Sunday, July 30, 2006

Alderman Reynolds works to silence train whistles

Alderman Bill Reynolds has petitioned the Kingston Common Council to decide whether or not to buy horns that would drastically decrease the annoyance of overly loud train whistles, I personally think it is a good idea said Blaber, I get more complaints on my show about the train whistles and it is not going away if anything it seems to be getting worse, I am glad Alderman Reynolds is bringing this issue to the forefront.

Reynolds wrote that train traffic through the city probably will increase in the coming years and that the horns would be a good investment. Routinely, 40-50 freight trains operated by CSX Corp. travel through the city each day.

"Over the last few years, the problem (of loud train whistles) has only worsened, particularly after the CSX Corp. purchased Conrail," Reynolds wrote. "... For several years, my constituents, and even constituents from the neighboring Sixth Ward, have asked me if there is something, anything, we could do about the problem of excessive whistling noise."

Reynolds said the matter even has affected his own family.

"My son has been ripped out of his sleep on several occasions," the alderman said. "We all know how much sleep children need. Their health can be negatively impacted by the lack of it and so can the health of some adults."

The wayside horns, estimated to cost a total of about $360,000, would be placed at the six street-level crossings in the city. When a train approaches, the horns - pointed directly at traffic - would be activated, rendering the train whistles unnecessary.
Proponents of the horns say their sound would not carry as far as that of the train whistles, which can be heard for miles around.

Reynolds, who pledged two weeks ago that he would request borrowing money to buy the horns, added that he is "asking the Common Council to consider (the) request to bond for the funds we will need to purchase wayside horns so people young and old, for the sake of their health and safety of others, can get a better night's sleep."

Alderwoman AnnMarie DiBella, who supports Reynolds' position, said the time has come to purchase the horns.

"I think there is enough compelling reasons to convince the council that this is something that needs to be done to improve a long standing problem in the city," said DiBella, D-Ward 5.
The matter probably will go to the council's Finance/Economic Development Committee first. If it reaches the floor of the full nine-member council, six "yea" votes (a two-thirds majority) would be needed to approve borrowing any money to buy the horns.

The six-street level railroad crossings in Kingston are on Flatbush Avenue, Cemetery Road, Foxhall Avenue, Tenbroeck Avenue, Gage Street and Smith Avenue.

Friday, July 28, 2006

Kingston Public Access back on the air!

Kingston Public Access returns to the air waves after a 3 week hiatus, The station is pleased to be back said Blaber, who is vice-chairman of the Kingston Public Access commission. I think over all we made a pretty smooth transition we had a lot to do moving all the equipment to the new studio, re-hooking everything up and securing insurance which Blaber admits took a little more time then expected but pointed out that it took longer because we shopped around to get the best rate so we can save money, and have more to invest back into the station.

The new studio is located at 5 Sterling St. In the City of Kingston, I really think it is a step up from where we were there is a lot more space and has a lot more potential to be something great. I would like to give a special thanks to Alderman Bob Senor who spent over 10 hours helping the station move and setting things up so we could get back on in a timely fashion.

Any producers who have any questions about the new studio or need a key to the building are asked to e-mail kpa at for more information.

Wednesday, July 26, 2006

Spitzer and Suozzi square off

Last night, Attorney General Elliot Spitzer and Nassau County Executive Tom Suozzi squared off in a debate at Pace University, both candidates held there own said Blaber but at the end of the night there defiantly was a clear winner, Elliot Spitzer has better idea for NY state and Mr.Suozzi choose to attack the attorney general on a number of things and I think it back fired; people do not want that type of campaign. They want someone who will stick to the issues and Mr. Spitzer did just that.

Democrats Eliot Spitzer and Tom Suozzi clashed in the first governor's campaign debate on Tuesday night. If you look at the polls, it's obvious Tom Suozzi's in trouble: almost 70 points down and he had to go on the attack tonight. He did from the very beginning.

Suozzi: "Eliot's been in office past seven and a half years in Albany and he's never really focused on government reform. Instead, he's focused on Wall Street."

Spitzer hit back, accusing Suozzi of balancing Nassau County's budget with higher taxes and criticized him for running a negative campaign.

Spitzer: "You called me King George. You said standing up to me is like fighting tyranny. Last time I checked Tom, we hadn't taxed any of your tea."

They clashed on many key issues, like gay marriage:

Spitzer: "I think same sex marriage should be legal. I will propose a bill to permit that to be the case in the state of New York."

