Thursday, February 25, 2010

Old S. Troy Bars; Whatever DID Become of The Old Snuggery Inn?

From: "Bill and Cathy McGrath" <>
Subject: [Rensselaer] Dave's Grill, Troy, NY
Date: Tue, 18 Nov 2003 12:12:49 -0500
I wonder if anyone on the Rensselaer County List or the Troy Irish Genealogy List remember Dave's Grill?

Dave's Grill was on 5 Cross Street just up from another well known Troy grill, The Snuggery Inn. Cross Street, for those not familiar with Troy streets, is the side street near Marty Burke's South End Tavern.

Owners were Dave Dufty, who was born in England and died in Providence, Rhode Island on April 6, 1961 and his sister-in-law, Mary C. O'Connor who died in Troy on October 12, 1963. Dave was married to Julia O'Connor. Mary and Julia were sisters to my grandfather William O'Connor and were my great aunts.

The grill, which was open for about twenty years, was attached to the side of the O'Connor family home. My great grandparents were Timothy O'Connor, born Nenagh, County Tipperary, Ireland, and his wife Catherine McCormick O'Connor born in Dunbin, County Louth, Ireland. They lived at Cross Street from the 1870's until their deaths in 1912 and 1923. My mother, Mary Elizabeth O'Connor McGrath, even lived at Cross Street with the extended O'Connor family for her first few years until her parents, William O'Connor and Mary Carroll O'Connor moved behind the Cross street house onto Burden Avenue. My mother spent the rest of her life at 739 Burden Avenue and when she married James McGrath the boy next door at 741 Burden Avenue, they lived all their married life on the second floor of 739 Burden Avenue.

Dave's Grill was a popular spot for families on a hot summer night. Cars would park all over the road in front of the grill and the wife and kids would sit in the car while the husband went into the grill to get drinks. He would come out of the grill carrying a beer tray of drinks and perhaps a small box (not bag) of the old time Blue Ribbon potato chips. Does anyone remember them? The parents would sit in the cars and enjoy their drinks while the kids would play games on the quiet back street. As kids ourselves we would join in and play hide and seek, etc. with the children. There would literally be dozens of cars parked there with everyone sitting in their cars enjoying the hot nights.

As children we would leave our house on Burden Avenue and walk through our back yard to go visit Mary O'Connor, who was my great aunt Mame, and her brother Charlie. If we wanted soda from the bar there was a small passageway with a telephone that led to the bar. You had to knock on the door with a coin and eventually a bar tender would come to the door and take your order. As kids we would sometimes bring a bucket to get beer for our McGrath grandparents who lived next door to us on Burden Avenue. My grandfather, Thomas McGrath and his wife Nora Kennedy McGrath, both from Thurles, Tipperary, Ireland would enjoy their beer with friends from Ireland, sing songs like the Maid of Sweet Carew and have a good cry in their beer.

I imagine it was a hard life in the O'Connor homestead. There was no hot water, no refrigerator only a ice box and there was no central heat. In the cold weather, Charlie would have a coal fire in the stove in the sitting room where Mame presided in her rocking chair alongside a large table which was under a large colored glass dome. As the night wore on Charlie would heat bricks on the stove which would then be carried up to warm the beds in the unheated upstairs rooms. If we got a little rambunctious, Mame would give us a warning that "Charles will give you the gate" so we then would quiet down.

The O'Connor home and Dave's Grill has been torn down for over forty years now but I still have a vivid impression of the buildings and the good times we had there growing up. One memento I still have from the building is a photograph of the Burden Water Wheel when it was a ruin and most likely being dismantled. I found this photo in the O'Connor home.

All of my O'Connor's as well as my McGrath's worked at the Burden Iron Company.


Bill McGrath
Clifton Park, NY

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

County Waste to pay nearly $1 million trash settlement

February 22, 2010 at 1:32 pm by Jordan Carleo-Evangelist

Tim O’Brien reports:

Clifton Park-based trash hauler County Waste has agreed to a nearly $1 million settlement in connection with trash it was accused of dumping at the Colonie Town Landfill without paying proper tipping fees.

About $736,000 will go to the town, and the remaining $250,000 is a fine associated with inappropriate waste that the company accepted at its Clifton Park transfer station, according to Attorney General Andrew Cuomo.

“Scams like this not only potentially impact the environment, but also taxpayers who have to bear the brunt of lost revenue,” Cuomo said in a statement.

The whistleblower in the case, former County Waste manager Ralph Hunter, will receive a total of $163,651 from the above amounts.

The amount of the settlement pales in comparison to some of the figures publicly discussed. Hunter initially contended the firm had defrauded the town of as much as $15 million.

The state Department of Environmental Conservation began investigating County Waste in February 2007. In July 2008, a search warrant was executed at County Waste’s Clifton Park facility.

Click on link to the coverage from the day the Times Union broke this story.

Mahar to Be Honored w/ Post Office Name

Gillibrand, Schumer Introduce Legislation To Name Lansingburgh Post Office After Martin G. Mahar

Marty Mahar Was Born and Raised in Troy, Served in WWII, Worked For Postal Service

U.S. Senators Kirsten Gillibrand and Charles E. Schumer introduced legislation that would rename the Post Office in Lansingburgh after Martin G. “Marty” Mahar. Congressman Paul Tonko introduced HR. 4425 last month.

“Marty Mahar represented the very best of Troy and all of New York,” Senator Gillibrand said. “He served his community and country with honor, integrity and dignity. Naming the Lansingburgh Post Office after him will honor his legacy in the community he loved and served so well.”

