Letters from the week of December 28, 2000


Letters from the week of December 28, 2000

On Guard
An officer and a gentleman: As a student at Penn Valley Community College at night, I sincerely appreciate Tony Moton's efforts to cover the story of campus security and bring this issue to the public ("Officer Friendly," December 14). If Penn Valley were really concerned about safety, they wouldn't have fired Mike Wead, as he was such a good officer. They're mad because they got caught with their pants down.

I hope this situation improves soon, because I know my life is worth more than $10.48 an hour.
Lakeitra Spight
Kansas City, Missouri

Foul Play
Dramatic reading: This letter is in reply to Dennis D. Hennessy and Richard Carrothers, artistic directors of The New Theatre Restaurant. Their letter to the Pitch about Steve Walker was rude and unprofessional (Letters November 30). Unfortunately, it made them look bad. Deliberately excluding a member of the press on the basis that he doesn't give the reviews these artistic directors want is very immature. It does not elevate them in any way to sling mud at a reviewer, and it doesn't help their chances of selling more tickets.

Steve Walker has been a theater critic for as long as I can remember, working for the (Kansas City) New Times before the Pitch. I have found his reviews to be accurate, even if they are harshly worded at times. Perhaps Mr. Walker is, like many of us, fed up with the bland and repetitive nature of Kansas City theater.
Name Withheld Upon Request
Kansas City, Missouri

The Sludge Report
Waste not, want not: In her letter of December 7, the Water Environment Federation's spokesperson Lori Mundhenke gave the typical response to Joe Miller's well-written and -documented article on the dangers associated with sewage sludge disposal ("Field of Bad Dreams," November 16). She exhibits the true qualities of the sewage sludge spokesperson, calling themselves a "water quality professional," by attacking the writer, the paper, and the victim. She also uses some of the infectious symptoms to make fun of the people involved.

Aerosol biological and toxic chemical agents from the city's sludge spraying and irrigation program can and will cause intestinal and neurological damage. I know Mr. Williamson assured Miller that the city only injected sludge, but the evidence is documented at www.springday.com/jimbynum.

Ms. Mundhenke is right -- the land is now worthless for growing food crops. However, she is off-base when she says, "Mr. Bynum wants the city to buy his worthless property for $10,000 an acre. Are we really expected to believe that he had an offer for $650,000 for property that is valued at $47,000?" The city's attorneys have a copy of that contract, as did Joe Miller. So where does she come up with, "Apparently Pitch Weekly would like to help Mr. Bynum with this attempt at extortion by printing this garbage"?

When these people are destroying our land, and people are getting sick and are dying, they will say anything to distract our attention from the truth. As an example, the latest EPA/WEF scientific study for its Biosolids 2000 program found that under certain circumstances, there was minimal chance of infection from airborne Salmonella typhi bacteria or Coxsackievirus B3, if the exposed population lived 10,000 meters from the sludge site plot tested. It is apparent that the study's authors believe that only biosolids placement workers would ever be within 100 meters of a sludge disposal site. There are folks in Kansas City who live about 100 meters from a 1,200-acre sludge site. The only thing between them and the sludge disposal site is a Missouri River flood levee. This type of situation would put them in great danger.

What EPA and WEF counts on is that "not all individuals who become infected will also become ill." But they also say, "The potential for an increased risk of work-related illness in such biosolid workers is collaborated (sic) by numerous epidemiological studies, which have shown higher rates of illness in wastewater workers," though "few if any, epidemiological studies have been done on workers at the actual biosolid land application facilities."

Dr. Raymond Singer has a case study on neurological damage caused by exposure to sludge (www.neurotox.com). He says, "Toxic chemicals can damage the nervous system and brain. A person may or may not be aware of such damage when it occurs. Neurotoxicity is the result of such damage. Symptoms may include problems with memory, concentration, reaction time, sleep, thinking, language, as well as depression, numbness of the hands and feet, confusion, and personality changes. Legal problems may result from irrational or unusual behavior."
James W. Bynum
Edgerton, Missouri


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