Walking on Water in Burtis Bay

By October 19, 2018 News

Its been a very busy few weeks….  We have several updates to share.  Read the following and see the links for late season 2018 lake condition photos and several recent examples of Jamestown Post-Journal coverage.

1.  Late-breaking lawsuit update:  

Erie County’s Judge Siwek GRANTED the Chautauqua Lake Partnership’s (Partnership) MOTION TO INTERVENE and join the NYSDEC and Town of Ellery as respondents in the Chautauqua Institution’s lawsuit seeking to invalidate the recently-completed SEIS and prevent herbicide permitting in all of Chautauqua Lake. The Motion was granted in spite of many Institution arguments against intervention. Apparently, the Institution wants to avoid litigating with the Partnership and its attorneys.

2.  Some great news!

Chautauqua Lake Partnership (Partnership) Science Advisor (Biology) Dr. Tom Erlandson received the John D. Hamilton Community Service Award from the Chautauqua Regional Community Foundation on October 12, 2018. Read, “Erlandson Receives John D. Hamilton Award Friday” published in the Post-Journal about the award and Tom’s lifelong contributions to the community and Chautauqua Lake including a critical role in the Partnership’s progress since 2016. Congratulations Tom!

3.  Must see recent photos from Burtis Bay, taken October 13 and 14, 2018

We’re inviting Michael Hill, President, John Shedd, Vice President, and members of the Chautauqua Institution (Institution) Board of Trustees, to walk with us “across Burtis Bay”and discuss the Institution’s attempts to prevent the permitting of herbicide treatment – the only weed management tool to date that has been effective at combatting the weeds that have been allowed to flourish and accelerate the deterioration of our lake.

See the photos in our new Latest Photos section, showing what Burtis Bay lakeside property owners and lake users in the Town of Ellicott and Village of Celoron must deal with as they attempt to get boats, docks and lifts out of the water. Absolutely disgusting and a significant risk to health and safety.

4.  Update on actions in response to the legal proceeding brought by the Chautauqua Institution to invalidate the recently-completed Supplemental Environmental Impact Statement (SEIS) and prevent municipalities from applying herbicides in the future:

Various motions were filed on October 12 and reported in the Post-Journal on October 12 and 13, 2018, by the Town of Ellery, the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation and the Chautauqua Lake Partnership.  Both the Town of Ellery and Partnership are seeking to change venue from Erie County to Chautauqua County.  The Partnership also moved to intervene in the lawsuit and become a party to defend the validity of the SEIS and moved to dismiss the Petition on numerous grounds. The DEC also moved to dismiss the Petition. See “Ellery Wants Lawsuit Case Moved to County”and “DEC to Make Motion to Have Lawsuit (Dismissed)”at (insert link) and (insert link), respectively. Change of venue and intervention motions should be heard Thursday, October 18, with other motions to be heard November 14, 2018.

5.  An interesting Letter to the Editor was published in the Post-Journal last week

Click here for the full article, “CLA Needs to Do Better” from the Oct. 12 issue

In his Letter Craig Butler relates lake condition and use-related comments by the Chautauqua Lake Association (CLA) President, Executive Director and Board Member indicative of an organization out of touch with the deteriorating lake conditions. Mr. Butler makes the case that the CLA is in need of “…more enlightened and forward-thinking leadership…”

6.  Read about the latest development in the Lakewood water testing “mystery” with many questions still unanswered

Click here for the full article, “Birrittieri Steps Down as Mayor” from the October 12 issue of the Pos-Journal

Who was the “village citizen” who mistakenly reported herbicide spraying (herbicides are not being “sprayed” in Chautauqua Lake) off the Lakewood shore, who of the Village Board ordered testing of the water for herbicides (results were negative), why did the CLA volunteer to do the testing (they cut weeds) and invoice the Village and why did 3 of the Village’s Trustees (Birrittieri, McTague and Schutte) approve the payment without knowing who ordered it.

7.  Ellicott Town Board holds a special meeting to discuss concerns about the quality of lake along the shores of Ellicott

Read the full article here:  “Ellicott Sets Meeting on Lake Issues”, published Sept 22 in the Post-Journal

Read Town Supervisor Pat McLaughlin’s comments ahead of the meeting including that lake condition near his home is the “…worst I’ve ever seen it…” and “As for homeowners…I understand what kind of shape the lake is in. I empathize with them and everything they’re saying.

Post-Journal writer Eric Zavinsky attended the meeting and recounts discussion of local resident concerns in a separate article.  Residents were represented by Karen Rine of the Burtis Bay Action Group, Anthony Hopfinger of the Fluvanna Lakeshore Homeowners Group and Lisa Masters, Sales Manager at the Chautauqua Harbor Hotel in Celoron.

Read the full recap of the meeting here:  “Lake Worries Raised”, published Sept 25 in the Post-Journal

Read comments on the Ellicott Town Council meeting with South Basin residents seeking Town assistance with deteriorating lake conditions. In his opinion piece published September 30, Patrick Appleby makes several suggestions to the Town Council including that the Town Council should seek out the Partnership to help them understand the science underlying the weed growth and algae problems (CLP is ready, willing and able). In response to Town Council suggestions that lake remediation is the responsibility of New York State, Mr. Appleby says, “If it is a State issue, what has been done to garner State support”.

Read the full letter to the editor here: “Ellicott Town Board Needs to Take Action” published Sept 30 in the Post-Journal

Fall is here, some are clearing leaves from their driveways and others are clearing weeds from the lake.  We would much rather clear leaves, how about you?