it would only have caused a scene and embarassed me. They were too ignorant to care, and their language didn’t make me think they had any brains.

I thought about one of the blogs recent articles about the accident on 144 when Logan Penzabene was creamed and his buddy seriously injured. I remember the quotes from local law enforcement, and then there’s Cuomo’s campaign. I lthought how right you were in that article. Then I saw this one and everything got clear. It’s all smoke and mirrors around here.

Not two weeks after a fatal accident and these knuckleheads are looking for alcohol. What? Isn’t the prom enough? I guess they’re so insecure they have to drink. So where are the parents? Do these kids still have parents? Do they know it? What’s up with all this law enforcement effort to curb these teen morons and their childish behavior? Where’s the school district and the teachers on this one? Where’s Cuomo’s campaign. They’re at Planet Fitness arranging for a booze delivery! I couldn’t believe my ears!


Well, there you have it, “Not two weeks after a fatal accident and these knuckleheads are looking for alcohol. ” Maybe the RCS school district can get a discount on the grief counseling they provide after the fact. Is that in the budget? Plenty of money to spend but none to spend wisely.

Less than 1 in 5 persons in Coeymans eligible to vote actually voted in the budget vote! And they weren’t property owners voting for a tax increase, we know that for sure!

Coeymans has a population of about 7500 persons with 13% over 65 years of age. In 2010 there were approximately 3000 housing units in Coeymans, of which 70% were owner occupied (the tax base). 91% of residents 25 years old or older are high-school graduates but only 1 in 5 has a bachelor’s degree (they graduated high school but either couldn’t get into a 4-year college or didn’t try)! Of those employed, they travel an average of 26 minutes to work (Obviously they don’t work locally. Where would they work?) Half of the population earns less than $55,500 a year, and there’s a 10% poverty rate. About one quarter of Coeymans residents is under 18 years of age; 13% are over 65 years old. OK. Let’s do some old-fashioned math: 25% of Coeymans are under 18 so they can’t vote. That leaves 75% of Coeymans residents who can vote, or 5,675 eligible voters. Let’s say, just for argument’s sake, that only 5000 are legally registered and can actually vote. The numbers for the budget vote show only about 900 total votes were cast on May 16, 2017. that means that less than 1 in 5 eligible voters actually voted (This is probably less, considering that parts of New Baltimore in Greene County could participate in the voting!). This is even more alarming because if we can believe the US census data, 70% of the some 3000 housing units in the town of Coeymans are owner occupied, meaning that they are property owners and foot the tax bill. That’s about 2,100 voters, at least, who should have showed up to vote on the budget! How many property owners do you know who would vote for a tax increase? So you can guess who the majority of the about 600 votes were, who voted for the budget and the tax increase, can’t you? Piss poor performance in our opinion! Are you proud of yourselves, Coeymanites.

“The impact of the reduced assessment will be reflected in September 2017 tax bills when residents will likely see an estimated tax rate increase between 4.5 and 6.5 percent (based on 2016 tax assessment figures), depending on town of residency.

The RCS Graduate:
Can’t draw, can’t spell, can’t count, can’t write,, can’t drive.
Can drink, can fornicate, can finger-fondle any electronic device.
Can get a social services check.

Local Corporations Get Tax Breaks; Property Owners Get a Tax Increase; Teachers Get Increases in Perks and Benefits; Students look forward to a lousy education; We all Get Shoddy Government by Incompetent Ego-maniacs; Our Roads Get Worse (Our idiot highway departments fill in potholes with sand today, pothole’s back tomorrow). The budget calls for an increase in total spending of 2.6 percent from the 2016-17 school year and a tax levy increase of 1.25 percent, which equals the district’s limit based on the state’s tax levy cap calculation. Translation: for a home valued at $150,000 with no STAR exemption this would lead to a projected tax increase of $195 for Bethlehem residents, $116 for Coeymans residents, $117 for New Scotland residents, and $153 for New Baltimore residents. Here’s what you get for your tax increaase:

  • Local Corporations Get Tax Breaks
  • Tax burden shifts to property owners and small businesses
  • Property Owners Get a Tax Increase
  • Teachers Get Increases in Perks and Benefits
  • Students look forward to a lousy education
  • We all Get Shoddy Government by Incompetent Ego-maniacs
  • Our Roads Get Worse (Our idiot highway departments fill in potholes with sand today, pothole’s back tomorrow)
  • You get less in the package for more in the manufacturer’s pocket (Do you ever read the labels of your coffee containers?)
  • Welfare recipients get their cell phones, transportation, manicures, healthcare for free (Are you going to work today? Second job? Third job?)

