Monday, October 22, 2018

Congressional Candidates' Debate Today

We are just fifteen days away from the midterm election, and it's hard to imagine that anyone reading this is still undecided about whom to elect to represent us in Congress, but the race is critical and of enormous interest. Today, from 1 to 2:30 p.m., WAMC is hosting a debate among all four candidates for congress in New York's 19th District: Antonio Delgado, John Faso, Steven Greenfield, and Diane Neal. You can listen online by clicking here.  

Sunday, October 21, 2018

Meetings of Interest in the Week Ahead

The HDC meeting scheduled for Tuesday has been canceled, but, for the devoted meeting goer, there is still much to do in the coming days.
  • On Monday, October 22, the Columbia County Board of Supervisors Economic Development Committee meets at 5:00 at 401 State Street. Featured at the meeting will be a presentation by Adam Zaranko, executive director of the Albany County Land Bank and president of the New York State Land Bank Association. The announcement of this presentation reads in part: "In 2011, New York State enacted legislation providing local leaders with a chance to create land banks, providing communities a power tool to help reinvent and revitalize neighborhoods. . . . Technically, land banks are government-created nonprofit corporations that are focused on the conversion of vacant, abandoned, and tax delinquent properties into productive use. In essence, land banks are designed to acquire and maintain problem properties and then transfer them back to responsible ownership and productive use in accordance with local land use goals and priorities. . . ." To read an article about how land banks have worked in Albany, click here.  
  • Also on Monday, October 22, the Common Council Fire Committee meets at 5:30 p.m. and the Common Council Police Committee meets at 6:00 p.m. No agenda is available for either meeting. Both meetings take place at the Central Fire Station, 77 North Seventh Street.
  • On Tuesday, October 23, the Tourism Board meets at 5:30 p.m. The meeting takes place at the FASNY Museum of Firefighting, 117 Harry Howard Avenue.
  • Also on Tuesday, October 23, the Greenport Planning Board meets at 7:30 p.m. at Greenport Town Hall. Gossips has been following two project now before the Greenport Planning Board: East Light Partners' proposal to site a solar array on land adjacent to the grounds of the Dr. Oliver Bronson House; and the proposal to construct a new retail center at the current location of McDonald's on Fairview Avenue, a project that originally involved the demolition of the Gothic Revival house known as "The Pines." According to the agenda for the meeting, new plans have been submitted for both projects.
  • On Wednesday, October 23, the Common Council Legal Committee meets at 6:15 p.m. No agenda  is available for this meeting, and it is not known where it will take place. The Legal Committee typically meets at City Hall, but it has been suggested that because Alderman Tiffany Garriga, still recovering from a seriously broken ankle, is a member of the committee, that meeting will be held at an ADA compliant site. A change of venue for this meeting, however, has not been announced.
  • On Thursday, October 24, the Know Your Rights Tour will be at the Hudson Area Library, 51 North Fifth Street, from 6 to 8 p.m. Sponsored by OutHudson and New York State, the session is an opportunity to learn more about current protections for the LGBTQ community under New York State's Human Rights Law, Dignity for All Students Act (DASA), and other regulations provided by state government, and to learn about resources available to those whose rights are violated. Cookies will be served, courtesy of Trixie's Oven.
  • On Friday, October 25, the Historic Preservation Commission meets at 10 a.m. at City Hall. No agenda for the meeting is as yet available.

The Graying of Hudson

The buildings at 746-748 Warren Street, whose color scheme I have always admired since the days when they were the location of Jim Godman's Keystone Antiques, are getting a new coat of paint: gray and black, the colors dujour of Hudson.

The current trend toward painting buildings black and nearly black calls to mind a passage from Booth Tarkington's book The Magnificent Ambersons. 
There was one border section of the city which George never explored in his Sunday morning excursions. This was far out to the north where lay the new Elysian Fields of the millionaires, though he once went as far in that direction as the white house which Lucy had so admired long ago--her "Beautiful House.". . . The house was white no longer, nothing could be white which the town had reached, and the town reached far beyond the beautiful white house now. The owners had given up and painted it a despairing chocolate, suitable to the freight-yard life it was called upon to endure. 
Tarkington suggests the taste for painting houses dark colors at the turn of the 20th century can be attributed to the industrialization of cities. If a house were painted a dark color, it wouldn't show as much when the soot and grime in the air settled on its clapboards. In this post-industrial era, one wonders what's driving the current trend.

