Author Topic: All's quiet at the STCC forum.  (Read 688 times)

Michael Caswell

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All's quiet at the STCC forum.
« on: September 17, 2023, 04:20:07 pm »
Nothing going on when I checked this afternoon. Looks like they've gone underground or got fed up with banging their heads on a brick wall!

Over the past few weeks, I've been traveling around the area, and been paying attention to the views. The Perinton area is fairly hilly, so there are some magnificent views from the peaks of these hills. And what do I see? More than anything else -TREES!

We're not short of trees!

On my first visit to the States (from England) on my return, my wife asked me, "What was it like?" and my reply was "Trees- trees! They are everywhere!"

So, it still puzzles me where this rhetoric about saving a few trees illegally growing on an old, badly designed earthen dam comes from.  Obviously some folks haven't understood the importance of having a clean, easily maintained dam slope, and how dangerous this current situation is.

Or have they actually got it? It's awfully quiet!  Maybe the town supervisors have got it. Maybe the 'founders of the STCC have got it too?

NO TREES ON A DAM!

« Last Edit: September 18, 2023, 05:35:17 am by Michael Caswell »

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Doug K

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Re: All's quiet at the STCC forum.
« Reply #1 on: September 18, 2023, 07:44:53 am »
Just how long did anyone think this Facebook group could get away with telling the same "lies" about the condition of Erie Canal Embankments?

How long before the group's membership finally gets tired of the same old rhetoric from Leadership who has been in "dam denial" for 5 years?

You are correct Mr. Caswell, no new posts in a month, and STCC membership is now declining, maybe a result of more people understanding just how wrong this group has been on public safety and Erie Canal sustainability. Hopefully the group members realize it's time to leave this sinking ship, it's been full of holes for years.




But I myself will NOT believe that the Leadership of this Facebook has finally understood Earthen Dam Safety and how it matters along the Erie Canal Corridor, until they issue an apology to all of it's members, as well as NYPA and the NYS Canal Corporation, for being so "dam stupid" in the first place snd misleading so many people away from the "dam truth" about a hundred year old Erie Canal.

"Ignorance is bliss"... until you realize it's actually YOU being that Ignorant.

Doug K

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And now Rochester is into the second month of STCC Silence, which should be viewed as a gift after 5 years of their nonsense. Of course some may be thinking that the Group and Ms. Agte are silent because they have "won the battle" against tree removal along Erie Canal Embankments, but that is not true.

The Earthen Embankment Integrity Program is alive and well, clearing the embankments west of Rochester as this post is written.

Here's a few pictures of the NYS Canal Clearing Equipment along the Erie's overgrown "south" embankment outside Adams Basin near Spencerport





And the area being cleared is both inside the prism and along the raised embankment's outer southern slope. The northern slope has already been cleared here.





In this picture you can see the Embankment Grubbing Attachment, it's used to dig out smaller tree roots, and groom the slope for repairs and eventual seeding with approved "earthen dam vegetation" commonly known as grass. Looks like a few hundred feet has been cleared, along a typical 18' tall earthen dam holding the Erie Canal water inside, and protecting those living below the embankment beyond.





Perhaps this group of social media misfits has finally figured out that the Canal Corporation was working to RESTORE the Canal System so it can withstand another hundred years of use.

Or perhaps the group's leadership is now hiding in shame as many now understand that they were advocating for canal failure, all in the guise of keeping "shade" for their daily walk in Perinton & Fairport.

In either case it's a welcome relief for ALL OF US to not have to listen to the likes of Kevin Gallagher, Ginny Maier, or Elizabeth Agte whine on about their personal issues with canal corporation employees. or the local politicians who now understand that Canal Embankments are a DANGER to the communities they serve.

The message of safety finally may have gotten through to this group... Or maybe that's just wishful thinking.
« Last Edit: October 08, 2023, 10:19:55 am by Doug K »

Doug K

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And let's NOT forget the new PROJECTS webpage that the Canal Corporation recently launched, that shows where trail & embankment work is going on as well. This one is to the washout area in Palmyra, which already suffered one embankment failure that shut down travel for a few months.


Michael Caswell

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Re: All's quiet at the STCC forum.
« Reply #4 on: October 08, 2023, 10:42:13 am »
When I can see the view across Jefferson Rd from my canal-side home, I'll believe its all over. But it is looking like the three ringleaders have actually run out of steam. Perhaps a public apology from them and the three town superintendents would be appropriate?

