Letters to the Editor
I contributed to the article "End of the Trail" (MetroNews, June 14), and I find it unfortunate that the author opened the article by stating that "it [Clear Creek] is made of poisonous asbestos. I had hoped in doing the interview that Stephanie Pappas would be more objective and perhaps pose a question like "How dangerous is it?" I do not deny that the Clear Creek Management Area consists of a large outcropping of naturally occurring chrysotile asbestos, and I acknowledge that this form of asbestos has been linked to incidents of disease in an occupational setting. The question is whether recreational uses in an area with naturally occurring asbestos poses a long-term health hazard to the public. My comment "Show me the bodies" was made because there is no scientific evidence that exposure to the asbestos found in Clear Creek has ever caused any disease, even in an industrial setting. This fact is dismissed by the EPA, but it should be noted that the EPA has stated that they have not even researched the health records of the miners and millers who worked in Clear Creek or at one of the off-site processing facilities.
I also rode at Clear Creek for over 10 years. Before that, asbestos was heavily mined within the park (not sure exactly when, or for how long).
The EPA asserts that one in 100 people who "play" in the area over a period of 10 years (if I recall correctly) will contract asbestosis or mesothelioma. In spite of that "scientific opinion," the EPA and BLM cannot produce a single example of anyone who has ever been reported to suffer from any form of asbestosis or mesothelioma. Believe me, if I know of one, I'd speak up. I don't want anyone hurt or killed either. That's what Mr. Tobin and Mr. Zesiger mean when they say "show me the bodies." There are none. Never have been.
Jerry [Roberts] & Phil [Trounstine] failed to mention the single most important failure of California's governance ("Failed State," MetroNews, July 1), that is, the ability to pass a constitutional amendment on a mere 50 percent vote. Amend the constitution with 50 percent but pass a budget or tax increase with 67 percent?!? Compared to any other government, that is ass backwards, and worse, it enables special interests to infect the budget with the initiatives they did mention.
The whole California constitution needs to be rewritten, from the ground up, preferably modeled on a state with a functioning governance model and protections to make initiatives harder but not impossible.
John M. Stafford
I was pleased to read Richard von Busack's critical response to Earth ("Animal Planet," Film Review, April 22). It's about time someone woke us up to the fact that of fantastically photographed wildlife documentaries have done little to secure charismatic megafauna's rightful place on our crowded planet. The question is, how to present this incredible, breath-taking photography in a less theatrical, less anthropomorphized, less three-act play form that will get the real message across and still pull "families" into theaters.
Daniel Hayes Pearson