Author Topic: I think it's all a huge cover up.  (Read 107 times)

Michael Caswell

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I think it's all a huge cover up.
« on: March 07, 2019, 05:40:29 am »
The thing that has puzzled me right from the beginning of all this nonsense is that THREE town supervisors, senators, and other officials, all jumped into the 'save the trees' band wagon. Why would three towns decide to spend about $50,000 of local taxpayer's money bringing a lawsuit against the Canal Corporation who are trying to carry out long overdue maintenance of their property?

It simply doesn't make sense, unless there is an ulterior motive, and I think I've figured it out.

https://youtu.be/5CcVSVhAYvA

There are many areas under these dams where property has been allowed to develop with a total disregard of the safety of the residents. Even FEMA is in denial that these properties are under a threat of flood, they consider the canal itself to be a flood zone, yet folks living 50 feet below these structures (dams) are not in the zone. My own property (on the opposite side from the embankment dam) was considered to be partially in a FEMA flood zone, yet a child could tell you it was physically impossible for my place to flood as it is higher than the crest of the dam, which also has a spillway specifically designed to overflow when flooding occurs. My place could flood, but those 50-70 feet below me, could not? That folks, is screwed up!

So why is there this reluctance to reclassify these embankments as dams, and why do they want to keep the trees?
It's simple! They have realised they have a huge liability on their hands. They're hoping all this will go away, so they can tuck their heads back in the sand, and life will carry on as before. The embankments won't break, folks don't need to worry, the Canal Corporation is scaremongering. We'll side with the STCC and keep the trees, that way no one will ever realise the awful mistake we all made, allowing property development in a DAM HAZARD ZONE.

If a catastrophic flood were to occur, the three towns would be bankrupted, unless they have flood insurance. Do they have flood insurance to cover hundreds of properties? I doubt it, and that is why I think this litigation is a cover up.

"It's a special case!" they bleat. "Don't call it a dam, then all these properties won't be in a Dam Hazard Zone - and we're off the hook!"




« Last Edit: March 12, 2019, 01:02:27 pm by Michael Caswell »

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Doug K

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Re: I think it's all a huge cover up.
« Reply #1 on: March 07, 2019, 10:59:07 am »
Mike,

As always, a good perspective and something that has been a sore subject for many regarding this Earthen Embankment Integrity Program.. what are the "long term" affects of finally getting these Dams compliant to Federal standards and safer for our communities.

Maybe why some people can't see the issue here is because it's never related to them personally. Your video explains the Dam Hazard Zone well.. and also how Hazard Creep happens.. but many still may think: "That's the other guys problem, not mine". Sometimes it's just best to show what is being discussed in a picture...

Folks.. Here's Perinton Town Lines.. there are THREE sections of Earthen Embankment Dams marked in red. Everything west of those Dams is UNDER the Erie Canal waterline.


Here's a picture of the Flood Hazard Zone for Dam #1.. it's not exact, that depends on topography and buildings that might "steer" water. But ALL of this area appears to be 20'-50' feet below the Canal Trail and water level/.


Here's a picture of the Flood Zones for Dams 2 & 3, again it shows what is below water level for the most part... only separation of the two dams is formed where major roads cross over the Erie Canal on a berm or raised ramp. The Dam will have an abutment groin at all roads like this. Please take a look.


I'm not sure it's a cover-up.. but certainly an embarrassment to Town & Village officials who never questioned all that Erie Canal Water running 3-4 stories overhead of where all these nice neighborhoods were placed. No questions about possible National Flood Insurance requirements, no discussion about safety for the residents.

And now the NY Canal Corporations has to clear embankments for earthen dam safety and to insure the Erie Canal has a 21st century future.

It now appears that quite a bit more is being uncovered than unsafe embankments as a result of this NYCC Earthen Embankment Integrity Program.. and the full impact of this remediation effort is probably still unknown.
« Last Edit: March 07, 2019, 11:28:07 am by Doug K »

Michael Caswell

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Re: I think it's all a huge cover up.
« Reply #2 on: March 09, 2019, 05:05:25 am »
Lest we forget!
Here is the harrowing tale of the Oxbow breach that happened in 1871, when everything west of the canal was just fields. No urban spread like today. No one drowned or was injured, but if this disaster happened today, well - perish the thought.

