We've wrapped up another successful fair week here in Jefferson County and we would be remiss if we didn't publicly thank all the folks who made it happen.
Thanks to volunteers Steve Smith, Sharon Wilson, Patience Wait, JP & Donna Burns, Debbie Royalty, Robin Huyett Thomas, Cathy Jackson, Suzin Wright, Sondra Hosey and Bob Montgomery who kept our booth fully staffed and open for the entire week.
Thanks also to the local merchants and citizens who donated merchandise and gift certificates for our silent auction: Dickinson & Wait Craft Gallery, DISH restaurant, Stan Beall, Sharon Wilson and Cathy Jackson. Thanks also to our very talented local artists who donated beautiful pieces of art for the auction: Kenneth Walker, Johanna Grodzicki and Scott Tatina.
The silent auction raised a significant sum to benefit our legal and expert witness fund and the winners were thrilled with their purchases. Thanks to all who participated!
Special thanks to "Electra" aka Clissy Funkhouser who joined us Tuesday and Wednesday evenings to perform her "Wrath Against PATH" song at the booth and walk through the fair grounds enlightening folks about PATH's destructive plans for our area. She was a big hit and crowd magnet wherever she went! Watching heads swivel and seeing the looks on the faces of the crowd as Electra did her thing was quite entertaining -- the smiles were a mile wide and the curiosity went a long way toward getting our message out. Who can resist a lady in a blinking light-up dress and hat (and, no, she's not Lady Gaga!)?
Special thanks also to our own little "mini-Mays" Samuel Smith who did his thing with the kid's games at the StopPATH booth. Watch out world -- someday you're going to buy something from this expert salesman-in-training!
Last, but certainly not least, thanks to all the fair attendees who came by the booth over the last seven days and supported us with petition signatures and donations. It was both inspiring and gratifying to hear our own message repeated back to us thousands of times from perfect strangers. Although the battle is far from over, the groundswell of public outrage at the PATH project and support for our efforts is overwhelming and demonstrates the effectiveness of a true grassroots movement. While PATH spent currently unknown thousands of dollars (to be recouped from our electric bills) hiring RL Repass to conduct phone surveys and focus groups several months ago to gauge public opinion in Jefferson County, we accomplished the exact same thing for the extremely low cost of booth rental at the fair and a week of my time (free, but not cheap!) PATH needn't waste any more of our money with additional propaganda campaigns in Jefferson County -- they are sure to be DOA -- PATH is not welcome in Jefferson County! The public is not the uneducated, easily-swayed patsys they expected. We're not anything like the stereotype PATH has labeled us with, but instead are knowledgeable, engaged and fed-up with West Virginia being used and abused for out-of-state corporate profits.
I am truly grateful and enjoyed spending time with each and every one of you this past week!
In an order
from the WV PSC yesterday, PATH was directed to individually notify landowners who now find themselves in PATH's 2200 foot "preferred corridor" due to recent routing changes. These landowners in Hampshire, Grant and Tucker Counties will be given the opportunity to intervene in the case if they file by October 19. The PSC also provided text for the notice, which will prevent PATH from turning the notice into some sort of marketing/intimidation/half-truth tool similar to what they used in Virginia last year.Bravo
-- to the PSC for providing text for the notice; and to the citizens of West Virginia who worked so hard to get landowner notification legislation passed earlier this year; and to our WV legislators who proved that their interests are with the citizens they represent and not the corporate interests who are always in their face trying to influence or outright buy their votes!
The PSC has also decided to reel in the rope they have been playing out as PATH danced around their "align the procedural schedules in all three states" lie. The PSC has ordered that PATH file a description of the current state of the PATH project in Maryland and Virginia within 14 days. Seems the PSC is finally losing their patience with the lies, subterfuge and delays coming from the applicants -- welcome to our world, commissioners!
PATH also received another slap on the wrist for the despicable way their land agents and representatives from Louis Berger Group have been lying to landowners, trespassing and attempting to intimidate them. Keep those complaints coming, folks!
