As first reported here, voter turnout for Tuesday’s Democratic Congressional primary contest between Julian Schreibman and Joel Tyner was dismal. Fewer than 1 in 10 registered Democrats bothered to participate in the new 11-county 19th District.
That sub-10% figure also applied to Democrats here in Columbia County. Below is a town-by-town chart of how each municipality in the County did, turnout-wise, correlating Board of Elections tallies and voter registration data obtained last March:
Remarkably, County Democratic Chair Cyndy Hall characterized these numbers as a “tremendous victory” for her party committee... If 9 out of 10 voters staying home is a tremendous victory, one wonders what a tremendous failure would look like.
UPDATE: Primaries 0f course tend to attract fewer voters than general elections. However, as a point of reference showing how poor Tuesday’s turnout was: More than 550 Democrats voted in the 2011 primary between Nick Haddad and Linda Mussmann; but this week, fewer than 150 voters cast ballots in Hudson.
The citizens’ organization Protect Ghent has posted a strong letter from Congressman Chris Gibson (R-Kinderhook) to in support of a more stringent review of NYSEG's proposed power line. Gibson notes that the line potentially would impact three towns he represents: Chatham, Ghent and Stockport. The Congressman hits all the key points that concerned residents have been raising when he writes that:
Specifically, I am concerned about the loss of active agricultural lands in one of our state's more rural areas, the projects potential impacts on important historic and archeological resources, and its visual impacts on our parks, recreation areas, open space and scenic byways, all of which contribute to the unique community and neighborhood character of Columbia County in general, and my District in particular, which the residents have cultivated and protected for decades.
Possibly alluding to the power company’s end-around of local zoning, Gibson further notes that he is “deeply concerned with NYSEG’s apparent disregard of the input of an concerns expressed by local elected officials in my district.”
Gibson’s letter concludes by urging the Commission to place “the agriculatural, environmental and social concers set forth above on at least an equal footing with cost concerns or administrative convenience. The law requires it, and our residents deserve nothing less.”
Perhaps not coincidentally, five days following Gibson’s June 17th letter, the PSC sent NYSEG notification that its application was incomplete. The agency found that due to “deficiencies” in the company’s filing, it does not comply with their requirements to begin a public hearing process.
By getting out in front of this issue in the heart of his District, Gibson also accomplishes a secondary task: forcing the region’s often-hesitatant Democratic establishment to play catch-up. Protect Ghent also reports that members have solicited similar help from Democrat Didi Barrett, who was recently elected to the State Assembly, and are hopeful that they will get her support as well. (The Columbia County Democrats seem more interested in trying but failing to gin up partisan outrage over small stuff like vanity license plates, rather than leading on substantive issues that might actually change people lives.)
An article published in the October 22nd, 1893 issue of the New York Times notes that “nearly all” of the names used for towns, creeks and regions along the Hudson River were “corruptions of the Indian or old Dutch titles.”
The Dutch discarded the Native American names of Sha-te-muc and Muh-he-kun-ne-tuk, and divided what they instead called the Mauritius or North River (the Delaware being the South River) into “fourteen rocks or reaches.” The Times article states that
“The last of the reaches of which any knowledge is extant is the Hil Klauver Reach, or the Clover Reach. This is the one at Hudson. The bluffs, or termination of the hills there, on the east side of the river, were called by the Dutch the Klauvers, the Clovers, from their resemblance to the clover, but whether to the leaf or the flower opinions differ.”
Hudson’s shore today is artificially regular, a slightly curved line created by Vanderbilt’s railroad and other industrial infill. But at the time of its founding in 1785 what became known as Promenade Park was a spit of land jutting well out into the river, with spurs on either side leading down to large, open inlets—the North and South Bays. One can imagine that when drawn on a map, someone might liken this resulting shape to a cloverleaf.
(Warren Street itself began as a series of ledges and gulleys, the latter of which were filled in to make a mile-long continuous slope down toward the river. There was apparently a particularly large drop-off around 3rd Street.)
The name Claverack is thus a bastardization of the Dutch for Clover
Reach, and Hudson prior to its acquisition by the Proprietors was known
as Claverack Landing.
The City of Hudson sold off the lands which now comprise much of Stockport in 1833, with another vast chunk of acreage carved away to form Greenport in 1837; the mayor responisble promptly became the head of that new town. Those who stayed behind in Hudson figured that they wouldn’t suffer any consquences from these sales, since these new neighboring towns would still be dependent on Hudson’s port for imports and exports, and thus deemed what now looks like a shortsighted sale as a windfall for the City without any downside.
Neither the invention of railroads nor the advent of Fairview Avenue shopping centers were developments they anticipated—demonstrating how one cannot plan far enough ahead and for enough eventualities when creating a vision for a community.