Blasting a New Entrance to Binkley Cave

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Re: Blasting a New Entrance to Binkley Cave

Postby wyandottecaver » Apr 19, 2012 4:59 pm

Tim,

in fairness to David he already said that using taxpayer money to develop tourisim was OK. His concern was whether (he said he didn't know) the request was to use taxpayer money to further a private, non commercial caving project. He may not know anything about the project, but his questions were sincere.

My questions are less about taxpayer money and right or wrong, since its mostly Horseshoe Casino's money, and the politics of Harrison County don't inspire confidence anyway. My questions are more curious and neutral in nature. Like why Gary (maybe) now wants to commercialize a cave he talked a developer out of commercializing decades ago (which is why Squire Boone exists btw), How Squire will feel about getting "cut off", How the TNC who has funded a lot of Binkley biology will feel, and how Gary's rumoured non-compete clause with Marengo might factor in.

As Shibimi said, the best source are the principles, many of whom I should see Saturday at the Indiana Caving Symposium!
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Re: Blasting a New Entrance to Binkley Cave

Postby David Grimes » Apr 19, 2012 6:06 pm

For further info on this topic I would like to direct everyone to a post by Gary himself better explaining the project.

http://forums.caves.org/viewtopic.php?f=9&t=13902
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Re: Blasting a New Entrance to Binkley Cave

Postby NZcaver » Apr 19, 2012 6:10 pm

shibumi wrote:Yep, you are just as free to express your opinion like anyone else. If I, someone who doesn't really have a position on the issue, read it that way then you might want to examine how you came across if it was not your intention to be offensive. As for the other point: I was addressing Jansen's implication that somehow moderators are above reproach. I'm a member of another hobbyist website that has a distinct moderator "elite" and it's pretty obnoxious there, I'm glad that that sort of attitude doesn't apply here.

Hi Anmar - I certainly didn't mean to imply moderators/administrators are above reproach. Sorry if I gave that impression. We're as human as anybody else in discussions, and we don't always get it right. But we do work hard to manage the forum in the best interests of all members and the NSS.

In this case I just felt it was a little ironic that somebody unknown to the forum pops up from nowhere and makes a post criticizing David without offering an explanation as to why he was wrong. For me, the lack of explanation stood out more than the criticism. I approved the post (as moderators have to do for all first-time posters) but I also felt I should respond even though I too don't have a dog in this fight.

Personally David's previous comments wondering about possible misuse of public funds didn't seem all that insulting to me, because I hear people going on and on and on about these issues a lot recently. Having re-read his posts again, I can understand how people involved in that project might be offended. Hopefully this guy Tim might take the time to reply and fill in the blanks. [Edit - I just saw Gary Roberson's post in the other topic which explains the plan in more detail.]
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Re: Blasting a New Entrance to Binkley Cave

Postby 2.0 » Apr 19, 2012 8:33 pm

David Grimes wrote:Tim, as I pointed out earlier I do not know any of the details about the project and never claimed that I did. I merely mentioned that to me it seemed odd that a group of cavers who have spent so much time on a project would suddenly want to open it to the public. There are a lot of details that are unknown to people outside of the ISS. It almost seems like my suspicions may have been correct seeing how the first ISS member to chime immediately starts attacking me personally after I express my opinion. If my suspicions are not correct and you have more details please enlighten us all. I have admitted I would like to know more and that my suspicions were probably wrong so I do not see why you are so upset. If my suspicions are correct then you can bet myself and everyone I know will fight this project all the way.

EDIT: I am also curious whats in it for the ISS? Will the ISS be managing the entrance and who can visit the cave through the new entrance? I just wonder why they are willing to pay out so much of their money to widen the road, there must be some payback for them.


David Grimes,

It seems the dust has settled a bit on this topic, but I want to address your posts on this matter. My name is Nick Benton, and I am a very active member of the ISS. I for one found your posts to be very irresponsible and filled with untrue rhetoric about the potential misuse of taxpayer dollars and ulterior motives by the ISS. Your suspicion
"maybe they were using the county and their political position to fund their personal project."
literally made me laugh, as I doubt any elected official in Harrison County is even aware of the ISS. I realize the record has now been set straight, but a casual reader of these message boards could easily mistake your "suspicions" as truths. Furthermore, the ISS goes out of the way to be transparent, open, and accommodating to ALL cavers and interested people. There are no politics or hidden agendas whatsoever. I feel your prior posts could, and possibly already have, given impartial observers a negative perception of the ISS. I believe a more constructive approach to your concerns could have been to do more fact finding rather than post your inaccurate suspicions for the caving community to possibly misinterpret.

