Newberry CSD's Board's
Mismanagement Is Likely
To Advance Early Deaths

CSD's continued failure to use the
community's Kiewit Pacific Trust Fund
to fight the local solar projects
will promote deadly health problems.

Citizens to become sensitive receptor 'guinea pigs' in
the solar industry's expansion into the Silver Valley's
hazardous Sand Transport Path.

Posted: March 11, 2018

    Some residents of Newberry Springs will probably be dying early after the planned utility-scale renewable energy facilities in Daggett and Newberry Springs are built.

    No one wants to speak about the strong likelihood of early deaths that will follow in the extended aftermath of the construction of the two proposed solar facilities west and upwind from Newberry Springs.

    Obviously, no one will suddenly die, but everyone living in the Silver Valley will be impacted to some degree.  The problem lies with the much higher level of impurities in the air that will be created by the two projects.  For the valley residents, it will be like breathing asbestos over time, which insidiously will lead some to premature death.


    One of the faster killers is Coccidioidomycosis, a dimorphic fungi.  It is plentiful around us in the desert.  The problem arises when the microscopic fungal spores get stirred-up and become airborne.  The spores can get inhaled into the lungs and can lead to death.  More commonly it is known as Valley Fever.

    The more land that is bladed for development and disturbed, the more the fungal spores have an opportunity to become airborne whenever the wind blows.

    In very rare occasions (1%) the infection can spread from the lungs to other parts of the body, such as the central nervous system (brain and spinal cord), skin, or bones and joints.


    Another very serious problem is very fine crystalline silica dust.  The desert is covered with it.  This isn't the sand that you see, it's the microscopic stuff that easily becomes airborne and you inhale it without knowing it.  The effect is again something like asbestos, accumulative.  The more of it you breathe, the quicker your lungs get coated and fail.  It leads to breathing difficulties, symptoms of emphysema and lung cancer (see the 2-minute video embedded in the Daggett news blog).

    Crystalline silica and Coccidioidomycosis, after being disturbed by development, can both become airborne in high winds and be carried to high altitudes and transported to other states.  However, the Silver Valley is the No. 1 ground zero where the winds will be able to initially spread the deadly hazards.


    Other man-made toxic materials that are known to have been deposited or spilled on portions of the Daggett proposed solar site can also become airborne.  Newberry Springs is badly positioned being immediately downwind in the prevailing westerly winds.

    Some residents have lived their lives in Newberry Springs and don't see, nor want to recognize, the growing problem.  The fact is, if nearly 5,000-acres immediately upwind to Newberry Springs is bladed for solar development, the exposure to these deadly elements will skyrocket!

    When it comes to protecting the innocent children of Newberry Springs and protecting the air for the emphysema at-risk elderly, who wouldn't want to do the right thing?  This is a very serious health matter that shouldn't become political, but it has!  The parents at the local elementary school and the fine folks at the Family Service Center, and the church congregations should be up-in-arms over what is happening locally!

Selfish politicians.

    Dirty politics are surrounding the issue.  At every level of government, from Washington, D.C., where politicians are giving large grants to renewable energy developers (who give them back political contributions), to local county politicians who side with the developers against the health and safety of their constituents, the dirty politics have trickled down to our own Newberry Community Service District.

    The members of the CSD Board are certainly not proactive and they would apparently rather see their own neighbors become sick and die before they release 14-year old Kiewit Pacific trust funds to protect the community by fighting the solar developments.

    Why would the CSD Board do that?  Why would the Board be still holding onto funds meant to better the community 14-years ago?  The answer came the other day from across a lunch counter from a wise resident who summed it up, "The Board is not objective nor logical."

    If those in local government cannot be good community stewards, govern straight and set their personal priorities and differences aside when the community is under a tremendous crisis, then they are not fit to serve.

Inexcusable delay.

    The Newberry CSD board has already caused over a month's delay in the critical defense of Newberry Springs.  Before long, Newberry will not have the necessary time required to prepare the extensive reports that are necessary to defend against the solar developments.  That, might be the Board members' intended tactic.

    Robert Shaw appears to be the only CSD director understanding the crisis and who supports the use of the trust funds.

    Director Larry Clark supports the solar facilities and he appears fixated on himself making money drilling water wells for the developers.  Ask him, and directors Robert Springer, Paula Deel, and Victoria Paulsen why their personal agendas outweigh the health and safety of Newberry Springs residents?

    Fred Stearn, a Newberry Springs real estate broker, has been writing a series of letters to San Bernardino County's contract planner for the Daggett and Newberry Springs solar projects, and to the California Office of Planning and Research.  Stearn's letters have been raising many valid questions about the validity of the solar projects' sitings.

    A new nonpartisan association is forming to address the Renewable Energy projects in the Silver Valley.  Should you or your organization wish to become an active participating steward in saving the Silver Valley, please submit your name and/or that of your organization, e-mail address and phone number to:

Related past news blogs:
Newberry CSD struggles with solar development. - 3/2/18
Newberry CSD's inaction threatens community. - 2/24/18
Daggett embraces solar development. - 2/21/18
Newberrians attend solar health hazard meeting. - 2/16/18
Communities collaborating for protection. - 2/11/18
Newberry CSD falls short against solar opposition. - 2/4/18
Bombshell Transformation To Hit The Silver Valley - 1/28/18
Supervisors Are Engineering Destruction Of The Desert - 1/25/18
Corrupt County Leaders Are Reshaping Newberry - 12/3/17
Lovingood Continues Damaging Votes - 11/6/17

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