Back to Normal ?                                                          9-4-2017

                          Another Labor Day come and gone with no flags flying in New Lebanon.  They're HERE, they're READY to be hung, but there seems to be no answers as to when or if the utility companies will come through. 

                           In the meantime, there are huge boxes stacked in my kitchen, holding the flags, the brackets and straps, and the poles. I have a list of the pole numbers written out after my son and I went back and forth through town trying to distribute the flags as effectively as possible.  We will definitely need more next year to "Fill-In" and add a few to West Lebanon, but we really will see a nice display with what we have. 

                           I attended last week's meeting of Habitat for Humanity at the library and I was shocked at how many women were there. At the same time, I was surprised at how few of them were familiar to me, even though they are residents. Of course some of them are newbies, but most of them are residents of 10 years or more, and of the 25 to 30 women present, I think I recognized or knew about 7 or 8. That isn't counting the ones that were here from other towns to share their former experience with the Habitat Program.

                           This is a truly terrific program and it has been successful all over the country. I particularly like the fact that the recipients of the home are required to invest in "Sweat Equity" and still have a manageable mortgage payment. Experience has shown us that when people get things for free, with ZERO investment of any kind, they fail to appreciate and care for it. Case in point, the modern housing developments built for low-income residents in large cities. I have seen with my own eyes, these complexes fill up to capacity with minorities and be totally destroyed within 2 or 3 years. Zero investment, zero gratitude and care. Shameful behavior on the part of the tenants AND the city officials who toss our tax dollars away on projects they know will fail, rather than requiring SOME kind of effort and involvement from the people who GET. 

                           Right now, I am trying to decompress from watching the extreme , violent actions of the Leftists who are calling themselves, "Antifa" and of course, not being held accountable for their criminal behaviors. So I'm celebrating the fact that we have about 2 or 3 weeks of PEACE ahead of us in New Lebanon! The part-timers and tourists have gone home to prepare for Back to School time, and with any luck, won't return until the leaves peak. 

                           A few weeks of actually being able to get out onto Rt. 20 in less than 5 minutes, able to find a place to park at Stewarts, not cringe every time I see a car coming in my direction in the wrong lane, etc., etc. It's like going back in time to before the invasion of the NY Citiots, and I LOVE it. Life in town feels "Normal" again. For a short while. Maybe we will have an especially warm winter and the ski slopes will be barren. THAT would be bad news for the businesses, but awesome news for the residents. I vote for the residents. 

                         This summer seemed to ME at least, to have been one of the worst for traffic and hordes of tourists. Most of them were passing through, but it was still exhausting and stressful. I am SO happy they have gone home, that I am actually thinking about having a party. LOL!!  I am also looking forward to the start of the 2017-2018 Constitution Study, and to watching what Tony Murad is going to do with the old Lenny's Restaurant! 

                         He has wasted no time in getting started and knowing what his taste and workmanship is like, this is going to be awesome! Another historical building rescued and restored and another aesthetic improvement to our town center. Thank You,Tony! The new Stewarts will also be an improvement, though I DO hate to see that adorable, little Tudor home torn down. Can't have everything, I guess. Now if we could just tear down the Midtown Mall, we would REALLY have a shot at making New Lebanon attractive! 

                         I still wonder whose pockets were lined to allow Ward Hatch to build that monstrosity in violation of state fire codes. The structure was built with the cheapest materials available, and the UGLIEST. The sidewalks heave every winter, there are no rear exits for the first floor businesses, there is ONE common bathroom, an inadequate septic system, a Swiss cheese parking lot, and falling ice slabs that hit people on the head and damage cars. How in the HELL did he get away with all that? WHY does the town allow it to remain as-is?  As a person who despises unnecessary and oppressive laws, I still wish that New Lebanon had an anti-ugly law that we could charge Ward Hatch with. He literally, single-handedly, destroyed our town center. Creep.

                         We have found a new home for Larry that serves all his needs and location preferences. Thanks to Scott Larabee for his valuable assistance with that.  I'm still pining away for a Senior apartment complex and a Community Center, but one step at a time. For the moment, we have the flags, and hopefully in the Spring, some folks will want to join us in the flower projects.  The Farmer's Market seems to have done very well in their new location this year, and that's a very positive thing. There is another idea I am playing with involving the LVPA and the residents, but it's too early to say much about that yet. 

                         Speaking of our Fire Department, please try to attend their upcoming fund-raiser on the 16th. They are there for US and we need to be there for THEM. Also, please remember to keep the people of Houston in your prayers and make a donation if you can, either to the recovery fund or for the temporary care of family pets in shelters. You can donate safely at the Channel 6 website. We can take a real lesson from the Texans this week as we watch them come together in love for one another, never once stopping to consider the race, religion, or ethnicity of those in need. They just Stepped-UP, and no government agencies or officials were needed to TELL them to do so or HOW to do it. WOW! People helping their own community just because it is the RIGHT thing to do! God Bless Texas!


