Judge Tom Keefe

How much of the Tom Keefe situation involves alleged misconduct and how much may be politically motivated?

Tom KeefeLet me get my bias out there right off: I’ve known Thomas Keefe since 1979. I met his future wife Judy Doesschate in 1975. I’ve carried nominating petitions for both of them, for his first run for judge, and for her first run on the school board. And I HATE carrying petitions.

I was saddened, then, to discover that Tom Keefe will no longer be serving as Albany City Court Judge, agreeing to resign on September 30, rather than fight for perhaps another year and a half.

It’s my belief that his desire was to find resolutions in his courtroom that were fair and just. From what I know, he has been quite creative in this endeavor, time and time again. It is the city’s loss.

Unfortunately, some of the press coverage was less fair than Tom Keefe tended to be. The New York Daily News article, which I will not link to, is particularly egregious in this regard.

I recommend that you read these articles instead:
New York Law Journal: City Judge Resigns After Probe of Bias Against Prosecutors or HERE
WAMC: Albany City Court Judge Thomas Keefe To Resign After Misconduct Investigation

These articles shed more light on the circumstances surrounding the Tom Keefe situation, how much involves alleged misconduct, and how much may be politically motivated.

Judge for yourselves.

F is for Fireworks

Recently, I’ve been satisfied watching fireworks on TV.

Colorful fireworks lighting the night sky
Colorful fireworks lighting the night sky

I’m OK with a modicum of fireworks on the 4th of July. I’m less thrilled with them on the 1st, 2nd, and 3rd of the month, and I heard LOTS of fireworks in my neighborhood before Independence Day. I’m with Ken Levine when he says, “Why the hell do people buy home fireworks?”

A recent change in New York State Penal Law now allows for the sale and use of a specific category of consumer fireworks known as Sparkling Devices, ground based or handheld devices “that produce a shower of colored sparks and or a colored flame, audible crackling or whistling noise and smoke” of a certain size.

“Sale and use of Sparkling Devices will be legal only in counties and cities that have enacted a local law…” Albany County was the 37th county to pass such an ordinance in May 2016. This explains the display at the local CVS pharmacy of late, which did not used to be the case.

Recently, I’ve been satisfied watching fireworks on TV while The Wife and The Daughter travel 75 miles to my in-laws’ house in Oneonta and watch the festivities there. But because they were home this year, traveling two days later, the Daughter wanted to see pyrotechnics.

We all went out, hearing the explosions, but unable to see any fancy colors except the local illicit models. The Wife went home, but the Daughter and I found a field with a fairly decent view of the fireworks from the Empire State Plaza from behind the high school.

But the more local items blowing up were LOUD. A series of items that sounded like gunfire. In fact, if someone WANTED to commit murder, it’d be a decent time.

As we got closer to the school, we noticed what I initially thought was a furnace I had never seen before. But no, it was a fully-engulfed Dumpster fire. And the adjacent shack was smoldering. Fortunately, the Fire Department arrived before I was able to call.

On our walk home, we saw a young couple with her toddler daughter, throwing something out on the street. When cars would ride over the area, it sounded as they had blown a flat tire. Often, the driver would swerve from being startled; I’m glad no one got hurt.

I was ready to go home. I was most worried about someone detonating something and deafening me or my daughter.

The best way I could describe it was as a fairly civilized war zone.

ABC Wednesday – Round 19

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