Why your kid’s school can’t visit the Refuge

Got that? “Although certain officials have said the site is safe, I thought that, in solidarity with our partners, like Denver Public Schools and Adams (county school districts) that it would be beneficial to forgo those field trips.” [bottom first box at right]

There is not a single ‘scientist’ among the Peace&Justice crew capable of or interested in examining the actual dose from inhaling or ingesting plutonium in dust. As you have seen elsewhere on our website, 50-year doses from alpha radiation are comparable to that from eating xx bananas.

In episode 5 of his podcast series Changing Denver, Paul Karolyi was troubled by this cascade of misinformation. Read how Lisa Flores defended her position here. One dose of P&J fear mongering caused an inadequately prepared and totally clueless school board to capitulate. Then all P&J needs to do is point out to other school boards the action of the first. Voilà: a domino effect of ignorance and fear, with international attention, without an iota of scientific evidence.

But don’t we want our elected officials to be leaders like Jason Glass [Jeffco superintendent]? He consulted all sides at least. What does it say about all these other school boards that they didn’t talk to anyone other than the activists before they made these big decisions? I get that it seems like common sense that any inkling of danger demands a response when children are around. But these decisions have huge implications. Lisa Flores [Denver Public Schools] herself cited the Jeffco field trip ban as a precedent for her own decision. Now she’s provided cover for politicians and even higher office to do the same.

Paul Karolyi, Changing Denver, episode 5

“It’s very important that that land not be open for public recreation, and it’s especially important that kids not visit that land,” activist Chris Allred told The Sentinel after testifying before school board. He’s with Rocky Mountain Peace and Justice, an anti-nuclear and anti-war organization that has successfully persuaded more than half-a-dozen districts and officials not to let their students on Rocky Flats.
The idea of a prospective field trip ban in Aurora Public Schools was revived last week after citizen activists and scientists told the school board Rocky Flats is still dangerous… Aurora would join at least seven metro-area school districts that have banned student field trips to the newly-opened wildlife refuge of flat, brown plains that surrounds a Superfund site. 
Board member Kyla Armstrong-Romero championed a district-wide ban at a board meeting last week…
But for Rocky Flats, Superintendent Rico Munn has the power to personally weigh any request to visit the site. That’s the result of a 2018 policy change instituted after a similar activist request to school board members, according to school officials. That policy “isn’t enough” for Armstrong-Romero. “There were some pretty serious concerns,” she said of the refuge. “Although certain officials have said the site is safe, I thought that, in solidarity with our partners, like Denver Public Schools and Adams (county school districts) that it would be beneficial to forgo those field trips.

Grant Stringer, sentinelcolorado.com, 20 November 2019

Although we’ve made it fairly easy for school districts to back off from these pathetic episodes, probably the most effective approach is the threat of legal action, one of the reasons we need external help.

Read the inept response of Lisa Flores to Paul Karolyi’s queries about the school board ‘decision’. She said nothing about experts at that time, nor are there experts on the anti-Refuge side. There is no dissent among those who understand plutonium dosimetry.

Once again, the fatuous “not the cleanup we paid for” argument, a favorite of anti-Refuge people who know neither the chemistry or physics, or the history.

Dr. Mark Johnson has made his legacy one of fear mongering and reluctance or inability to read the scientific literature about Rocky Flats, although he had 30 years to acquaint himself with the issues.

“The threat posed by contamination at Rocky Flats and its effect on visiting children appears to be an issue of dispute amongst experts,” Lisa Flores, a Denver public schools board of education member, told the Guardian. “Until we have definitive assurances of child safety, we will exercise an abundance of caution.”

The executive director of the public health department in Jefferson county, where the refuge is located, has his own doubts about the park’s safety. “If I honestly felt that the data showed the risks of hiking out there were very, very little, I wouldn’t fight them opening it,” said Mark Johnson. “I think it’s too convenient that the original [cleanup] estimate of 70 years and billions of dollars was cut so short and so cheap.”

the guardian, Daliah Singer, 22 Aug 2018