Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Tornado Relief Donations for Tuscaloosa - Last chance, Hudson Valley!

I am driving down to Tuscaloosa next week to bring tornado relief donations graciously given by the staff of the NYS Archives.

I still have room left in my car, and want to bring as much as possible - please, Hudson Valley folks, if you'd like to contribute, contact me by Monday (preferably sooner)!

My route and schedule are available through the following link, so if you know people along the way, please pass the message along:

Appropriate items are included below:
* Non-perishable food items
* Pre-paid gift cards
* Sunscreen
* New clothing (especially XL and baby; seasonal only)
* Baby food
* Baby formula
* Diapers (Adult and baby)
* Wipes
* Hand sanitizer
* Toiletries
* Feminine hygiene products
* Insect repellent
* Work gloves
* Cleaning supplies
* Boxes (broken down)
* Packing tape
* Tarps
* Garbage bags
* Large Ziplock bags
* Buckets and tubs with lids
* Dust masks
* Batteries
* Flashlights
* Cell phone chargers
* Manual can openers
* Paper goods
* New bedding
* First aid supplies
* Toys and books for children
* Vitamins and non-prescription medication
* Aluminum foil
* Styrofoam coolers
* Light tools/equipment (i.e. hammers, nails, screwdrivers, etc.)
* Pet supplies
* Bedtime Backpacks for Children (Pair of pajamas, package of underwear, hairbrush, toothbrush, toothpaste, small stuffed animal, and a bedtime story)

Thank you so much for your generosity and compassion in advance!!! ROLL TIDE!!!

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Kimbiz/Kazmin Update

So Brian Kimbiz has (temporarily) abandoned his seat on the Village Board. He has allegedly been accepted into a 3-month Americorps program in Nevada. Kimbiz has refused to answer any questions related to this situation, so I've been left with no choice but to make inferences based on the information I have been able to verify. I welcome any clarification from any of the outgoing or incoming Board Members, including Kimbiz, despite their failure to respond to any communications on this matter thus far.

Unanswered Questions
In this week's New Paltz Times, and via email on May 20, the letter below was sent to all outgoing and incoming Village Board Members. We received only one response, from Trustee Feldman, indicating that he had no awareness of the Kimbiz rendezvous until reading about it here at Legislative Barbie last week.
We are writing in reference to Trustee Kimbiz' announcement of his extended absence from the Village Board. We are seeking answers to the following questions, and appreciate your consideration and prompt response.

1. When did Trustee Kimbiz apply to the Americorps program and when was he notified of his acceptance? There were rumors about his "leaving the board" as early as March, so it seems likely that some of this information was available well before the community was informed.

2. Who did Trustee Kimbiz notify of his intentions and in what forum? Were the current or incoming Trustees made aware of this situation and, if so, when?

3. What was the response to Trustee Kimbiz' notification? Was he granted any official or unofficial leave of absence from the Board? If so, on what basis was this decision made and who made it? Was the Village's Attorney consulted about Trustee Kimbiz' plans?

4. What is the justification for this extended absence, instead of a simple resignation? In addition to at least six meetings Trustee Kimbiz will be missing in June, July and August, Trustee Kimbiz will also be missing both May meetings, for a total of at least eight missed meetings. This only accounts for regularly scheduled meeting, and does not include the likely possibility of also missing special meetings. This is compounded by any missed committee liaison assignments; these committees will either be neglected entirely for more than a quarter of the year, or that work will be spread among the four remaining officials, which seems unfair and irresponsible. Missing four months of duties, especially during a time of transition, seems unjust and inappropriate.

Given all of the above, and the further fact that Trustee Kimbiz has not been a regular attendee at his committee assignments over the course of the last year, vacating his office would appear to be the course of action that would best serve the public interest. He would certainly be eligible to run in a special election in May of next year if he wished to resume his public service.

