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Monday, April 30, 2007


Property Tax Reform

  • S.1052 / A.3005
    The State Senate Finance Committee this week reported to the floor legislation identified as a priority by the NYSTU. A.3005 / S.1052 would establish a blue ribbon commission on property tax reform to examine, evaluate and make recommendations on alternatives or modifications to the existing real property tax system. The Assembly bill was reported from the real property taxation committee in January and remains in Ways and Means.

    NYSTU supports the proposal and hopes that such an endeavor will finally convince lawmakers to adopt a common sense approach to property tax reform and abandon their push to expand STAR.

    NYSTU supports any plan that would facilitate the State Senate and Assembly taking a comprehensive look at this problem. We believe that doing so is not mutually-exclusive to endorsing fundamental and systemic reforms of our tax system -- and the NYSTU will continue to do both.

    With less than 30 days remaining in the regularly scheduled 2007 State Legislative Session, its more important now than ever for the taxpayer community to get behind a reform proposal. NYSTU encourages all interested taxpayers and taxpayer groups to call their state Senators (518) 455-2800 and Assembly members (518) 455-4100 and ask them to pass this important proposal before the end of session.

    Source: New York State Taxpayers Union

    Control criminals who  use guns unlawfully. Do not restrict Constitutional right of law abiding citizens to bear arms to protect themselves, their loved ones and their homes/property.



    Saturday, April 28, 2007



    Let's have more crime and criminal control.
    Begin by an aggressive Operation Impact to disarm criminals, gangbangers and anti-social malcontents, who are the natural allies of the foreign terrorists who seek to destroy us and our way of life.
    Failure of government to immediately act on this, will invite disaster.
    To infringe upon the Second Amendment rights of law abiding
    citizens, to bear arms,  is to deprive citizens of the ability to defend themselves and their homes, against the chaos, civil disorder, looting, pillaging ,and worse, that will follow a natural disaster or terrorist attack.
    Government can not save us from this fate. We must be able to defend and save ourselves.
                                                                          J P Sullivan

    Tuesday, April 24, 2007



    “In its proper constitutional sense, the term [militia] means all the able-bodied people who can be trained and disciplined to act in the community’s defense when it’s attacked. Since it encompasses every able-bodied person, it does not refer to those—such as the police, the military, or even the National Guard—who formally compose the official defense forces of the nation. Every citizen able and willing to act in an emergency becomes a potential defender against attacks aimed at the general population. Unfortunately, because of the anti-gun folly of the leftist media and politicians, we have lost sight of this vital element of our defense... The anti-gun crowd seeks to establish a modern version of [the medieval era], a kind of bureaucratic feudalism, in place of the republican self-government established by our Constitution... The answer is not gun control, but self-government, self-defense, and self-control. We must act to live as free people, else like sheep for the slaughter, we will die, and freedom with us.” —Alan Keyes


    “The trouble with gun control laws is they target the law abiding. ‘If you disarm good people but not the criminals, instead of making things safe for the potential victims you may unintentionally make them safe for the criminals,’ said Dr. John Lott, coauthor of a massive study on guns and crime... Both crime rates and shooting deaths have declined in most states which have adopted ‘concealed carry’ laws, says Dr. Lott. The decline in ‘multiple victim public shootings’ has been especially pronounced, he said. ‘Bill Landes of the University of Chicago law school and I examined multiple-victim public shootings in the U.S. from 1977 to 1999 and found that when states passed right-to-carry laws, the rate of multiple victim public shootings fell by 60 percent. Deaths and injuries from multiple victim public shootings fell even further, on average by 78 percent, as the remaining incidents tended to involve fewer victims per attack,’ Dr. Lott said... In applauding the defeat last year of a measure in the Virginia legislature to permit those with concealed carry permits to have a gun on campus, Associate Vice President Larry Hinckler said Virginia Tech’s strict gun control policy made students feel safer. But there is a difference between feeling safer and being safer, as Virginia Tech has learned to its sorrow.” —Jack Kelly

    Source: The Patriot Post  23 April 2007 Vol 07, No. 17

    Saturday, April 21, 2007


    A 10th Mountain Division soldier writes:

    Those of you who know me and know me well know that leaving blogs, or
    forwards or anything of that nature is not my style. But over the past week
    I've seen some things that cannot go untold.

    As you all know I am a squad leader, currently serving in Afghanistan. Been
    here for 6 months now, but this is by no means my first combat tour. In a span of 3 days, I saw 4 soldiers fight, and loose their lives in combat. 

    A lot of people like to say that they we're fighting for their country. While I agree with that, there is also more to it than that.  People always seem to overlook the rest of that statement.  These soldiers died so that their brothers next to them could live.  At the time of their deaths they were not thinking that they are helping a nation fight terrorism, rather they died knowing that they were protecting the rest of us who fought beside them.  One man died reloading one of our heavy weapon systems. He knew that the operation of that weapon was vital to the safety of the rest of the platoon.  At that moment, self sacrifice was what protected the other 4 soldiers within his vehicle.  His actions and the other soldiers who died as well will never be forgotten.