Suozzi: "I do not agree with Eliot Spitzer and I do not support gay marriage."
Death penalty:

Suozzi: "I will always remain opposed to the death penalty on principle."

Spitzer: "In context of crimes against humanity, terrorism, death of police officers, yes I believe the death penalty is appropriate sanction."
They also disagreed on Mayor Bloomberg's praise of Con Edison CEO Kevin Burke.

Spitzer: "Do I share my good friend Mike Bloomberg's view of the CEO of Con Ed, absolutely not. I was stunned that he said it."

Suozzi: "There's no question. Con Ed should've done a better job, but I'm not going to second guess the mayor and say he was wrong."

And when asked if either candidates was interested in becoming the president of the United States, they disagreed on that too.

Spitzer: "No, I'm not."

Suozzi: "Yes, I am."

Only Tom Suozzi met with reporters after the debate. He accused Eliot Spitzer of becoming hostile backstage because Suozzi was holding a book with notes. Spitzer's campaign pointed out that having notes was against debate rules.

Suozzi needed this debate to give his campaign some exposure. The problem is: it was seen only by a handful of cable viewers.

Tuesday, July 25, 2006

Gore Makes environmental Appeal

CHAUTAUQUA, N.Y. (AP) -- Former Vice President Al Gore said his conscience is regularly challenged by a consumerism that contributes to the global warming he has made it his mission to reverse.

"It is so hard for those of us who want to live according to our values," Gore said Monday at the Chautauqua Institution, during the latest in a series of lectures he has given on global warming.
"We're embedded in a culture that makes it so easy to just go with the flow and support a pattern that's horribly destructive," he said. "And so we need to address this personally."

Gore first lectured on global warming at the western New York think tank in 1990. Since then, the consensus that the planet is in crisis has grown stronger, he said, and the ability to make the point is not cluttered by campaign issues like the economy and health care.

"This is by far the most serious challenge that we face or have ever faced," he said during the 90-minute appearance. "None of the other ones will matter if we don't get this right."
Later, Gore planned to sign copies of his book, "An Inconvenient Truth." The related documentary film was being shown on campus.

Dressed in a navy suit and tie and occasionally wandering from his podium, Gore showed the packed house dozens of slides to make his point that human behavior, if not changed, would destroy the planet.

He pointed to the melting of glaciers and mountain ice caps, bleaching of coral reefs, strengthening of hurricanes and record numbers of tornadoes.
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"We're playing with fire here and we have to act quickly," he said. "The good news is we can."
Flyers distributed to attendees urged them to use fluorescent light bulbs, drive less, plant a tree, recycle and avoid products with a lot of packaging to reduce carbon dioxide. Besides the 5,500 people in the auditorium, at least 200 people waited outside during his address.
Gore said he and his wife, Tipper, who was in the audience, had adopted a "carbon neutral lifestyle."

"We've fallen into this pattern of consuming more and more and more and I'm part of it, I understand," he said.

Note: This story is from the A.P.

Wednesday, July 19, 2006

Blaber News Endorses Marc Molinaro for NYS Assembly

Blaber News is pleased to endorse Marc Molinaro for the NYS Assembly, Mr. Molinaro has done wonders for Tivoli on a town level and a great job for Dutchess on a county level, I know that he will do a good job for the assembly on a state level said Blaber, it is not about the party (Molinaro who is a republican) he is a great public servant and I feel he will do the best job.

“I take my role as a public servant very seriously. Serving in elected office since 1994 I have dedicated myself to enthusiastic and honest public service.

Never missing a legislative meeting and working in a bi-partisan manner, I have been involved in the drafting or promotion of every major piece of legislation adopted in the last four years. From public health, to criminal justice, from land use funding to sweeping reform of our child protective services, I have attempted to represent the interests of our community while addressing the major issues facing our county.

I love public service and I love the communities I serve. As a graduate of the Red Hook school district, community volunteer and proud parent, I am invested and committed to the people I serve. I value our diversity, heritage, landscape, possibilities and potential. I will listen, learn and strive to make a difference in your life and the life of our community.

Troubled water within the GOP

Alderman Bob Senor and Alderman Al Teetsel have come under fire by Kingston Republican chairwoman Jean Jacobs for not siding with Minority Leader Rich Cahill on key issues, Jacobs specificity lashed out at Alderman Senor saying he was not a team player and fell short of calling him a poor leader " a good leader listens, Senor is going Solo" Senor is an alderman with an independent voice and has done a good job thus far. Senor and Teetsel have listened to both sides and offered solutions that is there job it is Mr. Cahill who seems to be going solo, said Blaber but I will let them fight amongst themselves.

