Thursday, August 9, 2018

Synagro refuses to do Environmental Study and has not studied water flow interchanges with aquifer below pond located 20 feet from proposed sludge plant

Synagro first proposed that it locate its crap processing plant near a large deep pond (Former Doney Quarry) in May of 2017.  As reviews progressed, it became apparent that Synagro would likely not be allowed to dump its 300 tons of wastewater per day into the nearby high quality Little Bushkill and Waltz Creeks.

Below: Plainfield Township Wetlands Consultant publishes review of proposed site, including the pond located near the plant and proposal to have a parking lot built in it.

In February 2018, suddenly Synagro announced now it would “backhaul” its wastewater to the source of the incoming sludge - to the amazement of listeners.  Purportedly this was in response to concerns by citizens - in fact they probably figured out they would never obtain DEP approval to discharge into the creek(s).  That line of shit about respecting concerns smells a mile away, and the trucks they propose be used to haul both crap and wastewater do not even exist.  And will these hypothetical trucks actually go back to where they came from in NY, NJ and CT to dump the wastewater?   It turns out that the answer may be “no”.  At the July planning commission review, Delaware Riverkeeper Deputy Director Tracy Carluccio informed the commission that she had informed Synagro VP of Project Development Pam Racey offline after the May 31 review meeting that the State of NY may not permit the backhauling of wastewater.

Ms. Racey was also corrected during the May 31 review by Ms. Carluccio - after Ms. Racey stated that if backhauled wastewater were refused by a facility, it would be taken to a facility in NJ.   “They take anything,” she said.  Ms. Carluccio pointed out that the facility Ms. Racey mentioned stopped accepting such materials over a year earlier.  Ms. Racey has 25 years experience and a BS degree in agriculture - she is a champion bull shitter.  Synagro’s “plan” appears to be “say whatever sounds good until someone challenges it.”  The operating hours are changing now that the public has questionedextended operating hours that were recently revealed that are beyond what was stated in a memo to the planning commission from Synagro project manager Jim Hecht in December of 2017.  Hecht’s comment on May 31, 2018 was “we’re trying to cut back the Saturday hours.”  Hecht appears to have gotten the same BS degree as Racey. The truth is, they have no idea how to make this operation work and are making everything up as they go.  For God's sake, they are building it in a pond.

The latest and more critical story that is changing has to do with the former Doney Quarry (aka Sediment Basin #2) - located only 20’ from the proposed plant, and proposed to have sludge-hauling trucks travelling through it.  A truck wash area, to rinse the shit off at the unloading station, is perhaps 50’ from the basin.

Sediment Basin #2 (a pond), proposed to be partially filled and to host 20 parking spaces

The "basin" to Synagro is a pond to everyone else
Over the past four months, more attention by the planning commission has been placed on the potential pollution of groundwater.  It took this long to get to the engineering and zoning reviews of Synagro’s plan.  Until the last review meeting, Synagro maintained steadfastly that the basin is a “stormwater facility, not a pond.”  It is important to note that the engineer for Synagro at a November 2017 review meeting agreed that the basin is connected to an aquifer.  The basin holds water permanently and has no outflow, and is connected to an aquifer, therefore by common definition it is a pond.

At the July 2018 Synagro review, Synagro finally agreed that in fact the basin is a “regulated water body” or waters of the Commonwealth according to DEP.  However, on questioning, Synagro’s engineer stated that Synagro has not studied groundwater flow in the pond   When asked if Synagro would do an Environmental Impact Study, Synagro representative Jim Hecht flatly and dully answered “No.”  This is the same Jim Hecht who has visited several municipal meetings in the past few months, spreading his PR line of bullshit to board and council members that this stuff is perfectly safe.  Prove to us it will be safe and not harm our environment, because we don’t believe you, Jim.

