Provincetown 2018


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Categories: Photography, Entertainment, Celebration, Outdoors, Travel | Tags: , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

Amsterdam’s International Food Festival


The Amsterdam Lions Club sponsored an International Food Festival at Riverlink Park today. Vendors from Amsterdam’s different ethnic groups served food representing their home countries. Of course I am partial to the delicious Spring Rolls handmade by our hard working Chinese community. NYS Assemblyman Angelo Santabarbara also enjoyed them. Please try some at Parkfest tomorrow. The food was great, the waterski team from Scotia were also practicing in the Mohawk River at the park. Unfortunately I only caught the tail end of their practice.

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Categories: Amsterdam, Celebration, Cooking, mohawk river, Outdoors, Riverlink Park | Tags: , , , , , , ,

Another Day on the Mohawk


Categories: Entertainment, mohawk river, Outdoors, Photography | Tags: , , , , ,

Photos Along the Mohawk


 

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Walter Joyce

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Categories: Entertainment, mohawk river, Outdoors, Photography | Tags: , , , , ,

Namaste


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Categories: Amsterdam | Tags: , , , , , ,

Spring Fling 2017


The City of Amsterdam hosted its annual Spring Fling street festival on Saturday. The picture perfect weather drew a crowd of thousands, anxious to get out of the house and enjoy what the festival had to offer. As you will see in the following images, Amsterdam did not disappoint. Amsterdam Mayor Mike Villa was very pleased with the festival, crediting Recreation Director Rob Spagnola and Assistant Director Danielle Whelly for pulling it all together.

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Categories: Amsterdam, Celebration, Entertainment, Outdoors | Tags:

Buddhists vs. City Hall


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Holy Master Ziguang Shang Shi, Iris X. Ge, Elise Miao, Jennie Wong

Amsterdam’s World Peace and Health Organization along with the Guang Huang Mi Zong Organization met in NYS Supreme Court in Fonda this morning along with their Attorney James Melita to challenge a discriminatory property assessment from the City of Amsterdam’s previous administration. It seems the Thane administration, through City Assessor Calvin Cline, wielded their municipal power as a weapon against the local Buddhists by revoking the tax exempt status of their Temple parking lots and clergy residences.  No other religious organization had their tax exempt status revoked by the Assessor.

The current situation was not the first time that Assessor Cline tried revoking the Buddhist’s tax exempt status. It happened back in 2012 when Cline revoked the tax exempt status of two of their properties. In that case, Supreme Court Judge Joseph M. Sise issued a consent judgement restoring the tax exempt status and a declaratory judgement that Cline’s assessment was “unlawful, excessive and unequal”.

Under NYS Real Property Tax Law section 420a, property owned by religious organizations used for religious purposes is tax exempt. Section 462 states that in addition, property owned by religious corporations used for clergy residential purposes is also tax exempt.

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Attorney James Melita pictured left

After the discriminatory treatment received from former Mayor Ann Thane  and Assessor Calvin Cline, the Buddhists were delighted to hear that Mike Villa was elected Mayor this year. In fact Mayor Villa met with the Buddhists on two different occasions to discuss the situation along with Dr. Rao and Jerry Skrocki. Mayor Villa was also appalled at the treatment the Buddhists received and on July 26, 2016, through the Common Council, issued resolution #16/17-12 which states;

“RESOLVED, it is the official policy of the City of Amsterdam to comply with all laws, rules, regulations protecting against discrimination and all departments, offices, boards and commissions, officers, employees, representatives and agents of City government shall in the performance of their duties, comply with federal, state and local laws, rules, regulations and policies regarding discrimination of any kind related to race, color, religion, sex, age, marital status, national origin, mental or physical disability, sexual orientation, and political orientation or affiliation.”

Unfortunately neither the Mayor or the Common Council can overrule a decision made by the City Assessor. The ONLY remedy aside from the Board of Assessment Review is to file an Article 78 of the Civil Practice Law and Rules. That is exactly what the Buddhists have done and they have an excellent case with proof of discrimination. Because of the discrimination the Chinese Buddhists continue to receive, one of their own has just completed her first year of law school. Another became a registered voter in the City of Amsterdam and several others are undergoing the process of citizenship so they too can vote.

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We sat most of the morning waiting for Calvin Cline to withdraw the discriminatory assessments but he is a stubborn old mule who would not concede. The judicial trial was adjourned until November of this year, giving Cline a chance to reconsider and save the taxpayers from a costly judgement.  In a city that is trying to be welcoming to new people as well as new business, we must treat everyone fairly and equally under the law.

We can do better than this!

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Damage done today to the Statue of Liberty replica in the parking lot of Amsterdam’s Five World Buddha Temple

Categories: Amsterdam, Equality, Human Rights, Law, WPHO | Tags: , , , , , ,

Party on the Mohawk


Just a day before the Summer Solstice and the sun is shining on the Mohawk River in Tribes Hill, New York. Time for some fun in the sun! A little skeet shooting, swimming, boating and a cookout.

A perfectly fine day.

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Categories: Amsterdam, Celebration, Entertainment, mohawk river, Outdoors | Tags: , , ,

Skeeter Creek at Riverlink Park


Amsterdam, New York has a beautiful asset on the Mohawk River in the form of Riverlink Park. Called the best boat docking site on the Mohawk River, it offers such amenities as a restaurant, electric hook ups, pump out station, laundry and showers for boaters. One of the best features is the Riverlink Park Concert Series organized by the Amsterdam Waterfront Foundation. The free concerts originally scheduled for Saturday evenings during the months of July and August, have expanded to June and September adding more concerts and events down by the riverside. For a schedule of activities please visit the Riverlink Concerts website. While you’re there, please donate to help the Amsterdam Waterfront Foundation to continue to present these wonderful concerts for the public to enjoy.

Skeeter Creek, voted the best county artists in the Capital Region, played last evening.

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Categories: Amsterdam, Entertainment, Music, Outdoors, Riverlink Park | Tags: , , , ,

Spring Fling 2016


Amsterdam, New York celebrates Spring with a street festival! Time to get outside, enjoy the weather and your neighbors. This year’s event was bigger than ever thanks to Mayor Mike Villa and the Recreation Department’s Director Rob Spagnola and his assistant Samantha Bonnano.  With rain forecast for the afternoon, most people visited in the morning. What a great event to bring Amsterdam’s community together.

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Categories: Amsterdam, Amsterdam Photography Club, Celebration, Entertainment, Music, Outdoors | Tags: , , , , ,

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