In short order, the South Pine Street Farm has gone from nice to good to great and is headlong moving towards fabulous! Kudos to farmer Jesica Clark. For quality, inclusiveness, effectiveness and just plain wonderfully easy on the eyes it will surely be a lasting contribution to the city. Already it adds to the quality of life in Kingston and will have a really big effect on its immediate area, Greenkilll Avenue and Pine Street. I expect that like other innovations in Kingston, like Kingston Land Trust and O+ festival and the up and coming Kingston Digital Corridor (with the “Mother of All Mixers” on deck May 25 at BSP Uptown), the South Pine Street Farm is going to be a model for other communities to follow. Connect the dots to the Rail Trail work and more of the Kingston Land Trust, and the Clearwater docking at the Maritime Museum to the South Pine Street Farm ... Malcolm Gladwell might call that a “tipping point” for Kingston going green in a big way. Lots more information if you Google “south pine street farm.”
On May 6, 2011, I was present at the sentencing hearing for convicted killers
Trevor “Little T” Mattis and Gary “G Money” Griffin at the Ulster County Court in Kingston. Both men had been convicted of killing Charles King Jr. in an execution-style attack in which King was killed.
As a 35-year veteran of the New York State Police and a Veteran of Foreign Wars, I thought myself a somewhat “hardened” observer. I was wrong. These two killers shook my sense of what vile criminal behavior is. Each killer treated everyone in the courtroom with scorn and disrespect. Neither man exhibited the slightest remorse for his brutal crime. Each convict verbally lashed out at Judge Williams and District Attorney Carnright. Court security was needed at one point to prevent Mattis from approaching Judge Williams. These two alleged members of the Sex Money Murder (pretty much says it all) gang were the epitome of evil.
The professionalism, patience and restraint exhibited by police security, District Attorney Holley Carnright and Judge Don Williams were admirable. The officers of the court were all that is right about our criminal justice system just as sure as Mattis and Griffin represented all that was wrong.
Ulster County is fortunate it has the criminal justice infrastructure that it does. The threats of dangerous organized gangs are real and the efforts to remove these elements from our society must be pursued with vigor. I strongly support and commend our police forces, prosecutors and judges for their diligence and courage in confronting this problem. Hopefully the pair’s life in prison without the possibility of parole sentence will keep them from hurting anyone again.
Ulster County Law Enforcement and Public Safety Committee
An excellent school board candidate
The Kingston City School District is currently confronted with a number of problems: increasing costs, contract negotiations, a declining enrollment, school closures, repair or replacement of the high school, search for a new superintendent — the list goes on and on. These issues will not be resolved by us (the parents, voters and taxpayers of the school district). These problems will be confronted, and resolved, by the folks we have elected to represent us on the school board.
I believe that it’s important that we elect individuals to the school board who are experienced and capable of making unbiased decisions after considering the impact on students, parents and taxpayers. Robin Jacobowitz is the most qualified of all the candidates seeking election to the Kingston city school board on May 17.
Robin Jacobowitz, with 15 years of experience in education policy research, a master’s in education policy, and Ph.D. in public administration, is well-versed in the issues facing public schools today. In addition, Robin has four children, two of whom currently attend a Kingston public school and two of whom will follow in a few years. Her professional experience and personal commitment to public education make her an ideal candidate for school board. She has my vote on May 17.
Palestinian state’s terror links
In February 1998, Arab terrorist Osama bin Laden issued an Islamic decree calling on all Muslims to kill Americans anywhere on the planet. On Aug. 8, 1998, two American embassies were attacked in Africa, killing 224 and injuring thousands. On Oct. 12, 2000, the USS Cole was attacked in Yemen, killing 17 sailors and wounding scores. We all know what happened on Sept. 11, 2001. Since that time thousands of people around the world have been murdered by Bin Laden’s Al Qaeda (The Foundation) terror gang. On May 1, 2011, Bin Laden was finally cornered and executed by American special forces. On May 2, Khaled Meshal, the leader of Hamas, the terrorist group that controls Palestinian Gaza, decreed from his hideout in Damascus, Syria, that both presidents Obama and George W. Bush, “ … should be publicly hung for killing the lion of Islam, Osama Bin Laden.” On May 3, the Imam of Jerusalem, from the Al Aqsa Mosque, issued an Islamic decree to avenge Osama bin Laden’s death and kill Americans and Israelis. On May 4, Hamas signed an agreement with Mahmood Abbas, the West Bank Palestinian leader of Fatah, to unite, in order to declare a Palestinian state. This September, the 10th anniversary of 9/11, the Palestinians will seek to create a country partially ruled by terrorists, and Bin Laden’s mischief will again spread across the globe from the grave.