    A brother is not someone who shares a father with you because we all share
    the same father anyways, rather its someone who is always there for you in
    your times of need, as well as your times of joy.  The quote is from one of
    our fallen comrades.  He paid the ultimate sacrifice so that he could be
    there in OUR time of need.

    The reason I am telling you all this, is because I am angry.  If I were to go
    home to the United States and pick one random person and say that I just
    returned home from fighting a war in Afghanistan, what do you think his
    reaction would be? I am willing to bet his reaction would be this.  That he
    would ask, We still have soldiers in Afghanistan? We are still fighting the
    terrorist who inhabit this poor region. Afghanistan seems to be the
    forgotten war.  The people of the United States don't understand that people
    are still fighting anddieing in the mountains, roads, streets and cities of
    Afghanistan.  I don't know when this transition happened, but people need to
    be reminded of our actions over here. Iraq seems to be all that fill the
    minds of our citizens. 

    Please don't take this the wrong way, I am not trying to take away from the good that our soldiers in Iraq are doing.  I just believe that our forgotten soldiers in the mountains of Afghanistan, and the soldiers who die along with them deserve some respect as well.  While the casualties in Afghanistan are lower then Iraq, consider this fact.  The number of troops in Iraq number roughly around 125,000 while the number of troops in Afghanistan number only around 20, 000.  That's why the death toll between the two war zones seems so drastically different.  I have fought the enemy in both countries, been shot at and blown up more times then I can count. And I can tell you this.  The enemy we face in Afghanistan is a much greater and more determined enemy.  They are better trained and know how to fight.  They have been doing it for hundreds of years.

    In closing, over the past few weeks, we have encountered some very serious
    resistance.  My platoon alone has lost two of their brothers and had 7 wounded, all of whom were evacuated to echelons of medical care far away from our current position.  While I weep for the ones who have lost their lives, I am also concerned for those who are trying to heal.  Some may never walk again, others will be permanently disfigured, and all have some trying times ahead of them. Those are the people I am asking you all to pray for.  That they have a speedy and healthy recovery.  I can say this though, I am happy that they are at least out of harms way.

    This is my charge to all of you.  We need to spread the word of the soldiers who are still fighting in Afghanistan.  Our soldiers here depend on the support of our loved ones back home.  Please copy and paste this to your profiles.  Tell everyone you know of the trying times our brothers are facing.  Tell everyone of the heroism of the soldiers who lost their lives and of the soldiers who are fighting to recover what they have.

    source:    Northern NY




    Thursday, April 19, 2007




    J P Sullivan, President T/Fax 438-5230

    e mail



    Your neighborhood association works when you do. Become informed.

    Participate. Your time, talent and efforts are your dues.

    BPCNA bounds: (N) Western Ave (S) Whitehall Rd (E) S Manning Blvd (W) NYS TW/Rte85

    2007 Neighborhood objectives include: (1) emergency/disaster pre-

    paredness by individuals, households, schools, churches, synagogues, health care

    providers, and businesses. (2) public safety through an active neighborood watch

    and OPPOSING any restriction by the City of Albany to erode the Second Amend-

    ment rights of law abiding neighborhood residents, and impairing their ability to

    protect themselves , their loved ones, and property, from criminals and civil

    disorder, particularly in times of natural disasters or terrorist attacks.

    (3) building more affordable senior housing. (4) caring for and planting more trees

    at curbsides and on front lawns. (5) saving open spaces. (6) preparing an improvement

    and maintenance plan for Buckingham Pond Park. (7)) reducing the growing

    volumes of speeding vehicle traffic and associated congeston, noise, litter, air

    pollution. All of these objectives are aimed at the goal of maintaining/improving

    neighborhood residential integrity/quality of life and the city property tax base

    which supports city services and city schools.

    Find out more by going to these websites: and


    Share this information with family, friends, neighbors.


    Get involved: Be a block captain. Serve on a committee or work

    on an individual assignment, such as: monitoring local and state

    governments, their committees. Go to websites for details, or call

    me at 438 5230

    Go to:      for  more

    WATCHERS call Albany Police (APD) 458 9148 or 458 5660

    Anti Terror Hotline: 1 866 SAFE NYS (723 3697) as needed.

    Thank You Joe Sullivan

    Thursday, April 12, 2007


    To see this story with its related links on the Guardian Unlimited site, go to

    Blair blames spate of murders on black culture
    · Political correctness not helping, says PM· Community leaders react angrily to comments
    Patrick Wintour and Vikram Dodd
    Thursday April 12 2007
    The Guardian

    Tony Blair yesterday claimed the spate of knife and gun murders in London was not being caused by poverty, but a distinctive black culture. His remarks angered community leaders, who accused him of ignorance and failing to provide support for black-led efforts to tackle the problem.

