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Letters to the Editor for Week of 6/16/08

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VETERANS' MEMORIAL NEEDS SUPPORT

After the end of World War II, many individuals recognized the need for a memorial to honor the dead of Dec. 7, 1941.

As resident of Vietnam Veterans of America, Chapter 710, I see a great need for a veterans’ memorial in the city of Galax — a memorial to honor all veterans, especially those who made the ultimate sacrifice for our freedom.

In this city of patriotic citizens, there is no memorial, no garden, no bronze bust, no marker, nothing that would tell the world it was the birthplace and childhood home of some great Americans.

If any town should have a formal, permanent place where people can go to grieve, heal and remember, it is Galax.

Therefore, I strongly urge each and every veteran in the Twin Counties to help support the veterans’ memorial [proposed for a site next to the Galax Public Library].

As one of the committee persons, I find it an honor and a privilege to work with the American Legion to help make this memorial a reality for everyone to enjoy and be proud of.

Frank Sayers

President

Vietnam Veterans of America Chapter 710

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HERBICIDES IN COMPOST HARMFUL

And how are your plants growing? It seems the compost industry is being threatened by an herbicide being found in compost, bypassing biodegradation.

Lab tests at Ohio State, Washington State and Cornell Universities have documented Clopyralid residues in grass clippings, straw, leaves, manure, bedding, hay feed, finished compost.

When cattle or horses graze or eat hay where Clopyralid has been applied, it is excreted in manure.

It is so toxic, it can harm plants with a concentration as low as 1 part per billion, says Ohio State. It is deadly to peas, tomatoes, beans, seeds, potatoes, sunflowers, lentils, lettuce, peppers. For photos of damaged crops see http://ohioline.osu.edu/aex-fact/0714.

News releases from the California Department of Pesticide Regulation announced restriction of Clopyralid in recycling programs to protect compost.

The Senate Committee on Environmental Quality passed bill AB2356 to restrict use of an herbicide that results in likely cause of damage to plants.

The Environmental Protection Agency banned Clopyralid products for lawn care and landscaping due to effects on compost and causing a chewing disease in horses.

In the past few months, lawn care products have come to market with other chemicals substituting Clopyralid, following directives of the Senate Committee and EPA.

In Grayson County this herbicide is allowed by the Virginia Pesticide Office for use by tree farmers as a restricted chemical.

This leaves Grayson vulnerable due to spraying and creates particulate matter drift, water and soil contamination, crop damages.

Contamination of the wild botanical pharmacopia is critical, as these herbs are used for uncountable drugs such as chemotherapeutics, heart medications, immunosupport.

(See De Re Medicina by Eli Lilly Pharmaceuticals or PDR Physicians’ Desk Reference For Herbal Medicines).

If you rely on compost, be concerned about the likelihood of crop injury and loss of organic certification. If you recycle leaves, grass, hay, manure, cuttings, Ohio State suggests you think twice before using products presenting contamination to crops, air, water, soil, compost. See www.mindfully.org/pesticide/clopyralid for documentation.

Write your legislators and newspapers with your concerns. Herbicide toxicity is being forced upon us.

Theresa Rogers

Elk Creek