              Are you registered to Vote? How about your family members and friends? This November, New Yorkers will be voting on 3 important propositions that will be HIDDEN on the BACK of the ballots. One is the all-important Constitutional Convention, a perilous action that will open the door to numerous, negative changes in our state government. One in particular will be the amendment to our state Constitution to allow Adolph Cuomo to dip into the State and Public Employees' Retirement Funds. That will affect the standard of living of millions of you who have worked to EARN that money, and once that door is opened, it will never be closed! 
             Stay informed on this proposition and the actions against it on the New Lebanon Seniors Facebook Page. 

 Some Things NEVER Change !!                                             9-11-2017

                              Did YOU know that tonight was the New Lebanon Republican Caucus?  No?  Apparently , 99% of the local Republican Voters didn't know either.

                              This year is an unusual one, as there are only two Town Board positions open and two candidates. One is of course, Chuck Geraldi who is running for re-election as his term has ended.  Definitely a GOOD candidate. The other is Jesse, the nice, young man that runs our local hardware store for its' mostly-absent owner. Another GOOD candidate. So regardless of what line or lines endorse them, they WILL be our next Council Members. LOL!!!

                             Why a caucus was even necessary is beyond ME, and since I am no expert in election laws, I have to look things up on that subject as it is SO involved and confusing! I DID learn tonight that this sad Repub. Caucus wasn't even a LEGAL caucus. It seems that our Republican Chairman , who also happens to be the only  member of the local Republican Committee, failed to follow protocol and file notice of caucus to the Town Clerk, failed to post the required notices in public areas of town OR in the newspapers. That makes it an illegal caucus as well as a useless one. 

                             The incumbents whose terms are ending this year, are running unopposed. Gee, do you think that might be because for the first time in YEARS, our town government is running smoothly, getting things done, not playing favorites, and there has been ZERO corruption for two, whole years??!!!!! I don't think there are many people, if any, who are dissatisfied with the job our board and Supervisor have been doing, so if it ain't broke, why fix it? 

                              Still, tonight was THE most pathetic tragedy I have ever seen in local politics.   Roll Call:  New Lebanon Republican Chairman Bud Godfroy, Dirty Jason Nastke from the County Republican Committee, the two aforementioned candidates, and, are you ready for THIS?  TWO Republican Voters!!   TWO !!  Sheryl Roden, and ME. LOLOLOL!!!!!!  I gotta tell ya folks, it was a riot. We just took turns nominating and seconding the two guys, then for good measure, we cross-endorsed Colleen and Tistrya, much to Mr. Nastke's displeasure. The whole thing took 20 minutes, start to finish.

                              I know that New Lebanon and Canaan have gone from 99% Republican 15 years ago, to 99% Democrat, and we all know WHY. New York City Transplants, and also young people who have been indoctrinated in Liberal colleges and come home to "Vote". I'm told that the Democrat Caucus last week was "Standing Room Only", even though they really had no reason to caucus this year either. Gotta wonder what's up with our friend Monte, not tossing his hat into the ring. WEIRD ! 

                              There are still plenty of Republicans in town, but they are either not getting out to vote or they think we have no leadership anymore anyway. Now I wonder why they would think THAT? Could it be because we never have a meeting, never receive a notice of ANYTHING, never get anyone out to drum-up good candidates? Or, it could be that for so many years, the Republican candidates were nothing to write home about, like Mike Benson. The committee was , as I have said before, practically incestuous, stacked by Benson and his cronies. Proof of THAT is the fact that as soon as their King Mike lost, they all ran away. Makes no difference to ME, because I am in reality, a Conservative, and when I vote, which is ALWAYS, I vote for the best PERSON, not the party line.

                              If nothing else, this "Caucus" was entertaining, if a bit sad.   So to the Republicans in town who are apathetic and frustrated, I don't blame you a bit, BUT, if you care about the future of our town, you might want to consider reviving the party by getting involved. Or switch to Conservative and grow THAT party! We need LEADERSHIP and ORGANIZATION, and we ain't seen THAT in a decade.

 What NEXT ?                                                                   9-13-2017

                  After a nice Town Board Meeting least night, some half-wit piece of garbage decided it was a good idea to break into our Town Hall. 

                  From what I've learned, two windows were broken to allow access, and three office doors were kicked-in. A good deal of cash was taken from the offices and the damage to the new doors will be pretty pricey as well. The big question is, why was there so much cash in the building, and why was it not in a locked safe?  An even BIGGER question would be, "Who KNEW there was cash in the building and where to look for it "? 

                  We always first suspect teenagers with too little to do, but teenagers tend to be more focused on destruction and theft of electronics, while adults are looking for the cash and a quick entry and exit. Especially since we, like a thousand other small towns, have a serious Heroin issue among the 20 and 30 somethings. Still, don't you wonder why, if someone was in need of cash in a hurry, they didn't hit a local business rather than the Town Hall? Which further cements the likelihood that this was someone who KNEW there was cash in the house and where to look.

                  Though it narrows down the list of likely suspects, there are still too many to make any guesses at this point in the investigation. I have my own suspects, but they could already be in jail, since they all seem to like it there an awful lot. It is definitely time for some security cameras at the Town Hall and the surrounding areas. If you know someone who has a tendency to smash and grab, and they weren't at home where they belonged at 2 to 3 this morning, you might want to mention that to the Troopers.

