Bay bridges

Carole Osterink was at last night’s informal Common Council meeting in Hudson and reports that Holcim attorney Donald Stever and O&G’s Kenneth Faroni sent a letter in response to one from CC president Donald Moore, and anyone following the current waterfront discussion in Hudson will find it and the comments on Osterink’s Gossips of Rivertown blog fascinating. Osterink also says that, “Mayor Scalera reported that CSX had agreed to repair the Ferry Street bridge in time for the Flag Day parade. They will replace the rotted planking ‘to get through the weekend’ and put plywood on the footbridge. CSX also said they would ‘try to put it in some capital plan.'” NY Senator Chuck Schumer will attend the Flag Day parade, and Osterink says Scalera will show him the bridge then, and ask for help.

Borchert wins striper contest

River Basin’s Striper Contest ended today with Eric Borchert bringing in the winner, a 47″-er from the Hudson River.

Fireworks in Catskill

Dick May practiced some citizen journalism at the April 26 Catskill Village meeting, forcing the town trustees to go on the record with their decision to move the July 4 fireworks from the Hudson River waterfront to downtown Catskill. He writes, “the Trustees of Catskill Village almost made a controversial decision by stealth. And they made a decision without making a case.” And then recalls the manner the decision was announced.

“After that business had been well under discussion, a spectator (this correspondent) ventured to ask whether the Board had made a decision on the fireworks launch site. Mr. Seeley acted surprised—as if the answer was evident from the trustees’ remarks. The Trustees then proceeded to resolve formally that the July 4, 2010, fireworks shall be launched from a “downtown” site, ‘yet to be determined.’ That resolution did not stem from anything remotely resembling a systematic or comprehensive cost-benefit analysis. The Trustees acted without affirming, much less determining, that the change of launch sites would be popular, would be economical, would produce a net gain of public safety, would enable the fireworks to be more spectacular, would make the viewing population bigger, or would produce an increase in local business. Read the entire story in Seeing Greene.

GE says dredging causes more pollution

From Andrea Bernstein at WNYC:

The General Electric Corporation is arguing that its clean-up of PCBs from the upper Hudson River is making the pollution worse. GE is telling a panel of scientists meeting today [through Thursday at Queensbury Hotel, Adirondack Room, 88 Ridge Street, Glens Falls] that phase one of the dredging stirred up the toxic chemicals into the river. But the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency says that GE is exaggerating the problem. The panel will make recommendations on how to proceed with the clean up. GE has long argued against the clean up, but in 2001 the Bush administration ordered the company to remove tons of PCBs it released into the Hudson before the chemicals were banned in the 1970s. The Hudson River is the nation’s largest Superfund site.

The Times-Union said of the first day’s meeting:

GE believes so many PCBs were stirred up and moved downriver that future dredging ought to be scaled back and PCBs left behind in the river should be covered over. EPA counters that GE is using one-sided data of questionable reliability, that PCB levels released by dredging were never dangerous and future dredging can be improved to reduce the amount of PCBs escaping into the river.

Current leader

23rd annual River Basin Sports Striper Contest update.

Catskill relocates July 4 fireworks

William J. Kemble in The Daily Freeman reports that on Monday Catskill officially moved the July 4 Dutchmen’s Landing waterfront site on the Hudson River to downtown Catskill. They will shoot the fireworks from either the Catskill High School track or a platform along the Catskill Creek. Read the entire article in The Daily Freeman.

Gordon to host Hudson River estuary forum Thursday

From The Columbia Paper:

Assemblyman Tim Gordon (I-108th) will hold a public forum to 6 p.m. Thursday, April 29, at the Castleton Boat Club, 92 Main Street to discuss ideas and future plans for the Hudson River estuary. Castleton is on Route 9J just north of the Columbia County line. Among the guests at “Our Hudson River: A Community Conversation” will be state Department of Environmental Conservation Hudson River Estuary Coordinator Fran Dunwell, who will present the 2010-12 Draft Action Agenda and will field questions from the community about the DEC’s vision for the river. Other presenters and guests include Rene Van Schaak, a member of the Hudson River Management Advisory Board, and representatives from several community groups in the region. Parking is available at the club as are docking facilities for those arriving by boat.