Thank you,

Pete Healey - - 845-399-3288
Brittany Turner - - 916-384-6735
We also received a "response" from Mayor Dungan at last night's Village Board meeting, indicating that he was unaware of the situation until the May 11 Village Board meeting that Kimbiz didn't attend. Mayor Dungan suggested that even Kimbiz did not know about this until the very last minute, but we have found evidence that suggests otherwise. Each of the sitting Trustees have issues with telling the truth (one need look no further than Mayor Dungan's claim in this week's New Paltz Times that Kimbiz received over 900 votes to see that), so the lack of response followed by a response that doesn't fit with all of the other information should definitely be met with a certain level of skepticism.

While Kimbiz has announced that he will be continuing to respond to Village business via email, it's been 5 days since he received the email and we still have no response. Perhaps he's only responding to what/who he wants to respond to. No idea. Regardless, we've also been able to uncover some inconsistencies and identify some new options with ways to proceed.


Some of the information disclosed at this point just doesn't add up. For example, Kimbiz allegedly called incoming Mayor West from the airport on his way to Nevada. However, according to Facebook,  Kimbiz appears to have driven out to his new job.
While this inconsistency is relatively minor, there are others that are more intriguing. For example, this Facebook screenshot suggests that Kimbiz was aware of his acceptance into the Americorps program as early as February 17, which is extremely inconsistent with the early rumors regarding his departure for position in California and Mayor Dungan's assertion that the entire thing was very last minute.

I spoke with Americorps directly, to get some more information about the specific program and Kimbiz' relationship to it. According to them, after looking up his record in their database:
  1. Kimbiz has only applied for two programs: the 2011 Summer Veterans Green Corps in Nevada, which runs from May 16 through August 11 (applications accepted January 10 through April 24), and the Americorps Northwest Service Academy, which runs from mid-May through the end of October, in the Pacific Northwest (including California).
  2. According to their database and records, Kimbiz has not been officially selected for either program. His application to the Summer Veterans Green Corps has been submitted, but no action has been taken. His application to the Northwest Service Academy is "under review." They explained that it is virtually impossible for an individual to be currently serving in an Americorps program without this being reflected in the record, as it is updated at each phase of the process.
What does this tell us?
  1. Kimbiz may not be working for Americorps at all. The individual I spoke to was adamant in his assertion that it is simply impossible for an individual to be working for Americorps without the application status, candidate acceptance, and/or placement being reflected in the database. None of this information appears in the Kimbiz record.
  2. Despite the dozens of similar programs available in New York, Kimbiz chose to apply for only two programs that are clear across the country.
  3. Kimbiz lied about the start/end dates of the Nevada program. While his past communications with others have described the program as June through August, the program began in May, and his absence at the last two Village Board meetings would be consistent with that timeline. Given this, it is impossible to identify his return date with any certainty, and his inability to respond to inquiries provides no additional information.
  4. The original rumors regarding Kimbiz' departure suggested he and girlfriend/Village Clerk Amanda Erickson would be moving to California. These rumors are supported by the other program that he applied for, which instead of being a summer-only program, extends through the fall, keeping Kimbiz out of New Paltz for at least six months. By applying, Kimbiz was prepared and willing to abandon his post for six months, rather than the four (or three, according to him) that he is currently skipping.
  5. Assuming Kimbiz is actually where he says he is and that Americorps is having an error with their database, he will be missing at least six additional regularly scheduled Village Board meetings, and has an additional two absences in May. These absences do not include special meetings, of which there are already two scheduled (May 31 and June 1), as well as his liaison obligations and other responsibilities, which he has never regularly participated in even while present in New Paltz.
Moving Forward