August 22 - 28 StopPATH WV will have a booth open at the Jefferson County Fair. Hours are 3 - 11 on Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday. Wednesday 11 - 11 and Saturday 10 AM - 11PM. We've got fun games, a new stock of StopPATH t-shirts, fans and glow-in-the-dark bracelets, as well as lots of handouts and information about the PATH project. We are also hosting a silent auction offering original artwork and crafts donated by local artists, as well as gift certificates and merchandise donated by local businesses. Bidding closes at 6 PM on Saturday. Come by and put in a bid and get a beautiful piece of art or useful gift certificate for a great price! All proceeds from the booth will benefit StopPATH WV's legal and expert witness fund.
Don't miss Tuesday night's special event! StopPATH member Clissy Funkhouser will be performing live at the booth singing her "Wrath Against PATH
" song decked out in full costume after 6:00 PM. Clissy is the original singer/songwriter of this creative musical protest. If you haven't seen Clissy performing in full costume before, you can't miss this!
Hope to see you all there!
From our friends in Maryland, check out this post on the Maryland Energy Report
blog. You will most likely end up questioning why PATH has gotten in bed with such a crooked, inept company who is riding the taxpayer (and electric ratepayer!) gravy train for all it's worth.
Birds of a feather?
More PATH/Louis Berger group lies:As part of the PATH permitting process, we are seeking approval to route the line across and adjacent to federal lands which include the:
Approval to cross these federal lands falls under the requirements of the National Environmental Policy Act or “NEPA.” The NEPA process provides a thorough evaluation by federal agencies of the environmental impact of PATH. We’re moving forward with efforts to obtain NEPA approval in order to coincide with the three state approvals that are also required for the project.
As part of this process, the PATH team is conducting information gathering studies across a large portion of the area of the proposed route in order to provide data to the federal agencies required for their evaluation. We are seeking permission from property owners along the proposed route and some adjacent land owners to gain access to their property to conduct these surveys and environmental studies.
In particular, we have members of our permitting team working to identify any wetlands, archeological resources, and any rare, threatened or endangered species that are present along the proposed route.
The sentence above highlighted in red is the big, fat lie. The Federal Environmental Impact Statement, which is being conducted by the National Park Service and U.S. Forest Service, is so early in the process that the scope of the study has not even been defined yet, much less at the field research stage. The Federal EIS is being conducted by CH2M Hill, a contractor selected by the Federal agencies, and NOT Louis Berger Group.
Meanwhile, PATH contractor Louis Berger Group is conducting their own "studies" at the direction of PATH that have NOTHING to do with the Federal EIS. I assume they think that the "information" and "data" they gather can be used in the future to influence the Federal study once it is underway. If they think the Feds are just gonna roll over on this, they have another think coming. Need I mention that the cost of the REAL Federal EIS is being billed to PATH (who in turn charges you for it in your monthly electric bill). In addition, PATH's FAKE EIS "studies" conducted by Louis Berger Group are also being charged to you in your monthly electric bill by PATH. The end result is that you get to pay TWICE for environmental studies!
So, PATH and Louis Berger Group are lying about conducting environmental surveys as part of the Federal process. Just say NO to PATH and Louis Berger Group -- and yes to the REAL Federal contractor, when the process gets to that point many months from now.
You know what happens when you tell a lie:
When you stretch the truth, watch out for the snapback.Ouchies! This one is gonna hurt!
by Larry Wright, StopPATH WV member
There is much to be said about the PATH project; the focus of this opinion piece is the Constitutional, legal and moral basis for the PATH companies’ proposal. When considering any proposed government activity, or any "public/private partnership" such as PATH, the first thing one ought to ask is: “What function of government is this serving? Should the government be doing such things?” This leads to- “What are the legitimate functions of government?”
Thomas Jefferson laid this out for all of us in the Declaration of Independence, which reads in part- “That all men are….endowed by their Creator with certain Unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness, and that to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men.” This means that the first duty of government is to protect our natural rights, which are pre-existing and not dependent upon anybody else. The right to own, use and dispose of property is the most basic right on which all others depend. This being so, the government’s most important function, it’s ‘Prime Directive’ is to protect property rights. And that is indeed one of the things that our governments are supposed to do. But how does that work? What does the law say? Much of our current legal system derives from English law and tradition, but there are a few medieval concepts which would have been better left behind. One of these feudal vestiges is 'eminent domain', the power of the government to take private property without the consent of the owner.
