Monday, February 23, 2009

Ban would help companies...And More

Monday February 23rd, 2009

Moncton Times Transcript

Ban would help companies

To The Editor:

Kudos on your superb editorial urging a province-wide ban on lawn
pesticide use and sales in New Brunswick. Citizens are indeed
supportive of this legislation, with nearly eight out of 10 New
Brunswickers in favour.

You mention that lawn care firms thrive in communities where bans have
been implemented and that's exactly right. For example, in the five
years following Halifax's pesticide prohibition, the number of
landscaping companies in the city grew 53 per cent -- from 118 to 180
-- according to Statistics Canada. The number of workers in the sector
increased as well.

Going pesticide-free is not only good for human and environmental
health. It's also beneficial for the lawn care industry.

Gideon Forman,
Executive Director,
Canadian Association of Physicians for the Environment,
Toronto, Ont.


Sunday, Feb. 22, 2009

Appointment of Fresno County ag commissioner draws scrutiny

By Brad Branan / The Fresno Bee

As Fresno County's new agricultural commissioner, Carol Hafner
oversees one of the biggest farming economies in the country. She also
oversees her husband, Tye, a deputy commissioner.

The county's top administrator, John Navarrette, chose Carol Hafner
because of her experience.

But some supervisors said they have concerns about Carol Hafner
managing her husband, who heads the county pest detection and
exclusion division.

The two married after starting work at the department 30 years ago.

"There's potential for problems," said board Chairwoman Susan
Anderson, who said the county must make sure Carol Hafner doesn't show
favoritism toward her husband at work. "We'll have to watch it
closely. ... It's not the ideal situation, that's for sure."

Anderson and other supervisors said they agreed to appoint Carol
Hafner because of her qualifications and experience and because
Navarrette promised to monitor the relationship.

Navarrette picked Hafner out of five applicants, all employees of
agricultural departments in California counties. Supervisors can only
confirm or reject his selection.

Hafner's qualifications outweighed any concerns about working with her
husband, Navarrette said.

"Am I going to have to make sure there's no perceived or actual
conflict of interest? Yes," he said. "I have to be vigilant."

Existing county policy wouldn't have allowed supervisors to reject
Hafner's appointment because of her marriage, anyway, Anderson and
other supervisors said.

According to its charter, the county can't hire a close relative of a
department head without a unanimous vote of the Board of Supervisors.

But county rules say nothing about promoting an employee to oversee a

So supervisors instructed Navarrette to write a board policy to
address the issue. Navarrette expects to return next month with a
proposed policy that would place restrictions on such promotions.

The Hafners aren't the only couple with such a relationship in Fresno

Gary Osmondson, director of Information Technology Services, is
married to a senior systems analyst in his department.

Diana Osmondson doesn't report directly to her husband. A promotion
would mean Diana would report to her husband. "I don't think we would
be comfortable with that," Gary Osmondson said. "That would also make
the people around her uncomfortable."

"We won't go to meetings together," he added.

Because Tye Hafner heads a division, he has a closer work relationship
with his wife than Diana Osmondson has with her husband.

Although Tye Hafner reports to a chief deputy in the department, not
to his wife, Carol Hafner said she works closely with her husband and
all of the other division heads. Each division head is considered a
subject expert, and she needs to tap their knowledge.

The department has 77 employees.

"I don't treat him any differently than any other deputy -- except
that we carpool," she said. "We're always cognizant of the perception
that he's getting special treatment."

"We keep work separate from our relationship and treat each other in a
professional manner at work," Tye Hafner said.

"We have a long, long history with the department and [the marriage]
has never been an issue."

Supervisors said they have never received a report of Carol Hafner
having a conflict of interest working with her husband. She served as
interim agricultural commissioner for nearly a year, after working as
deputy commissioner for almost 20 years.

Hafner grew up in a farming family in Santa Clara County before
getting a degree in biology from San Jose State University. She joined
the department in June 1979, and proceeded to get a license with the
state as a county agricultural commissioner.

