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Readers comment on use of herbicide on playing fields

left, Robert Lynch and Richard Hopkins run irrigation pipe for a sprinkler system in the Northampton recreation fields off Spring street. They both are employees of Lawhorn Irrigation from Burlington Ma.


left, Robert Lynch and Richard Hopkins run irrigation pipe for a sprinkler system in the Northampton recreation fields off Spring street. They both are employees of Lawhorn Irrigation from Burlington Ma. CAROL LOLLIS Purchase photo reprints »

EDITOR’S NOTE: Today we present nine letters from readers about the disputed use of the herbicide Roundup on new athletic fields in Florence. The herbicide was applied Tuesday.

Last week, some people questioned the wisdom of using the product near gardens and farms. Mayor David Narkewicz postponed the application in order to review the issue, but then last week approved its use.


Joshua Graham Lynn: Stewardship of land is essential community goal

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

To the editor: Our ecosystem — the whole of our social fabric and natural environment — depends on the choices we make regarding stewardship of our land. The least we can do is muster the courage and good sense to listen those who steward the land we share: our farmers. The city should have heeded the concerns of farmers and …

William Golaski: Use of herbicide now saves labor, fuel later

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

To the editor: Let’s talk about the field. The best defense against weed and bugs in turf grass is a healthy thick stand of grass. This allows minimal room for weed and insects in the turf. Less weeds, less insects, less need for any type of treatments. Most organic turf programs call for overseeding one or two times a year. …

Geoff Kuter: Herbicide use most effective way to control weeds at new playing fields

Friday, August 23, 2013

To the editor: Photos of children in gas masks may grab attention and instill fear, but they do not accurately address the issues surrounding the use of a herbicide at the Florence sports fields. Although the city should look to reduce or avoid the use of pesticides whenever possible, the facts as outlined in the memo provided by the city’s …

Paul Garvey: Worry more about old spraying in DDT days

Friday, August 23, 2013

To the editor: Congratulations to the mayor for moving forward with the athletic fields in Florence, which will be safe for the environment and the children who will use those fields in the future. The real concern is not the use of Roundup, which dissipates quickly. I wonder about the effects on the crops from the use of DDT for …

Linda Matson: Northampton ballfields need not be plant monocultures

Monday, August 26, 2013

To the editor: The reporting and Gazette editorial regarding Roundup spraying on the future ballfields seem not to consider the larger issues here. A paradigm change is needed. It is quite correct that the best start for a perfect turf field is completely killing all plants on the space. Roundup is not a weed killer. It kills all plant life …

Arthur Larson: Mayor should have notified public about time of spraying

Monday, August 26, 2013

To the editor: I am a gardener at the Florence Organic Community Garden. I am disappointed and upset with the mayor’s recent decision to allow the spraying of Roundup to continue. While he has taken several steps to make the application safer, he did not make any provision to notify the public about the exact time of the spraying. The …

Karin Olsson: A failure to consider the whole picture on herbicide

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

To the editor: The Gazette’s editorials often summarize community debates in ways that help provide closure and a renewed sense of unity. I wish the “The Roundup flareup in Florence” had done the same. Instead, it accepted unsubstantiated claims about Roundup’s cost effectiveness and plans to mitigate (rather than stop) drift onto nearby organic fields as justification for the city’s …

Reader questions use  of term ‘reasonable’

Friday, August 30, 2013

To the editor: I was disappointed in your op-ed piece about being “reasonable” in the risk and benefit factors when using Roundup for the Florence athletic fields. I keep thinking about how people asked Rachel Carson to be more balanced. As we know, she was right and her voice was not welcome as normative during the early 1960’s. You would …

Hope Crolius: Battling weeds need not involve chemicals

Friday, August 30, 2013

To the editor: While Roundup gives many reasons to be troubled — not only herbicide drift to crops, as was the concern last week in Northampton, but the growing numbers of weeds that have developed resistance to it and several recent studies that show its deleterious effects on fish, amphibian and insect life — the one that bothers me is …

Legacy Comments1

Who do we think we are kidding?? Why do we feel we can continue to control everything.....yes everything, that we don't "like" in our lives. The environment has spoken loud and clear over the years and the ecological resistance is now rearing it's ugly head. What we do when we "fight" or "resist" the natural life process on this earth is....we become ignorant, self serving people who decide what they don't like and what they like; and if something isn't liked, then let's just get rid of it or create a crisis somewhere else while we work behind the scenes to carry out the abhorrent response to our beloved earth. Stop, just stop trying to control Mother Nature by constantly and ignorantly applying poisons to the earth to just get rid of a weed. What's next..........maybe we'll decide that people over 65 "just get in the way" and use up the resources of the country.....so let's eliminate them so we can have what we (the powers to be) WANT.

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