Growing Community: Lindner’s Vision for Fourth Ward Vacant Lot

PORT JERVIS, N.Y. — Monday evening, former 2017 Fourth Ward candidate and activist Jill Lindner delivered her results to the Common Council and the public regarding a petition that she had started earlier this month.

The petition, signed by 52 people, began after news broke that the firehouse property at 15 Seward Ave. was expected to be sold by the city to the Salvation Army next door as had been done with 17 Seward Ave. not long before.

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Lindner, with her concept, hopes to not only beautify the neighborhood but inspire, educate and enrich the lives of her neighbors in the Fourth Ward.

That’s the simple reason.

There is a more pervasive problem of the property pertinent to those who pay taxes in the City of Port Jervis.

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In 2011, the city sold the property for $57,500, turning an immediate profit on the property of 17 Seward Ave. after having spent $35,500 to clear the property. Therein lies the problem however: the city, therefore the taxpayers, foot the bill to see their taxes raised ever more slightly by the rescinding of the property from the tax rolls.


“Gardens = Quality of life, making property worth more.”

Jill Lindner

So when in 2017 the city spent $101,752 to demolish the old firehouse at 15 Seward Ave. and test for asbestos, concerned neighbors spoke up and Lindner listened.

If it was to be of detriment to the situation of taxpayers, Lindner saw no reason why it couldn’t be, more positively, a tax-free project that served the community directly. Owned by the Ward for the next hundred years.

For the neighborhood, by the neighborhood.

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When the idea was first raised by Lindner to a closed meeting with Mayor Kelly Decker, there was supposed to be two Fourth Ward representatives present to hear the notion. Yet, only Lisa Randazzo was present

According to Lindner, when she asked Stanley Siegel why he was a no-show, the councilman with a dozen years under his belt responded that he had not been called.

Though the shortcoming in communication, Lindner later says that not only did she get support at the meeting, but she was introduced to ways and means of financial support for the project.

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Although Lindner has found volunteers “already rolling up their sleeves,” there has been “negative spin” from those with a voice that’s well-heard.

For instance, at the first Common Council meeting of the new year, in response to her open letter calling for public support, Siegel had the following to say:


“Not sure that site would be in the best interest of anybody.”

Stanley Siegel

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Jill Lindner, as an environmental activist and artist, wishes to create and inspire a healthier, greener planet. Believing in “starting where you are” she ran for councilwoman to the Fourth Ward in 2017 after years of demonstrating and getting closer to the Earth. Now, beginning with this garden project, she is finding new ways of doing whatever she can to make a positive impact on the world around her.

That’s why it wouldn’t be a surprise to any that have spoken to her if she saw this project through to completion and set a precedent for creating positive, organic change.

Jill

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Former Cuomo Aide Indicted for CPV Bribery

NEW YORK — Monday morning at 8:30 a.m. a court proceeding began that has many Orange County residents and some from Sullivan Co. protesting, as well as citizens across the state concerned.

A former aide to Governor Andrew Cuomo, Joseph Percoco, is finally seeing trial over a year after a subpoena calling for his indictment on the charges of accepting bribes for official favors.

Organizations such as Food and Water Watch – New York, Concerned Citizens for the Hudson Valley, and Protect Orange County organized to further call attention to these charges, the corruption of Albany and the Competitive Power Ventures (CPV) plant transporting fracked gas into the Hudson Valley.

The bribes, from 2012 to 2014, as well as in 2015, recurringly came bank accounts set up by a shell company of Todd Howe, a lobbyist who first met Percoco and Cuomo while he was working Cuomo’s father, Mario Cuomo. Howe is now cooperating with prosecutors after having pleaded guilty to multiple felonies of a similar nature in September 2016.

Activists in the region are pointing to a particular instance when CPV paid over $287,000 to Percoco. Former CPV executive, Peter Galbraith Kelly Jr. was charged with arranging the payments. Now, Protect Orange County, wants to see the CPV fracked gas-fired plant removed from the Hudson Valley, and they aren’t alone.

