Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Educational Forum on Artificial Turf Tomorrow! UPDATE Photos of trees to be removed

Please sign this petition if you want to halt public funds for use of artificial turf at Wildcat and Middle Fields.

Last night, at the Commission's Dog and Pony Show, a.k.a. the Commission Discussion Session, we were told that organic infill will cost $1.57 million with an annual maintenance to include adding an additional 1/4" organic infill. We also heard that humidity will be created from the cooling system needed to keep the cork infill moist. The SAB does not want organic infill because it floats away. They don't want to admit to flood waters that affect those fields. We are being set up for toxic rubber infill. The Environmental Sustainability Board issued this statement about artificial turf at the February 11, 2014 Commission Discussion Session. Video is here.

Coincidently, an Educational Forum on Artificial Turf in Mt. Lebanon will be held tomorrow evening in the Commission Chambers, starting at 7 PM. I believe Commissioners Fraasch and Bendel will be attending the forum.

Learn more about the impacts of artificially turfed fields when it comes to our children’s health, water run-off & heat island effects 
WEDNESDAY, APRIL 30th AT 7-8:30pm 
For more information please email:  healthylebo@gmail.com
Mt Lebanon Commissioners voted 3-2 to spend $750,000 of taxpayer money to add artificially turfed fields along Cedar Blvd at Wildcat/Middle Fields near the entrance of Main Park.    
In May, a decision will be made about specific design options such as tire crumb rubber in-fill vs organic in-fill.
With such a long-term and expensive investment (over $2.5 million in 8 years),  our community needs to know more about these fields including the short and long-term effects of these materials on our children, coaches and residents nearby.

Educational Forum on Artificial Turf flyer

UPDATE April 29, 2014 9:31 PM Here is something to think about when attending this educational forum on artificial turf. When Phase II begins at Middle and Wildcat Fields, these trees will be removed for the additional parking spaces.

 Broken glass from, at least, the second motor vehicle collision in this location
(entrance to the Phase ll parking "space") in the past month


Anonymous said...

So installing organic artificial turf negates any of the upkeep cost savings arguments of artificial turf present by the SAB.
This just keeps getting better and better every week!

Anonymous said...

The pittsburgh Pirates, And the Pittsburgh Steelers both professional sports teams play on NATURAL GRASS FIELDS! Mt. Lebanon we have more important things to spend OUR TAX dollars on.

Anonymous said...

The commissioners tell us that it would be really hard to find medical opinions from unbiased health professionals regarding environmental health and synthetic turf because they have done all of their research.

* * * *

Then why is there an entire network of health professionals offering free consultation to communities in need of information on potential or known pediatric environmental health hazards?

* * * *
The Pediatric Environmental Health Specialty Units (PEHSU) form a respected network of experts in children's environmental health. The PEHSU were created to ensure that children and communities have access to, usually at no cost, special medical knowledge and resources for children faced with a health risk due to a natural or human-made environmental hazard.


Anonymous said...

"They paved paradise 
And put up a parking lot 
With [fences full of ad signs 
And an expensive sports spot]

Don't it always seem to go 
That you don't know what you've got 
Till it's gone 
They paved paradise 
And put up a parking lot

They took all the trees
And put them in a tree museum
Then they charged the people
A dollar and a half just to see 'em
Don't it always seem to go,
That you don't know what you've got
‘Til it's gone
They paved paradise
And put up a parking lot"

Apologies to Joni Mitchell

E. T. Gillen said...

I bet if Dave was representing a client, it would be very easy for him to find medical opinions from unbiased health professionals regarding environmental health, 10:45 PM.

This is from his law firm's website.

"Industrial injuries are commonly caused by manually handling heavy loads, poor ergonomics, the failure of or misuse of equipment, inadequate clothing or safety training, exposure to hazards, long hair or jewelry that gets tangled in industrial machinery, and other negligent practices. The head, hands, lungs, spine, skeleton, eyes, and skin are the most common organs that are affected.

Typical hazards in a working environment often include explosive materials, flammable gases, electricity, fire, height, extreme temperatures, high pressure liquids and gases, hot liquids, sharp moving or powerful machinery, oxygen-free spaces, radiation, poisonous gases, working on or near heavy or weak structures, working on or near water, and exposure to other toxic materials.

There are many ways to reduce or prevent industrial injuries. Anticipating problems by performing risk assessments, safety clothing, safety training, safety guards, breathing equipment, the use of machinery mechanisms, and safety barriers are just a few ways that injuries can be prevented. Root cause analysis can also be performed, to determine the root causes of accidents in the past.

