Wednesday, August 29, 2012

right, dog barking, really, no kidding... and ...

Here we go again. That's the link to the surprisingly good Register Star story.

Read: new members on the board. Think: people are sick of this and quitting. Read: Ennis says 75 dogs are louder than one dog. Think: therefore the sun must, obviously, be the brightest star in the universe by far. I mean, just look at it.

Markku Jaaskelainen of the Royal Institute of Technology, Stockholm, Sweden, Institute of Fundamental Sciences wrote, “I hope that the issue soon will be settled in your favor. Anything else would be absurd if it is the noise levels that matter.” In his paper on the decay of sound, Dr. Jaaskelainen calculated that Glencadia Dog Camp would have to board 1352 dogs in order to achieve the level of sound of two dogs at 25 feet, as we see with the boxers at the Balint residence in the video annexed as file name “june 2010 walk through village” with Petition. “Glencadia Dog Camp has more dogs than other residents of the hamlet. However, distance is a tremendously important factor, given the inverse square calculation. Light intensity, the effect of gravity, many other forces in nature decay at the inverse square of distance given the formula of the surface of a sphere. To say that Glencadia Dog Camp obviously produces more barking noise at the relevant locations makes no more sense than to say that the sun is the brightest star in the universe.”  
(b) Ken Andria was the lead engineer on the study conducted by Acoustic Dimensions. Dr. Ning Xiang, Ph.D. Prof. Director, Graduate Program in Architectural Acoustics School of Architecture Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute wrote, “Ken Andria has obtained MS. Degree from Graduate Program in Architectural Acoustics, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, has presented his work at the Acoustical Society of America, has been awarded the prestigious Robert Bradford Newman Award ... as a Fellow of the Acoustical Society of America I endorse Ken Andria’s measurements and report.”

But we need to have more hearings on dog barking. Got it.

The town attorney Tal Rappleyea embezzled $10,000 and extorted money, $437 on June 21, 2009, from me, which I paid. The town zoning officer Gerry Ennis stalked my house before dawn 25 times. Town board member threatened violence. Board member and town employee says to get out of town. The town, lead by Tal Rappleyea, encouraged perjury to put me in jail on false charges. And again.

But we need to have more hearings on dog barking. Right.

The county attorney, Robert Fitzsimmons and assistant county attorney, Andrew Howard, allow and participate with his colleagues in stealing and continue to steal millions of dollars. There are multiple felonies out of the Columbia County Attorney Office every day. But there is no hearing on stealing, massive corruption. The DA knows all about it. The sheriff knows. The chair of the county board of supervisors knows.

But we need to have more hearings on dog barking. I see.

The town assessor made a fraudulent assessment of the Hook Boat Club, costing the town $500,000.


The town of Stuyvesant spent $200,000 on a dog barking complaint, violated Public Officer's Law by hiring Whiteman, Osterman and Hanna in an illegal secret meeting to get me in criminal court on false charges. (David R. Everett of Chatham New York)

But we need to have more hearings on dog barking. Check.

The town ZEO Gerry Ennis said on the record that he gave me the ticket because he does not like my blog. The town clerk Melissa Naegeli passed around an anonymous note calling me a bad father for making a song she doesn't like.

Dog barking. Right. Got to get our priorities straight.

The only town resident who complained about dog barking lives so far away, 1800 feet, Mary Kline, that she cannot hear any dog barking at all. Her neighbors on all sides say they hear nothing. Mary Kline made racially weird comments online and thinks violence is the solution (online post). This is the town's only complaint, on which they are basing the $200,000 in tax money.

Dog barking, got it?

The town Supervisor, Ron Knott, took $40,000 from the town government in an illegal contract for his own business, violating General Municipal Law § 805-a (1)(c) to help himself.

Officials cannot “receive, or enter into any agreement, express or implied, for compensation for services to be rendered in relation to any matter before any municipal agency of which he is an officer, member or employee or of any municipal agency over which he has jurisdiction or to which he has the power to appoint any member, officer or employee.” Knott, as town supervisor, tapped public funds to defend his business in order to continue to operate Knott Industries without a permit. This undisputed misdemeanor is a violation of law. Violation of this provision for ethical government can result in the voiding of the contract in question, removal from office of the officer and return of misspent funds to the taxpayer (Matter of Keller v. Morgan, 149 AD 2d 801 - NY: Appellate Div., 3rd Dept. 1989; New York Attorney General opinions 2000-11 and 2005-10; Cahn v. Town of Huntington, 29 NY 2d 451 - NY: Court of Appeals 1972). Lesser ramifications may also be appropriate (Civil Service Forum v. Binghamton, 44 NY 2d 23 - NY: Court of Appeals 1978).

