Update from the Occupation – Monday, June 19

Occupation day 17

I only spent about a half hour at the site today and I missed being there, outside gazing at the mountains, while I sat in my meeting tonight.

I’m glad I can spend a big chunk of time there tomorrow.

I love that Kim thought to mention in an email to me that “Maria brought red raspberries!”

I love that the few minutes I was able to be there, Jonathan’s guitar playing filled the night air in such a lovely way. Such awesome people live here!!

Weather permitting: Tomorrow-Tuesday- at 10 stop by the site to help Bruce use white paint to put base coat on the wood signs. Bring paint if you have it. We need to move on the signs when the weather allows!

For dinner Pam is bringing salad with five organic lettuces and spinach, spring onions and basil from her garden with garnishes as each chooses – blue cheese, org. walnuts, apples, raisins, grated carrot. And org oil & vinegar as a dressing (self applied) with organic sour dough bread from Weg’s to go with.

Wow!

Annnnnd Jane is bringing either shepherd’s pie or polenta with mushrooms, tomato, cheese, and black beans ( both vegetarian).

YUM!

We need some occupier training materials. Does anyone have a list of talking points started? Please send them to me (Laura).

Also, let’s start thinking about building a super simple kitchen counter out of wood for a dishwashing station.

In solidarity,

Laura

TEAMS:

Letters to the Editor: Erin, Irmi, Don, Bernie, Ingrid

BIKE TOUR:

HANDOUT/edits: David H., Art

SITE AND SUPPLY: Janet, David S., Laura, Kelli

VOLUNTEER NEEDED: Folks are signing up to work on the watershed bike tour, and we need a point person to volunteer to lead the effort!

ACTION: I created a FB check in. It’s called Nittany Valley Water Coalition Encampment. Please check in at the site regularly. Both virtually and in real life!!

ACTION: PLEASE SIGN UP FOR SHIFTS ON GOOGLE CALENDAR!  (Please let Joe (jpcusumano@gmail.com) know if you would like to be added to the calendar to sign up to spend time at the site)

Wish List:

  • Dry erase board
  • Another large storage bin please!

Lost and found:

  • Three blue mugs
  • Polka dot umbrella

Reminders….

Please use your contacts to reach out to property owners in very visible locations to display No Toll signs.

If you haven’t yet, please sign the new petition, Demand that Penn State Acts as a Responsible Steward to Our Community’s Water

Pass it on please!

Staying Informed and In Touch

Like and Follow us on Facebook:

“Check in” to Nittany Valley Water Coalition Encampment

Nittany Valley Water Coalition Website

Bailiwick News – Slab Cabin Run series

Update from the Occupation – Sunday, June 18

Occupation Day 16

Camp seemed in much better shape to face the rain today. Thanks so much for the storage bins!

Despite the drizzle, or perhaps because of it, we had a lovely dinner. There was a rainbow again and Dorothy brought delicious daal and rice.

Jessica brought bananas and watermelon to share. And gifted camp a large cooler!

There has been a call for workers to help with lawn care and the sign move tomorrow at 10 am. Kelli is leading that effort, with the support of her husband, Steve. (FYI, the long measuring tape was in the tool box when I left today!)

I’ll be off site all day tomorrow. Please sign up for shifts!

In solidarity,

Laura

VOLUNTEER NEEDED: Folks are signing up to work on the watershed bike tour, and we need a point person to volunteer to lead the effort!

ACTION: I created a Facebook check in. It’s called Nittany Valley Water Coalition Encampment. Please check in at the site regularly. Both virtually and in real life!!

ACTION: PLEASE SIGN UP FOR SHIFTS ON GOOGLE CALENDAR!  (Please let Joe (jpcusumano@gmail.com) know if you would like to be added to the calendar to sign up to spend time at the site)

Supplies needed:

  • Neosporin
  • One shallow, but large storage bin for coffee mugs and some plates.
  • Tools needed: Claw hammer, Pry bar, Grass whip

Lost and found:

  • Three blue mugs
  • Polka dot umbrella

Reminders….

Please use your contacts to reach out to property owners in very visible locations to display No Toll signs.

