Thursday, August 27, 2015

Your Daily Spin: Lock your doors it's artificial turf!!!

We've been called jejune, mean spirited, sensationalist, satirical by other media all of which is true, liars we ain't. However, today's spin comes from the NIMBY do-as-I-say not-as-I-do Ed4Ed folks over at the Eye ( now picked up by the Mess), considered by many prefferred unbiased (cough cough) upper crust of sophisticated M-town "news" bloggery; you decide.

 On Monday, 25 citizens convinced the Common Council that despite scientific evidence supporting the contrary & a report by an outside engineering consultant Milone & McBroom explaining cost savings & benefits, artificial turf is dangerous to peoples health. The $37 million bond referendum now reads that no artificial can be used on city fields. Currently, the high school has a synthetic football field. Soccer coaches at the meeting argued a lengthened playing season as an advantage of synthetic over natural grass. Councilwoman Mary Bartolotta (D) lead the charge to strip the synthetic turf language from the ordinance & Mayor Drew cast the tie breaking vote. Absent were councilmembers Sandra Russo- Driska and  Carl Chisem. A medical doctor from the audience testified to synthetic turf being safe.  Jonah Center founder John Hall, Conservation Commisdion members, Superintendent Pat Charles and BOE member Ed McKeon spoke of supposed "known" health hazards of synthetic turf but failed to provide evidence.

The City Council was considering installing synthetic turf at 9 of the city owned playing fields as part of  $37 million referendum package including parks improvements to be voted on this fall by citizens. The bond amount without synthetic turf as an option amounts to $10 million, however, the council failed to reduced the ordinance before passing it on to the public for a referendum vote. As it stands, the entire amount will be borrowed & goes to citizens to vote on in November.

Prior to the meeting, a  letter from a newly formed local activist group  (?) ECoin - made of up what seem to be wannabe scientists branched off from the Jonah Center - Rev. John Hall - I want wife killer David Messenger freed to worship- for Earth Air Art & Green$$ Folkers - which can be read over at the Eye's website outlining the "danger" to children and "potential cancer risk" confirmed not by a scientific study, but MSNBC and a soccer goalie who swears on Al Gore's hair piece that synthetic turf causes cancer in children.

We would like to issue this PSA Disclaimer before reading the letter:
1. We get a lot of sh*t for siging as a collective Middletown Insider and not our God given names- this letter is signed ECoin group; "Treefanatic." Treefanatic is resident arborist Jane Harrris indicated on past posts, just sayin'!  Other "experts" in this ECoin group? Just regular lay people not scientists. Guess it's OK when you're of a particular political persuasion...

2. The article cited is by MSNBC which cites a Yale study & an EPA study which concluded that synthetic turf was found NOT to be harmful as far as causing cancer. The article states that both studies were NOT inconclusive, but they were conslusive. If further study was done, which they both suggested maybe a link might be found. Who knows. The author of the Ecoin letter says almost definitively that the studies were inconclusive. The original article Ecoin's letter improperly cites can be read here:  Read it for yourself and don't rely on anyone's - especially this groups sour regurgitation.

A 2010 study by CT DEP determined no added risks. In fact, the Board of Heath for Mass, NY &; California all came to the same conclusion. The City of Boston just voted down this spring a proposed moratorium on the use of synthetic turf at its city's fields due to lack of evidence of risks. Click below to enlarge concise letter outlining these studies. In  January 2015, the CT Dept. Of Public Health reissued a letter discouraging the circulation of false claims about synthetic fields. Prior in 2008, Attorney General Richard Blumenthal suggested prosecution for those perpetuating claims.

The ECoin article  cites non profit research that just happens to have been performed by lobbyist for organic field companies, which just happen to compete with the synthetic guys, conflict much?

