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Letter: Why does Sun continue to print propaganda?


I find it appalling that you continue to degrade your newspaper by printing certain “Letters to the Editor” that are inaccurate and defaming. (This is not the first time a reader has brought this to your attention!) I understand that there is a right called “freedom of speech” and it is the newspaper’s obligation to not be arbitrary and capricious, i.e., biased on selecting which letters to print. However, printing out-right lies and misinforming the public neither benefits the public, nor enhances the newspaper’s credibility or standing with public perception.

Specifically, the ignorant letters from Charles L. Marsh Sr. His most recent July 27 letter: “Take Closer Look at Senator Whitehouse’s Environmental Record” is not substantiated with any fact. Marsh’s reference to “clean air: in 2010…” is apparently directed at the Copar Quarry facility (as he has done numerous times in the past,) however, as indicated below by the Vanasse Hangen Brustlin, Inc. report, we all now know that it is not “operating in the middle of a pristine wetland” and it does not “emit tons of toxic silica dust…equivalent of asbestos dust 24/7.”

Marsh’s reference to “nuclear safety: in 1966…” implies that Senator Whitehouse was responsible for the Wood River Junction facility. Marsh goes on to say “…R.I. Department of Environmental Management covers up the annihilation of its own environment.” These statements are absurd and not true, so why do you print these lies? On May 3, 2013, I attended the Annual Senator John Chafee Conservation Leadership Honors Awards presented by Environment Council of R.I. Both R.I. Department of Environmental Management Director Janet Coit and Senator Whitehouse were in attendance and honored for their environmental records and accomplishments.

I was surprised that you only devoted one article to the Vanasse Hangen Brustlin, Inc. report, i.e., Westerly Sun Dec. 7, 2013 edition: “Report: Copar meets EPA standards regarding dust, noise:” “… dust levels after blasts and at all other times during a recent test period were below federal health and environmental standards, a study conducted by an environmental engineering firm hired by the town concludes. A report on the study performed by Vanasse Hangen Brustlin Inc. indicates “the dust evaluation did not identify numeric exceedances of established and applicable standards.”

So, the town has a $21k report from Vanasse Hangen Brustlin Inc., and the newspaper only prints one article regarding the Vanasse report, seems a bit biased to me!

The Westerly Sun Dec. 12, 2013 article “Council OKs payment for Copar quarry study” states: “The bill includes $21,436 for Vanasse Hangen Brustlin, Inc., an environmental engineering firm hired by the law firm to conduct noise and dust studies of the quarry.” “Town Council President Diana Serra said the council hired the firm because the council wanted to provide answers about the quarry to the questions raised by residents. Vanasse Hangen Brustlin, Inc. found, in its study, that there was no evidence of crystalline silica, a cancer-causing byproduct of granite, in the neighborhood surrounding the quarry.”

So, my question to you is, why do you publish propaganda, such as the lies presented by Marsh, i.e., “emit tons of toxic silica dust” when you have knowledge of a report that states the contrary?

Mark Burbelo

Westerly



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