Tag Archives: St Charles County

CURTAIN CALL: Report Marks End of 10-Year Online Journey; Books Remain on Sale at Amazon With More to Follow

In contrast to my 2014 year-in-review piece in which I lamented the disappearance of more than 5,000 articles written and published on my site since October 2006, I’m sharing no news this year about suspected cyberattacks and other forms of online skulduggery. Instead, after writing and publishing more than 300 additional articles during the past 18 months, it’s time to say goodbye. Yes, this is the final curtain call on my 10-year career as an online purveyor of opinions, investigative reports and an occasional dose of humor.

Click on image above to order Bob's books.

Click on image above to order Bob’s books.

Why the curtain call? Because I recently accepted a position with a Fortune 500 company and, due to time constraints, am no longer able to continue this endeavor. I must say, however, that it’s been an interesting ride since the days when my website was known as “BMW: The Ultimate Blogging Machine” and ranked #82 among the world’s Top 100 Conservative Blogs.

Original caricature by David Donar.

My cartoonist friend, David Donar, drew this for my use as the “Ultimate Blogging Machine.”

As the virtual fabric of this curtain call, I’d like to challenge other journalists — including those “citizen” journalists so often looked down upon by many of my college journalism-school brethren — to pick up the torch and keep the sunlight of disinfectant shining on a handful of topics (below) that deserve continued attention:

• THE PENTAGON’S SEXUAL ASSAULT WITCH HUNT

Click on graphic above to order a copy of Three Days In August by Bob McCarty.

Click on graphic above to order a copy of Three Days In August by Bob McCarty.

Since the October 2011 release of my first nonfiction book, Three Days In August: A U.S. Special Forces Soldier’s Fight For Military Justice, I’ve been contacted by hundreds of individuals in search of help after they or a loved one found themselves falsely accused of crimes — usually involving members of the opposite sex — and, too often, convicted of those crimes in the military justice system. The case I’ve followed most closely since late August involves Army Maj. Christian “Kit” Martin and will be, if I can possibly make it happen, the subject of my next book. It’s a big “IF” due to the career change, but I hope to make it happen nonetheless. My 49-minute Skype interview with Major Martin offers an overview of the people and allegations involved in this case prior to multiple dead bodies being discovered only a week ahead of the date on which the major’s court-martial was set to begin. It has now been pushed back to an as-yet-undetermined date in March 2016.

• INTERROGATION TECHNOLOGY

Click on image above to order a copy of The Clapper Memo by Bob McCarty.

Click on image above to order a copy of The Clapper Memo by Bob McCarty.

In April 2008, I wrote a short piece about the Pentagon’s plan to deploy portable polygraph technology to war zones, purportedly for use in interrogating terror suspects and others whose information might be valuable to our war effort. Twelve months later, I asked Pentagon officials a handful of questions about how well the portable polygraphs had worked during their first year of use. Unsatisfied with the answers I received which seemed to indicate the portable polygraph technology had failed miserably, I launched an investigation that would last more than four years and result in learning about an extremely accurate and effective interrogation technology that Department of Defense leaders had yanked from the “toolkits” of our warfighters.

Along the way, I interviewed men who had used that technology with much success. Among them, Defense Intelligence Agency contractors who interrogated members of Saddam Hussein’s “Deck of Cards” as well as al-Qaeda and Taliban terror suspects and Army Green Berets and Navy SEALs who had used that technology with much success on the battlefield. In addition, I obtained never-before-published copies of letters and reports written by men who had used that technology with much success to interrogate detainees at Guantanamo Bay during the early days of the Global War On Terror. In May 2013, I shared the results of my investigation in the form of my second nonfiction book, The Clapper Memo.

