Newport Smelter Scoping Event: September 19, 2018

Newport Smelter Scoping Event: September 19, 2018 from Dan Eskelson on Vimeo.

Fighting this proposed Silicon Smelter, just across the highway from our elementary and secondary schools, just blocks away from the hospital and nursing home, and located in a bowl surrounded by mountains, takes up my time and attention these days. We, my family, attend meetings, seek facts, contact other communities that have or have had silicon smelters. It is clear that such a facility should not be built in or near a town and especially with the prevailing winds that will contaminate our valley, our forests, rivers, lakes, and harm the wildlife. This is a pristine area famous for summer water activities, and winter's heavy snows activities. Our elk, moose, deer, fish, and migratory bird populations also will be put at risk.

This little old lady spoke at the Scoping Event last month and you will see part of my testimony starting at 7:00 on the video.

We track research in other, similar silicon smelters in Norway, an increase in "lung neoplasms; silicon compounds; silicon dioxide; stomach neoplasms" in workers and In Mississippi. 

Laura and Larry do an excellent job of gathering information and writing informative letters.  

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Replies to This Discussion

Congratulations, Joan, for speaking truth ("...we don't trust you....") to power so eloquently.

Seeing through the fake history taught in America's schools isn't easy. I started seeing through it in Arizona's hardball politics. How did you do it?

@Tom, I started recognizing the lies when I worked with Athabascan Indians for two years in Kenai, Alaska, my awareness grew as I spent two years teaching in a Black housing development in Anacostia, VA, across the Anacostia River from WA, D.C. and was reinforced when I was sent by the Community Colleges of Spokane to teach courses on the Reservations north of Spokane. Those tribal members included the Spokane, Kalispell, and Flathead Indians. 

I suppose my interest began when, as a four & five-year-old little girl, my mother and I followed my father around with construction crews and we lived in small trailer camps. We trecked across the southern tier of the U.S. and I played and lived among "Poor Whites" from the south, Blacks, Native Americans, Asians. This was a pre-WW II project to build railroad bridges across the southern tier of the U.S. designed to move men and material back and forth in anticipation of the coming war. I played with the kids, ate with the families, and sat around tubs of water in the evening after the men returned from work. They showered, then we ate and gathered to sing and dance and play. I was completely color blind by the time I entered an all-white school system in Spokane after the war started. I did not see race, I saw playing, eating, singing, dancing with the whole lot. 

The struggle continues last night with a Community Environmental Legal Defense Fund (CELDF) and Responsible Growth NE Washington (RGNEW). We did all the things we were told to do to resist, i.e. submit questions during the SCOPE phase, testify at the public meetings, which I did and I am now known as the woman who said, "We don't trust you!" 

Now, we begin the civil disobedience phase of our struggle. 

Tonight is a meeting with the Kalispel Tribe who put a tremendous amount of money, time, and energy into this resistance. Their reservation is in direct line for the prevailing winds. We will work with a focus on the right of health of water, soils, air, flora, and fauna. 

@Tom Sarbeck, our state does not have the right of Initiative or Referendum. For the long-term change, it seems to me this is one avenue worth taking. Our politics in Washington State presents systemic problems that get in the way of citizen input. Can you advise me on what to suggest at the meetings?

This photo shows the edge of the school on the right-hand side of the scene, U.S. Hiway 2 between the school and the hill in the background. That hill is the place the Canadian company wants to put a silicone smelter. 

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