Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Flourishing in Steubenville, Ohio: if you want to cultivate peace, protect creation: Estrada Speech Against Fracking

UPDATE: Keith Michael Estrada gives 3rd presentation to City Council
Market Street Bridge over the Ohio River connecting Steubenville to West Virginia

Tuesday, April 24th, 2012 Address given to the City Council of Steubenville, OH, by Keith Michael Estrada

 Honorable Members of the City Council of Steubenville, I thank you for your time as I discuss with you: ‘Consistency, Hydraulic Fracturing, and Peace.
I would first like to thank you for holding fast to the city’s ordinance prohibiting drilling within city boundaries and for striving to provide “…useful employment, pure air and water, … health, safety, … and all other conditions conducive to human growth,” as is professed in this city’s 2010-2020 Action plan. What you aim to provide, I will henceforth call ‘ideals.’

However, I would like to note that, while the city has taken a great step in striving to provide these aforementioned ideals, we are, as a city, acting in a manner which, when examined with integrity, is merely a falsification of the values necessary in order to obtain them. Let me explain further.

This council has decided to lease a city-owned landfill to Chesapeake Corporation for the purpose of drilling and collecting natural resources through a method commonly known as Hydraulic Fracturing.
Moreover, this council has agreed to “sell up to 700,000 gallons of water, [treated and/or untreated] a day” to this same Chesapeake corporation for projects in a different neighboring city.

My concern, as a resident of Steubenville, Ohio, is that while the city currently wants to provide the ideals of “useful employment, pure air and water, … health, safety, … and all other conditions conducive to human growth,” the leasing of city-owned land for drilling and the selling of water for hydraulic fracturing, is a direct contradiction of the city’s original aim – yes this is to say the city is inconsistent in its actions.

It is obvious that this city is lacking peace – peace being something which starts within the hearts of man and woman, alike. However, “if you want to cultivate peace, protect creation.” This city’s formal cooperation with hydraulic fracturing is formal cooperation with an evil that is antithetical to peace, as it is directly opposed to creation at large.

While the city aims to protect itself further from the dangers of contamination and pollution, individualism and greed, it ignorantly does so by participating in these same exact things: contamination and pollution, individualism and greed.

Across the nation, and across the globe people of every class and color are starting to realize that hydraulic fracturing is nothing more than a business of short-term profit, led by greed and individualism, exploiting the poor and their dire need for flourishing, ultimately destroying the environment, locally and regionally for this generation and many generations to come– and when the hydraulic fracturing is over, air has been tainted with chemicals that harm the nervous and immune systems, water has been poisoned by carcinogens,  and plants, animals and humans are left with pillaged lands and broken hearts after being unconsciously prostituted by the oil and gas industries due to the local and neighboring authorities’ ignorance on the matter.

I ask you then, to consider henceforth the repercussions of our participation as a city in the destruction of people’s properties and well-being. We tout the protection and flourishing of our city, all the while we are sharing in the intent of the companies’ who, for mere short-term gain, are destroying the lives of our neighbors and their lands. Air and water pollution is taking place under our watch, with our resources, how will you choose to explain to our neighbors in Wintersville and Richmond, that “pure air and water … health, [and] safety,” all these “conditions conducive to human growth” are vital for the people of Steubenville, yet our desire for short term gain justifies our participation in denying them equal access to these God-given gifts?

End all business and negotiations with oil and gas companies that are filled with deceit and destruction.

Advocate consistently for all-inclusive flourishing.

Do your part and set the standard high for all of Ohio: do not give in to the temptation that individualism offers, for it has already scarred our past. Publicly reject the destruction of our world and fight to help the rest of Ohio obtain and keep “pure air and water … health, [and] safety,” and all “conditions conducive to human growth.”  Thank you.

City Hall, Steubenville, Ohio after City Council meeting

City Hall, Steubenville, Ohio after City Council meeting

Just Stop. Now.