• The Oklahoma City Bombing Trial in Salt Lake City

Though many Americans don’t even realize it’s taking place, I’ve been writing about an Oklahoma City Bombing trial that’s been slogging its way through a federal court in Salt Lake City as part of a 19-year (so far) search for the truth. My most recent piece about the trial appeared under the July 1 headline, Pre-Blast Videotapes FBI Claims ‘Might Have Been Misfiled’ Remain at Center of Ongoing Oklahoma City Bombing Trial. Other recent pieces covered topics such as allegations of FBI witness tampering and the judge’s threat to slap FBI agents with contempt of court charges. In the interest of time and understanding what’s at stake, I recommend you watch this chilling one-hour video before you read my other posts about the Oklahoma City Bombing Trial.

Radiation Contamination in the St. Louis Area

In January 2012, I wrote my first report about radioactive waste issues in the St. Louis area. It had to do with a report about cancer concerns related to the Weldon Spring Site in St. Charles County, Mo., the county just west and northwest of St. Louis County (Mo.). Three years later, I offered an update under the headline, New Weldon Spring Cancer Report Due Out Early 2016. Sadly, state health department officials have refused to provide answers to my latest queries. As a result, the final word remains to be written on this subject.

There are, of course, many more topics I’d like to highlight, but I’ll let you peruse them via the drop-down menu of categories located just below the “SEARCH” block in the right sidebar.

Before closing, allow me to suggest you show any appreciation you might have for my decade of work by purchasing copies of my books as Christmas gifts for the readers in your life:

• Chronicling the life story and wrongful prosecution of an elite Army Green Beret, Three Days In August received endorsements from Pamela Gellar of Atlas Shrugs and Richard Miniter, New York Times’ best selling author and investigative reporter. For more details about the book, visit http://ThreeDaysInAugust.com.

• To read the list of high-power endorsements of my second nonfiction book, The Clapper Memo, visit http://TheClapperMemo.com.

Click on image above to order book.

Click on image above to order book.

• For pure entertainment value, I recommend you read about FBI Special Agent Joseph L. Wilson and his effort to solve the mystery behind the deaths of thousands of Americans during the Fourth of July weekend. The biggest challenge of his law enforcement career, the investigation becomes personal after Wilson realizes he shares one thing in common with those who died: The National Bet.

To learn how to order signed copies, click here.

Thanks for everything and Merry Christmas to you and yours! It’s been a great ride!

FYI: Because I might write a few more pieces before the end of the year, I’ll leave this as a “Featured Post” until then. And, oh yes, I will keep posting occasional thoughts on my Facebook page.

GROUNDHOG DAY: Missouri Health Department Official Tight-Lipped About Cancer Report Due for 2016 Release

“Bob, I am unable to speculate on any potential further updates at this time. As you may be aware, all information released for the department is available here. Thanks, Ryan.” When I read those words from Ryan Hobart, spokesperson for the Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services, in an email message Tuesday afternoon, I felt like I was in the middle of a serious remake of “Groundhog Day.”

Click on image above to visit page Ryan Hobart, spokesperson for the Missouri Department of Health and Human Services, suggested I visit in lieu of providing me with answers.

Click on image above to visit page Ryan Hobart, spokesperson for the Missouri Department of Health and Human Services, suggested I visit in lieu of providing me with answers.

I call it a “serious remake” of the 1993 Bill Murray film, but not because it has something to do with the public health dangers associated with the long-term storage of radioactive waste at a place known as the Weldon Spring Site, located in a once-rural area about 30 miles west of St. Louis. Instead, his message reminds me of “Groundhog Day” because it’s so similar to the correspondence I had received from Hobart’s predecessor two spokespersons removed, Jacqueline Lapine.

When I tried, during a nine-month period in 2011, to find out from Lapine when the long-overdue five-year update to the 2005 Weldon Spring Cancer Report would be released by officials at the state agency responsible for keeping citizens in the Show-Me State informed about monitoring efforts at Weldon Spring, she gave me nothing useful.

It wasn’t until shortly after 5 p.m. Dec. 29, 2011, that I finally received a copy of the 2011 report, known officially as the Analysis of Leukemia Incidence and Mortality Data for St. Charles County, Weldon Spring and Surrounding Areas December 2011 (Update to April 2005 Report) and unofficially as the “Weldon Spring Update” or “2011 Weldon Spring Cancer Inquiry Report.” It came as an attachment to an email message from Gena Terlizzi, the woman who replaced Lapine who, presumably, moved on to new challenges.

