Friday, December 30, 2011
Recycling in New Paltz has had a tumultuous history. When it was part of the highway department, it was never all that clear how much money it was making or losing, or exactly how many deer carcasses town employees dumped around back. After it was split off and the Hudson Valley Materials Exchange signed a lease, it didn't get much better, because HVME paid little or nothing and again, it wasn't clear how much the place was making or losing. Now HVME is gone, and the trailers of stuff belong to the town and are sold by the "ReUse Center."
The center makes most of its money by selling bulk scrap metal and other recyclable materials. The retail aspect could continue to grow, but I think the way the town collects recycling is bass-ackwards.
Town residents shouldn't pay for a permit, and shouldn't pay to dispose of anything that the center can sell for money. It's insulting to charge me money to drop off something that you can resell. Make the permit to recycle free, and charge for garbage, period. The town of Rochester has a free permit, and they keep it free because supervisor Carl Chipman doesn't want his recession-plagued residents to start dumping garbage on the roads. You can market the free permit and encourage more people to drop off those cash cows. It's even been suggested to me that the town could invest in a bottle machine, or some other method, that would allow the often-idle employees to collect more money by retrieving deposit bottles.
The center makes money, and even if it didn't, it improves the quality of life in the town by keeping crap off of our roads. Let's drop the barriers to recycling and increase how much this underutilized service can make.
Wednesday, December 28, 2011
- fiscal issues such as the departmental budget and personnel promotions, and
- personnel issues, like promotions and citizen complaints.
- Given the size of the budget, I think it's worth making sure that financial professionals, the kind that will probably never get elected and is willing to work for free, look over this immense spending plan.
- At the same time, having a group of people reviewing complaints makes sure that monitoring our protectors doesn't get lost in the wash of town business.
- Jeff Logan called the donation of a new police dog "the gift which keeps on taking."
- Our local police, like departments nationwide, have strong incentives to prioritize crimes which will generate income. Specifically, they get to keep money and property seized in drug crimes, or some portion thereof. It's the flip side of "running a government like a business:" some crimes are literally worth more to the police than others.
- Every part-time officer we've hired has eventually become full-time. Part-timers are hired because hey, they're so much cheaper because there's no benefits to pay. Too bad it never stays that way.
- Giving SUNY security police status created another police force in the heart of our community, one which has no citizen oversight and heightens the sense that the college is apart from New Paltz. Better to have them pay for the same police protection as the rest of us, just as they do for fire protection.
Tuesday, December 27, 2011
Okay, break is over, everyone back on your heads.
The New Paltz Gadfly has been gestating, and is being born anew. There are going to be a few changes to the blog, but never fear, change is good!
- First off, it's just me here on in. I enjoyed having kT Tobin blogging alongside me for over two years, but she's decided to move on to other things. I hope she decides to weigh in as a commenter from time to time so that her viewpoint will not be entirely missed.
- This gives me a chance to get away from politics! The Gadfly drifted political, but politics was never my personal preference. I prefer talking about government. What does that mean?
This reinvigorated gadfly is going to be interested in what these people are doing once they're in office. If I interview an elected official I am going to try to avoid using direct quotes, which should minimize how much they can use this blog to look good. Instead I will focus on observing their actual behavior, and just paraphrase their excuses. No puffery, just a critical eye.
There's a lot of local government to talk about. The village, the town, the school district are all definitely local, and largely what I've focused on in the past. However, my political campaign helped me to understand how much county government impacts us, so I am sure to pay some attention to our local legislators; one of them is too steeped in the development world to even have an opinion on the most important issue to effect our senior citizens (sure wish he'd mentioned that during the campaign, hmm?) and the other will have plenty of opportunities to show his colors, whatever they may turn out to be.
It's the dawn of a new era, and like a phoenix, this gadfly is ready to set the world on fire.
Friday, November 18, 2011
Wednesday, November 9, 2011
Friday, November 4, 2011
What office is Mike Hein running for?If you feel the need to throw up a few lawn signs just to let people know there's an election, fine. It seems paranoid to me, but I'm not a politician, so what do I know?
