Garden night is 5-7 tonight

Garden night is 5-7 tonight, ending early because a chemical called Etofenprox (Zenivex) will be sprayed by the city.

We do need extra help getting the garden ready for a school event on Friday, so please come between 5 and 7 if you can.

The City announced that it plans to spray our Neighborhood tonite with a pesticide to kill mosquitoes.
Our ecology program is about making good choices to protect the ecosystem for the sake of the planet and humanity’s future. 

In years past, I was part of a group of many neighbors, including scientists and many Waters families and members of the 47th Ward Green Council, and Riverbank Neighbors, who worked for years on this issue. 
Many people questioned if prevention would be safer and more cost effective.  As a result, the city sprayed less. Some years, they didn’t spray at all, but simply monitored the mosquito population. The city Dept of Environment hosted a conference titled “Mosquito Control in the Green City” which I attended with other local leaders. We learned quite a bit.

Years ago, we asked the city to fund prevention and create jobs to go door to door to educate and help people to find solutions to standing water, block by block, neighborhood, by neighborhood, assisting them where need be. It could save the city millions of dollars and would reduce the burden of the effects of the spray on humans or the ecosystem.

We have been here before when West Nile first arrived. Pesticides were sprayed up and down every street. Some neighbors protested and one brave young man blocked the spray truck with his bicycle.  The spray trucks sprayed baby strollers and parents out for evening stolls,  people eating at sidewalk cafes, kids riding bikes, people with asthma. They did not spray each street only once. Some streets (Montrose and Lincoln) were sprayed at least 6 times in one night.  They may have killed alot of mosquitoes but the next morning window sills were covered by a wide variety of flying insects, collateral damage.  We also know that the day after spraying, new larvae will hatch and be out and about. Mass spraying as a strategy makes it look like the government is responding with strength, like the US going into Afghanistan. It is also a nice fat contract for some chemical company. 
Is there alternative? Yes! You could employ thousands of young people to go door to door to explain mosquito abatement techniques and to remind the vulnerable to avoid going out at dusk, and to wear long sleeves and repellent. Look for standing water in random containers around your yard, and in gutters.

If you care about this issue, please join and support the work of the Green Council and other environmental groups.

I would like to stop work tonite at 7:00 so we can avoid being sprayed. 
We will try to harvest what we can from the Waters organic garden before it is all coated in pesticide.

More news about school and ecology below..

but first, a poem..

note: anvil was the old spray, the new spray in 2021 has a new name that doesn’t rhyme in this poem and isn’t as memorable, so we’ll just call it anvil for short.

Anvil Cocktails for All

by Pete Leki

(click to hear the poem read by the author):

It's Summer in the City
And the crickets sing at night
The jets roar in the wispy clouds
But things just don't seem right…
without some…

Anvil whining down the block
Just as we sit down for dinner
Whoever got that Anvil contract
Sure turned out a winner

We get Anvil on our salsa
All up in our posole
Anvil on our pollo
Quesadillas, guacamole

Anvil on the kiddies
On Darwin, Zach and Ella
Anvil on the popsicles
And on that homeless fella

Anvil sprayed on grannies
And on the pregnant ladies
On birds and dogs and dragonflies
On daddies pushing babies

Anvil at the cafes
On your pesto and risotta
Anvil in your fine Merlot
And in your mineral water

"Don't worry. It won't hurt you."
The Public Health guys say
"And if you do get cancer
That will be years away

You can't blame it on the Anvil
Not with the toxic air
You're breathing in this City
There's already poison there:

Lead, asbestos, ozone,
Diesel fumes and soot
Mercury and arsenic
Is it so bad to put

A little bit on Anvil
Into the toxic bile?
At least we're doing something
To try to stop West Nile.

We need to show we're active
Like going off to war
Even tho the enemy
Is as toxic as the cure."

So bring it on, don't fear it.
Spray all over me,
I'm sure that it is harmless
Like Raid and DDT.