Saturday, October 20, 2018

Hudson's Own Frank Forshew

I thought I knew quite a bit about Frank Forshew, the 19th-century pioneer in daguerreotypy and photography, who was born in Hudson in 1826 and established his business here in 1850, the same year he married Mary Hildreth. I knew that he was well-known and highly successful. I knew that we are indebted to him for documenting so much of Hudson in the latter half of the 19th century. I knew that his studio was located at 241 Warren Street, now 441 Warren Street, the building that houses TK Home & Garden. I knew that, when he retired a few years before his death in 1895, the establishment was taken over by Captain Volkert Whitbeck, who had joined Forshew's photography business in 1863, after being discharged from the Union Army. I knew that he died of "a stroke of apoplexy" while visiting his eldest son, John, in Brooklyn. I knew that he is buried in Cedar Park Cemetery.

What I didn't know, because it never occurred to me to wonder, was where in Hudson Frank Forshew lived. Today, while responding to an inquiry from someone seeking historic pictures and information about her recently acquired house, I discovered where Forshew and his family made their home. It turns out their residence was right next door to Forshew's place of business, at 239 Warren Street (now 439 Warren Street). The picture below shows the two buildings as they were during Forshew's lifetime. It's tempting to imagine that the photograph was taken by someone in Forshew's employ and that Forshew himself appears in the picture, posing by the open window in the center, his elbow resting on the sill, beside his wife who is inside, and that two of their five children, with their little dog, appear in the windows on the second story.


Friday, October 19, 2018

Hudson on WAMC News

Photo: Linda Mussmann|Facebook
The story of the illegally painted crosswalks at Third and State streets and the people, now apparently known as the "Crosswalk Four," who have been charged with making graffiti for painting them, somehow got the attention of WAMC. A story about the crosswalks aired on Northeast Report this evening: "Hudson Residents Charged with Misdemeanors for Painting Crosswalks." You can listen to it here

The Great War: October 15, 1918

A hundred years ago, the armistice that ended World War I was less than a month away. Talk of peace had begun, but the front page of the weekly Columbia Republican for October 15, 1918, was filled with news of the war. At the left, above the fold, was a report of the Allied drive in Flanders, under the command of Marshal Ferdinand Jean Marie Foch. 

The account includes this observation: "By the fury with which the attack was launched it is evident that the fighting armies are not paying the slightest attention to the 'peace talk.' They smashed forward with all the dash characterizing the recent operations."

Also on the front page, at the right, above the fold, was printed President Woodrow Wilson's response to Germany's most recent communication.

Wilson's letter read in part:
The President feels that it is also his duty to add that neither the government of the United States [nor], he is quite sure, the governments with which the United States is associated as belligerents, will consent to consider an armistice so long as the armed forces of Germany continue the illegal and inhumane practices which they still persist in. At the very time that the German government approaches the government of the United States [with] the proposal of peace, its submarines are engaged in sinking passenger ships at sea, and not the ships alone but the very boats in which the passengers and crews seek to make their way to safety; and in their present enforced withdrawal from Flanders and France the German armies are pursuing a course of wanton destruction which has always been regarded as indirect violation of the rules and practices of civil warfare. Cities and villages, if not destroyed, are being stripped of all they contain, not only but over their very inhabitants. The nations associated against Germany cannot be expected to agree to a cessation of arms while acts of inhumanity and desolation are being continued which they justly look upon with horror and with burning hearts.
The editorial page of the Columbia Republican that week railed against "the probability of a defeated enemy, one about to be driven from power at the point of the bayonet, calmly preparing to march home with bands playing to a soil untouched by the heel of conquering nations." The editorial goes on, ". . . as the anguished eyes of two stricken nations looked up at us, the thought of this barbarian enemy being allowed to walk out in peace became to us a horror," and then makes this dire prediction:
If we are cowards enough to renew our correspondence school with Germany, the day will come when our children, with more grit, will carve a way into the heart of Germany, when the women will be avenged, the deaths of little children paid for, the sufferings of old men made compound interest and the shattered architecture of Belgium and France to appear beautiful compared with what will be left of Austria and Germany.
The editorial wasn't the only warning against pursuing a premature armistice with Germany. The following headline appeared on page six of the Columbia Republican for October 15, 1918.

The "tense telegram" was sent by Philip M. Harder, Liberty Loan chairman in Philmont, and warned Wilson:
We cannot hope to raise our quota of Liberty Bonds in the face of Germany's peace propaganda, if you, yourself, seem to have fallen a victim to it. Do not jeopardize by further negotiation the victory that is now within our grasp. The great sacrifices already made must not be in vain. . . .
An article on page three of the same paper is a reminder of something else that was going on in the autumn of 1918: the Spanish flu pandemic.

