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This is the latest rant from the team of Maier & Agte, who seem to have blinders on to correcting ANY safety issues along the NYS Canal System these days, including line of sight for roadways that cross over the Erie Canal.

I have included the TWO conversations that took place. In BOTH instances the group members who tried to confront & correct Ms. Maier, one of the "founders" of this Facebook group, were dealt with in the same way. Their words of truth were ignored, and they were told they were wrong, simply because it didn't jive with what "management" believes.

Both members were "corrected" by leadership, who has a firm "unwritten" rule:
Do NOT disagree with Elizabeth Agte or Virginia Maier

Virginia Borden Maier:
Mary, is this new work? What did it look like before?

Mary Kinsky:
Virginia Borden Maier yes. It’s new work as of last week. Virginia Borden Maier, it was covered in wild bushes, milkweed, wild flowers. All gone in an area before Trimmer Rd and west No shade at all

Mary's neighbor Ellen Smith replied, it's obvious she doesn't share the same opinion as the others in this group. In fact she points out a truth here that Co-Founder Maier quickly rejects, stating that canal mowing is preventing a "shaded path" for Ms Maier to walk along.

In fact, Virginia Maier quickly REJECTS that any embankment work is about "safer embankments" even though nobody in this post ever mentioned the word safety. It's all about "denial" with the founders of this social media group, especially to the public safety aspects of earthen dam maintenance.

Folks, this section of embankment NEVER provided shade for the Empire Trail. This is an earthen embankment for an access ROAD that carries Trimmer Road over a "high bridge" that crosses the Erie, just west of Spencerport.

Ellen Smith:
I have lived here for over 16 years and this is nothing but normal. Every couple years they mow down the tall grass on the steep slopes with special equipment because they can't mow that with the traditional mowers

Virginia Borden Maier:
Ellen Smith there have provided no evidence that this is safer than allowing shrubs and trees to grow on the embankments. In places where the vegetation has remained, the embankment has been just as stable as in places where they do this.

Ellen Smith:
Virginia Borden Maier would you rather let everything get overgrown and not be able to use the path at all. Don't get me wrong I'm all for trees and shade but there were no trees or shade in this entire stretch it was nothing but weeds. I know if I let my yard get this bad I would have code enforcement on my ass in a heartbeat. This has nothing to do with stability of embankment this has to do with routine maintenance

Virginia Borden Maier:
The mowing that occurred here was not to keep the path clear. Lots of areas along the canal have mature vegetation growing right up to the edge of the pathway, and yet the trail is easy to walk and bike on. The “routine maintenance” is actively preventing the development of a shaded path, something that would be more attractive and require less maintenance if allowed to develop

And then another neighbor along Trimmer Rd speaks up, Ms. Crandall identifies that the clearing work was really about a clear "line of sight" for motorist using that Trimmer Rd bridge over the canal. She is quickly admonished by Ginny Maier who states it's not about road maintenance and goes on about how this trimming is unscientific and excessive, all vegetation control is "hurting trail user comfort".

What about DRIVER safety, Ms. Maier... doesn't that matter?

Seems once again Ms. Maier's concern doesn't extend to canal neighbors living below these unsafe earthen dams. And it doesn't include all of the drivers who drive near or over the Erie Canal system, who all need overgrown trees & brush cleared for safer travel.

No it's all about Virginia's "trail travel comfort", in an area along the Erie Canal that Ms. Maier neither walks along or ever drives over, go figure!

Read Ms. Maier's rather dismissive comments to Ms Crandall below

Courtney Crandall:
As someone who crosses that bridge at least once a day, I'm thankful that you can now see oncoming traffic when crossing in both directions. Before you know it, it will be green again.

Virginia Borden Maier:
Courtney Crandall this is not mere maintenance of road sight lines. This is unscientific, not supported by evidence, excessive vegetation “control” to the detriment of wildlife, aesthetic concerns, and trail user comfort.

Courtney Crandall:
Virginia Borden Maier We likely should agree to disagree rather than have a Facebook argument. However, in the tune of always being willing to see and learn more, I would love to read your direct scientific findings on the long term effects of trimming weeds on vegetation and wildlife on a man made Canal.

Virginia Borden Maier:
I appreciate your willingness to read the literature we have collected, which you can find links to on this FB page and also at

Unfortunately group member Crandall asked Virginia Maier for something that can't be produced by the STCC group - Direct Scientific Findings that actually support the bogus claims that embankment dams are safer and better with trees and other invasive vegetation covering them. The group has NO experts in Dam Safety supporting them, and NO science that backs up their claim that "trees on earthen dams are OK".

Remember there are only "2 Rules" for the STCC Group, both right from the admins who seem to ignore them the most

There's must be a third "unspoken" rule: Never ever disagree with the MISINFORMATION being spread by either Ms. Agte or by Ms. Maier, under penalty of being chastised or corrected on their very "unsocial" Facebook page.

So members just hold their tongues, rather than listen to Agte or Maier whine about other members words of TRUTH being shared...sad.

