I understand that over 600 people are now reporting problems as a result of the fiasco with Philip Services Corporation. Just a quick reminder, September 1st at 5 p.m. is the absolute deadline for reporting your symptoms to the Fayette County Department of Fire and Emergency. Go to www.jmacsnippets.net or www.communitytaskforce.org to get copies of the forms and more information!!!
Wednesday, August 30, 2006
Tuesday, August 29, 2006
I've been reading through all the various health and environmental agencies responses to the problem at the Philip Services Corporation in Fairburn. I've also been out on the Internet looking up mercaptan, MOCAP, ethoprop.
All the "official" responses from the Fulton County Health Department, EPD and related agencies seem to have a similar "tone." My impression from the overall "tone" of their written and verbal responses is that they look at this as something they're being required to take seriously (political pressure? covering their behinds?) but they look at it as an "odor" problem. You can almost feel them rolling their eyes at times.
Now there are some agencies that are taking this very seriously. Kudos to the Fayette County Department of Fire & Emergency Services, Representative Virgil Fludd, the Fayette County Board of Commissioners and others who are going above and beyond! And don't take what I wrote above wrong - I'm not saying these agencies aren't responding. There is a lot of effort being put into this and lots of paperwork is being generated. But it seems that most of the effort from the state is geared toward placating citizens.
However, if they were truly taking this seriously, they would be doing the best of the best when it came to taking samples. They would have had some speed behind their actions. They would have gone and be going that extra mile to make sure people had access to proper medical testing. There would be some testing of the pets that have died under unusual circumstances. The citizens wouldn't need to be yelling and pushing to get things done. The agencies would be leading the way.
I've read about mercaptan, which is the chemical causing the odor. It seems, if I'm understanding all the technical jargon correctly, you have to be exposed to one huge amount of mercaptan to get the symptoms people are complaining about.
When you look at over 400 people with similar symptoms common sense would dictate that some other chemical must be in play. As long as the EPD and others look at this as a mercaptan (odor) problem, they take it too seriously.
I'm disappointed in the response from state agencies. To my way of thinking, if there's smoke, there's a fire of some sort. You don't wait until you see the fire to respond. You go to the source and keep looking until you find how the smoke is being generated. You don't show up with a backyard hose or water guns, you bring the fire trucks and the big hoses. (From a common sense way of looking at things, if you want the citizens to have faith that there's nothing there when you say it, you do everything in your power to prove there's nothing there. )
Continuing the fire metaphor... I could be wrong, but it seems that those who set this fire (Philip) are telling the fire fighters (EPD, etc.) they put out a small fire without a burning permit, were willing to take their punishment and now they've promised they won't do it again. Meanwhile local citizens are pointing to huge clouds of smoke and saying the problems bigger, fire's not out...
Posted by Georgia Front Page.com at 12:53 PM
Sunday, August 27, 2006
I won't leave the house without mine. I imagine a large percentage of you who are reading this have cell phones and they're an accepted, normal, not-to-be-lived-without part of your lives.
Dekalb County, led by Vernon Jones, has passed a law adding a $500 additional fine if you're in a car accident and using a cell phone was a contributing factor.
I know using a cell phone in a car can be distracting and it can contribute to and/or cause accidents. However, I think they're going to have a bit of difficulty in two areas.
One, how do you prove using a cell phone was a contributing factor? How much extra is it going to cost to litigate the he said-she said that could be involved? If they find a cell phone on site and the person was using it, does that automatically make it a causation factor?
Two, it's behavior. If they can say using a cell phone can result in a higher fine, what about combing your hair? fussing at your children in the backseat? eating a candy bar? changing the radio station? All of those things can cause and/or contribute to accidents. What about swatting at a bee that flies in the window? There are statistics that say bugs cause quite a few accidents.
Now Dekalb does have some factual data to back up their concern about cell phone use. A large percentage of car accidents in Dekalb (and presumably everywhere) are purported to occur as a result of cell-phone use distraction. But why not just ban the use of cell phones while driving like some areas have? Answering my own question, I would say it's unpopular to ban something that would aggravate a vast majority. It's easier to slap a fine on the tail end of those who don't use their phones "responsibly."
