Titan America awards 8 grants, rubs some the wrong way
meeting300.jpg

Titan America distributed mini-grants to 8 different New Hanover County schools at Tuesday night's meeting. The resulting photo op rubbed some people the wrong way. "I feel that the Titan Cement Company is trying to buy their way into our community by giving money to different causes in the area," said Tracey Bruno a local speech therapist. Ogden Elementary parent, Kelly Stryker said, "Personally, I would wish that they not come at all. But if they are going to come we need to know all the impact of the cement plant before they're allowed to operate near all the school children and we felt it was appropriate to bring these concerns to the school board." Chuck Agnoff has been pro-business in Wilmington for 20 years, but he is not pro Titan. "Who wants to support a business coming to this area if in good conscience you're concerned about your own kids? Don't you think future employers would be equally responsive?” Representatives from Titan told the school board that Titan will do more for the Wilmington community once they are established in New Hanover County. Titan’s Kate McClain said, "There's a tremendous amount of misinformation that's happening. I'm not asking for you to come out and support us this evening. What I'm asking is for you to give us the benefit of the doubt. Be sure you get your facts straight. Be sure you're getting accurate information." In summary, Titan wants to be given a chance. Opponents say it is not worth the risk. The school board does not have the power to decide whether Titan comes to New Hanover County, but Tuesday night showed how deep the debate runs. The board did confront the budget, approving a four-day work week over the summer to save money on utility costs.

Disclaimer: Comments posted on this, or any story are opinions of those people posting them, and not the views or opinions of WWAY NewsChannel 3, its management or employees. You can view our comment policy here.

I am just wondering? Are all these people that are against Titan really concerned for the environment or do they just not want Titan in their back yard? If Titan chooses not to build here or is forced not to ...how many will continue to protest them when it is not in your own back yard so to speak? Not any of you, I'm sure.

Since you seemed eager enough to voice your comment about protestors resisting Titan's plan to build here, let me respond that no matter where they are, the community they are involved in will still be effected. The fact that Titan has had to meet with EPA regulations more than once to change the amount of mercury used is a dead give away. Are you familar with what mercury will do when consumed, or when ingested after it pollutes our waterways? Perhaps you will be fine knowing that your daughter, or sister, or mother could undergo mercury poisioning and not even know untill she gives birth to a child whos nuerological development was stunted. Or maybe it will take you yourself, lying in bed with no peripheral vison and impairment of your muscles and speech after ingesting contaminated fish from your favorite local grille, to realize something is wrong with a plant that pours posion into the air.

It’s all about money as far as Titan and their supporters are concerned. I want to sell them the land, I want to sell them a house, I want to sell them insurance, I want to sell them a mortgage, I want to be their accountant, I want to line up and take their money. > >> What does that make us? > >> Do they not see what trouble greed and avarice got us into recently? Why can’t they see the problems Titan’s had in Florida & Virginia, the problems other states suffer at the hands of heavy industry…… Sure they (industry) violate the rules, they pay the money (sometimes), money cures everything…..except when our water supply is contaminated, our air is contaminated, our kids are sick, our seniors are sick, our river is contaminated, our fish, wetlands, bird sanctuaries are destroyed. Guess then they’ll want to know where the fed is to bail us out….. > > Their answer is, the “Regulatory Agencies” will protect us. Sure, just ask the Madoff investors about the SEC and the families of the deceased from peanut contamination about the FDA and the long line of other communities protected by useless, overworked, underpaid, underfunded, regulatory agencies. Titan’s Kate McClain said, "There's a tremendous amount of misinformation that's happening. I'm not asking for you to come out and support us this evening. What I'm asking is for you to give us the benefit of the doubt. Be sure you get your facts straight. Be sure you're getting accurate information." > >> We’ve got considerable amounts of accurate independent information, from all around the country, information not paid for by Titan. Unfortuantely, money does buy favorable “scientific” reports; money buys friends, votes, good will. There are too many people in Castle Hayne and the surrounding area that have no information, don’t know anything and will think Titan’s just wonderful for giving money to our schools and pageants and ….. and money can be tough to fight. >
So why is it everyone is concerned that Mercury will be dumped in the air? The same amount of mercury is already being dumped by Progress Energy at the Sutton Plant and has been for a couple of generations. If mercury is so dangerous why are we injecting it into children and the elderly? Flu shots and some vaccines expose people to extremely high levels of mercury. To me it seems like some of the same people holding signs up against Titan are lining up to get flu shots and other vaccines that contain mercury. More Information Click Here
Evil, wicked, awful Titan! How dare you come to our county bringing your much-needed jobs and money with you! You then compound your wickedness by giving money to local schools! Those of you opposing Titan just don't get it. Titan WILL bring jobs and money to our county but you don't want anyone to have it. Titan is obviously willing to invest in our communities already by giving grants to our schools but you don't want that either. So let's add it up, shall we? You don't want jobs, you don't want money, and you don't want investment in our schools. Sounds to me like all you protestors are the ones hurting our citizens, NOT Titan.
Just when I thought it could not get any worse, this story appears. Titan has been busy buying silence all over town, and they hit the jackpot with our schools. I am sickened and saddened that the people who are supposed to be our childrens' advocates have not stood up, and done the right thing. When I went to the Carolina Cement website to see for myself, I was stunned to see that these grants were awarded back in February. My horror intensified when I saw that the grant applications to Carolina Cement Company, were directed to the attention of Denise Szaloky, who is the VP of both the Codington Elementary PTA and the Myrtle Grove Middle School PTA. It is obvious that no one is looking out for our kids, and are willing to be quiet about this issue for a lousy $500.00 mini grant. I encourage every mom, dad, and grandparent to contact their respective schools and find out if their school was awarded a grant, and if so, ask them to turn down this award. It is time to take a stand for our kids, and send a message that we cannot and will not be bought.
They gave badly needed grant money. Who cares where it came from, it will spend the same.
The grant money is certainly needed. Why would Titan give New Hanover County schools grant money? Do you think it's because they truly care? Or could it be a public relations move to butter up citizens? Hmm...as far as I know Titan isn't a non-profit organization which means any money they spend they are doing it to get a return on their "investment". If the Marlboro man rode into town tomorrow with hundred dollar bills wrapped around packs of cigarettes, handing them out to children, would it be okay? For the sake of argument you could even say those packs of cigarettes were empty... Shame on Titan for thinking we are so ignorant and simple minded to not see what their real objective is by handing out grant money.
You sound like a bunch of people who just don't want a job. People need the money to live on and you would stand in the way of them supporting their families.

