Dec 18, 2013

Radio Radio

Nov 7, 2013

Kyle York: This Wheel No Longer Squeaks

His story never seemed to jive; in my mind, at lease. He was supposedly a veteran of the NYC ad agency game, but he really didn't act like a creative type. So maybe he had a job in that industry where he needn't be. Then there he was living in one of those super-expensive condos downtown, yet his local employment in Saratoga included stints as a DPW laborer and a cab driver.  A man of mystery, for sure.

But gee whiz: this guy sure was an opinionated son of a gun, wasn't he? He wasn't really interested in your (or my) take on the local hot button issue of the week, but he'd gladly go on (and on and on) about his. You'd walk away from him and he'd still be talking.  For me, it would often turn into a situation where the two of us would start out on the same page (I'd think), but his need to pontificate and ramble would have me end up disagreeing with him just for the sake of disagreeing with him. Maybe it's because we were really both cut from the same cloth.

He seemed obsessive on the single matter of that dilapidated old home on Franklin Square -- a firetrap in his back yard that he felt needed to be razed, and done so today. On other topics he would veer all over the map but he was correct on some of the important ones like NXIVM, the long-running rift of the city Democratic party, media matters and the downtown last-call hours. But man oh man, was it ever so hard to indulge him when he got rolling on those (or any) subjects.

Then, yesterday we heard the news that Mr Kyle York of Saratoga Springs fell to his death from his pricey condo on Railroad Place.  The police report states that he was attending to a window when he apparently slipped and plunged four floors down, the hard way.  Maybe he was applying some Windex for a better view of that crumbling shack mentioned above? We'll never know.

But we do know that all of a sudden this city feels a little less special today, knowing that its public (and private) discourse on civic matters has just lost one of its lightning rods. This was a guy not willing to accept the Happy Face whitewash of the Spa City Cheerleading Squads in their positions of power and influence.  A squeaky wheel is gone-- and we really can't afford that kind of thing 'round here. N'uh-uh.

We're sure as hell going to miss this buffalo. Who'd a thunk?



Nov 6, 2013

How can you host a free poker tournament but have real prize money? 

It's magic, that's how!

What the heck; we might as well go play here to practice for when the town turns into Turning Stone in a few months. If ya can't beat 'em, you join 'em?  

Besides; what else you gonna do on a Sunday: sit in Sports Bar Hell with your Giants jersey on and scream at a TV while burping up cheap chicken wings? Come on, now.

At least this one supports a local business downtown.


Oct 31, 2013

Meet a Real Life Farmer!

... and catch a movie, too!

It's Riggiween!

Holy Mother of Bejeezus!

She's Back. Michelle Riggi

It's Back: Her annual Fellini-esque "Cinderella Hosts Halloween and Tosses $100 Bills to the Local Peasants" happening at her North Broadway Jersey style banquet house

They Comply: As predicted in our last post, the Saratogian bites; hook, line and sinker.

Prediction: The other local outlets will no doubt be "live and on-scene" as well.

Suggestion: Nanoburgh suggests showing up and asking: "I was told there'd be brewskis and hired women at this shindig! Now what's with the crazy lady and the 50 dogs?"

Oct 25, 2013

The Empire Strikes Back: NXIVM Attacks Loudmouth Critic

It's War: Cult Unleashes Legal Army

Dirty Little Secrets = A Touchy Issue

Blogger Shuts Down Site After Search Warrant

"I've Got Nothing to Lose" Motto Put to Test

Free Media Supporters Set to Defend Rights

Well, this one woke us up out of hibernation...

John "That Blogger' Tighe heard a knock on his door Thursday morning. Upon answering, he was handed a piece of paper.  From there, all we need to do is reprise that famous line from The Dead's classic song Truckin':

"If you got a warrant, I guess you're gonna come in."

Yes sir: say hello to the friendly folks from New York State's Bureau of Criminal Investigations and their State Police brethren.  So it goes when one is called on to pay the piper for a life of dealing dope, children, hookers or explosives; right?  Wait...what?  No, no, no: none of those forms of nastiness are part of this troubling development.

