Sunday afternoon I received the following email from a tipster. “M” writes:
Have you seen the latest Greenpoint Courier? Inset in the newest issue is Volume 1, Edition 1 of ExxonMobil Progress, a 12-page – 6 in English, 6 in Polish – “newsletter” in which Exxon details the fine work they’re doing for the good folks of Greenpoint. Carolina Asirifi pens the introductory letter, which calls attention to the company’s grants to local schools and “underscores ExxonMobil’s commitment to safeguarding out neighbor’s health and safety in every aspect of our operation.”
Lord knows how much Exxon paid for this supplement, but I’d be surprised if it wasn’t enough to pay the paper’s production costs…
Fun bonus fact: The contact number that Exxon provides for suggestions from the community about future articles – 718-389-8789 – doesn’t work.
Needless to say I got off the computer and grabbed a copy of this paper immediately. You, dear readers, should do the same. It’s a real pisser.
Click on the above image and read this shit bomb yourself. Follows is my favorite quote. It comes from the article propaganda featured on page 5 entitled Progress Snapshot: Focus on Community Health and Safety… Our Highest Priority.
To safeguard your health and safety, we installed and maintain more than 240 monitoring wells to help us accurately identify the location and depth of the underground plume of the underground plume of petroleum products.
The above statement makes it sound like Exxon dug these wells out of the kindness of their little hearts. This is not true; they were required to install them. This tome goes on to reassure us, the Greenpoint public, that of the measly 52 houses tested, none came up positive for vapors. Whew I sure feel better sleeping at night knowing Exxon is on the case! How about you?
I have also learned recently that our good neighbors at Exxon Mobil are quite the model citizens. Did you know that thanks to Vito Lopez, Exxon Mobil has been “partners” with the N.Y.P.D. Auxiliary Police since 1991? They have donated over $200,000 to this cause. Wow!
As a matter of fact Exxon Mobil has thrown a lot of chump change around our fair burgh recently. Here’s a list of what I am aware of:
- The N.Y.P.D. Auxiliary Police (above)
- St. Cecilia School (soon to be defunct— ironically there was an article about just this on the front page of this edition of the Greenpoint Courier.)
- St. Stanislaus School
- The Polish Film Festival. Per the Williamsburg Greenpoint News+Arts they threw “several thousand dollars” at this event. Here’s what the Director of this festival, Marco Ursino, had to say:
My position is that it is a good thing and it would continue to be a good thing if ExxonMobil is giving back to the community… If I can take some of that money and channel it to the community and people can benefit from it, it is good that they are willing to make the gesture.
Hey, at least the guy realizes he is being used. The folks at Town Square sure as fuck don’t.
- Earth Day at McCarren Park.
- The Greenpoint Reformed Church Food Pantry received a rather substantial donation of food courtesy of the employees of Exxon-Mobil recently. While I am not against turning away food for the hungry, my inner cynic tells me this act of charity was the brain child of a P.R. hack or a Human Resources “professional” — it was not something serendipitously thought up by a group of employees.
Do you know of any other charitable contributions Exxon Mobil has made recently (in their attempt buy our trust)? If so, please pass them along to me via email at:
missheather (at) newyorkshitty (dot) com
In closing, I’d like to leave you with this fun fact listed at the bottom of page 6 under an item entitled “West Point Comes To Greenpoint”*:
How many of these individuals are Public Relations officials? Just curious. I know for a fact Ms. Asirfiri has requested to be on the steering committee for a park slated to be built right here in Greenpoint. What’s more, she was added to the email list by the acting chair of the committee without any input whatsoever from the committee at large. Not only did the “chair” seemingly not have a problem with this arrangement, but two committee members who are actively engaged in litigation against Exxon were curiously excluded from this email:
Some of you may have noticed a new name added to the email list on the update I just sent: Carolina Asirifi, who is the community relations director for Exxon Mobil. (name excised) informed me last week that she’d like to be a member of our steering committee. I’m sure some of us might have a bone to pick re her employer and their policies, but I also think that we could potentially use her involvement to our advantage!
One does not use Public Relations officials, be they from Exxon-Mobil or elsewhere. The very nature of a P.R. hack’s job is to use us— and if all the previous is any indication, Ms. Asirfiri, et. al. are doing a smash-up job. If you any of you have an issue with Exxon-Mobil’s practice of throwing around pocket change instead of fessing up to their culpability regarding the oil spill (or simply want to call them on fobbing off a paid advertising section as “news”), don’t waste your time calling an inoperative phone number! Here’s Ms. Asirfiri’s email address:
carolina.a.asirifi (at) exxonmobil (dot) com
Why not let Exxon know today that some of us Greenpointers aren’t buying it. Or at least we demand a much higher price to sellout.
*This confirms my suspicion that Greenpoint will be revealed as a manufacturer of W.M.D.s so as to facilitate “preemptive unilateral action” by the good ol’ U.S. of A. to take our precious petrol! Bastards.