Tuesday, July 22, 2014

While You Were Sleeping/Pickling/Taking a Picture of Your Dinner, A Cocktail or an Ice Cream Cone

Here is something that happened, that as my friend Pat who writes poetry would say did not end up in the news today, yesterday or anytime in the last two years.

Occupy puppeteers and activists/fractivists began not just being featured in the news but creating and writing the news. And when Bill McKibben comes to town to protest, the artists and fractivists who have been running around, literally not figuratively saying the most inane and insane things about the Rockaway Pipeline Project, these are his allies.

Complete lunatics who don't actually make any sense when they speak routinely make the news.

How many activists or groups are there currently spreading the latest round of misinformation on the Rockaway pipeline project?

https://www.facebook.com/LoveNYDontFrack?fref=nf&filter=3   Betta Broad and Susan Van Dolsen two of the latest. Betta is hanging out with the usual suspects down at Floyd Bennett Field, Maureen Healy of CARP or United for Action or both and Judith Canepa who it depends on the day of course may be representing one group or another. How much misinformation collectively have Maureen Healy and Judith Canepa produced? At this point it is easier for me to just say that part of the rockaway pipeline project is a cyclinder rather than take the time to explain to people just how much misinformation they have absorbed.

Should Ms. Broad and Ms. Van Dolsen be aware that the people they are interviewing are in fact spreading myths?  They should. The truth is that they don't care about the truth. They are building a "movement". They are filming it. Tweeting it. Facebooking it, instagraming it, Creating it as we speak. Movements it seems require slogans and fists in the air--not a whole lot of complex thoughts.

Here is a list of Brooklyn groups who heard about the Rockaway pipeline project two years ago and have proceeded to take information given them even two years ago, turn it upside down and turn out complete jibber jabber/ propoganda. (The sad part is that most people even when reading what it is these people churn out fail to pay attention and see where the details are off or in many cases, totally and completely fabricated.)

Brooklyn Green Party, Food and Water Watch, United for Action, Sane Energy, Brooklyn Coalition for Peace, Sierra Club, folks either part of Occupy the pipeline or becoming Occupy the pipeline and that is just a small list because some of the people like Edie Kantrowitz apparently can speak for more than one "group".

Is it any wonder that there is now the very same "reporter", and I use that word loosely, named Nick Pinto who covered Occupy and friends antics with the Spectra pipeline, who is now down "covering" the Rockaway Pipeline "protests" for Gothamist (of all places) and Vice? It isn't to me at all. How many words into that article do you need to get to find an error? 10. Does Mr. Pinto appear to even know where he is when he is standing in Queens or at Riis beach? No.

How many "environmental" groups are there out there right now completely fabricating information on the rockaway project and port ambrose? Too many to count.  It has to be one of the great untold stories of our time. The complete failure of the media to fact check anything at all that an activist tells them or to do a stitch of their own research

Diagnosis: Frack Fever. Alternate title: This is Your Brain on Occupy. (Completely confused.)  I cannot count the number of times I have read or watched on video or been treated to reading letters or online rants about this project that are often fact-free or so far from fact as to be close to fiction. This is the untold story of the Rockaway Pipeline.

Is watching this happen fun or inspiring? No. Is it fun to listen to Occupy and fracktivists take over hearings? Hardly. It is about the most disturbing thing I have a feeling I will ever in my lifetime have the mispleasure to witness. There is more than 3 years plus of paperwork including paperwork in the Congressional record that itself tell quite a tale and activists for 2 years have chosen in every moment possible to completely fabricate the actual story of this project. There probably isn't a fact that they haven't mangled at this point.

Lost and Found: A Camera and Inspiration

                                                         Strawberry/ Field (Floyd Bennett Field)

 The first strawberry of the season and a new toy--a camera I promptly scratched the lens on.  What inspired me to remember that moment was this strawberry photo linked to via edible brooklyn.