But Hein is spending money on this unopposed race, which tells me that he has set his eyes on an office that he is not running for. Hinchey's Congressional seat, perhaps?
I take a dim view of people leaving an office they were elected to in order to do something else. It doesn't matter if that something else is political or not, and it doesn't matter if you are leaving a day early or several years in advance. I think it is a fundamental violation of the trust placed in you by the voters.
Obviously it doesn't matter who votes for Hein, but I want to be very clear that if he even sneezes at a higher office I will forevermore consider him just another scumbag politician. I hope not, because I find him to be approachable and engaging. Time will tell.
Thursday, November 3, 2011
District 20includes the village and those areas that you always thought should be part of the village: I'm running in this district, so I won't spend a lot of time telling you why you should vote for TPW. In fact, I said it best in the New Paltz Times, so go ahead and read it there. It's time for a change, and I'm the change we need. 'Nuff said.
District 17includes all the rest of New Paltz and a smidgen of Esopus. We have three choices there:
- Les Kalmus, an Esopus resident who owned an IT business for many years. Les has classic Republican values (don't spend what you don't have, privatizing always makes things better) and a low-key demeanor. I don't expect Les to grab the spotlight for political gain. Nobody hates him. He's doing this to try to make a difference.
- Steve Greenfield, New Paltz resident and former school board member. Steve is an excellent researcher with an inflammatory style. He came out firing both barrels against Susan Zimet before she left this race, and then took her WFP line when she did. I've crossed swords with Steve, even on issues where we agree. Steve is a polarizing force who always backs up his positions with facts.
- Ken Wishnick, the replacement for Zimet on the Democratic line. Ken has a lot of experience with planning and administration which could be put to good use on the county level. He also has expressed questionable judgment in the past; when he was on the Town Council he helped write the job description for Town Planner, and then resigned to apply for the job he created.
Wednesday, November 2, 2011
Supervisor and highway superintendentThese are easy: we're down to one candidate each, so it's just a question of which line you want to vote on. No endorsements necessary.
- Kevin Barry is best known for his opposition to the Middle School project and the town's wetlands law. He is passionate about property rights and controlling taxation, neither of which I have a problem with. However, he has to learn to rein those passions in a bit. He can be downright aggressive when he's talking to people who disagree with him, and he has shown a lack of decorum at public meetings, blurting out comments at inappropriate times. I have been told by people I trust that they've felt physically threatened and nearly come to blows with him at times.
- Jean Gallucci spent many years working for the town and village, and then served on the village board. Her financial acumen is above and beyond that of anyone on or running for the town council. Her judgment concerns me . . . she got her husband a job with the village as the parking meter guy while on the village board, and doesn't see a conflict of interest there. She also has a poor attendance record as an elected official.
- Randall Leverette gets flack as being "anti-police" because of how demanding he is for information as a police commissioner. I know this is not the case - like me, he likes the idea of being safe from crime. Also like me, he doesn't believe that this means just writing a blank check to the department; if you can't measure it, you can't manage it. It's the same kind of common-sense approach that has been used in the highway department. No matter how much we love or hate a particular governmental service, the only way to fairly evaluate it is with hard data. There is nothing wrong with expecting more data from our police, firefighters, clerk, assessor, or any other department.
- Ray Lunati is best known for his vocal opposition to laws restricting development on the flood plain. I was on the planning board, and I disagree with him. Notwithstanding the environmental concerns, every inch of asphalt and building we add to our town makes the flood plain more likely to flood, which imperils people on that side of the river. Ray has shown that he is extremely focused on that issue, nearly to the exclusion of all else.
Friday, October 14, 2011
Leading up to Sunday's concert, New Paltz Flood Aid for Farmers, Families, and First Responders has collected over $30,000 from our 10/2 kickoff event and in sponsorships, donations, and concert ticket sales. But we still have a long way to go. What we have collected so far is just drop in the bucket compared to what our affected farms and families have lost. Nearly 250 acres were completely lost by our local New Paltz farmers this season, and many more are still in jeopardy due to the ongoing rains. Many families living in close proximity to the Wallkill River lost all their possessions, including some that have lost their homes forever. We need to continue to collect funds for the most in need in our community in the wake of Hurricanes Irene and Lee.
