These Colors Don’t Run!

There are several veterans and active-duty military in our area…many awaiting a family reunion, and some who have lost loved ones to conflict. Let’s take a moment to give respect to our soldiers currently serving, our veterans, and to those who have given their lives to preserve ours. I have a relative currently serving. She was kind enough to share these photos of Normandy – one of many battles where our guardians ran towards peril without hesitation, to protect our nation’s ideals, rights and freedoms. Thank you!
“I have never been able to think of the day as one of mourning; I have never quite been able to feel that half-masted flags were appropriate on Decoration Day. I have rather felt that the flag should be at the peak, because those whose dying we commemorate rejoiced in seeing it where their valor placed it. We honor them in a joyous, thankful, triumphant commemoration of what they did.”
- Benjamin Harrison

(click on photos to enlarge)

Omaha Beach is the code name for one of the five sectors of the Allied invasion of German-occupied France in the Normandy landings on June 6, 1944, during World War II

Omaha Beach is the code name for one of the five sectors of the Allied invasion of German-occupied France in the Normandy landings on June 6, 1944, during World War II

At Pointe du Hoc

At Pointe du Hoc

Pointe du Hoc is a clifftop location on the Normandy Coast. It is situated between Utah and Omaha, and stands on 100 ft tall cliffs overlooking the sea. Marking the Western end of the Omaha beach sector, it was a point of attack by the United States Army Ranger Assault Group during Operation Overlord in World War II

Pointe du Hoc is a clifftop location on the Normandy Coast. It is situated between Utah and Omaha Beaches, and stands on 100 ft tall cliffs overlooking the sea. Marking the Western end of the Omaha beach sector, it was a point of attack by the United States Army Ranger Assault Group during Operation Overlord in World War II

A cemetery and memorial in Colleville-sur-Mer, Normandy, France, that honors American soldiers who died in Europe during World War II

A cemetery and memorial in Colleville-sur-Mer, Normandy, France, that honors American soldiers who died in Europe during WW II

A tribute to the National Guard Units

A tribute to the National Guard Units

Memorial Day Happenings in the Albany Area:

WHAT: Nassau Memorial Day Parade
WHEN: Mon., May 27
INFO: The VFW/Memorial Day Parade Committee of the village of Nassau will be hosting a Memorial Day Parade.
WHAT: Albany Memorial Day Parade
WHEN: Mon., May 27
INFO: The Albany Memorial Day Parade steps off at 9:30 a.m. starting at Patridge Street and Central Avenue and contining east on Central to Washington Avenue to North Hawk Street. The Reviewing stand will be at the State Education Building on Washington Avenue. The parade will be followed immediately by a ceremony at the Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Lafayette Park.
WHAT: Lansingburgh’s 17th Annual Memorial Day Parade
WHEN: Mon., May 27
INFO: Scheduled rain or shine at 11 a.m.. The Parade route is from 123rd Street and 5th Avenue, South to 115th Street and 5th Avenue. Turn down 115th Street to 2nd Avenue. North on 2nd Avenue to 121st Street and 2nd Avenue. The Reviewing Stand will be located on the East Side of 2nd Avenue in front of Standard Manufacturing Company.
WHAT: Bethlehem Memorial Day Parade
WHEN: Mon., May 27
INFO: The annual Memorial Day parade will kick off at 11:00 a.m. at the Elsmere Fire House. It will proceed down Elsmere Avenue to a right on to Kenwood Avenue to a left on to Adams Place to a right on to Adams Street to a right on to Delaware Avenue and will end with a ceremony at the Bethlehem Veterans Memorial Park.
WHAT: North Greenbush Memorial Day Parade
WHEN: Mon., May 27
INFO: Step off at 1:30 p.m. from Dana Ave along Brookside Avenue to Marion Avenue. Down Marion Avenue to West Sand Lake Road, down West Sand Lake Road to Main Avenue, down Main Avenue to the Town Hall where the Memorial Day Ceremonies will take place. After the ceremonies there will be refreshments served at the American Legion on Main Avenue and the Wynantskill Fire Department on Church Street. All are invited to attend.
WHAT: Medway-Grapeville Memorial Day Parade
WHEN: Mon., May 27
INFO: The Ravena Fire Department will be participating in a Memorial Day Service, being held in the Medway-Grapeville station at 10:00 a.m.

