Errata, et cetera to Nuvo’s cover story

This was a very informative feature, reporting with clarity the many facets of the issue.

There are several minor aspects which should be clarified.

The report mentions that a news source is affiliated with the Friends of White River which has not taken a position on the dam.  Actually, the source is affiliated with the Anderson-based White River Watchers. Neither the “Watchers” nor the “Friends” have taken a position in opposition to the damming of the river. This failure to act is astonishing, irrespective of whether due to board disagreement/ambivalence, fear of offending certain constituencies and funders, and/or other reasons. These groups were formed to be river advocates and defenders. What can they be thinking?

This failure to speak out reminds of a familiar quote by Edward Abbey, famed writer of wilderness protection and opponent of growth-for-the-sake-of-growth.  “Fence straddlers have no balls. In compensation, however, they enjoy a comfortable seat and can retreat swiftly, when danger threatens, to either side of the fence. There is something to be said for every position.”

Of course, these groups are entitled to be silent and/or to chose the timing of any positions taken.  Yet it’s hoped that they will soon “step forward”.  It’s a question of leadership.

The Nuvo report also plugs the Indianapolis-based Restoring our Waterways (ROW) program which is well-funded and heavily promoted, but which seems like a group of public art advocates and community organizations presuming, in a great show of enlightenment and noble intentions, to solve a non-problem.  A taste of the threat that this presumption poses for the preservation of our natural waterway corridors is reflected in the negative experience of the ad hoc group Save Our Scenic Central Canal which has sought to prevent the historic Central Canal from being over-taken with public art.  It had to virtually go to war to prevent the proponents of an “art-to-art trail” from ramming it down the throats of the community.  More on this at SOSCC’s blog:

The ROW group has not taken a position on the Anderson reservoir issue, not should they stick their noses into it. They will want to turn it into some kind of supercilious urban public art stage. Our rivers deserve better; indeed, they deserve to be left alone for a change.


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