Today's stories include discussion of the Columbia Land Conservancy, a great asset to the county, one of many great institutions, doing good, pushing something as potentially as great important as a comprehensive trail network. We also read today about active citizens proposing ways to leverage Hudson's architectural treasures into economic development. We see here links to great blog after great blog: a sample of the human capital this county is able to attract.
But how fast can even the best runner go, an athlete with potential like Columbia County, when his/her feet are chained to massive dead weights? The drag on this county's success development as an agro-tourist destination, as a rural area with a solid urban core only 2 hours from NYC, a land with good farm land, good transportation connections to urban areas, and the ability to attract educated workers is bad government. Government in CoCo ranges from nominally competent at best to utterly malicious and corrupt at worst. Open, democratic and accountable government and a good environment for economical growth are the same thing, as today's news shows.
Now, let's review the news for the day then I will wax a bit more.
The department of social services website is down right now as I write...
Manhunt for wanted man, attempted murder, ends in Livingston.
More vintage postcards on ebay, this time really nice ones from Hudson. More.
Crazy cool house in an undisclosed Columbia County location. I like it.
Gallery listings. New stuff at John Davis Gallery, Carrie Hadad, etc.
Editorial on rural public transport cuts.
Hudson will get 1.7 million less in state aide this year as compared to last year.
Helicopter respond to one-car accident in Chatham... sounds serious.
Germantown 69, New Lebanon 62 (OT).
Do you know about the Abode in New Lebanon? Bone up.
I drive by Arch Bridge Road in Ghent all the time and I'm damn sure there is no night club there. Got to be the craziest place to have a night club and pretend it's a farm or have a farm and pretend it's a night club.
The Register Star ran an editorial/letter on 3-4-11 promoting the Columbia County Trails Conference Saturday, April 2 9:00 am - 3:00 pm Columbia-Greene Community College, Professional Academic Center, 4400 Route 23, Hudson. The online version of the Register Star didn't seem to have the article. Here is the complete listing. clctrust.org/events.php
I think a good network of trials, combined with the right supporting businesses, could be dynamite economically, as I outline below. This is no little nice project, if done right. I could see 300 full time private sector jobs. Maybe you can double that. Big.
TRAILS = MONEY = JOBS = A BETTER QUALITY OF LIFE: Picture this:
The Maniconituk Trail (Hudson River for the Mohicans): 3 days on back trails, no cars, no cares. Quiet, quality and beauty in the gentle hills and farms of New York's Tuscany. $875 per person, including bike rental, car delivery/Amtrak tickets, 3 nights lodging, canoe/kayak rental, horse riding lessons, eagle watching, and farm sampler to take home (the cheese, jam, bread, meat, fruit, and vegitables of Columbia County). Deluxe, extended, kid-friendly options available. Now included: the off-the-grid eco-farm cottage designed by Paul D'Muso with find your own eggs under your own hens and fresh rolls delivered by horse back.Columbia County, the bike capital of New York.
Columbia County, where the rubber leaves the road.
CoCoNy, open the door and let the kids out.
The Maniconituk Trail: there in only one on this planet and it's a two hour train ride from Midtown.
But I'll get to the trail more below. You don't think this trail could anchor a serious industry?
In June, there is the Kinderhook 6K run... you can sign up now and dream of summer.
While I saw at the Columbia Land Conservancy I noticed this: Farmland Protection Focus Group - Stuyvesant, Saturday, March 19 10:00 - Noon (Snow date: Monday, March 21 7:00 -9:00pm), Stuyvesant Town Hall , 5 Sunset Drive
Here is a great write up about some exciting choices for grants in Hudson. Some of these ideas would be great. A terrific blog about some terrific ideas... and I saw this there, about this house, and ponied up 25 bucks. Click on the house below.
And what is the reason that part but not all of this email is blacked out? And then there was this invoice issue.
The mind does imagine things when one sees those black marks.
The trails will not only be a place for local people to get some exercise. If the trails are incorporated into a grand strategy to turn CoCoNy into a first class destination, then we are talking about something big.
