Tuesday, April 29, 2008
Don't Spray Me!
Judge halts aerial moth spraying in Santa Cruz County
San Francisco Examiner
April 24, 2008
by Garnace Burke, AP
FRESNO, Calif. - A California judge dealt a major setback to the state's campaign against an invasive moth on Thursday, ruling that aerial sprays must halt over Santa Cruz County until agricultural officials do a full environmental review of their anti-pest program.
The ruling could keep planes from spraying a pesticide targeting the light brown apple moth for up to a year, while the state studies the spray's effect on people and the environment, said county spokeswoman Dinah Phillips.
Secretary of Food and Agriculture A.G. Kawamura vowed the state would appeal the ruling immediately. In a statement, he said the decision was delaying "the safest, most progressive eradication program available."
After meeting with lawmakers and environmentalists, Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger said Thursday the state would suspend aerial sprays until Aug. 17, by which time further "acute testing" of the spray's impact on humans would be complete.
"The light brown apple moth is a serious threat to California's forests and agriculture. If left uncontrolled, the moth would have a devastating impact on our state's environment and economy," Schwarzenegger said in a statement.
But hundreds of people complained of feeling sick when planes applied the first round of spray along the central coast last fall. State environmental health experts recently said those reported illnesses can't conclusively be tied to the pest eradication efforts.
Soon after the sprays, the County and City of Santa Cruz filed suit against the state, saying Kawamura broke state law by authorizing aerial campaign without the benefit of environmental review. Environmentalists filed a similar suit in Monterey County Superior Court, which is scheduled to be heard May 8.
Burdick ruled the state had not proved the moth infestation constituted an emergency, a category that would have allowed authorities to avoid the lengthy state review process.
Assemblyman John Laird, D-Santa Cruz, who has written two bills critical of the program, said he hoped the ruling would "make way for additional science-based, independent third-party review" of the state's plans.
Meanwhile, dozens of Santa Cruz residents cheered Judge Paul Burdick's ruling Thursday, Phillips said.
"When the judge announced his decision, a tremendous cheer was raised," she said. "I can still see dozens of people outside my window giving each other high fives."
Agriculture officials did not immediately respond to calls seeking further information about the ruling's impact in the San Francisco Bay area, where authorities also planned to send up planes to drop a fine chemical mist this summer.
Officials with the U.S. Department of Food and Agriculture have said the agency may go ahead with the spray campaign regardless of the ruling because the moth threatens to destroy millions of dollars' worth of valuable crops.
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Date: Sun, 27 Apr 2008
I am sending this out, even though, the spraying in Sonoma has NOT YET been put on the calendar by the USDA. You might be wondering... what's the big deal... we are sprayed all the time with the vineyards. This is different. This would be above your house,your children's schools, in your neighborhoods. Please check out the attachment and go to the site: www.StoptheSprayMarin.org
We can organize something in Sonoma County, but my preference would be to focus and concentrate more people at the rally in Marin County on May 10th (see attach.) and let our local papers know that a large group of Sonomans are supporting Marin.
Santa Cruz has already been sprayed with over 600 adults, pets, wildlife (dozens of birds found dead. Waterways foaming up) and their children, coming down with numerous health issues. Santa Cruz County will be sprayed again,every 3 months (for a week) for 3-10 years! So will Marin and we don't know about Sonoma, yet.
I hope you can make it to Marin. If not please, please let your friends and neighbors know.
If you have any questions you can contact me at 933-0312. If you want more info from either Frank or Paul (the Marin Coordinators), I can give you their contacts. They are working 24/7 with little sleep so I and Will are the in between people in Sonoma ... for the meantime!
Paul has the contacts for all the Mothers Clubs in Sonoma County. If any of you are involved in the Clubs and would like to organize something in Sonoma, let me know.
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Moms March to Stop the Spraying Simultaneous City March
Sat, May 10, 9:30am – 12:00pm
Corte Madera Town Center, Corte Madera, Marin, California 94925
Gather in Parking lot at 9:30 - begin march at 10, Rally is over at Noon.
Moms March to Stop the Spraying Simultaneous City March Day Before Mothers Day
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The California Alliance to Stop the Spray (CASS)