To fully understand the issues at Weldon Spring, read this article before continuing.

Read about my "Uphill Battle for Answers" at http://bobmccarty.com/?p=1949.

The investigation that led to my first article about Weldon Springs in January 2012 (see screenshot above) began with state health department officials being very tight-lipped about the 2011 Weldon Spring Cancer Report. Read about it at http://bobmccarty.com/?p=1949.

Now, back to Hobart’s message highlighted at the top of this piece. It wasn’t our first exchange.

Our online conversation dates back to the morning of Oct. 21 and an email message I sent to Hobart:

Dear Ryan:

Five years ago, I communicated with your predecessors, Jaqueline Lapine and Gena Terlizzi, regarding the Weldon Spring Site where radioactive waste is stored in St. Charles County, Mo.

Because I had read in your agency’s 2005 Weldon Spring Cancer Report that the authors recommended “the Cancer Inquiry Program should continue to monitor the cancer incidence and mortality rates in Weldon Spring and its surrounding areas,” I asked for — and eventually obtained — a copy of the 2011 Weldon Spring Cancer Inquiry Report.

Today, I’m repeating the process in hopes of obtaining an update about your agency’s forthcoming release of a 2016 Weldon Spring Cancer Report.

With several national news media outlets, including CBS Evening News and the The Los Angeles Times, reporting recently about the inherent dangers of radioactive waste in the St. Louis County neighborhoods along Coldwater Creek colliding with an underground fire at the nearby Westlake Landfill, it’s imperative that your agency be transparent when it comes to testing and monitoring at the Weldon Spring Site.

At your earliest opportunity, I would like you to provide answers to the following questions:

1. When do officials at the Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services expect to release another five-year follow-up report (a.k.a., “2016 Weldon Spring Cancer Report”)? and

2. Who, within the agency, is in charge of producing the five-year follow-up report?

Please let me know ASAP if you have questions or anticipate any delay beyond 48 hours in responding to my questions. Thanks in advance for your prompt reply.

Sincerely,

Bob McCarty

After five days passed without an answer, I left a phone message with Hobart Monday morning and followed up by sending another email message: “Are you ignoring me on purpose? I’ve emailed — twice now — and I left a phone message three hours ago.”

“Sorry for the delay,” he replied two hours later. “I will be back in touch as soon as I have responsive information to share.”

Almost 24 hours later, I responded: “Ryan, As a long-time veteran of public affairs work, I must say that six days is an unacceptably-slow response time and that delaying the release of bad information — if that is, indeed, the reason for your delay — never works out well for the organization behind the delay.”

Two more days passed, and I received a mid-Tuesday afternoon message from Hobart: “Bob, I am unable to speculate on any potential further updates at this time. As you may be aware, all information released for the department is available here: http://health.mo.gov/living/healthcondiseases/chronic/cancerinquiry/reports.php#weldon. Thanks, Ryan.”

I responded two hours later: “Well, that’s a lame answer, because I’m not asking you to speculate. I’m asking you to tell me whether the Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services will be releasing an update on the 2005 Weldon Spring Cancer Report and the 2011 Weldon Spring Update. If public funds are being spent on preparing such a report, it is your agency’s obligation to inform the public as to how that money is being spent and when they might expect to see any official update.”

I ended my message by asking Hobart a question and sounding something like a game show host: “Is this your final answer, because it is about to go national. I’ll give you one more chance — 24 hours, to come clean — before the gloves come off.”

At 9:24 a.m. today, I asked Hobart one last time if he was going to provide me with genuine answers. He didn’t reply, so the gloves are off.

Stay tuned for more developments.

For links to other articles of interest as well as photos and commentary, join me on Facebook and Twitter.  Please show your support by buying my books and encouraging your friends and loved ones to do the same.  To learn how to order signed copies, click here. Thanks in advance!

