In this week's show:
- Thirteen people, including the Democratic candidate for Kingston's Ward 5 Alderman, made their case to the Kingston Common Council on Monday concerning a rezoning petition by the Kingstonian. The legislative body of the city is tasked with determining whether to expand the Mixed Use Overlay District, in order to allow for the portion of the hotel that would be built on the corner of property where the Uptown Grill diner used to be. Six people expressed support for the measure; seven people expressed concerns and questions for the Council members. The Council's Laws & Rules Committee will discuss the petition in the future.
- The Kingstonian development has been billed as a plan packaged by local architect Andrew Wright, but if you trace the paperwork from the City’s RFQ for the Kingstonian, it tells a more complicated story. When an RFQ was put out under the Noble Administration in 2016, Andrew Wright was one of two developers to respond. The other was Charles Blaichman. Andrew Wright’s submission for the RFQ, which won, included an architectural rendering and proposal for two years to develop funding. In a September 2017 press release from Mayor Noble, the RFQ purchase process was described as the selection of Wright Architects to work with the City to launch a redevelopment effort of the site that would include a mixed use building with residential and commercial space, as well as expanded public parking. Then in October 2017, Andrew Wright told me in an interview for Chronogram that he was chosen by Mayor Noble to package a plan for developers and choose a team to win the development rights. So how did Andrew Wright go from winning the RFQ to choosing the development team? In January 2019, Brad Jordan explained on Kingston Community Radio what had happened. In that same KCR interview, Joe Bonura discussed seeking the Governor's Downtown Revitalization Initiative as a funding source for the Kingstonian project. [Correction: KCR is broadcast on WGHQ, not WKCR.]
- Brian Woltman is seeking re-election as one of Kingston’s three Ulster County Legislators. We hear his reflections on his first term in office and what he'd like to do if re-elected for two more years in the Ulster County Legislature.
- After Ulster County took over Citibus, Tanya Garment worked with others to create a new group, the Friends of Kingston Public Transit Riders. She discusses the new service, the process for service updates, and the group's goals to ensure transit riders have a say in upcoming Kingston bus service policy changes. Reach out to them at firstname.lastname@example.org to share your experience, and be sure to cc the County Executive and UCAT. Resources on urban design specific to walkability and transportation, which we discussed, were the non-profit Congress for New Urbanism, the book Walkable City, and the Kingston Design Matters Facebook page.
- Republican candidates enter the field for NY-19's 2020 race. Tony German, a two-star general and graduate of SUNY Oneonta and the Naval War College, announced this week that he is seeking the Republican party's nomination for the 19th Congressional District. Earlier this month, Mike Roth of Ellenville wrote on Facebook, “Tonight I'm announcing my candidacy for the 19th Congressional District in Upstate NY."
- Ulster County Executive Pat Ryan signed into law on August 13th the bill creating term limits for some elected officials: the County Executive, County Comptroller, and County Legislators. The law will take effect in 2020.
- On August 15th, Mayor Noble announced that the Office of Grants Management has completed $9,761,200 in grant applications from various state agencies through the 2019 NYS Consolidated Funding Application (CFA). The City of Kingston applied for ten grants for seven separate projects throughout the City. The awards will be announced at a ceremony in Albany in December. Visit the City's web portal to learn more about the City's paving schedule.
- Guy Andradez, who had been living in a homeless encampment in the Town of Ulster, was stabbed multiple times near the Thruway roundabout on Sunday evening. On Monday, a man was arrested by town of Ulster police and charged with second-degree murder, criminal possession of a weapon, concealment of a human corpse and tampering with physical evidence. Town of Ulster police told the Daily Freeman that they knew of the encampment where homeless people have lived for several years. Chief Berardi described the encampment as "something that requires some police activity." He said he will speak to town and county officials in the coming weeks about coming up with a permanent solution for housing for those who live in the encampment.
- Jennifer Araoz, a woman in New York who said she was raped when she was 15 by Jeffrey Epstein, the wealthy financier accused of sex trafficking, is suing his estate, an associate, and members of his staff for their alleged involvement in decades of abuse of teenage girls. The lawsuit was filed on Wednesday, which The Cut relates to New York’s brand-new Child Victim’s Act. This week, Governor Andrew Cuomo announced that the landmark Child Victims Act has gone into effect.
Today's music was by Sonic Youth, Two Door Cinema, Chastity Belt, Kiasmos, Vienna Teng, clipping., and Thievery Corporation.