Sunday, February 25, 2007
Last week on my show on public access television, my guest was a member of the Kingston School Board, Daniel Gartenstien, Esq. During the show we discussed Trustee Gartenstein's five-year tenure on the Kingston School Board, as well as many other school board issues. Mr. Gartenstein also mentioned that this year he would not seek re-election and would instead focus more time to his law practice and his family. Mr. Gartenstein, who had contacted me previously about running for a seat on the school board, made public his hope that I throw my hat into the race to succeed him. I am honored that Mr. Gartenstein would think of me and while I tip-toed around the issue last Monday, I am proud to say I am going to run for a seat on the Kingston School Board.
I have always thought of serving on the Kingston School Board at some point in my life, but with going to school full time as well as working, I was not sure how to fit it in my schedule. With a few class changes and a different job, I have found a way and it could not come at a better time. There are a lot of important issues facing the board right now and I believe I have a wealth of information and ideas that will be beneficial to the school community.
In the next few weeks I will review the proposed budget for the district for the upcoming fiscal year. Additionally, I would like to make appointments at all 14 schools in the district and meet with faculty, staff, administration and possibly students to see what concerns are facing them and what improvements they would like to see happen and what currently is working and what is not working. I would also like to meet with Superintendent Gretzinger to discuss what he envisions for the future of Kingston City Schools.
Please join me for this exciting adventure, I welcome any thoughts, or suggestions you may have. Feel free to contact me by phone or e-mail anytime, details below.
Jeremy K. Blaber
Jonathan Sennett, candidate for Ulster County District Attorney, will appear this Monday on Late Night w/ Jeremy Blaber to discuss his candidacy. " I am excited to have him on he has a lot of fresh ideas and I want the people to hear what he has to say." The show airs Monday the 26th at 10pm. Stay tuned.
Note : Senator Larkin's show will be on next week, their was a problem with the tapping and the audio is being fixed.
Saturday, February 24, 2007
Friday, February 23, 2007
This is a picture I found of Gov. Spitzer, I took this during Gov. Spitzer's visit to Uptown Kingston during his campaign. The picture is of a local farmer presenting the Governor with a box of home grown berries, (with a sign " Farmer's for Spitzer") as Mayor Sottile and Ulster County legislator Susan Zimet look on.
On a side note: Mayor Sottile meet with children at George Wahington school yesterday and answered questions about his job as Mayor, as well as other questions the kids asked about the city. A parent of one of the kids told me how proud his daughter was to meet the mayor and how much it meant to her. " It really is something, she was ecstatic, he (Mayor Sottile) made her day."
Tuesday, February 20, 2007
Check out Jonathan Sennett's website at : http://www.sennettforda.com
The following is an excerpt from Mr. Sennett's bio :
Born and bred in New York State, Jonathan R. Sennett received his Bachelor's Degree, cum laude, from the University of Maryland at College Park and his law degree from Brooklyn Law School. He began his career as an attorney in the Office of the Bronx County District Attorney in January 1994. During his first two years, he led a team of ten assistant district attorneys each handling nearly one hundred misdemeanor cases at all times. He spent the next twelve months conducting hundreds of grand jury investigations in cases ranging from gun possession to homicide. For the following two and one-half years, Sennett tried over thirty violent felony cases before over ten different judges. Throughout his tenure as a prosecutor, he maintained a reputation as hard hitting yet fair, knowledgeable on the law, practical in his approach to the system and ever vigilant in his pursuit of justice.
In June, 1999, shortly after the birth of his first child he left the District Attorney’s Office to enter private practice, where he represented terminally ill clients in asbestos products liability cases in state and federal courts from Massachusetts to Texas. In 2000, he and his family moved to New Paltz and he relocated his practice to the Hudson Valley in 2002.
Since 2002, Jonathan R. Sennett has been trying cases in nearly every level of trial court in Ulster and neighboring counties - including Justice Court, Family Court, County Court and Supreme Court. He has also argued cases before the Supreme Court, Appellate Division for the Third Department, located in Albany.