Striper biting in Hudson River

John MunnoTomG of River Basin Sports reports on the first day of the 23rd annual River Basin Sports Striper Contest tournament going on today on the Hudson River:

Well, it didn’t take too long to get our striped bass contest off to a good start. Early this morning at the crack of dawn John Munno, our past 2006 contest winner, hit the waters of the Hudson River in the vicinity of the Rip Van Winkle Bridge and discovered that yes, indeed, the stripers are here. Using herring as bait over a rock-gravel bottom in about 20 feet of water he landed a 34 incher, lost a couple of others that were hooked and then boated the first contest entry of 2010 – a 38 ½ inch beauty. Now, John knows, just as well as we here at the River Basin Sports shop do, that there is no way this fish has a prayer of finishing in the money but it was his first striper outing of 2010 and – the first contest entry of the year is always a premiere accomplishment here. Since it was the first fish to be entered we also threw it on the shop scale and saw it tip the needle at 21 lbs 13 ounces. Fishing action in the Catskill – Stockport area of the river continues to be fair to good. Slightly further south, around Germantown, decent action is also reported. We received a report from the Castleton T-way bridge area of good action there over the weekend with fish up into the low 30 inch mark. And even up in the Albany-Troy area there is decent action with a few stripers reported to be running up to around the 3 foot size although one report from there is that the herring have become a little bit spotty. Our Striped Bass Contest sign-ups concluded with a RECORD number of registrants – 604. As our participants are probably aware – we are paying back 100% of the entry monies as prizes 1 through 6 to the entrants bringing in the top six fish (length). That means that at least $9,060 will go to the winners. Read the entire article here.

Shad on the rebound?

From The Watershed Post:

American shad, once plentiful in the Hudson and the smaller rivers they return to each year to spawn, have suffered tremendous declines in recent years–so much so that the NY DEC declared them off-limits in the Hudson this year. Nevertheless, the guides at Cross Current Fly Fishing think this is going to be a good year for shad on the Delaware:

Reports of 20+ fish days are common throughout the river up to the Delaware Water Gap. This past week the Pennsylvania Fish & Boat Commission electrofished a stretch of river near Raubsville, PA and averaged 39 fish per hour, a very high number according to fisheries biologists. Read the entire story in The Watershed Post.

Hudson, Athens get boat launch funds

The New York Environmental Protection Fund’s Local Waterfront Revitalization Program will provide $38,542 for the city of Hudson to construct a canoe/kayak launch at the southern end of Henry Hudson Riverfront Park with a secure storage rack for canoes/kayaks will be provided and $22,500 for the village of Athens to construct a dockage system for non-motorized boaters to complete its Fourth Street boat launch, The Business Review (Albany) reports.

Today’s local headlines

City wants to charge for parking at Amtrak
From The Register-Star

HUDSON – Jamie Larson writes that the Hudson Common Council will consider a new tax on mass transit use, charging for parking at the city’s Hudson train station to bring in $197,000 to the city. He only reports the interests of the city, though, and fails to mention which of the two parking lots will feature the up-to-$3-a-day charges, and how the city will deal with folks who stop by for a few minutes to pick someone up and will now, I am guessing, be waiting in the street causing a bit of a traffic mess.

Copake accountant now puts everything in writing
From The Register-Star

COPAKE – Jamie Larson writes that Copake Town Accountant Brian Fitzgerald is now only reporting town budget issues in writing after mysterious town officials who are never indentified in the story blamed him for the town’s estimated $175,000 2009 shortfall. These mystery officials, Larson reports, say Fitzgerald never warned them of the impending deficit. Fitzgerald says they were warned and spent too much money. Why no one else is quoted in this story is the real mystery.

PCBs (not) in the Hudson River
From CCScoop

The Environmental Protection Agency’s current clean-up of polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) in the north Hudson River has not polluted the river downstream, CCScoop reports. “There hasn’t been any significant change in the concentrations in the lower river,” said Patrick Palmer of the New York State Department of Health’s Bureau of Water Supply Protection. The EPA is monitoring the river’s PCB levels at Green Island, Poughkeepsie, Port Ewen, and Rhinebeck. Those municipalities were selected for monitoring every two weeks because they rely on the river for their water supplies.