The group Save Cooper Lake again urged action to prevent future exploitation of the town’s resources at the March 10 town board meeting, while the board also heard an update on the battle of the Radio Woodstocks.
While Niagara Bottling Company pulled out of a deal to buy Cooper Lake water to supply a bottling plant in the town of Ulster, Liz Simonson of Save Cooper Lake told the board a company with deeper pockets may be more willing to fight. She suggested a partnership with the city of Kingston, which maintains Cooper Lake as a municipal water supply for its residents. “Maybe this could be the beginning of trying to engage them as equal partners,” Simonson, a former town councilwoman, suggested.
She asked the board if environmental attorney Jim Baker, hired to assert the town’s rights in the Niagara talks, could present the board with ideas. Supervisor Jeremy Wilber said Baker is already working on recommendations and the board expects a report in the near future.
While Niagara did not state a specific reason for backing out, Councilman Bill McKenna posited his own theory, noting that along with Save Cooper Lake, prominent environmental group Riverkeeper and the Kingston Common Council were against the bottling plant. “I think the combination of all these things scared the crap out of them,” he said.
Simonson presented a resolution declaring February 13 as Cooper Lake Appreciation Day, marking the day when Niagara issued a press release saying it was backing out of the plan to build a bottling plant. Wilber, while complimenting the suggestions, said it would be prudent to wait on Baker’s report before acting on anything.
Niagara Bottling had proposed to purchase up to 1.75 million gallons of Cooper Lake water from the city of Kingston to supply a 415,000-square-foot plant near Tech City in the town of Ulster. Kingston saw the large-scale sale of water as a way to finance $18 million in urgently needed infrastructure repairs recently highlighted by a major supply line break on Sawkill Road in the town of Kingston.
Birds of a Feather Media CEO and Woodstock 104 (WIOF radio station) owner Randi Steele told the board that Radio Woodstock 100.1 FM’s (WDST) assertions her station is infringing on their trademark have no merit. WDST, which holds a trademark to the name, says while Steele can use “Woodstock” in identifying its location, the name Woodstock 104 is a trademark violation.
Steele said her attorney, Michael Cornman, who specializes in trademark issues, considers WDST’s complaint baseless.
In a memo to Cornman, WDST General Manager Richard Fusco said, “we would be happy to meet with them to help them come up with a name that works for us.” Steele takes that to mean only a name that would satisfy WDST. She went on to accuse Radio Woodstock of having a “gender glass ceiling,” pointing to a lack of female DJs. “Male chauvinism is alive and well on the radio in Woodstock,” Steele said.
In the memo, Fusco said Radio Woodstock will continue to pursue the issue but is willing to sit down and work out a solution to the trademark issue, despite Steele’s comments in a recent Woodstock Times article and on air. “The Birds of a Feather folks continue to be angry and aggressive in the article and on the air, bad-mouthing me and Radio Woodstock nightly on their broadcasts. We just want to work this out. That’s the ‘Woodstock’ way,” Fusco said in the memo.
Steele also took issue with a comment Fusco made in the article that she left “nasty messages” on his voicemail. Steele said she only called once and that was to leave her lawyer’s contact information.
The issue came to light after Steele offered the town rebroadcast rights to Woodstock 104 programming to fill gaps in public access station Channel 23. The board was ready to accept the offer until Fusco notified it of the trademark issue. That deal is on hold until the two radio stations come to an agreement.
Help for overdoses
Wilber announced the police department, with the help of the Ulster County Sheriff’s Office, was recently trained in the use of nasal naloxone, known as Narcan, to treat victims of opiate overdoses. “It is no secret our nation is suffering from an epidemic of opiate abuse,” Wilber said. “I hope to god it’s never needed,” he said of the Narcan kits.
Money for a bridge
Nobody spoke at a public hearing on a resolution to transfer $140,000 from the Highway Repair Reserve to the MacDaniel Bridge Replacement capital project.
The MacDaniel Road bridge is the next of three getting replaced. The first was on Chestnut Hill Road and was recently completed. The Yerry Hill Road bridge will follow the MacDaniel bridge.
The board approved an agreement with Possible Productions for use of the Mountain View parking lot on March 27 for $1000. The lot will be used for filming scenes of “Happyish,” a Showtime series about a 44-year-old man who gets sick of a fast-paced city life and a 25-year-old boss and decides to move to the country. The production company also filmed scenes around town last month.
“Happyish” premiers on Showtime April 26 at 9:30 p.m.