Jonathan has been married for over ten years to Mari Ann Connolly Sennett, herself a former Bronx County Assistant District Attorney. They live with their two young daughters, Shaena and Aedan, in New Paltz, where he has served a term as a member of the Town of New Paltz Environmental Conservation Commission (2003-2005) and remains committed to helping the various town youth athletic programs by coaching and sponsoring teams.
Sunday, February 18, 2007
I thought I would share this editorial today that was in The New York Times, pretty much saying what a great job Mr. Cuomo is doing as AG.
With Gov. Eliot Spitzer now adding so much political electricity to New York’sthese days, it is sometimes easy to overlook all the commotion going on right down the hall. There, in the offices of New York’s attorney general, Andrew Cuomo and his high-powered staff are beginning to make waves all over the state.
Sworn in on Jan. 1, Mr. Cuomo has since unveiled the following projects. For anyone interested in improving, this is sweet music.
*He recently announced his intention to sue Exxon Mobil and four other oil companies unless they can reach an agreement to clean up Newtown Creek, a heavily polluted waterway separating Queens and. The pollution results from a leak in a Standard Oil refinery many years ago; the seepage continues to find its way into the East River, meanwhile creating toxic vapors that threaten neighborhoods along the canal.
Despite heavy pressure from environmental groups, chiefly Riverkeeper, the state’s Department of Environmental Conservation has so far been unwilling to push the companies very hard. Mr. Cuomo’s intervention is therefore welcome.
*He and his staff have developed a new and powerful strategy to make certain that the millions of dollars legislators give away each year — the so-called member items used to underwrite special projects in a legislator’s home district — actually have a true “public purpose.” The attorney general’s office is responsible for approving contracts before the state gives out money. This has usually been a rubber-stamp operation, but now the person or entity that gets the money will have to certify that there is no financial connection to the politician who grants the funds. The recipient also has to promise to do what the contract pays for. That means no more handouts to relatives, no more handouts to business partners, no more easy money.
This will still not prevent powerful politicians like Assembly speaker Sheldon Silver from routing extra millions to their own districts, but it might make the Senate majority leader, Joseph Bruno, think twice before giving a fat state grant to a company run by one of his business associates.
*He has started Project Sunlight, which Mr. Spitzer has endorsed by providing money for it in this year’s budget. Sunlight is just the thingneeds. As now designed, the project would organize public data — including information about campaign finance, lobbying, state contracts and legislative activity — on one Web site, replacing a system that is “balkanized and unconnected,” as a news release laments.
These and other proposals look promising. The challenge for Mr. Cuomo will be to stick to the high road so that the investigations do not smack of politics and appear to be the work of just another ambitious official pursuing headlines and higher office. If Mr. Cuomo and his staff really follow through on his news releases and public promises, New Yorkers could be rewarded with a state government and an environment that are, simply, cleaner than before.
Saturday, February 17, 2007
The new jail is finally open! 2 years later; and almost 20 million over budget, inmates moved into the new jail today. This is an historic day and I applaud Sherriff Paul Van Blarcum and Ulster legislator Richard Parete, who chairs the special Law Enforcement Center Committee. This has been a long process and I am glad it is finally complete.
Please go downtown and support the local businesses at the Kingston Mardi Gras. This is a very nice family event, their are ice sculptures, musical bands, and different activities. All at very reasonable prices. My hat goes off to the Mayor and Alderman Senor as well as all the local businesses downtown for putting this together. I encourage everyone to go down and check it out. I'll see you down there.
