The Christmas Eve 'toon is this gem with Sylvester, Tweety, Granny and that loud bulldog.
Merry Christmas to all!!
Remember that one time that one group of professional eccentrics in Halfmoon tried to sue little old Metroland for $65 million? Remember, it was around the time that the Dalai Lama came to town and gave Jerry Jennings a scarf?
In a 2008 Metroland article, “The Stars Come Out in Troy,” [Rick] Ross was quoted discussing Raniere’s previous business, Consumers Buyline Inc. Raniere later claimed that Ross was incorrect in his characterization of that company’s legal issues and that Metroland had conspired with Ross to libel him and NXIVM.
This past spring, it appeared that NXIVM had attempted to sue Metroland for $65 million. However, the company that owns Metroland, Lou Communications Inc., was never served in that suit. Instead, NXIVM attempted to serve the now-defunct former owner of the paper, Metroland Magazine Inc.
The statue of limitations on NXIVM’s potential claim against Metroland has expired.
This week, Ann, Laura and I take a look back at the cinema of the oughts.
There really wasn't a logical place for me to drop in my 10 Best of the '00s, so here it is in chronological order:
In The Mood for Love
Lost in Translation
Kill Bill, Vols. 1 and 2
Team America: World Police
Children of Men
Other films I liked an awful lot: Punch-Drunk Love, There Will Be Blood, Anchorman, American Dreamz, A Scanner Darkly, Dancer in the Dark, 2046, Italian for Beginners.
As we first began reporting last Friday, the Capital District YMCA is considering shutting down its Washington Avenue branch.
When questioned, [president and CEO of Capital District YMCA David] Brown said that the facility needed 1,800 new members to keep its doors open. He acknowledged that those numbers might be unreasonable to expect by January, but said that enough movement in the right direction could postpone the final decision and allow the facility more time to bolster membership.
Still, to some members of the community, the meetings looked like little more than damage control for a plan that has already been decided.
“That meeting was to tell us they were going to close it,” said Bill Pettit, president of the Washington Park Neighborhood Association. “I asked him point blank, ‘You’re going to close it?’ And he said, ‘Yes, in April.’”
Pettit said that he and other members were told that the official announcement would come out the first of the year. He also said that when asked what would happen if they managed to produce 1,800 new members by January, Brown told him that the facility would still be closed.
It's hard to believe Brown's claim that this is an unfortunate reality that the YMCA haplessly finds itself in:
Unfortunately, several realities undermine the credibility of his statements. For one thing, while the Capital District YMCA has been pouring money into its newer suburban properties, it has not made sufficient investments in maintenance at the Washington Avenue branch to stem the membership decline, nor has it done much in recent years to market the facility to potential new members. Also, by Brown’s own admission, the Capital District YMCA has been exploring alternate uses for the building—insiders suggest it has actively marketed it to potential buyers. Most damning is the timing of the Y’s sudden disclosure: Brown wants 1,800 new members, or at least the promise of 1,800 new members, in little more than a month. That is not enough time, and he knows it.
Over at the Times Union Local Politics blog, Albany County Legislator Brian Scavo is claiming that his fellow legislator, Dan McCoy, used threats to try to secure Scavo's support in the recent vote for chairman of the legislature.
THIS MY OPINION IS I AGREE WITH LUCY MC KNIGHT WHEN SHE SAID DAN MC COY IS NOT READY TO GOVERN.
DAN DON’T EVER CALL MY HOME AND THREATEN ME OVER YOUR VOTE FOR CHAIRMAN OR HAVE YOUR BROTHER IN LAW OR FRIENDS TALK ON YOUR BEHALF WITH VAILED THREATS.
YOUR A BULLY DAN MC COY LIKE ALL COWARDS IN THE LONG RUN PEOPLE WILL SEE THE REAL MC COY THAT IN HAVE COME TO KNOW, AND WHAT I SEE I DON’T LIKE AND YOUR NO DEMOCRAT BUT A COWARD.
The above is Scavo's comment, as found at Local Politics. Scavo told me that he wouldn't speak on the record about his allegations, but he did confirm that he was the author of this comment.
When Scavo says that he agrees with Legislator Lucy McKnight's assessment of Dan McCoy, he is referring to the comments McKnight made to Metroland prior to the leadership vote.
Using his position as Democratic chair, McKnight said, McCoy has been “making some promises, making offers that can’t be refused, to win votes.” But with a challenge to Houghtaling’s leadership becoming likely, McKnight said she questions McCoy’s ability to govern.
McKnight had announced that she would challenge McCoy if the current chairman, Charlie Houghtaling, decided not to seek reelection. Houghtaling, who is seen by many as a puppet of Majority Leader Frank Commisso, did run to keep the leadership seat--and the extra $10,000 or so that comes with it.
