Train Talk and Coal Concerns at Reality Kitchen


On Saturday June 2nd the Whiteaker’s unofficial community center, Reality Kitchen, will be hosting a meeting to discuss railroad pollution, with Lane County Commissioner Pete Sorenson scheduled to attend and speak on the issue at 6:30 pm.

Jim Evangelista, who started Reality Kitchen, a learning center for adults with developmental disabilities, says the community has had ongoing concerns about the train cars passing through the neighborhood.

“It is a critical issue for us and certainly other neighborhood residents,” he says. Evangelista adds that part of Reality Kitchen’s mission is “creating a space that is available to the community,” a place for neighborhood residents to gather and discuss issues such as this one. The hope is to create a “community inclusion space” for people, he says.

Some of the concerns that brought about the meeting pertain to the threat of pollution wafting through the neighborhood streets. If proposed coal extraction takes place (see “Coal Train” 1-19), the dirty fossil fuel could be dumped on freight cars and hauled through the neighborhood train tracks on the way to Coos Bay.

“The noise pollution and the physical pollution and the impact on the neighborhood continues unabated,” Evangelista says. “It’s been an ongoing issue.”

At the Saturday meeting, handouts will be provided as well as displays to give residents a better understanding of the issue.

“Many folks are going to do what they can to bring information, to make it available, and so this is why we’re [having the meeting],” says Evangelista.