Please allow me to set the record straight on what I do know. The ISS is not affiliated with developing Binkley Cave into a show cave. The ISS is concerned with conserving, exploring and surveying the Binkley Cave system. Gary Roberson is a key member of the ISS, however he is spearheading these efforts with other investors outside of the ISS. This will not be an ISS controlled entrance, it will be a private entrance to the commercial cave managed privately. I assume (and hope) the cavers of the ISS will be allowed to use this entrance once it is opened, but it sure isn't being blasted for or by us! Outside of Gary Roberson, the ISS and it's members had no input or prior information on his plans to commercialize the cave. I have no idea how long this has been in the works or who the other co-owners will be. We are all finding out the details from the article in the Corydon Democrat just as yourself and everybody else is at this point.

I personally have mixed emotions on the commercialization of Binkley. I've spent hundreds of hours exploring and surveying in this system, and a certain part of me wants it to remain pristine and unseen from the masses who may not appreciate it the same way I do. The more I think about it, the more I am warming up to the concept. Current landowner relations on all private entrances are in good standing, however, who knows what will happen in the future. If anybody is going to develop Binkley Cave with regards to caver access, conservation, appreciation and respect for the cave, it is Gary Roberson. He authored the book about Binkley Cave (50 Years Under the Sinkhole Plain) and has been involved with exploring this cave for over 40 years, along with the development of Squire Boone and Marengo Caves, and I'm sure he knows what he is doing on this endeavor. Many people in Corydon and Harrison County have no idea there are caves under their feet, much less a 30+ mile monster such as Binkley. If this brings more awareness to ground water pollution and conservation for the karst area under Corydon, it is a good thing in the long run.

I plan on being at the Indiana Cave Symposium on Saturday, and hopefully Gary is in attendance so he can speak about this project himself. I'm sure he will have an interested audience to say the least!

Any further replies or dialog should probably be directed to the thread Gary started himself on this topic.
viewtopic.php?f=9&t=13902

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Re: Blasting a New Entrance to Binkley Cave

Postby David Grimes » Apr 19, 2012 9:05 pm

Nick, as I mentioned the article was very vague and my concerns were completely legitimate. It is not like Harrison county has not seen corruption in the recent past. I did not accuse anyone in particular and with the exception of official announcements not many people are quick to believe everything they read here as fact.

I only mentioned the ISS because the article specifically states the ISS will provide half of the funding to widen the road. I realize this is probably just an error on the writers part or perhaps a smaller group from the ISS is planning to fund the project under the name of the ISS.

As for getting facts first, I do not feel I made any statements that someone knowledgeable about caves in this area as well as caving projects would not have logically arrived at. Gary's statement shed a lot of light on the plans that the article leaves out, like the fact that this would be a commercial cave not just a public entrance which the article made it out to be.

I appreciate your input as well as Gary's but my original statements were valid arguments so I will not apologize for that. Personally I would love to know more about the project and I hope more information will be available soon.
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Re: Blasting a New Entrance to Binkley Cave

Postby 2.0 » Apr 19, 2012 9:44 pm

David Grimes wrote: I only mentioned the ISS because the article specifically states the ISS will provide half of the funding to widen the road. I realize this is probably just an error on the writers part or perhaps a smaller group from the ISS is planning to fund the project under the name of the ISS.


David, at no point does the article mention the ISS will provide half of the funding. The quote is
Mathes said he would like to split the cost 50-50 between the county and Roberson's group.
"Roberson's Group" is in reference to Gary and the group of investors that are developing the cave and not the ISS, although I agree the article is very vague and leaves a lot of unanswered questions. I hope to learn more about this project myself in the coming days, weeks, and months. Just out of curiosity, since you live in Harrison County, have you spent any time in the Binkley complex? I've been pretty involved in Binkley caving the last several years, but I don't recall caving with you at any point specifically.
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Re: Blasting a New Entrance to Binkley Cave

Postby David Grimes » Apr 19, 2012 10:23 pm

The article is to blame for my assumption about the ISS. I will admit that is my mistake but when it mentions his work on the cave with the ISS and refers to Roberson's group I assumed they were speaking of the ISS. I don't think that is too much of a stretch to assume given the wording of the article.

