Saturday, July 31, 2010

Rhinebeck, the Live-tweet session

I'm going to be live-tweeting and tweet-pic-ing from #Rhinebeck to show off the bucolic, quaint, antique (insert other cliche here) town - Waiting for something at the #Delamter Inn in #Rhinebeck. Hope is not The Renegades' Rascal - Inside Edition announcing that Ted Danson was staying at the Delamanter... After missing him

Korrcshun. It was the Insider

@thecanarycrayon And talking to people, but Ted Danson would not say what he bought for Chelsea, residents say in reply to thecanarycrayon

Vera Wang just came out of Gigis in Rhinebeck and after getting mugged be media went back in - Lobbying against hydrofracking!!(?) in #Rhinebeck

Vera Wang getting mobbed by media in Rhinebeck, the video

RT @oblongirl: Madeline Albright was just outside the bookstore. Ate at Gigi, then whisked into a town car. #Rhinebeck - Oblong books in #Rhinebeck has best wishes ... and books!

Former U.S. Secretary of State Madeleine Albright in #Rhinebeck, video - Trying to take an unflattering pic of the Extra reporter. Did it work? - Doggie plays Chelsea in Rhinebeck. Compliment? Insult? - A normal day in Rhinebeck... People putting bridal makeup on. Riiiiiiiight - There is actually a road underneath all this. But the wedding party might want to run everyone over

Get ready Kingston! Tons of media heading over to the other side of the river to get pics of fireworks - Coxsackie Transports' 15 minutes in Rhinebeck There needs to be more media in Rhinebeck, right?

RT @tomhoffay: Glad to see today's front page of the Daily Freeman made the Huffington Post slide show! - Sheeple in #Rhinebeck

@DailyFreeman on the #HuffingtonPost. META! - This corner needs 3 officers because there is an attractive TV lady reporter behind them - Two Corvettes and a Jaguar back to back, because that's what you see in #Rhinebeck the time.

All the time - This is what happens when you leave bread crumbs on the floor in #Rhinebeck - This is the only Oprah you'll see in #Rhinebeck - Just married sticker on back of limo.

That's all folks. Hope to see #Rhinebeck back to normal soon

RT @tomhoffay: @ivanlajara do you realize, do they realize Kingston has a scheduled fireworks display at dusk at the Point?

RT @DailyFreeman: Done deal: #Chelsea Clinton, #MarcMezvinsky tie the knot

Chelsea Clinton and Marc Mezvinsky at their wedding Saturday evening in Rhinebeck --

And the wedding pics are in! -

RT @tcmassie: Guess you have to be a "yokel" to know. @HuffingtonPost confuses @HVRenegades Rascal for mice:

Madeleine Albright in Rhinebeck, the mini-video

Vera Wang in Rhinebeck

Rhinebeck, ala New Yorker

Rhinebeck resident and New Yorker cartoonist Liza Donnelly has something to share:

Friday, July 30, 2010

Bill Clinton, in Rhinebeck, re-encacts Phil Hartman doing Bill Clinton on SNL

TV reporter vs. Rhinebeck bugs

'Daily Show' says hi to Daily Freeman


Freeman reporter Paul Kirby got his half-a-second of fame thanks to the NBC's "Today Show."

Visit for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy

I'm pretty sure he'll hate this.

Cutline contest, Rhinebeck madness edition






"If I wear a Mexican hat, nobody will notice my dirty sneakers"


"Would you talk to me about being a reporter with nothing to report on?"


"Looking for attention? Us? According to whom?"

Feel free to add your own.

(All photos via the Associated Press, because I'm in the office right now, with air conditioner)

Rhinebeck Gigi's Trattoria catering Chelsea Clinton's wedding

Laura Pensiero of Gigi's Trattoria in Rhinebeck told the New York "Let's call them 'local yokels'" Daily News about being a caterer for Chelsea's Clinton wedding at Astor Courts in Rhinebeck.

