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Letters to The New Yinzer should be sent electronically to email@example.com or physically through the USPS to: The New Yinzer, 315 Gross Street, #3, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania 15224.
Sent Tue 8 Apr 03
What is it now?
Cousins, aunts, uncles,
Friends, neighbors, coworkers?
From: B. Fowkes
Sent: Tue 8 Apr 03
Subject: RE: Heath
I visited your website for the first time this morning and discovered Heath Pecorino. He's a very funny and astute man with an incredible future ahead of him.
Best of luck to Heath and your publication.
From: Donna Spadaro
Sent: Tue 20 May 03
Subject: Workers Memorial Day
As my brother, Gary Puleio, was killed in an industrial accident, I am able to describe first-hand the difficulties families face in dealing with OSHA and wish to comment on the observation of Workers Memorial Day in Pittsburgh. An article in the Pittsburgh Tribune Review ( "Ceremony will commemorate those who died at their jobs" 4/27/03) described the local observation of this event and specifically commented upon the difficulties experienced by the family of Paul Corsi, who was killed in February 2002, in the truss collapse at the Pittsburgh convention center. While the Dick Corporation was able to "negotiate" with OSHA to have fines reduced in this case, families of victims of industrial accidents, whose tax dollars fund OSHA, have no such access. Requests for information about the circumstances surrounding fatalities are met with obfuscation, delays and total lack of response. Concerns of families, about the accuracy and adequacy of the conclusions, are dismissed as being due to inexperience or emotional distress.
In the Corsi case, the conclusions of Allegheny County Coroner Dr. Cyril Wecht differ vastly from those of OSHA. Where OSHA acquiesced to the Dick Corporation and found "no evidence of willful or criminal violations" and reduced the fines to a paltry $12,000, Dr. Wecht found "failures so blatant and overwhelming that a person could only conclude that the actions, errors and omissions more than rise to a level of recklessness and grossly negligent conduct" and recommended that the Dick Corp. be held criminally liable. Certainly Dr. Wecht's concerns cannot be written off by OSHA in the condescending manner that family members' concerns are. Over a year has gone by since Corsi was killed, and the results of the investigation being conducted by District Attorney Zappalla into the discrepancies between the conclusion of Dr. Wecht and those of OSHA still are not known. Unlike the District Attorney, families of victims have no such luxury of time. After facing innumerable delays in obtaining information, we are finally told that no further action can be taken because the OSH act requires that any citations and penalties must be issued within 6 months of the "alleged violation."
OSHA fines are not issued as punishments and no amount of money can compensate for the loss of life. However, the issuance of trivial fines, that corporations can negotiate down, and citations that understate the problems results in neither accountability nor acknowledgement by the offending company and no increased diligence to safety issues that could avert further tragedies.
Although the Tribune article noted that Ronald Bush was honored at Workers Memorial Day, it failed to mention that he was the SECOND WORKER KILLED WITHIN ONE YEAR at the same facility in Springdale. After the first death, OSHA issued an inconsequential fine of $7200. A more thorough investigation and a less "slap on the wrist" fine may have resulted in meaningful change in the company's safety policies and perhaps averted this second death. In my brother's case, the company admitted no wrongdoing and paid a $6000 fine for a REPEAT violation.
One expects corporations to minimize their wrong doing to avoid penalties and facing perhaps even criminal charges. After suffering tragic losses, families, expecting justice and fairness from OSHA, are further devastated by its indifference and by the gross imbalance in the access we have to OSHA compared to that of corporations.
On Workers Memorial Day recall, therefore, the words of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., "In the end, we will remember not the words of our enemies, but the silence of our friends."
Donna Puleio Spadaro, MD
From: T. Wilson
Sent: Fri 30 May 03
Subject: 114 WPM typing?? He is proof that it is not true.
From: Clifford, Brian
Sent: Wed 28 May 03
To: Chris Farrell,
Mark my words, you will never reach the dock with the jewel ... alive. Between my vengence and that of Vul-Kar, you'll be lucky to escape Witches Alley! Sleep with one eye open, my "friend," lest you wake and find yourself lying jewelless in a Smolder Pit. I am coming for you. I weep for your children.
Fireball-Island Pawn-Man Orange