County Beat
Hugh Reynolds: Dollars are not enough

Hugh Reynolds: Dollars are not enough

They say money can’t buy you love. Neither, at least in the Hudson Valley, can it buy a Congressional seat, as was demonstrated last year. Recent reports from the Federal Elections Commission show Democrat Sean Eldridge outspent Republican Chris Gibson by better than two-to-one last year, but lost the election by a similar margin. Gibson...

Hugh Reynolds: A different track?

Ulster County Executive Mike Hein didn’t mention the Catskill Mountain Railroad at his state of the county address last month. Perhaps he thought he’d put this long-running controversy to bed with his “Hein rail-trail compromise” announced in early December. Not so. The word “compromise” suggests a meeting of minds after negotiations between willing parties. In...
Hugh Reynolds: Term limits

Hugh Reynolds: Term limits

Every once in a while, usually after a series of public scandals, some good government group or other advances the idea of term limits. The logic is simple. Absolute power, which can come with seniority, corrupts. It takes new people years to learn crooked ways. But corruption is only one facet of what is a...
Hugh Reynolds: Guns and butter

Hugh Reynolds: Guns and butter

From his speech before the chamber of commerce in Kingston last week, it was hard to believe U.S. Rep. Chris Gibson might be running for governor in three years or so. Gibson announced last month an interest in statewide office, saying this would be his last of three terms in the House. At the chamber...

Hugh Reynolds: Hi ho, Silver, oy vey!

An old miner’s axiom which I just made up posits that where there’s Silver there’s gold. What happens now after Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver has been charged by federal authorities with bribery and mail fraud in connection with his official duties? Silver, shortly after beginning his 21st year as Assembly leader, was accused last week by...
Hugh Reynolds: Fooling with fueling

Hugh Reynolds: Fooling with fueling

Vladimir Lenin promised peace and land, Herbert Hoover promised a chicken in every pot and a car in every garage. And County Executive Mike Hein came up in his seventh state of the county address last week with free fuel for owners of electric vehicles. What a guy. In offering owners of electrically powered vehicles...
Hugh Reynolds: Forward ... march!

Hugh Reynolds: Forward … march!

People ask me, as if I knew, why Congressman Chris Gibson decided to leave the House after only three terms. Dunno. After dropping that bombshell on the first day of what will be his final term, Gibson disappeared into a black hole somewhere between Washington and his hometown of Kinderhook. Go figure. One of the...
Hugh Reynolds: The legend of Mario Cuomo

Hugh Reynolds: The legend of Mario Cuomo

The passing of former New York governor Mario Cuomo brought lots of memories for those of us in the media who had the privilege, or the burden, of covering him during his dozen tumultuous years (1983-94) in the office. For many, Cuomo, out of office for almost 20 years when he died, was but a...
Hugh Reynolds: Some serious guessing ahead

Hugh Reynolds: Some serious guessing ahead

Shortly after dusk on Election Day in 1944, Franklin Delano Roosevelt, as was his custom, greeted neighbors and friends from the balcony of his Hyde Park home. “As you know,” he said, “I don’t make predictions about elections. But this I can predict with certainty: The next president of the United States will be from...
Hugh Reynolds: Holiday wishes

Hugh Reynolds: Holiday wishes

Here it is again, folks, the non-inclusive but by no means exclusive holiday list. Not everybody makes it every year; I’ve never been on it. It saves a lot of postage. So for all those who have been naughty or nice, may your days be happy and bright. For Bill Carey: Toni Sawyer’s paint brush....
Hugh Reynolds: Niagara falls?

Hugh Reynolds: Niagara falls?

As of this writing, nobody outside its corporate offices knows for sure whether Niagara Bottling will locate a new plant in Lake Katrine after being turned down last week for state funding. According to sources close to the scene, the deal between Niagara and the Town of Ulster was one of those XYZ arrangements, as...
Hugh Reynolds: All aboard?

Hugh Reynolds: All aboard?

With apologies to Johnny Cash‘s “Folsom Prison Blues,” did Ulster County Exec Mike Hein hear the train a’ comin? How else to explain why Hein suddenly switched gears late Monday afternoon and agreed to allow tourist trains to continue to run from Kingston Plaza to Hurley Mountain Road? For more than two years Hein has...