Archive | November, 2011

Koppers/Beazer East Superfund, Gainesville, Florida Ann Lowry, Koppers Victim and Refugee Citizen Comment Gainesville City Commission Meeting November 17, 2011

22 Nov

I am Anne Lowry.  I am a Koppers victim and refugee.  I’m here to question the City’s commitment to protecting its citizens from the impact of the Cabot-Koppers Superfund Site.  Almost 30 years of inaction to protect residents not to mention the City’s recent actions against Koppers’ victims are absolutely deplorable.  Gainesville’s Koppers’ victims are ignored, bullied, marginalized, and considered collateral damage by government officials at all levels. We are left to die in our contaminated homes. 

 

And as if that wasn’t enough, we are now additionally victimized by our own City.  What are you, our City officials, thinking?  What kind of message are you sending to the community?  Can you tell me how you would interpret the following actions that the City has taken against sick and dying families and children in the Stephen Foster Neighborhood?

1.  The City awarded a $25,000.00 art grant for a “feel good” Koppers Art Project that excludes protest art by activist artists.  The residents’ health issues are not just about cancers but also all the other illnesses such as neurological, skin, and respiratory disorders, miscarriages and birth defects, and so on.  There is also the loss of our property values, with many of us having to abandon our homes and leave behind friends and relationships because of the necessity to protect our health and safety.  So the Koppers’ refugees keep growing in number, and our lives as we knew them are destroyed because of Koppers.  Sick and dying residents, children, and pets, abandoned homes, and destroyed families, friendships and neighborhoods are definitely NOT appropriate subjects for feel good art projects!  So what are you thinking?

2.  The City broke into and entered the home of the late Maria Azcoitia without any notification to family members.  They heartlessly removed Maria’s ashes from her home and dumped them on her sister’s doorstep.  The City told neighbors and the police that the home was to be demolished before any notice was given to the family.  When notice was finally given to her family, they were told that the City will be demolishing Maria’s home at the family’s expense.

3.  The City trespassed and took part of Farlinda Osteen’s property without notice and then gifted that property to Koppers/Beazer, erecting a fence on Mrs. Osteen’s property without any notice.  City employees still trespass on her property to maintain the fence while City Codes Enforcement and other City agencies continue to harass Mrs. Osteen regularly.

I can go on all night about the City’s additional and ongoing victimization of the Koppers’ victims.


 

Approximately $200,000.00 worth of grants have now been awarded mostly to one group “Protect Gainesville Citizens”.  Instead of our government giving grants to a group that does not have the immediately affected Koppers’ victims best interests at heart, all of that money should have been put in a trust for the relocation of victims.

 

So in closing I would like to say to you our elected officials, you are delirious when you state that the City is committed to protecting its citizens from the impact of the Koppers Superfund Site.  Your actions against already stressed citizens tell a different story.  Just because you make a statement, doesn’t make it true.


Anne Lowry, Koppers Victim and Refugee
Citizen Comment
Gainesville City Commission Meeting
November 17, 2011

Advertisements

Koppers/Beazer East Superfund, Gainesville, Florida Farinda Osteen Gainesville City Commission Meeting November 17, 2011 Citizen Comment

22 Nov

My family and I are Koppers Victims.  I have lost many members of my family to multiple cancers and illnesses related to the Koppers chemical contamination.  All my five children were born with birth defects such as deformed limbs or missing organs, a missing part of the brain, a lung, stomach, a kidney,  and with neurological damage- in total over 20 members of my family have died from cancers or their health is severely impaired because of the Koppers Contamination.

As you can see I’m also suffering from the Koppers contamination and my health is getting worse every day. I have been testifying for decades about the fact that the Koppers contamination has been and still is killing us.  We are sick and dying here in Gainesville because of the Koppers Superfund Site.

The much needed relocation that we have been asking, pleading and begging for has been denied to us.  After almost 30 years it looks like I too will suffer the same fate as many of my family members and neighbors because our government has failed residents of the City of Gainesville.

While other Superfund Sites get their relocation and environmental justice we are left to die.  And even worse our own City government is engaging in illegal tactics and violations of its own laws to victimize us further.

