Runkle Canyon is NOT Toxic! Let’s Move On!

We need to rely on good, sound science
– Steve Sojka

This past Monday, I missed the City Council meeting where the status of Runkle Canyon was discussed. I caught the playback and was fascinated by what I saw!

I can’t help but wonder if the Radiation Rangers are hysterical, or if they’re just trying to be overly sensational to prevent a developer from building homes in their backyards. The presentation started with Radiation Ranger Patty Coryell, considered the founder of the Radiation Rangers. She introduced Michael Collins, a reporter who hardly comes off as objective. He spoke of mysterious white substances, unknown tar like substances, and “suspicious looking water.” Interesting stuff. But none of it proves contamination. He voiced concerns about possible contamination of drinking water. He had slides with pretty maps. It was compelling. Also, he makes a living writing about evil developers who build on tainted land. The presentation concluded with a resident who’s face I couldn’t see. His job was apparently to add no value to the presentation aside from saying “let this soak into your brains” which Glen Becerra had the opportunity to say back later in the meeting. Like I said… compelling.

Mr Riley, on the other hand, joined the council meeting directly after with a presentation from the Department of Toxic Substance Control (DTSC). He discussed openly that he and his department had been in contact with KB Homes and that KB Homes had responded favorably and with cooperation as did Runkle Canyon, LLC. He indicated that they opened their test results to scrutiny. He also discovered that the mysterious white substance was located not only on the property in question, but that it was also located in other areas throughout Simi. Analysis concluded that it was a naturally occurring mineral salt, completely unrelated to the Santa Susana Field Lab. The black tar substance is apparently a result of a gravel mining effort and, while ugly, is not contamination. After several questions from the council, Mr. Riley finally answered the one that I was waiting for all night which was that he had no plans at this point to indicate that the land was unsafe on which to build.

And yet, if you check the hysterical website of the Radiation Rangers, they have a big red banner above a photo of harmless white mineral salt that reads…

What’s wrong with this picture?

Well, it turns out nothing is wrong. And regarding any ideas of a supplemental EIR (Environmental Impact Report) the city manager concludes that there is no purpose to do a supplemental EIR just for the sake of doing an EIR. It’ll happen when the time is right.

I’m annoyed by the hysteria the Radiation Rangers have spun. People eat that stuff up.  Some poor bastard embarrassingly approached the podium at the council meeting to sternly lecture the council and inform them that if he “finds out that he’s drinking contaminated water and the council did nothing about it, he’s going to hold them all personally responsible.”  How obnoxious and uninformed.  I blame that individual for being uninformed, but I point the blame at the Radiation Rangers as well.

As far as what I learned from Monday night’s council meeting, I feel pleased and informed. Easily one of the best council meetings ever. Plus, it’s good to see science and facts beat out hysteria and sensationalism.

On a much sadder note, the content of salt on the property is such that snails and slugs are required to relocate. Rumor has it, a new group called the Snail Rangers has formed to investigate the mysterious bubbling effect that takes place on snails and slugs when they come into contact with the mysterious white substance. More on this soon…

22 thoughts on “Runkle Canyon is NOT Toxic! Let’s Move On!

  1. I personally fel this article crosses the line. the radiation rangers are not hysterical, they are trying to save lives. I think it takes a lot of courage to go before City Council and present facts like they did especially since they know its not the well liked position.


  2. Thanks! I personally feel I’m right on. The “Rangers” didn’t present facts. They presented findings of white stuff and black stuff. The DTSC presented facts.

    Go look at that website and tell me these people aren’t sensationalizing what may have started out as a genuine concern. From what I heard at city council, you’ve got a handful of neighbors selling fear to halt a development in their backyard and an environmental reporter selling news stories for a living. Those homes WILL be built because there’s no indication that it’s unsafe.


  3. Just so as you know you are a bit off. the DTSC didn’t say exactly that it was safe to build, they said they would know soon if it was safe to build and at this time they couldn’t say if it was contaminated elsewhere. They said the substances teh rangers pointed out wasn’t toxic but more lab studies are needed on the land to find out more because of all the excitement over the land. You may be a bit early to declare victory.


  4. Don’t misunderstand. There’s nothing for me to be victorious about. This isn’t my fight. If it seems like I’m blowing off steam, it’s because I am. I dislike the idea of generating hysteria without facts to back up these claims, that’s all. Go to the city website and look at the poor bastard who scolded the council members about contaminated water completely without cause or justification, all because he drank the Radiation Rangers’ kool-aid. That irritates me!

    And if you research similar matters online, you’ll find that it’s really not a lengthy process resulting in repeatedly inconclusive lab results to determine whether or not land, soil or ground water is toxic. Nevertheless, years have gone by with no such concrete evidence which is certainly a strange circumstance if the land is truly radioactive or contaminated.


  5. “sorry, your uninformed.”

    Sorry, I can’t take you seriously when you confuse ‘your’ with ‘you’re.’

