Loudoun Lies

By Loudoun Insider

I really don’t need to say anything other than you must read this post at Realloudoun about the ridiculous tick spraying operation hatched by this wacked out Board of Supervisors.

I can’t wait for the county-wide aerial spraying to begin after they somehow find the millions of dollars it would cost to implement it.  But hey, who cares as long as they make it look like they’re doing something and win points with Mike Farris.


Comments

  • edmundburkenator says:

    Ready. Fire. Aim.

    This spraying feels like it has not been thought out very well. I was talking to an entomologist at last weekend’s Science and Engineering Festival in DC and he indicated there were better integrated pest management regimes that would be more effective than this half-baked idea.

    If it is the perfect remedy to our problem, tell me why please. I would like to see the evidence. After all, it our tax money they are spraying around.

  • Eric the 1/2 Troll says:

    ANY beekeeper could tell you that right now is the absolute WORST time to be spraying the parks. We are in peak nectar flow (anyone else seen the Honey Locust in full bloom?). Had they waited until say mid- to late-July then there would have been a nectar dearth and far fewer bees would be out foraging. A LITTLE consultation with the experts (and I am FAR from an expert) in this regard would have gone a LONG way.

    I do know the Loudoun Beekeepers contacted the BOS raising concerns about the spraying and were (obviously) ignored. This 9-0 Republican BOS has re-defined hubris with this one. “We don’t need no stinkin’ honeybees in Loudoun. Kill the ticks! Everybody now!! Epicenter!! Epicenter!!”

  • Elder Berry says:

    That’s exactly what I was thinking, Eric. Plus, in the west all that spray will end up in the groundwater, which supplies everyone’s wells. Lord knows what other insects and wildlife it will kill off.

    The second (and sometimes primary) vector for the deer tick is evidently a small brown mouse. An effective eradication technique is to strategically place piles of permethrin saturated cotton fleece, which the mice drag to their nests, thus killing off the ticks that flourish there. Almost no danger to bees or other beneficial insects. The fleece can be placed in wire cages so kids and pets don’t get at it.

    But that would have made too much sense. Would have required a brain to be in use.

    No, we have a BOS that considers itself to be expert and transportation policy (not), education (not), and infectious disease (not). What they are expert at is self-promotion and stupidity.

  • Barbara Munsey says:

    Have they begun spraying yet? According to the papers, it’s been delayed more than once already because of the rain, in spite of the “real” statements over mutliple posts that a series of todays was the day (on a series of incorrect days), but as eb notes, fire-aim.
    If it has still not yet occurred, you have time.
    ————————————————————-
    This is at least a change from the constant “real” sign hysteria, which I find somewhat humorously absent ATM, given the sign I saw illegally placed on Belmont Ridge near the intersection with Rte 7 last night: A professionally printed call to testify against the “outer beltway” (next to one of the homemade No Metro Tax jobs), and listing a website for more info, and ostensibly the home of the folks placing that illegal sign.

    I got home and typed in http://notsixlanes.org and had a hearty good laugh.

  • edmundburkenator says:

    Elder, the entomologist I spoke with suggested that technique as one that has had great success.

    But experts are a bother…

  • edmundburkenator says:

    Time for what Barbara? The board does not show any signs of rethinking this spraying.

    Do you think I should contact the Loudoun Environmental Council?

  • Elder Berry says:

    One of the typical signs of right-wing power-madness is anti-intellectualism. Kill the experts. College is poison (unless it is a religious-based factory like Patrick Henry.) The Tea Party ought to be called the Know Nothings.

  • Elder Berry says:

    re the signs, Barbara Munsey I suggest we all take photos of the “sign gardens” along the roads in LoCo and send them in to the BOS. That makes them part of the public record.

  • Barbara Munsey says:

    No camera when I was at the stoplight, elderberry.

    A shame, really, because I would have enjoyed having (more) personal evidence.

    ——————————————————–

    Time to educate and advocate eb. Never give up until the battle is done, right?

    I’m sure PEC is on top of it, when they aren’t creating fake domains that simply redirect to their main site.

  • Eric the 1/2 Troll says:

    “…next to one of the homemade No Metro Tax jobs…”

    Not so sure they are “homemade”, just made to LOOK homemade – like the mayoral race signs in Lovettsville (the ones made by Catoctin Signs.

