Upstream. A Mohawk Valley Blogzine.

Friday, September 29, 2006

Different Strokes For Different Folks.

Edward Fletcher pled guilty yesterday to shooting his sister’s dogs after his mother had poisoned them and will get 16 months in jail.

The Schenectady Police Department shot and killed a pregnant dog while it was running away from them in fear, during a drug raid that netted a small amount of marijuana. No investigation. No arrests.

The Mohawk and Hudson River Humane Society in Menands killed and cremated hundreds of animals after disease swept through the facility. A cursory investigation by the state. No arrests.

Here are some excerpts from the original Times Union story on the Menands Shelter.

Outbreak shuts shelter
Humane society closed until at least Oct. 2 after killing 344 animals

By Danielle Furfaro, Staff writer
First published: Friday, September 22, 2006
MENANDS -- The Mohawk and Hudson River Humane Society will be closed until at least Oct. 2 following disease outbreaks that led to the killing of 344 animals and severe criticisms about the way the shelter has operated in recent months.

At a meeting Thursday night, Marsha Nagengast, a member of Whiskers Animal Benevolent League, a local, nonprofit, all-volunteer animal shelter, said she was authorized to inform the board that Whiskers would no longer deal with the humane society.

Other animal groups, including Peppertree Rescue, had already informed the humane society that they would not work with them because of concerns about how the shelter is run.

Shelter employee Bill Adams, who works nights, told of animals living in filth while the shelter failed to stock items such as clean mop heads and gloves.

Read the entire story.

Here are excerpts from a follow-up story.

Animal shelter is OK'd by state Inspectors pass humane society where disease forced euthanizations
By Danielle Furfarfo, Staff writer
First published: Sunday, September 24, 2006

Meanwhile, several members of the animal care community are painting a dire portrait of the shelter situation. They allege new management there, led by Friedman, who arrived in March, has limited experience with animals and is more concerned with the financial health of the shelter than the health of the dogs and cats.
"There are a lot of questions in everyone's minds about how the animals are being evaluated and what euthanizations are going to be made," said Elizabeth Sommers, a former member of the humane society's governance committee and the current president of Peppertree Rescue, an Albany-based group that finds homes for dogs. "We rely on the shelter to give us proper information about the animals. Once we take them out, we are putting them in our own homes."
Sommers resigned from the shelter's governance committee shortly after Friedman came on board and let some longtime staffers go.
"If nobody knows dogs, you are going to have bad situations," she said. "I made the executive decision to keep Peppertree away from the shelter until they get the proper people in there. I don't want Peppertree to be associated if there is some tragedy."
Carol Hall, president of Whiskers Animal Benevolent League, an Albany-based nonprofit, all-volunteer animal shelter, said her board will discuss on Tuesday whether to formally break off all ties with the humane society.
"We were really distressed that this has happened," Hall said. "An awful lot of innocent lives were lost."

Meanwhile Bellanca Fletcher, a Troy lawyer, responded to my original post about the Menands shelter. She said,

Unfortunately, the author of this article (actually, I’m not entirely sure of what this is), has fallen into the trap of many. He has assumed that he has information that, in fact, is largely false. Yes, the Mohawk and Hudson River Humane Society closed down for a short term because of a disease outbreak that caused the euthanasia of many animals.
What one needs to remember, however, is that MHRHS is a municipal shelter that is REQUIRED to take in all animals brought to it by municipalities with which it has a contract. Additionally, this shelter takes in all animals brought in by individuals in the community, irrespective of the health of the animal and irrespective of the space available. The result is that many animals that have not been spayed, neutered or vaccinated are brought to the shelter, putting other animals in the shelter in jeopardy.
This also leads to serious overcrowding from time to time and, while the shelter reaches out to rescue as much as currently possible (and more in the near future), the shelter is perpetually full. Rescue organizations are also limited in the number of animals they can take in at any one point in time.
Management and staff at the shelter have taken this closure time to work tirelessly to identify sick animals, clean and disinfect the entire shelter, and get protocols in place to avoid this type of outbreak in the future.
In an overcrowded shelter full of animals that have never been vaccinated, even the immediate vaccination received upon entry into the shelter doesn’t confer upon the cat or dog an immune system adequate to fight off exposure to some disease. Additionally, animals are routinely brought in sick. It’s unfortunate, but it’s a fact, that people often don’t take care of their animals and decide that, when they become ill, someone else should take the responsibility.
So instead of bashing one of the few municipal shelters in our area, try helping. Your readers can contact the shelter to find out what it needs - i.e. blankets and bleach, dog and cat food, cat beds that are easily washed, cat litter, dog toys, etc. and can volunteer to walk dogs to keep them mentally stimulated so that they fare better in the shelter environment, or assist with an off site adoption clinic where numerous animals are adopted out every month or donate funds to offset the annual budget deficits experienced by this underfunded and overpopulated shelter. Better yet, go down and adopt an animal or two - many of these animals were owned and surrendered by uncaring owners. You might be the perfect home for one of these lovely animals.
No, I don’t work at the Mohawk and Hudson River Humane Society, and no, I don’t like to see any animal euthanized. However, the reality of the situation is that it will continue to happen as long as humans are irresponsible with respect to vaccinations and sterilization. There are more dogs and cats in our area than there are homes to care for them.