HAVE A SAFE WEEKEND!

HELL YEAH, RCS!!

Common Sense Prevails!
Ravena, Coeymans, Selkirk
YOU ROCK!!

Congratulations to Mr. Latter, Mr. Brown and Mr. Hyslop! And, thank you RCS voters for passing our school budget!
There’s nothing we can’t do!! This is our house and we’ve taken it back! The sideshow is over and the circus will be leaving shortly. Now, we can get back to the business of education, and start shaping RCS into one of the best school districts in the region!! We have wonderful teachers, involved parents and an unwavering sense of community. What we lacked was a board of ed willing to set aside petty feuds for the sake and betterment of our children and home.
NOW? We’ve got a solid foundation just waiting to be built upon. Our actions have shown that we are forward thinking and want the best for our kids…because we know that they will one day be our leaders – perhaps raising their own kids in RCS, starting a local business, or even running for the BOE. I have lived in several places…but never one where people worked so tirelessly for the kids. It really is all about them and their experience. There are many examples, but one sticks (no pun) in my mind: The Great Sticky Note Incident of 2012. What a selfless thing; how a local business stepped up so those kids could have their school-day memory…the one’s that we, as adults, hold so dear and often reminisce and reflect on. No one paid them for this. No one made them do it. It just came naturally. THAT, my friends, is the true face and spirit of RCS!
However, for the moment, I can’t help but feel compelled to gloat a wee bit…C’mon – don’t we deserve it? Well, since this is my blog and opinions, I say it’s okay – but just this once. Let’s just get one thing straight: I am NOT the media. It bugs me when people refer to bloggers as MEDIA. We are not. WE are everyday people, with too much time on our hands, expressing opinions…
Well okay – I think all the residents who have been harassed, beaten down, intimidated, afraid to express themselves, backed into a corner, abused online, on the phone and in public, let down, smeared, insulted, lied to, belittled, threatened, subjected to cyber-bullying, left to fend for themselves, followed around grocery stores, (well, you get the point), deserve a little self gratification and recognition for the hell they’ve been put through. So, in their honor?

THIS ONE’S FOR YOU!!
BUH-BYE!

One last thought: Now that there’s nothing to lose, wonder if Vadney will go through with that multi-million dollar lawsuit…hmmm….stay tuned, people…and keep your heads up!

What Time Is It?

It’s GO time, RCS! 

Today, we attempt to restore our reputation as one of the best places to grow and prosper in the Capital District! For better or worse, we can start to focus on the factors that make CoeymaNITES want to stay here for generations. We’ve learned the importance of diligence, and the pitfalls of complacency. No matter what the outcome, we should all be proud! If there is good to be found, it is that people who may have never given each other the time of day have formed bonds, exchanged ideas and worked towards common goals. Many who didn’t realize the extent of our problems are no longer ignorant – they are now aware and understand the importance of active involvement. I’ve met people who’ve called Coeymans home for generations…other’s for only a few years. Two groups often suspicious of the other’s intentions, breaking bread and laboring for solutions and change. And, our people have come up with a few excellent ideas: bottle drives for field trips, fundraisers for playground updates, book drives, garage sale benefits and so much more.

We’ve talked the talk. Now it’s time to walk the walk!

I would like to share something I found online. There is no better advice than this:

When you find yourself at the high school May 21, from 7 a.m. to 9 p.m., ask yourself these questions before casting your candidate votes:

1) Do I respect this person’s values and ethics?
2) Do I know, respect and comprehend this person’s vision for the RCS District?
3) Do I believe this person has my child’s best educational interests at heart and understands the value of my tax-dollar?
4) Would I invite this individual into my home and allow him/her to make decisions about my child’s future?
5) Does this person know how to engage in conflict in an ethical and positive manner?
6) Will this person engage in conflict for the good of RCS as a whole?
7) Would I engage in a conflict with this person knowing that together we could work through it, compromise and come to a resolution?

GOOD LUCK RCS!
It’s time to reclaim respect!

voy1

**PLEASE REMEMBER: Any resident 18 years or older can vote! Please bring a valid ID and/or proof of residency (a driver’s license will suffice)**

Denial Ain’t Just a River in Egypt!