I think there's going to be litigation on this one. Nice as it sounds in some ways, it's not going to hold up under legal scrutiny.
Posted by Georgia Front Page.com at 11:07 AM
Saturday, August 19, 2006
When I was at the meeting this past Tuesday regarding the MOCAP release by the Phillips Service Corporation (PSC) in Fairburn I talked with the EPD rep for a short period of time. He was talking to someone else when I walked up and was explaining how they had tested the air for mercaptan.
Mercaptan is the odorant the put in non-smelling toxic agents to give them a smell. It is used because such a tiny amount can odorize a large amount. In very high concentrations it can cause problems.
However, the problem is not with the mercaptan, it's with whatever it was odorizing (in this case, ethoprop, a highly toxic insecticide that has been banned for use on certain things we ingest already!).
Back to the EPD conversation... They tested the air. I asked if they had tested the water. The answer was something along the lines of "it wasn't what we were tasked to do." They found enough problems to hit Phillips with the largest fine the EPD has ever levied but they didn't check the water? or the soil?
I understand that Fayette County took the initiative to test the water and the results are posted on www.JMacSnippets.net (Dennis Chase's report). It looks like Whitewater Creek has a few problems but not the kind of problems that it would have if MOCAP had been dumped in it.
However, I have two questions: 1) How do we know the MOCAP didn't leach through the soil into the underground aquifiers and 2) What goes with an agency that has to have a mandate to test the water and the soil?
We're on well water. I'm not sure exactly where the water comes from, whether it ties into Whitewater Creek somehow or not. I suppose I should try to find out. We have the water tested and we have a water filter to take out some of the impurities. I have a tendency to drink bottled water anyway, since we have hard water and I haven't taken the time to see if that white residue I see building up on the refrigerator dispenser is something that could build up inside my body... Hopefully someone out there who might happen to read this will know and zap an email (firstname.lastname@example.org) or leave a comment.
Continuing to think about MOCAP, our water and overall health:
I'm fairly astute when it comes to keeping up with products, health, vitamins, and research. I watch what I eat and I do my darndest to take care of myself (yes, working out more would be a great thing to do!). Since reading about MOCAP, mercaptan and all the fun things that people dump into our food supply I've increased my emphasis on detoxification.
I started taking NCD drops a few months back (gets rid of the metals and toxins in the system). I've gone back on the higher dosage as a result of what I've been reading. The company (Waiora) is coming out with a great new antioxidant, vitamin, etc. product in liquid form next month. I'm going to be getting that also. I love the idea of taking an ounce or so of liquid a day rather than downing those easy-to-forget vitamins!
The NCD Zeolite drops are easy, the liquid vitamins are going to be easy. I'm using what we call "Botox in a bottle," too. Huge difference in my skin.
I think I might up my vitamin C and other antioxidants just a bit in the meantime. I'm still working on moving to organic. I've found FROZEN organic veggies! Now we're talking... Kroger, Wal-Mart, Publix all have organic pre-packaged foods and frozen offerings. I can be lazy in the kitchen and eat right at the same time. Ah, life is good.
To learn more about MOCAP, ethoprop and mercaptan, click on the PSC Odor link under Issues on the front page of www.JMacSnippets.net. To find out more about Waiora products, wander around this site: http://www.zeolitewellness.com/Janet.
Posted by Georgia Front Page.com at 12:41 PM
Wednesday, August 16, 2006
If you haven't heard of any of the words in the title of this column you probably haven't heard about the problems with the Phillips Service Corp. (PSC) in Fairburn. Hundreds of individuals have reported problems from inhaling or other potential exposure to ethoprop (trade name MOCAP).
Mercaptan is the agent that is put in gas, insecticides and other non-odorous products to GIVE them an odor. It makes sense to put something in odorless products that can kill you.
You can read the news stories elsewhere - the subject has been reported in the news across the country (to see a list visit www.JMacSnippets.net and click on the PSC Odor link).
I've been out reading about MOCAP. I've decided I will never again eat any non-organic product. It is scary to actually see the number of toxic chemicals being used by farmers around the world.