Nope! That would just be asking for too much methinks!

Doug K

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Just announced by the NYS Empire Trail Group, more EMBANKMENT REPAIR work out west near Royalton, NY. This is slated to last until May 2024, and is more than likely part of their Earthen Embankment Integrity Program efforts



https://empiretrail.ny.gov/trail-closures


Just an FYI. for those who understand the issues with raised earthen dams, Royalton was the same area that had a SINKHOLE a few years back, we wrote this article about that event:


https://ecna.createaforum.com/notices-from-the-canal-authority/notice-to-trail-users-detour-on-empire-erie-canal-trail-due-to-royalton-ny-sinkh/?message=1835

Once again, nothing from that Facebook Group (Stop the Canal Clear-cut) who believes that repairing earthen dams is somehow going to be a step in the wrong direction, and NOTHING should be done to fix the worsening dam safety issues along the Erie waterway & Empire trail.

They prefer to keep things as is, all in the name of "Shady walks", and "Scenery".

Perhaps they have figured out finally that this is really about another word that starts with an "S".


SAFETY.
« Last Edit: October 18, 2023, 05:42:18 am by Michael Caswell »

Doug K

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It only took a few days for the NYS Canal Corporation to update it's webpage for EEIP / ETIP Projects, here's the Royalton Trail closure blurb on repairs.



File this REPAIR work under the new Earthen Embankment Integrity effort, or perhaps it's falling under the Empire Trail Integrity Program, ETIP for short. Either way it's an effort in the right direction to help the 21st century Erie Canal survive it's next 100 years of public abuse & scrutiny by social media naysayers.

Michael Caswell

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Re: All's quiet at the STCC forum.
« Reply #7 on: October 19, 2023, 12:11:21 pm »
Does this mean we will actually hear chainsaws, and trees falling?

No one seems to want to say the word 'chainsaw'.
« Last Edit: October 20, 2023, 07:55:48 am by Michael Caswell »

Doug K

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And is anyone else curious why the "regular whiners" within the Stop the Canal Clear-cut group have suddenly become silent on all these topics surrounding Embankment Integrity & Repair? Where's all the Facebook posts supporting Ms. Agte and her crazy view of public safety?

Where's the STCC's Lead Engineer, Mr. Kevin Gallagher?  Kevin has been silent for nearly 10 months now, with his last post in February 2022. He may have figured this out finally after 5 years.

Where's that cohort of Ms Agte, group co-founder Ms. Virginia Maier? Ginny has been silent for over half a year, letting Ms Agte make a fool of herself without support. Perhaps Ms. Maier has FINALLY been told by her "biology department co-workers" that trees are an issue growing on earthen water impoundments called Dams.

Where's those "boots on the ground" whiners like Susan Donk & Cody Butlin? Not a word since late Spring 2023... surely they must be displeased about something in Brockport,  no dead screening vegetation, no issues with the new Brockport Skyway?

Nope,  it's just more of the Agte / Oakes show, with Mr Oakes still not acknowledging the 60' dam in his own backyard, and Ms Agte still complaining that the priority should be Erie Canal trail shade and the water temperature, for the poor fish.  Not a word about huge public safety issue the Erie Canal has become for NY State, and all living near these aging earthen structures.
« Last Edit: November 13, 2023, 11:21:50 am by Doug K »

Michael Caswell

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Doug!   This was HILARIOUS!   

:)
« Last Edit: November 13, 2023, 11:22:02 am by Doug K »

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Mike, hasn't that been the BEST part of the NYS Canal Corporation's efforts to IMPROVE Earthen Embankment Integrity along the NYS Canal System...the humor?

Tell me, is it the humor & chuckles watching this Facebook group try to ignore the "elephant in the room" called Public Safety, and also try to defend their position to simply ignore the data & recommendations from experts in Dam Safety & Maintenance, and follow the "musings" of a Beekeeper named Agte? Still to this day there has not been one word about the safety aspects of the whole Canal Embankment Integrity from this STCC group, just ignorant denial.

Or is it the humor & astonishment watching the New York State Canal Corporation fumble with something as easy as gaining public support for a public safety effort like improving Erie Canal Integrity & Safety? They seem to have still "missed the boat" on that one, as this social media group is still the number one threat to Canal safety in Western New York.

