Saturday, January 3, 2015

Why a Simulated Ball Drop?

Many people who gathered in the cold on New Year's Eve, waiting to witness Hudson's first ever ball drop, were a little puzzled by the computer generated ball displayed on a video screen, which seemed to pulsate rather than descend. The flagpole was right there. Why not run a ball up the flagpole and lower it on the countdown to midnight? It seemed like a huge missed opportunity.

It turns out the organizers of the ball drop wanted to use the flagpole, but Rob Perry, superintendent of public works, vetoed the plan. Although a flagpole has stood on Promenade Hill for more than a century, this particular flagpole is fairly new, having been erected, if memory serves, in 2008. Perry told Gossips: "The installation of the pole was extremely difficult and exceeded the capabilities of our equipment. Damage to the pole or mechanical working would be costly to repair and would no doubt result in the absence of the flag for quite some time." Perry went on to explain that the cables on the flagpole were internal and there was "no way of knowing what type of weight rating it would be able to withstand." When asked if flag etiquette prohibited the flagpole from being used for any purpose other than displaying the American flag, Perry responded: "I'm not aware of any specific regulations for the pole itself. However, I am sure many people would find the use [of] a flagpole as a prop to be distasteful, at the very least."


  1. I don't disagree with the DPW Superintendent's caution concerning the flagpole, but it's important for residents to know which authority he believed he was ultimately addressing.

    Technically, because the Common Council owns the Promenade Park while "the City" does not, any actions at the Promenade beyond the most routine maintenance ones are not the responsibility of our mayors, but of our representatives.

    Mayors who are our guests at our Promenade Park ought to acknowledge the city's proprietors who granted it, preferably while standing beneath the blue historical plaque which makes the park's ownership very clear.

    It's a wise mayor who acknowledges the limits of his or her executive power.

    Likewise, the Common Council should not carelessly cede its authority over the Promenade Park just because Hudson's diverse residents are so careless or ignorant of their city's history.

  2. " Perry went on to explain that the cables on the flagpole were internal and there was "no way of knowing what type of weight rating it would be able to withstand."

    A first year student of engineering would find the calculations simple, the limit being the weight of the flag that normally hangs there.

  3. a weather balloon filled with helium

  4. a flagpole that can't be used, bathrooms at waterfront park locked, a fountain in the city's most prominent park behind bars X 2, silly dog rules, the wharf closed, no smoke in the park, pay your taxes, don't complain, and they wonder why i do...

  5. Anybody else see the DPW truck carrying a dead deer through town on its tailgate in plain public view, just before Christmas? A nice sight let me tell you.

    1. Coyote and deer in Hudson? Oh my! Bring in the cat and dog at night. These were rare occurrences when duck hunters were "allowed" use of the public shore.

      The city foreshore has gone to the wolves!