The agenda packet for the March 20th, 2023 meeting of the Ludington School Board indicate five fairly routine discussion and action items and three special presentations featuring accomplished students. Ironically, the students were all young women from the high school, but the meeting itself was held in the Ludington Elementary School, taking action in a classroom.
Two from LASD's Business Professionals told of their success at state, one finishing first at impromptu presentations, the other finishing second at researched presentations. Sophia Grierson, well known for her spelling success, became the first LASD student to be a National Merit Finalist in 15 years. She joined two others in presenting projects of the Youth Advisory Council, who will be the recipients of the 2023 Lake Jump fundraising drive.
Ludington School Board in LES classroom, L to R: Bret Autrey, Michael Nagel, Stephanie Reed, Steve Carlson, Superintendent Kyle Corlett, Sarah Lowman, Leona Ashley, Scott Foster
The youth were allowed, if not encouraged, to leave the room before the rest of the meeting went forth, and it may have been just as well. Had they stayed, they may have learned how little regard the school board had with the health and wellbeing of their fellow students, perhaps even them if they were on the soccer team. For the second straight time I spoke about the Astroturf covering for Oriole Field, at the last meeting they approved the $1,352,000 purchase without addressing any of the concerns I asked about then.
XLFD: "About sixty years ago, the Monsanto Company developed two deadly products: Agent Orange and Astroturf. One killed many people until its use was stopped the next decade. One will be installed in our backyard at Oriole Field because this board wants to be as dumb as Fruitport's board.
Astroturf found in Philadelphia's Veteran Stadium was recently tested and found to have 16 different types of PFAs, the incidence of brain cancer among career Philly players is staggering, at multiples above the general population. A January 2023 study published in the Journal of Hazardous Materials noted that their "findings suggest that exposure to PFAS might increase the probability to develop brain cancer."
Amy Griffin, a college soccer coach, noticed high incidences of lymphoma occurring among young soccer players playing on Astroturf, particularly goalies who regularly dive and expose their hands and face to the infill. This and several other reasons are why top soccer teams will not play on Astroturf.
A 2019 report looking at the chemical composition of crumb rubber, the infill used in artificial turf, found that of the 306 chemicals within it, 197 met carcinogenicity criteria, 52 of those were suspected carcinogens, five were high-priority carcinogens, including benzene, benzidine, benzopyrene, trichloroethylene and vinyl chloride. This board by its own laws says it's concerned for our children's safety and will identify potential sources of toxic hazards and protect them from these hazards. So where are the material safety data sheets on these, as I recently requested thru FOIA?
Although the desire to improve access to sports fields is clearly well-intentioned, the risks that accompany synthetic turf need to be carefully considered. Issues of toxicity, movement, heat, cost, friction, sanitation, lifespan, maintenance, warranty, disposal, costs, odor, loss of habitat, combustibility, should be thoroughly addressed before any decision to purchase is made.
There are many manufacturers of artificial turf with different products and advertising claims. It is reasonable to expect vendors to identify the chemical ingredients of all turf components and provide a Material Safety Data Sheet on each component, especially the crumb rubber. It is your duty to insist they do this. [END Comment]
As noted, the school district has a duty to identify hazards that students may be exposed to (Bylaw 7430 and 8431), the latter says in part:
There has been zero fux concerns about the exposure of our kids and grandkids to cancer cocktails by putting them on synthetic substances of unknown characteristics by the board that has that responsibility. When parents of the future file that class action lawsuit against the school, I hope they wonder why there is no indication in the minutes that these people were notified that they needed to identify and get MSDSs for all the toxic chemicals they inflicted onto our healthy children by their ridiculous change of playing surface. I will continue to force the issue, for I never expect these board members to do the sworn duties of their job.
I was the only one to speak, so after they passed their consent agenda (in packet) and had reports from committees they had the Soaring Oriole Award, which went to their Medical Emergency Response Team (MERT), who act like on-site EMTs during medical emergencies.
When they refer to it as a MERT team aren't they being redundant? Thanks for stepping up when needed Mr. Schoon, Mr. Anderson. Superintendent Corlett related that the construction at the MS/HS is still in its early stages and then the five action items were taken up, one being paying the $1.8 million bill using the bond for that construction and:
-- Appointed Stephanie Reed to attend the West Shore Educational Service District budget hearing.