                 Last night's meeting went smoothly except for another heated discussion between one Councilman and our newest pot-stirrer that I mentioned a few times in recent posts. This guy can't seem to allow anyone to live in peace if he can help it, and since he was driven out of the last town he lived in, he should take a clue.  He has complained about the lines on the new Rt. 20 blacktop being crooked, he's complained about people's homes that are under renovation, being "Eyesores", he harasses his next-door neighbors on a daily basis, spies on their kids, takes videos of the woman in her swimming pool, and all the time, seems to forget that he is a Convicted, Level One, Sex Offender, having been caught with Child Pornography on more than one occasion. 

                So when he calls out to his neighbor's adolescent children to "Come on over and get a candy bar ", something needs to be done. THAT , is enough to revoke his parole and send him back to the pen. Last week, he verbally assaulted a female Town Official in Stewarts about a local law he disagrees with, and that incident was the stimulus for last night's heated argument. (and you thought I  was an instigator!!) Sadly, I don't suspect this idiot of being the burglar, he's too wimpy. His mouth and his sexual perversions are his main issues, but Burglary? I highly doubt it.

                In the State of Tennessee, the Police Agencies post signs in front of the homes of Sex Offenders, warning neighbors of who lives among them. As it should be. However, this is Liberal, Bleeding-Heart, New York, where sexual perversion is not only protected, but supported. In fact, the WORST of them, the Level Ones, are no longer listed on the public Sex Offenders website!  The lower levels are listed, but not the Ones, the Most Dangerous. Leave it to NY to do something THAT  screwed-up. Only in NY can a Level One Sex Offender receive special protections, while a gun owner can go to jail and lose their firearms for carrying more than 7 cartridges in their gun. 

               This is a very sick, backward, immoral state and I am ashamed to tell anyone I am a New Yorker. Yes, I could leave if I could afford it, but I can't, so here I am, trapped like so many others that want OUT. 

               Speaking of getting out, I see that Doug Clark's Engineering building on Shaker Road is For Sale. Hmm, interesting that.


 Planning Board Meeting and Stewarts                                9-20-2017

                            The meeting was a little busier than usual. The newest Self-Storage, business application is moving right along, the one for the present, Shed Man location. There was no mention as to what the Shed Man's plans are going forward, whether he will simply move everything to the former Jon's Diner site where he already has some sheds, or if he is giving the business up. Guess we'll have to wait and see. 

                            There was minor lot-line change for a resident, and a new application for "The Berkshire Thrift Store" that is going into the former Schell's Station next to the Kendall House. That is an interesting business, as they will be cooperating with the Free Store at the Town Hall to provide items for folks in need. We can all go in and purchase good, used items from clothing and housewares to furniture and small appliances, but those who are facing hardships, or have had a fire, etc., can get what they need for free. There will also be food collections to supply pantries like Charlie's Pantry and other local distributors.

                            Overflow items will be donated to Goodwill and the Salvation Army, and occasionally, the overflow of those two organizations will be accepted here. This store will be operated by a woman from North Dakota named Tegan Cook, and when I met her tonight, I knew right away that we were going to be friends, which you will find interesting once you meet her for yourselves.  I think she and her business will be an asset to New Lebanon.

                             Finally, the representative from Stewarts, Chris Potter, was present and brought along some new drawings of the coming project. The new building will stand where the old motel rooms are now, but will be set back much farther. The store will have 33 parking places in front and on both sides and you will be able to drive around the building if need be. The present store will remain open for business while the demolition and early construction is going on, and will be closed for approximately two weeks when they demo the present store and move the septic system and install new fuel tanks underground. 

                               The new building will be very much like the one in Nassau, except that ours will have a side patio with tables for outdoor eating, and will be heavily landscaped with Maple Trees and other perennial plants. Since Stewarts considered adding-on to the present store instead of building new, they lost time, so the construction itself won't begin till Spring. They decided that it was more cost-effective to simply go with an entirely new EVERYTHING, and I'm glad they did! 

                                Before they demolish the old motel and house, they are required to have an asbestos study done, and they tried to get that done last week, until the present owner of the property objected. Mr. McAlward wouldn't let them in. However, I happen to know that Mr. M DID force his way into the rented units with less than 10 hours notice to the tenants, claiming that he needed to "Check for Asbestos". First of all, he is not licensed to do such an inspection, nor would he know where to start to DO one. What he actually DID, was enter the units to see if anyone was packing-up to move out. While he was at it, he rifled through the private, personal belongings of said tenants. Hmm.

                                  This is the guy who has STILL not notified his tenants that the building is heading for demolition and they need to start looking for a place to move to. Fortunately, they DO know, because I made sure they did. Larry is moving on October 1st and so is Richie Birch. Tony Gale is already long gone and the plans of the remaining man in the end unit are unknown. Keith and his boys who live in the little house, may or may not know, as I have been unable to catch up with Keith. If you know him, tell him! Mr. M deserves to be stuck with an empty building for the winter.

                                  Now the even better news. Dunkin Donuts? Not happening.  You're welcome!