New York Shitty Day Starter: Au Contraire!

As some of you might recall, I posted the above letter a couple days ago. In it Mr. Olechowski asserts that he had a leadership role in the fighting the TGE power plant here some time ago. Simply put, gentle readers, this does not “jibe” with my understanding of how things went down. Wishing to get the skinny on exactly what Mr. Oelchowski’s role was in the fight against the power plant, I decided to post his tome on a few listserves. The responses were almost immediate. The following comes from a very nice, very dedicated activist for our community: Kate Yourke. She has been kind enough to grant me permission to post it here. It pretty much speaks for itself. Enjoy!

Reading this campaign letter from Community Board #1 Chair Chris Olechowski, I am shocked to discover he claims to have “led a coalition to fight against a proposed power plant on the waterfront on the Bushwick Inlet.”

The only power plant proposed for the Bushwick Inlet was the 1100 MW Trans Gas Energy plant, which was opposed by a phenomenal, comprehensive coalition, known as the Greenpoint-Williamsburg Waterfront Task Force.

The work of organizing this coalition to oppose the TGE plant required the committed focus of a great many community members for over 2 years. From its inception, I served on both the Steering Committee and the Outreach Committee of the GWWTF. I do not recall even meeting Chris Olechowski during this effort.

I also served taking notes and writing minutes for nearly all the GWWTF meetings. Reviewing my notes, the only references I see for Chris Olechowski are as described below.

An email establishing who would receive what level of information, dated 1/1/2002

categories are described as follows:

  • “first-rung email list, based on ongoing involvement and responsiveness to decision-making”
  • “people who have shown consistent involvement in the issues” and
  • “General Task Force email list… (which) receive a monthly update”

Chris Olechowski’s name appears on the third category.

In Steering Committee minutes from 1/27/03 (the following year) the formal structure and committees were reviewed and finalized Chris Olechowski’s name does not appear.

The only places I could find reference to the participation of Chris Olechowski were in a list of targets for outreach, and as a potential volunteer.

The volunteer effort this struggle required was overwhelming. Those who made the commitment to see this fight to the end made tremendous sacrifices to prevent another environmental degradation of this community. I am OUTRAGED to find Chris Olechowski claiming to have “led” this effort.

I would like to salute those members of the GWWTF who did contribute their time, energy and intelligence to the successful defeat of the TGE power plant.

So there have you. I have requested copies of the above documentation from Ms. Yourke. These I should hopefully receive later today. When I do I will post them here. See gentle readers, politics can be fun! In closing (and in the interest of giving credit where it is due) Mr. Olechowski has (albeit fairly) recently spoken up on an issue with serious environmental ramification hereabouts: this being the proposed siting of an incinerator in our community. Skip to 5:52 and see for yourself. It took a little “help”, but Mr. Olechowski did manage to muster the word “incinerator”.

In addition to having a faulty memory it would appear this fellow is also afflicted with the opposite of charisma. But I suppose these qualities are considered to be “leadership caliber material” in some circles. In any case, if you thought watching this video was hard just imagine filming it. If anyone reading this tome is wondering to whom the unseen woman’s voice belongs who said “incinerator” before the Chairman of the Community Board did, it was yours truly. Yup.


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