URANIUM AND THE NAVAJOS
Leslie Macmillan’s article “Tainted Desert” (Winter 2012), about Professor Doug Brugge’s work on uranium contamination, is most accurate and informative. It is important to realize that uranium mining in Arizona continues. Indeed, there is a movement to expand into the greater area of the Grand Canyon. Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar has come under intense pressure to allow new mining there. Apparently we have learned nothing regarding the unintended costs of uranium mining.
I read “Tainted Desert” with great interest, since I, too, have spent time on the Navajo reservation. Back in the late sixties, I helped document the environmental issues associated with uranium near Tuba City and Mexican Hat. Interestingly, similar work conducted on the Colorado plateau led to the discovery of the “indoor radon” problem.
“Tainted Desert” reminded me of a similar situation on the St. Regis Mohawk Akwesasne Reservation in northern New York State. But in this instance, fortunately, strong local protests led to a solution.
Two corporations, Alcoa and GM, had dumped PCBs, mercury, dioxins, and other pollutants into the nearby St. Lawrence River for many years, causing serious health issues for a tribe already burdened with tuberculosis, diabetes, and poverty. After many fighting years and a major lawsuit, a federal Superfund was created, and now a billion dollars worth of cleanup, education, and monitoring has been done.
Looks to me like Doug Brugge should amble down to Anderson Hall and convince someone to develop a cheap solar water distiller for the Navajos whose water supplies have been contaminated with uranium.
“The Toll” (Winter 2012), by Vestal McIntyre, A94, resonates with me, as the Maine Turnpike Authority has been turning up in the local news often these days. The deteriorating southern toll station has been a major issue, as has the behavior of the previous turnpike administrator, Paul Violette, who has pled guilty to charges of theft and is now headed for the lockup.
PRIDE OF DONORSHIP
The message of Seth Godin, E82, in “Pick Yourself” (Winter 2012) is right on. I’ve been in the National Bone Marrow Donor Program’s registry since 1994, and every time they get in touch with me to verify or update my contact information, I think, “Boy, I really hope I’m a match for someone someday.” I can’t even begin to imagine what it would feel like to get that phone call.
As a magazine editorial board member (Foreign Service Journal for the past nine years), I want to commend you on the latest issue of Tufts Magazine. I really like the layout, articles, photos, and overall content. The articles are short enough so that you can easily go from one to another, and the layout helps carry you through the magazine. A class act. Keep up the good work.
I just wanted to tell you what a great magazine you put out. The articles are usually interesting and well written. It is not just a vehicle for class notes and fundraising like so many other alumni magazines that we just throw out.
Just a quick note to say how much I enjoy Tufts Magazine. It is a beautifully designed publication that is always entertaining, educational, varied in subject matter, and extremely interesting.
In the Fall 2011 issue of Tufts Magazine, I came upon the quote from former New York senator Daniel Patrick Moynihan, A48, F49, F61, H68, under the heading “Dan Pat.” I am afraid you got the name wrong. I was Senator Moynihan’s state director, and never once did I hear anybody call him Dan Pat. He was either Senator Moynihan, Daniel Patrick, or just Pat to his friends and family.
Point taken. The recurring item formerly known as “Dan Pat” is now “D.P.M.” —Editor
CORRECTIONS In the Fall 2011 issue (page 71), we blew a rare opportunity to correctly spell the name of the West African country Burkina Faso. In the Winter 2012 issue (page 46), we misspelled the name of the late film director Gary Winick, A84, and swapped the credits of Jeff Strauss (Dream On, Friends, and Titus & Reba) and Jeff Greenstein (Friends, Will & Grace, Desperate Housewives, and Parenthood), both A84. We regret the errors.