    Nice niche…

  • Robin Crabtree says:

    Just a heads up to parents who may not take the time to read their daycare newsletters, my daycare recently reported that they have arranged to spray their playground for ticks. Thanks to realloudoun, whose facts check out, I sent them an objection and requested to know the source of the recommendation to spray. No answer yet, but I suspect it will be the pest company. Better check with your daycare centers.

  • Eric the 1/2 Troll says:

    “If it has still not yet occurred, you have time.”

    Time for WHAT? They already blew off the LBA input. What more could be done that they WOULD respond to if they ignore the people who rely on honeybees for a living (at least in part)?

  • liz says:

    Barbara, I don’t get it. What do signs put up against the outer beltway have to do with being concerned about a questionable decision to do pesticide spraying county-wide?

  • Barbara Munsey says:

    Liz, before the “real” latched onto the pesticide issue sideways, after several posts simply bashing Farris for being over concerned about Lyme which isn’t a threat at all, the only topic of their concern was illegal signs.

    After responding to the thread topic (which includes the “real”), I noted their absence on a new crop of illegal signs they may agree with, since the houshold that registered the “real” has also fronted groups for the holder of the fake domain notsixlanes.org, some of which oppose roads including any improvement of Belmont Ridge.

    As I said, first, has anything been sprayed yet, with the multiple delays from weather? If not, not only is it incorrect to discuss it in the past tense, there is still time to advocate against the course of action, and propose alternatives.

    Unless it is the desired choice to call it hopeless, because whining about the politics of it all is preferred.

    Either way, if it hasn’t happened yet, there’s time for BOTH courses.

  • liz says:

    Um…still not getting the connection. Are you saying that the author of Real Loudoun is the person putting up the illegal sign?

    And even if so, what does that have to do with the topic of the post, which is that the BOS is spending money on something that may not be effective, and might be harmful?

  • AFF says:

    The anti metro signs are most definitely homemade- they’re all hand printed on the back of last years Loudoun County Republican campaign signs.

    Give them a hard look. After they’ve been hanging for a week or so they fade and you can see through them. I guess that’s what Ken Reid meant when he talked about the need to recycle signs.

  • Blackout says:

    “Pesticides, …have been found to be creating lasting changes in overall brain structure — changes that have been linked to lower intelligence levels and decreased cognitive function.”

    http://naturalsociety.com/pesticide-exposure-found-to-lower-intelligence/

    Oh my. Maybe we are actually feeling the effects of pesticides even before this BOS decision to spray more.

  • edmundburkenator says:

    This just from “our” county government:

    With rain again in the forecast, the schedule of spraying for ticks at selected Loudoun County parks has again been changed. There will be no spraying on Wednesday, May 2, 2012. The revised spraying schedule, weather permitting, is:

    Thursday, May 3, 2012: Phil Bolen Park
    Friday, May 4, 2012: Mickie Gordon Park

    As part of Loudoun County’s increased efforts to prevent Lyme disease, the county is applying an insecticide aimed at reducing the tick population at several county-owned parks. Spraying has already been completed at the following parks: Franklin, Woodgrove, Nell Boone, Lucketts, Conklin, Ashburn, and Claude Moore Park. The spraying is being done only on weekdays and ends no later than 2:30 p.m. each day. The product being used, Talstar, cannot be sprayed in the rain or if there is a chance of significant rain within 24 hours.

    Talstar is a Bifenthrin-based product and is being applied through a variety of spray methods, depending on the park. The county’s contractor for the project, Blake Landscaping, is posting signs at the parks prior to the spraying. Signs also are being posted afterwards stating that the area has just been sprayed. Staff from the Department of Parks, Recreation and Community Services will also be at the parks to help make sure that patrons do not enter the sprayed areas until the product has dried, as recommended.

    Lyme disease is caused by bacteria that some people get after being bitten by ticks infected with an organism named Borrelia burgdorferi. The organism that causes Lyme disease is maintained in wild rodents, deer, other mammals and certain ticks. It is transferred to people by the bite of an infected tick.

    Residents who have questions about the spraying may contact Harry Walsh, Loudoun County Public Affairs Manager, at 703-777-0450 or Harry.Walsh@loudoun.gov.

    More information about Lyme disease awareness and prevention, including frequently asked questions about the spraying, is online at http://www.loudoun.gov/lyme.

