Hugh Reynolds: Battle for the gavel

Stone and fellow Seabees get props for restoring two of Kingston’s World War II monuments, work on the veterans park in front of City Hall and the African-American Cemetery off South Wall Street, all this from a guy from Phoenicia.

Cahill clearly didn’t know Frank Stone from either director Oliver Stone or flashy actress Sharon Stone when he entered the VFW hall in the Town ofUlster. Out of sympathy, I gave him a brief bio of my fellow Seabee. By the time he took the podium a few moments later, the audience must have thought the assemblyman and the guest of honor had grown up together. Amazing.

The memorable line, repeated several times by subsequent speakers, went something like this: “The most remarkable thing about Frank Stone is that he’s done all these wonderful things for veterans inKingston, my hometown, and he’s from a foreign country. (Pause for effect.) Phoenicia!” The applause and laughter, led by a large contingent of visiting Phoenicians, rocked the house.


And just so Cahill haters don’t think I’m sucking up to the Democratic fixture, Mr. Loquacious has gone altogether tight-lipped on the Vito Lopez scandal, even though he and the prime subject in a groper-probe have served in the Assembly together for something like 17 years and Cahill is a member of the legislative Ethics Committee that investigated the miscreant’s reprehensible behavior. Lopez, a Brooklyn Democrat, denied any improprieties with female staff, but paid a $32,000 fine ordered by Assembly Speaker Shelley Silver. Under Silver’s direction, taxpayers coughed up another $103,000 for a settlement with two women who accused him of the sexual harassment. Silver has since called on Lopez to resign.

“I can say nothing,” Cahill said when asked for comment. Likewise, calls to local Assemblyman Peter Lopez — I thought he might want to defend the family name — were not returned.

No matter. The sordid details and what is increasingly appearing to be a cover-up/payoff at taxpayer expense have already been widely published.

One Mo time?

Ulster County Democrats will dedicate their annual dinner on Sunday, Sept. 23 at sumptuous Diamond Mills in Saugerties village to their standard-bearer for almost 40 years, retiring Congressman Maurice Hinchey. Tickets for this fundraiser for the (Democratic) “party of the people” are a little pricier than usual, $100 for the dinner at 4 p.m., something more for a “private reception” (photo op) with the congressman at 3 p.m.