Fireworks in Catskill

Dick May practiced some citizen journalism at the April 26 Catskill Village meeting, forcing the town trustees to go on the record with their decision to move the July 4 fireworks from the Hudson River waterfront to downtown Catskill. He writes, “the Trustees of Catskill Village almost made a controversial decision by stealth. And they made a decision without making a case.” And then recalls the manner the decision was announced.

“After that business had been well under discussion, a spectator (this correspondent) ventured to ask whether the Board had made a decision on the fireworks launch site. Mr. Seeley acted surprised—as if the answer was evident from the trustees’ remarks. The Trustees then proceeded to resolve formally that the July 4, 2010, fireworks shall be launched from a “downtown” site, ‘yet to be determined.’ That resolution did not stem from anything remotely resembling a systematic or comprehensive cost-benefit analysis. The Trustees acted without affirming, much less determining, that the change of launch sites would be popular, would be economical, would produce a net gain of public safety, would enable the fireworks to be more spectacular, would make the viewing population bigger, or would produce an increase in local business. Read the entire story in Seeing Greene.

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Catskill farmer’s market will close a portion of Main Street on Saturday mornings this summer

Instead of completely closing down Main St., or putting stalls in parking spaces, the Village of Catskill will close one block of Main St. between Thompson Street and the entrance to the municipal parking lot at Willard Alley from 7:30 a.m. to at least 2 p.m., for the Catskill Regional Farmers’ and Artisans’ Market Saturdays from June 19 to Oct. 30, Susan Campriello in The Daily Mail reports. The farmer’s market had been held at Dutchmen’s Landing on the Hudson River, rather than downtown, and Village President Vince Seeley is also spearheading a similar move of the town’s July 4 fireworks, both in an effort to stimulate downtown business. WGXC Radio Council member Hudson Talbott is curating the non-farmer’s booths at the market.

Village of Catskill election results

(Brian Kehoe, Vincent Seeley, and Angelo Amato at the League of Women Voters/WGXC Candidate Forum, March 20, 2010 at Catskill Community Center.)

From Susan Campriello in The Daily Mail:

“Catskill voters selected Tuesday incumbent Village President Vincent Seeley and political newcomer Brian Kehoe for two Trustee positions on the Village Board. Trustees serve three-year terms. Seeley, a Republican who was endorsed by Catskill’s Republican and Democratic parties, received 258 votes, Village Clerk Carolyn Pardy announced shortly after the polls closed at 9 p.m. Kehoe, a Democrat, received 218 votes. Incumbent Trustee Angelo Amato, a Republican, received 172 votes to finish out of the running in the at-large election. [Unopposed ] incumbent Village Justice Charles Adsit was re-elected with 186 votes. Adsit has served on the bench since 1996.”

Catskill Candidate Forum

(From left, Brian Kehoe, Vincent Seeley, and Angelo Amato, candidates in the Village of Catskill election.)

Current Village President Vincent Seeley, current Trustee Angelo Amato and Democrat challenger Brian Kehoe all participated in the Candidate Forum sponsored by the League of Women Voters and WGXC and held Saturday March 20 at 10:30 a.m. at the Catskill Community Center. The Village election will be held March 30 for the two seats on the Village Board. Sitting justice Charles Adsit has no challenger in his bid for re-election, and did not participate in the forum.

To listen to a recording of the candidate forum, click on the following link, or paste it into your computer’s media player:
http://archive.free103point9.org/2010/03/CatskillCandidateForum_WGXC_CCC_032010.mp3

Susan Campriello of The Daily Mail reports on the forum here.

Today’s local headlines

(NY State Assemblyman Peter Lopez interviewed by Cairo-Durham High students Michael Davis and Jordan Smith at the Catskill Community Center Sat. Aug. 22, 2009. Photo by Galen Joseph-Hunter.)

Politicians turn out in Catskill despite rain
Click here to listen to or download mp3 interview of NY State Assemblyman Peter Lopez by WGXC’s Jordan Smith and Michael Davis at the Catskill Community Center. WGXC interviewed members of the community yesterday in the Catskill Community Center.
Catskill and regional politicians and artists turned out Saturday despite the rain to celebrate the Quadricentennial (400 years of European folk on the Hudson River) Parade in Catskill. Organizer Fawn Potash wrangled all sorts of fabulous sorts such as singer Lex Grey as a mermaid on a float, a Rip Van Winkle impersonator, Kelly Benjamin on WGXC’s Radio Bike, Catskill Community Center‘s Drum and Bugle Corps, bagpipe player Ian Rawlinson, and the Freehold Civil Air Patrol Vanguard Squad, as well as local politicians such as Vincent Seeley (Town President), Peter Lopez (district Assemblyman), Greene County Legslators Keith Valentine (R, majority leader), Karen Deyo (R), and Forest Cotten (D), Catskill Town Supervisor Peter Markou, Town Councilmen Patrick Walsh and Michael Smith, and many others. Hilary Hawke has a good overview of the day’s events and more images on The Daily Mail’s web site.


Today’s local headlines

Seward complains about driving costs
NY.Sen.James.Seward_Cost%20to%20Drive%20-%2008-11.MP3
Starting September 1, 2009 registration fees are scheduled to increase 25 percent for passenger vehicles, commercial vehicles, trailers, taxis, busses, motorcycles, all terrain vehicles, construction vehicles, motorboats and custom vehicles. Fees for drivers licenses fees will also go up by 25 percent. In total, the fee hikes will create an additional cost to New York drivers projected to be almost $152 million over the next two years. New York State Senator James L. Seward (R/C/I- Oneonta) comments on those rising cost in the above audio clip you can click on to listen to or download.

Polling places not ADA accessible
From The Register-Star

COLUMBIA COUNTY – A survey of polling places in Columbia County currently underway could not find one polling place that is compliant with the Americans With Disabilities Act checklist for voting sites or with standards outlined in the 2002 Federal Help America Vote Act. The survey was taken by Project HAVA, run by The Catskill Center for Independence, based in Oneonta, and funded by a grant from the New York State Commission on Quality Care and Advocacy for Persons with Disabilities.

Budget cuts put art gallery in jeopardy
From The Daily Mail

WINDHAM – The Greene County Council is considering closing the Mountaintop Gallery in Windham Jan. 1, or keeping the gallery running with the help of artist volunteers, Executive Director Kay Stamer told the Greene County Legislature Wednesday. The arts council’s general operating budget was cut by 11 percent this year, while decentralization — the Council’s funding that is redistributed to other arts groups across the county — was reduced by five percent, and arts and education programming remained at 2008 levels.

Seeley proposes full-time village manager
From The Daily Mail

CATSKILL – Village Board President Vincent Seeley wants to eliminate his job and put in a business manager or administrator to oversee department heads but be answerable to the Village Board. The article is unclear what, if any, role Seeley would have under that scenario. Catskill Trustee Patrick McCulloch said the Village Charter would require modification before any managerial position could be created, and any changes would be put before voters in a referendum.