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#68229 - 06/06/13 12:40 AM Mohonk Preserve Loses Large Boundary Battle
DeliLlama Offline
newbie

Registered: 02/27/04
Posts: 25
Loc: Kerhonkson, NY
The Mohonk Preserve has lost yet another boundary dispute involving 75 acres. Wtf?


Edited by webmaster (08/05/13 12:36 PM)

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#68234 - 06/06/13 09:26 AM Re: Mohonk Preserve Looses Large Boundary Battle [Re: DeliLlama]
oenophore Online   confused
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 09/24/01
Posts: 5972
Loc: 212 land
Details? Title spelling correction?
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#68236 - 06/06/13 03:27 PM Re: Mohonk Preserve Looses Large Boundary Battle [Re: oenophore]
chip Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 10/06/01
Posts: 2676
Loc: Sittin' Pretty in Fat City
I recieved a mailing maybe a month ago about one dispute many of us were familiar with that the Preserve had won. I don't know if they would be quick to publicise a loss. I am also curious to hear any details.

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#68237 - 06/06/13 03:54 PM Re: Mohonk Preserve Looses Large Boundary Battle [Re: chip]
Kent Offline
old hand

Registered: 01/21/00
Posts: 1038
Loc: The Bayards
It's one and one currently.

The first recent Mohonk Preserve lawsuit against a MP neighbor, the lawsuit the MP won in Ulster County Supreme Court, has been appealed.

The second recent Mohonk Preserve lawsuit against a MP neighbor, the one the MP lost in Ulster County Supreme Court, has not yet been appealed.

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#68431 - 07/09/13 12:09 PM Re: Mohonk Preserve Looses Large Boundary Battle [Re: Kent]
Kent Offline
old hand

Registered: 01/21/00
Posts: 1038
Loc: The Bayards
The MP has distributed a letter saying they plan to appeal the case they lost. So it's status quo for the moment, meaning, it's up to the courts, still.

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#68511 - 07/31/13 12:09 PM Re: Mohonk Preserve Looses Large Boundary Battle [Re: Kent]
Kent Offline
old hand

Registered: 01/21/00
Posts: 1038
Loc: The Bayards
Interesting article at mohonk.org . If I'm not mistaken the same article was published in Chronogram.

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#68513 - 07/31/13 06:37 PM Re: Mohonk Preserve Looses Large Boundary Battle [Re: Kent]
oenophore Online   confused
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 09/24/01
Posts: 5972
Loc: 212 land
Holy ____, that page describing the land issue is longer and more complex than I anticipated giving me a my-eyes-glaze-over feeling. I suppose the only winners shall be the representing attorneys.
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#68518 - 08/01/13 05:51 PM Re: Mohonk Preserve Looses Large Boundary Battle [Re: oenophore]
SethG Offline
old hand

Registered: 12/16/08
Posts: 709
Loc: NYC
Well I read the whole piece. It is well-written. I can't vouch for its accuracy since pretty much all the assertions in it are unsourced and the article is published on an astrology site.
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#68521 - 08/02/13 02:55 AM Re: Mohonk Preserve Looses Large Boundary Battle [Re: SethG]
Eric Francis Offline
stranger

Registered: 08/02/13
Posts: 5
I am the author of the article that Kent posted to this forum. It's an investigative report that is being run simultaneously in Chronogram and Planet Waves. The Planet Waves version is longer and illustrated, with more details and is a bit more readable.

I am an investigative reporter and my specialty is fraud and crimes against the environment. I have written for Sierra, The Ecologist, The Village Voice, Huffington Post and many other publications.

I've been following this group of cases since 1997. I first covered them for Woodstock Times and then assisted the New York Times in completing its coverage several months later.

I've been developing the current story for about three years. It takes a long time to understand this kind of thing. In doing my research I have followed the chain of title of every property involved, nearly all of it focused on the Curran Farm and its adjoining properties.

The piece has been through several layers of fact checking, including by my editors at Chronogram and the editorial team at Planet Waves. I am as confident as I can be that I've got every fact right.

Before the piece came out, I spent an hour and 20 minutes with three of Mohonk's top officials in a recorded interview -- with Hoagland, Knapp and Reed -- who insisted that they had a real claim to the property but who would not answer any of my questions about their chain of title. They seemed to expect me to take them at their word, without proof of what they were saying.

Conversely when I interviewed those on the other side of the case, particularly dragging Mike Fink and Chris McGregor through hours of interviews, they were prepared to prove everything they were saying with deeds, title searches and other documents that established what their claims.

