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Toxic towns. (Letters from our readers).

Please extend my compliments to Becky Bradway for her wonderful essay, "Ill Winds, The Chemical Plant Next Door" (Features, September/October 2002). I really enjoyed her photographs and her heartfelt expression of her personal situation in rural Illinois. All across this country, from small towns to cities, there are similar stories to her experience in Illiopolis, with hidden dumpsites made into schoolyards and polluting stacks overshadowing homes and neighborhoods.

I myself had a rude awakening many years ago when it was finally disclosed that my daughter's elementary school, which is in one of the top districts in the State of Michigan and is located in a suburb west of Detroit, was built atop a former dumpsite. A parents' group fought to close and fence the site. Now, 11 years later, there is talk that it might be a suitable site for housing, if the waste could be moved around and covered over. The toxic history of any community is rarely highlighted by the chamber of commerce, or those in positions of power, yet it remains a legacy that its residents carry with them forever. Keep the great articles coming and my best to Ms. Bradway.

Cheryl Graunstadt, Westland, MI

Editor's Note: An In Brief story on Page 10 reports on plans to build an Alabama prison on a former toxic waste dump.
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Author:Graunstadt, Cheryl
Date:Jan 1, 2003
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