Instead, Mr Tighe has a different problem -- and one that just might be even more of a long-playing headache for him than any of those above-mentioned infractions. It's called NXIVM.

Cue the actors and let's refresh ourselves on this "you couldn't make this shit up" script:

- A Boy Wonder type, claiming to be the smartest guy in the world, starts a multi-level marketing / buyer's club firm in the Capital Region

- Said firm is shut down by consent decrees (and a hefty fine) after various AGs deem it to be an illegal pyramid scheme.

- Boy Wonder, not to be discouraged, meets up with a nurse who shares his big ideas infatuation with human potential motivation, cooks up a buffet of various West Coast psycho-fads, adds a touch of Ayn Rand superior beast pepper and (oh yes) sprinkles in that good old MLM math model to create a learning system / philosophy / curriculum  / seminar series called Executive Success Programs.  Its promise: empower individuals to unshackle the ties that bind and proceed to rule the world. Or something like that.

- From here, it gets weird --  REAL weird. Our hero adopts the moniker of Vanguard and seminar attendees are convinced to ante-up into a hush-hush, secret-secret handshake club/family (called NXIVM) lead by an all-knowing, top-down leadership structure deeply suspicious of outsiders and ever-protective of its inner workings.  But it somehow worked, as the organization built up a reputed membership roll (called Espians) of thousands.

- What followed in the years proceeding years was a slow motion wave of accusations that NXIVM was something more than its self-claimed shiny happy people fairy tale. From the initial "I just got out of this strange meeting" chit chat at Albany area business mixers to full blown exposes in international news publications, its all been put out there:  accusations of everything from NXIVM being one big sex orgy to murderers to a political plot to a freaky mind-bending cult to a child-kidnapping ring to it being the second coming of Jonestown or Waco.  Meanwhile, others observers think it's just a simple (yet creative) rip-off of wealthy, slim, brown-haired women with self-confidence issues (you'd really have to look into the back story to figure that part out).

Wherever the truth lies in that spaghetti bowl of craziness, one thing is for sure: NXIVM doesn't take criticism well. If said criticism comes from either internal off-the-bus family members (traitors) or outsiders, the response is the same: scorched earth destruction.  The court records are littered with the names of people that felt NXIVM didn't pass the smell test. Still others claim that non-court remedies are also part of the retribution, including allegations of midnight harassment, residential break-ins, vehicular assault, dumpster record-diving, phone and bank record hacks and even (get this one) a failed toss of a nationally-known cult critic over the rails of a cruise ship.  Some of these claims seem substantiated, others have yet to be. But it's all out there.  See, I told you we were in who-hoo-hooo land on this.

Enter Mr Tighe and his Decline of Saratoga (aka Saratoga Politics) blog. Following in the trailblazing footsteps of several local blogs preceding his own version (all of who also took on NXIVM), this born & bred Saratogian continued that noble fight. In fact, he took it the the Nth degree.

Despite private warnings and ample evidence that this was an opponent that would counter any attacks with a full-fledged war room mentality. Need proof? Just ask the mighty Vanguard's former paramour how this all worked out for her. Or better yet for you Saratoga folks: ask former Man About Town (and one-time NXIVM director of its dirty tricks department) Joe O'Hara where exactly he's been hiding for the past few years since he started asking 'WTF is going on around here?".  Or countless others.  A clue: it ain't pretty.

But Tighe persisted -- and that hasn't been pretty either. His reporting style is in your face and sloppy (as in: not always accurate). It's first person: you're getting his take on issues and not necessarily the take of others. While I have had my issues with him -- specifically his insistence of unleashing vitriolic and completely personal attacks on local election candidates -- I also appreciate the role he played in opposing the queendom of former Mayor Val Keehn and in his long running effort of exposing the soft white underbelly of this alternate universe called NXIVM.  My recommendation to anyone not familiar with the tale: read thru the back pages of the blog. Warning: buckle the seat belts.

