BP's Tatics in Cape Vincent Ny

Saturday, August 17, 2013

Cape Vincent August 13, 2009

Police called to Cape Vincent Town Council Meeting

   Cape Vincent has a large seasonal population , the seasonal residents do not live here year round, consequently they are not able to attend many Town Board and Planning Board meetings .
  In an attempt to inform people about what was happening in our community concerning two wind developments proposed for Cape Vincent I began blogging.
Around that same time Cape Vincent resident John Byrne began taping portions of the Town Board and Planning board meetings to allow people to see what was happening in their community.
By August of 2009,  the two gigantic wind development proposed for Cape Vincent were becoming extremely contentious.
At some point I discovered John Byrnes videos on YouTube , and I began posting them on  my blog. 
Supervisor Reinbeck assumed that my blog belonged to John Byrne and he had objections to the videos and the information that was being posted with them.  

As a result Reinbeck decided to take action to stop the videotaping, during the Town Board meeting of August 13,2009 Rienbeck tried to use the police as an intimidation tactic to force John Byrne to remove his camera from the Board meeting. 

 At the end of this post are two YouTube videos one is of the above mentioned of this meeting, as well as a video of the Planning Board meeting 8/12/09 where the Planning Board  also objected to Mr. Byrns video taping  

Below is a transcript of a YNN report on this incident

08/18/2009 06:52 AM
By: Katie Gibas

 CAPE VINCENT, N.Y. -- The Cape Vincent town meetings have been getting pretty heated lately. Last week the police were even called.

Town officials' issue is with John Byrne who has been recording the meetings for more than a year. Their biggest concern is that the video is being taken out of context and used on blogs as an attack tactic.

"They're only showing one portion of the videos, which everything you've seen, when you see the blowups, they've only been of them. They have not been any videos of the rest of the audience. No video of how maybe the planning board or town board member got upset to begin," said Thomas Rienbeck, Cape Vincent Town Supervisor.

But legal experts say there's nothing wrong with only posting portions.

"The courts have said that once somebody records a meeting, the fact that it may be edited or altered or even used out of context is beyond anybodies control. It's perfectly valid," said Robert Freeman, NYS Committee on Open Government Executive Director.

Byrne says he's only been posting portions of the meeting because of logistical and time constraints.

"To post a whole meeting would take an enormous amount of time. YouTube allows you to only post approximately 10 minutes at a time, so I try to grab 10 minutes of every meeting that the residents seem to be the most interested in," said John Byrne, Cape Vincent resident.

Town officials are concerned about what will happen at future meetings.

"Where do you draw the line on this saying this is being abusive and disrupting meetings. But they're not coming out and saying that. How far do you go before you say this is enough?" said Rienbeck.

But both town officials and Byrne say they're not going anywhere.

"I will continue to record the meetings. It's a constitutional right. I feel it should be exercised. If they did it, then the citizens wouldn't have to," said Byrne.

And town officials say they're looking into just that.

Town officials say they're also looking into changing the structure of their meetings to prevent further outbursts and arguments.

Link here to YNN  video /story

YouTube videos
TBM~ 8/13/09                                                   PBM~ 8/12/09


Anonymous said...

They almost got away with it.

Anonymous said...

Where was Dennis Pearson when this was happening?

Anonymous said...

Oh, I remember that night. That was THE time in our wind history when a message was sent that rung loud and long throughout the town. It was a clarion call similar to Paul Revere's ride and warning, "The British are coming, the British are coming." Amid the confusion and tension, Supervisor turned to Councilman Orvis and commanded, "Call the cops Mickey!" As Mickey pounced to action he had no way of knowing that this call would then become the iconic call to arms among all the wind resisters in the Town of Cape Vincent. Well done Rienbeck, well done Orvis - by your actions you did what you blamed bloggers for doing - you motivated all of us to push ahead and throw corrupt wind out of town. Thank you for that.

Anonymous said...


Anonymous said...

So - here we are FOUR years later and now Dennis and others want you to believe that we should put people with the "old boys" viewpoint back in office???

Protect your home and your health from this outrageous proposed industrial wind turbine development - vote ONLY for people who you know will protect this community and promote a positive future of economic development aligned with our Comprehensive Plan and Zoning Law.

Enrolled Republicans - vote Urban Hirschey, Brooks Bragdon and Michelle Oswald in the primary on September 10.

Democrats and CFG have yet to name candidates for the November election since they do not hold primaries.

Anonymous said...

