Author Topic: STCC - Can a group be "civic-minded" who advocates breaking US Dam Safety Laws?  (Read 51 times)

Doug K

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If you have followed the Erie Canal Embankment Restoration Program, as it has been clearing canal embankment dams across western NY, you will eventually run into a group that has dedicated itself to fighting against this Canal Corporation Safety work. This dam work is addressing unsafe conditions along the canal from years of neglect, missed maintenance and direction from management of the canal to "not spend money" on the Erie waterway system unless absolutely necessary. From the look of the embankment work going on, it seems that the tipping point has been reached and work needed to be done immediately.

Still the Stop the Canal ClearCut group, formed by Ms. Elizabeth Agte and a few of her friends, continues their denial of safety issues and their fight against a safer Erie Canal. They deny safety even in the face of all the evidence the work is indeed "uncovering" many previously unseen embankment dams along the canal and many other areas that needed emergency work in 2018 & 2019.

The STCC group continues to fight against the canal work even though it flies in the face of common sense to leave UNSAFE dams in our community.

They fight against the Erie Canal Embankment Integrity program saying the Canal Corporation is "fear-mongering" and trying to scare us into submission.

They fight against the dam clearing even though they run the risk of advocating breaking US Laws that support Dam Safety in our country that they have been informed about a number of times.

This defies logic to most intelligent people... unless you look at the STCC and their history.

The STCC group (it's leaders & followers) really don't care about safety, in fact they NEVER seem to even mention the fact that the NY Power and NY Canals have both shown ample evidence there is a definite safety issues with MANY of the flood control structures along the Erie Canal.

They seem to believe their actions are not going against the laws of our country. Or maybe they are trying to make us believe that now, after the ECNA brought the National Dam Safety Act Laws that were enacted to help clear up these unsafe dam issues in our country to their attention. You see the Stop the Canal ClearCut group has now tried to "change it's story" about what their group's "charter" has been all this time, a charter stated clearly by Ms. Agte when she setup the group to fight against this Erie Canal Public Safety Program in December 2017... take a look.

Well it's all here in black & white... with highlights in color by your's truly of course. It would seem that the STCC group DID actually start with a charter to STOP the Canal Corporation from following the Federal Laws regarding Dam safety in our country. And we all know that "ignorance of the law" is not a valid excuse to create a defense around in our country as well.

The real issue is that now the STCC has a "legal dilemma" it appears:

Do they change their charter statement to reflect their new found knowledge and follow the law or do they continue to stand by their "brand name" to STOP the canal clear cut dam safety work?  We all now know that clearing is Step 1 of the process to make unsafe embankment dams, SAFE, once again. If they change their charter, their NAME still has the same issue... so BOTH should change...right?

You see whether Ms. Agte wants to accept it or not.. you can't have it BOTH ways... though she would tell you it's somehow possible.

Folks, simple statement once again...

There is NO bigger Environmental Agency in NY State than the NY State Department of Environmental Conservation and that agency agrees with the NY Canal Corporation's efforts to clean up these unsafe Erie Canal conditions.. and they ALSO agree with the Federal laws regarding Dam Safety in America, they have to.. the safety and well-being of NY residents depends on it.

It appears the only people who don't agree with the Federal Government, the NY Canal Corporation of the New York DEC are Ms. Agte, her other leaders and the followers who all have signed up to be a part of the Stop the Canal ClearCut group.. all 605 members.

If anything tragic happens in Pittsford, Brighton or Perinton along the Erie, maybe a flood, a breach or someone getting killed by a falling Erie Canal Trail tree limb, the residents can all point at this group as the reason for that hardship and the pain & misery that will follow.

After all, they are the ones  who all decided to FIGHT for public safety... on the WRONG side.

DK #300
« Last Edit: April 10, 2019, 09:53:49 am by Doug K »

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Michael Caswell

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I'd contest there 605 active people who signed up for Agte's nonsense. We have 266 people who signed our petition on to remove the vegetation. see  Many of those folks were signed onto the STCC Facebook page. Can they 'unsubscribe? Can they be bothered? I don't have much to do with Facebook, so I really don't know.

Doug K

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Mike, you want to contest an Engineer on "math", OK... I'll play along only because everyone will get a chuckle about "numbers"

605 STCC Members, which includes the STCC Leadership of 5, Agte, Gouldthorpe, Maier, Miller & Meuwissen.

You seem to be somehow inferring because you garnered 266 signatures on a Petition supporting the Erie Canal Restoration, that amount takes away from the STCC membership somehow. I'm contesting that statement right back, here's why;

As you know, I signed your Petition and you also know I am NOT a member of Facebook or the STCC... so that supposition is incorrect from the start. I am sure that a few others may fall into that scenario, we have been behind this safety project well before the STCC came into existence.  And we also are "not" allowed to join the group for that very reason... after all the STCC is a Public Group, but with "conditions".