I try hard to keep this blog civil, not engage in name calling, derogatory terminology or graphical “enhancements” that most of us have grown accustomed too. However, sometimes,  it’s very hard not to lash out. Sometimes? I can’t help but place my head in my hands or shake my fists in disbelief over what I read or hear. I like to believe that it’s just a simple few who can’t stop drinking the Kool Aide; who are in total denial of what’s going on around them. Surely, they must have heard that old saying:

“Denial ain’t just a river in Egypt!”

So, the Times Union wrote another editorial about our Board of Education issues. As a result, we are now going to deal with the smoke-and-mirror tactics of the severely misguided. Our “town crier” whines:

“So the Burning Question Is: Who Has Gotten the Albany Times Union to Publish More Garbage on this Community. Who In This Community Is Feeding Them The Junk That the Albany Times Union is AGAIN Printing About Our Community….”

Really?? Someone must be tipping them off? Gee – who could it be?  Perhaps, the simpleminded nit-wit who keeps churning out the hate on the Word Wide Web? It’s time to power down, crawl out from your basement, brush off the cobwebs and take a look in the mirror! If you believe otherwise? You’re beginning to look like one of those “head up ass” illustrations we’ve all been privy to for more than a year!

You wanna know why the reputation of our town isn’t very flattering?
Here are some possible reasons:

1) The board president, Mr. John Vadney, ran afoul with the law not too long ago. He has been obsolved of his crime, but who wants someone prone to legal problems sitting at the helm of a school district? Talk about a media red flag and a P.R. nightmare! Why not stock the pond with those who have less baggage? “Boring” people usually don’t generate a media fray…

2) The board president’s wife, Dawn Vadney, filed a notice of claim for millions against RCS (that’s the tax payers, folks). The wife of an incumbent who claims to run on the ideals of fiscal constraint. If John Vadney’s wife ever follows through? Who do you think will vote on her settlement? Can’t understand why the news reports on this? Where else is this happening?

3) We have a blogger that some have speculated is the brother of our board president. Maybe, maybe not. This person is so concerned with our town and mending fences that he/she issued a call for “unity” a few days back…only, not quite one a lot would see as beneficial:

“….We really want to know and you should really want to know who’s getting the Albany Times Union to again focus their vile attention on our community. Once you identify who’s feeding that useless rag, take her or him out and lynch’em! Tar and feathers is too good for them!”

Yes, “tar and feathering” is too good for those of us who don’t believe as he does. We all need to be “lynched!” Sounds more like a call to violence than an invitation to sit down, work out differences and move forward (and, just in case that post disappears, several copies have been made).
But, again, this sort of thing is commonplace, right? So why would the media care?

4) Mister Laszlo Polyak. For most, those three little words are explanation enough. But, for clarification purposes, Mr. Polyak, by his own admission, has stated he gives this blog to senior citizens and even contributes to it. Perhaps it is Mr. Polyak who is calling for this lynching. Maybe or maybe not. He equates one’s free speech to another’s TERRORISM. I suppose I agree – the threat of a lynching could be taken as terrorizing citizens who don’t see things his way. It could even be construed as election interference! I assume we’re only lynching the folks who aren’t voting for a certain, select three…
But, child’s play really….and, again, sure it’s going on all over the state of New York. Shame on you, Times Union, for beating down our “ain’t nothing to see here” community…

5) Ever search for something online, only to get a ton of results for something unrelated? There are lots of reasons for this…one of which is called keyword spamming. Our “town crier” engages in this practice substantially….to the point that, if you go to Google and search for “Ravena New York,” you will come up with pages and pages of this crap as results. Nothing from the Times Union, nothing from any other source. Just acres and acres of sewage penned by people connected to the BOE in some way, who have openly admitted their involvement with it. I bet when out-of-towners looking to relocate to the RCS area do a little online research and find all this, they must be tickled pink! Still wonder why your house isn’t selling? These researchers must love the pictures and all the intelligent insights. Bet their knocking down their mortgage broker’s door as we speak. For the spamming? I bet the Times Union would love to THANK our “town crier”…because he/she has made it so easy to find what’s broken at RCS by ever-so-eloquently spelling it out to the world! Talk about airing dirty laundry….I sure as hell wouldn’t buy a home in RCS after reading one of those posts!

