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Which drugs are the worst?

An acquaintance queried the other day: which is harming Baker County more — prescription pill abuse or methamphetamine?

Hmmm.

The correct response is, I suppose, who cares? They both are taking a toll destined to bring misery to users and heartache to their families. They merely do so to varying degrees.

Is the abuse worse here than elsewhere? The correct response to that, I suppose, also is who cares? Whether it’s worse here than, say, in Clay or St. Johns counties misses the point. We don’t live in Clay or St. Johns counties, and whatever problems beset us because so many people chase drug habits are our problems.

Here’s what we do know.

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Waive off enviro-risk prospects

The medical waste incinerator looks to be, well, cooked.

Last week the Pennsylvania company proposing to place what it says would be a $27 million operation east of Macclenny called for a breather before proceeding with its request for both Baker County and the city’s approval.

A delay, in this case, is tantamount to throwing a bucket of ice water on a burning book of matches.

Two county commissioners declared this week they, like dozens and probably hundreds of constituents, don’t want to have anything to do with the burning of medical waste in or near Baker County. Assuming they don’t change their mind, that means only a single vote separates the plan and its demise.

The others, we can assume, are sniffing the air (excuse the pun) and appeared noncommittal for now. Maybe they want to give (or appear so) Integrated Waste Management Systems more time to gel up its effort to quell fears that the incinerator will be an environmental freak show.

The company insists that, with approval from the multi-layered environmental regulation agencies, what it will send into the air is harmless.

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Incinerator data ‘generalized and vague’

Dear Editor:

I attended the April 3 county commission meeting regarding the proposed bio-hazard treatment plant and I’m concerned about this health risk coming to our hometown.

I find it very troubling that the information presented from the Integrated Waste Management Systems representatives at the meeting was very generalized and extremely vague at best. No specific information was delivered to the concerned citizens or county commissioners, which left me with grave concerns considering specific information was requested of them.

Yet, specific information was presented to the immediate property owners surrounding the planned construction site on March 29. This leads one to believe the citizens of Baker County are intentionally not being provided relevant information regarding the significant health concerns surrounding this project.

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Neighbors irked by Walmart DC, Who knew?

Whether a medical waste incinerator is located east of Macclenny or not will turn on many variables that are yet to be sorted out.

Maybe it’s safe; maybe it’s not. With all the regulatory agencies that have to pass muster on projects like these, and the fact that environmental regulation is the “new religion” of the 21st Century, it’s feasible the project would pose little threat to the surroundings if approved.

The parade of public hearings attached to a project like this is there for a reason. The public needs to be heard, as do the people who want to locate it here with the promise of “clean” industry and much-needed jobs.

What puzzled yours truly in the discussion so far was that people who live around Enterprise East at Trailridge are upset at the nearby Walmart Distribution Center.

Who knew?

Walmart DC has been here a decade, and unless yours truly is misinformed, it has been a resounding asset to Baker County. The jobs pay well, the operation is pollution-free, it’s been a boon to our tax base and from day one the management over there has been the most community conscious of any organization, private or public, in the county. Ever.

What am I missing here?

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