Voters turned out in very low numbers, again. Even more alarming is that — even with the low turnout– there seems to be a bizarre pattern in the voting this year (similar to past years) With with the budget receiving 538 in favor and 294, the bus proposition 537 yes and 289 no; The RCS Community Library budget showed the same pattern of 593 in favor and 297. (RCS Central School District webpage, 2017-18 budget passed by voters, last accessed on May 17, 2017). Even more bizarre is that several of the local news reports repeat each other’s stories almost word for word!

The only good news coming out of this year’s budget vote was that the RCS Community Library vote passed with 593 in favor and 297 opposed. Residents also re-elected two candidates to the library board of trustees. Bravo! RCS Community Library! 

The only ones with half a brain appear to be the baby-boomers and they’re quickly disappearing from the area, leaving outright, or just dying. It appears anyone born after 1980 is a product of the materialist consumerism that haunts us today. Those born in and after the 1990’s are a total loss to their anxieties and greed. After 2000, they are either chemical or electronic addicts; orphans, really, and unable to articulate a sentence or even make change at the counter, even when the amount of change is displayed on a screen.

Your school tax dollars at work. Thank you.

Holy Scripture & Our Opinion
The Editor

 

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

 

New Baltimore Town Officials are Absolutely Useless!

There’s a Bully in the National Historic District

New Baltimore's Idea of Service to Residents

New Baltimore’s Idea of Service to Residents

New Baltimore Supervisor Dellisanti, Deputy Supervisor Jeff Ruso, and Animal Control Officer Joe Tanner Refuse to Enforce Town Laws

We’ve asked this question time and again: What exactly are they doing in New Baltimore town hall, anyway? They seem to have their own agendas because they’re certainly not doing residents any big favors! They don’t even communicate among themselves and are totally oblivious to the welfare of the community they’re supposed to have been elected or hired to serve.

You see, not only did property tax bills go out on about December 28, 2017, demanding, rather extorting money from property owners to pay for local and county government and our ineffectual school  — the RCS Central School District whose Board of Education can find almost a million dollars to redo the athletic field with dangerous astroturf but teachers complain there’s no money for books! So we now get a bill for property and school taxes, and you have to really wonder what your dollars are paying for. Here’s the answer: INCOMPETENCE!

Now, in the National Historic District, residents are exposed day-in-day-out to a local resident’s barking dog. Robert and Bonnie Krug of bank robber fame, keep a dog that they use to bully the neighborhood with its constant barking from morning to evening, Monday through Friday, with special performances on Saturday and Sunday.

Residents have attempted to approach the Krugs but Mr Krug responds only with threats. Maybe that’s why the Town officers don’t seem to be able to stop the nuissance; they’re afraid of Krug! Has he handed them one of his famous notes, too?

Flyers are now circulating in the Hamlet of New Baltimore asking residents to join together to neutralize the nuissance and to force the Town of New Baltimore to enforce its laws, and to restore peace to the National Historic District, and compel the irresponsible, inconsiderate owners of the animal to control their animal.

Click here to read the stop-the-bully-flyer

A resident has already sent a copy of another flyer directly to the New Baltimore Town Board through Nick Dellisanti, Supervisor, Jeff Ruso, Deputy Supervisor and Joe Tanner, Animal Control Officer. You can read that letter by clicking this link barking-dog-letter.

Like a school bully, one person can’t really fix the problem. It takes group action. People simply have to get involved. Like a school bully, if the people with authority, the teachers and supervisors, don’t take action, someone else has to step in. We urge New Baltimore residents in the National Historic District to take action both to send a message to the New Baltimore Town Board and to the Krugs that residents deserve a quality of life and the services from elected officials and town employees for which they are paying. It’s particularly important now that the Town is sending out their demands that property owners pay taxes.

We have to ask, For what?

