Monday, August 10, 2009

City Council Meetings... KAPA.... Updates...

[My Garden is Growing!] Photo by NS]

Updates [Doing what I can, where I can, when I can...] Galore:

July 7, 2009 Kingston City Council Meeting:

1. The Kingston City Council members voted on "Local Law #7" and amended "Chapter 360" of the "Kingston City Code" (Taxation). "Veterans who rendered military service to the United States during the 'Cold War'" will henceforth (This was adopted 8/0) be granted an exemption (on the property they own) "from real property taxes."

2. Resolution #129 (2009) was adopted in a 8/0 vote. This resolution recommended the approval to authorize the City of Kingston to enter into a "contract with Hess Corporation for the City's gas [natural gas] and electric supply needs."

3. Open Speaking Session:

a. A gentleman that stated he was a resident at Washington Manor stated that the Queens Galley was an "excellent community service" and a "good program" - but that it was being "misdirected." This gentleman alleged that the Queens Galley was misusing its non-profit status, engaging in "extortion", and committing human rights violations. He stated that he was there to stand up for himself and for those that were not able to speak up on their own behalf. He also stated that he had talked to a lawyer about the issue - could pursue a lawsuit. Council President and Alderman-at-Large, J. Noble stated that he would look into the situation.

b. Bob Smith, the temporary Kingston Area Public Access (KAPA) station Chairperson, thanked the Mayor, the Council and the City of Kingston for approving $400 in aid on behalf of KAPA.

c. I spoke on the following: Concerns (self and neighbors) about dogs being loose and/or potentially dangerous in Ward 5 and elsewhere (according to dialogue on in the City - concerns about an alleged homeless community / settlement by the railroad tracks and YMCA park in Ward 5 - and on the topic of the road work being done (and scheduled) in Ward 5. I also thanked the Council (in particular, Kathy Janeczek) for their part in the Independence Day Celebration - and seconded the thanks - to the Council and Mayor - for the KAPA aid.

d. Another gentleman (I prefer not to use names here, as I might mis-spell them) spoke on behalf of the need for recycle bins in the City of Kingston (parks, etc.). Council President Noble stated that many of the City Parks and Municipal buildings already have recycle bins. This gentleman also spoke about (amongst other issues) his concerns in regard to the use of pesticides - and the need for pesticide free zones.

Source: "July 7, 2009 City of Kingston Common Council Agenda"; "General Bills
July 7, 2009 Kingston Common Council"; and my own Council Meeting [I was only present for the early part of this meeting] notes.


August 4, 2009 Kingston City Council Meeting:

1. Local Laws (Second Reading - 2009 - Common Council - City of Kingston) #8, #9, #10, #11 and #12 were adopted - as reflected in the following:

a. Local Law #8: Amended "Code Section 405-26 for flood damage protection as authorized by the New York State Constitution, Article IX, Section 2, and Environmental Law, Article 36."

b. Local Law #9: Amended the "City of Kingston Zoning Law to add a traditional neighborhood development overlay district."

c. Local Law #10: Amended "Chapter 350 of the Administrative Code of the City of Kingston."

d. Local Law #11: Amended "Chapter 208 of the Code of the City of Kingston, entitled 'Electrical Regulations."

e. Local Law #12: "Authorized a Retirement Incentive Program for Employees of the City of Kingston, New York." [Alderman Reynolds commended the Mayor for developing this "critical" (due to the current economic climate and related budgetary concerns) program.]

Alderwoman DiBella made a motion, seconded by Alderman Senor (all of this covered in the local papers, etc.) to reconsider and/or rescind (the difference was explained by Council President Noble) a previous vote that had allowed [already signed into law and implemented) the removal of a traffic light in Uptown Kingston. This discussion, sometimes heated, went on for some time - as apparently a lot of concerns have been raised regarding pedestrian safety. Alderwoman DiBella read a letter from Chief Keller regarding possibly seeking an "expert opinion" on the issue --- and Alderwoman DiBella read (this has apparently been passed on) an email to the Mayor from 10 Uptown residents who reputedly want the traffic light (versus a stop sign) reinstated. Long story short [This is also being bounced around on other blogs.) - Alderwoman DiBella, Alderman Senor, Alderman Hoffay, Alderman Polacco, Alderman Reynolds, Alderman Landi and Alderman-at-Large / Council President Noble were caught up in this discussion for quite some time [Kudos to Mr. Noble for his patient explanations...] --- and I had to leave before the outcome (Alderman Madsen had just started to weigh in on the topic) was settled.