  • edmundburkenator says:

    The county has ALREADY sprayed some sites.

  • Barbara Munsey says:

    Liz, as previously noted, I responded to the topic first.

    As I am neither an expert on Lyme nor on pesticides (and I suspect the “real” aren’t either), I’m not arguing for or against the spraying.

    Has it actually happened yet? If not, does anyone opposed plan to make use of the time thus granted in a more productive way than b*tching about it on blogs?

    Unless, as also noted, political b*tching is the point, whether the topic is Lyme, insecticide, signs (by groups “real” people disagree with) or roads.

  • Eric the 1/2 Troll says:

    liz, don’t you understand? Must not talk about the spraying of our parks on the blogs. Anything else will do.

    Barb can not handle the fact that the BOS has yet again acted before thinking and snubbed their noses at what the citizens of the county might want rather than their campaign contributors – she must therefore divert attention to another issue – this one being illegal signs.

    BTW, Barb:

    “Spraying has already been completed at the following parks: Franklin, Woodgrove, Nell Boone, Lucketts, Conklin, Ashburn, and Claude Moore.”

    Per the County website.

  • Barbara Munsey says:

    Which ones, eb?

    The papers have noted two delays in the past week, the most recent being Friday, and it rained last night, at least over here.

  • Blackout says:

    ed, do we have a kill count yet?

  • Barbara Munsey says:

    Eric, thank you for the paste. Link?
    —————————————————————

    As to your other point, I know, I know, one must follow the narrative.

    I will wait with bated breath for the “real” to call out the multimillion dollar special interest they agree with for illegally placing signs they agree with.

  • Eric the 1/2 Troll says:

    “I’m not arguing for or against the spraying.”

    Neither am I, I am arguing for the BOS to stop rushing headlong into issues to please political contributors and instead consider the input of citizens in their decision – in this case the LBA input. In this case, a LITTLE forethought and consideration of the flowering schedule (like the WARNINGS on the presticide suggest) would have gone a LONG way. These people are idiots – all 9 of them.

  • edmundburkenator says:

    I cut and pasted the County’s email, but it’s stuck in moderation Barbara. I think Eric has the correct list though.

    This is an opportunity for political bitching to some, but to others, this is a real health issue, a real decision-making issue, and a taxpayer money issue.

  • Loudoun Insider says:

    Just ignore barb and her usual attempts at diversion.

    Comment is now released from moderation, eb.

  • edmundburkenator says:

    Why does this BOS start to remind me of Team America?

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gffaEmhht9c

  • Barbara Munsey says:

    “This is an opportunity for political bitching to some, but to others, this is a real health issue, a real decision-making issue, and a taxpayer money issue.”

    I can agree with that eb.

    I think it has been a real health issue for a lot of people for some time, while the “real” blew off any addressal of Lyme because they disagreed with the people bringing attention to it, denigrating them and the disease for a handful of posts before the spraying ever came on the horizon to give them some traction.

    Did anyone real advise for it during the decision making process, i.e. from staff? Against it? What are the comps on alternative methods?

    My own opinion is that the “real” views it as primarily a political issue (as with the signs).

  • edmundburkenator says:

    And I can agree with that Barbara.

    “Did anyone real advise for it during the decision making process, i.e. from staff? Against it? What are the comps on alternative methods?”

    I just don’t know this. I’m waiting for an answer. But the spraying moves forward with only the weather to slow it down.

    This is the problem with all of the political BS that goes on around here. It’s become so shrill that legitimate concerns get caught up in the din of sarcasm, defensiveness, conspiracy, and political tribalism.

  • Blackout says:

    The spray is absolutely ridiculous. The cause is real. I am all for the awareness campaign but spraying cash around the county without any forethought is ludicrous. Use the money for more awareness or donate it to research.

    realloudoun is doing a public service by pointing out the spraying. It’s such a stupid idea for the BOS to shepherd, it makes me wonder if there are other motives for going forward with it.

  • liz says:

    I think it may be as simple as visibility. The board is being seen as doing something.

  • Loudoun's Soul says:

    Um, there are certani laws and procedures regarding government procurement of services. The Board can’t just go out and hire Orkin to undertake spraying without following those laws and procedures, which include an open RFP or tacking onto some other jurisdiction’s contract which had gone through a bid process. Perhaps the County already has a contract with Orkin and this was just an add-on? If so, does the that original contract allow for such an add-on. Something is not feeling right here.

