The Rocky Flats National Wildlife Refuge opened in September, giving metro residents another 5,000 acres of open space. But what else did we get in the process?
Rocky Flats Right to Know thinks you should know. The group, founded two years ago by Arvada grandmothers Bonnie Graham-Reed and Marianne Whitney, has been holding monthly programs focusing on the former nuclear weapons plant; they were motivated in part by the "sharing sessions," held by U.S. Fish and Wildlife as it transformed Rocky Flats from former nuclear plant to refuge, "that weren't 'sharing,'" Graham-Reed recalls. Speakers were cut off, and experts weren't allowed to speak.
But they will tonight, during "The Doctors Speak."
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Dr. Mark Johnson, executive director of the Jefferson County Department of Health and Environment, will discuss the science behind the health risks of Rocky Flats contamination. (For a preview, read his June opinion piece published by the Denver Post, "After decades of secrets, Rocky Flats still gives me pause.")
Dr. Sasha Stiles, who'd applied for a slot on the Rocky Flats Stewardship Council but lost out to a resident of the Candelas development neighboring the refuge and the head of the Rocky Flats Cold War Museum, will speak about studies she is developing to document current health effects of ongoing exposures to plutonium and other hazardous materials from the Rocky Flats site.
The free program starts at 7 p.m. Wednesday, November 28, at Trinity Presbyterian Church, 7755 Vance Drive in Arvada. Come early, Graham-Reed advises; they expect a full house. "People really want to know if it's safe or not," she says, "and then they can make the decision on the refuge."
Find out more at rockyflatsrighttoknow.org.