What fate awaits Towers?

IT LOOKS OMINOUS, looming above the city. Bliss Towers, the nine-story, publicly funded apartment building in Hudson has served as a landmark of sorts for more than a third of a century. Now it’s showing its age, and city, state and federal officials have to decide whether to fix it or tear it down.

Architecturally, it’s an eyesore. It suffered from the limited budgets available for rent subsidized apartment buildings as well as a lack of aesthetic vision that dominated mainstream design from the 1950s to early ’70s. Housing projects promised better lives for people in some of the poorest neighborhoods in the U.S.; hardly anybody at the time cared what they looked like. The theory was that the nation could end poverty by warehousing people in soulless boxes that might best be described as Soviet chic. Read more…

What’s the plan?

WHO HAS TIME FOR DEMOCRACY? It gets in the way of progress, makes things more complicated and needlessly encourages the public to demand information about what’s going on. It’s a huge waste of time for the folks who actually have to run things around here.

Nobody said exactly those words, but something like that attitude oozed from the recent decision by the Chatham Town Board to quietly appoint a committee to recommend changes in town land use laws. As one Town Board member put it, the board was “looking for fresh people” to serve on this new committee, which made the process sound more like a trip to the vegetable market than an exercise in self government. Read more…

Take pride in this

THE MAN IN THE WHITE DRESS and the high, white boots caught my attention as I drove past Hudson High School last week. I wear trifocals, so I thought maybe I’d missed something. Then nearby I saw a reporter with a microphone in front of a van from a New York City network TV station. It wasn’t my glasses.

For a moment in the 24-hour news cycle this year’s senior class at Hudson High gave the nation a break from the slow-motion horror show in the Gulf of Mexico and the violence in Afghanistan. The students elected two openly gay teenage boys king and queen of the prom. The Register Star, the daily newspaper in Hudson, says it broke the story, which then rippled through the media universe. Read more…

Albany reveals its ailment

YOU’VE FALLEN, AND MAYBE YOU’VE BROKEN something, so you go to the hospital. But uh oh, the hospital’s closed today. Sorry folks, the state cut the funds, and you’re out of luck.

Or maybe not, though the state did cut $775 million from healthcare spending this week. Read more…

They blinked first… this time

IF YOU DON’T WANNA play by my rules, I’m gonna take all my toys and go home! Then you’ll be sorry. You won’t have anybody to play with!

It’s the classic, take-it-or-leave-it bluff. Parents counsel their kids to work things out, play by the rules and share. Yeah, sure, Mom. But the real lesson for children as well as adults comes in figuring out whether you can call the other person’s bluff and come out the winner. Read more…