Vote for Albany (NY) library, school board candidates by mail

ACSD Board of Education adopted a $261.6 million budget proposal.

voteAlbany voters will have a safe way to vote for Albany Public Library trustees, the Albany City School District board, and the ACSD budget. It is being conducted entirely by absentee ballot.

Ballots will be mailed on May 26 to qualified voters and are due by June 9 at 5 p.m. This is NOT a postmark deadline. At that time, the district will begin the process of counting the votes to determine the results.

Since the APL trustees did not request an increase in the library budget for 2020-2021, no vote is required. There are eight candidates on the ballot for two open APL trustee seats in the election. There are two seats, both carrying full five-year terms, open.

The candidates were placed on the ballot in alphabetical order:

(1) Jessica Balarin of Partridge St.

(2) Kewsi Burgess of Catherine St.

(3) Donna Dixon of Fleetwood Ave.

(4) Jeffrey Keller of Walter St.

(5) Thomas McCarthy Jr. of Stueben St.

(6) Katharine McNamara of Cardinal Ave.

(7) James Munro of Glendale Ave.

(8) Brigette Pryor of Myrtle Ave.

The library will publish candidate biographical information on its website by May 26. APL will be hosting a virtual meet-the-candidate forum on Tuesday, May 26 at 6 pm. It will be live-streamed on YouTube and recorded for later viewing.

School budget

Per the ACSD website: “The ballot also will include Proposition #2, a proposal to purchase a piece of property adjacent to Delaware Community School for $13,300 using funds from the capital reserve. The property would be used for additional recreational space for students. Proposition #2 would have no impact on taxes.

“In addition to the school budget and proposition votes, three candidates are running for one open board seat: Victor Cain, Hassan Elminyawi, and Edith Leet. The board appointed Elminyawi last summer to serve the remainder of a vacant position; that term expires June 30.

See if you’re registered to vote for the library and school board candidates, and the school budget HERE. If you do not receive a ballot by the end of May, contact the school board clerk – Tanya Bowie (518 475-6015, – who will verify your registration status.

Note: The Presidential, State and Local Primaries will take place on June 23, 2020. Contact the Albany County Board of Elections for more details.

Literally sick of the topic

I was a believer in the “useful idiot theory” about him, that they’d dump him as soon as they wreaked the havoc to every agency and gotten their murderous health insurance allocation to the rich passed.

A local writer posted about stopping with the no-citations copy and paste stuff on Facebook. “Opinions, OK. Assertions of fact passed along without some source are rumors…Don’t play.”

I replied: “I suppose you’re right, although sometimes I think the info is SO obvious. e.g. someone was complaining about the proposed federal budget cutting EPA, et al, and someone else popped, “Citation, please.” Really? OK, here’s CBS, oh, and here’s WSJ and Common Dreams and… Are there no agreed upon facts anymore?”

Someone else chimed in: “It’s pathetic when Facebook friends have to demand higher standards for reposting than the President of the United States.”

And THAT, I suddenly realized, is one of the reasons it’s been such a tough winter. I wonder if it’s made me literally sick.

My friend Dan Van Riper has been saying for a while now what will bring a country down is “looting by the elites.” The draconian budget that will, among other things, cut medical research 20%, and the awful health plan are going to destroy our country if passed anywhere near their present forms. Why offer such an orgy of unnecessary cruelty?

Yale historian Timothy Snyder warns If We Don’t Act Now, Fascism Will Be on Our Doorstep; comments about fascism always seem to irritate people, but if the regime fits… And who IS running the show?

Most people who have been POTUS have stayed within a fairly wide swath of what one could call “American values.” Not so with this regime, measured by the fact that both GWB and BHO have, uncharacteristically, criticized him. His words before and after the election have inspired a pattern of ugly American behavior.

I won’t even get into his embarrassing behavior with Germany chancellor Angela Merkel or his idiot tweets that required a rare “sort of” apology to the UK’s Theresa May. Some are amused by his behavior, but I’m just horrified.

Last year, I was a believer in the “useful idiot theory”, that they’d dump him as soon as they wreaked the havoc to every agency and gotten their murderous health insurance allocation to the rich passed. But now he’s SO embarrassing on the world stage, and with the “health care” bill in trouble, maybe they need to dump him sooner or later, over some emoluments thing, likely.

(Serious questions that I do not know the answer to: are the tweets on the POTUS accounts buffeted somewhat from libels laws? And is Clarabelle, posting on realClarabelle, more susceptible to libel law?)

