Kingston Times letters (4/12-18)

A lot is happening

The issues are moving fast this week and beyond my control. They have doubled, however, as a result of a deadly fire in Trump Tower. The headlines read that the future president lobbied against sprinklers on the upper floors of his building back in the ’80s, even though they were legally not required.

Well, here is this week’s trivia question. What does Kingston, N.Y, and Donald Trump and his tower have in common? Answer: Back in 1976-77 a local developer wanted to build Yosman Tower. At the time building inspector and deputy fire chief Hugh Greer said the size of the building required three fire suppression standpipes. The developer only wanted two because it would be less expensive. The developer went to the then-mayor to intervene, and when Greer would not budge, citing public safety, he was relieved of his responsibilities. A fire captain was appointed the new inspector and approved the variance. The developer got his way and now the building recently described as obsolete and having outlived its life expectancy by a new purchaser’s attorney, is being sold along with the Governor Clinton Hotel for a total of $34 million in cash and taxpayer subsidies in the form of tax credits and Pilot agreements. Promising upgrades and major renovation, will the new owners add a previously required third standpipe? You make the call.

On the Irish Cultural Center front, based on comps that I have secured on other social organizations’ parcels, the total taxes on this building will exceed $30,000, if done fairly. If not then other groups will be obligated to challenge their assessment. At the same time the neighboring properties will probably decrease in value. How can the Irish afford $30,000 in taxes? They will request a Pilot because of their cultural contribution. Well my comps have no Pilots and pay taxes. I will be presenting these facts and more to the board next week. And anybody on the board who is a member who is a member of the AOH must recuse themselves from a conflict of interest and/or an ethics violation. I am keeping under wraps my parking findings. Stay tuned.


Bruce McLean

We don’t want to be Glidepath’s guinea pig

Regarding Glidepath’s proposed Lincoln Park Grid Support Center in the Town of Ulster, there are plenty of valid environmental and quality-of-life concerns related to this unnecessary natural gas/diesel fueled “peaker” power plant. But today I’d like to discuss the inexperience and demonstrated lack of knowledge on the part of Glidepath.

Glidepath has never attempted a project like this before; all of their previous energy projects involve battery storage and wind. And their lack of combustion experience was on full display during their very first meeting with the public on Jan. 17, 2018.

At this meeting, several Glidepath executives gave a presentation that had the plant’s carbon emissions output number shockingly wrong. They claimed their plant would expel 195 pounds of carbon emissions per megawatt hour (MWh). The true emissions number is 850-950 pounds per MWh — that’s more than a 400 percent disparity, and a big, big deal. Their 195-pound emissions number was deemed impossible by an audience member, but the executives stood by it, only admitting days later that it was wrong.

That the company’s executives could allow such a large public disparity on such an important number tells us they do not have an emissions expert on their staff, and clearly have no idea what’s going to come out of their smokestacks. Put simply, the audience had more emissions knowledge than Glidepath. This demonstrates a troubling lack of experience, and poor quality control as well. And this is the company that’s going to store 50,000 gallons of diesel fuel right near our homes? Really?

Again, Glidepath has never built one of these gas-fired peaker power plants before. Let’s not let the Town of Ulster be their guinea pig.

Dan Furman
Town of Ulster

Public transportation possibilities

The possibilities of the UCAT buses and the Kingston Citibus system are up in the air and everyone is wondering about it and how the Citibuses may discontinue. As my family has been depending on public transportation for over 10 years … I have some ideas and concerns too.

Why get rid of Citibuses? Instead make a Citibus for all the cities, Woodstock, Phoenicia, Pine Hill. Keep the UCAT as an express that would run a constant back and forth up 28 and up Broadway in Kingston and the Citibuses would be the artery buses that would run down the roads in Kingston away from Broadway and meet the UCAT buses on 28 and go back into Woodstock, Phoenicia and Pine Hill. What we all need is more going the same paths. I also am sad that the train tracks are being taken out. You could put a rail trail next to the train and also a train still functioning would be a great way to take in the nature that going up 28 has to offer us, and it could make stops along the 28 route and people could get off and connect with a bus down into the town of their choice. Why can’t we have it all?

Sasha (Sun) Finlay

There is one comment

  1. Bruce Mayor

    Bruce Bruce Burce you have been watching too much fake Fox News and listening to way too much red neck radio. You site 1976 and also “back in the 80’s” in your letter regarding Don The Con going Con again. In fact the building in which a rent paying tenant of Donald Trump died was more subject to The Con’s more recent efforts not the “80’s.”

    According to the Trump supporting biased NY Post…..

    “requirement for fire sprinklers in city high-rises in the late 1990s”

    Two decades before he was president, Trump got political when he spent thousands of dollars lobbying City Council members not to pass the bill — because it would be too expensive for his apartment buildings.

    He gave $5,000 to then-Speaker Peter Vallone while also personally calling committee Chairman Archie Spigner and bill sponsor Walter McCaffery, it was reported at the time. Trump estimated that the move would cost $4 per square foot at the time — about $6 per square foot today.

    The council ultimately passed Local Law 10 in 1999 mandating sprinklers in halls and apartments of all residential buildings with four or more units.

    But Trump Tower — where 67-year-old Todd Brassner died during a four-alarm blaze Saturday — was grandfathered in and would not have to comply with the new rule unless the building underwent significant renovations, which it never did, according to a rep from the Department of Buildings on Sunday.

    Trump’s then-under construction Trump World Tower near the United Nations was also grandfathered in because he had submitted building permits before the local law was signed.”

    Don’t let facts get in the way Bruce

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