From the July 2004 Idaho Observer:
How to create a no-spray zone
In late June of this year, a small town in northern South Dakota prepared for its annual jubilee by spraying the town for mosquitoes three times during the week before the event.
The only public notice of the spraying were town council minutes published in the neighboring town's newspaper -- which is not read by too many people in the affected town.
A spray-zone resident to whom we will refer to as John understands that, by statute, such events must be noticed to the public. So, when he saw the truck spraying around the town, he approached the spraying truck and put the driver, whom we will call Alan, on notice that if he sprayed past his house, he would perform a citizen's arrest on him.
Alan had never heard of such a thing, and protested that he was just doing his job, which was to spray all of the town. So Alan drove over to the head councilman's home and they pow-wowed for a bit.
John's neighbor, we'll call him Robert came out and the two men started chatting. They watched the truck resume spraying around the town, with the head councilman (we'll call him Bill) following the sprayer in his personal vehicle.
John was in his own vehicle by the time Alan came down Main street heading for John's house, spraying like he was auditioning for a part in Rachel Carson's Silent Spring. John pulled his vehicle in front of Alan's truck. Alan drove around him -- a bit off the road -- to bypass John's vehicle to continue doin' his job -- spraying down the street next to John's house.
Intrigued by what he was seeing, Robert wandered up to observe and found the county truck, as it swerved off the road, coming toward him. In true Rachel Corrie fashion, Robert stood his ground while facing the spray truck.
Alan came to a stop and, bumping into Robert, yelled at him to move. Robert Refused.
John got out of his vehicle and came over to talk to Alan. Bill leaped out of his vehicle with a video camera and came running up to record this act of civil disobedience. John again, in a very friendly way, told Alan that he did not want to cause him any trouble and asked him again not to spray past his house. Once more, this time on camera, John again put Alan on notice that if he proceeded to spray next to his house, he would be arrested.
Alan was very perplexed and annoyed, but eventually said he would deal with it at the county offices the next day, and would not spray any more that evening.
John then wrote a Notice and Demand and presented it to the sheriff's office the following Monday morning.
On Tuesday evening, the sheriff and county commissioner rang Robert's bell, said they were going to spray the town that evening and asked if Robert had any objections. Robert replied that he had no objections to spraying the town, if no one else objected, but that he did not want any spraying conducted around his house.
They appeared satisfied with Robert's answer and, as they were about to leave, handed him a pack of literature on the dangers of the chemicals used and on the right of any property owner, for any reason, to refuse to allow the spraying of the chemicals next to their property -- a request that, by law, must be complied with by the sprayer.
This may not seem like a big deal, but just imagine the beneficial consequences if most people understood the dangers of organophosphate pesticides and told the county not to spray near their homes.
It is a crime in most locations to spray people's property with chemicals if they object. However, no objection, no crime. Unless you understand the law, governments will continue to break them. Because John knew the law in this case and stood firm on its enforcement, Alan chose not to (figuratively for sure, literally perhaps) run over Robert. It was the combination of resolve and knowledge that allowed these two men to prevail in this instance.
The spraying in this town, like so many towns across the nation, was prompted by fears associated with the popular misconceptions about West Nile Virus (WNV).
In truth, those most vulnerable to WNV are malnourished, dehydrated people who are also exposed to organophosphate pesticides, herbicides and fertilizers. Ironically, mass sprayings allegedly prescribed to prevent WNV are most likely the cause of WNV symptoms appearing.
It has been demonstrated that a 1 percent spray dilution of H2O2 (hydrogen peroxide) in water controls mosquitoes and is totally harmless (even healthful). Unfortunately, towns don't use H202; they use things like Anvil that really don't work, pollute the environment, compromise people's immune systems, harm groundlife and produce a bumper crop of pesticide-resistant mosquitoes the following season.
As far as we know, the best defense against WNV is organic food, clean water, a healthy attitude and the placement of a 50-foot barrier between yourself and bureaucrats and whatever poisons they attempt to spray all over your town.
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