Working with videographer and filmmaker David McDonald, this site has produced a video interview with two of TCI of NY’s closest neighbors, Dmitri and Barbara Bassakalis. The couple evacuated their house on the night of August 1st, then stayed up all night observing the fire from a safe distance—all the while hoping they would have a house to which to return.
Some key revelations from their interview last Wednesday include:
According to the couple, a representative of the NYS State Department of Environmental Conservation who visited their site (after Mr. Bassakalis appeared on Albany TV) declined to take a sample of the countless black, oily objects which fell on their deck, cars, lawn and into their pool.
Instead, the couple says they were told not to worry about the many black objects, and told to simply wash it away. (Note: Their house relies on well water.)
Mr. Bassakalis, who also works for the State, reports that he was refused entry to the County and State’s joint press conference on Thursday, August 1st, where he had hoped to learn details of what had just happened in his neighborhood;
At the time of this interview, the couple said they had not been visited by anyone from TCI, and their multiple calls to the company’s insurer Zurich had not been returned.
A request sent to TCI by this site last week, asking to sit down with a representative of the company, has not been answered.
Below is a still image of some of the material observed in their aboveground pool late last week, during a visit with Ghent resident Patti Matheney. Other images and video clips appear in the video by permission from Lance Wheeler, Tony Bashford and Mark Johnson.
This astonishing video was posted on YouTube and Facebook by resident Mark E. Johnson, showing a fireball/explosion over the TCI facility in Ghent last week. Be sure to click through to the comments on YouTube for more discussion of the fire, including several commenters who try to say this was no big deal.
And then there’s this, in which one firefighter exclaims “good lord,” another says “look at the shit that’s coming down from that,” and another says “whatever the fuck that was, it was fuckin’ huge.” Another says that some debris which looks like “rags” starts coming down, off-camera.
Former Register-Star reporter Jamie Larson (now in journalism school) has posted an interview with the buyers of the Keystone building in Hudson, who are opening it as a restaurant called Crimson Sparrow. They are alums of wd-50 in Manhattan, which practices a science-based form of cooking known as “molecular gastronomy.” Jamie’ interview is viewable on Vimeo.
(This means Hudson will have a Red Dot, a Red Chair, a Red Chopstick and a Crimson Sparrow. Where is the love for the other primary colors?)
Upstreet just a few steps, I've had it confirmed that the sale of the Ackerman's building is finalized—sold to an arts-minded couple from Northern Dutchess, who may be contemplating a Guido's-style market in the ground floor space.
Meanwhile, a valued local source says that DPW chief Rob Perry has found not only the former Venus statue in the 7th street park, but also its elaborate base.
All this occurs in the context of business owners from 7th Street up (7up?) organizing to encourage foot traffic and improvements in their part of town. This follows on the heels of The now-defunct (but once very effective) Fourthdown and the current Belo3rd groups. Sooner or later, the merchants of the 500 and 600 blocks may have to stage a counterrevolutionary organization of their own...