From East Bay Pesticide Alert's Max Ventura
510-895-2312 2399, E. 14th St. #24, San Leandro, CA 94577

2/13/01 Conversation with Ag. Commissioner of
925-646-5250 fax:925-646-5732
Brentwood satellite office: 925-634-5682
2366-A Stanwell Circle, Concord 94520

I spoke with Ag. Comm. Ed Meyer (We've spoken multiple times in person and on phone since Oct. 2000)

M: What is plan for Brentwood? (Where Sevin (Carbaryl) spraying and Merit (Imidacloprid)
drenching were done around over 200 homes in Oct. and Nov.of 2000)

E: We're supposed to go in with 2nd application. Haven't trapped anything. We're surveying and trapping weekly. Nothing planned until we find GWSS except we plan a drench of Merit for soon for sycamore trees on Balfour Rd. (their "line"… this is the road separating the subdivision from the vineyard) so we won't have to get into spraying those overhead. They will be protected in 30 days (the uptake time).
-Agreed that it is basically inevitable that GWSS will be seen, then. "Yes, it is more than likely. We expect we'll find GWSS."

M: What if people resist (Carol Kaufman had resisted and they did a joke of a tarping job, tarps flying off on a windy day before they even sprayed, and they just laid them down again and "secured" them with the bricks which had been blown down before -- they tarped over fence and used bricks on fence!-- then they sprayed the trees on the city/county side of the fence, big trees so that Carbaryl would have to have rained down all over and drift is always persistent, regardless)?

E: We'll work with them (which is what he'd told me, vaguely, the Friday night before sprayings began, at the public meeting. I spoke with him 2 times that evening, for at least ½ an hour total, if not more. Went round and round about this, being vague. I'd ask a pointed question; he'd give a vague answer). If we can't spray we'll look at other alternatives, as we have done.

-He expressed concern about accurate information. He had heard reports of 50 tanker trucks, 9 tanker trucks. I assured him I hadn't suggested publicly that there were 50 tanker trucks though I have told people that one person told us (Chris Malan and I canvassed the Brentwood neighborhood after sprayings to talk with residents, get their stories of their experience with the program and give them info about the dangers of the chemicals used on them) there must have been 50 trucks or tanker trucks. Someone told me there were about 8 and tons of county trucks besides the spray trucks. I told him that 50 and 8 had come out of the mouths of people who'd been sprayed, that I had not repeated 50, certainly, as though fact, because I assumed not so, an exaggeration. I also assured him that I aim for accuracy, which is why I am speaking directly with Ag. Commissioners whenever possible. In addition, I told him that my statements, which never are intentionally wrong or exaggerated, are the only ones for which I am responsible. I reminded him that I don't have control over media reports. I reminded him of my experience and likely his, being misquoted or facts being distorted, even when I provide written information or spend extensive time with reporters.

-He was VERY concerned about clearing this up: "Not tanker trucks used, regular residential spray trucks. Normal residential spray trucks. Generally 2 were used except one day when we brought in 5 because we were spraying the road and wanted to open the road as soon as possible."

-He said that there was a report saying they'd sprayed in front of a school. I assured him that I certainly had never said that. I knew of no school there and reminded him that people of concern work autonomously and that I can assure him that my intention is always to be accurate, which is why I was out there in the neighborhood… to hear what residents had to say about their experiences and to let them know of concerns as well as to get them information about the chemicals used on them.

-He wanted me to tell him who'd expressed concern; I told him I didn't feel it was my place to pass on their names but to remember they might call themselves. I also said, "You know, as I do, that people living in suburban areas tend to be passive. But people were given incorrect information by your representatives, told these chemicals are safe. You know I was out there giving people information about their dangers and talking about tox. profiles."

-When talking about accurate information issues I told him I'd been given incorrect information by people within his office. "Besides representation of chemicals as safe, for instance, host plant info was incorrect, I told him. One of the women (a deputy ag. comm., I believe) told me there were probably thousands of host plants when I asked her newest # of host plants (151+ was what I had heard from CDFA recently before talking with her).

-He told me that he's asked that State reverse host list-instead list plants not of concern. He said the host plant list is not an accurate description. He said last year delivery of roses in Alameda County, he thought, a GWSS flew off a rose-only truck. I reminded him that one flying off a truck does not a host plant make.

I reminded him that truck incident could be coincidental-flew in as truck was being closed, for instance. If not feeding on or laying eggs on roses doesn't mean roses are a host. He said that subsequently found on other roses-said he believes eggs laid at some point on roses. He said at some point it was actually found that roses are hosts (eg. could go back to nursery of origin and see if any on those roses). In March, 2001, I was told when calling a wholesale rose nursery in Alameda County that roses are not host plants for the GWSS.

E: Time of year as well as time of day affect GWSS workplan plans. Our workplan is pretty much generic as others turned in with State.

-I asked him to send me a copy of the workplan; said I could come in to pick one up. Take Hwy. 24 to 680 North to Concord Ave. exit. Will come off freeway 1 block S. of Concord Ave. so go 1 block N. to Concord Ave. and turn right. Go to Stanwell Dr. and turn left. Turn right at Stanwell Circle… it's 2366-A Stanwell Circle, Concord