"I can't talk about it," Pensiero told the Daily News yesterday. "How did you find out?"

Answer: The Daily News found out when Pensiero said "How did you find out?"

Crazy, shameless pundit talks about Chelsea, Rhinebeck on WAMC. Shame on him

I was on the National Public Radio's affiliate WAMC-FM this morning talking to David Guistina on "Morning Edition" about why in the world anybody would talk to me about anything, and other things that start with "Rhinebeck."

Here's the clip.

Apparently, I have an accent. I'll give you five (Monopoly) bucks if you can translate what I've said.

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Old Rhinebeck Aerodrome's flights are on

The Old Rhinebeck Aerodrome just announced that Saturday's air show featuring flying antique airplanes of the pioneer and barnstorming era will take place as planned at 2 p.m.

Temporary flight restrictions over Rhinebeck for something that's apparently happening in there "will be respected by re-routing biplane air tours away from the restricted area during the ... period between 3 p.m. on Saturday through 3:30 a.m. on Sunday morning," said Old Rhinebeck Aerodrome Vice President Don Fleming in a news release. "The 2 p.m. World War I Air Show and biplane rides on Sunday will not be affected at all."

“But folks signing up for a biplane ride on Saturday should not expect to be treated to a birds-eye-view of the Clinton-Mezvinski nuptials,” Fleming said.

Wait! What wedding?

Rascal wants to marry Chelsea

Rascal, the Hudson Valley Renegades baseball team mascot, holds a sign on East Market Street in this ABC photo.

That's right. ABC "News."

Rhinebeck is "quaint," more than 80,000 times

My favorite instance comes from La Repubblica of Italy:

Ma perché Rhinebeck? Perché è un posticino tranquillo & chic (il Daily Beast, il sito di Tina Brown, lo chiama "gli Hamptons del Nord") dove tra l'altro i Clinton, che hanno una villa un'ora di auto più in là, a Chappaqua, sono spesso di casa. Ma da questo momento in poi ogni certezza è un'ipotesi. Per la verità New York Times e Wall Street Journal, che pure entrambi definiscono "quaint", pittoresco, il villaggio, non concordano neppure sul numero degli abitanti (4.600 o 8.300?).

The Rhinecliff Menu, revised: Chelsea's Chicken out, Chelsea's daily soups in - "They're fresh"


It's official: Obama not invited to Chelsea Clinton wedding; you still don't care

President Obama was on ABC's "The View," which airs this morning.

He talked about important things. But who cares about those things, right?

Fox News reports (in the politics section, seriously?) that he was not invited to the wedding of Chelsea Clinton in Rhinebeck Saturday.

"I was not invited to the wedding because I think Hillary and Bill, properly, want to keep this thing for Chelsea and her soon-to-be husband," the president said.

He did joke to the ladies of "The View," though, "You don’t want two presidents at one wedding. All the secret service, guests going through metal detectors, all the gifts being torn apart."

The people have spoken (and left messages on my voicemail)

I had to clean up my voice mailbox this morning, as it was full of messages that I've saved over the years.

Here's a sample with some of them. All these refer to my column.

From "You should seriously be ashamed of yourself" to "You're f---ing great," you could say that this sampling covers a wide array of opinions. I cherish them all.

Also, "I read your story today in the Freeman. It sucked" is my new ring tone.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

FAA: Rhinebeck a no-fly-zone

The Federal Aviation Administration has declared Rhinebeck a no-fly-zone Saturday from 3 p.m. to Sunday at 3:30 a.m.

The reason?

