“Carl Chipman” and the watermelons…


A little funny story, as told by a witness…

One late evening in the summer of 1978, riding home after a ball game in Rosendale, Rodney – one of the boys – told his friends, Jimmy Abbott and Vinny Nigro:

“Today at the Firehouse, I asked Jack Schoonmaker if I could buy a few watermelons from him. Jack said just go to the field and take them.”

Jimmy and Vinny knew that Rodney was a rookie firefighter volunteer, so the story sounded believable. Jimmy drove to the Schoonmaker’s field in Accord, where he and Rodney started loading watermelons…

Kenny Ballard, the owner of the nearby auto shop, saw movement in the fields and called Jack Schoonmaker. Jack and his sons arrived on the double and – at the end of shotguns – held the watermelons thieves for the State Troopers.

The troopers loaded Rodney and Vinny in their car, and asked Jimmy to follow in his car on the way to the barracks…

Rodney Arnold and Jimmy Abbott – being adults – ended up with police records.
Vinny Nigro, only 15 years old, got away as a juvenile.

From left to right: Rodney Arnold, Jimmy Abbott, Lil’ Cousin, Vinny Nigro.

Why is this story worth telling? Simple! Rodney Arnold eventually changed his name to Carl Chipman and grew up to serve 10 years as Town of Rochester Supervisor.

As we all know, character is built by lying to friends and stealing watermelons…

On March 7, 2017 Carl Chipman announced on his Facebook page:

“Effective yesterday I have changed my political party affiliation from the Republican Party to the Working Families Party. I believe the 2-party system has failed us and both the Republican and Democrat Parties kowtow to special interests which line their coffers with cash.”

May we ask what the hell was he doing three months later voting at the Rochester Republican Caucus on June 14, 2017?

– Jon Dogar-Marinesco

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The Bernardos are baaack!

Town of Rochester 2017 Republican Slate

June 2015
Let me refresh your memory with this quote from the article After first being shut out, Bernardo gets Ulster County GOP nod:

“After shutting out Terry Bernardo at the Ulster County GOP nominating convention two weeks ago, the Ulster County Republican Committee has changed its tune and endorsed her in a backdoor meeting last week to run for county executive.”

Fast forward to May 2017
As a result of the vote taken at the Ulster County GOP nominating convention – held on May 30, 2017 – the nominees for State Committee Members in the 103rd district were Kevin Costello and Gloria VanVliet (who trounced Terry Bernardo).

My wife, Manuela Michailescu, is a member of the Ulster County Republican Committee, and circulating petitions is one of her duties. I signed the petition listing Kevin Costello and Gloria VanVliet for State Committee.

A few days ago I have learned that the Costello/VanVliet petition was trashed, and a new petition listing Mario Catalano and Terry Bernardo will be circulated. Huh?

I couldn’t care less if you believe this or not, but Manuela is not sharing with me things she learns in the process of performing her duties; she served one full year on a Federal Grand Jury in Albany, and she knows how to keep mum.

Luckily, some people like this blog, and send me tips… I learned that Terry Bernardo’s getting substantially fewer votes than Gloria VanVliet at the GOP Convention triggered a turmoil within the Republican Party.

Exactly as in 2015, a back-room meeting of the key players found the pacifier: disregard the Convention, disrespect the rank and file Republicans who already signed the Costello/VanVliet petition, push down our throats the stale Catalano/Bernardo team, both rotten to the core.

In the absence of any transparency, this is what most probably happened… After embarrassing losses in 2013 (Ulster County Legislature race) and 2015 (Ulster County Executive race), the glue holding Terry Bernardo together was her State Committee Member title. After losing it at the Convention, she became unglued, and the emergency action plan kicked in.

If history is any indication, the plan was nothing but a blackmail scheme. Len Bernardo, the Chairman of Ulster County Independence Party, threatened to deny the Independence Party ballot line to the Republican candidates unless Roger Rascoe, the Ulster GOP Chairman, reinstates Terry Bernardo on the State Committee.

Say ain’t so, Roger.

– Jon Dogar-Marinesco

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The Republican Caucus voted the slate of candidates

Town of Rochester 2017 Republican Slate

From left to right:
Ron Lapp Jr. (R) for Ulster County Legislator District 21
Karl Baker (R) for Highway Superintendent
Mike Sommer (C) for Town Council
Randy Wynkoop Jr. (R) for Town Council
Vinny Nigro (R) for Town Justice
Len Bernardo (I) for Town Supervisor

Missing from the photo, Kate Gundberg (R) for Town Clerk.