In response, Senor said he is doing the job that his constituency wants him to do and is getting more accomplished by cooperating with the mayor's office. There was a time when the veteran alderman, almost on a daily basis, criticized Sottile as mayor and when he was Common Council president.

Senor pointed out the Common Council unanimously appointed him as acting mayor while Sottile was out of town this past weekend, something that would never have happened a few years ago.

"I would have been lucky then if they made me dog warden," Senor said.

Jacobs also criticized Senor and Teetsel for their expected attendance this Thursday on the mayor's fundraising boat cruise, the largest donation event the mayor holds all year.

"I am disturbed by that," Jacobs said.

Senor said neither man paid for cruise tickets and said his employer purchased them and he decided to go for a friendly outing.

"I have a personal life," Senor said.

Saturday, July 15, 2006

Chief Keller sees drop in Serious Crime 34%

For the first half of 2006 Serious Crime is down 34% from last year, after rising 17% in late 05. '' This shows that the city is not going to let crime run rampant, and you have to give the credit to Chief Keller and all of the members of the Kingston Police Department. They are true professionals, who do an excellent job for this city'' said Blaber. I talked with the Chief last week and you can just tell how much he cares about the city and making it a safe place to live for the residents of this community.

What is a serious crime? Using FBI standards, the city defines serious crime as murder, rape, robbery, aggravated assault, burglary, larceny and vehicle theft.

"I am pleased that (crime statistics) are down over last year, and I am cautiously optimistic that we will maintain that downward trend," Keller said. "It has gone down a substantial amount over a six-month period."

Among the new crime statistics:
* There were 13 reports of motor vehicle-related thefts during the first half of 2006, compared to 25 in the second half of 2005 and 23 in the first half of 2005.
* There were 58 burglary reports, compared to 56 and 59.
* There were 26 robbery reports, compared to 37 and 35.
* There were 18 reports of aggravated assault, compared to 19 and 15.
There also were four reported rapes during the first half of 2006, compared to seven in late 2005 and four in early 2005.
Kingston has had no reported murders or negligent manslaughters so far in 2006, and there also were none during all of 2005.

Keller could not say with certainty why serious crime has been down this year, but he noted that his department has put extra officers on the streets of Midtown - an area where criminal activity has been a problem over the years - thanks, in large part, to money provided by a state crime-fighting program called Operation Impact.

He also said his department has been successful in reducing the number of vehicle break-ins by arresting perpetrators and urging the public to keep valuable items out of view in their cars.

Wednesday, July 12, 2006

Shandaken Town Supervisor Robert Cross strikes town resident

Republican Town of Shandaken Supervisor Robert Cross Jr. struck a town resident Tuesday night, minutes before there scheduled meeting the resident came in barely able to walk saying " Supervisor Cross just punched me in the face." What example is this Town Leader sending? If you do not like what your constituents have to say, you have the right to knock them out? The abuse of power is unbelievable.

Cross a republican, who has been town supervisor for 2{ years, has recently faced accusations of incompetence over his handling of negotiations with New York City over details of the proposed Phoenicia sewer system. Some residents even called for his impeachment two months ago.
The supervisor has been criticized for a number of actions during his term, but none had risen to the level of Monday's altercation.

Vinci, who is small compared to Cross, said after the meeting that the fight broke out when he informed Cross of his intention to "go public" that evening and expose Cross' behavior and actions regarding a lawsuit that Vinci and other landowners had filed against Cross and the town's assessors.

Vinci later addressed the Town Board, calling Cross a liar and other names, and outlining elements of the lawsuit.

"This is why he hit me outside," Vinci said. "Because of what I'm about to say now."
Vinci then launched a scathing attack on Cross and the assessors, claiming he was a victim of extortion and strong-arm tactics during a dispute over the assessed value of 500 acres he owns in town.

Sunday, July 09, 2006

KPA to re-start KPA awards

Kingston Public Access to start awards for best shows..... "kpa will start a search for a 9 member board that will decide on awards for shows on the station, the awards will cover all sorts of categories from best political show, to best musical show. One award that will remain is the T.R. Gallo award which is for the best overall show on the station, T.R. was a strong supporter of public access and I think he would be happy of what kpa has turned into."

Sunday, July 02, 2006

Mayor Sottile sees City of Kingston credit rating skyrocket

The city of Kingston credit rating goes up once again during the Sottile administration this time by 2 full points going from a Baa 1 to an A rating, this is great news for The City of Kingston said Blaber this higher credit rating will allow the city to borrow money at a lower credit rating therefore lowering taxes.