Plainfield Township Wetlands Consultant Publishes Review of Sediment Basin #2 (pond) and other water features on the site

Since Synagro has been poo-pooing, pun intended, the significance of the pond, Plainfield Township has contracted its engineer to issue a report on waters on the site.  It is below.  Key findings in the report are:

  • The pond is a state regulated water body, and contains Waters of the Commonwealth (this means that the Zoning Variance for 50’ of open space adjacent to a pond is in fact required)
  • The pond may qualify as Waters of the United States, and have to comply with federal regulations
  • Recommends that a hydrogeological study be performed to understand the flow of water into and out of the pond
  • The pond is regulated by the township’s ordinances since it is a pond
  • The pond is subject to the riparian buffer requirements of the ordinance
  • A delineation of all wetlands and water bodies on the site is required
  • The township may require a certification by the Army Corps of Engineers of the wetland and waters delineation
  • The plan is not in conformance with township riparian buffer requirements
  • Suggests that Plainfield Township request that the DEP require a full permit for partially filling the sediment pond, despite Synagro’s claims that it is exempt under PA Chapter 105.12(a)(6).
  • The proposed plans do not address required stormwater best management practices to protect the pond (not a detention basin) and downstream waterways.

Monday, July 16, 2018

Synagro finally admits it needs a variance to access its site - announces plan to use Pen Argyl Road

At the Monday continued review of Synagro's proposed crap bakery in Plainfield Township, Synagro did a mini presentation.  Express Times reporter John Best was there - probably because Synagro invited him for their "breaking news".

The presentation was designed to address the four zoning variances that Synagro has known for months its plan requires.  Two of the variances are trivial - a small alteration to a parking lot dimension, and paving the parking lot.  The other two variances are not trivial - one is road access, and the other is Synagro's proposed plant is within a few feet of a pond that is connected to an aquifer.  Plainfield's zoning ordinance requires a 50' setback from a water body.

Use variance #1 - road access
The big reveal of the night was that Synagro is now planning to access its site from Pen Argyl Road.  The Plainfield ordinance requires this specific use to access from an arterial or collector road - Pen Argyl Road is a collector.  A separate entrance and exit is also required.  Synagro has not submitted a new Site Plan that reflects this change, but the picture below is a sketch of what is purported to be proposed.  The area in red on the right is where the access drive would be.  Synagro believes that this proposal will satisfy the ordinance requirement that currently is not met.  A highway occupancy permit will be required, and a modification of the landfill's permit.  Synagro did  not provide many details of exactly how trucks will move around the site using this proposed access point, but stated they would when new plans are submitted at the end of the month. ("Final" plans - lol - they've made up this entire project as they went along and confronted with questions they could not answer).  Will Synagro's trucks require use of township property as in previous plans?

Synagro's proposed access from Pen Argyl Road, announced on July 16, 2018

Several residents in the audience were unimpressed and displeased to learn that Synagro is exploring Pen Argyl Road, as landfill access via this road was problematic in the past.  Where would shit haulers park, while waiting for the site to open?  Currently they can stack up on Waste Management's driveway from Route 512.  Synagro appeared to claim at this meeting that trucks will not arrive early, but at the previous meeting they said some may and would wait on the Grand Central access drive off of Route 512.  Different night, different story.  What will PennDOT think of shit haulers waiting to turn off of Pen Argyl Road, while garbage trucks using the haul road block entry?  Approval of a highway occupancy permit is far from certain.  On paper it looks... problematic?

Use variance #2 - the pond that is a pond is a pond
A consultant for EarthRes - engineers for the worst nuisance uses known to mankind - argued that Sedimentation Basin #2 is not regulated by PA Chapter 105, but he stated multiple times that it is a regulated water body according to Pennsylvania law.  These two concepts are mutually exclusive - since it is a regulated water body, by definition it is subject to Chapter 105.  The EarthRes engnieer was gilding the lily.  Putting lipstick on a pig.  The basin has approval be DEP to be exempt from one requirement of Chapter 105 - a permit to fill it or alter its course of flow.  This is known as an "Obstruction and Encroachment Permit", and Synago/Waste Management doesn't require one to partially fill the quarry.  Encroachment is defined in Chapter 105 as alternation of a water course - not encroachment within a required setback - which is what the township ordinance covers.

Tracy Carluccio, Deputy Executive Director of the Delaware River Keeper, spoke at the podium on behalf of members that her organization represents, and presented an engineer's review that found that the pond is a regulated water body.  Synagro and Waste Management attorney Matthew Goodrich attempted to poo-poo Ms. Carluccio's expert, but the facts are clear - it is a water body.

Township manager Tom Petrucci questioned the EarthRes engineer - how will your new submission address Section 27-505 of Plainfield Township's ordinance?  This is the section that requires a 50 foot setback from water bodies.  The best the engineer could come up with was "our plan is exempt from dams and waterways."  Dam safety and waterway management is the title of Chapter 105 - Google it.  He is incorrect - Chapter 105 is where it is found that the sediment basin is a regulated water body.  Has nothing to do with and does not supersede the township ordinance.