"Temporary flight restrictions for VIP (Very Important Person) Movement"

In case you don't know where Rhinebeck is, here's the agency's map:

"Lousy," "miserable" and "a great piece"

Longtime Freeman reader Ilene, a Rhinebeck resident, didn't quite like "Rhinebeck abuzz over what's-her-face"

She left me a voicemail this morning:

Other reactions to the piece:

Ivan Lajara, The Onion needs you! As a resident, I can attest. Rhinebeck IS full of crazy people. #Clintonweddingless than a minute ago via Twitter for iPhone

RT @DailyFreeman #LAJARA: #Rhinebeck abuzz over what’s-her-face #Clintonwedding-- | This is a great piece!less than a minute ago via web

@ivanlajara We love your articles! My mom always laughs out loud when she is reading the paper in the morning!less than a minute ago via web

Alas, I don't quite trust Cavalier King Charles Spaniels who tweet, so I'm with Ilene.

Life imitates column that was not meant to be imitated by life

Yours truly, today:

• The media doesn’t know anything concrete about the wedding.
• The media will report that they don’t know anything concrete about the wedding.

USA Today's front page story, today:

We don't know for certain who's coming (but probably not President Obama, and not Oprah), nor precisely how many (400 to 500 seems to be the most popular guess). We don't know about the dress (maybe Vera Wang, maybe Oscar de la Renta, according to various media reports), we don't know about the décor (air-conditioned tents already are up) or the menu or the music. Is the rehearsal dinner in a stone barn at a local estate, Grasmere, or at the nearby mansion of Clinton supporters Toni and Martin Sosnoff?
We don't even know who is officiating and whether the ceremony will be Jewish (he's Jewish) or Methodist-Baptist (Chelsea's parents) or some combination.

We don't know anything. Read all about it.

Also, National Public Radio called as I was writing this to talk about how nobody knows anything, or something like that. It's a haze now. so as always, I blame Obamacare.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Chelsea update: Free library cards and expensive crappers

The library says (yes, it speaks):
Psssst... Don't worry, regular readers --
you, too, can get a free public library card at
Morton Memorial Library and Community House in Rhinecliff!

Also: The gossip site TMZ "reports" that the port-a-potties cost $15,000, because they look like this:

Thursday, July 22, 2010

A compliment?

Pls RT: #entertainment #funny #WTF : LAJARA: Program lets you appear less stupid - Kingston Daily Freeman than a minute ago via Twitter Tools

From "Your complete source for meaningless information and irrelevant current events." On the site, Dumbass Stupid Idiots, the column is in the "‘Dumbasses’ Articles" category.

So, there's only one thing to say: "(insert third hashtag used in tweet)"

Idealab idea IN YOUR FACE!

Although the project hasn't started yet, we've been kicking ideas around pretty mercilessly at the Freeman's parent company IdeaLab Facebook page, one of the Journal Register Company's new initiatives.

(As mentioned on July 12, 17 lucky people and myself will be experimenting with the latest technology and tools. We're getting gadgets - an iPad, and smartphone of our choice and a netbook - 10 hours of paid free time per week and $$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$500 per month on top. There are no rules. You can even write "$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$.")

One suggestion by Viktoria Sundqvist, editor of the Middletown Press in Connecticut, got me going. What if you were to put Quick Response coding on the paper to unlock features on your smartphone? "This will allow readers to snap a picture of the code with their cell phones and immediately get access to our online edition as the phone will translate the QR code," she wrote.

I gave it a shot.

Sweet. Can't wait to get started.

UPDATE: I'm informed by a party-pooping publisher from Torrington, Conn., that it's probably faster to type the web address (I'm assuming it's a shortened version like and not something like

It is.

But what if the code was used for something like this?

In a more theoretical and utilitarian way (and I'm not even claiming to know how to do this), what if you use your lap top's camera on a Quick Response code over a story about Kingston crime and a 3-D map of Kingston with stats (ala popped up on your screen?

What do you think?

Judge this book by its cover, and pages

Stone Ridge author Bruce Murkoff's "Red Rain" is based in the Hudson Valley and takes place in the 1800s. Reporter Paula Ann Mitchell has the story.

How good is the book?

Judge by yourself.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

BP still sucking at Photoshop

Brian Barrett of Gizmodo has uncovered another BP Photoshop disaster:

There are tons of noticeable and obvious retouches of the photo, so many in fact that the photo is now a meme.


