Friday, February 2, 2018

Meeting Reminder

The still in formation Hudson Parks Conservancy meets today at 6 p.m. in the conference room at 1 North Front Street.



  1. NDTBA Inc, a 100% member supported, not for profit, disenfranchised five years ago.

    Ronald Williams; Harold Smith; Pamela Mickel; Michael Dianda; Sandy Skabowski; Jeffrey Kritzman; Ray Coxon; Leo Bernockie; Arthur Martin; Peter Rogers; Steve Brenner; Victor Gorman; David Wright; Thomas Wright; Cedric Brandow; Robert Steimers; Robert Groll; Robert Torchia; Gary Snyder; Dennis Malloy; Richard Hodges; Christy Tiano; Michael Maresco; Pat Cowell, James Konderwich; Joseph Pertilla, George Meicht, Peter Meicht; Charles Davi; A J Rogers, Anthony Rogers...

    Branded as squatters when in fact they were stewards, promoting the "free and easy" use of municipal shore.

  2. If you were "disenfranchised" by anyone, then it was the IRS, and never mind what our then-Congressman reported to you. See:

    Inasmuch as NDTBA existed for the purpose of winning quiet title to land occupied for at least 130 years by the group and its forerunners, it lost its court case fairly before the state's high court, and thanks to the court's dedication to justice. This also meant overlooking the filing negligence of the Plaintiff's attorney, McNamee, Lochner, Titus & Williams.

    I'd call the same attorneys negligent for failing to locate the original deed(s) to the land, except that I'd then have to call the City's title searcher negligent for failing to find a deed it took us under a half-hour to locate in the Columbia County real property office. How could they have missed it?

    However, had any deed been entered into the court record, then it's a certainty the court would have judged it a fraudulent. That begs some questions about the intentions of the City Proprietors; to wit, how did they fail to see their error in dividing the North Bay into "water lots" when, in the South Bay, they applied the principles of the 1785 grant correctly?

    In fact, both the City and the NDTBA were, technically speaking, "squatters," whatever their positive contributions as either self-described stewards or as a municipal sewage plant and City garage.

    Though the outcome for the NDTBA was an unhappy one, it followed a correct judgement by the Supreme Court Appellate Division which looked to the 1785 grant. (Incidentally, note the same judgement's unpleasant consequences for lands on the south side of Dock Street, which is an issue nobody wants to consider.)

    Though things might have taken a different course, today's circumstances are much changed. Now gone from local government are those who doubted the NDTBA's positive contribution of promoting navigation and water access. Also gone are more recent impediments to "free and easy" use of the municipal shore. In the circumstances, these complaints no longer have any application.

    For anyone who still wishes to assign blame, though, whether the camp's former occupants (who were technically squatters) or the inconvenienced City (also a squatter), all should look to the Proprietors for their initial error, and to Cotton Gelston in particular who must have known what he was doing.

    The colorful Gelston was the author of all of this mischief. As the individual who'd personally drafted all of the City's original deeds, he'd have understood the 1785 state grant better than anyone (and at South Bay he showed that he did understand it). Among Gelston's acquisitions was the land beneath several of the North Bay shacks - land which Gelston then bequeathed to his son Samuel (see Proprietors' "Water Lots" map, and also Liber WW p. 380).

    By all means be angry at history, but also know that, short of re-occupying the shacks (which at this point is a highly technical legal matter), river access at North Bay is not impeded by anyone.

    1. In 1995, North Dock Tin Boat Association Incorporated by paying a franchise fee to NY State for "any lawful purpose." NDTBA connected hundreds of county motor boaters for many years before the city's militia moved in, eliminating the continuous historical use and (free) maintenance of North Dock.

      Clearly the very presence of tin boat navigators promoted more use and less cost to tax payers.

      Furthermore, county tin boat navigators pay (in advance) for "increased" use. City officials do little to promote motor boat use, while continuing to spend the Outboard Motor Fuel Tax on vessels without motors.

      Replacing 30 volunteers with two paid part timers, is restricting rather than promoting access to many square miles of Columbia county foreshore.

      The "grantification" of North Dock has resulted in less use, fewer users, and more cost to tax payers.

    2. The city of Hudson fails to PROMOTE public use, to "fullest extent possible."

      The "grantification" of North Dock has resulted in less use, fewer users and will impose brand funding on taxpayers.

      The issue here Mapmaker, is more tax with less use.

      Turning the above tax paying stewards into "just" taxpayers was very poor leadership.

    3. I agree things haven't turned out so well, but in the end they probably weren't going to work out much differently anyway.

      Eventually the State would discover the error of the Proprietors and exchange real estate with the City. After that, and again eventually, the City would have to bring things under the rule of law. (Frankly, I can't understand your lack of outrage for the City's double standard regarding the Spirit of Hudson, but in the end it will be ejected too.)

      However, nobody is stopping you or anyone else from promoting public use. Personally, I'd like to see more residents of the 2nd Ward who also pay taxes enjoy the City's second waterfront park. When newcomers grow new affections for beautiful places, a new sense of stewardship is never far behind.

    4. Once again, five years of fencing made maintenance of the floating stock in front of the shacks, rendering them useless.

      Hurricane Sandy didn't destroy our floats, city fencing did.

    5. I disagree, and I think you will too. Once the fencing came down didn't you notice that the shacks were open to new waves of abuse? More degradation has occurred due to vandals and scavengers since the fences were removed than in the years prior to 2012.

      I thought removing the fences was a bad idea for the shacks, and I was right.

      But I take your more general point. It was municipal vandalism either way.

    6. Forcing county motor boaters to fund landlubbers and kayakers is more like municipal malfeasance.

  3. and access there should be with no shacks --perhaps but one remnant-- so that real access exists for all citizens of hudson.
    the shacks are epheremal architecture that was never meant to be preserved. let save the churches and the plumb bronson house.

    1. "Real" access? Seriously? Why not remove the trees, too, for lessening your access?

      Your comment smacks of revenge.

    2. Imagine my surprise back in 1995 as a student of engineering to learn that the controlling legal authority was Army Engineers, who only allow "structures" in the foreshore for one reason and one reason only, to promote navigation. Not education on how to navigate, fish, fly kites, or museums about navigation, navigation ONLY!

      The entire area is submersible shore, if some new land use is suggested, then I'll volunteer to run the dozer, to insure they start low and grade upland.

  4. From the Federal Highway Administration:

    Highway Act of 1956:
    President Eisenhower insisted that the financing mechanism for the Interstate System be "self-liquidating," so that it could not add to the national debt. The president favored a toll highway network financed by bonds, but his aides convinced him that traffic volumes would not generate enough revenue in most corridors to repay bondholders with interest. Therefore, the plan the President submitted to Congress called for establishment of a Federal Highway Corporation to issue bonds to pay for the Interstate System up-front, with the Federal excise tax on gasoline and lubricating oil (which then went to the general Treasury without a linkage to highways) was dedicated to bond retirement. Congress rejected this plan, but adopted a proposal to finance the Interstate System on a pay-as-you-go basis with revenue from highway user taxes. The revenue was credited by the Department of the Treasury to the Highway Trust Fund established under the Federal-Aid

    It was later determined that motor boaters were being robbed, paying for maintenance of roads and bridges that navigators never crossed. Hence forth a portion of that tax was to be used (exclusively) to enhance access for motor boaters.

    Columbia County motor boaters have paid this hidden "use tax" for 62 years while systematically being edged out to make room for kayaks and landlubbers.