The significance of this is that  Synagro has been arguing that the sediment basin is not a pond - and not a water body.  Until Monday evening when they finally admitted it is a regulated water body.  Uh oh Lucy.  Lucy got splain'n to do Lucy!  It is a water body, so Plainfield's requirement for a 50' setback from what is known as the "blue line" on the zoning map applies.  Synagro has a roughly 0' setback - as the sketch above shows the parking lot is proposed to be in the pond according to the blue line.  Yeah, that sucks.

But Ricky, it isn't a pond!  Waaaaaah  Ricky!

Synagro stalls its application for sludge plant while remaining surplus waste heat goes up Green Knight Energy Center stacks

Synagro, Waste Management and the Green Knights are continuing the ruse that the proposed shit bakery in Plainfield Township is a “green” project.  The only thing green about it is the money that Synagro and Waste Management seek to roll into their coffers.  The Energy Center will be long gone before half the life of the initial Synagro plant has passed.  You can bet that a new, larger shit plant will take its place once the Energy Center is closed and waste heat is not to be had.

During the May 31 planning commission review of Synagro’s proposal, Synagro representative Jim Hecht admitted that the Synagro plant could be profitable running on 100% natural gas - which is conveniently available on the target property.  The truth is, Synagro doesn’t need Green Knight’s waste heat, or the poor quality landfill gas that comes off the landfill.  What Synagtro desperately needs is a plot of land where a crap bakery can be located.  And Waste Management would love to lease land to Synagro for decades to keep the landfill property producing income - even if it means breaking an agreement with Plainfield Township to give back use of township land after the landfill closes.  And Green Knight, which is supposed to benefit the local citizens not screw them, is a participant in this charade.  As landfill family relative Lisa Perin pointed out, once Synagro is there, they will find a way to never leave because sites to locate such a nuisance operation are extremely hard to find. .  Ms. Perin was unaware when she stated this that there is natural gas already there on the property - but she saw through the obvious ruse that has been spun together in promoting this project.

To date, meetings to review the project have been dedicated to Synagro.  Each meeting has run three hours or more.  Now, Synagro has slowed its proposal to a creepy crawl, by demanding that it only be reviewed during regular planning commission meetings.  This means that Synagro’s project will be reviewed on agendas comingled with other regular business.  Completing the review could take a few more months at this rate.
Will Synagro/Waste Management/Green Knight's golden turn take flight July 15?  Not with an agenda packed so tightly it is constipated

Synagro has supplied a stenographer at the last two planning commission meetings - an intimidation tactic unheard of for a planning review.  There is nothing that is “good faith” about this.  A tape recorder would be a lot cheaper, but cost is no object to Synagro and Waste Management.  On Monday night, there are several items on the agenda, and Synagro is last.  Will Synagro’s stenographer be sitting in the audience, being paid along with its attorneys and consultants for waiting for their turn?

The waste heat of the Energy Center will disappear when landfill gas is no longer generated following the closure of the landfill ten to twelve years from now.  Synagro’s proposal is 20 months old now.  Synagro is apparently in no rush to capture and use the waste heat that Green Knights claims is so valuable, and less and less of it is available as time passes.  A lot can be accomplished in three hours, hardly anything in one hour.  The ruse is falling apart.  Cut the shit boys - your underbelly is showing and it isn’t pretty.

Zoning review scheduled to be discussed Monday night
The township zoning review found several items that need to be addressed in Synagro's application, as well as zoning variances.  This review is scheduled to be completed this evening, time permitting.  Also, Deputy Director Tracy Carluccio of the Delaware River Keeper is scheduled to make comments she was unable to complete at the May 31 meeting due to lack of time.  For over a year, Synagro has been on notice that it does not have the road access to its lot required by the zoning ordnance.  Yet Synagro has not filed an application for the variance needed.  It also proposes to locate its processing plant, raw shit storage, finished shit storage, and trucking of shit all within 50 feet of a deep quarry filled with water.  

