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#21079 - 05/19/06 08:08 PM Mohonk Pre$erve Remix
Kent Offline
old hand

Registered: 01/21/00
Posts: 1036
Loc: The Bayards
In response to MarcC’s request in the Mohonk Pre$erve Ad thread for specifics about why some neighbors are upset with the behavior of the Mohonk Preserve, in the coming days I will shed light on three sets of behaviors or actions taken by the Preserve:

1) The devious use of quit claim deeds.
2) The Mohonk Preserve’s overt and covert influence over the local political processes of master planning and zoning, to the Mohonk Preserve’s benefit, and at the expense of their immediate neighbors.
3) The prevarications, omissions, and deceptions in Mohonk Preserve responses to earnest and legitimate questions about the above.

In response to other questions and comments:

Daniel- I didn’t expect my “Saving the Land, By Screwing the Neighbors, For Life” parody to win anyone over. It seemed like a fun way to draw attention to some serious issues.

Han Solo- I have written to the “local rag” before. As for trying to work positively with the Preserve, in my opinion they are bullies. Their idea of working positively with them is to give them what they want and to be so kind as to not draw any attention to their bad behavior.

Smike- Your quote .... "some believe the ends justify the means at any cost" . Others have said “no sacrifice is too great to save the ridge”. What they are really saying is that no sacrifice is too great for others to make, no burden too great for others to bear.

I will be supporting the three points of contention numbered above in subsequent posts. In a previous thread, Pedestrian reasonably asked for documents to support my claims, to avoid more of "he/she said". In some instances I will cite and quote documents, copies of which will be available to all who request them.

I've moved the thread here to local issues because posts here are available indefinitely.


Edited by Kent (05/22/06 12:14 PM)

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#21080 - 05/19/06 08:14 PM Re: Mohonk Pre$erve Round 2 [Re: Kent]
drkodos Offline
addict

Registered: 05/02/04
Posts: 674
Loc: Chattanooga, TN
I often wonder exactyt what the concept of "life" is in that trademark.

Whose life?

A tree's? Mine? Yours? The life of Glen Hoagland? I hope it ain't the life of Ravitch, ceuae then we're fecked.

What an ambiguously vaccuous and insipid rhetotical phrase. I defy THE PRESERVE to tell me how a trademark of that banality helps their mission.


If there is a Nuclear War can we still climb at the Gunks if we survive?




I am getting more a more proned to liking Johnny Depp and other fun pirates after reading their latest missive of corpo-money-beg-speak. They get more and more inane with their blatherings each and every day as they move from being small local preserve into a larger bureaucracy.

_________________________

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#21081 - 05/19/06 08:33 PM Re: Mohonk Pre$erve Round 2 [Re: drkodos]
Mike Rawdon Offline

Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 11/29/99
Posts: 4269
Loc: Poughkeepsie
Do we in fact know that the MP trademarked that phrase? Or is it registered by another organization, and the MP are using it with the tm mark, as they are required to? I imagine it could be a TNC or OSI phrase.

And no I haven't searched the PTO for it.

In any event I would agree it's silly for MP to tm it. But it likely didn't cost much. Still, every dollar wasted...

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#21082 - 05/19/06 11:10 PM Re: Mohonk Pre$erve Round 2 [Re: Mike Rawdon]
drkodos Offline
addict

Registered: 05/02/04
Posts: 674
Loc: Chattanooga, TN
Quote:

Do we in fact know that the MP trademarked that phrase? Or is it registered by another organization, and the MP are using it with the tm mark, as they are required to? I imagine it could be a TNC or OSI phrase.

And no I haven't searched the PTO for it.

In any event I would agree it's silly for MP to tm it. But it likely didn't cost much. Still, every dollar wasted...




Cost is a couple of thou for a trademark, minimum, and cost occured if/when you fight to protect it, which you will do, why else do it?

If they are "borrowing it" they need to legally show that in their usage. They trademarked it. They are a corpoaration hiding behind protected tax status. Taking taxable lands and "preserving" them will raise everytones taxes. They are not anyone's friend, except their own. Any other perspective is silly and ignorant of the history of orgs and blind to what is happening.

I am glad I ditched my property up there and stuck some other fool with deeper pockets than I have to pay for the mistakes that are being made up there.

Good luck with your economics. More people, higher taxes, worse services. Sounds like you people have it figured out just fine. NY is the worst state tax state in the Union. Very fucked yp righgt now because of theing like the Preserve.
_________________________

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#21083 - 05/22/06 02:34 PM Re: Mohonk Pre$erve Round 2 [Re: drkodos]
crackers Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 03/21/01
Posts: 3424
Loc: pdx
gimme a break.
Quote:


Cost is a couple of thou for a trademark, minimum, and cost occured if/when you fight to protect it, which you will do, why else do it?





um, if you've got a half awake lawyer on staff, i'd say it would cost you about $300 to do it.

