In brief: Pesticide problems, a POWF at the Pavilion, and a poll procession

Pete Myers gives us the real dirt on pesticides. Pete Myers gives us the real dirt on pesticides.

Pesticide dangers with Pete Myers

As a local biologist and founder of the nonprofit Environmental Health Sciences, Pete Myers clearly knows a thing or two about environmental health. On Thursday, October 25, from 9am to noon, he’ll join three other experts at the Paramount to give us “The Real Dirt on Pesticides” (spoiler: it’s worse than you think).

If you can’t make the forum, where attendees will also learn alternative and sustainable methods of dealing with garden pests and weeds, here are three things Myers says you ought to know about the substances created to kill:

  1. Because of wind, drift, water runoff from pesticide- sprayed fields, and the way that the sun’s heat evaporates the pesticide off the surfaces where they are sprayed, it is virtually impossible to limit their application to the pest they are being used to kill. This harms beneficial organisms, including people.
  2. Almost no square inch on the planet is without measurable amounts of pesticides, and every human has measurable levels of pesticides in them.
  3. The methods used by regulatory agencies to test for pesticide safety have deep and fatal flaws, so our understanding of what is safe, and what is not, is very limited. Among them:
  • Pesticide manufacturers submit test results, not regulatory agencies, and results are often withheld from independent scrutiny with claims of confidential business interests.
  • The tests are carried out on the ‘active ingredient,’ the one chemical thought to do the killing. But a pesticide is a mixture with  many other chemicals specifically added to the product to make it more powerful. The product as sold is never tested in the process of determining its safety.

Nikuyah Walker. Photo by Eze Amos

Quote of the week: “How civil and orderly were the community members who auctioned off black bodies in Court Square?” Mayor Nikuyah Walker responds to a Daily Progress op-ed on bullying at City Council meetings

Mayor takes aim at Galvin… and Baggby’s?

In a Facebook response to the Progress editorial on heckling at City Council meetings, Mayor Walker accused Councilor Kathy Galvin of “white (civil) rage,” and described the “tyranny” that has ruled the city under the guise of civility: “I’m cruel and oppressive and unreasonable, but I do it in a suit and tie or a dress, while I eat Baggby’s. And I don’t yell…I slyly smirk.”

Big bucks from Bronco

Bronco Mendenhall. Photo by Jackson Smith

Bronco Mendenhall’s family ponied up $500K for new football operations center. UVA says it’s the largest gift made to the university by a head coach, but Mendenhall is also the university’s highest paid coach ever, pulling down around $3.5 million annually.

Free UVA tuition

Jim Ryan seems to be pretty popular among the students he now officially presides over, and he racked up even more brownie points at his October 19 inauguration, where he said in-state students with families earning less than $80,000 a year will be able to attend the university tuition-free.

Big tent replaced

A portable off-grid washing facility. Click to enlarge.

The bad news is that construction to replace the original fabric roof of the Sprint Pavilion will cut off all pedestrian access through the venue (and the tunnel under Ninth Street) until March. The good news is that the fabric will get a new life as a “portable off-grid washing facility,” which creates a reusable and environmentally friendly way to do laundry in refugee camps, according to Pavilion manager Kirby Hutto.

Deeds settles

State Senator Creigh Deeds settled a wrongful death lawsuit against former mental health evaluator Michael Gentry for $950,000 for allowing his son, Gus, to leave the hospital after determining he was a danger to himself and others. Gus stabbed his father multiple times before killing himself on November 18, 2013.

Need a ride to vote?

Don’t let a lack of transportation keep you from voting in the November 6 midterms.

An all-volunteer group called CAR2Vote, founded by Gail Hyder Wiley in 2013, provides free rides for voters to get an ID, submit an absentee ballot, or vote on election day. Approximately 75 drivers are on call this year.

Says Hyder Wiley about the upcoming election, “There’s a lot of pent-up frustration and polarization, and one of the best ways to make your voice heard is to vote.”

Sign up for a ride to vote at or call 260-1547.

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