This time Ms. Crandall & Ms. Smith are the only ones telling the truth, and being reprimanded for doing so. Ladies, the ECNA hears you loud and clear... you are correct in your understanding of the situation here. Driver safety was improved, and embankment maintenance is a normal part of owning a man-made waterway held up with earthen embankment dams.

Maybe you two should LEAVE this group of Facebook whiners, like hundreds of others that have left since this past April. We would love to have you join our conversation here, which is centered on Erie Canal safety, both for the Canal System, and those living in its flood hazard zones.

You can read more "Maier Madness" here -

How "member dissent" is dealt with in the STCC -
Response to Facebook Group Opposition / Re: Leaky Liz - Gee Whiz!
« Last post by Doug K on August 08, 2022, 10:29:50 am »
And its "more conspiracy theories" from Ms. Agte, all of this extra press is to "scare" the public about Embankment Integrity issues, just as the Canal Corporation is preparing the release of their State Environmental Impact Study.

Ms. Agte herself, just stated that there has been an increase of 30% in recorded leaks along Erie Canal Earthen Dams, and somehow believes it's all "normal". Really?

There are only 125 miles of Earthen Dams in the system, only about 27 miles have been cleared enough to do proper Earthen dam inspections. You would think dams, that leak every four to five hundred yards, would seem to be a danger to the public below them...but apparently not to Ms.Agte.

Must be all that "trail shade" that's causing her blindness to those in danger below...right?

That Embankment Integrity SEQR environmental study, Elizabeth mentioned, shows justification for their proposed Earthen Dam Repair Program, and will hopefully bring an end to this Facebook groups fantasy that still claims that "nothing is wrong with the Canal System, perhaps thats what she fears the most here...

Even the Mayor of Fairport recognizes the inherent issues with a century old canal, thats leaking badly from missed maintenance

But READ THE ARTICLE, please, for your own understanding.

Because MOST people using the Erie Canal in Fairport are seeing a benefit from "lower water levels" this season, for a multitude of reasons.

Fairport, N.Y. — Boaters on the Erie Canal in Fairport have noted water levels are lower than they've been in the past.

That's because the New York State Canal Corporation decided to lower the level by 1 foot for the 2022 season, as a way to keep a closer eye on leaks along the canal and relieve pressure on them.

The decrease doesn't seem to be impacting too many people. Doug Richie, a boater from Florida traveling the canal, said he and his crew haven't encountered any issues. "I think the lowest we were in was probably 6 feet," Richie said. "That is probably the lowest we have been in. But other than that, coming up here today we are probably in the average 11 to 15 feet."

And this from the owners of the Colonial Belle, which says lower water levels help them out quite a bit

"For us, it gives us extra space under the low bridges," said Tammee Poinan Grimes, captain of the Colonial Belle. "That is actually an advantage to us being a taller vessel." "Last year, we actually had super high water, we had a lot of rain, and the water was at normal pool and we actually had a few days where we could not cruise at all because the water was too high and we couldn’t fit under the low bridges," she added. "So for us, if it rains a bit now, we are still OK."

It appears that the only person who disapproves is a "trail user" from Perinton, Ms Elizabeth Agte.

Go figure, she isnt even using the waterway, but claims to be the "local expert" on all things related to the NYS Canal System... just ask her.

Response to Facebook Group Opposition / Leaky Liz - Gee Whiz!
« Last post by Michael Caswell on August 07, 2022, 09:22:36 pm »

We all know Eerie Agte isn't too good on common sense, and is trying really hard to feed her narcissistic image of grandeur to her flock of sheep followers, but she really does show her ignorance when she starts spouting of numbers and calling the Canal Corporation into question.

Wouldn't it be logical to see that as things progress, the Canal Corporation would find even more leaks? Wouldn't it be logical to warn people of the dangers of these leaks?

In the Spring there were 200 leaks, in mid summer there are 260. Doesn't that sound like a problem? Doesn't that ring alarm bells?

Just a reminder, in 2018 they started Embankment Integrity work with only 27 known & monitored leaks on the NYS Canal System

It's time that some politicians and a few neighbors stopped listening to this demented woman and started to listen to the real engineers and hard working people of the NYPA and the Canal Corporation.

My question to you is simple.
Where is the motivation of these employees, or these government institutions to lie when they are trying to prevent a tragedy?

The tragedy is that Ms Agte isn't in a straight jacket.

And now it seems that trees are raining down like cats n dogs into the Erie Canal... this just out.

Channel Obstruction: Erie Canal Orleans County

Mariners are advised of a tree blocking the navigation channel just east of the Sweden Walker Rd. Bridge E-180 over the Erie Canal in Sweden. Maintenance crews have been notified and are on site. It is anticipated the tree will be removed in 2 to 3 hours.

Read it again here

This TREE is blocking the entire channel, a channel that is 120' wide in the 60 mile pool.

This is in Monroe County, not Orleans County as stated in the NTM.