Here is my response to Ms. Fletcher.

I agree that people need to be more responsible when it comes to caring for their animals and shelters need more volunteers. However, shelters should quarantine incoming animals and not let them near the other animals until they have been tested for disease, given vaccines, etc. There is a double standard when it comes to the way the Humane Society and the SPCA are allowed to treat animals and the way the general populace is allowed to treat animals. If a farmer or private rescuer had to kill and cremate 300 animals, it would be a front page story and criminal charges would likely have been filed. Furthermore, I have never heard of another shelter in the area that has had to euthanize several hundred animals at one time.

Thursday, September 28, 2006

Upstate New York Small Town Justice.

Note: A reader brought to my attention a three part series by The New York Times on Upstate New York’s system of town justices. It’s a series worth reading. You might have to sign up for a free New York Times account in order to access the complete articles.

Here is the opening of the first article.

Some of the courtrooms are not even courtrooms: tiny offices or basement rooms without a judge’s bench or jury box. Sometimes the public is not admitted, witnesses are not sworn to tell the truth, and there is no word-for-word record of the proceedings.

Nearly three-quarters of the judges are not lawyers, and many — truck drivers, sewer workers or laborers — have scant grasp of the most basic legal principles. Some never got through high school, and at least one went no further than grade school.

But serious things happen in these little rooms all over New York. People have been sent to jail without a guilty plea or a trial, or tossed from their homes without a proper proceeding. In violation of the law, defendants have been refused lawyers, or sentenced to weeks in jail because they cannot pay a fine. Frightened women have been denied protection from abuse.

These are New York’s town and village courts, or justice courts, as the 1,250 of them are widely known. In the public imagination, they are quaint holdovers from a bygone era, handling nothing weightier than traffic tickets and small claims. They get a roll of the eyes from lawyers who amuse one another with tales of incompetent small-town justices.

Below are quotes from the first article that deal with justices in the Mohawk Valley. These cases were minor compared to some in other parts of the state.

In this department, Pamela L. Kadur may hold a record. As town justice in Root, west of Schenectady, she presided over at least seven cases involving relatives, who often received lenient treatment, the commission said when it ordered her removal in 2003. Justice Kadur heard a speeding case against her son in her own kitchen, then tried to cover up their family relationship in record books, the commission said, by misspelling his last name.

One longtime town justice near Albany let a friend who owned a driving school sit with him at the bench; when the justice ordered anyone to take a driver-training course, only the friend’s school was acceptable. Another justice, in Rensselaer County, told a trucker charged with drunken driving that he would not suspend his license because “I can’t do that to a fellow truck driver.”

In 2003 alone, justices disciplined by the state included one in Montgomery County who had closed his court to the public and let prosecutors run the proceedings during 20 years in office.

In what the Commission on Judicial Conduct called “a shocking abuse of judicial power,” Justice Roger C. Maclaughlin single-handedly went after a man he decided was violating local codes on the keeping of livestock in Steuben, near Utica. The justice interviewed witnesses, tipped off the code-enforcement officer, lobbied the town board to deny the man approval to run a trailer park, then jailed him for 10 days without bail — or even a chance to defend himself, the commission said.