I never take a source at their word in a story like this without proof of what they are saying in authenticated documents, and I will drill them and track and memorize documents until I am certain that I understand what is going on and can explain it from memory.

In this case that took a while. I have lived with a map of the Curran Farm and its various subsequent chains of title on my kitchen wall for years, gradually understanding where all the pieces fit together.

It has been a long, interesting and challenging project. I have a lot more to tell.







Edited by webmaster (08/05/13 12:35 PM)

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#68524 - 08/02/13 01:39 PM Re: Mohonk Preserve Looses Large Boundary Battle [Re: Eric Francis]
Eric Francis Offline
stranger

Registered: 08/02/13
Posts: 5
By the way Kent, an appeal is not a new trial -- it's review of the original one, and the case before the trial court, and the paperwork, were pretty damned tight. The thing was designed for appellate review.

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#68525 - 08/02/13 02:38 PM Re: Mohonk Preserve Looses Large Boundary Battle [Re: oenophore]
retroscree Offline
enthusiast

Registered: 06/29/11
Posts: 397
Originally Posted By: oenophore
Holy ____, that page describing the land issue is longer and more complex than I anticipated giving me a my-eyes-glaze-over feeling.

I don't think any nearly 20 year old dispute with multiple court hearings can be easily or quickly explained.

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#68526 - 08/02/13 04:34 PM Re: Mohonk Preserve Looses Large Boundary Battle [Re: retroscree]
Kent Offline
old hand

Registered: 01/21/00
Posts: 1038
Loc: The Bayards
Quote:
I don't think any nearly 20 year old dispute with multiple court hearings can be easily or quickly explained.


That the Mohonk Preserve and their associated organizations have lost every single land dispute with Fink/Pardini over the last twenty years is a quick and factual explanation.

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#68530 - 08/02/13 05:03 PM Re: Mohonk Preserve Looses Large Boundary Battle [Re: retroscree]
oenophore Online   confused
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 09/24/01
Posts: 5972
Loc: 212 land
Originally Posted By: retroscree
Originally Posted By: oenophore
Holy ____, that page describing the land issue is longer and more complex than I anticipated giving me a my-eyes-glaze-over feeling.

I don't think any nearly 20 year old dispute with multiple court hearings can be easily or quickly explained.
I must confess that had I been more passionate about the issue, I would have soldiered through the article. I wonder how many of us read it through and how many quit for the same reason I did.
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#68532 - 08/02/13 06:28 PM Re: Mohonk Preserve Looses Large Boundary Battle [Re: oenophore]
phlan Offline

Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 02/11/00
Posts: 2778
Loc: Gardiner, NY
so, a guy who writes horoscopes which are nothing but gussied up bunkum so dander - head new age types will swallow them, pretends to be an "investigative journalist?" and yeah I've read some of that and it's not much better -hogwash and hysteria. which one is his day job? thanks gunks.com for giving me a smile, such as I haven't had since phil's last post!
this is not personal, but I am judging on the work!

Long live the mohonk preserve!!!!
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#68533 - 08/02/13 07:35 PM Re: Mohonk Preserve Looses Large Boundary Battle [Re: phlan]
DeliLlama Offline
newbie

Registered: 02/27/04
Posts: 25
Loc: Kerhonkson, NY
hey Phlegm! Don't thank gunks.com....Thank the Mohonk Preserve. I've been thanking them for years and I'm hysterical laughing! BTW, what's your day job? Hanging out on gunks.com and posting Phlegm?

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#68534 - 08/02/13 07:58 PM Re: Mohonk Preserve Looses Large Boundary Battle [Re: oenophore]
DeliLlama Offline
newbie

Registered: 02/27/04
Posts: 25
Loc: Kerhonkson, NY
Originally Posted By: oenophore
Originally Posted By: retroscree
Originally Posted By: oenophore
Holy ____, that page describing the land issue is longer and more complex than I anticipated giving me a my-eyes-glaze-over feeling.

I don't think any nearly 20 year old dispute with multiple court hearings can be easily or quickly explained.
I must confess that had I been more passionate about the issue, I would have soldiered through the article. I wonder how many of us read it through and how many quit for the same reason I did.


Judging by your 5877 posts on Gunks.com i find your excuse for not reading the whole article a bunch of BS. If your not interested in the issue why bother commenting at all?

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#68535 - 08/02/13 08:03 PM Re: Mohonk Preserve Looses Large Boundary Battle [Re: DeliLlama]
Kent Offline
old hand

Registered: 01/21/00
Posts: 1038
Loc: The Bayards
The article is also published in Chronogram, which is a very well respected, and award winning, local magazine of arts and culture.