                                                            The bike lane Plumb Beach--

                      I've been missing this ride for too long now and discoveries along the way. The beach has finally been repaired by the Army Corps and hopefully the bike lane soon follows.

Coming home to a weed in a jar identified by Joe

Attempt at Scaring Foraging Marauders
 I miss Margaret.Though I did get to see some of her columbine this year growing in Martha's garden.

                                                              Buds and leaves and branches.

  It seems like it is more than time to get back to the garden. I could write a book on the activists and what has been going on the last two years but it would the opposite of inspiring. The latest insanity comes via Nick Pinto at Vice Magazine. I don't think it is because I was paying attention to plants and trying to learn something prior to this pipeline project that assisted me so much the last two years in attempting to understand the project and everything that surrounds it, but it very well may have been. It was a humbling experience to realize when I began gardening just how much I had missed seeing for a long time. But at the same time it was so wonderful to be able to see the world in a new way and to be so excited about learning.

I'm trying to find my way back to the source of that inspiration. It won't be the same as a few years ago. And that is a good thing. In the garden, there are seasons and cycles, repetitions and patterns, but there is always also growth.  

Tuesday, April 15, 2014


Tulipa turkestanica at the High Line

Over at the High Line, the Turkestanica is blooming again, featured as the plant of the week on the High Line's Blog. The photo above captures the exact moment I fell in love with this tulip in the last sunlight of the day, its petals apparently closing up for the evening. I was at the High Line. It was a few springs back, and at that time I wasn't quite sure exactly what I was looking at.

Tulipa turkestanica at the lot
Susan, Anne and I planted this really sweet species tulip in the stalled construction lot around the corner when trying to squeeze in a guerilla experiment in learning about growing flowers for market in much less than ideal conditions. I was wondering how this tulip would look and last in a small vase. And we were planting things on the sly that we thought might thrive under the conditions of the lot-- the poor soil and lack of irrigation being primary factors.

These bulbs are now buried beneath the 5 story building that has risen since, the construction nearing completion this spring. But in that singular spring a couple years back, seeing those blooms was more than all right.

Monday, April 14, 2014

Comprehension Quiz: Rockaway Pipeline according to Sane Energy: a Learning Tool

Comprehension quiz: Look at the first sentence on the left and the map beside it and see if you can spot the errors.

It would be hard to really do justice to all the mad rants and ramblings of Clare Donohue and friends at Sane Energy properly but I thought I would just take one simple message for starters-- one long sentence as it lines up with the map beside it. The map is small in the picure above, but even in this screencapture of an e-blast if one squints one can make out that there is a blue line representing the rockaway pipeline project under FERC's review and a red pipeline representing national grid's BQI project. The latter, at the time of the writing of this post (June 2012), had already been approved some 6 months prior. Even in this singular sentence Sane Energy can't accurately describe what the map depicts. Ms. Donohue or the writer cannot distinguish between the two colors and pipeline projects and also inaccurately states the pipeline runs across newly restored wetlands in Jamaica Bay. The map (and this is one of the more simplistic maps and easily understood information about the project) actually depicts something quite different from the words that are written. All the islands of the bay are also well off to the east of where the projects are going.

Bottom line:  Even when crafting one sentence and with a map before her very eyes Clare Donohue cannot get the details straight.

This might seem picayune but as a spokesperson for Sane Energy, Clare has gone on the radio and in the press attempting to explain things, FERC's permitting process being just one example and the entire pipeline infrasructure whether into NYC or all across NY state another, which are many many times more complex than one simple map. The Rockaway Lateral Project itself was described as unique and complex according to Williams based on its location primarily, pretty specifically the metering station being located in Historic Hangars in Floyd Bennett Field mentioned, and yet an above ground piece of infrastructure the size of about a football field is noticeably entirely absent from Sane Energy's one sentence inaccurate description of this project.