Thursday, April 19, 2012

Elders Take a Break From Weeping To Smile Down Upon New Generation

UPDATE: VIDEO released at http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=N0lBGnHZk8Y   Press Conference in Mill Creek Park's Lily Pond

Smiling through the tears - conservationists of old smiling down on those trying to follow in their footsteps in the fight for clean water, clean land and the preservation of unsullied wild places - and then they continue to weep at the horrors wrought by entities like an out-of-control fossil fools industry - and at our shared willful and arrogant ignorance. We hope there is time...
Smiling through the tears - conservationists of old smiling down on those following in their footsteps (although the water is higher, the pool of tears deeper)
Coverage of Lily Pond press conference here: http://www.tribunechronicle.com/page/content.detail/id/570756/Shale-deal-draws-fire--video-.html?nav=5021  
We Stand For What We Stand In - Do You?**  It was held in attempt to keep media up-to-date on fast breaking BP Actions, See earlier Actions Here: http://ohiofracktion.com/?s=BP and Here: http://frackfreemahoning.blogspot.com/2012/04/bp-gets-cook-out-reception-at-vienna.html

This is the anniversary of the BP Gulf Disaster and Ecowatch breaks story of BP cover-up TWO years earlier, story here: PART 2: BP Covered Up Blow-out Prior to Deepwater Horizon

Brief Warren Tribune-Chronicle video on YouTube here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JjbODOiyjjc&feature=player_embedded
Return of the rainbow warriors... :-)

Return of the rainbow warriors although in reality they are the everyday people all around you, participating in civic duties, attending meeting after meeting, standing up, speaking out, even running for office Jim....Howard... Cheryl...

Mill Creek Park board meeting, some of the Guardians giving comment and guidance
Occupy Youngstown GA General Assembly meeting, downtown Youngstown Ohio

After the We Stand For What We Stand In - Do You?** press conference in the Lily Pond, Mill Creek Park, Youngstown, northeast Ohio
...speaking out and taking action often shoulder-to-shoulder and sometimes alone as Tom Cvetkovich did (above in the red shirt assisting with the We Stand For What We Stand In - Do You?** ) On April 18, 2012, Tom made a fervent and science-backed plea to the town fathers to enact a human rights-based ban on fracking in Youngstown. If they listen and act they will beat Cincinnati to be the first major city in Ohio to pass an anti-fracking resolution

The transcript of Tom's  presentation:
Plea for a ban on Hydraulic Fracking in the Meander and Mill Creek Watersheds To: The Youngstown City Council, The Governing Board of the Mahoning Valley Sanitary District and the Mill Creek Park Commissioners Mayor, City Council, fellow concerned citizens, I will present three reasons why a ban on hydrofracking in the Meander and Mill Creek watersheds is a reasonable idea.
They are health, economic and legal in nature. Everyone acknowledges that there is risk in an endeavor as complex and huge as hydrofracking The question is when do the quantity, severity and nature of those risks outweigh the benefits. We accept risk when we drive our cars. And we seek to minimize risk when identified causes lead to a pattern of accidents, we lower speed limits, seat belts, change the signage, etc. There are 64,000 active gas wells in Ohio. This record is a seemingly compelling argument to accept the future proposed round of drilling. But we also know that hydrofracking multiplies all of the risk factors and stressors on human health and the environment by many times. There are more noxious air emissions, more hazardous chemicals and up to 500 times more water consumed than with conventional fracked vertical or slant wells. Past performance equals future expectations.

Here is a list of a wide variety of so-called “Fraccidents” of the past few years. These are taken from Google Maps, Fraccidents. Examples include spillage, fouled streams, noxious vapors and anecdotes, including the fellow who took a sip of water one morning followed immediately by a burning in his mouth and immediate headache. After his wife’s shower her lungs and sinuses burned. The map gives names and is cross-referenced with newspaper reports. Events which occurred in Pennsylvania often include a Department of Environmental Protection reference date. (A fifteen-foot long scroll of these incidents was exhibited to council.)