Dog barking.

Here is what I said to the board about 50 times:
In September 2010, I appealed the August 9, 2010 notice of violation still before this board. In November 2010 I submitted a paper by physics professor Dr. Markku Jaaskelainen demonstrating that the charge of loud noise was impossible based on calculations. Later, in April 2011, I submitted a paper by Dr. Ken Andria of Acoustic Dimensions based on measurements on site reaching the same conclusion, that the idea that dogs barking can be loud 1000 feet away is impossible. The results of these papers were endorsed by Dr. Ning Xiang, associate editor of the world's leading peer review acoustical architecture journal and Dr. Ernst Warsits, an acoustical engineering professor in Germany.
The fact that Ennis' notice of violation of August 9, 2010 accuses me of a violation which is entirely impossible is further established by subsequent sound tests, including in August 2011 with ZBA members Jensen, Keller, and Vick in attendance. Videos, signed testimony and audio recordings of these tests, along with science reports, were part of the record of the Article 78 proceeding in New York Supreme Court. There is no doubt that the charge in the notice of violation is false, indeed impossible.

The ZBA knows that the charge of loud dog barking is false. Look at those videos.

They don't need another public hearing. I did not kidnap Santa's elves.

Dear ZBA:

Our position is that the board should vote to dismiss the notice of violation of August 9, 2010 either because Gerry Ennis did not have a written complaint at the time he issued the notice of violation, as required by town zoning law, or because he did not offer any evidence to substantiate the charge of loud dog barking.

Since the ZBA took this issue after the judge’s decision of May 2012, I wrote three emails: July 24, 2012, July 29, 2012, August 7, 2012. In those emails, I made a number of points:

1. I inquired as to whether we should we write to the judge for clarification on the issues below without a response from the ZBA:
A) Does the ZBA need to or can the ZBA hold a second public hearing if it wants to, even though the decision references August 9, 2011 and the notice of the hearing referencing the very issue under consideration now, as above? Is one public hearing enough?
B) Do you need to gather more evidence or are 17 hearings and $200,000 in costs enough to allow the board to vote up or down on the notice of violation?
2.     The judge’s decision refers explicitly to the public hearing of August 9, 2011. No need for another one.
3.     There is no complaint of any kind behind this notice of violation.
4.     The charge that my dog boarding facility produces "unusual noise... that exceeds that produced by a normal residence" is clearly not true. The notice of violation is false and defies the laws of physics.
5.     ZEO Ennis is welcome to send a new notice of violation if a violation is ongoing.
6.     The notice was not based on a written complaint as required by the Town Zoning Ordinance.
7.     One of the two people who made the verbal complaint no longer lives in town. The remaining complaint, Mary Kline, is based on racial bias, as evidenced by her internet posts promoting violence and suggesting racial motivation, not dog barking.
8.     There have been 17 hearings on this issue in town hall, including a ZBA public hearing. More than 2000 pages and many gigabytes of digital documents are on file with state court pertaining to this matter. Your lawyer has all the documents and we would the entire record considered if any piece of the record is to be considered.
9.     The notice alleges a noise violation more than two years ago.
10.  There is no evidence of any violation, not even a written complaint, prior to the issuance of the notice of violation. No decibel readings, no sound tests, no coherent written complaint, nothing to indicate a violation existed on August 9, 2010 or exists now in 2012.
11.  The ZEO has explicitly, clearly and on the record linked his decision to issue a notice of violation to the publication of evidence of criminal activity by town employees on my blog. He said, "Mr. Pflaum thinks he can hide behind his computer and write whatever he wants." Correct. That is exactly what I think. The link between the notice of violation and free speech is on the record, recorded and part of the set of documents submitted to the Supreme Court as part of the Article 78 proceedings.
12.  No one who lives or works within 1500 feet of my barn has complained of dog barking. There is not one single complaint from anyone who lives or works within 1500 feet and letters of support indicating no dog barking problem from people who do live and work with 1500 feet.
13.  The ZBA includes town employees/spouses.
14.  An anonymous note attacking my family, submitted to the ZBA by the town clerk, who refuses to disclose the source of the note she introduced as evidence, an act endorsed by David Everett, remains part of the record before the board and has not been stricken from the record.
15.  Steve Montie, board member and town employee, has endorsed violence against me and said that I should move out of town in writing.  These were not slips of the tongue, as he maintains his advocacy of violence even as he sits on the board. Ed Scott also endorsed vigilante violence on video. Ed Scott stands by his promotion of violence. Mary Kline stands by her promotion of violence. Vandalism, as encouraged by town officials, has occurred at our property as a probably consequence of previous hearings here at the ZBA.
16.  The only town resident who complained of dog barking prior to August 9, 2010, Mary Kline, also endorses violence, posted racially charged attacks on my inter-racial family and lives more than 1600 feet away from the dog boarding facility. By endorsing the notice based solely on her complaint, the ZBA would be endorsing and encouraging her racist vigilantism.
17.  The ZEO is on record admitting to have stalked my property before dawn 25 times.
18.  A federal civil rights action is already filed on this case.
19.  The ZBA has already voted on the issue of noise. The majority of the board voted that there was no violation by a 3 to 2 vote. Two members voted that there was a noise violation, although they both acknowledged that the noise is not loud at the property line. The ZBA was unanimous in acknowledging no loud noise.


