Monday, August 15, 2016

"They Paved Paradise and Put Up a Parking Lot"

There is no paving involved, but the outcome is similar.

Yesterday, Gossips provided the link to a videotape of a public forum that took place in Rhinebeck last week about the U.S. Coast Guard's consideration of establishing anchorage grounds--in other words, parking lots--for commercial vessels along the Hudson River between Yonkers and Kingston. Today, there is an article on the topic in the New York Times: "Plan to Let Barges Park on the Hudson Meets Resistance in 'River Towns.'"


  1. This comment has been removed by the author.

  2. [Partial transcript of Riverkeeper's John Lipscomb:]

    The Hudson has been the victim of industry for centuries:

    • The shorelines were cut off by railroads. The marshes were strangled by railroad right-of-ways and rip-rap.

    • GE dumped their poison in the river at Fort Edward.

    • Power plants are built along the shore that use once-through cooling; Indian Point alone kills a billion fish a year because it inhales 2.2 billion gallons of water a day.

    • Every community has a manufactured gas plant that's being cleaned up ... coal tar is leaching out into the water.

    • NYS Department of Health's fish consumption advisory for the entire Hudson is woman of child-bearing years should eat no fish [and] children eat no fish. That didn't happen because of fisherman; that didn't happen because of carpenters; it happened because of industry. ...

    I'm giving you an argument that says [the proposal is] not about safety, it's about money. And that's okay for business to do business, but business can't do business at the expense of others. We're not going to subsidize this business. The river isn't going to subsidize this business. The Hudson isn't going to get a nickel of revenue from these anchorages. ... Your communities are going to get nothing.

  3. Dear Mr. Unheimlich,

    Could you please provide a list of local jobs that, in your opinion, are, or would be, acceptable, (specifically with regard to the issue of safeguarding the Hudson River), that HHS graduates, specifically, graduates who will not be attending college, might work that will allow them to earn a living wage and remain in their hometown if they so choose?

    Thank you!

    1. I'd recommend applying for a job doing boat maintenance and repair at the numerous marinas on the Hudson River. For example, I take my boat to Riverview Marine Services in Catskill for maintenance and repair. Mike, the owner of the business, is a former member of the Coast Guard who hires local residents. In fact, if you really want a rewarding job that pays a living wage, consider joining the U.S. Coast Guard or the Navy.

    2. Thirty years ago, when industry was fleeing south, tin boat fishermen had a rhetorical answer, plenty of opportunities for "fish squeezer."

      The Lady Faithful is gift of nature to the people on both sides of the Hudson.

      The soil beneath is said to be held in public trust.

      Clinton's ditch and Vanderbilt's Iron Horse were sold as enhancements that quickly cancelled each other out for the coasting trade on our eastern shore.

      Now we're shown another bill of goods that can only (mostly) benefit the western shore, while a spill would stain the hem of the Lady's skirt on both sides.

      Why would we want that?

      1 Riparian
      Columbia Littoral Conservancy Inc

    3. Ask the question another way: Where's Kaz? Where's L&B? Where's the bottling plant? All of these were manufacturing jobs, and all were regrettable losses.

      You could also look forward and ask, what are we doing to foster businesses we want? Where's broadband for the county, etc?

      Believe me Unknown, I get your question. But just because the country is in such a sorry way, and because New York State is over-regulated, grotesquely wasteful, and knows nothing about attracting jobs, that's not a reason to cash in on every local natural resource we can find.

      The way you ask it, the answer is obviously either/or, except it's not.

      There's lots of work around here for people with the right manual skills. (I work with my hands.) Whatever skill you already have, just get better at it. Invest in yourself. Grow a business (if you still can in New York).

      But wanting to defend the law doesn't mean one is automatically opposed to mining or oil-drilling. How am I suddenly against commercial river traffic just because I don't want to subsidize someone's else's business plan?

      Because your rhetorical question is more of a statement, I'm left to guess your meaning from the available stereotypes you're implying. But there's a lot more to the picture than you imply.