Hudson Valley News & Politics; Mid-Hudson Valley News & Local Politics

News & Politics

Chronogram publishes sections covering local, national, and environmental news, including columns from Larry Beinhart, Brian Mahoney, and Jason Stern. From the Hudson Valley and beyond, check out our take on news and politics.

 

The Sixth of November

Body Politic October 2018
Larry Beinhart sends a rhyming note reminding everyone to exercise their democratic franchise on Election Day.

Tags: General News & Politics

Editor's Note: Eventually Quarter-Century

Chronogram turns 25 in November
Join us for Chronogram Conversations on November 1 and our 25th birthday party on November 10.

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6 News Headlines You May Have Missed from September 2018

The rise of STDs, climbing retail vacancies in Manhattan, olive oil as a cure for erectile dysfunction, and other juicy tidbits.

Tags: General News & Politics

How Competitive is NY18 Without Sean Maloney?

The popular Hudson Valley congressman is running for state attorney general. With polls showing him running strong, it's worth asking what happens to his congressional race.
The Hudson Valley is in the electoral spotlight this season. New York’s 19th Congressional District is at the epicenter of an effort by national Democrats to retake the House of Representatives, the Republican nominee for Governor is Dutchess County Executive Marc Molinaro, and two Hudson Valley residents are running for State Attorney General. One of those residents is facing tough questions from constituents and voters over what he’s giving up to run for higher office. That is Congressman Sean Patrick Maloney, who represents New York’s 18th district, which covers Orange County and areas between northern Westchester and Poughkeepsie. (Full disclosure: I worked for Maloney several years ago.) Then there’s Zephyr Teachout, a Fordham law professor turned politician who challenged Andrew Cuomo in the 2014 Democratic gubernatorial primary before moving to the Hudson Valley to run for Congress in 2016. She lost both races. Also running are New York City Public Advocate Letitia James and Verizon Vice President and former Hillary Clinton staffer Leecia Eve. They are all vying to replace disgraced former Attorney General Eric Schneiderman, who stepped down in haste after the New Yorker reported that he had sexually abused several women. Acting Attorney General Barbara Underwood eschewed calls to run for a full term. The primary is crucial; given the ideological makeup of New York, whoever wins the Democratic primary is expected to coast to the office. The Chance Early polls showed James leading, thanks to massive institutional support from Governor Cuomo, the state Democratic party, and many other prominent New York politicians, unions, and political clubs. Maloney, who lacks any institutional support in New York State politics but wields a $3 million war chest from his congressional campaigns–which, through much controversy, he was able to channel towards his attorney general run–was in second. He narrowly led Teachout who is backed by fellow progressives Cynthia Nixon and Andrea Ocasio-Cortez, the New York Times and grassroots organizations like Indivisible. Leecia Eve was trailing by a large margin. As a white male with a moderate voting record in Congress, Maloney was considered an unlikely choice to replace Schneiderman in the midst of the #MeToo movement and a surge of progressive energy. (Though, it should be noted, he would be the first openly gay male state attorney general in US History). However, he is now leading the pack narrowly in the latest Siena poll. This could perhaps be chalked up to the fact that James, Teachout, and Eve are all drawing from roughly similar pools of voters–young, diverse and progressive–whereas Maloney has a very different appeal that attracts a more well-to-do, suburban base. Another factor has been Maloney’s ability to blanket the airwaves, thanks to his massive campaign coffers. With over 40% of voters undecided in the early polls, that has probably made a huge difference. With 30% still undecided in the latest poll, it may just tip the election in Maloney’s favor. The District But one big question swirling around Maloney’s attorney general candidacy is “what happens to his congressional seat if he wins?” Many voters have expressed uneasiness about the idea of nominating Maloney for fear that the district–which voted for Donald Trump in 2016–would fall into Republican hands. The issue has not been isolated in the Hudson Valley either; voters at one of Maloney’s town halls in the Upper West Side expressed an equal concern about the vulnerability of his seat and the balance of power in Congress. Maloney has said he "has a plan" for the seat, but has declined to elaborate further. It’s fair to say that this issue will be a crucial one for primary voters, and is therefore worth taking a look at. Although Maloney won a third term by a formidable 11-point margin in 2016, dispatching an underfunded and obscure Republican candidate, Trump also narrowly won his district. The 18th district contains Orange County, which is a swing county, portions of Southern Dutchess and Northern Westchester, which lean Democrat, and all of Putnam County, which leans very Republican. This all evens out to make it very competitive. But despite the electoral evenness of the district, Maloney has had it locked up ever since he narrowly defeated former Rep. Nan Hayworth in their 2014 rematch, after initially defeating her reelection bid in 2012. In the former, he was outspent by Hayworth, but he has since consistently led his opponents in funding by seven figures. He was, and still is, widely expected to coast to reelection this year if he were to remain on the ticket. The Replacements If Maloney wins the Democratic nomination for attorney