Wednesday, August 19, 2009

KAPA Meeting Notes from August 13 2009

[KAPA Commissioners Geri Breen and Annmarie Harms; Photo (copyright) by NS]

KAPA Commissioners Present:

Bob Smith, Temporary Chair - City of Kingston
Shelly Zimbler - Temporary Secretary - City of Kingston
Geri Breen - City of Kingston
Annmarie Harms - Town of Kingston
Mercedes Ross - Town of Esopus

KAPA Commissioners Absent:

Joe Marchetti, Temporary Vice-Chair - City of Kingston

KAPA Commission Slots Open [Recommendations and/or Volunteers?]:

Town of Rosendale
Town of Marbletown
Town of Ulster
Town of Hurley

Other Parties (to the degree I can name them) Present:

Phil Cosme
Clark Richters (Part of Meeting)
Colin Evans
Richard Cahill Sr.
Richard Cahill Jr.
Michael Gill
Todd Langon
Debra L.
Ralph Mitchell
Tony Parker [Part of Meeting]
Myself [NS]

Public Comment:

Clark Richters: Stated that "KAPA Producers should NOT be 'grandfathered in'" and that time slots should be "allotted... on a 'first come, first serve' basis." Clark stated that KAPA "should switch the prime time programming time, every six months." Clark also stated that the focus should be on getting KAPA on the air across the board, not just the KAPA Calender. [Please see the comments section for more from Clark. I initially made an error here and it has been corrected. Thank You.]

Rich Cahill Jr.: Stated that programs that had already been on the air should be "grandfathered in." Approved of Ellenbogen proposal. Urged KAPA Commission to approved the contract with the 7-21 Media Center and get back on the air as soon as possible. Stated that even though a quorum was not present - this could still be approved and that the KAPA Commission would simply have to respond if challenged. Stated that all policy matters should remain under the umbrella of KAPA. Spoke in opposition to charging the KAPA Producers fees for putting their shows on. Public access as "right" (accessible to all) - not "pay to play."

Todd Langon: Stated that he agreed with Clark Richters and Rich Cahill Jr. - and that he would like to see all of this resolved at the meeting.

Phil Cosme: Stated that KAPA should retain all editorial rights. Requested clarification on how many shows would be allowed. Stated that people are more interested in the live call-in shows than the calender. Recommended having all six votes in order to approve contract with 7-21 Media Center. Stated that KAPA still had some issues (not clear) with the City of Kingston that might affect the receipt of any (alleged? pending?) grants via Kevin Cahill's office.

Me: Spoke about the KAPA Fundraiser (pending) and submitted fliers regarding same.

Ralph Mitchell: Stated that Plan A from the 7-21 Media Center was difficult to refuse - that these were professionals that had experience in grant writing and technology.

Rich Cahill Jr.: Stated that KAPA is a Quasi Governmental entity and that the 7-21 Media Center contract should contain a liability clause. Stated that the KAPA fundraiser should be broadcast on the air.

Mercedes Ross: Stated that the 7-21 Media Center Contract should be looked at from a "legal perspective" - and that KAPA could add its own addendum's.

Tony Parker: Asked about forms for new producers - application process. Stated that he was willing to work as tech support.

Old Business:

Geri Breen: Addressed a form she had submitted to Commissioner / Temporary Chair Bob Smith at the last meeting regarding alternative sites for KAPA - felt these should still be investigated. Stated that she believed the whole station should be underwritten. Passed out some information links that Clark had given her and other (a paper regarding Walter Cronkite) materials.

New Business:

Shelly Zimbler: Stated that he had spoken to Ralph Ellenbogen about the 7-21 Media Center option and that he agreed with Rich Cahill Jr. (see above) 100%. Stated that KAPA had allowed "three people to take them down." Thanked Geri Breen for all her efforts / work - but stated that he still believed the 7-21 Media Center option was a "life raft to get back on the air." Stated that he had some concerns about the "accessibility" (apparently a problem in the past when KAPA was in the same building under different ownership) issue.

Debra L.: Stated that when KAPA left what was previously the Time Warner building (and is now the 7-21 Media Center) - the key access had been (I'm not clear on the details here) changed.

Mercedes Ross: Stated that she was in favor - maybe - of moving ahead ("short term") with the 7-21 Media Center Contract - but that she had some concerns:
1. KAPA needed to make sure it was protecting its own interests.
2. KAPA should continue to investigate and work with the Mayor (for the long term) in regard to (as a possible KAPA site) the Carnegie building [Geri Breen also spoke in favor of this.]
3. Stated that she agreed with Rich Cahill Jr. that there should be no "pay to play" policy for the producers.
4. Inquired about liability issues.
5. Stated that she would like to be on the new FOPA Board.

Shelly Zimbler: Introduced the newest KAPA Commissioner - Annmarie Harms - Town of Kingston.

Bob Smith: Stated that he had spoken with Mayor Sottile and Kathy Janeczek - was keeping them up to date. Stated that he was for "backing off" the "pay to play" idea - but that a request for a donation (producers, advertising, calender postings) was still viable. Stated that it was time for a "fresh start" - which he believed should include lifting the ban (formerly imposed) on Phil Cosme [This was voted on / approved (4/1) by the KAPA Commissioners that were present.]. Stated that he was "very much in favor" of the 7-21 Media Center contract - and that it was a good idea to put in the conditions / addendum's that members of the group had recommended.

