2003 CPEO Military List Archive

From: CPEO Moderator <cpeo@cpeo.org>
Date: 13 Jun 2003 13:57:25 -0000
Reply: cpeo-military
Subject: [CPEO-MEF] Fire on the Mountain
Fire on the Mountain
by Michael Collins and Sharon McKenna

Simi Valley's Rocketdyne facility was blasted by 50 years of rocket
engines and nuclear reactor meltdowns, leaving a toxic disaster atop
what residents call "The Hill." Now runoff may be poisoning Southland
residents, and the government just broke a promise to clean it up.

Mark Blocksage looks, talks, and acts like any typical Southern
California teenager. He's a big kid, 6' 5", with tousled sandy blond
hair and blue eyes. Kicking back in the room that he shares with two of
his four younger brothers, Blocksage fiddles with his stereo, turning
the volume up on a Bob Marley CD. Their modest Simi Valley home is kept
by his stay-at-home mom and a dad who works for L.A. Deptartment of
Water and Power. But a closer look reveals that all is not okay: Bottles
of a powerful painkiller are scattered across his messy room, and the
high school student seems unusually exhausted.

"I feel like shit all the time," he says, nervously fingering a scar on
his neck. "I'm only 18, and I'm fucked. I'm on pain medication  a
brand-new medicine called Ultracet or something. They're trying to test
me out on it. It sucks. I know there are other people out there with the
same shit. It just hasn't clicked where it's coming from. It's
Rocketdyne, and it's all downhill right to where I live. There's too
many coincidences going around my neighborhood."

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