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The Promise of More to Come

July 22, 2005


Because this information has always been of vital importance to the health, safety and welfare of our village, I believe the following must be as widely dispersed as possible. It has already been sent out on the CCC1 newsletter.

By now you have heard that Judge Nicolai has granted Metro Enviro a temporary stay. Given Mr. Nicolai's previous ruling in this affair, a ruling which was found to be erroneous by the high court, I am not surprised. Metro Enviro, having fought to keep their special permit--and having lost--is now claiming that they need no permit to operate in our village at all.

It's the kind of maneuver that is far too often the hallmark of an industry whose practices are seldom compatible with sound ethics and environmental law, but wholly compatible with maximum profit. Metro Enviro's record in this village makes that much clear, the comments of its few anonymous supporters notwithstanding.

Over the course of the last three days--with the promise of more to come---an unfolding criminal investigation involving federal authorities has been the subject of extensive press both here and in Connecticut. The investigation has centered around the carting industry, certain individuals, possible political corruption, etc. The Journal News, the News-Times, and the Hartford Courant have reported that warrants were executed to seize records at various waste and government facilities in Westchester, Putnam, and Connecticut.

A spokesman for U.S. Attorney Kevin O'Connor would only confirm that an investigation is underway, but refused to provide any details about it. The press has stated that among the companies being investigated are those owned by an individual that collectively make up one of the largest trash hauling concerns in the greater Danbury area--and which ship a substantial portion of their waste to our village--and then on to suffering landfill communities in Ohio. The FBI also had no comment and several of the agents involved appear to be from Connecticut, New York, and as far away as Virginia. Specifically, the Journal reported that agents from the New Haven office, assisted by agents in the New York division, carried out searches at the Putnam county executives office in Carmel, at Allied's Suburban Cartings offices in Mamaroneck and at another undisclosed Westchester location. Today both the press and the county confirmed that this other undisclosed Westchester location wa s the Allied facility in Mount Kisco. We do not know if Metro is next, although it will not be the first time the FBI has been there.

Since the Metro Enviro permit was issued in 1998, this village has struggled to protect itself from an industry that has been entrenched in this community for well over seventy-five years and to assert its right to self-governance. It has been the subject of reports by now Congressman Maurice Hinchey and the federal monitor Walter Mack from as far back as the 1980's to as recently as last year--perpetually linking it with the seedier aspects of the waste business. It is a reputation no community deserves. And those of us who love our village and its children needed no court decision to understand the threat that it poses to us all, although we got one.

I believe that Croton will inevitably prevail in this sorry affair, and I am grateful for the unwavering support of my neighbors. We have worked together despite the very real physical threats, the costs, and the occasional fear that comes from standing up against an industry like this one. We will continue to do so.

The temporary stay issued by Judge Nicolai is allegedly to August 5th.

Residents are urged to read today's latest episodes at the following links: here & here.

Please keep the following quote from one of the articles foremost in your mind: "Records in New York and Connecticut show a complex web of connections among Galante, Milo and Allied Waste, the nation's second-largest garbage handler."

Several of us are maintaining ongoing contact with all appropriate law enforcement agencies. There will be more to come in the day ahead.

-- Maria Cudequest

On July 24, 2005 11:24 AM, poppins said:

Hopeful -

Of course we all know where to find Ms. Cudequest and ask her any questions or offer comments on the MetroEnviro operation. We’ve been hearing her unsolicited evaluation of every issue surrrounding this operation for the last 7 years. She’s offered her personal interpretation of the former board’s motives and intentions in every decision they’ve made. She “opines” (loves that word!) on the correctness or validity of every “alleged” (loves that word!) She “reviews” (loves that word!) every document presented to any official on a local, county, state and even out of state entity up to and including, New York, Connecticut, New Jersey and as far away as Ohio. She “opines” (and again) on these complex and highly technical legal documents without being asked to “opine” (and again!). To the best of my knowledge, Ms. Cudequest is an unemployed computer technician with no training at all to qualify her for making such judgments.

