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Posted by: Doug K
« on: June 19, 2020, 12:47:57 pm »

Others to you mention don't write letters to Governors or Directors saying they Co-Founded a group working against dam safety repairs in the name of " the environmental ".

I know what my grandparents would have asked...

Are they a little "touched in the head"? Is that why they can't understand?

Right now I'm not sure how I would answer that question, hmmm Maybe?

One thing is for certain, if the STCC is complaining about something then it probably improves overall Embankment Dam safety, and the safety of the public using the Erie Canal.

Time to call the STCC for what it is, and stick a fork in it, it's done,
Posted by: Michael Caswell
« on: June 19, 2020, 10:29:30 am »


While you're dropping names, lets not forget Jamie Meuwissen, Sam Carini, Nikki Weston and a few more.

What amazes me about this bunch is that NONE OF THEM live under the threat of flood. They have absolutely no skin in the game, and all totally ignore the safety problem in their misguided  crusade to save some brushwood and junk trees.
Posted by: Doug K
« on: June 19, 2020, 10:07:16 am »

If this group truly believes New York State, and the NY Canal Corporation would consider the ranting of part-time trail users about "lost shade" more important than the safety of Full-Time Neighbors living below these unsafe dams, they will always be beyond help understanding what truly is the issue here.

Fixing aging unsafe Earthen Dams in America isn't a PR stunt, it's about PUBLIC SAFETY.. You only need to look at the latest flood where communities said they never saw it coming. Most people have that much "common sense" to at least recognize this simple fact, unsafe dams need to be repaired.

Unless of course you are one of the few uncommon people fighting against public safety by simply denying that any issues exist, like these Stop the Canal Clear-Cut Co-founders and leaders.

I bet the people in Midland Michigan only wish they had Dam Owners like NYPA taking ownership of their neglected safety issues on their Embankment  Dams and trying to fix them.

I bet no one in Midland would appreciate a group fighting against fixing unsafe earthen dams, nor would they support a Facebook Group that promotes keeping dams in their unsafe condition.

Maybe Ms. Agte, Maier, and GouldThorpe should ask the people of Midland  if they believe the STCC is doing a public "service" or if they see it for what it really is, a dis-service to public & community  safety.

Posted by: Michael Caswell
« on: June 18, 2020, 06:43:35 pm »

STCC leader Agte is at it again.