Despite the assertions of the outgoing and incoming Boards that nothing can be done, I've identified at least three existing legal options that can be taking against Kimbiz by either Board and/or residents of the Village of New Paltz.
  1. Article 78. The NYS Civil Practice Law allows for proceedings under Article 78, which basically compels a public officer or governing body to follow the obligations as outlined by law. These include actions related to arbitrary, capricious, and unreasonable conduct by these entities and individuals. Initiating an Article 78 proceeding, if decided favorably, would compel Kimbiz to return to New Paltz in order to fulfill the obligations of his position. This action may be initiated by either the Village, a sitting Board Member, or a Village resident.
  2. Official Misconduct. Section 195 of the NYS Penal Law discusses the crime of Official Misconduct, which is two-fold. A public officer may intentionally act illegally or, as is particularly relevant in this case, "knowingly refrai[n] from performing a duty which is imposed upon him by law or is clearly inherent in the nature of his office." It seems like attendance at meetings, and therefore the ability to represent the voters and make decisions on village business, would certainly fall under this expectation. A criminal act, Official Misconduct should be initiated by the Village of New Paltz, and is classified as a Class A Misdemeanor, which would result in a criminal record, possible fines up to $1,000, and a possible maximum jail term of 1 year. For comparison, other Class A misdemeanors include certain types of assault, stalking, sexual abuse, unlawful imprisonment, identity theft, arson, and criminal possession of controlled substances and weapons. This is no joke.
  3. Application to Declare Vacancy. The third, and perhaps most preferable option, is outlined under Section 36 of the Public Officers Law, which discusses the procedure of removing a local public official through an application to the court on the basis of "any misconduct, maladministration, malfeasance or malversation in office." Under Section 30 of this law, it outlines the criteria for vacancy, including item G, "the judgment of a court, declaring . . . . that his office is forfeited or vacant." This action certainly could've been commenced against Trustee Gallucci with her 56% attendance, Trustee Osborn with her 35% attendance, and arguably Feldman to his refusal to formally resign from the Board in 2011, but they are no longer in office. As of May 11, Kimbiz has had a 79% attendance rate of Village Board meetings (Committee Liaison activities are near 0%), and with his absence expected for at least nine additional meetings beginning yesterday, May 25, his numbers will closely resemble the other two no-shows by the end of summer. There is precedent for removal on the basis of absence, as outlined in Williams v. Travis, where Fire Commissioner Travis was removed from office due to his significant absence from meetings and lack of participation. If the seat were declared vacant by the court, the Mayor would be permitted to appoint a new Trustee to the vacant seat, with a special election held for a replacement in May 2012. This action may be initiated by ANY Village resident.
Given the serious ramifications of Kimbiz' actions, and the potentially severe consequences of his disregard for the position of Trustee and the community at large, the final and most prudent option is the IMMEDIATE RESIGNATION OF TRUSTEE KIMBIZ.

While both the outgoing and incoming Village Boards have suggested that they cannot take any action in this matter, the law shows otherwise. Their failure to hold their colleagues to this standard is not a matter of inability, but rather unwillingness to remove Kimbiz from office. If neither Board is prepared to take action on the matter, Pete Healey and I are fully prepared to initiate an application to vacate this seat under the Public Officers Law. If you are interested in joining the application as a petitioner to remove Kimbiz from office, please feel free to contact us for additional information.

UPDATE, 5/27/11: Via text message last night, Jason West stated, "Interesting blog post. Once in office i will ask our attorney specifically about the options you laid out. Was not aware of those options, nor was the attorney i spoke to apparently. Didnt realize you wanted a response from incoming board members - must have read email too fast."

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Nine Lives of the Village Board?

Tonight was supposed to be the last Dungan/Gallucci/Osborn meeting, but they've scheduled a special meeting for the last possible day, 5/31. Working on finding out exactly what the meeting is for...

Also coming tomorrow: Updates on Operation Kaztard.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

What are they thinking?!

So, Brian Kimbiz/Kazmin has decided to take an extended vacation (see also: newer and more betterer job than the one he was elected to). He'll be missing at least 7 meetings, but will supposedly be available via email (I'm still waiting for responses on some long overdue emails, and apparently the New Paltz Times is, as well). You can read about it here and here and here.

He's decided he won't accept his salary while he's gone (aww, thanks!), but I'm wondering why he and others have been accepting their salaries while they were actually here?! I've talked about Village Board attendance in the past (if you want to see the previous posts, check out Committed Volunteers and Come Out, Come Out, Wherever You Are! In addition, Brian Kimbiz/Kazmin wasn't even technically elected, which you can read about at Ulster County Board of Elections: Shady or just stupid?).

