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Author Topic: NYPA has spoken!  (Read 140 times)

Michael Caswell

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NYPA has spoken!
« on: February 12, 2022, 06:19:30 am »


Today, the STCC leaders have released a rant that really signals the end of their little fiasco.

The NYPA sent letters to officials and their main thrust was they were concerned with TWO risk factors -
1. the hazard rating (an indication of the likelihood of loss of life or significant economic impact in the event of a failure)
2. the condition rating (which implies the likelihood of a failure). Where the risks are high, we have no choice but to protect public safety.

They have NEVER wavered from this standpoint. How could they? Wouldn't that be accepting the responsibility of the loss of many lives? It is ridiculous in the extreme to think the NYPA would take any other position.

And Ms Agte says, "Non-problematic trees & vegetation"  Really? After all this time these folks STILL don't see the problem? This is what happens when you have people with no dam engineering qualifications trying to look at a dam's problems. Rose colored glasses? Squirrels and bees and butterflies - it's all so lovely. (I jest!)

It's no wonder the NYPA have shunned Agte et al. It's long overdue in my opinion.



They are a 'little bit pissed off' eh!  Haven't got their own way eh!  Ha!




Hopefully, the NYPA will carry out their obligation to the people of Perinton etc. and  bring these dangerous dams up to code this year.



« Last Edit: February 14, 2022, 11:09:56 am by Michael Caswell »

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Doug K

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Well well well, the moment of TRUTH has finally come, and Erie Canal Neighbors couldn't be happier.

Finally they will have the unsafe canal embankments that threaten their property repaired, and made safe again.



And of course, we also see the true nature of the social media campaign against the clearing of earthen dams start to play out, the meltdown of the Founder of the Stop the Canal Clear-cut movement. It wasn't about public safety for sure, and not really about saving trees or creating "SHADE" as the group avidly pointed out.

No it's really about "inclusion" and the "importance" of the Facebook Group's "leadership", who feels slighted and "are a little pissed off" that finally the New York State Canal Corporation has come to it's senses and dropped them entirely from the conversation... read below and what has been highlighted.


Elizabeth R. Agte - Posted to Facebook on February 11, 2022

On Monday, February 7th, Rebecca Hughes, Senior Director of Public Engagement for CC/NYPA wrote an email alerting the Monroe County Executive Bello, and the Town Supervisors, Hanna, Smith and Moehle that a hard copy letter was on the way to them as a response to their letter to Governor Hochul in December. The letter was written by Brian Stratton and Justin Driscoll. As you can see below that letter is just so much more blah, blah, blah. We have heard that wordsmithing for four years. Not impressed. I certainly donít need to point out the lack of shift change here, you all have been around this block as often as we have.

What has concerned us all week, is that there were not four signatures on that letter, there were six. Virginia Borden Maier and I also signed that letter, and did we get a reply, an acknowledgment that we are the engines of this grassroots effort to keep non-problematic vegetation and trees on the Historic Erie Canal? Clearly no.
 
It was a calculated and strategic decision on the part of CC/NYPA to exclude us from communications going forward. To the extent that they intentionally dismissed a third of the signatories, shows that even the largest state power authority in the country is willing to stoop to bad business manners and lack of professional protocol, because they donít know what else to do.
 
I donít know Justin, but shame on Brian with whom I have had polite conversations for four years now, have had pictures taken with him, and we have asked about each otherís families. I know we are on opposite sides of this debate but I always took Brian for a gentleman if nothing else. My bad.
 
Rebecca came on board, in large part I suspect, to contain us. Throughout the entire comment period last summer and into September, she kept repeating that she was there to listen, available for our concerns and questions. We want the stakeholders to know we are listening. We hear you! But in her email she clearly stated that any conversation going forward is going to be exclusively with elected officials only. When they trot out their ďred-linedĒ draft, the only ones who will be in the room to comment will be specifically NOT US, the stakeholders. Hypocrisy at itís finest.
 
My overarching concern is that NYPA has decided to entirely redact us. As in, Rebecca tried for a few split seconds (in the age of trees) to win us over, and it didnít work, because we could see that the program itself was not changing (we have been at this rodeo for a long time) and we didnít care if they send out gold detailed letters announcing the removal of the trees along the canal.

We still donít want the trees removed for no good reason. Period.
 
Stay tuned. We arenít sitting still. Cause we are just a little bit pissed off.


Wow...

"They signed the letter", they are the "engines of the grassroots movement"... and the overarching concern for being "redacted" from the conversation? Really?

Seems like this group doesn't want anything to do with grass, or its roots. They are really a "tree roots movement" and sadly the trees and their roots are the bad guy when it comes to vegetation that is growing on "water impounding embankments" as NYPA has finally defined them. Of course this group claims they are all just hills or levees.

So this whole thing is not about shade now, it's really about whether Elizabeth and her pal Ginny, get a seat at the discussion table?


Just want to clarify for the audience reading...the group wasn't redacted... they were ELIMINATED from the conversation... period.