Some justices, unsure of the law, have also come to rely too much on the authorities. Elaine M. Rider, who presided in Waterville, near Utica, fretted that she did not “really have the time to puzzle this out” when a criminal defendant argued that evidence had been seized illegally. So she had the prosecutor write her decision, the commission said.

Read the first part of the series. This is Not America. In Tiny Courts of N.Y., Abuses of Law and Power.

Read the second part of the series. You Learn by Mistakes. Small-Town Justice, With Trial and Error.

Read the third part of the series. Nothing Gets Done. How a Reviled Court System Has Outlasted Critics.

Wednesday, September 27, 2006

Another Amsterdam Blogger.

I finally found another serious (and sometimes quite humorous) blogger in Amsterdam. Robert N. Going, former Family Court Judge in Montgomery County and now Corporate Counsel for the City of Amsterdam has a blog well worth reading. It is called The Judge Report, and is described as the Musings of a Conservative Republican Pro-Life Catholic Red Sox Fanatic, currently hiding out in Amsterdam, NY USA.

I particularly enjoyed the following entries:

Sept. 25. De Tocqueville on Islam and Democracy.
Sept. 23. Flash. Bob indirectly makes the case for why women should wear bras.
Sept. 18. No Eighth Grader Left Behind. Bob gives examples of what 8th graders had to know in 1895.

I hope you will check out Bob’s blog and leave some comments. I will be adding his blog to my links.

Tuesday, September 26, 2006

Couch Potato Couldn't Be Bothered To Go To The Dump.

Roadside Archeology in the Mohawk Valley.

Illegal dumping in rural areas is increasing, at least it is on my road. Tires are the biggest problem, a problem which could easily be solved by charging a deposit on tires that would be returned when the tires were returned to a garage. Other items I see a lot of on country roads are appliances, full bags of garbage, the remains of meals from McDonalds, Burger King and KFC, soda and beer cans, Stewart's coffee cups, lottery tickets and cigarette butts.

When I go walking down my road, I often contemplate on what this growing phenomenon says about us as a people. My thoughts about people who dump their trash on country roads is not printable on this blog, which generally trys to be family oriented.

Sunday, September 24, 2006

Mohawk & Hudson River Humane Society Allegedly Neglects, Then Kills 300 Pets.

“We will not rest until we have ample "empty" space to save all animals in our care. “ The Mohawk and Hudson River Humane Society.

Apparently the Mohawk and Hudson River Humane Society is resting right now because according to an e-mail I received from the Times Union’s Reader’s Network (TURN), “Staff writer Danielle Furfaro is following the story about the Mohawk and Hudson River Humane Society, which shut down this week after disease outbreaks caused the euthanization of more than 300 animals. Many have criticized how the shelter has been run in recent months.”

Humane Society workers, which in New York City, Pennsylvania and elsewhere, act as law enforcement officers in animal abuse and neglect cases, are quick to arrest people who neglect their animals. What I want to know is-will anyone at the Mohawk and Hudson River Humane Society be arrested for this fiasco?

If you are going to adopt one of these animals, I suggest you consider changing their names. Appropriate names include Smokey, Cinderella, Burns, Ashes, and Barbie Q.

Saturday, September 23, 2006

Fort Johnson Privy (Out House)

I've written before about the importance of the outhouse at Old Fort Johnson. It is believed that George Washington sat here, when he travelled through the Mohawk Valley. Enjoy this one minute video of one of the most important outhouses in the United States.

Amsterdam Castle

The former Amsterdam National Guard Armory, now a private residence, was the setting for a recent film, God's Good Pleasure. You can also visit the Castle's web site.

Friday, September 22, 2006

Is Tracking Sudafed A Patriotic Act?

It’s old news, but I didn’t know about it until I went to Rite-Aid in Amsterdam recently to buy some Sudafed. As someone who suffers from chronic sinusitis I rely on Sudafed. Sudafed is no longer stocked on the shelf. You have to wait in line at the pharmacy to buy it. That wouldn’t be so bad, except that you have to show the pharmacist your license, sign for the medicine, and your purchase is recorded in a database. You are also limited as to how much you can purchase each month.

Sudafed and its generic equivalent pseudoephedrine are key ingredients in the illegal manufacture of meth. The relatively new database of Sudafed users is part of the government’s war on drugs, and became law as a rider to the renewed Patriot Act.

