Sorry, apologizes all around. We should have pointed out that in Kyle Kotary's recent letter to the editor he made a mistake when he identified Ginny O'Brien as a Troy City Councilwoman. She is actually a Rensselaer County legislator. Oops.
[UPDATE: Kotary did catch the mistake in his original letter and sent us a revised version. We accidentally ran the original, incorrect version. Again, we apologize.]
For those of you who missed it, it's a good read. Kotary is the communications director for Tracey Brooks in the 21st Congressional District race. He "took issue" with Metroland's assertion that Phil Steck, Brooks' opponent, is the "only candidate with support in Rensselaer [County]."
Tracey Brooks has been endorsed by Troy City Councilwoman Ginny O’Brien, former Rensselaer County Democratic Chair Lynne Mahoney and well-known Rensselaer County community leader Rocco DeFazio, to name a few. Tracey Brooks also has the support of numerous Rensselaer County Democratic committee persons.
We had reported that Steck had received the endorsement of the majority of Troy's City Council Democrats, in addition to the endorsement of the city of Rensselaer's mayor. This is some of what we said.
Securing the support of these Democrats has been seen as a boon by Steck’s campaign, as Rensselaer County (a portion of which is in the 21st District) is being eyed as a major battlefield in the contest for the 21st, and neither Tracey Brooks nor Paul Tonko, Steck’s two main rivals in the primary, have yet to make strong inroads in that county.
Kotary knows who O'Brien is, what her position is, and he also knows how important her endorsement is to the Brooks campaign. With Tonko (finally) officially in the race and likely pulling all of the possible big name endorsements to him, watch over the next few weeks as the other serious candidates scramble to secure any and all local endorsements. Getting those names, and getting them right, will be super important.
The Matrix Revolutions was one of the most thoroughly glum movie-going experiences of the last few years. It was as if filmmakers the Wachowski brothers knew they'd philosophically painted themselves into a corner with the crackpot direction they'd taken the storyline, and just gave up. So I wasn't exactly expecting much from their latest big-budget, CGI/green-screen extravaganza, Speed Racer.
Oh, was I wrong. Speed Racer is as maniacally joyful as Matrix 3 was relentlessly a bummer.
Good thing Laura Leon saw it and raved about it, because not a single other movie buff/regular cinemagoer I know had seen--or was planning to see--Speed Racer.
Here's what Laura had to say about the film's batshit crazy visual scheme:
The Wachowskis employ computer-generated gimmicks, some as simple as inserting Speed [Emile Hirsch] and Trixie [Christina Ricci] into a computerized vehicle, others far more daring and visually stimulating; the effect is successful in both re-creating yet reinterpreting the features of the original Japanese anime. Some have complained that the overall effect is jarring, even headache-inducing. I thought it brilliant, one of the very few times that moviemakers have converted an old TV show into something other than camp.
It's a candy-colored tangerine explosion of a movie. See it in a theater. On as big a screen as you can find.
Over at the Troy Polloi, anonymous blogger Democratus speculates on the chances of success for a probable New York Civil Liberties Union lawsuit against the city of Troy. NYCLU, on behalf of the Sanctuary of Independent Media, filed a Claim of Notice against the city, as well as Department of Public Works Commissioner Robert Mirch, alleging that code violations were used as an excuse to shut down the sanctuary's exhibit of a controversial work of art.
What will the Sanctuary have to prove in order to be successful?
a plaintiff alleging a First Amendment retaliation suit must show that: (1) he engaged in protected speech; (2) the defendants' retaliatory actions adversely affected the plaintiff’s constitutionally protected speech; and (3) a causal connection between the plaintiff’s speech and the defendant’s retaliatory actions.
