You call that art?

AS CRIMES GO, this one was so low on the scale of severity that you’d probably have to give it a featherweight rating. That probably makes it heavier than the brain of the moron who perpetrated it. But you also have to wonder what extremes of ignorance, alcohol abuse or twisted motivation lead a person to vandalize artwork on display in a public place.

The work of six local sculptors now graces part of the wide grassy strip along Hudson Avenue in Chatham where the train tracks once ran. The pieces range from whimsical silhouettes of wild animals to abstract constructions, all of them scaled to fit comfortably in this open stretch bordered by the road on one side and on the other by the paved pathway that runs from the traffic light to the Price Chopper plaza. Read more…

It’s a long way to Albany

JOEL TYNER CAN WALK AND TALK at the same time. It’s a useful skill for a politician. Think of all the people who end up with their feet in their mouths instead of on the ground.

Mr. Tyner’s timing is not so good. He picked the hottest week in decades to walk from Manhattan to Albany. But the trip has given him plenty of time to talk on his cell phone about the slow motion disaster called a New York state budget and his plan to challenge Andrew Cuomo for the Democratic nomination for governor. Read more…

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…