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ECNA Neighborhood News / Happy Thanksgiving to All Erie Canal Neighbors
« Last post by Doug K on November 24, 2022, 07:29:36 am »
Wishing everyone a safe & happy Thanksgiving & Holiday Season.
That is the question on many Erie Canal Neighbor's minds, and the short answer is VERY SOON.

The ECNA has it from a very "good source" that the new Canal Integrity work will be starting soon. The Earthen Embankment Integrity Program (EEIP) paperwork for SEQR Environmental Impact is due to be released anyday on the NYS DEC Website. That release will "green light" the start of more canal embankment maintenance, earthen dam maintenance that is now 75 years overdue.

So who is our "good source" you ask? Why it's the Canal Corporation Job Board... they just posted the Job for Earthen Embankment Assistant Engineer. Pays quite well at $60 - 90K

And here's a PARTIAL list of job responsibilities, we have highlighted two words here:

It's not that hard to put two and two together here, NYPA is going forward with the Earthen Embankment SAFETY program that is fixing their longstanding Earthen Embankment INTEGRITY issues.

They wouldn't be wasting time and money hiring full time Engineering support if they didn't have a plan to START working on embankments very soon.
And we also have to acknowledge the wife of one of the Erie Canal Neighbors Association Co-Founders, who unfortunately lost her life in a tragic, and avoidable accident, that took her life near the entrance to the Oxbow Trail. Somehow delays in replacing the washout of the original Oxbow Road culvert over a drainage area, from the local Minerva School fields, resulted in local residents creating a workaround to regain access to the Oxbow Trail.

And despite numerous attempts from the ECNA to get the New York Canal Corporation, or local Perinton town leaders, to properly repair or replace the washout, the project languished for more than 4 years. The temporary trail worked around the culvert issue but was slippery under any wet conditions. Over 2 years the ECNA pleaded with the Canal Corporation to replace the missing trail section, which also made it difficult for any trail maintenance work to be done at the Oxbow.

Unfortunately it took loss of one person's life to finally get the Oxbow Rd Bridge done. After more than 4 years of excuses and inaction, the Oxbow Rd bridge was replaced a few days after Carol Caswell lost her life as a result of a fall she had navigating the temporary trail workaround and all the material gathered for the replacement. She was walking the Oxbow Park with her husband Mike, co-founder of the ECNA, and their dogs when she fell, and a few days later passed from brain hemorrhage complications.

Here's the new bridge, and a picture of what is left of the temporary trail, still used by student from Minerva School as a shortcut to local neighborhoods.

Maybe someday soon there will be a plaque erected, to post on that new Oxbow Rd bridge, in memory of Carol Caswell, who lost her life because of NYS "logistics" getting a washout bridge replaced on a public road, that took four years to process.

Rest in Peace Carol Caswell

And so the story continues...

After Ever Gavelis had finished his Eagle Scout clean-up work along the Oxbow Trail, a local dissident group who called themselves "The Quorum", that was also in favor of that "overgrown wild look" to the trail created a stink that all but shutdown the Oxbow Trail efforts. That effort to stop the work at the Oxbow Trail was led in part by Ms. Elizabeth Agte, who later went on to form the Stop the Canal Clear-cut Group on Facebook.

Ms. Agte often posts pretty pictures to her protest group, taken along the Erie Canal from that same Oxbow Trail that she tried to prevent from being cleared. She states it's one of the most beautiful spots along the Erie Canal she knows of, and to this day has not lifted one finger to help in the effort to keep it cleared. She still longs for the days it was overgrown & unmanaged.

So, after the Oxbow Trail was initially cleared, the Erie Canal Neighbors Association stepped in and adopted this trail in 2018, to insure it had a chance to survive with that same "vision" as young Mr. Gavelis had started. The ECNA became Canal Trail Ambassadors, with their adoption of the Oxbow Park & Trail from New York Parks & Trails.

And at the same time a local resident, Mike Caswell, decided it was time to create a webpage dedicated to this little "secret" in Fairport, and the Oxbow Blog was started. That weblog is dedicated to the history and restoration of the Oxbow Rd Trail, and is managed by Mr. Caswell.

Here's the story about one of the Oxbow Trail cleanup events.

And another story about life along the Oxbow

Sometimes it's one person making a difference in our community, like Ever Gavelis.