  • edmundburkenator says:

    I have the feeling the $20K and under rules were used here. Although I imagine it will be used multiple times over the course of the summer.

  • edmundburkenator says:

    LS, it’s Blake that got the contract, not Orkin.

  • Loudoun's Soul says:

    Thx, EB.

    Assuming that the $20K rule was in play here, then I will repeat what I said in an earlier thread on the Lyme Disease topic. Had staff done their job, two years ago and returned to the Board with an integrated (and vetted) set of strategic options this whole issue could have been fully discussed in a meaningful, public, and rational way rather than shooting before anyone was ready, let alone aimed at the correct targets with the correct ammo.

  • Shiloh says:

    E1/2T — since you’re knowledgeable about bees — Will the bees live long enough to get back to their hives after having been sprayed or coming in contact with dried spray? And if so, will they contaminate their hives? And what will be the effect on honey from those hives? Or are these unknowns at this point?

    LS — Are you saying that county staff was supposed to be working on the Lyme Disease issue two years ago and for some reason dragged their feet and did nothing?

  • John Marsh says:

    The scandal, political and substantive, is that this Board disdains economic, health risk, or other appropriate analysis of proposed actions. It reached its tick pesticide spraying decision with no health risk analysis, no effectiveness study, no assessment of alternatives, no examination of what other localities with worse tick problems than ours have done. But it’s a decision process endemic to this Board and its remarkably limited intellectual or governmental capacity.

  • Barbara Munsey says:

    “I think it may be as simple as visibility. The board is being seen as doing something”–bingo, Liz.

    Now, add in “I just don’t know this. I’m waiting for an answer…This is the problem with all of the political BS that goes on around here. It’s become so shrill that legitimate concerns get caught up in the din of sarcasm, defensiveness, conspiracy, and political tribalism”, from eb, and “Had staff done their job, two years ago and returned to the Board with an integrated (and vetted) set of strategic options this whole issue could have been fully discussed in a meaningful, public, and rational way…” from soul, and we get a lot of big feelings based on not much information.

    Staff has been working on this for two years or more? Gee, how did this brand new BoS direct them to do that before they ever even filed to run? Somebody’s missing a GREAT conspiracy there!

    Nobody’s got any info, but the BoS is seen as “doing something”? No $#*!–isn’t that the point of the political bs?

    Even the “real” posted that the entity doing the spraying had announced that they had gone through the county procurement process, but they seemed to only be posting that as a “sure, nudge, wink”.

    IF this began with staff TWO YEARS ago, if procurement procedure WAS followed, and so on, there’s no rush to judgment and much more grandiose wattle-shaking; the corporate BoS is simply picking up a procedure that was already on the corporate plate.

    And the “real” folks making the ruckus now, on very little hard info about process et al, were where then? Ah yes: making campaign fun of Geary Higgins for thinking Lyme was important to anybody with a brain.

  • edmundburkenator says:

    “and we get a lot of big feelings based on not much information.”

    Well, the BOS is responsible for providing answers to questions that are posed to them. Still waiting…

    Secondly, the media (whatever that is around here) is simply a press release channel right now. I have heard there is a story being pulled together about this. We’ll see…

    I think Soul was saying this kind of decision should have been vetted for two years. Not that they were directed to do so and didn’t. I don’t think this is a two year decision, but it’s not a four month decision either.

  • Eric the 1/2 troll says:

    “E1/2T — since you’re knowledgeable about bees — Will the bees live long enough to get back to their hives after having been sprayed or coming in contact with dried spray? And if so, will they contaminate their hives? And what will be the effect on honey from those hives? Or are these unknowns at this point?”

    In order – 1. it is common belief that they will live long enough to bring it back to the hive. 2. It is known that ANYTHING that the foragers bring to the hive quickly makes its way throughout the entire hive. 3. It is also known that not only is this chemical particularly deadly to honey bees but that honeybees in general are very susceptible to pesticides – partitial due to the nature of the hive as outlined above.

    As to effect, it is hard to say. Any beekeeper within 3 miles of a spray site would have hives at risk. Populations would likely drop in those hives. When populations drop the hive (the actual entity impacted) gets weaker and is more susceptible to things like varroa mites, viruses, hive bettles, wax moths, etc. that a strong hive can fight against naturally. Further, fewer bees means less honey. Less honey means less for the beekeeper (read impact on rural economy) and less forthe hive to survive the winter on. Most hive kills happen over the winter often due to starvation or varroa mite impacts.