Click on image above to order Bob's books.

Click on image above to order Bob’s books.

Bob McCarty Weekly Recap: Oct. 18-24, 2015

Though I spent much of the week engaged in offline research and writing, I did manage to knock out a few pieces for publication. Those pieces and other details of my week appear below in this weekly recap for the week of Oct. 18-24, 2015.

Butters, my office assistant, on guard.

Sunday, Oct. 18

While I published nothing new on my website Sunday, I did manage to air some opinions on my Facebook page. For instance:

• When I learned Captain America was battling right-wing conservatives in Comicbookland, I called that “INK that st-INK-s”;

• After reading a CNN report about astronaut Scott Kelly breaking the American record for number of days in space, I said “I don’t miss him.” As far as I’m concerned, the husband of former Arizona congresswoman Gabby Giffords can stay in space indefinitely — or until he backs away from his belief that gun laws need to change because of the act of one nutcase;

• I shared a two-year-old photo (above) of Butters, my office assistant, on duty; and

• On the day before the fourth anniversary of the release of the paperback version of my first nonfiction book, Three Days In August, I shared a photo of a war hero, whose life is chronicled in the book, shaking hands with a country music superstar, Toby Keith.

Kelly Stewart & Toby Keith

Click on image above to order a copy of Three Days In August by Bob McCarty.

Monday, Oct. 19

On Monday, I published a piece that might make you sit up and take notice of what could happen, real and imagined, to your retirement plan in the not-too-distant future. At the same time, it qualifies as shameless self-promotion of my crime-fiction novel, The National Bet. Either way, I think it’s worth reading. You’ll find it under the headline, Bob McCarty: ‘I Had No Advance Knowledge of President Obama’s Sinister Plan to Hijack Your Retirement Savings.’

Click on image above to order your copy of The National Bet by Bob McCarty.

Click on image above to order your copy of The National Bet by Bob McCarty.

That same day, I marked the aforementioned publishing milestone by publishing an article under the headline, Pentagon ‘Witch Hunt’ Continues as Book About Wrongful Prosecution of Green Beret Marks Fourth Anniversary. In sharing the article on Facebook, I made a statement and asked a question:

Even after beating this “drum” for more than four years, it seems too few people give a damn unless they see one of their own family members impacted by this witch hunt. Do you give a damn?

Sadly, the answer for most people is “No.”

In addition, I shared more observations and opinions on Facebook. Among them were the following:

• I wrote, “I smell a lawsuit,” after reading about a shootout at the OK Corral that mistakenly involved real bullets;

• I labeled Richard Branson’s opinion piece about drug policy a “headscratcher”;

• I wrote, “Glad to see this. I’ve never paid for a review or for social media “friends” to promote my books — and never will,” after reading a piece about Amazon suing more than 1,000 people over fake reviews; and

• I shared some old memories, including the Facebook cover photo (below) that I had used three years earlier.

My Facebook cover photo Sept. 22, 2012.

I used this graphic as my Facebook cover photo Sept. 22, 2012.

Tuesday, Oct. 20

I published nothing new on my website Tuesday, but I did use Facebook to alert people to several items, including:

• A challenge issued to folks following my coverage of the military justice saga of Army Maj. Christian “Kit” Martin:

Your mission should you choose to accept it: 1) Watch this interview; 2) Read the letter I sent recently to Army Chief of Staff General Mark A. Milley; and 3) Contact the officials listed at the end of this piece, and let them know you believe Maj. Christian “Kit” Martin deserves better than he’s receiving at the hands of the military justice system.

• A radioactive waste-related story I had published In January 2015; and

• Two great LifeZette articles, Time for Senate Geezers to Go and Paralyzed by Bureaucracy, by my California friend Katy Grimes.

