Saturday, June 29, 2013

A Paean to Tom Shepstone, by David Slottje

From one of the super-heroes of this movement, David Slottje, who-- along with his super-hero wife Helen form the dynamic-duo of Community Environmental Defense Council-- has been viciously attacked by Tom Shepstone of EID / IPAA for the last several years.

Since Tom has been chartered to lead the "Frack NY Quick" campaign, and since NY is still frack-free, and since business folks are results-oriented, and since 1+1+1 still equals 3, David predicts Tom Shepstone's soon departure.

Every day I practice Metta-- I wish that all beings are happy and free from suffering, including Tom Shepstone. As being one who has also been attacked by EID, I will not mourn his departure.

-- BH

A Paean to Tom Shepstone, by David Slottje

June 29, 2013
“I come to bury Caesar, not to praise him.”
                                              (Julius Caesar by Wm. Shakespeare, Act 3, Scene II) 

The battle for the essence and soul of New York State, now being fought between those who want to be fracked and those who would try to save the planet, has many noteworthy facets, one of which is the colorful nature of many of the participants. Both sides have their share of unconventional folks, but some of my favorites line up on the ‘frack-­‐me’ side of the war.

I speak, for example, of the courageous blogger who relentlessly and scurrilously attacks fracking opponents, by name, over and over and over again, but who himself cowers behind multiple screen names – sometimes going so far as to refer to himself in his blogs in the third person: “ … and then Mr. [so-­‐and-­‐so] boldly stood up, and set straight the [particular town board in question] about the lies that [the anti-­‐fracking attorney] had just told them.” (Yes, Bacon Lettuce and Tomato, I’m talking about YOU.)

Or, the LYING – yes, thank you, I am VERY aware of what is involved when one uses that particular term – blogger who doesn’t simply blog and defame anonymously, but is so cowardly that he goes so far as to ‘publish’ (look that term up, since we’re on the subject of defamation) defamatory comments literally using a fake name. Not a screen name, mind you, but a fake/fraudulent name. (Yeah, Mr. Phat, I am talking about YOU.)

Or, the ‘frack-­‐me and frack-­‐everybody else too’ activist who goes from town to town, telling the town boards of various towns where she does not live that those Town Boards should not listen to people who (like her) don’t live in the Town where she happens to be speaking (huh? really?), rudely pointing at individual town board members and promising that they WILL BE SUED in their personal (non-­‐town board member) capacities if they pass a moratorium, literally giving ‘the finger’ to town board meeting attendees who disagree with her pro-­‐fry-­‐the-­‐planet stance, and who then takes to the Internet to anonymously (see a pattern here?)  accuse anti-­‐frack people of being rude or disrespectful. (Yes princess, I’m talking about YOU.)

I could go on, but the person I really want to give his due today is Tom (“I didn’t lose my planning association credentials; I simply decided that I didn’t want to pay the association dues any more”) Shepstone.

You see, it is my instinct and opinion – only that, only my opinion; I do not purport to know – that it is just a matter of time before Energy-­‐in-­‐Depth Marcellus and Mr. Shepstone part company. Again, this is no more than my instinct and opinion. But if I am correct that Mr. Shepstone could be departing EID sooner than later, then given the amount of column space that he has generously accorded to my wife and me over the past few years, it seems like it would be just plain wrong not to give him a tip o’ the cap on his way out. (You know, kind of like if the Red Sox didn’t give a little nod to Alex Rodriguez when the Yankees finally decide enough-­‐is-­‐enough.)

Here’s why I’m guessing Mr. Shepstone could find himself ‘pursuing other interests.’ It is my understanding that Mr. Shepstone runs the New York (State) project for EID Marcellus. EID Marcellus is itself a project of the Independent Petroleum Association of America (IPAA), a very powerful representative of the most powerful industry on the planet. Given his title, I assume that part of Mr. Shepstone’s job is driving (Internet) traffic to the EID Marcellus web site, and part of it is developing and implementing strategies to let frackers have their way in New York State.

Now, you may or may not agree with the politics of the Fossil Fuel Industry//IPAA//EID-­‐ Marcellus folks – obviously, I do not – but there should be no question that they have some incredibly smart and talented people on their ‘side’ of this war, and some of those people are business people. And business people pay attention to results.

So, while this war about whether industry has proven that it is safe to frack is not even close to being over, this does seem as good a time as any to see what EID’s ROI (return-­‐on-­‐investment) in Mr. Shepstone might look like at this (admittedly) early point in time.

As to web site traffic, it appears to be down. Presumably EID’s sophisticated business people will attribute at least some part of that to the sterling editorial judgments Mr. Shepstone has made with respect to what is and what isn’t relevant to those who might consider using the EID site as a resource. Here are some of Mr. Shepstone’s choices: “If trees could talk, they’d say ‘Burn Natural Gas, Not Wood”; “Promised Land Missing its Mark with Film Reviewers”; ‘Cabot Gives Away Toys at Christmastime’; “Town of Highland Gets Sued Over Natural Gas Ban” (ah, no, they didn’t; I guess I must have missed the correction of that one when it ran); and “Norse Energy Shows the Way!” (whoops! might want to take that one down, don’t you think?).

[[And by the way, if you do decide to look into taking down certain posts, you might want to examine the one entitled “Slottje Duo Hits a Wall in Bath” where, in a post “by Energy in Depth National Team,” the head of the local landowners’ coalition says he saw “first hand the other night in Bath” (emphasis added) an attempt by my wife and me to “pull the wool over the eyes of Steuben County residents,” and that “Boy, did they get a surprise from the Village of Bath Town (sic) Board” and that “the Village Board saw straight through their act […]”

One of the problems for Mr. Shepstone with this particular post is that my wife and I have never presented to or even attended a meeting of the Village of Bath Board or of the Town of Bath Board – not individually or together, not on the night in question, and not at any other time on any other date. (For that matter, I haven’t been to Bath, Maine in years, and neither of us has ever been to Bath, England.) How -­‐ on Mr. Shepstone’s watch -­‐ can the ‘EID National Team’ publish a dead-­‐wrong, purported “first hand” account of an occurrence that actually never happened? Well, I have my own theories, but if EID really cares enough to find out, maybe they will start by asking Mr. Shepstone directly. The buck is supposed to stop with him,

Anyway, back to the web site. Giving credit where it is due, it does appear that Mr. Shepstone is now feverishly attempting to drive traffic to the EID site: as fast as he can type, he posts or causes to be posted EID Marcellus stories (such as those described above) to other, chiefly pro-­‐frack landowner group-­‐sponsored sites. But then, instead of simply cutting and pasting the story or blog in full on the site of the place he is piggy-­‐backing – which is typically what one would do if one really wanted as many people as possible to have the information being presented (because each additional ‘click’ required to get to a discussion or post statistically lessens the chances that the post in question will actually be read) – Mr. Shepstone only posts part of the article, with a hyperlink back to EID Marcellus. By definition, that approach is not optimal for the ‘side’ Mr. Shepstone is being paid to represent, because it lessens the overall chances that the intended audience will actually read the story in question. But it can be better for Mr. Shepstone personally, because the (statistically) fewer people who do end trying to read the story must go through the link to EID’s web site to do so, and that gives Mr. Shepstone more additional ‘clicks’ that he can report as web site ‘traffic’ to his bosses.
OK, on to the second part of what I assume Mr. Shepstone’s job to be: convincing people who live in New York State that industry has proven that fracking is safe.
Now, when trying to refute an adversary’s contention (no matter the subject matter), I believe and I think most people would agree that the most effective approach is to deal with the opponent’s contention directly, by specifically addressing (and hopefully rebutting) the particulars of the opponent’s position. But Mr. Shepstone and his team appear to prefer a different, less conventional approach. Let me give you just a few examples.