Our next event is this Sunday October 16th, from 12:00pm to 7:00pm at Hasbrouck Park, an all day benefit concert. Gates open at 11:00. General admission tickets are $2o for adults, $15 for college students, senior citizens, and children age 12-18; with free admission for children under age 12. There are also $100 VIP tickets.
This big musical event will include both local bands and musicians from afar - plugged in and acoustic. Our lineup includes: Ratboy Jr., Mark Sager and the Black Horse Riders, the Trapps, Casey Erdman and Friends, the Greyhounds, Mr. Roper, Dzuibecko, Connor Kennedy Band, Hector Tajeda (a local farmer who lost all of his crops), the Bow Thayer Band, Patrick Carlin (George Carlin's Brother), Alexis P. Suter, and Flood Aid All Stars: Larry Campbell, Teresa Williams, Steven Bernstein (of Levon Helm’s Band), Randy Ciarlante (of The Band), Byron Isaacs (of Levon Helm’s Band & Ollabelle), Jim Wieder (of The Band & Levon Helm’s Band), Erik Lawrence, Vito Petrocitto, Jeremy Baum and much, much more. This event will be streamed live on the Internet via webcast.
For more information about New Paltz Flood Aid, or to find out how to make donations or buy 10/16 concert tickets, visit www.NewPaltzFloodAid.org. If you are a New Paltz family or farm in need, please call Judy Ness at 845-332-8432.
Wednesday, October 12, 2011
Actually, the building was packed with kids, the ones who arrived by bus. Out front, though, was a long line of cars dropping kids off in ones and twos. Each child would dutifully wait until the parent's car pulled to the front of the line before getting out. I saw no child get out of a car more than twenty feet from the front door, and there was a line of cars spilling out onto Manheim.
I assume that this is a daily occurrence. I don't get to the middle school all that often, so it was new to me. It makes me wonder, though, what the problem is with the buses that so many parents drive their kids to school. I have some theories:
- The walk from the bus area is too far. This is possible, since no child was traveling as much as fifty feet from car to door.
- Bullying happens on buses. I know it did when I was a kid.
- The time on the bus is too long from some parents (or children).
Saturday, October 1, 2011
Sunday, October 2nd, 3pm-8:30pm @ Water Street Market
Rain date: Sunday, October 9th
$20 suggested donation
Sunday, October 16th, 12pm-7pm @ Hasbrouck Park, rain or shine, gates open at 11:00
$20 Individual/General Admission
$15 College Students with ID & Kids 12-18/General Admission
(Kick-off event attendees on 10/2 get these tickets for $5 off the regular price.)
Free to Kids under 12/General Admission
This all day benefit concert will raise money for the people in our community hit hardest by Hurricane Irene flooding. All proceeds will go to the farmers, families, and first responders in New Paltz who were most impacted by the floods. This big musical event on Sunday, October 16th will include both local bands and musicians from afar - plugged in and acoustic, including: Ratboy Jr., Mark Sager and the Black Horse Riders, the Trapps, Casey Erdman and Friends, the Greyhounds, Mr. Roper, Dzuibecko, Connor Kennedy Band, Hector Tajeda (a local farmer who lost all of his crops), the Bow Thayer Band, the Greyhounds, Patrick Carlin (George Carlin's Brother), Alexis P. Suter, and Butch's Flood Aid All Stars: Larry Campbell, Teresa Williams, Steven Bernstein (of Levon Helm’s Band), Randy Ciarlante (of The Band), Byron Isaacs (of Levon Helm’s Band & Ollabelle), Jim Wieder (of The Band & Levon Helm’s Band), Erik Lawrence, Vito Petrocitto, Jeremy Baum and much, much more. This event will be streamed live on the Internet via webcast.
DONATIONS: You can make a donation here or donation checks can be made out to "New Paltz Community Foundation" with "FLOOD AID" in the memo. Their mailing address is the New Paltz Community Foundation, P.O. Box 1112, New Paltz, NY 12561.
TICKETS: To purchase tickets for the 10/13 all day concert, you can do so here, or at the 10/2 event - Kick-off event attendees on 10/2 get these tickets for $5 off the regular price!
on Twitter, NPFloodAid
Thursday, September 15, 2011
for two days. Not everyone can be reached via email, and I'm at a loss to suggest a way to get the word out about a health crisis that is as comprehensive as the mail, but not as hazardously slow, although I've suggested some low-cost options like the email alert that could at least increase the message saturation.
The boil order was a pain, but it sure made me think about how we use water. Every time I turned on the tap, or poured from a plastic jug, I pondered how fragile our dependence on water is. We use it to drink, cook, wash, and flush away our excrement. Some people say that after the oil wars, the fights will be over water. It seems abundant here, particularly during a brutal flood season, but this boil order makes me realize that clean, safe water is not guaranteed and should never be taken for granted.
The lack of comments on my posts about our water and sewer problems makes me wonder what this blog's small base of loyal readers thinks about water safety and water usage in New Paltz. Am I the only person who isn't in government who is concerned about water?
Tuesday, September 13, 2011
Saturday, September 10, 2011
The order is precautionary only - as of yesterday, no tests by the Board of Health have turned up any problems - but I think we need a new way to get the word out than gossip, Facebook, and the mail.
The time it takes to print out the mailing labels and put them on notices probably took up all day Thursday, which is why it took so long to get them into the mail. I've been knocking on doors anyway, so I have been speaking to a lot of people about this issue. Some of the people I spoke to yesterday evening had only found out a few hours earlier, so Facebook and the like weren't serving some segments of the community well.
The notice was also on local access cable, the village web site, and probably posted in a number of other places that don't reach everybody, but represent a good-faith attempt to get the word out about this issue.
There's been talk about a better way. SUNY uses mass emails and texts to alert its community, and there's also the option of robocalls to reach all village residents (or water users in this case) in time of crisis.
But, these systems are not free, and our village (like every other level of government) has to balance the need for a solid emergency response with the resources to pay for them. I have some suggestions that are, or could be, low-cost or free.
- Phone chain. It's an old-fashioned idea that could be very effective in this case. Concerned residents sign up, and village employees call the top person on each list (the number of which would be governed by the number of people participating) to give them the message. With a phone chain, you leave a message if you don't get the person, but you keep calling down the list until you do reach someone. The people who get the word this way will tell their friends, post online, and so forth because that's what people do anyway.
- Leverage SUNY by asking them to expand their alert system to include New Paltz residents. It's a successful system that is presumably already paid for, so if the college decided to charge anyway it should be a nominal cost that is much less than inventing our own wheel, so to speak.
- Police signs. The New Paltz Police has one or more electronic signs (complete with radar detectors!) that can be rolled into high-visibility locations and programmed with custom messages. Put them in strategic spots with the boil order notice to inform drivers and others.
Friday, September 9, 2011
Announcing: FLOOD AID for New Paltz Farmers, Families, and First Responders
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
September 9, 2011
Theresa Fall 845.401.4499
kt Tobin 845.206.8853
KICK OFF POTLUCK EVENT
Sunday, October 2nd, 4pm-9pm @ Water Street Market
Rain date: Sunday, October 9th
$20 suggested donation
On August 24, 2011, the Village of New Paltz passed a resolution declaring the first week of October the inaugural "New Paltz Local Food Week". Less than a week later, Hurricane Irene hit our region. As a result, this first year's focus will be on helping the people in our community most impacted by the flooding. The kick off event on Sunday, October 2nd will be a potluck fundraiser. Local bands will be performing: The Love Taps, Ratboy, Seth Davis, SnowBear, The Sweet Clementines, & The Bubba Band. Local chefs will be preparing local food, there will be raffles contributed by local businesses, and sign ups for volunteer opportunities.
ALL DAY BENEFIT CONCERT
Sunday, October 16th, 12pm-6pm @ Hasbrouck Park, rain or shine
There will be two types of tickets sold: Lawn & VIP Tent This all day benefit concert will raise money for the people in our community hit hardest by Hurricane Irene flooding. This big musical event on Sunday, October 16th will include both local bands and musicians from afar - plugged in and acoustic. There will be live auctions of items and gift certificates from local businesses. All proceeds will go to the farmers, families, and first responders in New Paltz who were most impacted by the floods.
