Conestoga Town Supervisors Squash Democratic Process

See the Press release below from our friends in Lnacaster County, PA, about a most outrageous (but sadly, not surprising) event that happened Tuesday evening, April 28, in Conestoga Township, during an “informational meeting” about an upcoming vote on home rule called by the town supervisors.

Members of the public “were admonished and some were told to leave after attempting to clarify and present information . . . ” And one was arrested for the same. This kind of fascistic activity by local legislatures against their own constituents has got to stop. All Conestoga residents should have stood with and insisted on being arrested along with fellow resident Kim Kann, who was simply trying to clarify a point but instead was taken into custody by police at the behest of these “supervisors” — all while resisting enforced servility by officials of whom she is the boss! They are, after all, supposedly working for the people of the community.

But just as in NYS and elsewhere, the “public” officers who are supposed to represent We the People are instead passing “rules” such as this, from Conestoga Township’s website: “Please check the legal section of Lancaster Newspapers for meeting cancellations or meeting date changes. Please notify the township secretary seven days prior to a meeting if you have an issue you would like to bring before the board. If you have documents, plans, etc. that you wish to present during a supervisors meeting, you must deliver those items to the township office no later than one week prior to the meeting. There will be no exceptions to this procedure.”

The Public is not welcome to speak at Public meetings? B.S. We still have some constitutional rights. We have to demand them, or they will not be honored.

Unfortunately, the press release below does not name names. But we do. Please call these “legislators” and tell them what you think of their using such violent tactics on peaceful citizens exercising their rights.

The main office number for the Town of Conestoga is 717-872-4301.

TOWN SUPERVISOR CHAIRPERSON: CRAIG ESLHLEMAN, 717-201-4410

VICE CHAIR: JOHN BERRY, 717-715- [number mispublished as 715-98970]

MEMBER: REBECCA MILES, 717- 872-1620

SECRETARY/TREASURER: KELLY REAM, 717- 872-4301

SOLICITOR: Blakinger, Byler & Thomas  717-299-1100

POLICE CHIEF: JOHN FIORILL       717-872-0352

—-

PRESS RELEASE:

Contact: lancasteragainstpipelines@gmail.com

Pro-Home Rule Conestoga Resident arrested for speaking during public meeting

Conestoga Township supervisors ordered police officers to arrest Conestoga resident Kim Kann during a public meeting Tuesday evening at the Conestoga Fire Hall. Kann was arrested and charged with disorderly conduct after speaking in response to the Supervisors’ presentation on Home Rule.

The supervisors ordered police to detain Kann for not following their meeting format, which limited Conestoga residents to only asking questions. Statements or clarifications from township residents were banned by the supervisors, as were questions or comments about the proposed pipeline. Kann says she was attempting to clarify misinformation presented by the supervisors regarding Home Rule – which she supports.

Lawrence M. Otter, an election and constitutional lawyer, said, “This appalling behavior by the elected officials shows a complete disregard for fundamental American values and rights. The police were equally complicit is suppressing an American citizen’s right to speak at a public meeting. The charges of disorderly conduct will be vigorously contested at the magistrate level and beyond.”

Said Kann, “I stated my intention to ask a question after the misinformation was corrected, and repeatedly stated that it is my first amendment right to speak briefly at a public meeting without limitations, as per my first amendment protections.

The Conestoga Township supervisors organized the public meeting for Tuesday to present information on Home Rule. About 200 people were in attendance. Conestoga residents who make up the Conestoga Community Group (CCG) attended the meeting, and were admonished and some were told to leave after attempting to clarify and present information about Home Rule and the proposed Atlantic Sunrise pipeline.

Said Leslie Bunting, a Conestoga resident who attended the meeting, “This meeting was a perfect example of why Conestoga needs home rule. It’s absurd that residents can’t speak their mind at a public meeting without the supervisors ordering police to arrest them. That is not democracy.”

Kann wished to clarify several statements made by presenters during the meeting.

“Expert presenters mischaracterized the May 19 election as being “for home rule.” It is specifically to vote yes or no to the question of seating a government study commission and selecting government study commissioners. This is a very important point that deserved clarity.

“Another point was the Chairman Eshelman’s comment regarding Conestoga Community Group participation. The group replied we would participate, but were denied the opportunity. The final point that was unable to be stated was the misrepresentation by a panel expert that we could expect a government study commission to spend $10,000.00 to $15,000.00 or more. The PA home rule handbook published by the Pennsylvania Department of Community and Economic Development states for municipalities with 5,000 or fewer residents the average cost was $976.76.”

CPNY Assessment Gathering: Where Are We on the Road to a Viable Future?

When: View in Calendar » July 26, 2015 @ 10:00 am - 5:30 pm
Where: Schuyler County, NY, USA

Hold the date for the next CPNY Continuum Gathering. It will be held on Sunday, July 26, 2015 in Schuyler County. CPNY members and allies will get invitations with details via email.

