Tuesday, April 15, 2014

A Death In Our Saratoga Family:Father Neil Draves-Arpaia:

Native Saratogian Neil Draves-Arpaia died yesterday of Cancer. Father Neil was a passionate spokesperson for all things Saratoga. He was an entertaining story teller. He used to entertain me and my cousins by making up songs about Saratoga and its inhabitants that would always include businesses in downtown Saratoga (where inevitably his stories would take place) His antics were well known and he and many of my relatives got into plenty of trouble during their formative years.

He used to regale me with stories of how he and my mother would get into trouble. One time he went into one of my mothers classrooms during high school and told my mothers teacher that "There has been a death in the family." My mother burst out laughing and put her hand over her mouth to muffle the sound. The teacher thought that my mother was crying and allowed her to leave the classroom. They ran out of the school and into Neil's car where they proceeded to joy ride all the way to New York City. The trip was ill planned as they ran out of gas just outside of New York City. Neither Neil or my mother had any money and Neil was reduced to calling his uncle to come and get them. Neil was always good at having the time of his life wherever he was.

It was Father Neil who didn't mind telling me on occasion that I needed to get out of my own way.  Father Neil was a warrior and who often created enemies by speaking truth to power. That is something I certainly appreciated about him. Father Neil and will be missed by many. His death is a huge loss to the city and everyone who knew him. Rest in Peace Father Neil.

The link below is the interview with Father Neil in August of 2010

Thursday, April 10, 2014

This Saturday On Talk Saratoga:

Gordon Boyd will be Rick Thompson's guest on Talk Saratoga this Saturday at 8am on WSPN Skidmore Radio. 91.1FM

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Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Please Give to Empire State College:

Empire State College is a non-traditional College that supports working people to obtain a degree while working full-time. Empire State does not have the luxury of endowments as other Universities and Colleges do. If you would like to donate to Empire State College to help assist working people like myself go back to school and get a degree please give into the urge. Thank you. Info is below.

Make your gift today at or call (518)580-2965
You may choose to donate a financial gift of any size.

Thursday, April 3, 2014

My Interview with Patti Southworth:

When you are a reporter you get to know very quickly which elected officials and candidates genuinely represent their constituent’s interests and the ones who are just going through the motions for their own personal gain. If you are ever confused about who to vote for, start asking reporters their opinions of certain candidates and elected council members.

 There are those elected officials who will call a reporter back (regardless of which publication they work for) and those who feel as though they are too important to do such things. And don’t get me started on those elected officials who have the audacity to call reporters back after your deadline. I won’t name names but those elected officials are the ones every reporter would love to throw down a flight of stairs.

 I had the pleasure of first meeting Patti Southworth back when I was Managing Editor of the Ballston Journal a few years ago. Patti was helpful in bringing me up to speed whenever I had to attend a Town of Ballston council meeting where she was the Town of Ballston Supervisor. Not only would Mrs. Southworth call reporters back, she almost always answered her cell phone when anyone phoned her.

 Now Patti Southworth is running for the 49th District Senate seat. The district covers parts of Saratoga, Schenectady and Herkimer Counties which roughly represents 200,000 people. Patti Southworth is probably the most accessible candidate/elected official that I have ever come across.

 Southworth is an anomaly in the world of politics. She is outspoken and opinionated and doesn’t mind being the one at the water cooler with the dissenting viewpoint. Southworth has had more than her share of detractors because she is not afraid to speak out about whenever she feels something doesn’t seem right. Patti was the Supervisor for the Town of Ballston for six years and for a time, other council members refused to speak with her.

 Patti and her husband Patrick are currently ‘on tour’ with what they call “On the Road with Patti Southworth” They have both gone to places in New York State that most of us have never heard of. They have gone to Mayfield, Lake Pleasant, Ohio, New York, Russia, New York and other tiny, rural areas that other candidates have deemed too unimportant to even go there.

 Patti said people were genuinely surprised that she not only showed up to these little hamlets and villages but they were more surprised that Southworth was interested in hearing what they had to say and wanted to listen to the issues that are most important to them.