PA legislators reviewing solid waste standards as relates to the dumping of waste from out of state
At a July 9 hearing at Wind Gap Middle School, Senator Scavello held a senate hearing to discuss quarries and the ability to easily contaminate the aquifers connected with them.  The hearing was focused on the dumping of waste from NY, CT and NJ into quarries, but the principle of dumping out of state hazardous waste in proximity to a quarry is the same.  You can see a video and submitted written testimony at this link.

Concerned citizens may wish to have a late dinner, and show up at the Plainfield Township Fire Hall at 8:30 to 9 pm to see Synagro’s portion of the meeting.  Synagro does not want you to hear, see or speak at their review - which is why they have demanded to be at a regular meeting that will go for a few hours before their project is discussed.  Don’t fall for showing up promptly at 7pm, getting irritated and impatient and leaving at 8:30 because they haven’t come up yet..  This is what Synagro, Waste Management and Green Knights wants.  Public participation is your right.

As seen below, there is one item of new business, and four items of old business, with Synagro last of the old business.  Synagro demanded to be at this meeting, instead of having a review dedicated to Synagro.  Draw your own conclusions.  Need  a pencil?  A crayon?

Synagro and Waste Management demanded to be on the following crowded agenda, instead of continuing to have dedicated review sessions

Tuesday, June 19, 2018

Northampton County, proposed home of Synagro poop plant, moves to ban biosolids/sludge on county owned lands

Reported by

Click picture to read article

According to the article, the county will request those signing contracts to farm county-owned lands to agree to not apply shit (bisolids) onto them.  Note that it is legal to spread shit on farmland, as long as the owner agrees to it.  Executive McClure is apparently charting a course to not agree to it.

Also, future participants in the Northampton County Farmland Preservation program will be asked to voluntarily not apply it - since these people will continue to own the land, they can't be forced to not spread the shit.

Monday, June 18, 2018

Cancellation of June 18, 2018 Synagro poop bakery land development review meeting

The regular meeting of the Plainfield Township Planning Commission scheduled for June 18 at the Plainfield Township Fire Hall has been cancelled due to lack of a quorum.  The proctologist's exmination of the application will continue at a meeting on a date TBD.

Wednesday, June 13, 2018

Watchdog Delaware Riverkeeper actively monitoring Synagro’s sludge plant application for Grand Central/Waste Management property in Plainfield Township

Next meeting this coming Monday see right margin for details

At the May 31 Plainfield Township planning commission’s continuation of its review of Synagro’s land development plan to locate a crap bakery on Grand Central Sanitary Landfill property, there were several citizens who wished to participate in asking questions of the Applicant and/or making comments on the proposal.  Time became short, as there was a lengthy list of speakers, and they were well prepared and took several minutes each at the podium.  If time permits their comments will be summarized in a post.

While all the speakers had excellent questions and informed points, there were two speakers of note also for who they are.  One was Lisa Perin, granddaughter of the founder of the Grand Central landfill.  She had a lot to say, 99% negative, about Synagro’s proposal.  That will also be covered in a separate post.  Essentially her points were once Synagro is in the township they will never leave because it is virtually impossible to find a site for such a plant, and the cost of hosting a Synagro facility will far outweigh any alleged benefit to Plainfield Township or the other communities affected.

Ms. Perin is a beautiful woman, but she spent her 10 minutes at the podium
bitch-slapping Synagro's proposed poop bakery

Ms. Carluccio had only a few minutes but summed up her preliminary thoughts with
"It's pretty outrageous this application has gotten this far"

While Ms. Perin was able to cover all her points, the other speaker of note, Tracy Carluccio, was not due to time constraints.  Few people in the room may have known who she is or even after she announced she is number two at the Delaware Riverkeeper what the significance of that may be.  Synagro should - the Delaware Riverkeeper recently assisted residents of Upper Mount Bethel Township in winning a settlement to prevent Class B biosolids from being spread by Synagro on three properties in the township.  While Pennsylvania is fairly lax in regards to permitting the application of biosolids, in the case of UMBT there are streams on the properties in question, which allowed for such a settlement to be possible.

The Delaware Riverkeeper gets involved in all kinds of projects that may have an impact on the environment, especially as pertains to the Delaware River Basin.  One example is the East Penn Pipeline.  Riverkeeper is on it.  Since water flows downstream, if a water course can be traced back from the Delaware to a creek with headwaters near a proposed sludge plant (for example), that might be very well be squarely in the crosshairs of the Riverkeeper.  As you can imagine, it takes a lot of work to follow any one project, and there are a lot of projects.  The Riverkeeper has a fairly large staff, including its own in-house attorneys.