Or perhaps it's the humor watching the New York Power Authority wrestle with trying to appease this Stop the Clear-cut group, while trying to keep Erie Canal Neighbors safe, and at the same time working to change the image of the Erie Canal as a huge taxpayer-funded "money pit"? Have to wonder how much this Royalton Canal Integrity Issue has cost, especially with this new cut-off wall project that will use a Bentonite/Soil Slurry to build a HALF MILE LONG water barrier wall that could be as much as 60 feet deep.

One thing may be for certain here, speaking of humor... the NYS Canal & Power Authority is probably not laughing this one off.

The cost of delayed Embankment Dam Maintenance is now getting fairly expensive for NYPA, this type of EEIP repair was outlined in the SEQR Report for the program, and had a cost of $3.5M-$7M dollars per mile.



The repair for this single embankment section in Royalton, using this Slurry/Bentonite Cut-Off Wall, may cost as much as $3,500,000. The cost of public safety for those living in and around the Erie Canal in Gaines NY just went up substantially. This single repair should be a wake up call for those communities, alarm bells ringing, time to pay heed to the message of public safety by those who operate the Erie Canal system.

Sadly though, all of this is happening while a small Facebook group in Fairport is still promoting that "nothing is wrong" with the Erie Canal, no safety concerns, it's all "fear-mongering". Ms. Agte and her group must believe somehow, that NYS just spent $3.5 MILLION DOLLARS, to perpetuate the "myth" of Canal Integrity issues?

How absurd is that folks?

About as absurd as "warm fish" needing shady Erie Canal water perhaps?

« Last Edit: November 15, 2023, 07:13:30 am by Doug K »

Doug K

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News Flash:

Dateline November 20, 2023 - Rochester Facebook Group Continues to Ignore Public Safety Issues with Erie Canal


Once again, the NYS Canal Corporation is "crystal clear" about Erie Canal Embankment Seepage Issues and the Meta Group called Stop the Canal Clear-cut continues to whine & complain about that very issue. One member posted a news blip that showed up locally, but unfortunately the entire group seems unwilling to read the article, or accept what that safety message says.

The group, and most of it's members, still to this day are unwilling to acknowledge or discuss the Public Safety concerns brought up by the New York State Canal Corporation. That is sad, and also dangerous for any of the 100s of Canal Neighbors lining the miles and miles of unsafe, aging earthen embankments throughout NY State.

You would think in light of a large repair like that in Royalton, the group would start to catch on, but you know what they say about "stupid"... it can't be fixed.





We will post that NEWS article here, so everyone can see the inherent BIAS this group has for acknowledging the continuing issue with Erie Canal Safety. Read the statement below that followed the Orleans Hub Story in quotes

https://orleanshub.com/canal-corp-working-on-embankment-in-royalton-that-has-been-prone-to-seepage/


The Canal Corporation’s EEIP is a comprehensive and programmatic approach to restore, maintain, and manage earthen embankments. An earthen embankment is an engineered structure or dam wall of the canal, which is made from soil, rock, clay, and other “earthen material,” holding water for a prolonged period above the adjacent land surface elevation. Earthen embankments comprise about 130 miles of the 524-mile Canal system and are located across the state.

Embankment failures could have significant consequences for the communities nearby and areas downstream, which include loss of life, property damage, damage to essential infrastructure, and the loss of benefits such as hydroelectric generation, navigation, and water supply.

In recent years, water levels in a few areas of the canal, including this stretch in Royalton, have been reduced due to concerns about embankment integrity. While reduced depths are an effective way to mitigate embankment seeps, the adjustments can also limit the amount of water available for agriculture and fishing, complicate inspections for officials, and present safety concerns for boaters.

« Last Edit: November 20, 2023, 09:30:25 am by Doug K »

Michael Caswell

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Re: All's quiet at the STCC forum.
« Reply #12 on: November 21, 2023, 06:24:06 pm »
Doug spotted this in an STCC rant  -

On Facebook from Steve Roshia Jr. :
If only roots held soil in place, oh wait......

Here's what Steve doesn't get. He read something about roots stabilizing the banks.  Trouble is he was careless, and or, simply did not understand the difference between a wooded slope, and an earthen embankment dam.