Wednesday, Oct. 21

After coming across reports on the CBS Evening News and in the The Los Angeles Times about the inherent dangers of radioactive waste colliding with an underground fire in St. Louis County, I tried Wednesday to rekindle interest in a story I had published for the first time in January 2012 and, again, nine months ago. Published under the headline, Will Missouri Legislators Finally Decide to Pay Attention to Radioactive Waste Issues Outside of Saint Louis County?, it concerns radioactive waste issues in St. Charles County, Mo., and a state agency report due to be published in January 2016. It’s a must-read if you live anywhere near St. Louis!

Click to read about my "Uphill Battle for Answers."

Click on image above to read the story I published Jan. 23, 2012, and, again, nine months ago, about radioactive waste issues outside of St. Louis County, Mo., and about a state agency report due to be published in January 2016.

I also pointed my Facebook friends to a Washington Post article about the “trap” that is the U.S. military’s whistleblower law and how it allows general officers to “get away with it” while innocent men and women suffer. In turn, I pointed them to my own article about abuse by an Army two-star general that has a career Army officer facing sexual assault allegations made against him by a woman who is a convicted felon.

Thursday, Oct. 22

On Thursday, I covered the first several hours of the congressional “lie-athon” with a piece under the headline, House Benghazi Committee Grills Hillary Clinton. I had to stop when I, along with members of the House Select Committee on Benghazi, took a lunch break. I was afraid I might lose my lunch if I continued to watch the hearing.

Friday, Oct. 23

On Friday, I published nothing new on my website but did express disappointment over the following news items:

• I wrote, “Shaking my head in disbelief even though I’m not surprised. Or something like that,” after reading news about the Department of Justice opting against prosecuting former IRS official Lois Lerner;

• In sharing this sad news, I wrote, “I’m sick of reading reports in which ‘unnamed military officials’ are cited as having confirmed details about the activities of elite warriors. They are known as “quiet professionals” for a reason. Divulging details about their activities, even after their deaths, only serves to put future missions at greater risk. That said, I still offer my SALUTE to Sergeant Wheeler, a fellow Okie!”; and

After reading that drinking beer slows down Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease, I shared a far-less-serious note, writing, “It’s true! I can’t remember the last time I shook uncontrollably after enjoying a beer,”

Saturday, Oct. 23

Today, I plan to read through some trial transcripts I received during the week while also watching some college football on television, so don’t expect anything more from me today.

FYI:  Related to one of those trial transcripts, I was able to track down the female accuser of a U.S. Soldier who had reportedly moved from her hometown in Europe to California and married a different U.S. Soldier she had met in her hometown. It turns out she didn’t move to the Golden State at all. Instead, I found proof she is living and working in another state more than a thousand miles away. Stay tuned as I try to help the Soldier she accused of rape — who’s already completed his prison sentence and is living as a convicted sex offender — have his sentence overturned. Meanwhile, enjoy your weekend!

For links to other articles of interest as well as photos and commentary, join me on Facebook and Twitter.  Please show your support by buying my books and encouraging your friends and loved ones to do the same.  To learn how to order signed copies, click here. Thanks in advance!

Click on image above to order Bob's books.

Click on image above to order Bob’s books.

Thief Nets Sweetheart Deal from Local Judge

Today, I came across an article about Kevin James Guerra, a former St. Charles County (Mo.) Ambulance District board member who recently pleaded guilty to taking more than $500,000 from a private urgent care center. Apart from being pleased the 44-year-old was caught, I’m appalled by the sentence given to him by Circuit Judge Jon Cunningham:  120 days shock time, five years probation, and  repayment of $150,000.

Kevin James Guerra

Kevin James Guerra

To understand why Guerra’s punishment — if you can call it that — troubles me, one needs only compare it to that given other individuals around the country for crimes involving comparable dollar amounts stolen, embezzled or otherwise taken illegally. Below are three cases I found through a simple online search:

Case #1 (Los Angeles, 2012) — Third Brother Sentenced to Over Four Years in Prison in Plot That Stole Over $500,000 Designated for Low-Income, Disabled Residents;

Case #2 (Springfield, Mo., 2011) — Springfield Man Sentenced to Five Years and Ten Months for $500,000 Fraud Scheme; and

Case #3 (Downer’s Grove, Ill., 2012) — Former Office Manager Gets 10 Years for Embezzling More Than $500K from Suburban Chicago Law Firm.