Her latest to the Governor

Dear Governor Cuomo,

First, I want to thank you for your continued leadership during the COVID crisis. I respect your calm and steady approach...stick to the facts and data, donít act on whim or personal opinion.
Iím writing you because the Canal Corporation/NYPA has released its scoping document for their Earthen Embankment Integrity Program. Public comments are only being accepted until July 3, 2020. As one of the founders of STOP the CANAL CLEAR CUT I am in complete opposition to the plan they are presenting. The EEIP is exactly the plan they used on the west side of Monroe County and into Orleans county. We took them to court because they didnít feel the need to conduct an Environmental study, and we won. Now they are trotting it out again with a different name.
The fact is that on January 20, 2018 they realized they faced stiff opposition from a well organized grassroots effort, and walked back their stance. They said they were willing to take a more ďtailored approachĒ when ensuring safety on the embankments of the canal. This tailored approach was to leave trees on the embankments, cut only dead trees, and manage ground cover to assist in visual inspections. Except for a paltry ďAd HocĒ paragraph at the end, this scoping document doesnít reflect that commitment at all.
There are so many things wrong with their plan for maintaining the canal. But first and foremost is the fact that they are fighting an enemy that is imagined. They are not using the factual past history of the canal. They are not looking at the breaches that have occurred and why they occurred. The fact is, breaches have occurred as a result of human mistake in construction or repair of embankments or culverts. On two occasions when they couldnít define the cause, they blamed breaches on burrowing animals. Instead of using facts, they are speculating that trees and woodchucks are enemies number one... I canít imagine why they havenít also speculated that a falling meteor is more of a threat than an unmaintained culvert.
The Canal Corporation/NYPA are not acting as responsible stewards of our Erie Canal. Instead of addressing the known causes of breaches and embankment failures they are chasing an enemy of their own fabrication. The cost to the state and its citizens for these misguided undertakings is enormous.
We at STOP the CANAL CLEAR CUT demand that NYPA is reigned in, and that they work with the citizens of this state, to preserve all the aspects of the canal we find valuable.
We have 100 year old canal banks that are compacted by time and stabilized with tree roots. Tearing those embankments apart not only destabilizes them, but it upsets an environmental balance that is of vital importance in this age of climate change. Removing thousands of trees from the New York landscape is moving in the wrong direction from your own Green New Deal.
Yesterday, June 16th, we drove to the areas that were clear cut in 2017. It was a picture perfect June day, sunny, mid-seventies, a slight breeze. We had lunch in the park that was dedicated to you August 9, 2000, in Holley, NY. Across the canal from your park, the trail was so hot we had to turn back. We have been walking in Fairport on the canal trail on a regular basis, and it is busy and active. Yesterday, we stopped in four different locations, Medina, Knowlesville, Eagle Harbor and Holley. In the five hours we were there, we saw three bikers. No runners, no boaters, no dog walkers. When I posted what I saw on our Facebook page, other members agreed, and said they no longer walk on the canal trail. This does not serve the people.
In Eagle Harbor I wanted to see the culvert at Otter Creek that breached in 1927. The embankment was clear cut, but not down to the culvert, they did not provide access for inspection. Since theoretically the point of clear cutting is to aid in the ability to visually inspect, this is another example of how they failed.
You said to the protesters, itís fine to protest, but then you have to say exactly what you want.
We at STOP the CANAL CLEAR CUT want NYPA to stop relying ONLY on dam engineers to determine the best course going forward for canal care and maintenance. We want them to have a vigorous and robust exchange with scientists, biologists, environmentalists, arborists, etc. We want them to stop using the guidelines for dams on the Erie Canal which is, in point of fact, not a dam. We want NYPA to stop saying there is only one way to take care of the canal, which demonstrates their arrogance and lack of imagination. NYPA has only been in charge of the Erie Canal for three years, they are not omnipotent. We want them to reimagine, not lay waste. They need to stop. In their scoping document they flippantly add an ďAd HocĒ possibility for canal maintenance. The tone and wording of this piece of the document is negative and condescending. You can almost see them rolling their eyes. They need to stop. Fix the things they actually know how to fix like guard gates, and locks, and concrete embankments, and leave the naturally beauty of this important part of our history and our future alone.
The fact is this canal belongs to us, the citizens of New York, it does not belong to NYPA. They need to stop.

Yours truly,
Elizabeth R. Agte

So now they are STILL trying to get the dams called something else, thankfully not LEVEES. I guess they realised name that won't stick.  We disproved that one long ago with their expert witness Donald Gray explaining the difference between dams and levees. IT'S A DAM LIZZY - A DAM!

CORRECTION!   Liz'beth is right, it's not a dam, it's a canal! But made up in places of earthen Embankment DAMS!


Posted by: Michael Caswell
« on: June 14, 2020, 12:51:14 pm »

It's a laugh all right! What a bunch of clowns!
Posted by: Doug K
« on: June 14, 2020, 12:38:45 pm »

That letter was proudly posted on the Stop the Canal Clear-Cut Google Page, and for the life of me I can't figure out why.

This message from the HEAD of the State and the HEAD of the Canal Corporation, clearly states the case as SAFETY based for clearing embankments along the canal... what part can be misconstrued?

But then again, if the STCC LEADERS were to admit to the safety aspect, then then would have to admit they were fighting "on the wrong side" of it, wouldn't they?

And so we keep having to listen to a group that has successfully outsmarted themselves, they have to perpetually whine about EVERYTHING but SAFETY, and they will never go away on their own accord.

