Fighting a landfill in Eastwick, PA
Which I identify with, because of our fight against landfills up here in the Great State of Maine. Will Bunch:
The now-81-year-old retiree recalls a brochure for the new Eastwick community from the developer Korman Homes that showed kids playing and sliding down the steep hill in back of the development, pushing "how much fun it would be for the children."
But it wasn't long after moving in that the Reids weren't able to open their window on a warm night because of the noxious odor of burning garbage - and they realized the fumes were coming from that hillside in the cheerful brochure, a disposal site that the locals called Heller's Dump but was officially known as the Clearview Landfill.
(At this point, we can say "Boy, were they stupid!" We could also say, "They were trusting." After all, this was many years ago... I'll skip the horrors of the landfill (it was a really bad one, with a cancer cluster) to get to this paragraph:
But in the last few years, a new spirit of activism has overtaken Eastwick. Three years ago, Reid and some of her neighbors successfully blocked a proposed new residential development, then set their sights on the lingering pollution problems. Their new group - the Eastwick Friends and Neighbors Coalition - didn't fit the well-worn stereotypes of granola-fed environmental activists. Many members were retired, many are African-American, and they now found themselves on the cutting edge of a national movement seeking "environmental justice" for low-income, urban communities that have been dumped on for years.
I found that the landfill fight cut across political boundaries as well; a combination of good NPR-listening liberals, deeply rooted locals, guys with beards in the woods, and the Penobscots. (Some of those categories overlap, of course.)
It also occurs to me that there might be similar issues in Ferguson, because of its industrial past and present (Emerson).