Issue 25 – May 2001
Things to Do
Raw/Natural Foods Announcements and Information
Reforming Military “Engineering”
Nuclear Protesters Michael Sprong and Bonnie Urfer Sentenced to Prison
News from EVA YAA ASANTEWAA
Scandals Put Hold on Aerial Spraying (by Juan Gonzales)
75% of Genetically Engineered Food in U.S.
Added danger to those previously felled by pesticides.
Can Golf Course Fertilizer Regulation be a Precedent?
Seek Witnesses to Pesticide Spraying Illegally on Water
Union Square Sprayed with Malathion
The No-Spray fundraising letter is on the Gary Null website!
Please make contributions (sorry, not tax deductible) to the No Spray
Coalition, address above. Check out pledge form on home page! Thanx.
Still no ruling from the judges on our appeal. A supportive ruling would enable us to apply for an Injunction to block this year’s spraying.
Waiting…. waiting …. Meanwhile, Joel Meyers has been updating the NoSpray Web Site, and you should be able to read a number of legal documents, NoSpray Newz’s, Robert Lederman’s columns, and other great stuff in a few days.
Lots and lots of work (and play) going on. Here’s some things we need help on:
a) Help mail out fundraising letters Thursday, May 10. We need around five more volunters here in NYC. Please call Cathryn to help, (212) 343-2209.
b) Next No Spray Coalition general meeting, Tuesday, May 15th, 6:30 pm (place to be announced; — if you have a suitable location we can use (fit 15-30 people) please let Mitchel know).
c) Upper West Side (Manhattan) Forum, Wednesday, May 23rd, 6 pm, Blessed Sacrament School, 147 W. 70 St. (between Columbus & Broadway). Lots of help needed leafletting stores, subways, churches. Contact Jody Friedman, (212) 787-0883. (and thanx to Sandi Miller for that spiffy new flyer!)
d) Demonstrate against forced Electro Shock “therapy”. Called by Gary Null. No Spray should have some banners there (anyone want to make one?!) and flyers. Monday, MAY 21, 2001, at noon, at Attorney General Elliot Spitzer’s office, 120 Broadway, lower Manhattan.
Here’s a message from Cathryn Swan <email@example.com>:
The No Spray Coalition needs your help in trying to raise funds and awareness to stop the impending spraying of toxic pesticides on us and our environment — yet again. Despite intentionally ambiguous news reports, New York City has every intention of spraying pesticides this year. Here are some ways you can help:
*FUNDRAISING MAILING – THURSDAY, MAY 10TH, MANHATTAN – volunteer help needed: If you are available Thursday, May 10th late afternoon & evening, please join us for a fundraising mailing from either 4:30-7 or 7-9ish. We will be meeting in Soho, downtown Manhattan, convenient to all trains. Please contact me if you can help and I will forward the location. (And feel free to bring chips and beer.)
*JOIN THE FUNDRAISING COMMITTEE: Interested in being part of the Fundraising Committee? Help plan benefit concerts, meet exciting musicians,see the world … contribute other ideas. Please contact me, Cathryn, either by email at firstname.lastname@example.org or via phone, #212/343-2209.
*MEDIA COMMITTEE: Interested in joining the Media Committee in New York City? If you (or someone you know) is interested in putting together press kits, alerting/faxing the media, and more, please join. We’d like to do more press work & could use help — anyone with some time, resources, ideas is invaluable.
Mitchel’s PS — Cathryn Swan’s done a great job keeping the media informed, getting out immediate counter statements from No Spray every time the officials open their mouths on the issue, and so forth. She needs help! CALL HER, PLEASE!
*LOCAL EVENTS: If you’d like to set up a fundraising event in your area, the No Spray Coalition can arrange for speakers and provide information for flyers. At the last No Spray meeting, we began targetting neighborhoods in New York City for community meetings and teach-ins.
Meg Feeley and Mitchel Cohen travelled to a meeting of the New Jersey Green Party last week. Jerseyites are beginning to set up a more active No Spray effort there. We’d like to see this expanded EVERYWHERE.
If you can help with a meeting in your neighborhood or plug into what we’ve started, that would be great. Outside of New York City is very important… New Jersey, Long Island, Boston, Cleveland, Detroit, North Carolina, more. Please let us know. We can provide dynamic speakers and information. And don’t forget to tell your friends to come to the first No Spray forum
of this year, which will take place on the Upper West Side, Manhattan, on Wednesday, May 23rd at 6 p.m. We are working on another one in the Lower East Side/Chinatown and also in Flushing, Queens; more are in the works. We need to mobilize local residents to participate. We CAN stop the poisoning of ourselves and the environment. We’re making lots of headway. So let’s GET IT ON!