Please see the local papers for the resolution of this issue. I was only present for part of this meeting - as I was going back and forth between the City Council Meeting (Council Chambers) and the Kingston Area Public Access (KAPA) Meeting (Conference Room I).

Source: "August 4, 2009 City of Kingston Common Council Agenda" and my own Council Meeting notes.


August 4, 2009 Kingston Area Public Access (KAPA) Meeting Notes:

I was only present for part of this meeting (as noted above) - which was called in order (according to Temporary KAPA Chair, Bob Smith) to discuss Jeremy Ellenbogens' proposal in regard to working with (lease and rental issues / training issues / equipment issues / etc.] KAPA.

A good number of people - including former producers - were in attendance.

A breakdown in communications between the KAPA Producers and the KAPA Commission was addressed.

All "appear" to be in agreement that KAPA needs to work on organizational issues.

Sal Silvestro brought up issues regarding "Friends of Public Access" (FOPA) - stating (to this effect) - that 7-8 towns had given KAPA permission to represent them - and that these towns never gave FOPA (which they might not have even heard of...) consent to represent them in any way. Mr. Silvestro expressed the belief that to continue with the FOPA / 7-21 Media Center contract (signed by a FOPA member --- not a KAPA member) could well entail legal problems.

Rich Cahill Jr. stated that KAPA had no authority to give its power over to FOPA --- and that FOPA legally (KAPA is a Quasi-governmental agency representing the City of Kingston and some surrounding towns) can not give operational orders to the KAPA Commission.

Richard Cahill Jr. asked the KAPA Commission to reconsider charging the KAPA Producers a fee (as had been proposed) - as "public access is a right" - and some producers can not afford this.

Richard Cahill Jr. (a lawyer and former producer) agreed to discuss the legalities of the situation [KAPA; FOPA; Other?] with Temporary KAPA Commissioner, Bob Smith.

KAPA Commissioner Mercedes Ross addressed FOPA representative Colin Evans (the only FOPA Rep. present) about FOPA's authority (in question) in regarding to having signed a lease with the 7-21 Media Center. Colin Evans responded (in effect) that "FOPA never made a claim to represent KAPA." [Although it was FOPA member Lisa Alt that signed the 7-21 Media Center lease.]

Phil Cosme, a former KAPA Producer - spoke in defense of himself (having been banned from studio access on a former date, when Lisa Alt was the KAPA Commissioner) - and stated (in effect) that KAPA had lost its "essence." Phil Cosme also spoke against KAPA relinquishing any of its power to FOPA.

Beyond that - I announced a potential fundraiser [on behalf of KAPA / monies to go directly to KAPA) - as noted elsewhere on this blog - and went in (as noted above) to the City Council Meeting.

The next KAPA meeting is at City Hall (Conference Room 1) this Thursday, August 13 - at 7PM.


My apologies for the partial notes.

If any errors are noted, please let me know and I will make corrections as called for.


Postscript: There is a new site at [a direct link has been placed in the sidebar] regarding the proposed Health Care Reform issue. According to an email I received today [from David Axelrod, Senior Advisor to the President;] ---
you can (along with accessing other information and "online tools") watch the following videos on this site:

"CEA Chair Christina Romer details how health insurance reform will impact small businesses.

Domestic Policy Council Director Melody Barnes tackles a nasty rumor about euthanasia and clearly describes how reform helps families.

Matt Flavin, the White House's Director of Veterans and Wounded Warrior Policy, clears the air about Veteran's benefits.

Kavita Patel, M.D., a doctor serving in the White House's Office of Public Engagement, explains that health care rationing is happening right now and how reform gives control back to patients and doctors.

Bob Kocher, M.D., a doctor serving on the National Economic Council, debunks the myth that health insurance reform will be financed by cutting Medicare benefits."



Have a Happy!


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