Wednesday, May 10, 2017

Reflections on the WIN!! at Seneca Lake: 16 hours of video, by BH

Now that the fight against Inergy/Crestwood seems nearly to a close, with the withdrawal of the FERC application for the Arlington Storage Gallery II Expansion, I can reflect on my contribution to defending this lake from an industrial assault.

For 5+ years, I've covered this battle -- along with others on the Media Team:
Heriberto Rodriguez, Dave Walczak, Ross Horowitz, Colleen Boland, Bob Nilsson Dwain Wilder, Lindsay Speer, and my friend Cris McConkey, whom I miss a whole lot.  -- against a plan by a foreign corporation to expand fossil fuel storage near Watkins Glen NY, a place sacred to me.

16 hours of video about the fight to protect Seneca Lake, by BH
2011-present (2017)

Some of my favorite memories as a little boy growing up in the Philly suburbs in S. Jersey, were coming up to the Watkins Glen, and hiking way up on top of the gorge, and having picnics. (My dad was from Waverly, and my mom was from Bradford Co. PA. Seneca Lake was one of my parents' favorite spots.

This plan included an expansion of an existing methane (CNG) storage facility (similar to Porter Ranch) in abandoned salt mines under Seneca Lake, and the addition of a staggering 88.1M gallons of LPG! This is still in play, but seems to be stalled, for several years....

My documentation included: expert panel discussions (inc. a 4 hour live feed), public hearings, press conferences, and front-line civil disobedience actions. This was long before Standing Rock! There were over 650 arrests at the gates of Crestwood!!! That is a staggering number.

I am so privileged and honored to have been a part of this Epic Battle, which looks like ANOTHER NY WIN!!! Yay team!

NY Water Warriors may look like grannies, kids, school teachers, and every other kind of regular person, but WE are FIERCE!!

I helped document DEC public hearings, beginning in 2011. This is where I met the fine people from Gas Free Seneca, the group focusing on administrative remedies.

But just like the battle against low-level nuclear storage in Western NY in the late 1980s, as documented in the film "My Name is Allegany County", there were two groups; one focused on administrative remedies, and one focused on Civil Disobedience.

I was lucky to have been invited to the first time Jeremy Alderson chained himself to the gates, and was arrested in 2012, joined by two others. I was also invited to document the first gathering of We Are Seneca Lake, which grew into a "massive and sustained" Civil Disobedience movement, which saw over 650 arrests!!! spanning several years. To my knowledge, there has never been anything like this level of organization for NVDA since the 1960s civil rights movement.

I am honored and proud to have known and worked with all the amazing people who contributed to this. My friend Sandra Steingraber IMO deserves special mention because of her multi-dimensional talents, technical, organizational, media and messaging, and an uncompromising devotion and commitment to Nonviolence.

I am afraid to try to name all the people, because there are hundreds or thousands. I do not know them all.

My list includes Margie Rodgers, Joseph Campbell, Yvonne Taylor, Doug Couchon, Michael Dineen, Jan Quarles, Darlene Bordwell, Dan Rapaport, Louis Damiani, Spike Jones, Jack Ossont, Laura Salamendra, Nancy KasperCoby Schultz, Edgar Brown, Susan Walker, Krys Cail, Lyn Gerry, John Dennis, Ken Fogarty, Catherine Rossiter, Jodi Dean, Stephanie & Asa Redmond, Joe Heath ... there are too many! Forgive me if I've missed your name.
All the people who stood on the line. All of the court support. All of the business community. All of the organizers, attorneys, scientists, and technical experts. All of the people who drove shuttle vehicles or baked brownies or made chili or made coffee runs. All of my colleagues who did media work.

"We put aside our differences,
and we worked for a common goal.

They said it couldn't be done!
You cannot take on the most powerful industry
in the world and win... '
... The Fuck We Can't!! "

Here are 16 hours of video! I have done this work 100% on my own dime.
I have spent thousands of my own dollars, and skipped lots of work in order
to do this work. No one paid me. (although Cris and I received a very small grant in 2011 for equipment).

I am grateful for people who have given me donations when I've needed it, to support my work. This is my service to the lake, and the water. I hope it was/is of value.

(There are MANY hours of video no one has ever seen! And there is THE documentary of this thing, including the REAL behind the scenes story, the conflicts and in-fighting, and hurt feelings-- and how to overcome these things-- which is yet to be told..... Maybe I can get funding to produce this film? Of course with the help of Dave, Eddie, and Bob :) .... )

Some notes:
  • I produced, shot, and edited all of the videos in this list, with a couple of exceptions:
    • Dave Walczak, Cris McConkey, and Heriberto Rodiguez contributed to "Sandra Goes to Jail", which was used on the Bill Moyers Now program, April 19, 2013,
    • Cris McConkey was Producer and Engineer for the 4 hour live stream, Seneca in the Balance. I was Technical Director. There was a large crew including Susan Walker, John Dennis, Llewellyn Lafford, Eddie Rodriguez, and George Gleason.
    • Parts of my video "We Are Seneca Lake" were used on Democracy Now!
  • My favorite moment from the Sept 2011 DEC hearing:
    "We don't care about the tubing!"
  • The Musicians Against Methane video was a special day! The day Cuomo announced the ban. Here is a bonus video, not in my playlist because it was produced by Bob Nillson (not me). This video is one of my favorites from the entire nearly decade-long effort to ban fracking in NY:
  • Personal story regarding the press conference on 11/19/14... I used my knowledge of color-- which I largely learned from my friend Cris McConkey-- to light it, and use camera settings which made the Blue color of Sandra's coat really jump out. I was so proud of the look!

    But Cris hated it. He thought it looked artificial, an effect. unnatural. He said it was so extremely blue to be outside broadcast spec (it wasn't, I checked). He yelled at me. I cried.
  • My favorite moment of the Issues Conference: "Just imagine for a moment that you are an Administrative Law Judge..." -- Crestwood's attorney Robert Alessi. OOPS!!
  • There is one video there which nearly no one has ever seen before! I will let you discover it. :)  Here is a hint:
I think there should be a
MASSIVE victory party this summer!
(I hope I can get an invite!)
Please feel free to share this. It will be on my blog also:

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

No comments: