After coffee and conversation, President Ted Ganger called the General Meeting of the Kirtlandia Society to order at 10:05 a.m. in the Rare Book Room of The Cleveland Museum of Natural History. Ted welcomed the turnout of approximately 38 Kirtlandia members, Museum docents, and guests, and thanked them for taking the time off to forget about the trouble in the Middle East. Nancy Howell introduced her docents individually.
President Ganger requested an addition to the Minutes of the September 8 meeting distributed with the announcement of today's meeting. At that meeting, President Ganger reported that Virginia Krumholz accepted the position of Kirtlandia Archivist, succeeding Mary Flahive from whom he had received a verbal notice of resignation.
Bill MacDermott announced that the 2002 program schedule is available. He also reported that most members have paid their yearly dues, and those who have not will receive a "reminder" with the next meeting notice
Walt Stephens, Chairman of the Adopt-A-Student Committee, read his annual report on this summer's program, the 22nd consecutive year of our sponsorship. It was very successful with a wonderful group of students who meshed very well. The students gave excellent reports at the annual AAS program, and their visual displays were well thought out and presented. The 28 applications came mainly from Ohio, but the influence of the Internet was seen with requests from colleges such as Northern Arizona, Skidmore, and Earlham. We even had a foreign applicant, and this is precipitating a change in our program guidelines, i.e. applicants must have a valid U.S. Social Security number. Total expense for the program was $16,800.34.
Treasurer Charles Greenwald reported that Kirtlandia is in good shape financially. The majority of the dues are in, and as of last month's report, the Endowment Fund had a balance of in excess of $140,000.
Pete Church reports that this year's joint holiday party with Photo Society is Kirtlandia's responsibility. The date is December 8, and Pete says she will request help with setup, cookies and/or desserts, etc.
Jane Litt presented a brief report on the Education Committee's October 10 meeting. The Science Resource Center's "Science-to-Go" program is a real success. Certified teachers are going to schools in 7 counties with the program for which a fee is charged. Giant Eagle has given $12,000 to support the program. Last week's "Science Spectacular" was the best attended ever. The Astronomy Department and its staff are part of CMNH's Education division. Jane reported that planetarium construction is going well, with equipment being received and installed. "Test drive" programs will begin soon, and Kirtlandia members will be invited to participate. The committee also discussed the AAS program and felt that we could use more applicants. Jane provided a sign up sheet for members interested in acting as liaisons with colleges, urging them to post information on the program. With increased Internet exposure, we may receive more out of state applications, making summer housing necessary. With this in mind, Jane also prepared a sign up sheet for those Kirtlandia members who might be willing to house a student for the 8-week program next year.
In the absence of Program Chairman, Bob Taylor, President Ganger conducted a "man on the street" interview with today's speaker, Dr. Kathleen Fagan. She is affiliated with Cleveland Metro General Hospital. Dr. Fagan obtained her undergraduate degree at Northwestern, attended the medical school at CWRU, and completed her residency at Cooke County Hospital in Chicago. Her specialty is occupational/preventive medicine. Dr. Fagan stated that due to the onset of the West Nile Virus and the events of September 11, she was shifting the focus of today's talk somewhat because pesticides are a large part of chemical warfare.
Using the overhead projector, Dr. Fagan defined "pesticides" and showed their chronological use throughout history from 1550 B.C. against flea infestation, to 1939 when DDT was first used for military applications, and to 1972 when the EPA took over the enforcement of the pesticide laws. Throughout her presentation, she took questions as they arose.
There has been a huge increase in pesticide production with 1 to 1.5 billion pounds being produced annually in the U.S. Of this amount, California is the largest user. Worldwide, 4 billion pounds are produced annually. In the U.S. the majority is used for agriculture, lawn treatment, wood preservation, and right of way for roads and railways. Worldwide, people use a substantial amount to commit suicide. Other public health uses for pesticides are mosquito control, lice eradication, and the treatment of drinking water and sewage.
Organophosphates were the primary pesticides focused upon by Dr. Fagan. She explained that they enter the body through inhalation, ingestion, and skin absorption. When activated in the liver, they become toxic, bombard the nerves, and are the most common cause of accidental poisoning and death of people. Onset can be within a minute to hours with death often occurring in 1 to 5 days through respiratory failure. Treatment is possible if identified soon enough. Chronic health effects of organophosphates are asthma and allergies, neurological effects (both central and peripheral nervous systems), and cancer. Reproductive effects include sterility and birth defects.
Dr. Fagan discussed briefly the West Nile virus, which is mosquito borne and causes encephalitis. Control strategies are surveillance, mosquito abatement, as well as education of the public. The past few years have seen the use of IPM (Integrated Pest Management), stressing containment versus eradication, using less toxic pesticides, genetically engineering crops, and decreasing use, etc.
Copies of articles provided by Dr. Fagan covering cockroach control and effects of chemical warfare agents were available for members.
President Ganger adjourned the meeting at 11:50 a.m.