Hunger Coalition supports Facebook group Kuyahoora Valley
Posted Mar. 7, 2015 at 11:43 AM
Typically focused on issues related to hunger, poverty and fire prevention, the Herkimer County Hunger Coalition on Wednesday night added a new concern to its list: children with life-threatening illnesses.
Specifically, the coalition expressed support for the Facebook group Kuyahoora Valley – What’s Making Us Sick? and for Mackenzie Kulawy.
Kulawy is a New York Mills child who has Doose syndrome and experiences multiple seizures every day. Others with the syndrome have benefited from medical marijuana.
The Kuyahoora Valley group — which represents Newport, Middleville, Norway, Fairfield, Poland and Cold Brook — has been working to get answers since six children developed pediatric cancers between spring 2011 and summer 2013. It’s something the Department of Health agreed is “statistically unlikely to be due to chance.”
“At the very least, parents with children suffering life-threatening illnesses have the right to know why,” coalition founder Ray Lenarcic said.
The coalition called on Assemblyman Marc Butler, R-Newport, to do several things, such as:
* Find out why the state’s medical marijuana bill, passed last July, won’t be implemented until 2016 and whether the process can be sped up.
* Request that the state Department of Environmental Conservation also get involved in looking into potential problem areas in the Kuyahoora Valley.
* Request the federal government produce records of the testing at the Newport Antenna Measurement Facility to clear up what levels of electromagnetic radiation are being used.
A brochure released by the testing facility details the frequency ranges of the eight towers sitting along Irish and Tanner hills but doesn’t mention the wattage used for “measuring the effects of airframe features … on aircraft antenna radiation patterns in a simulated flight environment.” [Don’t forget to ask about gain and duty cycles of the radiation]
Recently, the Kuyahoora Valley group started a change.org petition — which can be found by searching for “Newport antenna” on the website — calling for testing to stop until an assessment of the facility has been completed.
More than 1,200 people have signed it.
Butler couldn’t be reached, but Lenarcic said he “accepted the challenge” and for that, the coalition is “grateful.”
“We don’t usually take up political issues,” Lenarcic said. “But we’re dealing with issues that involve pain and suffering for parents and children alike.”