Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Let There Be Trees

The Register-Star reports today on two initiatives to plant street trees in Hudson: "Trees coming to Hudson streets this fall." Thirty trees will be planted on Columbia and State streets by the Galvan Foundation and Operation Unite, as part of a multiyear project proposed by Henry van Ameringen, and, in a separate project funded by grant money made available to the Hudson Development Corporation, trees will be planted on upper Warren Street, between the Public Square and Worth Avenue.


  1. Please say that "real" trees are going to be planted instead of that ridiculous pear bush weed thats so popular among the ignorant.

  2. Oh Vincent, you know better than that! The usual signs are all there!

    First, consider recent attempts by residents to secure funding for native tree plantings by avoiding city government and the city's preassigned grant-writers.

    Both avoidances are worthy efforts in themselves, but sadly it comes as no surprise that The Register Star fails to mention the public's ongoing discussions with:

    1.) the DEC's Urban Forestry Program; and
    2.) a second tree-planting program within the Hudson River Estuary Program.

    Anyone might be forgiven for thinking that the state's efforts to assist residents in navigating around local government is a story in itself.

    But despite the hard work of a variety of green-minded residents who'd prefer to take matters into their own hands, without a trace of irony our Newspaper of Record quotes Rick Scalera informing us that the "trees would be picked and planted" by a single individual, one "Jake Watts."

    I'd have acknowledged some level of irony had the piece entertained alternative views, rather than unreflectively giving pride of place to our former and future mayor, perennial symbol of Hudson's Cretaceous past.

    Mr. Scalera assures us that the trees (which will remain generic for the time being) will be "species that Watts deems best-suited for the city." The story doesn't consider, however, that these circumstances are quite concerning for some!

    And where are the suitable follow-up questions, such as asking whether or not Mr. Watts is aware of the public's ongoing efforts to secure NATIVE tree plantings via self-appointed, ad hoc committees?

    In this way the story fails to consider that the circumstances are also undemocratic. Galvan's efforts will circumvent the public's attempts to circumvent our useless and expensive city government. That these circumstances ineluctably put Galvan in bed with the city (yet again) is allowed to be obscured by the happy theme about trees.

    Can anyone answer whether this Mr. Watts even lives in Hudson? If not, then why are outsiders always deciding our fate for us? (Hint: the powers-that-be will always avoid native talent where possible despite the usual consequence of big messes; e.g., grant writers; LWRP planners; sewer planners, etc ...)

    So even this little story about tree reminds us that our situation is unchanged, unless the pathologies of Hudson's "community" are actually worsening under the happy face of Galvan's improvements.

    Even in this seemingly innocent story, we're reminded how undemocratic, narrow-minded and vicious a place this is. With the new money pouring in from those who are less inclined to be involved at the local level ("Progressives" one and all), Hudson's oldest ills are sure to worsen.

  3. Jake Watts is a native and his business "Pond Nursery" is just outside of town out 3rd street way. Jake is a very conscientious gentleman. Go ask him yourself. I certainly will. What surprises me is picking Jake is actually a good move (imho) and not the usual suspect that you describe. This could be a step in the right direction with Jake at the helm. Lets include him in the conversation and resolve our concerns on this matter .

  4. Glad to hear it. I am unfamiliar with his name, and was mostly reacting to the glaring omission of other residents' ongoing efforts concerning tree-planting. It's one unfortunate consequence of too much turnover at any local newspaper, whereby new journalists assume that the best source of quick news is local government, which in Hudson's case is a nexus of current and past officials often serving powerful interests like Holcim, Galvan and the like. In my opinion, journalism that reinforces the bad status quo is, we'll, bad!

    But the situation as I understand it requires Mr. Watts to include the people who've already been working on this tree business, and not the other way around. I hope that he does, which is another way of saying I hope that he is permitted.