Both events will be streamed live on the Internet via webcast. Donated items and gift certificates for the raffle and live auction can be dropped off at The Mudd Puddle, The Antique Barn, or Mixture.
For general information about New Paltz FLOOD AID, email NewPaltzFloodAid@gmail.com or check for updates on Facebook, search "FLOOD Aid for New Paltz Farmers, Families, and First Responders". If you are a New Paltz family or farm in need, please call Judy Ness at 845-332-8432. For information about the 10/2 Kick Off event, contact Theresa Fall at Water Street Market, 845-401-4499; and for info about the 10/16 Benefit Concert call Judy Ness at 845-332-8432.
Both of our water systems - the water coming out of the tap and the stuff going down the toilet - can have problems during what we used to call "hundred year floods." They are different problems, caused by the same thing - too much water.
The boil order is because of the massive amount of water feeding into the reservoir system that the village taps into. The water gets stirred up (that's your "turbidity"), and because of the volume there's no way for the water treatment plant to filter the stuff back out. The stuff which is stirred up could be just about anything one might find in a body of water . . . silt, sand, fish poop, critters too small for the eye to see . . . hence the precautionary order to boil our water.
Flooding also makes it impossible for the sewer plant to clean up all the water before it goes into the Wallkill. That's the source of the consent order you may have heard the village is under. Our system backs up far too easily, coming out of manholes in its raw and smelly state and getting right into the Wallkill. It's a more serious problem, but since no one is drinking Wallkill river water, most members of the public aren't clamoring for an immediate solution.
I was completely unclear about how the two are related, but that doesn't minimize how serious the problems are. Frankly, the village board needs our help in finding ways to solve our infrastructure problems, with the sewer system being tops on the list.
Thursday, September 8, 2011
Due to extended periods of heavy rain the Village of New Paltz is issuing a notice to all Village and Town public water supply users. Water for human consumption must be boiled for a minimum of three minutes to ensure it is safe to drink until further notice. You will be notified when the boil water notice is lifted.
For further information, please contact the Ulster County Health Department at (845) 340-3010. For current update, call the Village of New Paltz Water Treatment Plant at (845) 255-2637. The treatment plant number is for update status only for an emergency call the New Paltz Police Department at (845) 255-1323.
River of Poop?
Under condition of anonymity I learned that the fire department used to pump out the plant directly into the Wallkill, but they no longer support the practice. The DPW handles that now, by doing things like opening up the sewer main on the bottom of Water Street and letting it run into the storm drain. I've seen the spot they're talking about, but as a layman I can't be sure what I'm looking at:
The fines levied against the village, I'm told, are less than the apparently incalculable cost of actually repairing and upgrading the sewer system. I say incalculable because everyone agrees it is more than the village can afford, but not one is willing to hazard a guess as to the actual price tag.
This is a crappy situation, and I don't think most people realize that I mean that literally. I don't think the village government is negligent, just unable to make the upgrades needed to act. What's harder to say is whether people are willfully ignorant of what happens when they flush their toilets, or if better communication would help.
So keep boiling your water, and if you swim in the Wallkill, try not to swallow.
Although outnumbered by the Democrats in the room, the Republicans were mostly hesitant not to vote for one of their own. Randall Leverette and Ray Lunati got the nod for Town Council over Jean Gallucci and Kevin Barry, both former Republicans who switched registration to Democrat because that's how non-thinking voters in this town usually vote.
The nomination of Peter Cordovano for supervisor came as a surprise to many, although more than one person told me that they believed it was orchestrated some time ago. I thought Peter looked genuinely surprised, but the theory was that his nomination was made to protect Toni Hokanson. Peter would win because Republicans prefer GOP candidates, and then after he declined the committee to fill vacancies would appoint Toni to the line.
I don't buy it. Why? Because if Peter is that convincing an actor (he really seemed stunned), he would not have waffled when he was asked if running and serving would have an impact on his law practice. That waffling was honest, and I'm sure it cost him at least the one vote he fell short. If this had been rehearsed, he would have acted shocked, then recover, and speak with confidence when he accepted instead of saying, "I think I'll do it."