Our Industrial Accidents Services Include:

Air embolism: Occurs when working with compressed air that makes contact with a cut in the skin.
Asbestosis: Caused when working in close proximity to asbestos
Decompression sickness: Occurs when working in a high ambient pressurized environment underwater.
White Finger/ HAVS/Hand-arm vibration syndrome: Occurs when using tools that vibrate.
Phossy jaw: Occurs when chronically exposed to white phosphorus
Silicosis: Occurs when working in a dusty, confined environment.
Repetitive strain injuries: Occurs when moving in repetition?"

But what do I know? I demanded his resignation last night.

Anonymous said...

Those beautiful trees are community heirlooms. If they kill those trees then they might as well just kill Mt Lebanon.

Anonymous said...

Earlier in the month, in the Commission discussion meeting, there was talk about floating a bond for sewer repair (on top of the storm water slush fund fee they bang your wallet for each year). Gateway recommended on Mapleton, they do work on both sewer systems while they were in the ground. Dave Ballfield balked at this increased cost (which in the long run would be cheaper than going into the ground twice).

When it comes to ball fields, the commission isn't worried about cost. When it comes to essential services that impact ALL residents, the commission is being spend thrifts.

Are you mad yet?

Anonymous said...

More people! More revenue! More fields!

More! More! More!

Mt Lebanon is governed by greed.

It feels like less! Less! Less!

Anonymous said...

Please be careful what you wish for....The Steelers have replaced the "grass" surface at Heinz field multiple times, at a cost of over $800K per.

Anonymous said...

2:15 yes they have, but...

Heinz Field holds professional football games, college football, WPIAL football playoffs, rock concerts, and I believe stadium motorcross or monster truck rallyees.

So unless, you're planning on the Rolling Stones playing at WC/M in the near future, there is no comparison.

Anonymous said...

I also believe the Heinz turf has been flooded a couple of times.

Anonymous said...

Heinz field is not turf. And the point is they can afford turf BUT. THEY PREFER. NATURAL GRASS. YOU mentioned FLoods! news flash wildcat and middle field flood a lot. Does anyone know if MRSA lives in the turf how flooding encourage MRSA?

Anonymous said...

Brumfield is a lacrosse coach. His kid plays lacrosse. He is building a lacrosse field.

Anonymous said...

Nice try 2:15, here's an interesting article on Heinz Field, its grass and artificial turf from ESPN.

"Players slipped and tripped continually in Pittsburgh last Sunday when the Steelers played host to the Falcons. Chunks of grass kept coming loose. The bad news is that things will get worse before they get better this year. Despite being re-sodded, Heinz Field was overused last week. There was a high-school game and a Pittsburgh Panthers college game played on it before the Steelers and Falcons squared off on Sunday. A four-game high school championship will precede the Steelers-Bengals game at Heinz Field on Nov. 24.
The new field in Texas Stadium (which is FieldTurf) is considered too spongy. There have been plenty of injuries on the field at the University of Illinois where the Bears play this season. And has there ever been a safe surface in Veteran Stadium, the monument of what's wrong with artificial fields?

High ankle injuries and foot problems have plagued the league this season, and there is no clear pattern that puts the blame on any field. The injuries are happening on grass and on turf. And if there is a growing new phase of stadiums going to turf, it's going to cause a lot of experimenting with shoes. That could lead to more injuries.

But Heinz Field, Paul Brown Stadium and others in the east should try to stay with grass. Sure, the condition of the field in Pittsburgh may take away some of the home-field edge, particularly for the kickers.
But the NFL's field of dreams shouldn't be artificial."

Now here's something also very interesting from the ESPN article.

"It costs between $800,000 and $1.2 million to install FieldTurf. It costs $28,000 each time a field is re-sodded. Of course, there is more maintenance and upkeep on grass. And, naturally, there is more wear and tear on a grass field."

Fist question: $800,000 to $1.2 million to artificially turf a professional stadium and little old Mt. Lebanon is looking to fork over that or more for a bunch of amateur kids!

Hell, these stadiums are charging 60,000+ fans $100/ticket and up and charging $10/beer. Youth sports are planning on turfing by charging players $25 and selling signs for $750. What the hell is wrong with this picture?

Plus ESPN says it cost around $28,000 to resod a field. At that rate we could resod WC/M each and every year for 42 years!

