Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Charity Basketball Tournament in Lansingburgh

This Saturday, January 30th a fund-raiser is being held at the Lansingburgh High School gym to benefit the MAKE-A-WISH FOUNDATION. Three basketball games will be played with the teams being comprised of members from the Troy Police Department, Troy Fire Department, City of Troy workers, and members of the Lansingburgh School District faculty. The event was organized by Troy DPU employee, Harry Hull.

The schedule is as follows:
Game 1 Start Time: 4:00pm (teams to be announced)
Game 2 Start Time: 5:15pm (teams to be announced)

The winners of game 1 and 2 will play in a championship game that will start at approximately 7:00pm.

A minimum $3.00 donation can be made at the door. Stop by and support a great cause.

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Let the Bidding Begin

The Missing Link Street Ministry, lead by Pastor Willie Bacote is conducting an auction of a signed football by Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Donovan McNabb. Bidding currently sits at $200; a pledge made by Mayor Tutunjian on Friday. I'm not too sure when bidding ends, the email and Facebook notification I received simply stated "Let the Bidding Begin," but the Mayor has set the bar high for the rest of us.

Proceeds of the auction will benefit the Ministry located in the North Central neighborhood of Troy to help offset the current National Grid bill. Earlier in the month Pastor Bacote emailed a notification detailing the current expenses and asking anyone who can and is willing to donate to their cause, to do so.

Since being founded roughly 18 months ago Willie and his countless volunteers have made a tremendous and positive impact in the community. Three times a week the Ministry distributes free meals to children from ages 3 - 15. The Ministry also conducted the very successful gun by-back program that removed approximately 200 guns off the streets in North Central with the assistance of the Troy Police Department and funds secured by former Senator Joe Bruno. I have partnered with Willie and the Ministry on several occasions with the North Lansingburgh Neighborhood Watch as we put together a Children's Neighborhood Safety Day and a March Against Violence on National Night Out. The programs and services provided through and in conjunction with the Ministry has the sole purpose of benefiting the children and showing them that there is another option in life other than violence, drugs, and other vices.

This is a positive and worthwhile organization in Troy that relies solely on donations and the support of the community to continue with their successes. Whether you bid on this autographed football, stop by one of Willies "Huge" flea markets at Power's Park in the summer, or simply make a donation, you will be welcomed with open arms and a warm smile, not just by Willie, but by the children and families that benefit from the generosity of the community and the Ministry's hard work. As Willie always says "Be Blessed But More So Be A Blessing In Someone’s Life today."

For more information and to contact the Ministry click here.

Friday, January 22, 2010

Bring Down the House(s)

The city of Troy has been granted over $500,000 from New York State for the purpose of demolishing unsalvageable, city owned properties. I support this endeavor because we are well aware of the negative impact these vacant, run-down buildings have on our neighborhoods. These are the types of properties that become the breeding ground for unsavory activity and are a major health and safety concern for everyone in the neighborhood, especially children. It is my hope that the City Council will support the Mayor’s endeavor.

There are too many buildings that are in extreme disrepair in the city, many of which are beyond repair. Last year I attended a presentation conducted by the city’s Community Development department and a consultant assisting them on the coming years’ consolidated plan and one of the major points that was made was there is an over abundance of “available” housing in the city, especially in the Lansingburgh and South Troy sections. The current conditions in some of those neighborhoods isn’t going to allow for an immediate change to that statistic, but while necessary improvements are being made to improve the quality-of-life issues that exist there are a number of buildings that are sitting vacant and rotting. These are old buildings that haven’t been cared for or maintained properly for a number of years. For the most part investors/absentee landlords weren’t successful in their business ventures, have since left, and the city inherits them mainly due to severely delinquent taxes. It’s a vicious cycle that will continue until it is properly addressed. Until then, the city has only so many resources available to do what is necessary stabilize, market, auction, and eventually “repair” these buildings when they are not bought. Having a large inventory of vacant, unsalvageable buildings is nothing more than a money-pit for our tax dollars. Removing these buildings will go a long way in cleaning up and adding to the marketability of our neighborhoods, and eliminate a potentially tremendous financial and health and safety liability.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010


Last night the bedrock of American politics was rocked. Regardless of your party affiliation you need to be energized with the fact that the tax paying public has had enough of the business as usual, self-importance approach of governing. For Massachusetts, a state that hasn't elected a Republican senator in 30 some years, to elect Scott Brown to a senate position that has been a Kennedy stronghold should send shock waves through every house of government from coast to coast.