Mayor Sottile's work in this effort is a great indication that he does not just settle when it comes to the city and it's residents, he worked hard to get the best rating possible and in the end his efforts paid off.

Mayor James Sottile called the new "A" rating by Standard & Poor's an indication of the improving health of city finances and said the rating will help the city get lower interest rates when it borrows money.

Earlier this year, the city was rated "Baa1" by Moody's Investor Service, two points below the Standard & Poor's rating.

Alderman Rich Cahill, accused the Mayor of ratings shopping, although such a comment does not warrant a response, I will say this Alderman Cahill has criticized every move made by Mayor Sottile yet he has offered no solutions. Mr. Cahill needs to remember that he can no longer throw snowballs from the outside, he is an alderman and held at a higher standard.

Saturday, July 01, 2006

What should be done with The Carnegie Library?

The Carnegie Library has sat dormant for 30 years after it was sold to the Kingston School District, since then it has deteriorated to the point that it is now estimated that this historical landmark will cost 3 million dollars to repair, this price will only go up as time goes on and more problems occur the time to act is now. Let's not let what happened to the "old post office" happen to The Carnegie Library.

A brief history on Carnegie Library's : Carnegie libraries are libraries which were built with money donated by Scottish-American businessman Andrew Carnegie. Over 2,500 Carnegie libraries were built, including public and university libraries. Carnegie earned the nickname Patron Saint of Libraries.
Of the 2,509 libraries funded between 1883 and 1929, 1,689 were built in the United States, 660 in Britain and Ireland, 156 in Canada, and others in Australia, New Zealand, the Caribbean, and Fiji. Very few towns that requested a grant and agreed to his terms were refused. When the last grant was made in 1919, there were 3,500 libraries in the United States, nearly half of them paid for by Carnegie.

In the early 20th century, a Carnegie library was the most imposing structure in hundreds of small American communities from Maine to California. Contrary to the belief of many people, most of the library buildings were unique, displaying a number of different Beaux-Arts and other architectural styles, including Italian Renaissance, Baroque, Classical Revival and Spanish Colonial. Each style was chosen by the community and was typically simple and formal, welcoming patrons to enter through a prominent doorway, nearly always accessed via a staircase.

Carnegie believed in giving to the "industrious and ambitious; not those who need everything done for them, but those who, being most anxious and able to help themselves, deserve and will be benefited by help from others.

The Carnegie Library is a historical landmark in the City of Kingston, and I think it is fair too say the community wants it restored, it has been the subject of two State of the City addresses by our Late mayor T.R. Gallo, In 2002 Mayor Sottile was exploring the possibility of the City taking it back and putting it on tax-rolls and in 2003 Assemblyman Kevin Cahill was able to secure a 250k grant to stabilize the building for the school district, so while everyone is able to agree The Carnegie Library building needs to be restored there are many ideas on what should be done with it. What do you think? I am looking for public input on what should be done with The Carnegie Library, please take a second and fill out your opinion in our poll and in the viewer comments section which will be presented to the Mayor and the School Board at a city wide meeting I am organizing early next month. Your input is very much appreciated.

Blaber News Person of the Week Alderman Mike Madsen

This weeks Blaber News Person of the week is Kingston Alderman Mike Madsen for his tireless work to settle a new contract between Time Warner cable and the city of Kingston and his work with Kingston Public Access Ch.23. " Alderman Madsen has went out of his way to try to finalize this contract said Blaber he has also worked hard with K.P.A. and I think the council is privileged to have him as there Cable Committee Chairman.

Alderman Mike Madsen who chairs the Kingston Cable Committee has worked hard to finalize a contract with Time Warner cable and the City of Kingston, a contract which is 10 years over due. There have been many obstacles in the way of finalizing this contract but because of Madsen's diligent work with the rest of the members of his committee and continuing the hard work of former alderman Chris Gonyea who was very instrumental in his work in trying to get this contract signed,( he as well was chairman of the cable committee during his tenure as Alderman), a new 10-year contract will be signed next month.

Alderman Madsen is also the liaison to the KPA commission and helped with KPA's recent telethon, were he spearheaded the grave yard shift going on with producer Shawn Keizer and Chris Gonyea from 1230 to 6am. I am a night owl said Madsen and I wanted to go on and show my support for KPA and try to raise money. Alderman Madsen has been a strong supporter of having KPA develop 501 (c)3 status.