A vote was held on whether to enter into the contract with the 7-21 Media Center - with the addendum's / clauses (if the 7-21 Media Center is receptive) - as suggested above were put in place - and this was approved 4/1.

Geri Breen: Stated that she would be happy to serve as the interface (emails) between the KAPA Commission and the Producers. Stated that new committees needed to be set up ASAP.

A vote was held on honoring the "grandfathering in" idea - letting established producers retain their old time slots - and this was also passed 4/1.

Open Session Prior to Adjournment:

Todd Langon: Asked about the producers that hadn't been utilizing their time slots... [complicated issue at this point]

Phil Cosme: Stated that he was "happy" to be reinstated. Stated that "by law" Time Warner is "supposed to fulfill all financial responsibilities" in regard to KAPA - that KAPA's job was simply to fill the KAPA Producer time slots.

The question (to this effect) was asked [I'm not absolutely sure who asked it, and might not print it if I was...]:

"Why hasn't anyone contacted State Attorney General Cuomo about the fact that Time Warner is not living up to its contract?"

I stated that there was a direct link to Cuomo's office on this blog site, should anyone choose to do so.

Wind Up:

Bob Smith and Shelly Zimbler agreed to turn over their spots on the new FOPA board to Geri Breen and Mercedes Ross.


The vote to contract with the 7-21 Media Center - with addendum's (as suggested by the KAPA Commissioners) was passed. An email (regarding the vote and the addendum's) to the Ellenbogens [apparently in charge of the 7-21 Media Center) was sent out by Commission Chair, Bob Smith, that night. These addendum's (see above) included a "hold harmless" clause.

Rich Cahill Jr. agreed to look over the contract when amended. The KAPA Commission still has to approve and officially sign on to the final contract.

Respectfully submitted [If any errors are noted, please let me know (Some corrections have been made.) --- and I will make corrections as called for.] by,



Anonymous said...

Thank you, Ms. Smith, for your fine report. Lots of 4 to 1 votes, there; Who's the opposing vote, and would they like to explain their reasons?

Clark said...

Stated that KAPA Producers should NOT be "grandfathered in" - and allotted slots on a "first come, first serve" basis.

"The Kpa should switch the prime time programming time, every six months."

Prime Time (6:00 PM to 10:00 PM, Monday to Friday)

Each Producer will be allocated one 28 minute slot per week for each program.

N. S. said...

My apologies Clark. I will correct that immediately.

To the anon whose comment didn't get published - my apoligies, but I can't post allegations towards someone, without documented (on the public record) facts to back them up, on this site.


N. S. said...

As to who the opposing vote was - I will allow that person, should they so choose, to speak for themselves.

That said, I might write more later - but I'm really sick - and I'm apparently goofing up on some things (even spelling) here...

So I need to take a break.

Thank you all for the comments.


Clark said...

Good post.

geri breen said...

It was I, Geri Breen, who is the commissioner who voted no on the 721 contract. It is not that I am against 721 being the landlord, it is having them also become the 'new' FOPA ( friends of Public Access)...there are several reasons this is the wrong chioce for the station--please read the contract, it is posted at I also feel that if we had simply taken a commercial rental elsewhere for less money-- for more space--we would be in there RIGHT NOW, ON THE AIR...this over-complication of a mere lease into a relinquishing of our own decisions in terms of financial, content-wise, and even physically owning things is setting ourselves up for disaster & we instead should be in one of these MANY other commercial rentals available on our Braodway corridor....I can go on & on about this so please feel free to contact me, as I think we need to seek alternatives to this locking into a lot more than a rental space to bradcast the station out of, thank you.

N. S. said...


Thank you for posting. As someone on the outside looking in, I am in total agreement with you on the need for a different facility (rental space) for KAPA - and on the FOPA (which, in my opinion, has added complications from the start) issue.

Why complicate everything to this degree? What ever happened to "simple?"

This whole scenerio has reminded me of those old mouse (or mice) in the box experiments that I used to hear about in psych classes - where the cheese (the prize) was placed in some virtually unreachable corner - whilst the maze (set up by the scientist) by which the mouse (or mice) could get to the cheese was constantly (to perform various tests) being changed (I believe the scientists might have been kinder to the mice...) and (by whomever...) manipulated.

Thanks again!

GERI BREEN said...


N. S. said...


Bob has asked me if I might be interested in serving on the Commission when he steps down (City referrals go to the Council and the Mayor) - but I honestly don't know if I want to be "officially" (after what I've experienced this last year and a half plus...) on board.

Certainly, for me to even consider such a move, there would have to be some streamlining - because true teamwork - geared towards the same objectives (without a whole lot of obstructive maniputlations by people or groups outside of KAPA) - would be a prerequisite for me signing on...

Plus, it would have to NOT conflict (in regard to my freedom of speeach and press) with my work on this blog --- which I have come - over the courese of time - to love.

I'm very much an advocate of Freedom of Speech, Freedom of the Press, our Civil Rights (in general) ---

And I am computer savy to a point---

But I do have some personal issues afoot (including some medical issues) that I would have to consider (I'll think more about this after the September 12th events) - as well.

What a compliment, though...

From someone that I have already come to respect immensely!

Thank You.

I will keep the possibility (loosely and gently) in mind.

N. S. said...

OOPS! Sorry for the spelling error!

Here's a joke (one of my favorites) for your daughter's B-Day:

"What do you call a woodpecker with no beak?"


"A head-banger!"

Have a happy!