Martz-Kohl Thanks a Good Partner


Article Contributed by
Walt Pickut
Martz/Kohl Board of Directors

The Martz-Kohl Observatory in Frewsburg has become a very popular local attraction, a valuable community asset and an important educational resource for the entire Western New York region. The observatory deeply appreciates the people of Frewsburg for their interest in our work, their support, and their partnership in our scientific and educational achievements.

It has become clear that whatever is good for Frewsburg is good for the Martz-Kohl Observatory, and we believe the same is true in return.
As a result, Martz-Kohl has worked alongside the town of Frewsburg for many years to evaluate Sealand Waste LLC’s repeated proposals to build a landfill within the town borders and within a mile of the observatory. Concerns have grown that Sealand cannot achieve the protections and guarantees needed to safeguard the observatory or the community.

Frewsburg citizens have generously included Martz-Kohl’s concerns in their responses to Sealand’s renewed attempts to overturn local laws and rulings. Russell Payne, a concerned local citizen, offers the following thoughts. Interested readers can learn more at

Payne writes: Despite previous legal victories and a 2007 town law against future landfills, the Town of Carroll once again is forced to fight back a repeated attempt by Sealand Waste, LLC to build a landfill on a 50-acre rural parcel of land. In an almost fourteen-year fight, the town board and a large majority of 2,100 local residents oppose the landfill.

On Wednesday, February 7th at 6:00 p.m. in the Frewsburg High School auditorium*, a legislative hearing will be held with the state Department of Environmental Conservation and Sealand Waste, LLC regarding a permit application for the Jones-Carroll landfill. The public is invited to attend and comment.

A continuously unified town board has spent significant funds rejecting the attempts by Sealand Waste to reopen and dramatically expand a long-closed, small, three-acre landfill. In 2007, the town enacted a law banning any future landfills. Sealand has issued numerous unsuccessful court challenges to the law, yet is once again requesting a permit to operate a landfill operation on Dodge Road.

Some of the main concerns of residents include:

  1. Groundwater pollution. The on-site creek is part of the Mississippi River watershed.
  2. Environmental noise, safety and traffic issues due to 200 waste-filled trucks every day.
  3. A nearby Chautauqua County tax-payer funded landfill is already in operation, more than adequate for present and future needs.
  4. Sealand’s facility would operate in direct competition against Chautauqua County.
  5. Operational harm to neighboring Martz-Kohl Observatory.

Russell Payne invites all local citizens interested in this issue to please attend the meeting at 6:00 p.m. on Wednesday evening, February 7 at Frewsburg High School.

*If school is closed for weather or other reasons on Wednesday, the meeting will be held on 2/8/2018 instead, in the Frewsburg High School auditorium at 6:00 p.m.

For a deeper look at the night sky, planets, stars and the entire universe, visit the Martz/Kohl Observatory online at, check the schedule of events and visit in person. Thank you to Hall and Laury Opticians for sponsoring these Martz/Kohl column.

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Walt Pickut
Walt Pickut’s writing career began with publishing medical research in1971 while working at the Jersey City Medical Center and the NYU Hospital and School of Medicine. Walt holds board registries in respiratory care and sleep technology as well as bachelor's degrees in biology and communication, and a master's degrees in physiology from Fairleigh-Dickinson University in New Jersey, with additional graduate work in mass communication completed at SUNY Amherst. He currently teaches Presentational Speaking in the Houghton College PACE program at JCC and holds memberships in the Society of Professional Journalists and the American Society of Business Publication Editors. He lives in Jamestown with his wife Nancy, an MSW social worker, and has three children: Dr. Cait Lamberton in Pittsburgh, Bill Pickut, a marketing executive in Chicago, and Rev. Matt Pickut in Plymouth, IN.