Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Why Can't You Look Her In the Eye - Who's Afraid of Who?

Kangaroo Court Hearing Sentences State Forests, Goats, Other Living Things to Death: Another Bloody Day In the Ongoing Battle For Ohio
Three Women - A Baker, A Forester, and A City Councilperson - Alone Stand Up to Industry

Three Women - A Baker, A Forester, and A City Councilperson - Alone Stand Up to Industry (Angry Mothers Have Yet To Arrive Upon Scene...)

Testimony from Michele M. Papai, Athens City Councilperson, 3rd Ward can be read here: http://naturalresources.house.gov/UploadedFiles/PapaiTestimony2.27.12.pdf  while she delivered it the committees refused to meet her gaze. Testimony from Christine T. Hughes, owner of Village Bakery, Della Zona, and Catalyst CafĂ© can be read here: http://naturalresources.house.gov/UploadedFiles/HughesTestimony2.27.12.pdf    Testimony for Faye Krueger can be read here: http://naturalresources.house.gov/UploadedFiles/KruegerTestimony2.27.12.pdf

Minutes earlier the floor had trembled, shifted and caved under the wrenching calls for justice by a dozen outraged citizens. Proceedings continued on a decidedly uneasy bent with integrity of the committee members and their ability to make any decision called into complete question now.  OhioFraction covers the daylight shedding moment in their post which we are re-posting with permission below:

 Concerned Residents Mic-Check Rigged Congressional Hearing on Fracking [original post can be read on their blog (click here) ]
Show $3M Connection Between Campaign Contributions and Favors to Big Oil  STEUBENVILLE, OH – A dozen anti-fracking Ohio and Pennsylvania residents were escorted from today’s congressional field hearing on natural gas after interrupting the proceedings and attempting to present members of the committee with a $3 million check representing the money spent by industry just on members of one congressional subcommittee.
Held by the Congressional Subcommittee on Energy and Mineral Resources, today’s event was the latest in a series of field hearings designed to promote hydraulic fracturing (a.k.a. “fracking”) as a solution to the economic and energy crises.  Also in Steubenville only weeks ago Ohio Governor John Kasich held his State of the State address where he lauded the fracking industry and was met with protests and a ‘mic-check’ that disrupted the speech.
        Residents pointed out that Chairman Doug Lamborn (R-CO), Glenn Thompson (R-PA), and Bill Johnson (R-OH), have collectively received a total of at least $267,084 in campaign contributions from oil and gas corporations and therefore clearly have a conflict of interest that makes them unfit for reviewing the human health, environmental, and economic impacts of fracking.[1]
Although not invited to testify, residents handed out pamphlets containing testimony regarding fracking’s environmental devastation, as well as the Subcommittee’s history of taking donations from the oil and gas industry, amounting to a sum of approximately $3 million split between 18 members of the Subcommittee.  This is part of the $747 million spent by the industry for fracking as part of a 10-year lobbying campaign to persuade federal authorities to ignore the dangers of fracking as reported by Common Cause in their report “Deep Drilling, Deep Pockets.
Lamborn, Thompson, and Johnson repeatedly claimed that fracking has never been linked to a proven case of groundwater contamination, each time eliciting laughter from audience members who replied by shouting: “tell that to Dimock,” referring to the Pennsylvania town notorious for its fracking-contaminated water.
During Ohio Oil and Gas Association executive vice president Tom Stewart’s testimony, a resident of Youngstown, OH and professor of geology Susie Beiersdorfer led the dissidents in a mic-check: “Members of the Subcommittee have received $3 million from the oil and gas industry.  That is why Congress lets fracking poison our water and land.”
The protesters then attempted to present a giant check for $3 million from the “Ohio Water Drinkers Association” and were forcibly removed by security, shouting “We can’t drink money” and “We will not be bought” as they left the room.  Afterward, protesters held an impromptu press conference immediately outside of the building.
Diana Ludwig of Youngstown, OH, told reporters: “What we witnessed today was the best Congressional field hearing that oil and gas money can buy.  They say fracking is safe, but the benzene is in the ground and they can’t take it out.”
[1] Citations for all campaign contribution data found at

Other coverage:
"House Republicans went to eastern Ohio touting hydraulic fracturing to add U.S. jobs and cut fuel costs. Instead, lawmakers met skeptical residents, highlighting the divide over environmental concerns about fracking", Bloomberg News  Read more.....