Friday, February 16, 2007
Here is a list of appointments Gov. Spitzer has made thus far. FYI
M. Patricia Smith, Commissioner, New York State Department of Labor
Karen Carpenter-Palumbo, Commissioner, Office of Alcoholism andSubstance Abuse Services
Patrick Hooker, Commissioner, Department of Agriculture and Markets
Robert Maccarone, Director, Probation and Correctional Alternatives
David Hansell, Commissioner, Office of Temporary Disability
Michael Burgess, Director, Office of the Aging
Mindy Bockstein, Chair and Executive Director, Consumer Protection Board
Lorraine Cortes-Vazquez, Secretary of State
Kumiki Gibson, Director, Division of Human Rights
David Swarts, Commissioner, Department of Motor Vehicles
Carol Ash, Commissioner of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation
Brian Fischer, Commissioner, Department of Correctional Services
Astrid Glynn, Commissioner, Department of Transportation
Denise O’Donnell, Commissioner, Department of Criminal Justice Services
Michael Hogan, Commissioner, Office of Mental Health
Gladys Carrion, Commissioner, Office of Children and Family Services
Alexander “Pete” Grannis, Commissioner, Department of EnvironmentalConservation
Diana Jones-Ritter, Commissioner, Office of Mental Retardation andDevelopmental Disabilities
More detail as they develop..............
Editor's Note: Jeremy Blaber supports Mr.Cahill's actions and has not formed an opinion one way or another on this story. A rumor, on a good source was brought to our attention and we ran with it. Nothing more, nothing less.
Thursday, February 15, 2007
Wednesday, February 14, 2007
Jeremy Blaber will now offer up to date weather announcements on school closings and delays for the Kingston School district. Please feel free to come on this website and their will be up to date information about school closings in your area.
Jeremy, who serves on the K.P.A. board, has also looked into having a scroll listed on the calendar for school closings as well for people who do not have access to the Internet or the radio.
Monday, February 12, 2007
As you all know, in addition to this website Jeremy Blaber hosts Late Night w/ Jeremy Blaber, which airs every Monday night at 10pm on ch.23. Late Night, offers information on community events and local politics in Kingston; and Ulster County. We have a lot of important shows coming up and look forward to your input, please leave a comment on who you would like to see on the show, and I would be happy to ask them to come on, maybe even yourself? Jeremy would be happy to have you on. Also any topics that you would like to be discussed would be considered as well. I look forward to hearing you.
2/12 Robb Kinnin, Call Everyone.com
2/19 Dan Gartenstein, Esq. Kingston School Board
2/26 Senator Bill Larkin, State Senator
Sunday, February 11, 2007
I wish all the candidates the best of luck, the city needs their continued leadership.
Blaber's News persons of the week are kids from the Kingston school district that recently were recipients of this months Mayoral awards that are given out monthly for kids that go above and beyond normal day to day courtesies. This is a program put on by Kingston Cares and the Kingston School District with the cooperation of Mayor Jim Sottile. This program is an important building block for the youth of this community. In the words of F.D.R. "We cannot always build the future for our youth, but we can build our youth for the future."
Congratulations to this months recipients:
Emily Dubord, Huma Imitraz, and Erica
Friday, February 09, 2007
Thursday, February 08, 2007
visit Mr. DiNapoli at: Tom DiNapoli's online home
Kudos to our local state officials who voted for DiNapoli:
Assemblyman Cahill, and State Senator Bill Larkin
Tuesday, February 06, 2007
Craig Johnson wins senate seat!!!
The Nassau County Board of Elections has declared Craig Johnson the winner of this special election to replace Balboni. Unofficial results so far with all districts reporting in Johnson: 26,452 O'Connell:22,929
Senator Larkin represents the 39th district in the NYS Senate, and is Chair of the Majority Steering Committee, and Chair of the Racing, gaming and wagering committee.
Monday, February 05, 2007
Saturday, February 03, 2007
During the Ceremony Ginny Apuzzo had words of encouragement for commerce in Kingston:
“The community will serve as an engine economically in this area. If you look up and down the streets there are restaurants and retail stores. After this event today, I bet a fair number of people will walk around, climb into these restaurants, stop and have a drink, or just look at some stores they never got to look at.”
