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Posted by: Doug K
« on: May 05, 2020, 11:25:08 am »

I was quite surprised at the replies that the Westside news sent... lesson learned.

The staff there are firm believers in "Freedom of the Press", even if that means changing the narrative by changing the chronological order of the "statements" they decide to publish. And they frown a bit on the public's right to "Freedom of Speech" when they are called out for inaccuracies.

Here's the reply I rec'd first:

So I wrote back again...

And that ruffled some feathers...because the name calling and public bashing began.

So here was my final reply, which I will post here. I have fixed my own grammar and spelling mistakes from the original email send today:

In case you missed the point...

You published a story about continued Erie Canal Closure

You cited the NYSCC statements about infrastructure safety issues

Then you changed to the view of the National Heritage Folks that this is a Covid-19 closure that should be lifted for the public's best interest on recovery... because the Heritage Corridor folks thought blowing off public safety due to Canal structure safety was a good statement to make, a mistake on their part.

Your order of reporting events & statements of others, which were not in chronological order, added to the confusion. In addition, NOT stating AFTER you posted the Erie Canal National Heritage Corridor statement that the Canal Corp has cited STRUCTURE safety issues, not a pandemic that is keeping the canal closed, only added to the misrepresentation.

Maybe this would have been just a bit more accurate, if you had put the ECNHC April 8 Letter first, and then the NYSCC statement from April 23 after. As one was a request to open, and the other was the answer, right?

So again, claiming you had no role here, as the press, seems off. Just getting statements in the proper order might have helped out. But you might be one of those in the "press" that thinks the public is "against them" if they critique your work in any way  shape, or form.

Freedom of the Press is a right, but maybe the word "responsible" should be added before Press.

But then again, that might not sell the way the press would like at times.

Take care,
Doug Kucmerowski
Erie Canal Neighbors Association
Posted by: Michael Caswell
« on: May 03, 2020, 12:46:17 pm »

What worries me more about Fairport and the COVID problem is that The Erie Canal is a direct channel to New York City.  Yes, that metropolis at the other end of the canal. Isn't that the place that is TEEMING with dying and infected people?
And you want boats mooring up in our village that have come directly  from that hell? In the 2-4 days it probably takes to get here, symptoms would not even show (I believe).
We only want ONE infected person to set foot here, with businesses open, and we're doomed.

Keep it shut!  No through traffic on the canal, thanks. 

But lets get folks fishing, small local boats, kayaks etc.  NO THROUGH TRAFFIC!  Lets hope next year is better!
Posted by: Doug K
« on: May 03, 2020, 11:55:43 am »

All of you people thinking that the NY State Canal System is still closed due to Covid-19 Pandemic social distancing are missing the point being made by the Canal's not about keeping people APART, it's about keeping the general public & canal communities SAFE.

There are unsafe dams that need clearing still, and there are 9 locks listed in the NYS Canal Corporation system that haven't been properly maintained and repaired in the off season. Those structures control where water goes, and are critical to the canal system integrity and safe operation. It's about Canal Employee safety as well as the safety of the public using the trails and waterway.

Here's the Westside News tries to change that narrative, stressing the "importance" of getting the canal open for "social & economic" reasons.

In a frontpage story they talk about how the Erie Canal National Heritage Corridor folks are upset that the canal is still closed, and somehow blame continued Covid PAUSE efforts that they think should be lifted.

Sadly these folks missed the ENTIRE point that the NY Canal Corporation tried to make...the Canal System safety cannot be guaranteed right that should have happened when it was closed...didn't happen. And until the Locks, Dams, and other Canal System structures can be cleared for SAFETY, the entire system has to remain closed.

What about the SAFETY of those living below the waterline when you open a canal that hasn't been repaired, maintained or inspected properly to open in the 2020 season? Hard to believe that a publication like the Westside News would make such a grave mistake in supporting Public Safety...but they have.

