Author Topic: Stop the Canal Clear-cut Group continues spreading Erie Canal disinformation on Facebook  (Read 118 times)

Doug K

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A very smart person made this quote, and it still best describes what's wrong with Ms. Agte and her Stop the Canal Clear-cut Facebook group

Everyone is entitled to his own opinion, but not his own facts

While the word "his" should be changed to "their", the meaning of this quote doesn't change. While someone may want to make up their own "truth", based on their ideals, beliefs, and opinions, the FACTS about a particular subject are are not selective, or up for debate. You can CHOSE not to believe the FACTS, but making up a new set of facts isn't acceptable, and can be somewhat dangerous to our society.

Case in point: January 6, 2021 and an "ex-US President" who tried to turn his "opinion into facts" that resulted in hundreds of citizens being arrested.

So why bring this up?

Read this post from Mike Caswell and you will see.'t-know-what-it's-called/

This is just another example of Ms. Agte (and her Facebook group) who seems to believe she is entitled to her own "facts" and is trying to pass off those OPINIONS and THOUGHTS as some "new truth" about the Erie Canal and it's overgrown embankments.

From the start this group, under direction of it's leaders, has denied the embankment are actually earthen dams. They have denied the FACTS that confront them from all reputable sources, like the NY State DEC and Canal Corporation, who are both responsible for the safety of the public using the NYS Canal System.

A reminder, Ms. Agte is NOT responsible for the safety of anyone living in New York State.

And Ms. Agte also refuses to accept the message from the Canal Corporation's Embankment Integrity website, which states unequivocally that the canal earthen embankments have become a safety issue, and need to be properly maintained so they can be properly inspected for more deficiencies.

In fact if Ms. Agte had simply gone to the NYS Canal website, read the terminology page there, she would KNOW that the rocks are wave-protection rip-rap, and not have to guess. Here's the definition of those "rocks & boulders" from the NYS Embankment Integrity website:

Riprap - Riprap is a layer of large stone, broken rock, or precast blocks placed in random fashion on the slope of the embankment dam, on a reservoir shore or in a channel as a protection against erosion from waves or ice.

And the ECNA has found a website that perhaps Ms. Agte and others might use, just to try and EDUCATE themselves on what constitutes an Earthen Dam, and why Canal Embankment Dams play a key role in creating an inland navigation pool of water. And this source of information PRIDES itself on using Engineering principles to "fight in favor of Mother Nature".

It is called Dream Civil, and here's their ABOUT statement:

The creator of this website has quite a bit of information on the general topic of Dams & impounded water, I have summarized most of it down to three main topics: 1) Earthen Dams, 2) Embankment Dams and 3) Types/Purposes for Dams.

My only advice is to go to the website yourself, take some time to LEARN THE FACTS about Erie Canal Embankments, and why it's so important to repair them. At a minimum you should be able to understand that what is being spread on Facebook, by the Stop the Canal Clear-cut Founders is outlandish, and dangerous as well. 

You should be able to start to understand and see the difference between the "opinions & thoughts" that are shared on Social Media, and the actual facts and TRUTH about about earthen water-impounding structures.

Here's the Information from DREAM CIVIL & Wikipedia for EARTHEN DAMS

Here's the Information from DREAM CIVIL & NYS Canal Coporation for EMBANKMENT DAMS

Here's the Information from DREAM CIVIL & Wikipedia for the 8 PURPOSES OF DAMS

Once again the ECNA is here to inform & educate as well as "entertain". We have selected Dream Civil effort to highlight the information regarding Erie Canal Earthen Embankments & Earthen Dams in general, as they appear to be the most "environmentally friendly" group out there.

Of course we have also found that they are 100% in agreement with the NYS Canal Corporation's safety message about proper care and tending of all earthen embankments and other water-impounding structures made of earth, stone or made of cement.

FACT - US-based Earthen Dam safety science & facts are universally accepted (almost) by all around the world, and that is what is being used along the Erie Canal throughout New York State, to repair this aging national treasure.

FACT - The only place where the science, facts and the truth, regarding Canal Earthen Embankment Safety is not being accepted... it's in a small Facebook group called the Stop the Canal Clear-cut located in Perinton & Fairport.

