When Special Interest Groups Attack
On a lark I checked out Greenpoint’s page on Wikipedia yesterday. What I beheld literally left me speechless. Here’s an excerpt from the “litigation” section:
In 1950, the predecessor* of the ExxonMobil Oil company is alleged to have spilled 17 to 30 million gallons of oil into Newtown Creek in the worst oil spill in United States history. Oil is believed to have been seeping into the groundwater since then.
Alleged? ALLEGED?!? What the fuck was the person who wrote this smoking? Amazed by the sheer ass that laid before my eyes, I wondered what the Greenpoint Oil Spill page was like. I pointed, clicked and gasped:
…Questions have surfaced about the timing of these lawsuits. Although the community is unanimous in its determination to have the spill completely cleaned up and to reclaim the Newtown creek, some question whether the resurfacing of this nearly 30 year old oil spill story is being used to attack the community after it won its rezoning battle against the wishes of Brooklyn based politicians (and divert attention away from cancer cluster issue in Williamsburg). The media reports have not included the fact that:
- More than half of the 17 million gallon spill has already been cleaned up.
- The remediation process has been going on, with the blessing of local elected officials, since 1992 and continues.
- The spill is almost entirely under the remote western industrial section of Greenpoint near the East Williamsburg industrial park. There are a few residential streets near Kingsland Avenue that are above the spill, but the vast majority of residential properties are not involved with the spill.
- The Newtown Creek runs along Greenpoint, Williamsburg, Maspeth and Bushwick, but the news articles only mention Greenpoint.
The Riverkeepers Group renamed the Exxon oil spill “The Greenpoint oil spill”, in what some think was a mean spirited attempt to malign the Greenpoint community. (!!! —Ed. Note) It is curious to name an environmental tragedy after its victim and not the perpetrator. The Exxon Valdez disaster was not called the Prince William Sound’s Alaska Oil spill. The NY Post, in an article on Oct 15th by Angela Montefinise, and Senator Charles Schumer at a press conference on October 16 incorrectly reported that there was a potential cancer cluster in Greenpoint near the oil spill. However, three cases of an extremely rare sarcoma cancer are actually on a single block in Williamsburg (nowhere near the oil spill, not even in the same zip code). One more case is five blocks away and even further away from Greenpoint and the oil spill. In fact, one victim got cancer after residing in the same apartment as an unrelated cancer victim and previous tenant. (What does this have to do with the
Greenpointoil spill? Oh wait, I get it; this is an attempt to “divert attention away from” THE SUBJECT AT HAND! — Ed. Note) Sarcomas are a very rare form of cancer, and as reported in the Post article, “You don’t see three in one block,” Dr. Isaac Eliaz, a California expert on metal detoxification, said. “Someone should be paying attention to this.” Dr. Kanti Rai, chief of oncology at the Long Island Jewish Medical Center, agreed that it was “worth an investigation.” Unfortunately, the Senator is calling for a health study with regard to the oil spill and is ignoring a potentially very serious heath (Spell Check: learn it, live it, love it — Ed. Note) disaster in the Williamsburg community. Neighborhood Roots has reached out numerous times to Senator Schumer’s Washington office’s communications director Eric Schultz, and Bret Rumbeck who handles environmental issues for the Senator, with no calls being returned.
Congressman Anthony Weiner stated that Greenpoint has a 25% higher asthma rate than the rest of the city. The only problem is that the two health studies done by the state and city show the asthma rate in Greenpoint to be between 25% and 50% lower than the rest of the city along with a 10% lower cancer rate. The State DEC is aware of toxic industrial sites in Willliamsburg near Devoe Street that could potentially be the cause of these rare cancers, but no one is calling for that study. (Once again, what does this have to do with the
Greenpointoil spill? — Ed. Note) “Instead, there seems to be a no holds barred attack on Greenpoint and a blatant disregard for the health concerns of the Willamsburg community”. (If this is a quote, who is it from? Oh wait, let me guess: NEIGHBORHOOD ROOTS! Looks like they needs them some spell check too.— Ed. Note) One must question whether the recent support of massive residential development in Williamsburg and the historic resistance from Brooklyn politicians (including Borough President Howard Golden) to residential development along the recently rezoned Greenpoint East River waterfront (not near the spill) has anything to do with this dissemination of lies and the timing of these lawsuits.
The previous pedantic pile of horse shit is a textbook example of how Wikipedia can be (ab)used by special interest groups who present themselves as grass roots organizations and/or credible news sources. In particular, I found the absence of the recent lawsuit filed by Attorney General Cuomo on the Greenpoint page very telling. This glaring omission has since been rectified. Needless to say, the previous two entries have been brought to the attention of Riverkeeper and will be edited in a manner so as to present a fair and balanced picture of Greenpoint and its slanderously-named oil spill.
Those of you who have $50 to spare and a desire to see (and smell) this alleged oil spill personally might want to check out the Newtown Creek Alliance web site. September 16, 2007 will be your lucky day!
*This is Standard Oil. Everyone knows this— save of course the author of this turd.