Some notables at today's event were; Kingston Mayor James Sottile, Council President Jim Noble, Alderman Ringwood, Alderman Brown, Alderman Madsen, Alderman Teetsil, Alderman Reynolds, U.C. Legislator's Sue Zimet, Rob Parete and Peter Kraft, also in attendance was Ulster County Democratic Chairman John Parete
"I do not feel any moral, ethical, or even political obligation to blindly follow those recommendations, Instead, I will make a decision based on what I think is consistent with my responsibilities under the law and on what I believe to be in the best interest of the people of New York state. Anything less would be just plain wrong."
I applaud our Assemblyman for looking beyond the 3 candidates that were handpicked by Gov. Spitzer, and his rigged panel. Assemblyman Cahill is showing he is a true independent thinker. I have had conversations with both Assemblyman Cahill, and Assemblyman Molinaro ,of Tivoli, asking them to support Assemblyman DiNapoli for the top spot. Both spoke very highly of the Nassau Assemblyman who seems to be the unofficial favorite, and certainly the most qualified. We will have to wait and see.
Friday, February 02, 2007
The proposal includes $3 billion in reserves, with additions to the state's so-called rainy day fund and the debt reduction fund.
_Under the proposed budget, state debt would grow from $48.8 billion to $52.6 billion, a 7.9 percent increase.
_The Spitzer proposal does not call for any increases in the state's major taxes. State tax revenue under the plan would grow to $60.96 billion, up from the current year's projected tax take of $58.3 billion. There would be some increased fees under the Spitzer proposal.
The budget proposal calls for $1.5 billion in new property tax relief as the first installment on a three-year plan to reduce property taxes for middle-class homeowners by $6 billion.
_Aid to schools would be increased by $1.4 billion and would grow to an extra $7 billion by the 2010-11 state fiscal year under the Spitzer proposal. The plan calls for a new formula for distributing school aid meant to send more resources to so-called high-needs schools. The proposed increase would bring school aid to $19.2 billion in the new fiscal year.
_Spitzer would require fiscal reforms and sanctions for continued failure, which could include closing as many as 5 percent of the state's schools and firing administrators and school board members. Teachers would face a more rigorous review for tenure.
_Families of private and parochial school children would receive a $1,000 tax deduction per child that could be used against tuition.
_There is no immediate call for a tuition increase for the State University of New York and the City University of New York. Spitzer does support "a rational tuition increase" plan that would eventually create regular, incremental increases. He would increase operating funding for SUNY and CUNY by 4.6 percent.
_The proposal would increase the Tuition Assistance Program by $857 million to fully fund the program, which provides grants for hundreds of thousands of public and private college students.
_Among $67.7 million in proposed new fees, Spitzer is hoping to collect $25 million from an expansion of New York's bottle deposit law. The governor's plan calls for expanding the "bottle bill" to include non-carbonated beverages. It currently applies only to carbonated beverages such as soda and beer. The new money will be used to increase the size of the state's Environmental Protection Fund that is used to purchase environmentally sensitive land to $250 million, up from the current $225 million.
WORK ZONE SPEEDERS
_There would be higher fines, worth $18.8 million to the state in the new fiscal year, for drivers who speed in construction zones.
_Spitzer proposed saving $1.2 billion by cracking down on Medicaid fraud and generally running a tighter ship when it comes to handing out state health care funds. The proposals could mean less money than expected for doctors, hospitals and nursing homes, a situation that could create problems for the new governor in getting that part of his plan past lawmakers.
_The plan would spend $165 million over two years to provide health care coverage for 400,000 uninsured children.
_The state work force would grow to 197,068 employees under the Spitzer proposal, up from the current 194,600 workers. He would add 335 employees to the state Office of Mental Health as part of his plan to keep potentially violent sex offenders locked up beyond their normal prison sentences. The state Department of Environmental Conservation would get an extra 109 workers. His plan would eliminate the State Investigation Commission in September leading to 32 layoffs.
_The plan calls for spending $16 million, an almost 50 percent increase, on the state's tourism-promoting "I Love New York" advertising program. Spitzer has said that unlike past governors, he won't appear in such ads.
_The budget would provide $500,000 to help finance a wholesale farmers' market in New York City aimed at opening new markets for upstate farmers.