Ever had any problems with a neighbor? What if all your neighbors were having the same problems with this one neighbor? What would you do if this neighbor shined a huge bright light into all of the windows in your neighborhood? What if this same bad neighbor made deafening noises all day long in your neighborhood? What if this neighbor caused terrible smelling fumes that kept you confined to your residence? What if these fumes caused you to have seizures and rashes? Don’t you think the law would be on your side in getting this neighbor to stop his behavior that is harming the whole neighborhood? The answer is no if your neighbor is an oil/gas corporation. Just ask the residents of Westwood Lake Park in Weatherfield Township, Ohio who have a nearby fracking well as a bad neighbor. The residents did have some good folks from Frackfree Mahoning Valley, Occupy Youngstown and some other “fractivist” who were able to get the problem mentioned in the local media. Unfortunately, the editors of our two local newspapers, Dan Rivers at WKBN talk radio, Tracey Winbush who has a WSOM talk radio show and local politicians (of both parties) are pro-fracking.
A study by Won-Young Kim, a researcher at Columbia University that was published in the Journal of Geophysical Research wasn’t even enough to get local media and politicians to be on the side of Westwood Lake Park residents. It stated “A single fracking wastewater well triggered 167 earthquakes in and around Youngstown, Ohio, during a single year of operation.” A local company was caught dumping hundreds of thousands of gallons of fracking waste into the Mahoning River. That was still not enough to get the local media and politicians to help solve the problems happening to the Westwood Lake Park residents.
At a Niles City Council meeting Niles resident, Dave Bishoff spoke in support of fracking, citing possible economic gains available to Niles residents as a result of the oil and gas industry. He attended an informational roundtable Sept. 9 hosted by council on the subject. “I came away impressed that there are regulations in place and steps being taken that will protect both the citizens and the environment,” Bishoff told the packed chamber. “I agree that a compromise can be reached where the neighborhoods can be protected, but we can benefit from the economic prosperity of this.” I’d point out to Dave there have been no steps taken to protect the Westwood Lake Park residents. He’d know that if he’d have attended some of the outreach meetings the resident had around the valley. Instead he was too busy attending informational roundtables put on by the oil/gas corporations. As a matter of fact Dave do you know what the Westwood Lake Park residents have gotten now that they complained about getting rashes, seizures and being blinded and deafened? They now have ………………………….two more wells being constructed nearby the one that has been their worst ever neighbor.
Those resident are being tortured because of lemmings like Dave who only want to see the bottom dollar. They are being tortured by the oil/gas companies that laugh at the residents misery while depositing their oil/gas profits at the bank. Our area media laugh at the residents daily suffering while they are at the bank cashing checks from ads run on their TV and radio stations by the oil/gas industry. Butch Tayler from 396 Plumbers and Pipefitters union chuckles at the residents issues as he and his union plumbers cash checks from their temporary jobs with the oil/gas companies. The Youngstown/Warren Regional Chamber has suffered none of the devastation of the residents but they have experienced some of the trickle down money from the oil/gas industry so others suffering can be overlooked. Throw in our bought off politicians and you’ll see that the bad guys easily win this round as they have deep pockets. As for the residents of Westford Lake Park their problems have now tripled.
Our Mahoning Valley has an area minor league baseball team called, the Scrappers. The Scrappers name was chosen to represent the toughness and tenacity of our valley’s residents. The residents of Westwood Lake Park and the folks who helped get the Youngstown, Ohio Community Bill of Rights on the Novemeber 2013 ballot are the real Scrappers of our Valley! Residents of Youngstown will be voting on November 5th for the right to have clean air and water. See more info on the Youngstown, Ohio Community Bill of Rights here.
You’ve probably already heard ads by Butch Tayler from 396 Plumbers and Pipefitters union to vote against The Youngstown, Ohio Community Bill of Rights. The union is part of the Mahoning Valley Coalition for Job Growth and Investment which is spending lots of money to defeat the bill. This organization claims to be a partnership of business, political, labor and community leaders united in support of shale development and in opposition to the proposed Youngstown charter amendment. Do you know what else they are? They are the same people who turned their backs on the residents of Westwood Lake Park in their hour of need. Do you know who the people who proposed the Youngstown, Ohio Community Bill of Rights are? They are many of the same activist that tried their hardest to help the residents of Westwood Lake Park. No need for black and white cowboys hats here to figured out who the good guys are.
Get out and vote for the good guys! While speaking of good guys remember it is both the Democratic and Republican parties that turned their back on these area residents when they needed help. If you live in Youngstown vote for Green Party candidate Susie Beiersdorfer for Youngstown Council president. Susie is definitely a Scrapper in a white hat!
The Mastersons: “Not One Word More”