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A Public Message About The Water Quality in the Barstow California Region

The local officials and media in Barstow count on you to not care about your own health and safety.

I’ve notified Desert Dispatch of volumes of citizen complaints, about locals experiencing rashes, itching, burning, or blisters after taking a shower, that we have been receiving for over a year, from the residents of Barstow, Lenwood, and Grandview.

Much like Flint, Michigan, the City of Barstow and Golden State Water tell people, “The water is safe.”

I lived in Lenwood.  While I was there, after I would shower, I endured the most terrible itching on my legs and back when I would try to go to sleep at night.  My kitty would eat and then immediately vomit, causing me to repeatedly change her food, trying to figure why she was getting sick.  There were nights where I was so flustered from itching that I took off in my car, at 2am, looking for cortisone cream.

I remember slathering my legs with ointment before I would go to bed.  I later learned that by doing so I was damaging my immune system from our resident patient education expert, a man with years of medical research and patient education experience.   In trying to stop the itching, I was hurting myself and wasn’t even aware I was doing so.

Then, when I moved away from Barstow, immediately I stopped itching, and my kitty was healthy again.

Later, when I ran a Facebook post asking people if they had the same problem, many people came forward with the same complaints.  People said, “We’ve always had bad water here.”  The local homeless shelter came forward and told us a story of how residents had been informed by an area doctor that the blisters and rashes the homeless were experiencing after taking a shower were caused by the water.

In 2015, I went to the local newspaper, Desert Dispatch, with the complaints, and Mike Lamb did nothing.  I took the complaints to Los Angeles, to KTLA, LA Times, and LA Weekly, and none of them would report on it or about our ongoing battle in Hinkley, trying to find answers to why Hinkley is the only city in the entire country that has been leveled with bulldozers because of Chromium-6.

Also, based on the rest of the country, there was no justification for the lowering of the property values in Hinkley, and the eventual demise of the notorious town from the film Erin Brockovich.  Making this situation even more painful is that many of the people now living in Barstow were the people of Hinkley.

Alex, a Facebook engineer who works for SuperfundResearch.org, has seen Silicon Valley property values go up, on average, $100,000 a year, and there are twenty-two toxic waste sites in the area, in Mountain View, and Sunnyvale. Not one, like Hinkley, twenty-two of them, one of which is underneath of Google, and NASA Ames Research Center in Mountain View.  There is a growing cancer spike being investigated by The State of California, and still the values of the homes in Silicon Valley continue to rise.

After years of fighting environmental battles around the country, I’ve learned that when the local media doesn’t report on volumes of citizen complaints about bad water, or any other issue, that the local writers and public officials laugh and say, “These people don’t care about themselves so I don’t have to do shit.”

That’s how Mike Lamb feels about the people of Barstow.   He sits at his desk, high and mighty, playing with your lives, barely listening to the pulse of the people.

In a rich neighborhood, if the water was like Barstow’s alleged issues, the situation would get dealt with immediately because the citizens would say, “Not in my neighborhood!!” An example is Malibu, where when it was discovered that there was a cancer cluster at the high school there was an investigation triggered within a week.  If Mike worked in Malibu and behaved the same way they’d fire him out of a cannon into the sun for looking the other way as their children suffered.

Why? Because the people of Malibu have money and power. In Barstow, where real people live in reality, it’s a struggle just to survive. People say, “What can I do about it?”

I understand this.

I was poor for many years of my life. I had no voice. I was powerless. If I saw corruption happening I wanted to fight but really what could I really do about it? I could barely afford to buy enough ramen noodles to make it through the week, like I could take on a corrupt public official!  Exposing corruption is the job of the local media, and The Desert Dispatch is a classic example of a when journalism fails.

Mike Lamb of the Desert Dispatch has been made aware, twice now, that the citizens are complaining of itching, burning, rashes, and blisters after coming in contact with the water, especially in Lenwood and Grandview, and it’s clear that he does not care.  He says, “Let ’em burn because I need to protect my buddies and none of these people are going to do a damn thing about it.”

He knows what we know. If Mr. Lamb doesn’t write about it, there is no third party media sourcing for the citizens complaints, making it harder for us to issue press releases that could result in breaking the status quo in Barstow.  We’ve experienced the same thing during our battle in Castle Homes, in Akron, Ohio, a couple of years ago.  We know this game, and the tactics they use to fight back, and silence is one of their key weapons.

If Barstow had a better reporter working in town, you’d have cleaner water, because that’s, essentially, one of Mike’s jobs: holding local officials, and the government responsible for their failures.   He thinks that you don’t care enough about yourselves to fight.

We think he’s wrong.

We think the residents of the Barstow area will stand up for themselves.

Our plan now is to bring in a reputable third-party water research team to do a full water and medical study of the affected residents.  We’re working on holding a series of public protests, because it’s clear that the only way we are going to get anyone to listen is if there is a peaceful revolution of people who demand to be treated with the same respect and dignity as the people in Malibu.

I’m asking you to help us by writing to Mike Lamb and demanding he step up and do the job he is supposed to be doing and investigate Barstow’s water issues, because the health and safety of you and your loved ones depends on it.

I’d like to thank all of you for your ongoing support.

Matt

Founder: SuperfundResearch.org

 

Contact Mike at mlamb@desertdispatch.com

 

 

 

14 thoughts on “A Public Message About The Water Quality in the Barstow California Region

  • I have experienced some of the itching all over,mostly sever burning of my eyes,creating red and swollen eyes and lids. Mind you I have had several surgeries on my right eye. But when I leave town to visit family,my eyes clear up ,no bloodshot or burning of my eyes,which is very painful. Thank you.

  • I really hope they get to the bottom of this I have a big family here. We’ve had a lot of problems since living in hinkley,lenwood,grandview,and barstow.a couple years ago I got in a lawsuit and all the work put into this got to where not enough proof.it’s so sad we have to live this way!!!

  • I do not agree holding one person accountable for an entire water system is fair, however I do support the citizens of Barstow and surrounding communities. I think the local officials need to be advocates for these families. What are they doing?

  • I live in Barstow Heights, I purchased rain soft to better my water but my wife and mother in law are experiencing itchiness as well. Please let me know what can we do to get this issue resolve. Thanks!

  • Wow…I thought it was just me being that I just moved to Barstow about 9mos ago from Arkansas. My face has broken out and rashed up so bad until I have to start washing my face with alcohol to help with the irritating. I went back to Arkansas on February 12, 2016 and with in 2day my face had cleared up. I returned to Barstow on February 22 2016 and the irritating of my skin starts back over after my first shower.

  • I can’t explain how discussed I am that I have to tell my children not to drink any water from school and at home, I soon learned not to cook with Barstow water. The poverty levels are too high in Barstow and the surrounding area. Inequality will continue to persist because our homes are not valed highly and taxes are used to suit “more important needs”. Bull shit. I am an educated mother of four boys, and the city council will regret meeting my persistence when I find time to attend a council meeting. In numbers we shall prevail. All it will take is the right leader.

  • I’ve been itching too with blisters all over my neck I thought it was because of the sun when I get hot it reacts but no blisters this is crazy and I hitting sick hella bad since I’ve been living in Barstow

  • Call a qualified lab and see what it would take for you to sample your water and have them run tests on it. There are many different things for them to test and they can get a bit expensive. But your local water agency should be testing and submitting test results to the state monthly. There are state and federal MCL’s (maximum contaminant levels) that they must meet or the public has to be notified within a certain number of days set by the state. You should also be able to view these test results online.

    • Jeff, I have family who have independently tested their water for years. A couple years ago the levels of arsenic in the water spiked so high they were told not to bathe or clean their dishes with their water. Getting labs done did nothing for them but drop their home and property value to nothing. They get to live their remaining years on their worthless property dealing with a gigantic problem that no one wants to address. 🙁

  • I loved in lenwoo as a kid then lived in Barstow for couple year. Then moved to Hinckley was rent my kids wen to school out their we stand bath swam in the water grew fruit trees I’d go to the public pool because when the law suit was going on we did receive a dime because we were only renters. We then moved to lenwood were I loved 15 year. I was always having problems with the water there smelled like clorinated water when we swam in an I’ve ground pool open our eyes were pain n they’d be really red n burning . I moved to Barstow 2 years ago n can’t drink the water my house is an older model and original piping. With all the cheimicals in the water my water is nearly looks like your drinking dirty water n the calcium build up is bad. Ruined coffee pot after coffee. The water when you first turn it on smells nasty.

  • It’s just crazy that they think no one cares about them selves. It’s not fair that I have blisters on my skin. But to see my 4 year old 3 year old and 2 year old with rashes is f***ed up. Like seriously. Our council needs to get it together. They can’t even provide us with decent water and that is pathetic. They don’t care about us

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