If these are not “excusable, one of a kind” accidents then perhaps by now we should be seeing concerned doctors and institutions undertaking comprehensive studies in those states where fracking is several years ahead of Ohio. And in fact we are seeing them. A three-year study by the Colorado School of Public Health warns, “that air pollution caused by hydraulic fracturing or fracking may contribute to acute and chronic health problems for those living near natural gas drilling sites.” Veterinarians from Cornell University have put together a list of adverse health conditions in animals and humans as correlated to gas operations. These are anecdotal reports, not hard evidence, but they are as valid and important to the discussion as the reporting of the coincidences of time and place of the Youngstown earthquakes with the D&L injection well. The authors explain, “Because animals often are exposed continually to air, soil, and groundwater and have more frequent reproductive cycles, animals can be used as sentinels to monitor impacts to human health.” Adverse health effects impacted; reproductive, respiratory, dermatological, and neurological systems of dogs, cats, lamas, cows, chickens and their human owners. The report includes the kind of gas well present and the possible route of contamination including storm water run off, spills waste water impoundment compromise, etc. Can this simply be coincidence? Coincidence in both place and time? Let me remind you that it took 34 years between the Surgeon Generals warning on cigarettes and the actual molecular proof that cigarettes cause cancer. If a bend in a road has multiple accidents in a year, do we not say, “Maybe the speed limit should be lowered?” This graph compares bodily reactions to fracking chemicals as correlated by their MSDS. (GRAPH SHOWN TO COUNCIL) “Of those (chemicals) studied, 72 were found to have 10 or more adverse health effects, including effects on skin, eye and sensory organs, respiratory, gastrointestinal brain and nervous, endocrine and immune systems, kidney, liver, cardiovascular and blood, as well as cancer causing and mutagenic effects. Some of the chemicals used include hydrochloric acid, gluteraldehyde, formaldehyde, xylene, formic acid and ammonia, heavy metals and numerous organic compounds, to mention only a few.” Says Dr. Theodore Voneida, founder of the Neuro Biology Department at Northeast Ohio Medical University (NEOMED). Numerous professionals and institutions have voiced concern and/or studied the ills of hydraulic fracturing.

The international firm Schlumberger, the industry standard for testing and analysis reports 61% of gas wells will experience Sustained Casing Pressure problems in 31 years. This is from a study of 22,000 wells. (GRAPH SHOWN TO COUNCIL) This means that the story of a well does not end when production ends. Last year alone the ODNR had to seal 1,000 orphaned wells. The new hydrofracked wells will leave a legacy of underground toxins at extreme pressure which for many decades have an impetus to find the path of least resistance upwards. Is it not possible that these “swimming pools” of added toxins combined with the now liberated chemicals already existing in the earth will silently find their way to our water sources? A report issued this today (April 18th 2012) by the USGS (US Geological Services) links an uptick in seismic activity in the Midwest with injection wells.

My second point is financial. The revenue local municipalities receive is not unencumbered. Many studies detail the long-term costs and liabilities, which include: Hazmat equipment and training, road deterioration, real-estate depreciation, , changes in water treatment protocols. Pittsburgh recently had to deal with bromide in the Monongahela River. When combined with chlorine it forms trihalomethanes, a cancer-causing agent. There is concern that water prices may rise.

Thirdly, lawsuits relating to the industry are starting to abound. In Philadelphia there has even been a whole convention dedicated to the topic of lawsuits and fracking. "Municipalities are on the horizon,…threats to their water supplies as opposed to just homeowners and their water supplies,…" said co-chair Marc J. Bern. This is a sign of a poorly regulated and executed industry. Has any other industry ever amassed such a history of objections and concerns? Summary The effects of the hydraulic fracturing are systemic and persistent. In your deliberation on fracking please consider the magnitude of possible losses: residents’ health, potable water supply impacts, recreational opportunities lost, possible deterring of future development to the area, irrigation problems, litigation. Please consider the many directions from which hazards might arise. Existing leases and short-term revenues do not out weigh these concerns.

Smaller and large communities than ours have banned fracking in their watersheds. Our water and air are owned “in common.” The Mahoning Valley Sanitary District is its steward. You cannot clean a lake or aquifer with a shop vac. The industry may offer in good faith to clean up after itself but the whole notion of cleaning up or replacing such resources is absurd and often beyond the capability of the firms involved.