    I think it’s pretty much self-evident that at this point, there is no reason to believe that Runkle Canyon is unsafe to develop on, as proven by the DTSC.


  6. If there is radiation greater than what is expected naturally, it can be measured. Has anyone bothered to do so?

    Easy way to cut through the baloney!


  7. I know it’s difficult to take the time to read, but if you bothered to really look at the Rangers’ website or Collins’ site, you will see that every single claim they have made is backed up with a lab report done by previous potential developers or government agencies. You would also see the Rangers have repeatedly stated they are not anti-development, and that in fact their home values would go up if Runkle is developed. Further, you would find that DTSC has not reviewed all the documentation, or declared the land safe by any means.

    Please pay better attention. DTSC presented on the tar, not Collins. DTSC reviewed several studies done by previous developers and government agencies which did show elevated radiation levels. And it was the City’s own test that showed high heavy metals in Runkle creek – aresenic, vanadium, nickel, cadmium, chrome, lead, and barium. Yum. The City is doing due diligence in requesting further testing. Oh, and the pretty maps Collin showed? They came from Boeing.

    I am very perplexed by this level of animosity and what the real reason is for Chandler’s venom. I suspect it’s a vested interest of some sort, or a friend has a vested interest. Perhaps Chandler and company should speak with some of the hundreds of residents in the area with cancer related to Rocketdyne (a UCLA study reported on by the Star), or the mothers of children with retinoblastoma. He might then feel it’s better to be safe than sorry when evaluating the safety of any property near Rocketdyne.

    Mr. Chandler, you are agressively misinformed and make so many sweeping statements yourself it’s hard to take you seriously. Perhaps you are upset that the Rangers’ have in fact succeeded at partnering with the City Council to further explore conatamination problems in Runkle. That’s what good citizens do.

    I’ve lived in Simi Valley for decades and have followed the Rocketdyne issues very, very closely. I suggest you do better research before making such vicious and ignorant attacks. You seem like the hysterical one, that’s for sure.

    For everyone else reading this, please read Anna Bakalis’ great article on this subject in today’s Star, or look at the information including the Rangers’ compelling PowerPoint easily understood by anyone from say, the fifth grade up.


  8. Alara,

    Indeed, like all others who disagree with your position, its because I have a vested interest. Glen Becerra’s realtor wife and I each get a dollar every time we oppose the Rangers.

    Considering your intelligence far exceeds mine and that I have difficulty reading beyond a fifth grade level, I will gladly help you make your point by offering all of your content as a download on this site for anyone who cares to read it. Just send it my way.

    The bottom line is the Rangers claim our city council consists of dirty politicians which destroys your credibility, despite your off the charts intellect. And the sensational headlines on the Rangers site are nonsense, published to sell fear… Fear of salt.


  9. Nice, that’s another example of the same putrid crap the rangers always pull. What? You’re not on the same page? Then you have a vested interest AND/OR you’re too stupid to get it. Stand your ground.


  10. Oh God I promised myself I wouldn’t get into it with people who don’t bother to do any real research so I am going to restrain myself here and post just once more.

    Chandler, you’ve mentioned Becerra’s wife a few times and I’m just going to leave that one alone… The fact is that, yes, the Rangers’ have made statements about the City Council that weren’t pretty, but the City also made ridiculous accusations toward the Rangers. That’s all old news, at least a year old, though if you don’t bother to check the dates you could be confused I guess. The latest news is that, on Monday, the City praised the Rangers, the Rangers praised the city, as well as KB Home and DTSC. Everyone is on the same page here except for you most pleasant folks.

    I’ve spent hours reading all of this, days in fact, and I’m not going to spoon feed it to you now. You want me to send you all the documents? Puhleez. I don’t have that kind of time and they’re easy enough for you to go get yourself. There’s a lot of sites with the information but probably the easiest is – it has a great interactive timeline that links to pdfs of all the developer’s and government reports. This is required reading for anyone who wants to opine on Runkle Canyon intelligently.

    Otherwise, get with the program and realize that all the players are working harmoniously even though there are serious issues still to be resolved. Take care.



  11. Nonsense, Alara. Clean that crap off the Ranger’s website if its truly old news or no longer applicable. Otherwise, more poor saps like that guy on Monday night are going to scold and berate the council for no good reason whatsoever, and all because they believed your overly sensationalized bullshit. Until then, you’re all just a bunch of headline snagging liars. I seriously don’t see how you can argue that’s ok because of dates

    I’ve read your reports and took them at face value. That’s the god damn problem! I was once working on a website to call attention to what I thought was a problem being ignored by the city.

    People like you cost money, needlessly frighten people and waste time, and you do it on a high horse with a pompous attitude. You deserve NO attention from the city council.


  12. The best part is this: “Chandler, you’ve mentioned Becerra’s wife a few times and I’m just going to leave that one alone…”

    Hell yea you are!

    Go Chandler!


  13. sorry, but I’m not at all about to believe that this is all hype. I have followed this closely for years and I have very little doubt at all in my mind that runkle is seriously contaminated. I think your being close minded because you cant accept your local government is corrupt but all the evidence is on the rangers website.


