5-1-2006 Chia Kev vs. Kayak Dude: Chia blinked

Well, the folks in control at WILK decided to talk to one person this morning while debating the inflatable dam, and that one person turned out not to be Kayak Dude. He was told mere moments before his expected appearance that Chia Kev and Lib Chick wanted to discuss the dam with some lady named Sara, and Sara only. Sorry, but I was busy trying to purchase the correct auger chuck at Main Hardware and missed what organization she was representing. It’s too bad, because I know KD would have easily debunked Chia Pet’s absurd pro dam arguments. Actually, The Pet would have gotten spanked right on his own putrid show.

From the e-mail inbox Mark:

I received a call at 8:10 to advise me they only wanted Sara on the show.

Go figure.

So, since somebody or other at WILK decided to sidestep the heavy hitters (Kayak Dude and David Buck of Endless Mountain Outfitters) whereas the Susquehanna river is concerned, let’s dissect Kevin’s laughable nonsense right here. Here’s the long and short of what he had to say.

Since there’s been no political will to clean the river during the thirty years he’s lived in this area, he says we should dam the river, create that long since missing political will and then clean the river at a later date.

He also stated that inflatable dams have been well-received in many other cities all across these thoroughly fruity plains.


First of all, Uncle Kanjo procured $14 million in fedrule funding to erect the dam, and that will not cover the total cost of the dam's installation. Now dig this snippet I snatched from his very own Web site:

But we have some work to do. The water quality has improved substantially since the late 1980’s when the Wyoming Valley Sanitary Authority completed its secondary treatment plant. One of the first things I did when I was elected to Congress was to secure 75 percent federal funding – more than $35 million – to complete that project, which has significantly reduced the bacteria level of the river. However, as the Gannett-Fleming report points out, we still have raw sewage entering the river during periods of heavy rainfall, when sanitary treatment plants are overwhelmed with stormwater mixed with sewage. It is my understanding from early engineering reports that the eight worst overflows can be corrected for about $8 million, reducing the problem dramatically.

According to Paul Kanjorski, the eight worst outflows can be corrected for about $8 million. The last time I checked, this valley was home to over 80 sewage outflows. Anybody got a calculator handy? Plus, his guestimate was based on the year 2000 dollars, so we already know that it’d cost much more in 2006, 2010, 2015, or during whatever future year Chia Pet’s make believe “political will” might actually take shape. What are we talking here? $100 million in fedrule pork needed for such an undertaking? And then, where would the 25% local matching funds come from? The feds will only fund 75% of a project of this nature. Can the county come up with $25 million or so? Can the city? We all know the answer to that--NOT!!!

Nice try, Kevin. Stick to bashing Bush and God.

Look. Mommy‘s name!

And try this. Chia Kev can point to the Birminghams or the other cities where, according to him, inflatable dams have not significantly lessened the already questionable quality of the river water involved, but our valley has something other than raw sewage to add to the frightening mix. We’ve got acid mine drainage going on here. The orange staining along the shoreline--you’ve all seen it. In addition to the raw sewage seeping into our river, do we want to build a dam in front of that, too?

So, combining the staggering cost of replacing the sewage outflows with the unfathomable task of putting an end to acid mine drainage, how much fedrule pork will we need then? $150 million? $200 million? And the county and city can provide a 25% local match? So much for Chia Pet’s knowledge regarding the inflatable dam (or the obvious lack thereof). We’re paying for the Iraq war and piling up record-setting debts at the fedrule level as it is. Do we honestly think Uncle Kanjo is going to be able to deliver the money it’d take to clean our river anytime soon? Or at all?

Some unthinking stooge called WILK and said that if environmentalists are against the proposed dam, he’s all for it.

Let’s revisit an e-mail sent my way in very late January ‘06, shall we?

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

The statements documented in that e-mail are not the deranged mutterings of whacked-out tree huggers. They are indisputable facts. Chia Kev can do his half-hour of Google searches and then pretend to be a River Rat on the radio all he likes, but the fact is, a free-flowing river freed from pollutants can regenerate itself in a relatively short space of time. But a dammed river never will.

And I think it was disingenuous of him to omit the fact that the river he grew up with was cleaned to a significant degree, but never dammed.

For more facts about rivers, visit this post: Is Lake Kanjorski dead in the water?

Or this one: Wysox, Sugar Run and points in between

Whatever. Kev and Nancy didn’t step up to the challenge and take on Kayak Dude and his partner in kayaking, and that was a definite disservice to their listeners. But Nancy did have the right idea by asking “Why can’t we just clean the river?” Good question, Uncle Kanjo.

Why can’t we just, bit by bit, clean the river?”

Even Dr. Joseph Leonardi weighs in on the issue with the following video.

Many thanks to Gort for sending me the video file.

Silly, silly duck

Whoa there! Wilkes-Barre has it’s own gas prices Web page. Now that’s progress.

Wilkes-Barre Gas Prices

And if that‘s not enough Web fun, we’ve got another guy who wants to blog about Wilkes-Barre’s politics. Good luck, new guy. Half the city hates my guts the way it is. The way I see it, if they absolutely adore you, you’re definitely doing something wrong.

Wilkes-Barre Politics

Which reminds me of something. Whatever happened to the tough talk coming from this pretender?

The Hyphen

Not too good

From the e-mail inbox I thought you would like to know, the owners of businesses are giving the immigrants the day off AS immigration appreciation day. Guess they are protecting their investment in their hiring of illegals. nuff said- loved the pics of the kiddies and you walked!! If I could, I would ride my motorcycle but bad knee operation prevents me from throwing my leg across the saddle. Besides, I'd need a WIDE LOAD sign. DIETS , I have tried and 4 times lost 80 lb. Now, can't exercise, not even on stationary bike. lots of hugsl to grandkids shirley XXXXXXX

Yeah, we’re being told large manufacturing plants in the Hazleton area were idled today. I thought the illegal aliens were only doing the work Americans refused to do. So much for that bullspit story, heh? I also read that Hazleton Mayor Lou Barletta wants the INS to open an office in his city. Kudos to him.

Diets are tough. Thing is, exercise overrides all other considerations. If you can burn away 5,000 calories a day, you can ingest just as many. But if you can’t exercise near as much as you’d like, the diet thing is a tough, tough road. In 1990, I lost 48 pounds in 4 months. And I’ve managed to keep those pounds off ever since. But…let it be known that I work very, very hard and play even harder. And it’s for that reason that I can appreciate the frustration that some encounter, because practically nobody makes with the Superman bit like I do. As a matter of fact, my upper arms are aching me to a degree right now. Way too many curls yesterday and on top of the 60 morning pushups. Most folks mistakenly believe it’s easy being thin. Ain’t so.

Ah, the kids. Wifey’s a bit saddened by the fact that my daughter will no longer be working in Wilkes-Barre on the weekends, meaning we’ll be losing Gage & Taylor sleeping over every weekend. It’s funny. We looked forward to the day when all of our kids would move out on their own and we’d have more time for ourselves. Now, we moan and whine out loud when the kid’s kids aren’t here.


Zach‘s dinosaur tattoo

I have to go. I’m beat and I’m looking for some baseball to watch.