If you haven’t yet, please sign the new petition, Demand that Penn State Acts as a Responsible Steward to Our Community’s Water

Pass it on please!

Staying Informed and In Touch

Like and Follow us on Facebook:

“Check in” to Nittany Valley Water Coalition Encampment

Nittany Valley Water Coalition Website

Bailiwick News – Slab Cabin Run series

Update from the Occupation – Saturday, June 17

Occupation Day 15.

When I arrived at camp today at 1:30, to my complete amazement there was an entire bucket of super fine tent stakes (along with a good supply of strong cord). Thank you Bill. The stakes are beautiful. Seriously, these are the most beautiful tent stakes I’ve ever seen. And their design to spec form just nails it. If anything will help weather the upcoming storms, it is these stakes.

Jim and Jean came by to bring us guac and chips and invited us to speak briefly at their neighborhood association picnic tomorrow. David H. will attend and bring signs and some literature.

Dee and Bruce hooked us up with storage bins!

Many people stopped by, got signs, signed the petition and gave contributions. I have about five or six new recruits. Who gets their forms to enter into the database? One is interested in letters to the editor, two in occupation.

Ed and Tina stopped by in the afternoon and really helped us finalize the reorgainization of the common space. THANK YOU!

All: Please try to read bin labels and return items to their bin of origin when you use things. Also, coolers are now labeled either FOOD ONLY or DRINKS ONLY. PLEASE do not put food in the “DRINKS ONLY” cooler. It explodes or sinks in the melted ice and it makes a disgusting mess. THANK YOU for your help with this.

Dinner was served by Don, straight from Foxdale fridges (thanks!).  Then was followed up by a delivery of two pizzas and some soda from an unnamed supporter.

This evening, while clearing the easement for sign visibility, David H. broke Kim’s lawnmower (!) on a big metal utility covering lid thing and Alba and he jetted out to get the fix underway.

If the weather is nice tomorrow afternoon (Sunday) and folks are willing and able to help, please bring your gas mowers and weed whackers and do some clearing for the sign move. Warning: Don’t hit the big metal utility covering lid thing. Also, please wear eye protection.

I’d LOVE for folks to sign up on the Google calendar for short shifts on-site so folks who do long stints can go offsite to shower and whatnot. It really helps folks plan for that (rides etc.) if they know there will be coverage. Thanks to Bernie for signing up! [Contact Joe Cusumano to sign up for a shift – jpcusumano@gmail.com]

It is just so tragic that Penn State, all that it is and claims to be, would do this. In the face of this tidal wave of support.

When folks are by the road with signs and waving, almost every car that goes by waves and thumbs up or beeps.

The overwhelmingly positive community response to this action makes crystal clear what the position of the community is. Right behind us.

In Solidarity,

Laura

PS – Please help me remember something: I need to make a Facebook “check-in” while I’m on-site. If you see me there, please remind me to do that! I keep forgetting.

Supply Needs:

  • Snacks: Dave S. requested some dried fruits (cranberries sp.)
  • Bananas- just a few at a time please
  • Hand Wipes
  • Three dish bins for a dishwashing station.
  • We got the big storage containers!! We don’t need any more now. (Though we may in the future.)
  • We do NOT need more trash bags.

Reminders….

Please use your contacts to reach out to property owners in very visible locations to display No Toll signs.

If you haven’t yet, please sign the new petition, Demand that Penn State Acts as a Responsible Steward to Our Community’s Water

Pass it on please!

Staying Informed and In Touch

Like and Follow us on Facebook:

Website:

Update from No-Toll-ville – Friday, June 16

Occupation Day 14.

It was a long night of pouring rain last night and camp felt the effects. Our screen house collapsed in a heap.

When I arrived on the scene I saw a team of 4-5 folks working on reassembling it and much to my surprise and delight, the frame is now standing. Further work is needed and Don and his team are on it. We already have finely cut bamboo joint braces and I look forward to seeing their creative strutural reinforcements emerge!

We may not canopy it until after Sunday’s predicted storm passes. Our site meterologist, Mark Huncik is predicting a doozey. We may have been flooded with rain, but we were also flooded with community support.

A famous local chef brought us 4 BIG PANS of delicious food. It is tucked safely away for the night in various fridges now.