(based on this)

Here's mine:

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Beach time!

Kingston, New York, circa 1906. "Kingston Point Park." 8x10 inch dry plate glass negative, Detroit Publishing Company, via Shorpy

BP sucks at Photoshop

Blogger John Aravosis of Americablog News discovered that British Petroleum's main site on Monday looked and little funky and that the company can't even unethically manipulate a photo properly:

I guess if you're doing fake crisis response, you might as well fake a photo of the crisis response center. Why do they need a fake photo at all? Don't they have a real crisis response center they could have used?
The Washington Post reports that, "Scott Dean, a spokesman for BP, said that there was nothing sinister in the photo alteration and provided the original unaltered version. He said that a photographer working for the company had inserted the three images in spots where the video screens were blank."

Riiiiiiiiiiiiiiight. Here's a zoom of the professional job.

That's what happens when you have a company run by Smurfs. Seriously.

I hope they're better at oil drilling than at Photoshop. Oh, wait...

Monday, July 19, 2010

Jane Fonda all over Ulster County

A blogger, who I believe also does something else, and who goes by the name of Jane Fonda has been shooting "Peace, Love, and Misunderstanding" in Ulster County for a while now. that's her, at right, as Grace.

She blogs today:

It is beautiful up here in Ulster County, New York and this film, "Peace, Love and Misunderstanding,“ is off to a great start. We had a read-through yesterday with all the cast except Chace Crawford (“Gossip Girls” star) and it really hit me how funny and moving this script is. It’s about love and healing and the characters are wonderful, unique, and very funny. Catherine Keener plays my daughter and that excites and pleases me more than you can know because I think she is both truly talented and original but also fascinating. My grandkids are played by Lizzie Olsen who lives in NY and does theatre, although I think when her face is seen on the screen in this movie it’ll be hard for her to not do more films; and Nat Wolff who is on Nickelodeon, a singer and musician in the Naked Brothers band. He is so terrific in this part!!! Marissa O’Donnell (played “Annie” for a long time on Broadway) is Nat’s “love” interest and Chace Crawford (“Gossip Girls”) is Lizzie’s love interest. Jeffrey Dean Morgan is Keener’s love interest (used to be mine…I was a wild one). I set them all up for love. I play Grace, who’s water broke and baby (Keener) was born while Jimi Hendrix was playing the Star Spangled Banner at Woodstock in 1969. Grace thinks it’s still 1969 and dresses and behaves accordingly which is a whole lot of fun. I have never played a diehard hippie before. Johann Stegmeir has done the costumes and they are perfect. I’ve never been a gray head before either and I like it.
Where in Ulster County?

Jane Fonda was at Skate Time 209 last night dancing, for the hick off party for a movie. She looks great.less than a minute ago via TweetDeck

That's Skate Time 209 owner and one-time candidate for county executive Len Bernardo, by the way.

The Hudson Valley Film Commission helped cast the extras.

Also, Keegan Ales owner Tom Keegan informs me that "Keegan Ales got product placement in that movie!" and that "(I'm promised a NC-17 love scene for it)."

Keegan, as you can see, is a very optimistic person.

Saturday, July 17, 2010

UPDATE: Nobody is coming to Chelsea Clinton wedding, report says

Emily Miller of Human Affairs - Leading Conservative Media Since 1944! - reports on the issue of most importance for conservatives - the reported wedding of Chelsea Clinton in Rhinebeck on July 31.

Miller points out that all the reports about the star-studded guest list originated from the Hudson Valley News (where have I heard that?). Furthermore:

HUMAN EVENTS called the published guest list and discovered that none of these luminaries is attending, and, many were not even invited to the wedding.

This raises an important question: How do you call a published guest list?

