Friday, November 19, 2010

RatGate 2010 - The Item Joins the Dark Side?

Dark ages maybe.... where we don't embrace fact.....

We spread lies that have been proven to be such....

The editorial on page A3 of today's Item basically said that renewing the lease for the Ingall's School Garden will mean problems for the city of Lynn. Let's fact check for the Item.

1. The editorial states that residents (Ms. Puleo - that's not plural, the petition did not say this) "say the garden attracts youth gang members and that ripened produce is routinely pilfered." Right! Those crazy gangs and their vegetable stealing ways. James Harrison of the Food Project addressed this directly at the School Committee if you were paying attention (apparently not). They have seen ZERO evidence of stolen food on the property. It would kill their business. Another resident has gone through the police logs. No gang activity on that farm. Is she referring to the children working there????? It just isn't true.  

2. To quote the next sentence "What’s worse, they say, is that the garden, atop a former city landfill, has led to a rat infestation in the neighborhood." Really? The garden has been there seven years! The rat problem got worse over the last 2-3 years. The garden has bait traps and was inspected by a professional pest control company. NO EVIDENCE OF RATS. So if the garden is causing the problem, the rats sure don't like to prove that to us. NONE of the bait was eaten from the traps. WTF?

3. The editorial states Neighbors were also promised three years ago that improvements would be made to address those concerns. Those improvements were never implemented. Correct! City's issue, not the Food Projects. As a matter of fact, cameras and lighting are on the school committees list for all schools so this is not a garden issue and is an expense REGARDLESS. James Harrison already stated at the school committee session that they would take on some of the financial burden for the fence if not the entire thing (again, you got to listen to both sides).We're told that Puleo declined the improvements, as she has repeatedly in public commentary at the School Committee meetings. She only wants it gone. One person has no right to demand such things on the basis of the above untruths and if it ever gets shut down, I hope The food Project sues her.

3. Next quote is the conclusion the editors of the Lynn Item have come to:

"Indeed, given six years of nuisance neighbors have put up with (where are you getting this 6 years of nuisance comment???), and the yet to be determined cost of improvements, a better decision may have been to pave over this acre of school land. (how much does that cost??)"     Make sure you build in the cost for additional food for our poor at My Brother's Table, the additional curriculum Ingalls will have to create on their own without the Food Project, the loss of the lease revenue to the city... Beginning to sound cost prohibitive to shut it down actually... hmm??? Think it through!!!!!

Incredibly irresponsible and out of touch. Have you spoken to the Food Project representatives? Have you spoken to Ingalls School Principal Kim Powers? Have you spoken to proud Ingalls parent Jesse Jaeger? Have you spoken to the 226 people who signed the petition in favor of keeping the garden going? Have you spoken to the 45 youth who get summer jobs from The Food Project and are kept off the streets? Have you spoken to the children of Ingalls after they receive curriculum from The Food Project in the 3rd, 4th, and 5th grades? Have you spoken to My Brother's Table who gets produce to serve our hungry? Have you spoken to the abutters to Munroe Street garden (surely they have the same issue? oh wait... nope!!!!). Have you spoken to the City Health Director, to the Mayor, to anyone but Ms. Puleo? It seems you did not.

Do you understand the important or urban agriculture? Do you know about Lynn's initiatives to expand this for increased public health? Are you going to support that or squash it as you did on Page A4 today? Do your research and retract the editorial. Apologize to the Food Project and the citizens of Lynn. You took one person's take on this issue and created a PR nightmare for an incredible organization.

Shame on you, Lynn Item! (And you were doing so well there for a while....)


1 comment:

  1. It just amazes me how Ms. Puleo has had a strong influence over people.

    I wish she was a resident or ally to the other 2 Lynn neighborhoods that are facing real issues. Those hoods could use her voice.


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