Here's what redacted means and how and why it's done...

How to Redact

If a record contains material that must be redacted, such as a social security number or unlisted phone number, redaction may be accomplished by using a visually obvious method that shows the requester the specific location of any redacted material in the record.

For example, if redacting a social security number or similar type of small-scale redaction, custodian's should:

Make a paper copy of the original record and manually "black out" the information on the copy with a dark colored marker;
Then provide a copy of the blacked-out record to the requester.

The blacked out area shows where information was redacted, while the double copying ensures that the requester will not be able to "see-through" to the original, non-accessible text. If "white-out" correction fluid is used to redact material, some visual symbol should be placed in the space formerly occupied by the redacted material to show the location of redacted material.

If full pages are to be redacted, the custodian should give the requester a visible indication that a particular page of that record is being redacted, such as a blank sheet bearing the word "Page redacted" or a written list of the specific page numbers being withheld. The purpose is to provide formal communication to the requester making it clear that material was not provided.


That is what REDACTION is... and this is what it would look like:



(NOTE: The redacted sections ADDED on this note are ONLY to EMPHASIZE what a redaction WOULD LOOK LIKE.
The words shown & "black-out marking" are NOT part of the original New York State Canal Corporation email or notices.)


Obviously this is not what happened. This facebook group, it's leaders especially, have not ever considered the safety of the public to be an issue, they labeled the Canal Corporation as "fear-mongers". The group led by Ms Agte has added NO VALUE to the solution for the problem of "unsafe earthen embankments", in fact they have caused more harm than good for their own community. They have cost the Canal Corporation hundreds of thousands of extra dollars, spent on creating a State Environmental Review and Embankment Clearing Manual that Towns asked for in a lawsuit. That lawsuit spurred on by this group's leaders.

And now the group, it's leaders, and the Three Towns have been told the same thing... sorry "shade" is not as important as public safety.

So, for the good of the Erie Canal, the good of all Canal Communities, and for the SAFETY of the general public & neighbors living below these dams...these two "crusaders" have been ELIMINATED, from the conversation about Erie Canal Embankments. That's right, eliminated from the discussion which is a much better word for the circumstances





On the bright side, the STCC group was instrumental in lowering the cost of embankment work in Perinton & Pittsford, along with all affected embankments that are part of the Earthen Embankment Integrity Program. The Canal Corporation originally planned to do a "restoration" of the embankments in these towns, but with the lawsuit that stopped them in 2018 so too went that plan to restore eastside canal dams, now the only allowed covering is grass or pollinators. No woody vegetation will be planted.

That is a savings of about $1.2 Million Dollars on the EEIP work there. That is what was paid for 1700 evergreens, dogwoods, and junipers that now line the top of the Embankment Dams along the Empire Trail in Brockport and most parts west.


And in gratitude, Mr. Stratton was seen showing Ms. Agte how to generate her own "shade" using common household items


« Last Edit: February 21, 2022, 09:49:22 am by Doug K »

Doug K

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If you read that letter again, carefully, you will see terms like "deferred maintenance" , flood risk, and canal community used often.

But not as often as the two words: public & safety.


Because unsafe, 100 year old earthen water impounding embankments are what is supposed to be the concern, the problem, and the catalyst for all solutions that might be brought forward by the public.

The Canal Corporation has "deferred" their embankment maintenance for more than 25 years, according to NYS Rules & Regulations, hidden behind the "definitions" used by those who owned the NYS Canal System before the New York Power Authority took it over. And NYPA understand the reality of owning and using unsafe dams in NY State, it's not allowed...because they are a Power & Utility Provider.


Here's the letter again: my redline highlights



And now read what a local "grassroots" leader says about trees on the same embankments...

Elizabeth R. Agte - Posted to Facebook on February 11, 2022

On Monday, February 7th, Rebecca Hughes, Senior Director of Public Engagement for CC/NYPA wrote an email alerting the Monroe County Executive Bello, and the Town Supervisors, Hanna, Smith and Moehle that a hard copy letter was on the way to them as a response to their letter to Governor Hochul in December. The letter was written by Brian Stratton and Justin Driscoll. As you can see below that letter is just so much more blah, blah, blah. We have heard that wordsmithing for four years. Not impressed. I certainly donít need to point out the lack of shift change here, you all have been around this block as often as we have.

What has concerned us all week, is that there were not four signatures on that letter, there were six. Virginia Borden Maier and I also signed that letter, and did we get a reply, an acknowledgment that we are the engines of this grassroots effort to keep non-problematic vegetation and trees on the Historic Erie Canal? Clearly no.
 
It was a calculated and strategic decision on the part of CC/NYPA to exclude us from communications going forward. To the extent that they intentionally dismissed a third of the signatories, shows that even the largest state power authority in the country is willing to stoop to bad business manners and lack of professional protocol, because they donít know what else to do.
 