Leafletting in these areas is important as well. We’d like to have a month-long string of events. Please help set one up in your area. Contact Mitchel Cohen: email@example.com.
Dear Friends and Supporters:
I am working on three directories for my website which are meant to put people all over the world who are following the raw/live food lifestyle in touch with each other.
One directory will be entitled: Raw Lifestyle Centers .
In this one I will list Centers or Teachers in the USA and all over the world who offer services to the raw/live community. They could be any alternative health related services, such as massage, colonics, iridology, etc. but always at the core they would have to be proponents of the raw lifestyle.
The second directory will be entitled: Raw Potlucks.
Here I will list all the regularly occurring potluck events in USA and the world.
The third directory will be entitled: Raw Restaurants.
Of course, here I would like to list all the restaurants that offer either exclusive or at least a partial raw/live food menu. Again for US and world.
I have many entries in my directories now, but am putting out this message because there are surely many that I have missed. If you know of any Raw/Live Food Lifestyle Centers, Teachers, regularly occurring Potlucks or Raw Restaurants, could you please forward their names, phone numbers and/or emails to me.
THIS IS GREATLY APPRECIATED.
PS — Rhio’s great book, “Hooked on Raw: Rejuvenate Your Body and Soul with Nature’s Living Foods”, is going into yet another printing. No Sprayers can get it at a special discount by contacting Rhio at the above email address.
*** Call to Reform the Army Corps of Engineers
Perhaps no other entity is responsible for more coastal environmental damage than the Army Corps of Engineers. The Army Corps builds seawalls, groins, jetties, and other hard coastal structures as well as concrete based flood control for rivers. The Corps’ large infrastructure projects are responsible for a staggering amount of coastal environmental damage. Environmental Defense and its partners have proposed legislation for badly needed reform of the Army Corps
of Engineers. The legislation, not yet introduced into Congress, is called the Reform Act of 2001 and in the words of Environmental Defense, “The purpose of this legislation is to revise the project review and authorization procedures at the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. The aim is to increase transparency and accountability, to ensure fiscal responsibility, to balance economic and environmental interests, and to allow greater stakeholder involvement.” More info: http://www.environmentaldefense.org/programs/Ecosystems/ArmyCorps
Mitchel’s Note: The Army Corps of Engineers has submitted a plan to dump wastes into the Eastern end of Jamaica Bay, and into pits six miles off the coast of Coney Island. On this day, May 9th, 31 years ago, Abbie Hoffman led a heroic and HUGE group of protesters in a march against the War on Vietnam, and to free political prisoners, on the White House (this was 5
days after the killing of anti-war students at Kent State). A few years later, Abbie, while underground, organized under an alias, Barry Freed, against the Army Corps of Engineers plan to disrupt and reconfigure the St. Lawrence River. The community organized by Abbie and others BEAT the Army Corps of Engineers, and Abbie (in disguise) was awarded a certificate by the Governor of New York, and posed for pictures with US Senators — none of whom knew it was him.
We miss you, Abbie! And the struggle against the ravagers of the earth continues ….
MADISON, WISCONSIN–This afternoon, Magistrate Judge Stephen L. Crocker of the Western District of Wisconsin sentenced nuclear protesters Michael Sprong and Bonnie Urfer to prison for sawing down three transmission poles at the Navy’s ELF facility in Clam Lake, Wisconsin, on June 24, 2000. ELF stands for Extremely Low Frequency, and the ELF towers send one-way messages to the U.S. fleet of Trident submarines loaded with nuclear warheads. Sprong, 38, of Marion, S.D., received a sentence of two months, with one year of supervised release, and was ordered to pay $7,492.44 in
Urfer, 49, of Luck, Wis., received a sentence of six months, with one year of supervised release, and was also ordered to pay $7,492.44 in restitution. “When the prosecutor said no one has the right to act above the law, that includes the U.S. government and the Pentagon,” said Sprong in his statement to the court. U.S. readiness to wage nuclear war is against
international law and constitutes “a war crime and a crime against humanity,” he argued. Before her statement, Urfer showed a film of the bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, followed by a tape of a 1999 talk by Dr. Steven Younger of the Los Alamos Labs entitled, “Why Are Nuclear Weapons Important: The Los Alamos Perspective.” In that tape, Younger told the staff of the labs, “You get people’s attention when you threaten the existence of their country.” “Project ELF is part of a system ready and waiting to unleash the equivalent of 85,000 Hiroshima-sized bombs,” said Urfer. “I withdrew my consent a long time ago to this mad acceptance of mass extermination. It doesn’t matter that U.S. courts legitimize our genocidal weapons of total destruction,
I must and I will continue to work for complete nuclear disarmament in the spirit of nonviolence no matter the consequence because it is, for me, the decent and humane thing to do.”