Go figure...

« Last Edit: September 30, 2022, 03:31:29 pm by Doug K »

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Doug K

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Once again, it's more misinformation about the Erie Canal being spread within the Stop the Canal Clear-cut group on Facebook.

Of course it's one of the two co-founders, of this pseudo-environmental group, making statements that are easily disputed with facts & websites found on the internet.

This time the misinformation is about who is responsible to maintain SAFETY along the NYS Canal System, and who dictates what information can be shared with the public, about the Erie Canal, Erie Canal maintenance, and FOIL requests about the Canal System.

Here's Ms Maier sharing a recent document she requested about Embankment Safety Repairs made near Albion, NY this past year.

Virginia Borden Maier  September 17, 2022:

It is too nice an afternoon to spend a long time on this, but I have to share that I just reviewed possibly the silliest response to a request for public information. I asked for the information the Canal Corporation used to make the decision to do a “seepage repair” on the embankment near Gaines, NY this past spring. After 6 months of being put off, I received a heavily redacted report that gives me plenty of information about the locations where these repairs were made (I mean, the canal corporation had a press release about the location of these repairs!) but nearly all information about the actual calculated risk or the engineer’s recommendations about next steps were blacked out. You know, for safety.

She included this image:

And like good minions, the members of this Facebook group clammer to add their own two cents, agreeing with Ms Maier wholeheartedly, albeit without one ounce of fact to support these preposterous statements.

Dina Alexander : Well that’s not suspicious.

Elizabeth R. Agte: I feel safer, you are right!

Janice Gouldthorpe: Glad you are all safe.

Laurie Williamson: Safety from being sued or vilified in print!

Kevin Dorey:"But hey, they showed the one sentence that might make it look like they did something good. What's behind those black boxes? Nothing of importance, of course!

Steve Roshia Jr.: After the NYPA took over the canal Corp, it became one of the shadiest agencies in NY. Not to mention clueless leadership. Their central planners are not in the system, and it shows.

Beth Tarduno: OMG. Is this even legal???

Virginia Borden Maier (Author) : Beth Tarduno A judge would have to decide if they are appropriately applying the transparency laws. I think not of course, and that it is better for the public good if information is more free. And I think this is clearly a case of "we just don't want to reveal any of our information, because we will be criticized"

Well almost, one STCC group member showed some caution, after actually READING the material, and noted the words "critical infrastructure"

Joanne Heckmann: "Critical infrastructure" is DHS terminology. Before making assumptions about NYPA or NYSCC, it could be that they are being directed by DHS to not disclose this information.

That was met with this statement from Ms. Maier, who took exception to Ms Heckmann's refusal to believe what was stated.

Virginia Borden Maier (Author) : Joanne Heckmann they are not being directed by DHS, this is selective application of laws about transparency. If it was truly critical, they should not have included unredacted maps and photos of the site. What they did not include was just the engineers descriptions of the conditions before they applied the repair.

So according to Ms. Maier the Department of Homeland Security has "nothing" to do with her FOIL request, this was simply the Canal Corporation worried they would be "criticized" for sharing those redactions, and what they stated.

Nothing could be further from the truth, or the actual facts.

It took one search on the internet to find that truth. The fact is that the Erie Canal System is part of the Inland Waterway System of this Country,  and as such does actually fall under jurisdiction of the US Department of Homeland Security. That's done through two agencies involved with the Erie Canal, the US Coast Guard & FEMA.

But it appears that Ms Maier only believes in her "own truth" once again, and even Joanne Heckmann's words of wisdom will not change that.

It all falls under the category of "Maritime or Port Security", like Fairport, Brockport, or Port Byron.'s%20leadership%2C%20DHS,critical%20infrastructure%2C%20cybersecurity%2C%20detection%20of

And even Canal Lift Bridge Operation & Repair falls under DHS & Coast Guard jurisdiction as seen by this recent document filed with the US Government. Here's a copy of a Erie Canal Lift Bridge repair that was registered with DHS and the US Coast Guard, in the US Federal Registry

Here's another DHS / Coast Guard related announcement about the Erie Canal:

Once again it's now become rather obvious that whatever Ms Maier may "believe" about the NYS Canal Corporation (or the Erie Canal system), her thoughts & beliefs rarely (if ever) are actually supported by actual facts.