"since they do not hold primaries."

They have already picked their candidates and the candidates are are not talking. I would describe them as two bp bozos whose daddies are pro wind good old boys and will call all the shots for their less than politically savvy kids. None of them show any previous signs of community leadership or inclination to provide the time, effort or expertise that is needed on the town board during the very complex and time consuming issue of A-10. A vote for Gary King and Harold Wiley candidates is a vote for bp.

Anonymous said...

HEY 7:16AM, since they picked there candidates, who are they. You seem to know whats going on in this community, who are they? This fight about turbines is going to go on for a long time, well after it's all over, settled and done. Tell me this why do I even care about what you say because it's going to be twisted towards something to do with wind turbines, or vomit rising in my mouth, or I want my money damit, finally how many turbines am I getting. You haven't any thing nice to say, why bother.

Pundt said...


Right on except... for one thing you don't have quite right. I was there as well that night. I stood up with others and said if they arrest Byrne they will have to arrest me too.

The error here is that the famous "Mickey call the cops" line DIDN'T come from this meeting. If you look closely at the video Rienbeck asks Councilman Marty Mason to call the cops not Mickey.

Why is this important. Well because the Mickey call the cops line came from Edsall who tried to arrest another concerned CV citizen Dave LaMora in a planning board meeting because he wouldn't sit down when Edsall told him too. Dave was trying to speak on a really critical matter of ethics.

That arrest attempt of LaMora is also somewhere on John Byrne's video collection. But the cops never came.

And this was way back in April of 2009 as I remember. At this rate you would have thought arresting CV citizens was actually part of the meeting bylaws or agenda!!!

Then you have Andy Binsley attack as a planning board member going ballistic on Byrne because of his camera in that meeting. Binsley lost control.

Actually that video is somewhat more interesting than the Rienbeck fiasco.

That time Edsall got smart and didn't try to make a total fiasco by calling the cops. He just shut down the meeting illegally.

So by the time Rienbeck attacked Byrne this was old hat,and actually the THIRD time town officials tried to shut Byrne down with a legal camera.

I knew this was going to come to a real head sooner or later, so I called Robert Freeman at the NY committee for open govt. and he said it was legal and it was too damn bad if the supervisor didn't like it!!!

You can hear my voice on the video telling Rienbeck what Freeman said.

Even County Legislator Mike Docteur to his credit tries to get Rienbeck to not call the police. You can see Rienebck tell him to stay out of it.

And lastly for clarification, you hear someone yelling at Rienbeck. Pro wind tried to twist this to say it was Byrne blowing up and that proved his camera WAS a disturbance in the meeting.

Nope not true. The voice yelling at Rienbeck was another CV citizen fed up with Rienbeck's nonsense.

You can see when the yelling starts, Rienbeck shifts his eyes to another person and tells them he is not talking to them.

Byrne sat absolutely silent and kept the camera running.

And even this isn't the true end to this story! The is a lot more!

Anonymous said...

This is a part of town history that Dennis Pearson was not even personally involved in. Would he have been interested in what "Paul Freedman" had to say about those days? Of course his name is Robert. Pearson or whoever wrote the script got that wrong, too. Voter beware of the slanderous rumors the CFG and Dems are spreading around town. Personal things that are not true.

Pundt said...

One other part of this story is about a day or two later I get a call from the YNN reporter. For some reason she can't get ahold of John Byrne, so for some reason I get the call. I call John and they set up an interview at the town offices. I went down to meet the reporter and watch the interview. During the interview here comes Rienbeck speeding into the parking lot in his big black loud pick up truck. Somebody tipped him off. The bad guy arrives...it was like a bad western movie.

He stands there all defiant and puffed up by his truck, and when the interview is over he yells across the parking lot to the reporter (referring to John and I)

"Those scumbags don't represent this town!!!"

I hope Rienbeck wasn't trying to hurt my feelings because I was laughing my ass off!!! I thought this is great Tommie right in front of a cable TV reporter of a major cable system that covers the state. Slick move...keep it coming buddy!!!

Here is the supervisor, the top leader and representative of the town basically representing the pro wind side, and pushing the wind agenda, and all this genius can think of is to scream at two concerned citizens that they are scumbags!!!

Geee I wonder why Rienbeck is not in power anymore????

Anonymous said...

Rienbeck has a sign in his yard--have you had enough. yet. This is what you can expect if they get their guy in there.

Anonymous said...

8:42...the kind of behavior you might expect from Pearson, too.