The trial is expected to be ongoing for the next four to six weeks. Syracuse developers, COR Development executives Steven Aiello and Joseph Gerardi, were also charged in the Percoco trial, as well as another, for their arrangement of nearly $35,000 in payments to help with economic development.

Susan Lerner, Common Cause Executive Director, believes that the evidence in the trial will “be eye-opening for the public” in terms of the “pay-to-play aspects” of government economic decision-making.

The trial is being held at the Thurgood Marshall United States Courthouse in Foley Square in New York City. Many have already gathered in protest. Footage from Protect Orange County’s Facebook Live feed is below.

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The Buffalo News reporter Tom Precious said Saturday that the “Percoco corruption trial is as much about Cuomo as it is the defendants.” In the article, Executive Director of the New York Public Interest Research Group (NYPIRG), Blair Horner, agrees with Lerner that prosecutors are “going to illustrate Albany’s pay-to-play culture, and it’s not going to be pretty for New Yorkers to see.”

Assemblyman Ray Walter, an Amherst Republican, takes it a step further.

“I think we’re going to see the inner workings of the Cuomo administration and how the economic development model he’s developed as governor leads to this type of corruption,” he said.

Tom Precious, The Buffalo News. Jan. 20, 2018

Chair of Protect Orange County, Pramilla Malick, has not yet responded to calls for comment. To be Updated as the trial continues.

2018’s Port Jervis Women’s March

PORT JERVIS, N.Y.  — Yesterday, Saturday, Jan. 20, over 200 individuals came in respects to sister marches happening across the state, and around the nation, in solidarity with disempowered women and especially those most at-risk with the current Presidential Administration.


“Ignite people into action.”

Patty Baughman

St_PetersAt the St Peter’s Lutheran Church in Port Jervis an estimated 250 individuals gathered for the first anniversary of the March. Last year, in sheer protest of President Trump’s inauguration, 800 demonstrators, according to organizer Patty Baughsman, packed the streets for the 1.5-mile march through Port Jervis. This year, in respect to those less able to make the hike, the March route was cut short to a tenth of a mile, with handfuls staying behind at the Church.

Get another idea of what it was like here.

Here you’ll find the top five greatest signs at Port’s Women’s March.

First organized, last year, as the brain-baby of her friend, Gaye Hartwig, the March was pulled together by Baughman a week before the event.

In addition to suggesting the work of Sojourners, a faith and political organization in Washington, D.C., when asked what Hartwig would hope people took away from what she had to say Saturday, she answered that it could be summed up by verse:

“The King will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.”

Matthew 25:40, New International Version

A half-dozen women spoke across several topics all including the importance of getting involved, supporting those that are marginalized, and of course, getting out the vote. Pastor Aaron Baughman closed the preceding speeches before the event-goers moved to the street to demonstrate and protest.

The women who spoke ranged from members of the Church and the community to local activists and politicians. After Patty Baughman opened the floor this was the lineup:

  • Gaye Hartwig
  • Aileen Gunther — New York Assemblywoman  D-Forestburgh (keynote speaker)
  • Melissa Martin — full-time mother and community activist
  • Pramilla Malick — Protect Orange County Chair, and a recent candidate for office
  • Julika von Stackelberg — Cornell Cooperative Extension Orange County, Parenting and Family Life Educator
  • Michele McKeon — RECAP, Chief Operating Officer

Audio samples, so that you can be there without being there, and transcriptions, for continued discussion, forthcoming.

An Ending Note here:

It was interesting to see many women, children, and men (sadly no doggos tho) wearing pink, eared hats. The Pussyhat (like “pussycat”) as a number of ralliers had relayed, including member of the local activist group DemBones, Linda Louise, that the hat was a response to “grab them by the pussy,” a statement made by Donald Trump as “locker room talk” prior to the 2016 Presidential race.  However, this topic was avoided in the recent Times Herald-Record article about the event, avoiding the controversy of the word. Louise commented that the hat is to fight back against the misogyny of Trump, and not to perpetuate transmisogyny as someone she follows on Twitter, Tamela J Gordon, believes.


This post is in addition to Silence and Strategy, the Weekly Photo Challenge by the Daily Post, as well as their Daily Prompt, respectively.