general, and subsequently stands down from his seat, that shakes the congressional race up a lot. This is due in no small part to none of his potential replacements on the ticket looming nearly as large in the district as he does. [page] One name that has been floated is actor Richard Gere, who would probably bring Maloney’s name recognition—and then some—and some semblance of his fundraising potential. However, considering the performances of celebrity candidates like Diane Neal and Cynthia Nixon this cycle, the local Democratic parties may be wary of going down that road. He's also a 69 year old white man which, in this political climate, is hardly an asset for a Democrat. His publicist has also said that rumors that he is interested in a run are "not true." Other possible contenders are Orange County Legislator Jeff Berkman, veteran Patrick Davis, and Assemblyman James Skoufis, though he is running for State Senate and has said he will not stand down from that bid. One name that hasn’t been mentioned much is Wappingers Falls Mayor Matt Alexander who, like Maloney, is a gay man with a moderate streak, having been cross nominated on the Republican ticket several times in more than a decade in office. He previously ran for the seat in 2012, losing to Maloney. His background would bring the most continuity. (Full disclosure: I also worked for Alexander.) However, with all their relative strengths, none of these folks have nearly as good a chance of winning as Maloney. While Maloney’s incumbency advantage shouldn’t be more than “the standard 2%,” according to election analyst Noah Rudnick, an election analyst for OH Predictive Insights, he does have a few individual electoral boosters. He is very charismatic, and is enormously popular in the district thanks to a combination of robust constituent services, bringing pork barrel spending to the district, and an adeptness at political theater. That’s in addition to his fundraising, which is robust even for an incumbent. All those things considered, Maloney probably has a larger built-in advantage than a standard incumbent. The Opponent The Republican nominee is James O’Donnell, who lacks both funds and name recognition relative to Maloney. Maloney dismisses him as a “nobody,” however, O’Donnell does have some creds that boost his candidacy. In addition to being a Lieutenant Colonel in the New York State Police, he served as an Orange County Legislator. In this cycle, a candidate with both law and order and elected experience is nothing to scoff at. By contrast, Maloney’s opponent in 2016, Phil Oliva, was an unelected advisor for the Westchester County Executive. He had nowhere near the resume of O’Donnell. Moreover, O’Donnell has already raised $30,000 more at this point than Oliva raised in the entire campaign. We can also expect that, if Maloney steps aside, outside groups such as the NRCC and the Congressional Leadership Fund will give a newly competitive O’Donnell a cash infusion. This is a win the Republicans desperately need. The Trumpiness factor The 18th is an Obama-Trump district, having swung from voting for Obama by about 4 points in 2012 to voting for Trump by 2 points in 2016. There’s no reason to believe that trend has slowed, let alone reversed. Polls of several districts in upstate New York have shown that, despite a roughly 9 point Democratic advantage on the generic congressional ballot—coined the “blue wave“—Republicans are still strong in this particular region, which contains many of the rural and blue-collar voters that Trump strongly appealed to. A poll by Siena Research—a reputable Albany-based polling firm—showed that John Faso, a particularly weak Republican incumbent from New York’s 19th district, is up 5 points over his Democratic challenger, Antonio Delgado. The 19th district, just north of the 18th, would be expected to vote about 5 points Republican in an even year. Considering that this is a heavily Democratic year, and Faso is a particularly embattled incumbent, it’s reasonable to think that areas like the Hudson Valley are at least somewhat immune to the blue wave. Polls in the 25th and 22nd districts, both in upstate New York, showed similar Republican strength relative to the national environment There’s also the coattails factor. Dutchess County Executive Marc Molinaro is the Republican nominee for governor. Cuomo’s unpopularity in upstate New York, and Molinaro’s cross-partisan popularity in the Hudson Valley, may just serve to benefit down-ballot Republicans in the Hudson Valley like Faso and O’Donnell. That said, an Obama-Trump district like NY18 might easily go for O’Donnell by a slim margin if Maloney is out. Rudnick notes that “it tilts blue of the nation,” in terms of recent down-ballot races, but concedes that “it's all about the Benjamins.” Essentially, Maloney’s money has been key to keeping the district in Democratic hands. Without that cash, it’s anyone’s game. The Rating [page] Most analysts and scholars are hesitant to consider this district any more competitive than leaning Democratic, even without Maloney. “The Democrats still would be favored if Maloney won the AG nomination,” says Richard Born, a professor of political science at Vassar College, who notes that while “a GOP upset would be possible,” he would “classify a Maloney-less race as lean Democratic.” However, much of that hinges on the assumption that O’Donnell is a weak candidate with few funds, and that the Democrats could field a strong replacement for Maloney. But that’s far from certain. In fact, there is evidence to suggest that the opposite could very well be the case. If local Democrats can field a strong contender like Gere or Skoufis or even Alexander, they are probably favored to keep the seat. But they could easily end up fielding their own Oliva or O’Donnell. For those reasons, a win for Maloney tomorrow likely makes NY18 a tossup. ...