The FERC process on natural gas pipeline permits as summed up by Sane Energy is essentially a rubber stamp. In reality there are multiple agencies and permits, approvals, review etc involved.  It is not at all simple. The permitting process is actually exceedingly complex and layered and each project is in fact reviewed for what it is quite specifically. The Rockaway Pipeline project is not an extension of the Spectra pipeline into NYC nor are the issues it involves simply a rehashing of the controversy over the Spectra NY/NJ project. The projects are in fact quite different. And the people who are running around pretending to educate on this project, providing a false narrative on the Rockaway Project, have spent most of their time completely ignoring most of the specific details and huge volumes of written material about the project. What they factually have done is get in the way of the people who actually have read that material and know what the project is.

Sunday, April 13, 2014

Activists Say (and do) the Darndest Things-- Outtakes from The Heart of a Movement-- The Reality Show!

There ought to be a tv show: One working title-- Activists Say (and do) the Darndest Things. It's obviously a comedy. There is certainly enough material to mine via the social media sites from just this one "Grassroots Alliance" meetup group which JK Canepa,CARP, Sane Energy, most especially the media darlings Occupy the Pipeline (slap Occupy in front of anything and wallah you got yourself a bonified movement of course) and a whole series of other questionnable, sometimes "straw" groups belong, for at least an entire first season I'm thinking. I can't say exactly how many times I've seen JK Canepa quoted in the news as an authority on the Rockaway Lateral Project, but this is someone who organized an "event" in the rockaways where she asked the astonishingly uninformed question of whether or not folks should ponder whether the Rockaway Lateral Project was even meant to deliver gas into NYC or secretly send it overseas. And that was after pretending to know, organize and educate about the project for a year. Perhaps she thought there was a secret underground tunnel straight to china hidden at Floyd Bennett Field? One never knows with these mystical and magikal creative types. What I can say is that the minute most park users left this group of folks far behind because of their inability to convey almost anything even remotely factual, their antics and statements only got increasingly more bizarre. 


Occupy Sandy's Jessica Roff enthusiastically explaining in a video in the aftermath of hurricane sandy how the rockaway pipeline project is like "literally" going under people's homes. Most maps show it going under Riis beach but whatevs right? If you've screamed about one pipeline you've screamed about them all.

MoveOn gives money to Martha Cameron so she can continue lying about the Rockaway Pipeline project or as she describes it "organizing" and building a movement.

 How many self-anointed and self-appointed leaders/spokespeople are there miseducating, or as they like to say mobilizing, or "organizing" folks on the Rockaway Pipeline project? Well, via the radio, internet webcasts and various other media outlets, it is not actually so many but amazingly they all seem to have incredible access to the media.

What is the real story behind the picture Martha Cameron used to represent "her" frack fighting campaign?
Number One: This is a picture and event that ended up in various media where no one at all even remotely connected with Floyd Bennett Field or the area participated, yet a Brooklyn paper defined it as a protest by gardeners and activists.  The activists in the picture hail from a variety of groups, 350 NYC, SaneEnergy, Occupy the Pipeline,United for Action primarily. They were specifically asked not to bring their Occupy the Pipeline signs down and pretend to be Rockaway Pipeline protestors and the event was largely staged to get press not to protest or to inform the public about anything.

Patrick Robbins, Jessica Roff and friends faking a "teach-in" on the Rockaway Project and Port Ambrose where it appears they are instructing mostly people they actually know

If anything sums up the true essence of activists saying and doing the darndest things I think it is this teach-in on the Rockaway Pipeline project and Port Ambrose by Occupy the Pipeline folks and Sane Energy in what appears to me to be them pretending to teach an audience which is made up of mostly themselves. The "teacher"? An Occupy activist named Patrick Robbins with zero actual "activism" against the Rockaway project with the exception that is of his appearances in the news and as far as I know zero working knowledge of either of the projects he is talking about.

Christopher Guest couldn't make this stuff up if he tried! Surely most of these people really deserve to be famous. They seem to be working so hard at it.