She cares very little about the truth, choosing to deceive her group with her "I Think & I Believe" statements that only support her agenda of disinformation, deception & distraction.

Of course any real truth about Canal Safety & Integrity will always be buried under this group's blind ambition.

Remember, "shade is cool" , the group's slogan.

They prefer a shady walk for a few Fairport residents than for overall Erie Canal Safety for it's neighbors. It's hard to have both safety and shade when the dams are covered with invasive vegetation, and the majority of the Erie Canal runs West to East.

The members seem to exist merely to stroke Ms Maier's ego, and make themselves "feel good" by tearing down the Canal Corporation for just trying to do their job, and keep New Yorkers safe from an aging, deteriorating canal system, and keep the NYS Canal System in compliance with State & Federal requirements.

The video below explains more about the US Inland Waterway System, which includes our own NYS Erie Canal

So there you have it. I welcome anyone to comment and try to dispute what's written here, and the facts that have been shared. It appears now, that this STCC Facebook group is no better than any of the other "conspiracy groups" we see today.

Those other groups spend their time disputing election results, they claim Donald Trump is the "savior of the country" and Democrats are running "child-stealing pizzerias".

Doesn't it seem that Ms Maier and her group fit in nicely with their own "personal truth" about Erie Canal safety & how it should be managed?

« Last Edit: September 26, 2022, 05:02:29 pm by Doug K »

Doug K

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This well known quote has been attributed to a famous NY Senator, Daniel Patrick Moynihan. But actually it was stated by a few others (in slightly different  wording) before he used it in 1983.

In December 1975 U.S. Secretary of Defense James R. Schlesinger employed an instance of the saying containing the phrase “not entitled to his own facts”. Schlesinger responded by saying that there should be a debate about the facts. He said he thought the greatest problem was self-deception.

“Everybody is entitled to his own views,” Schlesinger said. “Everybody is not entitled to his own facts.”

Facebook has never been known as the best place to find real "facts", it more of a place to find "opinions" trying to be passed off as fact. It also is known as a harbor for those who love to wallow in "self-deception", going so far as to create many "fake personas" on Facebook also referred to as "accounts" by the owners of this social media site.

Here are three related expressions to the title of this ECNA post, so there is NO confusion on the point being made here:

(1) Everybody has a right to their opinion, but nobody has a right to be wrong in their facts. - Bernard Baruch 1946

(2) You are entitled to your own views, but you are not entitled to your own facts. - James R. Schlesinger 1975

(3) People are entitled to their own opinions, but not to their own facts. - Daniel Patrick Moynihan 1983

The ECNA will continue to supply the facts on this website about all things that affect Erie Canal Neighbors.

We hope this will help all of you understand the difference between Facebook opinions about Erie Canal, it's maintenance & operation, and the actual FACTS regarding all of the NYS Canal System. Its your choice after whether to follow the truth or rush to the "opinions of the moment" which seem to proliferate this particular Facebook group.calling itself Stop the Canal Clear-cut.
« Last Edit: September 24, 2022, 06:47:42 am by Doug K »

Doug K

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It appears that when Ms. Maier's social media opinions are not accepted as truth, and the "fake facts" she uses to distracted her group fall apart under "the light of truth", there's always a backup plan... Insults.

She continues to poke fun at the New York Canal Corporation and blatantly insult the knowledge of Professional Engineers & Surveyors.

Of course Ms. Maier has also been called to task (by one of the group's members) for her own "obvious lack of knowledge" on anything related to Erie Canal Engineering & Construction, Earthen Embankment Maintenance, or for most part - anything related to "public safety" in and around the NYS Canal System.


And once again it's Mr. Bill Langdon, who is no stranger to the ECNA discussion about Erie Canal Engineering and Public Safety. We have written about Mr. Langdon a few times on our Forum. He's been trying to "speak truth" to a management team that will have none of it... sadly. He is an insider that wants to share facts & truth, but is stifled by Ms. Maier or another member each and every time.