"Fracking Opponents Clash With Republicans in Ohio, Urge U.S. Ban", Business Week  Read more.......

Coverage from Youngstown WYTV 33, Read more....

Residents Mic-Check Congressional Hearing on Fracking, ohiofracktion: to save the land and people Blog , Video here, 1 1/2 min....

Congressional Field Hearing on Fracking Called "Dog and Pony Show" by Residents, ohiofracktion: to save the land and people, Video here...

Mic check Subcommittee on Energy and Mineral Resources, Video here...

PUBLIC INPUT ACCEPTED UNTIL March 8. The public record will be held open for comment for 10 days after the hearing - meaning they will post your comments if you send them and request they be posted to the public record at naturalresources@mail.house.gov
or send them by fax to: (202)-225-5255
A list of the energy and natural resources subcommittee members is posted here:
You can contact them individually here:
or collectively here ( they will only see your message collectively if you request that it be copied and delivered to each subcommittee member):

Feb. 27 hearing coverage reports can be read (click here).

Webcast of the hearing can be watched here, click here  [OR look for the link entitled >Watch the Archived Hearing Webcast< near the top of this page]   Mic check process begins at 1:05 - :07 (1 hour, 7 min) (NOTE HOW LONG the People of the United States were allowed to speak!)

Five hours later concerned citizens met with legal teams for advice on how to proceed in securing human rights for Americans, specifically those living in Ohio.

Public meeting with legal advisers, Youngstown, Ohio

NEXT EVENT March 11 Please SHARE the inspiring #frackfree video - Share the Events - More information available at http://ohiofracktion.com/m-14-occupy-ooga/
>>Ohio Oil & Gas Association 65th Annual Winter Meeting Columbus MARCH 14-16
>>Occupy The Ohio Statehouse - Occupy The Rust Belt-OHIO- Regional Occupies Action#1 MARCH 13-14
>>OhioFracktion Training Workshop to learn Non-violent Direct Action MARCH 11 SUNDAY

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Youngstown, Ohio, Town Hall To Discuss Man-made Quakes, Gas Drilling Under Area Parks, Forest, Cemeteries

For Immediate Release: February 21, 2012
Youngstown, Ohio - On Monday, February 27, 2012, a group of concerned Youngstown citizens and panelists will hold the second in a series of open public town hall style informational meetings to provide new and updated information and to answer audience questions about events related to the 4.0 magnitude Youngstown area earthquake, fracking and related processes associated with shale gas drilling, and brine toxic waste injection wells.
New, additional topics will include risks involving the possibility of gas industry-related drilling under Poland Township’s Lowellville Cemetery, Mill Creek Park, and Poland Municipal Forest. The meeting is coordinated by Frackfree Mahoning Valley and will take place at The First Unitarian Universalist Church of Youngstown, Channing Hall, at 6-8 pm at 1105 Elm St. (Elm & Illinois), Youngstown, Ohio.  Media and the general public are invited to attend. 
Ohio State Representative Robert Hagan will be a panelist at the February 27nd town hall as will Geology Professor Ray Beiersdorfer, Ph.D., who will give an earthquake update. Lynn Anderson, member of the Guardians of Mill Creek Park, will explain why hydraulic fracturing (fracking) near Mill Creek Park and the adjacent residential area should not be allowed.
In light of reported high risks of fracking to public health and safety, Frackfree Mahoning Valley is concerned about local and national accounts of actual drilling, or the possibility of gas well drilling, under or near cemeteries, homes, schools, Mill Creek Park, Poland Forest, farms and elsewhere.
According to geologist, Susie Beiersdorfer, who will moderate the town hall meeting, “More and more citizens are waking up to the reality of serious risks of fracking-related processes to drinking water and air quality, as well as man-made earthquakes in our area. The idea that there would be any discussion at all of placing injection wells or hydraulic fracturing wells near cemeteries, schools, homes, parks or forests is appalling and highly misguided, to say the least. It shows disregard of the public’s right to protect our health and safety.”
Despite the gas and oil industry’s lobbying and expensive advertising efforts to try to reassure people of the safety of its new technology, opposition to fracking remains strong.  A Quinnipiac University poll showed that 72 percent of Ohio voters say “…stop hydro-fracking until there are further studies on its impact.” (Quinnipiac University press release, 1/19/12; http://www.quinnipiac.edu/institutes-and-centers/polling-institute/ohio/release-detail?ReleaseID=1692 )
In New York State there is currently a moratorium on hydraulic fracturing. Officials must respond to citizens’ comments on whether or not to allow the hold on hydrofracking to be lifted. A Syracuse newspaper reports that most of the comments are against drilling. More specifically, “The Gannett newspapers reported in mid-December that comments up to that time were running 10 to 1 in opposition”,  according to The Post- Standard of Syracuse, New York. (2/20/12; http://www.syracuse.com/news/index.ssf/2012/02/new_york_state_inundated_with.html   )
Residents from all regions are encouraged to attend the Youngstown meeting and to voice their concerns or questions.
For town hall meeting details or updates, see the Facebook event page at:
See the Frackfree Mahoning Valley website and sign up for a free e-mail announcement mailing list at:
For media inquiries or more information, e-mail:  frackfreemahoning@gmail.com or call:

                                                                  # # #

Thursday, February 16, 2012

It's Not Nice To Frack Your Mother - Earth, that is!

It isn't nice to frack your Ma - Mother Earth, that is! Nor to suspend our newly established Twitter account without a single warning! We've appealed with reasoning, begging *and* pleading to no avail and now we're resorting to the only recourse left to us: blogging about it! Okay, end of whining, and we'll begin a new Frackfree Ma twitterverse - stay tuned for our new @
Meanwhile here's some possible twitter backgrounds, logo backgrounds:

Keep our water and our land clean and frackfree!

Look, Ma - no frack on me!

Frackfree Momma Earth!
Mother Earth, would that she could be forever frackfree!

Check our calendar for any events near you and spread the word: http://frackfreemahoning.blogspot.com/p/ohio-events.html
Or check the fracking Working Group thread at Occupy Youngstown's forum: http://occupyyoungstown.proboards.com/index.cgi?board=fracking

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Fracking Winter: This Terrorism Must Be Stopped Cold In Its Tracks

Citizens from towns all over the state, and folks from Food & Water Watch, Concerned Citizens of Portage County, Frackfree Mahoning, EcoWatch, and FaCT meeting (Faith Communities Together ~for Frac Awareness) braved the wintery travel, bitter temps, & blowing snow, for the Rally & March in Kent, Ohio, Feb. 11, 2012. Testimony was presented indoors (over cocoa and donuts) on the dire health effects of unregulated gas development, and the fact that such attacks on human rights require an immediate ban on fracking worldwide. As one of the speakers pronounced, "it is terrorism and should be stopped."
Additional coverage at ECOWATCH: http://ecowatch.org/2012/anti-fracking-rally-in-kent-ohio/

Friday, February 10, 2012

Fracking Yard Signs Available from NEOGAP

Stop Fracking Yard Signs available

$7.oo each and comes with the wires.
Use this contact form to get the details (click) for purchasing and picking up the signs near Berea, Ohio; or see anyone in NEOGAP - NEOGAP on Facebook -

Here's a PDF of the form to take orders: PDF NEOGAP Yard Signs form to print (click) 

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Not Selling Out In Steubenville, Ohio

Mic-checking (TWICE!!) Gov Kasich's Steubenville debut was part of the protest rally there February 7, 2012.
Ten citizens made their message heard to the governor and his audience, reminding us all that the voice of the People shall not be silenced. Together they recited this near the end of Kasich's speech as he began to discuss fracking, "John Kasich is selling us out - to the frackers on Wall Street - We will not be sold - We will not be bought - Give the power to the People not the corporations."