Why should we “find her to ask her questions?” Why should we go to her rather than to trained legal and environmental experts for anwers? Why would we not go to our Mayor, our Trustees or our professional staff? Why would we not go to our trained and authorized local and state agencies such as the Dept. of Health, DEP, DEC, County Waste Commission all of whom are commissioned and committed to monitor and control this highly regulated business?

Her obsession with all things related to the waste hauling industry is troubling. Where does it come from? What makes her so passionate in her interest in this operation. She apears to have little interest or concern over the Karta operation just 4 short miles to the north of us. Even though it’s reached by the exact same routes as those used to reach MetroEnviro. Karta has a history of multiple problems at its site up to and including 3 on-site accidental deaths in the past few years. Why is she not concerned about this operation? Since Karta is a major competitor of MetroEnviro it would seem to be a powerful and likely partner in Ms. Cudequest’s search for answers.

The above questions are troubling. They are reasonable questions and need to be answered without villifying or prejudging the motive of the questioner. Residents need to understand Ms.Cudequest’s intense involvement in the business of trash hauling.

Finally, I won’t reveal my identify for fear of her and her supporter’s reprisals.

On July 24, 2005 1:31 AM, hopeful said:

Mrs. “Smith”

I know where to find Ms. Cudequest to answer any questions I might have on Metro Enviro and so does anyone else. I am sure she would welcome any questions you might have outside of anonymous blogging. Please feel free to contact her so that she can answer your comments directly. As to your claim that she is printing her “version” of these events, I have read the articles she quotes from in her signed letter to this blog thanks to her CCC1 newsletter. The content is largely taken verbatim from the Hartford Courant, the News-Times, The NY Times, The Journal News, Waste Age, Waste News, law enforcement documents, and other reputable waste trade publications, etc. Here are a few more articles on this escalating scandal. These are just the last two day’s worth of links here but already 15 stories have been written in the last four days.

Here are those links to the most recent “version” of these events involving the feds, Westchester, Putnam, Connecticut, Allied in Kisco, Allied in Mamaroneck, AWD and other firms. If they don’t work, just paste them into your browser. The links may only last a few more days.

http://www.courant.com/news/local/hc-trash0722.artjul22,0,1503932.story?coll=hc-headlines-local

http://www.courant.com/news/local/hc-trash0723.artjul23,0,2224830.story?coll=hc-big-headlines-breaking

http://news.newstimeslive.com/story.php?id=73082&channel=Local

http://www.thejournalnews.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20050722/NEWS02/507220310/1018

On July 22, 2005 4:06 PM, Mrs. Smith said:

In a quote directly from Ms. Cudequest’s letter, she states “Because this information has always been of vital importance to the health, safety and welfare of our village, I believe the following must be as widely dispersed as possible” and then goes on to provide her own version and editorializing of the information. If you are going to give “information”, then make it just that and leave the rest out for people to make up their own minds instead of interjecting your own opinions. It amuses me that your no blogging policy only works when you would have to answer comments which do NOT agree with your opinions, and you usually blame it on the anonymity of the posters.

Those of us who have felt the bitter edge of your comments when we have dared to speak against you are happy to have a forum where we can speak plainly and not be harangued and villified for daring to speak out in opposition to you.

As I have said before, IF the village had taken Ms Cudequest’s line and said no from the beginning, we would have had all these lawsuits already, BUT would have had absolutely NO legal footing on which to base our arguments.

On July 22, 2005 2:06 PM, weewill said:

It would appear Ms. Cudequest finally recognizes that the history of the Metro Enviro site makes for difficult complex decisions and negotiations. The surrounding legal issues are complex and in some cases open ended matters to be decided either by the courts or by sensitive and responsible negotiations.

The granting or denial of this permit has never been a simple matter of “just saying no.” As stated in Ms. Cudequest’s latest post to Crotonblog. “…..this industry has been entrenched in this community for well over seventy-five years…” This fact will be a huge consideration in future court decisions.

I wish the present administration wisdom, strength and understanding in facing the challenges to come.



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