Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Tomorrow on WGXC

Tomorrow morning, March 7, from 10 to 11 a.m., Victor Mendolia's radio show @Issue will take up the topic of the Galvan Initiatives Foundation and its plans for our city. Mendolia's guests for the discussion will be Tom Swope, executive director of the Galvan Initiatives Foundation; David Marston, First Ward alderman; and yours truly, the voice of The Gossips of Rivertown. WGXC is at 90.7 FM on the radio dial and online at wgxc.org.   


  1. Can't wait to tune in to the"voice" of The Gossips of Rivertown This will be most timely and interesting.Couldn't think of a better panel.

  2. I just listened to the radio show, and am now even more frightened than I was before. Swope came across as mealy-mouthed and slippery. Marston was on the ball, but could not pin Swope down. The Foundation clearly is not showing its cards, and I think, Swope, is, in his own words, a mere "supplicant" of the mercurial, mysterious and menacing Mr. Galloway. There are big bucks involved here, cloaked with smoke and mirrors, fiat and caprice, and usually, that ain't good. Swope's defense of the men's SRO that Galloway wanted on 5th and Warren was especially startling, given that he is a shop owner and realtor, and claims he wants Hudson to gentrify. I just don't get it, and I would hazard to guess that once old Henry van A has met his demise, a new economic and romantic union might emerge in this odd saga. Kudos to Mendolia for putting this show together, and to Osterlink for her gentle prods. If I were Swope I'd get the Galvan boys to move 900 Columbia down to Union Street, restore it, ACCURATELY, and then put it up for sale or standard market rent. And by the way, there is no housing problem in Hudson, other than the fact that there are substandard, dangerous and disgusting buildings, occupied and unoccupied, all over the City.

  3. My apologies to Tom DePieto and Observer. I accidentally deleted both their comments. Don't ask me to explain how. So here Tom's comment:

    I have to disagree with "Observer." I think Tom Swope was as forthright as he could be. Too many observers assume that Eric Galloway has some master plan that he's hiding from us all. I presume the more simple explanation: it's all a work in progress, as Swope indicated, and they're not sure what they're going to do yet. The non-profit issue is not an easy thing to sort out, but with all the kibbitzers in Hudson, I feel confident that any false move by Galloway will be noted. Swope addressed some of the lingering questions about past actions with credible responses. I also find it amusing that so many of Galloway's critics are happy to tell him how he should spend his money. Victor Mendolia, by the way, was surprisingly inarticulate and poorly informed. "Observer"'s snarky comment about future romances is typical of his (or her?) uncivil commentary.

  4. Here is Observer's response:

    How odd, Tom DeP. You are basing your broadside on my "uncivil" commentary on a total of THREE posts. Observer was only introduced yesterday, and Observer has never commented prior to yesterday on this site.
    You must have me confused with other "snarky" commenters on this site.
    Given Galloway's behavior in Hudson and in NYC, ANY COMMENTARY about him is fair game. He's arrogant, rude and widely reviled. And he owns half the City. Wonderful......

  5. @Tom DiPietro,

    I can assure you that I am not poorly informed on this issue. Inarticulate? Maybe. But I am not a professional radio personality. Just a citizen radio programmer trying to discuss issues openly and civilly.

    In addition, I have my own personal history with Mr. Galloway from when he attempted to illegally convert the building I lived in in NYC. So today I let my guests do most of the talking, so as to not have my own personal feelings get in the way of what I saw as a productive start to a dialogue. A dialogue which needs to broaden and include more venues and more people.

    One entity holding so many important properties in such a small city, comes with great risk, especially when that entity has a track record both in Hudson and in NYC which has been, lets just say - spotty.

    But clearly there is great potential here, both for Galvan and for Hudson.
    I truly hope that the Galvan organization reaches for the stars and does the right thing for their neighbors and the city. Getting people back into the larger apartment buildings that have sat vacant for years would be a great first start.

    Victor Mendolia

  6. I was simply referring to the uncivility throughout your post today. Though your new post further proves my point.

  7. There was no mention of the mature tree cut down at Galvan's 356 Union Street property on 22 February.

    However, readers should be aware that for the time being it is not Mr. Galloway's responsibility not to cut down all of the trees on Galvan property if that's what pleases him.

  8. My apologies to Tom DePietro for misspelling his name earlier. What can I say? I was flummoxed because I'd accidentally deleted his comment and someone else's, and I was trying to get myself out the door to keep an appointment.

