UPDATED UPDATE: Hudson Valley Water Grab

To Woodstock, Hudson Valley, New York Residents:

***Disclaimer: While, I am working with various groups on this Niagara Proposal, In the sameboat.us… I am speaking for me… This Viewpoint is not necessarily the viewpoint of anyone other than me; Rachel Marco-Havens

News just broke:  NY State Comptroller DiNapoli’s study of the Empire State Development Corp. “New York state spends hundreds of millions of dollars each year to spur economic development and job creation through ESDC programs,” DiNapoli said. “New Yorkers deserve more thorough accounting about whether these programs are achieving desired results.”

(See the rest of the article here on nystateofpolitics.com)

And so it seems that Economic Development needs to become an even bigger part of our conversation regarding the Niagara Bottling Proposal.

Last December our collected efforts were able to stop 10.8 million dollars of Regional Economic Funding slated for Niagara Bottling Company. This was a major stumbling block for Niagara, and we are very fortunate that those funds were redirected within our region. Some very hopeful selections were made, and several worthy efforts received some of these awards.

To learn more about how those those funds were directed, read THE REDC GUIDE BOOK. This is what Communities (by region) were directed to focus on, when going for these funds.

If the following directive (page 24) is the reason why Niagara Bottling Company’s proposal was not selected (even though they were one of the top 25 Priorities named by this program), then I would call to say that START-UP NY funds should not provide another loophole for this type of business to gain entry in to New York.

Cleaner, Greener Communities Sustainability Plan Each REDC embraced its region’s Cleaner, Greener Communities Sustainability Plan in 2013. Funding will be provided by NYSERDA for the implementation of innovative, community-based projects that reduce current greenhouse-gas emissions, create more resilient, sustainable communities, and position New York State for a cleaner, brighter future. Each REDC should continue to encourage projects that will help implement the Cleaner, Greener Communities Program. As our infrastructures show signs of wear, and Appointed (NOT Elected) Officials like Judith Hanson and the Kingston City Water Board look to the privatization of our Natural resources to fix them, so are those above them, looking for same.

You and I (meaning; growing business owners) have the opportunity to apply for CFA Grants, but they are not made readily available, if you do not know they are there, and they are often targeted toward Big Business. Here is the CFA Application Manual

There is a lot more in that document about what claims are being made about these REDC programs, and reading it allows one to see that there is much cause for concern if our Governor and his REDC Councils feel these kinds of directives match proposals like Niagara’s for our region, or any region for that matter. 

If Privatizing our water, and laying pipelines for fracked gas, and storing it beneath lakes, is how Governor Cuomo feels that we should we Grow New York Economically, we are in big trouble. 

The most important part of this Niagara proposal to remember is this.. Cooper Lake, Judith Hanson and the Waterboard are just pieces of this Major Economic Development issue.

First, Judith Hanson technically seems to have little to do with the scoping documents we are waiting for, as they (sneakily) did not include the source for their water. Niagara has, though, stated (cowardly) through Chazen, that they will fight for the site. When we do get those documents from Chazen, the source(es) for their water had better be in there! And thanks to the efforts of Save Cooper Lake, we are already ahead of the game.

But… If you listen to Niagara’s words… The site is worth it.

The site, which is what the current SEQR proposal seems to speak primarily to; stands to be the doorway into NY, opened by @Governor Governor Andrew Cuomo​ , who is pushing for more economic development liken to same, Only, he is looking to expand this same program globally.

So, here we have a lot of swirl around Kingston’s water, which is a big swirl, because it is Cooper Lake, (and so there damn well should be one).

But, this is a business that feeds on loopholes and the ignorance of not only the elected and appointed officials they are colluding with, but the ignorance of the people.

In this instance, it is clearly shown by how easily the news media (what little there is) can lead people into thinking that certain headway is being made, for instance in the recent Headline in the Kingston Daily Freeman, stating that Niagara was “denied Start-up funds for a second time.”

This is not true.

Neither of the START-UP NY proposals before SUNY Ulster were announced.

So today, while doing my daily errands, I spoke to numerous people in Woodstock, who had been lead, by uninformed print to believe that we had just met another milestone.  And because of so many different viewpoints and angles within the social media arena, many can only seem to comprehend the part where, our only vulnerability lies in the tapping of our beautiful Cooper Lake.

In the meantime, we need this petition to Governor Cuomo to be signed and shared as fast or faster than the petition we sent to REDC regarding the NY Works Grants.

But it is so confusing for people that they don’t know where they should be putting their energy, and it is needed in so many places.  And, thankfully, everyone involved in keeping their attention on this issue is sharing it widely.

There are many petitions you may have signed what feels like a million letters and petitions… Sign em all!!!

Honestly. What I am hoping to impart here, is that there is so much more than many have been comprehending about the Niagara Proposal, and the more we learn, the more understand the need for our involvement. I see it every day. People are invigorated and re-invigorated when they get a little more information…

While it is at the root of this Proposal, I hope we can all see that there is a wild vine of trouble that could grow from this one. The best way to understand what is happening is to educate ourselves as much as we can.

When the Water Coalition is formed, I hope and expect to see a more cohesive release of information, and this will all change.

As long as Woodstock Residents continue to singularly focus their attention on Saving (our own ass) Cooper Lake… We are going to lose this one.

As a strong voice in this effort, as a strong voice for Woodstock, I am begging everyone to please really learn what is going on here, from a wide scope, and stay on top of this. Not just for our precious and sacred Lake, but for the big picture.

We are so completely and totally blessed by the work that everyone in all forms and ways has been stepping up to protect our Lake… And our Streams and Rivers and scoping the Economic Impact, and praying and signing and sharing and most importantly… I am working to keep my focus on the Prize––Our luscious and beautiful environmental surroundings staying that way… and moving toward a continuous sustainable future.

Right now, our focus is on Start-Up and SEQR, and an extended scoping period for the documents  Niagara/Chazen & Companies are threatening to deliver imminently. (Perhaps sometime after Quiggs gets back from his five week vacation?)

We must be prepared to scope the documents, read between every line and if we do not get more than 30 days, this is going to be a lot of work..

All hands on deck… Even though the documents speak primarily to the Plastic Manufacturing Plant slated for Tech City property… Let’s make sure we know where they plan to draw their water… from wherever they choose, We won’t let them have Cooper Lake… And we will be there for whoever lives where they seek to draw from. I hope we will all stay on board.

And, for now we need to be hitting Cuomo very hard about his economic development plans for New York, because if this is what he sees to be forward motion for New York, we will be doing this work endlessly..

Pilgrim Pipeline, Constitution Pipeline, Keystone Pipeline, Seneca Lake, Cooper Lake, Esopus Creek, The Hudson, our oceans… Today our Lake, Today, the World… All in the name of “Economic Development”.

This is a HUGE issue, and we have to stop Navel Gazing and see the the Oceans for the lakes.

To keep as informed as we can be for the moment, from board meetings to developments, keep up to date on Kingston Citizens and Woodstock Land Concervancy‘s Facebook Pages.

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