Posts Tagged With: paul tonko

Amsterdam’s Riverlink Park II

Categories: Amsterdam, Art, Photography, Politics | Tags: , , , , , ,

Celebrate Us!

UPDATE: This event is rescheduled for October 14, 2011, due to weather predictions of rain.

Categories: Amsterdam | Tags: , , , ,

Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood

It was such a beautiful day today I decided to take a walk and see what was happening. My first stop was Riverlink Park where I ran into Congressman Paul Tonko, who was there to check on the progress of Phase II construction. “I’ve been waiting fifteen years for this!” he exclaimed.  Bulldozers and graders were buzzing as they moved dirt to create paths. Artist Alice Manzi was supervising the Painted Rock sculpture she was commissioned to create for the park. The cinderblock center was now covered with steel framework and metal mesh. A mixture composed of cement and fiberglass was being blown into the framework through firehose by Manzi’s associates. There seemed to be an issue with adherence as they stopped the pumps to study the results. Soon after the pumps were back on as work continued on the large sculpture that is representative of a rock formation just east of the park that once contained paintings done by the Native Americans who were Amsterdam’s first residents.

I asked Congressman Tonko what he thought about the steel girder from the World Trade Center scheduled for installation in the new park.  He stated he did not mind it as long as it was not near the Painted Rock sculpture that he described as “sacred ground”.

While in the park I ran into an older gentlemen (yes older than me) named Sam, who was also observing the activity in the park. He pointed out the new deck erected at the Riverlink Café with great views of the river. Sam was quick to comment on how wonderful he thought the park was, but was very critical of the negativity displayed by WCSS radio personalities who “have nothing good to say”.  He also went on to say that there is no good coverage of Amsterdam in the local papers these days.  Sam stated he prefers to stay in the background when I asked him for his full name.

After leaving Riverlink Park I took a walk down East Main Street and on the current pedestrian walkway over the Mohawk where I took some photos of the Chalmers building. There was a small pile of rubble in front of one of the buildings and a couple of cranes, but there didn’t seem to be any demolition going on this morning.

It was a great morning with mostly clear sky and some puffy clouds that worked well with my wide-angle lens.

Categories: Amsterdam, Art, Photography | Tags: , , , , , ,

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: , , , , ,

The Tonko Letter

Today I received a response from Congressman Paul D. Tonko supporting Marriage Equality and LGBT rights.

The original response can be downloaded here: Tonko Letter

June 23, 2011

Dear Mr. Skrocki,

Thank you for contacting me with your support for same-sex marriage. Your correspondence is highly valuable, and I appreciate your sentiments.

Currently, same-sex marriages may be performed in Massachusetts, Connecticut, Iowa, Vermont, New Hampshire, and the District of Columbia. New York, Rhode Island and Maryland have laws recognizing same-sex marriages legally performed elsewhere. I believe marriage is a civil right and it is wrong to deny gay and lesbian couples this right. A marriage conveys hundreds of legal rights and privileges that unmarried couples cannot exercise, from inheritance to hospital visitation. Denying same-sex couples these rights is equivalent to not guaranteeing them equal protection under the law.

While marriage is an issue left to the states to decide, I hope that every state will one day provide same-sex couples with full marriage rights. Every individual should have the right to marry whomever he or she loves and to have that marriage officially recognized. It is important to recognize that this is not a religious issue; a marriage is a contract in the eyes of the law, and it is not right to deny same-sex couples the right to enter into these contracts. As you may know, the Respect for Marriage Act would repeal the Defense of Marriage Act and ensure respect for state regulation of marriage. You will be happy to know that I am an original cosponsor of this important piece of legislation. I remain a strong advocate for recognizing the right of same-sex couples to marry and have also cosponsored legislation to recognize committed same-sex partnerships similarly to marriage for immigration purposes.

In late February 2011, the Obama Administration announced that it no longer deems the Defense of Marriage Act constitutional and is directing the Justice Department to stop defending the law in federal court. This decision follows two lawsuits filed in November 2010 by individuals who claim the Defense of Marriage Act discriminates on the basis of sexual orientation by denying them various federal benefits.

In addition to the fight for marriage rights, we must work together to wipe out discrimination of all kinds based on sexual orientation and gender identity. For this reason, I am a strong supporter of the Employment Non-Discrimination Act, which establishes a comprehensive Federal prohibition of employment discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity. By extending the existing federal ban on discrimination based on race, religion, gender, national origin, age and disability to also cover sexual orientation and gender identity, we ensure that American businesses hire and retain the very best and brightest employees to keep our economy strong and competitive on a global scale. I have also supported legislation to repeal the U.S. military’s “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” policy and to expand hate crimes legislation to cover crimes motivated by sexual orientation or gender identity.

These and other pieces of LGBT legislation make a strong statement affirming American values of justice and personal freedom. Please be assured that I will continue to fight on behalf of our LGBT community for equal treatment under the law.

For up-to-date news and information about our district, please visit my website at and sign up for my E-Newsletter. Additionally, please consider using my social media tools:,,and

Paul D. Tonko

Categories: Law, Politics | Tags: , , ,

I also received this unsolicited email viciously attacking Mayoral candidate Joe Emanuele that has been discussed on the Kraebel blog. The blogger is none other than Roberto Millan, author of that disgusting blog Judge Errant where he attacks Bob Going, Mike Chiara and Diane Hatzenbuhler. He even took a swing at me erroneously suggesting I was discussing him on The Show With No Name.  In Roberto’s Errant blog, he makes these wild allegations and then responds to them himself, as if he actually had fans. The only real people who responded to that hateful blog were Karin Hetrick who couldn’t resist agreeing with the character assassination of Bob Going and Mayor Ann Thane who has stated she does not respond to blogs.

These are their responses from the Judge Errant blog:

Now Roberto’s new blog is following the same style with the fake comments designed to lure people into the discussion. Roberto is also the only person that has sent me this type of unsolicited email.

When that Karin Hetrick/Tony Leggiero thing blew up on my blog, Karin called Roberto and asked him to call Ray Halgas to inquire if Tony Leggiero was blogging while at work. Millan identified himself as a lawyer before asking questions even though he has no license to practice law in New York State.  Halgas told him he was not.

Roberto then called me and told me what had occurred with Karin, his conversation with Ray Halgas and was about to ask me to take down the offending posts when I informed him they were already down. He stated he was a lawyer but only had license to practice in Connecticut, New Jersey and Washington DC. He admitted to me that he was the person who posted on the Venner Vox as female lawyer Tatum Stevens.  He denied knowing Ann Thane, he denied being Congressman Paul Tonko’s friend, stating he never met the man. How can you trust a straight answer from someone caught up in so much deceit?

On the June 10, 2011, edition of The Show With No Name, Bob Going revealed that he saw Mayor Ann Thane dining  at the former Windmill Diner with (who he hinted at as being) both Roberto Millan and Bethany Schuman McGhee. Could they have planned this attack on Joe Emanuele? Many of the items from the blog were taken directly from the Democratic response to Emanuele’s Mayoral announcement.

Roberto (he prefers Rob) Millan, where is your pride?

Roberto Millan (seated with headache)

Categories: Amsterdam, Media, Politics | Tags: , , , , , , , , ,

Charlie’s War

For those not familiar with Amsterdam politics, there is an ongoing feud between an Editor of the Recorder who also moderates The Venner Vox and the creators of The Show With No Name. Clicking on the links will explain the situation.

The Show With No Name

The Venner Vox

Categories: Amsterdam, Entertainment, Media, Politics | Tags: , , , , , , , ,

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