The Hudson Valley News used unnamed sources to publish its list. So Human Events proceeds to debunk the report, with unnamed sources, to establish that two celebrities, Oprah Winfrey and Ted Turner, are not coming. And the other "Powerful Democrats"? They either didn't respond or didn't get back to the reporter. So, in conclusion, Human Events doesn't know how to write headlines, or count (two equals "none"?), or the difference between Democrats and celebrities. (I'm not blaming Miller. Reporters don't write headlines. If she did, that's why reporters don't write headlines). I used the same logic to write my headline.

Also, an anonymous source debunks an anonymous source. Anonymous source wins.

Extra!: Gawker's Maureen O'Connor "reports" that, "Everything you heard about the location might be a lie." O'Connor uses a Wall Street Journal story, which I also used previously in a different context, to reach that conclusion.

But that story partially reports (with names!):

Earlier this week, a local (Wappingers Falls) helicopter company, Associated Aircraft Group, inquired about the availability during the weekend of July 31 of the helipad located at Rhinebeck's Dutchess County Fair, according to fairground general manager Bob Grems. The helicopter company is a wholly owned subsidiary of Sikorsky Aircraft Corporation, and "Sikorskys helicopters are used for Marine One, the Presidential helicopter," according to the company's website. The inquiry "was clearly in the context of the wedding," Mr. Grems said. Associated's director of sales and marketing, Carolyn Marino, declined to comment.

In conclusion: Is it August already?

Friday, July 16, 2010

Clinton Vineyards in Clinton Corners near Clinton to provide wine for wedding of Chelsea What's Her Face

The Wall Street Journal reports in an article titled "Rhinebeck Conspiracy Theory":

At least one element of the festivities will take advantage of the area's agricultural abundance. When guests reach Rhinebeck, a bottle of Phyllis Feder's wine will greet them upon arrival at their hotels. Not only does the former first family have longstanding ties to her vineyard, but they couldn't ask for a more apt brand to welcome friends: Clinton Vineyards. The local winery was selected to supply bottles of its "Tribute" vintage as part of a welcome package for guests attending the nuptials ...

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Hudson Valley Renegades fireworks mishap, 'Family Guy' edition

Update: Obama may or may not attend Chelsea Clinton wedding in Rhinebeck. Maybe.

White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs was asked on Wednesday if President Barack Obama attending Chelsea Clinton's wedding, which has been reported to take place in Rhinebeck on July 31.

His response?

"Not that I'm aware of."


"Keep guessing, suckers!"


Also, a little lesson about how news spread on the Internets: Even though there are multiple reports about the Obama attending the wedding, all of them - from CBS to Radar to NBC, etc - quote the Hudson Valley News. All others quote Radar or NBC or CBS. Rinse and repeat.

Gibbs' statement is public record.

Regardless, Rhinebeck's going to be a madhouse on July 31. We'll be there.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Report: Obama, Oprah expected at Clinton wedding in Rhinebeck

Jim Langan of the Hudson Valley News has reported that President Barack Obama and not president Oprah Winfrey will be among 500 guests expected at the July 31 wedding of Chelsea Clinton and some dude who is not famous.

The President is expected to land at Stewart Airport in Newburgh and take Marine One across the Hudson to Astor Court in Rhinebeck. ... Among those invited to the wedding are singer Barbra Streisand, Kate Capshaw and Steven Speilberg (sic), former Clinton advisor Harold Ickes, Clinton money man Terry McAuliffe, former British Prime Minister John Major, historian Doris Kearns Goodwin, media mogul Ted Turner and long time Clinton friend Denise Rich.

OH NO! Hudson Valley Renegades Fireworks Incident

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Idea time!

Good news!
I've been selected! - along with 14 colleagues out of a pool of hundreds! - by Journal Register Company, the parent company of the Freeman - for the IdeaLab! And also to horribly misuse exclamation marks!

From the blog of JRC CEO John Paton:

For the next 12 months these colleagues will be charged with experimenting with the latest technology and tools to help our Company think differently about what we do and how we do it. To do that, we are equipping them with the latest tools – iPhones, iPads and Netbooks (or they can substitute that list with Droids or other non-Apple products).

