Franks, Renzi staffers to meet Downwinders

Two congressional staff members will speak during the next meeting of the Mohave Downwinders, the group said.

Representatives of 2nd District Rep.

Trent Franks and 1st District Rep.

Rick Renzi will speak during the meeting, which will begin at noon Oct.

4 at the Kathryn Heidenrich Adult Center, 1776 Airway Ave.

Laura Taylor, a Prescott attorney who has helped the organization on a pro-bono basis for some time, also plans to attend, Downwinders representative Eleanor Fanire said.

The Downwinders seek compensation for Mohave and La Paz county residents for radiation exposure from nuclear weapons testing in Southern Nevada during the 1950s and early 1960s.

People who were living in the Northern Arizona counties of Yavapai, Coconino, Apache and Navajo during the period already qualify for payments under the federal Radiation Exposure Compensation Act of 1990, Fanire said.

People who lived in the extreme northern part of Mohave County – the Arizona Strip – also qualify, she added.

Fanire said people who believe they have lost loved ones to cancer from radioactive fallout can place a loved one's name in the organization's "black hat." Names of loved ones, along with stories about them, will be placed on the Downwinders' Web site, www.kingmanaz.net/~mohavedownwinders.

The black hat represents Billy Logas, Fanire's brother who died last year of brain cancer at age 58.

"Billy never smoked or drank.

He always took good care of himself," Fanire said.

She said Logas worked for 20 years at the Duval copper mine and then as a city of Kingman maintenance foreman for many years.

"A lot of his co-workers have cancer and some have died," added Fanire.

She said her family did not have a history of cancer but that her father and mother died from pancreatic and ovarian cancers, respectively.

Fanire attributes her parents' and brother's deaths to fall-out from nuclear radiation.

"I don't blame.

Lots of times we were told to do our jobs and you do it in trust.

Who could you blame?" she asked rhetorically.

"But let's make it right to the ones that have suffered."

Fanire said others may have been exposed from aquifer water that was contaminated from subsequent underground testing.

The last underground test at the southern Nevada site, located some 100 miles north of Las Vegas, was in 1986.

That blast was rated at 29 kilotons and was the largest of the underground tests done at the site.

For more information about Downwinders, call Fanire at 753-6051 or Roy Steele at 753-6685, or go online at www.downwinders.org.