(Click on the image for larger versions, which will open in a new window)

Think about that for a little bit. I'll be back to discuss in greater detail tonight.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Job Search

Since I am semi-quasi-unemployed (I don't know, either), I have lots and lots of free time, especially since school doesn't start back up for a few weeks. This free time has allowed me to do many things and I am actually quite busy.
  1. Update blog relentlessly to make up for lengthy periods of absence.
  2. Harass local elected officials and complain about politics in general.
  3. Search for jobs, all day every day, and share my findings with you so that you can also take advantage of my efforts and find your dream job. I only need one, really, and some of these opportunities are just too amazing to be wasted. Consider me your own personal headhunter.
  4. Wear pajamas as much as possible while showering as little as possible.
  5. Delve into the culinary arts and create amazing new delicacies based only on the items I have at hand since I can't afford to buy new food.
  6. Never sleep during nighttime hours/always sleep during daytime hours.
Below are some amazing employment opportunities from the most recent Craigslist roundup. They're not all in the Hudson Valley, since there's no point in being picky, but who wouldn't want to relocate for a career in selling Brazilian hair? I mean, really.
  1. Uploading porn. Most of those work from home things you see are scams. Crazy, I know, but you can't always trust a sign hammered onto a telephone pole. I guess it's just the sad times we live in. Craigslist, however, provides a wealth of lucrative work from home options that allow flexible scheduling and staggering salaries. Qualifications for this one are being 18. Tasks include looking at porn, uploading porn to websites, and summarizing your porn activities. If you don't jump on this one, you're craze. Carpe diem, bitches!!!
  2. Pretend to be a (clothed) lesbian for $100/hour. Too good to be true, I know, but how could something this incredible be anything but legit? "Be part of a staged lesbian photo shoot and earn $100/hr. NO NUDITY." I wonder if actual lesbians are disqualified?
  3. Bouncer. This position won't be for everyone. It requires outstanding credentials, including NYS Bouncer certification. If you are one of the lucky few, I doubt you'll be disappointed. BTW, if anyone can actually provide me with any info on how one actually becomes a NYS Bouncer, I'd be forever indebted.
  4. Community Cat Coordinator. Love working with animals while doing good deeds? Then you might be the next Atlanta Community Cat Coordinator! Drive around, catch cats, get paid. Simple. But there's a catch - you must be able to catch very heavy cats, in excess of 50 lbs. You must also have "excellent cat handling skills" (this can't be emphasized enough!) and roam around in extreme heat and cold. But at the rate of $10.00 an hour, how could you go wrong?
  5. "Hippies with a flow" needed! I know, you were thinking Groovy Blueberry, but no! This is another Atlanta-area opportunity to sell art. Qualifications include playing ping pong and foosball, have a smart attitude, and be psyched on life. Knowledge will be provided to you by the employer. $100/day is minimum wage. MINIMUM!
  6. Barf and sell art. I believe this is the same company, but for hippies with a different kind of flow. Same employer, but now you need only a hype attitude. And you're not actually supposed to be good at ping pong and foosball, since the goal is to beat you. And sell art. And barf. Minimum wage is still $100/day, though. If I was one of the stellar candidates who also had a smart attitude and was psyched on life, I'd be pissed that these vomiting slackers make the same wages. But whatevs.
  7. Sell Brazilian hair. I thought the point of a brazilian was to take AWAY hair, but maybe you'll be selling the leftovers?
  8. Teach English in South Korea. Opportunities in China also available. Free housing, no taxes, and a round trip ticket. It's like a blend of indentured servitude and a free vacation. "If you like to teach English while travel to Asia" or "proof the English write," this is the job for you.
  9. Assistant Montessori Teacher. You probably won't get paid, but your 18-month to 4-year old will be allowed to go to school. You should be "Computer Savvy: Face book, Twitter, PR, Website, comfortable with on line search." You must also "be able to produce any report as the Director request" and "be able to handle multi-task." But there's a catch - you MUST include a PHOTOGRAPH. This is so important that they say it twice. Regardless, if you'd like your child to be educated in this fine institution, go ahead and apply. Just be sure to send two pictures. Or something.
  10. KARAOKE BATTLE USA!!! Ok, so it's not technically a job, but you're gonna be FAMOUS!!! For KARAOKE!!! I don't need to say anything else.
  11. Inflatable Ride Attendant. Bouncy. House. Done.
  12. Photo taker. Get off your damn high horse. We're not looking for Diane Arbus here. Just take some photos.
  13. CHANGE YOUR LIFE TODAY AT 8:30AM! I'm not sure what this is for, and it violates one of my cardinal rules about not being awake while unemployed. Whatever life changes are in store for me at 8:30AM, they can't be good. It's like what they say about us welfare queens - we're all just a bunch of lazy, do nothing bums who refuse to wake up in the morning and get off the dole. Of course, that's always been true in my case, whether publicly assisted or not. Regardless, if you're one of those sickening morning people, have at it. Maybe you, too, can learn how to type ALL IN CAPS OBNOXIOUSLY ON THE INTERWEBZ!!!
  14. Sewer. I couldn't figure out why being a pipe with crap in it is a profession. After clicking on the ad, I'm even more confused, since I don't see how a pipe with crap in it can possibly be expected to assemble swimsuits. No thumbs, people.
  15. Houseman/Couple for Oversea Home/Dog Care. I have no idea what the hell that means. And I'm having major trouble WITH THE GOD DAMN CAPS LOCK. But I like gays, and dogs, and child. So why not?
There you have it, folks. The top 15 career opportunities of the day. You don't have to thank me; I've applied for them all and will PWN your ass.

