STARK COUNTY "HAZMAT" CHIEF
RE: "FRACKING" OIL & GAS OPERATIONS
Second on Robert Fulgum's list of 16 items in All I Really Need to Know I Learned in Kindergarten is:
For Stark County's only countywide newspaper, the "play fair" aphorism should be where?
You've got it! ON TOP OF THE LIST.
But is it?
Chris Borello of the Concerned Citizens of Stark County (CCSC) is embarked on a fast and furious endeavor to convince the Powers That Be at The Repository to give "fair billing" to anti-fracking forces event coming to Canton's Palace Theater on Wednesday, October 9th.
From information that I have been able to gather (as of September 27th), all that The Rep is willing to do is to put the notice up on it "online" community events page.
Notwithstanding the initial rejection by The Repository folks to do a full blown promotion of Triple Divide screening, Borello is a very persistent community activist and IS NOT giving up.
Triple Divide's blog is hardly an objective treatment of the "fracking" phenomenon. But neither is the oil and gas industry side, of course.
The SCPR's position has always been that the industry must be closely scrutinized and preparation made for not if but when a major, major accident happens. And, it could be that one of those accidents will occur in Stark County.
STARK'S PREPARDNESS IF A "FRACKING" ACCIDENT HAPPENS?
The pro-fracking economic forces are clearly in control in the country these days given the fragile nature of the local, state and national economies.
So it appears that those forces will by and large force fracking full steam ahead wherever in American fracking will provide jobs.
The Report likes the position of Plain Township trustee Louis Giavasis who has put pressure on state of Ohio officials to compel frackers and the oil and gas industry to provide bonding and insurances adequate to cover the accidents when they come in order to make communities and individuals hurt by them - as nearly as possible - whole again.
To the degree that the politicos fail to provide for remediation, their names should be remembered and they should be held politically accountable for being remiss.
The responsibility of the media is to work very hard to ensure that the general public has access to information about risks/rewards of fracking.
When Canton experienced a chemical gas fire recently, Stark's Hazardous Materials (Hazmat) units responded efficiently and effectively.
It so happened that Stark's eminently qualified Hazmat chief (Canton Fire Department Battalion Chief Tom Garra) co-incidently appeared at a Stark County commissioners' work session (scheduled before the fire occurred) on the Monday or Tuesday immediately after the Canton chemical gases event.
The SCPR quizzed him (in a press conference-esque setting) about Stark Hazmat's preparedness in the event of a fracking accident. He did say (08:00 minute mark of video) that Stark Countians "can sleep well at night" in terms of Hazmat's prepardness to handle a "fracking" incident which involve hazardous materials. Morevoer, he speaks to "the specific training" that Stark Hazmat and Stark County fire departments have had and continue to have with regard to "fracking" accident prepardness.
BACK TO BORELLO'S EFFORT FOR "FAIR PLAY" IN GETTING INFORMATION OUT TO THE STARK COUNTY PUBLIC
Here is what Borello had to say in an email sent to The Rep yesterday in her endeavor to get the word out on Triple Divide coming to Stark County.
TO: The Canton Repository
c/o Editors Scott Brown and Gayle Beck cc: Shane Hoover, Edd Pritchard
RE: Request that the Rep publish this announcement and additional info. in a prominent space in the paper prior to the October 9th showing at Stark Kent. As previously requested, we also ask that you consider doing a separate larger story on the back story on why/how this film was created by these investigative journalists. If you have any questions, please contact Elyse at: firstname.lastname@example.org
Given that the Rep has published a 75 page spread that appeared to be mostly for the drillers' benefit, and that the paper is sponsoring an upcoming Shale Summit with the Canton Chamber ( that we assume your former editor, Dave Kaminski helped to facilitate in his efforts in promoting shale gas drilling now at the Chamber), we belief it would only be fair if the paper give this request special consideration, even though the paper was reportedly too booked to actually provide us the sponsorship we had requested prior. Citizens clearly cannot compete with mega wealthy corporations in purchasing "air time", but surely the paper, bare minimum, has an interest in facilitating both sides of this story for a well informed readership...?
Chris for Stark County Concerned Citizens
As Borello points out, those folks making the decision on the CCSC's request, have close historical-employment ties for former Repository executive editor David Kaminski who now works as a publicist for the Canton Regional Chamber of Commerce.
Guess what one of Kiminski's main focuses is on?
The benefits of "fracking" for Stark County and the entire surrounding area.
Does that sound just a little like there might be a "conflict-in-interest" in Brown and Beck determining whether or not to "play fair" with the CCSC on Triple Divide publicity?
Beck, in particular, should be really, really embarrassed over this matter.
As The Rep's lead editorial writer she is known to opine in print just every once in a while on "fairness" and avoiding the appearance of "conflict in interest."
Could it be that she and her fellows make an exception on "fairness" and freedom from "conflict in interest" for themselves?
- for the sake of Repository credibility, and
- for the sake of Stark Countians having the opportunity to be fully informed,
- to heed the call of Chris Borello and the CCSC for coverage of the Triple Divide event.
It is all about "playing fair, no?"