Here's one example where he tries to explain why the Erie Canal Trail is constructed using current materials, HE is the expert here, but Ms. Maier doesn't get the message.

Here's another example where Mr. Langdon points out a few of the many MAJOR issues within this Facebook Group.

His EXACT words are here for you all to read:

Robert G. Langdon:
Good lord people! So there is not much work surveyors do from boats …. Just a FYI.

One of the only things they do is sonar scans which a quick check of Prudent's site is something they specialize in. Being a surveyor who works for an engineering firm this is also a very specialized thing that not many firms get into. This could be done for a multitude of reasons including but not limited to making sure nothing new had wound up on the bottom of the canal that could be a hazard for other boats on the canal.

When I worked at another firm we actually did a sonar scan of the bottom of the canal for a 3rd party firm was was trying to put in a boat launch and wanted to prepare plans for the canal Corp at the time to show the scope of work they were planning on doing. Honestly most of us Surveyors are pretty chill down to earth guys so if you really wanted to know maybe just go out side and say “hey you guys need a beer? Whatcha doing anyways?”

That’s part of the point though on this group, lately it’s just non stop aggression and suspicion. Instead of just asking we post on here and spread rumors.

I was all but attacked by a member on this site earlier this year while out working, because I was surveying close to the canal and they thought I was surveying for the canal. The individual I see posting on here all the time came up taking my picture and harassing me for doing private work for a business that happens to boarder the canal. Even after I told them that I was working for the business and not doing canal work they continued to belittle me and attack me. They finally went away and about 30 min later I saw them walk into the business I was working for.

After finding out I was working for the business they walked by me and instead of apologizing for attacking me they made an excuse for their behavior “well I guess you are working for them but you don’t understand what we have been dealing with.” And walked away no apology.

Eileen Pavia:
Robert G. Langdon can’t be too hard on people being suspicious, with what’s been happening. I was figuring this was some pre canal closure business. You might be right about a boat launch. They’ve been talking about adding more. Don’t know where though. Point well taken. Unfortunately people can let emotions overtake them at times. I have to admit even I look at things happening along the canal with a suspicious eye these days. It just comes from how arrogant the Canal Corporation has been and were at the meetings. The feeling I got was just, "Yeah, right, whatever, we're doing whatever we want, when we want". I wouldn't take it out on a worker though. But I actually would be the first to ask them what they were doing. That's just me being nosy and round about sneaky.'ve-been-quiet-for-a-while-but-a-flurry-of-nonsense-today!/?message=1870

What else needs to be added here?

Maybe a warning to those reading, be very careful where you look for truth these days. That truth certainly pretends to be hiding on the internet, in social media groups like this Stop the Canal Clear-cut group. But it's not the TRUTH, it's really just more groups of people, full of conspiracy theorist, who are bent on stirring up anger about something they know absolutely nothing about... but they all want to voice their "valued opinions".

You know what they say about opinions, don't you? They are like "arseholes", everyone has one.

And in my own opinion, which is from a seasoned ENGINEER, like Mr. Langdon, who used facts, data, & truth to develop that "opinion"...

Virginia Maier, Elizabeth Agte and ALL those who support the Stop the Canal Clear-cut ideals are putting their communities, their families and many Erie Canal Neighbors in danger.

That group includes you Mr. Langdon, your silence on public safety along the Erie Canal is appalling, you are just as guilty as those who lead this group with your "silence" on what you know to be the TRUTH. Sadly that silence will be taken as being "complicit" with those who would put their personal truth over safety of the public.

The LEADERS of this Facebook Group want everyone to simply IGNORE the risk of 100 year old overgrown embankment dams, that NY State has said have become a danger to those living below them.

Those leaders want the public to IGNORE potential devastating canal flooding, by fighting against the very NYS Agency tasked with keeping the Erie Canal safe for public use.

And they want you, Facebook users, to believe that they are the "ONLY" ones with the "truth", with no supporting data, little truth, and the only experts are a beekeeper, and a biology teacher.

Like I said, what else can be added... The ECNA welcomes the discussion... especially from Mr. Langdon & Ms. Maier
« Last Edit: September 26, 2022, 10:48:53 am by Doug K »