The following are excerpts from the article that followed this headline.
A special meeting of the Board of Health was held Tuesday . . . to take action to stop any further spread of the epidemic of "Spanish" influenza in the city. Health Officer Collins said that last Saturday and Sunday the situation had not appeared to be serious in the city but since Monday morning [the Columbia Republican was published on Tuesday] the epidemic had gotten a start and that there were now approximately 150 cases of influenza in the city and 14 of pneumonia. The Health Officer said that the surest way to stop the epidemic from getting any more of a start in this city would be to close all public places, including schools, theatres and churches. . . .
To-day the public schools will not open, and The Playhouse and the Star Theatre will be closed and will continue closed until any danger of further spread of the disease is well in hand. The parents of children are asked to keep them off the streets and not to let them mix with other children, and every one in general is asked to avoid crowds on streets or other places.
The Liberty Day parade and celebration at the armory has been called off because of the order and all public gatherings will be affected by the orders of the Health Officer.
The Health Officer also suggests that landlords heat the homes where there are convalescent people. It is also suggested that the people keep off the streets and that no one should expectorate on the streets. . . . 
Respect the rights of others and if you have the grip stay at home so as not to spread the disease.
The following week, the obituaries in the Columbia Republican, most no more than six lines long, took up an entire page. There were sixty of them. The vast majority of the obituaries contained a line similar to this one: "Death was due to pneumonia, which followed an attack of Spanish influenza."

timeline of the Spanish flu pandemic found on the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) website indicates that in October 1918 alone Spanish flu killed an estimated 195,000 Americans. The picture above, showing women assembling flu masks, is from the CDC website.

In the Fishbowl

The Hudson Development Corporation Board of Directors was scheduled to meet Tuesday, October 23, at 6:00 p.m. The meeting was to take place not at 11 North Front Street, the board's usual meeting place, or in the Community Room of the Hudson Area Library, a favorite fallback, because neither space was available at that time, but in the senior center on the second floor of the Galvan Armory. Yesterday, it announced that the meeting had been canceled.

This morning, Charlie Suisman, one of HDC's staunchest critics, shared this image with various groups on Facebook, accompanied by a request for HDC explain why the meeting was canceled.

Gossips has learned the reason for the cancellation, and it seems pretty innocuous. It was determined there was insufficient business to require a meeting, and key board members would be away and unable to attend.

"Still I Rise"

This afternoon, from 3:30 to 4:40 p.m., the Hudson Area Library dedicates the public sculpture by Kris Perry called Still I Rise.

The sculpture, which was inspired by the poem "Still I Rise" by Maya Angelou, was purchased by the Galvan Foundation and installed on the grounds of the Galvan Armory, 51 North Fifth Street, where the Hudson Area Library, the City of Hudson Senior Center, and Perfect Ten After School are located. The dedication, which is hosted by the Hudson Area Library Tween Council, will feature a reading of Angelou's poem by a student from Perfect Ten; a Q&A with the sculptor by students from the Hudson City School District, facilitated by Bridget Smith, literacy specialist at Montgomery C. Smith Elementary School; and remarks by Dan Kent, vice president for initiatives at the Galvan Foundation, and representatives of the library, the senior center, and Perfect Ten. Refreshments served in the Community Room of the library will conclude the event.

Thursday, October 18, 2018

Something Not Entirely Unforeseen

This afternoon, HudsonValley360 reported that the Galvan Motel on Route 9 in Greenport would not be completed on schedule: "Galvan Motel construction delayed until December." According to First Ward supervisor Sarah Sterling, deputy chair of the Health and Human Services Committee, the delay is attributed to "complications with the septic." Back in March, Tom Alvarez, who owns properties that border the motel site on their east and south sides, raised questions about water and drainage, asserting that the motel's well and septic tank were more than sixty years old. Dan Kent, director of initiatives for the Galvan Foundation, assured Alvarez that the project engineer and the Greenport building inspector were addressing all the issues. It appears doing so is taking longer than expected.

The Penalty for Creating Your Own Crosswalks

Bill Williams of 98.5 The Cat reports this evening that Fourth Ward supervisor Linda Mussmann, Claudia Bruce, former Second Ward supervisor Ed Cross, and Peter Spear have been charged with making graffiti and given appearance tickets by the Hudson Police Department for taking it upon themselves to paint crosswalks at the intersection of Third and State streets: "Tickets issued in illegal Hudson crosswalk case."