Beware tobacco ads
With the weather turning warmer and all the more foot traffic along Broadway and other venues around and beyond Kingston, have you noticed the very prominent tobacco marketing and advertising around and throughout the heavily trafficked convenience stores?
It is a long-known fact that tobacco companies place most of their advertising where young people shop — especially in convenience stores, where (according to a recent regional study) 75 percent of teenagers shop at least once a week. Many licensed tobacco retailers count of getting some sort of compensation or pay to place their products in the most visible locations in the store.
Advertising is so much more subtle and insidious than peer pressure. It’s true subliminal advertising. Kids are more easily influenced by the advertising and the constant visual of ads has a desensitizing effect to what these products do!
Young people 18 and under are especially vulnerable to tobacco marketing. They are almost twice as likely as adults to recall tobacco advertising, is it fair we let innumerable stores display such a deadly product?
It’s time to get stores that sell tobacco to stop promoting it to our kids. Please educate yourself on the facts about tobacco advertising to kids.
Thank you, Sandra
With the recent change of hands at the Everette Hodge Center, I wish to send a hearty thank you to the service provided by Sandra Thompson-Hopgood who has worked at the
center for more than a decade.
I had the good fortune to work with Sandra on several occasions, witnessing her generosity and care to the youth that frequent the center. As an active community member, I notice that often the city of Kingston neglects to publicly give thanks to those who give of themselves in improving the quality of life here in the City of Kingston. In this case and in the midst of controversy and different sets of opinions, I hope that we can collectively be grateful to a community advocate who has worked hard for our youth and the families living in midtown. In collaboration, Sandra has helped in making the Everette Hodge Center a place of safety and support. With the current change of hands, my wish is for all parties to be mindful in working together to give the frequent users of the center a sound segue.
Thank you, Sandra. For myself, these breaks in the work though challenging are generally a blessing. I trust that you will rest and then emerge again in a new and important role that you might not have ever imagined.
I worked my ass off
My name is Ali Gruber, I’m a local DJ in the Rosendale-Kingston area. In mid-February I threw a dance party at Market Market Cafe (MMC) in Rosendale called the Soultown Productions presents the second annual Eighties prom. One of your writers, Carrie Jones Ross, and your photographer, Jon Ross, were there documented the night and wrote an article about it the next week in the Kingston Times.
When I heard about it, naturally I was very excited. However, when I read the article, there was no mention of me or my production company at all. The article was about how Market Market put on this great party, etc.
Let me make it clear, first of all, that MMC was merely the venue that my event took place. I worked my ass off on that event, as I do all the events I throw during the year. And I know for a fact that a good friend of mine, who was quoted in the article, was interviewed by Carrie and told her specifically about me. In short, I felt that it was really irresponsible journalism on behalf of Ms. Ross to have fun and dance and dress up at my party, write a full-length article about it, and not do any research into the event at all.
I know that it was supposed to be a fun puff piece, but it still hurts. Market Market gets so much PR, they can afford advertising, they are always covered in local papers, and even The New York Times. I, however, have never been fortunate enough to end up in the paper, even though I throw and coordinate many popular events in the area throughout the year.
The reason I waited until now to write this letter is because I tried to contact Ms. Ross privately and wrote her a short e-mail explaining why I was a little upset and it would be really nice if the next time someone from the Kingston Times decides to write a story about one of my events, I would be mentioned and maybe even interviewed. Two months have passed since I wrote that e-mail, and I still have not heard a response from her, which I find a little grating.
I know you’re probably very busy and I don’t expect you to spend any time dealing with this, but I felt that I needed to at least get it off my chest, and maybe that it would be great if you tried to give me a little shout next time I have a big event.
Carrie Jones Ross replies: I am very sorry in deed for the unfortunate omission DJ Ali’s involvement with the ’80s prom event. It was truly nothing personal — I have never even met DJ Ali — but rather an oversight on my part.
I chose to ignore the letter from Ali because she sent it to my personal Facebook account (even though we were not Facebook friends with one another), and the tone of her letter was rude. I felt it was overall unprofessional, and wasn’t compelled to respond. My editor was aware of the letter, and supported my decision to ignore it. He can attest that in my nine years of news reporting, this is only the second letter-to-the-editor regarding an error on my behalf. DJ Ali has a good reputation, and her music selection for the event was enjoyable. Again, my apologies for the oversight.