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#21084 - 05/22/06 03:40 PM Re: Mohonk Pre$erve Round 2 [Re: crackers]
smokejumper1 Offline
journeyman

Registered: 04/06/06
Posts: 75
Loc: NY, CA, Deutschland
Quote:

gimme a break.
Quote:


Cost is a couple of thou for a trademark, minimum, and cost occured if/when you fight to protect it, which you will do, why else do it?





um, if you've got a half awake lawyer on staff, i'd say it would cost you about $300 to do it.






They now have a fully dead lawyer........William Ginsburgh died last week.

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#21085 - 05/23/06 04:35 PM Re: Mohonk Pre$erve Remix [Re: Kent]
Kent Offline
old hand

Registered: 01/21/00
Posts: 1036
Loc: The Bayards
1) Quit Claim Deeds

In the Mohonk Neighbors letter to the Mohonk Preserve, neighbors asked the MP to stop the use of confrontational quit claim deeds. Mohonk Preserve Executive Director Glen Hoagland countered by saying quit claim deeds are a normal way to transfer land. Quit claim deeds can indeed be a normal way to transfer land. One example of using a quit claim deed as a normal way to transfer interest in a property is this. “During a title search the researcher finds out that, because of an error, a previous owner never relinquished his rights to a property. That puts a "cloud" or "defect" on the title, two terms that indicate the current owner isn't the only person with ownership rights in the property. The mistake is corrected by asking the previous owner to sign a quit claim deed that transfers all rights in the property to the current owner”. The preceding quote is from homebuying.about.com. Errors in deeds are common as deeds are transcribed by hand when land changes hands. Even, deed language can erode significantly through several iterations as ownership changes from one owner, to the next, to the next.

The use of a quit claim deed can also be a very devious way to take land. One example of a devious way to use a quit claim deed is when someone tries to further the defect in a deed by quit claiming all rights from a former owner, not to the current and rightful owner, but to a third party, thereby creating a competing chain of title. This tactic is what Mohonk neighbors were referring to in the September '05 neighbor's letter when they referred to a “confrontational quit claim deed”.

Two documented examples of quit claiming to a third party will follow.

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#21086 - 05/23/06 05:42 PM Re: Mohonk Pre$erve Remix [Re: Kent]
pedestrian Offline
Pooh-Bah

Registered: 08/05/02
Posts: 2244
Loc: a heavily fortified bunker!
The thing is, Kent, as I understand it, in the Fink/Pardini lawsuit the Mohonk Preserve would have won their suit if it weren't for a statute of limitations.

If I remember correctly they won on one appeal but lost on a subsequent appeal or the effort to enforce the decision. The final judgement (which MP lost) included language referring to the statute of limitations and stated something like "this was not a self-enforcing judgement."

This lawsuit has a long history going back to at least 1985 involving a succession of interests. Bringing it up now smacks of crying foul about ancient history to some extent -- but it's clear that the 1985 judgement was made in the favor of the preserve or their predecessors in interest. It was not able to be successfully enforced -- apparently it was viewed as a sort of boundary settlement between the parties which the parties themselves were supposed to implement. I don't really understand the chain of ownership here. In the absence of any better understanding of the chain of title I'm going to continue to give the Preserve the benefit of the doubt.

PDF


Or the Google view-as-HTML version


Edited by pedestrian (05/23/06 08:28 PM)

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#21087 - 05/23/06 06:00 PM Re: Mohonk Pre$erve Remix [Re: pedestrian]
pedestrian Offline
Pooh-Bah

Registered: 08/05/02
Posts: 2244
Loc: a heavily fortified bunker!
I'd like to draw your further attention to the following quote from the judgement:

Quote:

Later in 1985, Barclay's Bank of New York – the successor to defendant Bankers Trust Hudson Valley – brought a mortgage foreclosure action against the successor in interest to Smitty's Ranch. That action resulted in a judgment that recognized the earlier stipulated order and allegedly excluded the disputed parcel from the property obtained by Barclay's Bank. In 1987, Karen Pardini and Michael Fink became the owners of the property formerly owned by Smitty's Ranch through two deeds that referenced the boundary lines set forth in the 1982 stipulation. They also obtained a quitclaim deed to the 21.4-acre parcel from Barclay's Bank.




Based on the above, it would appear that Mohonk Preserve was not the only party to this dispute that acquired a "controversial quitclaim deed."


Edited by pedestrian (05/23/06 06:17 PM)

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#21088 - 05/24/06 01:01 PM Re: Mohonk Pre$erve Remix [Re: Kent]
Kent Offline
old hand

Registered: 01/21/00
Posts: 1036
Loc: The Bayards
2) The Mary Lue Smith Quit Claim Deed

Mary Lue Smith is a former owner of some land in Clove Valley, on the “back side” of the ridge. When she transferred her land to Ruby E. Smith, in 1965, an error occurred in the transcription of her deed. Almost 30 years later, in 1994, Ms. Smith was approached and told “you apparently still hold or have a claim to approximately 30 acres”.

