The county executive and residents are still trying to make news over the releases of turbid water from the Ashokan Reservoir into the waste channels at the Ashokan Center and on into the Esopus. A meeting in Saugerties last week allowed still more howling. But the fact is that the releases have been stopped, earlier than New York City planned and all the continued uproar appears for cosmetic purposes. Sure, it’s politically advantageous to oppose New York City’s stewardship of its watershed property, playing to the locals. But there’s a hollowness to the ringing cries after the battle is over. But, in fact, New York City has just been awarded a new 15-year Water Supply Permit, allowing it to continue to purchase land to keep it pristine to protect the water that is going downstate. It’s true that the work done and the ire raised helped elevate the consciousness regarding the turbid releases, and contributed to New York City’s decision to stop the muddy water’s flowing. But there’s quiet, non-political work to be done now, no need to keep pummeling the vanquished opponent.
It’s Phoenicia that we’re more worried about as the temperature rises this week and rain is in the forecast. Friday’s temperature is predicted to be in the mid 50s and showers are expected. What’s to become of this hamlet, now the sixth coolest small town according to Budget Travel magazine? Will there be tubing down Main Street? It’s up to the state DEC to decide to allow Shandaken officials to do what they think will help. It’s time to let them.
Some things about winter we like…no mosquitoes; no pollen allergies; the clean, brittle air; the lack of traffic on the main roads; being warm when it’s freezing outside…fire in the fireplace. We’re just saying, because there’s still another month or more to go. ++