The July 30 article “Fracking opponents take sides at rally in Warren” commented that “the two sides shouted back and forth across the street for a time.” It may have left the casual reader with a mistaken picture of the July 29 Warren Courthouse Square rally supporting a ban on waste injection wells.
Most of the nearly 400 rally participants were unaware of the protesters, or even that a small handful of rally supporters briefly approached the protesters.
The six-hour rally and interfaith service by grass-roots groups from Portage and Trumbull counties was supported by 350 organizations and about 40 national, statewide and local Ohio grass-roots groups. Participants networked and shared information. It was aimed at bringing attention to the dirty secret of shale gas and oil extraction’s production of toxic waste.
If protesters had attended the rally, they could have brought their children for arts and crafts, talked with local wind and solar industry representatives, with Ohioans working to regain local control for their communities and members of grass-roots groups that had researched facts such as:
• Injection wells and horizontal drilling do not create jobs. They are highly technical industries requiring experienced, out-of-state crews.
• More than 1 billion gallons of fracking fluid waste have been injected in Portage County from 1978 to 2012.
• Ohio has given the green light for hundreds of thousands of tons of toxic and/or radioactive solid fracking waste to be dumped into our municipal landfills across the state.
• Shale waste and fracking fluids contain carcinogenic BTEX (benzene, toluene, ethel benzene and xylene) chemicals and radioactivity from the shale, but toxicity levels are not monitored.
• Ohio’s solar and wind industry is the state’s fastest growing industry sector.
• Trumbull County has 83,000 acres leased and has 17 active injection wells.
• Portage County has 18 active injection wells and eight new ones just permitted. If Trumbull County doesn’t have capacity for the waste from the hundreds of production wells likely to be drilled, its waste will come to Portage.
If, instead of trying to drown out Bill McKibben and then leaving, they had listened to all the speakers, they would know what it’s like living a few hundred feet from a shale horizontal well during drilling, fracking and flaring.
If protesters had attended the interfaith service, they would have heard the master driller and the industry “clean-up” manager describe how working with the chemicals used in drilling made them sick and “shattered [their] dreams.”
Gwen B. Fischer
Down to the people
In response to the July 26 letter “Time for change in the Falls”: I totally agree, but it has nothing to do with Mayor Don Robart.
The writer gives the mayor way too much credit. How can one human control the lack of jobs, the total lack of caring and manners in general?
How could one person teach parents how to be responsible for their children? Our neighborhoods have changed, and not necessarily for the better. We are all responsible to do our part, not depend on government.
I admit some of the things I see in today’s world are disgusting and depressing, but the people are the cause — and their greed, laziness, lack of pride and irresponsibility.
It’s like a cancer. The comments on July 26 were a political rant.
Barbara L. Williams
Moral judgment of women
I appreciated Ruth Marcus’ Aug. 1 column on Pope Francis’ remarkable query, “Who am I to judge?,” and I agree with her that, in many ways, “we as a society are less inclined to moral judgments” (“An uncommon question: ‘Who am I to judge?’ ”).
But I feel compelled to point out a major exception to this general tendency. The moral judgment of women continues to thrive, and even seems now to have gotten up a new head of steam.
According to Francis, any man, gay or straight, who “searches for the Lord and has good will” is qualified to be a priest and to serve as intermediary between humanity and God.
But no woman, no matter how chaste and inspired, can ever speak directly to the Lord.
Permanently stained by Original Sin, women are doomed for eternity to beg humbly for their salvation from the men who guard those Pearly Gates.
Meanwhile, in these United States, renewed assaults on women’s reproductive freedom reflect vigorous moral judgment of women in the most intimate aspects of their lives.
Measures are currently charging through Congress and state legislatures to drastically restrict women’s access to health care, health education, birth control and abortion.
Supporters of these initiatives make no bones about their condemnation of women’s “selfishness,” “irresponsibility” and “promiscuity.”
In the view of anti-choice extremists, a woman who terminates a pregnancy is a “murderer,” no less guilty than a maniac who guns down children in a schoolroom.
Just as no woman can ever be pure enough to talk to God, no woman can be trusted to take responsibility for her own reproductive life.
To save our souls, we must go to the priests. To defend our health, our lives and our civil rights, we must throw ourselves upon the tender mercies of legislators and judges, most of whom — surprise, surprise! — just happen to be men.
Sharon L. Shelly
Both degrading and insulting
After reading the “comic strip” “Pearls Before Swine” in the July 28 Sunday Comics, I let out a gasp.
I asked my 59-year-old niece to read it and heard the same gasp. This was degrading to women and insulting to readers.
My grandchildren, 8 and 10 years old, read the comics every Sunday. I cannot believe the Beacon Journal would pander to such trash and call it a comic.
If I see anything close to this type of “entertainment” in the future, my subscription will be canceled.