Midday, Ariana brought snacks and stayed to enjoy some delicous food with us.

Gloriously, we had several hours of delightfully drying sun and visitors galore. Octogenarian Eileen came with her cane and we helped her to and fro. She stayed well over an hour. She was very dismayed at the plan to develop the farmland and apologized several times for “getting her fire up”. I thoroughly encouraged her to come back and get her fire up any time.

Patti stopped by twice, once before and once after her Toastmasters toast. The subject was our struggle! I invited her to join us tonight but she told me she was going to carry our message to the Greentree Neighborhood Association Annual Picnic/Meeting happening at the same time!

We had a great and delightfully dry meeting tonight while several folks held down the fort in the rain. Upon arriving back at camp, we were greeted with delicious rice and beans from Vishal and the State College Food Not Bombs folks.

Evening was (wet and) beautiful. The dropped-down canopies are perfect places to gather (but watch your head!).

This land is beautiful (Check out attached photo of the site – Thanks Sara V!).

Thanks again to Dave S. and Bruce for weathering the storm.

Check in on them in the morning if you can!

In Solidarity,

Laura

Reminders….

Please use your contacts to reach out to property owners in very visible locations to display No Toll signs.

If you haven’t yet, please sign the new petition, Demand that Penn State Acts as a Responsible Steward to Our Community’s Water

Pass it on please!

Staying Informed and In Touch

Like and Follow us on Facebook:

Website:

Bailiwick News Series:

  • 9.9.16 Bailiwick News – Part 1 of series on water and farmland protection in the Slab Cabin Run watershed: Centre County Court ruling against Ferguson Township student housing development; impacts on regional planning. See also: 4.1.15 – PSU, Boundary Violations & Civic Trauma
  • 9.16.16 Bailiwick News – Part 2 of series on water and farmland protection in the Slab Cabin Run watershed: introduction to municipal legislator discussions re: Whitehall Road Regional Park development.
  • 9.30.16 Bailiwick News – Part 3 of series on water and farmland protection in the Slab Cabin Run watershed: continued coverage of municipal discussions re: Whitehall Road Regional Park development.
  • 10.21.16 Bailiwick News – Part 4 of series on water and farmland protection in the Slab Cabin Run watershed: continued coverage of municipal discussions re: Whitehall Road Regional Park development.
  • 12.2.16 Bailiwick News – Part 5 of series on water and farmland protection in the Slab Cabin Run watershed: continued coverage of municipal discussions re: Whitehall Road Regional Park development.
  • 12.23.16 Bailiwick News – Part 6 of series on water and farmland protection in the Slab Cabin Run watershed: continued coverage of municipal discussions re: Whitehall Road Regional Park development.
  • 3.1.17 Bailiwick News – Part 7 of series on water and farmland protection in the Slab Cabin Run watershed: Whitehall Road Regional Park as case study in regional governance.
  • 3.9.17 Bailiwick News – Part 8 of series on water and farmland protection in the Slab Cabin Run watershed: COG General Forum-Fulton Bank loan extension history.
  • 3.24.17 Bailiwick News – Part 9 of series on water and farmland protection in the Slab Cabin Run watershed: committee-level design and funding discussions for Whitehall Road Regional Park.
  • 6.6.17 Bailiwick News – Part 10A of series on water and farmland protection in the Slab Cabin Run watershed: the battle for the ecological and political future of the Centre Region.
  • 6.13.17 Bailiwick News – Part 10B of series on water and farmland protection in the Slab Cabin Run watershed: the battle for the ecological and political future of the Centre Region.

Update from No-Toll-ville – Thursday, June 15

Occupation Day 13.

Wow! What a day!

The State College Borough Water Authority has stepped up to the plate at the community table and has unanimously motioned to direct staff to research the feasibility of dye trace testing to assess potential fractures, conduits to the wells, and the interconnectivity of surface and ground water.

That is something to celebrate.

All of you helped make that happen.

The Authority feels emboldened by our actions and the public’s reaction. Two years ago they expressed to me that they thought the public didn’t really care about source water. Now they know otherwise.

David Hughes got a shout-out from the Authority for reading all thousand and somesuch pages of report. His effort was evident in his well-informed presentation today. Nailed it.