If you read this blog regularly, I am sure you can guess how I feel about this. Rather than give my opinion, however, you can read the pros and cons here.

Apparently, some pharmacies have stopped selling Sudafed rather than deal with the information gathering required by law.

Thursday, September 21, 2006

Jack Carroll To Give His First Prison Interview.

Editor’s Note: For those of you who say there is never anything worth watching on television, please read the following e-mail I received from Justice Now. For background information on the Jack Carroll case, click here.

Jack Carroll speaking to Carl Strock from inside prison is the featured guest this weekend on Justice Now. I believe it is the first TV interview Carroll has done since he was first incarcerated eight and a half years ago. Strock taped the interview with Carroll at the Washington Correctional Facility in Comstock New York, several weeks ago. The half hour program edited and produced by Ernie Tetrault will be seen twice this weekend on Cable Channel 4(over the air channel 15) WNYA, at 9AM both Saturday and Sunday. The title of the program is "Waiting for Justice."

Despite being locked up Carroll reveals he has a very warm and extensive family life. His wife Mary visits him just about every weekend and talks to him by phone every night.

Like all inmates wives and family members Mary Carroll pays outrageously high phone bills . This is due to the sweetheart deal the phone company has made with the State which pulls in something like 25 million dollars a year profit from overpriced inmate phone calls.

While in prison Carroll has earned certification as a Paralegal and works every day in the prison law library helping other inmates with their various legal problems. During the course of the interview Carroll shares with Strock some interesting and compelling insights into the prison and parole systems.

Read Jack Carroll’s most recent letter from prison.

Monday, September 18, 2006

Paul Vandenburgh Is A Confused Conservative.

WROW's Paul Vandenburgh is a confused conservative. This morning he is railing against the AMD giveaway in Luther Forest, for which I agree with him. Corporate welfare is another form of big government. At the same time he is peeing his pants because local columnists have attacked the government for its weak case against Yassin M. Aref, 36, the leader of a Central Avenue mosque, and Mohammed M. Hossain, a pizzeria owner. Vandenburgh is also griping about the attacks against Trish DeAngelis over the prosecution of Christine Wilhelm.

Vandenburgh wants small government when it comes to taxes and corporate welfare, but he seems to think the expansion of our ever burgeoning prison system is a good thing. He seems to have no problem with using valuable police time to entice people who never committed a crime into committing crime. Vandenburgh’s ideas reflect the movement of conservatism away from traditional conservatism towards a conservatism that doesn’t look much different from liberalism, at least in its desire to expand government.

Amsterdam Memorial Hospital has dumped 38 jobs in a massive lay-off due to a $1.1 million dollar deficit. Have CEO, Donald Massey, and the other highly paid executives at the hospital considered taking a pay cut to set an example for the company? It might raise morale at the hospital if they did.

I didn’t know until I read Bob Cudmore’s article in Saturday’s (9/16/06) Daily Gazette that Paul Keesler died last year. I have mentioned Keesler in the past. Keesler was an avid outdoorsman and loved the Mohawk Valley. His premature death is a great loss to the Mohawk Valley. He was working on a book on the Valley when he died. His family is trying to get the book published. You can read the unfinished work on-line. Keesler also wrote books about the West Canada or Kuyahoora Valley.

For those of you interested in local history, Peter Betz, Fulton County Historian, wrote a great piece in the Leader Herald recently on a tragic explosion in downtown Gloversville in 1937.

Friday, September 15, 2006

New York's Emerald Green Party & Other Random Thoughts.

If you think the race for governor of New York State is simply Do Re Mi vs. Faso, you are wrong. There are alternatives. One is Malachy McCourt, running on the Green Party ticket. McCourt is the older but lesser known brother of Frank McCourt, author of Angela’s Ashes and ‘Tis. While Frank McCourt is one of the greatest writers I've ever read, his brother Malachy, who is also a writer, is not so good. Malachy is better known as an actor. He played the bartender in The Molly Maguires, had a role in Gods And Generals and had a number of other small roles in movies and television series. Even though Malachy is not a great writer, if you want to see how Hollywood chews up and spits out the vast majority of actors, then I recommend reading his books. If you don’t like Spitzer or Faso, then check out the Green Party.