Titan may provide jobs but at the expence of what? Only the quality of life. Research mercury posioning. The effects of how it is genetically written in your DNA and will stay their untill the blood line ceases.

The people opposing this plant need to get the hell over themselves, the environmental tests have proved that it will not affect our environment and our children. God forbid a company trying to bring jobs and revenue into the Castle Hayne area, people wake up and smell the coffee. The people needs the jobs and the county needs the revenue, sometimes we are our own worst enemy
I agree that economic growth is a favorable circumstance. However, Wilmington has been the victim of poor planning for decades and it rings true with the contract and incentive package offered to Titan by our county commissioners. Titan has received several fines at their plant in Virginia regarding improper dumping into the ground and drinking water quarries. Additionally, the Florida plant has been shut down because of the adverse environmental impact Titan has had in the area. As a community heavily reliant on the tourism industry, I encourage you to play connect the dots. 160 jobs today at the cost of our clean air and water equals how many jobs lost in the tourism industry over the next 5, 10, 15 years? Not to mention the fact that the job creation will mainly involve people relocating to the area from elsewhere so the only real benefit is the extra spending and taxes of about 100 outsiders. The article mentions doing accurate research. Well, this is about as objective as it gets. http://www.deq.state.va.us/enforcement/finalorders/titan.pdf http://www.deq.virginia.gov/enforcement/finalorders/titanvareadymix.pdf http://www.deq.state.va.us/enforcement/finalorders/titanvareadymix.pdf http://www.dowjones.de/site/2009/02/us-court-cancels-titan-cement-florid... http://www.ncleg.net/Sessions/2009/Bills/Senate/PDF/S699v1.pdf Many more fines in Virgina... Do the research and educate yourself. Whatever your opinion on this issue, make it a well founded one. Also, every test conducted regarding the introduction of Titan's presence have concluded negative affects. This includes the one paid for by Titan through Interox. In this study, they recommend that people living around the plant should drink more bottled water and eat less fish. No joke.
Ok, let's take your links one-by-one shall we? 1.) Refers to water run-off, 8 years ago, at a Titan READYMIX facility in Port Norfolk, VA. A readymix facility is not a cement plant. Titan alleges that the fault was with the VA Department of Transportation using their property for a road construction project. " ... if it can reasonably establish, to the satisfaction of the Director, that the violation and damage resulting therefrom resulted solely from activities relating to the Virginia Department of Transportation construction activity at the Titan Virginia Ready Mix – Port Norfolk Facility..." Have you followed-up your "research" on this? In any case, ultimately Titan owned the property and needed to accept responsibility, which they did. 2.) Refers to water run-off 4 years ago at the Oceana, VA READYMIX facility, again, not a cement plant. Item #10 indicates that the plant manager was fired, and new equipment was installed. 3.) Duplicate of #2 above ... were you looking for quantity here, in the hopes that no one would actually take the time to look at the links you posted? Scare factor? 4.) Refers to the withdraw of permits for MINING in the Miami-Dade area. They did not shut down the Pennsuco Cement plant. It alleges no wrong-doing on the part of Titan, or violation of existing permits. In fact, it affected three companies, and nine mining operations, pending outcome of an environmental study. "This is the second time that the court has ordered a halt to Titan Cement - and two other companies' - operations in the Lake Belt, Florida area over environmental concerns. In July 2007, the U.S. South Florida Federal District Court first canceled nine operating permits in the Lake Belt region, pending the results of an environmental impact study." 5.) This is a link to Sen. Boseman's Bill #699. Why is this listed here? Did Titan do something wrong? Or were you hoping that people would see five links and assume that Titan had been a BAD actor? Now, getting on to your other assertions ... I would like to know what data supports your comment that 100 of the jobs that Titan will bring to our area will be filled by "outsiders" --- which in itself is a creepy term, and not very welcoming for new citizens. I have only heard (from Titan itself) that the plant manager position will, by necessity, be filled by someone from outside the Wilmington area who has experience in running a cement plant. Finally, I have also read the Intertox study and can't seem to find in there anywhere that they indicate that Titan's presence would have a negative affect. Are you referring to another study? Also, I believe the study recommended that people living on the river refrain from using water from the river as a drinking source. BTW - even the US Dept. of Health recommends limiting intake of certain fish. Show me a study, or even a roster of citizen complaints that allege disease or illnesses in children near the Pennsuco, FL or Roanoke, VA cement plants, and I will sit up and take notice. I may even get myself a STOP TITAN bumper sticker. For now, I am not drinking your Kool-aid. No joke!
