THE CAPITOL CONNECTION: Bliss + politics = 50 years

ON SEPTEMBER 6TH, 1970, in the back yard of my parents’ house on Fire Island, I got married. It was a beautiful September day and despite certain family discord, it really was a day for Roselle and me to remember for the 50 years we’ve been married. For four or so years before that that, we fought and loved and finally wore each other out to the point that we said, “To hell with it, if it doesn’t work, it won’t work.” And so it began.

Usually I write about politics in this space but trust me, marriage is political. Of course, it is based on love but we have to live, in some cases, for a lot of years with who we are. That doesn’t change. Compromises have to be made. In the case of Roselle and Alan, we couldn’t be more different. There is nothing in the arts that Roselle doesn’t know about. She has written five books, she’s a Holocaust scholar, she successfully taught elementary school, high school and finally ended up with a successful college teaching career that lasted 25 years. She dresses superbly while I am satisfied with pretty much the same thing every day. She has always been a better parent than I. Roselle drove phenomenal distances from Great Barrington to North Adams, Massachusetts where she taught at Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts. She always came home and, for the most part, so did I.

I taught at John Jay and at Rutgers’ Eagleton Institute and New Paltz for a very long time and then as joint professor at New Paltz and SUNY at Albany. We wore out a lot of cars. The differences we crammed into the marriage haven’t changed much after 50 years. Roselle is fond of saying, “It isn’t easy being married to Alan Chartock.” That’s something I suspect many couples repeat to each other from time to time. But somehow, some way, we’ve made it for 50 years. Read more…

Ancram justice trades gavel for campaign politics

ANCRAM—Bob Wilcox doesn’t like what’s going on in Washington, so he’s going to work to change it.

For the past 10 years, Mr. Wilcox, 70, has served as an Ancram Town Justice, but he resigned that post February 9, so he can become involved in political and controversial issues, something a sitting judge is prohibited from doing.

He’s throwing in his lot with the Gareth Rhodes campaign. Read more…

Chris Gibson details his foray into gubernatorial politics

Reprinted with permission by the Times Union

ALBANY – A day after forming a committee he says is only exploratory, Congressman Chris Gibson (R-19th) sounded like a full-fledged gubernatorial candidate on Tuesday.

In a news conference ahead of a flight to Washington for the day’s business, the representative from Kinderhook detailed a four-point approach he says could win the day in 2018, even if Gov. Andrew Cuomo continues prolific fundraising that has made him unbeatable in the past two elections.

Mr. Gibson maintains power over education policy should be returned to the local level, gun control should be rethought to emphasize safety without trampling on the Second Amendment, the state’s economy needs to be revamped through tax cuts and new policies, and ethics must be addressed from the top down through example. Read more…

Chatham village group edges toward politics

CHATHAM–The group of tax-conscious residents and business owners that coalesced during the preparation of the village budget last spring met earlier this month to discuss village issues and the prospect of backing candidates for village office in the March election.

The group has so far not adopted a name or specific platform, although participants did present a series of public forums on local governance and have remained in touch by email.

Read more…

Afghan businessman upbeat about new venture here

GHENT–There is a new owner of the Sunoco station/convenience store, renamed North Greenbush Logistics, LLC and located on Route 66, a few hundred feet north of where the highway intersects with Route 203 in Chatham. His name is Sayed Hashemi, age 36. He is from Afghanistan.

Sayed Hashemi. Photo by David Lee

Mr. Hashemi was the director of operations, for 12 years, for a contractor working with the U.S. Army and Special Forces. He was based in Kabul and says he was the point man on all matters regarding transportation for US forces in Afghanistan.

In 2017 he, his wife, Sara Ghafoori, 31, and their five children, now ages 6 to 13, left Afghanistan for the U.S. In August, they arrived in Albany, where the family settled in East Greenbush. Mr. Hashemi continued to work remotely for the U.S. government until August of this year, when he purchased the convenience store at 52 Hudson Avenue.

When first contacted by The Columbia Paper about being interviewed, he asked if he would be made famous by the publicity and might then be “kidnapped by terrorists, held hostage and killed?” After an awkward silence, light laughter filled the void. But a fear of being targeted by Taliban insurgents prompted the family to leave Kabul. “It’s a huge threat. We would be viewed as traitors” for working with the Americans, he said. Read more…