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Woodwind Lakes Edition

No health hazards: I am a member of the community and want to state that I have not been embroiled in this battle. I simply wanted to post the findings of a January 2007 report by the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry prepared by the Texas Department of State Health Services: It shows that there are no public health hazards due to contamination.

I can't believe how ugly this situation has gotten.

Comment by D
April 18, 2007

Get physical: Mr. Sorrento, perhaps it is you who need to do more research. The facts do speak for themselves, and the fact is there is residue spewing from under the grounds of that subdivision that I'm sure is very harmful to your health. If I were you, I'd get physicals very regularly...

Comment by Liz
April 18, 2007

Read more carefully: “D” writes, “It shows that there are no public health hazards due to contamination.” No — no, it doesn't say that, actually. It states they “don't expect contamination” and that “there is no apparent health risk” and that it is “an indeterminate public health hazard.” And I quote.

You should, perhaps, read something so important a bit more carefully.

Comment by Jay R
April 18, 2007

Still baffled: I am the Paul Anderson in the article. Mr. Sorrentino omits that the “matter in the news a year ago” was a puff piece by the Houston Comical (in the Cy-Fair This Week section, no less) that said there were no problems.

“D” omits that the January 2007 report by the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry did not take into account the findings of Trinity Environmental or the high number of animal deaths and illnesses (dogs, my beloved Labrador in particular). The agency report looks at statistical increases in cancer and diseases and only counts people who live there. There has not been enough time to see any statistical cancer increases in any reports. But, “D,” what about all the people who have moved from the subdivision? The report says the ground surface is safe but evades stating that there are threats from IN the ground. “D,” you have probably not read the sworn testimony of the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality of March 21, 2007, in which a resident of WWL was recently told by the TCEQ to “be careful with your kids [playing and digging in the yard] until we figure this out.”

Just two weeks ago, the Homeowners Association sponsored an Easter egg hunt on the “biomound” — the 5,000-cubic-yard mound of dirt that's so contaminated that the Railroad Commission forbids homes to be built on top of it. So it was excavated and piled in the community park. This is an area that remains, to this day, under formal investigation by the Texas Railroad Commission.

Cheryl and I are grateful we could sell our home and leave after our house was on the market for 15 months. We have long ago decided not to harbor any hard feelings or bitterness — it's a waste of time. One profound gift of the experience is that I have come to love my wife dearly for what she has had to endure for my “crusade.” We remain amazed at how many otherwise intelligent people, even close “friends,” have stuck their heads up their asses about this. But then again, maybe sticking your head up your ass is a lot safer than sticking it in the ground around Woodwind Lakes.

We remain baffled to this day how it is that people could be more concerned about their property values than the health of their children. The answer is probably found somewhere in people's superficial desire to belong to anything, even if it is cluster f*@#^*! at bunko or the “women's club.” Saul Bellow said it best: “An awful lot of intelligence can be invested in ignorance when the need for illusion runs deep.”

Comment by Paul Anderson
April 19, 2007

Eyes opened: I would like to thank the Houston Press, its staff and especially Todd Spivak for having the courage and foresight to print the Woodwind Lakes article. The situation in Woodwind Lakes represents the best and worst in basic human character.

I purchased a home in what I hoped and dreamed would be a quiet and peaceful environment. Having a friend install a below-ground pool and strike an abandoned pipeline, and then watching government and business entities responsible for investigating and resolving environmental threats and issues cover up the event, was disturbing.

The situation in Woodwind Lakes represents the worst possible actions and reactions of all of the responsible parties. Homebuilders can request that a potential buyer sign away legal rights when purchasing a home, government agencies can and will mislead an entire neighborhood, and law firms will conspire with the homeowners' association to segregate and further victimize anyone with the courage to ask questions or exercise their individual state and federal constitutional rights in a court of law.

I personally will never again purchase a home where a homeowners' association or a MUD District has any power over an individual. I will never trust or respect state or county agencies or the personnel who work for such agencies that have the power to become inhibitors of law rather than the enforcers of law. I will never again sign away my legal rights to a fair civil trial, for a mandated arbitration clause. These were the real eye-openers.

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