Letters to the Editor, June 14

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Is there lead in artificial turf fields?

EDITOR: You’ll see in the 28 second video clip on youtube, a Fieldturf representative admitting that there is lead in Fieldturf product. Research is showing it’s not just infills, but the synthetic grass/mat using lead as a binder in many cases.

When grass fibers in synthetic fields using lead begin to wear, the lead becomes airborne and breathed by students and families involved in activities on and surrounding the field. Lead poisoning is proven to cause severe nervous system damage especially in youth and has even lead to death in small children, according to the World Health Organization.

This should illustrate an obvious need for testing the Adele Harrison field, and the Altimira field products before it is installed. Should they test positive for lead, the product should not be installed at Altimira. If the Adele field contains lead, rigorous, continuous testing should be a requirement to know the moment the fibers begin to break down. Obviously, turf containing lead needs to be removed immediately when breakdown of fibers begins.

Should there be lead in the products, the City of Sonoma should also be aware that there is a high probability of lead being leached into our ground water.

Companies like FieldTurf are not required to publish that their product contains lead, because it is not listed as a children’s product. Information found during research on this company continues to unearth real dangers to children. The company knowingly has installed dangerous product in school systems throughout the United States for decades, and does not want the public to know about it.

I hope that the school board takes this information seriously and does some of their own research and testing to truly protect our children and our town.

Stewart Saunders


‘Song of Ourselves’

(a poem)

Like a bird with transparent wings,

life hovers over a dark pool in a forest,

dreaming of eternity, and the way

to the center of the heart’s labyrinth.

But life is also the most delicate of glass goblets,

a beautiful object that may shatter at a touch,

even in the wind’s pale hands.

Yet flowing through it all, through sky and noon,

through bedsheets and teacups,

is the song that only you and I can hear.

Like sunlight, it is made of all colors.

It is the song we created in that time

when our bodies caused a spark and blazed up,

when our breathing together in sleep

became peaceful and ancient, like rolling hills,

when we disappeared into each other

and emerged laughing and innocent,

like children dashing out of ocean surf.

And so the days pass in lyrics of kisses and pain,

of sorrows and ice cream; in uncountable verses

that praise the cosmos of your starfield eyes

and the length of your fingers meant for harpsichords.

We are so utterly free, enclosed in a net of silken melody,

that whichever way we turn, toward winter or yesterday,

we see only vast grasslands of love and astonishment,

stretching out to the horizon of our souls.

James Pendergast


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