6) This entire Latter/Ferpa thing. Think I’ll call it “FerpaGate.” I don’t know what that’s all about, but it appears to have happened several years ago….and it also seems to be something that created anger over issues of confidentiality. Well, okay. If privacy is what you’re after, WHY constantly plaster the issue on TU forums, “the blog,” and repeat it at board meetings over and over again?
Logic would dictate that you either A) LET IT GO or B) FILE A FORMAL COMPLAINT….because, by now? The entire planet knows of your privacy issue (kinda makes it not-so-private, doesn’t it)! Again, how does this make us look good? File a formal complaint…unless, of course, it really isn’t as it appears, and you have some personal score to settle, and just want to beat it like a dead horse. Maybe, maybe not…But, this is plastered all over the web and oh so easily found by any person looking for dirt.

7) Election problems from last year. Wasn’t it a Ms. Audrey Toussaint, alleged girlfriend of Jeff Lukens – a BOE member – who filed a formal complaint over our budget vote last year? Now, why ever would this be seen as newsworthy? If you’re looking for the tip-off on that one, I seem to remember seeing her on one of the local broadcast networks “airing our dirty laundry” to the world! Didn’t look like she was being forced to do so…Could it be that she tipped off the media in that case, making our town look bad? But, it appears she gets a free pass from LynchFest 2013…

5) The entire Rodney situation….If I even have to “go there” and rehash that train wreck? Well, just turn off the computer now and go back to your home in the land of gumdrops and lollipops. Someone owing over $100K  in back taxes, setting levies for the rest of us? Yeah – I can see how that happens all over the place. So, shame of you once again, Times Union.

6) The board’s stupidity in hiring an interim superintendent who’s shrouded in controversy. The state comptroller’s audit in 2006 accused this disgrace of taking $127,338 in questionable payments — including $84,283 more than his contract allowed in unused vacation time. Do I really have to explain how the media found out about this and WHY they would care?  This guy’s a “bad press” lightening rod! C’MON!

Everybody wants change. They want to move forward.
But no one wants to deal with the past!

Doesn’t anybody realize that the past is what’s holding us back?

It’s time to accept facts and man up! FIX what’s broken once and for all, and stop blaming everyone else for our homegrown problems! It doesn’t matter if the Times Union, WNYT, FOX, or whoever reports on these happenings. That shouldn’t be at the forefront or even a factor! The problem is that we HAVE these issue’s in the first place and they are not going away or being dealt with!

If anyone tells you all this is going on in every school district, they need to put down that wacky cigarette, sober up and GET REAL!

If you would like to send any concerns or comments about being “lynched,” or would like to point out any other abuses regarding WordPress blogs, please CLICK HERE!

MAY 21 - Reclaim RCS Pride!

VOTE LATTER, HYSLOP AND BROWN!

You Gave THIS To My Mom??

While reading an RCS BOE candidate profile HERE, I couldn’t help being irritated by a  few statements made by a Mr. Laszlo Polyak. Mr. Polyak is vying for a seat on the Ravena-Coeymans-Selkirk Board of Education. From his bio:

…He also said that he has provided online information, including a locally controversial blog, to area senior citizens who are uncomfortable using the Internet.
“First, it’s free-speech,” Polyak said to off-duty Town of Coeymans Investigator Gerald DeLuca. DeLuca asked Polyak at this year’s Meet the Candidates night about his involvement in a controversial blog that comments on local officials and events.
“One man’s freedom fighter is another man’s terrorist. That’s why we have free speech,” said Polyak, who mentioned that he did interact with the blog, posting occasional commentary and responding to the commentary of other posts…”

First, from a voter’s standpoint, why would I support a candidate who helps produce content for something that tarnishes our town, divides us and makes our schools a laughing stock? If I search Google for anything related to our town, I get rows and rows of links to this trash. People wonder why RCS has such a bad reputation? Well, look no further….

Secondly, I just want to know how senior citizens feel about this; their reactions when handed this pile of paperwork? Or, better yet, their shock when they find out it can be seen by the world (including any out-of-town children, grandchildren, friends and siblings). Are they thrilled about the way we are all portrayed? Disgusted? Maybe they are never explained the extent in the first place.