3. The letter is written with decisive language purposely meant to be alarming to readers and misleading, look at the title "

 "Artificial Turf Fields—A Costly, Risky Solution to Improving the City’s Playing Fields" 

Come on.  Look at the last paragraph: "Given all the potential risks and high costs, is artificial turf the best solution for the City’s playing fields? Do we really want to expose our children to this product laden with toxic chemicals? Is it really necessary to prove a connection between playing on artificial turf and health concerns before we take the risks seriously? 
How long do we wish to experiment with our children?
We would argue that organic grass fields are the safest option, and we should PLAY IT SAFE. 
What can you do to help keep our children safe? Please contact the Mayor, Council Members and the Parks Department about your concerns, and urge them to make the switch to organically maintained playing fields."

Clear alarmist language by this activist group meant to cause panic.  Now if we did that you could imagine the public outcry- then why is it ok for a liberal leaning group do do so?

Bottom line:  Natural grass is great, but to scream from the hills an alternative is dangerous is extreme. Legit questions about performance , maintensnc, &  cost should be asked without a doubt! There are many case studies. In its report to the Public Work & Parks Department, Milone &McBroom provided many case studies of towns similar to Middletown weighing pros & cons. Don't rely on armchair scientists and self dubbed environmentalis to interpret facts for yor- do your own research ; come to your own conclusions and voice your own opinion at the poles in November. Now the question is, while the parks upgrades are very much needed, should the city bond more debt if the scope is being reduced? What a mess Common Council! 


  1. Just an FYI, I think that I read in the paper that Messenger has been approved to live full time in Hartford now. He had been on a program where he returned to CVH on weekends. I think that the article stated that his ability to travel from Hartford is supposed to be limited.

  2. Do your own research, it's not that hard! Read the data and conclusions to get informed. Copy and paste the below websites and studies, to read them.
    Don't forget that some of Middletown's athletic fields are on old landfills and to this day continue to settle. That's why we continually renovated them throughout the year. Their water tables are only a few feet below grade.

    Palmer Field, Hubbard Little League, and Pat Kidney Field are old landfills. When we did any excavation in the past at these sites, we pulled out old lumber, auto parts, and other construction and non-degradable materials. All three of these sites have tributaries they run off to directly next to them.


  3. The children of middletown are no doubt precious and should be protected from any harm from artificial turf even if there is any doubt or question of a health or safety concern.

    The nfl and its players are a giant corporation.

    Would these corporations let their most valuable assets be even slightly harmed or exposed to toxins if these allegations are even remotely true?

    Shame on those that prey on fear on behalf of being environmentally conscious.

    And by the way all you enviro, nimby folks here in this fine city.... Those fieds are made primarily of 100% recycled materials in which you all advocate so passionately for.

  4. Excellent links John Milardo! Thank you! Maintenance & performance are the real questions that should be asked prior to purchase instead of fear mongering.

  5. It's the adult leagues that need the increased field hours

  6. The youth sports organizations of middletown were told this was a "slam dunk". The mayor was behind it. We went to several meetings where the council was behind it. We were told that the director would keep us in the loop as far as public comment meetings were concerned.

    We got calls the afternoon of the special meeting (much shorter notice than previous) to tell us about it.
    With many sports now in the midst of fall practices, and the confidence exuded by the powers that be, there was a low turn out from the youth sports leagues and the thousands of parent/voters that make up our memberships. I hope Mr. Serra gets his revote, we will be there.
    I personally will not vote to approve 37 million with out the artificial turf. I need to know:
    a) What exactly are we doing to the parks.
    b) The cost.

    The artificial turf was a HUGE part of that 37 million.
    Join the movement, make yourself heard.

  7. Vote, please. Thanks very much


Authors of comments and posts are solely responsible for their statements. Please email for questions or concerns. This blog, (and any site using the blogger platform), does not and cannot track the source of comments. While opinions and criticism are fine, they are subject to moderator discretion; slander and vile attacks of individuals will not to be tolerated. Middletown Insider retains the right to deny any post or comment without explanation.

Popular Posts