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.