I became involved in Hanford Cleanup Issues during the summer of 1991 The U.S. DOE was holding hearings at 15 sites around the country on the “Reconfiguration of the Weapons’ Complex, one of which was in Richland. I decided to go, asking myself why, when I heard the report on NPR that President Bush and Russian President Gorbachev were signing the SALT II treaty to reduce our nuclear arsenals. I remembered being interested in nuclear power and nuclear weapons issues from friends back in Montana, years earlier. I attended the hearing in Richland, a 15 hour affair, testifying on something of this magnitude for the first time in my life. On my 4 hour drive home, I knew that this was a life-time commitment. I began informing myself, attended hearings, seeking information, listening to others and during one big hearing on the volatility of the underground tanks of nuclear waste at Hanford, put out a sign-up sheet for interested citizens to attend a meeting to create a citizens’ group on Hanford cleanup, which became known as HANFORD WATCH.
Our organization has always relied on volunteers, and has focused on public participation at hearings and with government agencies to promulgate change. We remain a 501C-3 organization, a volunteer group to this day, operating on a small budget based on donations. I have represented members of HANFORD WATCH on the regional Hanford Advisory Board, from its inception and am a former long term member and chair of the OREGON HANFORD CLEANUP BOARD. My full time profession for the past 23 years has been and continues to be teaching high school language arts at Open Meadow Alternative High School in Portland, Oregon. I hike, garden and nurture 2 adult offspring and a variety of friends to feed my soul.
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