Photo: Linda Mussmann|Facebook
The four are scheduled to appear in City Court on November 8.

Put on Your Running/Walking Shoes

This Sunday, October 21, is the 18th annual Ghostly Gallop, the 5K run/walk through the streets of Hudson to benefit the Hudson Area Library. There are a few things that are new this year in this time-honored event. First is the starting time: the Kids Fun Run is at 10 a.m.; the 5K Walk/Run starts at 10:30 a.m. 

Next is the route. As in recent years, the course begins and ends at Hudson Junior/Senior High School on Harry Howard Avenue, but the route in between is different. This year, the route follows Harry Howard to Carroll Street and on to State Street, up State past the library to Seventh, then winds through Washington and Clinton streets to Glenwood and Parkwood boulevards, to Paddock Place, Joslen Place, Riverledge Road, and back to Harry Howard.

Also new this year are cash prizes for the top three female and male finishers: $100, $75, and $50 respectively.

Online registration now is closed, but you can register on Sunday morning, starting at 8 a.m. until 9:30 a.m., at the event. If you have already registered online, you can pick up your race packet at the library, 51 North Fifth Street, between 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Saturday, October 20. For more information, visit  

Tonight in Greenport

The Greenport Historical Society meets tonight at 7 p.m. at the Greenport Community Center. Tonight's meeting features photographers Liz Cooke and Andy Milford, co-founders of Abandoned Hudson Valley, presenting new work and sharing stories of abandoned, neglected, and forgotten places in the Hudson Valley, including Bennett College, Wyndcliffe, Hudson River State Hospital, and Catskill resorts.     

Abandoned farmhouse north of Hudson
The event is free and open to the public. The Greenport Community Center is located at the end of Town Hall Drive, off Healy Boulevard, across from the Greenport Town Hall.

Wednesday, October 17, 2018

Hudson in Brooklyn

An enlargement of this colorized post card image showing a fire drill at the New York State Training School for Girls hangs in two places right now--two places about 130 miles apart.

One is in the post card exhibition Wish You Were Here in the Community Room at the Hudson Area Library. The other is in the lobby of the federal court building in Brooklyn, where there is an exhibition about the New York State Training School for Girls called Bearing Witness: Incorrigible Girls of New York. The exhibition, which runs through January 11, was the subject of an article yesterday in the Brooklyn Daily Eagle: "Federal Court Gallery in Brooklyn tells the history of incarcerated girls in New York."

Thanks to Michael Susi for bringing this to our attention.

Watch for Yourself

Dan Udell's video of last night's Common Council meeting is now available on YouTube and can be viewed by clicking here


What Can We Do?

Last week, the United Nations' Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change released a landmark report that predicted a dire future for the planet--"worsening food shortages and wildfires, and a mass die-off of coral reefs as soon as 2040." Yesterday, Donald Trump, who has in the past called climate change a hoax, claimed he had a "natural instinct for science," argued that the climate "goes back and forth, back and forth," and maintained that "scientists are divided on whether climate change is the result of human activity." 

In the face of the dire forecast and the current administration's efforts to reverse Obama-era efforts to reduce greenhouse gases and control global warming, there seems little one person can do. This Friday, October 19, at 7:15 p.m. at the Hudson Area Library, you can learn a hundred ways everyday people can battle climate change. A live stream of Drawdown Learn: Teaching a Solutions-Based Approach to Climate Change, featuring environmentalist and entrepreneur Paul Hawken and other experts, will show how reducing greenhouse gases can be both possible and practical.

Paul Hawken
The Drawdown Learn event, presented by the Omega Center for Sustainable Living and organized by Citizens' Climate Lobby in collaboration with Spacesmith architect Wendy Wisbrun, details what has been called "perhaps the most unexpected and hopeful development in the critical effort to reverse global warming." In the live video presentation, Hawken, executive director of Project Drawdown, will highlight findings of this global coalition organized with the goal of reversing global warming. In 2017, Project Drawdown mapped, measured, and modeled the one hundred most substantive solutions to reach "drawdown," the point at which atmospheric concentrations of greenhouse gases start to decline. After Hawken's overview, a panel discussion with Project Drawdown's expert team will lay out next steps in developing the tools, training, and curriculum needed to help communities join the fight for climate action. 

The event, which starts at 7:15 p.m., is expected to last until 10:00 p.m. A wine and cheese reception follows the live-stream video presentation. The Hudson Area Library is located at 51 North Fifth Street. Click here to RSVP. 