It's not much to ask for, is it? Then why can't the New Baltimore Town Board provide it? The Editor

It’s not much to ask for, is it? Then why can’t the New Baltimore Town Board provide it?
The Editor

 
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Posted by on January 15, 2017 in 19th Congressional District, 19th Congressional District, 20th Congressional District, 20th Congressional District, 2Luck.com, Abuse of Public Office, Accountability, Animal Control Officer, Arlene McKeon, Barbara Finke, Barking Dog, Barking Dog Nuissance, Bitter Bob (Ross), Bob Ross, Bonnie Krug, Bully, Bullying, Bullyism, Catskill-Hudson Newspapers, Columbia-Greene Media, Corruption, Daily Mail, Denis Jordan, Diane Jordan, Eleanor Luckacovic, Eleanor Oldham, Elected Official, F.O.I.L., FOIL, George Amadore, Greene County, Greene County News, Greg Teresi, Gregory Teresi, Hudson Valley, Hypocrisy, Incompetence, Jean Horne, Jeff Ruso, Joan Ross, Joe Stanzione, Joe Tanner, John B. Johnson, John Luckacovic, Johnson Newspaper Group, Joseph A. Farrell Jr, Joseph Farrell, Joseph Stanzione, Joseph Tanner, Kathy Rundberg, Ken Burns, Kenneth Burns, Marjorie Loux, Marjorie Loux, Mark Vinciguerra, Mismanagement, Nepotism, New Baltimore, New Baltimore Republican Club, New Baltimore town council, New York, New York State, News Herald, Nick Delisanti, Nick Dellisanti, Notice of Claim, NYS Assembly, NYS Comptroller Audit, NYS Senate, Office of the Attorney General, Official Misconduct, Pete Lopez, Phil Crandall, Phillip Crandall, Ravena News Herald, RCS Central School District, RegisterStar, Robert Krug, Scott Van Wormer, Scott VanWormer, Shelly van Etten, Smalbany, The Daily Mail, Town Law, Town of New Baltimore, Town Supervisor

 

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

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

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


New, Improved, Community Sensitive

New, Improved, Community Sensitive

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

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

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

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

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

Chief Peter J. McKenna

Chief Peter J. McKenna

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

fiscal-responsibility

Chief McKenna’s Plan

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

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

crandall-head

Supervisor Phil Crandall

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

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

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

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

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

McKenna Redefines Community Law Enforcement

McKenna Redefines Community Law Enforcement

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

 

A New Feature: Articles and Essays

skulls

Learn More about Death and Dying.

The Principal Facilitator at Thanatology Café writes about a number of subjects relating to death, dying, grief, and the funeral services profession. Published on several blogs these articles have stimulated interest among people who never thought they’d be talking about the dread subject of death, and those readers and participants in local Thanatology Cafés have asked for more about the subject of thanatology; so many readers have requested copies of the Chaplain’s essays and articles that responding to every individual request has been quite a task. To make it easier for anyone interested in reading the Chaplain’s articles, he’s decided to create an online page on the Thanatology Café blog, where you can click on the essay title and either read the article online or download it. It’s that easy!

The article “Interfaith Bereavement Chaplain — An Essential Asset” is actually an article written for the benefit of funeral homes and funeral directors, and gives them a good talking-to about how they are failing to provide the bereaved with essential grief services and aftercare. It’s a must read if you are going to make pre-arrangements or are making arrangements for a loved one. Local funeral homes like Babcock Funeral Home (Ravena), especially (!) with their expensive and shoddy services, and A.J. Cunningham (Greenville and Ravena), the Capital District’s very own “factory funeral home”, Newcomer Funeral Home, could learn a lot from that articel.

The article, “Why is Funeralization Desirable and Necessary” is directed more to the consumer than to the funeral director, although funeral directors could benefit considerably from this article. It focuses mainly on the benefits of the traditional funeral for survivors and mourners. It’s a must-read for anyone who is or will be involved in funeral arrangements — that means everyone!

One of the most interesting articles is “Plain Talk About Cremation,” which is a real eye-opener for anyone considering cremation as a final disposition of their mortal remains.

Those articles and more are available on the Thanatology Cafe Blog page, “Articles & Essays.”

Click this link to go directly to New Feature: Articles and Essays.

As soon as we have it, we’ll also be publishing the September and October Thanatology Café program for the RCS area. Stay tuned and stay informed!

Please let me know how you like the Chaplain’s new service.

Happy reading! The Editor

Happy reading!
The Editor

Source: A New Feature: Articles and Essays

Other blogs by the Chaplain include: