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Dear Mayor Brown, Council Members and Assemblyman Ryan,

Today I was trying to water my plants and flowers in my backyard.  I have a lovely backyard and pool with a nice deck. I do my own gardening which I truly enjoy!  I  cherish the time I get to spend outdoors during our beautiful summer weather.  Today I was able to spend time at home and I looked forward to enjoying this beautiful day.  Many days I am taking care of my Dad or my grandson and today I just wanted a little peace in my backyard!  Unfortunately, the PBA was excavating behind the houses on Busti Ave. which backs up to my backyard.   Although there is a temporary restraining order which allows them to proceed with sewer work, I find living under these conditions completely hazardous to my health. (I also wonder if they have connected the Busti Ave. properties to those new sewer lines.)

I couldn’t carry on a conversation with my husband or talk to my neighbor over the fence as the noise from these vehicles were deafening. What was even worse, the dirt that was sent moving through the air was causing me to sneeze and cough.  I had a terrible headache and the smell of fumes from the diesel from these dump trucks, pay loaders, earth movers and other lifts were making me sick!  I asked the PBA to please hold the dirt and dust down by watering it, yet received no response from them.

My 4 year old grandson lives in the other half of our house and my daughter-in-law is pregnant.  My husband, who is 62 years old, was recently diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease which has a strong link to environmental issues, and just this week I was diagnosed with asthma!!

So, since most of you here have publicly supported what Governor Cuomo is ramming down our throats-literally-I want you to know what we are living with.  I want to ask you what you are doing to ensure our health is protected?  I hold you personally responsible for my family’s well-being!!  I want to remind you that everyone of you WORKS FOR ME!!!!  You were elected and trusted to take care of all of us and NOT Governor Cuomo!!!  Take a STAND for doing the RIGHT THING for our community and our city and for the health of my family!  It shouldn’t be so hard to be a resident of Buffalo!  Living here is getting just too hard.  You want to build a better Buffalo than start by CARING about the HEALTH of the residents! Yes, we want jobs for our kids, but we can have jobs by making Buffalo a BETTER place to live and NOT a sicker place!!!  I hope you think about me and my family when you are enjoying your time outside this summer.  Tomorrow we are celebrating my grandson’s 5th  birthday outside.  I only hope I can stop sneezing enough to enjoy it.  Don’t you know what ultra-fine particulate matter can do to one’s body?  Would you put your own family in harm’s way just by living here?  You can’t see, feel or touch the air, but it is everywhere around us.  What is invisible to you is extremely dangerous to all of us on the West Side and penetrates deep into our city.  You can ignore the real risks to our health, but it shows up in the economic health costs to the entire community.

Shame on everyone of you who so proudly supports this project!  You are weak, unaccountable politicians sucking on New York State’s political machine.  When you are out in the community boasting all you have done for Buffalo and Western New York, shaking hands and having your photo ops, please think of me.  Every smile on your face will show me how little you care about us!  For who could possibly smile when you care so little about making us sick!

Elizabeth Martina, Columbus Pkwy, Buffalo

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