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Only a Fool Would Let Their Kid Play in Irvine's 'Great Park'Tim King Salem-News.com
Our Environmental Writer Roger Butow describes the conditions at our old base; MCAS El Toro, as "Toxic Soup de jour".
(IRVINE, Calif.) - I can't believe we're still talking about this, and that somehow, some way, the city of Irvine is still trying to place a kids park atop one of the deadliest and most contaminated military bases in the world.
In the past, El Toro was used to kill... I mean, facilitate aviation Marines, like myself and Roger Butow, featured in the interview below.
Several other members of the Salem-News.com staff like Robert O'Dowd of New Jersey, John Uldrich of Minnesota, and Chuck Palazzo of Da Nang, Vietnam, were either based at, or spent time aboard, Marine Corps Air Station El Toro.
We know a lot about this place. For three years our team has been researching, documenting and reporting the information about this sad, wasted military base.
There are many deadly contaminants in the ground and water here, and while they pull the vast amounts of TCE (trichloroethylene) out of the base aquifers, and pass it out into the ocean at South Laguna Beach untreated and deadly, Roger Butow, who has been deeply involved in water issues through his group CleanWaterNow! describes the conditions at our old base as "Toxic Soup de jour".
We make light of it, but our friends have died and we only grow more irritated with the radical mishandling of the base by Irvine, bent on money only as always, with no concern for the people who may use this place in the future and actually let their kids play here.
The ground is so contaminated at El Toro, that in the summertime, the asphalt will adhere to you car tires, and make you think you have a nail in your tire.
It just melts to the rubber, because TCE is a chemical degreaser, and it works really astoundingly well, that is why the Marines used it to clean jet fighters for so many years.
Those toxic chemicals worked so well that if you dump this crap into the ground for 50 years or so, it melts its way right into the roadway.
"Come on Junior, let's go play on the TCE swing, then you can drink from the fountain, maybe ingest a little Benzene? How about the enriched Uranium slide, that should be great! Son, why are you glowing?"
What is happening at El Toro is a nightmare, it is a travesty, and I'm sure if you really examined it, it is also criminal.
There are some other big developments regarding a Grand Jury report on the Great Park.
I suggest checking this story after you watch our video: Grand jury took global view of Great Park By SEAN EMERY - THE ORANGE COUNTY REGISTER
Tim King is a former U.S. Marine with twenty years of experience on the west coast as a television news producer, photojournalist, reporter and assignment editor. In addition to his role as a war correspondent, this Los Angeles native serves as Salem-News.com's Executive News Editor. Tim spent the winter of 2006/07 covering the war in Afghanistan, and he was in Iraq over the summer of 2008, reporting from the war while embedded with both the U.S. Army and the Marines.
Tim holds numerous awards for reporting, photography, writing and editing, including the Oregon AP Award for Spot News Photographer of the Year (2004), first place Electronic Media Award in Spot News, Las Vegas, (1998), Oregon AP Cooperation Award (1991); and several others including the 2005 Red Cross Good Neighborhood Award for reporting. Serving the community in very real terms, Salem-News.com is the nation's only truly independent high traffic news Website. You can send Tim an email at this address: firstname.lastname@example.org
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