With no notice you trespassed: my land has been illegally taken and gifted to Koppers and Beazer.  Once again with no notice, you put up a fence and to date continue to trespass my property whenever you please to do whatever you want as if no one lives there and the property is yours.

 

You have already taken my property and it is obvious by all the harassments you inflict on me on a regular basis that you don’t want me there.  Well I don’t want to be there either. You do whatever you want there whenever you want, so pay me the full price of my property so that I can move.

City Officials have no respect or consideration for residents.  Laws in this City are used only against defenseless citizens: the disabled, the terminally ill, and especially Koppers Victims.  If you are not rich and connected, the City of Gainesville will go after you.

You are guilty of human and civil rights violations against your own citizens- this City is not protecting its citizens. Instead you are victimizing us even more than we already are.

Your actions are shameful and disgusting- I never thought that I would be treated in this way here in the United States of America!  I come from a long line of US MARINES that have shed blood and died for this country; my family has donated hundreds of acres for cemeteries and other community needs in Gainesville and Alachua County. For you to treat me like this when I’m disabled on a fixed income, I consider your actions to be criminal acts against humanity.  Therefore, I am also calling for a Federal Criminal Investigation.


Farinda Osteen

November 17, 2011

Koppers/Beazer East Superfund Gainesville, Florida Gainesville City Commission Meeting- November 17, 2011- Citizen Comment – Roy Geiersbach

19 Nov

Gainesville City Commission Meeting- November 17, 2011- Citizen Comment
My name is Roy Geiersbach.  I and other residents have requested water samples for independent testing because, as we all know, GRU does not test for the Koppers contamination.  Only Koppers/Beazer does the testing for the ongoing chemical contamination of the source of our drinking water.
According to GRU’s Rick Hutton, the city does not have the rights to its own water supply!  Only Koppers/Beazer can grant our request.  Since you are denying our request for independent testing of our water, I would like to know:  When did you give exclusive water rights to Koppers/Beazer?
I also want to know where and when did the public hearing for this gifting or sale take place?
The whole city has been MIA for the last 29 years and not protected its citizens.  You all continue to perpetrate the sham of a “cleanup” to keep the citizens in the dark concerning the lethal nature of the contamination of Gainesville and its drinking water source.
So all of you are aiding and abetting Koppers/Beazer to commit its legalized murders of the citizens of Gainesville while you keep the entire city in the dark.  The corporate criminals are the ones testing our water and you deny us independent testing.
How long have all of you been on Beazer’s payroll?
And then to add more insult to injury, you give grants to people and groups who do not represent the immediately affected dying individuals, families, and children!  These grants are for feel-good Koppers art.  Protest art and artists are not invited or allowed to participate.
You are appalling and disgusting, and by the way, these are very nice words for what you are doing and have done to protect the people who elected you!
For almost 30 years we have jumped through hoops and gone to all the dog and pony shows, and you have done NOTHING for us.  And, by the way, we don’t want any more dog and pony shows, fuzzy math, made-up numbers, or made-up science.
What we want is permanent relocation out of our toxic homes and neighborhoods.
To repeat what I said to the county, you all need to be in jail for these criminal acts, and I am still demanding a Federal Criminal Investigation.  We have suffered enough.  After the investigation, I’ll visit you in the slammer.
Roy Geiersbach- Resident, Stephen Foster Neighborhood

Kopper/Beazer East Superfund Gainesville, Florida Gainesville City Commission Meeting – Alice Alonso