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Tuscaloosa Tornado Relief Efforts

UPDATE, 5/16/2011: We are no longer updating the site regularly, as other resources have had a chance to collect comprehensive information. Visit the headers at the top of this blog for additional resources, but please contact the site to ensure they are up to date before visiting or donating. If you would like to donate in the Hudson Valley or Albany, NY areas, please contact me. Thank you so much for all of your support.

Some people have asked how they can help us keep the blog going. We're happy to do it and can keep going without contributions; please direct your donations to other organizations in the area. Our preferred choice are the two UA SLIS donation sites, which will go directly to the faculty, staff and students in our program; any extra will be distributed to other relief efforts on the ground in Tuscaloosa. They can be found under the "Financial Support" heading.

Update (5/1, 5:05 p.m. EST): Please look at Supply Donations which has been revamped and updated and Financial Support which presents double the number of charitable organizations that are providing aid to Alabama and those states damaged by the tornado. Give goods or give money, you are sure to find an organization that addresses your personal philosophy.

Update (4/30, 8:30 a.m. EST):
Last night we moved most of the information onto subpages, which you can access from the links at the top of this page, or by scrolling down. This should make it easier for people to find exactly what information they're looking for quickly. Some new content has been added, such as the Insurance section under Information Resources/Lost and Found.

Those donation drop points which had Friday deadlines have been struck through but not yet deleted.

As relief efforts get organized on the ground, so they
do online. There is so much more available information than there was 24 hours ago. We look forward to gathering it for you here at Legislative Barbie. Don't forget to comment with updates to the lists! We are trying to include all the information we come across, but we can get your event or site listed much faster if you come to us instead of waiting for us to find you. Thank you!

*If you need CLEAR/SUCCINCT info, visit our mirror at This page provides less detail, but the information is organized much better.*

*If you need CURRENT/COMPREHENSIVE info, continue to read this page, which provides more detail and is updated more frequently.*

We've collected some information on ways that DE students and/or alumni can help. While we aren't experiencing the immediate effects of the tornado in Tuscaloosa, but the feeling of helplessness and frustration can also be overwhelming. Hopefully one of these resources or ideas will be feasible for you as we join together in support of our friends, professors and colleagues in the Tuscaloosa area.

