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No Port/Southport meeting highlights health concerns

READ MORE: No Port/Southport meeting highlights health concerns
Last night, the group No Port/Southport held its second public meeting to oppose plans for an international port. Much like the first meeting in June, there was a large turnout with passionate participants. People showed up early, and stayed late to ask questions at the public meeting Tuesday. There was plenty to ask about: members said they have done a lot since the last meeting. Rhodes Messick, No Port/Southport founder said, “Doing research really, and getting this together. It's such a huge project and there are so many different areas to consider.” Tuesday night's speakers pointed out four areas; environment, economics, security and most importantly health. Volunteers said they looked far and wide to find out how a port might affect Southport. “Talking to some people around the county, and talking to some doctors in California that work in the emergency rooms. We did some pretty extensive research on what's happening around the ports,” said No Port/Southport volunteer, John Lauer. Their research revealed one type of pollution that stood apart from the others because it poses many health concerns including lung disease, heart attacks, and cancer. “Particular pollution, which comes from burning the diesel fuel which comes from trucks, trains and ships,” said Lauer. And if a port is built, Lauer expects plenty of trucks to travel through Southport each day. Lauer said, “5,700 running 24 hours a day. A truck every 8 seconds. It's not made for a residential area.” Those that attended the meeting seemed to agree. For many it wasn't their first meeting, but there were some newcomers who added their names to petition the proposal. One of the newcomers, Austin Veargan said, “I really don't think it's good at all for the area to tell you the truth. And the reason why is just what they were saying inside about all the health issues. I mean that's primary to me.” Others who attended said they were most concerned with the proposed placement of the port, between Sunny Point Ammunition Terminal and a nuclear power plant. We spoke with representatives from the North Carolina Ports Authority who said they would not send anyone to last night's meeting. They say No Port/Southport has been unwilling to compromise in any previous discussions.

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Go Home No Port/Southport

Reality check. The port is currently underway, your little group is not slowing it down in anyway. The port authority has been doing surveys on land and water for quite some time now. The roadways are currently under review and will be expanded to allow truck traffic into the ports. The next step; get ready for construction! Why do you think the officials are not attending your meetings? Its because they are a waist of time and resources. The port is happening and will create good jobs in the area and beyond. A true multi-million dollar economic stimulus (job creation) program will not be held back because the retirees in St. James don't want more traffic on Hwy 211. I understand the flooding is bad enough at that gate; maybe you can get the state to fix that issue when they expand the highway to the multi-lane freeway.

The port is NOT underway, NO

The port is NOT underway, NO road or railway work has started, and don't EVER underestimate the power of retirees in St. James, Southport, BSL or anywhere else in Brunswick County. Also, it is WASTE of time, not WAIST, like your mid-section. Learn to spell.

..and you should not underestimate the desires...

..of both the state and federal governments. Uncle Sam wants the port to facilitate large scale deployment from Fort Bragg. In the event we had to go heavy, go fast, the Army can't wait for days or even weeks for the Marines to clear Morehead City and Wilmington. The majority of Brunswick County wants it because of the jobs it will create, both at the port and supporting the port. Your side also suffers a PR image problem, in that it's too easy to claim that the "rich" retirees, the majority of whom are immigrants, shouldn't be able to stop development in a county with many unskilled workers and relatively high unemployment. That underemployed father of two in Winnabow still has a lot of years raising a family before he can retire, kick back, and play golf. He cares more about landing a job as a forklift operator or truck driver, than his handicap. The simple fact is that relatively few people are opposed to this port, and odds say that you won't be able to match the cash coming in from all sides to support it. That's not saying that you shouldn't fight it.....just be prepared to go down in defeat. The perceived harm it will do to you is trumped by the good it will do for the county, state, and federal government.

There is good and bad about

There is good and bad about the port. It seems that the battlecry of those that want it always comes down to economics. Money, jobs. Sure, these are important to our nation. However, the choice of the location is not very good. If those who want it will come look at where it actually will be built, you will see what I mean. There is a nuclear power plant next door. I know that we cannot live in a "what if" world, but just suppose there was a national emergency. You have the bad guys shooting for Sunny Point, which is just on the other side of the nuke plant. Suppose they hit SP. The nuke plant could go. Then tbe port would have to be evacuated. See where I am coming from? An Army ammo depot, a nuclear plant and a state port all within about 3 miles of each other. I have never understood why the Army let a nuke plant be built in such close proximity in the first place. An accident there could cripple everything within miles.

Who are the bad guys and what are they shooting?

And how often have we seen a serious accident at an American nuclear plant? Your fears are a bit vague.