The debate thing: If what I hear around town about a City Hall Gallo-Noble-Polacco debate being almost set for Aug. 24 is true, then I approve wholeheartedly — as long as it’s in the evening when people can actually attend. (It was, and I do.) The voters deserve an opportunity to see those who would run Kingston discuss their views and challenge one another. And the way much of the dialogue in this campaign has read so far, this debate could turn out to be a corker. Maybe not as much as that one on Fox the other night, but as well we have learned these last three years, Gallo unscripted is Gallo unpredictable.
The Noble/Parete CMRR hearing thing: I’m all for giving people a chance to express their views directly to elected officials, in person, on social media, whatever. So I’m all in favor of this hearing, which may or may not ever come to pass. Personally, I’m curious — the railroad faction has kicked up a fuss both on Facebook and our website, but I don’t have a handle on how much the public at large thinks recreational rail past Hurley Mountain Road (or anywhere in Kingston) is a must-have. This hearing could give us all more of an indication of where the public in general stands on this issue. I’m still for the Hein compromise, by the way, and will reiterate that if the CMRR wants to operate in 2017, it needs to prove its political muscle at the polls this year. (If the pro-rail people fail to bounce even one of the 18 legislators who voted to rip up the tracks I think they needn’t be taken that seriously anymore.) Coming up with some outside investment would be nice too — the railroad’s had more than its share of suckle time at the public teat.
The inconsiderate drivers thing: I have a lot of love for the Rondout, but no love whatsoever for whomever it was driving a spiffy blue Audi it was who took up two spaces in the crowded municipal lot in front of the Trolley Museum a few Fridays back. That’s a jackass move that just tempts the universe to arrange fate to deliver something brutal to a car’s finish.
The Planned Parenthood thing: My response to this whatever it is with those videos is to announce here, in this editorial, that I am donating my body to science. (But I am open to payable-before-death cash offers.) My other response is to point out that PP, which does a very great deal more for women’s health than terminate pregnancies, is not selling fetal tissue to perverts and/or devil worshippers for jollies and/or dark rituals. It’s used in medical research, work that may one day find cures for really bad stuff like Alzheimer’s disease. Research that could help save many many lives.
In case you were wondering, here’s my stance on reproductive freedom, in three points: 1. Women having the final say over whether they’re having a baby or not is an essential human right and is essential to their having equal rights with men. On demand, and without apology. 2. No one who hasn’t ever had a uterus should have any say in any way on whether abortion should be legal or not. Pregnancy’s not a situation we’ll ever be in, us men, so I call on all of my fellow penis-bearers to pull out … from this argument. Look at it this way — a man could ejaculate, decide he wants to go across the street for a Snapple or synthetic marijuana or something and get hit by a bus and die while crossing that street. Or, and this is lamentably much more common, a man could just walk out and go do something else with his life besides parent his child. Either way, that baby is still coming, whether Dad’s around or not. 3. And anytime someone says “you could be aborting the next Einstein” please remind them that “you could also — and are actually more likely to — be aborting the next Hitler.” That is to say, there could well be something to the Donahue-Levitt Hypothesis.
The RUPCO thing: I think the Cedar Street plan is a good one. Quality affordable housing is an undeniable need. (And not just for artists, either.) This project also recaptures a significant amount of money that flowed out of Kingston in the form of both taxes and mortgages issued by the banks who coughed up the settlement which RUPCO is trying to access. That a RUPCO unit costs more than your average rental unit to construct I don’t have a problem with, as RUPCO is doing forward-thinking stuff like net-zero carbon impact and adding significant community space.
The inconsiderate dog owner thing: I have even less than no love whatsoever for whatever bad person it was who let their dog take a crap right outside our office and not clean it up. Really? It’s bad enough the Pike Plan zone smells like (human, probably drunkard) pee from time to time; dog poop is beyond the pale.
The Midtown arts district thing: Had a great meeting last week with some of the people trying to get this together. They have my full support — the arts is a going and growing thing in Kingston and everything possible should be done to support and sustain them. Kudos to the mayor (credit when credit’s earned) for his attention to and involvement in this matter.
The SUNY Ulster-in-Kingston thing: I will expound on this more in this week’s print edition, but very, very impressive job done on this project. Placing a community college campus in the heart of the city will change many people’s lives for the better. Both my parents, who were both the first in their families to go to college, got their start at DCC; I’m sure many other families will prosper as a result of this resource being available to them.