A ban on fracking in the Meander and Mill Creek watersheds is not be an indictment on the industry any more than a 70 mile speed limit is an indictment on GM for making cars that go 140 miles an hour. This request is not an indictment of V&M and other industries for whom the Valley (Youngstown) has rolled out the red carpet. It is not a betrayal of those we know and respect who work in the industry, nor a judgment of those who have leased their mineral rights. Rather it is a request for a responsible decision with a healthy dose of caution, and respect for our common values related to a livable community including the safeguard of our essential water and air. Please, in conjunction with the Governing Board of the Mahoning Valley Sanitary District and the Mill Creek Park Commissioners, put a ban on hydraulic fracturing in the Meander and Mill Creek watersheds.

We thought the steel industry would be here forever and they let us down, shame on them. If we bet our future on the Fracking boom, shame on us. Respectfully, Tom Cvetkovich April 18th, 2012

All the sources can be read here: https://docs.google.com/open?id=0BxMk46fPsammTE5sQ2FhendYZHM

Coverage by The Business Journal: Dozens Urge City Council to Protect Water  http://businessjournaldaily.com/drilling-down/dozens-urge-city-council-protect-water-2012-4-19

Coverage by WKBN 27:  Youngstown Man Seeks Fracking Ban   http://www.wkbn.com/content/news/local/story/Youngstown-Man-Seeks-Fracking-Ban/Q-XymVdsJkSTr7f8M0Mw0A.cspx

Coverage by WFMJ: Fracking opponent pleads for ban on drilling near local water shed http://www.wfmj.com/story/17549949/fracking-opponent-pleads-for-ban-on-drilling-near-local-water-shed

**According to wikipedia, the chorus of this spiritual first published in 1901, Wade In The Water:
Wade in the water.
Wade in the water children.
Wade in the water.
God's gonna trouble the water.
 refers to healing: see John 5:4, "For an angel went down at a certain season into the pool, and troubled the water: whosoever then first after the troubling of the water stepped in was made whole of whatsoever disease he had." Thus and so, have you joined the tide to Wade in the Water, to heal the fracktioning situation? You know in your heart it doesn't have to be this way, there are better ways to exist on earth.

Monday, April 16, 2012

Hundreds of Acres NE Ohio Saved by Frackfree Group Shutting Down BP party

UPDATE::: VIDEO RELEASED: Activists Convene in Greenford, Ohio To Defend The Land,  The Water and Farmers https://vimeo.com/40494609

The Nation magazine places Occupy Youngstown, Occupy Warren, Occupy Cleveland Frackfree-ers on their Monday  Blog Timeline at "The OccupyUSA Blog for Monday (April 16), With Frequent Updates", by Greg Mitchell:
9:15  Three arrested in Youngstown, OH as OWSers apparently join in protest at school where residents sign hundreds of gas/fracking leases with good old BP. ...
 Press conference scheduled for 1:30pm, April 16, Mahoning County jail, downtown Youngstown, Ohio.

“We’re showing that arresting us won’t make the problem go away. We won’t stop and we won’t allow the real criminals like BP to destroy Ohio like they did the Gulf coast. Safe fracking is a myth,” said Annie Lukins, one of the protestors. from: Activists Released on Bail After Protesting BP’s Fracking Lease Event http://ecowatch.org/2012/activists-released-on-bail-after-protesting-bps-fracking-lease-event/

MORE stories here:
Activists Shut down BP lease signing party: hundreds of acres saved!

Three Arrested at Fracking Protest

UPDATE: 2 of 3 activists held on $3,500 bail.

Protesters Cause Havoc at BP Lease Signing Event

Protesters Cause Havoc at BP Lease Signing Event

Vindy.com - 3 protesters are arrested in Greenford

If interesting in assisting in the continuation of the fight for clean water, Jonathan and Jeremy have a combined $3,500 bail. Donate Online to the revolving bail fund. This will help the continuing work of OhioFracktion

Saturday, April 14, 2012

Earthquakes, fracking, injection wells, and Youngstown, Ohio

Earthquakes, fracking, injection wells, and Youngstown, Ohio - the current epicenter of man-made earthquakes, Youngstown, is in the news again!

