Back to Metroland's Home Page!
 Columns & Opinions
   The Simple Life
   Comment
   Reckonings
   Opinion
   Letters
   Poetry
 News & Features
   Newsfront
   F.Y.I.
   Features
   Profile
 Dining
   This Week's Review
   The Dining Guide
   Leftovers
 Cinema & Video
   Weekly Reviews
   Picture This
   Clips
   The Movie Schedule
 Music
   Listen Here
   Live
   Recordings
   Noteworthy
   Clubs & Concerts
 Arts
   Theater
   Dance
   Art
   Classical
   Books
   Art Murmur
 Calendar
   Night & Day
   Event Listings
 Classifieds
   View Classified Ads
   Place a Classified Ad
 Personals
   Online Personals
   Place A Print Ad
 AccuWeather
 About Metroland
   Where We Are
   Who We Are
   What We Do
   Work For Us
   Place An Ad

Dark Sneak Love-the-Environment Action

Not all the news on the Hudson cement-plant front is bad for opponents of St. Lawrence Cement’s proposed new factory. At the very least, citizens of Hudson have one positive thing to look forward to: They can expect to get a rockin’ show out of the whole mess.

On Saturday evening, the Tom Tom Club, the Hotheads and Julee Cruise will perform at a new club in Hudson in support of Friends of Hudson and its work to protect the environment in and around Columbia County. Most notably, Friends of Hudson has led the fight against St. Lawrence Cement, the Canadian-based cement manufacturer that wants to build a sprawling, $300 million cement factory right outside the city limits. Since the proposal first reared its head in 1998, Friends has been working to expose its potential to be environmentally and economically detrimental to the community—not to mention downright ugly.

Despite SLC’s claims that it will be a cleaner, more state-of-the-art facility than other cement plants, it is estimated that the plant will spew up to 250 tons of particulate matter into the air, not to mention thousands of tons of carbon dioxide and volatile compounds. Friends also contends that the cement plant will adversely affect the city’s booming arts and antiques market. In the past decade, a growing community of New York City expatriates has begun to call Hudson home, and every weekend, thousands of tourists flock to the city’s main thoroughfare, Warren Street, to browse its dozens of art galleries and antiques stores.

“Can anyone point to a single example of a plant which has brought health and prosperity to a town like ours?” wrote Friends of Hudson vice president Peter Jung on the group’s Web site (www.friendsofhudson.com). “Take a drive through the cement towns on Route 9W across the Hudson River: all of them are economically depressed and struggling.”

So on Saturday night, the group will get a little PR boost when poet laureate John Ashbery, poet Robert Kelly, the Tom Tom Club (featuring former Talking Heads Tina Weymouth and Chris Frantz), the Hotheads and Julee Cruise show their support for the cause. The show will, according to the concert organizers at Club Helsinki in Great Barrington, Mass., “provide a forum for their efforts to enhance the quality of life in our area by protecting our health and environment, our air and water quality and our tremendous agricultural resources. Club Helsinki would like to show support from across the [state] border and applaud their hard work and passion.”

The festivities will be held at the Port of Hudson, a new club opened in the recently renovated building that used to house the Basilica Industry (commonly known around the city as “the glue factory”).

For ticket prices and details about the show, you can visit the Club Helsinki Web site at www.clubhelsinkiweb.com or see Also Noted on page 39.

Props to Club Helsinki for organizing the show—its first event staged in Columbia County.

—E.S.

Who’s Watching the Kids?

The expansion of a New York state program to supervise troubled youths is troubling those in charge of the supervising.

After an eight-month delay, the Persons in Need of Supervision program, used to monitor the behavior of and mediate relations between parents and incorrigible youths, expanded to include 16- and 17-year-olds on July 1. According to critics, the expansion was not coupled with a rise in funding adequate to support the county offices preparing to deal with the expected growth in P.I.N.S. cases.

“We have some funding, but not enough,” said Gus Thompson, commissioner of Albany County Department for Children, Youth and Families. “One of the biggest problems is having to fulfill state mandates without having more funds from the state.”

Thompson doesn’t think the $4.6 million allocated from the budget is sufficient to allow New York’s 58 counties to properly deal with an expected case increase. According to a 2001 study by the Vera Institute of Justice, P.I.N.S. cases statewide could increase by anywhere from 69 percent to 106 percent.

Assemblyman Stephen Kaufman (D-Bronx), the bill’s sponsor, has another opinion on the matter.

“If these offices were more efficient in how they operated the program itself, they would have the funds available,” Kaufman said. “They’ve had time to get ready, but they’ll never be ready because all they do is walk with their hands out.”

Kaufman said the P.I.N.S. program is too quick to place youths in expensive foster-care facilities when that money could be better spent ensuring that the parent-child relationship is not broken.

Since November 2001, the initial date for the program’s expansion, the Albany County Office of Probation and Department of Children, Youth and Families, which dealt with 568 cases last year, has been working to prepare for the expected influx of P.I.N.S. cases by hiring new caseworkers and engaging current employees in various training sessions.

“We are in a position where we will be able to respond to a need, but a lot depends on the number of cases we’ll be dealing with,” Thompson said. “We’ll certainly try to provide services, we won’t shirk our responsibility, but it won’t be easy to do.”

—Travis Durfee


Send A Letter to Our Editor
Back Home
   
0104_116E
In Association with Amazon.com
columbia house DVD 120X90
Banner 10000159
Pick7_120x60
jcrew.com 120x60
 
Copyright © 2002 Lou Communications, Inc., 4 Central Ave., Albany, NY 12210. All rights reserved.