Tags: National

Jen Metzger for NYS Senate

Vote for Metzger on 9/13 to Support Cleaner Energy, Universal Healthcare, and Reproductive Rights
Rosendale resident Jen Metzger is a Democratic candidate seeking election in the State Senate’s 42nd District to replace R. John Bonacic, who retired earlier this year. Metzger, a Rosendale Town Councilwoman and mother of three, has built her campaign around fairness in utility rates and an affordable, locally based clean-energy economy.

Tags: General News & Politics

Picking Winners and Losers

Body Politic September 2018
Larry Beinhart talks global trade in September Body Politic.

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Editor's Note: Clancy the Cane Corso

For Thanksgiving that year, the family had decided to hold the event at my mother's house (the ancestral Mahoney estate), even though it was Dad's turn to host. Mom, who was in Florida, gave her blessing, so off we went. Our little domestic unit—Lee Anne, Shazam, and I—drove down to Queens early. Lee Anne and I spent the day preparing dinner with family while Shazam got acquainted with Mom's new dog, Clancy. Lee Anne, always wiser than me, suggested we keep close watch on the dogs, as Shazam had never met a canine he didn't want to make a beta, regardless of its size. (Shazam had also put a number of notches in his collar for his ruthless takedowns of small mammals; and frankly, some were not that small.) Everything was going fineish—Shazam was putting up with Clancy's aggressive puppy bonhomie, which involved following him around the house and licking his face and inciting Shazam to chase him—until it wasn't going fine at all. After a couple hours of harassment, Shazam wheeled around and snapped at Clancy. (In Shazam's defense, I believe it was in warning. Others are not so sure. History will be the judge.) Clancy, sensibly trying to avoid a nip on the nose, whipped his head to the side, sending his ear across Shazam's angle of attack, a hairy black crêpe sailing Frisbee-like between Shazam's jaws. Coincidentally, I had recently begun training Shazam to chase and catch Frisbees, though I don't believe the outcome would have been different if the dog had never seen a flying crêpe-like object before. A few words on Clancy before I get to the, er, meat of the tale. My mother adopted Clancy a few months after her previous dog, Hershey, a chocolate Lab, had died. She trotted out to North Shore Animal League and picked up a puppy that looked like a Lab mix, albeit with XL paws and a slightly squared-off head—perhaps a little Boxer or Pit thrown in there. When Mom went to the pet supply store for a crate, the owner looked at the dog, laughed, and said, "The paws lead me to believe he's a Great Dane. You're gonna need the biggest crate I got." Thus began the saga of Clancy, the-ever-expanding puppy. By the time Thanksgiving rolled around, Clancy was 90 pounds of affectionate rambunctiousness, ready to lick the epidermis right off any exposed skin—or hump you, if you were my brother Conor. Back to the story: The hairy black crêpe landed in Shazam's mouth, Clancy's ear was punctured, and all hell broke loose. I jumped in to restrain Shazam and Clancy galumphed off, jumping on all the furniture in the living room, three siblings chasing him, pumping blood like a water main burst in his ear and shooting it on the white-painted walls—the effect looking as if the house was being styled for a Target commercial. Once the dog was "under control," we tried to stop the bleeding. We left this to our cousin Sean, who had studied organic chemistry in college, which we all agreed conferred something akin to medical authority on him. But the bleeding just wouldn't stop, and we ended up taking Clancy to the emergency vet, who stitched up the ear but made no promises that his work would hold, as ears are notoriously hard to sew. We went back to the house, me $800 poorer, Clancy locked in the cone of shame. As my mother wasn't due back for another three days, I was tasked with watching Clancy over the holiday weekend. Our little domestic unit drove back Upstate with one additional passenger, Shazam in the back seat beside a massive dog with the bulging eyes of a mad king in a ruffed Elizabthen plastic collar. I promptly came down with a high fever and spent the weekend laying on the couch as the dogs chased each other around the ground floor of my house, Clancy scraping the paint of the walls as he ran by. As soon as Mom was wheels down at JFK, I threw Clancy in the car and drove to Queens in a feverish blur. Fast forward four-and-a-half years, May 2018. My mother has just died. My siblings and I are trying to figure out what to do with Clancy. None of them have dogs, nor want a dog. I'd love to take home this adorable palooka, but Lee Anne is against it, given the history of the Thanksgiving Day Massacre. Both Lee Anne and I can envision a scenario in which we go out one day, leaving the dogs home alone, and return to find the furniture in splinters and Clancy's body bent and broken while Shazam calmly sits in a corner, every inch the stone-cold killer, giving us a look that says: I told you not to bring that dog into this house. But as there seem to be no other options available, I convince Lee Anne that we should "foster" the dog while we try and find Clancy a new home. Lee Anne makes me promise to post an appeal on Facebook. I do that, cute photo and all. I get a number of responses from people asking me what breed Clancy is. I write that he's a Lab mix and get a flurry of responses, with links to photos, offering evidence that Clancy is in fact a Cane Corso—an Italian mastiff. And knowing what an Italian mastiff looks like (thanks to the photos), it's hard to deny it. I also get a few people who are serious about meeting Clancy. I put them off for a week while I let Clancy work his magic on Lee Anne, who succumbs to his slobbery charms soon enough. As for Shazam, well, let's just say he tolerates Clancy and lets him know when he's had enough. (Use your barks, Shazam.) Clancy now has a forever home. Here's another thing I found out recently about Clancy the Cane Corso—Shazam likes to ride in the back, like he's being chauffeured, but Clancy prefers to ride shotgun. Dog is my copilot. ...