So here's what we know: a warrant was executed to raid the home of Mr Tighe and two other individuals (one in Rochester, one in Schenectady), based on a 2012 complaint from (guess who) NXIVM LLC. While no arrests were made, computers were confiscated.

The guess here is that this is related to Mr Tighe's publishing the NXIVM membership (Espians) list, which took place right about that time. A good public service, in my view --  but I digress.

The questions become:

1) Are they seeking evidence that Mr Tighe's computer trails can lead them to the individual who fed him that list OR are they seeking evidence that he was the actual hacker?  We shall see.

2)  But the more problematic question is this: if Saratoga In Decline's name were The Saratogian (or Saratoga Today or Saratoga Wire or some other so-called mainstream media outlet), would the same warrant have been signed?   If not, are we witnessing the inability of a judge to realize that the media world has changed, that these new-fangled outlets such as Saratoga In Decline have arisen because of the failure of those old school titles to provide anything more to the local community than high school field hockey scores, police logs and helpful summer gardening tips? Maybe, just maybe....

Most of the cafe-hanging yahoos don't quite get this as the pressing issue here. "He deserves it, the crazy bastard" seems to be the chorus. They then bury their heads back into one of the local rags to read about how lucky they are to have a new national chain store opening up on Broadway or what Michelle Riggi is up to.

As said; we here at Nanoburgh haven't been real happy with Mr Tighe's election coverage as of late (Disclaimer: the author of this essay is part of mayoral candidate Joanne Yepsen's circle).  But  we might soon be leading the call to circle the wagons around this guy, if our Freedom of the Press limitations and fears are realized.

We'll certainly stay on top of this as more facts are brought to the open.  But yes; we are again awake.


Sep 20, 2013

Tell me how, exactly?

The right to vote is not without limits: felons can't vote.

The right to free speech is not without limits: not with  "shouting fire in a theater" and libel and copyright restrictions

The right to practice a religion is not without limits: how would a human sacrifice ritual go over, ya think?

So what self-professed and self-taught legal expert wants to tell me (again) that he or she has the consti-too-shunal right to own any type of weaponry so chosen, without limits?

Go ahead: give it to me.

Sep 19, 2013

Yea, Stuff is Happening Around Here This Weekend ... (Is that Willie Nelson in Clancy's?)

from the news wire..

Saturday: Featuring The Infamous Stringdusters
Official Farm Aid Broadcast, After-Party at Putnam Den

Saratoga Springs --- With Saturday's 2013 Farm Aid concert at SPAC having quickly sold out months ago, many regional music fans were left highly disappointed to be missing out on this significant, one-time experience.  In response, a plan was hatched to at least partially soothe these folks.

With an idea initiated by representatives of progressive jam-grass titans The Infamous Stringusters and with the help of 518 show producer Robert Millis, Farm Aid's Saturday calendar date will be extended into the wee hours of Sunday, via the Official Farm Aid After Party -- set to take place at the 400+ capacity Putnam Den nightclub in downtown Saratoga.

The Doors 10/Show 11PM event, featuring the aforementioned Stringdusters, will also double as a "thank you" to the corps of volunteers that helped make the weekend of music, education and enlightenment possible.   Admission is free for those team members; $20 for the 21+ general public.

"The word is out that Putnam Den is the master of the SPAC after-party," relayed Millis, an adviser to the Den on booking and marketing matters. "Our Phish runs of the past few years have gained a near legendary reputation in the jam band circles. So getting the ball rolling on this was easy: we had all the parties (the band, Farm Aid, the venue,  Brooklyn Brewery) on the same page in about three days."

In addition to the after-party, Farm Aid OK'd Putnam Den's showing of the "'Farm Aid Live from SPAC" webcast on its big screen, which it will do so from 5PM until the end of the marathon concert which will be taking place just a mile away.  Admission to this portion of the evening is free, with a Farm Aid donation jar in place for those so motivated to contribute to the cause.