The Porco trial was not the most important trial of the year in the Capital Region. More important is the trial, now in progress, of Yassin M. Aref, 36, the leader of a Central Avenue mosque, and Mohammed M. Hossain, 51, a pizza shop owner, who face the possibility of life in prison if convicted of aiding terrorists. But I wouldn’t look for the Times Union or WNYT to start a Aref & Hossain Trial Blog anytime soon.

The Leader-Herald of Gloversville is a small newspaper that, unlike The Recorder of Amsterdam, writes its own editorials. And it writes some good ones. A recent editorial on the IRS telling ministers what they can and can’t preach is a good example.

The Rensselaer County DA’s office must have worked overtime this week to help Patricia DeAngelis save face over the Christine Wilhelm case. The DA says she doesn’t want to re-try the case because she wants to save Wilhelm’s son the pain of testifying again. DeAngelis continues to say that her primary task is to protect the citizens of Rensselaer County. She sounds like our president (yes, I’m guilty. I voted for him twice) who continues to say his primary job is to protect the Homeland (fatherland, motherland), when the oath of office they both took obligates them to protect the Constitution.

While Trish DeAngelis has made her reputation by prosecuting sex offenders, both real and imaginary, DA Louise Sira of Fulton County has made her reputation by prosecuting people who abuse and neglect animals. While there is strong evidence that Jane Fletcher poisoned her dogs earlier this year; the evidence against her son is less compelling. According to Edward Fletcher, he shot the dogs after finding out that his mother poisoned them in order to put them out of their misery. Fletcher’s mother and sister corroborate his story, but Edward Fletcher was charged with the same 13 counts that his mother was charged with. The only charge against Edward that makes sense is “destroying evidence” which he did by burning the dogs’ bodies.

Wednesday, September 13, 2006

Veteran Prison Guard Charges NYS DOCS With Racism.

Editor’s Note: Upstream received the following story via e-mail from a twelve year veteran New York State Department of Corrections officer who believes he was unduly fired and that his race was a factor in his firing. Upstream publishes his story in the interest of justice.

My name is Terrance L. Wilson Sr, I was a New York State Corrections officer from August 08 1994 until August 14 2006.

After filing a complaint of racial harassment against Then Deputy Superintendent William J. Connolly with the department and the State Division of Human Rights, I was suspended on false charges of assaulting an inmate on November 05, 2002. August 12, 2003. Nine months after being suspended I went to an arbitration hearing and the state requested an adjournment because they were not ready to proceed. I was placed back on payroll by the arbitrator because it was clear that the state was using the disciplinary process as punishment instead of going through the process and letting the punishment come at the end if needed.

Angered by the decision to place me back on payroll, Then Deputy Superintendent William J. Connolly had me arrested for the same charges I was already suspended for and then called me in to Sing-Sing Correctional Facility on August 26 2003 and suspended me again for being arrested and removed me from payroll thereby circumventing the decision of the arbitrator to place me back on payroll.

I went through a trial at the Ossining Village courthouse with Village Justice Raymond Barlaam presiding over the case. The trial dragged out until November. During this time I received numerous calls telling me to give up and resign. My family was harassed, I was followed, My information was illegally sent to the opposing attorney in my divorce case in Bronx supreme court and my son was removed from the home he shared with me for twelve years based on this information from NYSDOCS. Sing-Sing Superintendent Brian Fisher said the information was released without me being notified by mistake. My cousin who worked at the Westchester County Jail was placed under arrest by the New York State Department of Corrections and accused of worker's compensation fraud. Since he was on probation he was terminated without a hearing. My fiancée' who is also a New York State Correction Officer has been threatened on many occasions.

After finally finding an arbitrator that they could manipulate, NYSDOCS decided to go on with my arbitration hearing in May of 2006. I had been found guilty after a joke of a trial at the Ossining Village Court of the violation of Harassment 2nd in November of 2004, not even a crime. By NYSCOPBA contract and department directive this would not even have to be reported to the facility. A violation only has to be reported to the facility if it is in relation to drugs. My Notice of Discipline should have been thrown out but it was not. The union officials that stood up and spoke out on these wrongdoing were themselves targeted. The supervisor who was coerced into lying on me to initiate all of this, Sgt. Emerson Coulthrust was found to have immigration issues and taken into custody at Sing-Sing Correctional facility by Immigration and Citizenship and Homeland Security Agents. He was forced to retire.