Typically, we get upset about things when we can see, touch, hear or feel them. Most of us have no idea how our food is grown. We still have the pictures in our minds from when we were young of the farmer on his tractor in the field. The family scene of little Jimmy milking the cow while young Susie fills her basket with fresh-laid eggs.
I read a book years ago about pork, chicken and beef in the United States. A reporter traveled the country touring plants, visiting a wide assortment of agencies and farms. I doubt anyone would be able to sink their teeth into a steak after reading what we feed our cattle.
What would happen if we started looking into how our veggies are grown? The first thing to go would be the rosy picture we have from our youth about farms! Just like our beef and chicken, everything is done for expediency and dollars.
I understand the difficulty facing those who provide us with our food. How can we feed the world if we can't kill the bugs and diseases that attack our food sources? Most of us are spoiled. Given a choice between an almost-ripe red tomato that tastes like mush and an organic tomato that has some spots on it, we're going to grab the pretty red one. Especially when we compare prices.
But what price should we put on our health? After reading about MOCAP, ethoprop and even mercaptan, I've decided to see if I can afford to go organic. We'll see.
Posted by Georgia Front Page.com at 7:43 PM
Whew. I've been reading about the problem up at the Phillips plant on the Fayette County border in South Fulton and I've been emailing with a few folks. Last night I went to the meeting at Sandy Creek High School. What a mess.
The meeting wasn't a mess. Rep. Virgil Fludd did a good job getting the right people together and hosting the meeting. The mess is the situation.
My overall impression was that a lot of people are working very hard to do what they can to correct the problem but it's a disjointed effort. One agency takes some samples but not others. One government group checks the water. Another is dealing with another aspect. The most organized group appears to be the citizen's group!
It sounded like there is a joint task force being put together finally that will pull all the resources together. I should be finding out more about that Thursday.
Unfortunately, it's taken a long time to get it to happen and more and more people are complaining about illnesses. There's a lot of understandable frustration.
The forum last night really brought home to me how impotent the goverment can be as it's bogged down with so many restrictions. The representative from the EPA said a number of times that his agency could only do this or that. Why aren't they able to reach out - or maybe the question is why don't they take the initiative to reach out - to other agencies?
I'm getting into the thick of this a little late. There are some fantastic people in the Community group who have put time and sweat into getting some answers. They are organized by Connie Biemiller who is the perfect person for this arduous task!
Dennis Chase, Lois Speaker and others have joined forces to get to the bottom of this and to do what they can to get the situation corrected.
If you'd like to keep up with this problem, check out the new website at www.JMacSnippets.net. Click on the PSC Odor link on the front page under issues. If you'd like to add your comments to the website, send an email to email@example.com. In the near future there will be a guest book which will give you the opportunity to add your comments directly.
Get involved! Get it fixed.
Posted by Georgia Front Page.com at 7:39 AM
Sunday, August 13, 2006
My mom has taken over the Spirituality blog and is now updating it! She is the perfect person to share her faith and thoughts. She has such a big heart and I'm so thrilled to have her joining me in this 'venture.'
I'm getting my fingers in too many pies again! Between the Kiwanis, the Republican Party, the Fayette Forum, the soon-to-be relaunched JMacSnippets.net, the web sites I'm revamping for a number of businesses and a church, the grandkids, my pottery, my part-time job... I could go on!
Most important is my so very kind and understanding husband, Greg. His patience is astounding!
Posted by Georgia Front Page.com at 10:07 PM
Friday, August 11, 2006
Things are getting back to "normal." My normal. Which might not be so normal to some of you
I'm waiting on a kiln load to cool off now. The hardest part of the entire process is waiting for the kiln to cool down to room temperature so I can open the lid and see if I did good... or not. Open the kiln too soon and the pieces can break or the glaze can craze or even crack. Not good to hear that pinging noise when you open the kiln too soon!
Rule of thumb is that the kiln needs to cool three times the length of time it took to reach the optimum temperature. So, if it took seven hours to hit the max and click off, it'll take around 21 hours or so to cool down. In this heat it's taking a bit longer. No, it's taking a lot longer!!!
