Saturday, May 24, 2008

THE PEOPLE SPEAK - Letters To The Editor

Copy of a letter sent to St. Charles City Council members. I took my case to the council after I was gassed - again - near my house on North 3rd Street Monday night.

To the St. Charles City Council,

Thank you for listening patiently to my view on the dangers of the City’s ineffective mosquito abatement program at last night’s council meeting (5/6/08).
Like many others, I recommended that the city 1. Increase the use of larvacide, and, 2.Employ a public relations campaign to encourage residents and businesses to be proactive in eliminating mosquito-breeding area on their properties. I’d like to add - and encouraging the use of non-toxic mosquito dunks, which can be purchased at local hardware stores.
This information is not news to Community Development and Code Enforcement staff. They’ve heard the suggestions, but won’t follow through.
Despite the growing body of research and controversy over using the product, they seem dedicated beyond reason to using Anvil, which is toxic, causes a host of public health problems, and kills all insects, amphibians and is probably harming birds and bats that eat poisoned insects.
It’s a very sweet deal for the pesticide companies. If they sold us a product that worked, they’d go out of business.
But Code Enforcement only does what it’s told. For whatever reason, City staff finds one excuse after another for not using larvacide, as other communities do. Staff, of course, knows very well how beneficial larvacides are, because the city has used them before.
Yet now Code Enforcement is dedicated to only fumigating our neighborhoods with Anvil, which does not address mosquito larvae. Worse, Anvil kills off all beneficial insects that eat mosquitoes. So our mosquito problem is worsening. It also kills off all butterflies, fireflies, ladybugs, bees, etc. And toads, frogs, fish, tadpoles, snails and more.
Seems to me that the older neighborhoods near Lindenwood and along the riverfront are being targeted in a number of ways that have dropped this area’s quality of life significantly.

Over-spraying of mosquito spray, and doing so against EPA regulations that are on the label, is just one example.

That’s why I asked you, the members of the City Council, if you have seen any mosquito trucks this year. If I understood you all, none have.
It’s very different in Frenchtown. For going on three years, we’ve been sprayed so frequently - and this is true -- I wonder if the  the City could be setting itself up for legal action due to EPA violations.

Forgive me, but I am wondering what the city’s agenda is. Because public health does not appear to be on the list, if  common sense and federal law in pesticide application are not being followed.

It makes me wonder, could excessive code enforcement activity and closing neighborhood schools have replaced eminent domain as a means of clearing out neighborhoods?

Peggy Whetzel