Author Topic: Nextdoor.com Lead is a member of STCC  (Read 186 times)

Michael Caswell

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Nextdoor.com Lead is a member of STCC
« on: April 24, 2019, 07:22:53 am »
Some time ago, a rather long letter was posted on South West Fairport nextdoor.com by a Jamie Meuwissen, one of the leaders of the STCC group. It was a collection of questions and statements sent to Jacquie Schillinger of the New York Power Authority.  I was disturbed by this letter because it had numerous inaccuracies in the statements made and the questions were very pointed, and obviously angled to put the NYPA in a bad light.

The post has been left up for several months for all to see, and I was surprised that there was no response from the NYPA.

Then I noticed a letter on the STCC webpage which seemed to answer all the points raised in this post, so I asked Jacquie Schillenger if Meuwissen's letter had actually been answered. I mentioned the Miller letter here and Ms Schillenger confirmed that this was the same letter send out to several other people at the same time. It seems the STCC members all asked the same thing. This appears to be a common ploy by these folks.



Here's the letter Ms Meuwissen sent out.
Jamie Meuwissen
, Southwest Fairport·13 Dec 17
For what it's worth, I just sent the following e-mail to Ms. Schillinger at the Canal Corporation. I am skeptical that sufficient due diligence has been executed here to balance the many competing interests at stake. While public safety is and should be the highest priority, I am not yet convinced that the measures selected under the Vegetation Management Project are the only options. I have read the studies and PowerPoint presentations that have been posted, and the Army Corps guidelines cited in the Canal Corporation's presentation (that can be found on the Army Corps' website). None of the evidence the Canal Corporation has cited is conclusive. Some of the other material posted to this thread concerns western water management and reclamation, which is an entirely different ballgame. Further, I am skeptical of the rigor of any "hazard assessment" that may have been conducted since it does not seem to be publicly available and am deeply troubled by the lack of any documentation suggesting that this project went through a State Environmental Quality Review (SEQR) or some other type of alternatives assessment.

===============================
Ms. Schillinger,

As a homeowner along one section of the Erie Canal that will be most heavily impacted by the Vegetation Management Project, I am writing to express my deep concerns about this project and the public communication and transparency around it. I also intend to obtain additional information about the rationale for the project that I have been unable to find publicly through the following organizations’ websites: NYS Canal Corporation, NYS Power Authority, NYS Department of Environmental Conservation, and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.

As a natural resources management policy professional, I have several concerns about the Vegetation Management Project and the process used to develop it.

·         Public communication efforts. A December 9, 2017 Canal Corporation slide presentation located online states: “The Canal Corporation has implemented a comprehensive Education and Community Outreach program to inform and educate the local communities in advance of the Vegetation Management Program,” including directly reaching out to all local and state elected officials and stakeholders in the impacted areas; collaborating with a variety of media outlets to help spread the word about the work; establishing a webpage devoted to the project; and utilizing social media to keep residents and other members of the public informed. In response to these efforts, I offer the following concerns:

1.       I would consider all homeowners in the affected areas to be stakeholders, and no one has made direct contact with me or other homeowners in my neighborhood. As a result, the Canal Corporation’s statement about reaching out to all stakeholders in the impacted areas is misleading.

2.       Establishing a webpage alone does not constitute adequate, let alone exemplary, transparency or public communication. While some relevant documents are publicly available about the plan being undertaken, there is no information supporting why this particular alternative was selected or what, if any, other alternatives were considered. Furthermore, there is little scientific support for the chosen method of clear cutting hundreds of acres of trees.

3.       The only communication about this project on social media I have seen is in local groups who have organized in response to the project and share many of my concerns.

4.       The presentation cites a 1974 canal embankment failure as the sole supporting example for the potential consequences of such a breach. However, this failure was the result of human error rather than embedded tree roots. This is disingenuous and fear inducing, neither of which constitute responsible and transparent public communication. 

5.       The public information meetings started being held AFTER the project was already underway. This is not an effective approach to build trust, be transparent, or carry out the public good.

·         Transparency. In the December 9, 2017 slide presentation, there are numerous statements made without references to supporting technical information. For example:

1.       NYPA and the Canal Corporation are taking “proactive, appropriate measures to…”
§  Using what criteria and processes were the measures determined to be appropriate?

