On “The Mystery Off Shore”

To The Nyack Villager—
As a frequent visitor to Memorial Park I enjoyed Katie Karkheck’s article “The Mystery Off Shore” in your August issue.

I was a Nyack resident in 1955, although my senior year in college and active duty in the Navy kept me away a lot. Nevertheless, I knew about the barges and have a different slant on the story.

Mayor John Kilby did intend to extend the Park and build a marina, but he did not plan to fill all the way out to the barge and did not miscalculate the amount of fill required, although that makes a good tale.

The park was substantially extended to its present size, and that part of the project was a success. The concrete barge and about a dozen wooden barges were accepted from the contractor who had just finished building the Tappan Zee Bridge and didn’t need them any more. The barges were sunk to form a rectangular basin for the marina. The concrete barge and three or four wooden ones formed the eastern, or outer, wall of the proposed marina.

The current fishing pier is a remnant of the south wall which was originally extended out with more barges to meet the east wall. The north wall was similarly made of barges and had an opening for boats to go in and out. You can still see the ribs of the inner barge of the north wall at low tide.

The big miscalculation by Village officials was not of the amount of fill but rather of the tremendously destructive force of Hudson River storms and the cost of maintaining and operating a marina.

When I got back to Nyack full time in 1960, the proposed boat basin was already a derelict. The exposed parts of the wooden barges were gradually battered away by the waves and the shell of the concrete barge remains to arouse curiosity about its past.

—Win Perry
President, Historical Society of the Nyacks

The People’s Climate March

To The Nyack Villager—
On Sunday, September 21, tens of thousands of people will converge on NYC to march peacefully to call on the UN and on our Congress for urgent action on climate change. The People’s Climate March is timed to coincide with the UN Summit on Climate Change, to call on world leaders for courageous leadership and decisive action. An end to business as usual.

Hurricanes Sandy and Katrina, Typhoon Haiyyan, freakish storms, monster wildfires and severe droughts —we are seeing devastating impacts from climate change already. A drumbeat of authoritative scientific reports this year brought equally sobering news: we have only a few years to change course in order to avoid far worse.

We are beginning to see a major shift in consciousness. In our own lifetime we’ve seen that enormous change can happen very quickly, suddenly reaching a tipping point. Think of the Civil Rights movement or the fall of the Soviet Union. If our leaders lack the political courage, let’s show them there’s a groundswell for change!

Environmental leader Bill McKibben wrote, “It’s time for the elders to begin acting like elders, to stand up to protect the younger generations.” On September 21 over 700 groups—including faith groups, unions, environmental groups—will walk together in this historic march, to call for a world with good jobs and clean air and water.

You can sign up for the march at http://peoplesclimate.org/march/

Take the Climate Train from Tarrytown or reserve a seat on one of the buses. The next generations depend on what we do now.

—Peggy Kurtz, Nyack

[Editor’s Note: Ms. Kurtz urges us to carpool to bus or train.]

Streets feel like tank tracks
To The Nyack Villager—
I grew up in Nyack and now live in North Carolina. I just came back from visiting my Mom this August and thought my car was going to shake apart. I was shocked. With all the taxes paid in Nyack, one would think the roads wouldn’t feel like tank tracks. I’ve noticed this over the last 2 years on my visits. Someone needs to do something.
—Daniel Scott Fitzgerald, Wilson, NC

[Editor’s Note: As everyone who endured the unusually harsh winter of 2013-14 knows, pavement all over the Northeast was left in ruins. According to Jim Politi, Nyack’s Village Manager, repairs are underway; The Village of Nyack, Orangetown Township and Orange & Rockland Utilities will soon spend a combined $3 million to iron out the tank tracks.

What’s happening at the Playhouse Market?

To The Nyack Villager—
Does The Villager have any information about what has happened to the Playhouse Market? It seems to be closed already, after just a few months of what appeared to be brisk business. And yesterday (Wed, Aug. 6) there was a good size crowd of former employees demonstrating outside the market building, holding signs indicating that they had not been paid for their work.

Any info and insight into the situation would be appreciated by all. Thanks,

—Judith Meyers, Nyack

(Editor’s note—At this writing in Mid-August, all we can tell you is what is posted on the glass door at the Playhouse Market: that the market is closed for the time being, but to watch for developments in a couple of weeks. We wish all connected with the market some good luck (for a change) and a speedy re-opening.)