Zippidy Doo Da

I'm not stupid, I'm from Texas!

Thursday, September 14, 2006

What a Sad Day

Ann Richards had a great life. We will miss her wit and wisdom. I have it from a relative I know that her youngest daughter adopted a baby two months ago after trying a long time and Ann got to meet her before passing on. I wish she had had a chance to endorse somebody in this race. I really coudn't guess who it would be.

I found out yesterday that a friend of mine Jerry Velasquez died about two months ago. I feel really bad about this.

Jerry spent his adult life helping the poor in Hondo through Alamo Council of Governments as a volunteer. Jerry helped people get disability, and government assistance, he would drive people to the doctor, help them with food stamps. He knew that Universal Rundl (the urinal manufacturer) was poisening its workers with arsenic and heavy metals, causing liver cancer and other grizzly stuff, and he tagged the plant with multiple complaints to OSHA that resulted in fines and sanctions, but could never get the State of Texas to do anything. That's how that goes.

Many in Hondo hated him and as many loved him. A while back dirty cops broke down his door where he lived with his elderly mom, who has sinced passed away, and beat the shit out of him. He was already disabled. They broke his back fusion, cracked his head and left internal injuries. They held him in jail without care, broke him down before releasing him. He filed civil rights charges and the city countered charged with assaulting a law officer and trumped up a marijuana charge. He went to prison where he was neglected his schitzophrenia meds and treatment. He grew more and more paraniod and psychotic, his mom died broken hearted. He got despondent-and he died in June of July in prison. He was my age. He left two surviving sisters.

Both these individuals were heros in different ways - fighting for the same things.

Edit: Actually the TNRCC, the state agency responsible for this did some soil samples, and claimed to find nothing. I have no ability to question their data, but having no real participation from the public or an independent study, how could I be confident in what they say?

Furthermore, the D'Hanis tile is likely poisoning children in the womb around the plant with leukemia every time it floods, which is often. When I brought this to the attention of the old Texas Cancer Institute, which was part of the Department of Health, they told me that they were unable to do a cluster study because they had no jurisdiction to examine cancer incidents smaller than a zip code. They didn't have any cancer data posted after 1998, when I looked at it in 2001, and since agency consolidation in 2005, I don't know if they have designated anyone to do any of this work. There were three exposed children from the '98 flood, 1 has died and two are still alive.

Father Stanislau, the village priest called me to let me know the one child had died and begged me for help. He knew I had been active in finding a toxic tort firm to get this under control. I had contacted several toxic tort firms, some out of state, and nobody would touch it. The priest calling me that way made me feel so angry, stupid and powerless that I call ed my friend, Judge Hardberger, retired Chief Justice of the 4th Court of Appeals, and now mayor of San Antonio, who put me in touch with Tom Zinn (Susan Zinn's husband) who turned the case down,explaining that D'Hanis Tile would probably go bankrupt and disappear. There was no money in it. It was too expensive.

My friend's father worked in the tile factory for 35 years and never made more than $5.00. Those people have no power, and if you close the factory, they'll have no work. And yet it kills their babies.

The priest knew this. I knew this. Mayor Hardberger and Tom Zinn knew this. Jerry knew this. We are not the bad guys, are we?

I should thank A.T. Kott, the hero who found the source of the ancephalus baby cluster in the valley, and got a bounty put on him by the Mexican Polyvinlechrolride gangsters, but he is only one man. I should thank my father, who is a scientist. They helped me alot.

1 Comments:

At 11:14 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

I need help for my family, most who live in D'Hanis, Texas. Two of my cousins, brother and sister have had their children diagnosed with leukemia which one did not survive. A couple of years later the parents of the child that did not survive this disease had their youngest child diagnosed with leukemia. Now in 2008, my 12 year old cousin has also been diagnosed with leukemia. Can someone out there please give me some insight to what is going on in this town and why this has gone on overlooked for so long?

 

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