And the public, that the STCC cares so little about the safety of, will have to endure the agony of another complaint from Ms. Agte, Ms Maier, Ms Gouldthorpe et all.

And to all those "silent" members of this Facebook group who know better but stay around "for the laughs"... Shame on You for not standing up to this type of "injustice".

Posted by: Michael Caswell
« on: June 13, 2020, 11:50:28 am »

Here is a letter to Elizabeth Agte (founder of STCC) where Director Brian Stratton has been asked to write to her and outline the Canal Corporation's point of view regarding the dangerous earthen embankment dams.

Posted by: Michael Caswell
« on: February 24, 2020, 07:36:16 am »

But it could also mean some people are Quackers!   That is, if you're French.
Posted by: Doug K
« on: February 06, 2020, 09:24:00 am »

How appropriate that this is the Merriam-Webster Word of the Day:

Used in a sentence...The entire premise the Stop the Canal Clearcut Facebook group has built it's platform of resistance upon, has been a "CANARD" started by it's Founding Members.

What's Wrong with this Picture?
The issue from the start with the Erie Canal Embankment work has been simple. The Canal Corporation started talking about an embankment safety issue with it's neighbors. They explained about dams, safe dams, and how they will make their unsafe dams become safe ones. Most neighbors, those living BELOW these embankments in danger, listened and agreed that safety was the key, and the work had to be done.

Some people, who weren't included in the conversations because they are NOT neighbors decided they didn't like to talk about Dam Safety. They pulled the famous Triple D move... Deny - Distract - Dis-information. This group understood this was about safety, PUBLIC safety, but decided to change the subject. The have DENIED there is a safety issue from the start, they have DISTRACTED everyone by changing the subject to Trees & the Environment and then they started their DISINFORMATION campaign by ignoring current embankment dam safety requirements and building their "House of Canards"

All being led by the "Canardian in Chief"  Ms Agte herself. And once again they have started another whining campaign about this whole thing. All of this should be taken with a grain of salt...and that old saying applies... "Consider the Source"

Here's some advice from a group that is in the conversation with the Canal Corporation about Embankments:

Acknowledge there is a SAFETY issue on the Embankments along the NYS Canal System... that's where all conversations have to start
Posted by: Michael Caswell
« on: February 06, 2020, 05:40:42 am »

My letter to Governor Cuomo

Dear Governor Cuomo
I understand you are receiving letters from a few people in the Fairport area who belong to a Facebook group  called STOP THE CLEAR CUT. (STCC)

I am a co-founder of The Erie Canal Neighbors Association (ECNA), an organisation set up to explicitly counter the actions and downright lies and deception being broadcast by the STCC.

The STCC has failed to grasp the seriousness of the problem on the canal embankments here, preferring to rally for old trees and squirrels than for the lives and property of folks living under a clearly defined dangerous and unsafe earthen embankment dam.

Please continue to shun these people, they are misinformed, radical - and wrong!

Thank you.
Michael Caswell
Posted by: Michael Caswell
« on: February 06, 2020, 05:27:50 am »

The co-founder of the STCC recently sent this letter to Governor Cuomo. It has the typical style of Ms Agte.

Elizabeth R. Agte February 4 at 10:12 PM

My letter to Governor Cuomo tonight... please take a moment to go to his website and say a few words.

Dear Governor Cuomo,

I am the co-founder of STOP the CANAL CLEAR CUT. We are a group of over 600 members. We have been waiting for word from the Canal Corporation/NYPA about their Earthen Embankment Integrity Program. The time line on their website is now five months out of date, and they have not posted anything to indicate what their intentions are moving forward. Is this because we stopped them in a court of law, and they canít go forward without public input and environmental impact studies, and they canít figure out how to get past the public?

In the meantime, we sent members of our group to the Reimagine meeting last summer in Brockport, and never heard a thing after that brainstorming session. The Reimagine concepts that are now presented are not anywhere close to the ideas we all shared that night.