    One accused him of misunderstanding the advice he had been given on the issue at a Downing Street summit.

    Black community leaders reacted after Mr Blair said the recent violence should not be treated as part of a general crime wave, but as specific to black youth. He said people had to drop their political correctness and recognise that the violence would not be stopped "by pretending it is not young black kids doing it".

    It needed to be addressed by a tailored counter-attack in the same way as football hooliganism was reined in by producing measures aimed at the specific problem, rather than general lawlessness.

    Mr Blair's remarks are at odds with those of the Home Office minister Lady Scotland, who told the home affairs select committee last month that the disproportionate number of black youths in the criminal justice system was a function of their disproportionate poverty, and not to do with a distinctive black culture.

    Giving the Callaghan lecture in Cardiff, the prime minister admitted he had been "lurching into total frankness" in the final weeks of his premiership. He called on black people to lead the fight against knife crime. He said that "the black community - the vast majority of whom in these communities are decent, law abiding people horrified at what is happening - need to be mobilised in denunciation of this gang culture that is killing innocent young black kids".

    Mr Blair said he had been moved to make his controversial remarks after speaking to a black pastor of a London church at a Downing Street knife crime summit, who said: "When are we going to start saying this is a problem amongst a section of the black community and not, for reasons of political correctness, pretend that this is nothing to do with it?" Mr Blair said there needed to be an "intense police focus" on the minority of young black Britons behind the gun and knife attacks. The laws on knife and gun gangs needed to be toughened and the ringleaders "taken out of circulation".

    Last night, British African-Caribbean figures leading the fight against gang culture condemned Mr Blair's speech. The Rev Nims Obunge, chief executive of the Peace Alliance, one of the main organisations working against gang crime, denounced the prime minister.

    Mr Obunge, who attended the Downing Street summit chaired by Mr Blair in February, said he had been cited by the prime minister: "He makes it look like I said it's the black community doing it. What I said is it's making the black community more vulnerable and they need more support and funding for the work they're doing. ... He has taken what I said out of context. We came for support and he has failed and has come back with more police powers to use against our black children."

    Keith Jarrett, chair of the National Black Police Association, whose members work with vulnerable youngsters, said: "Social deprivation and delinquency go hand in hand and we need to tackle both. It is curious that the prime minister does not mention deprivation in his speech."

    Lee Jasper, adviser on policing to London's mayor, said: "For years we have said this is an issue the black community has to deal with. The PM is spectacularly ill-informed if he thinks otherwise.

    "Every home secretary from [David] Blunkett onwards has been pressed on tackling the growing phenomenon of gun and gang crime in deprived black communities, and government has failed to respond to what has been a clear demand for additional resources to tackle youth alienation and disaffection".

    The Home Office has already announced it is looking at the possibility of banning membership of gangs, tougher enforcement of the supposed mandatory five-year sentences for possession of illegal firearms, and lowering the age from 21 to 18 for this mandatory sentence.

    Answering questions later Mr Blair said: "Economic inequality is a factor and we should deal with that, but I don't think it's the thing that is producing the most violent expression of this social alienation.

    "I think that is to do with the fact that particular youngsters are being brought up in a setting that has no rules, no discipline, no proper framework around them."

    Some people working with children knew at the age offive whether they were going to be in "real trouble" later, he said.

    Mr Blair is known to believe the tendency for many black boys to be raised in families without a father leads to a lack of appropriate role models.

    He said: "We need to stop thinking of this as a society that has gone wrong - it has not - but of specific groups that for specific reasons have gone outside of the proper lines of respect and good conduct towards others and need by specific measures to be brought back into the fold."

    The Commission for Racial Equality broadly backed Mr Blair, saying people "shouldn't be afraid to talk about this issue for fear of sounding prejudiced".

    Mr Blair spoke out as a second teenager was due to appear in court charged with the murder of 14-year-old Paul Erhahon, stabbed to death in east London on Friday. He was the seventh Londoner under 16 to be murdered since the end of January, and his 15-year-old friend, who was also stabbed, remains in hospital.

    Copyright Guardian News and Media Limited

    Tuesday, April 10, 2007


    LATE BREAKING NEWS (just off local radio)

    Hillary, in a speech to veterans in Western New York, today, advocated pre-deployment brain scans for military.

    A better idea:


    leading off with Hillary, and her supporters

    Sunday, April 8, 2007



    Fred Le Brun blames the cost of charter schools. See his article in Sunday TU, April 8, 2007, pB1, Cost of charter schools puts Albany in spiraling tax trap.