What was the Judge Cunningham thinking when he doled out punishment for Guerra that appears many orders of magnitudes less severe than that received by others around the country? According to the article, he said it was unrealistic to expect Guerra to pay back the entire $500,000 during the five years he will be on probation.

Simple math tells a different story: In exchange for his sentence, Guerra appears to be $350,000 ahead.

For links to other articles of interest as well as photos and commentary, join me on Facebook and Twitter.  Please show your support by buying my books and encouraging your friends and loved ones to do the same.  To learn how to order signed copies, click here. Thanks!

Click on image above to order Bob's books.

Click on image above to order Bob’s books.

Bowling Green Pipeline Rupture Stirs Backyard Fears

EDITOR’S NOTE: After reading recent news about a ruptured natural gas pipeline forcing the evacuation of area residents near Bowling Green, Mo., I decided to share anew a story I wrote and published Sept. 13, 2010, about one Missouri family’s experience with underground pipelines running through their backyard. The family still lives in the home described in the story below, modified only slightly from the original version.

Markers are mandatory after passage of the Pipeline Safety Improvement Act of 2002.

Markers are mandatory after passage of the Pipeline Safety Improvement Act of 2002.

Though natural gas pipeline explosions like the one that leveled a neighborhood and left several people dead in San Bruno, Calif., Sept. 9, 2010, are rare, having petroleum product and natural gas pipelines running through her yard still makes Shelley Miller of St. Peters, Mo., nervous and scared.

“I started shaking from the inside out,” said Miller, then 47, describing how she felt upon watching initial news reports about the blast.  “The first thing I thought was, ‘That could be us.’”

When Miller says “us,” she’s not just talking about members of her immediate family.  Instead, she’s referring to more than 75 of her neighbors who have pipelines running through their properties in the sprawling Brookmount Estates subdivision in the St. Charles County community of 58,000 located a few miles west of St. Louis.

Miller and her husband Ray bought their modest three-bedroom home in the winter of 1993 and moved into it in January 1994.  At the time, they had one small child and no idea that any pipelines were running through their backyard.  It was during the fall of 1995 that they learned they had a fuel pipeline running a few feet below the surface of their backyard.

When Shelley Miller moved into her home in 1994, pipeline markers were not required.

When Shelley Miller moved into her home in 1994, pipeline markers were not required.

During an interview at her home less than 24 hours after the California blast, Miller recalled how she found out about the existence of that then-unmarked pipeline.

“We found out that Williams Brothers pipeline had a pipeline back here,” she said, explaining that the company had sent letters to owners of approximately 75 other homes in the subdivision to notify them that the company would be conducting tests of a 9.5-inch natural gas pipeline.  Soon after the testing, company workers put a marker on Miller’s fence to indicate the location of the pipeline — less than 25 feet from the rear wall of her home.

“But I didn’t think too much about it,” she said, adding, “It’s a residential neighborhood in a populated city.”

Her fears increased during the fall of 2003 after a man from Explorer Pipeline Co. of Tulsa, Okla., came to her home.

The man, Miller explained, asked if he could see her backyard to get an idea of where the trees were.  His company was going to be cutting down and/or trimming trees to make the easement more visible from the air for flyover-inspection purposes per guidelines of the Pipeline Safety Improvement Act of 2002.  That legislation stemmed, in part, from security concerns after the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001.

“I brought him into the backyard, thinking that was the same pipeline company that I already knew was here,” Miller said.  Before the man’s visit ended, she learned Explorer owned a different pipeline in her yard, this one 24 inches in diameter and carrying gasoline, diesel and jet fuel at a flow rate of more than 14,000 gallons per minute at 825 psi.  Soon after the visit, she also learned she had two more pipelines — both owned by Conoco Oil Company — adjacent her yard that had been in the ground since 1931, bringing to four the total number of fuel pipelines behind her home.*

After receiving notices from Explorer about the tree-trimming efforts, neighbors along the pipeline begin to talk and ask each other questions, prompting Miller and a friend to go door to door to take the pulse of the neighborhood.  In July 2004, they began airing their concerns during meetings of the City of St. Peters Board of Aldermen.  And they got results.