From our previous Frackfree Mahoning Valley news release titled:
"Geology Professor Ray Beiersdorfer, Ph.D., spoke to WYTV news (1/1/12) regarding the Youngstown earthquakes and the nearby injection well’s effect of reactivating an ancient fault: “What happens is the water acts as a lubricant so they were pumping water down at about 9,000 feet, and it was working its way down in and it wound up serving as a lubricant, which then reduced the friction and we had the earthquakes."
See the full news release at the Frackfree Mahoning Valley blog here: http://www.frackfreemahoning.blogspot.com/2012/01/youngstown-town-hall-informational.html

Also see this NPR news story where Youngstown is mentioned: Scientists Link Rise In Quakes To Wastewater Wells  4/12/12 http://www.npr.org/2012/04/12/150460029/scientists-link-rise-in-quakes-to-waste-water-wells?ps=cprs

And, Youngstown is on the map in the following CNBC news story, too. Go to about 5:04 minutes into the video:

We invite media to please contact us to hear our take on these issues at: 234-201-0402 or by e-mail at frackfreemahoning@gmail.com
Injection well storage tanks for waste fluids from fracking processes and oil and gas processes - this particular well was the epicenter of 12 quakes in 10 months in the Youngstown, Ohio area, 2011-2012.

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

BP Gets Cook-out Reception at Vienna Country Club

Warm BBQ Reception for BP, Squaw Creek Country Club, Vienna, OH, April 9, 2012, as it tries to sail unchallenged into the Gulf of Trumbull. 

UPDATE!! COMPLETE VIDEO HERE: http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=Icb3fmWjqWs#!

From The Gulf To The Lake, British Rule is A Mistake!

Earlier defense of Lake Mosquito: http://frackfreemahoning.blogspot.com/2012/04/ohio-gets-ready-for-bp-cook-out.html

Fraccachino water vs. clean little stream.
Warm BBQ Reception for BP, Squaw Creek Country Club, Vienna, OH, April 9, 2012.

From The Gulf To The Lake, British Rule is A Mistake! Preparing to Engage British Fuel Force Run Amok at Trumbull Co. Squaw Creek Country Club, Vienna, OH, April 9, 2012.

Escorting defense coalition into hall as they Prepare to Engage British Fuel Force Run Amok at Trumbull Co. Squaw Creek Country Club, Vienna, OH, April 9, 2012.

From The Gulf To The Lake, British Rule is A Mistake! (Reception for BP, Squaw Creek Country Club, Vienna, OH, April 9, 2012)

Synopsis of the lovely evening by local Occupier and frackfree-er, Karen Fetchko:

"There was 11 of us at the Squaw Creek action. 4 from Occupy Cleveland, 3 from Occupy Youngstown and 4 From Occupy Warren. The Vienna police were nice and very solicitous about our safety. While inside the country club our local politicians were being wined and dined by BP, we stood outside with our signs and BBQ. Presently we decided that perhaps our local politicians would be interested in our opinion as well as BP's so we marched up to the club to sounds of fiddle and drum (Thank you, OC). Upon arriving at the entryway the BP rep was so anxious to meet us she came out of the banquet room. In her excitement to meet us she must not have realized that she was blocking our way into the banquet room! It was deduced that she was well-liked as she had so many friends surrounding her (mostly with badges). We had lots of questions for her but our conversation resembled walking on slippery ice, couldn't get anywhere but it was smooth. I slipped away a few minutes before everyone else because my b.s. meter was reading critical mass. We then packed up and left. On a personal note, it has been a pleasure to meet so many people at these actions. To my new friends of OC, OY ,and of course, OW, YOU ROCK!!!!"
COMPLETE VIDEO HERE: http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=Icb3fmWjqWs#!

