Mom can’t find venue to dis­cuss cancer fears

Lost son at age 4, sus­pects a clus­ter

Daily Freeman (Kingston, NY) - - FRONT PAGE - Mid-Hud­son News Net­work

A Sum­mitville woman whose 4-yearold son died of brain cancer is bat­tling lo­cal of­fi­cials for a place to speak about her con­cerns that lo­cal in­dus­trial con­tam­i­na­tion might be to blame.

Kim Ann Can­dela has been de­nied a venue by both the town of Wawars­ing and the vil­lage of Ellenville for a pub­lic dis­cus­sion re­gard­ing a pos­si­ble cancer clus­ter.

Can­dela was liv­ing in Ellenville, which is within Wawars­ing, while preg­nant with her old­est son, Jack­son Joshua Smith. The child died of brain cancer on April 12, 2016.

Can­dela says she sus­pects con­tam­i­na­tion at the nearby Chan­nel Master site, later owned by Im­pe­rial Schrade and Hy­dro Alu­minum, was the cause.

“A lot of peo­ple have ques­tions; it’s an im­por­tant is­sue,” Can­dela said. “If there’s a chance this town is con­tam­i­nated, and we may never know, I don’t want any­body else to have to go through that.”

Can­dela said she in­tends to present a slide show, with maps of lo­cal rivers and fac­to­ries, at­tempt­ing to con­nect the dots with known cancer cases.

Other po­ten­tial in­door meet­ing places are now be­ing pur­sued for a fo­rum, in­clud­ing lo­cal fire­houses and the Ellenville Pub­lic Li­brary.

So far, a video of Can­dela’s ap­peal to town of Wawars­ing Su­per­vi­sor Leonard Dis­tel, posted on Face­book, has been viewed nearly 3,000 times.

Dis­tel ar­gued on cam­era last Thurs­day that it would be too dif­fi­cult to have some­one turn off the alarm sys­tem at Town Hall af­ter the reg­u­lar 4 p.m. clos­ing time to ac­com­mo­date an an­tic­i­pated crowd of up to 100.

Vil­lage of­fi­cials re­fused as well de­spite the fact that the vil­lage build­ing stays open late and houses Ellenville Po­lice De­part­ment.

“I don’t give up that easy. If any­thing, this mo­ti­vates me more, and I’m thank­ful for that,” Can­dela said. “I’m a strongly opin­ion­ated, lov­ing bitch who has been through hell and re­fuses to be bit­ter. We were just hop­ing our lo­cal elected politi­cians would help.”

Ad­di­tional con­tam­i­nated ar­eas lo­cally in­clude the old Na­panoch Pa­per Mill, now an aban­doned fed­eral Su­perfund site, writ­ten off as a lost cause in 2014. En­vi­ron­men­tal ac­tivist and lo­cal gad­fly Mike Wen­del of Max­i­mum Wa­ters says he has linked own­er­ship of the pa­per mill to Chan­nel Master through prop­erty deeds in the Ul­ster County Clerk’s Office.

Tests con­ducted by the U.S. Ge­o­log­i­cal Sur­vey be­tween 2009 and 2011 re­vealed the pres­ence of stron­tium-90 and ura­nium, both ra­dioac­tive, in the ground­wa­ter be­low the Ellenville state po­lice bar­racks. The cor­re­spond­ing well is in­dexed as U1647 on pages 34 and 35 of the re­port, which can be found on­line at on.doi. gov/2ffLogb.

The ra­dioac­tive waste al­legedly orig­i­nates from ex­per­i­ments con­ducted by the U.S. Army on men­tally in­ca­pac­i­tated Na­panoch prison in­mates start­ing in 1945 to study the ef­fects of fall­out on agri­cul­tural crops.


Kim Ann Can­dela is shown with her son, Jack­son Joshua Smith, who died this past April at age 4.

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