Wildlife pathologist, piano player on the CASE

Ravena activist group to hold fundraiser to support research into Lafarge emissions


The citizen group Community Advocates for Safe Emissions, CASE, is hoping to raise money to support its research through a dinner and music event on Saturday, Dec. 5, at the Water's Edge Restaurant in New Baltimore, from 6 to 9 p.m.

The group has been protesting the operation of the Lafarge cement plant in Ravena, which it says is contaminating the area with mercury and other pollutants that are a byproduct of its industrial processes.

Playing piano will be Morey Hall, a Delmar resident who teaches music lessons and composes in studios in Delmar and Clifton Park. Clark Music Studio in Clifton Park is donating the use of a Steinway grand piano for the event.

Hall will be playing a one-hour program of original compositions, including pieces like Echo Across the Lake, "Ripples on the Water" and "Colors on the Sea."

"I'm quite inspired by nature," Hall said. "Like a lot of people, I'm concerned with environmental issues."

Also featured at the event will be DEC Wildlife Pathologist Ward Stone, who has been conducting an independent study of plants and wildlife in the Ravena area using funds raised by CASE for laboratory fees. He'll speak briefly about his studies.

In October, Stone said that his studies had revealed increased mercury levels in the Ravena area, a fact he attributed to the operation of the Lafarge plant.

Hall has worked with Stone before by putting on a similar fundraiser in Spencertown, where a company was aiming to mine on Snake Mountain. He said that fundraiser was very successful, and he thinks that the event in New Baltimore will raise money for the research being done in the Ravena area.

Stone is aiming to expand his testing of plants and wildlife near the cement plant to include testing for dioxins and other carcinogens. Unlike the relatively cheap tests for mercury and other heavy metals that he has been doing, though, these tests will be more expensive.

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