What practical effect can the Riverkeeper have?  A great one.  In the case of UMBT, a small group of citizens got together and appealed the DEP permit for the application of sludge on the farms in question - Class B requires a permit.  A legal challenge of a decision of the DEP is not done in the usual court system of court of common pleas and Commonwealth Court - there is a special body called the Environmental Hearing Board that hears such appeals.  As the citizens' appeal was moving along, it gained the attention of the Delaware Riverkeeper, which intervened after a significant amount of resources had already been invested. Interestingly the DEP Northeast Region Biosolids Permit manager Timothy Craven testified under oath that he was not aware of what the Delaware River Basin’s standards were for discharges that include runoff from biosolids.  This is damning because the DEP is responsible for enforcing the DRBC’s standards.  The River Keeper and citizens won a settlement with the DEP in which it was agreed DEP would never approve the spreading of Class B biosolids on the farms in question, that DEP would change its standard operating procedures in regards to permitting and monitoring the application of biosolids, and the awarding of legal fees.  Note on page 5 that Attorney Jordan Yeager was enlisted by the Riverkeeper and citizens - Yeager won a very notable case at the PA Supreme Court in the last few years, in which something called the Environmental Rights Amendment took center stage.  Yeager's services are in high demand across Pennsylvania by people and townships fighting water extraction, poop processing, fracking, etc.  In this case, Yeager and the Riverkeeper teamed up to obtain an excellent result for the appellants.

Ms. Carluccio was given very little time to speak.  She was able to quickly correct a very significant misrepresentation that Synagro project representative Pam Racey made.  Earlier Ms. Racey had stated on questioning that in the event a truck back hauling waste water from Synagro is refused offloading at its destination, that a plant in South Jersey is Synagro’s “go-to” and it “will dispose of anything.”   Ms. Carluccio pointed out that this facility closed a year and a half ago.  Ms. Racey had trouble answering many questions with specificity, and in this case she was specific and very wrong.  One speaker pointed out that for someone with 30 years of experience, Ms. Racey did not seem very knowledgeable.  Multiple meeting attendees later agreed they saw this as well.

Through Ms. Carluccio's appearance she put everyone on notice that the Riverkeeper is actively engaged in reviewing Synagro’s proposal, and all of the regulatory applications that have been filed.  On the Riverkeeper’s website, it has links to these materials, as well as a “fact sheet” on Synagro and updates on Synagro’s proposal.

The actual Riverkeeper - Maya K. van Rossum

What this means is that the Riverkeeper is currently lodged in Synagro’s butt hole.  If a permit is issued by DEP, and the Riverkeeper believes there is a justification to challenge it, it is quite possible that the organization will participate in an initial appeal to the EHB.  The Riverkeeper has members in Wind Gap, Pen Argyl and Plainfield Township, so it has standing in people as well as its general commitment to the environment.

Riverkeepeer is the last organization Synagro wants sniffing around its backside

There is a two-pronged legal defense emerging.  At the May 31st meeting township Solicitor Backenstoe made it crystal clear that the township is standing behind its position that Synagro requires zoning relief - zoning relief that it is not entitled to since the property in question is already generating generous income to Waste Management.  Synagro has stubbornly refused to file an application for the variances that have been determined to be required.  Zoning Hearing Board decisions are appealed through the court of common pleas, then to the state, and in rare cases to the state supreme court.  Any DEP permit issued may be appealed to the Environmental Hearing Board.  Thus there are two avenues of appeal available.

A Plainfield Township official has confirmed that Ms. Carluccio and any other citizen who was not able to complete their comments at the May meeting will be given an opportunity to speak at the beginning of the continuation of the Synagro review on Monday June 18 (see sidebar on right margin).  One can assume she will have very educated commentary on the application, to which the Riverkeeper is obviously opposed. This assumes that there is time for Synagro’s application to be addressed.  This is a regular meeting of the planning commission and there are other items on the agenda (below) before Synagro.
  1. Taco Bell (tabled and they are not expected to appear)
  2. Minor Subdivision (residential property wishing to subdivide to 2 lots)
  3. Green Knight Industrial Park II (see article tomorrow on what this may entail if Green Knight appears - hint: Green Knight has a groundbreaking on this project scheduled for June 22, but they have no recorded land development plan.  Will they appear to address contentious outstanding issues before a room full of residents waiting to discuss Synagro?)
  4. Synagro
The official meeting agenda for Monday is here.

