Early Sunday morning, June 4, 2017, I was sicker than I had ever been before.
Too sick to even bend over, as I vomited all over the toilet, myself, and the bathroom floor— and I didn’t even care.
August 4, 2017 — Algae blooms close Taughannock Falls State Park, the number of toxic algae blooms in New York is up 25 percent this week, and the presence of toxic blue-green algae in Dryden Lake is confirmed by the DEC.
This isn’t the beginning of some apocalyptic eco-thriller – it’s the reality that people in Tompkins County, and all over the country will have to get used to as the fallout from 30 years of unrestricted agricultural activity has turned toxic Cyanobacteria (blue-green algae) into this summer’s biggest blockbuster.
The influence of rich and powerful interests in maintaining the status quo in the face of an ever increasing destruction of the environment, is nowhere better seen than in Tompkins County’s handling of agricultural pollution.
The Tompkins County Comprehensive Plan’s representation of environmental issues and policies is a careful dance around the facts — Facts that paint a very different picture of the sources of pollution in the county, and expose an elitist policy making agenda.
“The participation of citizens in an open, responsible and flexible planning process is essential to the designing of the optimum town comprehensive plan.” — Town Law § 272-a
Although New York State Town Law stresses the importance of an open and responsibly designed town comprehensive plan, many local officials downplay this document, claiming the local comp plan is only a “guide” — and hide their agenda behind the minimum legal requirements for public meetings and the placement of notifications that exclude the community from participation.
The rural Town of Lansing is racing ahead to be the “the growth part of the Tompkins County area,” but when you look around, there’s no competition in sight — are we that smart . . . or that stupid?
The Tompkins County Comprehensive Plan is a slick promotional piece, but its bright and shiny surface can’t stand the wear and tear of a real world inspection.
The three greatest factors in the approval of the Lansing Agriculture and Farmland Protection Plan are:
- The plan was never critically examined or allowed to be publicly questioned.
- Lansing’s rural families were unrepresented by any state, local or county agency or government representative, and prevented from having any meaningful participation in the plan themselves.
- The lives and welfare of rural families living in the affected area of Lansing are of no importance whatsoever to the people who created and support this plan.
Today’s rural residents have no place in Tompkins County’s future.
This statement is based on more than two years of research and review, questions and public meetings concerning the most recent Agriculture and Comprehensive Plans of Lansing and Tompkins County, NY.