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Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Bronx News Roundup for Dec. 31

New Democratic Party Chairman Carl Heastie sat down for dinner with State Senator-elect Pedro Espada and State Senator Ruben Diaz, Liz Benjamin reports. Heastie wouldn’t divulge the specifics of what was discussed, only that he has been reaching out to all elected officials in the borough. Espada and Diaz of course are two of three state senators withholding their support from Senate Dems’ choice for leader, Malcolm Smith, thus endangering the prospects of the party’s first-in-a-generation control of the state legislature. More here.

Assemblywoman Carmen Arroyo took issue with Diaz’s staunch opposition to gay marriage and gay rights in general at a recent forum for LGBT families. Look for it at the end of this video -- billed as a holiday card to Sen. Diaz -- produced by the NY Civil Liberties Union and Bronx Pride.

Jefforson Park in Harlem has tested positive for lead, so the city is now testing the 98 fields around the city with artificial turf – presumably including the brand new field in Williamsbridge Oval Park, which has already proved tremendously popular with locals. Councilman Eric Gioia has introduced legislation mandating a 6-month moratorium on installing artificial turf in city parks. The Norwood News wrote about the controversy concerning artificial turf here.


  1. Let's hope they are testing the crumb rubber infill as well as the turf fibers. While the older fields had a problem with lead in the fibers (especially in the old nylon fibers)- the real problem today is not with the yarns it is with the crumb rubber (and the sand/rubber mixture) infill. The unfortunate problem is the fact that there are alternatives but neither the turf industry as a whole nor the procurer's of these turf fields (with some notable exceptions) not only continue to claim that no problems exist and that these fields are safe - despite the recent testing and the ongoing research which has shown unequivocally that there are in fact potential major problems. We are in the turf business but use only lead free yarns and urethane free backings filled only with an anti-microbial organic infill (Organite) which makes the total product ecologically safe and environmentally sustainable (ie, it is totally recyclable). Visit our website at www.targapro.com to learn more about our products also visit our blog (which addresses these issues directly) at www.syntheticturfmd.com.

    Hopefully in the New Year we will begin to see some more inciteful thinking on the part of the turf system buyers - meaning they will do some thoughtful analysis and evaluation of what they are buying instead of just listening to the high powered sales pitch they are getting from the Big Boys in the industry. The main problem as we see it is the old adage in the computer industry which seems to be very apropo here as well - that old saw is the following - "No one ever got fired for buying IBM - even if they sold them the wrong thing." The fact that the major suppliers in the industry have been selling the wrong thing for years does not seem to faze the buyers - they just keep buying because it is the easiest thing to do. Heaven forbid that they might have to change their minds and admit they have not done their homework correctly.

  2. We are in the synthetic turf industry and realize how valuable a synthetic turf athletic field can be to the owner from the stance that an artificial turf athletic field can replace at least three natural grass fields in terms of use and in nearly all cases, many more than just three grass fields. It's a field scheduler's dream come true.

    Our business focuses on maintaining, repairing, and refurbishing these fields to give the owners a safer field, more years of use for their investment, and a nicer looking surface. We do know that particles of fines, dust, and broken fibers do accumulate as these fields are used. We have the pictures to prove it. Refer to our website at www.psfs.us to see pictures of what our equipment can remove from a surface. That does not necessarily infer that these fields are bad, it just means they need to be properly cared for.

    I also have the position that it is not fair to take the lead issues of the older fibers and make the new yarn into an unhealthy product. The industry as a whole is providing a safe surface for all to use and enjoy.

    I also believe it is not fair to use lead in fiber issues to condemn the use of rubber as an infill. Several different reseach trials has been conducted to test the safety of rubber as an infill and they have either been inconclusive or opposing. From a health position we are unsure of the rubber infill. That does make me wonder why an owner would allow in excess of 100 tons of an infill in their system when at best it has been proven to be uncertain on human health issues.

    When I analyze the environmental and the physical characteristics of using rubber infill, I wonder why the buyers haven't demanded something better. Heat, dust, and compaction become major issues. How much longer will landfills accept the rubber infill and at what cost?

    There are alternatives to rubber infill and the use has to be driven by the buyers. The major brands are going to supply what the customer wants if they truly are satisfying those needs.

    We offer two alternative infills. One is a naturally found base material and the other is produced from post consumer goods. We're keeping material out of the landfills right up front. Both are very safe for the users and the environment. Neither ever needs to go into a landfill and both can be used multiple times on a new synthetic turf surface which makes a tremendous impact on the lifetime cost of installing and owning a synthetic turf field. Both products are explained more thoroughly on our website at www.psfs.us as well. Our system is totally recyclable and will provide a longer service life than most systems being offered today.

    The use of these alternative systems lies strictly in the hands of the buyers. Why buy into the unknown when there are products available that are proven to be safe?


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