It may well be that Peter would have decided running on short notice was foolhardy, and that the committee (of which he was a member, as well as chairman of the caucus, before his nomination) would have selected Toni. Maybe Diane Lucchesi even had that in mind, although she said she nominated him out of a desire for a Republican candidate for the job. But I don't believe he was in on it.
Politics? Sure. Conspiracy? Bah!
Wednesday, September 7, 2011
Democrat Susan Zimet 28
Republican Peter Cordavano 27
Democrat Toni Hokanson 14
(personally, I thought in the spirit of democracy they should have done a two-way run off)
Winners: Republicans Randall Leverette & Ray Lunati
Losers - Democrats Kevin Barry & Jean Galluci
Wednesday, August 31, 2011
from Toni Hokanson - FOR PEOPLE & BUSINESSES WITH IRENE DAMAGE ---- Here's a link to the damage assessment form. First, fill out the damage assessment form and turn it into Town or Village Hall. Then, take pictures keep detailed descriptions. Save receipts. Utilize your own insurance first. Get at least 2 estimates before hiring. Keep all records. Everyone who turns in a form will be kept up to date on the process moving forward.
Tuesday, August 30, 2011
The resolution's intent was twofold, he told me.
First was to prevent people from being out in potentially dangerous conditions because they were curious. "You can stand outside your house," Michael told me, but "nobody should be out just to see what's going on outside."
The village and town wanted emergency services personnel to be able to focus on things like downed trees and flooding, instead of people "intentionally swimming in the river or accidentally driving through flood areas," Michael offered as examples.
Likewise, the curfew was to keep the streets clear for essential emergency vehicles. "The entire personnel had been working for 16 hours already," Michael told me, and empty streets removed both a distraction and a potential delay in the form of vehicles.
Police advised downtown businesses to close, and rode up and down the streets announcing the curfew over their speakers. Notifications were spread via social media, local access cable, municipal websites, and over the phone to anyone who called any town or village office.
There was also a countywide ban on driving, Michael said, although New Paltz police were not stopping people "just for driving." No checkpoints were set up to stop drivers.
Another underlying concern was the fact that it was impossible to assess roads for damage. West of the Wallkill, where they won't be checked until the bridge is passable again, there's still a travel ban to the best of my knowledge.
Tomorrow, Wednesday, August 31st, there is a previously-scheduled Joint Meeting of the Town Board and Village Board. Public comment starts at 7 pm at Town Hall. If you have a complaint, question, comment or encouragement regarding Hurricane Irene and the response to it, now's your chance, while the memory is still fresh. Reps from the Police, Fire and Rescue Squads will be there to help field questions.
Old business: Floyd Kniffen - annexation
3 outstanding requests for water hookup
Contract with Village for Moriello Park
Update on Park Point project
New business: Crossing Guard
Offices formerly used by NPPD
Aqueduct repair update
from SUNY New Paltz: ALL CLASSES WILL RESUME WEDNESDAY, AUGUST 31ST! Classroom technology may be limited or unavailable. HAB and SUB staff, please contact supervisors for work locations. Phone service is restored. 2222 and 911 are functional. Records and Registration, Student Accounts, Bookstore, Parking, and Campus Card Services will be relocated to South Classroom Building with limited functionality.