Do you agree?

So I would contend that until the member count on the Stop the Canal Clearcut group totals about 340... that's 605 - 266. Those Petition votes can't be proven to have any correlation until we actually see a change, or we would be as guilty as the STCC of "making things up" that suit our needs. Now how that number drops from 605 to 266 is an interesting puzzle to solve as well.. but please read on.

Now to your real question... How many Stop the Canal ClearCut Members are "active"... that's it,  isn't it?

Really this is just another math problem to solve...but not difficult.

Actually the STCC did have 606 members back in early March 2019, but someone either left or was asked to leave the island. I know that because I actually tried to give the STCC some advice a few months back that affected their membership count, but might have helped them see what you are asking: How many really support the STCC and their cause?

Of course they didn't take it, but if they had this WHOLE PROBLEM would have been solved. If you didn't see this then please read it...

You see if the Stop the Canal Clearing Group really wanted to understand how many people are following their "cause" and believe in their message then they only need to reset their GROUP COUNT back the original 5 members, those who still actively post.

Of course it might be harder to convince the Town Officials in Pittsford, Brighton, and Perinton that your group represents the "voice of the people" when the count is about 10-20...right?

Where did I get the 10 - 20 number? Simple, just look at their posts for the first 4 months of 2019 and do the math...

You see something posted on the STCC Facebook site from the original 5 Founders & Leaders... Agte, Gouldthorpe, Maier, Miller & Meuwissen.

You have another 5-6 people who put posts up when the current clearing work gets close to their property, and they can see it, capture pictures and complain about the fact that dams are starting to appear near them. Sometime the 5 Leaders agree and post that "they look like dams"

You have another 4-5 people who find interesting articles to post about levees and the earth's aquifer system somehow trying to validate the STCC's stated objective of not using the word "dam", which is ok to use if you are a leader..and you type it "sarcastically"

You have 2-3 people who actually posted some of the pages and information from the ECNA & Canal Corp, like the Canal Corp video links and other information on Dam Safety but they are trying to make it appear that the ECNA & the NY Canal Corp are "fear mongering" once again.

If talking about unsafe dams in our community and working to fix those  unsafe dams AT THE SAME TIME, then I guess the NYCC would be guilty... but what does it matter... they are making the Erie Canal safe.

So 5 + 6 + 5 + 3...looks like less than a couple dozen... wouldn't you agree? So my "guesstimate" of 20 may be spot on.

Why do numbers not matter as much as you think, Mr Caswell.
We have individual posts on the ECNA Forum that have well over 200 views... but we only have 19 members, about the same as my STCC guess. Of course we allow guests and members (in most cases) the same access, the same ability to join, post or vote on our survey polls... the STCC has "conditions" that have to be met just to join.

The NY Canal Corporation Embankment Videos.. two of them, have over 1000 views total and still growing. Those two videos were made as suggested by the ECNA, as a better tool to get the Canal Safety message out as well as how the Embankments were going to be repaired. Everyone from the STCC complained early that the communication was poor, I guess they all hear the Canal Corporation loud & clear.

Have you ever asked yourself WHY they chose to have an Embankment Safety video directed specifically at Perinton, NY? Might make an interesting follow-up post someday...very specific to what you and I know has the biggest issues along the Canal, and the biggest opposition to Erie Canal safety.

We have 12 Forum Boards that cover everything from Erie Canal Neighbor Overview to Flood Insurance, even discussion boards for actual canal neighbor's who face safety & privacy issues to chat and find common solutions to common problems.

The ECNA Forum has almost 300 topics across those 12 Boards, and close to 500 posts & replies. We have Likes, Dislikes, and all kind's of emoji's people can use if wanted. Besides the main ECNA website at ECNA.US we also have 4-5 other web pages that are all seamlessly working together after only 9 months... with only 2 people involved for 99% of that work...unless you count all the post the STCC "gave us".

The STCC has two websites, and only one really get's used...because it says they have 605 "members"... or to put it a different way...

The STCC has 605 people who "thought" this group stood for truth & honesty about the Erie Canal Embankments until the NY Canal Corporation, the NY Power Authority and the ECNA presented enough of the REAL truth and the REAL facts to educate everyone to the fact there are many unsafe Earthen Embankment Dams in our community... it's called the Erie Canal Waterway

And the Canal Corporation just repaired FORTY unsafe "zones" along about 28 miles of Erie Canal from Middleport to Spencerport.. that's 40 DAM sections or whole dams repaired.. and that is the ONLY number that matters when Safety is the problem.

Do you see how the numbers speak for themselves?
« Last Edit: April 10, 2019, 03:31:56 pm by Doug K »