Tags: Editor's Note

Letter to the Editor | September 2018

No More Wire Hangers To the Editor: This letter is in response to Richard Murphy's letter in the August issue. Fact: By the age of 45, nearly one in four women will have had at least one abortion. I am one of those women. I became pregnant twice using birth control that failed. I was a married woman both times and had no children. Decades later, I am extremely grateful I was able to go to an excellent clinic with my husband and have a safe, legal abortion after two weeks of pregnancy. My 34-year-old son was planned; my life has been blessed. I am also grateful to Planned Parenthood, not just for the three percent of their necessary work involving abortions, but to the other 97 percent: providing inexpensive health screenings and birth control for both women—and men. This fine organization helped thousands of us through our college years. Had I been born earlier, I would have not had a right to my own life or the ability to control my body. Some members of new generations seem to have no idea what "The Days of Wire Hangers" were like. Richard Murphy will never become pregnant nor lose control of his life due to his biology. He doesn't believe in abortion? Perhaps his wife, his sisters, and his women friends will obey his dictate, if faced with an unplanned pregnancy. Thankfully, they have the freedom to decide. Richard Murphy's beliefs will never impact those of us who believe in choice—but only if we speak out about our abortions and stay vigilant regarding our constitutionally protected right. Choice is no longer guaranteed in the American future. We may return to a shameful era when women died at the hands of back room abortionists. Let us not be complacent. Joanne Michaels, Woodstock Michaels is the author of 10 books and publisher of Back Rooms: Voices from the Illegal Abortion Era by Ellen Messer. ...

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8 News Headlines You May Have Missed From August 2018

Tortilla fires in Texas, Steven Seagal named US envoy by Russia, Cuomo’s Excelsior Scholarship not all its cracked up to be, Resorts World Catskill casino posts $58 million loss, and other juicy tidbits.

Tags: General News & Politics

Luminary Media Condemns SuperPAC Attack Ad

Chronogram is quoted out of context in an attack video advertisement against NY-19 Congressional candidate Antonio Delgado.

Tags: General News & Politics

On The Ropes, Republicans Attack

Negative campaign ads and tactics permeate House races across upstate New York. Here’s a look at three races where biting attacks are the norm.
Negative campaign ads and tactics permeate House races across upstate New York. Here’s a look at three contests where biting attacks are the norm.

Tags: National

Editor's Note: Awesome Words

Editor Brian Mahoney dishes out the latest from Chronogram and Luminary Media.

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8 Strange News Headlines from July 2018

We've rounded up some of the weirdest news stories that you may have missed last month.

Tags: General News & Politics

Letters to the Editor | August 2018

Eerie Silence on Abortion To the Editor: So as not to leave an important organ of opinion mired in false impressions concerning the banality of evil, a few additions to Larry Beinhart's list might be in order. Puzzling about how "ordinary folks" carry out "cruel, bizarre and non-productive attacks on children" and how "normal human beings became the camp guards at Auschwitz," he calls out Trump "and his pleasure in hurting those who can't fight back." But shouldn't Planned Parenthood employees who pierce the craniums or otherwise dispose of another group that can't fight back be added to the list? If we can angrily and rightly condemn "guys with guns who can put unarmed children in cages" what do we say about those with knives who put unborn children to death? Bullying just doesn't seem strong enough! That brings up another puzzlement. It is easy to understand why President Trump doesn't want to take credit for his cruel immigration policy. The separation of children from parents is never justified save for the most severe circumstances. What many people, 53 percent according to the March 11 Gallup Poll, find very hard to understand are those like former President Obama who happily take credit for and support a cruel abortion policy that includes partial-birth abortion, sex-selection abortion, traditionally tough on females, and denial of mandatory first aid for victims of botched abortions. Again, bullying just doesn't seem strong enough. And there is another puzzlement. This observation may be off target, but why does it seem that those loudly and rightly weeping over the fate of the children of deportees are so eerily silent when it comes to the fate of American abortees, almost a million a year on average, some dispatched very painfully?  Richard Murphy, Beacon Larry Beinhart responds to Richard Murphy in his column this month, on page 27. Larry the Jackass In response to Larry Beinhart's column in the June issue, we received the page below in the mail, artfully critiqued in Magic Marker. The envelope had an Albany postmark and the return address read "Mike Leadd, Hudson Vally" [sic]. ...

Tags: Letters to the Editor

Destruction Donnie

Body Politic August 2018
Beinhart's White House update

Tags: General News & Politics

NY19 Rap Narratives Painfully Free of Substance

Taking a look at four issues more important to Hudson Valley voters than Antonio Delgado's hip hop lyrics.
Taking a look at four issues more important to Hudson Valley voters than Antonio Delgado's hip hop lyrics.

