Northwest Arkansas Times from Fayetteville, Arkansas on August 18, 1974 · Page 10
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Northwest Arkansas Times from Fayetteville, Arkansas · Page 10

Fayetteville, Arkansas
Issue Date:
Sunday, August 18, 1974
Page 10
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In Duluth, Minnesota Northwest Arkansas TIMES, Sun., Aug. 18, 1974 FAVETTEVILLI, ARKANSAS Residents Fear City Water ;DULUTH, Minn. (AP) Steve and Pat Pfingstcn live little more than a mile from Lake Superior, the largest fresh water lake in the world. But once last year, they drove 80 miles round trip to -gel drinking water for the family. 'The Pfingstens, like hundreds .of other families in this city of ·109.000 won't drink city water drawn from Lake Superior because they tear it is hazardous to their health. Fayth Glass turns on the kitchen tap to fill a pail with water. While the bucket fills, she spends three or four minutes picking up in the living room after her two children. She isn't worried that the bucket will overflow. Mrs. Glass and her husband, Gary, are among the scores of Duluth families who have spent as much as $120 to install water filters-'in their homes. The filters are designed to remove asbestos particles from the water, but they also slow the flow to a heavy rickle. Both the Pf ings ten and the Glass families are trying to avoid drinking water con- this is going to be something.' But we had to do it. We couldn't expose ourselves to the danger, let alone our children." Mrs., Glass, 32, whose husband is a scientist at the National Water Quality Laboratory, said her family hauled water from a well until filters became available. "Hauling water is a nuisance, but I didn't feel I could give tap wa- ler to my kids and then 20 years from now tell them, 'I'm sorry, but I couldn't be inconvenienced.' After the s o u n d e d , asbestos anxious warning parents laminated with asbestos. Scientist-, and the federal Environ- m e n t a l Protection Agency (EPA) have found asbestos in Lake Superior in the area where Duluth, part of Thunder Bay, Ont., Ashland, Wis., and the small Minnesota towns of Silver Bay, Two Harbors and Beaver Bay draw municipal water. About 150,000 people live in these municipalities. · After scientists confirmed the presence of asbestos in the water in June 1973, parents were warned by the EPA not to give young children Lake Superior water. Scientific studies show that asbestos c^n increase the incidence of cancer in both adults and children and can aggravate respiratory ailments. "When the asbestos warning was sounded,' we gathered up all our containers and drove 40 miles north to a spring to get pure water," Mrs. Ptingsten, mother of two young children, recalled. "We thought, 'Boy, cleared grocery store shelves ol all available distilled water welfare officials approved the use of food stamps for purchas ing it, dairies .stepped up pro duction of pure water. City offi cials sent an urgent request to the federal Office o[ Economic Opportunity (OEO) for money to help low-income families buy water. Interviews with municipal of ficals and residents along Lake Superior's northwest shore in dicate that people either ' roughly 15,Qi tiller their lake water today or use alternativi sources of drinking water. RESERVE MINING CO. Although the enemy is as bestos, the villain in man people's minds is Reserve Min ing Co., jointly owned by Arm co and Republic steel com panies. Reserve Mining produc es 15 per cent of the nation' domestic iron ore at its Silve Bay processing plant 60 mile up the lake from Duluth. Reserve Mining employs 3,2C persons who dig low grad aconite from the earth near jabbitf, Minn., move It 47 miles by rail to the Silver Bay lant, process it and prepare ie ore (or shipment across the treat Lakes to the foundries ot lorthern Indiana and Ohio. ·Waste in processing is considerable. About 67,000 tons of pulverized rock waste and water pills into the harbor at Silver iay each day, courtesy of fed- ^·ral and state dumping permits ssued almost 20 years ago. The company claims the rock waste s harmless, and that it settles nto a small area ot the harbor. But federal and slate officials olned environmentalists during 1960s lo say the current was carrying tailings around Lake Superior, turning beaches black and ruining fish habitat. Enter Arlene Lehlo, an in tense, determined woman of 35 who grew Two Harbors married and left Minnesota as a teenager. "I came back lo Minnesota in 1968 and found my lake being respoiled," she said. "I decidec that it would have to slop and would, have to help. It's tha simple." Mrs. Lehto helped organize the Save Lake Superior Assod ation in 1969. Within two years it had a membership of mor lhan 3,000 persons from Min nesola, Wisconsin, Micliigi and Ontario, Canada -- all o which border the lake. Members argued that Re serve Mining would turn .Lak Superior's 30,000 square mile into a green bog, that the waste was responsible for Ih demise of Ihe once-plenlifu