But still, go ahead and slay the messenger all you like. The facts remain the same. Mohonk et al have lost against Fink and Pardini as they have been doing for the last 20 years. Anyone who thinks Mohonk's conduct vis a vis their neighbors is respectful is in willful denial.

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#68536 - 08/02/13 08:08 PM Re: Mohonk Preserve Looses Large Boundary Battle [Re: Eric Francis]
Eric Francis Offline
stranger

Registered: 08/02/13
Posts: 5
Here is the full text of the decision in Mohonk v Pardini/Fink. It's truly interesting -- a history lesson on ownership of that portion of the ridge.

The story I would love to tell is the story of the land itself, nut just this lawsuit. Who were these people and what was it like to live here?

http://planetwaves.net/pdf/called-cahill-decision.pdf

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#68537 - 08/02/13 08:18 PM Re: Mohonk Preserve Looses Large Boundary Battle [Re: SethG]
DeliLlama Offline
newbie

Registered: 02/27/04
Posts: 25
Loc: Kerhonkson, NY
Originally Posted By: SethG
Well I read the whole piece. It is well-written. I can't vouch for its accuracy since pretty much all the assertions in it are unsourced and the article is published on an astrology site.


Seth I looked at your blog. It's well written. I can't vouch for you actually having climbed the routes you brag about since your assertions are unsourced and the blog is written by you.

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#68538 - 08/03/13 12:42 AM Re: Mohonk Preserve Looses Large Boundary Battle [Re: Kent]
retroscree Offline
enthusiast

Registered: 06/29/11
Posts: 397
Originally Posted By: Kent
Quote:
I don't think any nearly 20 year old dispute with multiple court hearings can be easily or quickly explained.


That the Mohonk Preserve and their associated organizations have lost every single land dispute with Fink/Pardini over the last twenty years is a quick and factual explanation.

True enough that has been the outcome. I was talking about understanding the various lawsuits and court proceedings and why it has dragged on for 20 years.

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#68540 - 08/03/13 01:55 AM Re: Mohonk Preserve Looses Large Boundary Battle [Re: DeliLlama]
crimpy Offline
enthusiast

Registered: 07/02/11
Posts: 331
Loc: Wawarsing
DeliLlama...feelin it,ostrich egg and cheese on a twisted pretzel bagel.

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#68541 - 08/03/13 01:01 PM Re: Mohonk Preserve Looses Large Boundary Battle [Re: crimpy]
DeliLlama Offline
newbie

Registered: 02/27/04
Posts: 25
Loc: Kerhonkson, NY
Originally Posted By: crimpy
DeliLlama...feelin it,ostrich egg and cheese on a twisted pretzel bagel.




Don't confuse me with the facts.

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#68543 - 08/03/13 02:34 PM Re: Mohonk Preserve Looses Large Boundary Battle [Re: DeliLlama]
elrondthefair Offline
stranger

Registered: 08/02/13
Posts: 2
It is important to remember that when "the Preserve" is mentioned, it is referring to the people running the Preserve - the Board of Trustees and the administration. As a Trustee who sits on several not-for-profit boards I know that the Board has the ultimate responsibility and stewardship of the organization. Is this Board doing its homework - or is it a rubber stamp board serving at the pleasure of the Executive Director? (when it should be the other way around). Board members have personal liability for what happens in the organization - especially when the organization receives funding from donors, Foundations and the government. Their job is to protect the 501 C3 not-for-profit status of the organization. How much of donated money is being spent on lawyers and the administration spending an inordinate amount of time and money on these attempted land grabs? If I were on this Board, I would have set aside an hour to have the entire Board interview and ask questions of the opposition. The buck stops with the Board - and donors beware - DO YOUR HOMEWORK. We all love the Preserve - it's the people running it that need to be made aware of their awesome responsibility of spending other people's money responsibly and within the mission of the organization. I think we need to ask some hard questions of the role of the Board in all of this.