In fact, the only thing that makes sense – not “sense” in “that’s a good idea” but some sort of keep himself in power salvo is the Secretary of State’s threat to North Korea. Hey, everybody loves another war, right? Clarabelle will expect the country to rally around their “leader,” and Kim Jung Un is possibly the one head of state even more unhinged.

Roger Answers Your Questions, Gordon, Tom, Demeur, and Uthaclena

When I’ve just written something difficult, the meme serves as a sort of intellectual “palate cleaners”, as it were.

Gordon of Blog This, Pal!, who had a birthday this month, the day before mine actually, asks:
With all the rampant de-funding that seems to be happening (NPR, Americorps), do you think it’s being done out of partisan motivations? Or simply (as I like to think of it) a case of relatively new legislators playing hack and slash without really considering the consequences?

Gordon, you attribute to these legislators a level of naivete that I just don’t find at all convincing. An opportunity to get rid of Planned Parenthood funding, for instance, is like a dream come true for the GOP, at least since 1994; maybe since 1973. Never mind the facts that 1) the funding, per the Hyde Amendment, cannot be used for abortions and 2) the services that are provided are often the only medical treatment some women get. I find it incredibly cynical that they want to, symbolically at least, support the unborn, while at the same time, imperil the born by cutting programs such as WIC (Women, Infants, Children.)

Getting rid of those damn liberals at NPR will be saving, at a cost, especially in some rural communities, of having any local radio at all. And speaking of NPR, it distresses me that a faux journalist with a microphone and video camera can help besmirch the network by clever editing, the same way Shirley Sherrod can be forced out of the Department of Agriculture based on the same clever manipulation.

Let’s be realistic, though: if cuts are to be made to the federal budget, it’ll have to come from somewhere. A good 88% of the budget has been deemed by pundits as non-discretionary. As much as I hate agreeing with columnist George Will, that’s nonsense. Most of the budget, save for payment on the debt, is discretionary; it may require Congressional action, but it’s not untouchable. But which jobs program is one to cut: a factory making weapons that the Department of Defense doesn’t even want, which employs a number of folks in the district of a powerful member of Congress, or Americorps, whose only native constituency are not-for-profits and some smaller governments?

There are choices as to what to “hack and slash”, and they seem to be quite targeted, while other programs, even within the 12% of the budget that everyone considers discretionary, have been considered off-limits by House GOP leaders.
Tom the Mayor, with whom I worked at FantaCo, wonders:
Do you think State budget cuts will affect your librarian job? How about your wife’s job? I know Medicaid cuts have already cost me one job and might cost me my present one.

Well, indirectly, yes. My job gets some state money, so that’s a possibility. But if the US Small Business Administration gets a 45% cut, as proposed in the Obama budget, that’d be even worse for the Small Business Development Centers, which do the hands-on counseling, and therefore, that’s not great for my colleagues and me if there are fewer centers and counselors. So it’s the federal budget I’m more worried about.

My wife’s job is with BOCES. If the district she works in decides to hire their own ESL teacher, my wife has been with BOCES longer, and with good evaluations, than any other ESL teacher in the area. So probably not.
Demeur, who I read regularly, relates:
Thomas, I feel for you I’m in the same boat that might sink any time now. I retrained for a different job only to have funding cut. I was lucky enough to get tied into a temp job with a government agency. I now hear that this program may be cut…

My question: Have you considered what you’d do if you had to change careers?

It’s difficult to think of my life as having a “career”. Besides being a librarian, the kind of jobs I’d like and for which I could make the case for which I’m currently qualified are writing, editing, customer service, retail sales, and some sort of instruction.
My good friend Uthaclena asked me – well it was more that he indicated that he didn’t understand me doing those meme things such as Sunday Stealing.

Well, here’s why I do them.

1. The process of answering predetermined questions I find as an interesting exercise for me. Moreover, I often find out things about me that I didn’t know before. It’s a controlled reveal.
2. Sometimes, when I need to write something that is difficult and/or time-consuming, it starts the writing juices going.
3. Related: when I’ve just written something difficult, the meme serves as a sort of intellectual “palate cleaners”, as it were.

And in writing this, I realize that I do pretty much the same thing at work.

We librarians generally take the next question in the queue. Sometimes, the query is a bear, requiring a certain learning curve before even attempting to respond to it. Occasionally, I get stuck, waiting for someone from a government agency or an association to call or write me back. While I’m waiting, I might take another question down the list that I know is answerable. Perhaps it’s Census data I know exists, or regulations for a type of business I’ve helped before, or a business list. After struggling with something difficult, I want a “win”, something I KNOW I can answer without great difficulty.

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