The Hall Monitor

Opinion:The Hall Monitor is the blog and print voice of Urban CNY founder/publisher Ken Jackson – If you have an issue to report send Ken an e-mail. Click here

Racially Motivated Shooting Leaves 10 Dead at Tops Supermarket in Buffalo: When are We Going to Say, Enough!?!


The Buffalo shooting is the realization of some of our greatest fears, racially motivated violence against Black people. Americans have gathered enough guns to arm every person in this country and have weaponry left over. The patchwork of state legislated gun legislation does nothing when people can gather enough ammunition, loaded with enough bullets to More »


Face it: Some Neighborhoods are Never Going to Improve


It’s been difficult writing positive information about a city from an armpit of a junkyard, but somehow when it came to the Syracuse Surge, I was all in. Optimistic that the city of Syracuse would finally turn the corner regarding neighborhood quality-of-life issues and economic development. And to the mayor’s credit, things have turned around, More »


Petty Crime: Video of Child Being Detained by Syracuse Police Goes Viral

After detaining the child Police placed his bike in the Patrol Car and took him home Syracuse Police held a meeting with neighborhood children after the incident asking, “what’s going on here?” Late Monday afternoon urbancny.com received a video documenting the apparent apprehension of a child observed by officers responding to a 911 call for More »


Bad Medicine: SUNY Upstate to Buy Crouse Health

I was born in Crouse-Irving Memorial Hospital (now Crouse Health) and have had procedures performed at both facilities; the prospect of SUNY Upstate merging with Crouse Hospital is frightening. Not because of any slight against the institution, but merging these hospitals is like breeding a Golden Retriever with a Pitt Bull. They’re both very different More »


Redistricting the City of Syracuse: Why Bother?

Why have a local representative body when they don’t even venture into these blight infested communities? I reside in the Second Common Council District; I bought a house right behind Brooklyn Pickle across the street from where a neighborhood junkyard meets Porter School. Demographically it’s poor, white and 1,000 feet from what is known as More »


Time for a Velvet Hammer? Gun Shots, Destiny USA Mall and the Sensationalism of Media Coverage


No one has to be convinced that something’s been occurring not only here in Syracuse, but across the urban landscape of America.  Incidents in cities involving guns; fights, robberies, etc. have increased.  Nothing could be further from the truth when shoppers at Destiny USA were evacuated, and the 10th largest Mall in America was forced More »



Onondaga County Democratic Party Slams the Door on Fingers of Possible Contenders for John Katko’s Seat in Congress

One Democratic veteran of local politics called the move, “another form of voter suppression, but this time it’s the Democratic Party of Onondaga County” John Katko’s sudden and unexpected retirement announcement is sending ripples through Democratic Party-political waters. so far Three Democrats, all military veterans, previously announced their intention to run for Congress. They are More »


Redistricting Onondaga County: What Republicans Accomplished is the Construction of an Electoral Viaduct, a Berlin Wall Against Democracy


“Power tends to corrupt and absolute power corrupts absolutely” – Lord Acton  The aforementioned quote sums up the debate and vote that establishes redrawn district lines for the Onondaga County Legislature effective for the next ten years. The process discarding any pretense of fairness, had all the makings of a shotgun wedding. Except this is More »


Election Day 2021: Now, It’s Up to You

There’s a lot at stake on November 2nd Election Day. After allowing republicans to go unchallenged on the Onondaga County Legislature, Democrats are putting up a slate of candidates. We will see if their “Flip the Legislature” theme struck a chord with voters. Given recent history, the 16th Onondaga County Legislative District could be a More »