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Bob Banfelder

Bob is an award-winning crime-thriller novelist and outdoors writer. "The Fishing Smart Anywhere Handbook for Salt Water & Fresh Water" is endorsed by Lefty Kreh and Angelo Peluso~online at Amazon.

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March 02, 2016

Fighting Back & Winning

by Bob Banfelder

On February 4th, 2016, I had sent copies of my Nor'east Saltwater blogs titled Really? (January 4th, 2016) and Playing the Trump Card (February 1st, 2016), respectively, off to the powers that be. Donna's and my letter is for your perusal. It's how we (meaning all of us working together) get things done. If you were to take the time to write to these people, too, voicing your concerns referencing the pollution of our waterways, it would have a powerful follow-up impact.

After reading this letter, you can see how I had begun to address the Navy's initial stand on refusing to address the poisoning of our precious resource, the Peconic River and its outlying bays: Flanders Bay, Reeves Bay, Great Peconic Bay, Little Peconic Bay, and beyond. United we stand, folks.

February 4, 2016

The Honorable Andrew M. Cuomo
U.S. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand
U.S. Senator Charles E. Schumer
NYS Senator Kenneth P. LaValle
Congressman Lee Zeldin
Assemblyman Anthony H. Palumbo

Dear Sir/Madam:

Enclosed are two articles titled Really? and Playing the Trump Card that I wrote for Nor'east Saltwater (www.noreast.com) regarding pollution of the Peconic River by the Riverhead Sewage Treatment Plant (of late) as well as the United States Navy's initial defiance and ongoing, long-term Calverton/Manorville toxic plume progress.

Donna and I ask that you read the two articles and address what can be done about these issues because the NYS Department of Environmental Conservation and the Long Island Regional Planning Council are not approaching these matters pragmatically. These two organizations, through their Long Island Nitrogen Action Plan, are setting their sights solely on residential septic systems and cesspools, purposely ignoring the detrimental roles that the Riverhead Sewage Treatment Plant and the United States Navy have contributed to polluting both ends of the Peconic River, respectively, and its surrounding bays.

At a February 2, 2016 public meeting in Riverhead, Jim Tierney (DEC Deputy Commissioner for Water Resources) stated that he did not want folks to address any contaminant subject matter other than the nitrogen issue as it pertains to septic systems and cesspools during the Q and A portion of the agenda. That would conveniently shift the onus away from the actual culprits; that is, the Riverhead Sewage Treatment Plant and the United States Navy.

The following is specifically directed to Congressman Lee Zeldin and Assemblyman Anthony Palumbo because of suitable proximity for discussion: Donna and I host a Cablevision TV Public Access show titled Special Interests with Bob Banfelder & Donna Derasmo, which broadcasts throughout the East End of Long Island. Donna and I, along with our director and host of Cablevision's Off The Cuff, Enzo Magnozzi, would like to come into your office any time after mid-March and tape a half hour show regarding these issues. Our contact information is listed above.

We look forward to all of your specific responses in writing on the actions your office is taking to remedy this debacle.

Sincerely,
Robert Banfelder
www.robertbanfelder.com

Long Island Outdoor Communicators Network
New York State Outdoor Writers Association
Outdoor Writers Association of America

Donna Derasmo

.......


As of this writing, we have received a letter from Governor Cuomo, who will forward our concerns to the appropriate department. We'll see.
.......


My earlier writing for an online literary blog referencing the United States Navy's defiance in addressing the toxic plume matter moves from July 31, 2009 to August 12, 2009.

THE NAVY'S NONCOM-POOPS

August 12, 2009

No sooner than I had reported on the United State Navy's firm stance of insisting that the toxic chemicals (Volatile Organic Compounds—VOCs) found polluting the Peconic River will simply go away through "natural attenuation," a Navy spokeswoman, Lieutenant j.g. Laura Steghrr, has most recently reinforced that position by stating, "The Calverton site does not present a health or safety risk." The lieutenant j.g. goes on to say: "Current sampling shows the concentration of volatile organic compounds detected in the Peconic River is lower than appreciable values and ecological values. Additionally," she continues, "concentration levels in groundwater have remained steady or decreased over time . . . ."

Navy Secretary Ray Mabus, Assistant Navy Secretary for Installations & Environment BJ Penn, and Navy spokeswoman Lieutenant j.g. Stegherr have apparently lost sight of the fact that the toxic chemicals found in the Peconic River are already as high as two hundred (200) times the state's drinking water standards; the toxic plume is more than a quarter of a mile wide. Reaffirming those facts, (former) N.Y. Congressman Tim Bishop has fired back with a response: "I take exception with any notion that the plume ‘does not present a health or safety risk.' The reason that my colleagues and I have called for an advanced remediation plan is precisely because that the full extent of the risk is currently unknown." I believe that the congressman fell just short of insisting that the Navy and its commissioned nincompoops sign up for remedial arithmetic and be decommissioned to the status of noncom-poops.

Once again, fodder for my novels, folks. The truth can, indeed, be stranger than fiction.
.......

A reminder that the above was written for a prestigious online literary site.

On February 25th, 2016, the Riverhead News-Review quoted Governor Andrew Cuomo as announcing ". . . a $6 million plan to study Long Island's water quality problems. Let's find out what's going on," he added.

As I've been continuously reporting, many of us know—especially those of us who live in and fish the North Fork area—exactly what is 'going on' and who is to blame.


In years prior to the fish-kill: Graham Freeman caught this beauty of a weakfish during his visit from Royal Tunbridge Wells, England. We want to see more of this . . .


. . . and this. Donna with a nice striper.



We don't want to see more of this.


My upcoming April 1st 2016 blog will take us back in time to August 17th, 2009, titled, THE UNITED STATES NAVY DOES A 180—VERBALLY.

Stay tuned.


Robert Banfelder

Outdoor Writers Association of America
New York State Outdoor Writers Association
Long Island Outdoor Communicators Network

Nonfiction:
The Fishing Smart Anywhere Handbook for Salt Water & Fresh Water

The North American Small & Big Game Hunting Smart Handbook ~ Bonus Feature: Hunting Africa's & Australia's Most Dangerous Game


Fiction:
Award-Winning Crime Thriller Novelist (nine novels to date)

Note: All synopses and summaries may be viewed on my Web site http://www.robertbanfelder.com. See link for Synopses: Published Fiction & Nonfiction.
Also, all of my works, including articles, may be viewed under the Publications link on my Web site.





March 01, 2016

Poisoning the Well

by Bob Banfelder

Addressing my blogs titled Really? (January 4th) and Playing the Trump Card (February 1st), we shared twenty-eight back and forth written comments. The majority were from total strangers; very refreshing. That did not count the phone ringing off the hook from friends, acquaintances, and other concerned parties. Water pollution affects us all whether it is the Peconic River and its connecting bays on the East End of Long Island or Flint, Michigan. You'll see in what direction as well as the weight your comments carried in my next blog. But for the moment, I'll continue with where I left off last month.
We move forward with the Peconic River pollution issue from April 1, 2009 to July 31, 2009, staying with local politics. If you've missed a beat along the way, please refer back to my January/February blogs as cited above.

THE UNITED STATES NAVY'S POISONING OF THE PECONIC RIVER

July 31, 2009

A lot has happened since my April 1, 2009 report concerning what started as the United States Navy's four-decade-old initial state of—perhaps—naiveté, but which has (as of this date) culminated to the point of sheer arrogance and gross negligence on behalf of this force. Be reminded that the United States Navy is under the authority of the Department of Defense. Hence, we are dealing with a faction of the federal government. The federal government is not going to yield to either a state's or a local government's demands, not even when United States New York Senators Charles E. Schumer and Kirsten Gillibrand, along with Congressman Tim Bishop first "demanded" that the United States Navy stop insisting, as it has done for more than a decade as the plume spread, that the toxic chemicals found in the Peconic River are simply going to go away. The United States Navy has taken a firm stand that the contamination (it loves the use of euphemisms) will eventually dissipate, via "natural attenuation" it emphatically stated.

When will these volatile organic compounds, VOCs, derived from solvents that were used to clean airplane parts at the now defunct Grumman naval weapons plant in Calverton, and that have already leached into the groundwater, trifle away? When hell freezes over? Perhaps during the next ice age as the Navy has moved at glacial speed in order to address the matter seriously. The United States Navy insists on more testing in lieu of an immediate cleanup. How inane is that in light of the fact that the toxic chemicals found are already as high as two hundred (200) times the state's drinking water standards? How irresponsible is the United States Navy? Allow me to answer that last question succinctly. It is criminally irresponsible.

According to recent tests conducted by Suffolk County health department, the toxic plume is heretofore, conservatively, a quarter of a mile wide and 115 feet deep, and that is only because it is as deep as workers can dig. A geologist for the health department, Andrew Rapiejko, said, "Typically, you would like to see the end of the plume; you drill until you get a couple of wells that are clean, and that's when you know you've found the end. We haven't done that yet." All of the wells tested, fifty-two (52) of them, all contained volatile organic compounds.

Want to know where I find fodder for my novels? Look no further than the facts surrounding a story as such. In this way, you can educate your readers as well as entertain. In my novels titled The Teacher and The Author, both of them award-winners for 2006 and 2007 respectively—receiving "Best Suspense Thrillers" recognition—I traverse such territories. The cancer rate for Suffolk County, Long Island, New York, is certainly alarming. On a more personal note, I have locked horns with the United States Navy for over forty years, begging a thorough investigation to correct an egregious wrong, later, demanding such—all to no avail. Let us applaud the three lawmakers cited above and wish them success in toppling a criminal force. I use the term judiciously. One day soon, when I'm on our talk show, I'll elaborate fully, differentiating between factual accounts and fictional prose. Hopefully, official naval heads will roll while their bodies reel.
……



Tom Gahan with a nice catch of all-you-want snappers and cocktail-size bluefish in the Peconics before the fishing did a 180 during the last two years.


Tom Gahan caught this nice 29 inch bluefish on a MadBite ½ ounce Curved Spoon modified with paste-on eyes. This was the norm prior to the last two years. We want to see more of this . . .


. . . not this.


In short order, we'll move onto THE UNITED STATES NAVY DOES A 180—VERBALLY. But for the moment, let's home in on the Riverhead News-Review February 11, 2016 headline titled Fish kills ‘could continue to be the norm' ~ Study by state DEC eyes last year's enormous Peconic River die-off. The article is by Chris Lisinski, Staff Writer. Do you see in what direction this is going and why we have to nip this in the bud, folks?

Robert Banfelder

Outdoor Writers Association of America
New York State Outdoor Writers Association
Long Island Outdoor Communicators Network

Nonfiction:
The Fishing Smart Anywhere Handbook for Salt Water & Fresh Water

The North American Small & Big Game Hunting Smart Handbook ~ Bonus Feature: Hunting Africa's & Australia's Most Dangerous Game


Fiction:
Award-Winning Crime Thriller Novelist (nine novels to date)

Note: All synopses and summaries may be viewed on my Web site http://www.robertbanfelder.com. See link for Synopses: Published Fiction & Nonfiction.
Also, all of my works, including articles, may be viewed under the Publications link on my Web site.








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