At the leadership vote, which took place behind closed doors at the Democrats' caucus, McCoy beat Houghtaling by 15 to 14. Amusingly, McKnight had ducked out before the vote even went down. Had she stayed to cast her vote, the two men would likely have deadlocked.
Although McCoy won the straw vote, there is some talk that he could still be toppled when the real vote comes to the full legislature in January. Scavo, who supported Houghtaling (obviously), certainly doesn't believe his side should concede.
In Saturday's TU, Jordan Carleo-Evangelist faithfully reported the YMCA's official spin on the fate of Albany's Washington Avenue Y: that the financially struggling facility is merely under review; that Capital District YMCA president J. David Brown hopes people will step up "and help save the Albany Y"; that his Friday morning meeting with three neighborhood representatives (held at a secret location to avoid having to face a larger group of members who were gathering at the Y, hoping to give their input) was to brief them and encourage them to drum up support for the facility.
Well, two people I spoke to who were at that meeting came away with a different impression: that closure is practically a done deal, and that Y officials appear to be spinning the story to make it look like they're making a last-ditch effort to save it before they pull the plug.
Other people with inside knowledge have said plans to close the Washington Avenue Y have been in the works for years, and that the building has been marketed to other organizations.
Among the theories being offered for the closure (and some are obvious: membership has been in decline, and the facility does need serious work), one intriguing rumor is that Y officials hope that some Washington Avenue members will migrate to the new North Albany Y, which so far has not attracted many members.
Carleo-Evangelist did contact the mayor's office, whose tepid response was that Jennings' preference "would be to make sure that every reasonable analysis had been given" to keep that facility open.
When Jennings finally leaves office, certain services important to the fabric of city life--the downtown YMCA, and the neighborhood post offices--may be gone. Is that the legacy he wants to leave?
Following up on my earlier post, I have received an apparent copy of the budget document that was voted on in the Audit and Finance Committee and passed to the floor of the legislature Monday night for adoption, as well as a copy of the budget that was submitted to the office of the county executive. These documents appear to substantiate Legislator Richard Mendick's allegation that multiple lines in the county budget were altered after it had been adopted by the full legislature.
"This calls into question the legitimacy of the budget," says Tom Marcelle, counsel for the Republican's minority office. If executive Mike Breslin adopts the budget that was presented to him then the county could be vulnerable to legal challenge, he continued. "If this budget is signed into law, anytime they spend money a citizen could charge that the county is operating under a budget that isn't legal."
Marcelle added that Breslin's office must be seriously considering vetoing this budget.
According to Mary Duryea, Breslin's spokeswoman, the executive's office is going over the budget and hasn't yet decided what steps his office will take if they find Mendick's claims to be true. "We've never encountered this situation before," she said.
Many questions remain and I have put a phone call into Frank Commisso, the chair of the Audit and Finance Committee as well as the majority leader.
Albany County Legislator Richard Mendick is alleging today that the budget that was passed Monday night by the 39-person legislature is not the same budget that was sent to County Executive Mike Breslin's office. Mendick is charging that this budget was altered by an unknown person or persons well outside the legislative process. What does that mean? Simply, the executive is now considering passing into law a spending plan that the legislature never saw, never debated, never voted on. Nothing.
"Changes are made all the time," Mendick told Metroland, "but they are made through the legislative process. not in some back room with closed doors."
Mendick, a member of Republican minority, is calling for an investigation.
So, what allegedly changed in these two versions of the budget you ask (if you are still reading)? Here is a spreadsheet detailing the changes. More succinctly, according to a press release from the legislature's minority office:
Mendick charges that approximately $2 million in reserve funds, not approved by the Legislature, have been added in attempts to correct budget deficiencies and to balance the budget. Mendick says this is a planned maneuver to deceive both the County Legislature and the taxpayers.
“Having reviewed the budget passed by the Albany County Legislature and the one given to me by the Democrat Majority, I have determined that the changes made are deliberate.”
I have put in calls to Frank Commisso, the chair of the Audit and Finance Committee, as well as the office of Mike Breslin.
I was sent a copy of a press release issued by Commisso, but not from Commisso.
This is what the majority leader has to say:
"Mendick identified a mistake to staff that needed to be rectified and then cries foul when the mistake is fixed. Mendick is complaining about presenting the County Executive with a balanced spending plan, something necessary and understandable by anyone who understands accounting." . . ."I might expect this from a rookie member, but Mendick has been through this process once before. Perhaps the difference is that this budget was more complicated. Regardless, I have a tough time dealing with such an irresponsible action such as the Mendick's press release. If something were wrong, I would be able to understand the complaint, but not understanding what is going on isn't a reason to put out a press release filled with ignorant allegations. Mr. Mendick should be more careful not to show his ignorance and he should be much more careful on making false accusations."