It will be difficult for the City to defeat the lawsuit on the first two grounds. The suit will likely be fought over the causal connection between the speech and the retaliatory action. Since municipalities rarely oblige with direct evidence of retaliation, circumstantial evidence will be needed. What suffices for such evidence? Temporal proximity is always useful:
Jones reasoned that Cole had done enough to send his case to a jury to determine whether the defendants were liable for unlawful retaliation. Both sides agreed that Cole’s investigative reports and critical editorials were protected speech. The judge also found that there was sufficient evidence to show that the defendants’ actions adversely affected Cole’s free speech. Cole noted that the resolution severely limited his ability to cover sporting events and student exhibitions. Finally, the judge reasoned that the passage of only three days between a critical article and the school’s resolution raised an inference of retaliation.- Cole v Buchanan County School Board
Water District 14 is screwed up: 70 people in North Greenbush paying for water service that hasn't delivered a drop and a contractor's bill $300,000 over budget and growing. As anyone who has been following the fallout since the state Comptroller's office released its scathing audit of the now $7+ million project knows, this political fiasco speaks ill of many of the parties involved and speaks volumes of the impossibly contentious relationship between the key players in North Greenbush.
This infrastructure project, the audit seems to read, was doomed from the start.
However, someone has to take the lion's share of blame for the gross mismanagement eventually, and
Charlie Smith an anonymous blogger over at the North Greenbush Pipeline makes a strong argument today that much of the blame for the slew of overpayments rests with Supervisor Mark Evers.
Politicians take the public for fools and [Supervisor] Mark Evers and his supporters on the Town Board are certainly playing with public sensibilities if they think the evidence already in the public realm exonerates Evers role as the primary reason his Conservative Contractor and political benefactor was paid more than a million dollars more than the agreed to bid of 6.4 million beginning in July 2006.
Of course, councilmen Lou Desso and Al Spain have their own version of history (and, not surprisingly, Smith is handed all the blame).
During the time of the past Town Board majority, including Council members Fennelly, Mihalko and Michaels, who were all closely allied with CB Smith, the size of the WD 14 project grew substantially and there was little communication between town officials. Possibly as a result, there are still sizable bills left to be paid. Of even more concern is the fact that the comptroller hired by the former Town Board majority handed out checks for large sums of money, including one check for more than $400,000, without either informing the Supervisor or getting the Supervisor’s signature on the check.
Students for Workers' Rights had teamed with Killer Coke, a nationwide campaign to bring to light allegations of civil-rights abuses in Coca Cola's bottling factories in Latin America, in the hopes of stopping the University at Albany from re-signing its contract with the controversial soda behemoth.
On Friday, John Murphy, the board president of University Auxiliary Services, the nonprofit corporation that handles food services for SUNY, announced that UAS would sign another "10-year limited exclusivity contract with the Coca-Cola Company," said UAlbany's Students for Workers' Rights.
"I think it is morally
irresponsible for SUNY Albany to re-contract with Coca-Cola in light of
the overwhelming amount of information we have provided them about the
Company's global practices" said Students for Workers' Rights member Kurt Amelang.
"It is clear that the University has chosen to place profits before people. They are aware of the human rights violations in Colombia, India, and El Salvador. They are aware that there is significant student, community, and faculty support for severing the Coca-Cola contract. Yet, Coca-Cola has paid them to turn a blind eye to our concerns and they have conceded" said Jackie Hayes, member of SWR.
Is he a righteous right-wing hero or a craven left-wing girly-superhero? Those potty mouths down I-88 find a couple of wingnuts arguing each side of the question; unintentional hilarity ensues.
Well, sort of. I got cc'd on an e-mail sent by a North Greenbush resident to members of the town board, including Supervisor Mark Evers. It was in response to my article about the town's reticence to accept a state grant for Main Avenue.
I read that the North Greenbush Town Board turned down a grant to investigate possible toxins under Main Ave. in Wynantskill. While nobody wants to put people out of their homes if toxins are found, keeping the toxins in the ground where they might cause harm someday is a very bad idea.
Could you please explain what it is about this grant that has you so concerned? What are you basing those concerns on, as in, what precedent can you point to as justification of your concerns? What research have you performed into the possible impact of this grant? Who have you spoken with in relationship to the possible impact of this grant? Have you reached out to the New York State Brownfield Areas Opportunity Program? If so, who have you spoken to there?
There is a Town Board meeting on Thursday, and a discussion about the grant is scheduled. Maybe he will answer some of those questions then.