So, I'll bring up an expert witness called in by none other than Elizabeth Agte, the STCC and several Town Supervisors.

https://eriecanalfacts.wordpress.com/2018/04/19/testimony-in-question-vegetation-on-dams/

This article explains the difference between a 'wooded slope' ( having no impounded water back pressure, unlike a dam) and a dam.
Trees hold slopes together Steve, but they are not allowed on a dam.

Their expert witness Donald Grey says "I don’t know of any earth dams where woody vegetation was purposely planted or allowed to grow on a face of the dam." 
« Last Edit: November 22, 2023, 08:22:46 am by Doug K »

Michael Caswell

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Re: All's quiet at the STCC forum.
« Reply #13 on: November 21, 2023, 08:24:34 pm »
More buzz!   Wow! It's hopping over there at the STCC. All the 'experts' are out tonight. (I thought we were over Halloween!)

Here's the latest  -

Jenny Liedkie  - she said  "Removed the plants that USED the water that was there.
.
Now that water has no 'users'.... and causes erosion". We all learned this long ago

WOW!  Please tell me that she wasn't educated in Fairport schools. It's a tough enough pill to swallow when I get my school taxes!

Actually, she might have a point. The dams are leaking so badly, and those Cottonwoods are sucking up water like a camel at an oasis. They're are 150 feet tall now, so they've been doing  great job. I jest of course! Because 150 feet tall Cottonwoods on an earthen embankment dam are a nightmare waiting to happen.

It only needs one tree to get blown over and a hole could appear, letting billions of gallons of water loose on those folks on Jefferson and Marsh road areas. Death, drowning, destroyed properties, millions of dollars at stake, and a nightmare for those opposing the NYPA's efforts politically.

Yes, town supervisors, opposing the clearing of these old and dangerous dams is going to cost you.

NO TREES ON A DAM!


 

Doug K

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Sadly the FACTS are simple about Tree Roots...

Tree Roots do NOT "stabilize soil" as Mr. Roshia would have everyone believe. In fact they really don't do a very good job stabilizing trees, as under certain conditions the roots "let go" of their grip and the tree topples over.

This tree fell over near Montezuma, into a part of the Canal that is under the jurisdiction of the EEIP Program being run by the New York State Canal Corporation. It has yet to be cleared as it is only partially blocking the channel. Luckily it was NOT on a raised earthen embankment section.




But trees are NOT the only issue causing headaches for the owners & caretakers of the NYS Canal System.

In fact the REAL issue with Earthen Embankments in PERINTON is the fact that under certain conditions the entire embankment can become "over-saturated" and result in something known as "Static Liquefaction" which causes the earth to become a liquid almost instantly and results in a catastrophic dam failure. This phenomenon occurs more often where the soils used to create the earthen water impoundment are primarily sand or a sandy-loam mixture.

https://www.damsafety.org/training-center/webinar/understanding-static-liquefaction

It is EXACTLY what caused the Edenville Dam to Breach a few years back in Michigan. Over 2500 structures were lost, and thankfully NO LIVES!


https://youtu.be/sKeQe7oc2gk

With 11 miles of earthen embankments in Perinton, all built on a sandy foundation, it's hard to believe that any Erie Canal Breach wouldn't be significantly worse in Perinton. The Edenville & Sandford Dams were only about 18-20 feet tall. There are 60-75 feet tall earthen embankments running through Perinton & Pittsford, one of these embankments even has the term "great" in it's description.

But folks, it's even harder to believe that the Perinton Town Supervisor, Mr Hanna, is STILL actively trying to ignore the public safety issues along the Erie Canal, in his own community. And he is also actively trying to create a new program in Perinton to support MORE trees growing on earthen embankments that are deemed unsafe by New York State. You can read about this using the link below, and the ECNA will be discussing this idea in the near future.

https://perinton.org/news/town-of-perinton-taking-significant-steps-to-protect-the-erie-canal-corridor/

Not once does Mr. Hanna mention the well documented public safety issues cited in his own community along the Erie Canal.

Remember this little FACT: Any Earthen Embankment along the Erie Canal that fails.. will ALWAYS result in a FLOOD... and lots of FINGERPOINTING as well.

And another little FACT: The biggest threat to Erie Canal Sustainability & Safety is those in our community who DENY there is a problem in the first place...
« Last Edit: November 22, 2023, 12:03:40 pm by Doug K »