To the editor:
A few weeks ago my eight-year-old great-nephew struck out three batters in a row. His 11-year old sister, playing in the adjoining field, caught her second fly ball of the season. I had arrived a little late for their games and found every parking spot at the Hamilton Street Park taken and that was with the repainting of the lot! Nearly every field – baseball, softball, soccer – even the playground equipment was occupied.
So why are the citizens of Oberlin permitting the Houston-based Nexus Inc.’s construction of a natural gas pipeline that will run parallel to Splash Zone and the Hamilton Street ball fields? Why aren’t we protesting the building of a dangerous 36-inch gas pipeline so close to our city’s community centers?
The U.S. Department of Transportation’s Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration reports 175 deaths attributed to pipeline construction and operations in the past 10 years. Property damage was reported at more than $5 billion. The Lorain County auditor says property values are expected to decline. The Fulton County Department of Health says water quality will suffer because of the construction process.
A grassroots group of concerned citizens, the Coalition to Reroute Nexus, has proposed a more southerly route that would reduce by 70 percent the number of affected residences and reduce by 50 percent pipeline construction in environmentally significant areas. The response from Nexus was “it does not fit our marketing plan.”
One Oberlin landowner, Karen Fridenstine, has been bravely fighting the bullying tactics of this huge gas concern, refusing to allow Nexus surveyors on her property that runs north of the homes at The Reserve. She needs our help. You can voice your support for the Nexus rerouting through support of the coalition. For more information, call Paul Gierosky, 216-469-5206 or Oberlin landowner Karen Fridenstine at 440-668-0275. Any First Merit Bank is accepting donations to support the work of the coalition. Tax-exempt or non-profit 501c-3 application has been made.
The Oberlin city council has voiced its opposition to the pipeline. Please join them and let’s keep those ballparks safe for our children.
Ann Emerich Ingram