 Job creation is not surprisingly at the top of most constituents concerns. I asked Patti if it is really the Governments job to create jobs and she responded by saying that Government should certainly make it easier for people especially when it comes to small businesses which need money to expand but are unable to do so while big business have no problem getting money from the bank even though they don’t need it. “Small businesses should be able to do their own taxes, they shouldn’t need to get anyone else to do it, said Southworth.”

Southworth is not seeking the endorsement of any County Party Committees which is an unusual political move for anyone running for office.

 “It’s not fair to the registered Democrats in the 49th District to allow a few people to select a candidate. It is much more Democratic to let the people decide in a primary. Candidates need to present the facts about themselves and let the people make an intelligent decision as to who will represent them. I am not a political insider unlike many running for office. I am not beholden to a political machine,” said Southworth.

“I will be the “People’s Senator” added Southworth.

 On the issue of the dreaded unfunded mandate: “State legislatures need to stop passing things that they don’t the ability to pay for.” said Southworth.

 Patti tells me about how prisons and public schools in New York State are mandated (that word again) to buy the lowest priced products for the schools and prison system which on the surface seems innocuous until you realize that both the New York Public school system and prison system are buying products that are made outside of New York State.

The result is that a New York product isn’t being bought and a New York State worker isn’t being employed. Another no-win situation for all of us in New Yorkers.

On the subject of Governor Cuomo allowing inmates to get a College degree while incarcerated: “I understand the Governor’s concern about recidivism but I don’t think we should send the message that if you want a free education than break the law and go to prison. Train them, teach them a vocational skill.” said Southworth.

 On the subject of Corporate Welfare: “We [New York State] are giving away so much in corporate welfare. [Big business get breaks whereas every day working people get nothing] either everybody gets it or nobody gets it, said Southworth.”

 Patti Southworth is most proud of her accomplishments as Supervisor for the Town of Ballston. Southworth spent a lot of time making sure that the Guardian House Shelter for Women in Ballston Spa came to fruition. “I made it easier for people to participate in government. I made sure government documents were available to the public.”

 Southworth realizes that there is a huge disconnect between government and the general public. I tell her that everyone who sets their sites on Albany claims that they will shake things up when they get there only to become part of the machine, Southworth responds,
 “I’ve shown I can hold my own. I will speak out against anyone who is doing anything wrong no matter what party and no matter what position they hold. Never do anything that you are not willing to disclose to the public. It’s as easy as that. If you’re not willing to disclose something to the public than you shouldn’t be doing it.”

 If you would like to volunteer for Patti Southworth or simply have a question for her you may reach her at 518-441-6548.





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Monday, March 31, 2014

Dianne Feinstein First Amendment Is A Special Privilege

This is why liberals cannot be trusted. I have said for years that the Democrats say they believe in Freedom of Speech as long as it is words that they agree with. This bill currently being presented by Senator Dianne Feinstein is the Government trying to get a handle on dissenters like me and many others in American who have shied away from mainstream news outlets to get our message, news and information the people. Who is the government to say who can report the news and show up to media events? Of course they are trying to make this bill seem innocuous.

Our government is enmeshed with corporate news and organization and have a lot of control over what gets into print and what doesn't. Politics makes for strange bedfellows as the saying goes. But they shouldn't be in bed together at all because ultimately the news gets diluted and censored and the end result is misinformation. (The arrangement we have now) Which is why writers have started their own websites in the first place.

Case in point is the missing Malaysia airplane. How is it that the government  can trace our every move via our mobile phones but can't locate an effing plane with hundreds of people on it? It's B.S. the whole story and the government in partnership with TSA will use this case to violate our rights even further.

It is only a matter of time before you will know exactly who you are sitting next to on a plane, what they do for a living and how much money they make and what they do in their spare time. The person sitting next to you will know the same about you. The government will decide who gets to fly and who doesn't. Where will you read about these things? In your local newspaper or will you get it from the malcontent blogger? You know the answer already.

First Amendment Rights are not a Privilege and this should be the end of liberal nut job Dianne Feinstein. I implore my fellow Conservatives, Independents and free thinkers to step away from this Democratic craziness and fight the good fight and to support the First Amendment for all Americans.