A lot of our senior population have been around for generations. They love it here – witnessing the “highs” and hanging tough through the “lows.” I can’t believe they’d appreciate being called Nazi’s, simpletons, dumbasses or being referred to as inbred or simpletons.
And, let’s not forget all the colorful illustrations! Does Mr. Polyak include them? Like the one of a pig having sex with a duck (or was it the other way around), the toothless redneck I can only assume represents townsfolk, the animated obese people, the references to whores, and the ever-popular guy with his head stuck up his ass.

Do seniors receive full blog content, in the interest of “transparency?” Or, is Mr. Polyak selective, only supplying bits and pieces to skew reality?

Maybe or maybe not….
I do know my senior citizen mother would be more “uncomfortable” with some stranger handing her this crap, than powering up a computer and searching the World Wide Web on her own! I can only imagine what the recipients must think when handed the “manifesto.” Offended, insulted, angered, irritated, bothered – those would be logical reactions. Heck, some might even be afraid of the person handing them something like this and call the cops!

Our senior population deserves more credit!

They don’t need Mr. Polyak’s brand of information dissemination to figure out for themselves what they should believe, how they should think and who/what they should vote for. Who the hell is Mr. Polyak to tell someone who’s been in town, probably 20-30 years longer than himself, which way is up? Despite the inference from our “town crier,” seniors are not “dumb sheeple.” They are PEOPLE! So, next time Mr. Polyak is out at the senior center, maybe he could brew some coffee, have a seat and – for once – listen to them! In their infinite wisdom, they may be able to teach him a thing of two!

If you are interested in the history of our wonderful community, get the background from a reliable, uplifting source. Did you know that Ravena/Coeyman’s has a historical society? You can find their website by clicking HERE. You can also find background on the village HERE.

Budget and candidate vote is May 21!

If you know of a senior who may have a hard time getting to the polls, don’t hand them paperwork, OFFER THEM A RIDE!!

Question Your Candidates Tuesday

Those who missed their chance to question the RCS School Board candidates last week will get another shot May 14!

A Budget/Board of Education meeting is scheduled for Tuesday, May 14, at 6:30 p.m. in the RCS High School Auditorium. The meeting will be followed by a “Meet the Candidates” forum.
This forum is your opportunity to have your questions addressed. It’s a wonderful way to clarify any doubts before casting your vote May 21.
While many relevant questions were raised at last week’s forum, some answers need further clarification. Several community members left with doubts as to the truthfulness of the claims some candidates made.
Mr. Laszlo Polyak reiterated several times that he was an SED, broker, and even a teacher. This information does not appear to be verifiable through any public source. I’m not saying the statements are false, I just think the issue requires more exploration.
So, perhaps Mr. Polyak can elaborate on this topic Tuesday and put our minds at ease.
Eyebrows have also been raised over Mr. John Vadney’s statements regarding his involvement with the CEIP Program. The Career Exploration Internship Program (CEIP) assists students in understanding the linkages among school, work, and post-secondary education. The program hasn’t been taught at RCS since the last person certified to teach it retired. There is speculation that Mr. Vadney has had zero involvement with CEIP.
Maybe Mr. Vadney can clear this up by detailing exactly what it is he did for the program, and elaborate on the extent of his involvement. Perhaps back it up with some verifiable proof.
We are all aware of how RCS has been portrayed through local media outlets. We can take the easy route and blame them, but the bottom line is this:

They would not be reporting on these events if they weren’t happening!

So, instead of sweeping everything under the rug, lets clean house once and for all!
I believe there’s a saying: “No news is good news.” The media reports on events that occur everywhere in the state. It is not logical to believe they’re just hanging around our town out of spite or over a vendetta. If there was no news, they’d be gone. So if we stop giving them fodder, the bad press disappears. How do we do this? By being inquisitive and informed about who we elect to represent our home. Support quality, dignified people who will serve honestly. If we can achieve this, the tarnished perception the Capital District has of  RCS will soon fade away.
We are a positive place, with great people, who bend over backwards to help each other get through tough times. I’ve seen strangers hold fundraisers for people who’ve lost homes to fires, drives to help pay the medical bills for sick children, people going out of their way every day to do the right thing: regardless of whether they know the person or not.

It’s time to put our best foot forward and replace the selfish with the self-less!