As a "neighbor" of the Canal, living BELOW the waterline, I would just remind people that SOME of us have to worry about potential flooding when the Canal is opened each year. For us it's about surviving yet another year with a 200 year old DAM in our backyard, it's not about the scenery we have for a walk when we decide to use the canal that day.

And it certainly should be mentioned to all of these people who can't see beyond their own selfish interests, there is NOTHING worse for a community, both financially & socially, than a devastating flood. A flood that could be avoided if people took safety more seriously and not the ramblings of a Westside News story about people who care little about public safety.

Posted by: Doug K
« on: April 28, 2020, 12:47:59 pm »

Before people run off and start sending emails to The New York Canal Corporation, NY Power Authority, or the State Government in Albany remember this one statement.

If you are going to complain again, about SAFETY work on the Erie Canal and how you don't like it, remember that the NYS Canal Corporation is first and foremost responsible for PUBLIC safety along the NYS Canal System, including Locks, Dams, Trails, and Trees.

The last time the Canal Corporation heard complaints about safety was regarding it's Earthen Embankment Integrity Program...and that hasn't gone well.

Here's the list of lock issues cited by someone as what still needs to be done on the Barge Canal before it can reopen:

Lock pump-outs and related construction work ceased along the NYS Canal System on March 17.

Impacted locks include: E7 (Niskayuna), E13 (Yosts), E19 (Schuyler), E26 (Clyde), E23 (Brewerton), E33 (Rochester), Locks E34/E35 (Lockport) on the Erie Canal, and C12 (Whitehall) on the Champlain Canal.

Until this work is completed, boats will not be able to travel between locks and vessels seeking to reach the Finger Lakes, Lake Champlain, Great Lakes, and Canadian waterways via the Canal System will not be able to do so.

You can learn more about these Canal Locks here:

LOCKS 2-10 -

LOCKS 11-20 -

LOCKS 21-35 -

Once again it's become a lesson in how the "public" perceives the message from the messenger...and time after time it's the same:

The public doesn't like the message, and wants to ALWAYS shoot the messenger, and as the ECNA has learned, they also want to shoot anyone who "agrees" with the message of Public Safety First along the New York State Canal

Posted by: Doug K
« on: April 28, 2020, 12:26:04 pm »

Here's an announcement from the Erie Canal National Heritage Corridor regarding the decision to NOT open the canal due to safety concerns with missed maintenance and repairs due to Covid-19. They end their message with this:

As the National Heritage Corridor tasked with preserving and promoting the NYS Canal System for present and future generations, we continue to stand ready to work collaboratively with the NYS Canal Corporation and New York Power Authority at this critical time.
By a letter on April 8, 2020, we have urged the New York Power Authority and the NYS Canal Corporation to reconsider their decision to suspend essential repairs and construction in order to safely reopen the entire NYS Canal System as soon as possible and to ensure a timely and full recovery for all New Yorkers.

Sadly the ECNHC folks should be sending this to the State Government & Leadership who put the state on PAUSE.

Go READ this whole article,
Posted by: Doug K
« on: April 24, 2020, 02:52:40 pm »

Just in today... no boating until they figure out where they can open.

Might see some western canal sections open soon. Those with NO locks & NO unsafe embankments may get filled first. The rest of the western section may have to wait until known repairs can be made or safety inspections can get clearance to locks, dams and other waterway structures.

Middle canal sections are already filled, they are the Rivers & Lakes that were canalized in 1918 for this canal version. There are some Dams and Embankments that affect smaller sections so that will have to be seen. Moveable dams that are unique to this waterway section control summer water levels

The Eastern Section of the canal system has by far, the majority of all the locks in the NYS Barge Canal system. Expectations would be that this section is a priority to get repairs done and inspections completed and would remain closed until New York POWER Authority says it's "safe for public use". It also is the section that feeds from the Hudson River and has the most water traffic. Maintenance work may be concentrated here for awhile to get it open ASAP.

I would expect that this will be a challenging year for Erie Canal boaters...maybe only westside canal section of Rochester to Buffalo sees water anytime soon

No one is happy about this... just read