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The Tentacle


March 26, 2009

Answers, Please!!

Joan Marie Aquilino

The trash wars that now plague our county are out of control. Ignoring them would be easier because the personal attacks get very gender specific and personal, calling women trash bags, dumb blondes, depicting them as stupid and overly emotional to name a few.

 

If you dare disagree with anti-Waste-to-Energy (WTE) proponents, be prepared to watch your back. Highly respected women are having their reputations attacked and hearing threats made both privately and publicly. Blast emails are being sent out accusing them of all sorts of things, with no proof of anything. What next? So, yes, for obvious reasons, I’d rather not be taking them to task.

 

Then that part of me that has been so involved with this county for the past 25 years remembers how much I love this place and why I do what I do. It would be irresponsible to turn a blind eye and ignore half-truths, rhetoric, misinformation, lies and threats.

 

Longtime friends barely speak anymore, anger and hostility reign and little has been accomplished except a division in this county over an issue (trash) championed by Commissioner Kai Hagen and his Boulder partner in crime, Ms. Caroline Eader. He claims he has the answers and vision for this ever-changing world of ours; but, for whatever hidden reason, he seems incapable of sharing those solutions with the public, or even his colleagues.

 

He claims doing nothing is the right thing to do. If we all stop producing trash, we could afford to do nothing. Is that going to happen? No, so obviously we need to do something. Yep, last time I checked one plus one still equaled two.

 

It could be said that this is the stuff fiction novels are created from, except, in this case, it's unfortunately all too real. While others were working on solutions, I guess the “Anti’s” were working on a fight no matter what the option might have been. I would have predicted some bickering, a little chest thumping, and then a final compromise that would be in the best interest of all Frederick citizens and by now implemented.

 

The anti-WTE folks assume that we can reduce, reuse and recycle our way out of needing this incinerator, based on the assumptions of still others. They further assume that there are no risks to their alternative solutions which we can never really know, because they are a secret until WTE is taken off the table.

 

Once again, those pesky little threats rear their ugly head. I can visit WTE plants or landfills and see them in action. I know landfills are leaks waiting to happen, and anything we can do to minimize the use and development of them is a good thing.

 

The alternatives, we're told, are superior. Few in number, short track record, therefore no costs available. For all we know, they could cost even more than WTE. Right now recycling is our most costly trash disposal option.

 

This is not a political issue because it's done nothing but bring Republicans, Democrats, Independents and even non-affiliated together in their efforts to find solutions. All options on the table have come from the people looking for solutions, not – and I repeat not – from the one sided Anti-Incinerator bunch. Anyone can look up a website and that's all Commissioner Hagen has presented. He needs to give direction on how these things can be implemented in our area. It’s not a pick up and plop situation.

 

A perfect example of doing – and not just complaining – happened at the last public hearing. George Lindsay spoke, offered options, did research and presented it in such a manner that Commissioners Jan Gardner and Charles Jenkins picked up the ball and ran with it.

 

Mr. Lindsay, just a regular citizen and not an expert in this area, did the research all by himself and BAM! Within a week these two commissioners made phone calls and arranged a trip to explore the option of Arrowbio.

 

I’m not saying this will or will not work; but it’s the way to bring forth an option. Commissioner Hagen had every opportunity to do exactly the same thing and didn’t, instead saying it’s not his job to do the work. Well, if it’s not his job, then exactly who’s is it? What exactly does he think his job is?

 

Commissioner Hagen’s commitment seems to be to bring our county to its knees in a battle that will produce nothing but losers. While continuing to receive a paycheck, he allows his colleagues to do all the work of running our county during his many absences. So far I've not witnessed a line he or Ms. Eader and their followers will not cross. No one is safe from their attacks.

 

The newest Anti WTE kid on the block is the CFIAnow group of three. One of the members has told many of us he has the alternatives and he’s ready to debate them. When asked what they are, he goes silent and refuses to talk about them.

 

Do I even need to ask the next obvious question?

 

I wish those attending the Waste Not expo this weekend well. I was told by one of the organizers, if I want answers, they will be there. I’m willing to listen. Put it on the table like Joe Citizen, Mr. Lindsay, did.

 

This Board of County Commissioners has my support in whatever direction they choose to go short of a full-blown landfill. I feel confident at this stage of the process that the decision will not be made inside a tunnel for the majority of them. I sincerely believe some form of WTE is a reasonable and acceptable method of disposal. Our county needs to be accountable and responsible for its own trash.

 

…’til next time…

 



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