We are also providing them with 10 hours of paid free time per week to experiment and because we know they will do many more hours than that we are also providing a $500 per month stipend.

In short, we want to transform the way we do news - for the better - and we want you to be a part of it. One of the ideas is to open a two-way street for tips and concerns and allowed you to tell us what are the uncovered stories that are on your minds. And we intend to follow up.

But that's just one idea that we're kicking around. And I'd like to hear from you.

You can do it here (the blog is open for unmoderated comments) on Twitter at, on Facebook at, via e-mail at or by this thing I found called a telephone, (845) 331-5000, extension 502.

I've got some more ideas, and in the coming days I'll be bouncing some of those with you, at which point you can remind me that I'm crazy and suggest better ones.

Let's do this.

Saturday, July 10, 2010

Friday, July 9, 2010

Sunday, July 4, 2010

Useful stuff. Mine? Not so useful

Lots of serious, useful crowdsourcing examples here. My fave, though: Editor @ivanlajara crowdsourcing his hair. than a minute ago via web

What's in the Freeman's Ben Franklin edition?

Today's Freeman - both in print and online - is a special edition emphasizing the new Web and social media tools available for news-gathering and reporting, with special emphasis on reader involvement. It is part of a Journal Register Company initiative, dubbed the Ben Franklin Project, by which we have declared, on the Fourth of July, the company’s growing and determined independence from the traditional tools and methods of print journalism.

The special report is available in our printed edition and at

Staff writer Paul Kirby takes a look at crime trends in the city of Kingston, both statistically, which tells us crime is on the decline, and how it is perceived by residents, who don’t necessarily agree.

Kirby also reports on the future of the King’s Inn motel property in the Midtown section of the city of Kingston. The motel is now owned by the city, which is considering uses for the property and is soliciting public input.

The Life Department has sought and received reader opinion on the best camping spots in the Mid-Hudson Valley. The chosen sites were Colgate Lake in Greene County and the Saugerties/Woodstock KOA.

I veered from my regular column published weekly on Wednesdays to offer a bonus one based on readers’ accounts of their worst camping experiences.

The features department will also publish a special calendar incorporating Facebook events from readers, a compendium of best tweets. And Freeman intern Ethan Barnett profiles the band Our Only Reason, after a poll that gathered more than 500 votes and a crazy video.

The Sports Department will highlight the team spirit of Yankees and Mets fans in the Hudson Valley, Web posting photos and videos of fans and selecting a top fan.

Sports localized World Cup soccer mania with a webchat with New Paltz High School boys soccer coach Stuart Robinson, the current SUNY New Paltz athletic director and former men's soccer coach.

Twitter wisdom

We asked you to send us what you thought are the best tweets from the Hudson Valley region, either yours or the ones that you like. And although we didn't get many answers - probably because you were busy tweeting - we did get some gems.
So here they are:

* Twitter user Neesh has some regional - and free - music to share, a compilation of songs from 19 Hudson Valley bands. Free stuff has never been so priceless.

FREE digital download- Neeshland Presents: Butterflies and Butcher Knives Vol. 1 (Hudson Valley, NY) -... than a minute ago via Tumblr

* Duncan Brine shares some gardening wisdom in an age of instant gratification.

The time required to garden and cook is so often resented. Too bad, that time provides some of the best times of our life.less than a minute ago via Seesmic

*Sergio Otaegui of the Marlboro-based band Thieves And Villains wants to remind you that

it boggles my mind that no matter where in the world I am, kids still come up to me on a daily basis talkin about Always Rushing By #HVtweetless than a minute ago via mobile web

* Saugerties resident Lisa Martine shares some of the wisdom from Alex Brown, a perennial Hudson Valley tweeterer.

#HVtweet @sleepjunky Coffee was the only word she could muster. - Nominated for best use of the word "muster" in a tweet :)less than a minute ago via web

New blogs!