(For purposes of the following examples, when I say “we” or “our side,” I mean people who believe that fracking is not a good idea, whether because the industry has not come even close to proving from a long-­‐term perspective that fracking is safe, or for some other reason(s). And when I say “they” or “their side,” I mean Mr. Shepstone, bloggers who work for Mr. Shepstone, or bloggers on the various sites to which Mr. Shepstone posts things.) So here’s some of what I’m talking about:

WE say: that fracking – no matter how broadly or narrowly the other side tries to define that term/process – HAS, IN FACT, been PROVEN to have contaminated ground water sources. We say it unequivocally, without any qualifier of any kind, and in the case of my wife and myself, we say it daring someone to sue us over having said it. 

THEY say: some of the clothes that Yoko Ono designs for her company to sell are expensive.


WE say: that the claims made by industry’s supporters as to the number of jobs to be generated in NYS if fracking is allowed in are in fact wildly inflated and misleading, and that the majority of the jobs that according to industry will be created in fact will not go to New Yorkers, and that most of the jobs that might go to NY-­‐ers will be only temporary.

THEY say: one high-­‐profile opponent of fracking in NYS (and in other places, as well) might not be heterosexual.

Hmm, OK.

WE say: that the notion that NYS has ‘the strictest (fracking) regulations in the country’ and that fracking opponents accordingly should take comfort that the health and safety of generations-­‐to-­‐come will be protected by NY’s DEC is poppycock, balderdash, and nonsense, because (among many, many other reasons) such regulations do not exist, and the Commissioner of the DEC himself relatively recently said that if he wanted to, he could issue drilling permits without any such regulations being in place.  

THEY say: one high-­‐profile Southern Tier opponent of fracking has over the course of his lifetime lived in many different places.

Hmm, OK.

WE say: fracking activities have the potential to produce a combination of negative impacts upon the environment and people living in or in proximity to the areas or communities in which such activities are located. Such negative impacts may include, without limitation, noise, vibrations, fumes, damage to roadways, degradation of water quality, degradation of air quality, decreased availability of affordable housing, damage to and loss of agricultural lands and soils, fragmentation of natural communities and valuable wildlife and flora corridors, and damage to tourism industries.

THEY say: that the young man who had the temerity to point out that Mr. Shepstone saw fit in his own gas lease to insist upon negotiating a provision that keeps fracking farther away from his house than the setback distances contemplated by the draft SGEIS to be the standard in New York State, is not credible because, inter alia, the young man graduated from college only several years ago, the young man works for the young man’s father, and the father was a “preppy” in college.

Alrighty then.

WE say: fracking activities typically involve a large volume of heavy vehicles, and accidents involving heavy vehicles have greater potential for death or serious injuries and property damage than those involving smaller vehicles. An increased volume of heavy vehicular traffic may cause, contribute to, or create unsafe conditions for the traveling public, and can result in traffic congestion that could delay emergency response times for medical emergencies, fires, and accidents. Further, increased heavy vehicular traffic tends to increase air pollution and noise levels, and to decrease the quality of life and property values for those living nearby.
THEY say: one high-­‐profile anti-­‐fracking activist does not seem to have any solar panels on his home.

OK, then. Pretty much rebuts the claim that fracking hasn’t been proven safe, right?

I could go on and on, but the pattern is I think quite clear. Now, is Mr. Shepstone’s approach to winning hearts and minds effective? I do have an opinion (hint: in Latin there is a phrase, res ipsa loquitur, which means ‘the thing speaks for itself), but Mr. Shepstone would say that no one should listen to me because I live in what he calls ‘Planet Ithaca.’ Anyway, much more interesting than what I think will be to watch how this unfolds from EID’s perspective.

If I am correct and it turns out that the sophisticated business people at EID do not like the results Mr. Shepstone has delivered, I very much want to be among the first to tell A-­‐Rod – I mean Mr. Shepstone – to enjoy whatever the next phase for him turns out to be.

If I’m wrong, and EID decides not to change pitchers right now, I can say from the bottom of my heart: “Mr. Shepstone, there are a great many of us waiting to bat who are very happy to see you on the mound. And please don’t change a thing. Go ahead and stick with that curve ball that keeps hanging; heck, what’s the worst that could happen?”

Signed with all due respect,
David Slottje

Friday, June 28, 2013

PA DEP fines a municipal waste treatment authority for drilling pollution (Say, what?)

