Saturday, February 27, 2010

Down & Up

NAILED THIS TIME: Timothy J. (“Teejay”) Hall, former Catskillian. Back in 1998, Teejay underwent prosecution in the Greene County courthouse on suspicion of murdering one man and wounding another. His trial came about in the wake of shootings that occurred just across the street from the Quarterback night club, an establishment (owned and run by the local postmaster) that is located just north of the Catskill High School/Middle School campus and is now the county’s drug rehabilitation center. Evidence compiled from witnesses in pre-trial interrogations was all but conclusive against Teejay. In court, however, key witnesses disavowed their statements, contradicted those statements, or refused to testify. In addition, Teejay was represented by a masterful defense attorney, Richard Mott of Albany. His jurors brought in a Not Guilty verdict.

Teejay subsequently got into trouble for lesser crimes in the Capital region and spent time in prison. Then, early last year, State troopers arrested him and three suspected accomplices in connection with the invasion of a home in Leeds. Among the 22 criminal charges they lodged were robbery and kidnapping. This time (with no Richard Mott at the defense table) Teejay did not get off. [CORRECTION (3/1/10): Richard Mott DID represent Teejay at this trial]. This panel of jurors found him guilty of multiple crimes, and on Tuesday (2/23) Judge Daniel Lalor sentenced Teejay to a term of up to eight and a half years in prison, to be followed by several years of supervised probation. Judge Lalor imposed the same sentences on the accomplices: Tyquan Hall (Teejay’s cousin), Melvin Lett Jr, and Duane Dixon. Those men had been close associates of Teejay at the time of the Quarterback Club murder. [FURTHER CORRECTION (3/18/10): The case did not go to trial. Under Mr Mott's guidance, TJ entered a plea of guilty to the felony of burglary (2d degree; home invasion) on the understanding that the sentence would call for a maximum prison term of 81/2 years].

DUMPED ON: the trash hauling firm County Waste & Recycling, which does substantial business in GreeneLand and in 18 other counties. The company has agreed to pay about one million dollars in settlement of a lawsuit. Most of the money, as reported in The TimesUnion and then picked up by The Associated Press, will go to Colonie. According to State Attorney Andrew Cuomo, County Waste “undercut its financial obligations” to that town and “ignored its environmental protection obligations to the state and its residents." Its “scams” consisted of under-reporting the volume of waste it dumped by contract in Colonie’s landfill and breaching certain requirements concerning putrid solid waste. The case dates from whistleblower service performed by a County Waste manager, Ralph Hunter, who will receive a $163,651 share of the settlement. According to its web site ( ) the 180,000-customer County Waste is “the largest privately owned waste collections and recycling company in the capital region of New York, with operations from Harriman to Ticonderoga. Our friendly drivers are a familiar sight in every neighborhood we serve.”

ASSEMBLED in the Catskill High School cafeteria, on Tuesday evening, in spite of the soggy snowfall: 74 local business operators, elected officials and public employees. They gathered to participate in the “Business Summit” instigated by Village Board President Vincent Seeley. At one stage of proceedings, they were invited to name low-cost courses of remedial or vitalizing action for Catskill commerce. The winning suggestion, by acclamation, was “move the farmers’ market to downtown Main Street.’’ That would be a transition from the popular Catskill Point Warehouse site.

Mr Seeley made a point of dwelling on assets and positive proposals at the expense of recurring complaints, which he readily identified (traffic snarls, idle Sundays, traffic lights ill-timed, taxes too high…). For that reason and others, the subject of Village-Town consolidation did not come up.

IN PROSPECT for downtown Catskill: a clothing store for plus-sized women (Tina Gagliardy); a taxidermy shop; an upstairs enterprise called Brain-Go; and—the big one--a boxing museum. This facility would celebrate Cus D’Amato and the fighters and trainers that he coached here. As depicted to Village Trustees on Monday by Sandra L. Smith, president of the board of the Cus D’Amato gymnasium (still punching in the Village government building), the museum would display a rich assortment of memorabilia that is now in storage, and it would be a beacon for tourists.

Such prospects go some way to offset recent and imminent losses from downtown: a coffee shop, four homewares shops, seven art galleries….


Music, dancing, art sale, entertainers at the former Muddy Cup, 410 Main St, Catskill.

It’s a festive fund-raiser for community radio station WGXC.


OUT-PERFORMED again: GreeneLand’s schoolboys. Among 12th graders at Greenville High School who scored top honors during the last term were four girls and only two boys. At Catskill High School, top honors among 12th graders went to 14 girls and only five boys. Male retardation seems to be a chronic GreeneLand malady.

RECLAIMED by mortgage holder Bank of America (lien amount being $265,000) at foreclosure auction on Thursday (2/24): a house and land at 694 Warren Stein Road, Freehold, that had been owned by defaulter Michael Larosa, former proprietor of Larosa’s Market at 1 Brandows Alley in Catskill. That fumbled enterprise was followed by the hapless It’s A Wrap which in turn became, as of last June, the River Street Bakery (where Laura and Michael Reid do breakfast and lunch as well as baked goods, plus movies and meals on Wednesday nights and Sunday afternoons).

IN PROSPECT for Athens: an enterprise called Athens Hotel Enterprises. As declared in legal advertisements (Daily Mail, 2/26), “the purpose” of this Limited Liability is “to engage in the business of hospitality and restaurant, and to do any other lawful business and all things necessary, convenient or incidental to those purposes.”

DROWNED. One man died and another was rescued Saturday after falling through ice while fishing in northwestern Greene County. Conservation Officers are investigating the death of Delmar W. Scott, 77-year-old man whose body was recovered by firefighters from an ice-covered pond.

That happened in Greene County, Indiana. The local pond story is that David Sanson, 14, of Coxsackie, rescued an Athens boy who fell on February 11th through Hudson ice off Riverfront Park in Athens.

DAILY MAUL. “The trial of befallen Long Island horse breeder Ernest Paragallo has begun, hearing testimony from a veterinarian who treated some of the severely malnourished thoroughbreds he is accused of abusing.”


RAK-a-teer said...

Why is it necessary for you to denigrate Michael Larosa? He was, and is, a hard working family man who faced adversity both personally and professionally. I can vouch for Mike's integrity and would appreciate you writing in a kinder manner about people who took a chance on Catskill and happened to fail.

Dick May said...

Regarding the comment from "RAK-a-teer"I made an exception to the rule prohibiting anonymous comments.

Dianne B said...

I find your comment regarding male retardation in Greene county disgusting. I believe it's more a problem of male application to their studies - there are many young men in our schools whose grades excel - rather then just judging the top 10, take a look at the High honor through merit honor roll listings published by your favorite hometown paper...
The way to get something to happen doesn't work when you judge like you did in this recent blog.