Wednesday, January 17, 2007

Singing the Pomona Pesticide Blues...

As some of you may have noticed, I dropped off the face of the blog for about four months. I suppose I should explain. First off, I started working part time again. Going back to work has reminded me of just how difficult it is to be a working mom. Now that I've been on all sides of the issue, I can honestly say that it is hard to be a full time working mom, hard to be a part time working mom and just as hard to be a full time stay at home mom. I know there is sometimes a lot of "us" versus "them" when it comes to working versus stay-at-home moms. But the truth is that we all deserve kudos for keeping our homes running, no matter what our exact set up .

In retrospect, I think another reason why I stopped blogging about Pomona is that my Pomona team spirit took a nose dive after the disappointing letter I received back from the City with regard to their use of pesticides at our parks. Here I took the time to write a lengthy letter to the new Mayor, and she never even personally responded to it. Instead, I got a letter from the head of the Parks and Rec department that can best be described as a total blow off. The letter basically said that these pesticides have been found to be safe to use around children and pets (huh? Monsanto was sued in New York for making such claims and were forced to take that claim off their packaging)and that there would be no changes to their policy of unannounced spraying at the parks. Meaning, there will still not be signs announcing that they have just sprayed pesticides. Meaning, your child could still have the misfortune of taking a direct hit of pesticides if you happen to use the park immediately after pesticides are sprayed there. REmember, schools are required to give 48 hours notice of spraying. Parks, where younger children are known to play, require no notice before or after spraying. The City of Pomona's response was a real turn off for me, and inspired four months of writer's block for this goddess of Pomona.

But a funny thing happened a few weeks ago. I was at the park outside the downtown branch of the Pomona Library when a truck drove by on the sidewalk. The truck appeared to contain pesticide spraying equipment. A group of moms and kids from the storytime had been hanging out in the park for a few minutes already. We mothers all freaked out, thinking we had yet again unknowingly exposed our children to a direct hit of just-sprayed pesticides. We asked the security guards if they had sprayed pesticides that morning. The security guards said that they had not sprayed that day, but they had sprayed two weeks earlier. The security guard added that we would know from now on when they sprayed, because they now post signs everywhere announcing it. Well I'll be darned!

So it seems, my letter did make a difference. I don't know why the City didn't at least tell me that they would make this requested change. In any event, I'll take my victories where I find them, even if no one officially informs me of them!

So, here's hoping that some of you will put your fingers on the keyboard and participate in this blog again. Together, we can make Pomona a better place to live and breath.

Stay tuned for an upcoming post on schooling our kids in Pomona.


Anonymous said...

Way to go- Goddess of Pomona, indeed! I'm looking forward to some more dialogue about schools and such...

ChemMechEngineer said...

Good job! My 3-year-old daughter and I made a new year's resolution to visit every park in Pomona in 2007. We plan to document each visit with a photo in front of the park sign (if it has one) and keep them in an album to remember it. I'll keep a lookout for spraying notices and we'll detour if we find them. I'll let you know if I see any so you can tell if it really is city-wide or just at that one park.

P.S. My daughter has been out of the U.S. since December and just got back last night. We hit our first park this weekend.