Or sometimes it's a group of concerned citizens coming together for a common cause to insure the safety of the Erie Canal System or making sure a small trail is maintained. like the ECNA. In any case it's about community involvement and those individuals that support IMPROVING the world around them, not tearing it apart with divisive "rhetoric" about the value of trees or shade and ignoring the issues with Canal or Trail Safety

Thank you do EVERYONE that has helped the ECNA support the Oxbow Trail Clean-up efforts... and we are sure that somewhere Ever Gavelis is saying thank you as well
It's not often these days, that you find local citizens united in a common cause for the good of their community and their environment.

These are troubled times where so many people are embittered by political views that are dividing our nation, and it seems that simple truth is being replaced by a rise in "conspiracy theories, that fly in the face of that "simple truth". It's hard to find good news in a world that is still reeling from a global pandemic and an attempt to start the "second Civil War" in our own country with events that happened in our nations capital after our last Presidential election.

There are even people in our own communities that are using their slanted view of the environment to "wage a war" against public safety efforts in and around the Erie Canal

But this story isn't about "those people"... this one is about the Power of ONE person to make a change for the GOOD of their community and their own neighborhoods.

Meet Ever Gavelis

Ever Gavelis is truly a blessing for Perinton, and especially for a special little place called the Oxbow Park & Trail.

As a Boy Scout he had a vision to turn an overgrown Canalside "game trail", into a walking trail and park that all of his neighbors could use to enjoy the Erie Canal. He organized the very first clean-up of the Oxbow Trail in Perinton, part of an Eagle Scout project, and since his efforts started, others in the area have helped to turn this young man's vision into reality. You can read that article here below.

And here is a picture of when Ever started his work at the Oxbow... note the amount of overgrowth and how narrow that trail looks behind him.

Despite an active effort to STOP this clean-up activity by Eagle Scout Ever Gavelis at the Oxbow (by some local residents who felt that leaving the trail "forever wild") Ever, and his Dad Eric, managed to carve out a wider path and remove loads of dangerous debris that was littered along the Oxbow Trail, making it almost impossible to see the Erie Canal or Oxbow Lake that is a widewaters overlooking this section of the Erie in Fairport.

And here's what the Oxbow Park & Trail looks like today, with the help of many local volunteers who joined into the cleanup as part of the NY State Parks & Trails Adopt-A-Trail Program.

The ECNA would like to personally thank Ever Gavelis for his environmental concern and hard work making the Oxbow Trail what it is today, and spurring on the next wave of Oxbow Trail Volunteers who still work keeping this beautiful Canalside paradise open for all to use & enjoy
Response to Facebook Group Opposition / Re: Kevin Gallagher is an idiot!
« Last post by Doug K on October 28, 2022, 10:39:48 am »
Hard to believe that ANYONE in this social media group would ever mention the word "safety" and the NYS Canal Corporation in the same sentence.

Especially after the members of this Stop the Canal Work Facebook group have been in DENIAL about Erie Canal Earthen Embankment SAFETY for almost 5 years, calling all that talk about unsafe canal embankments simple "fear-mongering" by New York State. They used to claim this BREACH in Palmyra/Macedon was all the fault of NYS Canal Corporation negligence, and it "really wasn't an embankment breach" at all.

Now members of the group want the trail opened... they say "It's Safe".

My how things have changed... right?

So Mr. Gallagher is now whining about the hazards of using an Erie Canal Trail that has been relocated from an unsafe embankment breach section along the Canal, that is under repair, to a local highway section that will be used as a detour...?

And he's doing it in the name of safety?

What a load of crap!

Doesn't Mr. Gallagher understand the simple TRUTH that when that Macedon trail embankment section is safe for PUBLIC use, the NYS Canal Corporation will remove the detour signs, and let pedestrian travel proceed as it did BEFORE the leak was detected and the breach occurred?

That won't be done because Kevin Gallagher on Facebook says it's safe to do so, or that he feels it's "ok" because it's been 17 months now.

That section won't be done because Kevin Gallagher doesn't like the detour along Route 31, and some highway marker showing where someone died

The Canal Path will be opened when New York State says their repair is SAFE and COMPLETE, and the Empire Trail is SAFE for the public.... PERIOD!

If Mr. Gallagher does feels the Macedon Trail Section is safe now, let him put up PROOF of that statement, and not just his "valued opinion".

After all his "opinion" must be based on some credible information, though it is unclear and never mentioned in his FB post.

Once again Mr. Gallagher claims he knows more that the Canal Corporation on matters of public safety... open that breached trail section to hikers & bikers.

And BTW, if no one else want's to say it...