Story HERE, too, on Ohiofracktion: http://ohiofracktion.com/2012/04/12/the-british-are-coming-protesters-greet-bp-in-trumbull-county-22/

Brief video at end of this WYTV clip: http://www.wytv.com/content/news/local/story/BP-Meets-with-County-Officials-Met-By-Protesters/JTAawUNUFkaz21zC1VomOw.cspx

Coverage by WFMJ 21 News: http://www.wfmj.com/global/story.asp?s=17369807

Coverage by NE Ohio Business Journal: http://businessjournaldaily.com/drilling-down/bp-reps-meet-and-greet-officeholders-protesters-2012-4-10

Monday, April 9, 2012

Ohio Gets Ready For BP Natural Gas Cook-out

Gird your loins, grab some barbeque and prepare to defend Ohio as the British re-colonize Northeastern Ohio. London-based BP has leased 85,000 Trumbull County acres for Utica Shale exploration (a fifth of total county acreage; other drillers have also leased acreage), and Monday, April 9, BP will host Warren area politicians at a steak dinner at Squaw Creek Country Club, 761 Youngstown Kingsville Rd, Vienna, OH 44473 Local and regional opposition will protest this government nepotism by hosting their own barbecue across the street in a public parking lot.  This action is a follow-up for the British Are Coming march yesterday by Mosquito Lake that received excellent coverage in the Warren Tribune. Join them for an evening of protest, food, networking, and next steps! READ MORE: http://ohiofracktion.com/2012/04/08/action-alert-tomorrow-in-trumbull-county-again/

Saturday's video The British Are Coming

WKBN article/video

Frackfree Coalition : action at Mosquito Lake State Park, Cortland, OH, Trumbull Co. 4-7-2012

Interactive mapping sytems to view oil and gas wells, and injection wells, in Ohio http://www.dnr.state.oh.us/OhioGeologicalSurvey/tabid/23583/Default.aspx

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Guardians of Mill Creek Park to Hold Festivities April 6: Celebrate Vision, Legacy of Park Founder Volney Rogers

GUARDIANS OF MILL CREEK PARK NEWS RELEASE --------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

[Youngstown, Ohio] - “On April 6, 1891, the voters of Youngstown Township permitted Volney Rogers' dream to become reality and Mill Creek Park was established as the first Park District in the state.” (The Legacy of Mill Creek Park---The Biography of Volney Rogers, Bridgett M Williams, 1992)

ANNOUNCEMENT!!! At 5:00 PM on Friday, April 6, 2012, at the site of the Volney Rogers statue (the S.W. corner of Falls Avenue & Glenwood Ave., just south of the Park Police offices), The Guardians of Mill Creek Park will celebrate the vision and legacy of Volney Rogers with music, poetry, remembrances, gifts to nature, and homage to our past and to our future. All are welcome. The event will last until 7:00. Bring folding chairs, blankets to sit on, musical instruments, flowers, bubble blowers, whatever one needs to celebrate spring renewal and the founding of Mill Creek Park way back in 1891 on April 6th! All are welcome.

The Guardians are caring citizens dedicated to upholding the goals and vision of the park founder to protect the park and see that it is properly cared for and managed, so that this irreplaceable natural treasure remains healthy and unspoiled for years to come. We have chosen this significant day---the anniversary of the day that the people of Youngstown voted to establish this now widely acclaimed park---to announce our intent to be diligent stewards in the service of the park and to state our willingness to work together with others to achieve common goals.

We also seek a broader appreciation of Volney Rogers, whose “…commitment has made possible the living trust that we, the citizens of the twentieth century, have been given to enjoy and protect.” (ibid) It is now our torch to carry into the twenty-first century.

