HASSO HERING

A perspective from Oregon’s mid-Willamette Valley

DEQ fines city over Talking Water leaks

Written July 16th, 2019 by Hasso Hering

Listening to the calming murmurs of Albany’s Talking Water Gardens on a sunny afternoon, you would not think there could be a problem. But there is, or at least the DEQ thinks it’s a problem.


Talking Waters: A little mystery and some news

Written June 2nd, 2019 by Hasso Hering

This is an oak with three trunks, trunks that have grown around what looks like a storm sewer grate. The question is: How come? How did it get there?


At Talking Waters, an added feature

Written May 30th, 2019 by Hasso Hering

At Albany’s Talking Water Gardens the other day, I noticed something new: Three spiffy bike racks near the entrance. Is that supposed to be a hint to bike riders to leave their wheels behind and proceed on foot?


Caught in the act: Surreptitious dumping

Written December 21st, 2018 by Hasso Hering

Sometimes video surveillance of public property pays off. Consider, for example, the entrance to Albany’s Water Gardens, which not too long ago somebody mistook for a good place to discard a couch.


After this fire, an excess of caution?

Written August 29th, 2018 by Hasso Hering

You can’t say Albany city officials are not cautious. Overly, extra, super cautious sometimes. As when they kept Simpson Park and the Talking Water Gardens off limits a full day after a fire nearly a mile away was put out.


Suit details city damage claims

Written December 7th, 2017 by Hasso Hering

Albany is asserting damage claims totaling some $84 million in the lawsuit it has filed over problems at the city’s wastewater treatment plant and the nearby constructed wetlands, the Talking Water Gardens.


Wastewater woes: Millions at stake

Written December 1st, 2017 by Hasso Hering

Albany and Millersburg completed their new wastewater treatment plant on the Willamette River in 2009 at a cost of around $70 million borrowed from the state. Three years later, for about $14 million, they finished the Talking Water Gardens. Neither project has worked entirely as planned, and now the cities may go to court over […]


Water Gardens: Talking again

Written April 28th, 2016 by Hasso Hering

  Albany’s Talking Water Gardens once again has plenty of water after being almost drained over the past few weeks to help get new plants established in the shallow ponds. The plant cover has been an issue, because without it these constructed wetlands can’t meet their intended purpose of reducing the temperature of water being discharged […]


One small symbol of decay

Written March 20th, 2016 by Hasso Hering

For 11 years now, this bridge on Albany’s Cox Creek has been restricted to one lane, with concrete barriers and piles of gravel closing half of it. It looks like a permanent symbol of our crumbling infrastructure, which in itself may be a sign that our civilization is slowly falling apart.


How about fixing this bridge?

Written October 22nd, 2015 by Hasso Hering

Albany and Millersburg like to show off their Talking Water Gardens. But to get there, visitors first have to pass over this sad-looking bridge. While the water gardens have won awards as an ingenious system for treating and cooling wastewater, the gateway to it seems to reflect a regrettable degree of infrastructure neglect.


 
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