 

Solarize Event in Berkshire with Southern Tier Solar Works

When: View in Calendar » May 3, 2015 @ 2:00 pm - 4:00 pm
Where: View Map » Berkshire Community Hall, 11 Jewett Hill Road, Berkshire,NY 13736, USA
Categories: Broome Chemung Chenango Tioga
Tags: Electricity Homes renewable energy Residential Solar solar energy solarize Southern Tier

Learn about how you and your family or business can benefit from this exciting new program to double the number of Tioga and Broome county residences and businesses powered by the sun! Save energy AND save money.  An informative presentation by STSW program director Adam Flint will be followed by a lively Q&A and your chance to speak directly with the three vendors chosen by this people-driven program: ETM Solar/Taitem, Renovus Energy, and Direct Energy Solar.

Upcoming events will be held in Binghamton (May 6) and Afton (May 7). And there will be a solar home tour on May 9 throughout Broome County!

Learn more and watch a great video from another recent presentation that was held in Vestal, http://southerntiersolarworks.org/.

Fracking Infrastructure: Living with It, Mapping It with You Are Here

When: View in Calendar » March 23, 2015 @ 3:00 pm - 5:00 pm
Where: Van Etten Community Center, 6 Gee Street, Van Etten,NY 14889, USA

Think NY’s Not Being Fracked? WRONG. Learn why from people who know: They live with it. SUNDAY 3:00 p.m., Van Etten Community Center, 6 Gee Street (Rt 34).

We’ll hear real stories of what it’s like to live with or near some of these fossil fuel infrastructure facilities, which last a long time, unlike the short-term construction jobs for installing them. Join us, spread the word.

 

CPNY Monthly Meeting Tues. 3/24, Venue + Time Change (6:00-8:00)

When: View in Calendar » March 24, 2015 @ 6:00 pm - 8:00 pm
Where: Chef's Diner, Watkins Glen, NY, USA

Note that we’ll be meeting at Chef’s Diner in Watkins Glen, 6:00 instead of 6:30 p.m.

Chemung County Legislature Monthly Meeting

When: View in Calendar » January 12, 2015 @ 9:00 pm - 10:00 pm
Repeats: Monthly on 2nd Monday - forever
Where: View Map » John H. Hazlett Building, 203 Lake Street, Elmira,NY 14901, USA

Meets second Mondays, 7:00 p.m., in Elmira. At this legislature, the public is “allowed” to speak, but it’s quite apparent that nobody’s listening.

 

Save S-VE Monthly Meeting Date Change: Friday, Jan. 16

When: View in Calendar » January 16, 2015 @ 6:00 pm - 8:00 pm
Where: View Map » St Paul's Evangelical Lutheran Church, 30 West Tioga Street, Spencer,NY 14883, USA

Save S-VE will hold its first meeting of the new year at 6:30 p.m. on Friday, January 16, 6:00 p.m. The Chemung County Legislature’s outrageous decision earlier this week to approve the Casella corporation’s “environmental impact statement,” despite sustained vocal opposition from the public, we have much to discuss, including upcoming public forums and projects.

DEC Constitution Pipeline Hearings in Oneonta Tues. Jan. 13

When: View in Calendar » January 10, 2015 @ 7:00 pm - 8:00 pm
Where: View Map » SUNY Oneonta, Lecture Hall IRC , 108 Ravine Parkway, Oneonta,NY 13820, USA

The Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) is holding public hearings on the “Constitution” Pipeline, the 124-mile federal transmission pipeline intended to stretch from the fracklands of northern Pennsylvania into New York State through Broome, Chenango, Delaware, Otsego, and Schoharie counties, ending near Albany.

This “UnConstitutional” Pipeline, as horrified residents have dubbed it, would tear through the Catskills and adversely affect local ecosystems, forests, habitats, waterways, and personal property.

The pipeline was already approved by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (which permits just about every harmful corporate project that comes before it). Not surprisingly, FERC did not bother to assess the environmental impact of the projects as required under the National Environmental Policy Act. Nor did FERC balk that the corporations failed to obtain many key permits, including the Section 401 Water Quality Certification from New York State, required under the Clean Water Act.

The state Department of Environmental Conservation has the authority to prevent the project from moving forward by denying the required water quality certificate. If a responsible agency were in charge, it would do so because of the obvious failure of this proposed project to meet NYS water quality standards. According to Catskill Mountainkeeper, once it enters New York, the pipeline would cross 20 aquifers, four public water supply watersheds, and 207 waterbodies, with impacts on 75 acres of wetlands.

Copies of the FEIS and DEC permit application documents can be viewed online at www.constitution pipeline.com. Printed copies are available at the Broome County Public Library, 185 Court St., Binghamton.