If Mr. Gallagher doesn't like the Empire Canal Trail (and all it's detours), than perhaps he can find somewhere else to ride his bicycle. Sure beats listening to him whining over & over about his trials and tribulations as a bicycle rider along the Erie Canal... good grief Kevin... it's not about YOU. Try Ellison Park, or Powder Mill.

The word "idiot" as a description here doesn't really capture how pathetic all this complaining on Facebook looks to those with even an ounce of intelligence.

Not just the incessant whining by some members of this group, but the sheer fact that most of the group's members seem to change their tunes over and over, just to instigate their Facebook friends to post negative comments like this one from Kevin. If it's not Kevin Gallagher, it's Bob Corby trying to rile up the STCC Natives.

As far as we can read... no matter what happens, the NYS Canal Corporation and NYPA will ALWAYS be wrong about the Erie Canal they manage, and Facebook's Stop the Canal Clear-cut Group is always going to be right, just ask them, especially Kevin.

I've met Kevin, he seemed intelligent in our conversation, but sadly he let Ms. Agte & Ms. Maier's RHETORIC & CONSPIRACY THEORIES about the NYS Canal Corporation influence his analytical thought process and now has become just another "parrot" for the group's misguided leadership.
And the final report on the 2021 Edenville Dam Failure was summed up in one word... Liquefaction.

That would be when an earthen water impounding structure becomes so oversaturated it turns almost instantly from a solid to a free flowing liquid.

This phenomenon is normally caused and coinincides with a major weather event that oversaturates the earthen embankment, or when an earthen dam was constructed using sandy soils, or built without the proper, recommended soil compaction during construction.

Like old earthen dam building methods of the early 20th century, used in both Edenville and the Erie Canal.

The first dam failure shown is an earthen embankment dam in Edenville Michigan, it is about the same size,  construction, and age of the most typical Erie Canal Embankment
Lately the PUBLIC Facebook Group called Stop the Canal Clear-cut (STCC) has been resorting to "private" messages on their website, perhaps to avoid being called out on the ECNA Forum Discussion by name.

File this story under - "That idea doesn't always work as planned", as you will see... keep reading.

So here's the latest from this STCC Facebook group, this time by a vocal member named Kerri Neale from Holley, NY, who's been unhappy ever since the NYS Canal Corporation cleared the 50 foot tall earthen embankment behind his property. Here's he's posted a private message to a select few members... and one member replied, lending insight to the "hidden post".

Please note that REPLY by Ms. Laurie Williamson who talks about all the "dead animals" as a result of tree removal for "buildings & concrete" to be erected

Mr. Neale has claimed in the past, that Erie Canal Embankment Integrity work caused some of his trees to uproot, but seemingly wants to IGNORE the fact his property is saturated with water from an Earthen Dam he lives next to or the Sandy Creek tributary running along his property. In fact he had the local newspaper down to survey when two trees fell some 4+ years ago. He is also someone who has been critical of the NYS Canal Corporation and throws up their work 4 years ago in his defense, pretending the canal embankment work is "devastating" to the natural order of life in Holley NY.

Note that picture provided by Mr. Neale, taken from the ROOF of his house, it shows clearly there is a very large embankment behind his property, the map inset confirms the location of the Sandy Creek waterway as well. He lives opposite the Holley Falls Dam, which is over 75" tall on the South Side of the Erie Canal there.

You would think this person could understand his property lies in a VALLEY below a large Dam and has a culvert running through it... over-saturation potential at 100%

I bet Ms. Williamson would think a little differently about Mr. Neale's "hidden comment" if she understood that Mr. Neale is one of the people RESPONSIBLE for the death of those "poor little animals" that lost their homes and have to die. (BTW: Animals don't die if their habitat disappears, they simply MOVE to a new location).

Maybe she would chastise Mr. Neale for being "part of the problem" with senseless animal killings... Of course Mr. Neale doesn't share his "secret" with his social media group, who's all for saving the trees and those poor defenseless critters...does he? The group might disown him and he would have nowhere to complain about the Erie Canal Embankment work, would he?

Somedays the truth is hard to find these days, especially in this politically charged society. And sometimes it's being hidden & manipulated by those individuals who think their "own sh!t don't stink". But one thing is for sure, with a little digging, a little hard work searching the internet, it seems you can always find the REAL facts, that fly in the face of these Facebook groups that lean heavily on opinion and hearsay as their "guiding light".

So the award for the biggest HYPOCRITE to this year, within the Stop the Canal Clear-cut Group, goes to Mr. Kerri Neale, tree advocate and squirrel killer...
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