  14. Alara, I dont have a official position on this issue because I’ll be the first to admit I don’t fully get it but come off as condescending which makes you seem less credible. And it really does look like y’all are saying there’s contamination and radiation and such there with all the radioactive signs and graphics and commentary you have. If the jury is still out on that, aren’t y’all worried about the impression you make on those who read your literature and web site?


  15. Whew Chandler, you really need to cough up that stupid pill you are currently gagging on !! California Senate Bill 990 was signed into law by the governor recently and passed both houses — why? Please read SB990 and gain perspective on what the populace now knows regarding the extensive contamination flowing down into Runkle, Sage, Dayton, Black, Woosley, Las Virgenes, and et al area Canyons. This is a veritable witches brew and is not going away despite any Chandlers out there acting like ostriches with heads stuck down deep in the sand. 50,000 years just to clean up the hundreds of thousands of gallons of spilled Trichlorethelyne; TCDD Dioxin well beyond safe limits for life found by the State of California in area creek beds; Radioactive Cesium and Strontium lingering in the hills above and valleys below with their half lives STILL to this day; the list goes on and on and on. Radiation is invisible, so your out-of-sight-out-of-mind mentality is truly harming your neighbors. The Rocketdyne polluter (Boeing) is now a convicted felon, did you know that? What have you done to help with the effort to clean the place up? Or are you just plain ignorant? Talk is cheap Chandler, and you’re the cheapest they get. Perhaps it is time for you to spend time in a Cancer Intensive Care Unit and watch your neighbor die of industrial contamination. It sounds like you’re the type that would spit in the cancer victim’s face. Bravo. I welcome your idiotic reply back.


  16. I fail to see how you interpret my remarks as being from an individual who spits in the faces of cancer patients, but I do hope it at least opens your eyes to why I think your group comes off as sensationalists. Nobody, not even the city or the DTSC, has argued that Rocketdyne was a polluter. It was whether or not Runkle Canyon was a toxic wasteland, which the DTSC has indicated is not.

    I suppose debating your conspiracy theories involving Councilmember Glen Becerra’s realtor wife, statements on the Radiation Rangers website, would also make me idiotic as well, correct?

    Considering how much smarter all of you are than I am, shouldn’t you be spending your blog comment posting time elsewhere? I can probably point you to some wikipedia articles on sodium chloride.


  17. Dont dare disagree with the rangers publicly, else you’re ignorant, stupid, and disrespectful of cancer patients.

    I’m not going to pretend you’re an expert on this, but I get your point. The jury is still out. That won’t stop the Rangers from trying to scare the shit out of the city. Too bad the dramatics make for great headlines.


  18. You make your bed and then you sleep in it. If you chose to be ignorant, it is your decision, your life. Comments posted in this blog by yours truly are in fact, independent. I am not associated with any group, just a concerned neighbor who’s seen much regarding this complicated and long standing issue facing the community. The facts are what the facts are. A suggestion would be for anyone who cares about their neighbor or their neighborhood, is for them to get involved and learn the facts — there are many, and I am still learning. The State is still learning. The Regional Water Board has recently found extensive contamination flowing off the mountain into YOUR neighborhood. Get to know what the water board found and how the runoff gets into Simi well water to be ultimately blended into the drinking water headed for your tap. Get to know what causes different types of cancer: hint — for example, Google: “TCDD Dioxin Lymphoma” and see for yourself. Don’t stop there, keep reading, keep Googling. See the films on U-Tube, the History Channel short film is a start. Wikipedia is very good. Former Senator Kuehl has articles for you to read on her website. The government reports are available for all to read, see their websites as well. Meetings are not to be missed, find out when and where. Get familiar with Google Earth and learn the drainages from Rocketdyne’s (radioactive-nuclear) Area IV into Runkle Canyon. Learn about Sage Ranch contamination. Get familiar with contamination tables put out by Cal EPA and Fed EPA. Compare the tables with actual contaminate finds in the local area. Read the Rocketdyne depositories in place at Simi library and other libraries. Put your listening ears on and learn from former workers and you will be amazed by the amount illegal dumping that went on for years unabated, leaving behind on the Santa Susanas AND RUNKLE some of the most toxic junk found on planet earth. Learn about laboratories and different EPA testing methods. Realize the limitations of government regulators and the need for citizen involvement in the public process in order to properly characterize the clean up. Look at innovative ways to get the job done. Be a part of the solution, not a part of the problem. Endeavor to make a difference in lives yet to come.

    Whatever politics you refer to means nothing to me as I have no idea what you are talking about. For your information, (now that you erroneously bring it up) if there is a corrupt real estate salesperson who’s motivation is only greed and the suppression of evidence with the intent to defraud or cover up toxic contamination, my suggestion is for you to identify such person or persons to the California Department of Real Estate and ask the Department that their license be revoked. It seems you know much more about who this person is, perhaps a good use of your time would be to correct the problem if indeed there is one.


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