Thursday, June 21, 2012

The Furgary and River Access

Joe Gallo, spokesman for the North Dock Tin Boat Association, has a letter to the editor in today's Register-Star: "River access." It's hard to tell exactly when in the course of recent events this letter was written, but it was probably after the court ruling on June 14 and before Mayor William Hallenbeck went down to the boat club yesterday to inform the Furgarians that they had just 30 days to vacate the land.


  1. Okay, I have to ask: what is a Furgary? What is the origin of that name?

    (And if you google "furgary", a set of nice, albeit overly processed, pictures comes up:

    1. Katie--I'm not sure anyone knows what a Furgary is, but the Furgary Boat Club is the name given to a settlement of shacks, which have been there for generations, along the Hudson River at the edge of what was once Hudson's North Bay. The entrance is right where North Front Street meets Dock Street.

      I don't know the origin of the name, but I've always imagined that it is derived from "Where the f--k are we?" That's a guess, and I could be completely wrong.

  2. That's pretty funny,Carole.I'm going to stick with your definition. I find myself asking that question a lot, since I moved here.

  3. Could someone please tell me what is planned for the site that the Furgarian village is presently located on.
    Also what is the plan(s) for the immediate area that surrounds the same location.

    Please note that Hudson River "shacks" were once located on the present site of the NY State boat launch located across the CSX bridge.
    That site is now a parking lot.

  4. @tmdonofrio, later on I can steer you to stories from last year's Register Star where the Mayor spoke of tearing the shacks down.

    I'm really glad to learn that at least one other non-Furgarian is sensitive to the idea that more history is about to be snuffed out. (Hey, "History is bunk," right?)

    But what I'd like to know is, what's wrong with everyone else?

  5. With less than 30 days,it's really a shame that some of the Furgary supporters,are just now, coming around to the idea of protection,through historic preservation and land-marking and yet in the same breath vehemently blaming everything on "Cidiots", instead of looking for anyway possible to stay this decision,long enough for an appeal and to quickly get assistance from any and all knowledgeable and/
    or influential people,or organizations,who champion them to stay.
    Had Furgary been in the View Shed on South Bay,they would have just gotten a reprieve,to rally.If they were still where tmdonfrio describes,they would have been in a Designated Historic District.But, of course,if that parking lot was built during the destruction era of HUD and urban renewal,pre-Historic Preservation,pre-Cidiots,then they would have been kicked to the curb in a hot second by their own, as soon as "City Hall" wanted to take over that piece of water front .
    So, my point is moot.
    Only the natives in City Hall, seem hell bent on this immediate destruction. If it doesn't have to do with the Water/Sewage Treatment Plant being right there and considering there is a very toxic piece of land next to Furgary,the old Foster site,It's hard to see that
    a truly private sector investor would be interested. Some "City Hall"officials, may see this as profitable water front and already have something in mind. The sudden "liability to all taxpayers of Hudson",as a tactic to rip them down as a soon as that 30 days is up,is something "City Hall" has done before,effectively.They basically,
    at this point, have a boiler plate,for this type of action.The bulldozers will be waiting.
    Tick Tock.

  6. The "type of action" being planned is a good question.

    City attorneys are already plotting an easy, expedited course through the SEQRA process. They've telegraphed their predictable tactics, and they will find some way to make the carnage look pretty.

    Because SEQRA is enforced solely by citizens, the only people they'll have to outsmart are those who care about history, the only people who are able to grasp the nature of the adverse impact in the first place. And what is that, like less than a dozen people?

    So why would they allow a largely ignorant public any extra time to think on the matter? Leaving no time means they can pretty much do what they want.

    And leaving no time is how they won against the Furgarians in the first place. The city's lawyers made a big deal about not being able to reach anyone at Furgary to be able to instruct them on the Statute of Limitations. But who would believe such garbage, I mean other than the courts?

    Leaving no time is how they tricked the SEQR process concerning the LWRP. Sounds crazy? I'll present a catalogue of how they did just that. I'll provide a thesis of their contempt for a public they allegedly serve.