This blogger’s guess is that the minor subdivision may take 1/2 hour to 1 hour minimum.  It’s anyone’s guess if Green Knight will have the balls to show up at this venue, even though they have a dog and pony show scheduled for June 22.  History says they really don’t care about recorded plans - look at how they built the Green Knight Energy Center contrary to the recorded plan, and are in violation of it to this day.

Thursday, June 7, 2018

Small community that successfully fought Nestle Waters/Deer Park sees four notable residents pass on in four months

Imagine the stories all those who experienced a creek could tell

In 2016, Nestle Waters yanked its application for an ill-conceived water extraction operation to be located along the Buckwha Creek in Kunkletown, Eldred Township.  Eldred residents had pulled together in solidarity to fight the proposal.  At the first township meeting this blogger attended, Helen Mackes and Frank O'Donnell were present.  Helen was a long time member of the township planning commission, and Frank O'Donnell the chairman of the zoning hearing board.  Frank and his wife Marion routinely attended township meetings, and warmly welcomed this blogger and outsider in the cheap seats at the back of the Eldred Township meeting room.

At another meeting, I met Earl Smale, who grew up adjacent to the proposed site for the Nestle operation, and whose father Leon still owned the family house on Kunkletown Road, at ground zero along the Buckwha Creek.  Leon was in a senior living facility nearby.

During researching the background of the site and its property lines - at issue in the application, the name Asher Smith popped up, because Mr. Smith had obtained property from the owners of the old mill decades ago.  This blogger paid no further attention to Mr. Smith, as his name never came up again.  Mr. Smith was in fact living in another senior living facility nearby.

The reader needs to understand, most everything is connected in K-town.  If you moved in later than 1950, you are a newcomer.  Many family names have a lengthy history.  The names Smale and Smith go way back.  Asher grew up on the farm where the Jaeckles now live, up on Church Road past St. Matthews Church and the cemetery where the headstones are evidence of those who labored in decades past.  Another senior K-town son, Vernon Barlieb, dug several of these graves in his youth for less than $20 a day.  It was not dirt that was dug - it was shale.

Kunkletown residents are a hard working and hearty bunch with far-reaching roots, and it is with heaviness that I report that Helen Mackes 87, Frank O'Donnell 81, Leon Smale 90 and Asher Smith 93 passed away in the past 4 months.

Ms. Mackes was a Realtor, factory worker and most recently the tax collector.  She was also a historian, and when the old mill was recently torn down, Helen sat observing for 5 hours.  She was certain that grinding stones would be found, but alas none were left.  When Helen got something in her mind, she stuck to it.  She shared with a fellow observer that day that when she disliked someone, it lasted for life.  This blogger can vouch for this, during the relatively brief time I knew Helen.  Some K-town residents were surprised to see that in Helen's obituary she had a daughter.  This is actually the daughter of Gabby Borger and his wife.  After Gabby passed away in 1977, circumstances were such that this daughter, less than 10 years old, ended up a bit of an orphan.  Helen stepped in and evidently was such an influence on her life that the woman is now considered Helen's daughter - reflecting that Helen had a big heart.

Mr. O'Donnell was a maintenance engineer and carpenter, and he was the president of the Blue Mt. Preservation Association.

Mr. Smale was affectionately known as the "mayor" of Kunkletown.  He was a World War II Army veteran.  He worked for many years as a crane operator, and in retirement drove trucks and a was a school bus in Eldred Township

Mr. Smith was known as the "police chief" of Kunkletown, and a World War II Navy veteran.  He drove buses in the morning, was a carpenter and in the afternoons ran a barber shop.  That's a full plate, and indicative of the work ethic of many of K-town's residents.

While the Nestle affair roiled Kunkletown, it was a brief and turbulent blip on the radar that will soon be largely forgotten.  Ms. Mackes, Mr. O'Donnell, Mr. Smale and Mr. Smith left a lasting legacy and whose spirits are an indestructible part of the fabric of a tightly knit community - a community whose past and future are inextricably intertwined with the ever-meandering Buckwha Creek.  Gone but not forgotten.