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LTE – Tryn Gross – 5-7-2014

Dear Editor,

My letter is in response to the last City Council meeting and the events that took place there.

I want to address the comment made stating that the last two elections prove how the community views the frac sand mine issue. That statement is completely false. This frac sand mine affects a huge number of people that are being completely disregarded and have been given absolutely no voice in the matter.

 One of the things brought up by Scott Teigen is the Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) agreement currently being negotiated between Vista Sand and the Glenwood City School District. It was stated that he believes the District’s Administration is secretly working against them rather than with them. This was stated as though it was meant to be a negative thing, yet I believe it to be a positive thing. To me it meant that our School District is holding fast to what they believe is the best thing for our children, as well as the faculty and staff at GCSD. One thing mentioned by our district’s superintendent, Tim Emholtz was the testing of air quality and how Vista Sand only wants it tested once every six days, whereas the School District wants it tested more often until they have a grasp on it and than it can taper off. Why is this even up for debate? I commend Mr. Emholtz for holding fast and doing what is best for our children.

Show me proof. If you want me to believe this is safe for my children to be exposed to, prove it to me.

There were several people that stood up in support of the mine. To my surprise there were more than I thought there would be. Yet I heard no positive comments other then those regarding job creation. With the drastic impact that this frac sand mine is going to have on these communities and school district I would think there should be more pros then just a few jobs. Of those jobs only a few, if any will be given to current local residents. I’ve spoken to a resident in the Bloomer area, an area with many people in support of sand mines. It has been shown that the mining companies bring several of their own people in to work in the mines as the work in these mines require special skills. It was also pointed out that over 60% of the population in Bloomer had a high school diploma or less, according to the 2010 census. There was a student who dropped out of school to sit in a room and test the quality of sand all day. Is that what we want for our children? The majority of those that spoke at the council meeting in favor of the sand mine were those that have no children in the school district. I would like to think that our focus would be on our future generations as they are the future of our communities that will determine if these communities thrive or not.

Finally, I want to address that what some believe are idle threats of people removing their children from the Glenwood City School District are in fact guarantees. I don’t want to worry about what my children may be inhaling during the school day. I have spoken to several families that have every intention of removing their children. I have offered the three empty seats in my vehicle to others that may open enroll their children in the same school district. I am not being bullied, nor have I ever been bullied by anyone in the school district to say that I will leave the district. We will remove our children because it is in their best interest. It has nothing to do with the school district’s administration. Quite frankly, I am extremely pleased with the teachers and administration at GCSD. No one will say that our children, the staff and faculty at GCSD, as well as the residents and staff at Glenhaven, will be entirely safe and have absolutely nothing to worry about. So what you must realize is that some of us are not willing to bargain or negotiate or risk the health and well-being of our children and loved ones, and as much as we love this community, it isn’t worth staying.

Tryn Gross