Tags: National

Five Takeaways from the NY19 Democratic Primary

Analyzing the results of last Tuesday's primary and what they mean for national political trends.
Analyzing the results of last Tuesday's primary and what they mean for national political trends.

Tags: National

Otto Adolf Eichmann and the US

Beinhart addresses US immigration policy
Larry Beinhart employs Adolf Eichmann as a lens for understanding the banality of evil.

Tags: General News & Politics

Make Choices, Have Reasons

Editor Brian Mahoney explains where Chronogram's horoscopes have gone.

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Letters to the Editor | July 2018

Accusations (Not Convictions) To the Editor: Yesterday I picked up a copy of Chronogram and found Eric Francis' Planet Waves article and horoscope missing from your monthly magazine. I understand he will no longer be contributing in the future due to accusations (not convictions) brought against him. One more male, a public figure brought low by #MeToo, a movement, which from my perspective as a female, is worrying and dangerous, relying as it does on allegations, much as the Inquisition and the McCarthy eras relied on false and invented lies to fuel their causes. What these women charge, scanty in detail, is the empowering moment in their lives when past trauma, not from the incident they conjure up at this moment, but from some other time, perhaps as far back as childhood, when they had no power to stand up against their predator is unfortunately, misdirected. They have spent a lifetime in fear and anger, which now unleashed by a movement they can identify with, creates a venom so powerful, it gets injected into all males that have a public face as we are witnessing. This empowerment will eventually be revealed for what it is, but sadly the human cost will remain high, that individual may not only lose their career, but family and friends as well, and each of us will be narrowed and twisted by the revelation that we are held up to scrutiny for every moment and misstep of our lives.  I do believe that most women today, that have lived enough years to be out in the world, living, working, pursuing dreams, have had questionable interactions and experienced risk. It is part of life, how we learn and grow. A date, a blind date, a chance of promotion, the cynical pursuit of opportunity, a moment embarrassing in retrospect, a moment all too human, something we would rather not have had happen, who knows. We made that choice.  With this #MeToo movement, I fear, will be a backlash, a whiplash on the very women it professes to serve, those women without a voice, the poor, the uneducated, those who need that job, those that settle because they believe it is their fate and what is expected of them. These women are going to be the most hurt by this frenzy of feeding on the entrails of men. The women who come forward with their confessions, looking to have their past cleansed pure, may live to regret their involvement. #MeToo should involve both sexes, not just a women's only club, as the church has proven throughout history, they shelter a proclivity for young virgin males, who have to deal with the dark secrets of a shameful past which drives a great many of them to suicide later. We live at a time when a president can boast of his "grabbing genitals" and treating his wife badly in front of the camera, when his actions so obviously display disdain for the very people he is there to serve; his disregard for women leaves many of us feeling helpless, as if there is no ear for our concerns, no place to vent our rage, so the reaction becomes to point the finger at a more local and public figure, particularly one such as Eric Francis, whose articles speak of life, sex, astrology, and politics.   With this said, when all is considered, Chronogram might find their decision to sever their relationship with Eric Francis, an unfortunate one as they stepped first to the convictions without the proof, and the magazine may be the less valued for it. —S. Lillian Horst Brian K. Mahoney discusses Chronogram's recent separation from astrologer Eric Francis Coppolino in his Editor's Note on page 21. Not So Fascinating After All To the Editor: I've just read the article "A Fascination with Fascism" in the 5/18 Chronogram issue. I want to let you know my outrage about it. Leni Riefenstahl was more than instrumental to the Nazi arousal. We all know how the Nazis moved the masses through extremely well-crafted propaganda. She was a key part of it.  To say that her involvement with Hitler "complicates her legacy" is of such a banality/evil drive similar to the Nazi's one. I understand that you may be following the nowadays feminist trend of re-discovering female artists, but this particular action crossed the line. Or the other trend of hiring interns with lack of knowledge for a minimum pay. —Alejandro Dron ...

Tags: Letters to the Editor

9 Strange News Headlines from June 2018

Here's some weird news stories you may have missed last month.

Tags: General News & Politics

Antonio Delgado clinches Democratic nomination, makes history in NY19

The lawyer from Rhinebeck won with a plurality of the Democratic primary vote, making him the first Hispanic major party nominee for Congress in the region.
The lawyer from Rhinebeck won with a plurality of the Democratic primary vote, making him the first Hispanic major party nominee for Congress in the region.

Tags: National

Exclusive: NY19 poll shows Collier, Ryan, Flynn competitive, Delgado leading

An internal poll by the Erin Collier campaign shows encouraging data for her candidacy. We break down the findings and methodology, and determine how predictive this poll really is for NY19.
An internal poll by the Erin Collier campaign shows encouraging data for her candidacy. We break down the findings and methodology, and determine how predictive this poll really is for NY19.

Tags: National

Tallying NY19: Seven candidates, 8,000 miles, and the Myth of Two Americas

The seven Democratic hopefuls in NY19 are nearing the home stretch. The eventual nominee will face a challenging but crucial contest, and will have to employ a shrewd electoral strategy in order to prevail.
The seven Democratic hopefuls in NY19 are nearing the home stretch. The eventual nominee will face a challenging but crucial contest, and will have to employ a shrewd electoral strategy in order to prevail.