Patience is not one of my strong points but the kiln is teaching me to have a bit more.
Posted by Georgia Front Page.com at 10:35 PM
Thursday, August 10, 2006
I am simply loving seeing all the bikes on the road in Fayette County! I know there are people that get impatient when they have to wait for a clear road to go around a biker, but I don't mind. I used to ride until I blew my knees out running. I miss it. There's nothing better than an early morning ride through the woods on the paths in Peachtree City. I would come up on wildlife fairly often. We'd both stop and look at each other, usually they gave it up first and would take off.
The "Share the Road" signs are great. I'd prefer to see paths all through the county, but that's a rather expensive project to undertake. Maybe someday... I imagine if the price of gas keeps going up we'll see more folks taking their bikes on short hops. Around here the preferred way of travel without a car is a golf cart though!
When I get "stuck" behind a bike I rather like the fact that I usually have to slow down. It seems like I'm always behind, always running from one place to the next. When I am forced to slow down along a country road I take the time to look at the scenery, to slow my breathing just a little and regroup.
I envy those who are able to ride. I'm not so sure I'd be as brave as some. I remember riding the back roads with my son when he was still at home. A bunch of guys in a pickup truck decided it would be fun to run us off the road. They tossed a beer can out the truck as they sped off laughing. Definitely had my heart rate on the high side! I can't understand why someone would think it was fun to run a mother and child off the road. Luckily neither of us were hurt.
I made sure we popped our bikes on the back of the car and drove into Peachtree City to ride on the paths after that. There's probably not a path in Peachtree City that I haven't been on more than... well, who knows how many times! Between my biking, running and golf cart riding I've lost count.
I've rambled enough. I have been seeing more and more riders on the roads and wanted to commend them and let them know that there is at least one person riding behind them who doesn't mind a bit.
Posted by Georgia Front Page.com at 9:19 PM
Wednesday, August 02, 2006
I am usually a skeptical person when it comes to things I'm going to ingest. My husband would say I'm not as he sees me eating vitamins and taking herbs (self-medicating ;-). But I do my research, watch things for a while, watch people who are taking things to see if there's really any benefit and I check out the company, and so on and so on. Over the years I've tried a lot of things that flat out didn't live up to their advertisements, so I tend to be harder to convince now.
I am in a women's networking group that meets every Thursday morning. (No, I'm not changing the subject!!! I'll tie this together in a sentence or two or ten...). It's a great group of ever-changing women who have become friends. There's JoAnna Shipe who has to be the most dynamic and effervescent Mary Kay woman in the entire world! Angie McCarl, co-owner of the Peachtree City Fitness Spa. She is one of the kindest and most caring individuals I may ever know. Debbie Baus, another great woman who really knows her Internet! She's a loving mother, intelligent as they come and just an all-round good person. There are others - Linda Mackey, best person for insurance... Denise Davis, who I could sit and talk with for a lifetime. She is the absolute best reflexologist (Sole Therapy) I have ever known or heard of, plus she's the co-founder of a fantastic group, Joyful Being. Kim Pettinato, health, health, health is her forte! There are many more and I'm sorry I don't have space to list everyone... because I need to get back to my theme finally!
First Angie started talking about a product from a company named Waiora called Natural Cellular Defense. She told us various tales of improvements people she knew had taking these "zeolite" drops. My thoughts? Oh, yeah, another one of those miracle health things... I listened, but I wasn't going to get involved.
Time goes on, another person in the group tries them, starts talking about cold sores going away on their daughter. Someone else tells about a woman diagnosed with cancer who started taking the drops and her tumor shrunk before her operation (no drugs!). Then the real kicker - one of the ladies started noticing her cellulite diminishing. OK, NOW I'm listening! Story after story from people I knew and it takes the lessening of unsightly fat bubbles to make my ears perk up. (It's that old WIIFM, "what's in it for me" thing!).
Yup, I'm taking those little drops now and I'm already seeing results. Not in my cellulite (I imagine that's going to take more than a week to go away). No, I'm seeing my skin improve. I'm not just taking the drops, I'm dabbing a little on my skin to see what happens. After all, if it'll work on cold sores, cellulite and cancer, surely it'll help even out those wrinkles a little?