Context. If you situate the trails in the context of a network of quality places to stay (farm cottages and B&B's along the route), a marketing strategy that is not only about looking like a great experience but actually making sure the experience is indeed great, coordinating between business and county government and making sure there is a minimum of UGLY, INAPPROPRIATE STUFF that would look wrong in a brochure along the routes, along with careful developments along the route... people will come.
The aesthetics around the trails has to be good. I hear people talking up this county, how beautiful it is, all the time. I agree. But Columbia County is beautiful despite what we have done to it since World War II not because of what we have done. The hills of Tuscany are beautiful just like our hills but in Tuscany you can go for miles and days without seeing that much ugly crap.
We have so much crap we can't ever get rid of it or hide it. We can't compete with Tuscany on good taste alone since we are clearly incompetent in that regard. I'm as guilty of that as the next Walmart... well, no, not that guilty. But around the trails, if we could have a crap-free corridor, so tourist can bike from place to place along the route, get off the train in Hudson and start, stop and swim in the Kinderhook creek, and rent a canoe, then bike some more, then check out the Hudson, roll into Chatham village, check into the farm cottage and find the chickens in the back, then have their car waiting for them after the concert and the delicious meal of all local food and then drive back home... all without seeing any crap?
You don't think that would be a hit?
The anual Tour d'Conituk (Mohican word for the Hudson): bike race.
And, to dream really big, there are enough trails to connect New York city to the Maniconituk Trail. Imagine that bike trail: Brooklyn Bridge to West Side bike path, the Henry Hudson bridge, connected to bike trail along the Saw Mill Parkway, then to the rail-trail in Dutchess county (I know I skipped a huge amount of territory), then to Columbia County, ending up connected to the Albany path along the Hudson.
You can ride from the Brooklyn Bridge to the Adorondaks on your bike without getting on a road.
The bike race will be an annual event. The world record will be 178 hours. Can you beat it?
The Columbia County Trails Conference Saturday, April 2 9:00 am - 3:00 pm Columbia-Greene Community College, Professional Academic Center, 4400 Route 23, Hudson.
We could put together a trail-vacation-farm package that would change the economics of this county for the better forever. The Maniconituk Trail.
Back to the grind.
Someone started a blog with a picture showing Copake in decline. That picture is worth a 1000 words. Isn't it in Copake that they abandoned the old library and basically cut the legs out from under the idea that you should be able to park your car and walk on the street for awhile?
Chatham has what I would consider a healthy "downtown." You can live in Chatham village without a car. You should be able to live right in the center of town without having to drive to the library, food store, hardware store, bakery... and only in Chatham is that possible. You can't do it Lenox, although the town is beautiful. Hudson is doing well in its own way but Warren street is for entertainment and tourism almost exclusively. It's not the merchant's fault: it's development decisions made a long time ago, not to create reasons to come downtown, not to figure out the logistics to bring the newer big stores closer to the older small stores and create some critical mass like you see in German small towns.
Chatham village is remarkable for being the only normal town in the area. As the strip on 66 grows, however, Chatham downtown is likely to suffer. Someone should figure out how to put development in and around the old grain elevator areas and make new development support the old downtown by having a one-park destination: shop, dine, stroll, movie, etc... if you ask me.
Or almost anyone in Germany.
Next: police blotter: are they related?
COLUMBIA COUNTY SHERIFF'S OFFICE
Joseph Guido, 31, of Stuyvesant was charged Feb. 15 by Columbia County Deputy Sheriff Travis VanAlstyne with DWI and vehicle and traffic offenses after he was allegedly found to be inhaling from a can of pressurized computer Dust Cleaning agent and crashed into a snowbank.
Craig VanAlstyne, 22, of Valatie was arrested by Columbia County Sheriff’s Sgt. William Zincio on Feb. 22 on an arrest warrant from the Kinderhook Town Court for failing to appear on charges of driving while ability impaired, unlawful possession of marijuana and vehicle and traffic offenses.
This is more like it!