MAP: http://g.co/maps/385tg for Glenwood Ave & Falls Ave, Youngstown, OH 44502

Find the Guardians on facebook: http://www.facebook.com/groups/guardiansmillcreek/

Other events: http://frackfreemahoning.blogspot.com/2012/04/enhancing-lives-of-youngstown-wanderers.html 

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Enhancing lives of Youngstown wanderers who partake of nature's healing ways

The Guardians made a request for maps - here is one of Trumbull and Mahoning County, Ohio, and 2 of Mill Creek Park, Youngstown, Ohio. Two of their upcoming Events are listed below the maps. If you are in the area and interested in viewing all the wells and related permits in the Park and in the properties surrounding the Park, stop at the Public Library of Youngstown and Mahoning County, Ohio,
305 Wick Avenue, Youngstown, OH 44503, and request to view the CD of all the park records.
oil and gas wells in Mill Creek watershed, Mahoning County, Ohio, as of March 22, 2012.

black hen's track lines are horizontal well bores in an area around Mill Creek, which flows through Mill Creek Park, Youngstown, Ohio, as of March 22, 2012.

gas and oil wells (both vertical and horizontal) in a section of Trumbull and Mahoning Counties, Ohio, as of March 22, 2012.
 "On April 6, 1891, the voters of Youngstown Township (Ohio) permitted Volney Rogers' dream to become reality and Mill Creek Park was established as the first Park District in the state." At 5:00pm on Friday, April 6, 2012, at the site of the Volney Rogers statue (the S.W. corner of Falls Avenue & 926 Glenwood Ave. just south of the Park Police offices), the Guardians of Mill Creek Park will celebrate the vision and legacy of Volney Rogers with music, poetry, remembrances, gifts to nature, and homage to our past and to our future. Bring folding chairs, blankets to sit on, musical instruments, flowers, bubble blowers, whatever one needs to celebrate spring renewal and the founding of Mill Creek Park way back in 1891 on April 6th! All are welcome.
MAP: http://g.co/maps/385tg for Glenwood Ave & Falls Ave, Youngstown, OH 44502
Guardians of Mill Creek Park and Occupy Youngstown have been working to try to prevent fracking around and under Mill Creek Park, Youngstown, Ohio. Please join them at the Commissioners Board meeting on Monday, April 16 at 5:00 at MetroParks Farm, 7574 Columbiana-Canfield Rd., Canfield, OH  44406 for a showing of solidarity against drilling----boots on the ground, so to speak... Contact: Judy 330-792-2431

More about the Guardians: We intend to protect and preserve our park--it's waters, air, soil, plants and creatures-- in the spirit of founder Volney Rogers. "Volney Rogers, a remarkable visionary, believed that land itself could improve the lives Youngstown citizens by providing a healthful alternative to the rapidly industrializing city. After exploration of an area on horseback and by foot, Volney knew that the land bordering Mill Creek with its hemlock-laced gorge, breathtaking falls, and magnificent vistas would need to be protected from industrial development. His dream was to open a parcel of 400 acres to the people, enhancing the land and the lives of those who would visit there, partaking of nature's healing ways. Rogers wanted to share his discovery and preserve it for all future wanderers," from the park website at: http://millcreekmetroparks.com/AboutUs/tabid/1406/Default.aspx FB PAGE: http://www.facebook.com/pages/Mill-Creek-MetroParks/239398654375

Maps obtained from mapping tool at http://www.dnr.state.oh.us/Website/Geosurvey/oilgas/viewer.htm

Is A Farmer Truly Rich If He Ignores The Consequences of Signing His Land Away To A Gas Lease?


Steve Beck is the third generation of his family to operate a small farm in Pulaski, Pa. He expresses his concerns about fracking.

VIDEO https://vindyarchives.com/videos/2012/mar/31/1878/ From April 1, 2012 story: New drilling law deepens discord
Also see related: RISKS AND RICHES IN THE FRACKING ERA Videographer & interviewer: William D. Lewis

If video doesn't play yet, here is the link: https://vindyarchives.com/videos/2012/mar/31/1878/



Letter To The Editor published Sun, March 25, 2012 in Youngstown Vindicator, by Pennsylvania resident and frackfree ally who has laboured hard many months going door to door to educate the farmers around him.