Urfer is co-director of Nukewatch, a nonprofit organization based in Luck, Wisconsin, that is opposed to nuclear power and nuclear weapons. The maximum sentence that Judge Crocker could have imposed on each defendant was one year in prison and a $100,000 fine.
After hearing the sentence, Sprong said: “I’m surprised. The term of imprisonment is less than I expected. I’m really perplexed by this judge.He’s obviously a thoughtful man, and he went up to the edge of the abyss but then concluded that, ‘I have to do my job.’ We’re all looking into the abyss. And either we just say we’ve got to do our jobs, or we resist these weapons of mass destruction.”
For more information, contact Nukewatch at P.O. Box 649, Luck, WI 54853, firstname.lastname@example.org, (715) 472-4185.
Most of you know that, for two years running, I’ve talked about how my health was directly affected by the city’s pesticide-spraying war on mosquitos. Last year, the violent allergic effects even caused me to injure myself, impairing my mobility, a combination of illness and injury that required several weeks of recovery.
Since the first year of spraying, I have noticed that my allergic reactions of all kinds are now more intense. I am a basically healthy person who works hard to stay that way. I’m usually able to ward off colds or get them out of my system fairly quickly, but that doesn’t seem to be the case anymore.
(As I write this to you, I’m recovering, very slowly and very carefully, from a severe bout with the flu.)
I believe I am now more vulnerable to respiratory illnesses than I have been in any years since childhood. While I cannot prove a connection to the pesticide spraying, I think it is curious that these changes have come within the past two years. I know that there are many communities (particularly communities of color) within our city where the asthma rates are unusually high, and I know that these pesticides are capable of damaging people with already-existing respiratory disorders.
The first year, when I reached out to the activists who have put out the letter that follows this note, I thought more people would be concerned and outraged, but the media worked along with the Mayor and the Health Department to quiet any doubts. The second year, more of the public became alarmed. BTW, if you don’t yet see the need for alarm, let the No Spray Coalition show you the videotape they have that shows a spray truck ambling down Harlem streets at night, spraying everything (and everyone, including a pregnant woman) in sight.
Okay, I’ll go quietly now. But I just wanted to give you a proper intro to the No Spray Coalition’s letter. Yes, I’m one of their lawsuit plaintiffs, and I have spoken on the behalf of their efforts on a few occasions and testified in court for them last year. I am not an “environmental terrorist.” I am a native New Yorker who loves nature dearly and wants to breathe freely, and I want that for you, too.
The city’s West Nile virus mosquito-spraying program was put on hold yesterday after the Health Department opened bids for a three-year multimillion-dollar pesticide contract and only one firm submitted an offer. That firm, Illinois-based Clarke environmental Mosquito Management Inc., has been under investigation by the state Department of Environmental Conservation and the U.S. Labor Department for the way it handled its $4.6 million city contract for massive spraying of the pesticide Anvil last summer.This column reported in January that at least six former Clarke workers say they’ve been plagued by a variety of ailments as a result of exposure to Anvil, including chronic fatigue, sexual dysfunction, breathing difficulty and air loss. The men charge that the company didn’t provide adequate safety equipment or training.
After investigating their claims, the federal Occupational Safety and Health Administration cited the firm for five serious safety violations and fined it $6,750.
“The issues raised by OSHA are of a minor nature,” said company spokeswoman Julie Ugarte. Clarke agreed to a settlement with the agency only to “avoid the cost of litigation,” she said, and it is “cooperating fully” with the state investigation.
The state probe has not concluded, but investigators have recommended a far larger fine against the company for violating state environmental laws, according to one source.
Environmental Conservation spokesman Peter Constantakes would not say how close his agency is to wrapping up its probe.
“There are meetings about this going on right now,” Constantakes said yesterday.
Meanwhile, city Health Department officials refused to declare Clarke the winner of two new three-year spraying contracts yesterday, even though the company was the only contender, entering a total bid worth about $277 million. “We’re reviewing the situation with this bidder,” said Health Department spokeswoman Sandra Mullin. “Everything is under review right now.
That’s all I can tell you.”
