Friday, November 28, 2008

IRGsome

Oh what a tangled web we weave, When first we practice to deceive! Sir Walter Scott, 1771 - 1832 Last night’s (11-25-08) required public meeting for International Risk Group (IRG)'s submitted General Development Plan was another in a seemingly endless series (18 in 2008 and a total of over 60, they say) of public meetings concerning the “Lowry Vista” redevelopment project of the former Air Force toxic dump on Alameda. As usual, Marcus Pachner, the talented PR person for IRG, presented a slick, time-consuming slide show for the approximately 300 people in attendance. Essentially, he says, the project is an “idea” that will change over time, as IRG works through repeated official “no” decisions to forge ahead on the $10 (ten dollar) deal. Having attended and videotaped five of these meetings, I am aware that most of the presentation, and even the Q and A afterward, is repetitive and probably boring to the general reader of this blog. So I try to find a pivot point in the discussion, something I can cut out of the 2 ½ hours of blah, blah, blah. YouTube has a 10 minute limit, and readers have about a 2 minute limit before they get bored and click away. This requires me to review the entire meeting, looking for the gem, a moment that will crystallize the truth. I thought I had such a “moment of truth” from Tuesday’s meeting. In the Q and A, Adrienne Anderson, an expert on environmental radiation hazards, states, with regard to a California lawsuit brought by workers made ill from alleged radiation from an IRG project: “… and what was IRG’s response? They sued the workers to silence them, and, they also sued a website, a citizen-based website, that was posting documents about the workers allegations." "IRG took them to court to try to silence them, and a Federal judge, just about two weeks ago, ruled in favor of the worker’s right to speak up about the hazards of what he alleges is associated with his exposure on that site. So the liability, is to sue the people who are concerned, to shut them up. And that is their pattern….” So, to summarize, IRG sued the workers to shut them up, but a judge ruled in the workers’ favor and dismissed the lawsuit. Next comes Brent Anderson, attorney, with International Risk Group. “…as to suing, er, trying to chill Adrienne, I know the website, I guarantee you we haven’t done anything to chill it, AT LEAST NOT TO MY KNOWLEDGE, second of all, AS FAR AS I KNOW OF, any litigation that International Risk Group is involved in, in California, we were sued, we haven’t sued anybody. And I think its really important to make that clear”. Here is the lawsuit. Scroll down to 32(h) and (i) for mention of Adrienne Anderson. Note that 1000 "Does" are named. Ok, this looks fairly clear cut. Did or did not IRG sue the workers in California who were suing them? Well, not so fast, it turns out there are two different IRGs being referred to here; International Risk Group and Industrial Realty Group. Both of their websites claim Lowry Vista as one of their projects. The citizen website in question, KaiserPapers.info, details the web of interlocking IRG LLCs (as in Limited Liability Company), in Colorado, Nevada, and California. There is even a patent on the process of turning "brownfields" into money. Two hours later Wait, wait... oh no, there are at least 21 IRGs in Colorado alone. For more, check out California and Nevada Secretary of State offices. So when Adrienne says IRG (Industrial Realty Group) sued the workers, she is correct. And when Brent says IRG (International Risk Group) hasn’t sued anyone, he is correct(but he really isn't making anything clear). And by the way, if you want to get really creepy, the Kaiser Papers website was recently hacked and completely destroyed by what is alleged to be the “Russian mafia”, and the Downey Studios project in California caught fire just hours after the judge ruled against them. This is getting really IRGsome. My head is hurting from IRGness overload. As they say at the Kaiser Papers website “The Justice Department needs to sort this out.”

2 comments:

  1. Adrienne Anderson3:08 PM

    What warrants clarification - from comments made during the few minutes allowed by IRG's PR flak who ran the meeting - is that "IRG" essentially operates under two IRG corporate hats essentially being worn on the same head to develop targeted pollution sites acquired throughout the U.S.

    "IRG" can refer to either International Risk Group and/or Industrial Realty Group, as they operate under a joint partnership arrangement at the proposed Lowry Vista development (a former radioactive waste dump the military used over decades), as well as at the Downey, California site where which once was home to a nuclear reactor and subsequently became the site for further pollution-generating government-contract operations by Boeing and Rockwell.

    The two head IRGs are International Risk Group and Industrial Realty Group, which have been acting jointly to develop these, and numerous other toxic and/or radioactive sites throughout the U.S.

    For one IRG to claim it is unaware of its other IRG partner's activities at the same site seems disingenuous, at best, while apparent attempts to deflect public attention and concern over what lays below its lands are made.

    Confusing?

    The IRGs then go on to confuse the public further (is this by design?), by creating sub-entities under other names by which the IRGs jointly operate, like "Lowry Vista, LLC." At other locales, the names change, but those seeking to profit from pollution sites - considered inadequately remediated by many - are the same.

    Follow the bouncing ball -and the money - and see if you can untangle the web.

    - Adrienne Anderson

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  2. Anonymous8:24 PM

    I think that it would fair to mention that IRG (International Risk Group) was contacted for the purpose of filing a claim, upon the advice of James Biederman, the attorney that arranged the land transfer between the GSA and Downey where the people became ill.

    This IRG, headquartered in Colorado didn't know what to do when contacted. To this date all those that have contacted IRG requesting a claim form or even information as to how to file a claim have been ignored.

    Furthermore, as for indemnification of the property, contrary to the Federal Government's attorney, James Biederman's understanding, and he wrote the actual contract, IRG did nothing more than arrange for an insurance policy on the property.

    It is my undertanding that for at least part of the time when individuals did become ill while employed on the Downey property there was no insurance coverage yet in place.

    These privatization deals are dangerous to the public unless there is truthful oversight, and unless regulations are actually adhered to.

    Unfortunately, in California and probably many other states, government regulatory agency employees turn their heads. and laugh all the way to the bank with their new found riches.

    My name is Vickie Travis and I host
    The Kaiser Papers.
    http://kaiserpapers.info http://downey.kaiserpapers.info

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