A new weird story from PA:

PA DEP fines a municipal waste treatment authority
for high discharges (toxic effluent, river pollution)
caused by gas drilling.

The PA DEP issues the permits to the drillers
and (in theory) carries enforcement powers.

I was given this by a trusted source,
but asked that certain specific details
not be given just yet.

I can tell you this much:

Yesterday, 6/28/13, a municipal sewer
authority in NE PA was fined, or threatened
with a fine, for discharging contaminated effluent
into the river by PA - DEP.

The irony is, the source of the contamination
is likely caused by gas drilling and related activity.

What you have to understand is
the source of the contamination
was (at least partially) due to
high contaminate levels in private
water wells
coincident with gas drilling,
and pipeline construction.

This contaminated well water entered the sewer plant
through the municipal waste pipes from private homes.

At the time of the contamination spikes at the sewer
plant, gas drilling was active at several sites,
and a pipeline was directionally drilled under the river.
People reported their well water turned black.

There has also been a report of a 3,000 gal vacuum truck
discharging unknown waste into the river via a storm
sewer drain.

The PA DEP issues the permits to the drillers,
and also (in theory) has the power of enforcement actions.

Yet, rather than fining the gas operator, or the pipeline
company, they fine a municipal wastewater treatment
authority for the pollution which drilling causes!

The threatened fine is $140,000.

Evolving story...  stay tuned.

May you, and all beings
be happy and free from suffering :)
-- ancient Buddhist Prayer (Metta)

Thursday, June 27, 2013

Here's the thing frackers should know about Yoko Ono...

The people who support fracking,
call Yoko Ono a "downstate blue-blood".

How many people know
she is also an affected landowner?
She lives part-time in upstate NY.

Now here's the thing
frackers should know about Yoko....

To most of us, Yoko has unimaginable wealth.
Yet, despite her wealth,
against the pipeline proposed to run through her back yard.
Do you see the irony here?

All of the people who support fracking
want money. Without exception.
Money is the sole motivation to frack.

These people think that money will bring
them happiness, and greater political power.
It will not.

The story of Yoko Ono should tell them others.
Money cannot by Happiness, or Love,
or even protection against a corporation
which wants to built a pipeline on her property.
I wonder if the frackers knew this,
if it would change their mind?

I wonder if they met
Matt and Tammy Manning
and their children,
as Yoko did,
if it would change their mind?

God Bless you, Yoko Ono!

May you, and all beings
be happy and free from suffering :)
-- ancient Buddhist Prayer (Metta)

Here is something you don't realize about Tar Sands / Keystone XL (KXL)

1. July 2011 12" pipeline 63,000 gallons Yellowstone river 20 y/o Silvertip pipeline
2. July 2012 Kalamazoo river Marshall MI, 1M gal.
3. Aug 2012 red deer river, Sundre Alberta, CA pipeline rupture 125,000 gal.
4. Mar 2013 Parkers Prairie MN, 26,000 gal rail car ruptured.
5. Mar 2013 Mayflower Arkansas, 20" Pegasus Pipeline ruptured 12,000 BBLs/ 500,000 gal.
6. Jun 2013 Zama City, Alberta 62,000 BBLs / 2.6M gal toxic "produced water".
I am happy you know about Keystone XL.

It is a very bad thing and should be halted.
Of this there is no doubt.

What you don't realize about the Keystone XL is that it is only one
of a network of pipelines which are already importing
the extremely dangerous
and toxic CANADIAN TAR SANDS "CRUDE"* into the United States,
which is both wasteful of our existing global energy reserves,
and also extremely destructive of the environment?

For what? to send to China to keep their slave-factors at full output
making products which we don't really need?


Tar Sands Product being imported into the US from Canada
is one of two products:

About 90% is DILBIT (Diluted Bitumen), and about 10% is SYNCRUDE (Synthetic Crude created by "upgrading" some bitumen into lighter hydrocarbons). Both are synthetic products which are created by assembling component parts (Bitumen from Alberta + NGLs from the Marcellus Shale), made to resemble traditional crude oil to varying degrees so that it can be refined.