Selling true farmers short 

A shale industry spokesman at a recent event at Wilmington Area High School was asked what effect shale gas well drilling will have on our local agriculture. His response: “All I can say about that is that we’re going to make a lot of farmers around here rich” as he leaned into the microphone and boldly delivered his clever, smug statement, I sat in the audience and realized that this man did not understand real farmers at all. To a real farmer, farming is not just an occupation or a hobby, it is much more. To some true farmers, it is a way of life — a total life-style. To other authentic farmers, farming is an inspired passion, and to some others, it is almost a religion that shapes their moral code.
There is a level of awareness and joy attained by the farmer who is appreciative of, and who understands, the beauty he perceives in what he is doing. Every true farmer can vividly describe some personal aesthetic experiences that have occurred to him on his farm at one time or another. These are gentle, joyful memories that visit and comfort him on his death bed and ease his departure from this life.
I know a farmer who signed a gas lease a few years ago without being made aware of the risks, consequences, and sacrifices that he would have to face and endure. When the heavy equipment that the lease permitted on his land arrived and began to knock down many of his large oak trees, which he had often climbed as a boy, he immediately felt the loss of the goodness that those beautiful trees had generously provided him throughout his life. When he watched the simple, single-file cow path being replaced by a wide, permanent, industrial road across his wild-flowered meadow, his sense of loss was magnified. When the slow seepage entered the aquifer and finally contaminated his and his neighbors’ water wells forever, he was overcome with deep regret for signing that complicated, deceptive gas lease; but it was too late.
We are conditioned by our greedy, competitive society to try to get as much money as we can get. People who read their Bibles are warned over and over again in the pages of this Good Book to resist this temptation. Yet in our local communities, thousands of hypocrites willingly signed leases in order to become rich despite all the warnings about the serious consequences of signing.
In the solitude of his fields, the sensitive farmer concludes that happiness dwells in the beauty of true virtue. Gratitude, simplicity and humility make up the content of his character, and he clearly realizes that he doesn’t need to be given a lot of money to be rich.
-- Steven J. Beck, West Middlesex

Read Steven's LTE in Sunday's letters at: https://vindyarchives.com/news/2012/mar/25/stop-strippers-at-the-scrap-yards/

December 2012, Hubbard, OH

June 2012, Coitsville, OH

November 2011, Youngstown, OH

November 2011, New Bedford, PA

MORE PHOTOS: https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.10205246556940361.1073741843.1139725162&type=1&l=d5ad4a7664
WEST MIDDLESEX, PA. – Steven J. Beck Jr., 62, died Sunday, Dec. 7, 2014, at his home.
He was born Oct. 3, 1952, in Youngstown, a son of Steven J. and Pauline E. Tomko Beck Sr. and was a lifelong West Middlesex resident, living on the family farm.
Mr. Beck was a member of St. James the Apostle Church, a graduate of Wilmington High School and received his Bachelor of Arts degree from Youngstown State University. He was a Junior High and High School Art teacher for the Youngstown City School District for 25 years, retiring in 2009.
He was a member of the Fracking Truth Alliance in Mercer and Lawrence County and Frack Free Mahoning County. Steve was also a member of the Sierra Club and the coalition of Peace and Justice. He enjoyed gardening and farming. Steve firmly believed every student could draw and he could use art to teach empathy. He was also known for his amazing story-telling ability.
He leaves a brother, William M. (Beverly) Beck of West Middlesex; two sisters, Pauline E. Beck of West Middlesex and Helen A. (John) Erickson of Bluffton, S.C.; three nieces; three nephews; three great-nieces; and four great-nephews.
He was preceded in death by his parents.
Family and friends may call on Thursday from 4 to 7 p.m. at the Kelley-Robb-Cummins Funeral Home and also one half-hour prior to the funeral services on Friday, from 10 to 10:30 a.m. at St. James the Apostle Church.
Funeral services will be held Friday at St. James the Apostle Church at 10:30 a.m.
Memorial donations may be made to a charity of the donor’s choice.
Interment will be at St. John Cemetery in Lowellville.
Visit www.krcummins.com to view this obituary and to send condolences to the family.

Monday, April 2, 2012

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