Review last week’s candidate forum by clicking HERE.
Read budget bio’s and information by clicking HERE.

Gather your thoughts and come to the RCS High School Tuesday, May 14, at 6:30 p.m., and get informed!

It Is That Time of Year Again!

Spring: the season of transformation. The snow has melted, flowers are blooming and the days are getting warmer (hopefully). It’s also a time of change for the RCS community and their schools.

We have an important vote coming up May 21:
The RCS Budget Vote.

In addition to deciding the fate of our school budget, there are several board seats up for grabs. I’d like to direct you to some pertinent information on the candidates. There was a Q&A session at A.W. Becker last week. For anyone who missed it, please watch by clicking HERE.
“Whenever the people are well informed, they can be trusted with their own government; that whenever things get so far wrong as to attract their notice, they may be relied on to set them to rights.”
-Thomas Jefferson
The intent of this site is to provide fact-based information and encourage people to stand up and call out inaccuracies when they see them. Our Board President, Mr. John Vadney, stated (at the Becker Q&A):
“The board is not broken, the community is broken!”
-Mr. John Vadney
I partially agree. The community is beaten down. We are tired of the self-centered shenanigans of some of the board members. We are sick of being ashamed. Our neighbors are leaving. Property values are in the tank. But has Mr. Vadney bothered to take a hard look at why? What are some of the forces tearing the community down?
For starters, we have a “town crier” hurling online insults at residents, for over a year, for simply asking questions at public meetings. It baffles me that Mr. John Vadney has never publicly stood up and denounced this. The site attacks people who may have even voted for him. Some citizens speculate it’s linked to a relative. If this were untrue, why not stand up and distance yourself from something so foul? Clear your name and that of your relative. But, that’s never happened. As a voter, that bothers me. If the accusation is not true, then stand up and help “fix” us! Call for unity and chastise the disparity!
What we, as a community, must continue to do, is question those who want our votes, and the privilege of representing our wants, needs and ideals.
So, I would like to encourage everyone to visit the RCS District Site by clicking HERE and read the candidate bio’s carefully. Watch the Becker Q&A. Take note of the candidate’s claims, qualifications, promises and positions…and question the validity of statements that may appear suspect. And, most importantly, continue to ask your questions until they are acknowledged and answered.

Never forget that this is your right! 

Intimidation vs. Empowerment

in·tim·i·date  (n-tm-dt)
tr.v.in·tim·i·dat·ed, in·tim·i·dat·ing, in·tim·i·dates
1. To make timid; fill with fear.
2. To coerce or inhibit by or as if by threats. To frighten into submission, compliance, or acquiescence.

 
I have always felt that tactics rooted in intimidation were the last acts of a desperate man. When you’ve exhausted all methods of making a point through refined logic, and find yourself unable to “spin it” and get people to “buy it,” you are left with two choices: You can acknowledge your argument holds no weight -OR- you can engage in  “below-the-belt” bullying and vile name calling. The desire is to stifle those who oppose your point of view. In short, people intimidate because they lack any reasonable or coherent argument rooted in fact…so, like a two-year-old throwing a tantrum, they throw sticks and stones.
If you find yourself on the receiving end of such tactics,  you really should feel empowered!
 
em·pow·er  (m-pour)tr.v.
em·pow·ered, em·pow·er·ing, em·pow·ers
1. To invest with power. To equip or supply with an ability; enable.
2. To invest with power, especially legal power or official authority.

 
If you have a strong-held belief, don’t let anyone rob you of your voice! Stand by your convictions and empower not only yourself, but your friends and family, too! Come together with those who share your beliefs – support one another and think of ways to reach your common goals! There is strength in numbers. Don’t let the arm-twisting of a few highjack your good intentions! If you believe that Rodney Krzykowski should be removed from the Ravena-Coeymans-Selkirk School Board, then sign the petition! If you know someone who would be an ideal candidate for a board of ed seat come May, share that information with your neighbors and garner support! Intimidation can only work if we allow it! Instead of giving such rubbish attention, focus on how fantastic this community is, and how we can make it even more exceptional! If we stand behind each other, stay positive and empower, we can do anything!

 If you would like to sign the petition to have Rodney Krzykowski removed from the RCS School Board, please click  HERE.

Happy Holidays RCS!