2.       “Vegetation Management work is taking place at 56 locations covering 145 acres…”
§  How were these locations and this acreage selected?

3.       The presentation states that a hazard classification was completed to evaluate the potential consequences of a failure of the canal embankment.
§  Who conducted this hazard classification?
§  When was the classification conducted?
§  Did the hazard classification follow U.S. Army Corps of Engineers’ risk assessment guidelines? If so, please cite the guidance title and number. If not, what guidelines governed the hazard classification?
§  Where can the results of that hazard classification be found? Please provide a copy or a link to the documentation.

4.       “The consensus among dam safety engineers, including the Army Corps of Engineers and Federal Emergency Management Agency, is that the presence of trees and woody plants on earthen dams…”
§  Can you provide copies of or links to the documentation that supports the positions of these entities?
§  If the Army Corps of Engineers position in this statement is derived from the agency’s 2011 report, how, if at all, was the agency’s 2014 position reversal taken into account when developing this Vegetation Management Project?

·         Additional questions:
1.       The NYS DEC website has the following language regarding when a State Environmental Quality Review (SEQR) applies: “SEQR also applies if an agency funds or directly undertakes a project, or adopts a resource management plan, rule or policy that affects the environment.” Unarguably, the Vegetation Management Project is agency funded and affects the environment. Did it go through the SEQR or NEPA processes?

§  If so, where can the relevant SEQR/NEPA documents be found?
§  If not, why not? Who made and approved that determination?

2.       What, if any, public input and transparency efforts were undertaken as the plan was in the early stages of development and prior to finalization?

3.       How, if at all, has the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers been involved in the design and implementation of the project?

4.       Who are the points of contact at the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, the New York Power Authority, and the Canal Corporation with the engineering and natural resource management subject-matter expertise that supported the development of this project, including conducting the hazard assessment and selecting the sites for tree removal? Please provide a list of names, titles, phone numbers, and e-mails where these points of contact can be reached for further information.

I look forward to your prompt responses to my questions and document requests.

Regards,

Jamie Meuwissen


Why was this reply never posted to Nextdoor?  Perhaps they didn't like the reply?

« Last Edit: January 27, 2020, 02:07:18 pm by Michael Caswell »

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Michael Caswell

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Nextdoor.com Lead is a member of STCC
« Reply #1 on: April 24, 2019, 08:10:57 am »
SW Fairport Nextdoor Lead is a member of the Stop The Clear Cut Group.
Nikki Weston (Nicole French Weston) is registered on their Facebook page

https://m.facebook.com/groups/374651252977621?refid=18&_ft_=top_level_post_id.
381915445584535%3Acontent_owner_id_new.725545753%3Astory_location.6&__tn__=C-R

Facebook

Ms Weston has been deleting my posts regarding the progress of and activities of The NYPA Canal Corp and the Vegetation program involving the dangerous earthen embankment dams. Recently there has been a tremendous amount of work going on west of here, and the information I posted has been welcomed by many.
She cited ‘over posting’ and complaints from neighbors, but these complaints were orchestrated by Elizabeth Agte, founder of Stop The Clear Cut, as can be seen by the statement made recently regarding my recent post.
Agte said, “I have reported him to the site admin. I would strongly suggest that any member of this group who has stood tall and proud for the civilized dialog we have had on this page also report him for this post....

No one contacted me, to discuss the posts, or to notify me they had been removed.
Weston is an STCC member, and a new Nextdoor Lead. It appears she was introduced to Nextdoor by J Meuwissen who is a very vocal spokesperson for the STCC.

Ms Weston should have recused herself from any involvement in my posts, knowing the opposing opinion that exists between the ECNA & the STCC.

She’s made bad decisions here, and I believe she’s not fit to be a Nextdoor Lead, and have informed the head office of this.
« Last Edit: February 26, 2020, 09:51:14 am by Michael Caswell »

Doug K

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Re: A disturbing post on Nextdoor.
« Reply #2 on: April 24, 2019, 02:34:37 pm »
Status Quo for this group's leadership team, who appears to have been caught yet again, not being "transparent" with the facts or the truth. Hard to pin down these folks on what they would like, but we sure all hear what they don't.

And it seems like they just don't like being told No...by the same person... 4 times.