Thank you everyone for your patience the past few days. The EMT's, police officers and firefighters all thanked us for yesterday's curfew; they said it made a huge difference. It meant they didn't have to respond to their daily number of calls on top of helping evacuate, rescuing stranded people, and dealing with downed trees and power lines, fires, and other emergencies caused by the hurricane. We've lifted our travel bans on most of the roads east of the Wallkill. We didn't know until later this morning which of our roads were safe to drive on. There is a list of closed roads posted on the New Paltz Police Dept. website. Please don't drive around the barricades: it's inconvenient, but they're there for a reason. Until the Wallkill recedes, we can't get crews and equipment west of the Wallkill to inspect those roads. DO NOT move the barricade blocking the bridge, even if the road looks clear. We will unblock the roads when we know they are safe to walk and drive on. So there is still a travel ban on roads west of the Wallkill. I understand how many people will ignore that unless we physically stand there on every street and stop people from driving. However, please help out by not risking your lives by driving down a street we have clearly told you is unsafe to drive on. The person who put up that barricade knows something you don't. They know what's down that road, and took the time to leave as clear a message as they can to anyone who may see it, that they should not go down there. Please respect that. I know a lot of people were inconvenienced yesterday, but it was necessary to free up enough of our very limited, exhausted people and resources to deal with this crisis. We were very lucky; it could have been much worse, and there will be lots of articles written about it. But be proud of your emergency workers. The police, firefighters, EMTs, Red Cross, community volunteers, Trustees and Town Councillors, the public works employees of the Town and Village, the Town and Village Clerks and others were mobilized coordinating our efforts. And everyone involved did a fantastic job.
Monday, August 29, 2011
I've spoken with many people and some public officials about the state of affairs right now and their impressions of same. This is, without a doubt, the worst situation New Paltz has faced in well over a generation.
I don't have time to compile what I've learned quite yet, so only two quick time-sensitive items:
- South Oakwood has a short closure due to a tree falling on a power line.
- The nursing home on Jansen Road had its entrance bridge completely destroyed . . . again. No vehicle access unless they've finished patching together a temporary solution.
SUNY New Paltz All Tuesday classes are canceled.
Student Union Building basement, van den Berg Hall, and Haggerty Administration Building are closed. Employees who report to these locations are asked to contact their supervisors for instruction regarding work location.
All other offices are open, but have limited functionality.
Many small animals - rabbits, mice, etc - lost their lives after trying to climb up as high as they could on the tomato plants
Yes, that is the Green Works Regatta "boat". Last time I saw it, it was stationary in a field.
Here's a video documenting the damage to Taliaferro Farms on Plains Road.
The missing rafters were found early this morning.
SUNY New Paltz - Hasbrouck Dining hall is stocked and serving continuously until 8 p.m. today. Student Union food service venues are closed. The Athletic and Wellness Center will be open from 2 to 10 p.m. The Health Center and Psychological Counseling Center are open and operating on normal hours.
- Confusion over the New Paltz curfew by citizens, and anecdotal suggestions of confusion by law enforcement as well
- Reports about where dry ice is available to people without power
- Videos of flooding
- Strong defensive reactions by emergency personnel, suggesting to me that people have been giving some of them crap over the above-referenced curfew
- Pictures of downed trees
- Lamentations about not having power
Sunday, August 28, 2011
Village Mayor Jason West and Town Supervisor Toni Hokanson have declared a State of Emergency in New Paltz - it was enacted for 8:00 pm, Saturday August 27th 2011 & shall be in effect til 8:00 pm September 1st, 2011, or until lifted by a subsequent Joint Executive Order of the Supervisor and Mayor of New Paltz.
Ulster County Executive Mike Hein declared all county roads closed to non-emergency services personnel/vehicles early today. Around noon, the Town and Village of New Paltz banned all pedestrian and vehicle traffic except for Town Village official business or evacuation. Both the mayor and supervisor warned residents that due to the massive amount of water all roads must be checked for structural damage - roads may look fine but actually have structural damage. People are urged to stay off the roads and stay away from the river.
Many areas of New Paltz had mandatory evacuations: Springtown, Sunrise, Kaegill, High Ridge, Dug Road, Coffee Rd., Cragswood Rd., Mountain Rest (from 299 to Canaan Rd, which is at 111 Mountain Rest), Rapp Hill, Julia Avenue, Calvin Blvd., Charles Lane, Lewis Lane. Town and Country Condominiums, western most ground floor units. Water Street, single family homes to the south of the box factory, at the intersection of Pencil Hill, Water St., Plains Rd and Mohonk Ave.
At 8pm Sunday, the Wallkill River was predicted to shortly crest 6 feet ABOVE the road on the Carmine Liberta bridge. The cresting record, last set in 1955, was broken by 7pm. This is a VERY dangerous place to be - there are already (stupid!) people in kayaks and tubes that are missing... Seriously people, stay away from the river - we need the police to focus on emergencies - NOT chasing people away from the river.