And to think, there are actually people on social media that do NOT want the Canal Corporation to fix this "tree issue", instead saying they prefer "shade" to public safety and canal viability. I guess they can float out into the channel on inner tubes to get shade from this tree, right?!-repairs!-reduced-depths!/msg2300/?topicseen#msg2300
And as predicted, ANOTHER notice to mariners with the topic: Channel Obstruction!-repairs!-reduced-depths!/

A good sized tree has fallen into the Erie Canal, over 60' tall in the Town of Ridgeway, that is blocking 40' of channelway.

So much for the thought that "trees aren't a problem" along Erie Canal Embankments.

New slogan for the Canal Corporation... "shade is cool, until TREES fall into the "sixty mile pool"
1200 views of this ECNA Post, making it the most popular by a landslide.

Please take a look, there are plenty of pictures of a typical Erie Embankment  transformation. This is what happens when aging, unsafe, overgrown Canal Embankments, that are covered with overgrown trees, meets the New York State Dam Safety Rules.

What you see was accomplished using 21st Century science and engineering principles as a guiding light... not myth, opinion or hearsay.
If you have been watching the many NYS Canal Notices for this season, its easy to see that NYPA, new caretakers of the Erie Canal System, are VERY serious about finding & fixing public safety issues along the NYS Canal System.

To date there have been about a DOZEN Notice to Mariners (NTMs) or Public Announcements on the NYS Canal website dedicated soley to Underwater Inspections of all 4 major Canals, or Inspection/Repair of bridges that cross over the canal.

Now if reduced depth (or width) issues along the waterway are added into the mix, there are more than a dozen more NTMs issued for everything from silt build up, to inoperable locks and also a half dozen embankment seepage and stabilty issues. Overall these 3 main issues make up over half of the NTMs used to report issues along the waterway that affect boaters, or those using the roads around the Canal System

Obviously the NYS Canal System is "broken", perhaps from years of neglected maintenance under the NYS Thruway's watch, or maybe from years of canal mis-management that tended to focus on how to "avoid" expensive repair at all cost, instead of keeping the Erie Canal in "good operating condition" per NYS Canal Law.

Pay me now, or pay me later...that's what the Erie Canal has said loud and clear to New York in 2022... and now it's LATER.

Even the NYS State Comptroller has weighed in twice on safety issues, citing the general issues with Dam Safety in New York State in 2018, and another Comptroller Report that specifically identified all of this "missed inspection & maintenance" along the Canals as early as 2015.

But that's all "water under the liftbridge" now.

NYPA is serious about restoring the NY Barge Canal to its "like new" state, evident by their new emphasis on Canal Embankment Integrity, and their Embankment Safety efforts. As a Utility Company, serving the public, they are not allowed to ignore the SAFETY issues raised by NYS Comptroller Reports.


Afterall, a simple calculation, based on the proposed Embankment Repair work, now reveals that when NYPA took over the NYS Canal System they also inherited 125 miles of uninspected, ill-maintained, and overgrown earthen dams. That sinle change in ownership most likely insured that the New York Power Authority now owns the largest amount of dams needing repair or full remediation in the entire State of NY.

All told there is close to 1500 acres of unsafe earthen dams or overgrown shoreline that needs to be dealt with sometime soon, its 7 years past due now.

So, as NYPA has said many times: "We can't inspect what we can't see, and we can't fix the Canal System if we can't inspect these areas to find the problems"

Unfortunately while all of this Canal Safety effort moves forward, there are some on social media claiming "nothing is wrong, the Erie Canal is not broken, and trees need to be left alone". But that's not what the facts say... and not what all these Notice to Mariners are indicating. In fact, it's just the opposite.

So be forewarned...

The ONLY way to insure New Yorkers are safe from possible Erie Canal embankment breaches, breaches that would flood thousands living below its heavily used "towpath trail", is to either allow NYPA, & the New York State Canal Corporation to INSPECT & REPAIR these safety issues, or DRAIN THE CANAL and abandon it, until such a time when "social media" influence is finally suppressed by Erie Canal Neighbors and the public living in the path of flood danger.

Show your support for Erie Canal Safety, please sign our online petition
Ran across the video of how the Oroville Dam was built back in the 1960s. Well worth a view to see how a well engineered earthen dam was constructed, the tallest in the USA.

And remember, living below this enormous dam (as it started to show signs of failure) were 200,000 people who had to evacuate in 2017.

“BUILDING THE OROVILLE DAM” a 1968 Goodyear Tire Company Promotional Film

Response to Facebook Group Opposition / Re: Kevin Gallagher is an idiot!
« Last post by Doug K on August 01, 2022, 03:47:16 pm »

Definition of "egg on one's face":

Appearing foolish usually because something one said would happen has not happened

Like a Facebook group saying they want to stop public safety work on Erie Canal Earthen Embankments?

Like people believing it's possible to ignore Unsafe Embankment Dams by simply denying they exist?

Like putting your confidence in two individuals leading a Facebook group, who have zero understanding how dangerous their rhetoric had become to Erie Canal Neighbors & their own communities.

Go figure...
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