  7. Not crazy at all.It is a point of fact.You had front row seats...not that you sat.A handful of people can't stop this.The petition is a good first move,but just that.Awareness and agitation to City Hall,that they are being watched now,everyday is very important.
    Getting support not just from Hudson but from press,Fishing and Sportsman,not just History.Connective,influential and moneyed institutions,for instance, both New Bedford and Nantucket Whaling Museums,as Hudson founders are from both.
    High Alert on any Bldg.Dept,Crawford &Assoc and City Attorney's moves.
    Do they have a lawyer representing them right now? If not ,get the best one they can on Monday.The" liability issue" is how they will turn this into a "Emergency", so they can be untethered by "City" and State Codes and will move fast..They rely on ignorance,indifference and complacency.And why not. It works like a charm here.

  8. Because they lost their appeal, the North Dock Tin Boat Association enjoys no greater preservation claim through the State Environmental Quality Review Act than do any other citizens who might value Furgary.

    Because there's almost no historical awareness of our own waterfront, and consequently no sites or artifacts recognized at the regulatory level, SEQRA does not require the City of Hudson to take any precautions with any of our waterfront's historical features. For that reason alone it would be pointless to hire a lawyer; there's absolutely no leverage there.

    What's needed are people who care enough to make a noise. If enough people are willing to cite SEQRA's recommendations concerning otherwise unprotected historical sites, perhaps the City of Hudson will acknowledge the interest.

    The petition is what matters now, and continuing to raise awareness.

    After that we should discuss SEQRA's recommendations, although I never got the impression that anyone here has the faintest idea what that law entails.

    1. Yes,I signed petition Friday night.
      I spoke to friends of Furgary two summers ago ,about the Proprietor angle.Too bad they did not have good council.I don't understand why you weren't helping them before,since you launch your boat down there and seem to know some of the Furgary regulars.
      Not that you had to,but with so little time left,they better stay the demolition first,if not,they better document quickly and pack up their world down there.
      The guys in my neighborhood,went to school with a lot of "City" officials and employees.Cops and robbers.Saves me a lot of time FOIL-ing for information.
      You said they do not need to hire a lawyer.So, they don't have a lawyer.
      Well,the "City"needs to go by code here.Not because it's about Furgary,but because it is the Law.I am sick of this .They have to be questioned and watched,now ,hence a lawyer.
      If "City "is going with the "liability for all of Hudson",which lawyer and Alderman Friedman posted that here on Gossips,that is a precursor to getting "Emergency" variance.It will exempt them from procedure."City" can skip bidding,Common Council,expenditure approval,everything.New, Southside Reps may have not yet experienced this .They are stand-up people,who aren't affected by the"City"like the Northside is.I do not want to be right.I am only going to make this noise,from personal experience,because,once they tear shacks down, that's it,the land will be secured so no one on can go down there, period,as it will remain a "liability for all Hudson taxpayers" If they want to buy even another month,they have to find out the "City's" demolition plan, now.The "City" needs to be forced to tell it's taxpayers,what they are about to spend with the taxpayer's money and how much and when.The demo company hired, must have a Demolition Plan.That is compulsory.N.Y.S. LAW.They need to show where it is being disposed of.
      A lawyer could demand it more effectively than a lone citizen getting the run around and stalled,threatened and lied to,until all the shacks are down.Then,as I heard you say to Common Council yourself,"so it's,dig a hole,get a permit later?"
      This is worse.Like Galloway,sneak through the dark of night,tear it ,cut it ,down.destroy it.Then,oh, what??"you want me to put it back together?too late.too bad.
      Now this diversion of Furgary,is just what GalVan needs.They are steps away from signing a 30 yr deal for possibly over 70,imported, permanent,single Homeless with major issues brought into the North side,if GalVan gets both sites approved.First up,looks like with the County,Mentally Ill, Homeless on State St. directly behind ,new performance space at Tennis Club and 7th St.Park and BOS Scalera, also employee of GalVan,no conflicts of interest there,will no doubt be coaxing that along.People can not keep track of all this.My eyes are on Galloway.This is my home.He is a real threat,financially and to quality of life.

      The death sentence for Furgary will be executed through"City" go to Engineer & Bldg.dept.of 2 people.They may already have all that secured.The demo company may have been hired.It's better to know.If "City "does,there will be no stopping them,unless someone like a lawyer,calls"City"out.
      I have been up close and personal with how bad these guys are.They don't care.
      I'm burnt out with Hudson"City Hall".
      Give me straight up gangster,any day.These people and that developer from Industry of Poverty Hell ,Galloway,are just a nightmare.They have so negatively,impacted me and my neighbors lives,and we have to pay them money for
      doing that. Here on the Second Ward,it just keeps getting worse.
      I want the "City"stopped,because they need to be stopped.You said it yourself.They believe they own this town.I see very little that would dissuade them from thinking that.