It's also worth reminding everyone that this section of embankment is exactly where the NYPA recently pounded in a 40 foot deep steel sheeting wall some 200 feet long to reinforce the leaking canal embankment. I find it incredible that there are STILL some who are in denial that we have an unsafe embankment that cannot be inspected because of all the crap growing on it.

https://theoxbowblog.wordpress.com/2019/03/09/3081/


Michael Caswell

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Re: I think it's all a huge cover up.
« Reply #3 on: March 12, 2019, 12:59:50 pm »
A cover up? 

Just take a look at the TOWN OF PERINTON's web page on the subject

http://perinton.org/canal-clear-cut

What did you notice there? Not much eh? Just a link to the court case. No further comments!

There is no mention of the enormous project at The Oxbow, where the NYPA hammered in 45' long sheets of steel pilings in to shore up the failing embankment. Surely they could at least mention that? After all, the embankment was in serious danger of breaching thanks to a massive long term leak right next to Oakwood Manor Apartments and Jefferson Avenue School. It must have cost a fortune to carry out this emergency life saving work. No mention of the program set out by the NYPA for their EEIP initiative.

You'd have thought the new Town Supervisor Ciaran Hanna would have picked up the reigns after the rapid departure of Mike Barker who was a staunch support of the almost defunct STCC. 
https://www.whec.com/news/news10nbc-investigates-complaints-into-perinton-town-supervisor/5132067/

So why are these town officials keeping quiet? It seems like they have their heads in the sand. Maybe its to cover up the egg Mr Barker left on their face with his interaction with the STCC and the $14,000 of taxpayers money he wasted on this frivolous lawsuit?

Maybe it's time to take a look at the Towns of Pittsford and Brighton to see how their web pages are coming along?

« Last Edit: March 13, 2019, 08:59:33 am by Michael Caswell »

Doug K

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Re: I think it's all a huge cover up.
« Reply #4 on: March 12, 2019, 08:04:45 pm »
I had a hard time getting to that page Mike, kind of hidden inside the Town website but not shown on any index.

And seems like it "must" be out of date or has been abandoned in light of new information and more recent NYCC Embankment Project milestones.

Here's what Perinton residents may want to ask about when they discuss how relative & pertinent Town Webpage information is.


Michael Caswell

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Re: I think it's all a huge cover up.
« Reply #5 on: March 13, 2019, 06:05:08 am »
What a surprise!    It looks like the Town of Brighton's web page has gone dark over the STCC and the litigation brought against the NYPA. Not a mention of this work anywhere - that I can find! 
see https://www.townofbrighton.org

Prove me wrong someone, please.



Michael Caswell

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Re: I think it's all a huge cover up.
« Reply #6 on: March 13, 2019, 06:21:55 am »
Well! Well! Well!

Guess what!   The village of Pittsford has also gone dark on it's web page. There is no mention of the canal remediation project anywhere that I can find.

Have they realised the error of their ways, or was my search insufficient?   

https://www.villageofpittsford.com

You would think that the impending removal of trees from an UNSAFE DAM would have caused some sort of reaction. Surely this is newsworthy? Surely telling people they will be able to safely sleep in their beds without fear of a flood, would be something worth mentioning?

Maybe it's that 'egg on the face' problem again?

« Last Edit: March 13, 2019, 06:37:01 am by Michael Caswell »

Michael Caswell

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Re: I think it's all a huge cover up.
« Reply #7 on: March 13, 2019, 06:43:37 am »
I almost  forgot the TOWN of Pittsford web page. Surely, there is comment on there?

http://townofpittsford.org

Nope! All dark!  Nothing! I guess they've got tired of trying to push water uphill too!
Isn't that strange, all three bodies, have nothing more to say, yet this frivolous lawsuit is still in force, and this important safety project has been put back over a year.

Will any good come out of this?    Doug?




Doug K

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Re: I think it's all a huge cover up.
« Reply #8 on: March 13, 2019, 09:29:53 am »
Mike and all reading this post...I will take your challenge of finding Canal Embankment or Clear-Cut stories on these site, but only to prove a point... "No one likes to hang out their dirty laundry, especially if it has lots of holes"..  and these Towns are no exception.