Even though the events outlined in document excerpts below are now more than ten years old they are relevant today because they are part of a long standing and ongoing pattern of behavior, and some of the people involved then are still involved now.

Cast of Characters

Mary Lue Smith- Former Landowner

Bob Anderberg- Mohonk Preserve Board Member prior to the described events, Shawangunk Conservancy General Counsel at the time of the described events, and Open Space Institute Vice-President and General Counsel currently.

Glenn Hoagland- Executive Director of the Mohonk Preserve, both at the time of the described events and now.

Keith LaBudde- President of the Shawangunk Conservancy at the time of the described events and currently. Mr. LaBudde was also the chair of the Mohonk Preserve Land Stewardship Committee at the time of the events. Mr. Labudde is the son-in-law of Dan Smiley.

Bob Larsen- Shawangunk Conservancy founding member and Mohonk Preserve employee.

Norman VanValkenburgh- Surveyor for both the Shawangunk Conservancy and the Mohonk Preserve.

The following are excerpts from a series of documents: two memoranda, a letter, a quit claim deed, an affidavit, and a court order.

Document: Memorandum
To: Glenn Hoagland and Bob Larsen
From: Bob Anderberg
Re: Mary Lue Smith (Rock Hill)
Date: 20 April 1993

“As I have indicated to both of you, we are hot on the trail of Mary Lue Smith…at least up until 1987”. “In the hope that we are successful in finding Ms. Smith, I have attached for purposes of discussion a draft letter to her offering to purchase her interests in the property off Clove Road. At your convenience, let me know your thoughts”.

Document: Memorandum
To: Bob Larsen, Norman Van Valkenburgh, and Keith LaBudde
From: Bob Anderberg
Re: Mary Lue Smith
Date: 31 March 1994

“Sooner or later we should turn our attention to the Mary Leu (sic) Smith Parcel”. “If we were to approach Ms. Smith, one way to do it is through Norman’s good offices as surveyor, and using his remarkable powers of charm. Attached is a draft of a letter that we might use to get started”. “The argument for not doing anything right now is that the ML Smith parcel is the ultimate “sleeping dog”; the sleeping owner doesn’t even know she owns it!”

Document: Letter on Shawangunk Conservancy letterhead
To: Mary Lue Smith
From: Norman Van Valkenburgh
Date: 16 May 1994

….“By deed dated October 10, 1958, you acquired certain property along Clove Road from Ethel Anderson. By deed dated March 22, 1965, you conveyed your property to Ruby E. Smith. I expect you believe you conveyed all of your lands at that location by that deed. However, that appears to not be the case. Two parcels included in the 1958 deed are not included in the 1965 deed and you apparently still hold or have a claim to approximately 30 acres…..”

“I realize that all this may come as a surprise to you. Let me suggest that you think about this proposal for a week or so. I will then call you and arrange a time when I might come to your home to explain this further. At that time, I will bring along maps and copies of the pertinent deed so I might clarify everything for you”.

Document: Quit Claim Deed
Agency: Ulster County
Date: 13 June 1994
Party 1: Smith, Mary Lue
Party 2: Shawangunk Conservancy

This Quit Claim Deed was notarized by Robert K. Anderberg. It was certified by Norman Van Valkenburgh to “Mary Lue Smith, to Mohonk Preserve, Inc., and to Shawangunk Conservancy”.

Document: Affidavit
By: Mary Lue Smith
Date: 22 May 1995

Item 10. “In May of 1994 we received a letter from Norman Van Valkenburgh who represented himself as a surveyor and told us that there was a landlocked thirty (30) acre tract in which he thought I had some interest”.

Item 11. “Mr. Van Valkenburgh told us he would give me five-thousand ($5,000.00) dollars if I would execute a deed for those 30 land locked acres to the Shawangunk Conservancy.

Item 12. “He (Mr. Van Valkenburgh) came to our home and introduced the person who accompanied him as a notary who was there only to acknowledge my signature. At no time did he indicate that the notary was an attorney or associated in any way with the Conservancy.”

Item 14. “I believe that Mr. Van Valkenburgh and the notary, who I now understand was Mr. Robert K. Anderberg, Esq., tricked me and my husband into having me execute the paper which I signed.”

Item 15. “The papers which I signed were signed as the result of a mistake and/or intentional misrepresentations”.

Item 16. “I did not intend to convey this property to the Shawangunk Conservancy since I had already agreed to and intended to convey it to Ruby E. Smith and I know that my husband intended to convey it from his corporation to Mr. Fink and Ms. Pardini.

Document: Court Order
Plaintiff: The Shawangunk Conservancy
Defendants: Michael Fink and Karen Pardini
Date: 16 March 1998

“…Ordered that the deed of Mary Lue Smith to Shawangunk Conservancy dated June 11, 1994… is determined to be null and void and of no further force and effect….”

“…the defendants (Fink and Pardini), contrary to plaintiff’s argument, clearly have standing to assert a fraud claim against the plaintiff.”

---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Copies of the above excerpted documents can be obtained by sending me a private message.


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