4-11-2006 Paul Kanjorski’s watery Waterloo

" Based upon the potential significant environmental and human health impacts that could result from the implementation of the project as proposed, we recommend denial of the permit."--EPA

This is it. They tried to delay the public hearing on the proposed inflatable dam until after the November ‘06 elections, but Paul Kanjorski’s watery Waterloo is just about upon us. He knew that several state and federal agencies had given the dam a collective thumbs down, so he sought to not be embarrassed until after he is reelected once again. Smooth. Very smooth.

From The Citizens’ Voice:

Hearing set May 1 on inflatable dam

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and the state Department of Environmental Protection will hold a public hearing on the proposed inflatable dam Monday, May 1, at 7 p.m. in the Sheehy-Farmer Campus Center at King’s College, Wilkes-Barre.

The purpose of the hearing is to solicit public comments regarding the project, particularly the use of dredge and fill material to construct the dam.

According to a public notice issued by the Corps, the proposed structure will stretch from Gordon Avenue in Wilkes-Barre across the Susquehanna River to state Route 11 in Larksville Borough. The structure will only be inflated during the summer and will raise the water level near the Market Street Bridge by 4 feet. A 4.5-mile lake will be created with an average depth of 8 to 10 feet.

For more information, call Amy Elliott at 1-814-235-0573.

From the e-mail inbox Mark:

Catch the notice in the CV about the dam hearing? Talk about minimization and missing (intentionally?) the point of the hearing.

From the article: The purpose of the hearing is to solicit public comments regarding the project, particularly the use of dredge and fill material to construct the dam.

This hearing on may 1st is probably the final public hearing before decisions are made to approve or deny the permits. Period. The Luzerne County Flood Protection Authority submitted applications for a permit to build the dam in mid 2005. They are currently under review by the Army Corps of Engineers and the PA DEP. This hearing is about the whole project, not just dredge and fill.

Maybe when they get someone who knows just a little more than nothing about the project to write an objective, straightforward article, the CV will bring something meaningful to the public's attention. The CV has always stated the dam will turn the Susquehanna from a threat to an asset. Since the dam is not a flood control structure, and will not create a reservoir for drinking water, I would really like to know. What is the threat? Repeat - what is the threat?


Let’s revisit an e-mail I received--from you--two months ago:

Is Lake Kanjorski dead in the water?

From the e-mail inbox Mark: On Saturday, I received at least a portion of the documents I requested from the Army Corps of Engineers under the Freedom of Information Act, including seven letters and a disk containing the entire Dam Permit Application and Supporting Documentation.

The letters were from The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency - Region III, United States Department of the Interior - Fish and Wildlife Service (2), Pennsylvania Fish & Boat Commission, Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission - Bureau for Historic Preservation, New York State Department of Environmental Conservation - Division of Fish, Wildlife and Marine Resources, and the Pennsylvania Game Commission.

After reading all the letters, I want to make one point regarding shad migration. Prior to dams being built on the Susquehanna, the American shad migrated all the way to Lake Otsego in Cooperstown, NY. Period. Whoever started this Binghamton/Oneonta rumor as the northernmost spawning area is clueless. Read the Journals of Judge William Cooper ( 1754-1809 ) published in:"A Guide in the Wilderness" - Dublin: Printed by Gilbert & Hodges in 1810. It's all there on page 16; Herrings - by the thousands -April 1789.

Now to a few select quotes from the letters, all written to the Army Corps during their public comment period ending 12/10/05. If there are any errors or omissions, they are not intentional.


" EPA is extremely concerned with the proposed project's potential to have significant environment and public health impacts."

" Construction and operation of the inflatable structure will have direct, secondary and cumulative impact to aquatic resources."

" Adverse impacts to resident and anadromous fish can be expected to occur from the implementation of the proposed project."

" We are extremely concerned that the impoundment of poor quality river water may pose significant risks to human health from exposure to bacterial pathogens."

" Based upon the potential significant environmental and human health impacts that could result from the implementation of the project as proposed, we recommend denial of the permit."

U.S. Dept of the Interior - Fish & Wildlife Service

" Finally, we have concluded that the proposed inflatable dam may have substantial and unacceptable impacts on the aquatic resources of the Susquehanna River - a resource of national importance." ( Note from KD - that means a lot of people are watching ).

Pennsylvania Fish & Boat Commission

" All dams trap sediment. As water current slow upstream of a dam, sediments drop to the bottom and cover the substrate."

" Based on our review of the available information, our knowledge of these fisheries and river conditions, and the potential for long-term adverse impacts, we urge the Corps not to issue a permit for this project."

NY State DEC

"The Department is the designated steward of New York State's natural resources and believes it is the interest of the People of New York State that the proposed dam not be built."

For the record, the quotes above represent a very small portion of the comments directed against the project. There are also million of dollars of additional costs discussed and documented that will have to be funded in addition to the $14M already set aside. Who will pay those? How much more time and money will be wasted on this project?

The verdict is in - dams degrade rivers.

For all those that have supported this project over the years, including the Luzerne County Flood Protection Authority and numerous elected officials (including one that posts on your site from time to time) and one member of the clergy ( don't get me started ), I have a recommendation. It's time for an exit strategy.

Let's clean it up and let it flow.

Regards to all,
Kayak Dude

Here! Here!