The bid opening, held in a tiny, cramped office at the Health Department headquarters by staff analyst Ira Spector, was a strange event, to put it mildly.
The only people in the room were Spector, two other city employees serving as witnesses, a group of lawyers and activists from the Environmental Law and Justice Project, and this reporter. [NoSpray members were also present — MC]
It didn’t take long to open the one bid.
A local pesticide executive who decided not to participate told me later his company took a pass because the city requires a high-performance bond that only the biggest companies — like Clarke — can afford. And, he said,Clarke, as the sole manufacturer of Anvil, controls the supply.
Spector reported that on one contract Clarke had bid $264.2 million, and on the other $13.4 million, and that it was the sole bidder for each.
If that sounds like an astronomical price for killing mosquitoes, it is. The actual money spent will turn out to be far less, but the city required all firms to provide bids for several insecticides to kill larvae and adult insects and for a variety of application methods — including fixed-wing aircraft for aerial spraying — any of which the Health Department could choose.
“The actual dollars spent will end up being about 20% of that,” the pesticide executive said.
But only 20% of the bid price still would mean in excess of $50 million over three years — far more than the city spent on spraying last year. “Anyway you look, it’s high,” said another pesticide executive whose out-of-town firm participated in prebid meetings but ended up not competing. “Part of it is the potential for litigation in New York City is extremely high.”
One of those litigators is Joel Kupferman. He filed the original complaints with OSHA and the Department of Environmental Conservation on behalf of the former Clarke employees. Kupferman called on Health Commissioner Neal Cohen yesterday to reject Clarke’s bid until it has been cleared of any “malfeasance” involving last year’s contract.
Original Publication Date: 4/3/01
CITY DOH BID OPENING ON RESTRUCTURED WNV LARVICIDE CONTRACT
After being presented with a letter from the Environmental Law Project which called on Commissioner Neal Cohen to refuse to grant Clarke, a pest control firm which had just been cited by OSHA and was about to be fined by the State, a new three-year contract for West Nile Mosquito Control, and after having Juan Gonzalez raise serious questions about the fairness of the new
contract in his 4/3 NY Daily News column, the City Health Department announced that it was cancelling Clarke’s $277 million bid.
It appears that the Health Department is both breaking down the massive contract into its component parts, and cutting it down from three years to one year. The Invitation to Bid that is currently on the table is for Larviciding in 2001 and encompasses hand and backpack application of VECTOLEX CG (Bacillus Sphaericus), a biological larvicide applied throughout the five
boroughs last year, and hand application of ALTOSID (methoprene) briquets to catch basins.
The good news is that it appears that the City has backed off its plans for aerial and truck applications of both Vectolex and Altosid. The bad news is that Altosid is being re-deployed despite the fact that it is a growth hormone disrupter implicated in the massive lobster die-off on Long Island Sound in 1999. Since the ’99 West Nile outbreak, when cities and counties began floating Altosid briquets in storm drains and spraying malathion and Scourge to kill mosquitoes, the lobster industry in the Sound has virtually collapsed. Last August, New York- and Connecticut-based lobster fisherman filed suit again the five pesticide companies which manufacture Altosid and other pesticides blamed for the die-off.
The New York Times reported on March 31 that a research team headed by biologist Hans Lauter, will receive a $250,000 grant from Connecticut’s Department of Environmental Conservation to pursue the first phase of research into a possible link between Altosid, a chemical Lauter helped develop, and the lobster deaths.
Meanwhile, the DEC is expected to conclude its investigation of Clarke soon. The investigation was initiated by the Law Project when it filed a complaint on behalf of eight former Clarke spray workers who had been poisoned on the job due to Clarke’s negligence. An enforcement action against Clarke, including fines and possible suspension of their NY State registration to apply pesticides for violating federal and state environmental laws in NYC’s West Nile campaign last year, is imminent.
Regards and support of your righteous work to keep ‘death from the dinner table’. We pray your work reaches all with ears closed to the spray issue. The mass medication, unconscious to the masses, is alarming! Did you know that 75% of all the genetically engineered foods are used in the US? Are we crazy?
This forward is from a brother in trouble. Please read and act.
Anybody want a list of the genetically engineered foods from Greenpeace?We are doing Naturopathy, O2 therapy, Naturopathic educatiion for medical missionaries (Free ND program) in Priest Lake area. Always available to help as needed even tho it may not be in $$$
Could you please pass this on to the mayor of NYC. I was planning a visit to NYC this year. As a former New Yorker born and educated, I have to go back to my roots and see my family. We wish to have a family reunion in NYC for my parents 50th wedding anniversary next year.
