Friday, March 10, 2017

The Surprising Machinations of the Internet

If you Google "A. Colarusso & Son," as I did earlier today, this is what appears on the screen:

If you were to click on one of those pictures at the right, the one that shows gravel barges on Hudson's waterfront and has the label "See photos," you would learn that the source of the photo is given as ""

I took this picture on October 5, 2011, and used it in a post published that day called "Riverfront Reconnaisance." The post was mostly about a wonderful restored 1926 motor yacht called Freedom which was then moored at a Hudson Power Boat Association dock, just south of their club house. Here's how I related this picture to the yacht:
On the opposite end of Henry Hudson Riverfront Park this morning, in stark contrast to the restored grace and elegance of Freedom, a gravel barge was docked at the "port," extending well beyond Holcim property, halfway across the mouth of the adjacent slip, and intruding into what is now the southernmost part of our riverfront park.
The picture was taken back in the day when Holcim owned South Bay and the dock, and O&G was the entity trucking gravel to the dock and shipping it out on barges. But it's a good picture. I like it, and I've used it twice since then in posts that mention Colarusso--on July 20, 2016, and January 27, 2017--which, of course, is how the internet made the connection.


  1. In its Appeal of the City's Order to Remedy, the company is pretending that it may only use the water surface above the underwater lands it mistakenly believes it owns.

    When the company uses this photo taken by Gossips, it indicates an awareness that any water surface may be used for its private enterprise, even the surface of the entire side slip beneath the company's new, and commercially viable bulkhead.

    They'll need to dredge the slip, of course, but they're well aware that permits can be obtained to allow this.

    Perhaps the landowner prefers that the City doesn't think too much about this, which is why the Appeal makes the same sorts of measurement errors committed in the initial Site Plan for rebuilding the bulkhead:

    But wait, the Appeal even denies that the Site Plan was ever altered or revised. Incredible!

  2. “Equal Footing” Doctrine
    Under the rule of law and the Constitution, the original 13 states held the “absolute right” to all navigable waters and their beds, subject only to a right of federal navigation for commerce between states or foreign countries. When new states were admitted to the Union, the court adopted an “equal footing” doctrine to make sure that states, as admitted, also owned the right to the beds and waters of navigable waters within their borders.
    Thereafter, all states owned the title to the beds of waters that were navigable at the time of their statehood. As a result, states are free to allocate and govern the use of riverbed land — subject to uses of the water by other landowners on the river or the rights of the public for fishing, swimming, and boating, or for other recreation, and the right of the federal government for navigation and commerce...
    April 23, 2012/in North America, Water Law, Water News, Water Policy & Politics /by Circle of Blue

  3. On July 4, 1817, ground was broken at Utica, New York and construction began simultaneously to the east and west, the Erie Canal's opening ceremonies in October of 1825...

    unique to the Erie Canal was the fact that it survived the rise of the railroad. The tonnage on the canal continued to increase well past the time of the Civil War, finally peaking in 1872...

    What good is Clinton's Ditch if one has to drive to Catskill to gain access?

  4. Oakdale, the state launch or North Dock, whenever the city (or state) acquires shore, first thing they do is put up fences and hang signs restricting use. They then cite maintenance and the cost of liability insurance.

    Doesn't the best use of shore take place when navigation is promoted to the fullest, by willing occupants rather than the unwilling city/state?

    Persecuting Colarusso for doing what the city/state can't or will not do is inane.

    1. I think the company is "persecuting" the City of Hudson by initiating a judicial proceeding against it.

      The whole matter turns upon the meaning of the Zoning Code, and I'd say to anyone who dislikes the obvious meaning of the Code that they're free to try to amend it.

      But unless and until that happens, no one is entitled to call a rock a fish. The Code is the Code.

      You should be asking instead why the company is punishing the City for a Zoning Code which was already three years old when the company bought the property. Why should the City be "persecuted" for that?

      You must understand and accept that this matter only concerns zoning, and not river access.

      It's a zoning issue. Zoning.

    2. If the issue is zoning the upland than I agree, municipal home rulers have the authority to do what they will.

      Allowing for the (remote) possibility that I am incorrect, my understanding is that along the shores of a federal waterway, the Coast Guard is the controlling legal authority. They pass that authority along to ACE, and ACE never allows private control of shore with just one exception, stewardship that promotes navigation.

      Has it occurred to Gossip readers that the reason for allowing attorneys and developer politicians to serve two (opposing) masters is to control the outcome. By charging Colarusso with the one violation that the city can not win, Colarusso and the city gets the improved bulkhead and the city appears to have resisted.

    3. It's like suing for ownership, rather than use, when "to the steward goes the spoils."

    4. Zoning regulates USES, whether that means some object, or the purposes to which that object are put.

      Any municipality may regulate the uses of its shoreline as long as the local statutes don't contradict the statutes at the Federal and State levels. (This formulation is somewhat turned on its head when a municipality has an approved waterfront program.)

      This means that ALL levels of government regulate shorelines in the Coastal Zone, which is why both Federal and State agencies reminded the company that the permits issued for the wharf work were not substitutes for obtaining local permits.

      Everything relating to the activities of the owner of that port - whoever the owner is at any one time - does not enjoy a fully permitted use of the port, or causeway, or anything else. All those uses are conditional to Planning Board review, which is why the City will fend off this baseless appeal.

      On the other hand, Hudson's Zoning Code is heavily supportive of recreational water uses, such as boating and fishing. Anything relating to these activities is fully "permitted" in all waterfront areas.

      But zoning should be thought of in terms of uses rather than ownership. This case is only about uses, which means zoning.

    5. Agreed, so zoning that results in less commerce and fewer users restrains the coasting trade, which falls under the sole preview of congress, not city not state.

  5. Only the federal government has the authority to restrict the free flow of interstate commerce.