In solidarity,

Citizen Nancy

Sunday, March 23, 2014

Horse Racing Exposed: Drugs and Death

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

The Ultimate Saratoga Stakes Race:

For those Saratoga residents who fail to show up to the City council meetings, you deny yourself the pleasure of experiencing the passion of your fellow Saratogian’s. You also miss out on the cranks who never fail to miss these meetings. (Saratoga has many cranks that make the meetings entertaining.)

Case in point: If you didn’t make the meeting last night you missed local crank Phil Diamond who had the audacity to admonish Finance Commish Michele Madigan for ‘writing a letter to Albany’ regarding the casino expansion.  She shot back, “I can write a letter to anybody I want to.” When he attempted to admonish her again he was verbally beaten into submission by Commissioner Madigan who said she was done with the conversation regarding the matter. Diamond slinked back to his seat. Those are the kind of encounters that animate an otherwise boring council meeting.

But last nights meeting was no ordinary meeting. Everyone who was in attendance and there was well over 250 people who packed the third floor Music Hall of the City Hall came to hear the decision regarding the proposed Casino expansion. The public comment period lasted well over an hour and tempers flared on both sides of the issue.

This Casino issue is proving to be the ultimate Stakes Race regarding the future of Saratoga.

 The two thoroughbreds running neck and neck in this race of the century are of course Destination Saratoga, the pro-casino horse and the SAVE Saratoga anti-Casino expansion horse. There hasn't been this kind of excitement in this town since the rivalry of Affirmed and Alydar.
 Both camps have an invested interest in their city but for entirely different reasons. Destination Saratoga's focus is on economic stability and SAVE SARATOGA's focus is the quality of life in the town.

The Destination Saratoga folks have corralled the Saratoga Gaming and Raceway workers to come out in support of the expansion and the additional jobs it will bring to the community.

Mike Taber, a long time employee of Saratoga Gaming and Raceway spoke during the public comment period, “On behalf of all the players [customers he has waited on] they love it there!” He then asked the council to “Say yes to this [Casino expansion] and don’t say No!”

Another speaker warned of ‘putting all our eggs in one basket.’ And he was also critical of the way NYRA has run things, claiming that NYRA is currently facing a $12 million tax penalty.

Charlie Samuels, a SAVE Saratoga supporter acknowledged that the city council members were in a rather stressful position with this resolution and said, ‘this is an emotional issue that isn’t going away.’ He implored the council to reject the resolution and if they did, “We’ve got your backs,” said Samuels.

Native Saratogian, Gary Chapla remembered when shops in Saratoga’s downtown were boarded up and vacant. “We could have a world class destination” pleaded Chapla. ‘ Ten years ago the nay sayers said crime was going to come in when they built the Racino, it never came and it’s still not here,’ said Chapla.

Local politico Gordon Boyd and chair of Destination Saratoga said that he has lived in Saratoga Springs for the past 43 years. “We [Destination Saratoga] are volunteers, we are NOT lobbyists.” Boyd said the Casino expansion is in the best interest of the city. He also accused SAVE Saratoga members of ‘making things up.’ Boyd also referenced an ex-blogger who frequently made things up about the city council members.

Former Democratic Committee chair and local resident and anti-propagandist Al Turkeimer cut through the emotional rhetoric and stated that he and others she be concerned that the Gaming Commission and Skip Carlson in particular is not beholden to the zoning laws everyone else is obligated to abide by. He briskly stepped away from the microphone to resounding applause.

Another speaker for the Destination Saratoga camp, a woman who has worked at the Racino for the past ten years pointed to real problems in the community such as the drug and alcohol related chaos that the Phish concert predictably brings to town every summer and she spoke of the continual problems that persistently plague Caroline Street. “It’s pretty clear where the problems are.”

At almost ten o’clock last evening the resolution was rejected by all council members. Mayor Yepsen told the audience of how she and the rest of the council has spent countless hours researching this issue and reading Readers Views, letters to the editor, talking with residents on both sides of the issue. “My goal is to create the strongest local economy,” said Mayor Yepsen. She also acknowledged that she and the rest of the council members are powerless to change the law.