The Caucus at a glance (nominees in red):


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Carl Chipman: Effective yesterday I have changed my political party affiliation from the Republican Party to the Working Families Party.

Carl Chipman

Today, Carl Chipman – the Spineless Liar – posted this on his Facebook Wall:

“Well folks now it is official. At Thursday night’s Town of Rochester Town Board Meeting I officially announced that I will not seek nor accept the nomination for re-election to the position of Town Supervisor. This decision was made after considerable thought and prayer. The Lord has called me and I have decided to follow the path that our Lord has led me on. I am beginning my journey hopefully to be ordained in the Permanent Deaconate of the Roman Catholic Church. This process will be over 4 years long and will involve Masters Level Study at St. Joseph’s Seminary in the Dunwoodie section of Yonkers and one of the rules is that I may not serve in an elected office. Upon completion and during this journey I will work to serve the needs of the poor, the infirmed, and all those I meet who need help. I look forward to preaching the word of God and showing my love of God and for my fellow men and women through how I conduct myself daily. I am very much looking forward to this next chapter in my life with Christina at my side. We will finally be joined together in matrimony in the eyes of God on June 17th. I feel so blessed to have Christina supporting my decision to follow this path and to have her be a part of this. We are a team and our faith runs very deep and my love for her has continued to grow every day of the last 5 years we have been together.

I am truly grateful to the residents on our Town who have put their trust in me to be their Supervisor for the last 10 years. It has been an honor and a privilege to serve all our residents. The Town of Rochester was a mess when I was sworn in. People were fighting with each other over stupid things. No one was communicating, just bickering over exaggerated claims. I decided to change things. It wasn’t easy but it worked. I believed in inclusion and brought everyone to the table regardless of partisan persuasion and demanded that everyone first and foremost respected the viewpoints of others and that they realized that we are all neighbors and are involved because we love our Town. From that point people, could work together to make our Town better. I was very fortunate to be surrounded by many talented dedicated citizens who worked hard to move our Town forward. We went from being a backwater version of the Wild Wild West to being a progressive leader of other towns in our region and the state. Many of our citizens contributed to this and they came from all walks of life and political persuasions and are now seen as leaders by their colleagues. I think of people like Mike Baden former chair of the Ulster County Planning Board and chair of our planning board, Steve Fornal Zoning and Planning Guru, our Town Clerk Kathleen Gundberg who serves as President of the Ulster County Clerks Assoc., our Assessor Mike Dunham who serves as President of the Ulster County Assessors Assoc., Laura Finestone our ECC Chair who is widely respected in the environmental community, and many others. I myself have served as President of the Ulster County Assoc. of Supervisor and Mayors for the past several years, as well as chairing and presiding over many other committees and commissions. We have accomplished many things in our Town during my tenure but the most important thing has been inclusion of all to come to the table. I’ve also been very fortunate to work with dedicated Town Board members and dedicated Town Employees from varied backgrounds during my tenure. Some of our best work has been the result of pooling our individual talents and points of view. This is the way government is supposed to work. Not like the messes we have in Washington and Albany.

Although I will not be holding elected office after the end of this year, this does not mean that my passion for good government for all the people will have diminished. I will still be advocating for those who are less fortunate who must struggle to support themselves and their families. I will still be working to help protect our environment and to promote affordable clean locally controlled energy for all. I also believe that all our citizens deserve equal opportunities for quality education with individualized education plans to make the most of their abilities for equal access to sustainable employment. Wherever I see need or injustice, I will be there. Effective yesterday I have changed my political party affiliation from the Republican Party to the Working Families Party. I believe the 2-party system has failed us and both the Republican and Democrat Parties kowtow to special interests which line their coffers with cash. The time has come for true campaign finance reform. I will also continue to contribute at the Town level wherever needed to continue to move our Town forward as we meet the challenges of the future. Thank you for your support all these years and may God Bless each and every one of you.”


As expected, friends of the ex-Republican Supervisor – overwhelmingly from the left side of the political spectrum – left flattering comments on the page… blah, blah, blah…

The only meaningful, telling comment was posted by Kristen Chipman, the Supervisor’s daughter: “My question to you is why does your daughter have to log on to Facebook to find this stuff out, Especially when she just called you?

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Carl Chipman’s creed…


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Victory Lapp

Dump Terry Bernardo

More often than not, readers’ comments in Freeman are more telling than the articles.