Organizationally, things are coming together and we are prepping to lose some folks to vacation soon. Be sure to recruit folks to join you at camp. Invite them to visit you there and come back!

Joe created a private GoogleCalendar today. He will send step by step info about how to find it and make it show up on your phone too. We worked out the bugs tonight.

Thanks to Lori Bedell, there is now a paper copy of the current petition at camp. PLEASE ASK follks to sign it when they stop to visit!

Thanks to Mat, Don, Pam and Bill who rolled in to help batten down for the storm.

Thanks to Dave S. and Bruce for weathering the storm.

They would probably appreciate some hot coffee tomorrow morning!

🙂

In Solidarity,

Laura

Reminders….

We are in need of folks to bring ice each day.

Please use your contacts to reach out to property owners in very visible locations to display No Toll signs.

If you haven’t yet, please sign the new petition, Demand that Penn State Acts as a Responsible Steward to Our Community’s Water

Pass it on please!

Staying Informed and In Touch

Like and Follow us on Facebook:

Website:

Bailiwick News Series:

  • 9.9.16 Bailiwick News – Part 1 of series on water and farmland protection in the Slab Cabin Run watershed: Centre County Court ruling against Ferguson Township student housing development; impacts on regional planning. See also: 4.1.15 – PSU, Boundary Violations & Civic Trauma
  • 9.16.16 Bailiwick News – Part 2 of series on water and farmland protection in the Slab Cabin Run watershed: introduction to municipal legislator discussions re: Whitehall Road Regional Park development.
  • 9.30.16 Bailiwick News – Part 3 of series on water and farmland protection in the Slab Cabin Run watershed: continued coverage of municipal discussions re: Whitehall Road Regional Park development.
  • 10.21.16 Bailiwick News – Part 4 of series on water and farmland protection in the Slab Cabin Run watershed: continued coverage of municipal discussions re: Whitehall Road Regional Park development.
  • 12.2.16 Bailiwick News – Part 5 of series on water and farmland protection in the Slab Cabin Run watershed: continued coverage of municipal discussions re: Whitehall Road Regional Park development.
  • 12.23.16 Bailiwick News – Part 6 of series on water and farmland protection in the Slab Cabin Run watershed: continued coverage of municipal discussions re: Whitehall Road Regional Park development.
  • 3.1.17 Bailiwick News – Part 7 of series on water and farmland protection in the Slab Cabin Run watershed: Whitehall Road Regional Park as case study in regional governance.
  • 3.9.17 Bailiwick News – Part 8 of series on water and farmland protection in the Slab Cabin Run watershed: COG General Forum-Fulton Bank loan extension history.
  • 3.24.17 Bailiwick News – Part 9 of series on water and farmland protection in the Slab Cabin Run watershed: committee-level design and funding discussions for Whitehall Road Regional Park.
  • 6.6.17 Bailiwick News – Part 10A of series on water and farmland protection in the Slab Cabin Run watershed: the battle for the ecological and political future of the Centre Region.
  • 6.13.17 Bailiwick News – Part 10B of series on water and farmland protection in the Slab Cabin Run watershed: the battle for the ecological and political future of the Centre Region.

 

Update from No-Toll-ville – Wednesday, June 14, 2017

Hi All!

It is Day 12 of the occupation and all is well in No Toll Ville.

A great Letter to the Editor appeared in the Centre Daily Times today!

Read it here.

Our organizational and communication structures are taking shape, so hang in there. Google calendar forthcoming.

We are in need of folks to bring ice each day.

If you haven’t, please sign the new petition, Demand that Penn State Acts as a Responsible Steward to Our Community’s Water

Please use your contacts to reach out to property owners in very visible locations to display No Toll signs. Does anyone know the folks that own The Barn in Lemont? If so, please ask them to host a sign.

