Protecting Our Communities and Ourselves

By Don Fitz

People need to actively to protect themselves from poisons toxins like Agent Orange and rubber mulch. Challenges to communities include infrastructure issues such as storm water control and planned overdevelopment. January 2015 episodes of Green Time TV explore these issues.

Is it too extreme to talk about use of Agent Orange as chemical warfare? The first January Green Time show features Michael McPhearson, of Veterans For Peace, looking at Agent Orange, including its long term effects on US soldiers, Vietnamese civilians and plant and animal life in Viet Nam. He explores how military personnel have been affected by depleted uranium and other chemicals in recent wars.

Why should we be concerned about storm water? How do soil compaction and asphalt surfaces affect water? During the second January show, Lance LeComb, of Metropolitan St. Louis Sewer District (MSD), and Lorin Crandall, of Missouri Coalition for the Environment discuss MSD’s dual functions regarding waste water and storm water infrastructure . They look natural watersheds, rain gardens, trees, native plants and riparian buffers.

Did you know that rubber tires are full of toxins that are skin and eye irritants and that their chemicals can stunt the growth of plants and contaminate ground water? For years, tires have been considered a hazardous waste. But now, they are being ground up for rubber mulch to be put on children’s playgrounds and to be used in yards. During the third January show, Donna Jones, Elected Member of St. Louis School Board, and University City resident Rachel Slaughter address dangers of rubber mulch.

The fourth January show features Romona Taylor Williams, of Metro St. Louis Coalition for Inclusion & Equity (M-SLICE), and Rev. Elston McCowan, of the Gateway Green Alliance, discussing how urban renewal dismantled the infrastructure of the black community. They also look at how cities like Paris, France are built more sustainably and how development could happen without excluding people.

Romona Taylor Williams is back for the final Green Time episode with Samuel Taylor, of Washington University’s Center for Social Development. They discuss the St. Louis Sustainability Plan and demographic changes in north St. Louis. What are psychological and social costs of gentrification? How does the rapid gentrification in St. Louis differ from patterns in other communities? What could sustainable development look like?

January shows include “Agent Orange. American Chemical and Biological Warfare,” “Introducing MSD Project Clear,” “The Hazards of Rubber Mulch,” “Carfree Cities: The Gritty Details,” “Cully Grove,” and “Village Market – Non-Profit, Super Local”.

Green Time appears at noon on Saturdays in St. Louis on Channel 24-1 and at 8 pm on Mondays in St. Louis on Channel 24-2, Springfield on Channel 39, Joplin on Channel 36 and Marshfield on Channel 17. Green Time programs air on these dates:

  • January 3 & 5: “Veterans of Chemical Warfare”
  • January 10 & 12: “Storm Water Management”
  • January 17 & 19: “Will Rubber Mulch Make You Safe or Sorry?”
  • January 24 & 26: “Redeveloping North St. Louis”
  • January 31 & February 2: “Redevelopment Traumas”

“Like” Gateway Greens on Facebook and click “Get notifications.” Also see Green Time on greentime.tv. If you would like to help produce Green Time TV call 314-727-8554 or email don@greentime.tv.