Since the guy down on the corner thinks nothing of letting his two Rotweillers run loose at least twice a day, and since he has now acquired a St. Bernard as well, I can see this sort of news story being generated right here on this smallish street:

From The NewAge examiner.com:

Woman mauled by neighbors' dog

A 79-year-old Meshoppen woman was mauled by a neighbor's dog yesterday morning, and remained in critical condition at CMC Hospital at press time.

Get this. The guy allows his dogs to venture out unleashed before the animal enforcement dude comes on-duty and after said doggy enforcer goes home for the day. So what are we supposed to do about it while woman are being knocked to the ground, chased on top of their cars, or chased from the sidewalk to their front porches? And what are we supposed to do if (when) one of these large unleashed dogs latches onto one of our grandkids? Scream for help?

If we call and request the area car, the dogs will likely be back indoors before the police officer arrives on scene. I know certain city officials visit this site on occasion, so I’ll put the onus on them. What are we supposed to do to ensure our own safety? How can we get this defiant law breaker to get with the program before a needless tragedy occurs? And while we’re on the subject of my worst neighbor, how is it that they have a pool in their back yard without any fencing in place at all? Toddlers do wander into pools and toddlers do drown as a result? Is that copasetic, too? Oh, and we’ve got the illegal Go-Peds buzzing the length of the street in the evening manned by helmet-less children There’s three more laws being ignored. I know, you can’t outlaw piss-poor parenting, but these people need to be put in their place already.

Is there a way we can accomplish as much short of trading blows with these cretins? It really doesn’t matter to me how we do it, but I don’t want to be arrested for breaking someone’s face.

Please advise, city officials. Please advise.

From The Times Leader:

More eyes on street are planned for W-B exclusive

As part of a plan to wire the city’s entire 7 square miles for untethered Internet access, Murphy has envisioned a mix of hardwired and wireless cameras that could be moved around the city as conditions require.

If a certain neighborhood is besieged by crime, cameras could be redeployed to monitor the neighborhood.

Count me in. I don’t care what the bed-wetters have to say about our freedoms, the Constitution, the dreaded Neocons, or what some blowhard at MoveOn.org might have to spew forth about his Orwellian nightmares finally coming true.

Put aside the enhanced personal safety aspects of this plan. If we’re going to be replacing playground equipment and whatnot, I want our investments under surveillance so we can arrest some more of those worthless graffiti speds You wanna create some more art? Spray your mutated dick a nice shade of chartreuse and scan it up to the internet for all of your little speds in crime to marvel over.

Bring on the cameras!

From The Times-Tribune.com:

W-B authority must pay company $4.3 million

WILKES-BARRE — A judge ordered the city’s Redevelopment Authority on Monday to satisfy a $4.3 million contract with a company hired to supply concrete for the now defunct theater/parking complex on South Washington Street.

How the redevelopment authority will pay is uncertain.

Luzerne County Judge Thomas F. Burke Jr. said the authority must pay Newcrete Products, a division of New Enterprise Stone and Lime of Roaring Spring, Blair County, $4.3 million plus $16,441 in administrative costs.

Newcrete was awarded a contract in October 2001 and provided approximately $1 million worth of concrete until construction was stopped by a court order in January 2002. Adjacent property owners filed an injunction claiming the complex would prevent access to the rear of their properties.

Construction of the project never resumed, leaving the authority responsible for the $4.3 million contract.

“This relates to the old theater project commonly known as the hole-in-the-ground,” said authority solicitor John Dean. “The concrete contractor was never paid anything. At the time, there was financing that was earmarked by the commonwealth, but that injunction stopped everything. One thing led to another and the financing never came.”

Authority Chairman Bill Brace said current authority members were appointed in February 2004 and had no involvement with the contract with Newcrete.

This outfit, Newcrete Products, is, like, the most patient company that I’ve ever heard of. The last I heard, they were willing to wait on the construction of the intermodal product rather than suing the city. But I’m told by an engineering type that the pre-cast concrete units would be rendered unusable by the passage of so much time.

So…what this amounts to is one more less than shining example of our having to pay for Tom McGroarty’s egregious errors in judgment and planning. I’m not well-schooled in legalese and such, but I do know that you can’t construct a very large building even partially on someone else’s property.

This is what can happen when your blueprint for a high profile construction project is a scribbled on, crumpled up file card.

The Holeplex disaster still hangs heavy around our necks.

Go figure.

How’s this for a test of the exhaustive Wilkes-Barre Online archives? Holeplex photos from June 17, 2001.

Progress as


Jeez oh whiz. If only we could all get together, hold hands, think only pure thoughts and have a second chance thanks entirely to an anonymous Bible-thumper and self-appointed sole arbiter of all things good and pure and moral in NEPA.

Stop “Gentlemen’s” Club 10

Mr. Scalzo, I'm typing this with tears in my eyes. I promise you before God Himself, that if you will consider turning Gentlemen's Club 10 into a family friendly business, I will do EVERYTHING in my power to…

Holy vibrating butt plugs, Batman! Mr. Family, get a freaking grip already! I ain’t never met no male of the species before that cried over the mere thought of exposed boobies bouncin’ all around behind closed doors. I don’t know what your wife slips into your Aldi’s Ginger Ale while you’re praying for my second chance, but you need to grab your penny loafers, your rosary beads, your blessed St. Christopher bobble-head doll and run like hell. What is she, like, an ersatz, overbearing Bible-bangin’ alpha chick?

Grow a pair!

$5 million later…

Gotta roll.