herring, whitefish and Irou if Ihe dumping wasn't Ivilt- d Lake Superior would be an;her Lake Erie. Mrs. Lehlo suggested in De- ember 1972. that the Taconite ailings might contain asbestos Few people outside the environmental community around the ike look her seriously. Bui the lew question spurred the Min lesola Pollution Control Agency o assign a University of Wis onsin geologist, Dr. Stephen Burrcll, to sludy it further. Seven month's later Dr. Bur rell issued his report. He con eluded there was asbestos in .he lake and the EPA almos immediately placed the blam on the tailings. It added tha residenls shoujd be caullou abbul drinking water from thi lake and should not give il t children. FIRST LINKED Dr. Irving Selikoff, professo of medicine at Ml. Sinai Schoo of Medicine in New York, firs linked asbestos to cancer. H directed government-finance studies and last year he an nounced that people who contin ue to drink Lake Superior wa ter "play what amounts to form of Russian roulette." In Silver Bay, a town built b Reserve Mining for its emploj es less lhan 20 years a'go, Iher was and is today an almo unanimous cry of "foul." Res dents cite a study whic showed no higher incidence cancer in their area than els where in the upper Midwest. But Dr. Selikoff said asbestf has a latency period of from to 40 years. He said of a slut of asbestos insulation worker "After 20 years (of exposur ad passed, their fate bccam ear. There is no known safe threshold level of Inhaling or| nesting asbestos." Environmentalists and Re crve Mining agree that as estos Is found with Iron ore. eserve Mining says the mi icrous rivers feeding InU ake Superior carry the as- eslos to Ihe lake from the ore eposits 47 miles away. Envi- onmentallsts insist that the ·aste dumped from the Silver lay plant contaminates the ike with asbestos. Bill McKeever, a millright al he Silver Bay plant, is typical f employes in nis observations bout the hassle. He said envi onmenlalists want lo lurn the egion into a playground -'They don't worry about jobs" -- and that there's no proof Re- erve Mining is responsible or hat asbestos causes cancer. Mrs. Lehto disagrees: "If hey want dead bodies tor proof, then there isn't'any. It's oo soon. Another 20 to 30 years nd there will be dead bodies to .trove asbestos creates a health lazard." Burns Improves LOS ANGELES (AP) - Co-j median George Burns is report-1 ed progressing well ono weekl after undergoing open-heart iurgery. Burns, 78, was moved from a coronary care unit to the regu ar care area ot Cedars o Lebanon Hospital Friday, a spokesman said. He is expected to be hospitalized for another week. ·XPIRT WATCH RIPAIM SWIFTS n N«th aw* si Blind Man Loves Being A Bartender BELLINGHAM, Wash. (AP) -- Dick Aregger gels Ured of people who keep telling him how wonderful it is Ihat he has overcome his handicap. He'd rather pour them a drink -and that's not unusual, because he's a bartender. A blind one. Aregger's regular customers know he's blind but most strangers never notice. If they do. he puts them at ease with one of his quips about blindness, such as saying that his cocktail waitresses are "hand-picked." Aregger lost an eye at age 11 in a B.B. gun accident. Eleven years ago he lost the other eye in an industrial accident. "After I went through, the Orientation Center for the Blind In California, I was supposed to be 'completely independent.' But when I thought about trying to get a job I was scared to death. I went back to school for a while and got an associate degree in psychology. That's great for a bartender." Aregger worked as a stock broker but then bought a bar in California prior to moving to Hawaii and then to Bellingham, where he owns Aregger's Pine Goods, a restaurant and cocktail lounge. "I love bartending, love the people. I learned .bartending from my own employes. I figure what I didn't know I could fake." Aregger says he thinks bartending is "one of the easiest occupations in the world for a blind person. You work in a confined space, you put every- thing in the same place anyway and you get to talk to people." He says he gets tired, though, of people who want to shake his hand because of his success as a blind person. "I'd a lot rather have someone get mad and say 'You blind SOB' and treat me like an equal," he said. Aregerr's. bartending technique is to keep an index finger on the rim of a glass. This way he can feel the ice cubes rise when a highball is poured. "I don't waste much," he said. Aregger says he has never been "ripped off" by a customer trying to pass a $5 bill for $20 bill. "And if my regular customers are in, and a guy lays a bill on the bar, there are 20 eyes on it lo make sure it's what he says it is." I LEARN I BASIC OR ADVANCED INCOME TAX PREPARATION IHWJ3I Thousands are earning good I money K tat preparers. En- j rollmetrt open to men and women of aU ages. Job interview* maBabte far best slu- · ' dents. Send for free inform*. | ton and class schedules. 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