last, a real journalist, Chet Hardin, has done a totally respectable
article that brings back in balance the life and work of Dr.
Ward Stone, the New York State Wildlife Pathologist [“Truth
Lies Gasping,” July 22]. What James Odato of the Times
Union had done in an earlier Sunday feature was exactly
as one of the scientists in your paper’s article said, an
attempt to write and interview people with an end-game in
mind. Destroy the scientist’s personal and work-life reputations.
What is behind such loose journalism, such tawdry details
as Odato resorted to, that is the question. Or one of the
Recently Stone has been serving the citizens of the state
in ways he always has: bringing out in local press the threats
to both wild creatures and their relatives, the “civilized”
humans. Example: questioning the New York State Department
of Environmental Conservation’s allowing of an extension of
the City of Albany’s cash cow, the landfill, into the Pine
Bush Preserve. It is counter to all we have learned about
how to deal with garbage and general household waste. And
the slurry of pollution that flows or seeps from this large
landfill is a threat to wildlife and its food and water sources.
Also, Dr. Stone responded to the cry for help from a group
of citizens who have lived for decades in the dirty air, the
dust and fallout, from the quarry of limestone beside their
public school in Ravena-Coeymans area, and the nearby cement
plant owned by the world infamous LaFarge company. Cement
plants are sources of many serious poisons for humans and
land, plants and animals in their fall-out area.
Brian Nearing of the Times Union staff—a reputable
writer on environmental issues and leaders—did a front page
story May 22 in the Times Union about the New York
Governor’s Office of Regulatory Reform holding up the request,
since 2008, by the Department of Environmental Conservation
to forbid the continuing import of poison-laden coal fly ash
to the LaFarge plant in Ravena. Strange though it might seem,
the ENCON Commissioner himself did not reveal publically the
governor’s staff had been holding up this action requested
for the two years. This is a nationally recognized public
Why? Only Nearing’s freedom of information law request revealed
this ongoing protection of the LaFarge operations.
Ward Stone cares, does the science, consults and produces
papers with his peers, and serves his lifelong calling to
be a truth-seeker, which is the definition of the scientific
method of research. Which brings us back to what Chet Hardin
did in his long and well-researched feature in your issue
this week. He re-established one clear example of how Stone
works to serve the people of the state, the wilderness that
sustains us, and which serves even the politicians and the
industrialists who forget their responsibilities to themselves
and their communities. This is one man who didn’t sell out
to anyone or any living part of the environment.
I hope you and your paper will provide more stories on the
dangers to the environment, in places such as the city landfill,
and around Ravena’s cement plant, affecting both sides of
the Hudson River.
If we hope to really find out why there is an attempt to discredit
the work and views, the past and present questions raised
by Ward Stone, there is no power for ordinary people like
the investigating reporters who place truth above selfish
motives and personal well-being. As Dr. Stone has done for
over 40 years in this state. Thanks to Chet Hardin and to
To the Editor:
you for Chet Hardin’s well researched article about Ward Stone’s
science. Mr. Stone has been done a terrible injustice. New
Yorkers owe this man for his diligence, determination and
forthrightness on behalf of the people. Thank you, Ward.
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