  9. I find Observer clearly articulated what i observed in this most timely and evasive interview.

  10. Businesses without business plans flounder. Galvan, since finances are ostensibly not an issue, flounders in its own way. This, precisely, is what makes it such a worry: it's about historic preservation; no, it's about affordable housing; well, it's both. And don't forget the grant making aspect that's about . . . what exactly? No one -- Galvan or the public -- is quite sure. If the Galvan folks would simply articulate their plans in a way that explained the dichotomy between their IRS/NYS DoS filings and what little public pronouncements that have been made, then perhaps some of the fear would subside. As it is, the floundering coupled with Mr. Galloway's past practices as reported in the mainstream media and the blogs could only lead us to this place.

  11. I stand by my earlier comments on Observer. To Victor: I probably should have said you were poorly prepared, not poorly informed. Just because it's a local radio show doesn't mean you should wing it. Your questions were scatter-shot, and not at all focused. To J.K. Friedman: (Hey buddy!) you open with a fine truism, but then undermine it. Galvan can clearly absorb financial mistakes. You seem to agree with me that there is no master plan, though you think there should be one. Why can't Galvan do both preservation and affordable housing? All his buildings are not in one category. I also don't see why he's at all obligated to explain his every move to the public. In fact, Tom Swope seems more than willing to answer questions. Finally, I find little in the "mainstream media" condemning Galloway; most criticism comes from bloggers who nitpick (which I appreciate) but never seem to ascertain facts.

  12. Has anyone ever read, or seen, The Emperor Jones? Eerily instructive.

  13. @ Tom Di Pietro
    My show is meant to be conversational. It is a conversation about issues. Not necessarily an interview per se. That is the way I approach my guests and that is the way I hope it seems to listeners.
    I often ask many questions. But in the case of this episode, I had three experts in their own right. My inclination was to lay back. Don't mistake that for being ill-prepared or ill-informed.


  14. The problem, Tom, is that this is not about one, two or even ten properties -- it's about literally dozens of them and many of those are "important" in the sense that a building can be so designated. Moreover, the issue is about property taxes -- will the buildings remain on the rolls or be removed? This is an important consideration for the City and, by extension, to its citizens. They can do both preservation and affordable housing but understand this: if the purpose of the organization is to provide "affordable housing" (a highly subjective term if ever there was one), then the buildings so used are eligible to be removed from the tax rolls. Perforce, this means your property taxes MUST go up, Tom . . and mine, and everyone's in order to fill the gap created by this removal. If it was only one building it wouldn't make much of a difference. But dozens? The remainder of the City -- its taxbase -- will feel that pinch.

    Finally, I couldn't give a damn if Galloway or his partner, their companies, not-for-profits, etc., all swirl around in the toilet for a while before disappearing down the drain -- any more than I would about any business. EXCEPT, as mentioned above and by various commentators here and elsewhere, given the scope of the undertaking it is, essentially, public business and its failure or failures will have repercussions throughout the City.

  15. John: your post is, as you lawyers say, non-responsive. In any case, as I implied in my original post, I'm glad we have aldermen like you who will carefully monitor Galloway's every move. You might, also, do some more research on non-profits, affordable housing, and property tax. I don't think it's all as simple as you suggest. But let's take this up over drinks!

  16. Remind anyone of the manse on Allen Street? Perhaps Galvan could lend their home as a mise en scene for a summer production?



    The audience chamber in the palace of the Emperor—a spacious, high-ceilinged room with bare, whitewashed walls. The floor is of white tiles. In the rear, to the left of center, a wide archway giving out on a portico with white pillars. The palace is evidently situated on high ground for beyond the portico nothing can be seen but a vista of distant hills, their summits crowned with thick groves of palm trees. In the right wall, center, a smaller arched doorway leading to the living quarters of the palace. The room is bare of furniture with the exception of one huge chair made of uncut wood which stands at center, its back to rear. This is very apparently the Emperor's throne. It is painted a dazzling, eye-smiting scarlet. There is a brilliant orange cushion on the seat and another smaller one is placed on the floor to serve as a footstool. Strips of matting, dyed scarlet, lead from the foot of the throne to the two entrances.

    It is late afternoon but the sunlight still blazes yellowly beyond the portico and there is an oppressive burden of exhausting heat in the air."