According to an article in today's Charleston Daily Mail
, current West Virginia Governor and wanna-be Senator Joe Manchin has amassed quite the campaign war chest. FEC filings reveal that Manchin's biggest financiers are energy companies and coal companies. That's really no surprise to anyone, is it? Joe's been owned for years. Guess which energy companies' PAC, executives, their spouses and relatives and legal counsel are trying to buy Joe's seat? American Electric Power, First Energy and Jackson Kelly. Wow, what a shocker, right?
Check out the individual donor names here
. I see a few names I recognize.... Anthony Alexander, CEO of First Energy (soon to merge with Allegheny Energy) makes Senator-buying into a wholesome family event -- isn't that so "Father Knows Best"? How about Christopher Callas of Jackson Kelly (PATH counsel)? Or maybe Mark Dempsey of AEP?
Isn't this going to be fun to research?
If I had so much personal wealth that I could afford to toss thousands at a political campaign, I think I'd rather have something sportier that could go from zero to 60 in less than 6 seconds, instead of an easily bought politician who's getting a bit nappy around the edges, but that's just my personal preference. Unless.... you don't think it's not really their personal money being donated to Manchin, do you?
We've heard that PATH land agents will be making a big push in Jefferson County in the next month or so to coerce more landowners into signing option or purchase agreements for their properties.
PATH land agents are trained professionals who will attempt to manipulate landowners into signing agreements that are not in their best interests.
Get the information you will need to be the one in control of negotiations with your particular PATH land agent by attending upcoming meetings. See article
in today's Journal about the first meeting and more details here
It's been two years today since I first met you at one of your "Open House" divide & conquer brain-washing sessions. I knew I despised you from the minute I walked into the room, and my loathing for you has only grown stronger over time.
To hear Jay Ruberto callously describe how he was going to "buy out" the homes of my neighbors in order to make room for his transmission line was disgusting. To make him repeat it in front of my retired, widowed neighbor who owns one of those houses and see her burst into tears was repugnant. PATH could have saved themselves a lot of trouble -- I was very explicit with my comment that Ruberto's Machiavellian scheme was NOT going to happen. And, it didn't. Ah, good times!
However, my neighbor was quickly replaced with other shocked, angry, bewildered and, yes, at times tearful landowners from another part of Jefferson County. I will not turn my back on them either. PATH is still NOT going to happen. Give up.
I've learned so many things that are completely useless for the life I intended to live. I've learned how the electric transmission system works; I've learned about corporate greed; I've learned how FERC's rate recovery accounting system works; I've learned how to deal with the media; and I've learned enough acronyms to last me three lifetimes.
I've also made a whole bunch of new friends from Jefferson County, other parts of West Virginia, Virginia, Maryland, other states being threatened with unneeded transmission lines, and even other countries. I enjoy meeting these people and hearing their stories. Each one is unique and real -- more than a dot on a map or a name on a list. I love what I'm doing!
There are a few things I could do without however. I wouldn't miss it one bit if my friends quit looking at me with a smirk while discussing past & present strategy and saying, "I'm glad I'm on your side!". I could do without PATH's lame attempts at intimidation of the opposition. I would happily do without government corruption and stupidity. Most of all, I could ecstatically do without PATH.
Two years of my life that I'll never get back -- but definitely two years worth living.
You've got one foot in the grave and the other on a banana peel. Can't you just die already?
Faithfully waiting for your demise,
Yesterday, counsel for PATH filed a letter with the WV PSC stating that PJM discovered an error in the base case analysis used in the development of the 2010 RTEP. Read the letter here
PATH suggests another two-month delay while they cook up new need testimony to be submitted by September 14th. This would push the hearings out to March, 2011, and the decision date to July 29, 2011.
Whatever! I've been waiting for them to suggest another delay to fix that crap they submitted as the basis for the "need" for PATH on July 8. Didn't expect that they would panic and ask for a delay so soon, before the case even really gets rolling again. Every time PATH is losing, they will call a delay so that they can have another "do over". How many chances are they going to ask for to try to get it right? Answer -- as many as necessary! Interesting that PJM is willing to be their scapegoat this time. PJM is really stretching themselves thin recommending PATH as the "best and only" alternative to fix long-term grid problems. In fact, they have already stretched themselves so far that they have ruined their credibility with the public, the regulatory agencies, and their own members as well.
PATH is barely scraping along now -- someone please shoot it and put it out of its misery!