It was during the public comment period that Theresa Capozzola reminded the audience that the lobbyists for the Gaming Commission have already spent $64 million on the proposed Casino expansion. They aren’t going to go away quietly.

It was recently brought to my attention that the property that belongs to Sheik Muhommad on Nelson Avenue was quietly rezoned and this property isn’t the only example. [This property was actually rezoned in 2009]  However, Saratoga Citizens  might want to start showing up to some of these Planning and Zoning meetings.

Last nights rejection of the resolution doesn’t end things. I dare say this is only the beginning. As Bette Davis once said, “Fasten your seat belts, it’s going to be a bumpy night.” Indeed.



My favorite Skidmore radio DJ Rocky Groce and his wife Mia McCoy Groce will be honored this evening at Skidmore for all the work they do in the community of Saratoga Springs. The dinner is called Persons Of Distinction held by Skidmore's Black Faculty and Staff. Mrs. Groce was the first U.S born person of color to graduate from Skidmore College.

Rocky's radio show called (Rocky's place) has been on the air  at WSPN for the past ten years and in my opinion his show is second to none. He plays old-school R&B and it is on every Wednesday from 12 noon until 3pm so if you've never heard it before tune in today at WSPN Skidmore Radio 91.1FM. You can call in to thank him for all the volunteer work him and his wife have done in our beloved Saratoga Springs. The number to WSPN is 580-5783


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Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Meeting Tonight In Saratoga:

Big meeting tonight at the Music Hall (third floor of City Hall) regarding Casino expansion and a whole lot more. The meeting begins at 7pm. The best thing about this meeting and subsequent meetings in Saratoga Springs is that a certain individual will not be there to harass our council members and those who attend the meeting. Rejoice. It is a new world in Saratoga.

Friday, February 28, 2014


Public Safety Commissioner Chris Mathiesen will be the guest on Rick Thompson's TALK SARATOGA radio show tomorrow morning. It starts at 8am on WSPN 91.1FM.

If you have a question for Rick or the Public Safety Commissioner you can call in: 580-5783

Tune in to hear the latest in Saratoga Springs politics.

Thursday, February 27, 2014


Yes I've heard. Yes, I know that many are interested in what I have to say regarding the issue.Yesterday's news was a day of reckoning. A long time coming; not only for me but for many others in our community. I will get to that in a minute.

I have scribed this blog for almost five years now. I have a loyal fan base and I certainly have no shortage of detractors. Before I had my blog, an anonymous blog was all the rage here in Saratoga County. It was of course the obsessively read isaratoga blog. The author is only known to a chosen few in Saratoga.

Then in May of 2009 I began CITIZEN NANCY after a short stint at SARATOGA TODAY. I was genuinely and pleasantly surprised at just how popular it had become amongst politicos and others around town. A year after I began my blog another blogger entered the blogosphere and called it: SARATOGA IN DECLINE. Like many others, I found it, at least initially, amusing.

I do not recall the exact circumstances in which I met this other blogger but it was most probably at Uncommon Grounds. He said he liked the way I wrote and his wife Joyce admitted she liked it as well. At one time I considered this person a friend. We seemed to be cut from the same cloth. Like me, he grew up here in Saratoga when it was considered nothing more than a ghost town when it wasn't racing season. He knew a lot about the city, its residents and seemed to be contemptuous of the ruling class. But things are not always what they seem.

Again, I cannot recall the exact moment when the words no longer matched the picture but it didn't take me that long before I was questioning him directly about the accusations he had made against others. One incident in particular I remember. I was at Victoria Pool and Brent Wilkes had recently announced that he was running for Mayor. The blogger was talking with me and a few others in the pool and he had casually mentioned the cult and Wilkes' alleged affiliation with said cult. I very quickly pointed out that what this blogger had said about Brent Wilkes had already proven to be unfounded.
He bristled and did not like confrontation. I thought he might have a stroke right there in the pool when I asked him if he had any intention on printing a retraction and/or correction. The lies about Brent Wilkes written by this blogger ended up costing Brent Wilkes the election. A loss to the entire city by the way.

I suppose we could surmise from that exchange on that beautiful summer day was the definitive moment where he turned on me and tried to discredit my blog, sully my good name and tried to destroy my life. Things got nasty. I asked him to stop publishing lies that he claimed his 'commenters' were making. He refused.