In Solidarity,

Laura

Staying Informed and In Touch

Like and Follow us on Facebook:

Bailiwick News Series: The battle for the Slab Cabin Run watershed and the political and ecological future of the Centre Region

  • 9.9.16 Bailiwick News – Part 1 of series on water and farmland protection in the Slab Cabin Run watershed: Centre County Court ruling against Ferguson Township student housing development; impacts on regional planning. See also: 4.1.15 – PSU, Boundary Violations & Civic Trauma
  • 9.16.16 Bailiwick News – Part 2 of series on water and farmland protection in the Slab Cabin Run watershed: introduction to municipal legislator discussions re: Whitehall Road Regional Park development.
  • 9.30.16 Bailiwick News – Part 3 of series on water and farmland protection in the Slab Cabin Run watershed: continued coverage of municipal discussions re: Whitehall Road Regional Park development.
  • 10.21.16 Bailiwick News – Part 4 of series on water and farmland protection in the Slab Cabin Run watershed: continued coverage of municipal discussions re: Whitehall Road Regional Park development.
  • 12.2.16 Bailiwick News – Part 5 of series on water and farmland protection in the Slab Cabin Run watershed: continued coverage of municipal discussions re: Whitehall Road Regional Park development.
  • 12.23.16 Bailiwick News – Part 6 of series on water and farmland protection in the Slab Cabin Run watershed: continued coverage of municipal discussions re: Whitehall Road Regional Park development.
  • 3.1.17 Bailiwick News – Part 7 of series on water and farmland protection in the Slab Cabin Run watershed: Whitehall Road Regional Park as case study in regional governance.
  • 3.9.17 Bailiwick News – Part 8 of series on water and farmland protection in the Slab Cabin Run watershed: COG General Forum-Fulton Bank loan extension history.
  • 3.24.17 Bailiwick News – Part 9 of series on water and farmland protection in the Slab Cabin Run watershed: committee-level design and funding discussions for Whitehall Road Regional Park.
  • 6.6.17 Bailiwick News – Part 10A of series on water and farmland protection in the Slab Cabin Run watershed: the battle for the ecological and political future of the Centre Region.
  • 6.13.17 Bailiwick News – Part 10B of series on water and farmland protection in the Slab Cabin Run watershed: the battle for the ecological and political future of the Centre Region.

Update from No-Toll-ville – Tuesday, June 13, 2017

Daily update from the Nittany Valley Water Coalition encampment:

Hi All!

Another warm day in No Toll Ville!

Press was at camp this morning. The Channel 10 interview can be found here.

There was a lot of good conversation and fun chance meetings.

By evening, several familiar smiling faces had arrived to settle in for the night shift.

It looks like Thursday afternoon coverage is a bit sparse, 11-6. Please consider filling in then if you’re able.

The garden could use water so if you come bring a jug or two of water and give the plants a drink!

Things are peaceful at camp, especially if you take a chair and sit down by the edge of the swale.

Looks like the temperature might be going down a bit tomorrow and Thursday.  Come on out and sit a spell.

In solidarity,

Laura

Update from No-Toll-ville – Monday, June 12, 2017

Hi all!

Wonderful day today.

Reading that the Tolls  would consider a land swap was momentous!

On site, the heat really put us to the test and we passed with flying colors. With a rapid communication assist from Irmi, Don and Bernie shot by and rescued us from the sun midday with canopy repositioning.

Don followed up with an ice drop.

A gent named Jim dropped off several cases of Gatorade.

Art, Lauren and David waved signs.

Many folks learned the story of the Toll invasion. Many signs were distributed.

The garden looks great.

Some new folks are sleeping over tonight. There was great energy when I left.

Tomorrow will likely be hot and we may have some storms. If weather kicks up (afternoon prediction) and you’re around the site, drop by and lend a hand battening down.

In solidarity,

Laura

Press Release 6-11-17

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE – JUNE 11, 2017

 

NITTANY VALLEY WATER COALITION APPEALS THE TOLL BROTHERS DEVELOPMENT APPROVAL TO THE PA SUPREME COURT, PETITIONS PSU TO BREAK SALES CONTRACT, AND OCCUPIES SITE


Contact information:
Kelli Hoover
Nittany Valley Water Coalition
Kxhoover2015@gmail.com
814-883-4854

STATE COLLEGE PA – Nittany Valley Water Coalition members have directed our attorney to file an appeal to the Pennsylvania Supreme Court of the ruling by the Commonwealth Court that would allow the Toll Brothers’ Cottages Development to go forward, destroying the farmland and open space that runs along Whitehall Road at Blue Course Drive, just down the road from the State College YMCA.