Tags: National

NY19, Super PACs and One Very Confused Reporter

A super PAC supporting NY19 candidate Pat Ryan has been accused of "negative" campaigning. When subjected to greater scrutiny, however, these claims fail to hold up.
A super PAC supporting NY19 candidate Pat Ryan has been accused of "negative" campaigning. When subjected to greater scrutiny, however, these claims fail to hold up.

Tags: National

Ode to Summer

Larry Beinhart ponders life and politics
Beinhart jumps easily between the political and the domestic in this playful poem.

Tags: General News & Politics

Editor's Note: Alice

I want to tell you some things about my mother, Alice. And considering that she died on April 30, I can now pretty much say whatever I please about her. Alice Maslin Junkin was born on January 31, 1946, to George and Alice Junkin, whom everyone knew as Nancy. Alice was the second child of George and Nancy, her brother Bill having been born two years earlier. As a small child, Alice lived like a fairy tale princess in a stone castle near Little Neck Bay in Bayside, Queens. (No lie—the house was a proper stone fortress with tapestries and parapets and crenellated towers.) Alice's father died when she was six, and shortly thereafter the family moved into more modest quarters a mile away—what is commonly referred to in the family as the ancestral estate. This was the house where Alice would live the majority of her life—she raised her children there, she threw hundreds of parties there, she gardened there, she bronzed on the deck by the pool there, and as was her wish, she died there, surrounded by her children. Alice attended Sacred Heart grammar school, and she went to high school on the Upper East Side of Manhattan at the Convent of the Sacred Heart, a school better known for its alumna Stefani Joanne Angelina Germanotta, AKA Lady Gaga. Alice studied at Nazareth College in Rochester, NY, where she would meet her future husband, Kevin Mahoney. Upon graduation, the couple moved to New York City and were married in the fall of 1969. Alice went to work at the Karralla Agency, a public relations and marketing firm, where she served in various roles for 20 years. After leaving the Karalla Agency, Alice worked as an administrator at Queensboro Community College for nearly a decade before joining the staff of Ben Gurion University at Columbia University in 1999, where she worked as an administrator until her retirement a few years ago. As an admissions officer and a founding staff member at Ben Gurion, she helped hundreds of would-be doctors find placements in medical schools. Her co-workers described her as "unflappable" and "impossible to stress out." This is no surprise, as there's precious little that can unsettle a mother of four—especially if you know my siblings and me. While all this work was going on, Alice was also raising a family. On November 5, 1970, Alice gave birth to beautiful baby boy, named Brian. Although there is some dispute about this, it is rumored that he was her favorite. Alice gave birth to three more children—two more boys, Conor and Paddy—and then finally, a daughter, Alicia. A year and a half ago, Alicia and her husband Ryan gave Alice the most exquisite gift: a granddaughter, Adeline. Those are some of the facts of my mother's life. They tell you where she was and what she did. But they barely scratch the surface of a life so richly lived. Let me share some important details. Alice took in strays—both canine and human, but mostly human. A lot of people who were not direct family members lived in our house over the years. Nieces, nephews, the children of friends, her children's friends; once, an entire family who needed shelter. As someone who can barely tolerate an overnight guest in my house, my mother's generosity of spirit floors me. Mom never talked about her motives, or preached about Christian charity. She took people in because she saw she could help. And if she could help, she would pitch in as much as possible. That was just her way. Alice was a New Yawker. If given the choice, my mother would rather take the subway than pump gas. She enjoyed traveling—she was planning a trip to Malta at the time of her death—but there was really no need for Mom to leave the city—as her children who moved out of the city came to realize. These were a few of mom's favorite things: Bagels and shmear, and the Sunday Times crossword, Broadway plays (and reserving the right to chide her children when they bought cheap seats), cigarettes, and white wine. Alice was funny. A few years ago, I took my mother to see a revival of Stephen Sondheim's musical "Company" on Broadway. Right before the curtain, I got up to powder my nose. While I was gone, a woman sitting next to mom (she turned out to be a tourist from Kansas) said how wonderful it was for a woman to be out on the town with her gay son. (For the record, I identify as heterosexual, despite my love of the musical theater.) When I sat back down, mom whispered in my ear, "She thinks you're gay—play along," and smiled mischievously. And then mom proceeded to pat my knee and proclaim loudly "I'm so proud of my gay son" over and over until the woman's face reddened and she hid in her coat until the play began. "I'm so proud of my gay son." Alice contained multitudes. Mom was many things to many people: a devoted friend, a shoulder to cry on, a valued coworker, a wise counselor, a trusted confidante, and a sheltering sky for her children. And as successful as mom was in her professional life, I've no doubt that she believed her greatest achievement was her children. Alicia the educator. Paddy the engineer. Conor the builder. And me, the writer, who learned his early word tricks at the feet of the master, his first and best editor. We are her legacy. Last summer, my siblings and I rented a house on Cape Cod—a gift for Mom. None of us had been back in almost 30 years, since we'd vacationed there as a family in the 1980s. Mom insisted we return to where we used to go, in Brewster, on the bay side of the Cape, where the tide goes out over a mile. It's called the Brewster Flats. It's the widest expanse of tidal flats in the Northern Hemisphere. When the tide's out, it looks like you can walk 18 miles straight across the bay to Provincetown. The week we spent was idyllic—the weather was great, we ate our weight in lobster rolls, we drank beer on the beach, and played cards on the deck. One afternoon, mom and I were sitting on the deck, watching the tide go out and Alicia and her husband Ryan and baby Adeline walk across the sand, way out on the Flats. The conversation veered this way and that, and mom landed on a memory of her mother, Nancy, who had been dead for three decades and whom she rarely spoke of. I asked if she thought of Nancy often. "There's not a day that goes by that I don't think of her," she said, very matter-of-factly. I didn't understand what she meant at the time, but I'm beginning to now. ...