Yes 2:15, I'll wish for natural grass!

Anonymous said...

Yes 3:09, I am well aware that Heinz Field is grass which by the traditional definition of turf is quite appropriate.

Turf- n
"1 a : the upper stratum of soil bound by grass and plant roots into a thick mat

Notice it says "grass" and "plant roots."

I guess if we want to be sticklers we should now say "grass turf" and "artificial turf" from now on.

E. T. Gillen said...

Folks, let's keep in mind that the topic up for discussion is the educational forum on artificial turf being held tonight. Spoiler Alert: Artificial Turf isn't safe for kids or the environment.

E. T. Gillen said...

My guess is that Commissioner Brumfield will not be attending the forum this evening. It is unfortunate that he will not be able to participate in the forum. It is my understanding that child advocate/ environmentalist Linfante will be attending the newcomer's tax meeting tonight.

Anonymous said...

That because Linfante knows everything.
Remember she said "this is the only viable alternative."
Didn't say she cared to learn if it was safe or environmentally sound only that it was viable.

Anonymous said...

I vote that iPads replace musicians too... That's viable!

Anonymous said...

One viable or feasible option would be to conduct a poll on whether the community wants --
A. A natural grass field
B. An artificial turfed field
C. An artificial organic turfed field
D. Leave the field as it is

While it doesn't solve any of the financial issues it might bring the community together behind one solution and isn't that what Linfante claimed to be about... creating a sense of community.

Anonymous said...

John Ewing said:


If you listen to the link above of the SAB meeting you will find that there is another money pit in Lebo recreation called the REC "wreck" Center. We have approved several improvements in the building already but it is so heavily booked - including outside residents - that we can't properly clean the building for our children without hiring a new night janitor. The building also needs a new roof according to our recreation director.

One of the luminaries on the SAB suggested the solution to our athletic overcrowding is to add adult teams to make the expenditures more palatable. My solution is to cut back the age groups inside and outside Mt. Lebanon and at both ends of the age groups to make the facilities more usable for our high school sports program.

It is not our responsibility to pay for a play pen for some other community's hockey team etc.

Anonymous said...

As one of the attendees last night I can say that the facts presented were alarming.

But, it is important to clarify something surrounding probability and risk.

According to both presenters we can factually state that there will be chemicals released into the air, water, and ground should we install artificial turf. Off-gassing and water runoff come with the chemicals associated with turf.

While there have been numerous peer-reviewed scientific studies concluding that exposure to the specific chemicals found in crumb rubber and in the turf material itself show statistically significant increases in unwanted illnesses, there has been very limited studies as to what chemicals and what quantities of chemicals are released by artificial turf.

I agree with the one presenter who called this an "uncontrolled experiment". We know the crumb rubber will break down over time, as will the turf. This decay will result in release of chemical compounds. This is indisputable. The how and how much of those chemicals get transferred to humans either by inhalation, ingestion, direct contact is the question.

I know the commission has suggested they use Penn State "Experts" to discuss issues with health and turf. However, reviewing the Penn State website, they provide no links to articles that suggest anything but mild risks.


Perhaps the un-biased person should come from somewhere else.

Anonymous said...

It seems MTL lacrosse does just fine practicing and competing on the fields we currently have, thank you!

"Mt. Lebanon boys lacrosse team reboots for title defense"

By Gary Horvath Published: Sunday, March 30, 2014, 10:03 p.m.

"After winning the WPIAL Division I title last season, Mt. Lebanon starts its title defense by emulating another champion that shares the Blue Devils' name.

“We set aside a good half-hour out of our two hours to work on stick skills every practice,” coach Mike Ermer said. “When Duke won the NCAA Division I championship last year, something they talked about a lot is focusing on fundamentals.”"


Anonymous said...

I wonder if Laura Pace Lilley has a problem with cutting down trees at WC/M? She titled an article about the Markham Arbor Day tree planting- "Our Treasurers."
How about a Lebomag editorial, Ms Lilley about protecting those treasurers?
Nah, your bosses might get pissed.

Anonymous said...

If Field Turf is against trees near their turf, won't the trees and grassy space that lines Cedar also be removed? Does anyone know the tree counts in this M/WC region?

According to the Home Rule Charter, public works department director has to approve the removal. When the charter was written, I don't think the authors anticipated a day when healthy trees in parks would be destroyed.

All this to play games...

Anonymous said...

Photos below in link from a community watching their beloved trees become impacted by artificial turf.