Since I was poisoned by Dursban, I could die from a whiff in the air of these pesticides New York sprays. You would never know it’s from the parts per trillion pesticides, the EPA considers asthmatics disposable. I would just be another unsolved cardio/pulmonary failure. The first time I almost died, happened after a granular pesticide product had been down four days
and well watered in. The emergency squad couldn’t find a pulse after I breathed a whiff in the air.
Could you please ask the Mayor of NY if he could tell us when it’s safe for the tourists to come to NYC. Is there a website of the sprayings. Are there maps of where the applications are being made. I would need to avoid the area for at least 2-3 half lives of the product to be reasonably safe. Got to go to the Met, Mama Leone’s, World Trade Center again. I love to stay at
the Renaissance on Times Square they have windows that open. High up the air is great. Have to be driven everywhere, but with so many cabs and limo drivers, no problem. My son hopes MTV will be in town. I don’t understandwhy you spray when some other people may die. It makes no sense. Haven’t you heard of the Allercare report where people had life threatening asthma attacks from the secret fragrances added to a pesticide that kills dust mites for allergies? People not in perfect health are the acceptable risk. People like me die.
Linda J. McElver
PO Box 3253
San Luis Obispo, CA 93403-3253
From: “Sharon Kroeger” <email@example.com>
I believe it was one of your references that mentioned a court Case on Long Island where the judge found that 5 golf courses could not fertiize with poisons but must work organically instead. In this connection there was some kind of Monitoring Board which was supposed to keep track of conditions and outcomes…..Am I getting this right? Can you give me the reference? I want to get the legal mechanism, since this may be a precedent, and we are about to get another golf course here in an organic
food producing valley…. Thanks, Sharon
I sent out the following to about 150 email addresses and message boards of NY area boating orgs, kayakers, paddlers,yacht clubs, sailing schools, etc. Included board members and members where applicable, also sail instructors and crew. (Thought
this better than ‘sitting on the dock of the bay’.)
Included: Harlem YC members, Stuyvesant YC board, City Isl. YC (City Island), NY area crew list, Manhattan Sailing school, NY Sailing School, Knickerbocker YC, New York YC, Miramar and SHeepshead Bay YC (Sheepshead Bay), Lincoln Harbor YC (weekhawken), Catskills Fly fishing center, a live-aboard list, two NY area paddlers boards and the New York Kayaking club. Anyone have any others? I guess we’ll see! MKF
I am a researcher and policy analyst with the New York Environmental Law and Justice Project. We are co-counsel, along with Robert Kennedy’s Pace Environmental Law Clinic, in a suit against New York City for violating the Clean Water Act with its spraying of the pesticides Fyfanon-ULV (malathion) by helicopter in September/October 1999, and Anvil 10+10 Sumithrin) in the summer and fall of 2000.
We are trying to reach boating enthusiasts, sailors, canoers, kayakers and other folks who spend time on the water within New York City who may have witnessed the direct application of these pesticides over water, in violation of State and Federal Law.
You may be aware that the massive use of pesticides may have been a factor in the Long Island Sound lobster die-off in 1999. There are also reports of such possible toxic poisonings at Clove Lake Park (an in-land pond in Staten Island, also in 1999) as well as the Oakdale, L.I. area. With State funding, New York City has already begun the process of bidding for the new spray
contracts for this summer, with no evidence of a health threat. The health of marine life and our waterways is at stake.
If you can help us to spread the word to boaters, we would greatly appreciate hearing from them. I can be reached in New York at (917) 507-4350 ext. 2, or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Alternately, contact The New York Environmental Law and Justice Project at 315 Broadway, Suite 200, New York NY 10007-1121. Joel Kupferman, Esq. email@example.com. 212-766-9910.
Many thanks — Meg Kallman Feeley
FYI On march 28th Union Square Park was sprayed with malithion & something else. It was a yellow dye. Now that it rained it washed up on everything. How do I get pamphlets & info. to hand out? People should be giving out info at the greenmarkets, especially Union Square. I am willing to volunteer some time.
Will be forwarding a donation even though I’m here on Cape Cod, MA. Have been following all your excellent work through the internet and know that this is a legal battle for all not only New Yorker’s. Sue F.-MA Association for the Chemically Injured (Rep) firstname.lastname@example.org
Please check out the fine upstate NY radical newspaper “GroundScore”. You can write for it as well. Subscriptions are free, so if anybody you know wants the paper, all they have to do is drop us a card, or sign up on our website.
PO Box 191
Retsof, NY 14539