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Monday, September 26, 2005



The storm ravaged Gulf Coast and the suffering of the people there seem like a made for tv drama. This past Sunday's TU devoted much space to photos and stories from the Gulf Coast.

As local residents have watched and listened to or read about the hurricane disaster and the resulting unavailability of water, food, fuel and all the things we take for granted will always be there for us - has it crossed their minds what could happen here in Albany if disaster and /or terror attacks were to occur in the dead of winter?

Are our local governments and state government ready to respond to any number of scenarios? Are our churches, synagogues, schools and hospitals?  Do local governments and the state have mutual aid plans ready to implement?  Are food stores, pharmacies, medical providers, distributors, utilities, transportation agencies ready? Are individuals and households prepared to survive on their own?

With criminals and gangs heavily armed, who will protect us against the violence, chaos, disorder, pillaging and plundering likely to follow a major disaster or terror attack locally?

Campaign 2005 is not your ordinary politics as usual event. 9-11 changed all that. But the politicians and public are not willing or able to grasp this fact. We have to think and behave differently, if we are to survive what may come our way.

Alive at Five, First Night Celebration,  and the Tulip Festival , a 7 million dollar riverfront amphitheater and a 200 million dollar plus downtown convention center, redevelopment plans Park South, Midtown and Arbor Hill would instantly become irrelevant in a major disaster ot terror attack.

I am doing my best to prepare my family for any eventuality.  It is only fair to expect  our churches, synagogues, and schools to be doing the same. Do they have emergency supplies of water, food, fuel and electric generators on hand? Are they prepared to provide shelter to victims of a disaster or terror attack?

What plans have our Mayor and Common Council made? Let's hear them. Now.

Why is the local media not providing useful vital knowledge about what kinds of natural or man-made disasters or terror attacks might occur and what can , and should be done, to [prepare to survive such events?  Why is the media not investigating and reporting on the level of readiness of our local and state governments , our institutions and  all sectors of our economy?

Somehow, I get the nagging feeling that we are not prepared locally.

Only 41 days to Election Day.  Hopefully, the electorate will elect  a Mayor , Common Council, City Court Judge and County Sheriff who realize what can befall us, and who are able to articulate what needs to be done to prepare and who can provide the leadership that will be required to survive whatever may befall us in the days ahead.







Wednesday, September 14, 2005



The September 13 Primary has come and gone.

Goodbee did not prevail because: (1) he had no record of civic involvement in Albany for the past 20 years, (2) his campaign  lacked focus, (3) his message was weak, (4) the Working Families Party shunned him,(5) there was no infusion of George Soros cash and  (6)the African-American voters did not come out in sufficient numbers for Goodbee.

Best wishes to Archie Goodbee, a personable and well-spoken man who tried his best.

Jerry Jennings had the power and advantage of incumbency and received a significant amount of tv coverage, in the weeks immediately preceding the September 13, because of a spike in crime including several arsons and a bank robbery-hostage situation.

The  Pre-Primary Sunday Times Union endorsement of Jennings clinched it for Jerry. Primary turnout was about half that of the Joyce-Jennings 1993 Primary. Was the TU move calculated to ensure a low turnout?

A win is a win. Jerry righfully basked in the glow of the Tuesday Primary results. He won and his control of the Common Council is secure.

Jerry has rock star looks and persona, but that will not be enough to prevail in the November 8 General Election.


Contrary to Jerry's victory pronouncement,  and to the pronoumcements of talking heads and media pundits before and after the September 13 Primary, the November 8 General Election is not a sure thing for Jerry Jennings.

Why? Analyze this. Jerry's Primary vote total amounts to about 20 percent of the voters eligible to vote November 8. In other words 40, 000 plus, city voters did not vote for Jerry Jennings on September 13. If they come to the polls in large numbers, November 8, the election outcome may be very different.

Why? Jerry Jennings has had 12 years to make Albany a better place to live. This hasn't happened.  Albany has some urgent problems that have occurred, and /or worsened, on Jerry's watch. Now, Jerry has just 6 weeks to fix these problems:

First,   Albany residents are not safe in their homes, neighborhoods, schools, shopping places or on the streets anywhere in the city. Gun violence, arsons , school violence and disorderly conduct are on the rise.

The solution? A full scale deployment of law enforcement, utilizing Operation Impact, to disarm the criminals and gangs and clear the city streets of anti-social actors.It is essential to immediately disarm the criminals and gangs because they are the eventual allies of the foreign terrorists who are supplying drugs, money and weapons to these domestic terrorists.

Vest Firefighters with peace officer status. Arm them. Make ever fire station a neighborhood police substation.

Recruit and train  and equip civilian, neighborhood police and fire auxiliaries to supplement police and fire department regulars.

Second, The failing Albany City Schools must be fixed.  It is imperative that the schools offer a safe environment conducive to learning the knowledge, skills, and behaviors essential for becoming productive members of society.

 A strict student conduct code in schools, on buses and in neighborhoods around schools, must be enforced. Require school uniforms to replace fashions and gang colors. Remove disorderly, disruptive students from classes. Place them in a boot camp type setting staffed by former military.

Return Albany to a K-8 Neighborhood School system which is best for kids, parents and neighborhoods.

Press the Albany Common Council to send a Home Rule Request to the State Legislature: Amend State law to provide for  (1) shift school budget votes to November elections with votes binding, no reruns, (2) shift school funding from the property to sales/income taxes, so all pay their fair share of support for public schools, and (3) disband the Albany City School District/School Board, merge the school district with city government and make the Mayor and Common Council responsible and accountable for the city public schools.