All of these terms are technically inaccurate: "Tar Sands Oil", "Oil Sands".

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Dr. Gay Canough: The Vast Majority of Solar Cells are Made of Silicon

Response by Dr. Canough about concerns of rare-earth metals in solar cells.

---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: Gay Canough
Date: Tue, Jun 25, 2013 at 12:15 PM
Subject: The Vast Majority of Solar Cells are Made of Silicon

The Vast Majority of Solar Cells are Made of Silicon, the same stuff as in Sand (which is silicon dioxide). If you are afraid of silicon, you will NOT be going to the beach this summer, will you?

My primary push for renewables involves solar electricity (photovoltaics/PV) and solar hot water heating(SHW). The first thing to understand is that almost ANYTHING that can be made ONCE (with all the mining and processing it requires) and then used for 20 or 30 years is going to be better, environmentally (the obvious thing being lower carbon emissions). While anything you have to keep extracting daily (fuel) is worse, environmentally speaking.

Both PV and SHW are in the make-once category and perhaps wind turbines (although they do require more regular maintenance). 

The MAJORITY of PV, by far, is made of silicon, the exact same material as used in nearly all integrated circuits and computer CPUs on Earth. By the way, "silica" is a fancy word for sand. And yes, very fine sand is hazardous if you breath it, which is true of nearly any very fine material.
A PV solar cell is the simplest semiconductor device, one p-n junction. So it is much simpler to make than a CPU (which has hundreds of millions of p-n junctions in them). 

A solar module has solar cells, copper, tin, ethylene vinyl acetate, Tedlar (plastics), glass and aluminum in it. These are all pretty benign materials. Electronics manufacture of all kinds used to involve lead-based solder, but many countries have banned this type of solder, so manufacturers are moving to lead-free solder. My hubby Larry has done a lot of research work and testing,  for various companies,  for new kinds of lead-free solder. 

Kim M. brings up thin-film PV. One of these, CIGS PV, is not made of silicon (a couple of factories are making this). There is also ONE PV factory making cadmium telluride PV (CdTe) and obviously cadmium is a hazardous material. However, both these technologies involve rare elements and so, as we go to more and more solar power, silicon is going to win, since it is, um, common as sand! Or perhaps a new kind of solar cell, made of organic material will win. Organic solar power (photosynthesis) is, after-all, what Mother Nature came up 500 million years ago!

A solar hot water collector is even simpler. It involves copper tubing, aluminum frame, glass cover and insulation (which is the same kind of stuff people put in their walls and roof). Lead-free plumbing solder has been the norm now for years (2 to 3 decades, I think).

What about the manufacture of these? Manufacturing of ANYTHING will never be completely hazard free. As soon as you get out of bed each day, you are taking a risk. We MUST get over this notion of "COMPLETELY SAFE". There is NO SUCH THING. We MUST begin to make things again in this country. What we are doing now is shuffling money  amongst ourselves through retail and services. This might be a downward spiral into lower income and standard of living. We need to MAKE THINGS. And if we make things here, we can monitor the safety of the workers and the pollution controls on the factories (which we can't do for things made in China).

How do you manufacture things without making a mess, being a health hazard or making your local community an unpleasant place to live? It seems to me that we are masters of this technique compared to the rest of the world (excepting Germany, which is better at it than us). In many other countries, they are just starting to admit to themselves that they have to regulate manufacturing to reduce pollution. 

One really good practice for factories is to be able to take back and recycle nearly everything they make, or make products from easily recyclable materials. First Solar, which makes CdTe,  takes back any panel they produce. 

What about batteries?
For many years, our primary storage was lead-acid batteries and these are still in wide use. All lead-acid batteries must be recycled in the USA (federal law). Now we have lithium ion batteries in wide use for cameras, phones and computers. Whatever rules we are putting in place for the re-cycle of these, will apply to the re-cycle of electric vehicle batteries. I do not know what all goes into manufacturing of lithium-ion batteries, but I bet it's not more hazardous than lead-acid! Again, we need to make things and do it as safely as possible, while remembering that  "completely safe" is mythological! 

