Friday, January 24, 2014

Disappointment in the Garden

Andrew Weil, the doctor and writer who established the field of integrated medicine, had this to say about gardens:
In the world at large, people are rewarded or punished in ways that are often utterly random. In the garden, cause and effect, labor and reward, are re-coupled. Gardening makes sense in a senseless world. By extension, then, the more gardens in the world, the more justice, the more sense is created.
On Thursday night, the board of the Hudson Community Development & Planning Agency (HCDPA) demonstrated not only their narrow understanding of "community development" but also their commitment to injustice and senselessness by offering Hudson Urban Gardens a one year lease on half of what had been the community garden at Second and Columbia streets for $1,000 (they sold the other half to Habitat for Humanity for $5,000) and refused to give HUG an option to buy the property. John Mason has the story in today's Register-Star: "Garden gets another year added to lease."


  1. Hmm, you'd almost think that the HCDPA wants the garden to go away. Maybe it's the HCDPA that should go away?

  2. $1000 rent for the garden? $5000 for sale of almost the same size lot. What an outrage! The Board members of HCDPA should be ashamed.

    1. No, the Board of members should be REPLACED, which is within our powers.

  3. If this is so, then the more fisherfolk to farm our foreshore the better.

  4. I found this comment on the Register Star...

    "What does it say about who is running Hudson that the Community garden that provides food and enjoyment to over 100 people is required to pay $1000/year rent while the most valuable piece of real estate in the city (the waterfront) is leased to a private club with only 100 members for $1.00/year."


    1. Actually Signifier, the author of that comment was off by one word. The private club is the Hudson Power Boat Association, and club members don't lease a thing.

      In the mid-1980s, they bought the shoreline between the state parking lot and Dock Street from the HDC. The purchase price was one dollar.

    2. The HPBA did lease the ferry slip next to their club house. That still belongs to the City. But when it was discovered that the City could not legally lease waterfront land to a private entity, the lease was not renewed, but the HPBA continues to use the slip as before..

    3. The city did extend an illegal lease for the ferry slip, but as you say no longer.

      However, I don't see any continued "use," unless people are talking about the little fountain and the flowers maintained on terra firma. Those are arguably civic contributions to community beautification, unless you want to charge the gardener with trespassing.

      And anything the HPBA maintains offshore, immediately beyond the slip and on the water surface, is above city-owned underwater lands. That's not subject to any lease, but to the state's navigation laws.

      It's the water's surface which belongs to the general public, which includes the HPBA. That said, to my mind the latter is the only circumstance down there which raises legitimate questions.

  5. No "one person" owns, either submerged nor submersable land beneath a navigable public watercourse, everyone does. And HPBA INC has a right to Promote Navigation to the fullest extent possible because neither city nor state do.

    1. I think you meant to say that no one owns the water surface, whereas underwater lands are obtained by a grant from the state legislature.

      (I think you're being facetious as usual, since in the recent past you teased attorney Roberts who'd asked rhetorically, only last year, how real estate could be owned by anyone if the land was underwater?)

      Your second sentence is not facetious, and goes a long way to answering the question (implied in my above) how the HPBA can block a boat launch which nobody uses?

    2. From the National Organization For Rivers:

      Public ownership of physically navigable rivers, including the land up to the ordinary high water mark, pre-dates property deeds. What the property deed says or doesn't say about the river is irrelevant.

      Physically navigable rivers that flow through federal lands are still held in trust for the public by the states. River management plans must preserve the public's paramount rights to navigate and recreate on these rivers.

      The state does not actually own the river, but holds it in trust for the public for navigation, recreation, and fisheries. The state is obligated to preserve the river for these public benefits.

      Public ownership of physically navigable rivers is the same in all states. It's a U.S. Supreme Court standard, and it includes those rivers that are physically navigable by canoe, kayak, and raft. The public's right to visit additional non-navigable streams (those too small for even canoes, kayaks, and rafts) does vary from state to state, but this variation only applies to those small streams...

      The state launch is a good example of these Navigational laws.

      From the center of the channel to the ordinary high water line is forever to be used for Navigation.

      From the high water line to the flood high (up to the RR tracks) is supposed to be conserved for public access to the ordinary high water line.

      Only a grant for land formerly under water can be (legally) be sold. And that's why the Riverloft transfer is a crooked land deal from jump street. Both of the lots south of Dock Street have been posted "No Trespassing No Fishing" when they should still be public use lands, that were formerly under water.

      If the city had to receive a grant for the land under the north side of Dock Street to upgrade the sewage treatment plant, how could the Riverloft deal be kosher?

      1 Riparian

    3. I think you suggest that city navigators are entitled to equal outcome, regardless of their efforts, to promote Navigation, on our submersible river bank.

      Should people who wish to walk their dogs there have the same?