    Now as too the impact on the honey itself, traces of pesticide will likely make it into the honey. Traces of EVERYTHING the forager comes into contact with make it into the honey. This is why you rarely see “organic” honey. In order to demonstrate that your honey is organic, you have to demonstrate that you control all the land within 3 miles of the hives from which the honey is produced.

    This should be a lesson to EVERYBODY who wants to spray their yard/garden/playground. White clover is a main forage crop for honeybees. You spray your white clover, you spray the bees and your honey.

    At a minimum be sensitive to the nectar flow. Wait until the clover dies back (it is the last crop of the flow) and spray (if you must) BEFORE the goldenrod season. Also, watch for honeybees in your garden (they are the one’s that look kind of fuzzy). If you have them, it means someone has a hive within 3 miles from your house. Be careful.

  • Loudoun Insider says:

    and what makes up a large portion of managed lawn areas in parks and anywhere else that lawn traffic is high? White clover.

  • Eric the 1/2 troll says:

    “…there’s no rush to judgment…’

    Rush or not (and I think it is evident there was a rush), the BOS ignored input and warnings from the Loudoun Beekeepers Association and others brought forth as the plans for spraying were publicized. They should not have sprayed during peak nectar flow. They are 9-0 Idiots for doing so. The label itself points this out when it says:

    “This product is highly toxic to bees exposed to direct treatment or residues on blooming crops or weeds.”

    So what do they do? They ignore the label warnings and spray the stuff on the peak of the blooming crops! And you get caught up in process in response…typical…

  • Loudoun Insider says:

    Hopefully Barb will add this to the Government Reform Commission agenda, Eric. The process obviously needs reforming.

  • Barbara Munsey says:

    “I think Soul was saying this kind of decision should have been vetted for two years. Not that they were directed to do so and didn’t. I don’t think this is a two year decision, but it’s not a four month decision either.”

    Here is what soul said: “Had staff done their job, two years ago and returned to the Board with an integrated (and vetted) set of strategic options..” Staff didn’t “return” with a set of options? You can only return to the BoS if the BoS has charged you to do something.

    Maybe soul can clarify for both of us, meanwhile: do you think two years to examine something is a reasonable amount of time? The difference perceived “four months” (which may be a lot longer–remember, much more heat than light OR info so far) and a possibly suggested two years is overbroad, at least IMO.

  • edmundburkenator says:

    As I said above, I don’t think this is a two year decision, nor a four month decision. Somewhere in between seems right — with public input and proper study/research.

    But knowing something before doing something is the key here.

    There are places that have this problem north of here (Conn, RI) and do not spray. Why?

    I too would like to know what Soul is suggesting or knows.

  • Eric the 1/2 troll says:

    Well, a two year process would have allowed the staff to return options that the committee could have considered before forwarding the stakeholder consensus to the full board for possible action but the straw poll indicated that the full board would return the recommendation to the ad hoc committee whose by-laws CLEARLY state that the amended motion FIRST needed to be seconded and that a supermajority needed to vote in the affirmative but only AFTER the rules had been set aside. So OBVIOUSLY the BOS can not be held responsible for anything until we FULLY understand if there was a REASONABLE amout of time scheduled for consideration of the action in the FIRST place. Do you not agree, EB?

  • edmundburkenator says:

    Somewhere between that and “hey, let’s get Blake to spray! That will fix it!” would be my preference.

  • Barbara Munsey says:

    Apologies eb–watching the BoS at the same time, and after noting “return”, missed that you too think somewhere in the middle might be reasonable. (Is it a full moon, that you and I have agreed on more than one thing in such a short time span? :D ) It WOULD be nice to know what soul meant/knows. If there was proper procurement, proper process, and ONLY NOW is it being raised after the fact in order to paint it as something nefarious (gosh, NO ONE “real” would EVER do something as crooked, lying and dirty as that!), that would be really nice to know too.
    ——————————————————–
    Eric, is your post serious, or a sendup of government process? If serious, can you link to the meetings where what you lay out actually occurred?

  • edmundburkenator says:

    Agreed on two things in one thread… perhaps its the pesticide in the air.

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