VIDEO of mic-check HERE: http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=Hj9cVPYnAdA 

Mahoning Valley's WKBN station's VIDEO coverage of the protestors outside is 12 times as long as their coverage of Kasich's speech! http://www.wkbn.com/content/news/local/story/Governors-Speech-Draws-Mixed-Reaction-Protests/MqHHi4hYek-EMbKxyARBIA.cspx Starts 1:47 from the end

PHOTOS: album of 71 photographs by Donna Kaunike on local, Warren, OH, newspaper's website, The Tribune Chronicle: http://cu.tribtoday.com/galleries/index.php?id=316175

Coverage by ECOWATCH with 3 VIDEOS: http://ecowatch.org/2012/anti-fracking-rally-occupies-state-of-the-state-address-in-steubenville-ohio/ and link to the JOSH FOX statement
Coverage by OhioFraction: http://ohiofracktion.wordpress.com/2012/02/07/governor-kasich-mic-checked-at-state-of-state-by-outraged-anti-fracking-protestors/ including 2 VIDEOS

Brief coverage, interview with North Lima resident, The Columbus Dispatch, Free Speech Zone in Steubenville : http://www.dispatch.com/content/pages/video.html?video=/videos/2012/02/07/free-speech-zone-in-steubenville.xml
Rep. Bob Hagan reminding citizens from all over the state of Ohio (including three busloads from Cleveland, Columbus and Youngstown) of all the ways their governor has stepped over the line in abusing human rights.
 "The buses roll in from Cleveland, Columbus, Youngstown and other Ohio residents arrive from all around the state to protest "The State of the State". "This Land is Your Land" written by Woody Guthrie. Performed by Everclear." caption and video by Bill B of Mansfield, from SOTS rally in Steubenville, Ohio, February 7, 2012.

Rep. Hagan speaking. Everyone worked with security to stay within the allowed rally area.

Wells Academy, Steubenville.

VIDEO of The People Will Not Be Silenced: mic-check Loud & Clear OH Gov & Passionate No Frack Speech, the entire mic-check and interview with the STRONG WOMAN and MOTHER who led it and afterwards spoke out in no uncertain terms of the reasons for the ban of fracking and any industry that threatens our water and lives of our children & grandchildren, this is the only SOTS speech given that day at the elementary school that addressed caring for our children. Feb 7, 2012, Steubenville, OH, from The Columbus Dispatch: http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=ey-h4vGOoMQ

PRINT interview with Portia Boulger by Plunderbund http://www.plunderbund.com/2012/02/10/plunderbund-interview-with-sots-speech-protester-portia-boulger/

VIDEO of geologist Susie Beiersdorfer speaking at Steubenville anti-fracking rally on Feb. 7: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=i8LOM2jBo1k&feature=player_embedded

VIDEO of statement Josh Fox sent to the protest at Gov's SOTS address in Steubenville, read by ECOWATCH's Stephanie Spears:  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PdU-ARQPgTY&feature=player_embedded

VIDEO of Senator Skindell speaking about the two fracking moratorium bills he is spearheading: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Nj4xTNWN9LM&feature=player_embedded

PHOTO album 71 photos of the SOTS Rally February 7, 2012 HERE (click) by Bill Baker

Photo of Ohio citizen exercising free speech rights at Governor Kasich's SOTS address, Steubenville, OH, displaying his poster reminder that We Can't Drink Money:
View full-size original photo by John Kuntz for Cleveland Plain Dealer HERE

"This Revolution Will Not Be Privatized!" and "Hey, Hey, Listen: Someone Owns My Politician!", photo credit Robert Studzinski

Defender of clean water, air and land from Youngstown: "Defend Youngstown From Corporate Greed!", photo credit Robert Studzinski

A Sunday Lesson Missed On Loving Thy Neighbor and Their Water

UPDATE - read the latest:

On Sunday February 5, an educational rally about the risks of the frack water injection well uphill from the Purple Cat, a day rehabilitation facility for adults with mental and physical disabilities was held in Coitsville, OH. The Purple Cat's Farmer Casey's Ranch with its small lake and its farm of vegetable gardens and animals, and where their clients work and play, is located downhill from the well. (In case anyone passing by on busy Rte. 422 was wondering, the activists were protesting the injection wells present and future and educating about them, they are NOT protesting The Purple Cat!