Third, Albany needs to implement an Emergency/Disaster Preparedness Plan that truly secures the city water supply, sewer system and Port of Albany. Individuals, households, churches, synagogues, mosques, temples, schools, health providers, food stores and distributors, utilities and the local transporation system are not prepared to deal with a major emergency, disaster or terrorists attack.

The recent tragic hurricane devestation of New Orleans illustrates how ill prepared government, at all levels, institutions and the citizenry are to cope with disaster. The looting, lawlessness and disorder will be sure to follow, if Albany suffers a disaster or terrorist attack. If multiple disasters, and/or terror attacks occur simultaneously, Albany would be on it's own. In turn, citizens would be on their own.

Therefore,the City Albany must prepare an Emergency /Disaster Plan that includes active readiness and preparation on the part of all city residents.

Scrap the plans for a 7 million dollar amphitheater at the Corning Preserve and a 200 million dollar plus convention center in Downtown Albany. 

Use those monies to provide for a truly effective Emergency/Disaster Plan, security of the Port of Albany , the city water supply and sewer system.

Build more and better downtown housing so commuters have the option of living near work.

Scrap plans to privatize the Harriman State Office Campus. It makes no sense to crowd more workers into an already crowded downtown with a  colonial  street pattern and inadequate parking.

Furthermore, stacking lots of workers in multistory glass office buildings in a congested downtown is inviting chaos in an age of terrorism.

For more: Go to Click on Election 2005. Scroll to Sullivan. Click on WAMC Radio Interview, Metroland Interview and Sullivan Platform, or explore earlier entries in this Sullivan Blog.

Want campaign reform? Term limits? A candidate with clear stands on issues vital to the future of Albany and all who call Albany home?

You have one!      VOTE   Joseph P. Sullivan for Albany Mayor

                                  Row A  Tuesday, November 8, 6 am - 9 pm


PS  Don't look for lawn signs blighting the cityscape, tons of literature litter dumped on your door step, or constant telephone calls bidding you to get your asses to the polls.

All you need to know will be posted right here.


It is your civic duty as an American.






Wednesday, September 7, 2005


Today is a fine, sunny warm day in late summer. Not a cloud in the blue sky. The kind of a day to savor and to Thank God for what we have - the harvests from the fields: red and green peppers, tomatoes, local melons, Paula Red apples, new potatoes, cabbage, broccoli and cauliflower, some Saranac Amber Lager. Now, aren't we living well. Yes. For now.

The Hurricane impact on New Orleans, the destruction, the chaos, the death and suffering, the civil disorder  and lack of preparedness on the part of  government, at every level,  on the part of schools, churches , and, most of all, on the part of the people themselves, should be a vivid lesson to all in Albany and the surrounding Capital District.

We had better be prepared for emergencies, natural and man-made disasters, and acts of terrorism .

The people of New Orleans were not. Nor, were their local governments. Nor were the state and federal governments.

You may be sure, the specter of New Orleans, and the lessons resulting, have not been lost on the terrorists who lie in wait to strike again.

Put aside Charter Reform, the empty lawn signs of candidates with no message, the media and mailing campaigns,  Alice Green in the dump, Jerry Jennings ' priorities of building a 7 million dollar amphitheatre at the Corning Preserve and a 200 plus million dollar convention center in Downtown Albany and Archie Goodbees' Crapstat proposals. 

The priorities are to (1) prepare for emergencies, disasters and terror attacks that will come our way. Anticipate what may happen, where and when. Be ready.

The Mayor and Common Council , incumbents and challengers, alike,  do not have emergency/disaster preparedness as a priority issue - which it is, and should be.

The ordinary people, the churches, synagogues,  mosques, temples, schools, medical facilities,health care providers,  food stores and distributors, transportation sector, utilities an suppliers of gasoline, home heating oil and natural gas, are not ready for a disaster or terror attack that could come when temperatures are well below freezing.

It is the priority task of our political leaders to call attention to this issue and to coordinate public and private sector preparations to deal with any eventuality.

Immediate steps must be taken, through Operation Impact, led by the Mayor and DA Soares, to disarm the criminals and gangs, now, before they ally themselves with foreign terrorists, and before we sufffer a disaster and have armed individuals and gangs roaming the city, pillaging and plundering.

Civil order, safe homes, streets, neighborhoods, schools and shopping places  are essential to the quality of life now; and are essential to be prepared for any emergency, disaster, or attack that may befall us.

For the individual, the lesson of New Orleans  is very clear. Do not depend on government to save you or your loved ones. You must save yourselves.

Every individual, household and the institutions in neighborhoods must make immediate emergency/disaster prepartions. Set aside water, food, fuel, batteries, flash lamps, radios and first aid kits. Devise individual and household disaster plans. Churches, synagogues, fire stations, schools should all make emergency preparations and be prepared to provide water, food, shelter, heat and other assistance.

You get my drift, but the people who aspire to be your leaders: the Mayor and Common Council, do not.

You will never be safe as long as they are in office. They have not learned the lesson of New Orleans, nor have they learned the lesson of 9-11. Sadly, neither have most of our neighbors.

In the event of multiple emergencies, disasters and terrorist attacks, occurring simultaneously, we would be on our own. There would be no outside assistance.