"She's well respected in the field," said Supervisor Phil Larson, who
worked as a pesticide consultant for farm chemical company Wilbur-
Ellis for almost 40 years.

Still, Larson and other supervisors said her selection served as an
important catalyst to put restrictions on workplace relationships.

"We typically want to avoid this kind of situation," Supervisor Judy
Case said.

"I don't think we should have close family members reporting to one
another. At minimum, it creates a perception of favoritism."

Warning Industry Propaganda Below

Sunday, February 22, 2009


The results of these tests are continually being reviewed in Canada
(Pest Management Regulatory Agency), the United States (Environmental
Protection Agency), the European Union and other jurisdictions such as
the World Health Organization (WHO). The Canadian pesticide regulatory
system is actually one of the most stringent in the world.

This proposed legislation has the agricultural and other sectors

They are worried about governments making public policy decisions
based upon uninformed public opinion.

People and groups who use crop protection products, including farmers,
lawn care companies, golf courses, etc. are very tightly regulated.
They take courses on application and safety in regards to these
products. For example, the Ontario Pesticide Education Program has
been providing pesticide safety and application training to Ontario
farmers and pesticide vendors since 1987.

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St. John's Daily Spray Advisory

My Past Articles

More enforcement needed for pesticide spray regulations
The Western Star (Corner Brook) - Final - 10-01-2002 - 413 words
Karen Griffin - Judie Squires says someone needs to patrol the companies that spray residential areas for pesticides because she's observed nine violations of the Environmental Protection Act in her Paradise neighborhood alone

Spray woes: Province falling down on monitoring pesticides
The Telegram (St. John's) - Final - 10-01-2002 - 253 words
Judie Squires - environment to become poisoned? A temporary ban on all residential pesticides has to be put into place, to protect us, our wildlife and our environment as a whole. Judie Squires Paradise

Government lax on cosmetic pesticide regulation: advocate
The Telegram (St. John's) - 08-28-2004 - 613 words
Stokes Sullivan, Deana - Despite increased awareness about adverse health effects from pesticides, Judie Squires, a member of the Pesticide Working Group of Newfoundland and Labrador, isn't optimistic the province will ban cosmetic use

Woman doesn't expect cosmetic pesticide ban any time soon
The Western Star (Corner Brook) - 08-30-2004 - 712 words
Stokes Sullivan, Deana - Despite increased awareness about adverse health effects from pesticides, Judie Squires, a member of the Pesticide Working Group of Newfoundland and Labrador, isn't optimistic that the province will ban the

Province lagging behind in pesticide control
The Telegram (St. John's) - 09-04-2005 - 496 words
Squires, Judie - it to do is to prohibit the cosmetic use of synthetic pesticides altogether in order to protect our citizens and the environment. Judie Squires writes from Portugal Cove-St. Philip's

The two sides to pesticide use
The Telegram (St. John's) - 07-16-2006 - 781 words
Judie Squires - health of your families. When Canada's most respected health authorities tell us pesticides threaten our health, we should all be listening. Judie Squires writes from Portugal Cove-St. Philip's

Inquiry implicates BTk
The Telegram (St. John's) - 06-24-2006 - 353 words
DEANA STOKES SULLIVAN - of trees. The live spores can be inhaled by humans and animals exposed to BT. Judie Squires, secretary of the Northeast Avalon Group of the Sierra Club, says despite claims that

Delayed pesticide laws 'disappointing'
The Telegram (St. John's) - 06-24-2006 - 833 words
DEANA STOKES SULLIVAN - at the end of this year. These products will only be sold to certified dealers. Judie Squires, secretary of the newly formed Northeast Avalon Group of the Sierra Club, isn't

Above Articles available through Trancontinental Newsnet

Time for provincial lawn pesticide regulation
The Telegram (St. John's) - 03-14-2009 - 419 words
pesticides. Please join me in lobbying our province for a pesticide ban Judie Squires Portugal Cove...

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