Bombogenesis and Beacon

Bombogenesis and Beacon


Anyone who missed the chance for a snowy stroll this past Saturday morning will have another opportunity shortly. As the Hudson Valley Weather guy described it, we are in for a bombogenesis. What a fun word. It has a technical meteorological definition, but it could be repurposed generally to mean something along the lines of “the beginning of the end.” It also has the advantage of not being burdened with the prophetic undertones (and ubiquitousness) of apocalypse.

creek from bridge in snow

Of course, the first day of every new year is the beginning of the end. So is birth. Life is a death sentence, not a beach! (Happy Belated New Year.) This cycle thing applies even to empires and civilizations, if history is any indication. (And it is.) If you put the birth of our current industrial civilization at roughly 300 years ago, it hasn’t been a terribly long run. However, we are now fully in the midst of many of the same issues responsible for the fall of all those other civilizations. Chief among these is the limits of resources—you know, finite planet, blah, blah, blah, etc. But hey, what are you gonna do?

As it happens, answering that question is the main focus of this blog. And for the last six months or so, I’ve searched for ways to more directly tie the idea of building a local economy into what is happening in the larger picture. It turns out there are so many ways, all that choice froze me up.

So I am going to just plunge in and let it go where it will, so please excuse the vague and rambling nature of this post. As we go forward, the goal will be to head toward more clarity and focus. There are lots of resources on the web that cover in great detail what is actually happening to the global economy (as opposed to what is fed to us by mainstream media), what peak oil means, how these issues are related, and how it might play out in the not too distant future. In the next few posts, I’ll sketch out some of the basics, including the huge drop in the price of oil over the past six months, and what it portends for us here in Beacon. Most important, we’ll also continue to look at what we can do, projects like new uses for the old prison near the high school.

Wigwam will also keep looking at local development projects and whether they make sense. To  mention just one case, I’ve had a post in draft form on the topic of Beacon’s Big Beer Grant bottled up for over a month that will finally come to a head and be on tap in the next week. (Sorry. Really.)

We’ll also look at Beacon’s latest parking study. Parking is always a favorite topic here at Wigwam, and as it happens, my short walk last Saturday to the bagel shop took me past what will in all likelihood be Beacon’s latest and greatest new municipal parking lot, on Churchill Street just off Main.

In summary, building more places to put our cars is not a wise use of taxpayer money or creekside land at this point in the game. Please see the photo captions for more details.

At least one of my friends is worried that if I become as strident on this blog as I sometimes am in life when discussing these issues, I will turn everyone away and lose all my friends. He wonders if my ultimate goal is to be able to sit in a corner and say “See, I told you so!” as civilization tumbles down around me. While I believe my involvement in a number of action-oriented projects belies the fact that I’m all talk, the underlying motivations behind the gloating, I-was-right-you-were-wrong scenario can’t be summarily dismissed, and I’ll attempt to examine some of the the psychological aspects of living in end times in these posts as well. By early spring I also hope to have the first few editions of Wigwam Radio wrapped up over at The Ground. Stay tuned.

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3 Responses to Bombogenesis and Beacon

  1. Kathryn Janus says:

    Having lived on the corner of Churchill and Spring Valley for eleven years, we know that the plan for the proposed parking lot is incredibly misguided. Anyone who knows Beacon knows that the intersection of Tioronda, Churchill, Main Street and East Main is already a very dangerous corner – for pedestrians and cars alike. The idea that people would exit the parking lot and walk up that steep hill to get into town, when they have to cross railroad tracks where no sidewalk can be built is ludicrous. I traverse that corner both by foot and by car to get into town, and it is quite hazardous at all hours. Cars speed around the corner coming from East Main Street. The incline of the hill causes cars to slide back as they wait for their turn to get into town. Any inclement weather makes the intersection much more challenging. The idea that we’d add more traffic to that corner is simply asking for trouble. AND, it would bring more traffic to Spring Valley Street, a block away, which is narrow, two-way, with no sidewalks. Not to mention that Spring Valley is an up and coming, quiet, residential neighborhood. Read up on the effects of parking lots next to bodies of water. This parking lot would be right adjacent to Fishkill creek. Fumes, trash, fuel – it will all go into that creek. Anyone who cares about environmental issues should be furious. People, people – speak UP about this. It is absolutely wrong for Beacon in all ways – environmental, safety-wise, and esthetic. Go to that corner yourself if you’re not familiar with it and observe. This is SO obviously wrong is impossible to understand why it is even being considered, much less in the works. How very very sad and infuriating.

  2. Joan Martorano says:

    Informative and relevant, as usual. It’s a shame that that parcel, which has so much potential for recreation (a village green where people could gather, music could be played, etc.) is going to be parking. And the egress is a nightmare. That’s the most dangerous intersection in Beacon.

    I, too, see our human adventure on this planet as doomed. Still, I struggle on.

    We really need a collective solar initiative in Beacon. Leasing, the capitalist alternative, is not the answer. There is momentum now. Is there anyone working on this? I love the idea of hydropower too.

    Thanks, and carry on.

  3. Mark — Great posting. Yes, a bit rambling, but always interesting. I’m keeping an eye on our new parking lot as well. Certainly a prime piece of real estate. Hoping there’s a more inspired use for it.