Why would I start now with a new blog called KingstonBarn? There are a lot of good blogs out there, centered in Kingston, that take on issues of this area and beyond. I read and enjoy Kingston Progressive, Blaber’s News, and Cahill on Kingston, and I hope you do, too. I find those blogs to be entertaining and informative, even if I don’t agree with the bloggers on any given issue. We have a couple of decent newspapers here, both of which I buy and read. What are we missing? What unique contribution can I make?
Look at any daily newspaper on line- Kingston’s own dailyfreeman.com, for example- and read the comments posted after each story. You will read what is wrong. You will read who’s to blame. You will read a litany of offenses committed by people named and unnamed in the story, and you will read flaming diatribes against politicians, ideologies, and even other commentators. What you don’t read very often are commentators’ real names. You don’t often read people adding to the conversation in a thoughtful and respectful way. What you almost never read is someone making a real effort to offer even partial solutions to the problems.
Today, this small story appeared on-line: http://www.dailyfreeman.com/articles/2012/05/15/news/doc4fb2a15864ad1430861078.txt It seems that fellow Kingston blogger Jeremy Blaber was pulled over and cited for a minor traffic infraction. What makes this any kind of news is that Blaber is a recently-hired parking enforcement officer for the city, and he ticketed Mayor Shayne Gallo twice. That is to say, the same Mayor Gallo he helped get elected, and the same Mayor Gallo that appointed him to the parking post. Blaber has also ticketed Kingston Times columnist Hugh Reynolds, and anyone else that he sees parked illegally while he is on duty, regardless of his or their political allegiances. In the story, Blaber even blames himself for the infraction, and praises the citing police officer for doing his job. Where this gets to my point is after the story. Within twelve minutes of the story being posted on the Daily Freeman‘s website, two comments were submitted, approved, and posted. One expressed surprise that the right thing was done, and the other turned into a screed against the Mayor and Police Chief. Neither comment helps, and neither author chose to take credit for what they wrote.
I was not born here. I wasn’t raised here. But, I have chosen to build my life here. I am home here, and I want to make a contribution, to add to the conversation, even if it’s a small addition, like this blog. I am a carpenter by trade, and I want to introduce this blog as a place for the barn builders of Kingston, the carpenters of Ulster County. We can celebrate the people making a difference right now, and maybe do a little to help.