A mile away gas wells are being drilled and their collection tanks, with the accompanying invisible but constant methane emissions, are being located within yards of homes.

The protest was covered in detail by local television station, WFMJ,

Friday, February 3, 2012

Standing Up, Speaking Up - Together The Sound of Reason Grows Louder

Youngstown, Ohio - On Thursday, February 2, 2012, a group of concerned Youngstown citizens and panelists held a lively open public town hall style informational meeting to discuss and answer audience questions about the recent 4.0 magnitude Youngstown area earthquake, hydraulic fracturing (fracking) associated with shale gas drilling, and brine toxic waste injection wells. The meeting took place at The First Unitarian Universalist Church of Youngstown.
There were  presentations on geologic formations and activity in the area of the injection wells, personal stories of health destroyed by nearby gas drilling, and an explanation of the mechanisms for wrenching back local control from invasive industries running roughshod over citizenry. Representative Bob Hagan described efforts to reign in the oil and gas industry in Ohio via a use of some elements of Innovation Ohio, a sometimes critical group that reports on the actions of Governor Kasich. Innovation Ohio released their report the same day, it can be read/downloaded here as a 16pp PDF.
Rep. Hagan reminded his listeners that lawmakers need both the prodding and the support of a population that also rises up en mass on its hind legs and reasserts its right to clean water, air and land, to human rights of a clean environment, to jobs that don't kill, and protection for a natural world that has only us to speak for it.

Who will speak for the earth?

February 3 article on Rep. Hagan's proposed legislation
Go to 38:00 minutes in the Feb. 3 podcast discussion on local radio of the town hall
Coverage on WYTV local

Some of the Youngstown Seven Blockaders recorded and answered questions

Some of the Youngstown Seven Blockaders participated (refresher on their Actions here)

signing in to work on local control ideas

one of the info tables, fact sheets, geological charts

packed town hall - ran out of seats

lively community meeting full of sharing, & building
Look for the next events of  Frackfree Mahoning on their calendar HERE.

Thursday, February 2, 2012

What a difference an hour makes...

On Wednesday a couple of local geologists were interviewed on the local radio station 570amWKBN by the early morning talk show host. It can be heard here at this link to the podcast beginning at about the 11 minute point: http://www.570wkbn.com/player/?station=WKBN-AM&program_name=podcast&program_id=miike_romigh.xml&mid=21779856
Ten days earlier the talk show host of the later part of the morning distributed this blog post and repeatedly recited it over the next few days, "January 20, 2012 What did Hagan say"

To learn more about injection wells, earthquakes, and the toxic fracking wastewater being disposed of, the public is welcome to attend and ask questions Feb. 2, 2012, at The First Unitarian Universalist Church of Youngstown, 1105 Elm St. (Elm & Illinois), Youngstown, OH 44505, at 6pm in Channing Hall.
More info here
The event on facebook here

Fracking Exposed trifold flier - free to print, distribute, can be downloaded here on SCRIBD.com
OR download here on Google docs

Fracking Exposed trifold flier - free to print, distribute

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

"We don't know what fracking means..."

This afternoon a friend stopped for directions and mentioned fracking and was met with blank stares - none of the several people in the establishment had heard of this word! How can this be? Later in the evening some friends were at a fine diner in Warren and again upon approaching some folks seated nearby, the family had never heard of the word and didn't know what it meant - this was particularly interesting considering the head of the household revealed he worked for V&M Star. Of course, it is not that unusual for a person not to bring their work topics home with them. The waiter then inquired as to what that odd motto "Stop Fracking Ohio" that he'd seen on our coats, meant, he did not have a clue, so we explained. How can it be that this word is so unfamiliar?*
*If gentle reader or anyone they know would like to hear more about this strange word, or would like to ask questions about it consider attending the free forum in Youngstown Ohio on Feb 2, 2012. More info here: