Mar 162016


Contact: Sandra Steingraber, 607-351-0719,

Reading Town Judge Drops 112 Trespass Charges for Seneca Lake Gas Protesters on Eve of Arraignments for 70 Other Protesters


Green Party leader Howie Hawkins, among those facing judge Weds. evening, will speak at rally and press conference


Watkins Glen, NY – In Schuyler County’s Town of Reading Court, Judge Raymond Berry has dismissed 112 violation trespass charges against 110 We Are Seneca Lake protesters, according to an email sent Tuesday afternoon by Reading Town Clerk Joyce Ameigh to We Are Seneca Lake Attorney Sujata Gibson.

This ruling makes official a request to Judge Berry on February 10 by Schuyler County District Attorney Joseph Fazzary. Last month, Fazzary asked the Judge to drop the charges for cases where his investigation determined that the defendants either were not trespassing or there was insufficient evidence to prosecute them for trespassing.

Yesterday’s ruling marks the second round of mass dismissals in the 17-month-old civil disobedience campaign at the gates of Crestwood Midstream. In April 2015, 64 cases were dismissed “in the interests of justice.”

The most recent dismissals come after months of discussions between the prosecution and defense attorneys, who have long argued that most of the protests have taken place on public property and could not involve trespass. In his motion, the District Attorney said that he had reviewed the evidence and agreed that the 112 charges he moved to dismiss should not be prosecuted for trespass.

Defense Attorney Sujuta Gibson said that, while she is pleased with the 112 dismissals, she believes that “all of the trespass charges should be dropped now that it has been established that the property line was unknown and inaccurately marked at the time of the arrests.” Discussions and motions continue for the remaining defendants.

The We Are Seneca Lake campaign opposes the expansion of gas storage in abandoned lakeside salt caverns owned by Crestwood. Since the campaign began in October 2014, there have been 537 arrests. Of these, 234 cases have been adjudicated (resulting in 176 total dismissals to date); 303 cases remain open.

We are Seneca Lake will hold a rally and press conference outside the courthouse in advance of Wednesday night’s arraignments to discuss the recent dismissals and recent ongoing arrests.

What: RALLY & PRESS CONFERENCE immediately prior to 5 p.m. arraignments for 70-plus Seneca Lake protesters


When: Wednesday, March 16, 2016, 4:30 p.m.


Where: Town of Reading Court, 3914 County Rte 28, Watkins Glen, NY


Who: We Are Seneca Lake Attorney Sujata Gibson; Green Party leader and former gubernatorial candidate Howie Hawkins; other defendants facing charges.

Individuals whose charges were dismissed on Tuesday are residents of 25 counties:

Albany County

Daniel Micah Morrissey, 28, Albany


Broome County

Bill Huston, 54, Binghamton


Cayuga County

Maryl Mendillo, Aurora

Maribeth Rubenstein, 49, Aurora


Chemung County

Bonnie Chollet, 70, Horseheads

Cynda Poley, 60, Elmira


Clinton County

Lauren Eastwood, 45, Plattsburgh


Columbia County

Kevin Kuenster, 60, Copake Falls


Cortland County

Colleen Kattau, 56, Cortland


Erie County

Charley Bowman, 68, Getzville


Fulton County

Bill Kitchen, 62, Johnstown


Kings County

Rufus Cappadocia, 47, Brooklyn

Josh Fox, 43, Brooklyn

Kim Fraczek, 40, Brooklyn

Lee, Ziesche, 25, Brooklyn


Livingston County

Lyndsay Clark, 54, Springwater

Coby Schultz, 55, Springwater

Bob Thompson, 61, Livonia


Monroe County

Colleen Coss, 60, Henrietta

Paul Flansburg, 47, Rochester

Neely Kelley, 37, Rochester

Arlene Leach-Bizari, 47, Rochester

Barbara Schlierf, 60, Henrietta


New York County

Michael Bucci, 67, Manhattan

Martha Hennessy, 60, Manhattan


Ontario County

Peggy Abbott, 64, Geneva

Cynthia Carestio, 54, Canandaigua

Lynn Cronise, 57, Bloomfield

Hannah Dickinson, 33, Geneva

James-Henry Holland, 58, Geneva

Laura Salamendra, 31, Geneva


Otsego County

Robert Eklund, 63, New Lisbon


Schenectady County

Pete Looker, 64, Glenville


Schoharie County

Elliott Adams, 68, Sharon Springs

Bethany Yarrow, 44, West Fulton


Schuyler County

Shirley Barton, 67, Mecklenburg

Gordon Bonnet, 54, Hector

Melissa Chipman, 57, Hector

Alexandra Doniger, 26, Hector

Lisa Fernandez, 47, Hector

Paula Fitzsimmons, 57, Hector

Lyn Gerry, 59, Watkins Glen

Janet McCue, 64, Hector

Daphne Nolder, 29, Hector

Johnno Potts, 34, Hector

Victoria Rasmussen, 42, Hector


Seneca County

Peter Arena, 50, Covert

Tony Del Plato, 67, Covert

Ben Guthrie, 63, Covert

Kim Knight, 31, Covert

Mariah Plumlee, 36, Covert

Amanda Postma, 30, Lodi

Barbara Smith, 61, Lodi


Steuben County

Nancy Cook, 62, Painted Post

Meg Krywe, 56, Arkport

Stephen Marcus, 60, Arkport

Dianne Roe, 72, Corning


Tioga County

Richard Battaglia, 53, Richford

Jon McNamara, 34, Owego


Tompkins County

Lesley Adams, 57, Trumansburg

Sylvia Bailey, 65, Ithaca

Robyn Bem, 64, Dryden

Dan Burgevin, 68, Trumansburg

Krys Cail, 62, Ulysses

Greg Copeland, 54, Ithaca

Lisa DeBoer, 46, Ithaca

John Dennis, 65, Lansing

Josh Dolan, 38, Ithaca

Karen, Edelstein, 54, Lansing

Rebecca Elgie, 74, Ithaca

Tobi Feldman, 47, Ithaca

Linda Finlay, 76, Ithaca

Martha Fischer, 58, Enfield

Tessa Sage Flores, 66, Ithaca

Zan Gerrity, 64, Ithaca

Arthur Godin, 66, Enfield

Ariel Gold, 40, Ithaca

Neil Golder, 68, Ithaca

Ira Goldstein, 65, Ithaca

Loretta Heimbuch, 65, Trumansburg

Larry Hirschberger, 60, Ithaca

John Hoffmann, 62, Ithaca

Gabrielle Illava, 26, Ithaca

Joan Jedele, 67, Dryden

Rachel Kennedy, 39, Trumansburg

Nancy Koschmann, 72, Dryden

Kate Lamarre, 39, Trumansburg

Keith Liblick, 41, Ithaca

Margaret McCasland, 69, Lansing

Barbara Pease, 69, Ithaca

Mariah Prentiss, 43, Ithaca

Stephanie Redmond, 39, Enfield

James Ricks, 66, Ithaca

Lisa Ripperton, 64, Ithaca

Todd Saddler, 50, Ithaca

Mark Scibilia-Carver, 62, Ulysses

Jim Shaw, 64, Ithaca

Joe Sliker, 33, Ithaca

Ba Stopha, 70, Ithaca

Ann Sullivan, 68, Ithaca

Regina Teasley, 63, Ithaca

Phil Terrie, 66, Ithaca

Camille Tischler, 66, Ithaca

Irene Weiser, 56, Caroline

Ken Zeserson, 67, Ulysses


Ulster County

Andrew Feron, 51, Cottekill

Ryan Solomons, 23, New Paltz


Wayne County

Patty Campbell, 72, Rose


Yates County

Larry Martin, 65, Torrey

Michelle Van Coppenolle, 62, Penn Yan


Read more about the arrested protesters at

Read more about widespread objections to Crestwood’s gas storage plans:

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 Posted by at 1:10 am