I have written numerous letters to Gov. George Pataki, Commissioner Glen Goord, Senator Bill Larkin and Senator Jeff Klein to no avail. I have had my sealed court records illegally released and used against me at my arbitration hearing and used to terminate me. I have had my employers called and given false information hoping to have me terminated. I have had my creditors called and told I have illegally gained income. I am currently in Southern District Court fighting for my life and my career which was taken away by individuals allowed to act with impunity by Gov. George Pataki. Representatives of the department have knowingly perjured themselves in several different cases against the department.

How could I have been terminated for something that I could not have been suspended for?

When are these individuals held accountable for their actions?

There are countless examples of Caucasian Officers in similar or worse situations not being disciplined at all or even when they were it was never this harsh or prolonged. I know this sound incredible in this day and age but I have all of the official records as proof.

My life has been destroyed and I need help to get things right.

I thought the days of separate but equal were long behind us, but apparently only when you do not work for the New York State Department of Correctional Services.

Monday, September 11, 2006

Opposing Viewpoints On 9/11 & On Ralph Bucky Phillips.


“Now the miserable creature will suffer for the rest of his life in the New York state prison system.” New York State Police Superintendent, Wayne Bennett

“...The Phillips I knew was definitely not some kind of animal. This was a guy who was really trying to turn his life around...” John Keavey, Parole lawyer for Ralph ‘Bucky’ Phillips.

“I feel nothing but contempt and disgust for the man.” Erie County Sheriff, Timothy Howard.

“I don’t apologize for him. I feel there’s no justification for what he did. He should have the maximum punishment. But I feel some guilt. I was part of the team that tried to help him, even though my efforts were sabotaged.” Sylvia Honig, Phillips’ social worker when he was incarcerated in Brookwood, a juvenile detention center, in 1976-77. (From Carl Strock’s column in the Sunday Gazette of Sept. 10, 2006).

“There are other Ralphs being established right now in Brookwood and other places.” Sylvia Honig.


“The best way to control people is to frighten them. Sept. 11 was just a gift to them (the Bush Administration) and to other harsh and repressive elements throughout the world. That was evident instantly. That was the first thing I said when I was asked by reporters what I thought the effect would be. And, yes, that’s what it is. They have to keep people frightened, keep having scares come, make it look as if they’re doing something bold and courageous to defend the American people from international terrorism. And the best thing to do is to pick up cheap targets which are not costly and where you can strike dramatic gestures and so on.” Noam Chomsky in an interview by Nicholas Holt on March 8, 2002.

"Laura and I approach tomorrow with a heavy heart. It's hard not to think about people who lost their lives on Sept. 11th, 2001," he said. "I vowed that I'm never going to forget the lessons of that day." President George W. Bush. Sept. 10, 2006

Friday, September 08, 2006

New Mohawk Valley Blog.

Rebecca Mecomber has started a new Mohawk Valley blog, called Mohawk Valley View. Its subtitle is “Perspective from a non-native, non-Italian, non-politician resident of the Mohawk Valley. Just my two cents worth.”

Rebecca defines the Mohawk Valley in narrower terms than I do. She says, “The Mohawk Valley area is unique. I consider the Mohawk Valley to very generally be Route 5 east-west from Oneida to Little Falls and Route 8 north-south from North Utica to Cassville. The official Mohawk Valley stretches out a little further beyond this, but for clarity and brevity (!) that is what I pin the area down to.”

Rebecca’s blog focuses primarily on what is known as the upper Mohawk Valley. My blog which puports to focus on the entire Mohawk Valley, tends to focus on the lower and middle Mohawk.

It’s exciting to see another voice join the chorus of Mohawk Valley bloggers. And I like how she lists her occupation as New York Taxpayer.

Rebecca has another blog also, which has a lot of nice photographs and a great entry on Fort Stanwix.

Wednesday, September 06, 2006

Three Women Respond To Judge David Jung.

I have written several times about Judge David Jung, Fulton County Family Court Judge. One of my posts received three responses, which I wanted to hi-light because comments to older posts are not often likely to be read by people.

