UPDATE #4: Da|Ba was packed on Saturday night for dinner and drinks for a remarkable, impromptu gathering of friends and family. The restaurant’s final service was Sunday, with people invited to visit with the family today (Monday) from 2-6 pm.
UPDATE #3: Over $45,000 in donations have been raised from the community as of Sunday at 1 pm to assist the Nilsson family. You can donate here.
UPDATE #2: Bob Rasner posted the following message on Facebook from the Nilsson family:
A Message from Daniel Nilsson’s Family
We are very grateful for the outpouring of affection for our Daniel. We all miss him.
We invite everyone who wishes to share their memories to meet on Monday, February 8th between 2pm and 6pm at DA|BA.
The funeral will be private and no charity has been designated. We are planning a memorial service open to everyone in the community for Daniel’s birthday, March 18th. More information will be posted at a future date.
UPDATE #1: Philmont native and Da|Ba regular Bob Macfarlane, who was also at the restaurant the evening before Dan’s death, turned up this 2014 article which captures some of the essence of Dan’s work and presence.
Hudson is awash in tears today over the untimely, unfathomable and genuinely tragic passing of Da|Ba owner Daniel Nilsson, said by a source in contact with the State Troopers to have died by his own hand on a family member’s farm.
I saw Dan just last night at his restaurant. We didn't get a chance to speak, as he was in conversation with another table. His rich chanterelle soup and clever tacos were as splendid as ever, and there was no sense of anything amiss. In recent days he had been posting hilarious photos of customers, his family and himself taken in a temporary Da|Ba photobooth.
I met Dan at the moment he landed in Hudson, while out canvassing for voters with Abdus Miah, probably in Spring 2005. A jolly young man was standing by his car near Jubilee (now Savoia), and we tried to register him to vote. He explained that he couldn't yet, but that he was here to look at the Paramount building across the street. If he bought it, he vowed to register right away.
Dan was full of life, and larger than it. He made friends easily, kept things fun, cared about his customers, provided countless people with needed work, and made a beautiful family.
That he is gone is deeply upsetting and baffling. If there was one quality to learn from Dan, it might be his absence of judgement toward others—his embrace of the many personalities and foibles which came through the Da|Ba door. And so one must honor his painful choice, even as we bitterly regret his sudden absence.
Will Yandik, Democratic candidate for Congress (Source: Campaign page on Facebook)
Livingston farmer Will Yandik was endorsed today by the Columbia County Democratic Committee (CCDC) to fill the soon-to-be vacant NY-19 Congressional seat currently held by Chris Gibson, according to several Democrats attending the meeting in Valatie.
Both Yandik and Teachout made half-hour presentations and took questions before the decision.
According to one committeeperson, the votes broke down 79.6% for Yandik, 20.4% for Teachout.
Another Democrat said that following that straw poll, the Committee unanimously endorsed Yandik by acclamation.
Teachout reportedly strive to focus on broadly-popular liberal issues, but faced questions about her short residency and very recent voter registration in the district. More than one attendee felt she dodged those questions and did not provide any real answer to concerns that her campaign would be hampered by allegations of district-shopping.
Zephyr Teachout’s tenuous connection to New York’s 19th Congressional District are already becoming a campaign issue, within moments of the national political activist announcing her candidacy for the open NY-19 seat being vacated by Chris Gibson.
Campaign finance records held by the New York State Board of Elections (see graphic above) show that just 5-6 weeks ago, Teachout made a $350 donation to the campaign of Sara Niccoli for Supervisor in the Town of Palatine in Montgomery County. The address listed for that donation is in Brooklyn.
Meanwhile, the conservative New York Post quickly reported that Teachout has only had an apartment in Amenia, at the southernmost end of the district, for about 10 months. Moreover, she apparently only registered to vote locally in the past two weeks:
“She said she began renting a house in Amenia in March 2015. Records show she registered to vote there on Jan. 12.”
While residency in a Congressional District is not required in order to run, it does pose at minimum a perception problem for Teachout—pretty much the identical problem faced by the past three losing Democratic candidates for this region.
Julian Schreibman, Sean Eldridge, and to a slightly lesser degree Scott Murphy were each painted by their Republican opponents as opportunistic interlopers with shallow or non-existent roots in the area. This allowed the Republicans to avoid substantive issues facing the district, and just focus (successfully) on drumming up a tired culture war between new vs. old residents.
Teachout has another thing in common with Schreibman: Both are lawyers who graduated from Yale in 1993. (The definition of insanity attributed to Albert Einstein might seem to apply.)