By Kate York, email@example.com
Free lead screenings will be available for children younger than 6
years old at the Marietta City Health Department on the second floor of
304 Putnam St. from 9 a.m. to noon Thursday, Sept. 20.
• Appointments for the free blood tests may be made by calling 373-0611, extensions 112 or 108.
of a local environmental group said they were banned from participating
in the Washington County Fair parade Saturday, but fair board members
say they were prohibited only from protesting, not from marching.
for Clean Air founder Caroline Beidler said she had 27 people signed up
to march with the group, wave a banner and distribute candy and
literature about its campaign to convince Eramet to cut pollution at
its Ohio 7 facility.
She said she received a call Friday night
from fair board member Kristi Zimmer letting her know a complaint had
been made about the group marching and the board had voted that they
could not be in the parade.
“They had originally said it was OK
or we wouldn’t have gone through with making T-shirts and printing
literature and recruiting walkers,” Beidler said. “It’s very
unfortunate, and I think with some communication it could have been
Beidler said she let the board know about a month
before the parade that the group planned to be in it, although that’s
Zimmer said the group was not banned from marching, only from protesting.
are no real rules for the parade as far as participants,” she said. “We
don’t have registration or a fee, but we had an individual complain
about the group protesting and we didn’t want the negativism. We’re
here for the kids.”
About 140 groups did march in Saturday’s parade.
It was the first time the issue has ever come up, said fair board President Steve Tornes.
never had an instance like this before,” he said. “We didn’t feel like
it was appropriate for them to protest when we’re trying to promote
Eramet is Tornes’ employer and a fair sponsor, but Tornes
said the decision would have been the same if another company or
individual would have been involved.
“We didn’t want someone
going against Eramet the same way we wouldn’t want one politician out
there going against another,” he said.
Beidler said she didn’t feel the Neighbors for Clean Air message was at all negative.
“Wanting clear air? That’s a positive thing,” she said. “We want to work with the company (Eramet). We want to work together.”
said he was told members of the group did march in the parade, but
Beidler said they instead gathered on Ohio Street and distributed
information to those lining the sidewalks to watch the parade.
got a tremendous amount of support from the people we talked to,” she
said. “A lot of the movers and shakers in the area were actually in the
parade and wouldn’t have seen us if we’d marched, so I think in the end
we were actually able to reach more people this way.”
literature prepared included information on the group’s meetings, the
effects of airborne manganese, some Eramet statistics and the address
to send a letter to Eramet plant manager Frank Bjorklund.
A call to Eramet was not returned Tuesday.
said due to the controversy this year, the fair board is considering
implementing a new system for parade participation next year that could
include entry fees and registration.
“We’re looking at that,” she said. “We don’t want to have to do that, but it seems like it’s come down to that.”
Tornes said the fees would likely be $5 or $10.