I personally have never taken part in any of the Binkley trips and I have never been in the cave. I used to be a member of the Harrison Crawford grotto and I still get the grotto updates about planned trips but I have been traveling a lot over the last couple years and have not found a lot of time to help out on projects, I am generally in Florida about 5 months of the year. I am sure we know a lot of the same people but somehow have never crossed paths.
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Re: Blasting a New Entrance to Binkley Cave

Postby caverdan » Apr 20, 2012 9:32 am

We already have 4 commercial caves in the state of Indiana. I'm not convinced another will draw any more visitors, but... no one asked me.


Every year LP and I head to Florida to see her mom. We take different routes and like to visit show caves on the way. Having four or five caves in an area will help draw us to that area. We would rather see several caves than drive all that distance to see just one. The more the merrier for us. :kewl:
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Re: Blasting a New Entrance to Binkley Cave

Postby wyandottecaver » Apr 20, 2012 3:31 pm

Actually, having several attractions in relative proximity can help. People may not go out of their way for 1 cave, but if they can see 2-3 in the same area they are more likely to visit. In this case, the proximity to the interstate will be a help. Knowing Gary, having caved and explored in the system, and having managed and visited many commercial caves, I have mixed feelings. However, the one thing you can count on is that as long as there is a commercial entrance, at least somebody is gonna have access!
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Re: Blasting a New Entrance to Binkley Cave

Postby Cody JW » Apr 20, 2012 6:19 pm

NZcaver wrote:
T-Bone wrote:David Grimes,
Do you often go on and on about subjects which you know absolutely nothing about? Just curious.

Tim McLain

Welcome to the forum, where everybody goes on and on about subjects whether we know anything about them or not.

But seriously - if you're implying you know more about this Binkley thing, why don't you enlighten the rest of us? If not - did you really just make your first post a one-liner insulting our forum administrator? I mean, really? :shrug:
NZ, I would just like to Chime in here if I may. Tim is a new poster but I am familiar with Tim and he has been on many of the key survey trips into the cave along with Nick (2.0) . I think Nick is the son of John Benton who was in on many of Garys early trips to the cave. I would defer to Tim or Nick as I know he and Nick have contributed much to the survey and likely know Gary better than many others on the forum. I would also like to back up Nicks claim of The ISS being transparent. They along with Dave Everton welcome anyone to join their efforts regardless of ones experience. They have a web group where they give details of all of their trip reports to anyone who wants to be on the list. Dave is willing to customize a survey trip around the experience of anyone who wants to join. The ISS and this survey is as transparent as I have known in my 30 years of caving. I just wanted to post this to help qualify Nick and Tims opinions.
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Re: Blasting a New Entrance to Binkley Cave

Postby caveflower » Apr 20, 2012 6:39 pm

:yeah that:

Jeff Is right they even let someone like me go with them. Old crippled lady. What ever Gary thinks is best for this cave I'm sure will be the right thing for Binkely's. No one loves that cave and the area around more than him.
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Re: Blasting a New Entrance to Binkley Cave

Postby David Grimes » Apr 20, 2012 7:11 pm

Cody, I know you are 100% correct as I personally have received many of the announcements looking for anyone who wants to help out. I wasn't implying anything bad about the ISS and as it turns out the ISS is not even involved in this project.

I have never met Gary but the general consensus is that he is the guy for the job and I am not here to argue with that. Personally I do not know a lot about the ISS and even if they were involved I would not assume they are hiding anything but rather I was just not informed as a non-member.
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Re: Blasting a New Entrance to Binkley Cave

Postby NZcaver » Apr 20, 2012 7:39 pm

Cody JW wrote:NZ, I would just like to Chime in here if I may. Tim is a new poster but I am familiar with Tim and he has been on many of the key survey trips into the cave along with Nick (2.0) ....
...The ISS and this survey is as transparent as I have known in my 30 years of caving. I just wanted to post this to help qualify Nick and Tims opinions.

Thanks, Jeff. I'm totally cool with that, and I appreciate Gary and Nick taking the time to fill us in with more information about the ISS etc.

I already explained about my response to Tim. So far he has yet to share any real opinion here at all. Sometimes when a person pops up with a snippy remark, they get a snippy reply. No real harm done, no hard feelings - we're all human. Simple as that. :waving:
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Re: Blasting a New Entrance to Binkley Cave

Postby mtwebb96 » Apr 21, 2012 2:57 pm

I have to agree 100% with Cody on this one. Tim and Nick are both major cogs in the recent exploration of Binkleys. I have known Nick's dad John and Gary for over 20 years. Everyone I know that have been involved in this project for many years are top notch people as well as cavers! If Gary feels this is the best way to protect this cave I would defer to his vast knowledge of the cave and the people that live near or over the cave. Gary has always had conservation and protection of caves as a top priority!
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