Philly Blunt

Freelance writer. Editor and web-video producer. Former Atlantic City Press and Philadelphia Weekly staff writer, City Paper managing editor/columnist and Dougherty for Senate campaign manager. Comments welcome here or emailed to brianhickey9 [at] hotmail. Now on: Facebook (Brian Hickey, in Philly) Twitter at Flickr at Be sure to check out Hickey on Divorce Court:

01 April 2009

The Air We Breathed

(Ronaldinho puts the lessons of Paulsboro to good use)

Back when I was a dashing left forward (or left wing, as we called it back in the day), me and the rest of the Haddon Township High School Hawks soccer team looked forward to the game against the Paulsboro High Whatevertheywerecalled's for one reason alone:
We tended to win those games by eight goals. And, well, it was nice to pad the stats against a school just starting to catch the futbol spirit and all.
But there was a downside: At least twice a half, the whistles at the oil refineries -- conventiently located right next to the field at the time -- would blast and the air would start to reek rancidly. Like, as if the air was the scrapple byproduct of refined oil but way less delicious, I guess. Well, allergy-ridden No. 9 would feel it in his throat every last time. And now, it seems, for good reason, albeit a good reason of the "too little, too late" variety. From today's Inquirer:

Federal authorities will monitor the air quality outside Paulsboro High School, which sits in the shadow of several oil refineries in Gloucester County, under an initiative announced yesterday by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. ...
In Paulsboro, a community of about 6,000, the EPA will test for metals such as lead, nickel and manganese, which can be emitted from refinery smokestacks; carbonyls; and volatile organic compounds. The toxics are known to cause or suspected of causing cancer and other serious health effects, including respiratory and neurological problems, the EPA says.

This explains two things:
1) Why we -- pun alert! -- kicked the balls off Paulsboro every game (twas the fault of manganese-riddled lungs) and
2) How I'm gonna go about taking a slice out of some oil companies. Finally!

And now, the obligatory Colonial Conference shout-out. WU TANG, Colonial, yo!


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hey I'm from Paulsboro (and now breathing fresh San Francisco air) - if anyone wants to take a piece out of those oil companies, it's me. Count me in.

1:52 AM  

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