WHY THE RUSH?

April 9, 2010

Why are the Lehman Township supervisors rushing to grant drilling permits BEFORE the monthly meeting of the Back Mountain Community Partnership? The supervisors changed the date of their meeting to Tuesday, April 13th, with gas permits being the agenda of the meeting.

The Back Mountain Community Partnership, a coming together of the local supervisors and elected officials, has scheduled a meeting at Misericordia University on Thursday, April 15th, from 3:00pm to 5:00pm. This group has been listening to the pros and cons of the drilling and is attempting to formulate a plan to deal with it. Hopefully, as a group, members could recommend that NO permits be issued by local governments until state and federal regulations are in place. So, Lehman supervisors, WHY THE RUSH?

Submitted by Molly M
4/9/10


Lost and Found – submitted by Mora Toria

April 9, 2010

A man in my neighborhood lost his dog today, and I engaged in helping him to retrieve his pet. At day’s end, the dog was safely home and the grateful owner and I had an opportunity to discuss the dog and other issues.

I asked him outright if he was aware of the Marcellus Shale Gas Development that is about to invade the area. He responded that he knew very little about it but assumed that it was not really a threat here. I quickly gave him updates and secured his email address to send him information.

I think he is typical of most of the residents in the Back Mountain who are unaware of what is coming and do not think they need to play a role in the future of their communities.

Many have no idea what is taking place. All they can tell you about gas exploration is how much money SOMEONE is getting. Stories about water pollution and quality of life degradation are dismissed as hype.

I challenge everyone to drive to Dimock. Take a right at the post office and another right at Carter Road. Try to imagine living in the midst of the industrial occupation that is omnipresent in this 9 square mile area. It will make you sick with dread at what will happen to your home and surroundings if you do not become informed and politically active.

If you don’t do something, you’ll lament events even more woeful than a lost dog.

submitted by Mora Toria
4/8/10


More Fracadelia

April 1, 2010

Here is the incident du jour: Natural gas fire under control

Here is latest entry to About: I live in the Frances Slocum State Park area, but have been to Moon Lake many times. Anyplace where people can run, play, hike, swim, camp, learn, bike, and socialize reverberates through life like an endless smile. The gas it will be sacrificed for, will give but a few people its’ neon pleasure and leave the rest of us in debt and diminished. As far as the County is concerned, mismanagement begets mismanagement. It is like a lie.

At Gort42: Gort is a respected area blogger . (I suspect his real identity is 24 Torg.) Today/yesterday he wrote a post which was titled and about Moon Lake. A commenter on the post suggested that “the Commissioners consider selling the naming rights to the Park just as was done with the Arena.” Whether he was serious or tongue-in -cheek, his proposal got me to thinking…

Perhaps EnCanaLand or CabotPatch. There could be rides like the Drill Rigger,the Thumper Truck Junior, the Endocrine Disruptor, and the Radioactive Mud Slide. Kids could buy Candy Apple Hardhats. The pool would have special undisclosed chemicals. The grounds crew would pick up spills only if they were in plain sight. And of course, no venue would be complete without the fire breathing water fountains…

Public Meeting a Success!:
One hundred and ten people attended the education and awareness meeting sponsored by the GDAC (Gas Drilling Awareness Coalition). The Citizen’s Voice, Times Leader, and WNEP were there. State Senator Lisa Baker and State Representative Karen Boback were in attendance throughout the two hour meeting and spoke impromptu to the audience. (they both seem to be earnest and open but since I was the MC, I was unable to pay full attention to their remarks since I was in and out of the forum.) Also present was David Madiera who is the Republican primary candidate in the 10th Congressional District (Democrat Chris Carney’s seat). We spent a lively time afterward, in the parking lot with several others, debating and getting to know one another.

Vera Scroggins of Kingsley, PA spoke in front of a backdrop of original footage from Dimock shot by Audrey Simpson. She has been an outspoken champion of a saner humanscale approach by calling for an environmental impact study and a moratorium until said study is complete. She stirred the audience into resounding applause.

The evening began with a welcome by Pastor Earl Roberts who opened his facility to the public. The United Methodists are called to take environmental stewardship very seriously. Then Leanne Mazurick of GDAC presented the film Rural Impact . This film covered it all: increased crime, decreased property values, trashed unsafe roads, sick air, carcinogens, endocrine disruptors, environmental degradation, noise, corporate irresponsibility, on and on…

Also speaking was John Nowak of Sweet Valley, an owner of thirty acres refusing to sign. He presented his research on the actual employment impact of the “Gas Play”. Most jobs will be, and already are, for outsiders and extrapolated over time will net a pittance of actual full time jobs to locals.

Then Tom Jiunta (founder of Luzerne County Citizens for Clean Water) spoke about the various legislative, ordinance, and petition initiatives in progress. He then fielded questions from the audience. (Tom knows his stuff.) There was lively, honest, and spirited discussion and testimony.

Afterward there was coffee, more discussion, and petition signing/recruitment in the adjacent reception area. I spoke to an eighty-five year young man who was intending to move to his daughter’s home in Bethlehem. His local home was under contract to be sold but the offer was dropped once the prospective buyer found out the neighboring property was large and under lease. It was the first this man had known of it. Now he is stuck.

The realities are beginning to emerge.

Muchas Gracias to Cindy, Jeanette, Karen, and Leanne for organizing this meeting.

Later, standing in the evening air gazing at the big orange moon, I wondered about the naming rights to it…

Here is a more detailed coverage:

Citizen’s Voice – Natural Gas Meeting Draws Big Crowd

Here is television coverage:

WNEP – Residents in Luzerne County React to Gas Drilling


Landmen, they seem to lie for a living

March 23, 2010

Here is an email I received from a local resident.  Please circulate. Printed with permission, (emphasis mine) it speaks for itself:

Dear Mr. Baldwin,
I had not taken too much interest in the natural gas drilling in our area until I was approached by two gentlemen on Saturday asking us to allow a pipeline for gas to go through our property.  They offered us $23 per linear foot, which would amount to about $20,000 to $25,000. They wanted a 50 foot right-of-way through our property on Upper Demunds Road.  They said they would return on Monday with the paper work to be signed.  After doing a little research, I realized this was something I did not want on my property.  I contacted my neighbors after having been told they were “receptive to the idea.” One neighbor had no idea about the drilling – he figured he may as well make some money if everyone else was.  My other neighbor had not been contacted and went through the roof when I told her about the plans.  We both agreed that we did not want our properties disturbed in any way, shape, or form.  I e-mailed the gas man, and he promptly replied and increased the offer to $30,000.  I answered that I was a coal miner’s granddaughter who had seen mine subsidences and strip mining rape Wyoming Valley.  I told him that no amount of money would change my mind.  He did not return to my property today.  I am sure someone on this road will grant them permission to cross their property, but I will fight them tooth and nail to preserve the pristine environment that I love so dearly.

Thanks for listening,
Emily Sallitt,
Upper Demunds Road, Dallas