Monthly Archives: July 2011

Jim Gaudet and the Railroad Boys

Another great free concert at Amsterdam’s Riverfront Park, Jim Gaudet and the Railroad Boys did not disappoint. Their vocal and instrumental harmonies delivered a soulful Bluegrass sound. Competing at times will passing trains, they did not miss a beat.

Tonight’s concert was also the first presented under the new tarp donated by Beechnut Corporation. I thought it would be a hinderance to viewing the band or taking photos but it was not. I think it actually enhanced the sound.

The Riverlink  Park Concert Series is organized and funded by the Amsterdam Waterfront Foundation. Paul Gavry, President of the Foundation, presented tonight’s entertainers. (Paul is center stage with the sunglasses)

There’s more than drums along the Mohawk!

Why would anyone miss Saturday evenings down by the river in Amsterdam? With boats docked at the marina, Riverlink Café serving food and drink, cool breezes and good entertainment are just a short distance away. Bring your lawn chairs or just dance the night away.

Next Saturday is the 3rd annual Riverlink Jamboree starting at 3pm. Your MC is Peggy Pearl featuring Three Day Threshold, The Nellies and Moonshine Holler.

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

Gas Leak!

If you see an unmarked rental van parked in your neighborhood with two people dressed in green fluorescent vests and white helmets, wielding strange sticks attached to grey boxes, do not be alarmed. They are National Grid employees checking for natural gas leaks.

Such was the case this morning when I questioned the actions of the strange-looking pair poking their sticks around Grove Street.  “We get that all the time” one of them stated as National Grid does not have enough marked vehicles to go around.

When they do find a leak, as they did this morning, it is immediately called in to a repair unit who take action. Within minutes another National Grid vehicle and a backhoe soon appeared to repair a gas leak detected in front of 68 Grove Street.  They told me it was a minor leak that did not need evacuation. Signs were placed and traffic was re-routed through the parking lot next to my house. All was going well until a nosey Amsterdam Water Department employee parked his vehicle in the entrance to the parking lot blocking traffic from going past the work site. Both employees left the vehicle to check on the work that the National Grid employees were doing. I guess they were checking to see that no out of title work was being performed. They finally got back in their vehicle appearing angry as they got on the radio to call for “backup”. The white Water Department vehicle left and two yellow Amsterdam DPW vehicles showed up. One I guess was for moral support because the vehicle and two City employees just watched from the parking lot detour while the driver of the other vehicle got out and supervised the National Grid employees repair the gas main.

Now I know why the CIty needs a fleet of one hundred vehicles! It looks as if they just drive around the City talking to each other on the radio, looking for things to poke their noses into.

While National Grid was here, I had them check the gas meter in my basement where I have on occasion smelled gas. They did find a small leak in the gas main going to my meter which they promptly puttied, taped and scheduled an appointment for next week to repair properly.


National Grid was back on Monday and Tuesday to repair the gas leak in front of 68 Grove Street. Apparently the leak was more extensive, requiring another excavation on the street.  This time National Grid worked without interruption from City DPW or the Water Department.

National Grid’s evening workers repaired my gas leak and installed a new bracket and gas meter.  I was impressed by the job they did as well as the professionalism and courtesy they displayed.

Categories: Amsterdam | Tags: , , , ,

Questionable Advertisement

This advertisement appeared again in the July 28, 2011, edition of the Recorder. I saw it once before and it struck me as odd that an employee of the City of Amsterdam was allowed to promote a private, Catholic business in his official capacity as a Police Officer.

I do not know this Officer, or whether he or the City were paid as a result of participating in the advertisement. In my opinion, it is highly unethical for any municipal employee to use his official position to promote a private business. My  other problem is that this situation could be interpreted as a governmental official promoting a specific religion.  St. Mary’s Healthcare is a Catholic run organization according to their mission statement.

The Mission of St. Mary’s is “to care compassionately for those we serve with dedication to excellence and Christian ideals.”

Rooted in the Healing Ministry of Jesus, we dedicate ourselves to serve all persons with compassion and excellence, especially those who are vulnerable.

St. Mary’s Hospital at Amsterdam will be a strong Catholic regional hospital dedicated to improving the health of the entire community with special attention to the poor and underserved.  Patients, physicians and associates will prefer us because of our reputation for excellence and service, and our commitment to safety and quality.

St. Mary’s Healthcare seems to enjoy an unhealthy relationship with local government because its board members are intertwined with local government. Vito L. Greco serves on St. Mary’s Healthcare Board of Directors and is the Montgomery County Supervisor for Amsterdam’s 1st Ward. Robert Quick serves on St. Mary’s Advisory Board and is a Board member of the Amsterdam Industrial Development Agency. Whether or not they recuse themselves from decisions that concern St. Mary’s Healthcare, the influence is still there.

Representatives of St Mary’s Healthcare were invited to sit as part of the Zoning Update Committee, the only local business invited to take part.  As of the last Common Council meeting they were still fighting to get the Historic Regulations changed. The Zoning plan for the Medical/Residential Zone already accommodates St. Mary’s, allowing them to change a residential building to medical use without having to apply for permits or variances.  Now they are using their lawyer to try to change the proposed ordinance to benefit themselves instead of local residents.

This local business does employ a large number of people, but should be treated no differently than any other local business in Amsterdam.

Categories: Amsterdam, Law, Media

Marriage is So Gay!

In just a few minutes nearly 1000 same-sex couples will be legally married in New York State.  With the 24 hour waiting period waived, history will be made all over New York as midnight ceremonies take place, each location competing to be first.

One couple will wait a little longer. Ed Deph and Peter Schroeter have lived together in a committed relationship for thirty-four years. My former landlords from the Ten Broeck Triangle area of Albany will have a special 6 pm ceremony at their local gay club ROCKS. Both Ed and Peter are retired Correction Counselors who worked for the New York State Department of Correctional Services.  In addition to friends, ceremony will be attended by NYS Senator Neil Breslin who will give a speech he prepared for the passing of the Marriage Equality Act but was unable to present it because of time constraints.  The wedding is billed as part of the 5pm – 8pm Marriage Equality Celebration at ROCKS.

This is an older photo of Ed and Peter preparing for a masquerade party. I thought it fit the bill.


Gazette Reporter Bethany Bump wrote a really nice article in the July 25, 2011, edition describing Peter and Ed’s wedding.

ALBANY — As Pete Schroeter stood next to his 34-year partner, Ed Delph, on Sunday, he looked tall and proud. But as soon as ordained minister Jim Larson spoke, his eyes began to water.

“By the power vested in me by the state of New York — 30 days ago — I now pronounce you husband and husband,” Larson said, to a room that erupted into cheers and applause as Schroeter and Delph shared their first kiss as a married couple.

The longtime members of Albany’s LGBT community were the first to receive their marriage license in Albany and wed on the same day that same-sex marriage became legal in the state. The ceremony was the highlight Sunday at Rocks, a popular Albany gay club on Central Avenue, that hosted a “Heroes: A Celebration of Marriage Equality in New York”.

State Sen. Neil Breslin, D-Delmar, and Rocks bartender Dave Fenton served as witnesses to make the marriage of Schroeter and Delph official. Just before the men exchanged their “I dos,” Breslin delivered to the ecstatic and smiling crowd the two-minute speech he would have given on the Senate floor when the bill passed if there had been more than four senators allowed to speak.

“I can remember in the past, people asking me why I wanted to be an elected official, and I said I think I can really make a difference in people’s lives. But I used to question that,” Breslin said. “And on June 24, we all made a difference and we made people’s lives better. And there was no expense to it, because this was not an issue of morality or religion. It was an issue of civil rights.”

The issue was one many cared about at Sunday’s event. Gays, lesbians and supporters filtered through the club, chatting, dancing and reveling in the day’s symbolism.


Categories: Law, Politics | Tags: , , , , ,

Saratoga Racetrack


Categories: Entertainment, Photography

Heat Wave!

Categories: Entertainment, Photography

Let’s Polka!

Tony’s Polka Band performed tonight at Riverlink Park in Amsterdam, New York. It was the second in a series of free concerts scheduled for this summer down by the Mohawk River.  It was great to see a new generation carrying on the tradition of Polka music that I grew up with. Tonight the concertgoers could not keep from dancing to the Polka beat.

(Click on each photo for a larger view.)

Categories: Amsterdam, Entertainment | Tags: , ,

Around the House

Categories: Amsterdam, Cooking, Pets, Photography | Tags: , , , , , , ,

Jessica Maher Leaves the Recorder

It’s official!  Jessica Maher, Star Reporter for our local Amsterdam newspaper the Recorder, is leaving. In the following email sent out today, Jessica thanks the community for their cooperation.

Hi all:

This is a note to let you know that today is my last day at the Recorder. Jarrett Carroll will be taking over coverage of the city, so please add him to your mailing lists. His e-mail address is and he can also be reached at 843-1100 ext. 139.

On a personal note, I wanted to thank you all for your cooperation over the past few years. It has been a pleasure to work in this community.


Jessica Maher
1 Venner Road
Amsterdam, NY 12010
(518) 843-1100 ext. 155

There was no mention of where she will be going, but with her writing ability as well as her pleasant, respectful demeanor, I am sure she will succeed at whatever is in store for her.

Jessica you will be missed!

Categories: Amsterdam, Media | Tags: , ,

Riverlink Park Concert Series #1

The eclectic Chandler Travis Philharmonic performed tonight in Amsterdam’s Riverlink Park giving great visual and audio performances, changing costumes as often as musical numbers. The audience seemed as entertained as the band members themselves, clapping to the beat of the music as they sat in their lawn chairs enjoying tonight’s event.

The construction next to the concertgoers  will give rise to Riverlink Park phase II adding a band-shell, more lawn space and the Painted Rock sculpture that we can see taking shape in the photo.

Tonight’s concert was a great introduction to the summer concert series, something Amsterdamians should be proud of!

Categories: Amsterdam, Entertainment | Tags: , ,

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