Transcription of Maxina Ventura’s testimony July 8, 2008
at the Sonoma County Board of Supervisors’ chambers, in Santa Rosa, CA

The hearing was called in response to the refusal of the placement of Twist Ties around the neighborhood in the Sonoma Valley where they were planned for placement in the summer of 2008.

I gave my name, Maxina Ventura, and identified myself as representing Don’t Spray California.

Isis said, “I’m ceding my time to Maxina Ventura.”  

Mike Kerns, Supervisor, said, “Okay. Thank you.”

Max: “First of all, three handouts for you all in case you haven’t, you may not have seen the label for Isomate LBAM-Plus and alternatives used in New Zealand. But I want to start off today by objecting to the fact that synthetic “pheromone” twist ties and traps of any kind have been brought in here. There was a very specific request to Ms. Brown (the Supervisor representing the neighborhood where people took action to keep twist ties out) and also Robert Leavitt of CDFA that none of these be brought in here.

As a result, my temperature dropped and has dropped because I’m chemically-sensitive due to pesticide poisoning. I am on the verge of an asthma attack even with two layers of carbon filtration, I’m feeling pins and needles in my feet and legs which indicates that my blood sugar levels have probably skyrocketed, which is what happens to people with pesticide exposures, for many people. And my blood pressure I can feel has risen. Normally, when I’m not exposed, it’s considered great. It skyrockets under exposures.

It’s outrageous that they’re here. It’s outrageous that any kind were allowed to be out in the hallway, making the hallway also a difficult place for people to be.  

Now, I lived for many years out in Schellville, out in the Carneros. My older children and I developed, were pesticide-poisoned by the typical vineyard spraying out there. This, to me, is very personal. You’ve gotten emails from me and information, certainly. But one thing jumped out at me, that photograph that looked like typical bunch rot. Well, so, now they’re representing this as an LBAM issue. Now, in the early 90’s so many people moved in here growing grapes and they started planting closer together than ever and then of course had all the bunch rot  problems and then what was their response? More use of fungicides which were making people sick.

So the Food Quality Protection Act of 1996 stated that and pointed out that, in fact many, there are many probable and possible carcinogens which had not been adequately tested because of tests that were insensitive in the past and need to be retested. So now here we are all these years later. A couple  years after that Food Quality Protection Act passed saying 300 had to be retested, just for carcinogenicity, only about 11 had been retested. I don’t know the newest numbers now but I think we all can do the math to look at what the intention might have been or not.  

So when you’re hearing about testing from OEHHA (Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment) and CDFA (the California Department of Food and Agriculture), I’d like you to do some questioning of them about the kinds of tests they conducted. Are there any longterm tests done here?

Now, the Risk Assessment model is what’s being used. The Risk Assessment model looks at me, looks at my children and looks at every person, looks at every person here…..” 

Mike Kerns: “Ma’am, your time is up, please, so could you conclude?”

Max: “So the Risk Assessment…” 

Isis:  “Another three minutes of mine.”

Max:  “Another three minutes of hers.” 

Kerns:  “I’m sorry. We don’t do that here. I thought I made it very clear each individual would have three minutes. That’s it.”

Max:  “Well, Robert Leavitt told me….”   

Kerns:  “Three minutes is up” (said over my trying to explain that CDFA’s Leavitt when saying no opposing panel would be allowed said that people coming to oppose the program could pool our time and in that way get 10 minute blocks for a person)

Isis: she objected but do I not remember specifics and could not hear when transcribing from video 

Kerns:  “Would you please conclude and let the next person speak?”

Max:  “I would then ask somebody to let me (sic) cede and I will….”  

Kerns:  “We don’t do that here. Each individual has three minutes, period.”

Isis: objected again. Again couldn’t hear in transcribing (she was at that point across the room, away from the video’s microphone or any microphone).   

Kerns: “Your three minutes is up.”

Max:  “We were told elsewise. Is there any Board of Supervisor who would like to make an exception?” 

NO response.

Kerns:  “No, I don’t see anyone.” 

Max:  “Well, you’re playing a shell game if you think that the Risk Assessment model is okay because it’s going to end up with sick people on public health.” 

Kerns:  “Thank you. Next speaker, please. Next speaker please from over here.”  

Max to the crowd: “So I’ve got notes for anybody who wants to bring up some other issues.”

Then, as I was leaning over, gathering my papers and bag, already turned away from the Supervisors (see video):  

Kerns:  “Ma’am, you’re disrupting this proceeding. I suggest that if you feel your health is at risk, whether real or imagined, (crowd sort of gasped) you may leave these chambers.”

Max: I was shocked and said, “How dare you? How DARE you?” 

Isis:  “Americans with Disabilities Act.”

Max: “How dare you?” 

Isis:  “Unbelievable.”

Kerns:  “Yes, it is.”