There is a curfew for both residents and businesses from 7pm Sunday night till 5am Monday morning. There is also a ban on alcohol sales tonight. (This news was Wall Street Journal worthy apparently.) (Gannett too.)
On the SUNY New Paltz campus - Hasbrouck Dining Hall is open till 9:00 tonight. The lines are long but students have been advised to please be patient and stay on campus. Tomorrow, classes are cancelled, and only essential personnel (University Police Department, Food Service, Maintenance and Custodial) need to report to work. There is an emergency shelter on campus at the Health and Wellness Center.
School district - the New Paltz Central School District will be closed Monday, August 29th, 2011. All activities scheduled for the 29th will be rescheduled.
Central Hudson will be distributing dry ice and water on Monday.
Tuesday, August 23, 2011
Town Council (2)
Wednesday, August 17, 2011
Once again, the local Democratic party committee is apparently opting not to back the party member who is already in office. In the spirit of "what's old is what's new," they will be supporting former supervisor and current county legislator Susan Zimet for the job over incumbent Toni Hokanson.
I don't know who else will be trying to get the party nod, but here's a tip: be prepared to bring a couple hundred of your registered Democratic friends to secure any nomination from the party. You can be sure that both Zimet and Hokanson will.
Thursday, August 11, 2011
Tuesday August 16th 8:00pm
Slash Root Cafe and Technology Dojo
60 Main Street New Paltz
Forum will showcase local technology innovation
NEW PALTZ, NY – Following a trend among developing tech-sector regions, the Hudson Valley will hold its first “Hack-and-Tell” next week.
Hack-and-tell is a forum in which technology innovators show inventions, programs, or experiments that they are developing or have completed. No sales pitches are allowed.
“The Hudson Valley is becoming one of the fastest-moving growth zones for the nation's tech sector,” said Justin Holmes, founder of SlashRoot. “We're geographically in the middle of the Hudson Valley and proud to be the leader of the regional innovation culture, so it makes sense for us to host this event.”
Applications from interested participants are due Friday, August 12th at 5:00PM here.
you can RSVP on Facebook
Tuesday August 23rd
New Paltz High School
Wednesday September 7th
New Paltz Community Center
Two primaries for the village County Leg seat - Democrat and Working Families - will be held on Tuesday, September 13th.
Tuesday, July 12, 2011
Steve has a problem with incumbent Susan Zimet: he doesn't think it's okay that she has a lobbying business.
By contrast, he pointed to his three years on the New Paltz School Board as proof that he doesn't try to profit from his influence. He also said that he will bring his knowledge of emergency services, infrastructure, education, land use, and transportation to bear upon problems at the county level.
When asked about Golden Hill, the only specific issue which came up before I had to leave, he hedged his bets a bit. He acknowledged that there are some services which can't be provided well by private industry, because there's no profit in it; however, he didn't specifically say that Golden Hill is one of those. He would solve that problem "by the numbers," he said.
Tuesday, July 5, 2011
Plains Road was the first one in New Paltz which was resurfaced by a process that allows for the reuse of the existing asphalt on-site. Reusing materials is nothing new, but typically the road gets ground up and carted away for reprocessing, and ends up on another road elsewhere in the county. This equipment allows it to be ground down, picked up, melted, and mixed with some new material right there; then it's laid back down and rolled.
Here's Mike, annoyed that I have a camera but explaining how the whole shebang works:
There are limits to this technology.
- Because of the length of the train, short roads and dead-ends can't be resurfaced like this.
- If there are deep cracks in the road bed, a full replacement will be needed anyway. Anything that needs to be ground down more than five or six inches can't be replaced this way.
- The process leaves the road pebbly, and it still needs to be sealed, which isn't the case with traditional road replacement.
- Nielson hasn't tested it to see if the results can stand up to our highest-wear roads, like Horsenden. (The fact that we send our truck traffic along that narrow, windy road is another problem entirely.)
Tuesday, June 28, 2011
Friday, June 24, 2011
|The Daily Show With Jon Stewart||Mon - Thurs 11p / 10c|