We will send updated information to SLIS-L as it becomes available. If anyone is aware of additional information, please feel free to email Turner.Brittany AT gmail DOT com, call 916-384-6735 or comment on this post. We will include your relief suggestions in the list. This blog post will be updated any time new information becomes available.

The most needed resource is financial support, as money can be used to facilitate any combination of recovery efforts when they are needed most. This includes clean up, food, shelter, and other emergency services. If you are unable to offer financial support, there are a number of other options available to help. Also, remember that this will be a long-term effort. While there may be many donations now, additional support will be needed in the coming months and your generosity may be spread across an extended period of time to sustain efforts in Tuscaloosa.

Please use the links at the top of the window to get more information on:
  • Financial Support
  • Supply Donations (All States)
  • Life Support
  • Shelters and Food Pantries
  • Volunteer Opportunities
  • Information Resources/Lost and Found
Other Ways to Help
  1. Host a fundraiser in your own community.
  2. Ask friends, neighbors, and local stores for donations of needed supplies.
  3. If you are nearby, consider volunteering for cleanup and service work. Many organizations, such as the Red Cross and Salvation Army, train people and facilitate volunteer efforts in communities experiencing natural disaster. Contact your local center for additional information.
  4. Organize a community-wide relief day in your town. Ask that local businesses dedicate a percentage of proceeds from the day to tornado relief in Tuscaloosa.
Compiled by:
Brittany Turner, Student Advisory Council, DE Representatives, Sixth Sense/Trickeration Nation Online Cohort
Lamont Pearson, Student Advisory Council, DE Representatives, Sixth Sense/Trickeration Nation Online Cohort
Morgan Haley
V Dozier,
Sixth Sense/Trickeration Nation Online Cohort
Leah Allison, Sixth Sense/Trickeration Nation Online Cohort

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

VoNP and Other Things

There's an election coming in the Village of New Paltz. May 3. Crazy, right? If you know who's running, you know why I've (tried) to be quiet on this. I've done a good job and I'm glad I did keep my big mouth (fingers?) shut (off the keyboard?) because I *will* be attempting a little mini-project that will (hopefully) lead to some impartial coverage over here at Barbie Blog. Of course, all of this depends on whether the candidates respond or not, so fingers crossed for freedom of information and open access to government (or, in this case, pre-governmental candidates).

In the meantime, if you want to check out the debates, either buy a TV and subscribe to local cable (channel 23 has a nearly round-the-clock rotation of political and quasi-political programming from candidates, including various incarnations of the past few debates and government meetings) and check out the debate schedule over at the Gadfly. The SUNY New Paltz Oracle, specifically Maxim Alter, is doing a fantastic job of covering not only the candidates, but also the issues, and is making good use of embedded video from past debates. New Paltz Times also has some here-and-there coverage, but we know you're most interested in the letters. After this week, we'll have only 1 more paper of pre-election debauchery, so shell out the buck and enjoy.

Keep in mind that with THIRTEEN candidates in this election, nearly EVERYONE has some sort of stake or alliance in things. I'm openly supporting the One Community Party, and Gadfly's KT is on the Jason West/Ariana Basco team-that-isn't-technically-a-team. Same goes for the debates (Woodland Ponds excepted) - from what I hear, /root's Justin Holmes is supporting at least one individual candidate, and Town/Gown Connect's Brian Wallace is partners and partners with another. None of this makes anyone inherently good or bad (it's good to have opinions in an election!); just keep this in mind when you're reviewing coverage, whether here, on channel 23, or elsewhere in this wide, wide web of worldness.

I suspect I'm *really* late to the game on this one, but the Watershed Post is a phenomenal local blog/web media/environmental advocacy/etc. site that I am embarrassed to admit I missed and am presently addicted to. Just this week alone we have horses, turkeys, ramps, bears, stabbings, and fracking. JUST THIS WEEK, people!!! They describe themselves as, "a news and information hub for the Catskills, the source of New York City's water" broken into "local news," "searchable and updateable business directory," and "events calendar." I just call them, "awesome." Jam a needle of this one into your arm, lie back, and enjoy the bliss...