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Your Opinion: Letters from readers

April 12, 2008
Marietta Times
Eramet encouraged to continue improvements

I would like to take this opportunity to congratulate Eramet for investing money in maintenance and improvements that could lead to reduced manganese emissions (The Marietta Times, April 2, “Eramet work to fix furnace problem”). It is an important step to invest money locally and shows a desire on Eramet’s part to keep this plant and its jobs in our area.

I have been concerned for many years about the levels of manganese, a neurotoxin, to which our residents are being exposed. Recent air monitor data has only added to my level of concern. Three of the four air monitors, which are between one and four miles from the plant, have shown monthly levels over five times a level that the U.S. EPA says is safe. There is now evidence that levels this high can cause neurological problems in adults and can double or more the risk for Parkinson’s disease. There is not enough research yet to determine the effect on children, but children are more susceptible to neurotoxins than adults are. While Eramet’s maintenance on furnace number one “combined with a state-of-the-art abatement system upgrade,” for which I have not seen a time table, is a step in the right direction, it is probably not enough to reduce manganese emissions to a level not likely to cause health effects. A 20 percent reduction on an emission five times over a “safe” level brings it down to four times that same “safe” level.

I strongly encourage Eramet to continue to aggressively pursue pollution control projects, especially those that will reduce their manganese emissions. This plant is very important to our local economy, but no industry is valuable enough to sacrifice our children’s potential or their futures.

Richard Wittberg

Mid-Ohio Valley Health Department

Kids’ dedication to skate park questioned

The top story in the March 17 edition of The Marietta Times seemed to me to be full of contradictions.

The article in question was the 2008 Telesis class’ sponsorship of a facelift for the Indian Acres skate park. One quotation was: “As long as there’s no snow on the ground, there are usually 15 to 20 kids down here after school and more on weekends.” Well, the picture accompanying the story showed no snow on the ground, and the article stated that the clean-up took place on a Saturday. The article also stated there were about a dozen volunteers participating; most appeared to be adults. This begs the question: Where were the 20-plus kids who are always there on weekends?

Another quotation was: “This place is a mess right now. How can we expect the kids to respect this? We’re trying to give them something they can respect and take pride in.”

Who was using the facility when it became a “mess”? The Telesis members? I doubt it. I’m sure they feel very noble wanting to give these kids something they can take pride in and respect, but statements like these are like fingernails across a blackboard to me. It’s been my personal observation that pride in and respect for any object or enterprise is in direct proportion to the beneficiary’s input of effort, labor, and/or other resources. To translate, nothing that isn’t earned or worked for will be respected. This is the first lesson in Human Nature 101. Look it up!

Steven O. Hart

Sandhill Road, Marietta

Local talent shined on stage at MOVP

What a fun, entertaining, feel-good evening in Marietta! I’m talking about the Clark Family and the Ohio Valley Opry and guests’ performance March 29 at the Mid-Ohio Valley Players Theatre.

American Idol, Nashville Star, you should have been here! We have some of the best talent this country has to offer right here in southeastern Ohio and many of them performed for us that night.

What a band, what great talent, and what a crowd! The building was packed full of people quite obviously enjoying an evening of fun. If you are not familiar with the Clarks, every member of the family sings and/or plays a musical instrument. The additional band members not only are outstanding, they have so much fun doing what they do best that the crowd really gets into the performance. Ashley Peton, if you sing that good with a sore throat, Katie-bar-the-door when you come on stage in good health. And how about the banjo playing and comedy of Joe Freeman? What fun!

I’m sure they could hear us laughing all the way to the levee. Matt Coleman, Matt Hansell, Beth Sigler, the entire clark Family, you rock! And Mike Morrison, why wait until 2014?

Also, to the hard working group of people bringing the Colony Theatre back to life, hat’s off to all of you. I applaud your efforts and can’t wait to see that facility packed to the gills for an evening such as this one.

By the way, you can take in a performance of the Ohio Valley Opry the third Saturday of each month at the Opry House in McConnelsville. But get there early or buy your tickets in advance; it’s a packed house also.

Sandy Schafer



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