We've added some new blogs at The Daily Freeman:

* Mountain Top Natural Pets, which is based out of Greene and Ulster counties, and where Alicia Schaefer blogs about natural dog care and feeding, dog news such as puppy mill busts, adoptable animals, local canine happenings and more.

* Hudson Valley Good Stuff, where Vanessa Geneva Ahern shows you where to eat, play, and recharge your spirit in the Hudson Valley.

The door is still open, and we've got more coming. Send me a line at for consideration

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Insensitive columnist responds to response by assembly people

I feel compelled to respond to the very well written letter by nice person and New York State Assemblyman Marc Molinaro, which was prompted by this mean column.

(It should be noted that the assemblyman's letter was written before the Legislature decided to stick it to New Yorkers and take a break for the holiday - who needs a budget, right?)

Anyway, first of all, I have to say that I forgot to not name State Sen. James Seward.

Second, to members of Kevin Cahill staff who are also members of the city of Kingston Common Council and who are named Tom Hoffay and who like to criticize columnists while they're eating lunch at Keegan Ales on Wednesdays: If you guys are working so hard, how come the budget is three months late? What would your landlord do if you were three months behind in rent? Keep you there because you're a nice guy and are working hard?

Do try that and let me know what happens.

Third, about Molinaro's well intentioned reform efforts, all I have to say is this: How's that going?

Exhibit A, via the Associated Press:

ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) — The Legislature on Thursday broke for the July 4 holiday weekend indefinitely, leaving a state budget that's three months overdue and Gov. David Paterson furiously vetoing the parts of the budget that were passed.

The Democrat-led Senate left Albany for at least several days and perhaps a week or more, declining to act on the critical revenue bill to close the state budget. Democrats also made their goodbye speeches and held a news conference to list their accomplishments of the 2010 session.

The Assembly later voted 88-56 to pass the revenue bill, the budget's final piece in that chamber, then left Thursday shortly before midnight with an unspecified return, pending a call by the speaker. The bill would raise an estimated $869 million this year and $1.77 billion next year through various tax adjustments.

"In the face of fiscal uncertainty, New Yorkers need action," admonished state Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli, a Democrat. "Stay in Albany and get the job done."

Let the blaming begin.

Also, a parting shot, again via AP, of the governor vetoing a little bit of legislation:

Horse looked in the mouth - UPDATED

Horses once again will reign over the village as part of the “Hors’n Around Saugerties 2010” exhibit.

But there's a horse you may not enjoy fully.

West Shokan writer Martha Frankel informed me on Wednesday night a fiberglass horse that contains passages from one of her books has been flagged because of two complaints.

Apparently, some of the words in the horse - like "abortion," "miscarriage," "penis" and "vagina" - are not sitting well with some residents, and the Saugerties Area Chamber of Commerce, which sponsors the event, is discussing the issue.

Frankel said that has been told that for inclusion, she has alter the submission and omit the words, which she doesn't want to do because she said the passages are written with empathy and because it would alter the artist's vision. There are now discussions about putting black tape on the horses' mouth and to mask the apparently offensive passages.

For the record, here's the pornographic horse:

Shocking, I know.

This raises important questions:

* What's a "vagina"?
* Why is Martha Frankel calling me?
* What's up with all this horsing around artists' "Hors'n Around" entries?

We'll keep you posted.

UPDATE: I have found out what a vagina is. I'll let you know about the rest later.

UPDATE 2 : Martha Frankel speaks out! (kind-of)

There were a couple of complaints, apparently, but I'm told that before the Chamber discussed the issue with Frankel she decided to take matters into her own hands - with tape.

The writer says:

I went out to Saugerties and blacked out all words that people might have found offensive. ... One sentence said, "When Mara was born I loved her so much I would put her feet in my mouth."

The artist that did the work with Frankel blacked out 'feet' and 'mouth'.

So now the "cleaned" horse reads: "When Mara was born I loved her so much I would put her --- in my ----."

Problem solved!

Also, a korrecshun, the horse has no "penis."