Tuesday, August 22, 2023

Town Hall Next Week

Photo: Our Hudson Waterfront
The issue of Colarusso and its proposed two-lane road through South Bay, connecting the quarry and the dock, is back before the Planning Board, seeking a conditional use permit, and the Common Council ad hoc Truck Route Committee has sent a letter to the NYS Department of Transportation asking for information about the process of eliminating one or both truck routes passing through Hudson and requesting that trucks more than 48 feet in length be prohibited from entering Hudson. 

In this context, the Hudson/Catskill Housing Coalition (HCHC) is hosting a "Town Hall on Environmental Justice in Black Communities" on Wednesday, August 30, beginning at 5:30 p.m. The following is quoted from a press release Gossips received about the event.
The Hudson Catskill Housing Coalition is hosting a highly informative and engaging Town Hall focused on environmental justice in black communities, with a significant emphasis on a critical truck route issue. The event is scheduled for Wednesday, August 30, starting at 5:30 p.m.
Featuring a lineup of esteemed panelists, the Town Hall aims to delve deep into the pressing challenges surrounding environmental justice in black communities. The event will be held virtually via Zoom.
The distinguished panelists for the event include:
    • Arielle V. King--Environmental Advocate and Expert
    • Linda Mussmann--Environmental Justice Champion
    • Kayah Payton--Advocate for Black and Brown Communities
Guiding the discussion as the master of ceremonies will be Lukee Forbes, the campaign manager of the Hudson Catskill Housing Coalition.
This Town Hall serves as a unique platform for the community to gain insights into the critical environmental challenges it faces. Notably, the predominantly black and brown neighborhood deals with the ongoing issue of over 200 trucks passing through daily. . . .
RSVP is kindly requested at your earliest convenience, and the event details and agenda will be shared promptly. Email civil.rights@hudsoncatskillhousing.org.

It may seem predictable that, on the issue of the Colarusso gravel trucks, the town hall will be an endorsement for granting Colarusso the conditional use permit needed to build its two-lane road through South Bay, thus rerouting the gravel trucks that currently pass through black and brown neighborhoods. Even John Privatera, attorney for A. Colarusso & Son, has taken to characterizing approving the proposed haul road as an environmental justice exigency. But you never know.

At the very end of the Planning Board meeting that took place on August 8, Lukee Forbes, who will be moderating the HCHC town hall next Wednesday, commented on the Colarusso issue. That comment can be heard here, at about 2:28:00. In his comment, Forbes seemed to suggest that improving the road through South Bay was not a solution. Rather, it will result in increased truck traffic and an increase in carbon emissions, which will negatively impact not only the black and brown communities in Hudson but the entire city. In a subsequent conversation with Gossips, Forbes confirmed his opinion that approving the proposed "haul road" will only exacerbate the problem. 

The discussion next Wednesday should be an interesting one. The event can be accessed here, but before joining the Zoom meeting, you are asked to RSVP at civil.rights@hudsoncatskillhousing.org.


  1. It's worth noting that the most frequent and enthusiastic users of the waterfront are people from the African-American and Bengali communities. If Colarusso cares so much about 'environmental justice,' the best thing they could do is take their nasty gravel business elsewhere.

  2. Colarusso/haul road and the truck route; two issues that will never go away. The former is because ACS wants the haul road expanded and the City says no. The latter is because the City wants the trucks re-routed and Greenport, Claverack, et. al. say no. There is no compromise and, thus, we're on an endless loop. Now add in that the moderator of a discussion of the haul road agrees that approving the haul road will only make things worse. And so it goes.

  3. where is unheimlich when we need him? --the other peter (top) (meyer)

  4. Identity politics is always a sure fire way for corporations and the ruling class to distract, divide and conquer. I would really love to see the donor lists to many of the local "non-profits." How many housing activists are funded by large developers (like Galvan) to push against the interests of their competition: small time homeowners/landlords/taxpayers? How much are anti-STR activists funded by hotels? How much are these environmental justice advocates funded by the polluters? A lot of corporate interests are rebranded as "social justice." They know it's a progressive leaning town and they know how to play the game.

  5. The only obvious solution is eminent domain, the city takes over the property. In the meantime, the immediate way to resolve the truck problem is to ban heavy trucks off the state truck route and require the gravel trucks use the existing gravel road two ways.

    It seems as if running the trucks through the city and refusing to use the existing road two ways is a way to pressure and strongarm the city into approving a larger two way road. Why is the council allowing themselves to be bullied? Shut the streets down to trucks, problem solved. They have a way to deliver gravel on the existing gravel road, so they can't say the city prevented them from delivering gravel to the waterfront.

  6. As aspect of this situation that is often overlooked is that if Colarusso is allowed to ramp up their volume, it will result in a lot more blasting in the quarry on Newman Rd. I used to live nearby, and the blast would shake the foundations of all the homes in the area.

    1. The blasts still shake the homes in Hudson, particularily on Union Street and particularily on grey days.

  7. Responding to Union Jack none of those things apply to us at Hudson Catskill Housing Coalition. We pay rent to the Galvan Foundation of $8,500 a month and our environmental justice work is funded by the Tides foundation. 99% of the resources we receive come from state and national funders.