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#68545 - 08/03/13 04:01 PM Re: Mohonk Preserve Looses Large Boundary Battle [Re: DeliLlama]
DeliLlama Offline
newbie

Registered: 02/27/04
Posts: 25
Loc: Kerhonkson, NY
Here is a different and shorter article of this topic published this week:

http://www.dailyfreeman.com/articles/2013/07/31/news/doc51f9670b3802a943819325.txt

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#68554 - 08/05/13 02:19 PM Re: Mohonk Preserve Looses Large Boundary Battle [Re: DeliLlama]
SethG Offline
old hand

Registered: 12/16/08
Posts: 709
Loc: NYC
never mind


Edited by SethG (08/05/13 03:02 PM)
_________________________
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#68557 - 08/06/13 10:53 AM Re: Mohonk Preserve Looses Large Boundary Battle [Re: SethG]
DeliLlama Offline
newbie

Registered: 02/27/04
Posts: 25
Loc: Kerhonkson, NY

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#68558 - 08/06/13 11:27 AM Re: Mohonk Preserve Looses Large Boundary Battle [Re: DeliLlama]
Mike Rawdon Offline

Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 11/29/99
Posts: 4276
Loc: Poughkeepsie
I would love to think favorably about the Preserve, given their tremendous role in local climbing. But their dogged determination in this issue really has me wondering if they have a stone heart bent on taking land any way they can. I hope that's not the case, but their intention to have this case tried yet again strongly hints at this. I hope they lose on appeal and drop this witch hunt once and for all.

Having said that, it's a bit worrisome to read this in the Record article:

"But in his ruling, Cahill said the Preserve's decision not to call its surveyor to the stand suggested to him that testimony would not have helped the Preserve's case."

I am not a lawyer, but if Cahill's ruling is based, even to a trivial degree, on what he THINKS a witness might have said IF HE WERE CALLED, that just seems to cry out for judicial review. Human nature being what it is, I can imagine a judge might wonder about un-called witnesses, but to state that in the decision? Yikes.

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#68560 - 08/06/13 02:31 PM Re: Mohonk Preserve Looses Large Boundary Battle [Re: Mike Rawdon]
oenophore Online   confused
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 09/24/01
Posts: 5972
Loc: 212 land
I agree with Mike's assessment above. It may be 20-20 hindsight to say that if the preserve's legal costs were offered to the property owners long ago, they might have taken so large a price.
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#68567 - 08/07/13 10:12 AM Re: Mohonk Preserve Looses Large Boundary Battle [Re: Mike Rawdon]
freeman Offline
stranger

Registered: 08/07/13
Posts: 2
Black's law Dictionary defines adverse inference as "a detrimental conclusion drawn by the fact-finder from a party's failure to produce evidence that is within the party's control."
Here, Norman J. Van Valkenburgh caused the controversy with his erroneous survey, so his testimony was central to the case. He attended the trial daily and assisted the Preserve, so he was clearly under their control. But his testimony would have been subject to cross examination against prior sworn testimony from the 2001 trial, which was at odds with Mohonk's current theory in this case. The judge was in possession of this unfavorable testimony, so it was not mere speculation. Furthermore, Mohonk was informed that if they failed to call their own surveyor to defend his survey, that the defendants would seek a negative inference.

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#68568 - 08/07/13 12:11 PM Re: Mohonk Preserve Looses Large Boundary Battle [Re: freeman]
Mike Rawdon Offline

Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 11/29/99
Posts: 4276
Loc: Poughkeepsie
Why couldn't the lawyer for Fink/Pardini call him to the stand?

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#68569 - 08/07/13 01:16 PM Re: Mohonk Preserve Looses Large Boundary Battle [Re: Mike Rawdon]
freeman Offline
stranger

Registered: 08/07/13
Posts: 2
They could have, but they are not required to. There is a presumption that the witness will be hostile. If you read the trial transcripts from the 2001 Shawangunk Conservancy trial you will see that Mr. Van Valkenburgh was extremely uncooperative on cross examination. He would not admit the sky was blue. It was sufficient that they already had the previous trial testimony, which contradicted what Mohonk was arguing in this case.

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#68570 - 08/07/13 01:24 PM Re: Mohonk Preserve Looses Large Boundary Battle [Re: freeman]
DeliLlama Offline
newbie

Registered: 02/27/04
Posts: 25
Loc: Kerhonkson, NY
Norm wasn't Pardini/Fink's witness. He was Mohonk's expert witness who also happened to be the one responsible for the survey in this case as well as others against the same defendant. See freeman's comment above.

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#68587 - 08/08/13 11:05 PM Re: Mohonk Preserve Looses Large Boundary Battle [Re: Eric Francis]
Eric Francis Offline
stranger

Registered: 08/02/13
Posts: 5
For those who have been following the Mohonk Preserve story, I have a new entry in that series, which is part of tomorrow's Planet Waves member edition, but which I'm making available to everyone. If you know someone in the Ulster County area who might be interested, please pass it along to them.

http://planetwaves.net/astrologynews/justice-aug9-2013.html

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