Is this that "Do as I say, not as I Do" thing? Because another leader of the STCC just posted on Facebook about "illegible" information being normal standard for Canal Communication with the public. If this isn't a bit of poetic justice... a group who seems to not post information they receive that matters to their followers, is complaining about the Canal Corporation's "messy" map submission... at least the Canal folks tried.. right?



So it's a good mix... No communication is OK if it's from the STCC it appears, but have a hand sketch shows up on Twitter and all Canal Hell, breaks loose.

There is a day coming soon, when all this confusion gets cleared away, along with trees on embankment dams in Fairport, Perinton, Brighton & Pittsford. It's a day when green grass & wildflowers are covering safe Erie Canal Embankments, and the STCC is just something people just snicker about, and shake their heads.

Tick Tock

Doug K

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Re: Nextdoor.com Lead is a member of STCC
« Reply #3 on: April 25, 2019, 08:28:41 am »
Yet another example of how deeply conflicted the membership of the Stop the Canal Clearcut appears to be.

Read more about this here.

https://ecna.createaforum.com/perinton-canal-embankment-discussion/new-info-has-the-nextdoor-app-community-in-fairport-perinton-been-compromised/

Michael Caswell

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Re: Nextdoor.com Lead is a member of STCC
« Reply #4 on: April 26, 2019, 07:40:49 am »
I recently received this in the mail from Nikki Weston

From: Nikki via Nextdoor <reply@rs.email.nextdoor.com>
Subject: Private message: Complaint
Date: April 24, 2019 at 10:12:40 PM EDT
To: mjcaswell@me.com
Reply-To: reply+GQ3DSNZZGI4V64DSN5SHKY3UNFXW4X2QJVPTCMBYGE2DQNZXGI4V6NBUHA4DKMJVL4======@reply.nextdoor.com

Conversation between you and Nikki Weston, Southwest Fairport
   
Nikki Weston, Southwest Fairport LEAD
Michael, I read your blog, and would like to correct inaccuracies, either intentional or speculative, which you have claimed. I joined ND in 2015. Due to being one of the original members in this neighborhood, I was designated as a lead moderator. I was not introduced to ND by Jamie Meuwissen, as you have stated. Although I am a friend of Jamie’s, neither she nor anybody else has attempted to influence my decisions.
I joined STCC after hearing about this issue on the news. Although I am not in favor of the clear cut, I respect everyone’s right to voice their opinions, as I previously told you. I deleted 2 of your posts after receiving complaints from neighbors. After reviewing the content of these particular posts, and the nature of the complaints, I agreed they were in violation of the terms of use of the ND site. That is the only reason they were removed. If the people that complained about your posts are also members of STCC, it’s without my knowledge. I am not trying to silence your views. You have posted, reposted and replied to your own posts dozens of times over the past year. If I had been trying to suppress your views, I would have deleted your posts when they began.
By the way, as one of your supporters has implied, Katherine Weston is neither a relative of mine, nor do I know her.
I will not be resigning as a lead moderator, and this is the last time I will be responding to you regarding this issue.
Nikki


My reply

Nikki Weston.

Does it really matter who introduced you to nextdoor? I did see somewhere on your profile an introductory note about Meuwissen. She, and you, are both STCC members, which is the issue.
You are trying to tell me that there is no influence by Meuwissen and the STCC. Well, I think you’re a liar.  It’s obvious, because by her own admission on the STCC Facebook page, Elizabeth Agte was feeding you with ‘complaints’ from her little coven of members, and you acted on those.

We can simply prove that by requesting the names of those complaining. I’ll bet every one of them will be a member of the STCC,

Because of your affiliation with the STCC, you should have recused yourself from becoming involved, and passed the perceived problem to someone else. Brian Cordoba would have handled that differently, but that would not have suited your STCC pal’s agenda.

No where have you explicitly described the nature of the complaints or how they were ‘violated’.

You removed an article that was about safety and it called out our local government officials who were not complying with the law.

I will be posting from time to time on nextdoor. If you interfere with this again, I will report you to nextdoor HQ, and publish this on the ECNA forum.  I believe you have already been reprimanded.

