Thursday, January 24, 2013

Rally Kicks Off All Day All Community Signature Event in Youngstown, Ohio

Frackfree America National Coalition  -  News Release
Coverage of Saturday's Rally, Rally against fracking collects signatures for initiative on the May primary ballot, Jan 27, 2013 3:24 PM EST . Article here at WFMJ, Youngstown, Ohio site:

For Immediate Release:  January 23, 2013

Contact: Susie Beiersdorfer or Jane Spies, M.S. Ed.:  Phone: 234- 201-8007

 or E-mail:

Frackfree America National Coalition (based in Youngstown, Ohio) Seeks Youngstown Registered Voter Signatures Required To Put a Local Control, “Community Bill of Rights” Question On The May Primary Ballot:
The Group Will Hold a 10 AM Rally On Saturday, January 26, 2013,  To Kick Off The All-day Signing Event That Will Include Local Canvassers Going Door-to-door With A Local Control Petition Seeking Signatures Of Registered Voters And An Opportunity For Interested Voters to Sign The Petition at The First Unitarian Universalist Church of Youngstown on Saturday.

Youngstown, Ohio-1/23/13 – Frackfree America National Coalition (based in Youngstown, Ohio ) anticipates that for many Youngstown residents who felt the now-famous fracking waste injection well-related 4.0 magnitude earthquake on Dec. 31, 2011 or who are concerned about protecting Mill Creek Park from fracking, the following rally will be a must-attend event.

Concerned citizens of Frackfree America National Coalition (based in Youngstown, Ohio) will hold a rally at 10:00 AM to 10:45 AM, Saturday, January 26, 2013, on the front steps of the First Unitarian Universalist Church of Youngstown to kick off their special petition-signing event planned for the entire day beginning at 10 AM to 8 PM, Eastern time.  The First Unitarian Universalist Church of Youngstown is located at 1105 Elm St., Youngstown, Ohio. (Elm & Illinois.)

This Saturday event is part of an ongoing effort to get the required number of signatures from Youngstown registered voters in order to put a question on the May Primary ballot for voters to decide if they want local control to protect their water, air, and land.  The effort is also known as the Community Bill of Rights.

Media and the public are encouraged to please attend.

This Community Bill of Rights seeks to re-establish local control that concerned citizens believe was unjustly taken away in 2004.  Frackfree Mahoning Valley and Frackfree America National Coalition have been providing educational efforts and going door-to-door to seek signatures.

After Saturday’s 10 AM rally, canvassers plan to go door-to-door in the local area to seek prospective signers.

“We welcome and invite anyone who wants to sign the petition, or would like more information about the effort before signing, to come to the church on January 26 at any time between 10 AM and 8 PM where members of Frackfree America will be available to help and to provide educational literature.  Canvassers report that the response from the community has been overwhelmingly positive.  People who felt the earthquake and who love Mill Creek Park and want to keep it safe from fracking comprise a great number of signers, so far. We are extremely pleased with how this is going, and we thank the community for their positive response,” said Susie Beiersdorfer, co-founder of Frackfree America National Coalition.

In addition to the January 26 signing event and rally, other times and places where Youngstown citizens can sign the petition can be found at the following website address:
Frackfree America National Coalition says that local self-government control is essential for local officials to safeguard the public health, safety, and welfare of their constituents and protect drinking water sources, air, and soil, including farmland. All citizens have a right to drink clean water, breathe clean air, and live on unpolluted land.

Especially in light of the growing number nationwide of reports of accidents or mishaps related to gas and oil drilling and related processes and infrastructure, this is a timely concern. The recent Sissonville, West Virginia gas line explosion that damaged homes and part of the freeway is one example of the need for citizens and officials to address these kinds of issues immediately.

See: NBC Nightly News, December 11, 2012: “Gas line explodes in West Virginia; homes burn, freeway damaged":
Furthermore, when spills, leaks, or contamination occur, first responders and physicians must know precisely what substances they are dealing with in order to protect themselves and the public from harm. Company “trade secrets” policies and exemptions of the oil and gas industry from some laws inhibit adequate knowledge at this point in time.

For example, an excerpt follows from a news article about an Ohio oil well leak. The article is titled, “Ohio closes oil well, questions remain,” January 17, 2013, by Shelley Grieshop, The Daily Standard. The author quoted Auglaize County EMA Director Troy Anderson:

“… St. Marys Township Fire Department, which received the initial call about the leak, also has no information on file, he added.

Owners of oil and gas wells legally do not have to provide local authorities with any information even though they must respond to public health threats. Permits and other requirements are on file only with the Ohio Department of Natural Resources.”

The  oil spill in St. Marys, Ohio is also discussed in an article (updated on January 21, 2013,)  by Tricia Bell, titled,  “Officials investigate St. Marys oil spill,”  ( ) An excerpt follows:

“St. Marys, Ohio - What seemed to be a small oil spill on Friday has grown into a much more difficult to contain crude oil release into waterways in Auglaize County.”

The latter Ohio example shows that not only are reports of concerns from residents or officials coming in from other parts of the country where drilling or hydraulic fracturing has been going on for a while, Ohio residents are presenting their own increasing number of concerns about problems they claim are related to drilling or fracking and related processes. 

For instance, the NBC News “Today Show” did a report about an Ohio family’s concerns about their drinking water. The report is titled, “Rossen Reports: Family discovers their tap water is flammable,” January 11, 2013:

Another Ohio example is shown in a WKYC- TV news video and article from December 5, 2012, titled, “Portage County: Drilling blamed for home damage”:

These reports are in addition to the growing list of community concerns, including a 5- mile long “brine” waste spill in Fowler and countless fish dying in Brookfield, which Frackfree Mahoning Valley has brought to public attention in previous releases.  Even though fracking and related activities have not yet reached anticipated levels in Ohio, concerns and the number of reports of problems are growing.  These incidents have not been adequately addressed, in the groups’ opinion.

Transparency, honesty, scientific information, and public dialogue are essential in resolving these issues. Frackfree America National Coalition renews its call for open public dialogue, preferably televised, on these crucial issues that so profoundly affect our community. This conversation would be a great community service.

The previously cited news stories are relevant to a discussion of the local Community Bill of Rights petition because nationwide, and in Youngstown, community officials who represent their constituents’ public interest need local control to fulfill their official obligations to safeguard public health, safety, and well-being.

Frackfree America’s position is that, based upon mounting evidence, the risks to public health and safety along with social costs posed by fracking and related processes are too high to accept, and the technology is not far enough advanced to do fracking and related processes safely, therefore it must be stopped.

Frackfree America says that the public has a right to decide how they want to address these concerns in their own local communities in order to protect the public welfare…hence the need for the local ballot question for the Community Bill of Rights.

It is the responsible thing to do to have an informed public making informed decisions about how they want their communities to be, based upon science and principles of good ethics.

For a basic overview of fracking –related issues please see:  “Unearthed: The Fracking Fa├žade” YouTube:

For more information, please see a previous press release (12/26/12)  RE: “March to the Promised Land Rally”:

The Frackfree America National Coalition website is at:

Subscribe to the Frackfree America Free E-mail Listserv for important updates and information:

Join the upcoming Second National Rally Day:  Spring, 2013 at:

Find Frackfree America on Facebook:

For Media Inquiries or for more information, please call or e-mail:     234-201-8007

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