Now here's some more food for thought... all of these technologies are relatively old. It would be money well spent to do research and develop BETTER kinds of solar cells and batteries (which they are doing at Binghamton U, with a pretty small budget). If we were to put the YEARLY billions of bucks worth of fossil fuel subsidies  into some serious research and development, pretty soon we would be making solar cells for 10 cents/Watt out of organic materials (spinach?) and everyone would be driving their electric vehicle, with its fancy battery, to work, plugging it in and selling power to NYSEG to shave the peak load!  AND then we would be exporting this technology. 

Any way of getting energy that we come up with will have its shortcomings. But I am pretty darn sure that having electricity and heat available is better than not having it. Unless we want to greatly reduce the human population, I am not sure we can do without these anymore. So every time you poo-poo some form of energy, I want you to think about how you will live without electricity and heat OR what is your fabulous alternative? 

We should always be on the lookout for problems and address them (rather than our usual response, which has been denial and hysteria). If there is one thing humans are really good at, it's technology. And if there is one energy resource that is far and away the largest, it's solar energy. If there's one main reason to stop burning fossil fuel, it's climate change. The flood last year is a nasty taste of things to come. It cost $500 MILLION dollars worth of damage in our area.

Silicon: The second most common element on Earth. 12000 square kilometers: the area of silicon solar cells it takes to generate 100% of the USA's electrical use. The solar resource: Can serve a world-wide energy need 1400 times greater than it is now for at least 5 billion more years! 
Wide-spread use of solar power: Inevitable. 

Gay Canough
ETM Solar Works
Endicott NY

May you, and all beings
be happy and free from suffering :)
-- ancient Buddhist Prayer (Metta)

PHMSA/NAS study of Dilbit Pipeline Safety released: "No special risks"

Summary: (according to the press release):
Dilbit carries no special risks of safety or pipeline failures
than conventional crude oil.

I have not read the report yet. (I have noticed what is often in the initial press release is often an extreme simplification, or worse, of the nuanced truth which the actual study reveals. ).

This is despite clear evidence that suggests dilbit pipelines have
an extraordinary rate of failures
, as we have had 4 major pipeline
spills in just 2 years (see map below)

Press Release:

Download the report (requires free registration)

Four Major Dilbit Pipeline Spills in 2 years:

1: Yellowstone River July 2011, 67,000 gal..
2: July 2012, Kalmazoo River, 1 M. gal.
3: Aug 2012, Red Deer River, Alberta. 125,000 gal.
4: Mayflower AR, Mar 2013, 500,000 gal.

May you, and all beings
be happy and free from suffering :)
-- ancient Buddhist Prayer (Metta)

Monday, June 24, 2013

Preserving this from Facebook, Fracknation's page:

HYPOCRITES: Patagonia, an outdoor clothing & accessory store, depends heavily on oil to make their products (not to mention shipping, electricity, etc.) Yet they actively fight #fracking, the Keystone XL pipeline, and all fossil fuel production.

They're hypocrites! Help us call them out by LIKING & SHARING this picture and writing on Patagonia's Facebook wall.
Like · · Share · 5 hours ago

  • William Huston Thomas Jefferson owned slaves, yet he wrote the words which ultimately freed them. Does Jefferson's hypocrisy invalidate his good works? Don't confuse the messenger w/the message. None of us are perfect. Don't ask "is he a hypocrite?". Ask: is it true what they say?
    • Shaun Scott Sory, one cannot ESPOUSE a principle one does not represent. And Jefferson was dead for decades before slavery was abolished. If he truly believed "ALL men are created equal", he ought to have set a better example.
    • Loren Clouden A more laughable bit of absurdity I have not read recently Mr. Huston.
    • Zane Gordon That example does not work here. Patagonia requires the substance that is feedstock for their product. They would not exist without frac'ing.
    • Scott Miller By William Huston's logic, Hitler wrote the words that ultimately led to the anti-fracking movement when he said "It is not truth that matters, but victory."
    • William Huston I think you all are missing my point... You frequently "Call the Anti a Hypocrite!" and then walk away, victorious. -- Because I don't feel like you won anything. The reality is more complex and nuanced.

