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See you later accessory structures and homes. Hello dumpster.

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Comment by Alan Flynn on October 16, 2011 at 4:52pm
She's gone and nothings gonna bring her back.
Comment by Alan Flynn on October 11, 2011 at 9:24pm

Demo of two structures approved tonight.  Crappy subdivision on historic property two steps closer?

Comment by Tommy L. Avalon on September 23, 2011 at 8:45pm

Can we get some bricks?

 

 

Comment by Steve Knowles on September 18, 2011 at 7:33pm

Ben:  I have no personal issues with the place, other than offering to help set up the place when I heard it was going to be built in Beacon (I had worked in at least four labs at the time, so I thought I could provide some useful input for any design work that may have been involved with construction of new lab facilities; it was the lack of response to my offer of help that led me to conduct my own investigation of the place).  And Ben, this was not an academic soap opera; this is a simple misuse of executive authority by Pataki, and possible criminal assumption of state money/property.  There is probably no law against what Pataki did (politicians misuse their position in office all the time for a wide range of activities that apparently stay just inside the legal line), but I would like, as a taxpayer, and someone who is concerned about law breaking, like to know if the magical transformation from a state taxpayer funded entity into a private entity was legal.  It would seem to be a very simple investigation, but when I contacted the state Attorney General office, they say that they can't investigate the wrong doing of state employees because they would represent the state employees if there were criminal charges (really, they said that in so many words to me; no wonder this state is so screwed when it comes to the corrupt politicians here!)

 

Regarding the river monitoring:  Although they like to promote that as groundbreaking science, that type of remote monitoring has been going on for more than 20 years throughout the country in rivers and along the coast.  There is already a USGS station at Poughkeepsie and a West Point station, among other locations in the Hudson.

Comment by Philomena on September 15, 2011 at 7:17pm
So is the real-time river monitoring project going on there not worth anyything ? Granted, it seems to be just about the only major project going on there, but it's a live one, with live data, it seems.
Comment by Bud Siegel on September 15, 2011 at 7:07pm
Steve, you are right.  The project was sold to the public as a joint venture between Columbia University and RPI.  It was to be the Woods Hole of rivers and estuaries.  None of that seemed to have happened.  What a shame.
Comment by Ben Royce on September 15, 2011 at 5:15pm

Steve, I'm sorry for the bad blood between you and the Beacon Institute.

 

From what I know about academia, this is always the case in Universities and Colleges and Research Institutions: a constant soap opera of of betrayals, back stabbings, dashed hopes, bitterness, etc. I think what you are complaining about is par for the course. Of course, it's not personal for me, and it sounds personal for you, and I have no intention of belittling your feelings on the matter. No disrespect. I was just commenting on the larger national political issues in the mix here.

 

Comment by Steve Knowles on September 15, 2011 at 4:58pm
You continue to miss my point, and continue to accent the problem! (as discussed previously; was it on another thread?)  As I said, just because something seems to be good, doesn't mean you should waste money, or sell it on false pretenses.  The "Beacon Institute" was "sold" as a research facility.  A legitimate research facility would convene a panel of scientists to select qualified applicants from a pool of PhD professionals with years of experience, who were authors or co-authors of dozens of peer-reviewed publications, who obtained research funding for past research projects, and likely possess prior experience as head of an academic department or other facility.  A legitimate scientific organization does not have a governor (who probably doesn't know how to spell "science") name someone with no qualifications to be the head of a legitimate scientific organization, regardless of whether the unqualified person is a friend of the governor or not. (Bush got into a little hot water with a not too unrelated appointment, if you remember)  If this facility had been billed as a "place for everyone to feel good about caring about the Hudson River and have art displays and talks that don't really have anything to do with science", then that would have been fine, but the whole buildup to it was to establish a "World Class Research Facility".  I know real scientists within the NY State academic community who were livid about the whole "Beacon Institute" fiasco (but were afraid to object because they worried about their own state funding being affected).  I have the luxury of being able to call spades spades on this situation, and others, because I am now separated from the academic community.  Ironically, my academic and research career pretty much ended when I got my PhD (which is in Marine Science, studying fine-grained suspended sediments in rivers and estuaries, with some data collection on the Hudson River).  You won't find anyone chiming in here from the Beacon Institute to offer defense, because they know there isn't any (and the claiming of state money/facilities to become a private organization may have been illegal; but as I said, I can't get any of the worthless NY politicians to care about calling for an investigation)
Comment by Ben Royce on September 15, 2011 at 2:18pm

Steve: there would be no facility without John Cronin.

 

And I like how you phrase it that something smaller was delivered than promised... (creative reasoning implying) ...John Cronin's doing. The truth of how things played out is slightly more complicated than how you phrase it.

 

Plus, the tax money spent on the facility was and is well worth it, in my opinion.

 

This discussion reminds me of the NASA rocket article I read yesterday:

 

http://www.nytimes.com/2011/09/15/science/space/15nasa.html

 

I thought: great work NASA!

 

Then I read the comments:

 

http://community.nytimes.com/comments/www.nytimes.com/2011/09/15/sc...

 

Here you see so much of this new style of small-mindedness, short term view, penny wise pound foolish sort of thinking. I take some small solace that this comment was rated highest:

 

"This is a country of pioneers, from Jamestown and Plymouth, from the Wright brothers to the moon landings, new frontiers is what we are all about. This is what I want my taxes spent on. All the power to NASA." by Roy in California.

 

With the same spirit as Roy, I like the money we spent on the Beacon Institute. I like that my taxes went to the Walkway over the Hudson. And I am 100% for public funds to be spent on a revived incline.

 

Because I'd like to say that I think big, and take the long view, and I want investment in our infrastructure. I would like to think this attitude is closest to the American spirit of embracing grand projects.

 

What we can stop spending trillions on is: pointless foreign wars, and corporate cronyism.

 

So Steve: you are 100% right: our government wastes tons of our taxes. But I believe that you have identified the wrong sector of waste going on. Investing in our infrastructure and quality of life improvements and other domestic projects that the people love and want to spend their tax money on is not waste. Foreign wars and corporate socialism is.

 

Comment by Daisy Burke Simmons on September 15, 2011 at 9:47am

Another person that spent some time at the Craig House was Truman Capote.

 

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