I donít know Justin, but shame on Brian with whom I have had polite conversations for four years now, have had pictures taken with him, and we have asked about each otherís families. I know we are on opposite sides of this debate but I always took Brian for a gentleman if nothing else. My bad.
 
Rebecca came on board, in large part I suspect, to contain us. Throughout the entire comment period last summer and into September, she kept repeating that she was there to listen, available for our concerns and questions. We want the stakeholders to know we are listening. We hear you! But in her email she clearly stated that any conversation going forward is going to be exclusively with elected officials only. When they trot out their ďred-linedĒ draft, the only ones who will be in the room to comment will be specifically NOT US, the stakeholders. Hypocrisy at itís finest.
 
My overarching concern is that NYPA has decided to entirely redact us. As in, Rebecca tried for a few split seconds (in the age of trees) to win us over, and it didnít work, because we could see that the program itself was not changing (we have been at this rodeo for a long time) and we didnít care if they send out gold detailed letters announcing the removal of the trees along the canal.

We still donít want the trees removed for no good reason. Period.
 
Stay tuned. We arenít sitting still. Cause we are just a little bit pissed off.



The NYS Canal Corporation just said in the very same letter referenced by Ms. Agte, that ALL trees on embankments are "problematic" and that they have to come OFF for the SAFETY of the public to prevent possible loss of life or property of neighboring communities. And Ms. Agte's reply is "I don't think so, that's not a good enough reason"

It's no wonder that the Canal Corporation "opted out" of including the leader of a group that won't listen to reason, or has any amount of common sense. I guess some people will never understand "what they don't know", blame Dunning Kruger again

What the Canal Corporation has stated in this letter is EXACTLY what they found in their SEQR Environmental study, and supported by their NYS Canal Integrity Program.


https://www.nyscanalintegrity.org/



And the vegetation that was asked for by Ms. Agte and company WAS included in the new Embankment Manual, when the NYC Canal Corp. allowed the "pollinator planting" section to be added. They state plainly that even these small plantings can become an issue for leaks, seeps and burrows.




And so the message has always been the same from the NYS Canal Corporation and parent company, NYPA, from the very beginning, about canal embankments...

 That message is that PUBLIC SAFETY matters more than any other reason that some might think to "keep trees" in place on 100 year old earth dams. Sadly it's not the message that some in our community wanted to hear, but it's the truth, so we ALL have to live with it...period.

And it's time to stop standing in the way of NYS public safety work, before something tragic happens and we all say.. "told you so"


Go read the NYS Canal Corporation Embankment Manual for yourself... it's about FIXING DAMS, nothing else.

https://www.canals.ny.gov/Earthen_Embankment/DGEIS/Attach1_Final_Draft_Embankment_Maintenance_Best_Practices_2021.03.10.pdf
« Last Edit: February 12, 2022, 02:56:38 pm by Doug K »

Brockport Canal Neighbor

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Re: NYPA has spoken!
« Reply #3 on: February 13, 2022, 07:39:23 am »
Amazing! Never thought it was possible for anyone to be so blind to obvious facts.

More amazing, it appears that this Agte person is running a social media group but cant seem to read or understand simple words or phrases.
« Last Edit: February 13, 2022, 07:56:26 am by Doug K »

Doug K

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Re: NYPA has spoken!
« Reply #4 on: February 13, 2022, 08:05:45 am »
A clear case of Selective Understanding

That's where someone might chose to ignore everything they hear or read that doesn't jive with what they believe to be the truth...or at least the truth according to their somewhat limited experience or understanding.

Or perhaps its just someone who realizes they have been wrong all this time, but has decided to ignore that truth, and insist that everyone else is wrong.

But we all know that will only go so far before the "smarter" people catch on.

The ECNA has come to realize one important truth about this Facebook group, its members, and its leadership...

Reading Comprehension is not something that this group has mastered yet, especially if what is written doesn't agree with the dribble their "founders" are whining about on any given day.
« Last Edit: February 13, 2022, 09:27:00 am by Doug K »

Doug K

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It doesn't get any more clear than this, does it?



Rebecca Hughes of the NYS Canal Corporation sent this email out to the three town supervisors who sued this NYS agency to STOP the last Embankment Program in 2018. And those three towns asked for a SEQR review that was delivered, along with an Embankment Integrity Manual and Best Practices Guidebook, outlining all reasons why this Canal Maintenance works has to proceed... for the good of PUBLIC SAFETY!

Now lets see if anyone of those three Town Supervisors, or members of a local Facebook group are willing to make this statement:

"No one cares about Public Safety in Perinton, Pittsford or Brighton, leave the dam trees on the Canal Embankments because they are pretty and give us shade".

I would not believe that anyone would actually say those words, but with this group involved, and these three Town Leaders, you never know what might happen. After all, the STCC group and several government officials have been fighting against canal maintenance and public safety for 4 years now. why would they stop, even if they have been told they were wrong.
« Last Edit: February 13, 2022, 10:12:46 am by Doug K »