19 Nov

Gainesville City Commission Meeting

November 17, 2011
Citizen Comment
My name is Alicia Alonso and I am a victim of Koppers and of the City of Gainesville.  Last year I lost my non-smoking sister, Maria, to lung cancer.  My husband, myself, and our dog all have cancer.  My husband and my dog are now terminal.  We live a block and a half away from my late sister’s home.  She lived across the street from Koppers.
Last week I received a call from the Gainesville Police Department telling me that they had Maria’s ashes.  They told me that City Codes Enforcement had ordered them to remove my sister’s ashes from her home because it was scheduled for demolition.  I was shocked- I had not been notified of any problems with the property, including anything that would require the drastic measure of demolition.
A couple of weeks earlier, a neighbor said that they saw Codes Enforcement on the property removing the no trespassing sign warning of its contamination.  On the day GPD called, Codes Enforcement had returned and broken into the house with no permission and no notification.  The property is no longer secure since they broke the lock and irresponsibly left the house wide open.  The City’s “compassionate” plan calls for the demolition of the property at any cost, and forcing the survivors to pay for it.
This is not how a city takes care of its already victimized, sick, and dying citizens.  The City of Gainesville claims to be committed to protecting its citizens from the impact of the Cabot-Koppers Superfund Site.  I say your actions prove that this statement is a lie.  My entire family has been repeatedly and mortally wronged.  Instead of helping suffering residents, you are inflicting even more pain and distress on them.
If you want us out of the area so badly, why don’t you just buy our properties.  We will be happy to leave.
Mrs. Alicia Alonso
Resident, Stephen Foster Neighborhood

Koppers/Beazer East Superfund Gainesville Florida Citizen Comment October 20, 2011 Gainesville City Commission Meeting Roy Geiersbach

17 Nov

My Name is Roy Geiersbach

I am formally requesting two water samples from the testing wells that are located in front of my home on city property so that I can have them independently tested.

I have requested these samples from Doctor Mousa and he is ignoring my request and not returning my calls.

And since GRU Does Not Tests, I repeat GRU Does Not Tests for the Koppers chemicals that are contaminating the source of our drinking water, “Floridan aquifer”, the testing is done by the polluter Koppers/Beazer.

This is the Fox watching the Hen House, and this community needs and deserves to have independent testing.

Too many have died and many more have left the neighborhoods calling themselves Koppers Refugees.

All of my neighbors are now dead or have abandoned their homes.

These are Corporate environmental crimes we need immediate and permanent relocation, this has gone on for far to long.

Our human rights and civil right are been violated by all government and agencies that jobs is to protect residents and their environment, we are not been protected.
Gainesville is a Sick and Toxic City and these human rights violations have to stop! You our elected officials have allowed Koppers to become a National Disgrace.

This is criminal and I am demanding a Federal Criminal investigation.

Thank you
Roy Geiersbach

Gainesville City Commission Meeting Thursday, November 17th

17 Nov

Gainesville City Commission Meeting Thursday, November 17th,
City Hall Auditorium, 200 East University Avenue, across from Bo Diddley Plaza

We will address Koppers and the City’s treatment of residents during the citizen comment period.

Come and speak, or just come and be present- your presence matters!

Please note that the city commission requires all citizens who want to make comments to sign in before 6:00PM.

Koppers/Beazer East Superfund Gainesville Florida Citizen Comment October 20, 2011 Gainesville City Commission Meeting

2 Nov

I want to thank Commissioner Chase for his emailed clarification regarding the inclusion of Koppers on this year’s legislative priority list.  This inclusion is long overdue.  Sadly, in the nearly 30 years since Koppers was declared a Superfund Site, despite many requests from diverse citizens, it has never been included on the list of the most critical issues faced by our City and its denizens.


Commissioner Chase, you are right in noting that during the legislative forum of 2009, Senator Oelrich stated that the City of Gainesville had never placed Koppers on the legislative priority list and that this was surprising to him because the Koppers contamination was just as bad or worse than New York State’s infamous Love Canal where the affected residents had to be permanently relocated.


Representatives for the immediately affected residents informed Senator Oelrich at the time that we were shocked that Koppers was not on the 2009 priority list- especially since we had asked our mayor, Pegeen Hanrahan, to please include Koppers on this list.  Mayor Hanrahan promised residents that she would do this, but to our great disappointment she never did.


For decades, Koppers has been polluting our city, the source of our drinking water, the Floridan Aquifer, while the multitude of testimonials from affected residents about their illnesses and deaths of their family members have fallen on deaf ears.  


This is the first time in the sorry history of our local Superfund Site that our City has actually considered the ongoing contamination important enough to be placed on the State’s legislative priority list.  So we thank you Commissioner Chase for being the first City Commissioner to expedite this issue on behalf of our sick and dying residents.


Corruption and corporate greed have been killing families here in Gainesville and in countless other communities across the nation for far too long.



Sandra Watts Kennedy

President, Stephen Foster Neighborhood Association, Incorporated