  9. Like you, I've been attempting to help the Furgarians for some time.

    The City now owes Furgary nothing, and officials both elected and appointed have been loud and clear about their disdain.

    But what "code" do you imagine applies here? There is none.

    However state law certainly applies (SEQRA), and the city is hard at work finding ways to circumvent its requirements.

    City attorneys are currently drafting (or have drafted) a "Determination of Significance" under SEQRA, which explains why the Furgary shacks do not deserve special consideration or further study.

    But besides me, have you heard of any citizen discussing the only law which applies to this situation? Even though City Hall is up to its neck in it (or perhaps they prepared themselves ahead of time), you've heard nobody say anything about "SEQRA," and that is an ignorance the city knows it can count on every time.

    You may wish to begin with the following section of the law explained, and then encourage others to do the same:

    (N.B., none of the "emergency" provisions for evading SEQRA's requirements applies to this situation, although they may attempt to make a false argument. In that event I admit that this is where a lawyer would be required since the law is up to citizens to enforce.)

    In the meantime, let's look at liability issues with other city properties and compare. I had the Kaz warehouse on Cross Street in mind, but then remembered that it's owned by the HDC.

    Does the city share any exposure with the HDC over that dangerous building? Removing it should be someone's priority, as Scalera agreed in 2010:

    “There are certainly challenges in taking the buildings down ... it will be costly, but we have the opportunity as a city ..." (21 Dec).

    But who is this "we"? No one can even tell me what the HDC is. Even though it's commonly treated as a quasi-governmental entity (as in Scalera's example above), it's never mentioned in the City Code or City Charter. So is it some kind of a tax shelter for the city, and if so how does it square its liability issues? If there's any justification in comparing that asbestos-ridden warehouse with the Furgary shacks, then let the liability comparisons begin.

    And what of any other city properties? Why is Furgary such a priority? Simply because they hate it? Are they ashamed of it or something?

    The city is about 20 steps ahead of all of the above questions, and all of them are being solved behind closed doors. That's always the case in Hudson, and I fear it always will be.

    What The People have is SEQRA, and we totally waste it.

    1. I do not get why you are not hearing what I'm saying.Code has to do with
      Building Code& Demolition.I
      have written this too many times now.
      The "Emergency"
      variance through NYS Building Code
      due to liability,if they use it. It may
      allow them to tear down shacks on Day 31.
      They can spend our money freely.This is
      a misuse of this Law.But once the shacks are down,is anyone going to pursue if it was legitimate?No.The Shacks will be down case close.Post signs around fire houses,to see if anyone has family photos.Most of the relatives of older generations down there,do not live in 1st,2nd,4th Wards anymore.I have old pictures,but I have to leave.Forcing the City to follow Code,with Demolition,will slow them down.
      Not stop them.That is all I'm talking about, here.
      This is about buying time and making the "City " accountable for our tax dollars and make them follow the Law,for a change.

    2. Here's how you get people to hear you.

      You provide your fellow citizens with the requisite code, then let them draw their own conclusions.

      1. Which laws of NY state are you trying to share:

      2. The city must still submit a SEQRA-required EAF. Here is the Environmental Quality Review law:

      3. Better yet, "The SEQR Handbook" (with linked Table of Contents):

  10. Tim,
    I am trying not to take offence.
    are you being rude?and dismissive?
    I'm trying to help here.I answered some questions you asked in other posts.I do not think you read what I write.
    If you do not get what I'm saying,I'll speak to some one else.
    I thought you would pass this info along.
    I will be gone for all of this.This is why I am trying to share my knowledge of this "city Hall',tried and true taticas I have experienced it under very similar circumstances,on one hand,but different as well.I had no help what so ever,til I got Albany down here and they stopped Wurster ET AL and Fined them and made them produce the paperwork,that didn't exist.
    This thread we are on here is all buried now.
    Funny you should be congratulating people to "joining the history brigade"
    I have had long conversations with you about your opposition too ,Historic Preservation
    So I'm glad that" YOU,have joined the history brigade."The Demo's effect on the riverfront,I thought you of all people,would be all over that.Read what I've written above,please.
    They need do do Documentation this week.There are fantastic Photographers and even documentary maker that live in Hudson.Make an Appeal,through Gossips,or any connections you have.I will be very far away.I wish i was here to help.So i am doing what i can right Now.This is it,til I get back,after Day 31.

