The Bradenton Herald has diligently covered this issue for years, investigating the potentially deadly pollution and questioning what is being done to mitigate the dangers to this community. Our reporting has helped lead to significant changes in local and state policies on toxic contaminations, how former beryllium industry workers are treated, and how Lockheed Martin and government officials are working with Tallevast residents.
Just hours before the latest addendum was filed Tuesday with the Florida Department of Environmental Protection, Gary Cambre came to meet me at the Herald. He has just moved to Bradenton from Baton Rouge, where he was employed for 23 years as a communications director for Dow. He now is working for Lockheed Martin in a new position: the company's manager of communications for Energy, Environment, Safety & Health. And Tallevast is his key focus.
He met Tuesday with editors, talking for more than an hour about his hopes to open communications with us and with Tallevast residents. He promised to be as accessible as possible, and to work at breaking down walls for more understandable answers. He has plans to help document the history of Tallevast, and is intrigued by the 100-year anniversary of Mount Tabor Missionary Baptist Church, which Carl eloquently profiled in this story on Sunday.
I'm encouraged that Mr. Cambre is actually moving here, immersing himself in the daily goings-on of the community for which he now has responsibility. With millions of dollars at stake, peoples' homes and health at stake, and the resultant lawsuits and corporate red tape, he has his work cut out for him. But it seems to be a committed step in the right direction.
Photo by TIFFANY TOMPKINS-CONDIEfirstname.lastname@example.org