Before the state starts building space ship bridges across the canal in Brockport, how about spending that time and money planting the trees that were promised to the residents there along the canal almost two years ago?

They were to be planted last summer, nothing happened and no one had the courtesy to even contact the homeowners about the delay. A delay of another year. Another year of no privacy, and lights and noise from industry from the other side of the canal impacting their quality of life. And letís not forget the environmental impact, loss of windbreaks that then downed homeowners trees. The trees that were promised will not provide privacy, habitat or green space or windbreaks for many years after they are planted, and now the homeowners have lost two growing seasons. Since the deadline for planting has been pushed to July 2020, it is guaranteed that a majority of those trees will die, since there is no plan in place for maintenance and watering. Is there a promise to replant until the trees and bushes actually take off, or is this a one and done? Is this the kind of professional work you would accept at your own home? I didnít think so.

You have talked long and hard about the New Green Deal, and how we have to seriously meet sustainability goals before we run out of time. Many initiatives start with the importance of planting trees, creating sustainable green space, and participating in other green initiatives. I did not see any of your Reimagine projects that paid any attention to environmental issues or climate change. Why is that? Why are you approving $300 million to create infrastructure instead of taking care of habitat and the environment?

We all have witnessed that parent agencies donít really want to take care of the canal. NYPA sweeps in, creates total chaos, and thenÖwell who knows what they are doing or thinking as they are completely unavailable for any kind of dialogÖ as we saw in the WHEC TV news story today. NYPA publicly agreed to tailor their approach to canal maintenance, when we held their feet to the fire, and since then, not a word. Now rumors are flying that NYPA is going to lower canal levels. They have already shortened the boating season. It is as if they are structuring the canal to fail. Again I ask how many of the Reimagine projects are environmentally sustainable? And who pays for their maintenance and upkeep? Why spend taxpayer money to build something that may not be maintained, instead of planting trees?

Two years ago, April 2018, the Canal Corporation/NYPA declared an ďemergencyĒ repair across the canal close to where I live, so I was able to witness their work every single day. (If you donít know where I live, ask NYPA, they have my house circled on their map of Fairport.) Anyway, the repair didnít fix anything, cost lots of money, and severed a fiber optics cable that ran under the canal. There has been a patched in cable all this time, while both sides tried to decide whoís at fault. Last month they finally came to thread another cable under the canal. It was another week of work on both sides of the canal with lots of manpower and expensive equipment and it still isnít finished. I mention this, because it seems to me and other taxpayers that maybe we should fix what needs to be fixed, what got screwed up, what needs to be maintained, before we spend more of OUR money making bright shiny things that we donít want.

What do people who use the canal want? They want serene picturesque beauty. They want to rent boats and idle down miles of greenery. They want to bike under overhanging trees, and watch fish jump and ducks swim. They want to have nature and parklike beauty right outside their door, not miles away at a state or national park. They do not want you to pave paradise.

Elizabeth R. Agte


Our drama queen does it again,"ducks and squirrels, bees and birds - we are their saviours" and the State response will likely be a standard format letter.
My first impression from this is The State is not taking any notice of anything the STCC is saying. No one is talking to them, or listening. Not the Governor or the NYPA and the Canal Corporation. They are out in the cold and they know it.
So why is that?
Who would want to talk to a group that bad mouths every single thing that crops up? What would be the point? It wouldn't matter what they said, the STCC will find fault.

Despite their own 'expert witnesses' telling them they are wrong, and are fighting a SAFETY PROBLEM, they continue with this rhetoric. But, it's coming to a close folks. the time is coming when the Earthen Embankment Integrity Program is moving onto its next stage, to complete its goal of a safe canal system.

I'm writing to Governor Cuomo too. I'm telling him that we appreciate his lack of communication with these people. They aren't 600 strong, there's a couple of dozen of them, and they refuse to accept all the evidence that there is a SAFETY problem being addressed here, and many of those under threat are grateful for the bold actions the NYPA are taking.