To the Editor:
9/11. What goes through your mind when you think about it? Are you old enough to have memories of 9/11? You’ve probably seen pictures of the Twin Towers on fire, the smoldering wreckage, the responders working on what we called “The Pile”. Maybe you’ll watch a special on TV this fall, or read an editorial or other article on 9/11.
What you may not know is what was in the air, what surrounded us at Ground Zero. When the planes hit, 24,000 gallons of jet fuel ignited 100,000 tons of debris and 230,000 gallons of transformer, heating and diesel oils. According to the CDC, this set off a giant toxic plume of fire, soot and dust. Workers were exposed to asbestos, carbon monoxide, hydrogen sulfide, PCB’s, crystalline silica and other particulates. When I left Ground Zero on December 1st, these fires were still burning.
We’ve already lost over 2,000 responders from 9/11-related illnesses. The death toll among responders from their work will, in just a few years, exceed the number of people who were killed during the attacks. Over78,000 people are registered with the WTC Health Program, and many of them will eventually succumb to their 9/11 illnesses.
9/11 responders are dying every day. Do not forget us. Never Forget.”
To the Editor:
I’m working to support a ballot initiative by circulating a petition.
Our initiated measure is the Voter Protection and Anti-Corruption (VPAC) amendment. This amendment will reduce the influence on legislative decisions by deep pocket donors. We say “never again” to what the legislature did to IM-22. Repealing initiated measures shouldn’t be so easy.
In recent years, inattentive government management allowed millions of dollars to be lost to individual investors and to the state treasury. Those are just the known missteps. It’s also a fact that our politics is awash in money.
Recognizing this effort to be a heavy lift, we reached out to a nonpartisan group in Florence, Massachusetts called Represent.US. This organization is a 501c(4) non-profit corporation. It was specifically created to build support for initiatives that overhaul lobbying, transparency, and campaign finance laws. They don’t accept money from politically-associated groups or from corporations. Meanwhile, complaining lawmakers have access to hundreds of profit-motivated model bills from corporate-supported ALEC organization.
Several well known constitutional scholars contributed to the authorship of our specific South Dakota amendment. The authors maintain that the provisions are fully constitutional and compatible with all federal court rulings.
Dave L. Wegner