Tags: Editor's Note

Letter to the Editor | June 2018

To the Editor: What is the subject of the front cover of the April 2018 edition of Chronogram? The "On the Cover" byline bore absolutely no background for the subject. It is gratuitous for the writer of the byline as well as for the photographer. In the byline, I searched for some background on the subject. I only get his name, as if his name is stolen, to become the artistic "title" of the photo. Taking advantage of this person's richness harks to an indigenous American posing for a prominent 19th-century photographer; with largely the same connotations. More than any bio or credibility about the photographer, I want to know why the subject of the photo is exploited, what his story is, where he is, what his aspirations are, what he regards as beautiful. As portrayed on the cover of Chronogram, and out of context to the photographic documentary exhibit of which this is a part, it is gratuitous on the part of the photographer and the magazine, and without equality for the subject. There is a photographic tradition of empowering yourself by capturing the immensity or compelling nature of a subject. Hip hop producers do exactly the same thing by sampling a famous and compelling passage out of a classic song in an attempt to fit yourself into the same echelon of greatness. In this case, unless there is a humble sense of respect, equal time and reverence for the subject, the photographer, and by association, the publisher has "stolen the soul" of the subject for their own artistic gain. Tino Yannitelli's soul has been stolen by the camera and its photographer's search for curiosity. Was the photographer, and by extension the publisher, conscious of playing right into the tradition of "stealing souls" for their own artistic gain? I think not, and further, the self-aggrandizement seems to extend itself well into the "Marco Anelli: Building Magazzino" exhibition celebrating the Italian photographer's commissioned portfolio, which was on view at the Italian Cultural Institute of New York (October 4-November 2, 2017). I always read Chronogram, and believe in its regional reach. The purpose of a magazine is to create a feeling that carries one into a sense of lifestyle and belongingness to that lifestyle. The front cover of the April 2018 edition betrays an obvious unconscious motivational ebb: to nurture a general ennui of cultural and social elitism that assuages the true, overwhelming pain and diseases of culture and society enough to keep the magazine creators and readers believing there is no giant white elephant in the room. We are left with the front cover's compelling subject, Tino Yannetelli, with no explanation and no celebration. I believe there is something to learn here. It revealed, as did the indigenous American portraits of the 19th century: what is the subject here? Tino Yannitelli and his incredible richness, or the manifest destiny of moneyed powers that call the shots in arts and culture? ...

Tags: Letters to the Editor

8 Strange News Headlines from May 2018

The gist of what you may have missed: read these eight strange news headlines from May 2018.

Tags: General News & Politics

In NY19, Substance Reigns Supreme

A rundown of the policy positions of the NY19 candidates, in their own words.
A rundown of the policy positions of the NY19 candidates, in their own words.

Tags: National

Can John Faso Keep his Head Above Water when the Blue Wave Hits?

We take a look at the state of the NY19 race through two new lenses: academia and incumbent John Faso's campaign.
We take a look at the state of the NY19 race through two new lenses: academia and incumbent John Faso's campaign.

Tags: National

Wag the Syria

Larry Beinhart takes on US involvement in Syria
In this month's Body Politic, Larry Beinhart discusses the war in Syria and the US's recent involvement.

Tags: General News & Politics

Editor's Note: Very Careful

A Note from Editor Brian Mahoney.

Tags: Editor's Note

9 Strange News Headlines from April 2018

The gist of what you may have missed
Take a gander at these nine weird news stories from last month.