« Last Edit: January 27, 2020, 02:05:12 pm by Michael Caswell »

Michael Caswell

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NEXTDOOR doesn't know which way is up!
« Reply #5 on: February 26, 2020, 10:20:29 am »
I encouraged 120 Fairport residents to join this Nextdoor setup, and just lately, I'm beginning to regret ever doing that.

We ( the ECNA) have discovered some disturbing facts regarding the running of Fairport. These came to light after seeing the new School Budget being pushed through. $65,000,000 for things like plastic grass on the playing fields, is a tough pill for me  to swallow, especially as my property/school taxes are over $14,000 a year, and rising at the rate of $600+ a year.

It came to light that Fairport is by far the biggest spender of all the villages along the canal, even outdoing Pittsford.  Because there are so many layers of government here, we are paying for some things twice, once in the village and then again in the town of Perinton.
Then we discovered that there is actually NYS legislation encouraging villages to dissolve, to reduce the taxes and streamline all the services.  Reduction of taxes is estimated to be about 40%, a very welcome relief methinks.

So, where does NEXTDOOR fit into all this?

I have been told that they do not want anything 'political' or 'controversial' on their site, and I felt this problem would fit into that category, so I placed a link to the ECNA site, asking people to take their views there.

I was rather surprised to find out that this had been taken down. Was it because I was a little flippant, mentioning NEXTDOOR was better served with topics like lost kittens, or snow plowing services? (I might have mentioned Tupperware parties too).

I contacted the leads, and got a response from Brian saying that I had posted  a link to our site and that was, apparently, against NEXTDOOR's rules. That is a new twist, for sure.  I contacted the other lead, Ms Weston, and guess what - zip!  Guilty Nikki! She's done it again, blocking my posts, this time for a freshly made up rule.

In my experience, NEXTDOOR has a bunch of amateurs running the show. They are only interested in their advertising revenue. They have no regard for public safety or on anything subject that is worth intelligent adult discussion. Their moderators can't control a conversation, mainly because they have so many of them at their head office, you'll get flipped from one to another, over the same topic, almost as if they take it in turns to answer the incoming mail. Unfortunately, they don't even read the thread to fully understand the problems. And, worse, they have a pile of scripted answers they fob you off with.

I won't be recommending anyone else to join NEXTDOOR. My 120 count will stay there. And if you were one of them, please accept my apologies for suggesting this to you, but I guess if you've lost a kitten, or you need some weeds pulling, NEXTDOOR is fine!



Doug K

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Nextdoor is denying their own policies with ECNA Posts
« Reply #6 on: February 26, 2020, 01:21:52 pm »
Folks... the real issue is plain to see, prejudice by a few "STCC -Owned" Nextdoor moderators for Mike Caswell's posts, and anything related to the Erie Canal Neighbors Association. What they have stated as reason for pulling the posts has changed 3-4 times now. The last moderator said that because Mike had placed "links" to outside websites, the post was in violation of some rule, somewhere.

Sadly, once again, the Nextdoor staff was grasping at straws.

If Nextdoor didn't want external URL links placed into their members posts, why would they include instructions about how to do it on their help pages?



The ECNA is not going to be deterred. If you are using the Nextdoor App in the Fairport Area, and are concerned about Village Taxes, Erie Canal Safety or the Transformation of a 20th century canal to a 21st century Recreational Destination, come join in the the conversation here:

NEXTDOOR Fairport ECNA --> https://nextdoor.com/g/uam5zdbfc/

And the same goes for those of you in Brockport, who value the information that the ECNA brings to canal villages and towns. Get on Nextdoor and come join the ECNA in it's new Brockport "branch" Group.

NEXTDOOR Brockport ECNA --> https://nextdoor.com/g/3vllwqbcw/

Together we can help make the NYS canal system a safer, better public space than anyone can imagine. Support canal safety... join the discussion.
« Last Edit: February 26, 2020, 01:23:30 pm by Doug K »

Michael Caswell

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Re: Nextdoor.com Lead is a member of STCC
« Reply #7 on: August 09, 2020, 07:22:06 pm »
Here's an update to this Nextdoor moderator scene.

Nikki Weston is no longer a lead, but another has taken her place Kristen Edmund, perpetuating the harassment. She has even enlisted her husband Jesse as a lead. Two Nextdoor leads in the same house. Something wrong with THAT folks!
« Last Edit: August 13, 2020, 11:03:13 am by Michael Caswell »