Friday, July 03, 2009

Independently Greene

IRISH LUCK DEPT. According to a published foreclosure order, the venerable Shamrock House of East Durham will, next Wednesday (7/8/09) at 9am, in the interim county courthouse that formerly was St Patrick’s Academy in Catskill, be placed on the auction block. That event would be ruinous for what is touted on the establishment’s web site ( as “the nearest thing to Ireland this side of Galway Bay!!” Defendants in the action (lien amount said to be $514,000) are descendants of Patrick Kellegher, who worked on the Long Island Railroad and co-owned a bar in Queens NY before he ventured north back in 1938 and bought what then was called The Central Hotel. But that auction evidently will not take place, at least in the near future. Contacted by telephone by a Seeing Greene reporter, Jon Kellegher, who is one of the cited defendants, denied that the auction will occur, referred his caller to “Albany attorneys” that he did not name, and abruptly hung up. The court-assigned referee, Daniel W. Peckham of Prattsville, said today that he had just received notice that the auction has been postponed, owing to the fact that the trustees of Shamrock House Incorporated have filed for bankruptcy. -----The plaintiff in the foreclosure action (advertised as an “SEQ Chapter sale”) is not a bank but rather a New Jersey company, Gaffken & Barriger Fund LLC, that is itself the target of lawsuits by investors who claim they were bilked in connection with the sub-prime mortgage crisis. IN SUSPENSE: The project of transforming Catskill’s former Washington Irving Elementary School into a residential condominium complex. According to the County Clerk’s office, as reported in The Daily Mail (6/27/09), Rhinebeck Savings has sought court judgment requiring sale of the property in aid of recovering at least part of Estate Capital LLC’s mortgage debt of more than $2 million. Various sums also are owed in taxes and in debts to contractors. The project had envisioned 11 one-bedroom units along with penthouse units, facing west to the mountains, on the fourth floor. It was not far away from completion. The Flach brothers made a success of that kind of project in Coxsackie. ALSO DEFUNCT is the Eddie Bauer clothing store chain. And no wonder. They put out a catalog whose cover says “ULTIMATE SALE” and, below, in smaller letters, “Only happens twice a year.” Which is the only reason it is mentioned here. GAY PRIDE. The “River Pride” march down Catskill’s main street (to whose renovation gays have contributed heavily) and the subsequent party at Dutchman’s Landing last Saturday was the first of its kind in a surprisingly large territory: south of Albany, north of New Paltz, and looking far to the east and west. Overt hostility was absent. Some elected officials attended and made themselves conspicuous. One attended from inside his car. KIRSTEN GILLIBRAND evidently will face at least two Democratic challengers in her bid to win a full term in the United States Senate. Her main challenger would be Carolyn Maloney, who represents “silk stocking” constituents (upper East Side plus part of Queens in New York City) in the House of Representatives. Her candidacy was virtually declared, first to the New York Daily News, by Paul Blank, her newly hired campaign strategist (from Trippi & Associates). A formal announcement is foreshadowed in about ten days. ------The other prospective challengeris Jonathan Tasini, 53, whose political keyword is “progressive” and whose background is treated on his website ( ) and in a (more enlightening) Wikipedia entry. His June 11th announcement of candidacy attracted scarcely any publicity at the time. According to a fund-raising appeal circulated on his behalf earlier this week by a Michael Leone, Mr Tasini is running for the Senate "to both support [President Obama] and to push him to steer our country in an even more progressive direction.” And Mr Tasini aims to replace in the Senate “someone who has taken money from Big Tobacco, embraced the NRA, and who is awash in corporate cash.” -------This bid for senatorial eminence would Mr Tasini’s second try. In the 1990 primary elections he ran for the Democratic nomination for Senator. He received 17 per cent of the votes; the others went to Hillary Clinton, Ms Gillibrand's predecessor. ------Bill Clinton will be the keynote speaker, according to news reports, at a July 20th fund-raiser for Representative Maloney, but has said he is not taken sides on the nomination battle. He headlined a Gillibrand fund-raiser last year. -----Rep. Charles Rangel has stoutly defended Ms Maloney’s right to run in the primary (a right that nobody has denied) without explicitly endorsing a candidate. He also has wondered aloud why President Obama takes an active interest in this New York contest (on behalf of Ms Gillibrand). Politically, says Mr Rangel, such activity is “not astute.” -----That assessment is wrong. A politically astute President tries to forestall any contentious, expensive primary election battle that could damage the winner sufficiently to cause a loyal co-partisan to lose the general election. Among political events in 2010, Republican capture of a United States Senate seat from the State of New York would be, for the Obama Administration and for the Democratic Party, the most shocking. ------Astute Republicans will try to recruit a moderate, attractive, electable senatorial candidate, quelling internal clamor for a “true conservative.” They may also funnel money to quietly to Maloney and Tasini. ------Astute Democratic strategists will decide that if Maloney does enter the contest, then support should be funneled quietly to Tasini, while additional contestants—including Rep. Carolyn McCarthy of Long Island—should be recruited. HENRY HUDSON’s voyage of discovery aboard the Halve Maen, with his crew of about 18, “gave the Dutch a claim to land between the French areas to the north and English colonies to the south. In 1614 Fort Nassau, a trading post, was built near present-day Albany; in 1624 New Netherland was formed, the only 17th century colony n North America with a diverse population, and the only one in which women had legal rights to own property.”

1 comment:

Sam Pratt said...

Since my previous comment was evidently (*cough*) misplaced by the moderator, I will try this simpler submission...

New York Newsday is just the latest prominent state publication to support the need for a robust primary in 2010 for Hillary Clinton's former seat:,0,6212112.story