For a little background in preparation for Friday's event: Last September, Bill Maher, on his show Real Time, spoke with Hawken about his book Drawdown: The Most Comprehensive Plan Ever Proposed to Reverse Global Warming. That conversation can be viewed on YouTube by clicking here.

On the Topic of City Spending

This morning, on his blog Fourth Ward Hudson, Fourth Ward alderman Rich Volo elaborates on his concerns about the retroactive pay increase for part-time city workers and about city spending in general: "Permanent Part-Time Raise Resolution and City Spending." The post provides important information that all Hudson residents should be aware of, especially now when the city budget for 2019 is being hammered out.

Highlights from the Common Council Meeting

The current Common Council may well be remembered for holding the shortest meetings in recent memory. Tonight's lasted only half an hour but left the observer with some questions and concerns. The first has to do with Local Law No. 5

At last night's meeting, the Common Council received as a communication a letter from Walter Chatham stating the Planning Board's recommendation about the proposed amendment to the zoning in R2 and R2H districts. The recommendation made in the letter is essentially what Gossips has already reported, except what had been referred to as the "suburban retrofit toolkit" is identified in the letter as the Sprawl Repair Manual. At the meeting tonight, Council president Tom DePietro read the letter aloud, in its entirety. The essential message of the letter is contained in the first sentence: "After lengthy discussion, the Hudson Planning Board agrees to support proposed Local Law No. 5, provided that it be conditioned by use of Smart Code principles, and in particular that the relevant planning principles of the Sprawl Repair Manual by Galina Tachieva be incorporated into the LL5 site plan requirements."

When DePietro finished reading the letter and set it aside without comment, Alderman Rich Volo (Fourth Ward) asked what the next step for the law was. DePietro answered, "We're going to vote on it--not this time." He then amended that statement by saying there would be a public hearing. 

It would seem that if the Council were to respect the recommendation of the Planning Board, which it waited three months to receive, the law would have to be amended to make specific reference to SmartCode and the Sprawl Repair Manual, otherwise the members of the Planning Board could be accused of being arbitrary and capricious when they tried to apply those principles in a site plan review, but there was no mention of amending the law.

Going into the meeting, Gossips expected that the Council wouldn't be able to vote on the resolution to sell the lot at 255-257 Columbia Street to the Hudson Islamic Center for $25,561. Alderman Rob Bujan (First Ward) would not be present, and aldermen Dewan Sarowar (Second Ward) and Shershah Mizan (Third Ward), as members of the Hudson Islamic Center, would have to recuse themselves. A vote to sell property requires a three-fourths majority, which is defined in the code as nine votes, so even if DePietro, who never votes, believing that the Council president, like the Vice President of the United States in the Senate, should only vote to break a tie, were to vote, the number of aye votes would still fall one short of the nine required.

But there was no mention of recusal, and Sarowar and Mizan both voted, along with the other seven aldermen present, to sell the lot, which the Hudson Islamic Center plans to use for parking.

When the Council got to the resolution to raise the wage of all permanent part-time employees to $15 an hour, retroactive to the beginning of 2018, Volo pointed out that making the wage increases retroactive to the beginning of the year required taking "an extra $72,000 out of the fund balance." He made a motion that the increase only be retroactive for two months instead of from the beginning of the year, eliminating the need to raid the fund balance. No one seconded his motion.

Alderman Eileen Halloran (Fifth Ward) then moved to table the resolution to provide time to identify funds already budgeted to pay for the wage increases. The motion was seconded, but when it came to a vote, only Halloran and Volo voted to support the motion, Calvin Lewis (Third Ward) abstained, and the other six aldermen present voted to reject the motion. So the resolution was voted on. Halloran and Volo voted no; Tiffany Garriga (Second Ward), Kamal Johnson (First Ward), Lewis, Dominic Merante (Fifth Ward), Mizan, John Rosenthal (Fourth Ward), and Sarowar all voted in favor.

After the vote, DePietro told Volo that "the argument of going into the fund balance is incorrect." He maintained that there were "a number of lines [in the budget] from which it could have been taken that will not be used up." He attributed the decision to take the money from the fund balance to city treasurer Heather Campbell. Halloran told DePietro, "If you had a better idea, you could have presented it." Campbell clarified that the extra funds DePietro had in mind--the money budgeted for a separate attorney for the Council and another item in the Council's budget--"would be spent anyway."   

