Saturday, November 26, 2005

GRASSROOTS WATCH:
ZenFo Pro Joins Kinfolk, Town of Ava in Opposition to OHSWA Landfill

(ZP) -- I was sitting in this bar at the Beeches, this resort-type inn where I'd been boarding for the last few nights.

I couldn't sleep. I tried driving around downtown Rome, a decrepit blue-collar community where Old Milwaukee and Keystone Light billboards seem to be more prevalent than good paying jobs.

I hit a few bars around town, but still no go. Still thinking too much.

I had just spent the day learning about the systematic rape and pillage of the community of at the hands of the State of . I had just learned the details of the molestation of some of the Empire State's most pristine countryside to make way for a landfill.

This new dump is, of course, being built by destroying wetlands and threatening wildlife, with only sheets of black plastic stapled into the ground standing between the earth and the pollutants this monstrous pit will contain.

This new dump is, of course, being built on the conscripted bones of old family farms and butting smack-dab against the ' Memorial , an 800-acre swath of land dedicated to the the many who've died in war to protect freedom.

I'd spent the day hearing stories from local community members who've spent more than a decade fighting it, drove past the scores of signs reading "Dump the Dump," "Protect our Children," and "Big $$ or Your Children's Future?"

I've talked to members and supporters of the Adirondack Communities Advisory League, or ACAL, viewing pictures of murky runoff, dead trout, and the effects of the bipartisan screwing of the small farmer.

For decades, New York's elected officials - on every level, from Cuomo to Clinton, from Schumer to Pataki - have failed to protect the environmental well-being of the citizens of (where The ZenFo Mom was born), (where one of the ZenFo Cousins runs a bar), and Ava (home to numerous ZenFo Kin and where the ZenFo Grandpa is interred).

What's the lives of a few thousand rural folk, when there's elections to be won and campaign contributors to blow in NYC, Rochester, Syracuse, Albany, and Buffalo?

And then there's the ominous-sounding Oneida-Herkimer Solid Waste Authority, created in 1988 to build the damned thing. (Is it jus me or does it sound kind of suspicious that three of the nine members of the OHSWA Board of Directors are retirees from defense contractor GE Aerospace?). Apparently, there doesn't seem to be any sort of governmental oversite of this agency, given the fact that they've been getting their asses kicked for almost two decades by farmers in throughout Oneida and Herkimer counties.

How does one write about the home of one's ancestors being turned into a dump?

No wonder I can't sleep.

7 comments:

Leigh said...

I don't blame you. When will they learn? *sigh*

Alice: In Wonderland or Not said...

So your home town in like on the western edge of the Adirondacks?
For some reason I thought you were from the south.

Anyway I love the Adirondacks in general but have never really been to the Western Adirondacks.

They really need to save everything they can in NY state. They will never learn though.

The ZenFo Pro said...

Leigh:
Yeah. LOL...tequila turns out to be a great sleep aid. Its sad...my great-uncles and aunts (you can't walk around any of these towns without tripping over one of my mom's relatives) hve been fighting this since it started. Its equally sad that even some environmentalist groups have blown them off - I was told colleg students were initially involved but got bored - but because a good portion of people don't even have high school educations, I guess that supposedly makes them easy targets.

Alice:
LOL...no, I'm a native Southerner, by the grace of God - first 18 years of my life spent in Green Bay, Virginia (pop. 1100, 10 last names). But my mom's a Yankee...no less love for the mom's kinfolk. Up until a few years ago, I really knew very little about mom's family...they were just names on Xmas cards when I was a kid. Much closer with my Virginia and Louisiana kin.

The W. Adirondacks is absolutely gorgeous, but seems to be extremely economically depressed. This stupid landfill is only supposed to be serving two counties, yet is being built, apparently, to serve a much bigger pop. and prepped to house low-level radioactive waste. ACAL's big problem is the long-term effects and the blatant corruption of the project.

Ms. Monkeythong said...

Sad to say, this goes on all over. Esp. in Louisiana, I've read. I know of several instances of environmental racism/classism in Cincinnati. And AK Steel in Middletown was releasing toxic runoff into a creek that runs behind an elementary school. If they can get away with it, they will.

Girl on the Blog said...

can you only imagine what the land is going to be like for our children and our children's chidren? we are doing this to ourselves and if we don't stop it soon... we will be living in shit... literally!

The ZenFo Pro said...

MM:
Yeah, Louisiana's gaping ExxonMobile and Dow Chemical wounds are now sticking out like a sore thumb - Cancer Alley's hard to over up anymore, with all the EPA and FEMA folks down there now. As for Ohio, this is the first state I've ever lived in where they give three-column warning of toxic fish when you get a fishing license.

GOTB:
My children and grandchildren? Terrifying thought.

Anonymous said...

wow...middletown's like near here. so where are they supposed to dump the trash? is this place like near syracuse?