The Infamous Stringdusters:

Fan and critical favorites The Infamous Stringdusters are considered as the premier live act amongst the current crop of newgrass (or alternative bluegrass) bands. Their shows offer a complex, distinctive, and groove-friendly sound on top of a traditional bluegrass foundation.  Comparisons range all over the musical map, from Earl Scruggs Revue to Nickel Creek to Old And In The Way to Leftover Salmon to too-common "if Phish played bluegrass" quotes.

The band emerged in 2007 with the acclaimed album Fork in the Road on Sugar Hill Records.  Within months. it won three awards at the International Bluegrass Music Association Awards Ceremony: Emerging Artist of the Year, Album of the Year, and Song of the Year. They have since been nominated for 2011 Entertainer of the Year by the International Bluegrass Music Association as well as a 2011 Grammy for Best Country Instrumental.

Attendees can look forward to what the band calls "a performance, not a show." The Infamous Stringdusters are on top of the grassy-side of today's Americana genre; having them on-board as the closing act for the extended Farm Aid weekend is a special treat.

Farm Aid Live from SPAC
(Big Screen Showing)
Saturday, Sept 21
5PM - End of Show (approx 10PM)
Free / All Ages

The Official Farm Aid After-Party
Saturday, Sept 21
Doors 10 / Show 11
Featuring The Infamous Stringdusters
Sponsored by Brooklyn Brewery
$20 / 21+

Both Events At:
The Putnam Den
63 A Putnam St
Saratoga Springs, NY 12866

Jul 15, 2013

NYRA swings (and misses) again


Del Mar's summer concert series lineup includes:
The B-52's
Steel Pulse
Sammy Hagar

Meanwhile, NYRA's attempt to copy their West Coast competitor's successful initiative of bringing new blood (and the right kind of new blood) to the sport consists of a single concert by...
(some sort of tween-pop Disney personality)

Keep up the good work, NYRA!


Jul 13, 2013

150th? Shoot: I've got the 100th!

From the family archives. The Saratoga Race Track (or more correctly: race course) Centennial Parade of 1963. Enjoy...


A Reader offered up this link, which is another snippet form the same parade.


Jun 9, 2013

Cops, bars and cop bars

Another night, another fight in Dango's involving the Spa City's finest.

I don't know the specifics of this altercation --  all I need to know is that a) it's not the first involving the Boys in Blue; and;  b) it's not the first that occurred in this particular bro-bar/meathead-hangout on the site of the former Madam Jumel's on Caroline Street.

What's weird is how police officers tend to spend ALL their time together -- whether it's on the job or off. You always hear of "cop bars" where they hang as a unit. They drink together, go to the gym together, vacation together, marry each others' sisters and there are even whole towns (many in gun-friendly Idaho) that are retirement enclaves for thousands of them at a time.

I would bet that psychiatrist could have a field day exploring all this.


May 28, 2013

Innovation: Interrupted

College debt : is it a problem on the economic horizon?

Here is an essay that thinks not.

But the thinking here is that the framing of this argument as it being a form of debt does not meeting the traditional qualifier of an overvalued asset is missing the bigger point: that a huge financial debt load on a young person entering the work force stifles innovation --  and thereby stifles economic growth.

How? This person is far less likely to take the risk of starting a new enterprise when a fat monthly check needs to be mailed to the bank. Instead, it's a more logical path to go "work for the man", get that steady income flow and save the aggravation.

Not good; especially when considering that this is the demographic of people most likely to do so in the past.

May 26, 2013

Whoops! So it IS Affordable After All?

At least a certain contributor to a certain magazine is published as thinking so ( see link below) ...
Running the $'s can be mind-numbing, so I don't know the validity of this author's argument of "guess what? It IS affordable after all!"

But you an take this to the bank: the premiums in the red states WILL be relatively higher than what has been see in the first 3 states to publish. So don't be surprised. The con's will rig it that way to inflame their soldiers.
"Unexpected Health Insurance Rate Shock-California Obamacare Insurance Exchange Announces Premium Rates"

May 21, 2013

IRS vs Tea Party

So the IRS supposedly targeted Tea Party groups for extra scrutiny, hmmm?  Two points:

1. If an organization has as one of its founding planks its desire to "stop paying taxes", isn't this kind of a tip-off? Not to mention; a good place to start looking?