    One thing to think about if you will,is the idea of finding a warehouse down there,where Furgary could move everything to stage it ,together.Maybe some pieces of shacks and interiors.,.Just so it doesn't just get scattered forever before they Demo.They have alot of work ahead of them ,getting out of there.
    Maybe if it was first taken to one spot.Some other possibilities may come forth,as in Museum installation,but outdoors.A maritime Museum ,would be great.Casson Kennedy and the Eleanor are a first step in that direction.
    Just spit balling ideas.
    Find out the demolition Plan,so the Fugarians can use this time wisely.
    This week would be the one for any documentation or press.After that,,if they can not buy anymore time.They are going to have to start to get thier boats and everything else there OUT
    If Hallenbeck does what he says he is going to do,he will seize the land,with what ever is left on on DAY 31
    Please go to building Dept and FOIL Furgary file.Ask Halloran about taxpayers funds being used.Ask 1st and 3rd wards reps,if they have heard anything,in terms of money or Bidding or the lack of it.
    Also the fact that these shacks are reported to have used,junked Walk in cooler walls,from Fosters from 1950's,they should not be pulverized,.as most likely asbestos,and it would become friable,if crushed.
    An Environmental Company .monitoring my have to come in there.
    Who knows if the Fugary soil has been contaminated by Fosters and seepage.Plus that water-Sewage Plant.look around and see who built it.
    That's alarming in its self.
    the SEQRA you keep bringing up,but do not instruct,how it could or should be used here.If people do not understand it.Try and explain it in a way that they can.Please pass on the Demo information to some at Furgary folks.. ,if you would
    Thanks, Unheimlich

    1. Prison, those are some good ideas and I do hope that you pursue them. As you said yourself, the city will just ignore codes, but the stages of SEQRA, at least, must be adhered to. I'll put the little amount of time I have to offer into the latter.

      (I did make an effort to locate the NY state codes you mentioned, but I couldn't find them and then I couldn't afford any more time for the task. Providing citations is always helpful.)

      If you want to know why I'm a bit leery of people, you've just given me a fine example.

      You and I really only conversed once in person, and that was at a noisy Winter Walk for all of 5 minutes on Warren Street.

      May I offer a suggestion then, which is genuinely offered in kindness. You might take greater care with people's reputations, especially when you say that you don't wish to alienate them.

      You have not given a true characterization of me in the following words, nor do you know me well enough to be able to report such things:

      "I have had long conversations with you about your opposition too ,Historic Preservation"

      Do take care, Prison. We need you.

    2. p.s.

      "The SEQR Handbook":

      Alas, there is no better introduction, and I am apparently incapable of explaining such a Byzantine thing.

  11. Jeez unheimlich,I meant on Gossips ,not in person.Go back and read them.Just go to City Code through the cityofhudson link.Building DEPT. and look under demolition.If the city ignores the codes, they are breaking the LAW.It's not OK!It's not OK to just spend our Taxpayer money on this,with no accountability.
    Why ,I brought Albany in to stop them,and that was just so no one got killed.Your reputation!What are you talking about???re read your own posts. you keep saying you are the only one who knows or cares....I know it's your style,but c'mon.I've always been supportive of have been frustrating me ,because I have to leave for a month and I am trying to give you some information,that may help.I alienate all of the 5th ward and Galloway every time I write, on purose.Its easy .Just tell the truth.
    What is this "do take care ,Prison "crap.
    you leave me a post

    "go for it".
    That was not dismissive?

    I had just told you I can't.I have to leave.
    any way ,chill out.I only was trying to help.Go back to our discussions on Gossips around the time of Quentin Cross arrest.
    Then maybe you may see why I said that,about Historic Preservation.
    I admire what you do and your knowledge,but perhaps ,without making people feel inferior,you could express your ideas and knowledge in more layman terms..Like spell out the stages of SEQR and how they help Furgary and how do they get enforced.I just wrote out all these ideas, and telling you I had to leave and you say "and I hope that you pursue them"I have said numerous times to you,I have to go .My Son is getting married.OK!It is far away wher I am going.When I return ,it will be past DAY 30.
    Sorry I did not mean to insult you. Not my style.
    I was referring to our discussions on Gossips.
    "Do take care Unheimlich.WE need you too"
    seriously,lighten up.