The reason you are having trouble finding any Erie Canal Embankment Project information on the Town & Village websites of Brighton, Pittsford, Perinton & Fairport has an easy answer... they chose to support the view that simply refused to believe there was a safety issue on the Canal.

Didn't matter what the Erie Canal owners, the NY Canal Corporation, said about Embankment Dam Safety in our communities.

Didn't matter what the Federal Government said about Dam Safety with it's 2006 National Dam Safety Act trying to address safety issues

There was a group out there that said "Trees are good & pretty" and all of these village leaders took the bait.

In all fairness to the Town Officials, the NY Canal Corporation did not communicate the seriousness of the Erie Canal safety issue well, in fact early Earthen Embankment Restoration Project (EERP) communication was lacking in substance as well. But they have stated ONE thing from the start: The EERP project was needed because of a lack of prior maintenance of the Erie Canal Embankments, which DO qualify as Dams by Federal Guidelines. These embankments had become nearly impossible to inspect & were now considered unsafe due to failing DEC & FEMA safety ratings.

THAT MESSAGE HAS NEVER CHANGED!

When you see the information that is on the Town websites below, readers will understand these Towns chose a path away from safety, away from supporting what the NY Canal Corp was trying to accomplish which was a safe, sustainable Erie Canal system for the 21st century.

TOWN OF BRIGHTON:

First article is a State of the Village/Town address by Bill Moehle from February 2018. In it Mr. M talks about how they are fighting the Erie Canal "ClearCut" in Court and looking out for the residents best interest...now subject to debate. I'm not sure anyone would agree that simply ignoring the presence of Unsafe Earthen Dams in any community is looking out for best interests of anyone. Save you the trouble of hunting it down.. it's on page 16 of this 18 page speech.



https://www.townofbrighton.org/documentcenter/view/8518

Another one from Dec 27, 2017 regarding what has to be the meeting held between Brighton, The NY Canal Corp, and several prominent STCC Leaders regarding the Erie Canal Embankment Restoration Project...of course Brighton Town Officials prefer the ominous "clearcut" term. Seems many communication documents were submitted for review at this Board Meeting



https://www.townofbrighton.org/DocumentCenter/View/8201/Town-Board-Meeting-12_27_2017?bidId=

That was about all I could find on a quick search... let's go to the next one.

TOWN OF PITTSFORD:

Once again, you have to dig deep and only find where the town "believes" fighting this Erie Canal Embankment Safety Program is a "feather in the cap".. not a black eye for the Town residents.

Here's another page posting information about the EERP Court injunction stopping the Embankment work  for the so called "required" State Environmental Quality Review. All that was accomplished with this tactic was a delay of the inevitable, it's never a good plan to fight against a state-wide public safety on  one of NY State's most critical assests.



http://townofpittsford.org/news/pittsford-brighton-perinton-win-lawsuit-re-canal-clear-cut-03-08-2018

Did find this little tidbit.. kind of interesting that way back in 2003 Pittsford was discussing another "clear-cut" that they WANTED to do... seems the terms you all use out there are "bent as needed" to fit the agenda desired.



http://townofpittsford.org/home-tbminutes-100703

Mike,

You would think there would be more on the new Canal Corporation Earthen Embankment Integrity Program (EEIP) that will be restarting in these towns later this year, with Embankment Dam Remediation. Since the DEC ruled in favor of the NY Canal Corporations SEQR evaluation last October, the Court Injunction is now rendered "obsolete" as Eastern Monroe County Towns were removed from the EERP project and are now part of the EEIP program.

All of the Villages, Towns & Counties EAST of Rochester will get exactly what the Towns of Brighton, Pittsford & Perinton requested, a full State Environmental review of the Erie Canal Embankments as part of the EEIP Program. All of these reviews will be completed on SEQR Forms and submitted to the State & Counties so this SAFETY project will move forward again... removing large woody vegetation from the sides of unsafe Embankments Dams that make up 112 miles of the Erie Canal.

After all this EEI Program, like many, is trying to conform to a NATIONAL plan for Dam Safety passed in 2006... it's all about safety.


Go and look it up if you don't believe the NY Canal Corporation or NYPA.. these folks are simply trying to follow the law.
https://www.congress.gov/bill/109th-congress/senate-bill/2735