Internet Access in Hudson- a revisit

 

Using thr library’s WiFi Sunday morning.

 i attended a meeting at CGCC Thursday 3/19 where the head of the NY Stste Broadband Program talked about the $1 billion initiative to bring true broadband to the whole state. 100 MBS everywhere excepting 25 in some really remote rural areas by 2019. The program will try to leverage private investment on a 1:1 basis. 

Mention was also made of the $2 billion Smart School Initiative that includes access for libraries and other public uses. 

A positive move by state government. 

Perfect Ten Goes to Washington

Our local program, Perfect Ten for teen girls held a fundraiser (Saturday 3/21/15 at Hudson Opera House) for their trip to Washington DC coming up in April.

The girls of Perfect Ten have been dreaming and working for peaceful resolutions.  They believe that if you work hard enough on the things you believe in, dreams become reality.  They want to see an end to bullying, hurtful arguing and unnecessary conflicts. As they practice peaceful resolutions they are folding 1,000 cranes for peace to bring to Washington DC.

More information and  an opportunity to donate is on their site:

03222015-PerfectTen-logo

click for more info and to donate

Photos from the event

 

Internet Access in Hudson – redux

Using Hudson Area Library's wifi - 17 degrees - 25 mph winds 02152015

Using Hudson Area Library’s WiFi – 17 degrees – 25 mph winds Sunday afternoon 02/15/2015

Internet access continues to be a problem for many in Hudson and Columbia County. It is expensive and slow.

02152105-MHCable-adThere have been no substantive improvements in broadband service here in the nearly six years since we moved here. We continue to see the insulting advertising by Mid Hudson Cable. They may have the “fastest connection” in the county, but they are sadly slow by any world standard. Continue reading

Weighted Voting in Hudson – Skirting the Real Issue

Hudson NY City HallThe recent report1 by law students from Hofstra that addresses in part the weighted voting system in use for the city’s Common Council has engendered considerable discussion. The Register Star’s John Mason offered up, “Report questions city’s weighted-vote system”2. Our local radio station WGXC held a discussion between Victor Mendolia and Common Council President Don Moore on the topic3

.Much of the discussion has focused on the somewhat abstract questions of the constitutionality of a system that appears to violate the “one person one vote” principle. The issues become crystal clear once you put numbers into play and see how this creates a pernicious environment for governing the city.

Hudson Population by Ward (2010)

First Ward: 770
Second Ward: 1,281.
Third Ward: 1,142.
Fourth Ward: 725.
Fifth Ward: 2,485

Weighted Voting Power by Alderman

President, Common Council – Don Moore – 190

Alderman, 1st Ward – David Marston – 95
Alderman, 1st Ward – Nicholas Haddad – 95

Alderman, 2nd Ward – Abdus S. Miah – 185
Alderman, 2nd Ward – Tiffany Garriga – 185

Alderman, 3rd Ward – John K. Friedman – 180
Alderman, 3rd Ward – Henry A. Haddad – 180

Alderman, 4th Ward – Alexis Keith – 95
Alderman, 4th Ward – Ohrine Stewart – 95

Alderman, 5th Ward – Robert J. Donahue, Sr. – 364
Alderman, 5th Ward – Bartholomew F. Delaney Jr. – 364

Total votes = 2,028. A simple majority is 1,015.4

The votes of Donahue and Delaney constitute 72% of a simple majority, yet they are only 18% of the membership of the council.

A Little Role Play

Now just imagine yourself as an Alderman sitting in the room with the ten other members of the Common Council. How much attention would you pay to the opinions of a person with 95 votes compared to a person with 185 or 364 votes knowing that you need 1,015 votes for simple majority? It is obvious that the opinions of Donahue and Delaney are far more important in the practical matter of passing legislation than Marston, Haddad, Keith, or Stewart. In fact, Delaney, Donahue, and any two of the Alderman from 2nd or 3rd Wards or the Common Council President can pass legislation. In a very real way the collective opinions of Donahue and Delaney on any matter pretty much set a boundary for what policies might get approved.5

This makes a mockery of the rules we presume when we enter a democratic institution. This is why one person one vote is important.

