Kingston is becoming a hothouse for the interplay of past and future. How does a small city justifiably proud of its long and illustrious history negotiate its route to a prosperous future? How should it evolve?
For more than 40 years New York State has been struggling to figure out how to transmit upstate and Canadian power down through the Hudson Valley to New York City. A lot has changed in that long period of time. State energy strategists see the alternatives differently than they used to. But the question of expanding the southward network of transmission lines has not gone away.
Grain production in the Hudson Valley hasn’t been central to local agricultural practice for over a century. That may be changing.
It was about six years ago, maybe more by now, that assemblyperson Kevin Cahill was shown around the Rhinebeck Middle School by district school superintendent Joe Phelan. The school was buzzing with hands-on activity.
‘Eviction,” derived from the Latin word evictus means being subjugated or conquered by judicial means. It’s a harsh word. Eviction from a home is not a happy event. Eviction is no neutral institution, not a simple misunderstanding in a contract between two parties. Especially in poor neighborhoods, eviction is a process that often binds poor and rich people together in mutual dependence and struggle, writes sociologist and field anthropologist Matthew Desmond in his 2016 book Evicted.
Almost everybody, it seems, is, in principle, in favor of “fair share” housing, by which affordable housing choices for disadvantaged and poor people are geographically distributed. On practice,however, jurisdictions find no lack of justification for exclusionary policies.
What if an additional ten million dollars was spent in the immediate region with the focus on grants to demonstration projects and key intermediaries? The funds would go not for physical capital but for the strengthening of community-building human capital. What kind of transformation might that approach add to the mix? That could never happen, you say? You’re wrong. It’s already happening. Here and now.
In Ulster County, the top ﬁfth of Ulster County ﬁlers had more income than the remaining four-ﬁfths. Is that equitable? Like folks elsewhere, most residents would have a ready answer — probably based on their political beliefs.
What if you are uncomfortable with offering tax incentives to businesses to locate in your jurisdiction, worrying that the jobs you are competing for in exchange for those incentives might not be worth the losses in revenues to which you are agreeing? Worried about corporate welfare? What should we be doing differently to spur economic development? In Ulster County as elsewhere, the folks who give the tax breaks are pondering the answers to these questions.
It’s ironic. Though discount carrier Norwegian Air is skating on perilously thin financial ice these days, its first full year of international service at Stewart Airport was not responsible for that red ink. On the contrary. Ending the year with a flourish, the airline’s year-end numbers signal an indisputable success at Stewart.