And so, after a resolution was passed to take another $56,013 from the fund balance to cover an increase in interest on the debt for the Central Firehouse and a resolution was passed to move money around in the budget for the assessor's office, the meeting was adjourned.

Tuesday, October 16, 2018

Meetings of Interest in the Week Ahead

A day into the week, here are the meetings taking place in the next three days.
  • Tonight, Tuesday, October 16, the Common Council Finance Committee meets at 5:30 p.m., and the Common Council holds its regular monthly meeting at 7:00 p.m. Both meetings take place in the Community Room of the Hudson Area Library, 51 North Fifth Street.
  • Tomorrow, Wednesday, October 17, the Zoning Board of Appeals meets at 6:00 p.m. at City Hall. It is expected that the public hearing on the addition and the new construction proposed at the rear of 17-19 Union Street, a project that requires four area variances, will be continued. 
The public hearing on this project was opened at the August meeting of the ZBA. At that meeting, Jason O'Toole presented the project to the ZBA and the public, because the owner of the property, Steve Dunn, is a member of the ZBA and had to recuse himself. The ZBA received a letter from the owner of the adjacent property at 15½ Union Street, which raised questions that O'Toole could not answer. For that reason, the public hearing was kept open. The September meeting of the ZBA was canceled for lack of a quorum, so the public hearing will undoubtedly continue at this month's ZBA meeting.
  • On Thursday, October 18, the Common Council Economic Development Committee meets at 6:00 p.m. at City Hall. No agenda for this meeting is as yet available.

For Hudson Dogs: The Third Time's a Charm

Last evening, as I was leaving to go to the mayor's community conversation about a new city park, I made the mistake of telling Joey, "I'm going to a meeting about the dog park." Joey heard only two words in that nine-word sentence: DOG PARK. He started jumping in circles at the door, in gleeful anticipation of a trip to Germantown or Athens. Needless to say, he was confused and I felt perfectly wretched as I tried to walk back my statement and then gave him his Kong filled with peanut butter and left the house, promising I'd be back soon.

Joey's hopes for a dog park in Hudson have been dashed before, but this time it looks like it's going to happen. Last night, Mayor Rick Rector reviewed three sites that had been considered as a location for the dog park: Charles Williams Park; a site on North Second Street across from Hawthorne Valley Association's sauerkraut factory; and the newly remediated brownfield that was the former site of Foster's Refrigerator.

Of those three options, the Foster's site has been identified as the one. The site, which is approximately 2.5 acres, would serve two purposes. The area closer to the intersection of North Second Street and Dock Street would be developed as a trail head for the Empire State Trail, which passes right by the site on Mill Street and Dock Street, and a trail head for the proposed North Bay Trail, which would link Hudson with the Greenport Conservation Area and the network of trails to the north. The 1.5 acres toward the back of the site would be the dog park, with the concrete slab that already exists on the site becoming a parking lot for hikers, cyclists, and people visiting the dog park.

The images in this post thus far are from a PowerPoint presented at the meeting, as is the one below, which seems to dedicate far too much space in the park to cyclists and hikers and far too little to dogs.

I much prefer the concept drawing below, prepared by Hudson River Valley Greenway, which shows just the front corner of the site devoted to a trail head for the Empire State Trail. The actual design is still to be determined.

There are a couple of good things about this plan: 
  • In last year's ill-fated effort to build a dog park in Charles Williams Park, the money raised from two GoFundMe campaigns--one in 2014 and another last year--and a contribution from the Mrs. Greenthumbs Hedge Fund would have all been used to fence less than an acre of land for the dog park. 
In the current proposal, there's already a fence around the perimeter of the site, so there is only the need to fence one side and provide some internal fencing for the entrance and to separate the large dog area from the small dog area. There will be money left in the dog park fund for park amenities--poop bag dispensers, trash cans, benches for humans, maybe a shade structure, perhaps trees and landscaping, if the Department of Environmental Conservation, which dictates what can happen on this remediated brownfield, gives its approval to planting things on the site.  
  • Hudson River Valley Greenway is providing the money for the trail head part of the park, and the funding for the dog park is coming from private sources, so the park can be created without any money coming out of the city budget.
The meeting was well attended, by dog owners and some folks not known to own dogs, and everyone present, including Fourth Ward Supervisor Linda Mussmann, who mustered the opposition to siting the dog park in Charles Williams Park last year, agreed that it was a good plan. The dog park would be far from houses, with only Crafttech Industries and the City of Hudson waste water treatment plant in near proximity. Finally, after more than seven years of advocating for a dog park in Hudson, it looks like it may actually happen.