Park campaign's message was clear and consistent
In response to the Aug. 11 letter to the editor regarding Mill Creek MetroParks, I feel compelled to speak on behalf of the citizens of Mahoning County who served on the committee to pass Mill Creek MetroPark's Replacement Levy. The mission of this group for approximately five months was to educate the public that they would be asked to vote for a 1.75-mill operating levy that would replace the 1.9-mill operating levy that was due to expire at the end of 2002.
The message was clear and repeated during speaking engagements to social, civic, labor, educational, and agricultural organizations throughout our county. Volunteers handed out informational flyers that explained the need for the funds as well as the benefits that the MetroParks provide area residents.
Initially Mahoning County residents were informed of the replacement levy during the May 10, 2001, public meeting of the Board of Park Commissioners who unanimously voted to replace the 1.9-mill operating levy with a 15-year, 1.75-mill countywide levy that would be placed on the Nov. 6, 2001, ballot. The Vindicator reported that the next day.
Those of us who worked diligently to inform our neighbors, friends and members of the general public believe the residents of Mahoning County were informed voters and did vote accordingly.
Addressing the issue as to whether and who conducts an audit of our MetroParks I checked. The Office of the Auditor of the State of Ohio conducts an audit every two years. The last audit was for the years 2000 and 2001. No findings were made in that audit or any previous audits of Mill Creek MetroParks.
Instead of taking issue with the park perhaps we should all enjoy this wonderful entertainment center. Mill Creek MetroParks is one of our Valley's greatest assets. If you haven't experienced it recently I encourage you to do so.
MARIE IZZO CARTWRIGHT
More than 'Silent Spring' cried out for DDT ban
The writer of the letter of Aug. 19 about DDT is obviously reiterating the line of the discredited book, "Bugs or People?" by Wheeler McMillen, published in 1965. The library I worked in had copies of this book and of "Silent Spring" so people could decide for themselves.
It is also obvious that the writer has studiously ignored the subsequent hard science findings that went into the Environmental Protection Agency decision in 1972. Rachel Carson's book was just an early warning that alerted other scientists to take a closer look at DDT, which they then did.
One of the more spectacularly newsworthy unexpected consequences of DDT was the near extinction of the Peregrine Falcon. This happened because the birds were absorbing DDT from their prey. The result was that the shells of their eggs cracked under the weight of the female before they could hatch. The recovery of the falcon has coincided with the time after the ban.
So what's one bird in the larger picture? There was a very good possibility that DDT concentrations would have increased in other birds. The result would have been no living Bald Eagles to be our National Symbol, no Thanksgiving turkeys, no chicken dinners, and no breakfast eggs.
There might have been other consequences. DDT is based on two benzene rings. Other compounds essential to human nutrition and health are also based on benzene rings. Estrogen is one, as is Testosterone, Vitamins A, E, B12, and Folic Acid among many others. There is a good possibility that our bodies would have been fooled into substituting DDT for the chemicals that are essential to our health. It happened to the Peregrine Falcon.
Besides, there already were disturbing indications from the field that mosquitoes were becoming immune to DDT. The result would have been that today, with continued use, the mosquitos would have been eating DDT for breakfast, and then coming to do their dirty work on us.
JEROME K. STEPHENS