I'm still learning about it and I'll be posting info on here off & on so you can keep up with the results. I'll share any bits of info I hear from my other zeolite taking friends! I have seen one thing in another friend of mine - her skin is visibly improving. She's using some of the other Waiora products that are geared to anti-aging. If she keeps improving, I'm going to be smearing that stuff on, too!
Posted by Georgia Front Page.com at 10:51 AM
I have good intentions. I have plenty to write about. But it seems that most of my "spare" time is taken up with writing stores for the Forum, updating my various websites and going to events for the Forum and/or for the campaign and/or for iSold It on eBay. You'd be surprised at how much time it takes to keep just this website updated! I'm thankful to all of those who send the great photos and news! I'd like to see more.
Today Greg & I started the day in Peachtree City at the Memorial Day service. It was humbling. The older I get the more I appreciate the sacrifices others have made so that I can live the great life I am living.
After the PTC event we drove into Fayetteville for that Memorial Day ceremony. Both were moving and very well orchestrated. A lot of people put a lot of heart and energy into putting the events together.
Greg is retired from the military and this day has special meaning to him. He was in Vietnam (twice) and the Gulf War, has two Purple Hearts and is the Hall of Fame at Ft. Benning. He is always extra reflective on this weekend, remembering those who died in service to their country. It is politically correct to say "made the ultimate sacrifice" these days rather than be blunt and say they died. Today I head tales of some horrific deaths. They were more than sacrifices, they were truly heroic tales of soldiers throwing themselves on grenades to save their fellow soldiers and similar feats of courage.
It's hard to think of all the many thousands and thousands who have suffered and died in past wars, and the current war. I have a hard time wrapping my mind around the reality of war. I would imagine that for those who've been there, it's difficult sometimes to live with the reality of what they've experienced.
I am thankful to the many, many soldiers and individuals who fought and fight to keep our country free and to bring freedom to others. I am thankful that there are men in this world like Greg who don't think twice when it comes to serving. His entire life has been given in service to others. We in America are so very, very lucky. We in Fayette County are doubly blessed. I am triply blessed to live here, to live in America and to be sharing my life with my own brave and honorable soldier.
Posted by Georgia Front Page.com at 10:51 AM
It's been a busy few weeks jam packed with many wonderful events. Today was possibly the best. Some of you may be aware that today is designated as a National Day of Prayer. For the past 15 plus years local churches have gotten together to invite local elected officials to a breakfast.
This morning Greg and I started out day at Grace Evangelical Church on Flat Creek Road. it was truly and uplifting event! You can't help but feel good when a room full of ministers are praying for you. We met a lot of wonderful people. It is a good feeling to know that you are on so very many prayer lists!
On Tuesday the Metro Fayette Kiwanis honored the Most Improved Students from all the elementary schools in the county. There were some sharp 5th graders who had made some impressive strides during the year! What struck me was how caring and dedicated their teachers and principals were. We'll have pictures on the site in the near future.
Saturday night Carolyn Cary was honored. This super lady has had her fingers in almost every pie in the county at some point. She is phenomenal. As is our Fayette County Library staff! Ms. Christeen Snell cooked up this fabulous event to honor Carolyn. It was a huge success.
Friday night I attended the first social event for members of the Fayette Art Center and Gallery. This non-profit center is doing much to bring the arts to the forefront in the county. Kathaleen Brewer is committed to expanding our horizons and is doing a fantastic job!
I managed to get in a few days of work at iSold It in Peachtree City. That is one fun job. Every day I meet new people and learn something new about all the great things people have collected through time. That's an article that deserves its own space.
I spent some time with our cute and still cuddly granddaughter, Niah. Plus Greg and I saw our other granddaughter practice and then play in her first official soccer game. Seeing a bunch of four year olds play soccer is non-stop laughs. As long as they were kicking the ball somewhere they were happy - it didn't matter if they kicked it in the wrong direction.
After the soccer game we spent time with their family before going to our OTHER granddaughter's softball game.