2. Then again, it could be viewed as the ultimate example of government waste.  After all, how many Teabaggers have you met making enough money that would make them taxable?

Jan 22, 2013

So Ya Wanna Get on the Guest List?

The POV of a Rock & Roll Show Promoter:

My floating you a Guest Pass to tonight's show should be considered a longshot, unless you qualify under at least one of the following tests:

1. You are my Current Employee

2. Your are my Current Business Partner

3. You are my Direct Family Member (as in REAL direct)

4. You are someone with whom I Slept With within the past X amount of time (with X being subject to my discretion) and with whom I am still on good terms (see above about the 'my discretion' part)

5. You are someone with Whom I Am About to Sleep With, and of which this courtesy will move you into the Item #4 camp

If you meet one of those 5 qualifiers, you are then subject to passing BOTH of these remaining tests:

1. You must have actually Spoken to Me within the past two (2) weeks on a totally unrelated matter.

2. You are Dead Broke and would not be able to attend this show otherwise.

If you are still eligible after this exercise, feel free to leave a message on my Voice Mail.

Just call me at the brand new number I just got today!!!!.

(Courtesy Of: Jim Barnett.. thx JB)

Jan 14, 2013

WTF Dave?

It doesn't matter where you stand on the 'gun' issue, but I think this question should be in play for all observers:

- What exactly does Albany County DA David Soares have to do with the gun show at the Saratoga Springs City Center?  You'd think it was McArthur setting foot on the Phillipines.

Did I miss a memo about the city seceding-to or being annexed-by Albany? Maybe I'd better get back on the AM coffee wagon.

Jan 13, 2013

The Junk Era

We live in what future historians might call the Junk Era. Junk food. Junk Media. Junk housing. Junk goods. Junk news. Junk music. Junk religion. Junk TV. All of it with a goal of appealing to the lowest desires of the largest swath of consumers.

This plague has entered the intellectual arena. We now have Junk Science, junk logic, junk reason and junk politics. On the latter, this results in a system whereby the issues of the day are reduced to slogans, taglines, phony data being published as truth and policy arguments supported by leaps of faith in reasoning.

The current rage on gun control provides easy examples. Take the following beauty, making the rounds as a means of rallying the pro-gun minions:

The problem here, of course, is that this  'A Compared to B' is invalid --  if the concern is validity in the research methodology.  Assuming for the sake of argument here that that quoted fig on death-by-hammer is accurate, the process of then comparing it to a SINGLE MODEL of firearm (the AK-47, in this instance) defies logic and avoids the basic challenge of the topic; i.e., what is the relative occurrence of deaths by guns (or its subset of assault rifles)?

The valid comparison, naturally would be to compare it to a single model of hammers, like the Stanley Model 47 Claw Hammer. But, that wouldn't support the case, would it?

So, where we should be able to engage an easy solution as a means of reducing a  readily defined problem, we get junk as the supporting arguments. Yes: it is thrown at us from all sides of the issue at hand.

No wonder we can't get anything accomplished.  

Jan 8, 2013

Rock vs DJs

A good Facebook post I just caught, from a female friend of mine who is involved in a humorous online debate over the relative creativity quotient of club DJ's.  Humorous to us here at the 'burgh, at least.

"What you find personally "fulfilling" is not our concern and not really the topic here, is it? It's all art. Just like me doing my white girl dance to a jukebox is art or tapping my fingers to this song I hear right now is art or my horrible karaoke is art. It's all artistic interpretation and to a lesser extent artistic creativity. I am just saying that your "design my own beats" thing'y is a little closer to my karaoke and finger tapping on the creativity scale than it is to somebody actually singing their own songs and playing their own instruments on a stage."

Touche, girl ...