    To the contrary, it is incompetence and ineptitude on the part of the Albany School Superintendent and School Board that is at the root of the spiraling property tax trap in Albany. The Albany School District is dysfunctional, spiraling out of control and accountable to no one.

    Charter school growth is a response to, not a cause of , dysfunction and incompetence of the school superintendent, school board and school district.

    Two options exist to correct this problem.  One: make the Albany School District a Charter School District,  or two:  dissolve the Albany School District, merge it with city government making the Mayor responsible and accountable for the operation and performance of city schools, based on one, not two, property tax rolls. The latter is the preferrable course of action.

    Both options will require introduction and passage of state legislation.  Public pressure must be brought to bear on the Legislature and Governor, to make this happen, this session.

    In the meantime, the State Education Department has the authority to take control of dysfunctional and poor performing school districts. The Mayor of Albany should request that Governor Spitzer make this happen, now.

    In May, the responsibility will fall to the voters of the City of Albany to vote down any proposed increases in the city school budget and school property taxes. These increases have occurred every year for a decade or more.  More money is not the solution to the growing dysfunction, poor performance and violence in Albany City schools

    Routinely, school budget and school property tax increase are approved with less than 10 percent of the eligible voters voting. Of that 10 percent about 55 percent vote yes, with 45 percent voting no.

    With property tax revaluation ( a tax increase) occurring and significant state aid earmarked for Albany in the new state budget, there can be absolutely no justification for a school budget and property tax increase to be put before city voters, by the school district, in May.

    The solution lies in returning to a K-8 neighborhood school system which is best for kids, parents and neighborhoods. Eliminate the top heavy, highly paid school administation. Reallocate those salaries, and benefits, to hiring more teachers for the class rooms. Establish a residency requirement for all teachers, administrators and school staff.  Establish, and enforce, a strict code of student conduct , in schools, in neighborhoods around schools, and on buses. Require all students to wear school uniforms. Remove unruly, disruptive pupils from class rooms, so that those who are motivated to learn, can do so in a sane, safe learning environment. Place the unruly, disruptive, unmotivated malcontents in alternative learning settings, including a boot camp environment, staffed by ex-military, for the worst offenders.

                                                                                             J P Sullivan

                                                                                             438 5230

    Wednesday, April 4, 2007


     For Entry In Record
     Albany Common Council Meeting 4/4/07
    Hon Jerry Jennings, Mayor
    and Members of Albany Common Council
    This statement is in OPPOSITION to the proposed Local Law to be considered at tonight's Common Council meeting. This proposed local law should be immediately voted down or withdrawn.
    This proposed local law would violate the U S Constitution, Second Amendment right of law abiding American Citizens to bear arms.
    The U S Supreme Court has ruled that police are not under any obligation to protect citizens in their homes.  This means that citizens have the responsibility to defend and protect their homes, property and the the lives of themselves and their loved ones. This local law would severely hamper the ability of law abiding citizens to protect themselves, their homes and property from those who would do them harm.
    In an age of terrorism, this proposed local law is absurd. We are told by the U S Office of Homeland Security, that in the next wave of terror attacks we can expect to be on our own for days and possibly weeks or more. We are told to stock pile food, water, and other emergency supplies.
    Take away the guns from private, law abiding citizens, and they will be unable to defend themselves, their loved ones and their property from the pillaging and plundering marauders , civil disorder and  anarchy that can be expected to follow the next wave of terror attacks.
    Recall the civil disorder and anarchy that followed the Katrina natural disaster. Citizens with guns were able to repel looters and attackers. Those without guns fell victim to the lawless marauders. Many cops fled or did not report to duty. The law abiding citizens were on their own.
    Is this what you want to happen to law abiding residents of the City of Albany?
    Criminals do not obey laws. The Albany Police Department has the computer technology in place to plot gun violence incidents and profile the geographic neighborhoods , the offenders,
    the victims, and the reasons for gun violence incidents.
    Any astute citizen can tell you where the gun violence is occurring and who is perpetrating it.
    The better solution to Albany's gun violence problem, is the greatly increase the penalties, and to step up Operation Impact. Go into those neighborhoods where the gun violence is occurring and disarm the offenders and potential offenders.
    The criminals, anti-social malcontents, and gang bangers are the allies of the foreign terrorists who seek to destroy us and our way of life.
    The Mayor of Albany and Common Council would be guilty of aiding and abetting our sworn enemies by passage of a local law that would severely limit the Second Amendment right of law abiding citizens to bear arms, taking away the self-defense ability of law abiding citizens when terrorists attacks or natural disasters occur.
    Vote down this ill conceived local law. Step up Operation Impact in those neighborhoods where the gun violence is occurring and disarm the criminals, malcontents and gang bangers
    NOW before it is too late for you and for us.
                                                                              J P Sullivan, President
                                                                              Buckingham Pond/Crestwood NA
                                                                               518 438 5230