Editorial did not offer balanced view

Thursday, October 11, 2007

Dear Editor:

I would like to comment on the editorial in the Oct. 5th edition of the paper. I am sure that those of us opposed to the CAFO near Roaring River appreciate that our letters have been printed. We do not hesitate to print our names even though the threat of reprisal is as likely for us as it is for this unidentified writer whom you quote.

What I find disturbing about the editorial is that it states as facts things that are no more than the assertions of the person too cowardly to sign their name. Just because the Ozbuns say they have met all the requirements and gone through proper channels does not mean it is so. Were that the case, why do you think a stay on construction, which they violated, was granted pending an appeal? There are legitimate questions as to whether the issuance of the permits was accomplished according to established procedures. That is why there is a hearing scheduled for the appeal. It is not responsible to suggest at this juncture that the Ozbuns and DNR have done everything correctly and legally. That is yet to be determined.

The editorial also suggests, as did Doyle Childers of DNR, that the opposition is from "newcomers" to the county who didn't know that there is manure on farms. First of all, everyone in opposition to this CAFO is not a newcomer. I myself was born and raised in the area as were many of those engaged in this opposition. Furthermore, to compare the smell from a CAFO, which is not a farm at all, to the smells that emanate from a traditional farm is definitely comparing oranges and apples. These places are factories, not farms. The pollution is real. It is excessive. It is toxic to the environment, land, air and water. These things are documented.

On DNR's own website you can find documentation that creeks and streams in Barry County have increased pollution in areas where CAFOs are concentrated. Shoal Creek is one of those.

I do agree that unchecked development is also a problem that should be addressed to avoid both pollution and loss of forest and wilderness areas. It is also true that we must make it clear to our politicians that we want to see more restrictions placed on operations that harm the environment. You mention tourism. Will tourists come to a dried up Roaring River, a polluted Table Rock Lake and the lovely view of massive chicken houses? I think not.

You suggest a balanced view. I believe we did not get one with this editorial.

You will note that I willingly sign my name.


Kathy Casey

Exeter, Missouri