Appalachian Basin

Natural Gas Protestors Have Overstayed Their Welcome at the Redwood Inn

As I read the hysterical letters about natural gas from the tiny handful of folks I previously described as “tree-huggers,” I begin to wonder: Will my water breathe fire?  Will earthquakes occur as in Texas?  Will the devil demons inhabit the Finger Lakes as the backyard movie-makers suggest?  As they beg for donations for their futile cause, and after intense deliberation, I have made my decision.  I am one of the silent majority who will welcome the gas companies and their money to this financially depressed area.  Natural gas is our present and future.  It’s time to stop the time wasting effort on protests and start the welcoming committee.  If you few folks who seem to show up everywhere protesting everything are still looking for something to do on a Saturday afternoon, I believe they are putting another Walmart up the road from Cayuta, so go protest that some more and leave our livelihood out of it.

Frank Maines

Natural gas jobs welcome here!

The people who came down here to protest this development were not even from here.  I saw a license plate from Vermont last Saturday when they were setting up in the parking lot next to my motel.  And, the rest of them came from Ithaca to protest here in the community where I live.  They have, as far as I am concerned, no business coming down here, bothering me and interfering with my property rights.  If they’re not in favor of natural gas gas development and don’t like it, then they should do us all a favor and leave.  Trust me, no one will protest that – no one at all.

Even if I was against natural gas development, people have to meet somewhere in the middle, but there doesn’t seem to be any spirit of compromise from the other side.  We can’t keep depending on other countries for energy when we’re sitting on it right here.  It’s crazy not to develop what we have.  I’m 100 percent for this coming to my area. You can say all you want about the bad things but they’re few and far between, if any.  I believe 75 percent of the population in this area feel the way I do – they just aren’t out making a lot of noise.

The Watkins Glen area has 5 months of good weather for tourists and then 7 months of winter.  You can cut the cake any way you want it, but there is simply no business during those 7 months. I go down to Florida during those winter months, because there’s no business up here that will keep me going economically; that is, until the gas companies come, and then there will be something.

When I read some of the comments regarding your two posts on what happened with that recent protest, I had to laugh out loud.  Here is one:

Frank Maines of the Redwood Inn has every right to believe what he wishes and say so, but he is hardly an objective source as he stands to profit directly from the fracking boom via filled rooms for which he can charge an exorbitant rate. Sad reality check for Mr. Maines: should New York lift its moratorium, and the boom he’s jazzed about now turn, as it will inevitably, to bust–leaving in its wake all of the erosion, blight, and joblessness that he thinks fracking is going to cure, the joke will be on him. Only worse–he will be poisoned by the very water and air he’s willing to see sacrificed for the green-backs sticking out of his fat wallet. Even worse than that: we’ll all be poisoned. – Wendy Lynne Lee, Raging Chicken Press

Wendy Lynne Lee, your sub-par observations and write-up about me mean nothing.  Whenever one of you anti-development types writes something about me (this hasn’t been the first time) all I need to do is take a look at where it comes from.  I’m not sure if you do, but most of your comrades use natural gas for energy in their homes (although I’m sure most live in barns, or should if they don’t want to be hypocrites).  You drive cars just like the rest of us.  Your lives, like the rest of ours, depend on fossil fuels for any number of items used every day, things like the computers you type on, the signs you carry and your polyester tie-die shirts.  You are in need of a serious reality check.  The least you could do is get the facts right and stop pretending we don’t need this energy.

For Sale Sign

Redwood Inn For Sale

I’ve owned the Redwood Inn in Cayuta, New York for 21 years.  I have the motel up for sale now.  After just turning 74, it’s time for me to downsize.  I bought a little place in Wellsboro, Pennsylvania.  There’s a ton of development over there and business is booming.  That’s where I’m headed. I don’t want to look at the abandoned farms that have become the Southern Tier of New York.  I’ve had enough of this bucolic poverty.  Decline isn’t pretty.  Prosperity is.

Redwood Inn

Redwood Inn

The one thing I hope is that someone from one of the gas companies or related businesses buys this place.  I’m not here to make royalties.  I just want to sell the motel.  I have over three acres of nice level land here perfect for development and when it comes, I hope they put a nice big rig and well right in the front here so when all these protestors drive by they can see it and what it’s doing for the area.

Redwood Inn Front Door

Redwood Inn Front Door

This whole thing reminds me of the 1960’s when so many of the protestors didn’t actually work, unless you count protesting, in which case they had full time jobs.  Last year, they had a write up in one of those Ithaca papers about a couple with a farm outside of town. They spent all their money on this natural gas protesting thing and now they’re bringing people in who stay overnight in tents to teach them how to go to development sites and protest.  A couple weeks later in that same paper they had the same couple saying they were broke and begging for donations for their cause.  I’ve heard some organizations pay some of these people to protest so it looks like a lot more people show up.  I can’t prove it but I can see half of them don’t even know what they’re protesting.

I have a message for Wendy Lynne Lee and her friends from Bloomsburg and Ithaca.  Heed my warning: if you protest and decide to park on my property again, I will not hesitate to call the police, AGAIN.  People around here are tired of you coming here from all over to protest.  The only thing we don’t like about the gas companies is the fact they brought people like you to our area.


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