I also like bullet points. 1) Are you a doctor? When several (in the hundreds) area physicians and nurses are in agreement that the affects of Titan are negative, it makes me wonder who might have better insight. 2) There will be limestone extraction at the proposed Castle Hayne plant. Florida mining shut down...twice. "That ruling was based in part on evidence that blasting in the quarries may have contaminated nearby wells with benzene, a carcinogen. The judge concluded that limestone mining contributed to the benzene contamination" 3) Page 19, paragraph 4 of Interox study (paid for by Titan...which makes it completely accurate, right?) Also, do your research on the individual that put this study together and you will find some interesting things. "People may also choose to drink bottled water" 4) The economic research determined that, in total, 46 current residents of New Hanover County will sustain jobs with Titan. Addresses my earlier comment about "outsiders". How many jobs are "seasonal" or tourism related in our area? 5) I mentioned that there are several more fines for the VA plant. Larger fines and stricter regulations would increase the incentive to follow those guidelines. $2200 doesn't factor into a cost benefit analysis when deciding whether to follow the current regulations. 6) EPA to release new regulations for carbon emissions today. (4/17/09) 7) 14 million gallons of water will be pumped daily to heat the kiln and process the cement. Research is soon to be released outlining the current water levels in that area. Records and archives indicate that 5-6 million gallons pumped in previous operations in that same area, unrelated to Titan, have dried up drinking water wells at least twice since 1994. Titan will be doing more than double that amount. 8) Keep in mind that FPM (fine particulate matter) is the biggest cause of asthma and respiratory illness/disease. These affects are due to long-term exposure, neither the VA or FL plants have been around long enough to document the correlation. 9) The link to Senator Boseman's bill was included to inform people that MY main concern is to allow enough time to research the impact it will have on OUR area. VA and FL do not have the same overall ecological profile as we do (diff. mercury levels, air quality, other contributing factors, etc.) 10) If objective, unbiased studies show absolutely no adverse affect on our health, environment, and economy, then I will rip the STOP TITAN bumper sticker off of my car and we can share a glass of kool-aid anywhere you like.
I like cheese.
We need the jobs. I would personally be proud to put on a gas mask to goto work everyday if I could make enough money for a reasonabe living. Having lived here my whole life, I cannot see where Castle Hayne would be all that much of an ecological loss vs the good it would bring. Castle Hayne is for the most part is a Hillbilly Redneck Romper room, full of drunks and degenerates of every sort, who either baught a place out there when homes/land could be purchased for as little as 13 - 40 thousand, or inherited it ( living on the backs of dead family members), now finding in a moment of hungover clarity, while planting the marjuana plants in the woods behind their home or feeding their emus, hey, we have somthin to complain about. Here is a thought, let Titan America come in, if they mess up then sue.
Wake up. You are not going to get a job at titan. They have said people in wilmington lack the skills and cement production is highly automated. "Automation" means few jobs. Anyone who thinks Titan is going to hire them hasn't done any research, is ill-informed, and would be lucky to get on as a janitor at the plant. You have a right to wear a gas mask. You dont have a right to give a greek company my tax dollars so you can turn wilmington into a polluted cesspool on the false notion that it will create lots of permanent jobs. A better idea would be for those of you thinking Titan's going to hire you to go back to school and finish the eighth grade. Maybe then you can get a job because you'll have something to offer of value to an employer.
between the ears huh Dave. Your post reflects your intelligence level as well. Of course you've lived among them all your life and are so much better than them, right? If Titan America does "mess up", money won't and can't replace what may be ruined or lost.
Wow, I can not believe the ignorance of the previous post from Dave12345678. It is obviously a post from someone who has nothing else to do other than degrade the honest people who work and live in the Castle Hayne area