I know I've forgotten something! Through it all there is a common theme - great people!
Posted by Georgia Front Page.com at 10:50 AM
What a weekend! Despite the rain Saturday morning, many great things happened. Friday night well-known award-winning author Sue Monk Kidd graced Fayette County with her presence. And believe me, she is graceful!
Saturday morning the Fair for Families of Special Needs Children at McIntosh High School drew steady crowds. Sixteen vendors talked to attendees about the services they offered. Children took home small footballs, cups, candy and other treats. Parents and interested parties took home a wealth of information. Watch the Forum for an article and photos in the next few days.
The show went on at the Family Festival of Arts, set up under the huge covered event area at the Fayette Family YMCA, despite the morning storms. They swept gathered water out of the area and kept the performances and displays on track. Sadly due to the weather, many missed out on some wonderful performances. However, once the sun came out late Saturday people started to appear.
Theater groups, ballet dancers, singers and many other entertained. A wide assortment of booths showcased musicians, schools, art and related groups.
The Odd Couple, performed by Fayette Community Players and Theater was fantastic! They will have repeat performances next weekend. We encourage everyone to look at the April Happenings section to find out how to get your tickets early. This play is well-done, is humorous and the performers were outstanding.
Overall it was a busy weekend. Yours truly ended it with a visit to north Atlanta to see niece Naomi in a church production, then headed over for Niah's (granddaughter) third birthday party. The party is always a huge production in its own right with somewhere in the neighborhood of sixty family members and friends gathering for an outdoor cookout. Home again, home again and proud to be living in this wonderful county!
Posted by Georgia Front Page.com at 10:49 AM
Many years ago I finally figured out that it doesn't do a bit of good to dwell on the bad things in life. It doesn't change anything when you worry about something you have no control over. When bad things happen, allowing them to make you miserable doesn't make them "less bad."
Way back when, I went through a bad spell where it seemed everything that could go wrong went wrong. I was miserable. Then somehow, and I'm not even sure what triggered the lightening bolt, I realized that I got through every situation. Zap. Sooner or later I woke up one day and the negative was behind me. It dawned on me that I always got through whatever it was that happened. And, double zap, it hit me that going through it might have been a little easier if I took to heart that I would someday be looking back, if I stopped letting the situation permeate every aspect of my psyche.
I also discovered that in each bad situation I encountered I learned some valuable lesson or lessons. (In case it crossed anyone's mind, yes, I'm the type person who seems to generally learn things the hard way!)
I worked at controlling my own attitude (sometimes I still have to work at it!). I decided I could choose to wake up each morning and think about all the horrible or tiresome things I had to face, or I could take a moment to think about how lucky I was, find something good in the upcoming day to dwell on.
There are some physical afflictions that definitely cause depression. Lack of exercise and sunshine can affect moods. Luckily there are usually (not always) remedies of some sort if you look.
However, aside from the physical, I have become a firm believer that you can control your own attitude. If you always look for the bad, you're always going to find the bad. If you dwell on the nasty things life throws at you at times then you'll spiral downward emotionally and at some point, physically.
Sure, you have to deal with situations and act to make them better. Looking for the good in people and circumstances doesn't mean ignoring reality. But attitude is mine to control.
I think it is possible to decide to be happy, to see the good. I believe it's possible to make the decision to have a better outlook on life. We all learn our lessons in different ways at different times. For me generally bits and pieces sift into my brain over a period of time and one day a little light turns on and, wham, I'm there. For others they need a life coach, a mentor, a minister, or a good friend to steer them or flick then in the head. Some of us occasionally need major eye-opening occurrences to shock us into seeing things differently.
I heard some years back that only about 5% of the adult population were actually consciously working to improve themselves emotionally and/or mentally. I doubted the figure then and I doubt it now. The majority of us try in some way to improve ourselves. Some of us weren't given the tools and have to fight harder to make those improvements. Believing and having a positive attitude is a large part of winning any battle we face in life. I challenge you to challenge your own way of looking at life.
Life is good.
Posted by Georgia Front Page.com at 10:48 AM