Visualizing the Danger
Lessons of the 1937 Texas School Explosion
Utility Company "NiSource's" bad practices led to deadly Massachusetts Gas explosions, says the National Transportation Safety Board
November 15, 2018
Make March 18 a day to tell the story of the 1937 Texas School Explosion. Inspire leadership to protect children from chemical hazards and unhealthy school conditions. Update your school's values and technical skills to live safely with 21st century chemicals and technology.
“Even down to very low levels, air pollution is harmful for human health, and that's even below what's considered to be a safe standard today...” “The state should be doing something about what’s there already -- not adding more of those pollutants with a new station. “ (WGBH newscast 7/27/17t: State Reviewing Controversial Weymouth Natural Gas Compressor Plan.)
“In July, 2017 Gov. Charlie Baker notified Weymouth officials that he had directed state agencies to investigate issues that opponents have raised about the controversial project, including air pollution and public safety. Baker said the state will not issue any permits for the project until the assessment is complete.” (Doctor says natural gas from proposed compressor could ignite, Jessica Trufant, The Patriot Ledger, October 2017.)
It said that fracked gas infrastructure “increases health disparities, worsens public health, and makes poor use of our health care resources by potentially creating public health problems, instead of preventing them.”Some boards sent personal letters to the governor, citing specific concerns related to their community. The letter to the Governor and the list of local Boards of Health that signed it are here.
“We health care providers consider advocating for cleaner air and a response to climate change to be part of our professional responsibility as healthcare providers.”Dr. Lundberg successfully initiated a resolution of the Environmental Health Committee of the Massachusetts Medical Society calling for a health impact assessment for new gas infrastructure.
“Because of these health concerns, the American Medical Association, the Massachusetts Medical Society, and the Massachusetts Nurses Association have passed resolutions supporting legislation to require comprehensive health impact assessments prior to the construction of natural gas infrastructure; the Mass Medical Society further demanded that the health impacts of existing natural gas infrastructure be studied; they were specifically interested in the health effects of gas leaks, which affects all of our communities.”
|Dr. Regina LaRocque|
“We need to take action now to protect the health of our community’s most vulnerable members -- including our children, our seniors, people with chronic illnesses, and the poor -- because our climate is already changing and people are already being harmed.” -- Ann Intern Med. 2016 May 3. Climate Change and Health: A Position Paper of the American College of Physicians.
"She has been a key member and leader of the School IPM Workgroup for its whole existence. She is the main school IPM outreach person for the state of Maine and her talents are used nationally. She is sought after as a collaborator. She recently received a grant to expand programs and resources for school nurses and was a collaborator on a grant to study over-seeding as a management tool on school athletic fields.”
|Photo Credit |
Maine Forest Service
“As an advocate for children, I am thankful for people like Dr. Kathy Murray. Dr. Murray has worked diligently for many years to guide, educate and inspire others on how to control pests without causing harm to children and their environment. Recognizing the impact that chemical means of pest control can have on a child’s school and community, Dr. Murray has championed and promoted safer alternatives. I have seen firsthand how her efforts have improved the lives of many children."Robert Koethe, Ph.D., Region 1 Pesticide Expert, U.S. EPA-New England, Region 1, writes,
“...While Kathy Murray’s responsibilities include working in many agricultural and non-agricultural systems she is most passionate about protecting children from risks posed by pests and pesticides. Kathy is a leader in educating parents, teachers and other school staff on pesticide use and IPM methods. She has developed innovative programs to teach school facility managers, nurses and teachers on IPM methods and complying with Maine’s school IPM program. She can always be counted on to go the extra step to help people in need of good information on protecting themselves and their children from pests and misuse of pesticides in the school environment.”Stop School Pests: IPM for Everyone
“Kathy is one of those rare individuals who works for a state agency, but has the compassion to do her job like a social worker. She gives of herself and her time to not just work with schools, but producers, pest control professionals, nurses, and others. Her role with Maine Department of Agriculture, Conservation and Forestry could just be an educator or regulator, but she truly cares of what the people of Maine need."
When I first met her I remember her work with School IPM, but she was also working with vegetable growers. She would go from a school district in the morning to a farm in the afternoon and happy all along the way. Kathy has taught me a lot over the years how to be a good leader. Working with her on the National School IPM Work Group, plus other work groups for the International IPM Symposium and eXtension Urban IPM Community of Practice I know I can count on her to get a task done.”
“John has spent over 20 years in education as a teacher, guidance counselor, assistant principal and 11 years as a principal. Early in his career as an administrator he learned one of his students had a food allergy. Mr Obremski made it part of his mission to make certain that the student did not feel out of place at school.”
“He believes in teaching the Whole Child. His building has a thriving art and music program. His expertise in budget building and grant writing has brought millions of dollars to the district to support afterschool programs and healthy activities for students and professional development for staff.
He wrote a children’s book, The Walking School Bus” to inspire children to walk to school in groups as part of his healthy living approach to education.
If you ever want to find Mr Obremski, just look for children because that’s where this champion will be. “
Students meet at different locations and walk to school together. They play music outside and give out book marks and bracelets when they get there." --Eleanor Gayhart
“Mr. Obremski gives his all for the kids, 110%. It is only his second year at the school and he knows all the kids. He is adamant about not taking any chances with kids’ safety. He has amazing relationships with the kids, parents and staff. His door is always open to every parent. His priorities are the kids’ health and wellness and their social emotional development.”
“Mr Obremski is very sincere, compassionate, and understanding. He can relate to everyone. He believes school needs to fun. He gets involved in every event. The school is very clean, well kept. The kitchen is spotless. Bathrooms are clean. Every other summer they repaint. They do a very good job on air quality.”
“He started a monthly program, Caught in the Act, that recognizes three students who show acts of kindness. In a short period of time, he has improved programs for the whole school. He has brought in sports, yoga and exercise as part of the Health and Wellness program. He has also provided up to date technology. Kids in grades 3, 4, and 5 got iPads. And he is very concerned about kids with allergies.”As part of the school’s Health and Wellness Committee Obremski has emphasized healthy snacks. No outside food. No cupcakes or candy. He creates alternatives that the kids enjoy such as field days and in-school field trips. Students are rewarded for their achievements with stickers and privileges instead of candy.
|At the Homecoming Parade 2017 |
Assistant Principal William Donohue,
Evelyn Gayhart, Principal Obremski