Hearings are being held on Monday January 12 in Binghamton, Tuesday January 13 in Oneonta, and Wednesday January 14 in Cobleskill, all starting at 6:00 p.m. (and presumably lasting as long as there are speakers).

If you cannot make it in person, organizers ask that you submit written comment, which are also being accepted through Jan. 30.

Visit StopThePipeline.org for more information.

DEC Constitution Pipeline Hearings in Binghamton Monday Jan. 12

When: View in Calendar » January 12, 2015 @ 6:00 pm - 10:30 pm
Where: View Map » East Middle School, 167 East Frederick Street, Binghamton,NY 13904, USA

The Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) is holding public hearings on the “Constitution” Pipeline, the 124-mile federal transmission pipeline intended to stretch from the fracklands of northern Pennsylvania into New York State through Broome, Chenango, Delaware, Otsego, and Schoharie counties, ending near Albany.

This “UnConstitutional” Pipeline, as horrified residents have dubbed it, would tear through the Catskills and adversely affect local ecosystems, forests, habitats, waterways, and personal property.

The pipeline was already approved by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (which permits just about every harmful corporate project that comes before it). Not surprisingly, FERC did not bother to assess the environmental impact of the projects as required under the National Environmental Policy Act. Nor did FERC balk that the corporations failed to obtain many key permits, including the Section 401 Water Quality Certification from New York State, required under the Clean Water Act.

The state Department of Environmental Conservation has the authority to prevent the project from moving forward by denying the required water quality certificate. If a responsible agency were in charge, it would do so because of the obvious failure of this proposed project to meet NYS water quality standards. According to Catskill Mountainkeeper, once it enters New York, the pipeline would cross 20 aquifers, four public water supply watersheds, and 207 waterbodies, with impacts on 75 acres of wetlands.

Copies of the FEIS and DEC permit application documents can be viewed online at www.constitution pipeline.com. Printed copies are available at the Broome County Public Library, 185 Court St., Binghamton.

Hearings will be held on Monday January 12 in Binghamton, Tuesday January 13 in Oneonta, and Wednesday January 14 in Cobleskill, all starting at 6:00 p.m. (and presumably lasting as long as there are speakers).

If you cannot make it in person, organizers ask that you submit written comment, which are also being accepted through Jan. 30.

Saugerties Public Forum: “Danger! Pilgrim Oil Pipelines Coming Through Our Town?”

When: View in Calendar » January 10, 2015 @ 3:00 pm - 5:30 pm
Where: View Map » Saugerties Senior Citizens Center, 207 Market Street, Saugerties,NY 12477, USA
Contact: Sue Rosenberg
1-845-246-3449
cappsny@gmail.com

Speakers: Kate Hudson, Jen Metzger, Kathy Nolan
Sponsors: Coalition Against Pilgrim Pipeline Saugerties NY (CAPPSNY), Frack Free Catskills
Co-Sponsors: Esopus Creek Conservancy, Protecting Our Waters
Contact: cappsny@gmail.com / 845-246-3449 – Sue Rosenberg

The increasingly controversial bi-directional pipelines proposed by Pilgrim Pipeline Holdings, LLC, have now been opposed in resolutions passed by 30 municipalities in New York and New Jersey. The pipelines would come through Saugerties if approved, carrying fracked crude oil from Albany down the NY State Thruway corridor to refineries in New Jersey, and “refined products” back north. To make sure the facts about Pilgrim Pipelines are well understood, all are welcome to attend tomorrow’s forum.

From the Coalition Against Pilgrim Pipeline Saugerties New York (CAPPSNY):

“Kate Hudson from Riverkeeper, Jen Metzger from Citizens for Local Power, the Coalition Against Pilgrim Pipeline, and Kathy Nolan from Catskill Mountainkeeper will speak, answer questions, and explore actions we can take to protect our community.

Saugerties landowners who have already been approached by Pilgrim for permission to access their property for an initial survey are particularly encouraged to attend, as there are concerns about the information some report to have been given.

Information on the resolutions passed by some other towns along the proposed thruway route calling on the NYS Thruway Authority to reject use of the right of way to carry this crude oil and asking Gov. Cuomo and the DEC to oppose the pipeline will also be available.

Please join us.

CAPPSNY Flyer excerpt:

What are the Possible Risks?
Pipeline leaks, oil spills, explosive chemicals, compressor stations that emit toxic air pollutants, construction, traffic

How Can Saugerties Protect Itself?

* Learn all we can about the risks
* Keep them off our land: Saugerties Landowners have been approached by Pilgrim Pipeline representatives. You have the Right to Deny them Access to your Land!
* Pass local and county resolutions: Kingston, Rosendale, New Paltz (town and village), Woodstock, Rochester, Marbletown, Rhinebeck and 22 New Jersey towns already passed resolutions opposing the Pilgrim Pipeline