      It's like this: We all just woke up, and there is this problem. I'm trying to work on fixing the problem, and you are calling me names.

      It took the last 50-100 years to put this existing energy infrastructure into place. And you expect ME to change it all instantly overnight?
    • William Huston You all are playing both sides when you call me hypocrite. Do you AGREE that we should all switch to solar? and then fault a person like me for not getting my house converted fast enough?

      You ARE correct here. Converting to renewables IS the right thing and Josh Fox SHOULD get a solar panel and so should I as should WE ALL.

      But no, most pro-gas people don't care at all about solar. You want to hold me to a different standard than you are willing to live by. And in my opinion, THAT is TRUE HYPOCRISY.

      Do I live in line 100% with my values at all times? That is my goal, but not always. I am not perfect. I am not Christ. Neither is Josh Fox. He is Human, imperfect (like is all).

      But my goal isn't name calling. Who is a hypocrite and who is CHRIST, a model of human perfection. That's bullshit. A waste of time.

      I want to solve the problem. I don't care who is inconsistant with their own values. EVERYBODY IS! (including you).

      My goal is to WORK WITH YOU at solving the problem!

      Right now, we have not agreed to what the problem is. So we have more work to do listening to each others needs.

Thursday, June 20, 2013

Why I am not interested in LPFM

I am not interested in LPFM.

Why? It costs $100,000-$200,000 in equipment, surveys, and professional fees.
and in hilly area like this, the reach will be minimal.
WHRW in Vestal has 1,500 ERW and an intenna at about 100' (hilltops @ 400'):
LPFM is presently limited to 10 watts. That's 1/100th WHRWs signal.
The radius is only about 3.5 miles without hills.
I know several people at Prometheus Radio Project, 
and I think they are really wonderful folks.

They've been fighting for LPFM for 15 years or more.
Long struggle. They are very cool people,
with good hearts and heads.
But around here with hills, it's nearly worthless.
HUGE capital investment, for very little coverage.

My main goals has been, and will continue to be
reform of high-power radio and TV,
starting with WSKG our "PUBLIC" Broadcasting station!

ZERO incidents of Groundwater Contamination! (infographic)

A lot of people have been receiving robo-calls, and postcards from Fracking Front Groups
repeating the canard: 1 Million Wells, and ZERO incidents of groundwater contamination!

Like this:

But why are they even mentioning water contamination if it isn't true?

By way of analogy.... what's the first thing you would think of if every Oreos advert
made the claim:

Over 360 Billion Oreos made, and ZERO incidents of CANCER!!

What's the first thing you would think about?

May you, and all beings
be happy and free from suffering :)
-- ancient Buddhist Prayer (Metta)

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

WSKG: Community Conversation on Fracking .... (But please don't mention fracking)

Content-Free "Public Media"

Interesting, WSKG hosts a "community conversation" about fracking,
but discourage a discussion about the merits of subject!

"We're not talking about fracking, specifically, itself"

       -- WSKG's Crystal Sarakas, at the top of the
             "Community Conversation"  show about fracking 6/19/2013

You've gotta hear this for yourself, folks:

Can't we all just get along?

According to WSKG,
Fracking is not a public health crisis,
it's a failure of people to communicate.

When you listen to the show, please note that the
"expert panel" don't seem to actually
know anything about the subject.

And out of 6-7 callers, all but one were pro-fracking.

NPR is bought to you by... America's Natural Gas Alliance!

Just in case, I also recorded it off the air. In my recording, you can hear an
NPR advertisement for ANGA just before the show. "Think About It, dot O-R-G".

(My recording ends 5m before the end of the show, as Matt Richmond does is
brief legislative update-- which probably should have been an entire hour).

Crystal Sarakas recently did a similar show about "coping with climate change".

"The focus of our show is not to talk about
the science of climate change or what causes it,
but more to the question about how we respond to
these events."  -- WSKG's Crystal Sarakas 4/24/2013

This seems a bit ORWELLIAN to me.