Residents of Troy this year will have the opportunity of voting for representatives for each house of government at the state and federal level and for governor. Its about time our elected official listen to and follow through by conducting what is right for the people. Our State government is dysfunctional on a good day and it appears those at the federal level are more concerned with pleasing special interest groups, who in return aid them in reelection.

Somebody(s) need to take office with the real intent of curbing spending and the costs taxpayers bear each year. We need people with enough political courage to take on government, NYS government has grown too big and bureaucratic. A "tune up" is long over due.

Thank you Massachusetts for putting these politicians on notice and drawing a line in the sand. In November, New York is next...

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Troy Adds to its Finest

Today the Troy Police Department will hire 3 new officers. One woman and Two men will be sworn in and begin their training at the police academy on Wednesday. For the residents of Troy this is great news. With the new hires the police force is at full staffing, 127 officers. Police Chief Kaiser spoke at our neighborhood meeting last Tuesday evening and stated that the department hasn't seen staffing levels this high since the early 80's. Crime has been down over recent years, the statistics show that. The existing police force has done a great job adapting and adjusting to the social changes in Troy. However, when you look at statistics from over the past ten years there has been an 8.5% increase in calls for service (approx 47,000 in 1999, approx 51,000 in 2009) and an 11.4% increase in arrests made (approx 3,500 in 1999, approx 3,900 in 2009).

To continue to make Troy a safer city adding new recruits is vital. The population of Troy has decreased in that same 10 year period (1999-2009) yet calls for service are up, but overall crime is down due in-part to highly effective policing. Adding to the force will ensure the service we receive will be that much better. We've seen the addition and expansion of several units within the Police Department over the past several years. In my opinion the Community Services Bureau is one of the most crucial. The Officers within the unit are charged with the ideology that partnering with members of the community will reduce crime and improve the quality-of-life within the neighborhoods. Yes this sounds like common sense, but in general there has always been a form of friction between police and the public, I don't know why maybe its the "authority thing." The Troy Police have been very successful in creating strong bonds within the community. Every neighborhood association in the City is assigned a Community Police Officer, his roll is to work with the groups members, SOS, the Street Crimes Unit, code enforcement, DPW, etc to ensure quality-of -life issues are identified, addressed, and corrected. Learn about the CSB by clicking here.

There's no doubt in my mind that we have the best police department in Upstate NY. The department chief's have been allowed to do what is necessary to do their job and do it correctly. Unlike other local municipalities, we've kept city politics out of the way of doing what's necessary in protecting the residents of Our Town...

Welcome to Our Town!

Hello everyone, My name is Jim Gordon and I have been a resident of Troy my entire life. I am honored to have been asked to contribute to the Troy Records community of online blogs. I look forward to providing thought provoking commentary and having insightful conversations with everyone that calls Troy home. I will ask that you do contribute in a respectful manner. There are too many online communities that are improperly used.

I became involved in our community when my wife Melissa and I purchased our home in Lansingburgh. I firmly believe that it is everyone's responsibility to do their part in improving our communities and neighborhoods. With Chris Lambertsen, Darlene Simpson, and Lenny Kluz, I helped form the North Lansingburgh Neighborhood Watch. As a group we have been very successful in doing our part in addressing quality-of-life issues. On a daily basis I receive communication from our membership, that has grown to nearly 200 people. Issues that relate to code enforcement, city DPW, policing/crime, and abandoned/vacant buildings to name a few. Our group doesn't stop there. We have a large presence in the community by organizing different initiatives such as the Earth Day clean up in sections of Lansingburgh, we volunteer at the annual Easter Egg Hunt and Powers Park for the concert series, each holiday season we partner with Whitney Young to hold a toy drive, we apply for and have received grants to perform community beatification and improvement projects. I invite you to visit the Neighborhood Groups Facebook Page for more information click here

This is what it is all about. Giving back to and nurturing our communities. It is with this in mind that I will use this forum to discuss activities and events from South Troy, north to Lansingburgh. So sit back and enjoy Our Town...