County Beat
Hugh Reynolds: Senator Sinkhole

Hugh Reynolds: Senator Sinkhole

I’ll agree with Kingston Times editor Dan Barton that it’s good to have a United States senator on your side when it comes to funding major public-works projects. All hail the Empire State’s senior U.S. senator, Charles E. Schumer. He knows where the money is. He’s trying to get some for Kingston. Schumer, who has...
Hugh Reynolds: He said what?

Hugh Reynolds: He said what?

There’s sometimes a huge disconnect between screaming headlines and the official explanation. Take “Ulster Accused of Shoddy Medicaid Monitoring, a story in the March 25 Times Herald-Record. A few weeks ago James Nani of the Record wrote a straightforward lead: “A federal inspector says New York State should pay back $6.3 million in Medicaid payments...

Hugh Reynolds: Of politicians and veterans

I don’t normally hear the two words “Vietnam celebration” used together, but I did when my American Legion color guard captain called last week to see whether I was available for that Saturday’s 40th anniversary of the war’s ending ceremonies in Kingston. “Why would anyone want to celebrate the Vietnam War?” I asked. He explained...
Hugh Reynolds: Gambling on the future

Hugh Reynolds: Gambling on the future

Serious conflict has developed between the owners of the vacant Nevele in Ellenville and operators of two family-owned resorts in the Town of Rochester over who gets video lottery terminals (VLTs, the equivalent of electronic slot machines.) Hopes for a mega-million-dollar casino at the Nevele were dashed when a state gaming commission chose a site...
Hugh Reynolds: Sunny days

Hugh Reynolds: Sunny days

Throw open the doors! Let in the fresh air! It’s “sunshine week” in Albany. Well, maybe not. As we speak, the three or four men in a room are, as usual, secretly hammering out the loose ends of a state budget due a week from next Wednesday. Good-government types may posture before the TV cameras,...
Hugh Reynolds: Early birds

Hugh Reynolds: Early birds

If being first out of the gate means anything, Assemblyman Pete Lopez could be the next congressman from the 19th District. Former assemblyman John Faso, whose number we haven’t called in quite a while, might have something to say about that, even though he says he won’t make a decision until summer. Both are veteran...
Hugh Reynolds: What does Kevin want?

Hugh Reynolds: What does Kevin want?

Assemblyman Kevin Cahill does not seem of a mind to renew “the Cahill Sales-Tax Crisis” this year. But, more than a few people in that six-story glass building at Fair and Main in Kingston seem to be wondering what he’ll be asking for this time around. Last month, the Ulster County Legislature unanimously approved and...
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?

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...