I and others started calling him out on the lies and half -truths he wrote. When I confronted him about him falsely accusing me of being a whore, drunk, drug addict and a host of other unsavory things he had the audacity to write in one of his blog posts that I 'couldn't take criticism.' To say his behavior was inappropriate and outrageous would be an understatement of epic proportions.

Having a blog and practicing first Amendment rights can be fun but it can be a double-edged sword as well. I have lost friends and job opportunities because of the things that blogger wrote about me on his blog. He exploited a weakness that many human beings possess but don't want to admit to: People are more than willing to believe lies they hear about people they don't particularly like.

Incredulously, there are still people in this community that operate on the assumption that what that blogger had to say was and is credible. It wasn't then and it isn't now. There are those in mainstream media who wrote stories about him in spite of the overwhelming evidence that what he wrote was 99% untrue. You know who you are. And they used him as a source for stories!

It was me who blogged about his uncharacteristic silence regarding the former owner of Beverly's who was arrested for possession of child porn two or three years ago. I asked that blogger directly why he hadn't written about it since he literally complained about everything else. He said nothing. I have referenced in a previous blog post is that the only way he could be silent about such things is that he had to be cut from the same cloth. Indeed he was. But people continued to make excuses for him and continued to read his blog. Those who supported him are just as guilty as he is. You supported the bully in the school yard so do not try to slink away now.

Is the Saratogian and the Times Union going to be issuing a pubic apology for writing stories about him and using him as a source? I'm sure former Public Safety Commissioner Ron Kim would like an apology. I would like one as well but I know I won't get one. There are many people that he victimized and anyone who supports him now will be rightfully shunned. I got an email from someone last night saying that he is innocent until proven guilty. I didn't respond then but I will now.

"Bitch... please."


Wednesday, February 26, 2014

I Ain't Dead Yet: But I have had a few wipeouts....

This winter is the winter that just keeps going on and on..... I don't like long winters but I do appreciate the persistence and the tenacity of winter. Like Citizen Nancy, it just won't quit. ;)

Citizen Nancy has been busy with school work and I am currently reading all of George Orwell's works as well as other stuff.

It has come to my attention that the code enforcement officers of our fine city need to be pounding on some homeowners doors and issuing fines for those who do not or will not hire someone to shovel and clear their sidewalks. Citizen Nancy is an avid walker and I have had more wipe outs this winter than the past five winters combined.

Please send me pictures of some of the especially bad sidewalks that could be better navigated on ice skates. This winter is going to be with us for some time so code enforcement should be citing/fining people for breaking the city ordinance.

Side note: I know elderly homeowners can't shovel their walk so if you are able bodied be a good neighbor and help them out. Teenagers and middle schoolers should be encouraged to shovel on snow days. ( I never see kids out with shovels, why is that?)

If you know someone who just doesn't give a crap about snow removal call CITY HALL 587-3550
and ask for Dan Cogan or Kevin Veitch. Citizens of Saratoga Unite!!


Thursday, February 13, 2014

Dance Flurry Weekend:

The 27th annual dance flurry festival be held Friday, Saturday and Sunday. Headquarters for this event will be held at the City Center/Hilton Hotel on Broadway.  To purchase tickets, day passes and to see the schedule of events visit the website at:


Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Calling All Do-Gooders:

If you want to do something nice for people in your community, please give into the urge.

The American Red Cross will have a blood drive at the Saratoga Springs Public Library tomorrow from 12noon- 6pm. All blood types are needed. Bring Photo I.D.

If you are unable to make it tomorrow the Red Cross will have a blood drive on March 13th at Spa Catholic on Broadway in Saratoga Springs. Call 1-800-RED-CROSS to make an appt.

Wanna make your mark this year? You can by donating to the YMCA Annual Scholarship Fund. Any amount is appreciated and your money will help by providing low income individuals with a membership to the YMCA.

If you can't afford to donate $$ you can always bring in a non-perishable food item to the YMCA and put in the box that will in turn be donated to the Franklin Community Center. Your kindness and generosity are greatly appreciated.

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