Tags: General News & Politics

I'm with #MeToo | Letter to the Editor

To the Editor, I am writing to say how deeply disappointed I was to read Eric Francis Coppolino's article on the #MeToo movement for the Planet Waves section in February. I found his words on this subject incredibly offensive. He promotes a victim-blaming mentality, as when he condescendingly reminds women that they already have a voice and are just failing to use it. He shows greater concern for the well-being of accused abusers than for their victims, as when he claims that boys are afraid to ask girls out lest they be seen as predators (as if dating is not much more dangerous for women than for men) or when he says that he would "stick to patriarchy" rather than live in a world where men are held accountable for sexual violence. The entire article displays a shocking level of ignorance, an unwillingness to understand the effects of trauma, and a complete lack of compassion for victims.  I have been a devoted reader of Mr. Coppolino's articles and often pick up a Chronogram just for his horoscopes, but after reading this I am sure I will never read anything of his again. It is disappointing to me that Chronogram, a magazine I have always loved, would put its name behind such a misogynistic piece of writing. Of course, everyone has the right to express their opinions, even offensive ones, but that does not mean your magazine has to allow itself to be used to support a violent system. I suspect that if Mr. Coppolino had used his astrology column to go on a racist or homophobic or anti-Semitic rant or to disparage any other less-privileged group, it would have been unlikely to have been published. Unfortunately, much of our society still seems to be more permissive towards misogyny than other forms of oppression. I would have expected Chronogram to have a higher standard. I have always enjoyed your magazine but I must admit that I feel less interested in reading it after seeing this article. I hope that in the future you will make more responsible decisions about who and what you choose to give a platform to. —Nick Taylor, Kingston ...

Tags: Letters to the Editor

Overlooking Poetry | Letter to the Editor

To the Editor: What gives? You couldn't celebrate National Poetry Month in the pages of your April issue? Not in the Book Reviews? Not in the Short Takes? The one and only mention a mediocre poem on the bottom right corner of page 57? Shame on you. —J. R. Solonche Professor Emeritus of English at SUNY Orange Apologies to Professor Solonche, who is correct that we neglected to mention that it was National Poetry Month in our April issue. Since we were informed of this, we did some investigating into what else we might have overlooked in April. Here's an abbreviated list: National Pecan Month National Volunteer Month National Welding Month
 English Language Month National Month of Hope National Canine Fitness Month National Internship Awareness Month Distracted Driving Awareness Month National Child Abuse Awareness Month National Donate Life Awareness Month National Cannabis Awareness Month National Fair Housing Month
 Month of the Military Child International Guitar Month Keep America Beautiful Month Lawn and Garden Month National Autism Awareness Month National Couple Appreciation Month National Decorating Month National Fresh Celery Month National Garden Month National Humor Month National Landscape Architecture Month National Inventor’s Month National Jazz Appreciation Month National Soft Pretzel Month National Soy Foods Month National Straw Hat Month National Parkinson’s Awareness Month Occupational Therapy Month Records and Information Management Month Scottish-American Heritage Month Sexual Assault Awareness Month Stress Awareness Month National Safe Digging Month ...

Tags: Letters to the Editor

A "Who's Who" of NY19 Democratic Congressional Candidates

Taking a look at the crowded field running to challenge Republican John Faso in November
In anticipation of New York primaries on June 26, we give an admittedly subjective look at the 7 Democratic congressional candidates in District 19.

Tags: National

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Hudson Valley Events

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A Children's America @ Rockland Center for the Arts

A Children's America

Oct. 13-Nov. 25 — The overarching theme of “America” will include books about presidents, American values,...
Reverse Punctuation Constellations @ No.3 Reading Room & Photo Book Works

Reverse Punctuation Constellations

Sat., Oct. 13, 12-8 p.m., Sun., Oct. 14, 12-6 p.m., Sat., Oct. 20, 12-6 p.m., Sun., Oct. 21, 12-6 p.m., Sat., Oct. 27, 12-6 p.m., Sun., Oct. 28, 12-6 p.m., Sat., Nov. 3, 12-6 p.m. and Sun., Nov. 4, 12-6 p.m. — Works on paper from McGill’s Constellation project, a large-scale sculptural installation around...

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National News & Politics

Despite being a local publication, Chronogram has four features addressing issues of national importance. In Chronogram’s While You Were Sleeping section, we recap national and international news stories that may have passed you by, focusing on the weird and wacky. Every month we also feature columns from Chronogram publisher Jason Stern, editor Brian Mahoney, and Body Politic columnist Larry Beinhart. Beinhart focuses on hard news, routinely writing left-leaning opinion pieces on the top stories of the month. Mahoney touches on similar issues in his Editor’s Note columns, frequently tying current events to literature and the arts. Stern’s column addresses more philosophical issues, asking questions like, “Does power corrupt?” and “What does it mean to lead a successful life?”

Local News & Politics

Chronogram features extensive coverage of the Hudson Valley’s local news, focusing on the people, stories, and events shaping politics in our area. The Community Notebook section includes event descriptions, investigative pieces, and Local Luminary features. Local Luminary stories contain interviews with major figures in our community, including educators, politicians, and those in the arts.

Environmental Issues

Chronogram has several sections detailing issues involving the Hudson Valley’s ecology. Being at the very center of our valley, the Hudson River has naturally also been the center of our area’s environmental movement. Led by Pete Seeger and the Clearwater organization, there has been great progress in cleaning the river once, and too often still, considered a garbage dump. The debate over whether New York should practice hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, has also been a top environmental concern over recent year. As governor Cuomo continues to decide on whether to allow the practice, a recurring segment, Frack Watch, monitors the debate.