“They did take action and listen,” Miller said, noting that board members made some moves to improve the safety of the pipelines in the city.  For instance:

• One new ordnance stipulates a minimum 25-feet barrier be maintained between newly-constructed housing and existing gas and/or hazardous liquid pipelines;

• A second ordnance requires the city be notified of any excavation near fuel or hazardous liquids pipelines; and

• A third requires disclosures be made in connection with real estate transactions involving property located along such pipelines.

While the board members’ actions have done much to assist future and prospective homeowners along the pipeline and throughout the city, Miller thinks more needs to be done to help people who purchased property near the pipelines in the past without being informed about the pipeline’s existence.  After all, it was the actions of city officials in 1971 that lead to the current situation, according to Miller.

Miller has collected stacks of documents while educating herself on the pipeline issue.

Miller has collected stacks of documents while educating herself on the pipeline issue.

“In 1971, Charlie Adams was a big developer in St. Charles County,” Miller explained.  “It turns out that Charlie Adams was not only the developer, but Charlie Adams was also the chairman of St. Peters’ planning and zoning (commission) at the time.”  Though city records fail to reflect any formal approval of the Brookmount Estates development plan by members of the commission after it was presented for consideration Nov. 10, 1971, the fact that the subdivision stands today indicates the plan received no less than tacit approval of the city.

Also, it’s worth pointing out that documents obtained by Miller show Adams, through his company R.G.S. Construction, also signed a right-of-way agreement with Explorer Aug. 6, 1971, nearly three months before the commission meeting.**  That agreement made it possible for Explorer to run the pipeline through the subdivision before homes were built there.

Though Miller doesn’t think any laws were violated when development plans for Brookmount Estates made it through the city’s planning and zoning commission, she said she believes bad moral decisions were made and that city officials should right the wrong that happened almost 40 years ago.

“Their predecessors were responsible and, just as a president assumes the previous president’s mess,” she said, “the city aldermen do the same.”

Asked what she would like to see happen in St. Peters in the wake of the California disaster, Miller didn’t mince words.

“I would like to see every homeowner walking into that city hall together and saying, “This is your mistake, you allowed this to happen, you permitted it to happen and, after having seen what happened (in San Bruno), we don’t want any part of it.  We want out.”

Miller points to a spot on a map where four pipelines converge in St. Charles County, Mo.

Miller points to a spot on a map where four pipelines converge in St. Charles County, Mo.

Miller noted that she’s aware of at least three other subdivisions in St. Peters are dissected by pipelines.  According to the National Pipeline Mapping System, at least a dozen pipeline companies operate in St. Charles County, and many of those pipelines carry product from the Wood River Refinery in Roxana, Ill., 40 miles to St. Peters and points west.  That means the issue of pipeline safety isn’t limited to St. Peters, and it isn’t going to go away soon.

Editor’s Notes: *Originally installed to carry crude oil, gasoline, diesel and jet fuel, the 9.5-inch natural gas line in Miller’s backyard is no longer owned by Williams Brothers.  Now, it is owned by Southern Star Central Gas Pipeline, Inc., of Owensboro, Ky.  **I attempted to locate Adams for comment.  Along the way, I was told by more than one source — but could not confirm — that he had passed away.  According to the Missouri Secretary of State’s web site, his company ceased operations in 1983.

For links to other articles of interest as well as photos and commentary, join me on Facebook and Twitter.  Please show your support by buying my books and encouraging your friends and loved ones to do the same.  To learn how to order signed copies, click here. Thanks in advance!

Click on image above to order Bob's books.

Click on image above to order Bob’s books.