Will Pflaum

Sunday, August 26, 2012

New York Times quote

How's this:

Assemblyman Vito J. Lopez is accused of sexual harassment and has been censured.Senator Shirley L. Huntley said she would surrender to the authorities on Monday. She said she did not know the charges, but her announcement came months after one of her aides and three others were charged with stealing taxpayer money that had been directed to a nonprofit group that Ms. Huntley founded. Already this year, one former State Senate majority leader, Pedro Espada Jr., a Democrat, was convicted of stealing hundreds of thousands of dollars from the nonprofit health care network he founded; another former majority leader, Joseph L. Bruno, a Republican, was charged by federal prosecutors with taking bribes, and a former Democratic chairman of the Senate Finance Committee, Carl Kruger, was sentenced to seven years in prison for taking bribes.
So, if there is no agency with oversight of local government, would the situation not be even worse at the local level? Yes. 

Thursday, August 23, 2012

knot suit

Here is an article in the Register Star. Point one: the town of Stuyvesant paid for the legal fees of the town Supervisor, Ron Knott, to defend his own personal business. I raised this issue in my filings but the court did not address this serious ethical breech. Here is what I said:

As Knott has benefitted materially from the contract between the Town and Better, at the very least, Knott should not have participated in the decision-making process to hire Better, nor have any conversations with Better about the matter at issue in this case, as per General Municipal Law § 805-a (1)(c). 
The New York Attorney General says (Opinion, Attorney General, [Inf.] 93-36), “The purpose of section 805-a and common law conflict of interest rules is to ensure that public responsibilities are performed impartially and solely in the public interest. If a public body was allowed to waive conflicts of interests, this important public purpose would not be achieved.” In the Better-Knott situation, the public interest is clearly secondary to the private interests of Knott. This Better-Knott problem would not have happened if Knott had hired his own lawyer. It would be better not to force the taxpayer to pay for Knott’s private lawyer.

Nothing about that in the decision of the court. This bothers me. 

Monday, August 13, 2012

i wrote a novel

I wrote another book, if anyone wants some historical fiction.

And here's a NY Times review of Zack Marshall of Philmont:

"I single out Miarden Jackson and Zack Marshall. The blithe grace with which Mr. Jackson delivered an air somersault and many dance phrases was marvelous. The rosy-cheeked Mr. Marshall has brilliance of footwork that often matches Mr. Hanna’s, but better yet is his effortless, through-the-body wavelike response to music — in one simple marking step, a curve passed up his body like a ripple."

 Congrats Zack! Here's the link.

Friday, August 3, 2012

The First Sunshine on the Hudson Podcast

Sunshine on the Hudson, first PODCAST.

Here is the first edition. Have a listen. Listen to Republican Congressman Chris Gibson say that Barack Obama is okay with the drone strikes and that congress has oversight over the program... But others say there is no oversight. Who's right?

Then we get to Sleepergate update with phone calls: the county sheriff saying he doesn't want to know about more than a million dollars missing and doesn't want to talk about whether or not I can go back in the office a video the crooks in action (or not) at the county attorney's office. Also, a clip that is one more nail in the coffin of this claim to work 30 hours a week by these crooked lawyers... and I go easy on the ranting chipmunk.

And I think I like Chris Gibson. He was a soldier. Almost 20 years ago he found himself in Saudi Arabia ready for war and he said, "Wait, congress has not approved this!" Here is 20 years later, still hammering away on the issue. That's a guy I can understand and like.

Better production values for the next podcast! iTunes feeds! I'm new to podcasts!

Thank you Mr. Gibson. Full interview.