WSKG: Robotic Program Streams for the Dead and Dying

As you've heard if you've listened to the station,
WKSG has become more consolidated, more robotic over the years.

Each week, they play 60 hours of robo-classical music on one station,
and a staggering 80 hours of robo-jazz each week.

That's 140 hours of Robo-Music!

The amount of locally produced programming is negligible--
less that one tenth of one percent of the broadcast day.

The station is 100% fully au
tomated 10 hours each day right now,  from 7pm-5am.

When you hear a local announcement, it is almost always pre-recorded.
(this is called "voice-tracking").

WSKG is now planning on moving TV Master Control operations to Syracuse.
This has been confirmed by several members of station staff.

So you can expect TV to be less local, and more robotic.

"Public Broadcasting" ...without the Public

WSKG "Public Media" to Community Producers:

For at least 15 years, there has been a 100% BAN on all content
produced by independent, community producers.

Wouldn't you think that our state-funded "Public Media station"
would cultivate a community of local producers?
  • offer production training classes? -- Nope.
  • provide grant assistance? -- Sorry.
  • studio use? -- Only members of CWA-NABET local 26 can touch the equipment. 
  • equipment loans? -- "This is not public access".
  • broadcast airtime? -- We don't do that.
No, WSKG has been HOSTILE to all community producers.
I have met at least a dozen local producers over the years
who have approached WSKG for various things on the list
above. All have been denied any sort of help.

This Must Change!


#2: After you listen to this Community Conversation show,
please contact the station with your comments.

#3 PLEASE also CC or BCC me on your correspondence:
   ....or reply to this email.

BE SURE TO ASK THEM WHEN they will being to air
the "Shaleshock Media Show"  featuring the best from producers
like Cris McConkey, Scott Cannon, Josh Fox, Jolynn Minaar,
Vera Scroggins, Jessica VeccioneDave Walczak, and Bill Huston.

(This show was pitched to WSKG CEO Brian Sickora on Friday, May 10
by Dave Walczak, Maura Stephens, and Bill Huston)

Here are various ways you can contact the station:
  • Letters to:
    WSKG, PO Box 3000, Binghamton, NY 13902

  • Physical Address:
    601 Gates Rd., Vestal, NY 13850

  • Phone (607) 729-0100
    ask to speak with CEO & General Manager Brian Sickora
    and/or the Program Director for radio Ken Campbell.

  • Phone (607) 729-0200
    and leave a message

May you, and all beings
be happy and free from suffering :)
-- ancient Buddhist Prayer (Metta)

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

DId anyone hear the WSKG "Community Conversation" on fracking tonight?

Did anyone hear the WSKG
"Community Conversation" on fracking tonight?

Wondering what your thoughts are.

Sorry for any duplication.


May you, and all beings
be happy and free from suffering :)
-- ancient Buddhist Prayer (Metta)

Sunday, June 16, 2013

GoogleMaps view of Compressors/Pipelines in Susq. County + what to expect for NY

Some of you have probably already seen the map I created which shows
gas development in Susquehanna County PA:

The light purple is the Upper Susquehanna River Basin.
The yellow squares are well pads. The green push-pins are
compressor stations and dehydration. The solid lines are pipelines:

The raw data for the compressor stations was supplied by MJS.
I have found a way to display this with Google Maps without
having to install Google Earth. So with this link you can virtually
fly over Susquehanna County and see all the development.

1) the line of red pushpins running east-west along the southern part
fo the county. This is the TGP 300 transmission line (Tennessee).

2) the line of red pins which run from SW to NE just north of Salt Springs Park.
this is the Laser gathering line.

We have 2 major proposed gas transmission lines proposed for
the Southern Tier (Constitution Pipeline, and Millennium Extension
to Syracuse), and several gathering lines (Bluestone, Emkey).

This is just to help you visualize the impacts to our area IF HVHF gas drilling
is permitted in NY. Well pads, pipelines, compressor stations....

If you happen to live near the Constitution Pipeline or the Millennium,
you can expect compressor stations and dehydration equipment near you.

May you, and all beings
be happy and free from suffering :)
-- ancient Buddhist Prayer (Metta)