-- Approved a $1.2 million purchase of furniture (mostly tables, chairs and stools) for the MS/HS
-- Approved travel for the business professionals (who earlier solicited the board for this trip) to Anaheim, CA during the last week of April.
And their other action was to make a motion to accept their share of the settlement money in a class action lawsuit made against vaping company, Juul for marketing their vape products towards children and harming their health. Their share of the money will be about $37,500.
A class action lawsuit against an entity that exposed our children to hazardous carcinogens while marketing it to look like a fun recreational activity to participate in? You know, like football or soccer.
The irony, that the school board would roundly condemn Juul at this meeting for something they just got done doing themselves to our totally natural athletic field, and still go forward in doing without a care in the world for what's in the product and our children's safety.
Good observation. It seemed like a strange classroom to me too, but the clear garage doors open out to the school's inner courtyard, you can make it out in this aerial video of the school. It's an interesting concept, but I guess it's better than having an old factory's contaminated brick walls instead. I don't know whether this was a 'normal classroom' or a specialty room, but as you say it could be a good auto shop except for the fact that it leads out to a totally enclosed courtyard, so it would be hard to get vehicles in and out.
Thanks for the video X. It gives us a good close up of the schools layout. The first thing I noticed is the amount of glass used in the construction and that the building is made up of a series of modules. I can see where there are at least 10 unnecessary exterior walls. If the building had been constructed in a more of a block configuration this would have saved an extreme amount of money in it's construction and would have saved the taxpayers from paying exorbitant heat bills. We can see the progressive brain at work in this school's design. And do I see artificial turf on the school grounds? Speaking of excessive glass used in the construction, the garage doors used in the classroom where the board meeting took place are far from cheap. As a matter of fact they are extremely expensive. A bunch of drunken sailors couldn't have done a better job of wasting money.
Yep, that's artificial turf you see in a couple of areas and I see your point about external walls. The video I shared with FS also tells us that they will be building energy efficient schools (1:53 in) so they must think more external walls and windows are energy-efficient. Those unfinished ceilings assuredly let more heat escape than drop ceilings would. All those extra windows are additional security concerns as well as they aren't made of bullet proof glass.
I better withhold further critiques, lest they decide not to hold meetings there anymore.
Unfortunately, the hive-mind of this board rationalizes that since the purchase of an artificial turf stadium was buried deep in the $101 million school bond passed in 2019, that the people of the district wanted this to happen. In looking for connections there was an article put out a week before the vote in the COLDNews which appears to be the first time it was made known to the public. It relates:
"[Superintendent] Kennedy said the cost for field turf is $900,000. If voters approve the bond, the district can use the design phase to take a closer look at installing artificial turf, Kennedy said, noting that the current grass field is expensive to maintain and artificial turf can last for several years.
“We are looking at the cost effectiveness of having field turf put in versus the cost of maintaining it on an annual basis,’ Kennedy said. “You generally find that within an 8-to-10-year window the district has come out ahead. With all of the advancements, those (artificial turf) fields are lasting 12 to 15 and up to 20-plus years.”
Kennedy said teams like football and soccer are making longer runs into the playoffs, which puts more pressure and use on the field.
“It is a very expensive field to maintain,” he said. “Something like (field turf) would more than likely allow us to host MHSAA tournament games.”
The only other resource of that period where you see turf represented in any way and given to the public was an informational video by LASD where it comes up on an overhead map of Oriole Field as "turf and track improvements". As you can tell from what Kennedy said, fake turf wasn't a done deal even when the price tag was only $900,000. He suggested having a closer look and looking at cost effectiveness. This never happened by the board, the minutes since show that.
Putting garage doors in a any structure is not energy efficient by any means either in a warm or cold climate. Does anybody remember when they bricked up the old school windows and replaced them with smaller energy efficient ones? As to the astroturf , just because the uninformed voted for it in the hidden proposal doesn't mean you have to go through with it after more information about the product is discovered that it is detrimental to our kids wellbeing.
Stump, you can rest assured that these impressionable students going to the elementary are being taught the evils of fossil fuels and the global warming aspects of climate change, so when the school's HVAC units are working overtime in winter (fueled primarily on fossil fuels) and the glass rollup windows are putting the chill in the chil-dren during most of the school year, it would be a good time for parents to teach them that their school board and teachers are insane by pointing to their unsustainable delusions.