We are supporting a petition by Friends of Slab Cabin asking Penn State to withdraw from the sales contract, and on June 3, we launched an occupation of the site.

We are working to protect our public health and safety, by protecting the State College Borough Water Authority public drinking water wells at the downstream Harter and Thomas wellfields.

We are working to protect our rural culture, our sense of place and our farming families, by protecting productive farmland from runoff flooding and conversion to housing, roads and parking lots.

We are working to protect one of the most beautiful rural vistas in our region.

And we are working to protect our right to local government that acts with transparency and integrity to protect public health and safety.

All those things will soon be lost if Corporate Penn State goes through with plans to sell 44 acres of this farmland, upslope of Slab Cabin Run and the Thomas-Harter wellfields, to Toll Brothers to build a huge, luxury student apartment complex housing 1000 students and their cars.

Since 2015, almost 3,000 people have signed petitions opposing this development, spoken out at Penn State Board of Trustees meetings, written letters to the editor of the Centre Daily Times, donated more than $26,000 to support a land use appeal lawsuit against Ferguson Township and Toll Brothers, and as of one week ago, set up tents to occupy the site to bring attention to this situation.

Since the tent encampment began on June 3, hundreds of people have stopped by, including neighbors, local farmers, and alumni. All are opposed to this development. They have brought food and encouragement to stick with our efforts to protect this land.

It’s been heartbreaking to meet neighbors and local farmers who stop by to tell us that because of Toll Brothers they are selling their homes or may no longer be able to farm due to increased flooding from runoff from this development.

Why are we concerned about risks to our water supply and Slab Cabin Run from this development?

The proposed high-density housing development site sits on a karst limestone/dolomite hill, traversed by an intermittent stream, in an area pocked with existing sinkholes, less than a mile upgradient from the shallow Harter and Thomas wellfields.

In 2006, dye trace studies conducted by the State College Borough Water Authority (SCBWA) showed that dyes released in the upper Slab Cabin Run watershed, although not released from the Toll Brothers site itself, appeared downstream in the Harter and Thomas wellfield within 2-3 days.

Many earlier studies dating back to 1966 revealed a complex network of underground channels connecting surface and subsurface water flows, and were cited in a 2007 SCBWA Sourcewater Protection Report. Then in May 2013 and December 2014, CMT Technologies conducted infiltration analyses at the Toll Brothers/PSU parcel.

Taken together, these reports support the Nittany Valley Water Coalition position: Land development activity within the Zone 2 recharge area of the Harter and Thomas wellfields increases the risks of contaminating public water supplies.

Toll Brothers representatives suggest they will implement mitigations to reduce the risks. But acceptance of Toll Brothers position means trusting that Toll Brothers is accurately reporting the risks and the effectiveness of their proposed mitigation. It means trusting that local government officials are accurately representing public health and safety interests and are staffed and trained to supervise proper implementation. It means trusting that subcontractors will follow the design plans to the letter and that none of the mitigations will fail, especially with climate change bringing more frequent and more dramatic rain events. It means trusting that if the mitigation strategies do fail, the breaches will be identified quickly and that disaster response programs will be implemented rapidly, effectively and with comparable long-term operating costs. Currently Ferguson Township has no mechanisms in place to respond to violations or failures of the stormwater management system.

We do not trust Toll Brothers, which has a reputation for poor workmanship and a long list of infractions of the Clean Water Act polluting local waterways and paying large settlement fees with the EPA.

We no longer trust local government officials, who, in 2004 at landowner Penn State’s request, removed protections placed on this land for decades, and then in 2015, gave their blessing to the Toll Brothers’ dangerous development plan and violated their own zoning ordinance.

And we do not trust Penn State officials’ two-facedness: public claims of caring about our community coupled with angry private statements – with no supporting evidence – that the project poses no risks and that they are unable to break the sales contract.

For more information:

https://www.facebook.com/pages/Nittany-Valley-Water-Coalition/411453045714666
http://nittanyvalleywatercoalition.org
https://steadystatecollege.wordpress.com/