  1. http://goo.gl/r5XGyj accessed 09252014 4:20pm []
  2. http://goo.gl/e4QDXw accessed 09232014 8:31pm []
  3. http://www.wgxc.org/archives/8751 accessed 09182014 8:30pm []

  4. The weighted voting system is arcane in the extreme. There are actually three different panels of weighted voting dependent on whether a simple, 2/3, or 3/4 majority is required to pass a motion. And there are more details about what constitutes a quorum under varying conditions. Here is the source: http://goo.gl/rvgp7y accessed 09252014 4:04pm []
  5. As an aside, applying this logic to the county, where the weighted system legitimately rules, it is obvious that the citizens of Hudson would be better served by having a single Supervisor who would have a very large block of votes rather than distributed across five Supervisors. []

Our Stranger and Stranger Mayor

IMG_1197.JPGMayor Hallenbeck continues to give evidence of a certain strangeness of mind. Dogs, drug testing, and now a sense of time that might be suited to Star Trek:

From the 8/19/14 Register Star article, “Two years on, still no sign or stone for Staley B. Keith” concerning a missing stone in Keith’s honor:

Hallenbeck said via telephone that, although it’s been two years since Staley Keith died, there have only been four or five months each summer to place the stone, since it couldn’t have gone in in the late fall or winter.

“We’re talking 10 months, not 24,” he said. “Everything we’ve had to consider, the logistics, the liability, making sure wherever it’s placed we’re not liable for an accident out there. I take full responsibility for it not being there.”

Really. Does planning and decision making stop in late fall and commence again in the spring?

Isn’t two years two years in our galaxy?

“You Need a Fernco Cap” – the wisdom of buying local

So I was in the middle of one of my long-delayed projects, depressing two white plastic clean out pipes sticking up in the back yard. Seemed simple. Just dig around the pipes, cut them down and glue on new plastic caps.

Off to Herrington’s to buy the new plastic caps – I already have the glue from an earlier bathroom project.

On my return I discover that the pipe in the ground is not what I thought it to be. Back to Herringtons – I explain my error and the sales person, sorry I never got his name, said, “Oh, there is a simpler solution, you need a Fernco!”

What is a Fernco? – turns out that I had used them earlier, many years ago then forgotten this line of neoprene plumbing fittings.  I never would have thought of it. But, buy local and someone at Herringtons will remind you.Fernco 4" neoprene cap

 

Troubles with Verizon DSL Internet Service in Hudson

Are you a user of Verizon “High Speed Internet” DSL Service?

Verizon

borrowed w/o permission

We have been experiencing very annoying problems with our Verizon DSL internet service on lower Warren St. since early March 2013.1

Do you have troubles:

  • connecting to a TIVO box?
  • using Netflix on a Roku box?
  • uploading files using FTP whether embedded in a software package like Dreamweaver or an FTP utility like Fetch?
  • other strange service problems?

If you do or have other troubles with your Verizon DSL service I would like to hear from you. Contact me at: “mark at markorton.com”. Or use the form on the Contact page

 

  1. We have no complaints about speed or ping. We very reliably get 6.5 MB/S download and 0.6 MB/S upload with a ping of less than 100 milliseconds – we never said that about Mid-Hudson Cable []

Hudson and Its People: immigration in 19th & 20th centuries by Sally Naramore

Warren St Hudson NY at dusk looking up townThe Greenport Historical Society hosted a lecture by Sally Naramore on Wednesday evening 4/18/2013 at the Greenport Town Hall. Her presentation which included visuals not included here, focused on immigration to Hudson in the 19th and 20th centuries.

If you know Hudson, especially the churches, you should be able to follow her descriptions of where people settled within Hudson. Ms. Naramore is the Department Chair and Teach of Social Studies at Hudson High School. She was Executive Director of the Columbia County Historical Society from 1983-1990 (biographical information from the historical society’s flyer). Continue reading

Seen in Hudson October 23, 2012

Halloween must be approaching.

243 Warren St is at it again.

243 Warren St. Hudson NY Halloween

Some are asking what the posters in the windows are?

243 Warren St Hudson NY Halloween poster

Not to Be Missed – Sam Pratt on FOIL

The omnipresent and frequently useful Sam Pratt has a great introduction to our New York state Freedom of Information Law. Don’t miss it it on his eponymous blog

I am going to try it out to get the current contract between the city and Mid-Hudson Cable. Got to get a head start on rousing people to the barricades before the city gives away the store again when the contract comes up for renewal.