We learn from Freeman that Terry Bernardo has brought the privately-owned Catskill Mountain Railroad (CMRR) at the forefront of the County Executive race, that she has made the expansion of the railroad’s operation a major plank in her campaign, touting it as a significant tourist attraction in Ulster County.

Let’s see what we do learn from comments…

    Paula Sirc writes:

    Bernardo’s only interest in the train is using it as an election ploy. Does everyone forget her tenure as Legis Chair and her abysmal record of cronyism, devisiveness and power-mongering. Her economic development plan should start by creating the jobs she promised (and failed) to create when she and her husband accepted IDA tax breaks for her 209 business. Don’t be duped!

    Steven Lance Fornal writes:

    C’mon, man! Y’all kept at it about the CMRR being THE issue. Y’all were sure it was a winning position for your candidate of choice. Now, you’re going to have to live with the CLEAR message sent with Hein’s victory.

    Ms. Bernardo fell in with CMRR and based many talking points in that regard on the lies told by the CMRR lobbyists.

    Ms. Bernardo fell in with the 2nd Amendment folk and based talking points on their complete misrepresentation of the Safe Act as ACTUALLY being a statute which disallowed gun ownership. That was a lie. And she ran with it.

    Ms. Bernardo fell in with the Bike-Lane-is-costing-me-parking-spaces bunch even though that issue was immediately addressed and the plan altered to accommodate the small businesses along the route. So, she ran with another lie, that government was not responsive.

    Ms. Bernardo used specious “facts” in an attempt to counter the reality of Hein doing a very good job. That was fudging the truth.

    Ms. Bernardo kept leveling accusations of Hein being a bully based upon a few anecdotal bits of gossip. That’s not truth that’s playing dirty politics.

    And, finally, how can anyone who actually knows the facts of CMRR’s lease breaches think they have a chance winning in court on the lawsuit it brought against the county?

We learn from Freeman that “the only upset in Tuesday’s legislative races came in District 21 (Rochester, Wawarsing), where incumbent Democrat Lynn Archer lost to Republican Ronald Lapp Jr. Archer won the seat two years ago by defeating then-Legislature Chairwoman Terry Bernardo, helping Democrats take control of the body. Bernardo, a Republican, lost Tuesday’s Ulster County executive election to incumbent Democrat Michael Hein.”

What do we learn from comments?

    Steven Lance Fornal writes:

    District 21 lost a very good legislator, not to someone better equipped to do the job. Oh, no…District 21 lost Lynn Archer because the Dems didn’t come out. I know…I know…it was an “off-year” election. Thus, the irony. We don’t need Dems to come out in force during the Presidential election year because New York State is a blue state. When we need Dems to turn out is when the election is about HERE, our HOME!

    No excuses. Because of Democrats’ laziness, we get someone with zero experience, someone that hasn’t attended a Town Meeting, let alone a County Legislative meeting.

    So, to all you Dems whom had more important things to do yesterday than to set aside a small period of time to vote for a deserving candidate, you have zero right to complain over the next two years when “our” legislative representative conducts his on-the-job learning experience.

Mr. Fornal’s point on voters’ apathy applies to both parties throughout Ulster County. Look at the graph below… About 45,000 fewer people voted in the County Executive race this year!

Dump Terry Bernardo

Back to the comments…

    MKGNH66 writes:

    Congratulations Mr. Lapp – a fresh perspective sorely needed in UC – the elimination of a legislator who was essentially a rubber stamp for the executive’s office will only provide for more diversity of opinion – no one should bemoan that kind of positive political dynamic.

    Steven Lance Fornal answers:

    Just how on earth could electing someone without any political experience or qualifications whatsoever be a good thing? Like picking a butcher for neurosurgery.

    The real reason Mr. Lapp won was because in the Town of Rochester (District 21), when it comes down to an old time name running against a relative newcomer, old time wins, hands down regardless of anything else (like six years on the Town Board and another two in UC Legislature).

    Ron Lapp may be a nice man, but he is unbelievably unqualified for a legislative position. I don’t believe I’ve ever seen him attend a town meeting and doubt very much that he’s attended county meetings. By the way, Lynn Archer was NEVER a rubber stamp for Hein. In fact, she often stood up to him.

    But, then again, facts like these aren’t convenient for scapegoating Hein as the reason for CMRR’s own failures.

Looking at Mr. Lapp’s campaign ad, I challenge MKGNH66 to point out elements of the “fresh perspective sorely needed in UC.”

Dump Terry Bernardo

– Jon Dogar-Marinesco

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BREAKING NEWS – Election results (illustrated)

Dump Terry Bernardo

Dump Terry Bernardo

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