Jill - July 23, 2006
Hi I had a heck of a run in with Jung,,,,,,,, I was smart enough to go to the commission on judicial conduct ,,,,,,,,,,,,,I’m waiting but I’m sure he will receive some censure or be admonished something has to happen, he’s nuts………and my daughter is with her abusive father because of it, temporarily ...albany ny

Deb - July 28, 2006
Hi I just read a comment by Jill about judge Jung. I also was just recently in front of him and after 13 years of raising my two daughters this judge decides that they are better off with their abusive father. I would like to get information on this commission of judicial conduct people. I never knew anything like that existed. if you can please email me any information. and your right about the fact that something needs to be done about him! glenfield, ny

Kelly of Johnstown - September 2, 2006
Well my niece just was killed in a car accident last month and left a 3 month old son, my sister (the grandmother) is fighting the low life non existent father on custody. My sister’s lawyer had the case postponed due to another court case and my sister received the paperwork with the new date in the mail. Well the baby’s father is also fighting her on custody and tried to serve her but she DID NOT SIGN the papers…he went to court anyway and judge Jung gave him custody on default that my sister never showed up. they came and took the baby….it is absolutely unbelievable that he allowed, legally, for it to get to the point of listening to the baby’s father without my sister and not obeying the postponement date…How could this have happened. And of course it is a long weekend. So she has to wait until Tuesday. Does he hate women that much? I know he had a bitter divorce…but every situation is different. Being in that position gives him too much power with his own opinion. Help what can we do to have him stop this nonsense!!

Tuesday, September 05, 2006

R.I.P. Joseph Longobardo & Rocco Petrone.

Amsterdam lost two distinguished native sons recently. While neither had lived in Amsterdam for some time, both were born and brought up there.

"FREDONIA -- State Trooper Joseph Longobardo, a 32-year-old Ballston Spa resident, died Sunday afternoon, almost three days after he was ambushed in the woods of western New York and shot in the leg."

Read the rest of the story here.

"LOS ANGELES (AP)—Rocco Petrone, who was director of launch operations at Kennedy Space Center in the 1960s and played a key role in the Apollo program that landed men on the moon, has died. He was 80.

Petrone, who later served as director of NASA's Marshall Space Flight Center, died Aug. 24 at his home in suburban Palos Verdes Estates of complications related to diabetes, his wife Ruth said this week.

Born in Amsterdam, N.Y., Petrone graduated from the U.S. Military Academy in 1946. After serving in Germany, he worked on various missile programs, including the nation's first ballistic missile.

He went to work for the Army general staff at the Pentagon before transferring in 1960 to NASA's facilities at Cape Canaveral, Fla., now Kennedy Space Center.

Petrone took over planning, development and activation of all launch facilities for the Saturn rockets used in the Apollo program."

Read the entire obituary here.

Read NASA’s biography of Petrone.

Monday, September 04, 2006

Demolition Of Mohawk Mills Power Plant Smokestack.

This Amsterdam landmark could be seen from several miles until it came down this summer.

Mohawk Mills Building 36 Demolition

Video of the demolition of Mohawk Mills Building 36 earlier this summer.

Train ride along the Mohawk

With all the hype about YouTube, I thought I would take a look at it. Most of the videos are mediocre at best. Here is a 24 second video of a train ride near Cranesville, showing the old Adirondack Power and Light Company in the background. The videographer mistakenly refers to this as Schenectady County rather than Montgomery County.

Sunday, September 03, 2006

Thought For The Day.

Do not pursue what is illusory - property and position: all that is gained at the expense of your nerves decade after decade and can be confiscated in one fell night. Live with a steady superiority over life - don't be afraid of misfortune, and do not yearn after happiness; it is after all, all the same: the bitter doesn't last forever, and the sweet never fills the cup to overflowing.

--Alexander Solzhenitsyn

Friday, September 01, 2006

Nazi Storm Troopers In Albany?

local0831swatCopyright 2006 Times Union.

There is something eerie about this photo that appeared on the Times Union’s web site yesterday. It shows an Albany SWAT team looking for a gunman who fired some shots on Madison Avenue.

If you removed the SWAT and police signs from the uniforms, this photo could be of a group of Nazi storm troopers looking for Jews in some European city. The color of the uniforms and style of the helmets especially make these guys look like storm troopers instead of cops.

That’s not to say that I equate these guys with Nazi storm troopers. But if the current expansion of government and clamp down on civil liberties continue in our country, I wouldn’t be surprised to see storm troopers on our streets in my lifetime.