“Marty Mahar deserves to be honored for his lifetime of service to our country and to the people of New York,” Senator Schumer said. “Naming this post office in his memory will allow the citizens of Troy to remember his great example of courage and patriotism.”

“Marty was truly a public servant whose leadership and selflessness should be a model for us all,” said Rep. Paul Tonko. “From his dedication in serving our country as a Marine during World War II to his service in the postal service and our community, I am honored to take a lead role, alongside Senator Schumer and Senator Gillibrand, in renaming this post office in Marty’s honor.”

Mr. Mahar was born, raised, and lived in Troy, New York for most of his life. He served in World War II as a Marine in the Asiatic-Pacific Theater. For his tour of duty, he received four Battle Stars, a Presidential Unit Citation, and a Purple Heart (at Iwo Jima). He was in the inaugural class of the New York State Senate Veterans Hall of Fame. After serving his country, he was involved in many veterans’ organizations.

Mr. Mahar joined the United States Postal Service as a letter carrier in 1955. He retired in 1983 and had a long career serving as a member of the National Association of Letter Carriers (NALC).

Mr. Mahar was also a respected community leader. He was Mayor of Troy from 1990-1991. He was also a member of the Troy City Council for 10 years.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Fueding Neighbors Fence Off Public Road in Property Right Dispute

Wooden posts laced with barbed wire stretch down the center of Houston Avenue near Hudson


Feud over fence in middle of Hudson road may go to trial
By Molly Moorhead, Times Staff Writer
Wednesday, February 10, 2010

NEW PORT RICHEY — The ongoing "fence in the street" dispute on Houston Avenue in Hudson is showing no sign of resolution.

The owners of a private landfill at the end of Houston have been locked in a legal feud with the owner of an adjacent timber grove involving property rights and trespassing accusations. The fight reached a peak in November when Barbara Ryals, DCH Timber owner, constructed a fence down the middle of Houston — on her property line — to keep Coastal Landfill's trucks off her land. Coastal objected, along with the neighbors on Houston who now have only one lane of access on that stretch of the road.

Ryals says that Coastal trucks have widened the road on her property and installed sprinklers, all without her permission. Coastal argues that they have easement rights to the road to get in and out of the landfill property. The neighbors says it's all a huge inconvenience.

Last week, Circuit Judge Lowell Bray denied a request from Coastal for a temporary injunction that would have required the fence to be removed.

And on Monday, the two sides held a mediation conference at Bray's urging, to try to find a resolution.

Mark Buell, DCH attorney, said the mediation failed and he doesn't expect there to be any further attempts.

Coastal attorney Shelly Johnson May could not be reached for comment.

So, for now at least, the fence remains. The issue likely will be set for trial.

Molly Moorhead can be reached at or (727) 869-6245.

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Rennselaer Co to Get 3M in Stimulus

Relief for property tax

Budget proposal includes Medicaid relief that'll help with property taxes

By KENNETH C. CROWE II, Staff writer
Wednesday, February 3, 2010

President Barack Obama's proposed 2011 federal budget carries Medicaid relief for the state's counties that will help property taxpayers, U.S. Sen. Chuck Schumer said Tuesday.

The greater Capital Region's counties are projected to receive $21.6 million of $150 million allocated for upstate counties in additional federal funding for the first six months of 2011 to offset local Medicaid costs.
The counties are facing 2011 budget deficits at the same time as residents' demand for social services and assistance is increasing.

"Unemployment is already too high, and unless we get fiscal aid directly to our beleaguered county governments during this downturn they will be forced to raise property taxes, lay off vital workers and make things worse instead of better,'' Schumer said.

County leaders said the additional aid provided in the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act will help them deal with pending budget gaps.

"It will help tremendously,'' said Albany County Executive Mike Breslin. The $5.9 million Albany County would receive would close part of a projected 2011 county budget gap of $25 million to $30 million, Breslin said.

Rensselaer County Executive Kathleen Jimino said the $3.2 million her county would receive accounts for about 25 percent of a forecast 2011 budget shortfall of $14 million.

"We're still feeling the impact of the downturn in the economy and more people needing the help the county provides,'' Jimino said.

She said the additional federal assistance would tide over the county until its sales tax and mortgage tax revenues revive.

Breslin and Jimino said the key part of the aid package is that the money goes to the counties.

Schumer said in a telephone interview from Washington, D.C., that he had worked for five years to get direct payment to the counties, and achieved it in the stimulus act and then in the budget proposal. New York state is to receive $3 billion.

"It does help us during very trying economic times. The number-one issue confronting counties is property taxes,'' said Schenectady County Legislature Chairwoman Susan Savage. Her county will receive $3.2 million.

Saratoga County Administrator David Wickerham said the $2.2 million his county is slated to receive will help. He added he would like to see the minimum 50 percent federal match for Medicaid increased. By contrast, Arizona receives 67 percent.

"This is a budget proposal,'' Wickerham said. "I'm not ready to budget any of the money right now.''

Reach Kenneth C. Crowe II at 454-5084 or

Help on the way

New York's counties would receive additional federal funds to deal with Medicaid costs in the proposed 2011 federal budget.


Albany $5.926 million

Columbia $991,000

Fulton $1.283 million

Greene $882,000

Montgomery $1.109 million

Rensselaer $3.212 million

Saratoga $2.298 million

Schenectady $3.256 million

Schoharie $529,000

Warren $1.120 million

Washington $1.053 million

Source: U.S. Sen. Chuck Schumer's office

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