Posts Tagged ‘Hudson River’

Take America Out to the Ball Game

Friday, July 1st, 2022
Playing ball at Dutchess Stadium. RJ Photography RJ Photography

Playing ball at Dutchess Stadium.
RJ Photography

By Bob Gaydos

It was ‘90s Prom Night. All the music was from the ‘90s. There were teenaged girls in lovely prom dresses. Their dates wore matching tuxes. There was a race against a video opponent. Sing the next line of the song. Show us your best ‘90s dance moves. Yes, musical chairs! Crown a prom king and queen. A rousing chorus of “God Bless America.” A six-year-old boy wearing a DiMaggio #5 jersey. A 66-year-old wearing a Maris #9. Another rousing chorus of “Take Me Out to ….” … Yes. The ball game.

     But not just any ballgame. A Hudson Renegades/Brooklyn Cyclones ballgame. Class A minor league baseball at its best. The future Yankees (the Renegades) hosted the future Mets at a splendid ballpark in Dutchess County, not far from the Hudson River and a one-hour commuter train ride from the big ballpark in the Bronx.

    What better way to spend a perfect summer night than with America’s traditional pastime when much of the rest of the country was participating in America’s new pastime — bickering over how serious it was that a defeated president threw his lunch against the wall because his coup attempt was not going well. A couple of thousand locals thought the same.

     The only hint of possible friction at the ballpark came when the public address announcer reported that the Houston Astros had defeated the Mets that afternoon. The hometown Renegades/Yankees fans cheered loudly. All in fun.

      Americans, I think, are desperate to have fun again. Real fun, relaxed fun, not frenetic demonstrations of rebellion against a Covid mask mandate or some other hyped display of look-at-me bravado.

     A hot-dog-at-a-ballgame kind of fun.

     Without trying to sound corny, a night out with friends at Dutchess Stadium really was a perfect antidote for what ailed me — Trumper tantrums, MAGA mania and a Supreme Court run amok. I had had the unsettling talk with myself earlier that went something like, “I’ve been promoting a pro-choice, gun control, equal rights, save-the-planet agenda in my writing for decades and yet, here we are. I need a ballgame.”

       I was right.

      The whole country needs a ball game, especially one between young men in their early 20s chasing a dream – to someday become a Yankee or a Met. I’d venture to say that, to most in the crowd, the outcome of the game didn’t matter nearly as much as simply being there.

        Even when the Renegades pitcher walked the first Cyclone batter, hit the next one with a pitch and gave up a home run on his first pitch to the third batter, everyone seemed to be pretty relaxed, having a good time, except maybe the Renegades pitcher.

       But never fear, there was still a lot of baseball to be played. And hotdogs and burgers and peanuts and popcorn and french fries and even tacos to be eaten. Local sponsors got promoted on the big screen. Birthdays were announced. Bases were stolen and home runs were hit. Three in all. 

        In the end, the Renegades won, 8 to 5.  In honor of the evening’s theme, there was dancing on the field after the game to ‘90s music under flashing colored lights. Dancing on the field!

         To top it off, since the Renegades are now an uptown team, they play the Yankees’ traditional send-the-fans-home-happy song — Frank Sinatra singing “New York, New York.” We all knew the words.

          Start spreading the news. The MAGAs will still be there. I’ll make a brand new start of it … Tomorrow.

         Boy, did I make the right call about needing a ball game.

rjgaydos@gmail.com

Bob Gaydos is writer-in-residence at zestoforange.com.     

       

 

Getting Back to Indian Point

Thursday, May 29th, 2014

By Jeffrey Page

Indian Point

Indian Point

I had conveniently forgotten to think about Indian Point and its attendant horrors, but as always seems to happen when you’re in a state of denial, the truth taps you on the shoulder and howls in your ear.

Several days ago I was at breakfast with some friends, a regular Friday event. I don’t recall what led to talk about Indian Point, but all of sudden there it was, the silent monstrosity that sits on the banks of the Hudson seeming to bide its time. I think everyone at the table harbored a fear that one of these days, Indian Point will do the unimaginable.

It will explode, or it will leak, or it will send plumes of radioactive smoke into the sky and force millions of people to wait to see where it comes down. Or it will be visited by people who despise us and it will fail to stop them from making off with material to make dirty bombs.

There seems to be enough radioactive waste stored at Indian Point to make more than a few such bombs. In fact, Riverkeeper estimates that Indian Point now holds about 1,500 tons of waste material – with no place to dispose of it permanently.

I have to wonder about security at Indian Point. A couple of years ago, a photographer and I chugged up the Hudson to do a story on sailing the river and the Erie Barge Canal. We were in mid-river as we passed Indian Point. My friend attached a very long lens to one of his cameras and started shooting pictures of the plant. Then the two of us waved.

Response from the ever vigilant Indian Point?

There was no response. No federal agents, no armed guards in fast boats, no loud warning buzzers played over big amplifiers.

If all this is not enough for the feds to reject the application by Entergy – the Indian Point operator – for a 20-year extension on its operating license, there is the matter of the size of the population near Indian Point. There’s another problem: Entergy’s evacuation plan is utter nonsense.

On a map, draw a circle with a 50-mile radius around Indian Point, step back and understand that roughly 20 million people are in that circle. People in Goshen, Middletown, Newburgh, the mid-Hudson, North Jersey, etc. Let us not forget that there’s an important federal interest in taming Indian Point – its proximity to West Point, just five miles up the river.

And there’s the little matter of New York City. Indian Point is about 23 miles from Times Square.

The word “evacuation” should not be allowed when discussing Indian Point. Not when 20 million mostly panic-stricken people would be trying to leave the 78 square miles around the plant all at the same time.

You can’t evacuate an area when the evacuation routes are clogged. Ever notice what happens on Route 17 when two cars smack each other in Sloatsburg during the morning commute? The backup builds quickly and there’s no way out. And that’s just for a jam of a few hundred cars. Now picture that traffic knot with thousands upon thousands of cars trying to escape.

Indian Point needs to be taken more seriously by people like me – people who have managed not to think much about it lately. It needs to be always in the public consciousness. Remember, most of us never heard of Three Mile Island, Chernobyl and Fukushima until they blew.

And may I offer a piece of gratuitous advice for nuclear regulators: Before that license extension is considered, I suggest that the officers and directors of Entergy be required to move – with their spouses and their children – to Buchanan, N.Y., home of Indian Point.

I’m sure this has been suggested before. It’s time to suggest it again.