Tuesday, July 16, 2013

‘Hot Water’ Uranium Mining screening draws high turnout

South Boston News

Film producer Liz Rogers, accompanied by her grandsons, Nathan Callahan and Taylor Roper, along with Sarah Dunavant entered Halifax County High School on Saturday evening prior to the presentation of her film on uranium mining entitled “Hot Water.”

Comments from Blogger:  Thanks to everyone on bringing “Hot Water” to our area.  New facts were in the presentation of the movie.  I have questions for the EPA, NRC and DOE about mining.  How come the 1000 of uranium mines and mill have not been clean up to stop killing people near the areas?  Another question, where is ISL mining still happening if it has ruin the water in the ground from SD to TX?  My next question is to the local media for Southside:  Where was the local newspaper, TV reporters from Southside, absent again from another fact finding uranium meeting?  I thank those millions for providing coverage about the meeting in the local news but I think they should come to the presentation of the meetings.  I do not understand they went to the Coles Hill Barbecue; they went to the Gretna Shrimp Fest but not to our presentations about the problems of uranium mining.  Channel 7 in Roanoke has been absent from all our meetings.  So people of Southside, you are not getting all the facts about uranium mining, demand the stations be "Fair and Balance" on reporting.  I think the North Carolina bunch should be included on the meetings, where was The Triad, Triangle bunch, you are downwind, down water from the proposed uranium mining and milling!  KTB!

‘Hot Water’ screening draws high turnout

SoVaNow.com / July 15, 2013
The maker of a critical new documentary on uranium mining visited Halifax County High School on Saturday night to screen the film before an audience of several hundred people, mostly opponents of the Coles Hill mine in Pittsylvania County.

Liz Rogers, producer of “Hot Water,” traveled from Los Angeles to Southside

Virginia this week to show off the movie at HCHS, and to gather material on Virginia Uranium Inc.’s mine project in Pittsylvania, footage of which she said she plans to incorporate in the final version of the documentary.

Among its backers are executive producer Elizabeth Kucinich and her husband, former Ohio congressman and presidential candidate Dennis Kucinich.

As part of her Southside visit, Rogers dropped by the new downtown Chatham office of VUI, which the company opened Friday to boost its public relations profile.

Rogers’ film points in a different direction, offering a stark depiction of the dangers of uranium mining, as witnessed in the western U.S. “Hot Water” looks at a legacy of radioactive contamination from mines built half a century ago, and challenges the industry to show how its practices have improved since that time.

“To date no one has been able to do this [mining] safely,” said Rogers.

“Hot Water” follows the history of mining projects in several western locations: the Badlands of South Dakota, Nebraska, Colorado, Utah and southern California.

Each time, the film suggests, nearby residents were exposed to contaminated drinking water, and “Hot Water” explores at length the consequences — including the heightened risks of thyroid cancer, brain tumors and physical deformities.

In addition to posing direct risks to humans, radioactive contamination has seeped into the grassland environment of the West, threatening the region’s livestock industry.

The film is rife with images of the majestic Rocky Mountain and Great Plains, which punctuates the filmmakers’ theme of environmental degradation from mining.

“We’ve been working on this film for over four years,” said Rogers, referring to herself and collaborator Kevin Flint, “seeing the land and all its beauty and the risk of seeing all this blown away. It’s dangerous and it’s poisonous. It’s poison for tens of thousands of years for those who don’t know what the half life of uranium is.

“That’s why we are fighting so hard to preserve our land for our children and grandchildren and their families who have lived here for hundreds of years. We don’t want to drink poison,” she said.

The audience at the high school auditorium  gave Rogers a standing ovation at the end of her presentation.

The screening of “Hot Water” gave uranium mining opponents another opportunity to state their objections to the Virginia Uranium project

 Andrew Lester, head of the Roanoke River Basin Association, a leading opponent of uranium mining in Virginia, told the audience, “This is our country, this is our home. We are morally obligated to make sure we protect it. Nobody has ever shown where uranium mining can be done safely and while we need economic development and jobs, we don’t want to quench our thirst by drinking poison.”

Tom Leahy, public works director for the City of Virginia Beach, also attended the Saturday night screening. Virginia Beach, which relies on supplies from Lake Gaston to provide drinking water to more than a million residents, is staunchly opposed to the Coles Hill project.

The city has been joined by Chesapeake, Norfolk and 17 jurisdictions in the Tidewater area that also draw water from Lake Gaston. Upstream from the lake, noted Leahy, 87 percent of the releases from a mining accident would end up in the Banister River in Pittsylvania and Halifax.

Rogers came to Halifax at the invitation of Jack and Sarah Dunavant of We The People, Inc. In addition to leading the movie presentation, Rogers and the Dunavants visited the Coles Hill site while she was visiting for the weekend.

The film drew a positive review from at least one viewer who turned out Saturday night, a Nathalie woman who approached Rogers afterwards in the school lobby.

I never knew anything about the dangers of [mining],” the woman said to Rogers, “Thank you for coming and telling us about this.”