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Above: A low-tech annotation (with a marker pen) by Byrne Fone, of a photograph that appeared in Tuesday’s Independent.

April 16 -- Residents of Columbia and Greene counties could clearly see the red, blue, green and yellow test balloons flown at the site of St. Lawrence Cement’s coal-fired cement manufacturing, mining and riverfront transport facility proposed for Hudson and Greenport.

The sightings occurred in spite of higher-than-expected winds, which at times caused balloons to be pushed substantially lower to the ground than intended, and even disappear altogether. At least one of the tallest balloons had to be relaunched mid-day, and another became caught in trees.

Residents spotted the towering balloons at multiple locations in every direction, including key viewpoints at Olana State Historic Site, from boats on the Hudson River, and numerous other vantage points including:

HUDSON Promenade Hill, Hudson Cemetery, Hudson Waterfront Park, Lower Warren Street, 5th and Warren Street, Plumb-Bronson House, Willard Place, and South Bay; GREENPORT Fairview Avenue, Town Hall Drive, Middle Road, St. Lawrence Cement parking lot, Greenport Town Garage, Ten Broeck Lane, Route 9G, Route 23; CLAVERACK Webb Road, Route 23B, Route 9H & 23, Stone Mill Road; ATHENS Route 385, Athens Waterfront Park; COXSACKIE Farm-to-Market Road; LIVINGSTON Routes 31 and 14, among many others.